The Barbourite movement was narrowly focused, drawing almost entirely from non-Seventh-day Adventists, Age-to-Come believers and other Millinarians. Barbour saw those without a millannialist point of view as worldly and lost. He saw himself as God’s appointed voice for the Last Days. Paton believed he was divinely appointed, and he saw “advances” in spiritual insight as God’s special revelation to him. Both published tracts, Paton many more than Barbour who relied on the Herald of the Morning to further his ideology. The focus of both was narrow, and they didn’t seek a wider voice.
Russell’s view was more expansive. He believed God’s people were scattered in all of Christendom, and some were as yet unfound in non-Christian religions. Connecting good-hearted Christians with ‘truth’ was urgent because they were, he believed, in the time of final judgment, the harvest time of Jesus’ parables. To explain Zion’s Watch Tower’s mission, he quoted from the Millerite hymn Alarm:
"We are living, we are dwelling
In a grand and awful time;
In an age on ages telling
To be living is sublime."
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