Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Temporary Post

Usual rules. You can save it for your own use. Do not rely on this; it is work in progress and some of this will change. B says to post this. I'm doing this against my better judgment. A comment would be nice.

Approach to Eighteen Eighty-One

The subject we consider in this chapter is much distorted without context. America with much of the Christian world was religious. Faith was serious business. If churches differed in doctrine, sometimes hated each other condemning others to a fiery Hell – Protestants listened to the Scripture’s prophetic voice. Historians who write about this period tend to focus on extremist and Adventist movements. But interest in prophecy was not limited to fringe movements. It was a main-stream phenomenon. Baptists of various stripe, Anglicans, Presbyterians and nearly everyone else had well defined interest in prophetic fulfillment. Some Catholic writers believed Christ’s return impended. In 1881, a French priest, Charles Arminjon, published a series of lectures predicting the near return of Jesus, translated into English and published at The End of the Present World, and the Mysteries of the Future Life.
Despite an emerging shift of focus from awaiting Christ’s return to curing social issues, most American and British Christians remained expectant.
Worldwide people expected key events, prophetic fulfillments for 1881. 
The rest of this post has been deleted.


Semer said...

Thanks for the article. I'm not sure if I'm making the connection correctly, perhaps because I'm not a native speaker. I assume they understood the word "present" in "present truth" as "current". Thus, "present truth" is the truth that is relevant in the present, and that's why they connected it to fulfilment of prophecy. Am I right?
By the way, too bad that "this book is not the place to review the harsh realities of the 1870s and 80s, at least not in detail."

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Yes, you're correct. As for the 'harsh realities' of the two decades we consider, entire books discuss the jewish pogroms, the famine in Ireland in 1880-81, the farmer and laborer struggles in the USA and in France and England. A large part of Europe fell into depression in 1880-81. America followed in 1885. (We discuss that in another chapter.)

ramblinwaymore said...

Bruce, excellent article. I appreciate how you reference that 1881 being a year of expectation was not limited to Russell, Paton, Jones and readers of Z.W.T. Very good research.

Andrew said...

Thank you for your painstaking research.

I have often read of the 1881 "predictions", and have always longed for more details.

Thank you and I hope you expand your analysis of those years.

Andrew Grzadzielewski

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

This is part of a chapter destined for volume 2. We will probably not post more of it on this blog. when we post significant research here it is ignored, producing no meaningful comments.

Our readers thrive on fluff. That's what we post here these days.

jerome said...

As demonstrated already in Separate Identity volume 1, historic context (so often neglected by lesser "researchers") is essential to understand where people were coming from at the time, and why they believed what they did. This material in the current post is very important and the authors are to be congratulated.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting as much as you have, it's a foretaste of what's to come in volume 2 ~~~

roberto said...

Superb! I bow down to you

roberto said...

It is one of your best articles because you are exploring an unexplored "land". I see great efforts, perseverance, talent and skill. Brava!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting indeed. Thank you Bruce and Rachael.

The multiple comments attached to this article suggest to me that your readers do not thrive on 'fluff' but, rather, serious research. I much admire your assessment of the past but differ on your understanding of the present, in particular your negative view of the impact of this blog. I think that sometimes an artist can be too close to their work to recognise its value. Please step back and view the full picture. It's great what you do and is much appreciated by so many. Thank you.

Son of Ton

Semer said...

Yes, I know there are other books, but I like reading you guys. :-)

Donald Jacobs said...

Thanks for the interesting presentation on 1881. Can I offer a constructive criticism? When you write, "Others with some pretension to academic credentials have made similar claims." I think many readers would like to know what you are referring to. It's also academic convention to properly reference secondary sources that you are interacting with or criticising. I look forward to reading the whole book.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...


While a sociologist might compulsively footnote everything, in the United States this is not the practice of most historians. We do not feel compelled to cite every reference, especially non-specific ones such as the one you mention. We are not sociologists. Personally, I have very little use for the field, but that’s a matter for another discussion.

It is Dr. Schulz’s decision not to take people off to unspecified references. I agree with this. You want us to reference inaccurate, secondary opposition literature when there is no point to it. We footnoted the two examples where the exact reference is needed, all we are ethically required to do. And that is within academic practice in the United States and most often the practice in Canada.

While we have a European readership, the bulk of our readers, especially among academics, are in the United States. Secondary sources that do not contribute directly to the discussion are irrelevant, especially if the authors and titles are not referenced. Those curious enough to follow broad statements can find these usually with very little effort. This is within standard academic practice in the United States. We are Americans. We follow that practice.

A said...

I've been trying to think through this issue during the past few days, and it just came to me - was the assassination of American President Garfield considered by some as one of the key events of that year connected with Bible prophecy?

It also got me thinking about Garfield's assassin, Charles J. Guiteau, who had family connections with the utopian Oneida Community, which had its own Millennial ideas.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Dear A,

No, Russell made no direct connection to Garfield's assassination. However,he saw it in general terms as part of last days events. See his article The Second Plague in the June 1883 Watch Tower.

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