Sunday, August 1, 2010

help ...

We’re puzzling things through. Rachael is writing first rough draft of a chapter dealing with the Allegheny Bible Class between 1871 and 1876. There is more detail than usually presented, but there are some chronological issues. Russell points to 1871 as the date the class was established, though in one place he seems to say 1872. I’m continuing to work on the first year of Russell and Barbour’s joint ministry.

Russell and his brethren spent most of 1872 considering the ransom doctrine. This seems to have been prompted by articles appearing first in The Herald of Life and later in The Bible Examiner. Our money is exhausted, and we can’t afford copies of the Bible Examiner for 1872. Anyone want to be exceptionally nice and make copies for us? We can’t reimburse you at all.

Issues with these chapters are:

1. How many people were in the founding group? Can we say from original, not secondary, sources?

2. The first issue examined by this group was the doctrine of Probation. They adopted George Storrs’ views. We have articles by Storrs from a slightly later date. Anyone have something by Storrs on Probation and Second Probation published in 1870-1872?

3. Can we list specific writers who influenced this group? Thus far we have Henry Dunn, George Storrs, George Stetson, Joseph Seiss, various Adventist publications. Russell mentions “others.” Thus far we’ve only established one name other than those listed above. I’m sure there are more. Russell’s words suggest there are.

4. The preface to the Watch Tower reprint volumes says Russell was elected pastor of this group in 1876. We consider that a secondary source because it did not come from Russell’s own pen. Can we prove this statement from another source?

5. Restitution magazine reviewed Object and Manner of Our Lord’s Return. Anyone have that issue?

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

There were weekly notices for meetings in Pittsburgh/Allegheny in the World's Crisis and Advent Christian Times. Jonas Wendell was listed as preaching around 1869-1871, and then George Stetson from around 1871-1873.
If Russell regularly stayed in Philadelphia, he likely also attended Adventist meetings there.
It is not clear what is the connection between the Advent Christian church and the Bible study group that Russell attended, and what the "schism" that Stetson mentioned in his letter was about. For a while the church in the Pittsburgh area was called "Church of God", which could indicate that there were age-to-come views in that area. It is possible that there are age-to-come Adventists and time believers and that they had an uneasy coexistence and met together on Sunday, and perhaps Russell's group met as a sub-group.
Storrs edited the Herald of Life until 1871, and it is possible that Russell's group studied this paper before the Bible Examiner.
There were age-to-come views published in this paper,and there were a series of articles on the Seed of Abraham. This would tie in with what Russell later said he came to believe in 1869. See What Pastor Russell Taught, the booklet in the back.
There are numerous letters from J L Russell and Son that were acknowledged in the World's Crisis and Advent Christian Times, so it is highly likely that Russell read these magazines, and was acquainted with some of their literature.
There appeared several articles on Stetson, on the ransom.

Anonymous said...

On Russell and 1876 - the Adventist papers list G. D. Clowes as preaching in 1876 and even in 1879. Later he associated with Russell's class. Did Russell's group break away from the other Adventists when he followed Barbour? Might they have elected him Pastor at that time?

Anonymous said...

Carl Olof Jonsson thought that Russell had read the Prophetic Times, the issue of Sept-Oct. 1874, where there was an article on the two-stage coming. Joseph Seiss wrote for it at time, and probably was the editor also. Storrs had also believed in this. Could Storrs have been the original source?
On the founding group, I recall the number being 6, but forget the source. They would be J L Russell, C T Russell, Conley (and his wife?), Russell's sister. Stetson was in the area in 1872, and it is likely he attended.
Russell might have met Storrs in Philadelphia. Also Russell could have met Seiss there also.

Anonymous said...

One of the letters regarding the Pittsburgh Adventists gives the number( I am recalling from memory) as in the 20s or 30s. This would be larger than 6 in Russell's Bible study group. Because Stetson was the pastor of the Advent Christian Church in the area from 1871-1873, and Russell acknowledges his help, it would be highly unlikely that Russell would have stayed away from the church where Stetson was preaching. Also, in a letter it is mentioned that Stetson was staying in Conley's house. It seems likely that Russell and Conley attended the sermons of Stetson with the other Adventists, and then met with perhaps like-minded "age-to-come Adventists" at a smaller gathering, with Stetson attending.

B. W. Schulz said...

Russell attributes his belief in a two state advent to seiss and "others." Candidates for the others would include the people at "israel's watchman" and a presbyterian clergyman.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

can you point us to the exact issues that show Jonas Wendell was in Pittsburgh in 1869?

Is there a contemporary source, an origial source, that puts a number to the original study group?

Can you provide us with the exact reference to "the letters?"

R. de Vienne

jerome said...

Anonymous mentioned G D Clowes associating with Russell’s class (quote) “later” (the suggestion is later than 1876).
In the November 1875 issue of Storrs’ Bible Examiner there are letters from both Elder G D Clowes and J L Russell (CTR’s father) appreciating the visit to Pittsburgh of a Brother Owen – so Clowes and the Russells were attending the same meetings at that time – meetings at which Clowes was called Elder. Storrs had visited a little group at Pittsburgh in May 1874 where he met J L Russell in person for the first time (see letter in December 1874 Bible Examiner). There is no mention of CTR by Storrs at this time. Letters received by Storrs and mentioned in his journal include several from JL Russell and son. The first letter from CTR as a separate individual is in the Bible Examiner for July 1975.

B. W. Schulz said...

Albert Delmont Jones could not have been part of the original group. He didn't enter the work until 1878.

Anonymous said...

"1. How many people were in the founding group? Can we say from original, not secondary, sources?"

In one of the letters concerning this church, and "Bro. Cherry" is mentioned.

Anonymous said...

"Russell attributes his belief in a two state advent to seiss and "others." "

If you are referring to the Supplement to the first Watch Tower issue, my recollection is that Russell states only that Seiss had taught it before, but does not go as far saying that Seiss was the source of Russell's beliefs. By this time, this belief was not unique to Seiss, and Russell could have been influenced by others.

Anonymous said...

Can you provide us with the exact reference to "the letters?"

There are treatises by George Stetson on the Herald magazine website under Bible Students Library 4.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous mentioned G D Clowes associating with Russell’s class (quote) “later” (the suggestion is later than 1876).
In the November 1875 issue of Storrs’ Bible Examiner there are letters from both Elder G D Clowes and J L Russell (CTR’s father) appreciating the visit to Pittsburgh of a Brother Owen – so Clowes and the Russells were attending the same meetings at that time – meetings at which Clowes was called Elder. Storrs had visited a little group at Pittsburgh in May 1874 where he met J L Russell in person for the first time (see letter in December 1874 Bible Examiner). There is no mention of CTR by Storrs at this time. Letters received by Storrs and mentioned in his journal include several from JL Russell and son. The first letter from CTR as a separate individual is in the Bible Examiner for July 1975."

My recollection is that after Stetson left for Edinboro in 1873, that G. D. Clowes became pastor of the Pittsburgh Advent Christian Church. However, his name still appears as preaching after Russell supposedly became pastor in 1876.

The above post links Clowes to Storrs, and J L Russell to Storrs, and it looks likely that Clowes and J L Russell had met. The main question I've always had is what is Russell's connection with this Adventist church in Pittsburgh. If one draws a social network for all these people connected with this church, they knew each other.
Yet Russell said he was never an Adventist, and they did not help him to one single truth.
The only way I have come to harmonize this is that Russell never formally joined the Advent Christian Church, but attended the meetings regularly there, met regularly with his Bible study class as well, and that this church tolerated differences of opinion on 1873, age-to-come views, burning of the world.
This would be similar to the New York class that Barbour attended.

B. W. Schulz said...

In saying he was never an Adventist, Russell was following Storrs who detested the name as sectarian.

Russells attended those meetings on a regular basis. They were viewed as "brothers" by other Adventists. Their doctrines are all "adventist" doctrines, though not all of them were advent christian doctrines. There were many small groups and independed individuals and congregations. Russell associated with many from groups that later formed CoGGC. In the 1890's he spoke at a tent meeting sponsored by CoGGC antecedent preachers. The "brother myers" mentioned in an early watch tower associated with the Indiana based Restitution, a anticedent group for CoGGC. Of course, many of these docrines found expression in other churches too.

Russell could only say that he wasn't an Adventist because he joined none of their organizations. Storrs advocated independence. Russell agreed. You can find Storrs' views on the matter in the 1877 Bible Examiner.

Russell was also swayed by non-Adventist millinarians, particularly English writers. This is a neglected area, and we are researching it.

Russell read The Rainbow and the tracts and books of several English writers. He may have read Bible Echo, but this is uncertain. George Stetson, Elias H. Tuckett, and others of Russell's acquaintance wrote for The Rainbow.