Nov. 17, 1907


Toronto, Ont., Canada, Nov. 17 Pastor C T Russell, of Allegheny, Pa. preached twice here today to exceptional audiences. One of his discourses was on the overthrow of Satan's empire. The other, which we report, offers soothing assurances as to the outcome of the present financial spasm, although it forewarns us of drastic conditions seven years hence not prophesied, but expounded from the scriptural prophecies, and said to have been publicly taught by the speaker for more than thirty years. His text was, "Watchman, what of the night? the morning cometh, but a night also." (Isa. 21:11-12) He said:

It is the duty of the watchman on the walls of Zion to declare the whole counsel of God the bitter as well as the sweet. This duty we continually seek to perform. It is appropriate that the glories of the millennial epoch, foretold through God's word, should receive more of our attention than the darker picture of the night of trouble with which it will be introduced. It is appropriate also that we give, as the scriptures do, still more attention to the inculcation of the principles which go to form Christian character amongst the Lord's consecrated people, because these are essentials to their attainment of the glorious privileges and honors of the kingdom; because this is the work in hand, the Lord's work the gathering from amongst mankind the very elect to be the Bride of Christ, His joint-heirs in the millennial kingdom and its glorious work of instructing and uplifting the world in general. We have not failed, however, to point out that the millennium will not be introduced by the preaching of the gospel and resulting conversions.

We have shown that the preaching of the gospel is the method by which the Lord is now inviting those who have "ears to hear" to voluntarily join His standard and follow in the footsteps of Jesus and thus become God's very elect, but that after this election is complete the divine method of dealing with mankind, according to the scriptures, will be wholly changed. Then, instead of preaching to those willing to walk by faith in the light of the divine Lamp, the word of God, there will be laws, commands, rules with rewards for the obedient, and "stripes" for the careless; while the whole world, instead of longer being in darkness, will be filled with the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. Because then Christ and the church will be to the world the sun of righteousness to scatter its ignorance and superstition, and to assist it out of its degradation up along the highway of holiness to Edenic blessings, and may be reached by all who will by all who will by the close of the millennial age. We remind you again of what we have already shown that according to the most favorable statement of the world's statistics there are more than 1, 200,000,000 of heathen today, whereas a century ago the number was 600,000,000. Here we see the net result of the century of most wonderful missionary activity the world has ever known twice as many heathen at its close as at its beginning. If any one still is in doubt as to the correctness of our position, that the millennium is not to be brought in by the preaching of the gospel, let him not only reflect that there are no scriptures in favor of that position, but let him reflect also that if in this day he could convert all the 1, 200,000,000 of heathendom to nominal Christianity such as prevails in civilized lands, the millennium would not yet have come, for surely Christendom is as far from millennial conditions as is heathendom. Discontent, unhappiness, are even more widespread amongst the civilized than amongst the heathen. No reasonable mind can conceive [HGL403] of the possibility of human endeavor bringing the world of mankind to the condition referred to in our Lord's prayer:

"Thy Kingdom come, thy will be doneOn earth even as it is done in heaven."


All reasonable minds must concur that there are only two courses open to us either (1) to repudiate the Bible as an inspired and authoritative teaching, and thus to free ourselves from its innumerable references to God, the kingdom of heaven, that is to be established under the whole heavens, to which every knee must bow and every tongue confess, and of which Christ is to be the great King and His church of the very elect, His bride and joint-heir in the kingdom; or else (2) we must admit that the kingdom so clearly foretold in the scriptures will be introduced by some different means than that which the majority of Christendom has for the past century expected. We must accept the scriptural presentation that our Lord's second coming is for the very purpose of establishing that kingdom, and that when He thus takes to Himself His great power and establishes His rule amongst men, it will be done by force, as the scriptures declare, and not by the preaching of the gospel, which by that time will have accomplished its purpose of gathering the elect the willing and the obedient the bride class.

In view of the fact that I have been publicly declaring by voice and by pen for more than thirty years that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand, and that it will be introduced by a "time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation," it is not surprising that the present financial flurry is bringing in numerous inquiries in line with our text, "What of the night?" Is this the beginning of the awful trouble in which the gospel age will close and the millennial day of blessing be introduced? More than two million copies of the "Divine Plan of the Ages" are in the hands of thinking people, many of whom for years have been noting the truthfulness of its delineations of the events of the harvest of this age the period of forty years from 1874 to 1914, during which the millennial age is lapping into the gospel age, the one beginning, the other closing. A lesser number of people have followed us in the study of the prophecies along these lines in the volume entitled, "The Time is at Hand" a lesser number, therefore, see clearly, definitely, the foundation of our expectations in the word of God, and from this class chiefly come the inquirers. The others well know what we are now explaining, namely, that the severity of the trouble which will wind up present institutions of the world in a worldwide anarchy is not to be expected for yet seven years. But as we have already shown, the unrest amongst mankind will increase as we near the climax. The scriptures intimate clearly that what is coming is a parallel, an antitype, to the awful trouble upon the Jewish nation, which terminated their polity in A D 70. Again, as we have already intimated, the apostle likens the trouble coming to "travail upon a woman with child." In harmony with the figure our expectation is that there will be numerous spasms or throes of trouble upon Christendom, increasing in severity up to the last, in which present institutions will die.


"The night is far spent, the day is at hand," the apostle declared eighteen centuries ago. (Rom. 13:12) The entire period of the night is six thousand years, and hence he was quite right in declaring that it was far spent in his day more than two-thirds of it had passed. This is the Scriptural figure everywhere used; the period of the dominion of sin and death is likened to a night time, a period of darkness, ignorance and superstition. Well does the prophet cry, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." (Psa. 30:5) During this dark night, according to a reasonable estimate, twenty thousand millions of our race have gone down to the tomb, to sheol, to hades, to death, and only those who have some knowledge of the divine plan through the Scriptures know that the Lord's provision for these is an awakening from the dead, the tomb, and subsequently the possibility for all of them to attain, if they will, perfection and eternal life. The Prophet David spoke of this awakening in the morning of the millennial age from the prophetic standpoint, declaring that joy was then to come to the millions who weep now, not only for their departed ones but also by reason of the imperfections, mental, moral and physical, which they find in themselves and in their neighbors and friends.

What joy that morning of the new dispensation will bring to humanity! To the "little flock," the friends of God, who have walked in the footsteps of their Master in the narrow way of self-sacrifice, it is to bring a share in the first resurrection to glory, honor and immortality. To the remainder of mankind it is to bring, through the Redeemer and His glorified bride, the blessing of release from the bondage of corruption, the bondage of sin and death. No wonder the same Scriptures, which call the present a night time, which declare that "darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the heathen" (Isa. 60:2) picture the future as a sunburst of blessing, bringing not only relief from Satan, who will be bound for a thousand years, but bringing relief also upon terms of obedience, from all the aches and pains and imperfections and dyings which now so distress every creature. No wonder that those who caught but a glimpse of the matter in bygone times, before this feature of truth had become meat in due season, were ecstatic. No wonder the Psalmist, speaking under divine inspiration, repeatedly thanked God for the coming prospect, when the kingdom should be the Lord's and He should be the Governor amongst the nations and the earth and the fullness thereof should render unto Him the praise and honor and obedience due unto His name. No wonder the apostles looked forward to the second coming of our Lord and prayed, "Even so come, Lord Jesus. Come quickly." No wonder this thought quickened the early church to a zeal and earnestness which was astonishing to their fellow men, who "took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus and had learned of Him." (Acts 4:13) And they were hoping for a share in the kingdom which He had promised them when He said, "To him that overcometh [HGL404] will I grant to sit with me in my throne;" and again, "Pray ye, Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." Rev. 3:21; Matt. 6:10.


In our text the prophet takes his standpoint in our day, and in answer to the question whether or not the night of sin and error and superstition and sorrow is nearly ended, he declares that the morning nears. To our understanding daybreak began more than a century ago in the year 1799. That is a prominent date in the Scriptures as the close of a prophetic period, following which there would come to the world great enlightenment, great increase of knowledge along every line, as a stirring up, an awakening, a preparation for the new millennial day and its great work. The earliest awakening was along religious line, and nearly all of the great Bible societies were organized within fifteen years of that date, and the largest of them within four years. The Word of God has been the torch which led the best of minds to their grandest achievements during the century which followed. Today theologians, college professors, and in general all the elite of the world, under the lead of higher criticism, have rejected the Bible; but this is not to its discredit, but to theirs. They have become vain in their imaginations, wise in their own conceits, neglectful of the inspired Word, and the result is that they today are in blindness as respects the times and seasons in which we are living. Hence the world, which knows not God, is without special leadership from those to whom it might reasonably look for guidance in the present time, when more than ever the wisdom from on high is needed.

The Scriptures declare this period since 1799 under two names: (1) the "Day of his Preparation" (Nah. 2:3); (2) "The Time of the End" (Dan. 12:4) It is the period which closes the epoch of what the Scriptures term the "present evil world," and introduces the "world (age) to come, in which dwelleth righteousness." (Gal. 1:4; 2 Pet. 3:13) It will then be noticed at a glance by every thinking person that this period should be, must be, the most wonderful in the world's history thus far the period of the most profound change imaginable the overthrow of the empire of darkness under the prince of darkness, and the inauguration of the empire of light under the prince of light Christ and His glorified bride. To be as brief as possible such a day of preparation and change should have two leading characteristics, and these we find.


(1) So wonderful a day as that which the Scriptures declare is coming should be prepared for. So wonderful a sunburst should give a considerable dawning light before the Sun of Righteousness itself would flood the earth with beams of glory and blessing. And is not this what we find? Is not the whole world awakening from the darkness, ignorance, superstition and slumber of past centuries to a newness of thought, of intelligence, to an awakening of their senses? Is not this the only explanation reasonable for the wonderful progress along every line of invention, in mechanics, chemistry, etc. ? Is not this the answer to the prophetic declaration that in this day of preparation, this time of the end, many would run to and fro, and knowledge would be increased? But, alas, the world by wisdom knows not God, and instead of returning thanks to Him for present blessings, and recognizing them as forerunners of the millennial kingdom, as the Scriptures explain, we find mankind on the contrary seeking an explanation along lines of worldly wisdom concluding that we are merely experiencing the results of a process of evolution, and indeed endeavoring to eliminate the Creator entirely and rejecting His Word, casting aside the torch. Thus it is that in the gray dawn they see not the stone of stumbling in their pathway, and realize not the ditch of unbelief into which they are so rapidly falling.

(2) If the whole world were saints, full of faith, obedience and love to God, the blessings coming to us in this time would be wisely used for the mutual good of the entire human family. But it will be admitted that only the few are of such a spirit that the majority, both inside and outside the nominal church, are controlled by the spirit of the world, the spirit of selfishness. Hence the blessings of our day, although so abundant that they have overflowed in every direction and benefited every member of our race afar and near, have come chiefly into the hands of the worldly wise and acquisitive. We perceive that in the increasing light of each decade the wonderful ingenuity and skill of the world's brightest minds turn increasingly in the selfish direction. Not content with much luxury they seek more. With commendable zeal, energy and skill immense projects are accomplished, and more and more mankind in general, though richly blessed through these same channels of genius, find that the bulk of the world's wealth and practically all of its opportunities are passing into the hands of aggregated capital, trusts, etc. While the intelligent will acknowledge that they are receiving a blessing in conjunction, and that their lot is far better than that of their forefathers, nevertheless, the masses have caught the acquisitive spirit as well, and a hunger for wealth is in nearly every bosom and a scheming for it in nearly every brain. Consequently this wonderful day of blessing, instead of bringing thankfulness, gratitude, happiness, contentment, praise and thanksgiving to the Giver of every good, is more and more bringing the reverse of this -unhappiness, discontent, envy, malice, hatred, strife, which the apostle denominates "works of the flesh and of the devil." As a result there is a mad financial rush everywhere as it is discerned that those who have already procured possession of the wealth of the world practically control the situation for the present, and apparently also for the future. The result is the engendering of a spirit of bitterness against them well illustrated in the many unreasonable and unjust attacks upon capitalists who are far more just and generous than the majority of those who assail them through the press. However, we are not discussing particulars but broad generalities.

We are not discussing grades of selfishness, but the great fact that selfishness as a principle is more and more gaining control both of the poor and the rich, and is leading on with rapid strides to the very culmination which the scriptures indicate will be with us within eight years- "a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation." (Dan. 12:1) [HGL405] Our Lord quotes this prophecy and applies it, we believe, as we do, and adds the encouraging statement that there would never be such a time of trouble afterward. (Matt. 24:21) The effect of this trouble will be so over-ruled by divine Providence in the establishment of the kingdom of righteousness, the kingdom of light, that such a tribulation will never again be possible. Of that glorious millennial time the scriptures declare, "the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." (Isa. 26:9) They will learn that the ways of righteousness are the ways of the Golden Rule. But it will require time, and undoubtedly the great lesson that is coming respecting the unprofitableness in the end of the rule of selfishness will be a valuable preparation to the world for the learning of the advantages of the rule of love.

"The knowledge of the glory of God shall fill the whole earth," declares the prophet. (Hab. 2:14) And again, "The sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in its beams"; and again, "Then shall the righteous (Christ and His glorified church) shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." (Mal. 4:2; Matt. 13:43) "He that hath an ear, let him hear." During that glorious day 'righteousness will be laid to the line and justice to the plummet, and the judgments of the Lord will be abroad in the earth' -judging the world in righteousness giving them the knowledge of the truth and the opportunities for obedience and the assisting and uplifting influences of that time, and then rewarding every good endeavor and punishing with corrective 'stripes' every soul of man that doeth evil, and ultimately punishing with everlasting destruction those who deliberately, willfully, persistently refuse to come into harmony with the divine arrangement and to go up on the highway of holiness to full perfection and eternal life.


Our text recites just exactly what we find, namely, that although the night of six thousand years is now spent, and although we are in the morning of the new dispensation and its gray dawn is already awakening many of the sleeping ones a brief period of dense darkness an early morning storm which other Scriptures show to be terrific is to arise. Various symbols in the Scriptures are used to represent this brief period, which in the Scriptures is known as a "day of wrath and fierce anger." Sometimes a symbol of storm is used and a hurricane is described, a whirlwind swift and terrible. Again the symbol is that of a flood, at other times of fire melting the earth. The latter symbol has been mistaken by our Second Day Adventist friends, and indeed by nearly all Christendom, as represented in their creeds, to imply a literal burning of the earth, which on the contrary, the Scriptures declare is "to abide forever." (Eccl. 1:4) We quote one Scripture of this latter class in evidence of our position. The prophet declares, "Wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until that day (the day of wrath) when I rise up to the prey; for my determination is to gather the nations, to draw together the kingdoms, that I may pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger. For the whole earth shall be devoured by the fire of my jealousy." (Zeph. 3:8) We already witness the gathering of the nations the drawing of them together by the power of steam and electricity, which today makes China nearer to your city than New York was a century ago. This drawing together of the nations in their interests, financial, social and sympathetic, makes the coming cataclysm instantly worldwide in a manner impossible before, and like a fire present institutions will be speedily consumed under the ruthlessness of anarchy. True, anarchists today are few, but Socialists throughout the world are growingly numerous, and it is our expectation that within seven years they will be very powerful. We are not blaming them with having anarchistic intentions we believe that many of them are noble and generous and little realize the position they will feel themselves forced to assume and the awful world-wide tragedy they will assist in precipitating. We counsel all who are the Lord's people that while these things will come to pass, as the Scriptures have portrayed, none of the Lord's consecrated people should have any part therein. Those who pray "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven," should see to it above all things that the divine will is done to the extent of their ability in their own hearts, in their own lives, in their own families, in their own business. In proof that our interpretation of the foregoing passage is correct in proof that the fire of God's jealousy which will then devour the earth is symbolical and not literal, we call attention to the verse following which reads "Then will I turn to the people a pure language (message) that they may all call upon the name of the Lord to serve him with one consent." If the fire were literal and the earth were actually melted there would be no people left to then hear the message of the Lord and to serve him. The fire is symbolical, and the very forcefulness of the statement and the strength of the language is an evidence to us of the terrible character of the trouble which we expect will engulf society, symbolized by the word "earth," within eight years.


Symbolically in the Scriptures the church is represented as a woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet. (Rev. 12:1) The force of the symbol is that the Church of Christ has a special enlightenment in the gospel, which in this figure is represented by the sunlight, and she stands upon the moon, which represents the Jewish system, the Mosaic law, which, as the apostle declared, was a shadow of the better things of the gospel. Using this figure of speech, our Lord declares respecting the trouble time with which this age will close, that in it the sun shall be darkened, the moon will not give her light, and the stars will fall from heaven. (Matt. 24:29) While accepting as a matter of fact that there has been a literal fulfillment of this statement within this generation within less than a century, we hold, nevertheless, that there is a symbolical application. To our understanding it is now being fulfilled, and its fulfillment bears a close relationship to the coming trouble. The sunlight of Christendom, the gospel message, the Bible, is being rejected by the very highest standard-bearers in Churchianity. Higher criticism, which is a refined name for infidelity, is not only taught in practically every college of Christendom today, but is taught also in the religious denomination, yea, with its handmaiden, the evolution theory, it has even invaded the common schools and has threatened also the Sunday schools. [HGL406] Thus the sunlight of gospel truth, which has enlightened the church, is fading out gradually and being eclipsed by worldly wisdom. In the same proportion of course, the moon, the Mosaic law, the typical foreshadowing of gospel truth, is becoming darkened, so that it is not an uncommon thing to hear prominent Christians speak of the "bloody sacrifices" of the Jews in olden times, and failing entirely to understand what the Apostle Paul explains, that "without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins," and that God provided the sacrifices of the law as foreshadowings of the "better sacrifices" of Christ and those who follow in his footsteps, presenting their bodies living sacrifices. (Heb. 9:22, 23; Rom. 12:1; Col. 1:24) Furthermore, are not the stars in the religious firmament falling the brightest ones, to whom Christendom has looked for leading and guidance and instruction are they not falling from their position in the estimation of Christendom? What a bright star in the religious firmament was the Apostle Paul as well as the other apostles, and are not all these falling from their exalted position in the judgment of the masses of Christendom? so that it is not an uncommon thing to hear the worldly-wise doctors of divinity imply that the apostles were earnest, but ignorant, and thoroughly incapable of shedding any light upon the church in this our day when the heavenly wisdom is being rejected and the earthly wisdom is being sought.

With the breaking down of faith in the Bible as a divine revelation and guide, Christendom is left without chart or compass as she enters the great gale that is before us. Is it not time that those in all denominations and out of all denominations who are at heart loyal to the Lord and his word should take their position firmly in defense of the truth and manifest their loyalty? Is any other course for them a safe one? Can they expect to grow in grace and knowledge and to be able to "stand in the evil day" (Eph. 6:13) unless they do manifest such a loyalty? I exhort you all dear friends, and the hundreds of thousands whom I weekly address through the public press, that we not only awake to the importance of the glorious morning so near at hand, and the preparation therefor in the purity of heart and life and faithful zeal for the Lord, but that we do all in our power to bring the knowledge of present truth to all those who have an ear to hear. The trial, the testing is bound to reach every professed child of God very speedily, and those unprepared by the truth are almost certain to be overwhelmed with the error, which is spreading everywhere and preparing the world for the climax beyond which we see, but they cannot see as yet, the glorious sun of earth's great jubilee.

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