My dear Brethren: Grace and peace thru our Beloved Master!
Recently a biography of Brother Russell has come into our possession; and we believe our readers will benefit from reading some of it. The author does not give his name, so we cannot identify him, although he apparently is some one who was very close to That Servant. The book was copyrighted in 1923. We have tried to secure more copies of the book, but so far have failed.
We now quote from that book, and begin with some statements in the FOREWORD: “Our motive has been to do GOOD, as God has given us to understand what that means; therefore, we have no further explanation to make or apology to offer; merely pleading that we have earnestly and consistently striven to absorb the Truth and the spirit of the Truth which was so beautifully exemplified in the life of the subject in this book – our beloved Brother Russell, who labored so hard and earnestly to teach us how to walk as Christians should. God bless his memory!
“The Bible is THE BOOK of books in every sense; first, there is no other book like it in the world – for it is God’s Book or Message to the human family; second, it is a Book of Books for the reason that it is made up of many books, or portions, by many writers – sixty‑six divisions.
“In a complete and connected sense, this Book, though containing the Great Author’s Wonderful Plan of the Ages, was sealed to human understanding until our Lord’s PAROUSIA in 1874, when it was given him to ‘loose the seals,’ using a human instrument, ‘a chosen vessel,’ for this purpose.
“Charles Taze Russell was the one ‘chosen of God and faithful’ to this end; so he, under the Lord’s guidance, gave us ‘The Keys’ to the Scriptures – and to all sincere Christians these ‘Keys’ or Studies, have fulfilled the design of the author; for they have proved to be Helping Hands in the systematic study of the Bible. This book – MEMOIRS – tells you something about how and under what difficulties ‘That Servant’ attained the desired end – something of the discouragement he met and the obstacles he overcame. It is important to ponder well the revealments herein given pertaining to the Life, Works and Character of one of the greatest men the world has ever known.”
Now to the book proper: “Charles Taze Russell was born in Pittsburgh, Pa., Feb. 16, 1852, of consecrated parents who were of Scotch‑Irish descent... In private Pastor Russell admitted his belief that he had been chosen for the great work he had accomplished, as ‘that Servant,’ from before his birth... Up to the age of fifteen he believed as gospel truth all and only such doctrines as had been taught him... The clergy usually discouraged individual Bible research, and the asking of questions was considered equivalent to doubting, and to ‘doubt was to be dammed.’
“By skillful questions, which were unanswerable by either minister or laymen from their sectarian standpoints and by the maneuvering of many seemingly paradoxical Scriptures, an infidel completely routed young Russell, who within a few months became an admitted skeptic.
“At twenty‑one Mr. Russell was possessed of much knowledge and voluminous data on religion as believed and practiced in all parts of the world. Apparently these were to become of no value to himself or others, because of large business responsibilities that were placed upon him at the time. The question that here confronted him was, ‘Shall I try longer to find the truth on religion? Or, shall I smother the hope of finding it and strive for fame and fortune among the financial and commercial captains of the time?’ Fortunately, he decided first to search the Scriptures from a skeptic’s standpoint, for its own answer on hell‑fire and brimstone.
“Amazed at the harmonious testimony, proving an unexpected but satisfactory answer, he undertook systematic Bible research and was brought to a complete confidence in the Bible as being inspired by an all‑wise, powerful, just and loving Creator, worthy of adoration and worship. Thus a sure anchor for a fainting hope was found, and an honest, truth‑seeking heart was made glad.
“In 1877 Pastor Russell called a meeting of all the ministers of Allegheny and Pittsburgh, showed them the Scriptures which indicated our Lord’s presence and urged them to investigate and proclaim the message. All the ministers of the two cities were present and all of the ministers of the two cities refused to believe. In that same year he gave up his secular work to devote his entire time and fortune to the work indicated in the Scriptures as incident to the close of the Gospel Age and the change of Dispensations impending. As a means of determining whether his purposed course was in harmony with the Scriptures, and also as a means of demonstrating his own sincerity, he decided to test the Lord’s approval, as follows:
“(1) Devote his life to the cause; (2) invest his private fortune (about $300,000.) in the promulgation of the work; (3) prohibit collection at all meetings; (4) depend on unsolicited contributions (which must be wholly voluntary) to continue the work after his own fortune was exhausted. Furthermore, in 1881 there were distributed free 1,400,000 copies of Food for Thinking Christians to the Protestant Churches in the United States, Canada and Great Britain, on three consecutive Sundays, by A.D.T. messenger boys. This was said to have been at a cost of $40,000.00.
“Charles Taze Russell enjoyed the immeasurable advantages of good birth. His parents were Christian people of marked intelligence and refinement. His father was a successful retail merchant of Allegheny, Pa. His mother died when he was about eight years of age, leaving him to be thereafter the boon companion of his father. As such, he learned to keep the rooms in which the father and son lived, and developed the traits of neatness and precision so marked in after life.
“He began at a very early age to take great interest in his father’s store. At the age of fifteen, so great was his sagacity as a wholesale buyer of merchandise that his father often sent him alone on purchasing tours to Philadelphia. A young man of such commercial talents would not long be working for others. He soon started a store of his own; this rapidly increased to a chain of stores. He was one of the pioneers in the development of the marvelously successful idea of the chain‑stores, an idea which has since enriched many men. His wealth increased by leaps and bounds. This was in the early seventies of the nineteenth century. Rockefeller was then unknown, nationally. The known millionaires of that day could have been counted on one’s fingers.
“Still he yearned to know God; but the creeds of Christendom only confused him. The young man began to see what all the theologians of the ages had failed to see – the harmony of the Word of God and the beauty of His plan. At the age of twenty‑four this young Bible student became aware of the time features of the Scriptures. It was at this age that he began to see that the end of the Gospel Dispensation would be marked by a great world war. It was the unfolding of these features of the truth that swept his earthly goods onto the altar of burnt‑offering and took him out into the campaign of preaching which ended only with his death.
“One truth led logically to another, and made it possible for him to become recognized as the only theologian of the Gospel Age who had been able to demonstrate the harmony of the Bible with itself. ‘Unto the Angel of the Church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness’ (Rev. 3:14) – and the angel did as commanded, and long since ‘reported the matter.’ ‘Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.’ (Matt. 24:45, 46, 47) [We believe our Lord found Brother Russell “so doing” – diligently searching the Scriptures and made him That Servant.]
“Concerning the phenomenal work he did, we offer just a few short statements from him: Many are the inquiries relative to the truths presented in my writings – whence they came and how were they developed to their present symmetrical and beautiful proportions... I claim nothing of superiority, nor of supernatural power, dignity or authority; nor do I desire to exalt myself in the estimation of my brethren of the Household of Faith, except in the sense the Master urged, saying, ‘Let him who would be great among you be your servant.’ And my position among men of the world and of the nominal church is certainly far from exalted, being ‘everywhere evil spoken against.’ I am fully contented, however, to wait for exaltation until the Lord’s due time... Presently overcoming many besetments, discouragement, etc., to press along the line toward the mark of our high calling, and claiming only, as a faithful student of the Word of God, to be an index finger, as I have previously expressed it, to help you trace for yourselves, on the sacred page, the Wonderful Plan of God – no less wonderful to me, than to you, dearly beloved sharers of my faith and joy.
“No, the truths I present, as God’s mouthpiece, were not revealed in visions or dreams, nor by God’s audible voice, nor all at once, but gradually, especially since 1870 and particularly since 1880. Neither is this clear unfolding of truth due to human ingenuity or acuteness of perception, but to the simple fact that God’s due time has come; and if I did not speak, and no other agent could be found, the very stones would cry out... Nor can I name all the little points of Divine Favor in which faith was tested, prayers were answered, etc., remembering that our Master and the early Church left no such example of boasting faith, but rather admonished otherwise saying, ‘Hast thou faith? have it to thyself!’ Some of the most precious experiences of faith and prayer are those which are too sacred for public display... The Reformation movement, or rather movements, from then until now, have all done their share in bringing light out of darkness. Let me here confine myself to the consideration of the Harvest Truths as set forth in the Scriptures and the Watch Tower...
“I soon began to see that we were living somewhere near the close of the Gospel Age and near the time when the Lord had declared that the wise, the watching ones of His children, should understand – come to a clear knowledge of His Plan. At this time, myself and a few other truth‑seekers in Pittsburgh, Pa., formed a class for Bible study and from 1870 to 1879 was a time of constant growth in grace and love of God and His Word. We came to see something of the love of God, how He had made provision for all mankind; how all must be awakened from the tomb in order that God’s loving Plan might be testified to them.
“But though seeing that the Church was called to joint heirship with the Lord in the Millennial Kingdom, up to that time we had failed to see clearly the great distinction between the reward of the Church, now on trial, and the reward of the faithful of the world, after its trial, at the close of the Millennial Age: that the reward of the former is to be the glory of the Spirit Nature, the Divine; while that of the latter is to be perfection of the human nature, once enjoyed in Eden by their progenitor, Adam.
UNDERSTANDING THE RANSOM
“However, it was not until 1872, when I gained a clearer view of our Lord’s work, as our ransom price that I found the strength and foundation of all hope of restitution to be in that doctrine. Up to that time, when I read the testimony that all in their graves should come forth, etc., I yet doubted the full provision – whether it should be understood to include idiots or infants who had died without reaching any degree of understanding, beings to whom the present life and its experiences would seem to be of little or no advantage. But when in 1872 I came to examine the subject of restitution from the standpoint of the Ransom Price given by our Lord Jesus for Adam, and consequently for all lost in Adam, it settled the matter of restitution completely and gave me the fullest assurance that ALL must come forth from their graves and be brought to a clear knowledge of the truth and to a full opportunity to gain everlasting life in Christ.
“Thus passed the years 1869 to 1872. The years following, to 1876, were years of continued growth in grace and knowledge on the part of the handful of Bible Students with whom I met in Allegheny. We progressed from our first crude and indefinite ideas of restitution to a clearer understanding of the details; but God’s due time for revealing the clear light had not yet come.
“During this time, too, we came to recognize the difference between our Lord as ‘the man who gave himself,’ and as the Lord who would come again, a Spirit Being. We saw that Spirit‑Beings can be present, and yet invisible to men. We greatly grieved at the error of Second Adventists, who were expecting Christ in the flesh, and teaching that the world and all in it, except Second Adventists, would be burned up in 1873 or 1874; their time settings and disappointments and crude ideas generally as to the object and manner of His coming, brought more or less reproach upon us and upon all who longed for and proclaimed His coming Kingdom.”
Here we would inject some conclusions of our own. We are fully persuaded that the full and complete understanding of the Ransom enabled Brother Russell to understand and clarify many Scriptures whose meaning had not been understood at all by God’s people. We explain just one: “I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts. Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.” (Isa. 6:5,6,7)
The “live coal” in the above is Present Truth, and particularly the Present Truth upon the Ransom. While in Babylon we were all contaminated with the errors that prevailed there – and especially was this so about the Ransom. But once we came to a clear understanding of the Ransom, a great part of that error was purged from our minds. None of us could say this was true until That Servant had given us a clear explanation of the Ransom and kindred teachings. Then the words of Jesus assumed real meaning for us: “Thy whole body shall be full of light.” (Matt. 6:22)
In the text quoted above, the Prophet Isaiah pictures God’s people in Babylon before the Harvest – “those that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.” (Ezek. 9:4) But it can properly be applied to Brother Russell himself, who was certainly much disturbed as he dwelt “in the midst of a people of unclean lips” – those obsessed with much confusing error.
Now more from the book: “It was about Jan. 1, 1876, that my attention was specially drawn to the subject of prophetic time, as it relates to these doctrines and hopes. It came about in this way: I received a paper called The Herald of the Morning, sent by its editor, Mr. N. H. Barbour. When I opened it I at once identified it with Adventism from the picture on its first cover, and I examined it with curiosity to see what ‘time’ they would next ‘set’ for the burning up of the world. But judge not a book from its cover! To my surprise and gratification I learned from its contents that its editor was beginning to get his eyes open on the subject which for some years had so greatly rejoiced our hearts in Allegheny – that the object of our Lord’s return is not to destroy, but to bless all the families of the earth; and that His coming would be thief‑like, and not in the flesh, but as a Spirit Being, invisible to men; and that the gathering of His Church and the separation of the wheat from the tares would progress in the end of this Age without the world’s being aware of it.
“I rejoiced to find others coming to the same advanced position, but was astonished to find the statement very cautiously set forth that the editor believed the prophecies to indicate that the Lord was already present in the world (unseen and invisible) and that the Harvest Work of gathering the tares was already due; and that this view was warranted by the time prophecies, which but a few months before he supposed had failed.
“Here was a new thought; could it be that the ‘Time Prophecies,’ which I had so long despised because of their misuse by the Adventists, were really meant to indicate when the Lord would be invisibly present to set up His Kingdom – a thing which I saw could be known in no other way? It seemed, to say the least, a very reasonable thing that the Lord would inform His people on the subject – especially as He had promised that He would not leave them in darkness with the world, and that although the day of the Lord would come upon all others as a thief in the night, it should not be so to the watching, earnest Saints.
“I recalled certain arguments used by my friend, Jonas Wendall and other Adventists to prove that 1873 would witness the burning of the world, etc. – the chronology of the world showing that 6,000 years from Adam ended with the beginning of 1873, and that other arguments drawn from the Scriptures and supposed to coincide. Could it be that these time arguments, which I had passed by as unworthy of attention, really contained an important truth which they had misapplied?
“Anxious to learn from any quarter whatever God had to teach, I at once wrote to Mr. Barbour, informing him of my harmony on other points and desiring to know particulars why and upon what Scriptural evidences he held that Christ’s presence and the Harvesting of the Gospel Age dated from the Autumn of 1874.
“The answer showed that my surmise had been correct, namely, that the time prophecies – arguments – chronology, etc., were the same as used by Second Adventists in 1873, and explained how Mr. Barbour and Mr. J. H. Paton, of Michigan, a co-worker with him, had been regular Second Adventists up to that time; and that when the date 1874 had passed without the world being burned up, and without their seeing Christ in the flesh, they were for a time dumfounded. They had examined the time prophecies, which seemingly passed unfulfilled, and had been unable to find any flaw, and had begun to wonder whether the time was right and their expectations wrong; whether the views of restitution and blessings to the world, which myself and others were teaching, might not be the things to look for.
“It seems that not long after their 1874 disappointment, a reader of The Herald of the Morning, who had a copy of the Diaglott, noticed something in it which he thought peculiar – that in Matthew 24:27, 37, 39, the word which in our Common Version is rendered coming is translated presence. This was the clue; and, following it, they had been led thru prophetic time toward proper views regarding the object and manner of our Lord’s return. I, on the contrary, was led first to proper views of the object and manner of our Lord’s return, and then to an examination of the time, indicated in God’s Word. Thus God leads His children from different starting points of truth; but when the heart is earnest and trustful the result must be to draw all such together.
“But there were no books or other publications at that time setting forth the time prophecies as then understood; so I paid Mr. Barbour’s expenses to come to see me at Philadelphia, to show me fully and Scripturally, if he could, that the prophecies indicated 1874 as the date at which the Lord’s presence and the harvest began. This was in the summer of 1876. He came, and the evidence satisfied me. Being a person of positive convictions and fully consecrated to the Lord, I at once saw that the special times in which we were living have an important bearing upon our work and duty as Christ’s disciples; that being in the time of the Harvest, the Harvest work should be done; and that the present truth was the sickle by which the Lord would have us to do a gathering and reaping work everywhere among His children.
BEGINNING OF THE HARVEST WORK
“I inquired of Mr. Barbour as to what was being done by him and the Herald. He replied that nothing was being done; that the readers of the Herald, being disappointed Adventists, had nearly all lost interest and stopped their subscriptions; and that thus, with money exhausted, the Herald might be said to be practically suspended. I said to him that instead of feeling discouraged and giving up the work since with his newly found light on restitution (for when we first met he had much to learn from me on the fullness of restitution, based upon the sufficiency of the Ransom given for all, as I had much to learn from him concerning time), he should rather feel that now he had some good tidings to preach, such as he never had before, and that his zeal should be correspondingly increased. At the same time, the knowledge of the fact that we were already in the time of the Harvest gave me an impetus to spread the truth such as I never had before. I, therefore, resolved upon a vigorous campaign for the truth.
“So I determined to curtail my business cares and give my time, as well as my means, to the great Harvest Work. Accordingly, I sent Mr. Barbour back to his home, with money and instructions to prepare in concise book‑form the good tidings, so far as then understood, including the time features, while I closed out my Philadelphia business, preparatory to engaging in the work, as I afterwards did, traveling and preaching.
“This little book of 196 pages thus prepared was entitled ‘The Three Worlds’; and as I was enabled to give some time and thought to its preparation, it was issued by us both jointly, both names appearing on its title page, though it was mainly written by Mr. Barbour. While this was not the first book to teach a measure of restitution, nor the first to treat upon the time prophecies, it was, I believe, the first to combine the idea of restitution with time prophecy. From the sale of this book and from my purse, our traveling expenses, etc., were met. After a time I conceived of adding another harvest laborer to the force, so sent for Mr. Paton, who promptly responded and whose traveling expenses were met in the same manner.
“But noticing how quickly some people forget what they have heard, it soon became evident that while the meetings were useful in awaking interest, a monthly journal was needed to hold and develop that interest. It seemed, therefore, to be the Lord’s indication that one of our number should settle somewhere and begin again the regular issuing of the Herald of the Morning. I suggested that Mr. Barbour do this, as he had had experience as a typesetter and therefore could do it the most economically, while Mr. Paton and I would continue to travel and contribute to its columns, as we should find opportunity. To the objection that the type had been sold and that the few subscriptions which would come in would not, for a long time, make the journal self‑sustaining, I replied that I would supply the money for purchasing the type, etc., and leave a few hundred dollars in the bank, subject to Mr. Barbour’s check, and that he should manage it as economically as possible, while Mr. Paton and I continued to travel. This, which seemed to be the Lord’s will in the matter, was therefore done.
NEW ADHERENTS TO THE WORKING FORCE
“It was after this, while on a tour of the New England States, that I met Mr. A. F. Adams, a young Methodist minister, who became deeply interested, accepting the message heartily during the week that I preached to his congregation. Subsequently, I introduced him to little gatherings of interested ones in neighboring towns, and assisted otherwise, as I could, rejoicing in another one who, with study, would soon be a co‑laborer in the Harvest field. About this time, too, I was much encouraged by the accession of Mr. A. D. Jones, then a clerk in my employ in Pittsburgh, who was a young man of activity and promise, one who soon developed into an active and appreciative co‑laborer in the Harvest work. Mr. Jones ran well for a time, but ambition or something eventually made utter shipwreck of his faith, leaving us a painful illustration of the wisdom of the Apostle’s words, ‘My brethren, be not many of you teachers, knowing that we shall have the severer judgment.’
“Thus far all had gone smoothly and onward: we had been greatly blessed with the truth, but not specially tested in our love and fidelity to it. But the Spring of 1878, the parallel in time to our Lord’s crucifixion, and of His statement to Peter, ‘Satan hath desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat’ (Luke 22:31), the sifting began which has Continued Ever Since; and which must, sooner or later, test every one who receives the light of present truth. For this fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is – whether he has built his faith flimsily of wood, hay and stubble, instead of valuable stones of God’s revealed truth; or whether he has built it upon the shifting sands of human theories, or upon the solid rock, the Ransom, the only foundation which God has provided.
“They who build upon that Rock shall be safe personally, even though they have built up an illogical faith, which the fire and shaking of this day of trial will overthrow and utterly consume, but they who build upon any other foundation, whether they use good or bad materials, are sure of complete wreckage.
“The object of this trial and sifting evidently is to select all whose heart‑desires are unselfish, who are fully and unreservedly consecrated to the Lord, who are anxious to have the Lord’s will done, and whose confidence in His wisdom, His way and His Word is so great that they refuse to be led away from the Lord’s Word, either by sophistries of others, or by plans and ideas of their own. These, in the sifting time, will be strengthened and shall increase their joy in the Lord and their knowledge of His plans, even while their faith is being tested by the falling into error of thousands on every hand.
FIRST HARVEST SIFTING
The sifting began thus: Regarding St. Paul’s statement, ‘We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,’ etc., we still held the idea which Adventists, and indeed all Christians hold, that at some time the living saints would be suddenly and miraculously caught away bodily, thenceforth to be forever with the Lord. And now our acquaintance with the time prophecies led us to expect this translation of the saints at the point of time in this Age parallel to the Lord’s resurrection; for many of the parallelisms between the Jewish and Christian Dispensations were already seen by us, and formed one of the features of the little book The Three Worlds.
“We did not then see, as we do now, that the date, 1878, marked the date for the beginning of the establishment of the Kingdom of God, by the glorification of all who already slept in Christ (that is, the dead in Him), and the ‘change’ which St. Paul mentions is to occur in the moment of death to all the class described, from that date onward thru the Harvest period, until all the living members of the ‘body of Christ’ shall have been changed to glorious Spirit‑beings. When at that date (1878) nothing occurred, which we could see, a re‑examination showed me that our mistake lay in expecting to see all the living saints changed at once, and without dying, an erroneous view shared in by the whole nominal Church, and one which we had not yet observed or discarded. Our present clear view was the result of the examination thus started.
“I soon saw that the Apostle’s words, ‘We shall not all sleep,’ that the word sleep was not synonymous with die, though generally so understood; but, on the contrary, the expression sleep, here used, represents unconsciousness; and that the Apostles wished us to understand, that from a certain time in the Lord’s presence, His saints, though they would die like other men, would not remain for any time unconscious, but in the moment of dying would be changed and would receive the Spirit bodies promised. Thruout this Gospel Age death of the Lord’s children has been followed by unconsciousness – ‘sleep.’ This continued true of all who ‘fell asleep in Jesus’ up to the time when He took the office of King, which we have shown was in 1878 (Volume 2, Studies in the Scriptures, pp. 218, 219).
“Not only did the King at that time ‘awaken in His likeness’ all the members of His body, the Church, who slept, but for the same reason (the time establishing His Kingdom having come) it is no longer necessary that the ‘feet,’ or last remaining members should go into ‘sleep’ or unconsciousness. On the contrary, each now, as finishes his course, faithful unto death, will at once receive the Crown of Life, and being changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, can not be said to sleep, or to be unconscious at all. Here, then, 1878 is applicable, ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.’ So this re-examination showed further light upon the pathway and became a great cause for encouragement, as evidencing the Lord’s continued leading.
“But while I was thus helped to clearer views and brighter hopes, and while I diligently endeavored to help others, the Spring of 1878 proved far from a blessing to Mr. Barbour and to many under his influence. Rejecting the plain, simple solution presented above, Mr. Barbour seemed to feel that he must of necessity get up something new to divert attention from the failure of the living saints to be caught away en masse.
“But, alas! how dangerous it is for any man to feel too much responsibility and attempt to force new light. To our painful surprise, Mr. Barbour wrote an article for the Herald denying the doctrine of the Atonement; denying that the death of Christ was the ransom‑price of Adam and his race, saying that the death of Christ was no more a settlement of the penalty of man’s sins than would the sticking of a pin thru a fly and causing it suffering and death, be considered by an earthly parent as a just settlement for the misdemeanor of his child.”
As our beloved Pastor has so truly said, “How dangerous it is for any man to feel too much responsibility and attempt to force new light.” We have found this true in JFR after he became President of the Society. He disposed of Tentative Justification, and also replaced the “great multitude” as a spiritual class to an earthly class; and one error brought on other errors, such as “dividing the sheep and the goats” before the New Covenant is inaugurated. The Jehovah’s Witnesses now teach that there will be no resurrection for Adam, the Scribes and Pharisees or any of the wicked. Those who do not join them before Armageddon will not be resurrected, etc.
Another group has invented a new class because of the disappointment of 1954. They felt “too much responsibility” and attempted to force new light; and that new light (?) has forced them into many other errors – such as a narrow way in the Camp, perverting Tentative Justification, their newly‑invented class to be first in the Kingdom blessings instead of “to the Jew first” as taught by the Apostle Paul, etc. However, they still distribute the Studies in the Scriptures, which is a far‑cry from the Witnesses, for which we commend them.
It is our hope and prayer that what we have given may prove a rich blessing to our readers, and that the subject of That Servant has been magnified and strengthened in the hearts of all. God bless the memory of That Servant!
We also pay tribute to the Epiphany Messenger who faithfully upheld and defended the Truth given us by That Servant. We honor those whom God honors in keeping with 1 Samuel 2:20: “Them that honor Me I will honor.” In so doing we will grow in grace and knowledge of our Beloved Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and continue in “the faith once delivered unto the saints.” (Jude 3) God bless the memory of the Epiphany Messenger!
“Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.” (Psa. 35:27)
Sincerely your brother, John J. Hoefle, Pilgrim
(Reprint 316, October 1981)