The New York American, June 18, 1911


Pastor Russell gave two public addresses here today, one of which we report. Many of Denver's prominent religious people were conspicuous in the large audience. Profound impressions were undoubtedly made. Speaking from the text, "Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, the whole earth shall be filled with Thy glory" (Rev. 4:8) the speaker said:

Shakespeare tells of some "Damned by faint praise" We grasp his statement as implying that a faint praise is more injurious than silence. But as we look to ourselves and the remainder of the reputed four hundred millions of Christendom and their united tribute of praise to the Almighty Creator we are forced to admit that with many He is given "faint praise," while the vast majority positively blaspheme the Holy Name by most atrocious misrepresentations of the Divine character, which they claim to be His own revelation of a demoniacal plot for the eternal torture, in one way or another, of the thousands of millions brought into existence by His power and without their own consent.

There may be said to be three different theories prevalent in Christendom on the subject. They all have zealous, earnest, honest advocates. Each contradicts the other. Each claims to love God and to seek to serve and honor Him. Evidently, two at least of the three are wrong. It is our conviction that all three are in error. We believe that all three of them have fragments of the truth around which have crystallized distorting, slanderous, blasphemous errors. The upholders of these theories are so blinded and bewildered that they fail to discern that their praise and worship toward the Creator are defiled and converted into slanders and calumnies and blasphemies by their incrustations of falsehood.


All three of these view declare that the almighty, with full power to have done otherwise, so created humanity that a child once born into the world can never die he must live somewhere unceasingly either in pain or in pleasure. By what authority any make these declarations we have never ascertained.

Surely it is a gross slander upon a God of infinite Justice, Wisdom, Love and Power to claim that He ever entrusted to poor, fallen, human parents the power to bring into existence sin-blighted and sin-disposed human creatures such as we see our race to be, and then made the happiness of their eternity dependent upon a superhuman resistance of the evils of their environment and of their depraved constitutions! This blasphemy against the Holy Name is common to nearly every creed of Christendom.

Our Catholic friends tell us that by Divine arrangement terrible purgatorial experiences await practically every member of our race, in the hope that, if rightly exercised thereby, after centuries of torture, and eternity of bliss will be gained. Is not this also a blasphemy against the Holy Name? Who can deny it? Who would not shudder to have such an awful crime of evil design charged against himself or against his earthly parents? Who that is begotten of the Holy Spirit is not pained event to think of such a charge being made against his Heavenly Father, "the God of all grace?" Surely such a theory is blasphemous, horrible.

But we have grown so accustomed to this blasphemy that it fails to prick the majority to the heart as it should. With all of our development of human sympathy and care for the sick and even for our wounded enemies on the battlefield, and with our precautions of modern times against criminal negligence which might lead to the destruction of human life by conflagration with all of our fire apparatus and benevolent laws for the protection of the very humblest of our race, we have calmly and without protest charged against our great Creator, and indorsed it as our belief, either publicly or tacitly, that He would look upon a holocaust of millions with no fire brigade for their relief. Is not this blasphemy of the Holy Name?


Is it any wonder that in early life our childish hearts were filled with fear rather than with love toward our Creator and toward His Revelation, the Bible? Is it any wonder that it required all kinds of fighting with our common sense to believe, as we were taught we should, that God lovingly predestinated that all the families of the earth should suffer eternally except a saintly handful because He was pleased to have it so! because He foreordained that it must be so! because He made a great place called hell before He made the earth, and made it large enough to hold the entire human family! because He created the fire-proof demons to inflict torture upon the poor unfortunates who were born in sin, shapen in iniquity, in sin conceived by their mothers, and many of them left without an opportunity of hearing of the "only name whereby they must be saved" and that He wisely and with devilish intention laid up fuel enough to last to all eternity for the torture of His helpless creatures!

And are not such evil thoughts and presentations respecting our great Creator blasphemy? If not, pray tell me what would be blasphemy? Most assuredly I can think of nothing that could possibly enter the human mind or pass the human lips more blasphemous than this doctrine. And yet those who bow down before this creed number some of the ablest and most intelligent, most enlightened and most benevolent of our depraved, fallen race. How is this? How comes it that we have been so blinded as respects our own conduct and misbelief? The Scriptures answer that Satan has deceived us: he has put light for darkness and darkness for light.


A considerable portion of thinking and Christian people will join with us in saying, Ah! surely Brother Calvin grievously erred and grievously misrepresented the God of Love when he taught the doctrine of the predestination of the wicked to eternal torture. Ah! say these Christian [HGL482] friends, our hearts rebel against that theory of Divine predestination. We claim that the Almighty is Love itself that He is sympathetic with His creatures and is using every effort to avert the great calamity of eternal torture.

Ah! my friends, is not this still another form of blasphemy? If some of us blasphemed the Holy Name in representing our Heavenly Father as merciless, loveless, have we not in another way blasphemed that same Holy Name in declaring that He lacks the power and the wisdom to do the good which His loving heart would prompt? Do we worship a stupid and impotent God, one who blundered in the creation of our race, and who, for six thousand years, has been striving to rectify that error and all the while has been allowing thousands of millions of His creatures whom He loves to go down to an eternity of torture? Alas! it would be nearly as easy to worship an all-powerful and loveless God as to worship an all-loving but unwise and impotent God who foolishly, sinfully, brought thousands of millions of intelligent beings into existence only to cause them to suffer an eternity of agony through His incompetence.


Thank God! dear friends, for the glorious day in which we are living, with its electric light and other evidences that we are in the dawning of a New Age. Thank God! that in this day the electric lamp of truth is showing up the mistakes of these blasphemous errors which have so defiled all the precious truths of God's Book for years, for centuries. Thank God that our Bible is becoming a new Book to those whose eyes of understanding are opening to the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of the love of God which it declares!

Now we are seeing that "the wages of sin is death" not eternal torment not purgatory. Now we are seeing the Jesus met this death penalty as the Redeemer of our race from the power of the tomb. Now we are seeing that the salvation that God has promised will be brought to us at the second coming of Jesus and the establishment of His Mediatorial Kingdom for the blessing of all the families of the earth! Now we are seeing that the salvation provided is a resurrection of the dead not merely an awakening from the tomb, but a complete uplift out of sin and degradation to the full perfection of human nature in the earthly likeness of the Creator.

Now we are seeing that this great blessing has been set apart by the Almighty as the work of the great Sabbath Day of a thousand years, in which "the last enemy to be destroyed is death." Now we are seeing that the whole earth is to be reclaimed from the curse and made to blossom as Eden that the place of Jehovah's feet, His footstool, will be made glorious and in every way happifying to all the willing and obedient, whom the great Messiah shall recover fully from sin and death. Now we are seeing that the intelligent rejectors of Divine Grace will not be tormented, but, as it is written, "All the wicked will God destroy."


Now we see that free grace and the glorious opportunity to human restitution will be ushered in with the Kingdom, but that preceding that glorious epoch God is making a selection of a saintly class to be the Bride of Christ- "the Lamb's Wife." This explains why the darkness has been so long permitted because God would test the "elect" by obliging them to walk by faith and not by sight He would test them by obliging them to endure hardship as good soldiers He would test them by requiring that they shall suffer for righteousness' sake and thus manifest their love of righteousness to a remarkable degree. Now we see that the faithful of these are to experience a change from earthly to heavenly conditions, in the First Resurrection, and that this change has its beginning in the Divine begetting of the Holy Spirit. Now we see that these, with the Redeemer, will constitute the Kingdom class which, invisible to men, will bind Satan for a thousand years and supplant his reign of darkness and sin by a reign of light and righteousness, helpful and uplifting to mankind.


We come now to our text: It declares that the time is coming when the whole earth shall be full of God's glory. Ah, glorious Day! Then the shadows of ignorance, superstition, misunderstanding and misrepresentation in respect to the Divine character will all flee before the light of the knowledge of the glory of God the appreciation of the Divine character as manifested in the Divine Plan for human salvation! Could this scripture ever be fulfilled, could the Divine character ever be appreciated by intelligent, honest, just and loving hearts, if in any corner of the Universe there were such orgies and tortures of His creatures as the creeds of the Darker Ages have set forth? Surely not! On the contrary, in this glorious Day will be fulfilled the scriptural prediction: "All in heaven and in earth and under the earth (everywhere) heard I saying, praise, glory, honor, dominion and might be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever!"

As we emerge from the darkness and praise the Lord in thought and word and deed, we thus "show forth the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light."


The Apostle Paul (Rom. 8:21) declares that the groaning creation shall be delivered from its bondage of corruption into the liberty of the Sons of God. The meaning of this is clear. The corruption came upon all though Adam; the deliverance from that corruption is to come to all through the second Adam. All are to be delivered from such bondage, however they may use the deliverance and the privileges of liberty. Those who use them rightly will come into harmony with the Redeemer and the Heavenly Kingdom and will be blessed eventually with the eternal life. Those who reject these liberties after they come to understand fully, and comprehend their lengths and breadths, will thus be choosing for themselves the Second Death.

The liberty of the Sons of God their freedom from corruption, death, is here distinctly shown. The angels are not subject to, not bound by, such corruption, such dying conditions. They, as sons of God, are free from corruption, from death. Adam in his

original perfection was a son of God, as the Scriptures declare (Luke 3:38), but he lost his sonship for himself and for all of his race and received [HGL483] instead degradation and bondage to corruption. The hope for Adam and for his race, then, in Christ, is deliverance from the power of sin and death into the liberty proper to them as sons of God. The entire reign of Christ on the earth, as the Scriptures show us, will be devoted to this work of setting free the human family from the various bondages of ignorance, superstition, weakness, heredity, and bringing back all who will, by restitution processes, to the original image and likeness of God, and making them again human sons of God like unto Father Adam before he sinned, plus a large and valuable experience gained during the 6,000 years of the fall, and also through the 1,000 years of the raising up the Restitution Age, the Resurrection Age. Acts 3:19-21.


How glad we are that in this dawning time of the New Dispensation the light is shining upon the Divine Word as well as throughout the realm of nature! How glad we are that we no longer must think of the Church alone as the subject of salvation and the world as a whole the subject of condemnation and eternal torture! How just, how reasonable, how loving are the Divine arrangements! To see these things should draw our hearts near to the Lord in appreciative love, and we should worship with the greater devotion One whom we thus see worthy of praise and adoration.

We are not, however, to expect the world to be able to realize these things; it is not the Divine intention that they should grasp the Plan, as the Master said to the faithful disciple of old and still says to us- "To you it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God, but to outsiders all these things are spoken in parables and dark sayings, that hearing they might hear and not understand." They will both hear and understand in due time, but now is the time for the calling out of the elect, "the perfecting of the saints," etc.

Let us whose ears and eyes have been blessed of the Lord respond with all gratitude and humility not merely with outward praise of our lips, but also with our hearts let us confess His loving kindness and tender mercy, and let this appreciation more and more sanctify our hearts and separate us from the world, its aims its selfishness, and let us fight a good fight against sin, especially in our own mortal bodies, because even though the imperfections of the flesh be not counted against this New Creation, begotten of the Spirit, nevertheless the fact that we possess the Spirit of the Lord should lead us more and more to desire that perfection which is most pleasing and acceptable to Him, and to strive, therefore, to the extent of our ability, not trusting to the attainment of that perfection, but relying upon the merit of that great Atonement Sacrifice.

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