2 Seeking Cohesion
Zion’s Watch Tower believers did not constitute an independent religion in 1879 or for some years afterward. As we demonstrated in volume one of this book, they were unified only by belief that Christ was (or might be) invisibly present. In many other respects they were disunited. They read a variety of religious papers other than Herald of the Morning and Zion’s Watch Tower. Some of them continued to hold to Inherent Immortality Doctrine. Barbour recounts an instance of that during the Atonement debate, and Russell’s visit to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, was hosted by H. E. Hoke, an Evangelical Adventist who believed the doctrine. This doctrinal divergence crept into the pages of Zion’s Watch Tower, at least one booklet, and into Russell’s correspondence.
The basis for their unity was a broad agreement on the nature and time of Christ’s return and a united opposition to Barbour’s Atonement views rather than an actual theological agreement. Russell was aware of and comfortable with differences and inserted an announcement on the first page of Zion’s Watch Tower disclaiming responsibility for the views expressed by contributors: “In no case will the Editor be responsible for all sentiments expressed by correspondents, nor is he to be understood as indorsing every expression in articles selected from other periodicals.” This notice appeared in every issue through that of May 1888.
The Watch Tower’s larger circulation meant that doctrines already settled on by Russell and most of his associates had to be restated. New questions came his way, and these were examined. Some of this we consider here, and a few key developments we consider in a subsequent chapter. Russell’s goal was broad agreement in areas he saw as essential.
Exploring Divergent Views
Even before Barbour entered on his quest for a unified theology, doctrinal divergence and doctrinal evolution characterized the Barbourtie movement. In volume one, we discussed their transition from belief in an “agrarian” paradise for the Bride of Christ to seeing the heavens as the Bride’s proper home. Until sometime in 1877, Russell and his associates seem to have held the standard Second Adventist and Age-to-Come belief that the earth was the destined home for the Bride of Christ. In 1855, Henry F. Hill, Barbour’s close friend and an Evangelical Adventist, wrote The Saints’ Inheritance, or the World to Come. Hill’s premise was that the proper home for the saved was a restored paradise earth. His book was widely circulated, but he was far from the first to promote this doctrine. It can be traced to the ante-Nicene era.
William Trotter’s Plain Papers on Prophetic and Other Subjects and similar publications introduced them to alternative views. Trotter (1818-1865) converted to Methodism in 1830, becoming active in the cause and writing several tracts. A controversy surrounding Joseph Barker, a Methodist clergyman disturbed Trotter and led him into a Literalist interpretation of the Scriptures. The controversy pushed Trotter into the Plymouth Brethren where he became a disciple of John Nelson Darby. It was as a Brethren preacher that he wrote Plain Papers. Its influence extended far beyond the Brethren community, finding ready readership among American millennialists, including Adventists, and it was recommended by Seiss. An American edition was printed. Two other books also on prophetic subjects followed. C. N. Kraus suggests that Trotter was one of the two most influential Brethren writers among American Dispensationalists.
William Trotter photo here
Trotter was aware of the view of many Second Adventists and other millennialists that the Saints’ proper inheritance was the earth. Entitled “The Heavenly Hope; or, What is the Hope of the Christian? What is the Hope of the Church?” the first chapter of Plain Papers addressed the issue: “The hope of the church is a heavenly, not an earthly hope. Heaven, not earth, is our future dwelling place. What ever links of connexion there may be in that day between heaven and earth – whatever benign influences the Church may be employed of God to exert on the earth and its inhabitants – heaven, not earth, is our distinctive place and portion.” He cited Hebrews 3:1, Ephesians 1:3 and similar scriptures in support. Key to his argument was John 14:1-3, which reads, according to the Authorized Version: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am there ye may be also.”
For Trotter, the Father’s house was his location, the place Jesus went to when he returned to his Heavenly Father. If the Father was in heaven and Jesus was to receive his disciples home to himself, then they would join them in heaven. This view became an issue for Stetson in 1875, and it is likely that it was also the topic of discussion among the Allegheny Bible Study Group. Stetson wrote a lengthy article for The Restitution defending the traditional Adventist and Age-to-Come belief system. Hiram Vaughn Reed, the editor, placed it on the front page of the March 15, 1876, issue. Bible Student familiarity with Trotter is confirmed by an article appearing in the August 1, 1921, issue of The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom.
Other doctrinal issues followed Barbourite adherents into the Watch Tower movement. Most of the issues raised in the early 1880s had been discussed within the Allegheny Study Group. With the publication of Zion’s Watch Tower the debate was resumed but in a wider field, and it helped define the Watch Tower movement.
Satan: Person or Evil Influence?
In 1842 John Epps, an English-born Homeopathic Physician, anonymously published The Devil: A Biblical Exposition of the Truth Concerning That Old Serpent, the Devil and Satan, and a Refutation of the Beliefs Obtaining in the World Regarding Sin and its Source. Epps denied that Satan was a living personality, seeing the Biblical Satan as a mere evil influence. John Thomas, a close associate of Storrs and the founder of Christadelphianism read the book and accepted its views. He would have been drawn to it because of Epps’ Millenarianism and his belief in Conditional Immortality doctrine. A debate raged through the pages of Age-to-Come and Adventist papers. Storrs accepted the belief, and it found an acceptance among Christadelphians and some One Faith believers. However, it was largely rejected by readers of The Restitution.
Some of those newly interested in Zion’s Watch Tower believed the no-personal-Satan doctrine. In October 1879 Russell answered a series of questions from readers. Included among them was: “Do you believe in a monster personal devil?” Russell did and said so.
John Epps photo here
Early in 1881, a Watch Tower reader tried to persuade Russell to adopt Foot Washing, writing: “Bro. Russell, please explain the command concerning feet washing. John 13? It seems to be so plain a command I wonder why it is so little observed.” Though Seventh-day Adventists advocated it too, this may have come from someone who had associated with William C. Thurman. Foot Washing was characteristic of Thurman’s followers. Originally a Brethren preacher, Thurman authored The Ordinance of Feet Washing as Instituted by Christ in 1864, and many of those who read his Sealed Book Opened also read this work. Thurman’s following had diminished considerably by 1876, and many of them sought a comfortable religious home elsewhere.
Russell’s reply suggested that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples to illustrate the need for humility and service to the brotherhood rather than to establish a ceremony: “There are hundreds of opportunities of showing the meek, lowly and loving spirit of our Master. Would that Christians could realize that, as God's stewards and servants, it is not self we are to minister to and serve and pamper, but it is our mission to ‘do good unto all men as we have opportunity, especially to the household of faith,’ remembering that we are to walk in His footsteps who ‘came not to be ministered unto (served), but to minister (serve) and to give his life a ransom for many.’”
Russell’s answer was also the standard response of The Restitution. When the issue was raised to H. V. Reed, its editor, he answered: “Feet-washing and kisses of charity do not belong to the ceremonies of the church – neither can they be adopted as such, without destroying the objects for which they were practiced in ancient times.” Even some Age-to-Come believers found it an attractive ceremony, so, ultimately, it is impossible to pinpoint any one person or group as the originator of this question. If it didn’t come from a Thrumanite, it may well have come from someone like J. T. Ongley who while a One Faith evangelist saw foot washing as an important ceremonial practice. Foot washing continued to be a topic of debate and speculation among Restitution readers for some years. Many of that paper’s readers read Watch Tower.
The timing and nature of the Lord’s Evening Meal became an issue between the annual celebrations of 1880 and 1881. G. M. Myers faulted Russell and others for the memorial dates they advocated. We discuss this in more detail later in this chapter. Others objected too. Russell discussed this in the May 1881 Zion’s Watch Tower:
A number of letters received seem to indicate that the occasion was very generally celebrated among the scattered “twos and threes” “of this way.” We presume that it was celebrated in about twenty places. All who wrote expressed the feeling of solemnity and appropriateness, attaching to the celebration on the anniversary, rather than at any other time. One or two brethren questioned the date announced – suggesting that by the almanac it would fall on the 12th instead of the 14th of April. To these we reply that the calendars in most almanacs are arranged upon astronomical calculations and are seldom exactly in harmony with the Jewish methods, which seem to be based on the eyesight. Some almanacs publish the Jewish calendar, and we used it in ascertaining when the “14th day of the first month,” Jewish time, would come. The moon is used to symbolize The Law or Jewish nation, which reached its full at the time of Jesus' presence, but began to wane when he gave them up and died. The moon was at its full on the 14th of April and began to wane; this seems to agree with the Jewish calendars and therefore we observed that time.
One sister wrote expressing disapproval, and asks, Why not go back to the Law in everything as well as in keeping the Passover? Our sister is in haste; we did not suggest the observance of the Passover as instituted by The Law, but the observance of “The Lord's Supper” instead of it. Nor did we suggest this as a law, believing that “Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Rom. 10:4, and 7:6). But who will say that we may not celebrate the death of our Lamb on the anniversary, for, “as often as ye do this, ye do show forth the Lord's death.”
Most of those who transitioned from being Bible Examiner readers to Watch Tower readers were familiar with Russell’s reasoning, though not necessarily agreeing with it.
Position of Women
The propriety of women preachers seems not to have been discussed by the Allegheny believers before 1876. Advent Christians allowed women preachers. Others did not. The question came to Russell in early 1881. Someone asked him to “please explain 1 Cor. 14:34. Let the women keep silence in the churches, for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but let them be under obedience as also saith the law.” Russell answered:
It is not for us to say why, when God gives no reasons. Neither can we tell why Jesus sent none of the noble and good women who believed on him to preach, when he sent first the twelve and then the seventy before his face. However, much may be said of good accomplished by women in the temperance cause, etc., we nevertheless believe that this scripture has never been disregarded with impunity. We believe woman to be a type of the church, and man the type of Christ the head of the church, and we might draw the lesson that we, the spouse of Christ, are not to dispute or instruct in the church, but listen to the voice of our Head – give ear to his word.
His answer did not quiet the issue, and it was raised again in May 1881. Russell was confronted with this question:
Bro. Russell: How do you interpret Phil. 4:3. “I entreat thee with me in the gospel...whose names are in the book of life.” And Acts 1:14: “All continued with one accord in prayer and supplication with the women.” And 1 Cor. 11:5: “Every woman that prayeth or prophesieth (teaches)?”
Russell’s reply probably disappointed Advent Christians who approved of women evangelists, but he took a more liberal position than many in that era. He said:
We understand these scriptures to teach, that women did a work in the apostles’ days which was approved and appreciated by them and by the Lord. Yet we believe that women usually spoke only at the smaller gatherings, and that when Paul said “Let the women keep silence in the [congregations,]” he probably had reference to the public gatherings, at which it was the custom to have more or less of a debate. In these public debatings, Paul thought a woman’s voice would be out of place, and this is the opinion of most thinking men and women to-day, though we think that it has by many been carried to an extreme, forbidding them to pray or teach on any occasion, even in more private assemblies of Christians, and this we regard as an error.
God has arranged that the man and woman are representative of Christ and his Bride the church, and this rule by which the husband is the head of the wife is always maintained in scriptures. (Though there are exceptions to the rule in nature.) And probably this is one reason, that men have always been given the more active and public work of the ministry and women more the work of assisting and more private teaching, yet equally as acceptable to God. So Christ is the active agent in carrying out his own plan. He is the great minister of all, and we as His church do a lesser part and yet an acceptable part, well pleasing to God.
Issues surrounding women’s rights and responsibilities persisted, fueled by the woman’s suffrage movement and by Russell’s distorted view of marriage. Russell believed the phrase “and the two will become one flesh” meant that the woman’s personality was subsumed into her husband’s. (We consider this issue in chapter [#]) Aggravated by a less than Biblical view of women and attitudes common in the era, this issue persisted. Russell noted this, though we think unintentionally, when he wrote: “This is the opinion of most thinking men and women to-day, though we think that it has by many been carried to an extreme” Russell’s comment reveals a conflicted view of authority. Thinking men and women were persuasive authority when they agreed with him. They were not when they held a contrary opinion.
As we discussed in volume one, George Storrs believed the Anglo-Israelite theory. The belief that the “lost tribes” of Israel were Anglo-Saxon peoples was pervasive among One Faith/Age-to-Come believers, so it isn’t surprising that the issue came Russell’s way. Citing verses from Galatians and Romans, Russell observed: “Abraham was the father of two seeds, the children of the flesh [twelve tribes of Israel] and the children of promise, [faith], of which two seeds Ishmael and Isaac were types.” The promises belong only to the spiritual seed, “the children of promise.” So it didn’t matter if the English, the Germans, and Americans were somewhere under the skin Israelites:
We know not whether the people of these United States and of England are the natural, fleshly descendants of Israel or not. It could make no difference as regards the spiritual “prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus.” If they are, and were made to know it, the effect of those earthly promises would probably be to blind them to the spiritual prize as it did the others, 1800 years ago. If they are of the natural seed, they will receive grand blessings in the coming age, after the spiritual seed has been exalted to glory and power; as it is written. “They shall obtain mercy (God's promised blessings) through your mercy” (through the spiritual seed.) – Rom. 11:31.
A significant number of Watch Tower readers also read The Advent and Sabbath Advocate, the organ of the Church of God (Seventh Day). There was drift between this body and One Faith believers as associated with The Restitution. The propriety of a Sabbath observance and its proper day were debated questions, and the issue was raised with Russell. “There are people to-day whose claim is that they are God's children through keeping the law – the seventh day, Sabbath, etc,” Russell wrote. In numbers of ways the Watch Tower emphasized that the law was past and the Sabbaths were prophetic.
The Trinity was an unresolved issue among those attending the original Allegheny Bible Class. W. H. Conley, for one, retained the doctrine. With the Watch Tower spreading its message on to a larger audience than had the Herald of the Morning, and considering a wider spectrum of Bible teaching, Jesus’ relationship to God became an urgent issue. William Imre Mann wrote against the doctrine in the March 1880 issue. He focused on 1 John 5:7, taken by many to be a plain and Apostolic endorsement of Trinitarian thought. He quoted recognized authorities to prove the verse spurious:
In Hudson’s Greek and English concordance we read: “The words are found in no Greek MSS. before the 15th or 16th century, and in no early version, unless, says Alford, pure caprice is to be followed in the criticism of the sacred text; there is not a shadow of reason for supposing them genuine. Tischendorf says, that this spurious addition should continue to be published as a part of the epistle, I regard as an impiety, etc.; and President T. B. Woolsey: “Do not truth and honesty require that such a passage should be struck out of our English Bibles; a passage which Luther would not express in his translation, and which did not creep into the German Bible until nearly fifty years after his death?”
The Watch Tower spoke with a conflicting voice. Paton’s articles reflected Storrs’ Sabellian belief. An article by Lizzy Allen used Trintarian expressions but her doctrine was something else. Entitled “A Living Christ,” her article was written to refute Barbour’s speculation on the two-fold nature of a pre-existent Christ. She drew on the “worship’ of Christ, making no distinction between “obeisance” and religious adoration. It is doubtful that she was familiar with the Greek text. Russell was comfortable with the concept even though he was not Trinitarian. Jesus was God manifested in the flesh, but if one reads her explanation carefully, Jesus was for her not God but the explanation of God:
Even in the flesh He was "God manifest." From His character in its perfection we get our earliest and truest idea of God. When Philip requested to see the Father, He answered him, "Have I been so long time with you, Philip, and yet hast thou not known me? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father also, and how sayest thou, then show the Father." (John). Whether we, like Philip, become acquainted with Him through His earthly life, or by catching the spirit of the written word, whose vital teachings contain the image of Him whose name is called the Word of God, if so be that we know Him, it shall be to us eternal life. For to know Him is to know the Father also.
These are all Trinitarian proof texts, and some readers may have seen this as a Trintarian statement. Readers questioned Russell over Trinitarianism. Russell wrote a clear statement of his beliefs, publishing it in August 1881. Put in perspective, Paton was on the way out of the movement by that August. He and Russell had a confrontational meeting (we discuss it in a later chapter), and Russell’s exposition of the Christ’s nature was prompted by it and readers’ questions. [continue]
A cognate issue was Jesus’ pre-existence. Socinianism, the characteristic belief of most of those within the One Faith movement, denied it. Josephite belief, the teaching that Jesus was the “natural son” of Joseph was current among a small number of Age-to-Come believers, and Barbour accused the Watch Tower party of rejecting the doctrine of Christ’s pre-existence. The accusation was unwarranted. Watch Tower writers were not Trinitarians. Russell saw the Jesus as a created being so close to God that it didn’t matter if he prayed to Jesus or Jehovah. The holy spirit was not a person. Paton was Sabellian in belief, though some of his comments drift into Semi-Arianism. Though they differed as to the nature of the Christ and his relationship to God, they believed in Christ’s pre-existence.
Russell was clear on the issue:
Jesus’ “being in the form of God,” implies Divine powers, etc.; this on our account he left, taking “not the nature of angels,” (which would have implied angelic powers and qualities) but he took the nature of men, which implies the qualities and powers of man, (before man sinned). He undoubtedly knew of His own pre-existence as he frequently referred to it as glory had with the Father before the world was.
Paton first endorsed the idea in 1879, elaborating on the theme later, he wrote:
We defend the preexistence of Christ, and also the relation between His coming in the flesh and His death in the flesh. The first prepared the way for the second; the second was the ransom. Both were necessary, and parts of the same plan, and both express God's great love for man. Take the pre-existence of Christ out of the plan, and there was no condescension on His part, and no motive to benevolence for us, as the apostle presents it. Take the death of Christ out of the plan, and the types of death are useless, and there is no ransom, and therefore no restitution.
As with most of these issues, this addressed the doctrinal mix found among Watch Tower readers. It more directly took up a false accusation made by Barbour and his closest associates. If Barbour believed what he said, he probably based it on a confused sentence in one of Russell’s articles. We do not see that as likely. It is vaguely possible that A. D. Jones was already preaching his Josephite views, but that seems very unlikely too. When he expressed them in print in 1882, it surprised everyone. We conclude that Barbour knowingly lied. The issue would grow with Jones’ deflection in 1882, but Watch Tower theology was clearly defined by then.
Gifts of the Spirit
Someone wrote to Russell, asking: “I want to inquire whether we can, properly speaking, call any church the church of Christ which does not possess the gifts of the Spirit as we are told the first church had them?” Russell answered in the November 1880 magazine. His reasoning was that among the Gifts of the Spirit were the Apostles. The scripture is plain that except for Judas, there is no apostolic succession – Apostleship passed away and remains abeyant until the Apostles are raised to heaven. Just so, other gifts passed away:
The apostle tells us that there are differences of administration, but the same Lord. So we see it to be; for instance, as to the apostles' method of teaching the church. God has seen fit to continue, to some extent, these gifts. We have in the church “teachers, evangelists, pastors,” &c., but many of those gifts have passed away under a “different administration.” Tongues, prophesyings, &c., have ceased, as Paul said they should (1 Cor. 13:8), probably, because not now necessary.
The church is, to our understanding, one body, from Jesus, the head, down to the last member bearing the same fruit of the vine. Its life lasts on earth during the gospel age and until every member is clothed with its heavenly body. While on earth, any two or three of the members may assemble themselves as the body – the church – and will be so recognized by the head, who says He will meet with them.
This is a mixed answer. There is no apostolic succession. Tongues and prophecy have ceased. Teachers, evangelists and pastors continue in the church. Not said here is the idea that healings probably returned to the church, yet Russell believed that. He saw them as evidence of the Millennial Dawn, that Christ was returned and the millennium in its early days. We consider that more fully in a later chapter.
Discussions on the nature of Spirit Baptism were pervasive and persistent. Russell addressed it again in the August 1881 paper:
A common error among God’s children to-day, and one arising from an improper conception of the holy Spirit, is the supposed necessity for frequent baptisms of the Spirit. We are told, “Be ye filled with the Spirit”: and we would urge the necessity of constantly receiving supplies of grace to help our infirmities. We need constantly to go to the fountain to replenish, because our “earthen vessels” are very defective, and the spirit of Christ easily slips out, being under constant pressure from the spirit of the world. But to be filled with the Spirit is something totally different from the Baptism of the Spirit.
So far as we are informed, there have been but three baptisms of the Spirit in all: First, Jesus was so baptized; second, the disciples at Pentecost were similarly baptized; third, Cornelius and his family were so baptized. These three baptisms were in reality but one, as already shown from the Levitical type. The holy anointing oil was poured upon the head and ran down over the body. The same Spirit given to our Head --Jesus--descended on the church at Pentecost, and has since been running down over and anointing all that are his. In these three cases, it was an outward manifestation which witnessed specially that God recognized such as his. To convince the natural man, the reception was accompanied by various “gifts.” (1 Cor. 14:22.) To them, these gifts were the evidences of the possession of the Spirit and acceptance with God.
The Spirit, or mind, of God is now received without the gifts, and without outward manifestation. Those manifestations and gifts being now recorded in the Word of God, and not (or with few exceptions) in the persons and deeds of his children. Paul testified that he might have gifts, or be acted upon by the Spirit, and yet be almost destitute of the Spirit of love and sacrifice itself-- and thus be but “a tinkling cymbal” (1 Cor. 13:1.) Thus we see that the gifts were not a mark of special favor toward those exercised by them. What we may have of the “witness” of the Spirit, is a far better criterion of our spiritual condition, than if possessed of the mountain-moving, tongue-speaking, and miracle-working power, without the internal witness of harmony with God’s Word.
Since Cornelius, there have been no such baptisms or outward manifestations of God’s favor; but instead, the inward unseen witness of the Spirit of truth with our spirit, that we are children and heirs.
This discussion did not arise from what we now know as the Pentecostal movement, but from interest in the Faith-Cure movement. Russell was interested. Conley was convinced. The article we quote above was written to address the issues of God-head and Spirit that arose as a result. We consider this more fully when we discuss W. H. Conley’s Faith-Cure beliefs.
We considered the Allegheny Study Group’s view of Baptism in volume one. With a much wider voice through Zion’s Watch Tower the nature and importance of Baptism was re-addressed. This was primarily a controversy among Age-to-Come believers. Since many of Russell’s readers came from that camp, he addressed the issue in the September 1880 in an article entitled “The Importance of Baptism.” While some of the earliest Watch Tower articles seem confused, this one seems to us a carefully considered and balanced article. Of course, since it almost entirely matches our personal theologies, it is easy for us to say so.
Russell, swayed by Storrs, pointed to Baptism into Christ and into his death as the true baptism. He defined it thus:
Now it is his death, that we are to be conformed to. True it will include the giving up of the sins or “filth of the flesh,” and the “denying of ungodly lusts,” etc., but, thus far it is simply duty. You only give up things you never had a right to, there is no sacrifice in it. If we would be made conformable unto his death, it must be by the giving up of things not sinful and to which you have a right, as men. Jesus did not his own will, but the will of him that sent him, and we should “Let the same mind be in us which was also in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The Father’s will as done in Christ Jesus was the giving up of natural things, and comforts, and life, on account of sin in the world. Sin and sufferings are still in the world and the disciples of Jesus most willing to “spend and be spent,” to “labor and suffer reproach,” making “himself of no reputation,” such a disciple most closely follows Him “who has set us an example that we should walk in His footsteps.” …
Such, baptized into Christ’s death will not make earthly ease and comfort their aim, but will seek to “do good unto all men as they have opportunity especially to the household of faith.” Their self-denial and God-likeness will seek to benefit and lift up the physical man, and how much more will it lead to self-sacrifice in order that others may be helped on to the divine life. Thus it was that the apostles spent themselves that they might declare “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” It was for this cause that Paul says: “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church.”
Unlike Storrs, Russell saw water baptism as an essential, symbolic of a covenant of obedience. He wrote:
But while the above mentioned is beyond question the essential baptism, was there not a baptism into water enjoined also and as a type? Assuredly there is. When the new hearers had heard of Jesus' death for them, and of their high calling to share it with him and afterward to share his glory, they made the covenant with God and gave outward expression to it by the beautifully expressive type of being buried in water, and said by the act we die to the world and earthly conditions and rise to "walk not after the flesh but after the spirit." …
The ordinance of water baptism is so beautifully expressive of our hope and covenant, that if there was no divine injunction as to its performance, as there is, we should still feel it a privilege to show forth and illustrate our planting (burying) together in the likeness of his death and our expectation of being in his likeness in the resurrection. The ordinance of water baptism is so beautifully expressive of our hope and covenant, that if there was no divine injunction as to its performance, as there is, we should still feel it a privilege to show forth and illustrate our planting (burying) together in the likeness of his death and our expectation of being in his likeness in the resurrection. The ordinance of water baptism is so beautifully expressive of our hope and covenant, that if there was no divine injunction as to its performance, as there is, we should still feel it a privilege to show forth and illustrate our planting (burying) together in the likeness of his death and our expectation of being in his likeness in the resurrection.
Keith wrote to Russell, thanking him for the article. He was pleased and found it in harmony with his thoughts.” Keith’s letter is interesting because it helps date his personal interest in the ‘true’ baptism, the baptism into Christ’s death:
I have thought for two years or more, that those who thought, only of water baptism, when thinking of being baptized into Christ, were taking the shadow and leaving out the substance; just as they do, who ask to be provided with daily bread, and mean, mainly, natural bread.
The real baptism is of vital importance; and it seems to me that when one has reached that point, he will give expression to it, by water baptism in a proper way, just as surely as it is true that out of the “abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”
This profoundly affected some who had minimized the importance of Water Baptism or who had ignored it all together. They wrote to Russell asking what they should do to be properly baptized. He said God would open up a way, and offered some suggestions:
Several have written to us that they have carefully read article in September number, 1880, on “Importance of Baptism,” and would like to fulfill the outward sign of the death of the fleshly nature, as symbolized by immersion into water, but are at a loss how to accomplish it.
We would suggest that if you live near any of those whose names appear in first column of our paper, write to them; if not, if there are several of you, baptize one another; or if you live near any of the officiating brethren of the Christian Disciple church, they would doubtless serve you. (Ministers of the “Baptist Church” are not permitted by their creed to baptize any except those who join their church.) We only throw out these suggestions. If you earnestly desire it, you will find that God has some open door for you.
Coping with Difference
A letter addressed to Maria Russell and her reply published in the June 1887 Watch Tower shows why it was important to address these issues. Maria Russell’s reply reveals the nature of their association and a tolerance for difference if it didn’t rest in the understanding of Christ’s sacrifice. A “Mrs S” from Auburn, Illinois, wrote:
I was first impressed with these newly discovered ideas regarding the teaching of God's Word, in the fall of 1881. I grasped the central idea, the Atonement, from the first; also the Restitution of all things, through justification. These central points seem to me as clear as the noon-day. Some other points, and in comparison to these, minor ones I should say, such as the Trinity – the exact state of the being after death, the Communion, Baptism (the outward symbol and its correct form), and the Law touching the keeping of the Sabbath – these four questions have caused doubts and arguments for and against, to harbor within my mind. ….
Perhaps now you will say, I have not truly been begotten of the Spirit. Dear Sister, I can echo your fears upon this subject. And that brings me to the principal part of my trouble. My life is one of small trials and vexations. Like Mary I have chosen the better part, but I am a veritable Martha, though indeed with all the aspirations and ideas and longings of a Mary. That is, I am so surrounded with worldly anxieties and petty cares – having the care of my family, trying to make ends meet and working from morning till night, with miserable health continually, which of itself is a cause of nervousness and fretfulness. Do you wonder I doubt my own position in the Plan of the Ages? I do not presume to know where I stand in this matter – whether upon the spiritual or human plane. But I can say, with a conscience void of intentional, willful offence, that I shall be grateful, if I may be accounted worthy even to be a doorkeeper in the house of our God.
Mrs. S’s situation was not exceptional. Because Watch Tower readers came from many and diverse religious cultures, differences were to be expected. There was no organization. The viewed organization beyond the local level with suspicion. So point of contact was through one of the Watch Tower principals such as Maria Russell. Maria’s reply shows us how they viewed doctrinal diversity:
Your esteemed favor of the 25th April is at hand and be assured that in your questionings and fears I fully sympathize with you. I do not look upon them however as evidence of any lack of consecration to God, or that you are not begotten of the Spirit. They come only as the result of an imperfect understanding of God's great comprehensive plan.
What you need, then, is to take plenty of time, and with patient carefulness and a meek and teachable spirit which is intent on knowing and doing God's will only, to study his great plan of the ages. Keep well in mind its deep foundation--its complete satisfaction of the demands of justice in our redemption through the precious blood of Christ; its righteous principles recognizing God's absolute and universal sovereignty and man's individual free agency; and then mark the wonderful scope of the plan--so far reaching in its grand results as to affect all creatures "in heaven and in earth," to establish once and forever the absolute authority of God in all the universe, and to establish all his creatures in righteousness and joyful and loving obedience.
They expected doctrinal diversity, and welcomed those with contrary belief, except in the matter of Atonement doctrine. Those who did not believe as they did were not false Christians, but only inexperienced or possessing a less perfect understanding of God’s word. Watch Tower adherents believed that sectarian division was wrong. Christians weren’t Mehtodists, Baptists or Anglicans. They were Christ’s and should be known by no other name but his. This meant that at worst doctrinal division meant less than behavior. Those with flawed understanding were babes in Christ, but they were still Christ’s:
We are satisfied that whatever theory does not recognize the essential unity of the church must be false; and yet we believe it can be shown, and that it will yet become more apparent, that there is not only variety in condition here, but also a corresponding variety in position in the kingdom, and a difference in the time of reward, as we usually reckon time. “They that are Christ's, at his coming” (parousia – presence) must include all Christians, even “babes in Christ,” unless it can be shown (?) that “babes in Christ” are not members of Christ's body.
Personal Issues and Early Adherents
Some issues were personal rather than doctrinal. Occasionally letters were confrontational, but more often they contained issues of personal consequence, Russell still addressed them.
Amon Hipsher and Lorenzo Jackson Baldwin
Amon Hipsher was a resident of Ames, Story County, Iowa. Born in Pennsylvania about 1820, he was a successful and wealthy farmer. Hipsher was active in Church of God (One Faith) conferences. He was elected conference president in December 1874. At a subsequent conference someone objected to him being placed in sole charge of future arrangements, describing the arrangement as Hipsher acting as a “little pope.” This seems to have been an objection only to the arrangement, not a comment on his personality. He declined re-election for the next year at the December 1875 conference. By 1884 the conference was renamed The Christian Conference of Iowa, and Hipsher was elected vice president.
Beyond the fact that he subscribed to The Heretic Detector, an anti-Universalist magazine published in Middleburg, Ohio, we know little of his religious background prior to 1874. He lived in areas reached by Stetson and his closest associates, he was one of The Watch Tower’s first readers. In the March 1881, issue Russell addressed a question sent in by him, writing, “Bro. A. Hipsher, for answer to your question: see ‘Unpardonable Sin,’ page 3.”
Hipsher’s questions were likely raised by an article in appearing in the September 1880 Watch Tower. Russell’s approach was interesting. He defined three kinds of sin:  Adamic sin, a condition we inherit from Adam. He saw this as a tendency to sin with a biological basis.  Sins of ignorance for which we are personally responsible. This and Adamic sin are forgiven through Christ’s ransoming death.  Unpardonable sin was sin against spiritual enlightenment. He explained it this way:
Paul assures us that any Christian who has reached a full and mature development in the spiritual life, having “been enlightened,” “tasted of the heavenly gift,” “been made partaker of the Holy Ghost,” “tasted of the good word of God” – if such shall fall away, it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance. Why? Because this is an unpardonable sin. … These … enjoyed all the blessings due them on account of Christ's ransom: i.e. They were reckoned of God justified from all sin, as new creatures had been brought to a condition of enlightenment and knowledge of the Lord's will, and then, had deliberately and willfully acted contrary to it. We do not refer to a child of God stumbling or being overcome of the old nature for a time, but as expressed in Heb. 10:26 – If we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more (a) sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation which shall devour (destroy) the adversaries.”
… We understand Paul to teach that the class here described have received all the benefits due them through Christ's ransom, and that their willful sinning against knowledge, &c., places them in the same position as Adam occupied when he sinned; the penalty of all such willful sin is death. In Adam's case it was the first death. In the case of these it is the second death. They had been reckoned dead as Christians and then reckoned of God alive as new creatures and now they die for their own willful sin – the second death. There is neither forgiveness nor excuse for such sin; they must have the full penalty and die. They have lightly esteemed the ransom after they knew of it and thus have “trodden under foot the Son of God and counted the blood of the covenant wherewith they were sanctified (set apart as new creatures) an unholy (ordinary – common) thing and done despite (disrespect) unto the spirit of (favor) grace.”
Russell saw those who after once understanding it rejected Christ’s atoning sacrifice as committing the unpardonable sin, though he believed that God measured willfulness and knowledge where humans could not. He ended the article with a restatement of his Fair Chance doctrine, the belief that some had never heard the gospel and would have a full chance to do so.
Lorenzo Jackson Baldwin (died March 25, 1891) was another Iowa resident. He was born March 2, 1823, in Vermont and died in Madison County, Iowa. He was a small-time farmer in the Mackenburgh area. In 1883 he wrote to S. A Chaplin, editor of The Restitution, seeking “a boy between 15 and 20 years old” to live with them for “two or three years.” He promised “to send him to school winters and pay wages for eight or nine months in the years.” Baldwin and his wife specifically asked for “a reader of The Restitution and a believer in the gospel of the kingdom.”
Baldwin was active among One Faith believers in Iowa. We find him attending a One Faith conference in September 1875 with an Elder Baldwin, apparently a relative. We find him noted in the same article in which we met Hipsher. He asked a flood of questions. Russell’s response was: “Bro. J. Baldwin: It would require the entire space of Z.W.T. for a year or more to answer all your questions in full. We commend to you the reading of all the tracts 3 or 4 times; then read ‘day dawn.’ You need not expect to obtain all the truth on so great and grand a subject at one swallow, it is a continuous eating. You must seek. ‘He that seeketh findeth.’ ‘Then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord.’ (Hos. 6:3.)” Based on Russell’s recommendation of Bible Students Tracts number one and two, we believe that Baldwin’s questions centered on issues of “second probation” and the reason for and manner of Christ’s return. These were issues that would have raised questions among Russell’s One Faith readers.
Homer A. King photo here
Early in 1880, Homer King questioned the Watch Tower’s claim that “Russia has enacted laws compelling the Jews to leave that country.” Russell replied in the April 1880 issue of The Watch Tower, citing an article from the Pittsburgh Dispatch of March 29, 1880. King was pugnacious and some questioned his financial dealings. During the debate between Miles Grant, a well-known Advent Christian clergyman, and “Rev. J. G. Fish,” a spiritualist, King had an informal side debate with a Mr. A. Bennett that cost him $30.45 in fines and costs on an assault charge. Our impression of King’s letter to Russell, admittedly derived only from one quoted sentence, is that it was belligerent. By 1880, association between Advent Christians and Age-to-Come believers had ended. King would not have accepted Russell’s belief in the return of the Jews, and he would especially reject any hint that it was imminent.
King was an Ohio evangelist who associated closely with Stetson and Wendell. He helped organize the mixed congregation (Adventist and Age to Come) at Nevada, Ohio in early 1867 and was instrumental in drawing Stetson to Nevada as pastor. Wendell and King founded the Advent Christian Church at Nevada, Ohio. Homer A. King was born near Akron, Ohio, on December 7, 1833. He was educated at home. During winter months his father would have someone read to the family, focusing on history. King was drawn to the local Lyceum, a hall for public lectures, debates and political discussions. He gained a reputation as a debater among Lyceum attendees. His father encouraged him to pursue a college education, and he enrolled in Knox College but eventually transferred to Oberlin so he could be free to teach school during the winter months. At Oberlin he was influenced by Charles Grandison Finney, a famous revivalist preacher and one of the prime movers behind the American “Second Great Awakening.” Even though King was pursuing a career in the ministry, he avoided classical language studies.
He was ordained by the Illinois Advent Christian Conference at least by 1861 and went on a long evangelistic tour, holding “from one to twenty series of Evangelistic meetings in every New England state and most of the northern states to the Mississippi river, forcefully illustrating his texts by the use of over one thousand square feet of historical, biblical and prophetical paintings.” King traveled with a “missionary tent,” and left behind at least one functioning Second Adventist congregation. In 1871 King founded The Bible Banner, putting it in the hands of John Couch and William Sheldon, prominent Advent Christian clergy. King’s connection to the paper ended in1877.
There is no denying King’s intelligence, though we question his judgment. Illness turned King’s interests to publishing, and he turned his bee-keeping hobby into a major publishing effort. He patented a velocipede design in the 1880s, and in his last years opened a machine shop and tried to manufacture motorcycles.
King was comfortable preaching among other denominations. A newspaper article from 1878 notes him as preaching with “the Union Evangelistic Holiness Tent” in New Jersey. Aspects of the Holiness movement appealed to Second Adventists, Age-to-Come believers, and readers of Zion’s Watch Tower. However, by the 1890s, King would affiliate with the Baptists. The circumstances surrounding his call to pastor Baptist congregations are unknown. King was also involved with the YMCA. At his death he was still affiliating with the Advent Christian Church.
King’s significance rests in his association with those near and dear to Russell. His letter makes plain the diversity among Watch Tower readers. If the issue of Jewish hopes was not important to many of his readers, it is doubtful that King’s letter would have seen print.
Russell and his associates sought to persuade the small groups that had been sympathetic to The Herald of the Morning to maintain previous doctrine. Paton traveled extensively while Russell remained in Allegheny preparing for the release of Zion’s Watch Tower, but as soon as the new magazine was up and running Russell arranged preaching tours of his own. The first issue of The Watch Tower announced a new hymnal, Songs of the Bride, edited by William I. Mann, and an advertisement for Russell’s booklet, Object and Manner of Our Lord’s Return. The lack of other publications meant that their new magazine was their primary voice.
In the second issue, Russell noted that he had sent out six thousand copies of the July and August issues and invited subscriptions. He said that he couldn’t continue sending free copies because:
First, it is expensive, and second, we have no desire to waste truth by sending where it is not desired and would not be appreciated. We would like therefore to hear from all who want the paper regularly before the tenth day of August, that we may know what number of copies to publish for September.
The price is very low in order to suit the purses of the majority of the interested ones, among whom are “not many rich,” (for “God hath chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, heirs of the kingdom.”) and unless a good large list of subscribers are had, fifty cents will fall far short of paying for printing, &c.
Do not suppose these remarks to be an appeal for money. No, “Zion’s Watch Tower” has, we believe Jehovah for its backer, and while this is the case it will never beg nor petition men for support. When He who says: “All the gold and silver of the mountains are mine,” fails to provide necessary funds, we will understand it to be time to suspend the publication.
Do not put off until to-morrow what you can do to-day. If you want the September No. take your pen at once. Remember that the paper is as free to you if too poor to send the fifty cents as though you could afford it and paid for it, but we cannot know your circumstances – You must write also.
Anti-Russell polemicists insist that Russell stole the Herald of the Morning subscription list. While the names on that list were probably included among the six thousand to whom Zion’s Watch Tower was sent, seeing Russell as a thief is ludicrous. Russell was part owner of The Herald. There is no clearer indication of this than the statement found in the earlier issues that the Herald was published jointly by Russell and Barbour. One researcher suggests that George Storrs may have made his subscription list available. While this may be likely, Russell never explained how the list was developed. The Herald didn’t reach six thousand readers in 1879. It seems to have reached something less than one thousand.
With the second issue, Russell explained the magazine’s sub-title, Herald of Christ’s Presence. Christ was present and had been since 1874, and they were in the Harvest Age: “We think we have good solid reasons – not imaginations – not dreams nor visions, but Bible evidences (known to the majority of our readers) that we are now “in the days of the Son;” that “the day of the Lord” has come, and Jesus, a spiritual body, is present, harvesting the Gospel age.”
After a prolonged illness, George Washington Stetson died on October 9, 1879. Stetson’s dying request was that Russell preach the funeral oration, and, though other ministers participated, Russell was the principal speaker. An unintended consequence was enlarging the sphere of those who heard his message. Because none of the churches were large enough, the funeral services were held at Normal Hall on the grounds of what was then Edinboro State Teachers College: “About twelve hundred persons attended the funeral services, thus giving evidence of the high esteem in which our brother was held,” Russell wrote. By comparison, the Second Adventist and One Faith unity congregation at Edinboro numbered about one hundred in 1873.
The subscription list grew. The same issue contained a request for spare copies of the October 1879 magazine. Russell sought about fifty copies to fill a shortage caused by new subscriptions. Reader response encouraged him. Many of the copies received were heavily marked and well studied. Russell was pleased with this:
Very many of the papers returned were liberally underscored etc., and gave evidence of interest and careful and prayerful reading which was very interesting and pleasant for the editor to notice. Although not laboring for the “praise of men” nor “seeking praise one of another;” yet every such indication of your interest in the work we have so deeply at heart, gives us fresh strength and joy.
The kind words received from many of you during the past six months have been duly appreciated also. Although we have not been able to answer you, they have afforded your editor pleasure and comfort, and that was doubtless your object. We seldom publish letters, of correspondents, because firstly, we have no room to spare, and secondly, they generally contain personal allusion to the writers too complimentary to admit of publication.
Russell quoted from two letters. The first explained how deeply they treasured The Watch Tower. The writer, a sister V. N. J., whom we know as Vesta N. Johnson, from Springfield, Massachusetts, said, “I read them over and over, lend them, but never give them away for they are as choice to me as gold dust. As I read, I mark and comment for my own benefit.” The second correspondent said that a friend had given her copies to read, and she had subscribed. This represents the most typical form of Watch Tower evangelism in this era. Interestingly, the last writer added, “As I am 83 years old and unable to canvas I have secured the services of a young lady to do so for me.”
In March 1880, Russell again offered the last few hundred copies of Object and Manner of Our Lord’s Return. They were available at sixty cents a dozen, thirty cents for six, or free to those who couldn’t afford them and would “use them judiciously.” And another small announcement said that “Invitations to hold meetings may be addressed either to the editor (mentioning whom you wish to have), or direct to the brethren.”
Entering the Field
Albert Jones felt called to evangelize. Sometime in November 1879 he asked to be excused from his post as a “special contributor” to Zion’s Watch Tower. Russell announced this is the December issue:
Bro. A. D. Jones felt a strong desire for some time to give more of his time to preaching the glad tidings. He started out this month, going wherever the Lord may open the way. God will bless him in his endeavor to bless others. May he be used to the glory of our Lord.
Our brother has other [business] calls upon whatever spare time he may have, and asks to be excused as a regular correspondent; so what is the people’s gain is the Watch Tower’s loss. We hope, however, for occasional brief articles from his pen.
This wasn’t Jones’ first venture into itinerate preaching. He was in Cherry Tree, Pennsylvania, in August 1879. He planned on a series of thirteen lectures, and we suppose he intended to stay two weeks, lecturing daily save one. The Cambria, Pennsylvania, Freeman of August 29, 1879, reported: “Mr. A. D. Jones who is connected with ‘Zion’s Watch Tower,’ a paper published in Pittsburgh, and who lectured here last week, condensed the thirteen lectures promised into five and then left, to the relief of both Calvinists and Arminians.”
The issue that announced Jones’ evangelical call contained this announcement: “Almost all the brethren whose names appear on our list as regular contributors, the editor, and three others who do not write for Zion’s Watch Tower, but who are in sympathy and accord with its teachings, are preaching the good news wherever the Lord of the Harvest opens the way. Requests for their services may be sent to this office.” We are uncertain who the “three others” were. One of them may have been John S. Lawver.
Brooklyn, New York, Eagle
January 20, 1881 Illustration here
Jones’ preaching is not well documented outside of Zion’s Watch Tower. Russell placed an announcement in the September 1880 issue:
Bro. A. D. Jones will be in the vicinity of New York City and Philadelphia during September. If any living in this direction desire him to give a series of discourses on The object, manner, etc., of the return of our Lord, he will take pleasure in serving you. Neither pay, nor traveling expenses asked. This is true of all our preaching brethren associated with the watch tower. We leave money matters entirely with Him who says, “All the gold and silver of the mountains are mine and the cattle upon a thousand hills.” Address immediately A. D. Jones, Pittsburgh, Pa.
In the December 1880 Zion’s Watch Tower Russell announced that Jones proposed a second eastward trip. His destination was New York City, but, “any friends en route who would like to have him stop and meet with them should address him at once. He will be glad to meet with either the few or many, and hold either public or private meetings, as you may deem advisable. Those within seventy-five miles of the main line may address him – Pittsburgh, Pa.” In January 1881, he was in Brooklyn, New York, preaching nightly at the Cumberland Street Chapel, a Presbyterian chapel located near Myrtle Street. Surprisingly, we have a solid report of his lectures. George W. Young, a One Faith believer, attended three of Jones’ lectures, mentioning them in a letter to The Restitution:
Last week, I listened to three out of seven discourses given in this city, by A. D. Jones, Pittsburgh, Pa.
His effort was chiefly to show the closing times in which we live. His position is that we are in the “day dawn” – Christ has come but has not made himself visible – that the resurrection is going on, and has been since 1874.
This belief, as expressed in one of his lectures, that the major part of the saints have already been resurrected, and this year, 1881, will reveal much that has been hoped for. I am free to admit great plausibility in much said by the lecturer, but I have not so learned the order, as he lays it down, and he speaks for many holding the same views as himself.
I pass no judgment on this at this time. I have learned, I trust, after many years of experience, to show moderation in this matter of judgment, as I am admonished by the apostle to be “swift to hear and show to speak.”
There are those who are ever learning and never able to come to a knowledge of the truth – there are those who virtually say, because they act it – “I will not investigate, and those new things only trouble me, and I will not be troubled.
I wonder if the Berean spirit is in them! And if they had so acted when for instance, the future life through Christ was presented to them!
Newark, New Jersey had a larger, more united group than most. Both Russell and Jones planned to be there in April 1881. Three meetings were scheduled for Sunday, April 10th, and they were to remain until the 14th to celebrate the Lord’s Memorial Supper with them. Russell was unable to go, but included a brief report in the May Watch Tower:
Brother A. D. Jones reports a very interesting and profitable meeting at Newark, New Jersey, among the friends there and some from neighboring towns, with whom he celebrated “Our Passover” – between fifty and sixty taking part.
A number of letters received seem to indicate that the occasion was very generally celebrated among the scattered “twos and threes” “of this way.” We presume that it was celebrated in about twenty places. All who wrote expressed the feeling of solemnity and appropriateness, attaching to the celebration on the anniversary, rather than at any other time.
Jones presented a series of lectures at Newark, New Jersey, in late May or early June 1882, with plans to repeat the series in New York City and in Brooklyn. It is obvious that the number of groups interested enough in Watch Tower theology to report their Memorial details to Russell were both small in number and small in size. A Watchtower Society writer suggested that these congregations formed around Russell’s preaching. This is false. These were areas of pre-existing Barbourite, Age-to-Come (One Faith), and Adventist interest.
Jones moved to New York City sometime before November 1881, establishing a men’s wear store at 27th and Broadway. Within not many months he abandoned Watch Tower belief, but that’s the subject of a subsequent chapter.
Paton’s Preaching Tour
Paton planned a preaching tour of the mid-west which was announced in the January 1880, Watch Tower: “Bro Paton purposes visiting several places in Indiana, Illinois and Iowa during January and February. Any living in that direction who desire meeting should address him at once.” The February issue noted that Paton’s trip was delayed while he was writing “a book which will be of general interest to you all.” He made the trip in March or April. The only record is a letter from Avis Hamlin to Barbour, dated April 1880. Though Hamlin would briefly adopt Watch Tower theology, ending up with Paton’s brand of Universal Salvation, in 1880 she was sympathetic to Barbour. She was unhappy with Paton’s visit. She was away when he was in Elyria, Ohio, and returned to find “things a good deal mixed,” her quaint way of describing controversy in the congregation. Barbour visited afterward, apparently by her invitation. His visit swayed the congregation back to Barbour’s new theology. In early 1880 Avis Hamlin thanked God for Barbour’s visit and believed his newly expressed prophetic scheme. The situation in Elyria was probably typical of that elsewhere.
We don’t have a verifiable itinerary, but we have possible, even likely, locations where Paton preached. Letters expressing interest appear in the Herald of the Morning, many of which come from the Mid-Western States. The biographies of those we can identify tell us much about the kind of person interested in the Barbourite and later Watch Tower movements
Dr. Victor Caillot, born France 1838-39 and resident near Plymouth, Indiana, wrote to Barbour in 1878. His name is in one of the money received columns. William N. Sarvis, who lived near Dwight, Illinois, was a subscriber, and it appears that the Sarvis family persisted as Watch Tower adherents into the 20th Century. An R. C. Laine from West Jersey, Illinois, appears but once in the Herald, in the July 1875 issue. He wasn’t an Adventist he said, but was strongly interested in Christ’s return. There was a Second Adventist congregation in West Jersey, but we don’t know if they were described as such because they looked for the near return of Christ or if they were truly Adventists.
Caillot, though a minor and transient figure within the Barbourite Movement, illustrates why educated and talented men were attracted to it. He was a member of the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, addressing at least one Grange conference. The Grange was formed in 1867 to promote the interests of American farmers. It is hard to overstate the plight of agricultural families in the post-Civil War period. Railroads and grain storage facilities preyed on farmers, eating up what little profit there was. Farmers often lived on the margins of or deeply in poverty.
The Grange was egalitarian and religious. Women and older children could participate and national offices were filled by women. Farmers’ wives shared their husbands’ toil. Their lives were in many respects harder than that of their men. Caillot, speaking before a Grange convention summarized the difficult lives of Western and Southern farmers:
The dull monotony of their lives had [sic] only broken in up by an occasional wedding, or funeral; a shooting match or township election. They … plodded on year after year, working from sunrise to sunset, and often at moonlight, taking but few holidays, or but little pastime in an occasional spare of half a day’s hunting or fishing. They never met their neighbors except at the cross roads store, church or town meeting; reading, never; but toiling hard and doing their best to transform themselves into corn and wheat producing machines. Using lots of muscular power in their business, but very little brains. Of farming improvements, of scientific culture they knew nothing. And of the cost to make a bushel of wheat or of corn, to make a pound of beef, of pork or butter, they were utterly ignorant. The conditions of their wives were worse. Their work began earlier and ended later than that of their husbands. Their lives were almost slavish with no variety but that of a quilting or wool picking bee. The haggard looks and the weary sighs of those farmers’ wives in the West were telling the story of their hard lot in this world. … It is this sad condition of the farmer’s life that the Order proposes to reform. It wasn’t to lighten the toil, increase the knowledge, cultivate the fraternal feelings and advance the material interests of our class.
His speech promoted Grange principles. He presented a list of thirteen essentials, all of which connect to Christian ethics. The first was “to have faith and a never failing confidence in God.” As noted above, he lived near Plymouth, Indiana, with its thriving One Faith/Age-to-Come community. The Restitution was published from there. But Granger interest in religion and more specifically in One Faith belief in the nearness of Christ’s return wasn’t limited to that area. Benjamin Woodward, a One Faith evangelist found interest among them. Writing to The Restitution, he recounted this experience:
The Grangers opened their hall for me. I have preached thirteen discourses at this place, and the hall has been densely crowded most of the time, and one evening it could only hold a part of the congregation. The interest is simply intense.
As the result of the meeting, eight have embraced the faith, and I appointed yesterday, Jan. 12, for baptism, and I believe it was the worst day we have had this winter. Some of the brethren tried to persuade those who were about to be baptized to wait till the weather was warmer, but it was impossible.
They said they had made up their minds, and they were ready, and would not let the devil cheat them, or keep them from duty. Four intelligent sisters went down into the water and put on Christ by baptism. I am sure they will make good soldiers.
For those who like Dr. Cailott depended on agriculture, no mater what other professions they had, life was hard. They sought something better through political action and religion. The promises of Christ and of self-improvement drew some into millennialist belief. Of the Watch Tower evangelists, Paton and Keith had great fellow feeling for farmers, having been such themselves.
Hiram Willett [also spelled Willitt], a hardware merchant of Toulon, Illinois, described himself as “an old ’43 believer.” Willetts are mentioned in Restitution as Age-to-Come believers, but Hiram’s name seems not to appear. Toulon was about nine miles from West Jersey by wagon road. Willett and Laine almost certainly knew each other.
After the Millerite disappointment Willett turned to the Baptist Church. With a majority of the congregation, he withdrew in February 1868 and formed a new Baptist congregation. Division, back-biting, and other abuses were cited. A local history recounted the trouble:
Abuses of power on the one hand, and fierce resistance on the other, charges, conflicts of opinion, expulsions for heresy, impeachment and excommunication of one leader, only to effect a change, not a redress of grievances, until after a bitter experience with a so-called revivalist, Elder S. A. Estee, February 1868, it was finally “resolved, that whereas, the troubles and difficulties existing in the First Baptist Church of Toulon have reached so great a magnitude, that we can see no way of settling them so we can live in peace, and advance the cause of Christ, therefore, resolved, that all the members of this church who subscribe to this resolution, have the privilege of asking for letters of dismission, and that the same be granted by the church.”
Here now was revolution and secession all in a nutshell; and a fiercer than political contest was waged by a few determined spirits to prevent the dissolution of the old church; but the majority triumphed and the vote to disband was cast February 29th, 1868. And “all the property of the first Church, was to be surrendered to a committee, to be held for the benefit of another Baptist church hereafter to be organized.” This majority then adjourned “to meet in Mr. Hiram Willett’s store building the next Sunday morning at 10½ o’clock.”
Willett withdrew from the Baptists in 1870, “because he ‘could no longer conscientiously maintain and indorse the articles of faith as interpreted by the church.’” A contemporary writer looked with distain on the disruptive, abusive Baptist churches of Toulon:
Probably the generation that took part in the conflict of 1868, must pass from the scene of action, ere all the old wounds will heal. But we can hardly forbear to note in passing, that this body in two years after its formation, gave proof of its legitimate descent, by withdrawing fellowship from Mr. Hiram Willett, because “he could no longer conscientiously maintain and endorse the articles of faith as interpreted by the church.” Is there not, a suggestion of that famous Procrustean bedstead of Attica, in such creeds?
There is no whisper of immorality against this man, no charge of duty neglected; on the contrary, he was, until this change of opinion, a pillar of the church. But he comes to believe “that the second coming of Christ is near at hand, that the weight of evidence in the Scriptures represents the dead in an unconscious state until the resurrection; also, that in the judgment day the wicked shall be destroyed with an everlasting destruction, but the righteous be received into life eternal.” Consequently he is a heretic, judged by Baptist standards, or the standards of many other orthodox churches. And this may be all right; we but record it, as a scrap of church history for 1870. But … we would ask no better material out of which to mould a progressive religious organization, than that which has been condemned by these two Baptist churches, as heretical in the last twenty-five or thirty years.
There were other Second Adventists in the area, found primarily among the Swedish settlers. A congregation of “independent Adventists” looked forward to the April 1875 date promoted by Barbour and Thurman. We do not know if Willett associated with them. Documentation is slight and conflicting.
James G. Mitchell of Bristol, Indiana, entered the Barbourite movement in mid to late 1877. A letter from him to Barbour dated August 24, 1878, appears in the September 1877 Herald of the Morning:
I … have examined your argument carefully, with a desire to know the truth. I have received more light in reading those papers than in reading the Bible for the last twenty years. When I read my Bible now, many passages … which were before dark, now seem plain. … I must say the Bible is a new book to me.
Mitchell is best known to history for running a way station on the Underground Railroad, one of many safe houses for escaping slaves. Bartholomew’s Pioneer History of Elkhart County, Indiana, says of Mitchell and others from Elkhart County: “these men were prominent citizens of the county in their day and generation … . All of them were farmers during part of their lives and it was at their farm homes that the stations were operated.”
Willett lived in Toulon, Illinios. Photo here
Interest at Mixerville, Indiana, a small trading hamlet, was expressed in a letter from John Judkins Jones, a physician there. A letter from Mt. Carmel, Indiana, appears in the October 1882 Watch Tower. We don’t know if any of these places were on Paton’s itinerary. The strength of the Barbourite movement was in the Mid-West, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and West Virginia. Paton’s preaching tour and that by Russell that followed it did not establish new congregations. Their tours were meant to persuade previous interest to steady the course. Paton’s tours had other motives too. Paton continued to see himself as a clergyman. While Russell did not take collections, Paton accepted fees and collections throughout his ministry. His income depended on his itinerate ministry.
Some, perhaps most, of Paton’s preaching isn’t documented in Zion’s Watch Tower. For instance we find him in Detroit, Michigan, on May 1, 1881, preaching at Central Christian Church on Washington Avenue. A brief newspaper report says: “John H. Paton, Evangelist, will preach morning and evening at the usual hours. Morning topic, ‘The Heavenly Calling,’ after which the ordinance of Christian baptism will be administered. Evening topic, ‘The Sacred Number Twelve.’ All are invited. Seats free.” This was the church with which the Caleb Davis family associated.
Paton seems to have preached extensively in Michigan, usually close to home or in places reached by railroad. He was in Howardsville in February 1881. As a result of his visit Robert Bailey became an adherent. We’ll hear more from him in a later chapter. Later in the year, Russell wrote that “Brother Paton has been laboring recently in Detroit and in the neighborhood of his home, Almont, Mich.” By November, private conversations revealed a growing doctrinal rift between Paton and Russell. We don’t know many details, and those we do know are best presented in a more appropriate place.
Paton traveled eastward in May-June 1880 and visited with Barbour and his congregation. While there is a reference to the visit in Zion’s Watch Tower, it is vague enough that taken alone one might misunderstand it. An unequivocal reference is found in the Herald of the Morning. Barbour wrote of the visit preempting anything Paton might say:
Eld. Paton called on us last week and in conversation made a statement which was both an agreeable, and a sad surprise to me. He informed me that he believed many of the views advanced in the herald; that he believes in the preexistence of Christ, that as we had taught, Melchizedek was Christ; that he agreed with me in more points than he did the C. T. Russell.
This, of course, was an agreeable surprise. But the sad feature is this: - in what he has written for their paper since it started, who could have surmised that he believed, and was in sympathy with more of the views now being taught in the herald, than with those of the man he is so zealously supporting, in opposing almost every idea advanced by us? Certainly no one could have learned from their paper of this similarity in our views.
Why he has and is opposing to all appearance, what he himself believes, or why he would even assent to what he thinks in error, by keeping silent, is a mystery; and one which savors of bondage, either temporal or spiritual.
Barbour and his partners had suggested that the Watch Tower party taught Socinianism or Josephite belief. While A. D. Jones would adopt Josephitism within two years, this was a conscious misrepresentation. Through these comments Barbour attempted to create a wedge between Russell and Paton. His effort was hardly needed. A rift was quietly growing, though not on the grounds Barbour suggests.
Paton chose not to address Barbour’s screed. Instead he commented on Barbour’s preaching: “The writer once heard a preacher talking in defense of the idea that a ‘Clean Theology’ is the ‘Wedding Garment,’ make the statement in substance like the following: ‘I wish my hearers would all stop trying to be good, and give your attention the gaining a knowledge of God’s plan.’” No Watch Tower reader would confuse this for anyone but Barbour or Adams. And given Barbour’s statement, they would focus on Barbour.
Paton suggested that Barbour’s Clean Theology was morally filthy:
We ask, would the tendency of such exhortation be to lead men to a higher and purer life? We think not. How different from the exhortations of the apostles. … Had the apostles held to the theory that a “Clean Theology” is the “Wedding Garment,” they would [not] have exhorted as they did, but would have said, “You need not make any effort to be good, but study the plan.” We do not say it was the purpose of the preacher referred to, to encourage sin, but we think the tendency would be in that direction. And surely the theory must be defective that leas any man to make statements as such variance from the teaching of the Holy Spirit.
Russell’s Trip East
Russell proposed a preaching tour eastward from Pittsburgh. He wanted to effect unity among scattered believers. In many places subscribers were “totally unacquainted with each other” and thus lost “the sympathy and comfort which our Father designed should come to them by ‘The assembling of themselves together as the manner of some is.’” Russell hoped that “The proposed meetings … might conduce to personal acquaintance.” Russell inserted a notice in the May 1880, Watch Tower, proposing a speaking tour and inviting them to express their interest.
In the June 1880 issue of Zion’s Watch Tower, Russell announced specific plans for a month-long speaking tour taking him to nine towns. “The stay at each place will average about two days. I shall expect almost continuous meetings while with you.” Russell’s habitual theme was ‘Things pertaining to God’s Kingdom.’ While we do not know in specific terms what Russell said on his missionary tours, he gives us some insight. An article from his pen entitled “How to Teach” gives it to us:
To these who would go forth to use either much or little of their time, we would say: It is a matter of great importance not only to teach the right thing but to present truth in a proper manner and order. This may be observed as a rule of life, pertaining to everything we undertake: if we would reap good fruit we must not only plant good seed, but it must be planted at a proper time, in a soil previously made ready, and it must be cared for until it becomes possessed of strength. So, too, must the seed be carefully, prayerfully and wisely sown, and the words of our Master are: “Be ye wise as serpents but harmless as doves.”
Present first the Restitution and the beauties of God's unfolding plan; then show that all this awaits and is dependent on the King and kingdom coming. Then, when your hearer or reader has come to love the King and to long for his kingdom, may be quite soon enough to present the manner of His coming – that it is not Jesus the man but Jesus a spiritual being, who comes, unseen, except to the Bride's eye of faith, enlightened by the golden candlestick--the word of truth.
And lastly present “the time, that now we are “in the days of the Son of Man,” “the day of the Lord” – if they scoff and say, “where is the promise of His coming – (parousia – presence) while all things continue as they were?” (2 Pet. 3:4.) Point them to Matt. 24:37 and Luke 17. But let time be the last part of the “good news,” and tell no one of the time and presence, except they show that they have “an ear to hear,” and “him that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches,” not unto the world.
First on his list was Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Henry E. Hoke was in charge of the arrangements. [Several bear the name H. E. Hoke, (apparently father, son, grandson) and we’re uncertain which hosted Russell.] We believe that we’re dealing with the son. He held at least three patents for railroad car doors and fasteners. He was among those who suffered loss to their business when Chambersburg was burned during the Civil War. He was a member of the Franklin County, Pennsylvania, Horticulture Society. The interest in Chambersburg appears to have been drawn from an Evangelical Adventist conference of nearby congregations calling themselves Messiah’s Church “to distinguish this body from those holding the general name of ‘Adventists.’” Hoke was a member and an agent for The Advent Herald.
Advent Herald – June 11, 1873 - Photo here
The Chambersburg area had its share of non-Adventist prophetic students. B. Knepper, a German Evangelical pastor at Wheelersburg, discussed millennial topics with fellow pastors and preached about them. In 1860 he published Satan Bound: Or Resurrection, Judgment, And the Happiness of the Future World Considered. Knepper’s view was essentially Literalist, and his book was published in Chambersburg. It is probable, though not certain, that most interest in Chambersburg area came from Evangelical Adventists. The only point of unity between them and Russell rested in prophetic themes. Evangelical Adventists maintained Millerite hell-fire doctrine. There was some Barbourite interest there too, though we don’t know how extensive or enduring it was. When Barbour called a “General Meeting” for late 1881, one delegate came from Chambersburg. While no report of Russell’s visit survives, there was enduring interest, and the group would receive a subsequent visit by Benjamin W. Keith in 1882.
The Reading, Pennsylvania, meetings were hosted by Joseph Brown Keim. (His name is misspelled as Kine in the announcement.) Joseph Brown Keim was born in Reading, Pennsylvania on November 1, 1853. He had two children one of whom was born about 1881. A newspaper article described him as “a fine-looking intelligent man,” identifying him as a cousin to “ex-sheriff Keim of Philadelphia.” By the early 1890s he was heavily involved Socialist politics in New Jersey. He was the Socialist Labor Party candidate for Governor of New Jersey in 1892, receiving only 1338 votes. He was connected with the Socialistic Populist Party in 1894, and he remained active in Socialist politics into the Twentieth Century, though he switched party affiliation to the People’s Democratic Party and then later to something called The New Idea Party. As a politician he was volatile. Keim claimed to be a “lineal descendant” of Field Marshal Jacob Wertz and in a letter to the civil rights magazine The Crisis he claimed to be “a distant relative of old John Brown” of Harpers’ Ferry fame.
Despite his shift to politics, Keim maintained some sort of connection to Watch Tower Society adherents. When, sometime in the early 20th Century, he first tried to sell a portrait painted by L. Fabre, once a well-known portrait painter, He used as his agent George H. Fisher, an associate of Russell and later of Rutherford.
He was already an active Watch Tower evangelist, preaching near his home. We could not identify his religious antecedents. We presume some Barbour era interest in Reading. Russell was at Keim’s June 6th and 7th, 1880.
Newark, New Jersey
A meeting in Newark, New Jersey, was hosted by Mrs. Ellen M. Deems. Ellen appears to have been widowed. She lived at 500 Washington Street with her sister and her mother, Johanna Goodell, an invalid. The 1880 Census implies that she had full care of her mother. They had a boarder. She contributed a poem to the September 1879 issue of Zion’s Watch Tower, though her name is misspelled as “F. M. Deans.”
The Troy, New York, Daily Whig of May 2, 1860, described a Second Adventist congregation in Newark as small: “The Second Adventists of Newark still keep up their weekly meetings, and are firmly grounded in the belief that the end of all things is close at hand. The number of believers habitually in attendance at the meetings is but small, but there is no lack of zeal or fervor.”
When Russell visited, there were two Adventist congregations in Newark. The First Society of Second Adventists, apparently a unity congregation hosting both Life and Advent Union and Advent Christian Association believers, met at 12 Academy Street. They were “numerically weak and of slow growth”. Church of the Messiah, an Evangelical Adventist congregation, met at 24 Washington Street. More importantly because their theology was much closer to Russell’s, a small One Faith congregation met in a private home. They seem to have been committed, and at least one of their number wrote a tract. Published in 1876 and entitled The True Church, it was meant to “show that the True Church is neither Greek, Protestant, nor Catholic.” Interest would have come primarily from these groups. We know little about these three small congregations.
Another source of interest was the Presbyterian congregations served by J. C. Shimeall and John Lyle. Shimeall was known to Storrs. Shimeall had a strong interest in last-times prophecies. This seems to be true of Lyle as well. He was the namesake of John C. Lyle, a wealthy businessman and Storrs’ friend. J. C. Lyle wrote a memorial poem when Storrs died which Russell published in the Watch Tower.
Amos Hunt was responsible for the meetings at Lynn, Massachusetts. He worked in a shoe factory at Lynn, apparently as an engineer. (Lynn was a center of American shoe manufacturing.) He was born in New Brunswick about 1836 to Roswell Hunt and his wife, the former Fanny Stiles, and was the only boy among their six children. He and his wife Lizzie later moved to Anoka, Minnesota, where he contracted “consumption.” He traveled to California for his health, dying in a San Francisco hospital from the tuberculosis on June 22, 1889. When he first met Russell and his degree of interest are unknown.
Lynn was, by the standards of the day, a large city with a population of about twenty-five thousand. There was long standing Adventist interest in Lynn, though in 1891 there was only one small Second Adventist church. We couldn’t identify an Age-to-Come/One Faith group. The meeting at Lynn was probably typical of them all. What sparse record remains gives us insight into Russell’s shepherding. The meetings were long, almost continuous, partly sermon and partly give and take. Questions were entertained, and their import analyzed. Some of the discussion at Lynn focused on “the number of the beast.” Russell was asked what it was, and he confessed that he was dissatisfied with the available answers. Writing about a year later, he said:
I spoke on the subject of this same chapter to the name-less little company of “this way,” in Lynn, Mass., and concluded my remarks by telling them that I had never seen a satisfactory explanation of the 666. And, though I thought I had given a correct analysis of the symbols of the chapter, yet I could not claim it to be wisdom, since I could not interpret the number. I suggested, however, that if ours be the correct understanding of the time in which we are living – the “harvest” of the age – and if our general application of these symbols be correct, the number should soon be understood. I urged examination on the subject by all, for the Lord is sometimes pleased to give wisdom through the weakest of his children. “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast ordained praise.”
About three months later, Russell received a letter from “one of the thinking brethren of that place, saying that he thought he had the key.” Russell accepted the explanation offered, and it made its way into print. The suggestion was that the number denoted support of religious organizations, and that the beast was the Catholic Church, and its image was the Evangelical Alliance, which sought to present a united voice to political powers. This fit with Russell’s belief that they were “called out,” separated, fine wheat-like Christians without any organization but Christ’s:
Among those who thus openly mark themselves in their forehead (by their creeds) are Episcopalians, Methodists, Presbyterians and others. But others give a seeming support (mark in their hand) to the general principal by organizing under various sectarian names. After these are blended in the image, (and no one would be admitted to membership in the Evangelical Alliance, unless he be a member of some such sect), they all are collectively known as the “Protestant Churches,” ….
If we for instance were to organize, though we protest more than all others against the errors of Rome, and also against the errors of the Image and second beast, yet be would not be reckoned one of the “Protestant churches,” because we would not be recognized as orthodox – They would not count our organization a church.
Should you inquire for our meetings and ask – Is that a protestant church which meets here? The answer would come – Oh, no; they are not Evangelical. They have no creed to mark them, so that the Alliance can decide whether they are an Evangelical Protestant Church or not.
At least one individual was converted to Watch Tower theology by the meetings held at Lynn. Her conversion was recounted in a dramatic fashion by Samuel I. Hickey, a former clergyman, and for a period a Watch Tower evangelist. Writing to Russell in 1889, he recounted the story:
While in Boston I was told of a sister at Winchester, about seven miles from Boston and I went to see her. Some eleven years ago she was a lawless Roman Catholic rum-seller there. Her conversion (a most remarkable one) occurred in the prison, where she was confined for repeated violation of the liquor laws. When she was released, she poured to waste all of her liquors and renounced the Roman Catholic Religion. As she lived in the midst of an Irish Catholic community, her persecutions were terrible. Her children were hooted, pelted with stones, and abused in every conceivable manner. She was cursed and slandered before her face and behind her back.
They even soaped the stairs of her dwelling to cause her to fall and maim or kill herself. The priest visited her, and when he found that she was firm in her determination to serve Christ rather than the devil, he cursed her and persuaded her husband to abandon her and declared that she should never have a Catholic dollar, and said they would drive her from her home. They broke the window panes in her house, and for two years she was obliged to keep them stuffed with rags, etc., being too poor to afford to replace the glass. She united with the Baptist church and was most zealous in her missionary efforts to bring others into that “communion.” She soon ceased to have her hunger satisfied with the husks of the less popish branch of Babylon and longed for more truth, for she saw and deplored the same spirit in Protestantism as in Romanism. About nine years ago, hungering and thirsting for the Word of Life, she heard that there were a series of meetings held at Lynn. You were the preacher and she was so well fed that she eagerly inquired, where she could continue to hear you. A friend told her that she could hear you through Z.W.T. every month. Ever since that God has fed her through your paper. When she was rejected by every body, that spoke peace to her heart. All was written in such a sweet spirit. The very pages seemed illumined by the spirit of God. She cannot write at all and can not read writing. [He means she couldn’t read cursive, only print.]
… When her boy lay dead in her house, a crowd collected opposite and cried that they wished it was the old devil that was dead, instead of the young one, or she along with it. Well, the next day after that she got the Tower. For all the sorrow she had had, it brought great joy, and she felt lifted up. She could not describe the gladness God sent her through it. The Lord anointed her eyes, and she came out of the Baptist church, and her persecutions at the hands of the Protestant religionists were harder to bear than those of the Roman Catholics – a refined cruelty. She attempted to reason with them out of the Scriptures, but was called an ignorant Irish woman and was rebuked for her insolence in presuming to teach them who had been studying the Scriptures all their lifetime. But she knew she had the truth, and counted it all joy – even her severest trials – for they brought her nearer to God, and taught her dependence upon Him. She was overjoyed at the thought that at last you should know of her and of the joy you had been the means of imparting to her.
Mary T. Miner hosted Russell at Clinton, Massachusetts. She is listed in the 1880 Census as head of household, but we don’t know if she was a widow or separated from her husband. The census tells us she was thirty-eight in 1880. She was born in November 1842 and still living in 1900. We do not have a death date. We can’t identify a religious affiliation. A history of Clinton covering the years from its mid-Seventeenth Century founding to 1865 says: “The Second Adventists also held meetings in Clinton, in the Deacon John Burdett’s Hall. Their meetings were characterized by great fervor, but the Adventists did not attain sufficient numbers or financial strength to build any house of worship.” So there may have been some interest from that quarter. Russell was in Clinton on June 16, 1880.
He was in Springfield, Massachusetts, two days later. The meeting there was hosted by “R. W. Stearns.” Rachel W. Stearns (1813-1898) was the daughter of Charles Stearns an abolitionist. She was the namesake of Rachael Stearns, a hero of the abolitionist movement. A connection through George Storrs is probable. There were Bible Examiner subscribers in Springfield, and there had been some interest in the Barbourite movement.
Fort Edward and Montrose
He veered northward to Ft. Edward, New York, where J. C. Sunderlin hosted his visit. His next stop was to be Montrose, Pennsylvania, but he failed to make train connections. His visit was to be hosted by Daniel Dennison Lathrop. (December 21, 1833 – March 28, 1912) We know scattered details but little else about Lathrop. The Civil War Draft Rolls list him as a farmer. After the war he became a civil engineer; we have a record of work done for the Montrose water company in 1909. He was commissioned a notary public in September 1879. He was invited to a Shorthand Reporters’ convention in 1880. Sunderlin was an expert stenographer too, and it is probably through this connection that he was introduced to Watch Tower theology. In fiscal year 1876, Susquehanna County paid $273.76 for his services, a considerable sum for the period. He wrote The American Stenographer: A Work Devoted Mainly to Extended Principles of the Art, Rather Than to the Details of the Whole System which was published in 1880. As were several of Russell’s earliest associates, Lathrop was a member of the Prohibition Party, and served as Secretary-Treasurer of a regional party committee. He was secretary of the Susquehanna Farmers’ Club in 1876. Lathrop was appointed guardian of two minor children, relatives of some sort, in 1877. In 1877, Lathrop wrote and self-published an eight page poem entitled Light and Darkness. He died in 1912, a short obituary summarizing his life:
The death of Daniel D. Lathrop ends an interesting and useful career. Born Dec. 25th, 1833, in Rush, the 8th son of a family of eleven children, his father being Rev. William Lathrop, Jr. a Baptist preacher. He secured his education at the county schools and later taught several terms. Before the close of the Civil War he enlisted as a ship carpenter, but saw no action. Three of his brothers met death on the battlefield. His first wife was Emma Handrick and he married, second, Mrs. Sallie M. Sherwood. He was one of the first official court stenographers in the county, taking up the study of “phronography,” as it was then called, in 1851. He took up the study of Civil Engineering and as he was a competent mathematician his reputation for care and accuracy in surveying and mapping was soon well established. In recent years he took a special course in mechanical drawing to more fully equip himself for this class of work. In 1902 he started the work, during leisure moments, of writing the New Testament in shorthand, concluding the task in 1907. Thus closes the earthly record of a man who so performed his day of work that when the Master called him from his labor, he responded unabashed and confident.
We know of only one other interested person in Montrose, and then only by their initials. A J.L.F. of Montrose submitted a poem to Zion’s Watch Tower which saw publication in October 1879 issue:
Watchman, on the lonely tower,
‘Mid the desert’s arid sands,
Tell us of the dawning hour,
Tell us of the moving bands.
Seek they now the shelt’ring palm,
Where the cooling springs await?
Cheered, refreshed, now press they on,
Toward the destined City’s gates?
When the fierce simoon is near;
Watchman! give the warning cry;
Raise soul-stirring notes of cheer,
As the journey’s end draws nigh!
J. L. F. – Montrose, Pa
Russell was unable to speak at Montrose, and we do not know if Lathrop’s interest endured.
Russell’s visit to Berwick, Pennsylvania was hosted by Alexander B. McCrea. Born about 1842 in Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, to immigrant parents, he was a physician and member of the Columbia County Medical Society. He graduated from Long Island Medical College June 1, 1865. This tells us he was a contemporary and classmate of C. W. Buvinger, and we connect him to Russell and Storrs by this otherwise ephemeral fact. He was an amateur ornithologist, and we find some letters from him to bird magazines. His health was “impaired from Malaria,” and he returned briefly to Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, his birth place “and took a partnership in a drugstore, and attended occasionally to practice.” When his health improved he moved back to Berwick. In March 1872, he was one of the organizers of Knapp Lodge – Free and Accepted Masons. His death notice in JAMA noted Civil War service. He died April 12, 1919, of influenza. We do not know if McCrae’s interest endured.
As noted in volume one of this work, J. H. Thomas, who rode the backs of Age-to-Come and Christadelphian believers, preached in Berwick in 1882, writing to The Restitution that “the believers here are tinctured a little with Russellism, which is subversive of the truth as it is in Jesus.” Thomas’ said his meetings in Berwick were sparsely attended. He mentioned only the Hosler family and a “Brother” Robbins, “a well to do brother of Shenandoah City” who was the Hoslers son-in-law. There were several Hosler families resident in the Berwick area. We can’t attach any of them to this record.
Letters published in the Berwick area newspapers give us some insight into what interest was found there. In volume one, we presented Russell’s views on the state of the Christian church. He saw the church as divided into two classes – true, committed Christians and “the merely nominal Christian who is such because it is essential to respectability … but who is restive, even under the modified restraint which the church exacts, and desires to bring the church down to the level of a “social club’ composed of the respectable of society.” Russell framed this into a prophetic scheme, but the same observation distressed other committed Christians.
While American society was secularizing, there was another shift that Watch Tower adherents found as disturbing. Russell’s theology was based on Redemption doctrine, belief in Adamic sin and consequent depravity of the human race from which Christ’s sacrifice redeems mankind. To many, Darwinian evolution theory suggested that men were progressing. The thought that human effort could improve the race pervaded religious and secular thought. Proliferating invention, and novel ideas (many of which would be discredited), gave the impression that humanity was improving. They confused inventiveness and cleverness with improvement. This left Russell and others with conflicted attitudes. Watch Tower adherents looked for signs that the millennium had begun. Inventions provided those. They rejected the idea of progress without remission of sins, but many others sought it within quasi-religious movements. This manifested in a number of ways, among them Christian Socialism, the labor movement, Christian utopian and social service organizations. The most conservatively religious rejected the “social gospel” as contrary to the “divine plan.”
Residents of Berwick noted the secularization of religion and were as distressed as was Russell. The Columbia County Democrat printed a letter addressing the issue in its September 24, 1864, issue. The writer, noted only as “William,” objected to the politicization of religion in the Methodist Church. William visited the Methodist congregation “hoping to hear the word of God expounded according to the laws laid down in the Holy Bible.” Instead, “to the utter shame and disgrace of the Christian community,” he heard a political “stump-speech, too offensive to be uttered in the house of God.” It was “still more outrageous” that the minister expressed his political opinions on the Sabbath, “which should be devoted to the praise of God, and not to political affairs.” The hymn was a patriotic song, not a religious one.
Though he expressed it as religious outrage, the issue for William was his contrary political belief. He was a Copperhead. He wanted Lincoln out of office and McClellan elected. The minister was a Republican. William called the minister a “political negro head.” While William came at the problem from a different perspective than Russell’s, his letter tells us that secularization was an issue in Berwick.
Casual sexuality was also an issue. The March 6, 1871, issue of the Montour American, published in nearby Danville, Pennsylvania, editorialized:
We know several parties who have a habit, in church, as well as elsewhere, of keeping up a continual cooing to the thorough disgust of everybody about them. If they, like Armand and Heloise, think themselves consecrated to the “artful god,” whose arrows have stuck deep in their soft hearts, they should stay home and enjoy their faith, and not parade it in public places to annoy and disturb the more high-minded.
Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania
Russell’s last stop was at Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, where Samuel M. Bond (1852-1936) hosted his visit. Bond was at one time a telegraph operator. We find him in 1897 advertising his services as a bill poster (broadside poster) and advertising circular distributor. He was for many years a department manager for L. L. Stearn & Son, a department store in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Before moving to Jersey Shore, he was a member of the Odd Fellows’ Lodge in Renovo.
Advertisement – Billboard Advertising,
January 1, 1897
In 1894, Bond wrote to Russell, saying: “I have been with you in this precious faith while you were with the Herald of the Morning, and ever since the first issue of the Tower.” The earliest notice of him we found is in the money received column of the January 1879 Herald of the Morning. We presume he had been a reader for some time, but we really don’t know. Most interest seems to have been in Williamsport, about fifteen miles away.
Lack of documentation outside the pages of Zion’s Watch Tower leaves us with unanswered questions. We see some details especially connected to his visit to Lynn and to Berwick. We don’t know how much interested persisted. We wish we did, but we don’t. We don’t know what the full effect of Russell’s visit was.
His mission tour completed, Russell issued a sanguine, somewhat saccharine report:
Many will be glad to learn that my trip, now about ended, has been a very pleasant one. The unpleasant features about it being the briefness of the visit at each place and the farewells as we parted. Many of the dear friends whom we had never met before, seemed, after the two or three days’ visit, to be life-long acquaintances. We recognized in each other the spirit of adoption into the one family, and our membership of the one body of Christ; and we felt ourselves drawn to each other and cemented by “that which every joint supplieth” – love.
The arrangements were carried out as noticed in our last, except at Montrose, Pa., where we were unable to make railway connections. The meetings averaged from four to six hours per day at each place, and we trust, have been profitable to the hearers; tending to strengthen, encourage, and establish them in the present truth. With the exception of the bodily fatigue attendant upon so much traveling and speaking, the month has been a round of pleasure to your Editor, who returns home feeling much encouraged and refreshed, by the contact with so many loving, sympathizing hearts, alive with the Spirit of Christ.
We have seemed to realize more than ever, Jesus’ words: “Ye shall have in this life a hundred fold – houses, lands, mothers, brothers and sisters.” We have a hundred homes open to us if ever we go the same direction again. That the invitations to come again were sincere, was attested by the firm grasp of the hand, the moist eye, and “God bless you,” at parting.
On the whole, the effects of the visit were so satisfactory that I rather feel impressed that it may be Our Father’s will that I go among the dear flock more. We shall wait for His leading, and go as the way seems to open, probably however in other directions.
How dear Brother Paul would have enjoyed such a trip as the one just ending. It would have required more than a year to accomplish the same results in his day. But evil also has new channels and rapidly increases, and if we would be faithful we must take advantage of every circumstance.
Another thought has been suggested to my mind by my becoming personally acquainted with the saints, viz: If it did me good to know them and of their affairs, would it not do all of the readers good, to know of the welfare of each other? I think it would, and propose to furnish a corner of the “watch tower’s” space each month for your correspondence. Let us all know every little while, say every three months, how the Lord prospers you; whether you keep up your meetings with those of like precious faith, etc. Make it brief and pithy; a few lines on a postal card will do. Thus our interest in each other will be enlarged and all will be blessed. Who will start it?
This is a mixed report. He was happy to have met his readers and claimed a mutual recognition as brethren in Christ. But he laced the report with qualifiers. The trip was “so satisfactory” that he saw it as God’s will that he continue to travel and preach. But it was only so “on the whole,” and we are at a loss to explain his statement that he would go where God led, “but probably … in other directions.” Some, perhaps most, appreciated his visit, and they parted with “moist eye.” But not everyone was welcoming: “Evil also has new channels and rapidly increases, and if we would be faithful we must take advantage of every circumstance.” Russell put the best face he could on a trip that addressed divisions and continuing controversy with Herald of the Morning adherents.
Russell’s Second Tour
In August 1880 Russell traveled West:
I purpose visiting brother and sister Paton at Almont, Mich., and the other friends in that vicinity during August, and shall stop enroute at Elyria, on the 9th and 10th, and at Cleveland on the 22d, and be in Bro. Paton’s charge from 14th to 16th inst. Elyria meetings are in charge of Sister Avis Hamlin. Those at Cleveland are under Bro. Caleb Davies’ control. May the Lord direct to His own praise and to our mutual profit. My dear wife accompanies me on this short trip.
Avis Hamlin (see her biography in volume one) welcomed Russell after objecting to Paton’s earlier visit. She and others in the Elyria area swung between previous belief and Barbour’s new teachings. After the disappointment of 1878, she reported the congregation still strong in faith. A letter from her dated June 23, 1878, said:
I take the first opportunity of renewing my subscription, as I should feel lost without the Herald. We are all strong in the faith. One of the brethren in Elyria said, that since he had read your leading argument in the June number, his faith was stronger than ever before; and it has filled all our hearts with hope and strength.
She vacillated until 1881, when Barbour’s additional prophetic speculations failed. Hamlin sees to have been swayed by who ever had the strongest personality or was the most recent speaker. Caleb Davies, whose biography is in volume one of this work, was converted by Paton. Though we find him mentioned in the Letters Received columns in the September and October 1878 issues of the Herald, the date of his conversion is uncertain. Davies seems never to have sided with Barbour. He was less swayed by personality than by the Bible as he understood it.
Russell printed a short report in the September 1880 Watch Tower:
We have returned, having spent very pleasantly, and we hope profitably, two weeks with little bands of waiting ones. As usual we found them very loving ones, partakers to a marked degree of the element of the divine nature – love. We visited Elyria and Cleveland, Ohio, and Lapeer, Almont, Belle River, Brockway Center, and Detroit, Mich. To most of them we were strangers in the flesh “unknown and yet well known,” for we had all drank of the water from the same spiritual rock – Christ. We want to visit all the dear flock that we may know them, and will be ready for another trip during October.
Russell’s assessment of those he met seems overly optimistic but not out of character. Few of those he met remained interested. Personal attachment took most of them out of the Watch Tower movement and into Paton’s Universalism.
Russell announced his intention to visit “several places in New York state, [sic] where little bands of subscribers reside,” mentioning Brockport, Honeoye, and Dansville. Because of urgent calls for tracts, he delayed the trip until early November 1880. He explained that he would hold public meetings at the three places he named, but that he was making three other stops. We presume small, private meetings there. He was in Dansville on the 4th, Honeoye on the 7th, and in Brockport on the 11th. B. W. Keith was in charge of the meeting at Dansville, Ira Allen at Honeoye. A “Sister J. G. Heath” was in charge at Brockport, New York. Loraine Heath was married to a well-to-do building contractor who specialized in “removing buildings.” On slim evidence we believe her husband, John Heath, was interested up to the 1875 failure. Heath sold his Brockport home and moved to Rochester to wait out Christ’s return. When translation did not occur, he and Loraine (also spelled Lorraine) returned to Brockport. Loraine was fifty-five in 1880. As had happened with William Vessels Feltwel, her interest waned, and, as did he, she pursued Christian Science.
Others entered the field, some of whom have been forgotten by historians of the Watch Tower movement. Among these were
J. S. Lawver and J. C. Foore
J. S. Lawver’s preaching tour was announced in Zion’s Watch Tower, and we can suppose sympathy to the Watch Tower message. Calling him “Brother Lawver,” Russell noted his evangelical tour planned for mid-1882: “Bro. Lawver of Missouri starts about July first, for a trip through Kansas and Texas. Letters, requests for preaching, may be addressed to this office.” Russell included him with other Watch Tower evangelists such as Keith and Sunderlin. Interestingly, his trip is reported in The Restitution as well. Some overlap, sometimes a considerable overlap, in teaching and evangelism between Watch Tower and Restitution evangelists continued into the 1890s.
John Shellenberger Lawver was born in Pennsylvania about 1834 or 1835, later immigrating with his wife, Elizabeth Leckington, to New Oregon, Iowa. He was a druggist in 1860 with considerable wealth. By 1875 they had six living children ranging in age from one month to seventeen. A son, Monroe, died of spinal meningitis in November 1873. From Iowa they immigrated to Illinois, thence to Kansas. In Illinois he was a fruit grower with a net worth of $12,000.00, most of that in land. The Kansas State Census of March 1875 lists him as a merchant, apparently a wholesale grocer. The post Civil War financial crisis took its toll on the Lawvers as did the great grasshopper plague. Their net worth had declined to about thirteen hundred dollars divided between real estate ($300) and personal property ($1000). His apples were displayed at the Centennial Exhibition in 1876 as part of the U. S. Department of Agriculture exhibit. While it is fun to speculate that he met Russell during the Centennial, there is no proof that he did. By 1880 the Lawvers were in Burlington Junction, Missouri. Census returns list him as a grocer.
Main Street, Brockport, New York
The census records do not tell the full story. Lawver was prominent in the small Mid-Western communities where he lived. He was, even in bad times, wealthier than most. With several others, Lawver founded The Howard County, Iowa, Sentinel in February 1858. The paper was short-lived, a fire destroying it sometime in 1859. In 1863, he was Secretary of the small Masonic Lodge in New Oregon, Illinois, and he served as an officer in the Union County, Illinois, Mechanical and Agricultural Society in 1870. The next year he was elected president. He became a fruit grower and wholesaler while in Illinois, and a letter from him about a caterpillar infestation and its reply found its way into The Prairie Farmer of May 16, 1864. That same year he expanded his production to include strawberries and tomatoes. A short notice in The Country Gentleman said: “J. S. Lawver had six acres of Strawberry plants sold about $1,000 worth of strawberries. He bought 60 old sash for $60, worked hard all day and got up nights when snow was on the ground and replenished his hot bed fires. He was his own gardener and this was his first fear at the business. From two acres of land he sold $700 worth tomatoes.” In February 1865 he and others incorporated the Illinois State Insurance Company.
As a believer, Lawver first comes to our notice in The Restitution of February 3, 1875, where he is noted as sending two dollars, apparently for a subscription. This seems to mark his introduction to Age-to-Come theology. He shows up next in the April 1876 issue of Bible Examiner, requesting information and books from Storrs.
Later that year, Lawver wrote to Hiram Vaughn Reed, editor of The Restitution, advocating views of Probation doctrine that were identical to those held by Storrs. Reed rejected what he saw as second-probation. Full Chance doctrine, a better name for Storrs and Russell’s teaching, was controversial among Age-to-Come believers and Second Adventists. Most Second Adventists were persuaded that the doctrine was false, but many Age-to-Come adherents considered it truth or were uncertain enough to believe it might be true.
John Shellenberger Lawver
Frank Burr’s comments on the exchange were snide, offensive. Reed sent a reply to Burr, editor of the Advent Christian Times, who published it but with additional rude comments. A long-faced, unpleasant man, Burr was antagonistic to Age-to-Come belief. This was one of the driving forces behind a growing animosity between the two sects. Isaac Wellcome connected a period of financial decline and disunity among Second Adventists, particularly Advent Christians, to Burr’s editorship, though he was too tactful to name him: “There are causes which have been for some time changing the condition of this Association, preventing its prosperity and working disunion; the Association is greatly embarrassed financially, and now unable to do much work. The primary causes of these evils are not yet sufficiently investigated and developed to record in history. We pray the Lord may correct the evils and give prosperity to the work of publishing the glorious message of the soon coming Christ, to deliver his groaning church.”
Lawver preached Storrs’ broad salvation views at least from 1877, meeting, as Russell would later, accusations of Universalism. When a clergyman interrupted one of his meetings suggesting that his message sounded “very much like Universalism,” he shot back:
Frank Burr as he looked about 1855 and later in life.
Burr abused Age-to-Come believers.
Let me ask you a candid, honest, brotherly question: Would you not prefer that Universalism should be true at least, so far as yourself is concerned? He replied, that he “should.” I then said, “Very well: What right have you, then, to desire that which it should not be true for the great mass of our brother men who have not had the opportunities you and I have had? Who gave you such authority? … Oh for more of the love of God to be shed abroad in our hearts; love that takes all selfishness out of us and gives us a kind, loving sympathetic heart; one that does not merely care for self, but a love that cannot make us happy unless our neighbors can be happy too.”
The “fair chance” doctrine promulgated by Storrs, Lawver and others was not Universalism. It wasn’t even second-probationism as usually understood, but it was a far broader view of salvation than predestination and Hell-fire doctrine allowed. Lawver was depressed that it wasn’t readily accepted as a scriptural and loving doctrine. He wasn’t alone. An Elder John H. May wrote to Storrs that an Adventist preacher had banned him from preaching in that church. The belief that many would be saved in the resurrection was characterized as Universalism, “devil’s doctrine,” and infidelity. Those who believed it were characterized as denominational traitors. This experience would transfer to Watch Tower adherents when they became the doctrine’s principal advocates.
Persistence in the faith was difficult. Lawver touched on this in a letter to Storrs written in early 1878:
I never found it so hard, as I find it now: that is, the nearer we approach the “narrow way,” the harder it is to keep in it. If we get drowsy, some one is ever ready to lay a stumbling block in the way, or to pull us out of the way. It requires eternal vigilance. The loss of friends, and making new enemies, on account of our “peculiar” way, constantly grinds our sensitive natures. But I still feel that I have the evidence that to become nothing in standing for the glorious character, and vindicating the Government of God, is worth more than all the friends of earth and its wealth.
By 1879 he was recognized by The Restitution as a preaching Elder. Lawver, partnered with John C. Foore, a school teacher. Both of them were partisans of Storrs, handing out copies of Bible Examiner rather than other Age-to-Come literature. They preached the same message as Storrs.
Late in 1879, Lawver engaged with “a public lecturer” in a debate. The topic was the nature and value of Christianity, and the first proposition was, “resolved, that Christianity had done more harm than good.” Lawver appears to have been an adept debater:
After the affirmative had opened with a triad against the so-called Christianity, I called for a definition of Christianity. My opponent agreed with me that Christianity proper was the doctrine put forth by the Christ, whether human or divine. … What were this Christ’s doctrines? I opened the Divine record and showed what Christ and his apostles taught. Then I asked the speaker and the audience, whether those doctrines practiced could do harm? All agreed that those doctrines would make the world better. Then, said I, the debate is closed. If those doctrines promulgated by Christ and his apostles could do no harm, then they never did do any harm. Then the opposition tried to force the teaching and acts of the so-called churches upon me. No sir, said I, I am not here defending churchianity, but Christianity.
In December 1880, Foore was in Golden City, Missouri, preaching on subjects that included “Plan of the Ages” and “Three Worlds or the Restitution of All Things.” He invited Lawver to come assist him. While echoing Watch Tower doctrine, these were common Age-to-Come themes, and we cannot take his preaching on them as evidence of sympathy. But other evidence is forthcoming. In early 1881 G. M. Myers, who himself had considerable interest in Watch Tower teachings, wrote a long article asserting that the Communion Meal took place on Nisan 13th instead of the 14th. Myers wrote to refute an article published in the April 1881 issue of Zion’s Watch Tower. Entitled “read this,” Myers’ article appeared in the May 11, 1881, issue of The Restitution. He lumped Russell and Foore together as doctrinal partners. Foore and Russell picked differing days for the Memorial Observance. Without discussing details best left for those who argue theology, we are left with Myers’ question: “Brother Foore, why this discrepancy between you and Brother Russell? Have you different calendars?” This still leaves us uncertain as to the degree of sympathy between Russell and Foore. Probably they agreed most closely over Restitution doctrine, both of them accepting the ideas found in Storrs’ [title]. Foore gently poked S. A. Chaplin, The Restitution’s editor, over his differences with the paper writing that he still got the paper “and like it very much; but should like it much better if it could be opened for the advanced views – such as the blessing of all nations and all kindreds in the age to come.” In short, he wanted The Restitution to open its pages to Storrs’ view of a larger salvation in the age to come.
Lawver, as did many of the evangelists loosely connected to The Watch Tower, loved debates, believing that they countered poor theology and infidelity. Sometime in late September or early October 1879, he debated “a public lecturer upon the proposition, ‘Resolved, that Christianity had done more harm than good.’”
As did many of the earliest Watch Tower adherents, Lawver read and circulated material published by others. In December 1880 we find him recommending a pamphlet for sale through The Restitution entitled Christ’s Kingdom: Where is it? What is it? It was written by Joseph Laciar (1843-1904), a pharmacist of Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, and was the text of a speech given at Berwick, Pennsylvania. As of this writing, we have not been able to secure a copy. He also encouraged everyone to get subscriptions to The Restitution.
Lawver drops out of sight by early 1883. A George Kedwell of Arkansas wrote to The Restitution pleading for help and asking “where is Brother Lawver?” An answer was not forthcoming. He appears to have died. Some family genealogy sites give him a much later death date, but this is a misreading of the original typescript family record. The 1905 date given in some online genealogies attaches to his wife. The original family record gives no death date but says he “died while on travel.” He seems to have died during this missionary tour.
Keith, Sunderlin, and Mann
We do not have a detailed record for Keith, Sunderlin and Mann. Keith and Sunderlin preached near their residence. Evidence suggests that Mann preached as well. All the specifics have eluded our determined research. The only notice of their ministry we have is found in a notice appearing in the March 1880, Watch Tower: “Invitations to hold meetings may be addressed either to the editor (mentioning whom you wish to have), or direct to the brethren.” Others entered the work toward the middle of 1881. We consider them in later chapters.
Though Russell and most Watch Tower readers came from a tradition that questioned the propriety of organization beyond the local level, Russell was anxious for them to meet regularly. In April 1881, he asked to hear from all the “twos and threes” and larger groups holding doctrines similar to his:
We desire to make a list for our office of all places where our readers hold regular meetings and services of any kind, whether in churches, halls, or private houses. Evangelists and Teachers frequently pass the "twos and threes" en route from one point to another.
If you have no gathering of this sort, let me recommend you to establish one in your own home with your own family, or even a few that may be interested. Read, study, praise and worship together, and where two or three are met in His name, the Lord will be in your midst – your teacher. Such was the character of some of the meetings of the church in the days of the Apostles. (See Philemon 2.)
Within some months, Russell asked one of the newer adherents to write to subscribers in the United Kingdom to promote gatherings of those of similar faith. We should note again that being a Watch Tower reader did not mean a strict adherence to beliefs expressed within its pages. It is evident that meetings were fluid, sometimes disappointing. Robert Wakefield, new to the movement but an experienced Bible student, addressed the issue:
The necessity for the assembling together for mutual edification, encouragement and trengthening, has been very generally acknowledged among Christians, yet we doubt if this most desirable end is very frequently attained – and why? Because we think, in most cases, God is not permitted to speak, among them, or if so, he is limited.
These assemblings together, oftenest take the form of prayer and experience meetings, unless there is one of the number who is able to preach, and then the tendency is to depend upon that one, to a greater extent than is profitable.
The writer attended one of these experience meetings among those professing the higher life, where God was almost shut out, and poor weak humanity, ignorant of its weakness as it always is, had abundant opportunity to boast itself. At the beginning of the meeting, one text of scripture was read, the context of which, all were ignorant of, and consequently its true application could not be understood. …
Nearly two hours passed and the human spirit had magnified itself greatly, while the holy spirit (God-like mind) of the "new creatures," (for such I believe they were) was almost quenched. A brother seemed to perceive that something was wrong, and said "What these meetings want is more prayer," and then proceeded to pray for every thing he could think of, ignorant of the fact that he asked for many things in direct opposition to God's expressed will. And so the meeting closed without attaining the object for which they met, because God was shut out.
Again, at another of these meetings, one hungry sister ventured to ask information with reference to a certain scripture, and was told that lest it should provoke controversy, and since they wished to have harmony, they would just pass over that, and so she was left unfed.
Now is this right – shall we sell the truth to purchase harmony – and are we so puffed up as to be offended if God's word should overthrow our former convictions? Or shall we limit God to five or ten minutes and take the remainder of two hours to listen to each others experiences, which in nine cases out of ten, would be better untold? Why not open the doors wide and let the blessed Master come in and lead our meetings?
It matters not whether there is any one learned or talented among you. Let each one bring his own Bible, paper, and pencil, and avail yourselves of as many helps in the way of a Concordance, Em.
Diaglott, old and new versions of the New Testament, etc. , as possible. Choose your subject; ask for the Spirit's guidance in the understanding of it; then read, think, compare scripture with scripture, and you will assuredly be guided into truth. "And the truth shall make you free" – free from error, superstition, and the corruption of our perverse nature, and the Holy Spirit (mind of God and Christ) if entertained will liberate you from formality, as well as from self-exaltation.
Our prayers need not be long …. In few and simple words, we can make known our wants as far as we can estimate them; but God has so much more to tell us than we have to tell him. Let him speak, much and long and often – through his word.
Some, perhaps initially many, continued to associate with their prior religion. This was most often unsatisfactory both on doctrinal and behavioral grounds. Nothing in Watch Tower doctrine was especially unique, though the composite system was. But it was different from the mainstream, generating animosity from other church members and dissatisfaction on the part of Watch Tower adherents. Russell was strongly influenced by Methodist Perfectionist or Holiness doctrine. While many small, non-denominational groups held the doctrine, and the Advent Christians adopted it, few practiced it. The belief system was called by various names; we run into it here under the name Higher Life.
Holiness, Higher Life, and other Perfectionist sects shared some characteristics. They usually pre-millennial. They saw themselves as approved of God where others were less so or not at all. E. T. Clark observed that “sectarian spirit is seen in an exaggeration of their own importance or acceptability to God and a corresponding disparagement of other denominations, especially the large and prosperous.” They usually held to Redemptionist doctrines and what they believed were the original Bible teachings. They gave lip-service to strict morals, though adherence to Bible standards was sometimes wanting.
Wakefield returned to the issue of association with an article published in the August 1884 Watch Tower:
True fellowship implies love, sympathy, a mutual sharing of good or ill, common principles, common interests, and a common aim. It may exist between parties on equal footing, or between those whose conditions are widely different. Where the latter is the case, benevolence on the part of the superior is shown in acts of favor and blessing, and on the part of the inferior, in gratitude and such returns in action as are possible.
Than such fellowship there is nothing more desirable and more helpful to the saints in the narrow and difficult way they are called to tread. But while we should ever seek and cultivate such fellowship, we need to be very careful to see that our fellowship one with another, is based upon correct principles, else that which was designed as a blessing, will be found to our great disadvantage.
Realizing this, the Apostle Paul admonishes us, saying: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness... or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” (2 Cor. 6:14,15.) “How can two walk together except they be agreed?” It is impossible. Let us see to it, then, that our
fellowship is based upon the sure foundation referred to in this text--the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanseth us from all sin – and that our rejoicing and communion be of the increasing light as we walk together.
And this great blessing, the Apostle John tells us, it is our privilege to have. He says we may have fellowship with our Father, and with his Son, and also with other saints who are walking in the light – the truth.
Doctrine of Personal Responsibility
As did Storrs, Russell believed that each was directly responsible to God for his behavior and beliefs. Russell quoted Joseph Addison Alexander (1809 – 1860), a Presbyterian clergyman to this effect, though he quotes him imperfectly and without attribution, probably because he clipped the quotation from another publication. As Russell has it, Alerxander said: “It is man's relation to his God that must adjust and determine his relations to his fellow-creatures. The symmetrical position of the points in the circumference arises from their common relation to a common center. Set a man right with God, and he will certainly be set right with his neighbors.” What Alexander really wrote is this:
But “soberness” and “justice,” in the wide sense which has just been put upon the terms, have never yet been found divorced from “godliness.” As we have seen already, in considering the negative effects of training by Divine grace, it is man's relations to his God, that must adjust and determine his relations to his fellow creatures. The symmetrical position of the points in the circumference arises from their common relation to a common centre.
Such are the objects and effects of Christian training, that is, of the method by which Christ trains His disciples, with respect to the present state or stage of man's existence, as distinguished from those future states or stages to which he cannot but look forward. For although the sobriety of mind produced by the discipline of God's grace, causes men of a morbid, penurious disposition to lose sight of present duties and enjoyments in a vague anticipation of the future, it is so far from excluding expectation altogether, that our very salvation is prospective. “We are saved in hope,” and that hope is a blessed one; a hope of blessedness to be revealed and realised hereafter; a hope, that is, an object of hope, not yet fully enjoyed, but only “looked for,” and to look for which is one of the effects and marks of thorough training in the school of Christ. This hope is neither selfish nor indefinite. It does not terminate upon ourselves, our own deliverance from suffering, and our own reception into heaven; nor does it lose itself in vague anticipations of a nameless good to be experienced hereafter. The Christian's hope is in the highest degree generous and well defined. It is generous, because it rises beyond personal interests, even the highest, even personal salvation, to the glory of the Saviour as the ultimate end to be desired and accomplished.
Despite the flawed quotation, for which Russell is probably not responsible, we see that his point of view in 1880 was that each was responsible directly to God for their beliefs and conduct. There was no intermediary but Christ. This effected how he taught. We see this clearly in an article entitled “A Reason for the Hope,” written in dialoge format. Brother Q (for Questioner) says: “I have followed you so far, and can agree with your position fully, but wheny ou come to prove that Jesus is now present and ask me to believe it without any sight evidence, I am afraid I have not strong enough faith to believe it.” To this the teacher who clearly speaks with Russell’s voice replies: “I have not asked you to believe it, Bro. Q. I never ask anyone to believe, I simply give the evidence; If it is as strong to them as to me they cannot help believing it.”
At this stage of Russell’s ministry he saw the Bible and “evidence” derived from events as authoritative and persuasive. He wrote this in a context that suggests that ultimate responsibility rests on the idividual. This contrasted with Barbour who believed his opinion was authoritative because he was God’s last-days spokesman. Russell believed God had and perhaps always would have special agents, special teachers, to promote his will, but obedience and faithfulness were required or they would lose the responsibility.
Drawing on Pual’s letters and on the atni-Nicine writers, some historians suggest that Christianity has never been a cohesive religoin. Reoccurring sectarian division suggests to some that this is a valid thesis. However, Russell believed that sectarian division was a prophesied result of a post-Apostolic apostasy. Russell and his associates believed true what-like Christians were best unified by Christian behavior and an earnest desire to know “truth.” The Watch Tower’s prinicpals believed that Christians could differ in some respects and still be considered brethren in Christ. How great the difference each found acceptable varied by individual. The standard was an earnest desire for truth.
Russell saw any teaching that questioned the Redemption of man by a corresponding ransom as non-Christian. Those who advocated contrary doctrine were apostates and outside the pale of fellowship. Those who enjoyed “advanced light” should fellowship together and support one another. This was especially necessary because Barbour and his party kept up an unremitting attack.
 N. H. Barbour: Questions and Answers, Herald of the Morning, August 1879, page 29. “One of our friends said to me, if you should convince me that man dies, I should have to renounce the idea that Christ was our substitute.”
 For an extensive history of the idea see D. T. Taylor’s Voice of the Church, 1855.
 Trotter was expelled from the Methodist New Connexion in 1841 with Barker.
 Eight Lectures on Prophecy (1865) and Essays on Prophetic Interpretation (1867).
 Clyde Norman Kraus: Dispensationalism in America, John Knox Press, 1958, page 48.
 See the article The Revelation of Jesus Christ in that issue.
 The thought was first expressed by Dutch Anabaptists in the Sixteenth Century.
 C. T. Russell: Correspondents Questions, Zion’s Watch Tower, October 1879, page 8. Though the interpretation of Dragon in Revelation twelve may seem strange, Russell was not alone in holding this view.
 E. G. White was exposed to foot washing during her early ministry. An article in Adventist Currents, Vol. 3, Number 1, 1988, says: “Small pockets of believers were scattered throughout the northeast. The meetings (attended by Miss Harmon), who met almost exclusively in private homes, were characterized by the ‘holy’ salutation kiss, loud shouting and singing, physical prostration’s, promiscuous (mixed) foot-washing, multiple baptisms by immersion, odd exhibitions of voluntary humility (i.e. crawling and barking). (Read that last sentence again – kissing, crawling and barking.) Did you say, ‘barking?’ A woman, at the meeting, got on her hands and knees, and crept over the floor like a child. A man, in the same position, followed her, butting her occasionally with his head. Another man threw himself at full length upon his back on the bed, and presently three women crossed him with their bodies.’ Ellen Harmon moved continuously among these Adventist extremists.” Foot Washing among early Adventists made its introduction among W. C. Thruman’s believers easier than it might otherwise have been. One can point to a Thurmanite rather than SDA source for this letter on the basis that Russell knew and circulated among Second Adventists who had held to Thurman’s doctrines. He had very little to do with SD Adventists whom he saw as “seriously out of the way.”
 C. T. Russell: Questions and Answers, Zion’s Watch Tower, February 1881, page 8.
 H. V. Reed: Untitled Article, The Restitution, December 22, 1875.
 Communications: Answer to Bro. Ongley, The Restitution, April 23, 1879.
 C. T. Russell: Questions and Answers, Zion’s Watch Tower, February 1881, page 8.
 C. T. Russell: Questions and Answers, Zion’s Watch Tower, May 1881, page 8. Brackets are in the original.
 C. T. Russell: Questions of Correspondents, Zion’s Watch Tower, March 1881, page 8.
 C. T. Russell: Isaac and Rebecca, Zion’s Watch Tower, November 1880, page 7.
 W. I. Mann: The Three Witnesses, Zion’s Watch Tower, February 1880, page 7. [Not in reprints.]
 L. A. Allen: A Living Christ, Zion’s Watch Tower, March 1880, page 4.
 C. T. Russell: The Two Natures, Zion’s Watch Tower, October 1880, page 4.
 J. H. Paton: Atonement – Resurrection, Zion’s Watch Tower, October 1879 and Pre-Existence of Christ, June 1880, pages 3-4.
 C. T. Russell: Two Likenesses, Zion’s Watch Tower, April 1880, page 3.
 C. T. Russell: Questions and Answers, Zion’s Watch Tower, November 1880, page 8.
 C. T. Russell: “Hear, O Israel! Jehovah our God is One – Jehovah,” Zion’s Watch Tower, July 1882, page 7.
 Keith to Russell as found in the October 1880 issue of Zion’s Watch Tower, page 7. [Not in reprints.]
 C. T. Russell: What to Do, Zion’s Watch Tower, November 1880, page 8.
 Letter to Mrs. Russell and her reply as found in the June 1887 issue of Zion’s Watch Tower, page 5.
 J. H. Paton: One Body, One Hope, One Spirit, Zion’s Watch Tower, March 1880, page 3.
 We inadvertently called him Aaron Hipsher in volume one. His first name is Amon.
 The 1860 Census returns for Story County, Iowa, say his real estate was worth five thousand dollars and his personal property worth five hundred dollars.
 Conference Report, The Restitution, January 6, 1875.
 “Little Pope”: Report of the Conference Held Near Alden, Iowa, The Restitution, July 25, 1875. Declines Nomination: Iowa, The Restitution¸ December 20, 1875. Vice President: Iowa Conference Report, The Restitution, October 15, 1884.
 His subscription is noted in the November 1840 issue.
 C. T. Russell: Unpardonable Sin, Zion’s Watch Tower, March 1881, page 3.
 Mr. and Mrs. L. J. Baldwin to Editor Restitution, The Restitution, October 24, 1883.
 Mrs. M. V. Duggar: Iowa Conference, The Restitution, September 22, 1875.
 C. T. Russell: Questions of Correspondents, Zion’s Watch Tower, March 1881, page 8.
 C. T. Russell: Our Authority, Zion’s Watch Tower, April 1880, page 8.
 A controversy between H. A. King and Samuel Wagner is detailed from Wagner’s side in the April 1872 issue of The American Bee Journal. The controversy involved a patent and the competing reputations of King’s National Bee Journal. See also Ohio State Historical and Archaeological Quarterly, 1947:161.
 City Items, The Springfield, Massachusetts, Republican, March 24, 1866.
 G. Stetson: Eight Weeks – Part 1, The World’s Crisis, December 13, 1865. The History of Wyandot County Ohio, Leggett, Conway & Co, 1884, page 686.
 Annual Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Oberlin College: 1858-1859, page 22.
 J. L. Rockey, editor: History of New Haven County Connecticut, New York, 1892, volume 1, page 406.
 B. M. Bowden: History of the Advent Christian Church, master’s thesis, University of Wisconsin, 1920, page 168.
 Ocean Grove Camp Meeting, New-York Daily Tribune, July 10, 1878.
 Starting in July 1883, King was pastor for a little over a year of a Baptist Church in Groton, Connecticut. In the 1890s he was pastor of a Baptist Church in Philadelphia. – C. R. Stark: Groton, Connecticut: 1705-1905, Stonington, Connecticut, 1922, page 159; Powelton Avenue’s New Pastor, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Enquirer, November 29, 1892.
 Notes of the Week: Railway World, May 12, 1894, page 372.
 Funeral Notices, Riverside, California, Enterprise, July 13, 1920.
 C. T. Russell: Do You Want “Zion’s Watch Tower”? Zion’s Watch Tower, August 1879, page 2.
 C. T. Russell: How Will Christ Come? Zion’s Watch Tower, August 1879, pages 2-3.
 C. T. Russell: Bro. G. W. Stetson, Zion’s Watch Tower, November 1879, page 2. The claim made by a later opposition writer that Russell overstated attendance is false. The basis of that claim is that the Advent Christian Church was too small to hold anywhere near 1200 people. The funeral wasn’t held in the church.
 Letter from Jonas Wendell to Miles Grant as printed in The World’s Crisis, April 23, 1873.
 According to the 1880 Census, Vesta Johnson was next door neighbor to the Wakefields, also Watch Tower adherents. She was sixty-three in 1880. She died in 1895. She contribute a poem entitled “My Song” to the June 1880 Watch Tower.
 C. T. Russell: Thank You, Zion’s Watch Tower, January 1880, page 6. [Not in Reprints]
 C. T. Russell: An Offer to You, Zion’s Watch Tower, March 1880, page 7; Preaching Notice, page 8.
 C. T. Russell: Loss and Gain, Zion’s Watch Tower, December 1878, page 7. Brackets are in the original.
 C. T. Russell: Bro. A. D. Jones, Zion’s Watch Tower, September 1880, page 8. [Not in reprints.]
 C. T. Russell: Notice, Friends East, Zion’s Watch Tower, December 1880, page 8 [Not in reprints.]
 G. Y. Young to Editor of the Restitution in the February 2, 1881, issue.
 C. T. Russell: In Newark, Zion’s Watch Tower, April 1881, page 8
 C. T. Russell: Our Passover, Zion’s Watch Tower¸ May 1881, page 6.
 C. T. Russell: View from the Watch Tower, Zion’s Watch Tower, April 1882, page 1.
 C. T. Russell: Bro. Paton’s Trip West, Zion’s Watch Tower, February 1880, page 8.
 A. Hamlin to N. Barbour, Herald of the Morning¸ April 1880, pages 78-79.
 V. Cailott: Patrons of Husbandry: Address Delivered to Yellow River Grange, December 4, 1873, The Plymouth, Indiana, Marshall County Republican, December 18, 1873.
 Benjamin Woodward to The Restitution, in the February 2, 1881, issue.
 Willett to Barbour as found in the July 1875 Herald of the Morning. Hardware merchant, see: M. A. Leeson: Documents and Biography Pertaining to the Settlement and Progress of Stark County, Illinois, M. A. Leeson & Co. Chicago, Illinois, 1887, page 265.
 History of the First Baptist Church of Toulon, Illinios, as reproduced on the church website.
 Eliza Hall Schallenberger: Stark County and its Pioneers, B. W. Seaton, Prairie Chief Office, Cambridge, Illinois, 1876, page 158.
 Lily Setterdahl: The End of Eric Jansonism: Religious Life in Bishop Hill in the Post-Colony Period, Western Illinois Regional Studies, Spring 1988.
 Henry S. K. Bartholomew: Pioneer History of Elkhart County, Indiana with Sketches and Stories, Press of the Goshen Printery, Goshen Illinois, 1930.
 See letter in January/February 1882 issue of Zion’s Watch Tower¸ page 1 and November 1882, page 2. J. J. Jones was admitted to the Indiana State Medical Society in 1880 and was the only physician in Mixerville. He is not identified by name in the February letter, but by circumstance, being the only physician in the area. He was born about 1847. He married Lorinda Bourne in December 1879. By the 1880 census he was a widower.
 Page 2 in that issue.
 Meetings, Detroit, Michigan, Free Press, May 1, 1881.
 Letter from Bailey to Russell as found in the July 1881, Zion’s Watch Tower, pages 5-6. [not in reprints]
 C. T. Russell: “Food for Thinking Christians: Why Evil was Permitted and Kindred Topics,” Zion’s Watch Tower, October/November 1881, page 5.
 N. H. Barbour: A Confession, Herald of the Morning, June 1880, pages 93-94.
 J. H. Paton: What Effect, Zion’s Watch Tower, July 1880, page 8.
 C. T. Russell: Write at Once, Zion’s Watch Tower, May 1880, page 2.
 C. T. Russell: How to Teach, Zion’s Watch Tower, April 1881, page 8.
 His first patent was for a freight car door fastener. It’s dated February 3, 1885, and is patent number 311,761. With his son he patented a Car-Door fastener in 1891 and another type of the same device in 1893, patents number 463,511 and 522,061.
 Donehoo, George P. (Editor): History of the Cumberland Valley, Harrisburg, 1930, pages 294-5. Local and Personal, The Franklin County, Pennsylvania, Valley Spirit, May2, 1866.
 Franklin County Horticultural Society, The Franklin Repository, January 5, 1870. Franklin County Horticultural Society, The Franklin Repository, January 5, 1870.
 The Meeting: Herald of the Morning, October 1881, page 46.
 C. T. Russell: View From the Tower, Zion’s Watch Tower, April 1882, page 1.
 A Socialist for Governor, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Enquirer, August 2, 1892. Ex-Sheriff Keim was George De Benneville Keim. Sheriff Keim’s biographical notice says that “the family from which he descended was one of high consideration and great social influence in that part of the State, of which the Keims were among the earliest settlers, having come to this country at the time of William Penn's first visit, and received large grants of land in and near the site of the present city of Reading.” – C. Morris: Men of the Century, Philadelphia, 1896, page 133.
 Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey, 1894, page 160.
 New York Times, August 19, 1894; February 13 1911; Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey, 1904, page 185.
 They Sat on Mr. Luby – Beaten in an Encounter with Socialist Joseph Keim, The Jersey City Evening Journal, April 8, 1898.
 After $200,000,000 Dutch Estate, The Jersey Journal, October 25, 1912. Letter from Brown to The Crisis dated December 20, 1929 in the W. E. B. DuBois archive at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
 Letter from Keim to The Crisis as cited above.
 W. H. Shaw: History of Essex and Hudson Counties, New Jersey, Everts & Peck, Philadelphia, 1884, volume 1, page 522. They drop out of the record in 1894.
 Quarter Century of Progress of New Jersey’s Leading Manufacturing Centers, New York, 1887, page 54.
 They are mentioned in a report about a One Faith conference held in Brooklyn, New York: J. Donaldson: Report of Conference: Brooklyn, New York, The Restitution, November 5, 1874. In 1874, the One Faith congregation was led by Elder Joseph Chapman.
 Publications for Sale at the Restitution Office, The Restitution, November 16, 1876. The tract was by William Shepherd. We couldn’t locate a copy.
 1880 Census and Mary Stiles Guild: The Styles Family in America, Joel Munsell’s Sons, Albany, New York, 1892, page 203.
 E. H. Start.: The City of Lynn, The New England Magazine, June 1891, page 517.
 Question sessions seem to have been a regular part of Russell’s preaching in this era. A notice of Russell’s teaching found in the May 24, 1890, Pittsburgh Dispatch says: “In the evening there will be a questioners’ meeting at which questions from the audience on Bible subjects will be entertained.”
 C. T. Russell: “The Name of the Beast, Or the Number of his Name”, Zion’s Watch Tower, February 1882, page 9.
 Letter from S. I. Hickey to C. T. Russell reprinted in the article The Power of Truth, Zion’s Watch Tower, February 1889, pages 7-8.
 The 1870 Census suggests that she was married to an Edmund Miner.
 A. E. Ford: History of the Origin of the Town of Clinton: 1653-1865, W. J. Coulter, Clinton, Massachusetts, 1896, page 504.
 “Massachusetts, Deaths and Burials, 1795-1910,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FHNQ-9DZ : accessed 06 Apr 2014), Rachel W. Stearns, 24 Dec 1898; citing , reference 71; FHL microfilm 2030961.
 A letter from Randolph Ladd of Springfield appears in the January 1874, Bible Examiner, page 127.
 Journal of the Senate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the Session Begun January 4, 1881, page 84.
 Proceedings of the New York State Stenographers’ Association, … Fifth Annual Meeting, Troy, New York, 1881, page 15. Expenditures of Susquehanna County, The Montrose, Pennsylvania, Democrat¸ March 7, 1877.
 The Scranton, Pennsylvania, Republican, May 26, 1894, page 7.
 Farmers’ Club: Business Locals, The Montrose, Pennsylvania, Democrat¸ May 3, 1876. Guardian: Untitled Article, The Montrose, Pennsylvania, Democrat¸ June 13, 1877. We have speculated about a family connection between Lathrop’s second wife and the Sherwoods of Elyria, Ohio, but at this writing have not made one.
 Reprinted in the Susquehanna County Transcript¸ April 4, 2012.
 A Joseph L. Freed is mentioned in a much later issue of The Watch Tower¸ but we cannot trace him to Montrose.
 Battle, op. cit. page 150.
 Communication: Pennsylvania Medical Journal, June 1906, page 674.
 J. H. Battle [editor]: History of Columbia and Montour Counties, Pennsylvania, A. Warner & Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1887, page 201.
 Deaths: Journal of the American Medical Association, May 10, 1919, page 1385.
 Birth date, marriage date and wife’s name: 1910 Federal Census. A physician: R. Leonard: Medical History of Carbon County – Biographical Sketches, in Alfred Matthews and Austin Hungerford: The History of the Counties of Lehigh & Carbon, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1884, page 627. Also: Transactions of the Medical Society of the State of Pennsylvania, Twenty-First Annual Session, Held at Philadelphia, June 1870, Part 1, Philadelphia, 1870, pages 104.
 J. H. Thomas to Editor of The Restitution in the February 22, 1882, issue.
 On inventions see C. T. Russell: The Restored Dominion, Zion’s Watch Tower, December 1880, page 7.
 The Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, Express, August 26, 1963.
 Death notice in The Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, Express, August 5, 1936.
 C. T. Russell: Via. Elyria and Cleveland, Ohio, Zion’s Watch Tower, August 1880, page 3.
 Hamlin to Barbour in the August 1878 Herald of the Morning, page 31.
 C. T. Russell: Returned Home, Zion’s Watch Tower¸ September 1880, page 8.
 Brevities, The Brockport, New York, Republic, May 8, 1873. Local News, The Brockport, New York, Republic¸ April 15, 1875. J. G. Heath died in November 1888.
 Personal, The Brockport, New York, Republic, February 21, 1889.
 C. T. Russell: View From the Tower, Zion’s Watch Tower, July 1882, page 1.
 Letter from B. F. Hodges to Editor of Restitution in the June 21, 1882, issue.
 U.S. Census Returns, New Oregon Village, Iowa, 1860. His estate is listed at $8000. (The census image is blurred and this figure may be incorrect.)
 Jonesboro, Illinois, Gazette, November 15, 1873.
 Kansas State Census, March 1875, returns for Cherokee County.
 Report of the Board on Behalf of the United States Exceutive Departments at the International Exhibition Held in Philadelphia, PA., 1876, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1884, volume 2, page 262.
 Robert H. Fairbairn: History of Chickasaw and Howard Counties, Iowa, J. S. Clarke Co., Chicago, 1919, volume 1, page 437.
 Transactions of the Illinois State Agricultural Society: 1868-1879, Springfield, Illinois, 1869, page 276. Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, of the Most Ancient and Right Honorable Fraternity of the Free and Accepted Masons, Iowa City, 1863, volume three, page 68.
 Notes from Southern Illinois, The Country Gentleman, January 26, 1865, pages 58-59.
 Private Laws of the State of Illinois, Passed by the Twenty-Fourth General Assembly, 1865, volume 1, page 680.
 Letters and Receipts, The Restitution, February 3, 1875; Parcels Sent, Bible Examiner, April 1876, page 224.
 “Mr. Burr was educated at Torringford Acad., commenced teaching school in So. Farms, Ct., in 1850 ; was ordained a clergyman of the Advent Christian denomination in 1859; preached in Ottawa, Ill., New Rutland, Ill., Alton, Ill., Chicago, Ill., and Norwalk, O., and in 1874 was called to the editorship of the Advent Christian Times, the chief paper of that denomination in the West; resigned the editorial chair in 1878; rem. to be pastor in Philadelphia, Pa.; went thence to Portland, Me., in 1880; was elected editor of the Sunday-school publications of the Advent Christian denomination in 1882, with office at 144 Hanover St., Boston, Mass., which office he now holds.” – Charles Burr Todd: A General History of the Burr Family, Knickerbocker Press, New York, Fourth Edition, 1902, page 444.
 I. Wellcome: History of the Second Advent Message, 1874, page 613.
 Letter from Lawver to Storrs, Bible Examiner, August 1877, page 350.
 J. W. Lawver [sic]: Editor’s Notices, Bible Examiner, February 1878, page 134.
 J. S. Lawver: What is Christianity, The Restitution¸ October 15, 1879.
 C. T. Russell: Passover, Zion’s Watch Tower, April 1881, page 5.
 J. Foore to Editor of The Restitution in the October 3, 1877 issue.
 Letter from Lawver to Editor of Restitution in the December 1, 1880, issue.
 C. T. Russell: Preachng Notice, Zion’s Watch Tower, March 1880, page 8.
 C. T. Russell: Regular Meetings, Zion’s Watch Tower, April 1881, page 8.
 Robert Wakefield was an Irish immigrant. Census records date his birth to about 1828. He died January 1, 1889. He was a well-educated shoemaker, and later a writer whose articles appeared in The New York Sun, Chicago Daily Tribune and other prominent newspapers. In 1850 he lived in a boarding house. The 1870 census tells us he was well off with real estate valued at three thousand dollars. By the time we meet him he was a widower. He came to the Watch Tower movement through Second Adventism, spending more than thirty years “among them.” He first appears on Zion’s Watch Tower (April 1882) as the author of a poem and article both signed “R. W.” We know little else.
 R. Wakefield: Assembling Together, Zion’s Watch Tower, January/February 1882, page 5.
 R. Wakefield: Christian Fellowship, Zion’s Watch Tower, August 1884, page 5.
 J. A. Alexander: The Gospel of Jesus, T. Nelson & Sons, London edition, 1861, page 226.
 C. T. Russell: A Reason for the Hope, Zion’s Watch Tower, August 1880, page 2.