Monday, January 16, 2017

Very, Very Temporary Post - A chapter from volume three.

Usual rules: You may save for your own use. Do not share it. If you come late to the party, contact me, and I may send you a copy. This was written 2 years ago. It is due for updates. Do not rely on it; it will likely change in the final version.

I'm posting this for comments and reactions. If you know something or have a resource we do not, please share it in the comment trail.



Advertising the Message

When the first volume of Millennial Dawn neared publication, Russell placed an announcement in The Christian Herald. It piqued the interest of at least one Herald reader, leading to their eventually committing themselves to Watch Tower teachings. Publication was subsequently announced through The Herald and the book sent for. A. I. Ritchie recalled his father sending for the book: “In 1886 my father saw your advertisement in the Christian Herald that Volume I, Millennial Dawn, was in preparation. As soon as he saw the announcement that it was ready, he sent his $1 and got its teachings, accepting it as rapidly as he saw that it harmonized the Scriptures.”[1]
A brief review of the book found in the October 7, 1886, issue of The Christian Herald caused controversy later. The review was very positive:

remainder of this post has been removed.

11 comments:

Andrew Martin said...

Just two comments here.

Under the section "Continuing Publicity Efforts", paragraph 2 sounds like an early example of what later was termed "Theocratic Strategy", i.e., where the interests of the Kingdom are involved, those opposed are not entitled to true details that may compromise the work of the Kingdom.

Second, under the section "Clergy Opposition", when I read the mention of the founder of Brown University, I wondered about the dating, as I was thinking of the Ivy League school in Rhode Island, whose site states it was founded in 1764. I did, however, find a reference to a John Brown University in Arkansas, founded in 1919, according to their website. Could this be the John Brown under discussion?

Great research, as usual. I appreciate also that while insufficient "reviews" are exposed as such, possibly questionable methods of advertising Russell's books are not "swept under the rug", so to speak.

"Accuracy Marches On!"

Donald Jacobs said...

Thanks that was an interesting post. In particular it's interesting that bookstores refusing to sell The Divine Plan of the Ages prompted independent vending as an alternative. It's possible to imagine that the movement wouldn't have developed as it did without that turn of events.

I was interested to see that a couple of reviewers rejected the book from a rationalist viewpoint, objecting that it did not accept evolution. My copy of The Divine Plan of the Ages indicates that evolution is not necessarily in conflict with the Bible and God may have used it to bring creatures into their current forms, except with man who is a direct creation. Was this statement not in the earliest editions of the book?

Did Russell adapt the text of the book in relation to this and other criticisms? Has anyone compared the various editions of the book to see what changes were made and why?

roberto said...

Great detailed and accurate chapter.

jerome said...

I checked with someone who knows (and who really knows!) and apart from a phrase or two updated and maybe an extra scripture added, the text of The Divine Plan of the Ages was never changed.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

jerome, that's a bit misleading. As 1914 approached editions were changed to read 1915 with some modification to the text. Russell's enemies jumped all over that and continue to do so. They misrepresent the reason for the change. What ever the reason, it was a significant change.B says he has a list of revision but doesn't know where he put it. Typical of old guys, I guess. If we ever find it, I'll post it.

Changes are easy to spot. Sit a Millennial Dawn edition next to the 1916 printing and turn page by page. They jump out. I don't think most of them are important.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

partial list:


"That the deliverance of the saints must take place some time before 1914 is manifest...Just how long before 1914 the last living members of the body of Christ will be glorified, we are not directly informed;" (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 3, p. 228).

"That the deliverance of the saints must take place very soon after 1914 is manifest... Just how long after 1914 the last living members of the body of Christ will be glorified, we are not directly informed;" (Ibid., 1923 ed.)





"This calculation shows A.D. 1874 as marking the beginning of the period of trouble; for 1542 years B.C. plus 1874 years A.D. equals 3416 years. Thus the Pyramid witnesses that the close of 1874 was the chronological beginning of the time of trouble..." (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 3, p. 342, 1889 ed.)

"This calculation shows A.D. 1915 as marking the beginning of the period of trouble; for 1542 years B.C. plus 1915 years A.D. equals 3457 years. Thus the Pyramid witnesses that the close of 1914 will be the beginning of the time of trouble..." (Ibid., 1905 ed.)

"Also, in the year 1918, when God destroys the churches wholesale and the church members by millions..." (The Finished Mystery, 1917 ed.).

"Also, in the year 1918, when God begins to destroys the churches and the church members by millions..." (Ibid., 1926 ed.)

Andrew Martin said...

I have an original "sixtieth thousand" edition of Volume I (sans cover) on my shelf. i can confirm in print anything that far back, if necessary.

I, too was surprised at the criticism of Russell re: evolution, as I had also read that he was of the opinion that only Man needed to be a direct creation. I think that may be an important point in the future, as I suspect many "Millennial Generation" Witnesses may of that opinion, too, and leaning toward a Moderate Protestant view on some issues.

jerome said...

There is a misunderstanding here. My comment was specifically about Volume 1 ONLY - The Divine Plan of the Ages. That hardly changed. Whereas other volumes, especially ones dealing with chronology like volumes 2 and 3, had to make changes as you have highlighted.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Russell's Evolution v the Bible tract is downloadable somewhere I think.

Donald Jacobs said...

I have read the Evolution v. The Bible tract. It mainly argues against what it calls social evolution, or the idea that humans are improving. One of the main pointe it makes is that humans are getting less intelligent and don't live as long as the patriarchs did. A different emphasis from the kind of science based arguments used in later literature,

Chris G. said...

Of interest to some possibly, changes made in the "Studies" volumes 2 & 3 were listed in the Mar 1, 1915 Watchtower (reprints, see page 5649).