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."