Tuesday, February 21, 2012


1. Russell was never an Adventist. He did not believe, accept or see as meritorious, Adventist teaching.

2. When Russell met him, Storrs had long withdrawn from Millerite Adventism. He left it amidst great controversy and animosity in 1844.

3. Even while a member of the Life and Advent Union, Storrs did not teach standard Adventist doctrine.

4. Stetson, though a member of the Ohio Advent Christian Conference, was an Age-to-Come believer. By the time Russell met him he was contributing articles to The Restitution, a One Faith (NOT Adventist) journal, and advocating doctrines contrary to main stream Adventism. One Faith belief was not a form of Adventism. They rejected that notion entirely.

5. The sole contribution Adventist contacts made to Russell's faith was an understanding of the state of the dead and the trinity. Both of these views are traceable to Storrs.

6. By late 1872 Russell was reading Age to Come material, not Adventist material. He was well known in One Faith circles, and his acquaintances were men like H. V. Reed, Thomas Wilson, and other contributors to The Restitution.

7. Emphasis on Russell's contacts with Adventists is overblown. No doctrine taught by him is traceable to Adventism. Almost every doctrine he taught is a One Faith or other Age to Come doctrine, usually in opposition to Adventism. This even includes his chronological views. By the time he received them Barbour et. al. had left Adventism. Barbour became a partisan of Mark Allen, an Age to Come advocate. Barbour's chronology is traceable to British Literalist writers, none of whom were Adventists.

8. Pointing to Adventist influences as the most important influences is wrong. There are thousands of pages of Age to Come, particularly One Faith, material that has lain unexplored. Before one points to Adventist antecedents one should read that material. It gives a very, very different picture.

9. While Russell saw the 1843 movement as within God's plan, he saw Adventists as "seriously out of the way." Name ONE doctrine that Russell got from an Adventist - someone who was still teaching Millerite doctrine.

10. Russell saw the 1843/4 movement as within God's plan not because of its doctrines, but because of its place in Barbourite chronology, which pinned the midnight cry to 1859 as a mid-point between Miller and Barbour's set-time.

11. Do not buy into the Russell was a secret Adventist theory. (I admit to thinking another word than 'theory.') He wasn't. From 1871 to 1876 he was a One Faith believer, associating with a One Faith congregation, having a recognized One Faith pastor. His doctrine was a compound of Storrs "ages to come" and "fair chance" doctrines and standard Age to Come belief. It was not Adventist in any respect.

12. Russell self-identified as a Millennarian. That is a term One Faithers applied to themselves. Adventists did not use it.


roberto.testimonidigeova said...

What you say is remarkable and very interesting, but I admit to be a bit confused. All that is new for me. Nobody in Italy knows about the existing of the "One-faith movement", the "age to come", and "fair chance" in those years. For example: is the nontrinitarism distinctive of the one-faith? Which were the churches of the one-faith? Do they still exist? The Watchtower dvd "Jehovah's Witnesses Faith in Action, Out of Darkness" (dvd n°1), talking about Barbour, says he was an Adventist. So it would be really appreciable, if you say more about the differences and similitudes, between "one faith movement" and "adventism"


jerome said...

Bruce and Rachael are far better placed than anyone else to answer your specific questions, so I will leave that to them - but you will find out a lot more if you look back through the articles already on this blog, including - shameless plus here - one I wrote as published on October 26 last year: 1874-75, Allegheny-Pittsburgh - Adventist or Age to Come? The Case of George Storrs and Elder Owen.

roberto.testimonidigeova said...

Can we consider the "The Church of the Blessed Hope" an Age-to-Come Church?

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Church of the Blessed Hope is the name of Mark Allen's group. It is sometimes described as Adventist, but was in fact, One Faith, or age to come. Barbour later associated with this group.

The name was also used by independent congregations usually losely associated with The Restitution and the Wilsons.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Also a note on Barbour. If you read Russell's comments on his meeting with Barbour and their first exchange of letters, you will see that Barbour had been an Adventist. By the time Russell met him, he had shifted position.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

One last observation ... At the risk of offending our blog readers ... The Watch Tower society does not know its own history. Really. One of the reasons we write is to tell the full story.

roberto.testimonidigeova said...

I am not offended. The Watch Tower Society is the legal organization in use by Jehovah's Witnesses. Its main target is described in the second page of The Watchtower magazine. Jehovah's Witnesses are a religious movement, not historians, we are imperfects, we can make mistakes, anybody can make a mistake.
Thanks for your historical work (I think it's astonishing), but at last, our everlasting life and happiness depend from God.

Friendly, Roberto

roberto.testimonidigeova said...

I think we can say that the terms: "New World Society" and the nowaday "New sistem of things" are evolution of the term "age to come". All these terms mean not only the millennium, but the entire "age to come" after Harmageddon (Age to come = millennium + rest of the eternal time).
Am I wrong?

Russell itself in his books (for example "the divin plan of the ages") wrote of the "age to come" as millennium + the rest of the eternal time.

roberto.testimonidigeova said...

You say that Barbour withdrew from the main body of the adventists (that's a fact, it's a thing we can't deny). My question is: what do you mean with "main body"?

Do you mean, the Seventh-day Adventist Church (Joseph Bates, James White, and Ellen G. White)?
Or you mean the entire adventism movement?

Last, but not least, this morning I bought your ebook on Nelson Barbour. It's a very very good book.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Barbour was never a Seventy-day Adventist. He associated with Advent Christians and with Life and Advent Union. Many of his followers in the 1873 movement came for LaAU adherents.

I'm glad you like our book on Barbour and his followers. We intend to revise it eventually. The one mistake we're aware of is that we identify his grandfather as his father. His father was David Barbour, Friend Barbour's son.

We were mislead by a newspaper article, some information provided by a Barbour descendant and some other material. However, since the book was published a member of the Barbour family gave us a copy of Nelson's will. So we have that to fix.

Also we have several more articles than we did back then. We also know that Barbour expected Christ visibly in 1875. That helps date when they turned to invisible parousia doctrine.