Thursday, November 23, 2017

We have all these visits and almost no comments.

Even a 'thank you' matters.

Some serious help needed

We promised in volume 1 to report on an examination of 2nd Presbyterian Church records. They're on microfilm held by the LDS genealogy library and available on loan for a small fee. At this point we do not have time to search these records. We need a volunteer to do this. It requires a steady eye. Microfilm is not easy to read sometimes. It requires patience. You have to read everything looking for the Russell and the Birney names. We will need a print out of what ever you find. We need this done quickly, as quickly as possible.

If you're a brave soul and want to volunteer, let me know. We will need you to keep your word, to get right on this project. Anyone?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Calista Burke Downing

C. B. Downing was the first Watch Tower missionary in China. She began reading Zion's Watch Tower in 1882. She was originally a Presbyterian missionary and ran a girls' school in Cheffoo. She rescued girls sold into slavery, adopting them as her own. Herewith is a picture of rescued slave children.

Really pleasing ...

Now if just half of these visitors had left a comment, we'd have a more vital community. [Click on map to view entire.]

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

To our Korean Spammers

Just so you know, and assuming you can read English, google identified you as spammers over a year ago, and none of your posts show up. Keep trying if you wish. Your visits just raise our 'hit count.' But nothing you try to post shows up anywhere on a blogger blog. Which pleases me no end.

The same will happen with the Arabic language spam now that bloggers are consistently reporting it.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

United Cemeteries Revisited

by Jerome

The United Cemeteries burial plot where CTR is interred has featured on this blog on several occasions in the past. Back in 2014, after visiting the area in person, I was able to write a series of articles covering the cemetery’s history, the history of the pyramid monument (including the infamous break-in) and also the history of the people whose names are inscribed on the pyramid’s sides. Also the claim by conspiracy theorists that CTR was a freemason because - shock, horror – there is now a Masonic temple on the site has also been discussed in detail in the past by both me and others.

However, since finding a couple more photographs hidden away on a hard drive, this article will go over some of this history briefly again. And it may be of interest to new readers who have not delved back into this blog’s own past.

Using the United States Investment Company, the Society purchased farming land formerly belonging to a Margaret Wible in 1904, with the intention of forming a cemetery company. It would be a commercial venture, but a percentage of the profits would go towards their religious work. There was already a cemetery adjacent owned by the Roman Catholic St Philomena Church, so the change of use was logical. Plat maps of the 1890s show a farm and land belonging to Margaret Wible, with the St Philomena Cemetery to the south.

When CTR wrote his last will and testament in 1907 he asked to be buried here. A special area of the cemetery came to be known as the Bethel plot, and was to be reserved for full time workers, either in Bethel or as pilgrims or colporteurs.

Our first picture was taken in early November 1916 and shows a view down the hill across the special “Bethel” cemetery area.

Two small grave markers can be seen on the grass. These are for Mary Jane Whitehouse and Arabella Mann, who were both interred in June 1916. Their graves mark the end of the special Bethel plot. The land in front, while still belong to the cemetery company, was not part of the Bethel plot. Looking further down the hill you can see a large house. This was the original farmhouse, now occupied by J Adam Bohnet, who was cemetery manager in 1916. He’d lived there for some years, and had earlier used the surrounding farmland to grow “miracle wheat.”

In front of the house on the right of the picture you can see some substantial grave stones clustered together. You will not find these today because this was apparently a collection of monumental masonry for purchase from the cemetery company.

So in 1916 CTR died and arrangements were made for his funeral. The next picture shows the grave being dug.

You can just see the head of someone in the bottom of the grave. The group of men include J Adam Bohnet on the far right. Bohnet’s distinctive bald head is covered over by a hat. The small graves stones for Mary Whitehouse and Arabella Mann are shielded in the picture by the group. Below them is the house along with the sample grave markers.

Our next picture takes us forward to very early in 1920. The pyramid monument has been erected in the center of the Bethel plot. This is covered in some detail in the New Era Enterprise newspaper for February 20, 1920, which reproduces this photograph.

This photograph, taken near dusk, appears to have been taken from the location of CTR’s grave. Looking down the hill, you can still see the two small grave markers for Whitehouse and Mann. It looks like the lights are on in the house.

However, the house no longer belonged to the Society. In December 1917 the whole cemetery, with the exception of the Bethel plot and a couple of other small areas, was sold off to what was now called the North Side Catholic Cemetery Association. J Adam Bohnet no longer lived in this house. After a short spell in Brooklyn he would spend the next decade as a Pilgrim loyal to the IBSA travelling across the country.

Once the pyramid monument was installed, no further names were inscribed on it. Apart from two further burials – Charles Beuhler in 1925 and Margaretta Russell Land (CTR’s sister) in 1934 – the site fell into disuse until the Society started selling off plots in the 1940s.

Our next picture dates from November 1991.

The site looks a little neglected, although that might just have been the time of year when the picture was taken. You can see CTR’s grave, the pyramid monument, and assorted grave markers both inside and outside of the Bethel plot. The two little grave markers for Whitehouse and Mann have now disappeared. So has the farm house. The land opposite is just scrubland, with just a few possible graves near the path.

In 1994 the Catholics (rebranded as the Catholic Cemeteries Association of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Inc.) sold off this waste ground to the Masons. The documents from October 1994 show they sold 42.40 acres of land to the Masonic Fund Society for the County of Allegheny for $610,000. The Masons then built their shiny new Greater Pittsburgh Masonic Center there.

Our final picture (taken in 2014) shows CTR’s grave, the pyramid and the Masonic buildings in the distance.

It must be stressed to any who persist in linking a Masonic conference center with CTR’s grave that the land was sold to the Catholics in December 1917. The Catholics appear to have done nothing with it until selling it on in 1994. So there is absolutely no connection with CTR and the Society’s burial area. But when did facts ever get in the way of conspiracy theorists?

There are numerous pictures of the area showing it as found today. The one reproduced above is my own, but had to be cropped because I appear in the original. Being of a naturally shy and retiring nature I decided to edit it accordingly.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Thomas Emlyn's Message in America

Russell was non-Trinitarian as were many Adventists and Millenarians in his era. The Proclaimers book mentions Emlyn's intensely interesting book. This was published in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1790. From our research collection.

Monday, November 6, 2017

American Age-to-Come booklet - 1866

Literalists and Adventists disagreed about the fate of natural Israel. This is a Literalist tract related to that debate. Russell adopted the views found in this and similar tracts.

Mid-19th Century British Millennialist Tract

This tract was published anonymously, but it is known to have been written by William Kelly. Twenty thousand copies were printed in 1866. We know of no other surviving copies.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Current work ...

Please read the article Human Teachers appearing in the June 1882 issue of Zion's Watch Tower. I will appreciate any observations no matter how simple. But I would like you to put this article in its context. We've discussed this for a few weeks [B and myself, that is.]. We will quote from it, but I'd like additional eyes to read it and minds to ponder it.

More from our research collection: Things you've never seen ...

Friday, November 3, 2017


Do not link to this site through facebook - ever.

Aaron Kinne's 1814 Book. See previous post

Aaron Kinne - 1813

Bruce mentioned Aaron Kinne in his essay. This is from our research collection:

The Christian Observer

As with the Literalist mentioned and shown in my previous post, The Christian Observer is mentioned on Separate Identity volume 1 and will be again in volume 2. It was published in England by "Members of the Established Church." It was republished in America issue by issue. It ran many articles on prophecy from the Literalist viewpoint. The image is poor. I can't make a clearer scan without damaging this very fragile bound volume.

The Literalist

We refer to this periodical in Separate Identity v. 1 and again in volume 2. Few if any of you will have seen one. Published in Philadelphia, it republished works by British millenarians. The periodical title is inside the front cover. Nominally, it was published semi-monthly during its short life. However some issues were several hundred pages long republications of major books. These stood for many issues. Below is the April 1841 issue [No. 19]. We have three entire volumes and this stray issue. It is rare to say the least.

This represents the antecedents to the Age to Come movement as Russell met it in 1869-1870.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

With a growing readership, you'd think ...

that there would be more comments on our blog articles and photos.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Okay ... so

Jerome, whom I tend to listen to even when I don't want to, says I was too hasty in removing an earlier post. So here it is again with some minor edits. It is here for comments. Comments make this blog worthwhile. Without them it serves no useful purpose.

B's intro essay in partial rough draft



            Criticisms have been few. Some continue to believe that Russell was a Mason, part of a conspiracy seeking world domination. If he was, he was very ineffective. Though this conspiracy theory is dying a slow death on Internet boards, we readdress this in appendix one. Despite irrefutable evidence to the contrary, some continue to assert that Russell was an Adventist. We think the evidence presented in volume one is plain. Those who reject it should do so on the basis of some evidence other than speculation about what ‘might have been.’
            Zoe Knox wrote a largely positive review but added this suggestion: “Schulz and de Vienne make little attempt to connect their work meaningfully to research on nineteenth-century American religious history, which they might have done by, for example, considering what was unique about the emergence of the Bible Students as compared with other ‘American originals.’”[1] We think we made the most significant connections in volume one, but her comment has led us to reflect on the current approach to American religious history particularly by British writers. Frankly, we thought the elements of American religious history so obvious – so widely know – that we did not need to address them. We were wrong.
            For the last three quarters of a century the approach to so-called American Originals has been based on a flawed often superficial understanding of America’s religious journey.[2] Cultic growth is seen as a phenomenon primarily of the last half of the 19th Century. Christian Science, Watch Tower faith and Latter-day Saints, grew in this period. The growth of fringe sects continued into the early 20th Century giving us Pentecostalism. In the minds of sociologists and some historians, they developed out of similar causes. Sociologists especially feel it is obligatory to make a cursory comparison between “Russellism” and other “new religions.” Some give us a ‘compare and contrast’ essay similar to that I might assign to middle school children.
            Andrew Holden believed that Christian Science and the Watch Tower movement arose from like causes, and he believed that Watch Tower movement was connected to other 19th Century religious movements: “The Witnesses were founded at a time marked not only by great social unrest but also by the birth of a number of other world-renouncing movements.”[3] Without clearly adopting any of the current interpretations of millenarianism, he uncritically adopted a generalized social-crisis view.[4] This omits key elements in the development of Watch Tower and similar theologies.  

The remainder of this post has been deleted.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Posts here ...

I'm very busy. I don't anticipate posting anything for a week or so, maybe longer. No-one really comments here anyway. This blog exists for comments on our work. There is little other reason for it to exist.

So fair warning. No posts from me for a while. Roberto and Jerome can, of course, take up the slack.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

on ebay

Since there is some interest in Watch Tower relevant material, I'm posting another ebay item. This is not by a Watch Tower, Adventist or age to come believer. It is Farrar's now classic life of Christ ... but it was published in America by Rufus Wendell, long time associate of Storrs and Jonas Wendell's nephew.

Friday, October 27, 2017

We recommend that you watch this video ...

Update to Preface

Please read this carefully and comment. Re-read the portions you've already read. There are some changes. Look for logic flaws and mistakes. Anything that may improve this ....



This temporary post has been deleted because of total lack of reader interest. I will not re-post. Don't ask.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Currently on ebay ....

I don't know if we're interesting anyone in these. I'm not trying to sell stuff for people I do not know, but here is another book related to Watch Tower history.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Daniele Rivoire and Giuseppe Banchetti

"Two Pastors Who Appreciated Russell’s Writings" - w2002 4/15 pages 28, 29

Daniele Rivoire [the picture in w2002 is wrong]

From Zion's Watchtower February 1, 1905:

   By this time I hope you will have received the 500 volumes of the MILLENNIAL DAWN in Italian.I hope you are satisfied with the print and binding of the volumes. We have tried to do our best, and have had experiences that will be useful in future. 
     Although ill, but now, thank God, a little better, I have never ceased to be occupied with the work, and the Lord has blessed it. To the many letters and cards that I could send you, there is one most rejoicing and very important of the Pastor Giuseppe Bauchetti [Banchetti], doctor of letters and philosophy, a very learned man, who with child-like simplicity has received Present Truth and is ready to give testimony. After reading the two volumes in French, he has bought all the other books in English, and he has so learned that tongue as to be able to understand the third, fourth, fifth and sixth volumes. Others have started to study the French, it being much easier for them than the English volumes. 
     Brother Bauchetti [Banchetti] is wishing to write to you personally to express his admiration and gratitude for having freed him of many terrible doubts and made to shine in his heart such bright light and assurance and inexpressible joy. 
     I am busy selecting in each of the principal towns a brother who will sell the books and endeavor to spread the Truth. 
     I need not tell you how orthodoxy and traditionalism are making war on us, but in all humility and not trusting in ourselves, we are ready to go on, confidently trusting in him who said, "Be of good cheer: I have overcome the world." 
     Last week I had occasion to visit two districts of the Waldensian valleys, and I never expected to find among people that pretend to be Christians such deadly sleep as I found there. Some watchful ones, however, are to be found here and there, and they quite readily accept the food so long desired. 
     Expressing to you my gratitude and that of all the brothers and sisters for all that you are doing for us, I remain yours most humbly in the Lord,

A young Giuseppe Banchetti

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Photo-Drama of Creation.

Now, on eBay

Saturday, October 21, 2017

A request from another researcher

If you are interested in helping, email me and I'll forward your contact information ...

From: P* B*
To: "" <>
Sent: Saturday, October 21, 2017 10:54 AM
Subject: Contacts in Spain

Dear Rachael,

Greetings. My name is P*** B*** and first of all I would like to congratulate you for all the precious work that you have done with your research about the Watch Tower history, and the offspring of this research, the book A Separate Identity, and also the very informative blog  all of which are bringing the theocratic history so close to us. 
Now, the reason that I'm writing you is because I'm trying to perform a research which has to do with the theocratic history in Spain. Do you have any contacts in Spain?

E. C. Gruss

Some of you have read his Apostles of Denial, in our opinion a really disreputable book. But I'm more interested in  your observations than in my own. Comments?

Friday, October 20, 2017

Photo Drama Handbill

Currently on ebay

Can you help pin this down?

            Stroup [Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1945, page 8] wrote: “Even some of Russell’s own followers came to consider him as ‘this boldly-conceited teacher,’ whose claim to divine inspiration surpassed that of the Bible writers; in 1909 twenty-nine believers seceded because of it.”
            He cites J. Burridge’s Pastor Russell’s Position and credentials and His Methods of Interpretation, page 20. Nothing like this appears on page twenty or anywhere else in Burridge’s pamphlet. From where does the quotation “boldly-conceited teacher” come?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Also on ebay

Rufus Wendell was Jonas Wendell's nephew and a long-time associate of George Storrs.

On ebay

Some of you may be interested, though the price is very high

Monday, October 16, 2017

Bunches of Questions ...

            I don’t feel well, and I belong in bed, but I’m writing this anyway. We sometimes get research questions in the comment trail. A reoccurring one is, “Where can I find that online?” or “Send me a link to that please.” Some things are online. Many more are not. If they’re not on the Internet somewhere, we usually have no way of sharing material with you.
            You are responsible for your own research. My students tended to use me as a living encyclopedia. I learned years ago to respond to questions with: “Where have you looked? What did you find? Where will you look next?” I usually can’t do more for you here. But I have some suggestions.
           Someone asked where they can find books such as those in the video. Ignoring the cost, which is immense, I suggest:
            1. Ebay. Items such as you saw in the archive video show up on ebay. Many of them cost more than a sane person will spend. But let’s assume you’re filthy rich. So currently on ebay you can buy a single page of a Latin Bible published in 1500. The opening bid is 250.00 US dollars. Or you can buy the 1837 reprint of Tyndale’s Bible for a surprisingly low $750.00. Or the 1938 reprint for $600.00
            Rarer Watchtower items show up too, mixed in with the more common material. The full set of Studies in the Scriptures in red binding, pocket edition is on ebay for $850.00. We have that set, and ours includes the first printing of The Finished Mystery. I’d happily sell it to you for $400.00. Not that I expect any takers. The 1910 heart bookmark from the convention that year is on ebay for about $300.00. I have one. Want it? How about $200? Ridiculous, no? But if you want these things, that’s where you find them. Be patient, a lower-priced version may show up.
            We built our research collection when prices were lower, and occasionally we had kind help from interested parties. In the preface posted below, B mentions The Christian Observer and The Literalist. Both show up on ebay, usually for enough money to make one blink twice. But be inventive. Use search terms beyond “Watchtower.” And sometimes you will find a scarce item for cheap. Our red covered What Say the Scriptures about Hell came to us for $5.00 because it was improperly described.
            2. Online book search. There are several. These include
               ; ; and

Again, expect to pay for what you find. One of Morton Edgar’s books on the Great Pyramid shows up on bookfinder for a relatively reasonable fifty dollars. But be aware that the online book market is awash with modern reprints. These are sometimes more expensive than an original.
            3. So you don’t want to spend your life’s savings for a book? You’d be happy with a good scan? Search the title put in quotations: “the truth will make you free.” Hathitrust, google books, and other archives have scanned copies of thousands and thousands of books. We expect you to do your own search. Usually, we cannot photocopy things for you. And we’re in the same boat you are. I found this book on ebay:

I’ve been looking for this book for maybe three years. I want this book. It is important to our research. I cannot afford it.
            4. So ... you can’t find what you want from one of the internet archives? Do it the old fashioned way. Major libraries have their catalogues online. The Library of Congress, the British Library and others allow online searches. If you live in the United States, much of the material in the Library of Congress is available through Interlibrary Loan. However, most of the items you may want to see will not be, and you’ll have to pay very high copy fees.
            Many libraries share their catalogues through the OCLC system. [The Ohio Catalogue of Library Catalogues.] You can access it at . You will need to be inventive, and it won’t take you to a scan of the book you want. It will tell you which libraries, if any, have it. A few libraries will scan for free if your request is small and they think you’re a serious researcher. I always tell them why I want something, what I intend to do with it, and I sign my email with my professional title. That’s a bit of overkill, but it paves the way. Usually, there’s a huge fee. We had to pay fifty-five dollars for a photocopy that I could have made myself for about four dollars. But, then, I don’t live in Georgia, USA. So If you want to see something – be prepared to pay.
            5. Ask. Much of our research library came from smiling sweetly and asking if anyone had something relevant. Big chunks of it were just given to us. Most of my personal copies of The Watch Tower back to 1919 were a gift.
            6. Final thought: If you live in Mexico, Central or South America, expect what you order to be stolen out of the mail. Pay for registered, insured mail. This is true if you live in some areas of Europe, especially Russia and Eastern Europe. The Middle East is hopeless, except for Israel. But mail to and from Israel transits through Italy. If it is not registered-insured, you won’t see it. I do not mean to insult any country, but this is a fact of life.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Temporary Post for Comments

This in very rough draft is an extract of Bruce's preface to volume 2 of Separate Identity. It is here for comment. We need your input. ... So be really nice and leave a comment up or down, critical or helpful. Just comment.

This post has been deleted.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Reminder ...

Opposition voices are part of Watch Tower history. We need scans of tracts and articles written by those opposing the Watch Tower. We're interested in any, no matter how silly, up to 1940.

We also need scans of J. W. Brite's tracts. We've located some but cannot afford the copy fees. If you have one, please scan it for us.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Nelson Barbour book ...

To buy our biography of Nelson Barbour, click on the image to the left of your screen. It will take you to the sales page.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Update of Sorts

            We’ve revised our outline, dividing a chapter finished in rough draft in two and enlarging the new chapter. This is difficult writing, so you won’t see much from me for a while. We’re raising issues that some will find ‘sensitive.’ And we’re incorporating material we intended for volume three, shortening the discussion to a few paragraphs.
            Our goal is to clarify the nature of the earliest congregations and fellowships. Most groups were small fellowships, a few individuals who met together, often without clear leadership. We will explore how Watch Tower adherents viewed Russell before 1894. Research has led us in a new direction; or I should say it has taken us into a wider field.
            If you want to help, scour the letters in the early issues of Zion’s Watch Tower of comments about Russell or praise for the Tower and Russell’s other writings – Millennial Dawn, Food for Thinking Christians, Old Theology Quarterly, etc.
            It is essential that we be absolutely accurate. If you can help, that would be stellar.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


by Jerome

(Republished and updated from Blog 2)

The Bible Students embraced the new medium of motion pictures to spread their message. This article is about six examples that were released between 1914-1922. Some of this information has already been presented in more detail on this blog in years gone by, but this will present a brief overview and give links to where a modern viewer can see in whole or part, five of the six examples.

Photodrama of Creation

This approximately eight hour production, normally shown in four parts on consecutive weeks or evenings, will require no introduction to readers here.

There are a number of places on YouTube where you can watch it, including some surviving films of CTR in action. Sound was on disc so CTR mimed to the recordings, not always with complete success. There are also a number of places where you can buy a DVD set of the production. However, it must be noted that all the work of restoration over the last 40 years has really been performed by one person, Brian K. This has been a labor of love and the work is still ongoing, and an even better version in Blue-Ray will appear in due course.

Unfortunately, because the source material is out of copyright, others have felt no qualms about copying earlier restorations (perhaps from inferior VHS videos) and marketing them commercially. Leaving aside the ethics of this, if you want the very best version possible from surviving material, you really need to obtain one that bears Brian’s name.

Here is a link to one of the films of CTR.

Restitution - Mena Film Company

This writer plans to do a whole article on just this film and its history one day. But in brief, the company was put together by Bible Students in 1917. It had no direct connection with the Watch Tower Society, although the original Photodrama was briefly sold to Mena by the Society before everyone thought better of the deal. Unlike the Photodrama this was commercially produced, and needed to be shown to paying audiences in a commercial setting to succeed. By all accounts, it didn’t. It was shown to a non-paying audience at an IBSA convention in Seattle in July 1918, but then with the difficulties of the day - the Society directors jailed, others leaving association with the IBSA - it sank. It was reissued commercially under a new title The Conquering Christ and by the end of the 1920s one of the former Mena directors, Leslie Jones, was selling off 16mm prints in seven minute segments as a serial, now rebranded as Redemption. Just one of those segments has recently been rediscovered.

The sequence is Herod’s plans to massacre the innocents. While still primitive by modern day standards, film technique had advanced considerably since the Photodrama of Creation. The director, who obligingly also cast himself as Jesus Christ, had worked with D W Griffith on his epic Intolerance.

But enough of such details for perhaps another time. Here is the clip that only recently has been put on YouTube.


Moving forward from 1918, we come to Kinemo. The Society produced a series of three films on the soon to be doomed 17.5mm gauge, and sold them to Watch Tower readers and the public in general via the Kinemo Company. Three were produced. The history and description of this venture, with its ups and downs, has been described in past articles on this blog and can be checked there. They were filmed over 1920-21 but not sold to the public until the fall of 1922.

Here are links to all three films. The Imperial Valley one is missing a bit of footage, the other two appear complete. All three films include footage of J F Rutherford. Perhaps the most entertaining is the end of the pyramid film. It must have been like a furnace inside the Great Pyramid, and JFR apparently ventured inside wearing a three-piece suit. Watch him as he leaves! (15:28 on the video)

Cedar Point

One final film completes this article, but alas, has not come to light. The Kinemo system of 17.5 mm film offered a film from the 1922 Cedar Point Ohio convention. The panoramic view of the audience out of doors hearing J F Rutherford speak includes a film crew. Here is a close-up from that photograph.

The subsequent films were offered for sale in the New Era Enterprise newspaper.

The same paper (October 31, 1922) also mentioned that the original Kinemo films had been shown on a large screen at the Cedar Point convention, along with footage of “the Bible House and other organization buildings and offices in Brooklyn, the Bethel Home, etc. the printing and binding of booklets and pamphlets etc.”

I know for certain that the modern Watchtower Society has no copies of any of this material, and I suspect had never heard of it until it was brought to their attention. While it would be silent footage, it would of great historical interest to see it. That is, of course, if it still exists.

Come on now. Anyone out there?

The Changing Faces of the French Watch Tower

by Franco

The first issue of the French Watch Tower was printed in October 1903 and was identical to the first issue in Italian. It was called:

Messager de la Présence de Christ "

The second number was printed in January 1904 and was thereafter published monthly.  (The Italian edition remained a quarterly).

From the January 1905 issue an "et" was added before "Messager" and "LE" was removed before "PHARE."   It now became:

Messager de la Présence de Christ "

This title remained until June 1909. Then in July 1909 it became:

Messager de la Présence de Christ "

This had 2/3 different covers. This title was used until December 1912.

In January 1913 the magazine changed its cover again and before the title was added a "LA." It was now called:

Messager de la prèsence de Christ"

This is the cover design that will be familiar to most readers.

(edited by Jerome)

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

French Watch Tower


(previously on Blog 2)

A 1904 edition of Divine Plan of the Ages with the prospectus for all six volumes bound as the covers.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Henry Grew

We need a readable scan of Grew's Bank Street tract from 1836. Anyone?

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Up to adventure, the challenge of research ??!!

I'd accept a well researched article on Russell's Jewish mass meeting .... Even two or three if they're well researched and footnoted. Up to it?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Someone in the Pittsburgh area ...

This may be of doubtful worth but we'd like a copy

In the Peter E. Soderbergh Collection of Jehovah's Witnesses Materials, AIS.1972.08, 1914-1995, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh.

Box 1

Item 1 Jehovah's first witness: Pastor Charles Taze Russell, by Peter A. Soderbergh, 1966

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Claude Brown

Do any blog readers have any information about Claude Brown, outside what can be found in the Society's Watchtower library? He was a Jamaican, a conscientious objector during WW1 who served time in a British prison (Wandsworth) and went to Africa to support W R Brown (Bible Brown) in missionary work in Nigeria, Gold Coast (Ghana), Liberia, Sierra Leone, etc.

We need this and can't afford it. Anyone have it?

Friday, August 11, 2017

S. O. Blunden

From: The Independent Press and Bloomfield [New Jersey] Citizen, November 1915.

The Independent Press [Bloomfield] May 23, 1913

On Blog 2

For those readers who have access to the restricted blog, there is an article up there now called Pictorial Memories. This is made up from photographs (with a bit of text) that have recently come my way relating to individuals in the UK. Since there might just be the potential for privacy issues with individuals and descendants, I have put it there rather than on this open blog.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

From Roberto

Roberto continues to research the events of 1881:

Barbour, Russell, and the year 1881, another point of contrast.

Barbour and Russell finally separated in June 1879 over the doctrine of the ransom. They had another point of contrast over the year 1881. With the article “THE PARALLELS” published in the June1880 Herald, Barbour denied the thought of an invisible Parousia. According to him the second presence didn’t begin autumn of 1874, nor would there be a later invisible presence. Jesus would personally come in the Autumn of 1881, not seen by the world, but seen by his true disciples, that is, the Herald of the Morning believers.

Russell immediately replied with the July issue of the Watch Tower, confirming his belief that Christ’s invisible presence began in October 1874. Here’s extracts from the two magazines.

Herald of the Morning, June 1880, pp. 85-86, “THE PARALLELS”

“The scapegoat work in cleansing the sanctuary, is an invisible work, seen only in its manifestations; but the appearing of our High Priest, “unto them that look for him,” is never spoken of directly or indirectly, in a way in which we have the least authority to suppose that he will come in an invisible manner. But always the contrary; “He will appear to (optomai, be seen of) us;” he comes in the manner they saw him go, etc. It is true. He will not show himself to the world, when he comes to his church, but he will “be seen” by them that look for him, is the teaching of the law and the testimony.
I warn our readers not to be deceived in this matter; Christ left the church as her High Priest; and he returns to her as such. And after ascending into the presence of God there is no intermediate personal coming in any way, to his church, until he shall appear to them that look for him, Heb. 9:28.
Again, there was a separation of chaff and wheat, and a gathering of the wheat out of the rejected Jewish church, after the crucifixion: and there was a remnant of time still due, for that purpose. And although the half week was left obscure, and there is an equal want of absolute Scripture here pointing us to the end of this last half of the harvest, still the parallel, and the clear indication that the work belonging to this part of the harvest is in process of fulfilment, in the cleaning of the sanctuary, not only by the separation of wise and foolish virgins , but between the letter and the spirit, in all our views; is, all together, evidence enough to make us “look for him, to appear to us in the autumn of 1881.”

Herald of the Morning, July 1880, p. 4, “HAS CHRIST COME?”

“The Parousia, or presence of Christ, when “he shall appear (optomai, be seen),” by “them that look for him,” demands his personal presence; and this is his return in, not the invisible antitypical scapegoat work, but as the High Priest in person. And this coming of Christ, or his parousia, we have reason to expect, will occur in the autumn of 1881. That he did not come, in the autumn of 1874, or at the beginning of the gospel harvest, as we once supposed, is as certain as is the word of Jesus himself.”

The Watch Tower July 1880, p. 2, “AS THE LIGHTNING”

“ … the Lord informs us that there will be in these "days of the Son of man," false teachers who will be very powerful and exercise much influence upon the church, . . . We believe we find them in those who claim that Jesus is to appear shortly in the wilderness of Judea (Palestine) and that all who love him and expect to be part of his kingdom should go there and be on hand to receive and welcome him. . . . But there is to be more than one of these deceiving teachers; While one says He is coming in the desert, another says: "Behold he is in the secret chambers." Do we find teaching of this kind now, in the days of the Son of man? Yes, it seems to us that this is being fulfilled; a brother whom we knew well and loved much, thinks that God has given him what he terms "New Oil" (perhaps he does not notice that the virgins of Matt. 25, do not get any new oil; it is the same oil they had at first). But this brother is we think fulfilling this scripture. He is teaching that after 1881, Christ will appear in the flesh secretly, to be seen only by himself and those who believe exactly as he believes. This teaching not only leads to unscriptural expectations, but seems to open the minds of those who receive it to a perilous snare of the devil, which snare is referred to in the "Three Worlds," a book written by this very brother, in 1876, now out of print but possessed by many of our readers, extracts from which will follow this article. The wide diversity of views as stated in that article, and his present view as stated above seems to make good his claim that he has new oil; but it does not commend itself to us as being as good as the old "The old is better."