Pittsburgh Gazette, October 24, 1904


Pastor C T Russell addressed a large audience in Bible House chapel, Arch Street, Allegheny, at 3 p. m. yesterday. His text was from Isa. 21:11-12. "Watchman, what of the night? The watchman said, The morning cometh and also the night." The discourse in full follows:

For 30 centuries the world, led by the hopes of the Jews, has been looking for and hoping for and thinking about the coming golden age, in which all the families of the earth will be blessed with every conceivable prosperity. Nor did the thought originate in the Jewish nation. It came to them through the divine promise, the oath-bound covenant of God to Abraham, that in his seed all the families of the earth should be blessed. The hope set before the nation of Israel was that they, as the seed of Abraham, would be God's agency in connection with Messiah for the communication of this blessing to every nation, kindred, people and tongue. Under the stimulus of this hope their nation held together as no other nation has ever done.

Those who accepted Christ, both of the Jews and the Gentiles, lay claim to all those promises which center in Christ, and which the Jewish nation in rejecting Him cut loose from. Christendom claims to be spiritual Israel, and, as such, heirs of all the wonderful spiritual promises of God, as the apostle declares: "If ye be Christ's then are ye Abrahams's seed, and heirs according to the promise." -(Gal. 3:29). This hope inspired the apostles and all of the early church. They looked forward to the second coming of Christ as the time when the church as His bride would be glorified with their Lord and associated with Him in the work of the kingdom the work of restraining and destroying evil and exalting righteousness the work of rolling back the curse from every people, nation and kindred, and of uplifting the world of mankind from sin and death the work of raising up the dead world from its fallen condition to all that was lost in Adam and redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. This glorious time the Apostle Peter, for instance, referred to, saying: "Times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, and He shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom the heavens must receive (retain) until the time of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." -(Acts 3:19-21).

No Bible student of honest mind will for one moment question that the hope of union with Christ in His kingdom at His second advent was the hope of the early church. It was in view of this glorious exaltation that the apostles and all the faithful brethren were so willing to suffer persecution for the truth's sake and thus to follow their Master in the "narrow way." He foretold that those who follow Him in this present time would in the regeneration time, in the promised millennial age, sit with Him in His throne as His bride and associated in the government of the world, in its instruction in righteousness, in its uplift out of sin and degradation. The apostle emphasizes the Master's [HGL262] teachings, saying "If we suffer with Him we shall also reign with Him," and exhorts the church to count all things of this present time but as loss and dross that they might win Christ win a membership in the great Messiah, and thus share with their Lord and head in the great work He is to accomplish according to the promise.

The apostle links together most positively present faithfulness to the Lord and future association with Him in the kingdom, saying: "I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." - "We are the children of God; and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, joint heirs with Christ if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together with Him." He further declares that the "earnest expectation of the creature (the world of mankind in general) waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God" their manifestation or revelation in glory as the Christ, the Messiah, the great king, head and body, whose rule is to bring to earth the golden age and all the foretold blessings mentioned by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began. Rom. 8:16-19.


No theologian of any denomination will question the fact that so-called Chiliasm hope in the second advent of Christ and the kingdom which He will then establish was the dominating thought of the church of Christ in the days of the apostles, during the time when the New Testament was written. The followers of Christ understood themselves to be entirely separate and distinct from the world, to have different hopes and aims from the remainder of the race, because they were "children of the highest," "begotten again of the Spirit," "new creatures in Christ Jesus," to whom old things have passed away and all things have become new, through this hope inspired by the Lord's word and appreciated through His Spirit. But very very soon after the death of the apostles grievous errors crept in amongst the Lord's followers and a new theory or philosophy on the subject of the kingdom was started, namely, that instead of waiting for the Lord from heaven to exalt His church with a glorious change from mortal to immortal conditions and to clothe her with glory, honor and immortality, and equip her with power and authority to execute judgment on the earth, the program was to be a different one that the apostles had not quite grasped the thought that the church should understand it to be her mission to convert the world without her Lord, and that when she had accomplished this He would come, inspect her work and approve it.

The mistake was a serious one and its results have been far-reaching. The theory that the apostles had made a mistake in the teaching that the church was to continue to suffer until the second advent of Christ that it was to continue to be despised and rejected of men, and that whosoever would live godly in this present life would suffer persecution, were only partial truths applicable to the apostles' day, and not subsequently. The thought that the apostles' testimony needed to be supplemented led to the theory that prevails today in the Roman Catholic and all the Episcopal churches, namely, that the testimonies of the apostles are not the final messages of God, but that the living church is of equal power and authority with the apostle that the clergy through apostolic succession have the same right and the same authority that the apostles had to express the divine plan, and thus came the false teaching that the decrees of councils of the church, the creeds and doctrines which they established, were to be taken as the rule of faith and practice in conjunction with the writings of the apostles.

This serious error is widely manifest and has borne much bad fruit, permitting the introduction of various forms, ceremonies, practices and doctrines which the apostles never authorized and many of which are in direct opposition to their inspired teachings. The reformation movement under Luther and others was an attempt to get free from this error and to acknowledge what the scriptures so clearly present, namely, that there were but twelve apostles of the Lamb and that they had no successors in office, but are with the Lord's people as the representatives of the Lord and His message throughout the age, and constitute, therefore, the only divinely appointed teachers in conjunction with the Lord and all the holy prophets of ancient times, to whose utterances they have furnished the key.

Under the lead of these new teachers, who claimed for themselves apostolic succession and apostolic inspiration, the hope of the second coming of Christ as the world's deliverer from the thralldom of Satan and sin and death gradually faded and a new teaching took its place. That new teaching began the foundation of the papal theory and practice and descended in a legitimate manner from papacy to the various denominations of Christendom. That theory is that God has commissioned the church to conquer the world now not waiting for a millennial reign of Christ in which He shall reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet, as the apostle Paul points out. 1 Cor. 15:25.


The theory that the time had come for the church to cease her suffering and to begin her reign over the kingdoms of the earth would naturally be a pleasing and fascinating theory, and no wonder it gradually enveloped the church to such an extent that any who still held to the old apostolic views were few and considered behind the times until finally when the error became known as "orthodoxy" and was established by councils of the church, those who held apostolic teachings on the subject were called "heretics." Under the new theory every energy was bent to attaining power over the nations, and the whole world knows of the wonderful success of the effort. The Roman empire was swallowed up by papacy, and the power and authority of the empire passed into its hands.

For century upon century papacy reigned over the civilized world, under the claim that it was the kingdom which had been predicted by all the holy prophets, the kingdom which was to conquer the world and to which all the kingdoms of the earth should do reverence. History tells us that in the enforcement of this theory that papacy was the kingdom of God and that the pope was the personal representative of Christ, His vice-gerent in the earth one of the kings of England, for venturing to ignore a mandate from the pope, was threatened with the loss of his kingdom and [HGL263] as penance was obliged for three days and nights to walk barefooted about the pope's palace, and then was admitted to the pope's presence and on his knees kissed the pope's great toe, as a fulfillment of the prophecy of the second Psalm, "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and ye perish in the way." Psa. 2:12.

It was in accord with this same erroneous teaching that thousands upon thousands were persecuted to the death because they would not recognize this papal system as the kingdom of God's dear Son foretold by the prophets, our Lord and the apostles because they did not recognize the pope as the vice-gerent of Christ and the reign of Christ thus begun. It must be acknowledged that those persecutions of all opposed to papacy as heretics were in full accord with the theories advanced. The scriptures declare that when God's kingdom shall be established it shall rule the world with a rod of iron and put down all insubordination of every kind. If therefore papacy was that kingdom of God it should be expected that it would subdue with mighty power, as an iron rod, all opposition. Thus does an error of doctrine lead to an error of practice, and illustrates to us the necessity for having the true faith once delivered unto the saints, and the necessity also of rejecting as false, as anti-scriptural and anti Christian, everything which opposes or substitutes itself for that which the Lord has promised.


Martin Luther, at one time a Roman Catholic theologian, by the grace of God got his eyes so widely opened to the errors of the system with which he was associated that he withdrew and began a reformation work. A great blessing has come through that reformation movement with which Luther and others were identified a blessing to Christendom in general, including Roman Catholicism. Almost fierce were the attacks of Luther on the papal system as the anti-Christ. He realized that it was necessary that this point should be seen in order to break the superhuman influence of Satan, exercised through that great system to the enslavement of the whole world in gross superstition and unrighteousness.

We think it not unreasonable to believe that many honest-hearted Roman Catholics, looking back to the gross darkness of the sixteenth century, are glad of the reformation movement, and realize that a great change has resulted therefrom beneficial to every element of honesty and righteousness in the papal system.

We, too, rejoice in the benefits which have come through that reformation to all the people of civilized lands, but we wish to point out that the reformation movement in its wide influence has only restrained one of the open and violent results of the false doctrines, and has not changed the false doctrine itself, of which the papal hierarchy was the reasonable and legitimate fruitage. Unless this erroneous theory be gotten out of the way unless we say, not expecting that it will be, we may be sure that the proposed unification or federation of all religious systems of Christendom will speedily lead to autocratic assumptions in the world, very similar to those which papacy exercised in the zenith of its power though doubtless moderated to some extent by the changed conditions of our day.

We are not hoping to change these matters as regards the world in general. Our only hope is to reach the hearts and understanding of the Lord's truly consecrated people, for, as the Lord has declared through the prophet, "The wicked shall do wickedly, but shall not understand, but the wise shall understand" our Lord's little ones, who are wise in accepting His word and plan rather than human philosophies and earthly wisdom and policy. Instead, dear friends, of our entertaining a hope of swaying the world in this matter, we realize that it is clearly taught us in the Book of Revelation that this great federation of Christendom is very near, and that the Lord will permit it to have sufficient power in the world to estop myself and any other who will speak forth in defense of the faith once delivered to the saints; and to show the errors and inconsistencies of the theories which are dominating the "Christian world" today. It would not at all surprise me if only a few years hence any one using the language which I am using here today


Do you ask why? I answer that the public mind is so permeated with the error and so committed to its support, and so blinded to the greater beauty and harmony of the divine word and plan, that, in a fancied zeal for God and His cause, these persecutors of the future like those of the dark ages would verily think themselves to be doing God's service.

Christendom is infatuated with the thought of converting the world. In heathen poetry they read of the golden age, and in the scriptures they read of the glories of the day of Christ, the millennium, and logically they reason that evil and sin ought not to endure forever, and that the Lord has promised that the time shall come when Satan shall be bound, that he shall deceive the nations no more and carried away by this zeal with the erroneous theory that they are now the kingdom of Christ, and that they are now to reign over the world, and that they are now to conquer the world for Jesus and that it is the Lord's command upon them to subdue all things, and to bring all things into subjection to the Father, they will be ready to go to almost any lengths with any and everything opposing this theory, which has become so entrenched in their minds.

It is true that the glorious day is to dawn, that the scriptures affirm it; but Christendom in general stands with its back to the sunrise and is looking for the millennial blessings in the west. Hence Christendom in general fails to recognize the streaks of dawn already visible to the watchers who, being in line with the divine word, are properly looking toward the second coming of Christ, for the sunrise of the great millennial day, for the revelation of the great millennial king, for the glorification of the Lamb's wife at the promised marriage supper.

When preparing this discourse my eye fell upon a tabulation prepared for Sunday school teachers by a celebrated doctor of divinity, which was intended to show how rapidly the Lord's kingdom is now conquering the world. We refer to this as a proof of our assertion that our dear Christian friends, in general misled by the wrong theories on the subject of Christ's kingdom, are looking to the west-ward instead of to the east, the real point of sunrise. The table
[HGL264] mentioned sets forth that in the year

A D 1000 there were 50,000,000 of Christians;
in A D 1500 100,000,000
in the year 1800 200,000,000
in the year 1880 200,000,000
in the year 1880 415,000,000

I presume if the table were carried up to date the claim would be five or six hundred millions of Christians. The doctor of divinity who prepared this table, and many of those who will examine it, overlook the fact that the 50,000,000 of the year A D 1000 and the 100,000,000 of the year A D 1500, were nearly all Roman Catholics or Greek Catholics, and that similarly the 415,000,000 of 1880 consisted of more than two-thirds Catholics, Greek and Roman. This Protestant minister seemingly forgot and expected his readers to forget, that Protestant missionaries in France, in Spain, in Italy, in the orient and elsewhere in the world, are sustained for the avowed purpose of freeing those peoples from the darkness and superstition of a false Christianity.

The realization that no one body of Protestants could ever hope to dominate the world, yea, that all of them could never accomplish such a mission, is leading not only to a desire for Protestant federation, but also for a closer relationship with and a general recognition of the Roman and Greek Catholic systems. All this willingness to ignore doctrines and principles is the

fruitage of this wrong theory that God expects the church to conquer the world and establish the millennial condition before Christ comes. This is called the post-millennial view and is the prevalent view amongst Christians everywhere.


If our dear friends who entertain this unscriptural view (Catholics and Protestants) could but see its unreasonableness, there would be some hope that some of them at least would abandon it, but they seem blind to reason on the subject. Take their own figures, and look for the 415,000,000 of Christians that they say will shortly convert the remaining 1,100,000,000 and establish the millennium. Do we not see from the latest census returns that the natural increase of human kind the world over during the last decade was 8 per cent, and this compounded would mean 115 per cent in the century. Taking their own figures, Christianity is not increasing in any such ratio, and hence the conversion of the world is really further off every year.

To make my meaning more clear: The largest estimate of the world's population in the year 1805, was that given by Pinkerton, who estimated it at 700,000,000; Volney in the previous year, 1804, gave his estimate as 437,000,000. We grant the larger figures, 700,000,000, and then take the estimates made by the doctor of divinity already referred to that there were 200,000,000 Christians at that time. Allowing these figures, there were only 500,000,000 of heathen to be converted in the year 1805, while by the same figures there were over 1, 200,000,000 that needed converting in the year of 1880. How long will it require to convert the world at this rate? Why cannot the bright minds that are identified with this erroneous theory see the fallacy of it and seeing its fallacy, why do they not promptly turn and confess the truth and throw their influence toward the re-establishment of the primitive faith of the church, the faith once delivered to the saints by the Lord and his apostles that the morning cometh only with the second coming of our Lord.

But, dear friends, suppose that facts did not thus knock the entire bottom out of this false theory, this false hope which Christendom is pursuing suppose that there were the best of reasons that the whole 1,600,000,000 of the world's population could be converted in the same sense that the 415,000,000 are converted, what would it mean? Would it mean the millennium which the apostles taught? Would it mean the kingdom for which our Lord taught us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven?" Alas! no. If churchianity ever succeeded in grasping her ideal we see that it would be but an apple of Sodom. Look for a moment at the Christians who compose this 415,000,000. The more you examine them the more you will be convinced that the thing they all need most is to be converted fully. Not only are the majority of them Greek and Roman Catholics, but the majority of all the infants and children whose future must needs yet be determined either for Christ or the world, for in this reckoning of Christians practically all of Europe is included as Christian except Turkey. Consequently it is from this 415,000,000 that we find growing lists of murderers, suicides, thieves, boodlers and grafters being recruited.

With a hope of the world's being converted to such conditions, dear friends, we have and should have no sympathy. Many of the poor heathen are much better off left by themselves than brought under such conditions as are farcically called Christendom. We do not praise the heathen; none, we believe, appreciate more than we the great needs of heathendom, but something far better than nominal Christendom has to offer them is needed. With Christendom goes certain measures of so-called civilization, which in some respects perhaps is advantageous, but in many respects is injurious. Comparing the 1, 200,000,000 with the 400,000,000 called Christians, we find that, in some particulars, the heathen have quite the advantage. The 400,000,000 nominal Christians do the bulk of the fighting, swearing, liquor drinking and a considerable share of its general dishonesty and stealing. God forbid that we should be forced to accept any such millennium as would be brought about by the conversion of the world to such conditions. We are here reminded of our Lord's words to the Pharisees in His day; "Ye compass sea and land to make a proselyte, and when he is made he is two-fold more a child of Gehenna than yourselves."


From infancy I have sympathized with the heathen and longed to help them. I still have this same love and desire, but my eyes of understanding have opened wider since childhood. I now perceive that God loves the heathen and the whole world not only as much as I do, but more. I have heard His message saying: "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My plans higher than your plans," and I have come to realize the truth of this and see the great plan which God has for the salvation of the world. This plan I now see is first of all the selection from the world of suitable missionaries. Jesus is the head of this missionary company, and during the gospel age the Holy [HGL265] Spirit has been attracting under the terms of the gospel, along the lines of the narrow way of self denial and self-sacrifice, those whom the Lord is pleased to associate with Himself as His church, His bride, in the great missionary enterprise which was purposed from before the foundation of the world.

These missionaries receive their training under the present reign of sin and death, but as soon as the entire company graduates the scene will change. They will be invested with divine power and authority, and will scatter the present night of sin and death and constitute the sun of righteousness which shall heal the world with its benign beams. This is the glorious morning mentioned in our text the morning of the grand millennial age, the golden age of the poets, the day of Christ in the language of the apostles. The Psalmist declares: "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning," and our hearts are glad because we see the dawning of the millennial day already beginning and the shadows of the dark night fleeing.

This glorious day is coming not by the conversion of the world under present conditions, not by calling the kingdoms of this world the kingdom of Christ, not by calling all classes living in civilized countries "saints of Most High God." The morning is dawning because the Lord's time has come for the second advent for the establishment of the kingdom for which we pray. "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven" because the times of restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began, are about to begin. I cannot here and now give you the proofs that we are already chronologically entering this great day of the Lord, but the proofs are abundant and clear, and for the asking may be had to read by any of you. They are found in the books entitled the "Millennial Dawn Series," which by the grace of God are scattered in various languages throughout the world to the extent of over a million and a quarter copies.


In our text the prophet declares that not only the morning comes, but also a night. This signifies that while the morning is dawning a specially dark period will come over the affairs of earth and this dark cloud is already manifest. In the scriptures it is termed a "time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation." (Dan. 12:1.) The various descriptions lead us to understand that this trouble will be occasioned by anarchy, which will overthrow all present institutions, social, political and religious, and cause the greatest suffering in the world that has ever been known. We can see the forces organizing whose conflict will eventuate in this anarchy; on one hand we see capital combining and entrenching itself and getting its hold on the necessities of life in every direction; on the other hand we see labor equally active in its combination and entrenchments, and undoubtedly the coming conflict will be between the two, and the scriptures show us the anarchous results. We would not intrude this awfully dark scene in this connection, but that it is referred to in our text and frequently is necessary as an explanation of the process by which the Lord intends to establish His kingdom of righteousness. Man's extremity will become God's opportunity. The highest attainment of civilization resulting in anarchy will greatly humble the pride of humanity and make the world ready for the kingdom of righteousness and peace which will then be ushered in. The trouble of that awful time will be the plow-share of the Lord for preparing the hearts of the world for the glorious blessings of His millennial kingdom, and thus even the evil things shall work out good under divine Providence.

What manner of persons ought we to be who see the glorious dawning of the millennial day, and who see also the intervening night of trouble? As the apostle intimates holiness of life should be and is induced and assisted by this knowledge of the divine plan. Our hopes and affections rise above the things of this present life to the glorious things of the kingdom of righteousness, the kingdom of God's dear Son, and we long for the time when God's will shall be done perfectly and absolutely among men as it is now done among the angels of heaven. Truly the apostle declared, "He that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure." -(1 John 3:3.)

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