Friday, June 24, 2016

We need some help with this

A Witness newsletter from Baltimore, 1935. We're told that this was put out by Anton Koerber and that Rutherford objected. It was stopped shortly afterward. We cannot verify this. It is too big for my scanner, so part of it is missing. What can you tell me?

Click on image to see entire.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Temporary Post

This is a rough draft of a chapter from volume 2. The usual rules apply. You may copy it for your own use. Do not quote from it or rely on it. It will change. References to Second Adventists will change to Age-to-Come, a different system. Wording will change. Some issues need verification. Do not circulate it. Do not reproduce it. It is copyrighted material as is. I'm posting it for comment. It will go down quickly. Now is the time to comment.

The Publishing Ministry

            The first publication to come from Zion’s Watch Tower was Songs of the Bride, a 134 page hymnal containing 144 songs. Russell and William I. Mann were joint editors. All of the hymns would have been familiar to Watch Tower readers, but almost all of them were revised to reflect their unique doctrinal mix. Some were radically changed, and some received a one or two word revision. Russell explained the rational behind their choices:

William Imre Mann in 1880

We have long felt the need of a Hymn Book containing a larger number of spiritual songs free from objectionable theology, and this is our reason for publishing “The Songs of the Bride.” We have selected according to our judgment they hymns best suited to the wants and desires of the more matured and consecrated Christians, the “little flock,” … the true “Church of the first-born whose names are written in Heaven,” … hence the perhaps peculiar name “Songs of the Bride.” They are not the songs of the world, nor of cold or half dead Christians, but of the Chaste Virgin Church, waiting and longing for her union with the heavenly Bridegroom.[1]

Title Page – Songs of the Bride

            We do not know how great a part Russell played in developing this songbook. He pointed to William Mann, thanking him for “valuable assistance” in arranging and revising the songs. It appears to have been a joint effort with Mann taking the lead. As would be true with the later Hymns of Millennial Dawn, most of the songs were taken form Gospel Hymns No. 1, The Jubilee Harp, and Winnowed Hymns. They also drew from C. C. Barker’s Hymns of the Morning, the basis for the abbreviated hymnal published by the Herald of the Morning. The authors’ names were omitted, as were many of the original titles. Russell explained that he “would gladly give credit of the hymns to their composers, but have been obliged to alter many of them to such an extent that we feared their authors would feel offended if their names were associated with them as they now are.”[2] Advertising matter in the back promoted Russell’s Object and Manner and Zion’s Watch 

The remainder of this post is deleted.

We need a much clearer scan or photo of this ...

This is the best my scanner will do. I need a better scan or photo. Can you help?

Bruce is selling this on ebay ....

I'm posting the pictures before it leaves our collection forever. Bruce attended this convention.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Jonathan Ling

In recounting the very early years of Bible Students in Britain, Bruce and Rachael wrote about Tom Hart and Jonathan Ling. Both names were mentioned in the 1973 Yearbook history of Britain. A paragraph about Ling was extended as a result of research made on Ancestry and also a reference found in Tony Byatt’s book on the history of Bible Students/Witnesses in London.

The combined information reads:

(quote) Thom Hart was born in Calcutta, India, in 1853. At the time of the 1881 Census he had moved his family from the Islington address to 5 Lavinia Grove, Middlesex, London. He was “a carman” for one of the railroads. In another place he called “a railroad shunter.” He and his wife had three children, two sons and one daughter, all under the age of four. Jonathan Ling was born in Blaxhall, Suffolk, early in 1858. The 1891 census has him as a railway guard at Islington, an occupation he still had in 1901. He was married Elizabeth, maiden name unknown, and they have seven children, ranging in ages from one month to 17 years old. He died June 20, 1922. We lack an exact date for Ling’s conversion, but it appears to be early. Ling’s daughter Ruth remembered that their meetings were held in the common room of the King’s Cross hostel, a layover spot for railway workers. (end of quote)

As a result of contacts via Ancestry, I have made contact with one of Ling’s great grand-daughters, Elizabeth. Although the census return referred to above gave Jonathan Ling seven children, it appears he eventually had ten. His wife, Elizabeth, was originally Elizabeth Moody and lived to be 100. The modern Elizabeth’s branch of the family did not remain with the Bible Students.

Great grand daughter Elizabeth (from the line through Jonathan’s son, Lewis Charles Ling) has very kindly supplied the two photographs below, and has given permission for them to be reproduced here. I have not cropped them but just reproduced them as received. Elizabeth has also given permission to reproduce the photographs in the second volume of Separate Identity if required, with just an acknowledgement requested.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

An article by Roberto

The name in Italy

The question of group designation was an issue for the first Italian Watch Tower believers. All the Italian publications, letters and documents, inside and outside the movement,  avoided the name “Bible Students” until 1915.

The most used name was the generic “Church”, but there are some exceptions. In 1903 the first number of “La Vedetta di Sion” – Italian Zion’s Watch Tower -  called themselves with the generic name “Church”, but also “Christian Church"  and “Faithful Church” [1]. In 1904 besides the name “Church” they called themselves “Church of the Little Flock of Believers” and “Evangelical Church” [2]

In 1904 the Waldensians pastor Giuseppe Banchetti wrote a positive review of the Italian Divine Plan of the Ages in a periodical [3], and avoids any name but “the Present Truth”.

In 1905 a letter of Daniele Rivoire was published in the Zion’s Watch Tower French edition (Le Phare de la Tour de Sion), he said: “Next Sunday afternoon I will go to S. Germano Chisone for a meeting with five or six people deeply interested in the Present Truth”. He used also the the expressions “Holy Cause” and “Work”, and avoided any name [4].

In 1908 Lara Lantered (widow Chantelain) in a long letter called the Watch Tower believers, “Readers of the Dawn and Tower”. She wrote: “May God grant us to be frank and honest in our testimony of the present truth and in the unfolding of our glorious flag. May he give to all the readers of the Dawn and Tower to rejoice in the Lord. He desires that our joy may be complete and would not allow anyone to take it away from us” [5].  In 1910, in another long letter, Lanteret evaded any name and used the expressions “Light” and “Precious Truth”. She said: “I am glad to announce that Mr. M., a former old Baptist Minister, after frequent discussions with the two of us (Lara Lantaret and Fanny Lugli) has fully entered into the light and accepted joyfully the precious truth that God has well revealed through his dear and faithful servant Russell” [6]

In May 1910, four members of the Waldensians Church resigned,  joining with the Watch Tower Movement. They were Henriette Bounous, Francois Soulier, Henry Bouchard, and Luoise Vincon Rivoir; In their long letters of resignation they avoided any name. Henri Bouchard alone used the phrase “Church of Christ” one time [7].

This continuous change of names, or absence of a name, generated confusion outside the movement. The Consistory of the Waldensias Church disfellowshipped Henriette Bocenous, Cesarine Bocenous, Francois Soulier together with his wife and daughter, Henry Bouchard and Louise Vincon Rivoire (or Rivoir) with the following words that we find in the minutes of the meeting:

“The President reads the letters that he has written in the name of the Consistory, to those individuals that from many time or lately two years ago, have left the Waldensian Church to join the Darbysts, or to set up a new sect ……… while Louise Vincon Rivoire has become a Baptist” [8].
As a matter of fact they were all Watch Tower believers.

In its May 21, 1915, issue the Waldensians paper L’Echo des Vallees an article entitled “Courrier Anglo-American," saying: “Doctor Nixon, fights to the bitter end, the millennial movement that is becoming a dangerous movement, and Pastor Russell is the leader of this new religious agitation started in the United States” [10]

Also, in 1915 the Catholic priest at Bagnolo Piemonte, wrote an article against the booklet The Triumph of the Bible published by  the Italian Branch of the International Bible Students Association. The priest called them Protestants and Waldensians [9] . In January 1916, the Italian branch replied saying that they were neither Protestants or Waldensians:

“We of the International Bible Students Association want to free them from that charge, declaring that we are out of any religious sect or renowned nominal church, Catholic or Protestant, and that the brothers of the Association although in the past were members of those religions, they harried up to go out, because they (Catholic and Protestants) are part of the Great Harlot Babylon, so well drowned in Revelation chapters 17 and 18” [11].

After 1915 the name Bible Students became common inside and outside the movement .
Footnotes - all the references can be found in the book “Enciclopedia storica sui Testimoni di Geova in Italia” (Historical Encyclopedia on the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Italy, vol. I) by Emanuele Pace, 2013.

[1] Vedetta di Sion vol. 1, n.1, October 1903 p.2, §7; and p.3 column 2, line 4 
[2] Vedetta di Sion vol. 2, n. 1, January 1904, p.3, column 4, line 4; and p.3 §3.
[3] Letter wrote in 1904 July 13 and published in La Rivista Cristiana 1904, September, vol. VI, pp. 351-354.
[4] Le Phare de la Tour de Sion 1905, January-March edition, p. 117
[5] Le Phare de la Tour de Sion 1908, May, p. 139
[6] Le Phare de la Tour de Sion 1910, April, p. 79
[7] Archivio della Tavola Valdese (Archive of the Waldensian Table) – Torre Pellice, Turin
[8] Archivio della Tavola Valdese (Archive of the Waldensian Table) – Torre Pellice, Turin
[9] Bollettino Mensile della Chiesa (Montly Bulletin of the Church) 1915, September
[10] Clara Cerulli Lantaret replied to the charge, with a letter published in the paper “Il Pellice” dated 1915 June 4. The dispute is reported in the Italian Watch Tower tract “Giustizia” (Justice), page 6
[11] “Il Vero Principe della Pace” (The True Prince of the Peace), Associazione Internazionale Studenti Biblici, 1916, January, p. 14 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Currently reading Emily's book

.... and so far I'm extremely impressed. After I read it twice or thrice, I'll post a review.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Film frames of C T Russell from Photodrama

This was recently sold on eBay.

The blurb read:

This is a genuine strip of 35mm film from the Photodrama of Creation, taken from one of the introductions, featuring Pastor Russell. There are seven frames in this strip, although only six are shown. (The bottom frame had the seller’s thumb in the way.) I have resisted the commercial temptation to cut the film into smaller pieces to sell individually. That was the fate of other Photodrama films of Russell that ended up on cards as souvenir bookmarks.

The provenance of the strip of film goes back well over 40 years, when someone gave it to me. It had gone through various hands but came originally from an elderly JW who was a projectionist at Princes Theatre, Shaftsbury Avenue, London, when the Photodrama first came to Britain in 1914. I traced this person and where he lived and after some correspondence travelled to meet him. During his time as projectionist he was normally entombed in a metal projection box because of fear of fire. Under carbon lighting of the day, he would strip down somewhat, but still roasted.

When the showings ceased he somehow ‘inherited’ a two minute reel of film which languished in his attic for decades. But he’d now taken to cutting off little bits as souvenirs for friends. I was able to climb into his attic and borrow what was left of the film. Although the sprocket holes were considerably damaged in places, I got a colleague in a London laboratory to run me off 35mm and 16mm prints for the minute or so that remained. The original reel then went back to its owner, and I don’t know what happened to it. I used the reprinted film in several projects, and if you obtain a DVD of the Photodrama today, or just watch it online, my minute or so of reprinted film is incorporated into that restoration.

So that is the story behind these few frames. Although most 35mm film of the date was highly dangerous nitrate stock - leaving safer film for the substandard gauges (17.5mm, 9.5mm, 16mm etc.) - the film of CTR was actually produced on a safer version of stock. That is why it could be copied safely and legally and it is why these few frames can now be offered on eBay.

It sold for 206 GBP.

Russell Discource - 1913

Friday, June 10, 2016

Des. Res.

Modern photos courtesy of : Instagram: watchtower_of_allegheny_tour

Two years ago when I visited Pittsburgh I was taken to see the former residences of the Russells, father and son. At that time this was the photograph I took.

The properties were on the market, and the owner was offering to turn them into whatever you wanted for over $400,000 per plot.  Much of the interiors had to be gutted, because all new floors were needed. However, the aim was to restore the homes as sympathetically as possible. So the double spiral staircases on each side were to be fully restored.

Now they are completed, and here is another recent photograph to show what the exteriors now look like.

So any collectors with too much money can forget about bidding on eBay for rare bits of paper and perhaps collect some historic real estate instead.

For any new readers, these two houses were at one time owned by the Russell family. Joseph L Russell owned the house on the left, and Charles T Russell owned the one on the right. Joseph L died in his property in 1897. and left it to his wife, Emma.

When Maria left CTR, she moved back into the house on the right, and rented rooms out to lodgers. Her mother Selena died there in 1901. When CTR ultimately took back the property, Maria simply moved in with Emma next door. The two women would live together at various locations in Pittsburgh and later Florida until Emma died in 1929. Maria lived on until 1938.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Friday, June 3, 2016

Ernest Charles Henninges

Ernest Charles Henninges was born on 12 July, 1871. He became a Bible Student c. 1891. He married Rose Ball on 11 September 1897. He died on 2 February 1939.

He was a Society director from 4 January 1896 to 2 January 1909. During this time he was the secretary/treasurer of the Society on two occasions.

The first occasion was from 13 May 1898 to 12 February 1900. He then travelled to the United Kingdom to organize a branch there. He was in Britain from April 1900 to November 1901 (and can be found in the British census for 1901). Back in the States he again became secretary/treasurer from 2 February 1902 to 24 March 1903. He was then on his travels again, first to organize matters in Elberfeld, Germany, from June to October 1903, and then in Australia, arriving in Melbourne on 10 January 1904. His replacement as a director in January 1909 officially severed his relationship with CTR.

(With grateful thanks to Bernard who supplied the picture and most of the dates)