Sunday, August 18, 2013

Introduction to Chapter 2


2 Among the Second Adventists, Millenarians, and Age-to-Come Believers: 1869-1874

 

Wendell’s meeting at Quincy Hall, led Russell to an examination of the principal strands of prophetic thought. As Russell defined them these were Second Adventism, “Pre-Millenarianism,” and “Post-Millenarianism.” Of the three, pre-millennial thought would be most influential. Russell identified himself as a pre-millenarian rather than an Adventist, and others would do so with his evident approval. For instance, Russell reprinted a review of The Day of Vengeance that identified him as a pre-millennialist, though with a “more exalted idea of prophetic events than is common” to them.[1] A tract first published about 1914 and purporting to be by a former Millennial Dawn adherent calls Russell’s belief system “Millennial Dawnism that is also known as ‘Zion’s Watch Tower,’ [and] ‘Age-to-come.’” While the tract’s author appears to lie about her association with Watch Tower belief, one can note from it that even opponents associated Russell with Age-to-Come belief rather than Adventism.[2]

Russell summarized the belief systems in an article published in Zion’s Watch Tower.[3] He said that Second Adventists expect that Christ will soon appear as “a fleshly being in the sky”:

 

The Church will be caught up into the air above the earth and there remain with him, while fire and brimstone are rained upon the earth, burning it to a cinder. During the time it is burning, and until it cools off (probably thousands of years), Christ and the Church will be waiting in the clouds. These will then take possession of the earth, which will become as the Garden of Eden again. There they expect to “build houses and inhabit them, plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them, and long enjoy the work of their hands.” There they expect to reign with Christ as kings and priests – over whom none can tell (unless it be over one another), since all the rest of mankind must have long since perished in the burning earth.

 

While Adventists were and are premillennialists, they were not within Russell’s definition of Pre-Millenarians. In America, the term Millenarian was unique to Age-to-Come[4] believers who congregated around a few periodicals but had little formal organization. Also known as Literalists, they expected Christ to come “unawares and gather the Church, and with them leave the world and go to heaven for a few years”:

 

During the absence of Christ and the Church, the world will be full of trouble, distress of nations, pouring out of the vials of wrath (more or less literal), etc. This trouble and distress will destroy or subdue unruly sinners, and then Christ Jesus and his church will return to earth and inhabit a New Jerusalem City which will (literally) descend from the sky. Christ and his saints--all glorious fleshly beings – [called spiritual as a compliment to Paul (1 Cor. 15:44-50), though held to be really fleshly] will then reign over the few of the nations which have survived the trouble. This reign will last a thousand years. Then the dead, so unfortunate as not to live during the Millennial age, will be brought out of a “lake of fire” to earth, and arraigned for mock trial and condemnation before Christ Jesus and his Church. All will speedily be condemned and sent back to hell for never ending ages; then Christ and the Church will go to heaven and deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father, and the world will be set on fire and melted – possibly to become, at some future time, again a stage for combat between new races of men and devils; or possibly to continue to roll through space a blackened cinder, a lasting memorial of the lost cause of man’s dominion, and of God’s lack of wisdom in undertaking to establish an earthly government of which man should be king. (Psa. 8:6.)

 

He claimed that “Post-Millenarians” were by far the “largest class” and included nearly all orthodox Christians. These “claim, and with good reason …, that it would be very absurd to think of the glorious Christ and his Church (spiritual beings) either building houses and planting vineyards and enjoying the work of their hands, or reigning and living in a city in Palestine. They think this would be progress backward and not forward. During this age, say they, the church walks by faith and not by sight. … They claim that the Millennium … will be marked by no visible manifestation of Christ …, but that the Church, in her present condition, will stem the tide of evil and cause righteousness to prevail, and that thus God’s kingdom – church – (which they claim is now reigning) will conquer the world, and bring about the foretold blessedness and happiness to fill the earth. All this is to be accomplished without Jesus’ personal presence here.”

Russell read the publications of each group. He quoted their principal authors and read their journals, but he was most influenced by a subset of the Millenarian (Age-to-Come, Literalist) movement. The principal approach to prophetic studies in the United Kingdom and in the United States from the colonial era to Russell’s day was Literalist. Almost without exception, every important and most minor American expositors before the Millerite Movement were Literalists. As the name implies, Literalists believed the prophetic promises should be taken literally. Spiritualizing prophecy, if done at all, should be limited to those elements found in apostolic writing.

As a principal of prophetic interpretation, it arose on the European continent and in the United Kingdom at nearly the same time. Arguably, it’s an apostolic view with an ages-long history, but for our purposes we’ll focus on the resurgence of prophetic study that began near the start of the 17th Century. American Literalists, especially among Age-to-Come believers, admired the Dutch theologian Campegius Vetringa. He was a post-millennialist, adopting some of Daniel Whitby’s pernicious theories,[5] but his approach to exposition remained Literalist. His principal of interpretation was “that we must never depart from the literal meaning of the subject mentioned in its own appropriate name if its principal attributes square with the subject of the prophecy.”[6]

Johann August Ernesti’s (1707-1781) dictum that it was right to hold the literal sense to be the only true interpretation was also much admired by American and British literalists.[7] Other German prophetic students, notably Johannes Piscator (1546-1625), held similar beliefs.[8] German prophetic thought would enter Russell’s notice through J. A. Seiss’s Last Times. Literalists took the Bible in its plain sense without spiritualizing it. Adventists were willing to spiritualize some parts of it, finding prophetic symbolisms in statements taken at face value by others.

Many of those who espoused Millerism came from a Literalist background and continued to read Literalist works. The Christian Observer, a British journal, was republished in the United States. From its first year of publication (1802), it presented articles on prophecy by Literalist authors. The American Millenarian and Prophetic Review and The Literalist were published during the Millerite miss-adventure. Both papers advocated a plain-sense interpretation. One critic noted that the “central law of interpretation by which millenarians profess always to be guided is that of giving the literal sense.”[9] The Literalist, published by Orrin Rogers of Philadelphia, reprinted of works by British expositors such as Bickersteth, Brooks, and Cuninghame.

Millerite Second Adventists read these authors, and were willing to accept Literalist support for the message of Christ’s near return. Some effort was made to reach out to British Millenarians though it was rebuffed. Millerites expected some sort of compromise from British Literalists. It was not forthcoming. Joshua V. Himes recalled the attempt in terms that show the exchange as less than pleasant:

 

The Millennarians [sic] holding these views and looking for the speedy coming of Christ have become very numerous in England, Ireland, and Scotland. Indeed some of the brightest lights of those countries are of that school. In 1840 an attempt was made to open an interchange between the Literalists of England and the Adventists in the United States. But it was soon discovered that they had as little fellowship for our Anti-Judaizing notions as we had for their Judaism, and the interchange was broken off.[10]

 

It is a mistake to attribute the growth of Literalist belief to Millerite failure. It was the strongly held belief of many prior to their entry into Millerism and would remain such after they left the movement. Men such as Joseph Marsh and John Thomas did not originate Literalism’s characteristic doctrines. They were held by most Colonial Era expositors. J. S. Hatch, Ephraim Miller, Jr., A. N. Symore, E. Hoyt, S. A. Chaplin, and Henry Grew, among others, were heavily involved in the Christian Connexion (aka Christian Connection) before the rise of Millerism.[11] These men returned to their Literalist, Age-to-Come roots, and to some degree each would influence Russell’s thinking.

During the 1843-1844 craze, some Millerites continued to teach Literalist doctrine and circulate books by British writers to the great distaste of their brethren. This became an issue when Millerites were impelled into a separate denominational existence. Previously they saw themselves as representatives of diverse denominations but brethren on the basis of an earnest belief in Christ’s impending return. With a move toward unity, abortive though it may have been, doctrinal diversity was less desirable.

A hallmark of the Literalist system is belief that God would return the Jews to the Promised Land probably before conversion. Another doctrine advocated by some Literalists was a sort of “second probation.” A Millerite conference held at Boston in May 1842 soundly rejected Literalist belief, passing a resolution that condemned both doctrines: “No portion of the New Testament scriptures give [sic] the most indirect intimation of the literal restoration of the Jews to old Jerusalem,” the resolution read. “We believe that the arguments drawn from the Old Testament prophecies are based on a mistaken view of those prophecies; and that they have been fulfilled in what the gospel has already done, or remain to be fulfilled in the gathering of all the spiritual seed of Abraham into the New Jerusalem.” The resolution claimed that “the notion of the return of the carnal Jews to Palestine either before or after the Second Advent” was a “snare by which many will be lost forever.”

Second probationism was treated similarly: “The notion of a probation after Christ’s coming is a lure to destruction, entirely contradictory to the word of God.”[12] Whether one hears the gospel or not, one’s fate is determined now, and one is destined to heaven or hell during this life. Another issue not raised at the conference was the fate and endurance of the earth. Probation doctrine teaches that humanity is on trial in this life.

George Storrs, a well-known Millerite Adventist, wrote an article refuting belief in the conversion and return of the Jews. Published in the February 17, 1843, issue of The Midnight Cry!, the article made several key points:

 

It is said, “The world cannot come to an end yet, for the Jews are to be brought in first:” it is added, “God must have some great design in having kept the Jews a distinct people for the last 1800 years:” and, it is asked “What can that design be but their conversion to Christianity?”

 

In reply, I remark, God has not “kept the Jews a distinct people: Here is the root of the error of our opponents in regard to the Jews. I will not deny but that they are a distinct people; but, the question is, who has kept them so? Our opponents say God has’ but I deny it. God has no more kept the Jews a distinct people than he has kept drunkards “a distinct people;” or than he has kept Mormons, or Mohammedans, or Papists, or liars, or any other class of the wicked or deluded men, “a distinct people.” The fact is, God broke down the “partition wall” between Jews and Gentiles by the death of his Son; and never intended that any distinction should exist after “the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” That “seed is Christ” ….

 

To talk about God’s Keeping “The Jews a distinct people,” in the face of such positive declarations of the Bible to the contrary, it seems to me, shows a strong disposition to maintain a theory at all hazards.[13]

 

An emphatic rejection of “Judaizing” continued throughout the Millerite period. For instance, early in 1844, Enoch Jacobs published a pamphlet entitled The Doctrine of a Thousand Years Millennium, and the Return of the Jews to Palestine, Before the Second Advent of Our Savior, Without Foundation in the Bible.

 

Defining the Difference

 

            As disappointed adherents returned to their previous belief systems, Millerites saw the need to define the difference between Literalist (Soon to be called “Age-to-Come” belief in America) and Millerite belief. Writing in the May 1844 issue of Advent Shield, J. V. Himes defined the differences this way:

 

The distinction between Adventists and Millennarians, is, – The Millennarians believe in the pre-millennial advent of Christ, and his personal reign for a thousand years before the consummation or end of the present world, and creation of the new heavens and earth, and the descent of the New Jerusalem. While the Adventists believe the end of the world or age, the destruction of the wicked, the dissolution of the earth, the renovation of nature, the descent of New Jerusalem, will be beginning of the thousand years. The Millennarians believe in the return of the Jews, as such, either before, at, or after the advent of Christ, to Palestine, to possess that land a thousand years, while the Adventists believe that all the return of the Jews to that country, will be the return of all the pious Jews who have ever lived, to the inheritance of the new earth, in their resurrection state. When Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with all their natural seed who have been of the faith of Abraham, together with all pious Gentiles, will stand up together, to enjoy an eternal inheritance, instead of possessing Canaan for a thousand years.

 

The Millennarians believe a part of the heathen world will be left on the earth, to multiply and increase, during the one thousand years, and to be converted and governed by the glorified saints during that period; while the Adventist believe that when the Son of Man shall come in his glory, then he shall be seated on the throne of his glory, and before him shall be gathered all nations, and he shall separate them one from the other, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats. He shall set the sheep on his right hand, and the goats on his left. That one part will go away into everlasting (eternal) punishment, but the righteous into life eternal. They cannot see any probation for any nation, either Jew or Gentile, after the Son of Man comes in his glory, and takes out his own saints from among all nations. They also believe “God will render indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil, to the Jew first and also to the Gentile, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men.”

 

The Millennarians believe that the saints must have mortal men in a state of probation, for a thousand years, as their subject, in order for them to reign as kings; for, say they, how can they reign without subjects? To which the Adventists reply, If it is necessary for them to have such subjects for a thousand years to reign, by the same rule they must have them eternally; for “they shall reign forever and ever.” – Rev. xxii:5.[14]

 

            There are errors in this definition as there are in any definition of a broad and varied movement, but this is reasonably accurate. The Age-to-Come movement was not monolithic but composed of many independently-minded believers and congregations, each with their own doctrinal system. Historians of these movements tend to point to the founders of each church system as the originator of the doctrines. In fact, most of the beliefs seen as unique and developed by or rediscovered by the “founders” were previously believed by others including their contemporaries. Age-to-Come belief was the norm prior to the Millerite movement. Though L. E. Froom (Prophetic Faith of our Fathers) was anxious to hide the fact, most of the prophetic expositors he describes as forerunners to the Millerite movement believed Literalist, Age-to-Come doctrine. The most we can ascribe to Joseph Marsh, the Wilsons, John Thomas and others like them is a return to or an adaptation of views held by others for centuries before the Millerite movement.

            Russell had some interaction with most Age-to-Come groups. He was drawn to and associated with individuals and congregations who centered on The Restitution, a newspaper most clearly identified with Joseph Marsh’s work and with Benjamin Wilson and his tribe of relatives. He would write to, visit, preach with, and identify with many of the most prominent of those who wrote for or preached in association with Restitution. Many of these congregations adopted names such as One Faith, Church of God, Church of Christ, or compromise names such as The Second Advent Church of God. The Restitution was brought to birth by Thomas Wilson in 1871, and by 1872 he was calling it the “organ of Servants of Jesus Christ.”[15] In 1873 Wilson described the paper as “the recognized organ of a religious society known as Marturions.”[16] There were many independent congregations who disagreed on minor and sometimes major points of doctrine. Because names were variable and changeable we will describe them most generally as One Faith.

            David Graham wrote that the antecedents of the Church of God General Conference (Abrahamic Faith) “did not irresponsibly go to extremes, as did Storrs, to shelter such faction [sic] as the Russellites, British Israel, or even the Pyramid Theorists, even though references to them may have been made time and again from various authors.”[17] This is a misleading, self-serving mythology. Graham’s statement is wrong. Not only did Russell and his associates find a congenial home among the One Faith antecedents to the Church of God (Abrahamic Faith), but there was a strong interest in Pyramid symbolism, particularly in the 1870s and 80s, within the One Faith movement. Thomas Wilson, Benjamin Wilson’s nephew, wrote frequently about the symbolism of the Great Pyramid.[18] Jonathan Perkins Weethee, a geologist and college president turned Age-to-Come believer, was well respected by Restitution’s editors. He believed the Saxons were the “lost tribes” of Israel, that most white Americans were descended from Manasseh, and that the Great Pyramid was inspired of God.[19] Restitution readers and writers formed friendships with Russell, and he found a comfortable home among the One Faith antecedents to the CoGGC until about 1880 and continued association with some of its members into the 1890s.

 


J. P Weethee

 

            By the mid-Twentieth Century, Abrahamic Faith writers were describing the Age-to-Come movement as Adventist, primarily because everyone else did. It wasn’t until the 1980s that Jan Stilson pointed out that Age-to-Come/One Faith believers originally rejected the name Adventist and held a significantly different doctrine. “The Church of God has historically coined itself as being Adventist, meaning that it was developed in the aftermath of the Millerite movement …. This may be a misnomer … Adventists believed a different set of doctrines than the Age-to-Come advocates.”[20] There was, in fact, considerable tension between the two groups. By the 1870s the differences led to irreconcilable animosity. George Stetson who preached in association with the Advent Christians would complain of it. Others would as well. J. W. Houghawout and George M. Myers, Age-to-Come evangelists, were banned by vote of the congregation from ever again preaching to the Advent Christian congregation in Traer, Iowa. Houghawout’s version of events is a colorful and accurate portrayal of inter-group tension:

 

I came out of the M.[ethodist] E.[piscopal] Church into the Advent Christian Church, but when I began to preach the restoration of Israel and the reign of Christ and his brethren over the nation, they cast me out; and as I owned the church building they could not stop me from preaching, they quit coming and would not hear. This was in Cherokee. At Traer the Advent Christian church voted that Brother G. M. Myers and I should never preach in their church again. I hope our Advent friends will soon see the folly of rejecting the restoration spoken of by all his holy prophets[21]

 

Tensions between Age-to-Come believers and Millerite Adventists were evident from the first. Acrimonious exchanges, partisan labels (ie. Judaizers), and a firm refusal to see any holding Age-to-Come faith as true believers characterized the two first decades of the Advent Christian Society. By the 1870s many believers gravitated to the two independent Age-to-Come bodies, the Christadelphians and the One Faith movement centered on The Restitution. This accelerated as the Advent Christians moved from being an association of those who believed in the near return of Christ to a denomination with a narrower doctrinal set.  In the late 1860s complaints against some Advent Christian churches were voiced in The World’s Crisis. These were two-sided. Some congregations, it was said, would not receive any evangelist who did not believe Age-to-Come doctrines, and others would not receive anyone who did.

By the very early 1870s attempts to preserve unity had failed. The Advent Christian Times, through its editor Frank Burr, maintained a constant attack on Age-to-Come belief, especially as represented by the One Faith movement. In mid 1875 Burr wrote an editorial suggesting that there should be no “controversy.” His vision of peace was the ostracism of One Faith believers. Amos Sanford, a prominent One Faith evangelist, took up Burr’s attack, assessing

it as coming from a well of theological frustration:


Evidently some of the “one faith” contenders, whom he denominates “theological gladiators,” have been attacking him with the “sword of the spirit” and controverting his “advent faith.” He doesn’t seem to care so much for Himself as for his flock whom he advises to have no “controversy” with “theological gladiators,” but to patiently endure “the trying ordeal.” He tells them that “the spirit of God is not a spirit of controversy or contention.” Strange as it may appear, in the very same issue, under the head of “What Next?” the editor enters into a controversy with his brethren, Dr. N. H. Barbour and Wm. C. Thurman. The former he denounces as a “fanatical leader on definite time,” and speaks of his disappointed Brother Thurman in a manner calculated to stir up feelings of unkindness instead of brotherly love. With their controversy I have nothing to do, for the reason that it is about the “advent faith,” and not the “one faith.” But one can not help reflecting that Adventism had its birth in 1843-4. It was begotten by its partisan leader, “Father Miller,” and brought forth by its mother, “Definite Time.” The Times has heretofore endorsed “Thurman’s Chronology,” and asserted the probability of his ’75 definite time calculation being correct. Now that time is past, and those honest, earnest believers in Adventism are smarting under the failure in their calculations of the prophetic periods, isn’t it a little unkind in friend Burr to cast the same in their teeth?[22]

 

Tension between the two belief systems was not new to the 1870s, but increasing tension brought matters to a head in that decade. When The Restitution changed hands in 1874, the Advent Christian Times sniffed that it was “patronized by a portion of those who believe in probation after the Lord comes.” The Restitution was, he explained, an exchange, “and we find many excellent things in it concerning the present age, but when it treats of the Age-to-Come we are filled with righteous doubt.” Within a few years the Times would call Age-to-Come belief “trash.”[23]

In September 1875, Amos Sanford wrote to The Restitution complaining that “the Adventists refused to meet with us in conferences or general meetings. One of them had said he would give me a mule if I would join the Advent conference, and I gave him a chance to ‘come and let us reason together’ to see if it would be right for me to accept the mule on those conditions. The brethren of the ‘one faith,’ ‘few in numbers,’ had a good meeting.”[24] Hiram Reed, then editor of The Restitution, remarked: “The petty persecutions of professed brethren, who should be our warmest friends, are galling to the spirit, and help to make this life, God knows troubled enough already, still more painful. Would they but stop a moment and remember that evil done to God’s people can do no good, whereas it does the flock … harm, they would perhaps relent. O when will men bearing the Christ’s name cease to treat each other with imperious cruelty!”[25]

In late 1877 the Advent Christian Association passed a resolution ordering that “appointments to preach shall not be published in their organ, the ‘World’s Crisis,” for anyone who believes … in … ‘age to come.’” S. W. Bishop responded by calling it “a relic of the barbarism that has prevailed for centuries in the mother church.” He said it identified Adventists as a daughter of Mystic Babylon.[26]

Because there was little organization and there were few exclusively Age-to-Come congregations, some One Faith believers continued to associate with Adventists. In 1879, a Mary Bush wrote to S. A. Chaplin, Restitution’s editor, that she and “quite a number of others” were associated with Adventists “because there is nowhere else we can go.” She suggested that Age-to-Come believers who shared her situation could “do them more good by being with them than by withdrawing.” Association with Adventists was frustrating: “They held their annual conference here … . The hall was crowded. I thought what a great opportunity to present a little more gospel, but we did not get it; they have dropped definite time and do not preach quite so much fire, so I think there is some improvement.” Age-to-Come evangelists remained active among Adventists, targeting those with an ear to hear.[27]

Another letter to The Restitution published later that year summarizes the relationship between One Faith and Adventists. Abby A. Perry’s letter told of her experiences in Providence, Rhode Island:

 

I found among the so-called Adventists there some of the greatest opposers to the Age-to-Come, or reign of Christ on David’s throne, future, that I have ever met, but I did not shun to declare the whole counsel of God and his servants on that subject to them; but contended earnestly in public, and in private with them, for the faith once delivered to the saints.[28]

 

The controversies with Adventists (and among themselves) were extensive and diverse. A. R. Underwood, Restitution’s editor in the late 1890s, described them as “discussions … over the Three-fact Gospel, the world-burning theory, the Restoration of Israel, The Age-to-Come doctrine, what baptism was for, what to believe as pre-requisite to baptism, the essential gospel, the covenant of promise, etc.”[29] These controversies defined them as a body, and they also built Russell’s theology.

By 1880 the best part of Restitution’s relationship with Adventists was expressed in a letter to the editor which called them “our half-brethren – the Adventists.”[30] By 1896, W. H. Wilson made a clear distinction between “members of the true Church of God, and either the First or the Seventh Day Adventists,” adding that “with regard to communing with Adventists, I would say, what fellowship can obedient gospel believers have with those who destroy the gospel?”[31] The anti-Adventist feeling was bitter. An Ira Hall wrote, “I had rather go to a place where they have never heard anything [of the gospel], than go into a [World’s] Crisis’ Advent community.”[32] By this period the two bodies were distinctive in doctrine, point of view, and personality, and they often would not worship with each other. Another letter to The Restitution said: “We have a church here. They style themselves Adventists, but do not fellowship [with] us, so we cannot worship with them. They reject the glorious doctrine of the age to come.”[33] Though there was a significant antipathy between the two bodies, prominent Church of God (Abrahamic Faith) evangelists continued to fellowship with and sometimes informally debate Russell.

Plainly One Faith and other Age-to-Come believers did not see themselves as Adventists. Their distinctive doctrine marked them as something else. There was, until three quarters of a century later, little peace between the two bodies. The Advent Christian Church defined itself in the 1870s in ways that alienated those who believed in the nearness of Christ’s return but not in the Adventists’ world-burning, spiritualizing doctrine. This is an important fact. Those who see Russell’s connections to Second Adventists as defining him as a closet Adventist miss his vital connections to One Faith belief. To accurately understand his theology, we must recapture the sources of his belief. They are not derived from Adventism but from One Faith doctrine.

 

Jonas Wendell

 

Jonas Wendell’s preaching was Russell’s introduction to a diverse pre-millennialist culture. Russell’s description of the dusty, dingy hall and his cursory summary of their exchanges are almost all the details Russell provides. He says that this occurred “about 1869.”[34] And elsewhere he dates his encounter with Wendell to “nearly two years” after leaving Plymouth Congregational Church.[35] We can probably date this to sometime after mid-February 1869 and before mid-May the same year.

Wendell spoke in Lafayette Hall in late January. Soon after Wendell’s lecture, the Pittsburgh believers rented Quincy Hall for regular meetings. Notices of meeting times were published. Russell met Wendell sometime after the Lafeyette Hall meeting, a conclusion we reach by noting that Russell stepped into their usual meeting place, their rented hall. Wendell and Russell quickly developed a friendship, and Russell remembered him as “my friend Jonas Wendell.”[36]

Wendell was born December 25, 1814, in Minden, Montgomery County, New York, to Jacob and Magdalena (Snyder) Wendell. They christened him in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Minden Township, on January 22, 1815. Before his conversion to Christianity and Adventism, he was involved in Whig Party politics, serving as a delegate to the Young Men’s Whig Senatorial Convention at Saratoga Springs in August 1839.[37]



[1]           Russell self-identifies as a pre-millennialist in an interview published in the December 26, 1878, issue of the Indianapolis, Indiana, Sentinel. The review from John O’Groat Journal is copied in the March 1, 1898, issue of Zion’s Watch Tower, page 80. The review was by G. M. Fife and is found in the December 3, 1897, John O’Groat Journal, published in Wick, Scotland.
[2]           Emma Doolittle: Millennial Dawnism, later reprint by Faith Publishing House, Guthrie, Oklahoma, no date but originally not earlier than 1914.
[3]           C. T. Russell: A Harmonious View, Zion’s Watch Tower, April 1883, page 5ff.
[4]           “Age to come” is a biblical phrase. It was used early in the Millerite movement, but not always to refer to Literalist doctrine. The term was not exclusive to Millerites or Literalists but being a Biblical phrase was used by others. 
[5]           For a discussion of Whitby’s theories see Froom’s Prophetic Faith.
[6]           Hatchet: Destiny of Man in the Ages to Come, The Millenarian, February 1887, page 1. Vitringa (1659-1722) was professor of Oriental languages and later professor of Theology and sacred history at the University of Franeker. His major prophetic statement was Anacrisis Apocalypsios Johannis Apostoli, published in 1719.
[7]           Institutio Interpretis Novi Testamenti, 1761.
[8]           J. Piscator: Commentarii in Omnes Libros Novi Testamenti, 1613.
[9]           Modern Millenarianism, The Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review, January 1853, page 68.
[10]          J. V. Himes: The Rise and Progress of Adventism, Advent Shield and Review, May 1844, page 92.
[11]          For a helpful article see David Graham: The Age-to-Come Influence of Elias Smith, Church of God General Conference History News Letter, Summer, 1984, page 1. The claim that Elias Smith was the first to preach Age-to-Come made in the Editorial accompanying the article, (see page 10) is, of course, false.
[12]          The resolution is reproduced in full in L. E. Froom: Prophetic Faith of our Fathers, volume 4, pages 617-618.
[13]          G. Storrs: The Return of the Jews, The Midnight Cry! February 17, 1843, page 1. (Pages are not numbered in this issue.)
[14]          J. V. Himes: The Rise and Progress of Adventism, Advent Shield and Review, May 1844, pages 47-48.
[15]          The Story of Chicago in Connection with the Printing Business, Regan Printing House, Chicago, 1912, page 203. Rowell’s American Newspaper Directory, 1872 edition, page 31.
[16]          Rowell’s American Newspaper Directory, 1873 edition, page 53. Marturion is the Greek word for Testimony. Wilson’s conception was of a society of witnesses to God’s word and work.
[17]          David Graham: The Old Union Church and the Church of God Abrahamic Faith in Indiana, Church of God General Conference History Newsletter, Autumn 1984, footnote 8 on page 7.
[18]          Thomas Wilson wrote in Our Rest: “I have been for some time prayerfully engaged in the study of that greatest wonder of earth (The Great Pyramid), ‘the witness,’ and the Lord has at last blessed my investigations by revealing to me what I sought after, viz., a perfect chronology, reaching back to the beginning of the world. I have felt impressed for some time with the idea that this building of His, so perfect in all other respects, would not fall short here, and so it has proven. The testimony is gradually being given, and in every instance it witnesses for the truth of that good old book, the Holy Bible.” – Quoted in B. W. Savile: Anglo-Israelitism & the Great Pyramid, London, 1880, page 102. Wilson wrote a series of articles on the Great Pyramid in the 1880s. Two of the most significant are found in the January and November issues of Our Rest. These were picked up and commented on by The International Standard: A Magazine Devoted to … The Great Pyramid. See the May 1884 issue, pages 117, 124.
[19]          See his The Eastern Question in its Various Phases, Columbus, Ohio, 1887.
[20]          Jan Stilson: Editorial, Church of God General Conference History Newsletter, Autumn 1984.
[21]          J. W. Houghawout: Report of Labors, The Restitution, August 14, 1875.
[22]          Amos Sanford: Controversy, The Restitution, June 23, 1875.
[23]          Advent Christian Times as quoted in H. V. Reed: Doubt Castle Invaded, The Restitution, December 16, 1874. Characterization of Age-to-Come as “trash”: Advent Christian Times, July 18, 1877.
[24]          Amos Sanford to The Restitution in the September 19, 1875 issue.
[25]          Untitled short article, The Restitution¸ September 15, 1875.
[26]          S. W. Bishop: Wherein Lies the Difference, Bible Examiner, December 1877, page 52.
[27]          Mary Bush: Letter to S. A. Chaplin in the January 22, 1879, issue of Restitution.
[28]          Abby A. Perry: Letter to S. A. Chaplin in the April 16, 1879, issue of Restitution.
[29]          “The Covenants of Promise” Again, The Restitution, May 10, 1899. Three-fact gospel debate is a reference to Christadelphian teaching that the gospel is more than the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and includes "things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ."
[30]          Letter from P. A. Brown to Editor The Restitution, found in the July 28, 1880, issue.
[31]          W. H. Wilson: What is the Difference? The Restitution, July 8, 1896.
[32]          Letter from Ira R. Hall to The Restitution, August 12, 1896.
[33]          Letter to the Editor (Signature is unreadable on our copy), The Restitution, May 20, 1896.
[34]          C. T. Russell: To Readers of the Herald of the Morning, Supplement to July 1879 issue of Zion’s Watch Tower.
[35]          1912 Convention Report, page 134.
[36]          C. T. Russell: Harvest Siftings and Gatherings, Zion’s Watch Tower, July 15, 1906, page 230.
[37]          Montgomery County, Albany, New York, Evening Journal, August 19, 1839.

No comments: