Sunday, December 4, 2016

The True Church (Poem)

There was a poem that once appeared in the Watch Tower , and which was reprinted in the Watch Tower book, Poems of Dawn. We haven't been able to find out who originally wrote this poem, but it appears to have been in existence before Charles Taze Russell started printing the Watch Tower. It was probably originally written in the mid-1800s. It appears on several sites online, including some that are not related to Charles Taze Russell, the Bible Students or the Jehovah's Witnesses. The idea of depicting Jesus as though he would actually appear to one as described in the poem, and to put words into his mouth as described, may be distasteful to some but we can agree that the sentiments expressed in the poem, as attributed to Jesus, can be found in the words of Jesus and his apostles in the Bible. We present the poem below for any who might be blessed by it.
THE TRUE CHURCH
----------
I.
One Sabbath morn I roamed astray,
And asked a pilgrim for the way:
"O, tell me, whither shall I search,
That I may find the one true Church?"
He answered, "Search the world around;
The one true Church is never found.
"Yon ivy on the abbey wall
Makes fair the falsest church of all."
But fearing he had told me wrong,
I cried, "Behold the entering throng!"
He answered, "If a Church be true,
It hath not many, but a few!"
Around a font the people pressed,
And crossed themselves on brow and breast.
"A cross so light to bear," he cried,
"Is not of Christ the Crucified!
"Each forehead, frowning, sheds it off:
Christ's cross abides through scowl and scoff!"
We entered at the open door,
And saw men kneeling on the floor;
Faint candle, by the daylight dimmed,
As if by foolish virgins trimmed;
Fair statues of the saints, as white
As now their robes are, in God's sight;
Stained windows, casting down a beam,
Like Jacob's ladder in the dream.
The Pilgrim gazed from nave to roof,
And, frowning, uttered this reproof:
"Alas! who is it understands
God's temple is not made with hands?"
II.
We walked in ferns so wet with dew
They plashed our garments trailing through,
And came upon a church whose dome
Upheld a cross, but not for Rome.
We brushed a cobweb from a pane
And watched the service in the fane.
"Do prayers," he asked, "the more avail,
If offered at an altar rail?
"Does water sprinkled from a bowl,
Wash any sin from any soul?
"Do tongues that taste the bread and wine
Speak truer after such a sign?"
Just then, upon a maple spray,
Two orioles perched, and piped a lay,
Until the gold beneath their throats
Shook molten in their mellow notes.
Resounding from the church, a psalm
Rolled, quivering, through the outer calm.
"Both choirs," said I, "are in accord,
For both give praises to the Lord."
"The birds," he answered, "chant a song
Without a note of sin or wrong:
"The church's anthem is a strain
Of human guilt and mortal pain."
The orioles and the organ ceased,
And in the pulpit rose the priest.
The Pilgrim whispered in my ear,
"It profits not to tarry here."
"He speaks no error," answered I;
"He teaches that the living die;
"The dead arise; and both are true;
Both wholesome doctrines; neither new."
The Pilgrim said, "He strikes a blow
At wrongs that perished long ago;
"But covers with a shielding phrase
The living sins of present days."
We turned away among the tombs--
A tangled place of briers and blooms.
I spelled the legends on the stones:
Beneath reposed the martyrs' bones,
The bodies which the rack once brake
In witness for the dear Lord's sake,
The ashes gathered from the pyres
Of saints whose zeal our souls inspires.
The Pilgrim murmured as we passed,
"So gained they all the crown at last.
"Men lose it now through looking back
To find it at the stake and rack.
"The rack and stake are old with grime;
God's touchstone is the living time."
III.
We passed where poplars, gaunt and tall,
Let twice their length of shadow fall.
Then rose a meeting-house in view,
Of bleached and weather-beaten hue.
Men plain of garb and pure of heart
Divided church and world apart.
Nor did they vex the silent air
With any sound of hymn or prayer.
God's finger to their lips they pressed,
Till each man kissed it, and was blessed.
I asked, "Is this the true Church, then?
He answered, "Nay, a sect of men:
"And sects, that lock their doors in pride
Shut God and half his saints outside.
"The gates of heaven, the Scriptures say Stand open wide by night and day.
"So, then, to enter, is there need
To carry key of church or creed?"
IV.
Still following where the highway led,
Till elms made arches overhead,
We saw a spire, and weathercock,
And snow-white church upon a rock--
A rock, where centuries before,
Came sea-tossed pilgrims to the shore.
My sandals straightway I unbound,
Because the place was holy ground.
I cried, "One church at last I find,
That fetters not the human mind."
"This church," said he, "is like the rest;
For all are good, but none are best."
V.
Then far from every church we strayed--
Save Nature's pillared aisles of shade.
The squirrels ran to see us pass,
And God's sweet breath was on the grass.
I challenged all the creeds, and sought
What truth, or lie, or both, they taught.
I asked, "Had Augustine a fault?"
The Pilgrim gazed at Heaven's high vault,
And answered, "Can a mortal eye
Contain the sphere of all the sky?"
I said, "The circle is too wide."
"God's truth is wider!" he replied.
"Though Augustine was on his knee,
He saw how little he could see;
"Though Luther sought with burning heart,
He caught the glory but in part;
"Though Calvin opened wide his soul,
He comprehended not the whole.
"Not Luther, Calvin, Augustine
Saw visions such as I have seen."
While yet he spake, a rapture stole
Through all my still inquiring soul.
I looked upon his holy brow,
Entreating, "Tell me, who art THOU?"
But such a splendor filled the place,
I knew it was the Lord's own face!
I was a sinner, and afraid!
I knelt in dust, and thus I prayed:
"O Christ the Lord! end thou my search,
And lead me to the one true Church."
He spake as never man may speak--
"The one true Church thou shalt not seek.
"Seek thou, forevermore, instead,
To find the one true Christ, its Head!"
The Lord then vanished from my sight,
And left me standing in the light. --Sel.
Watch Tower
January 15, 1893



Bible Students Did Not Become Jehovah's Witnesses

The story as it is often stated is that the Bible Students became Jehovah's Witnesses. And yet, Bible Students will say this is not true, because the majority of the Bible Students did not accept Rutherford's new organization. We have been asked for the evidence that the majority of the Bible Students rejected Rutherford's new organization.
This can be seen by the JWs' own publication entitled "Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose." In the latter part of the 1920s, Rutherford stopped printing the reports of how many had attended the memorial service because the figures had suddenly dropped extremely. From 1925 to 1928, there were no reports presented. It was in 1925 that Rutherford began his crackdown on the Bible Students by demonstrating the alleged theocratic authority he had claimed for himself. The rule was, in effect, either you accepted his new gospel, his new teachings, and his new organization and the "theocratic" authority he claimed for himself, or you did not, and if you did not then you must be disfellowshiped. His represetatives began literally going to congregations and determining who and who did not accept Rutherford's claimed "theocratic" authority, and his new dogma. Tens of thousands either willfully withdrew any support from such an authoritarian arrangement, or else they were disfellowshiped by Rutherford's representatives.
The annual memorial participants worldwide that had been reported to the Watch Tower Society in 1925 is given as 90,434; however, the number given as reported for memorial "attendance" for 1928 is 17,380. That is a decrease of over 70,000 from 1925 to 1928. Thus, these figures show that by 1928, the greater majority of the Bible Students movement had rejected Rutherford's new organization and his new doctrine. These numbers are shown in the book, "Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose" (Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1959, pages 110, 312–313). Thus, the great increases that came after 1928 were not because the greater number of Bible Students supported Rutherford (as I have seen some JWs claim), but because many new converts from outside the Bible Students movement were accepting Rutherford's message. All those "old-time" Bible Students who did not accept Rutherford's new doctrine were, especially between the years 1925 to 1928, anathematized and generally treated with animosity and indignation. These Bible Students who refused to accept Rutherford's new organization and his new gospel were called by Rutherford "the evil servant" (or, "the wicked and sluggish slave").
Nevertheless, from the standpoint of most Bible Students, Rutherford was using the legal instrument, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, as a means to draw disciples after himself, and was seeking to bring all the congregations into subjection to himself; what was really happening is that Rutherford rejected the main teachings of the Bible Students, rejected the idea of independent congregations, and instituted a new organization with a new gospel, demanding that all accept his new arrangements and his new teachings.
In effect, those of the Bible Students who followed Rutherford left the general Bible Students movement and joined Rutherford in his new organization and his new gospel. There has never been a great number who have appreciated truth. Once the truth was denied by Rutherford and a new gospel was put into effect, such a gospel would be more acceptable in appeal to those whose minds were carnal.
That the Bible Students were actually rejecting Rutherford's new organization can be seen from the words of Morton Edgar, who had been a prominent author amongst the Bible Students while Russell was alive.
The word “organisation” does not occur in the Bible, and its use is apt to mislead. The Scriptural word is “kingdom”; and our Lord distinctly said that “the kingdom of God cometh not with observation”—with outward show—Luke 17:20. Therefore there is no “visible organisation of God on earth,” as is claimed by some to their undoing.
How often Brother Russell warned us against this very thing, and how foolish we shall be if we do not heed his warning. We shall indeed be foolish if we claim that “only through our system or organisation will the heavenly Father accept praise and service”; for this would make it appear necessary for every spirit-begotten child of God to “bow the knee” to the few who have constituted themselves heads of the organisation. The apostle shows that it is only the carnal, fleshly mind that is deceived by such unscriptural claims—1 Cor. 3:1-6, 18-23....
I for one entirely repudiate this talk of “God’s visible organization on earth” during this Gospel Age. It is dangerous talk, and gives rise to all kinds of persecutions and ungodly claims, as anyone who has consecrated reasoning powers can see.... If there was one thing that our dear Brother Russell warned us against, more strongly than any other, it was this very thing. Brother Russell never made any such claim for the “Society” when he was here in the flesh and amongst us, for he knew better. But Judge Rutherford, apparently, does not know enough to keep himself clear of it. In the very first chapter of the first volume of “Studies,” Brother Russell speaks of this “false idea that the nominal church, in its present condition, is the sole agency” for the recovery of the world from sin. -- Published in "Gleanings From Glasgow".
From the above, one should be able to realize that Morton Edgar had not been associated with such an organization, and that he repudiated the organization that Rutherford had created. The same is true for the Bible Students in general.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Did Russell Separate From and Later Divorce His Wife?

A poster in:
http://exjehovahswitnessforum.yuku.com/topic/19118/Blondie-s-Comments----Hear---03-13-2011-WT-Study-MARRIAGE?page=-1
makes the following claim:
"Charles Taze Russell separated from his wife Maria and later divorced…without a scriptural basis.
"

I do not have access to that forum, so am unable to post a reply there.

Did Russell separate himself from his wife? No!

Did Russell later divorce his wife? No!

Actually, it was Mrs. Russell who separated from her husband, and who later filed for divorce, actually what amounted to a legal separation. Brother Russell, of course, had no control over what his wife sought to do.

Here is some pertinent information from Joseph Rutherford's A Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens concerning this matter:

Pastor Russell was married in 1879. For the first thirteen years of their married life he and Mrs. Russell lived happily together. They were both engaged in religious work, and had been even before their marriage. A semi-monthly religious journal, THE WATCH TOWER, was published, of which Pastor Russell was and still is the editor. She became dissatisfied with his manner of conducting this journal and attempted to dictate the policy thereof. Being the head of the house, Pastor Russell would not submit to his wife’s dictating the manner of conducting his business affairs. Without notice, she voluntarily separated herself from him in 1897, nearly eighteen years after their marriage. For nearly seven years she lived separate and apart from him, he furnishing her a separate home.
In June, 1903, she filed in the Court of Common Pleas at Pittsburgh a suit for legal separation. They had been actually separated for nearly seven years. In April, 1906, the cause came on for trial before Justice Collier and a jury.
It has been remarked by a number of lawyers who have read the record in this case that "no court has ever before granted a separation upon so slight testimony as appears in this case."
***
There never has been an absolute divorce of either of the parties.
While in Ireland in the year 1911, Russell reported an event that is related to this:

The questions were of the usual order and were answered fully and promptly and to the apparent satisfaction of all the audience except the "Y.M.C.A." rowdies. One of the questions was inspired by an attack made on me there recently by the Rev. Dr. Torry. It was, "Is it true that you are divorced from your wife?"
I replied that my topic was, "Which Is the True Gospel?" and that my home affairs and my relationship to my God were my personal affairs. Nevertheless I would answer the question. "I am not divorced from my wife. The decree of the court was not divorce, but separation, granted by a sympathetic jury, which declared that we would both be happier separated. My wife's charge was cruelty, but the only cruelty put in evidence was my refusal on one occasion to give her a kiss when she had requested it." I assured my audience that I disputed the charge of cruelty and believed that no woman was ever better treated by a husband. The applause showed that the audience believed my statements.

A Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens

CLICK HERE to see the text of this booklet.
"Pastor Russell needs no defense amongst those who know him." And this still remains true today for those who know him through his writings. However, the false accusations and misrepresentations seem to have become even more widespread today, and very many people are being misled to think evil of Russell as a result.
The link takes you to "A Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens", the text of a booklet that discusses many of the charges that were made against Russell: miracle wheat "fraud", charges of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Russell's ordination, Russell's divorce, alimony claims of Ross, alleged stocks, United States Investment Company, Russell alleged to be a kidnapper, Russell's alleged wealth, fish story, adultery, the Ross Libel suit, and more.
Although this booklet was written Joseph Rutherford, who later turned against the ransom for all, at the time that Rutherford wrote this, he was associated with Charles Taze Russell in defending that doctrine, and Russell himself approved this booklet.

Russell and Rose Ball

I am presenting below an excerpt from Joseph Rutherford's A Great Battle in the Ecclesiastical Heavens, beginning on page 17:
Upon the trial of this cause Mrs. Russell testified that one Miss Ball had stated to her that her husband said, "I am like a jelly-fish, I float around here and there. I touch this one and that one, and if she responds I take her to me, and if not I float on to others."
All this matter the Court struck from the record and would not permit it to go to the jury. In his charge to the jury the Judge said: "This little incident about this girl that was in the family, that is beyond the ground of the libel and has nothing to do with the case because not being put in it, and it was condoned or allowed to pass."
It is manifest that this "jelly-fish" story was entirely the product of Mrs. Russell’s imagination, and other facts which appear in the record conclusively show that it could not have been true.
Pastor Russell emphatically denied that any such thing ever occurred. It would seem unreasonable that any man would make such a statement about himself.
But the most conclusive facts disclosed by the record showing her statement to be untrue are these: Miss Ball came to them in 1889, a child of ten, and was taken into the home of Mr. and Mrs. Russell. She was treated as a member of the family. She was an orphan. She kissed both Mr. and Mrs. Russell good night each evening when she retired. They treated her as their own child. (Court Record, pages 90, 91.) Mrs. Russell testified that the "jelly-fish" incident transpired in 1894, when the girl could not have been more than fifteen years of age. (Page 1.5, Record.) Mrs. Russell lived with her husband for three years thereafter and was separated from him seven years longer before suit was filed, or ten years after the alleged incident before she filed her suit for separation. In her complaint, or bill for separation, no reference whatever is made to the Ball or jelly-fish incident. Her husband had no notice that she intended to make such a charge, and when upon the trial it was intimated by her counsel that he expected to prove such, counsel for Pastor Russell asked for a continuance of the case, which the Court denied. Miss Ball was then living and Mrs. Russell knew where she was and could have procured her as a witness, or have had her deposition, in court. No attempt was made to procure her attendance or her deposition.
Pastor Russell could not have had her there to testify because he had no notice or intimation that his wife would attempt to bring such into the case. It is but reasonable to conclude that this jelly-fish story was manufactured for the occasion. Truly it is a great fish-story!
A CLINCHER
Another point that conclusively shows that the "jelly-fish story," or Miss Ball incident, was manufactured and untrue is this fact: Three years after the alleged incident Mrs. Russell herself selected and called together a committee of three before whom she and her husband met to discuss their differences and tried to arrange them.
Two members of that committee testified at the trial that all the differences of Mr. and Mrs. Russell were discussed and that their trouble grew out of the management of the paper, or journal. The committee decided against Mrs. Russell’s contention, and, in their language, the two "kissed and made up."
The Miss Ball or jelly-fish incident was not even intimated to this committee. (Court Record, pages 79, 113-116.)
MRS. RUSSELL TESTIFIES HER HUSBAND WAS NOT GUILTY
At the trial of this case Mrs. Russell’s counsel made mention that Mr. Russell was in a room with Emily Matthews, a member of the household, and the door was locked. To this Pastor Russell at the time made answer under oath (page 97, Record of Testimony), as follows: "I said (to Mrs. Russell), ‘Dear, you understood all about that.
You know that was the room in which the slops were emptied and the water was carried, and that was the morning that Emily Matthews was sick, and you told me of it and asked me to go up and see her, and when they were running out and in with water pails I turned the key for half a minute until I would have a chance to hear quietly what she had to say, and there wasn’t the slightest impropriety in anything that was done. I would just as soon that everybody in this room would be present.’" Mrs. Russell did not deny this statement in her testimony, and therefore, being undisputed, it must be taken as the true and correct explanation. It shows not the slightest impropriety on his part.
That Mrs. Russell herself did not believe and never has believed that her husband was guilty of immoral conduct is shown by the record in this case where her own counsel (on page 10) asked Mrs. Russell this question: "You don’t mean that your husband was guilty of adultery?" Ans. "No."
It is seen that the court properly took away from the jury the consideration of the "jelly-fish" incident to which she testified. These are the facts which Pastor Russell’s enemies distort, and upon which they charge him with immoral conduct.
There was no testimony produced upon the trial of this case that had any tendency to show that Pastor Russell had been morally derelict in the slightest. No witness testified against his moral character, and no witness in any court has ever yet uttered a word of testimony tending to show anything against his morality.
PASTOR RUSSELL EXONERATED IN SEVERAL COURTS
Shortly after the trial of the above case the Washington Post published aforementioned "jelly-fish" story in connection with the name of Pastor Russell, and charged that he was guilty of immoral conduct. Thereupon Pastor Russell filed suit for libel against the Post, which case was tried before a jury. The instructions of the court on behalf of the defendant, the Post, were manifestly erroneous and prejudicial, but notwithstanding this the jury brought in a verdict exonerating Pastor Russell, but allowed him only one dollar damages.
Pastor Russell thereupon appealed to the Superior Court, which court reversed the judgment of the lower court and remanded the case for retrial, that a jury might have opportunity to assess larger damages. The case came on for trial the second time and after plaintiff had put in a portion of his testimony counsel for the Washington Post offered a compromise and the case was settled by the defendant, the Washington Post, paying to Pastor Russell a substantial sum of money, together with all costs in the case, and the Post thereafter published his sermons.
Thus he was completely exonerated by two different courts concerning the "jelly-fish" or immoral story.
Still his enemies persisted in trying to get this before the public. A preacher in New Jersey wrote an article to a Chicago paper, the Mission Friend, charging Pastor Russell with immorality, and as proof thereof cited the Miss Ball or "jelly-fish" story. Thereupon an action of libel for damages was filed by Pastor Russell’s counsel against the Mission Friend.
The case came on for hearing, and after argument of the legal questions involved the Court decided in favor of Pastor Russell.
The only question that remained to determine was the amount of damages to be allowed Pastor Russell.
Counsel for the Mission Friend then sought a compromise or settlement. Pastor Russell not desiring "blood money," but merely that his good name might be vindicated, agreed to the compromise upon the following terms, which were carried out, to wit: The Mission Friend paid all the costs and published a retraction admitting that it had wrongfully published the Miss Ball or "jelly-fish" story concerning Pastor Russell, further stating that Pastor Russell is a Christian and a gentleman of the highest integrity and moral standing and entitled to the respect and esteem of all good people.
It has been claimed that Rutherford, who evidently had never met Rose Ball, got the information concerning her age mixed up. If she was ten years old in 1888, then she would have been about 72 years old when she died in 1950. However, according to several sources, she was 81 when she died; if this is so, then she must have been about 19 when she came to the "Bible House".
The following is from the Watch Tower of July 15,1906, page 221f.
Mrs. Russell's bill of complaint admitted that there had been no cohabitation between herself and her husband, and her attorney attempted to make out of this that she was deprived of one of the chief pleasures of life. The Court would not permit this. The fact is that the matter was in Mrs. Russell's own control. She did understand that her husband preferred to live a celibate life, but she agreed and expressed the same as her preference. She knew his teachings on the subject, as now expressed in DAWN, VOL. VI., chap. 12--that neither the husband nor the wife may "defraud" the other of reasonable marital rights.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, Mrs. Russell on the witness stand and through her attorney attempted to give the impression that her husband was very amorously inclined, "like a jelly-fish floating around," "embracing all who would respond." She said that some one had told her this thirteen years ago. Hear-say testimony is not admissible in Court, but the precious object to be obtained was the public branding of her husband as a "scalawag," so her attorney smuggled this in by having Mrs. Russell swear that she had told it to her husband ten years ago.
When the next day the husband took the witness stand and swore that he had never used the language (and never had heard of it before) all reasonable people concluded that only an idiotic person would make such an uncomplimentary remark about himself. They concluded, too, that even an ordinary woman, seeking a charge against her husband for thirteen years, could imagine wonders and create the living and real in her own mind. This is the most charitable view possible of such an oath. The Court ruled that the testimony be stricken from the Court records.
Mrs. Russell charged an improper intimacy between her husband and "Rose," who became a member of the Russell household in 1888. The attempt of Mrs. Russell and her attorney to give the inference of criminal intimacy was so manifest that the Court interrupted to inquire, if criminal intimacy were charged, why it had not been made part of the plea and why "Rose" had not been made co-respondent in the suit? Then both Mrs. Russell and her attorney disclaimed any charge of criminal intimacy, but meant that "Rose" had sat on Mr. Russell's knee and he had kissed her. Mrs. Russell also swore that one night she entered "Rose's" room and found Mr. Russell sitting near her bed and holding her hand. The attempt of Mrs. Russell was not to state "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth," but conversely, to state a part of the truth in order to give seeming foundation for evil surmisings, that would injure her husband's influence among those who do not know him.
The next day Mr. Russell on the witness stand explained that "Rose" and her brother "Charles" were members of the family and office assistants--the former at Mrs. Russell's request. "Rose" was quite childish in appearance, wore short dresses, and looked to Mr. Russell to be about 13 years old. He did not know her age, but another who knew her guessed that she was then only 10 years old. She may have been older than 13 in 1888. The brother came first, and shortly after "Rose's" coming he died.
It was some months later that Mr. Russell in the WATCH TOWER office, hearing sobbing, turned to find "Rose" in tears. Inquiring the cause, "Rose," still weeping, came over and sat on his knee, and complained that Mrs. Russell had worked her too hard before she started for the office; and that she felt weary and friendless. He told her that all that was a mistake. He defended Mrs. Russell as not intentionally unkind or unreasonable, and told "Rose" to do what she was able to do, cheerfully, and then to explain her weariness, and that he was sure nothing unreasonable would be asked. Then, suddenly drying her tears, "Rose" kissed [R3815 : page 222] Mr. Russell. Although surprised at all this Mr. R. did not resent it nor reprove it; but rather reproved himself for not having been previously more fatherly. That very night he talked with his wife about "Rose," and pointed out that she was surely lonely since her brother's death, and that it would be a duty to look after her interests more carefully.
Mrs. Russell agreed, and it was mutually arranged that "Rose" thereafter should be considered and treated as an adopted daughter. "Rose" was so informed in the presence of the three, and invited to spend her evenings in the large study and reading room with the Russells. This course was followed; and when "Rose" retired, usually at 9 p.m., Mrs. Russell kissed her good-night and told her to "pass the kiss along" to Mr. R. also. This custom continued several years, until Mr. R. said to "Rose": "I think it best that I should discontinue kissing you; you are now wearing long dresses and looking more womanly, and Mrs. R. might get to feel jealous;--although she has never said a word to that effect, I would not wish to give her the slightest reason for so feeling." Mr. Russell declared that it was quite a while after his discontinuance of his proper fatherly conduct toward "Rose" that Mrs. Russell (having become alienated on account of not getting all the liberty she desired in the WATCH TOWER columns) upbraided him for kissing "Rose." As for Mrs. R.'s claim that she found her husband in "Rose's" room [R3816 : page 222] one night, sitting near her bed and holding her hand, Mr. R. said that he had no recollection of the occurrence, but that as he has a slight knowledge of medicine he was called on by all the members of the family in cases of illness: Mrs. R., her mother, her sisters and her sisters' children all were accustomed to apply to Mr. R., who kept a free medicine chest, referring serious cases to a regular practitioner. Mr. R. presumed the case in question was an emergency call, and that he was counting "Rose's" pulse. The entire "Rose" matter had a different appearance when the light of truth was turned on it. The Court ruled out the "Rose" testimony, and ordered it stricken from the Court records.
Mrs. Russell mentioned a person named "Emily," a sister in Christ, who served as house-help in the Russell family about 14 years ago. With her attorney's assistance Mrs. R. brought out with dramatic effect that, Once she found Mr. R. in "Emily's" room with the door locked! Again the whole truth was sacrificed under oath, and a partial truth with false inferences went to the public.
On the witness stand next day Mr. R. explained the entire matter. One morning "Emily" was sick, and he was called on to see her and prescribe medicine. "Emily's" room contained a sink and a pump used for the second floor refuse and water. The noise from the pump made it difficult to hear, and Mr. R. turned the key in the door to prevent confusion until he could hear what "Emily" had to say about her condition--certainly less than a minute, probably not half a minute. "Emily," now married, put upon the witness stand, swore that she had no knowledge that the door was locked even for a moment, and that then and at all times Mr. R.'s conduct toward her had been most exemplary.
Mr. Russell declared that he had no knowledge of his wife's notice of the matter until years afterward (when endeavoring to coerce him to grant her all the liberty she desired in the columns of the WATCH TOWER) she mentioned it, saying that it would not sound well if told. Even then, however, Mr. R. could not believe that at heart she meant it, or that she would lend herself to so diabolical a misrepresentation, falsification, of "the whole truth."
It appears that, if Rose Ball was indeed about 19 when she came to the Bible House, she was, due to her child-like appearance and manner of dress, thought of and treated as being much younger. However, by 1906, she had married and gone to live with her husband in Australia; at some time before then, her husband began to oppose Russell regarding the new covenant and some other Bible viewpoints, and thus he had evidently cut off communication with Russell.
In 1913, we find this in the 1913 International Bible Students Souvenir Convention Report, page 352
MY ANSWER TO THE SLANDERERS.
I never defrauded my wife nor anybody else. My wife and I mutually agreed that the property I earned and owned should be devoted to the Lord's service. I carried out my part of the agreement and made a deed, which my wife did not sign. Subsequently the property was sold for debts which my wife had contracted unknown to me. Her dower interest was sold for her debt at public sale. The property being mortgaged, brought all that anybody probably would have paid.
The girl who sat on my knee and who kissed me was an adopted child in short dresses. Her brother had died, and she was in grief; besides, my wife had publicly requested her to kiss me every night before retiring, as her foster-father. If there be any crime in this, let the stones fly, but tell the truth.
As to my being in a girl's room with the door locked. Our servant girl was reported to be sick, and my wife asked me to take time to see her, as I had some knowledge of medicine. In the room where she was there was a noisy pump and sink, and after being interrupted, I turned the key for quietness for about one minute. My wife never charged me with unfaithfulness; nor had she any ground for so doing. She stated under oath that she made no such claim, and also under oath stated that she and I had lived celibate lives for eighteen years.
It is quite untrue that I was silent to my wife for months. The reverse was true--that my wife was silent to me except in the presence of others. She thus and in every way sought to coerce me into giving her more liberty in the columns of the Journal I edited and published, The Watch Tower--because she had adopted suffragette sentiments. She was not granted a divorce. There were no grounds for it. She got a legal separation nine years after she had left me.
I never claimed, nor sought to show, that my wife was insane.
The following appeared in one of the issues of "Bible Student Monthly":
I remind you briefly of the facts: A most excellent and noble wife became mentally poisoned by "Women's rights." When I refused to allow such ideas a place in my journal, The Watch Tower, she became my bitterest enemy. First she tried. to coerce me. This failing she since seeks to destroy my influence. Yet never was a wife more kindly treated. Our property by mutual consent was all devoted to the Lord's cause whilst we were in fullest accord. Provision was made merely for the necessities of life for both of us. When she changed her mind she demanded the money we had devoted to God's cause. I paid her forty dollars per month. She appealed to the courts for more money. However, that is all settled, for in 1909 during my absence in Europe preaching, five of my friends, all men, made up a purse of $10,000, settled with Mrs. Russell and took her receipts for five-years' allowances ordered by the court, which they knew I had not means to pay.
What about Rose Ball going to Australia?
Why, of course, she did not stay a child in short dresses all the time. She married and went to Australia with her husband. Remember, this is quite ancient history which the Eagle considers news. Twenty years ago Rose kissed my wife and me every night when she retired. And she did this at my wife's suggestion. It was at that time that she came crying to me and sat on my knee to tell her troubles-as to a father.
No one knows better than my wife that there was absolutely nothing impure in any of my dealings with that foster child. I did not get a chance to furnish my testimony in Court because the trial judge discerned that no immorality was charged in my wife's plea and ordered everything of the kind stricken from the court records.
If anyone has anything more as far as documentation regarding this, please let us know in the comments area.