Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Miracle Wheat Story - Part 1

All the articles that make reference to
Miracle Wheat
in
The Watch Towers
from 1908 to 1916
This study is not connected with nor sponsored by the “Jehovah’s Witnesses
Many claims are being made against Charles Taze Russell regarding “Miracle Wheat”. Often, many use words like conman, charlatan, quack, etc., in reference to Miracle Wheat and Brother Russell. Usually, Brother Russell is misquoted and/or misrepresented in these attacks on his reputation and character. Read for yourself the following articles and see what Brother Russell actually wrote.
The following articles were obtained from the Harvest Truth Database,
which is copyrighted by A. G. S. Consulting,
in cooperation with Chicago Bible Students,
P. O. Box 6016, Chicago, IL 60680
The following is from
The Watch Tower, March 15, 1908, page 86:
“MIRACLE WHEAT”
The public press is telling of the origin of “Miracle Wheat” in answer to prayer. The description has the earmarks of truth to it, in that it gives the address of the man whose prayers are said to have been answered– “K. B. Stoner, a farmer of Fincastle, Botetourt county, Virginia.” It would appear from the account that the original stalk of wheat appeared in the midst of a crop of the ordinary kind, but with “142 heads of grain.”
We quote:–
“Mr. Stoner was amazed. It seemed incredible. When a Frenchman, in 1842, announced that he had discovered a species of wheat in the Mediterranean country which produced four heads to the plant, people said he was crazy.
“But here was a plant with 142 heads!
“Naturally Mr. Stoner carefully preserved the heads, and the next year sowed the seed, continuing to do this each year, for he realized he had discovered a phenomenal brand of grain. And each year his amazement increased.
“That first year after discovering the plant he got 2000 grains. In 1906 he got sixteen bushels, and has now raised the crop of wheat, all carefully preserved for seed, to 800 bushels.
“What is most remarkable about the wheat is this: Whereas there is produced in the wheat sections of that country an average at the best of seventeen bushels to an acre, the average yield of the “miracle wheat” during the last three years has been fifty-six bushels to the acre; and whereas from eight to ten pecks of seed are required to plant an acre in Virginia, Mr. Stoner uses only two pecks, and, in comparison to the yield of ordinary wheat in the neighborhood, which is eight bushels for each bushel of seed, Mr. Stoner gets about seventy-five bushels for one. An ordinary stalk of wheat covers about four inches of space. The miracle wheat covers twelve.
THE GOVERNMENT REPORT
“Last year United States government officials became interested in the remarkable wheat and sent Assistant Agriculturalist H. A. Miller to examine it. In his report he declares:
“‘The wheat, which came from an unknown source, has been grown in the nursery every year since that time, and also has been grown under field conditions the last two years, giving excellent results. The yield has been from two to three times the yield of other varieties grown on the farm under the same condition of culture, except the rate of seeding, which was two pecks to the acre, while other varieties were sown at the rate of eight to ten pecks per acre, which is the common practice of farmers in the vicinity.
“‘Milling tests have been made of this wheat, and its quality seems to be as good as, if not superior to, other varieties of winter wheat.’
“The average height of the wheat, according to the report, is four feet four inches.
“It is said that the Russian government has secured an option on the wheat, and will buy a consignment of 80,000,000 bushels when that quantity shall have been raised. During the next year the seed will be distributed among farmers in Virginia and North Carolina, who will raise it and preserve the seed, keeping the seed only for planting until the required amount will have been produced. By next fall, it is believed, 30,000 bushels will have been produced.”
IS IT RESTITUTION WHEAT?
If this account be but one-half true it testifies afresh to God’s ability to provide things needful for the “times of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began.”–Acts 3:19-21.
The claim is often made that Brother Russell created this Mircale Wheat and made many false claims about the wheat. It should be easy to see from the above that Russell was not the one who discovered this wheat, nor was he the one who originated the claims for this wheat, nor was he the one who gave this wheat the name, “Miracle Wheat”. The man who discovered this wheat is identified as Mr. Stoner (Kenneth Stoner), who was not associated with the work of Brother Russell. It was Mr. Stoner who made the original claims concerning the wheat. Please note the above newspaper report also quotes a report from the U.S. government which gives confirmation of those claims.
The only part of the above that actualy originated from Russell is the thought that this wheat may be utilized in the age to come.
The following article is from:
The Watch Tower, July 15, 1908, page 214
MIRACLE WHEAT
NEW VARIETY PRODUCED YIELDING 277 BUSHELS OF GRAIN TO ACRE
Wheat with stalks like sugar cane and yielding 277 bushels of highly nutritious kernels to the acre has been produced as a result of experiments made in Idaho by Allen Adams of Minneapolis.
The new wheat has been named “Alaska” because of its hardiness. It is either spring or winter wheat, just as the farmer desires to sow. It is so sturdy that storms that ruin other stock affect its giant stems but little, and the heads remain upright through ordinary hailstorms.
The yield shows that Adams has been able to obtain an increase of 222 fold. One head of the giant wheat was planted in the fall of 1904. The seeds from that head were planted the next year and seven pounds of seed obtained. This was sown in the spring of 1906, and from the seven pounds were harvested 1,554 pounds that fall. In the fall of the same year he sowed it as winter wheat, but conditions were adverse. Almost all the “blue stem” and “club” were destroyed, and only a third of the crop of experimental wheat came to maturity, yet there was a yield of 50,000 pounds. A heavy hailstorm in July was the cause of the ruined wheat crop, which left scarcely any of the ordinary wheat standing.
Further experiments brought forth a yield of 277 bushels to an acre. The Idaho College of Agriculture has made a laboratory test of the wheat and reports the grain plump and sound and that it should make better bread than the ordinary wheat. — Beloit Free Press.
Again, Russell himself is not the one making these claims; Russell simply quoted a newspaper article wherein these claims are made by others.
The following article is from:
The Watch Tower, October 1, 1908, page 291
MORE MIRACLE WHEAT
OUR notice of the “Miracle Wheat” grown in Virginia, the grower reports, has caused him lots of trouble answering letters and returning money sent for small samples. He has shown us representative stalks of the wheat and photos of its growing in the field, fully corroborating all that we have published respecting the same. But he refuses to sell any of it until he has secured a fair stock, which will be in a few years hence.
Meantime the matter has brought out the fact that others are also propagating “Miracle Wheat,” as witnessed by the subjoined reports. We advise farmers to begin at once to inspect their wheat before cutting and cull out for seed the choicest, fullest heads or most “stooled.” Our thought is that in this natural way God is preparing for the Millennium, when “the earth shall yield her increase.”
SEVEN-HEADED WHEAT DISCOVERED
W. W. Ward, of Dayton, Washington, has discovered a new variety of wheat that has seven distinct heads united to a common base. And each head is larger than the ordinary wheat. Ward figures that the new variety will yield as high as 280 bushels to the acre, with an average of 200 bushels.
Hundreds of farmers have visited the Ward ranch and are intensely interested in the new wheat. All have asked for a few pounds of the seed, but Ward is figuring upon further experiments and plans to plant all of this year’s crop next season, enlarging his present area to about three acres.
Ward has been experimenting for five years to get a wheat that will yield bigger crops, but never expected anything like the seven-headed variety. — Sioux City Tribune.
* * *
Neither of the above notes relate to what is termed “Alaska” wheat grown in Idaho, which we understand had been repudiated by Government experts.
Again, it should be noted that it was not Russell who was making these claims, but rather Russell was simply quoting newspaper articles where others are making claims concerning Miracle Wheat, or other wheat.
The next article appeared in:
The Watch Tower, July 15, 1909, pages 212, 213
MIRACLE WHEAT–MIRACLE CULTIVATION
A year ago we called attention to the miracle wheat, which was developed in Virginia, seemingly by accident. We know not to what extent it has been sown elsewhere, nor whether any wonderful results have been obtained. However, it gives to the eye of faith a suggestive lesson as to how God could “Call for the wheat-corn and increase it” many fold. Now we learn of some wonderful experiments which have recently been made by the Russian Government, which serve to show that in soil that is at least twenty inches deep a new method of cultivating wheat, gives promise of almost miraculous results. Even if only one-tenth of the results claimed can be obtained the advantage seemingly would be considerable. Even if the method be at present found impracticable for any reason, the suggestion to the eye of faith would be valuable every way as showing God’s people something of the hidden powers Divine, which are held in reservation for man’s time of need.
PLANTING WHEAT INSTEAD OF SOWING IT
The new method of cultivating wheat, based upon these experiments, is the making of pits or trenches, twelve to twenty inches deeper than the surface level and forty-two inches wide. One grain of wheat planted at the bottom of each pit or forty-two inches apart in the trenches is covered lightly with two inches of soil. Every three weeks the covering process is repeated about two inches more each time, until ten coverings have been put on. The grain gives forth three shoots with the first covering. With the second covering each of these shoots “bushknots” and gives forth three more shoots, so that with the final covering the total amounts to 59,049 stalks or heads of grain.
The ten coverings will require about thirty weeks or less, according to the climate. It is said that this method of cultivation requires no watering, that the air, having free access to the roots, provides the moisture and gases necessary for the growth of the plant. It is difficult to believe all this–that a single seed could thus produce seventy pounds of grain, and that at the same ratio an acre of land be made to produce forty-five tons of grain.
Assuredly, as our text suggests, when the Lord’s time shall come he will be well able to call for the increase of the grain for the benefit of the world of mankind, whom he so loved as to redeem and for whom the blessings of restitution are shortly to be made available. — Acts 3:19-21.
Again, although the above is not a direct quote, Russell is simply relating what others have claimed concerning the “Miracle Wheat”. The only part that actually originates from him is the application of the blessings of restitution that is yet to come upon the world of mankind.
We now present the next article from:
The Watch Tower, June 15, 1910, page 203
“THAT YE BEAR MUCH FRUIT”
“Herein is my Father glorified that ye bear much fruit,” said our Master. In this parable the good ground varies in its productiveness — thirty, sixty and an hundred fold. The larger the returns, the greater will be the Father’s pleasure and the Savior’s glory. Nor is the statement an extreme one, as some might suppose. The new “miracle wheat” sometimes produces more than two hundred grains from one. This parable seems to imply that the responsibility for the fruitfulness of the heart and life and character depends very greatly upon the individual and how he receives the message of the Kingdom.
Those in whom the fruits will be the most abundant will be such as grasp the invitation most intelligently and earnestly. “He that heareth the word and understandeth it” and whose heart is in a condition of loyalty to God and who frees himself from hindrances and worldly ambitions and aspirations and, like the Apostle Paul, can say, “This one thing I do,” will surely gain the Kingdom.
It is not sufficient that we hear the message of the Kingdom; it is not sufficient that we have good hearts or good intentions in respect to it; it is additionally necessary, as the Master says, that we should understand the Kingdom message; hence the need of Bible study. Intelligent people consider it very wise and proper that several years of study be devoted to preparation for the few years of earthly life. How much study, then, should be considered proper for our preparation for the eternal life and Kingdom blessings? The time and effort thus consumed in character development for the Kingdom are wisely spent, and the harvest of thirty, sixty or a hundred-fold illustrates the degree and intensity of our earnestness. The rewards in the Kingdom will also be proportionate.
“As star differeth from star in glory, so shall it be in the resurrection of the dead.” Varying degrees of glory in the Kingdom will be manifested, yet none will be acceptable to the Father who shall not have brought forth fruitage in good measure; the “well done” will never be pronounced if not merited.
Russell only mentions “Miracle Wheat” briefly, noting that “The new ‘miracle wheat’ sometimes produces more than two hundred grains from one.” In this he was not making any new claim concerning Miracle Wheat that had not already been stated by others, as reported in the news media.
This next article is from:
The Watch Tower, September 1, 1910, page 279
RESTITUTION WORK BEGUN
“The Divine purpose will not be thwarted by the permission of sin to mar the original. The sacrificial death of Jesus is the complete offset to the penalty pronounced on Adam and his race. Restitution to perfection and Divine favor will result in God’s ‘due time.’ And we believe that time near at hand.
“Do we not see the promised blessing coming? What are our vast irrigation schemes by artesian wells and by aqueducts but fulfillments of the prophecies pertaining to the reign of Messiah and the blessing of the earth? Hark to the message: Streams shall break forth in the desert; and the wilderness shall bloom as the rose. — Isaiah 35.
“Burbank and others are under Divine guidance working miracles in horticulture, just as Edison and others have been the instruments of Providence to give us electrical devices. What beautiful fruits and flowers are the result! It is difficult to imagine greater perfection either in Eden of old or in the world-wide Eden to be restored!
“Referring to the ‘times of restitution’ of Messiah’s reign the Prophet declares, 'The earth shall yield her increase.' (Ezekiel 34:27) Behold preparations for the fulfillment of this promise: About three years ago a Virginia farmer found one abnormal bunch of 120 stalks of wheat from one root–the offspring of one grain of wheat. Under the name of ‘miracle wheat’ it is now being developed slowly in various parts–the average yield appears to be about 1,200 grains from one kernel. And this very year the same peculiarity in oats has been found–a bunch growing wild by the roadside.
“Additionally the same Divine providence is guiding our chemists to economical methods of extracting nitrogen from the atmosphere for the feeding of the soil and thus to the ‘increase’ of earth’s blessings and in fulfillment of God’s promise that he will make the earth (his footstool) glorious.
Again, Russell is not making any original claims for the Miracle Wheat, except in his thoughts that such may be in preparation for the restitution blessings of the age to come.
The next article we present is from:
The Watch Tower, October 1, 1910, page 307
MIRACLE WHEAT AND MIRACLE RYE
Some years ago we made mention of the miracle wheat discovered in Virginia, which originated with the fruitage of one grain found growing by itself. Two grains of this wheat were given to the Editor, who, in turn, handed them to a brother in the Truth, who reported that the two grains produced 1,312, which, planted, produced five pounds — one grain having fifty stools of well-developed stalks or straws. The brother planted the miracle wheat alongside of some ordinary wheat, and reports that the miracle wheat heads are from three to five inches long and from three to five grains to the mesh, whereas with the common wheat the heads are from two to three inches in length.
Another brother obtained some of the miracle wheat and, out of the first crop, presented the Editor a peck of the same. This was entrusted to another brother, a farmer, who has just handed the Editor $100 proceeds therefrom, with the following report: –
As you remember, I secured also a peck of the miracle wheat from a brother in the Truth as a donation to yourself (because he first heard of the miracle wheat through THE WATCH TOWER). This was sowed on half an acre of run-out land. On the adjoining half-acre was sowed a bushel of common wheat for comparison. The sowing was done in the midst of a seven weeks’ drouth. During the late fall and the early spring the miracle wheat looked very thin compared with the common wheat. However, in the month of May both plots appeared to be about the same, except that the miracle wheat laid flatter on the ground. Late in June the miracle wheat was much the heavier, and stood nearly a foot higher than the common wheat, and about a week later in point of ripening. Not having threshed, I cannot at this writing report the respective yield, but am satisfied that the miracle wheat will be more than double that of the common.
The grains are in appearance similar to ordinary red wheat. I can with difficulty distinguish a difference. The color of the miracle wheat is a trifle richer. I will send you a photograph of a dozen heads and the largest stool I can find of both the miracle and the common wheat. Brother Kuesthardt advertised the wheat in his paper, and the money sent you is the result of the sales at $1 per pound.
Your brother in Christ,
J. A. BOHNET.
Again, although Russell repeats the claims of others concerning Miracle Wheat, and he presents the statements of J. A. Bohnet concerning Miracle Wheat, Russell does not present any claims apart from reporting what others have claimed.
The next article appeared in:
The Watch Tower, June 15, 1911, page 178
A DONATION OF MIRACLE WHEAT
Brother Bohnet writes us that he has gradually accumulated a crop of miracle wheat from the few grains he obtained as a start. He prefers that the first opportunity for obtaining this wheat shall go to THE WATCH TOWER readers. He will sell it for $1 per pound, including postage, and give the entire proceeds to our Society. All orders for this wheat should be addressed, Miracle Wheat Bohnet, 17 Hicks street, Brooklyn, N. Y. This will keep mail on this subject separate from his personal mail and from ours.
Brother Bohnet promises to be ready to ship this wheat by August 1. He says miracle wheat should be sowed one-fourth as thick as common wheat. Ordinarily it should produce from ten to fifteen times as much proportionately to the amount sown. To save keeping account, money should accompany the order. WATCH TOWER readers will have the preference up to August 15, after which orders will be attended to indiscriminately, so long as the supply holds out. This wheat should be sown in the fall.
Above is the offer that is alleged by many to this day to be Russell’s fraudulent sale of bogus Miracle Wheat, by which it is alleged that Russell  made himself rich by defrauding “his flock” with a deception, allegedly giving a name “Miracle Wheat” to ordinary wheat, allegedly making false claims for that wheat and selling that wheat an exorbitant price. In reality, the validity of the Miracle Wheat had been long established in the news media. In reality, it was not Russell who named the wheat “Miracle Wheat”. In reality, it was not Russell who made the claims for Miracle Wheat. In reality, it was not Russell who offered the wheat for sale. In reality, it was not Russell who set the price for the wheat. In reality, Mr. Bohnet offered the wheat seeds for sale at a price lower than he had purchased such wheat from Mr. Stoner, as we shall see later on in this report. And the donation was not made to Russell, but to the Watch Tower Society.
Here is the next article from:
The Watch Tower, August 1, 1911, page 226
MIRACLE WHEAT IN DEMAND
The notice in THE WATCH TOWER of June 15 that Brother Bohnet has “miracle wheat” in abundance now, and that he will sell it at $1 per pound and donate the entire proceeds to our Tract Fund, has brought in many orders. These will be filled between August 15 and September 1. No limit as to supply has been noted. Sent by Express, prepaid, the price will be twenty-two pounds for $20; fifty-five pounds for $50; larger quantities at the latter rate. The merits of this wheat over the common variety have been mentioned in previous issues of THE WATCH TOWER.
The following article appeared in:
The Watch Tower, July 1, 1912, pages 214, 215
EARTH’S IMPERFECTION IS FALLEN MAN’S BLESSING
God could have made the entire earth perfect as easily as He “planted” the little garden in Eden. But He foresaw that if the earth were perfected the death-struggle would be longer, and the degradation of man greater. The poverty of the world has assisted in keeping mankind back from greater depths of iniquity. The sentence, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,” was evidently intended as a blessing, that man might learn lessons of experience by battling with the earth for his living. As the Creator said to the man regarding the curse of the earth, it was “for thy [man's] sake.” So man has learned that “The wages of sin is death.” The Heavenly Father has not, however, changed His Plan. When the Kingdom is set up, the earth shall yield her increase; and God assures us, “I will make the place of My feet glorious.” — Isaiah 60:13.
Edison has been the instrument of Providence in giving us wonderful electrical devices. Burbank and others have, under Divine guidance, worked miracles in horticulture. What beautiful fruits and flowers have followed as results! It is difficult to imagine anything nearer perfection either in Eden of old or the world-wide Eden to be established! In referring to the “Times of Restitution” the Prophet declares that “the earth shall yield her increase.”
A few years ago a Virginia farmer found an abnormal stool of wheat — one hundred and forty-two stalks, each bearing a well-developed head — the offspring of a single grain of wheat! Under the name of “Miracle Wheat” it is now being developed slowly in various parts of the country. The average yield appears to be about twelve hundred grains from one kernel. This very year the same peculiarity in oats has been found, a stool growing wild by the roadside. The same Divine Providence is, additionally, guiding our chemists in economical methods of extracting nitrogen from the atmosphere for feeding the soil, and thus to increase earth’s blessings, in fulfillment of God’s promise that He will make His footstool glorious.
Why has not the earth been already made glorious? The answer is that God is allowing the race to propagate first. Had mankind been perfect, they might have learned the lesson of the sinfulness of sin in the same way that the angels have learned. But hastening to commit sin, they have learned evil first and have been subject to all the vicissitudes of sin and death. The angels have learned the other lesson — what righteousness is, what good is — not merely in the abstract, but in an appreciative sense.
Below is the article from:
The Watch Tower, February, 15, 1913, page 62
“AS DECEIVERS AND YET TRUE”
MY SUIT against The Eagle for slanderous defamation of reputation has been decided in its favor. A Jury of twelve men have decided that The Eagle was justified in making its vicious onslaughts upon me, notwithstanding the Judge’s Charge that, according to the law, the cartoon, at least, was a slanderous, vicious libel in fact. I am urged by my attorneys and petitioned by friends to take the case to the Court of Appeals.
I quite agree with Justice Kelby, who said, “The case was presented fairly and squarely to the Jury.” The rulings of His Honor seem to me equitable. I very highly appreciate the ability and energy of my attorneys, Mr. Sparks and Mr. Rutherford. I have no complaint, nor murmuring against the Divine providences which permitted what I consider to be a very unjust verdict. In appealing our Case to the Court we have followed the example of the Master, who inquired why He was smitten contrary to Law. (John 18:23) Likewise St. Paul appealed for such justice as the Law provided. (Acts 25:10) So I have done; and I, like them, have been refused the Law’s protection. I murmur not. I am in good company.
I remember, on the other hand, that it has been a part of the Divine will throughout this Gospel Age to allow His faithful servants to suffer reproaches and losses. This was so in the Master’s case: “Being reviled, He reviled not again.” When it pleased the Father to bruise Him and put Him to shame, He declared, “The cup which My Father hath poured for Me, shall I not drink it?” — “Not My will, but Thine be done.” — I Peter 2:23; John 18:11; Luke 22:42
It was so with the Apostles, who wrote, “As He was, so are we in this world” — “As deceivers and yet true; as poor, yet making many rich”; “I bear about in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” — evidences that I am His servant and His follower. As St. Paul said, so we see fulfilled all through the Age, “Whosoever will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” The Master said, “Marvel not if the world hate you. Ye know that it hated Me before it hated you; if ye were of the world, the world would love its own.” — I John 4:17; 2 Corinthians 6:8-10; Galatians 6:17; 2 Timothy 3:12; John 15:18,19.
THE CASE BRIEFLY REVIEWED
I am interested in everything progressive and tending to prove that we are entering the great Thousand Years of earth’s blessings under Messiah. In the columns of THE WATCH TOWER I have noted the coming of Divine blessings in fulfilment of the prediction that “The wilderness shall blossom as the rose,” “The earth shall yield her increase,” etc. Five years ago we quoted in THE WATCHTOWER columns reports respecting “Miracle Wheat.” We gave the name and address (Mr. Stoner) of the farmer who discovered this new wheat and his reports of its remarkable qualities. We published also the report of Mr. Miller, the Government expert, who thoroughly investigated it and pronounced upon its superior qualities.
Some of our readers purchased seed from Mr. Stoner at $1.25 per pound and approved it. In 1910 one of the friends of our Society, who had raised some of this wheat, sold it for seed at $1.00 per pound, and donated the proceeds to our Society. In 1911 the same friend, having raised more seed, asked that THE WATCH TOWER give the benefit of this to its readers at $1.00 a pound post-paid, and appropriate the net results to the furtherance of its work. Another friend, who had some of the same seed, also donated similarly, the total amount being twenty bushels.
For the accommodation of our readers, we allowed this seed-wheat to be put up in pound packages and mailed from THE WATCH TOWER Office, just as the U.S. Government handles such seeds at Washington. We did the business at the request of others and in their interest, and credited them on our books with the results, setting aside to them proportionately voting shares in our Society. We made no claim for the wheat on our own knowledge. We merely gave the report of the Government expert, of the originator, and of our friends who had tried the wheat. We merely acted as intermediary.
Nevertheless, everything that was said respecting the wheat was fully proven at this trial by expert witnesses, interested and disinterested, and their testimony was not shaken. It was also shown that farmer Stoner and his business partner, Mr. Knight, made no sales of this wheat under $1.25 per pound until September, 1911; and that they had a written contract between them that none of the wheat was to be sold at any price until the following year — 1912. Suddenly in September, 1911, they changed their plans, considering that they had wheat enough accumulated, put the price down to $5.00 per bushel, about the time that THE WATCH TOWER wheat was all sold at a dollar a pound. This The Eagle’s attorney claimed was proof of fraud on the part of THE WATCH TOWER — sufficient excuse for the slanderous assaults of The Eagle upon me.
It was in vain that my attorney sought to show the Jury The Eagle’s malice — that it really was attacking me along religious grounds; that it had set itself as the champion of certain clerical enemies of mine, and was seeking to destroy my influence and, if possible, to drive me from Brooklyn. In the court-room sat about twenty-five of my friends, who had come long distances at their own expense to have an opportunity to speak a word in my behalf. Through some intricacies of the Law respecting evidence, these were unable to be heard in my behalf.
Instead, the Law gave The Eagle’s attorney the privilege of saying all manner of evil against me falsely — for the sake of the Doctrines of Christ, which I hold and teach. He was allowed to picture me, as The Eagle had done in its cartoon — as a thief and robber, masquerading in the garb of a minister of Christ. He was allowed to ridicule the “Miracle Wheat,” although I had nothing whatever to do with it, nor with the naming of it; and notwithstanding the fact that its superiority was proven.
He was allowed to inveigh against the fact as criminal, that I hold the office of President of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, and to claim that I hold the office in some corrupt or unlawful manner, and that I misuse the Society’s income in some unexplained way to my own advantage. Meantime, scores present in the courtroom and thousands all over the land, would have been glad to testify that their donations have come to the Society because they have the utmost confidence in my integrity and management of its affairs as its Executive Officer, and that had anybody else been President their donations would have been smaller or none at all.
Presumably because there were seven Catholics on the Jury, The Eagle’s attorney was prompted to refer to the Sisters of Charity and their noble work as nurses in the hospitals, without referring to the fact that those nurses are well paid, and that the hospitals in large measure are supported by State taxation.
The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society was held up to scorn because it did not have any hospital work nor draw any revenue from taxation, and because the female members of the Society do not visit the workshops of the land weekly or monthly on pay-day, and exact donations to its work. Our society was held up to scorn also because we do not send a wagon around the city collecting groceries and provisions for the up-keep of our work; because we do not take up collections even on Sunday; because we have never solicited a penny or a dollar from anybody; and because we never have fairs, grab-bags, “chances” or “raffles.” Our Society was held up to scorn and ridicule because it offers its literature free to the poor, while other similar Societies charge both rich and poor for their tracts and other publications. The Eagle was pictured by its attorney as a dove, a bird of Paradise. For defending it the Protestants on the Jury were led to hope for escape from eternal torment through “the pearly gates” of heaven, welcomed with the words, “Well done!” for giving The Eagle the verdict. Neither I nor my attorneys could offer such inducements conscientiously.
Our home, “Bethel,” where some of our Society’s workers reside, was held up to scorn–likened to a harem, etc. This surely did cut me deeply to the heart. I am quite willing to suffer, if need be, for my faithfulness to the Lord and His Word; but it gave me great pain that the arrows intended for me did not all center upon myself — that the more than a hundred saintly, earnest men, women and children, co-laborers with me in the Lord’s work, should thus be made to unjustly suffer. I can only urge them to apply to themselves the words of the Apostle, “Cast not away, therefore, your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward”; “For ye have need of patience that, after ye have done the will of God, ye shall receive the promise”; “Ye endured a great fight of afflictions; partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock, and partly whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.” — Hebrews 10:35,36,32,33
NO COMPLAINT AGAINST THE LAW
I have no complaint to make against the Laws of our land, nor against the Jury System, not against the particular twelve men who, in my judgment, gave an unjust verdict. I esteem our Laws to be most wonderfully just. I have often marveled that imperfect, fallen men have succeeded in the erection of such excellent barriers against sin and injustice. I cannot see that a more fair method than our Jury System of trying a case could be arranged by imperfect men. Neither do I believe that the average jury desires to pervert justice. The miscarriage of justice I attribute rather to the imperfection of human knowledge. Suspicion and evil-surmising are weeds which seem to grow prolifically in every mind. They spring spontaneously in the degraded heart. There is such a disposition to judge others by one’s self, and such a realization of sinful impulses that the average man naturally enough imputes evil, on every occasion when it is suggested to him.
St. Paul enunciated this principle, saying, “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God;… neither can he know [understand] them; for they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14) Our Society and its work, our Lord’s work and the work of the Apostles and the regenerate since, are so far beyond the concept of the unregenerate as to be “Foolishness unto them” — hypocrisies, frauds, impositions. If Jesus and the Apostles and the faithful saints of eighteen centuries have all belonged to this class, I will be of good courage and not be ashamed to belong to the same.
I am the more encouraged because I realize that the great Day of Blessing, the great Thousand-Year Day of Messiah’s Kingdom, is near at hand–is dawning now. Soon Satan, the “Prince of Darkness,” will be bound for a thousand years, to deceive the nations no more. (Revelation 20:2,3,6) No longer will Darkness be permitted to masquerade as Light, and the Light be slandered as Darkness. All the blind eyes will be opened; all the deaf ears will be unstopped. That glorious period, as the Prophet has declared, shall be “the desire of all nations.” (Haggai 2:7) Then not only the Church will see eye to eye, and understand God’s providences at the present time, but the whole world will see in the light of that happy time for which we pray, “Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as in Heaven.”
Sincerely, and undismayed, I remain a servant of God.
CHARLES T. RUSSELL.
Brooklyn, January 29, 1913.
Continued in Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4

See also:
Updated 3/27/2009; 5/17/2014

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