National Labor Tribune, February 5, 1911


Brooklyn, N Y, February 5 Brooklyn Academy of Music was crowded today to hear Pastor Russell on God's mindfulness of man from the text, "What is Man, that thou art mindful of Him?" (Psa. 8:4) The large audience listened with intense interest, so that a pindrop could have been heard. The speaker said:

For two weeks our City has been in the throes of a "Revival of Religion." Hundreds of ministers have placed themselves and their congregations under the leadership of Dr. Chapman and Mr. Alexander, the famous singer, for the purpose of reviving religion; for the purpose of rescuing human souls from eternal torment, as the proposition is generally understood. Business men have subscribed large sums of money for this noble work of rescue, reasoning that if thousands of dollars are spent in fire-fighting apparatus for the protection of human life for a few years, the services of Messrs. Chapman and Alexander will be cheap if they carry away twenty-five thousand dollars for a month's work, provided the results show a goodly number rescued from eternal torment.

We sympathize with some of these large-hearted and open-handed business men who give their money for so laudable an object. Yet we cannot think that many, nay not even a majority, of those who contributed this sum have done so conscientiously. We cannot think that one-half of them believe in the teaching of eternal torture, nor can we think that more than one-tenth of them believe that a practical conversion is signified by a response to an invitation which implies a preference for heavenly bliss rather than for eternal anguish. However, it is for those who pay the money to exercise their own consciences in this matter, and it is none of our business what they decide. We sympathize also with the hundreds of Pastors of this city who have joined in this movement, which they hope will increase their congregations and church revenues, but these Pastors know in reality that the Bible does not teach eternal torment, and they have discarded the Bible anyway in favor of Higher Critical-Infidelity. Theirs is an unhappy and stultified position.

We sympathize still more with the poor people whose education along spiritual lines is almost wholly neglected, and who live in constant fear of the God who loves them and in dreadful misunderstanding of the Bible, which he has given them. Between the imperfections of the translation and the coloring of prejudice and the twist of misunderstanding of some parables and symbols they are helpless in the presence of educated men who inferentially teach what they do not themselves believe. Alas! poor, "common people!" that you should be betrayed by those in whom you repose confidence and whom you unwittingly pay for keeping you in the dark by taking from you the key of knowledge. "My people perish for lack of knowledge." Hos. 4:6


But still more we sympathize with God, whose name is dishonored, whose Justice, Mercy, Wisdom, Love and Poser are traduced, nay, vilified. We say to ourself, How wonderful the patience of God, which for centuries has endured blasphemous misrepresentations of his good character and Divine Plan of the Ages! Well does he tell us that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so his plans and methods in respect to our salvation are higher than ours not lower. Well does he tell us that human fear toward him is taught by the precepts of men, not according to his Word. (Isa. 29:13) We can see reasons why the Lord has kept silence toward the heathen, but we are perplexed that judgments have so long delayed to come upon those who, knowing better, still slander the great and holy name and misrepresent the Divine purposes.

What would a chief shepherd do to an under-shepherd found misleading the sheep, guiding them into poisonous pastures? We believe that he would take the sheep from him, even though he allowed him still to shepherd the goats. And it is quite our thought that such a judgment impends over Christendom and that all shepherds, false to their trust, will be dismissed ignominiously, and that very soon!

Is it urged that we should do evil in order to obtain good results, that we should misrepresent the Divine character in order to get people to join the Church? Is it urged that some may, as a result of this evangelistic movement, lead a more orderly and decent life hereafter as citizens, and that we should be willing to join in traducing our Creator, in order to obtain this result? We answer, No, a thousand times, No! In our judgment the perversions of the Truth, the dishonoring of our Maker, the instilling of misconception into the minds of the people, is an awful cost to pay, even if the results should be a hundred times as great as promised. Well did Jesus say, Ye compass sea and land to make a proselyte and when he is made he is two-fold more a child of destruction than he was before. (Matt. 23:15) The conversions achieved by misrepresentations of God instill a poison into the heart difficult to eradicate, impervious to the Truth.

It grieves me to be obliged conscientiously thus to characterize a movement which has, at least, an outward appearance of godliness. It will attract to me the venom of those whose hypocrisies I criticize. It is not the money that [HGL464] they will collect that grieves me, for those who give it honestly, thinking thus to serve the Lord, will surely be blessed by him. It is the hypocrisy of the thing, the misrepresentation of their own belief and unbelief and the slander against the holy name of the Creator and the further bamboozling and throwing of dust into the eyes of the common people this awakens, and should awaken, righteous indignation. And the more others do not speak, the more I must speak in denunciation and in warning to the people to search the Scriptures and become undeceived.


The teachings of all of the creeds of the "Dark Ages" which have come down to us, although they contain many good things, are so befogged with misrepresentations of God as to be a stench to our nostrils and a menace to our spiritual health. They picture to us a God either reckless and careless of the future interests of his human creatures, or else as powerless to aid any but the few. They picture to us millions going down to torture during the four thousand years before Jesus came into the world to seek and to save that which was lost. They picture to us that since his coming only a handful, comparatively, of the human family have become his disciples, footstep followers, "Meet for the inheritance of the saints in light." All the others, according to our Protestant creeds, Calvanistic and Arminian, have gone down to eternal torture. From this standpoint it is that Dr. Chapman and Mr. Alexander are the heroes of the hour, saving a few more whom God would have otherwise neglected, or, as some might say, saving them in spite of Divine foreordination to the contrary.

But what say the Scriptures? Does the Bible substantiate such theories?

Nay, nay! In harmony with our text, the entire Bible reveals to us a God as infinite in his Wisdom and Power as in his Justice and Love. Our text tells us that he is mindful of his creatures humanity. He was mindful in the very beginning when he created man and foreknew his fall. Away back there he foretold that "the seed of the woman should ultimately bruise the Serpent's head." Away back there he indicated his Divine purpose, in due time, to redeem man from destruction (not from eternal torment, for none were sentenced to torment). The skins which covered the nakedness of our first parents cost the lives of animals, and thus God typically prophesied "better sacrifices" for the perfect covering of man's sin and shame. In God's dealings with the nation of Israel, he gave numerous types foreshadowing the later blessings, following "the better sacrifices" of the antitypical Atonement Day blessing all the families of the earth.

God was mindful of man's interests all that time (for over forty-two centuries), even though, during that long period, nothing was actually accomplished. The salvation was purposed, was planned, was assured, but must be waited for until God's due time.


When Jesus appeared the world was still in sin even the one little nation of Israel was still under Divine condemnation because of sin because their typical sacrifices were insufficient and merely foreshadows of "the better sacrifices" which God was mindful later to bring to pass.

Those "better sacrifices" are not yet completed, though nearly so, we believe. They consist of "the Man Christ Jesus who gave himself a Ransom for all" and also of the faithful few whom he has accepted as his disciples and who are walking in his steps, "presenting their bodies living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God," through their Redeemer. Rom. 12:1

God is still mindful of humanity. He has not forgotten his responsibilities as a Creator. The theory that God shirks his responsibility and allows the ninety thousand who die daily to drop into eternal torment because of carelessness or indifference on our part is not true is not Scriptural.

God affirms his own responsibility for every feature of his Plan. He declares, "My Word that is gone forth out of my mouth shall not return unto me void; it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (Isa. 55:11) Hence we should understand that God sent no message to convert the world during the first forty-one hundred and fifty years after Adam's creation, because he did not will the world to be converted. He had no message for the world. His time had not come. St. Paul refers to this, saying, "The times of that ignorance God winked at: (took no notice of). But now, since the death of Jesus, the Just for the unjust, and the opening up of possibilities for a future life through a resurrection, God commands all men everywhere to repent. And all who become disciples of Jesus are privileged to be ambassadors for God, to convey to all who have the hearing ear a message of God's mercy to bind up the broken-hearted, to declare the acceptable year and the opening of the prison doors."

But the work in the present time is restricted. Not all could possibly be blessed now and the elect must have an ear to hear and must be "drawn of the Father" and must walk in the Master's footsteps and thus become copies of God's dear Son. This is the only work thus far, and it is not to the world, but to the few who have the hearing ear and who leave the world to become followers of Jesus.


The Bible declares that now God is sending forth a "high calling in Christ." Those called during this Gospel Age are called to walk in Jesus' footsteps as saints, "presenting their bodies living sacrifices," suffering with their Master and for his cause. The promise to all these is that, if faithful, they shall share with the great Redeemer his Messianic Throne which is yet to bless the world. To this Bride-class the Redeemer will be the Bridegroom, Lord and Head. Sharing his sufferings they shall share his exaltation to the divine nature and its glory, honor and immortality. And these shall participate in the glorious Messianic work soon to begin.


If evangelists and others would preach this "narrow way" of the Gospel of Christ, how we would rejoice with them, and how soon would the true knowledge of God's love spread over the world and appeal to the hearts of all! How gladly we would have them join us in this message and in the further message that God's Plan in the next Age will reach Adam and all of his posterity- "every man," just and [HGL465] unjust living and dead! They should be told of the "Times of Restitution" that are nearing. They should be advised that if they neglected the "high calling," the "election" now in progress, they will, nevertheless, have responsibility and be liable for stripes or punishments, in proportion as they know right from wrong and willfully do the wrong. What we are objecting to is that poor humanity should be frightened and our gracious God be dishonored by the fallacies of the "dark ages."

What we plead for is that the educated ministers and laymen should cease to do evil, cease to misrepresent and traduce our gracious Creator. We warn them that he will not hold guiltless those who take his name in vain will not hold guiltless those who atrociously malign his name.


As for methods for the calling of the "elect" in this Age, we urge that neither we nor others are wise enough to improve upon the methods and practices of Jesus and the Apostles. We urge that any deviation from their Gospel of "good tidings of great joy for all people" must be injurious. We urge that we of today should preach as St. Peter did at Pentecost, not only of the "high calling" of the Church, but also of the world's blessing- "Times of Restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." Acts 3:19-23

We urge that such a general presentation of Divine Justice would appeal to all true hearts and heads in the present time much better than any "expediency" preaching and prepare all mankind the better for the future as well as for the present life.

The great revival of religion will come to the world immediately following the great time of trouble with which this Gospel Age is shortly to end. Then, under the blessing of Messiah's Empire, all the ignorance and superstition and misrepresentation of God and of his Plan will flee away before the presence of the Sun of Righteousness, which will illuminate the world.

Then will come God's time for blessing the world. His Kingdom, established in the world with power and great glory, will rule it with a rod of iron, compelling prompt obedience to the Divine Law, both in letter and in spirit. The obedient will be helped upward and will progress step by step to perfection, while the rebellious, after proper testing and provings, "will be destroyed from amongst the people" in the "Second Death."

Why should we not tell the people plainly, that there is a special salvation now in progress and that a common or general one will follow for the non-elect? Why not explain to them the great reward of the present time joint-heirship with Messiah in the Kingdom for which we pray, "Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as in heaven?" Why not explain to the world that restitution is the portion of all who do not choose to sacrifice; but that, according to their present course, upward or downward, will be their standing, future more or less disapproved and requiring more or less of chastisements or stripes, difficulties, for their extrication, for their uplifting?

Much better could we understand the giving of money to tell mankind the Truth and to glorify the name of our God and our Redeemer. But we are totally at a loss to comprehend the attitude of those who give time and money for a little outward show and the grievous inward injury to the many through a misrepresentation of their Creator and his Word!

To the out-of-Church millions whom I address through the newspapers weekly I suggest that the power of the Truth is love, and that faithfulness to our Lord and to his Message in the Bible are the two greatest privileges that could possibly come to any of us, and that we should each and all unite hearts and voices in "showing forth the praises of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvellous light." Thus we may be of help to other wanderers seeking "the Way, the Truth and the Life." "The Love of God constraineth us." 2 Cor. 5:14

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