Thursday, December 8, 2016

Russell's Cross and Crown Symbolism -- Masonic? Rosicrucian?

It is being claimed that "Russell had so much symbolism added to the watchtower that coincided with the freemasons and rosicrucians." (Evidently since I originally wrote this, the page or this comment has been removed.) One site, totally ignoring the true meaning behind the cross and crown symbolism that Russell used, claims that "The cross and crown is actually referred to as the Knights Templar, in honour of the Knights that are said to have devoted their lives to guarding the Holy Grail. This is a symbol that has been synonymous with secret societies, such as the Illuminati and is also used by Freemasons and Christian Scientists." 
Fritz Springmeier appears to be the main source of this idea. In his book, The  Watchtower and the Masons, Springmeier presents a picture of Brother Russell's "People's Pulpit" periodical, showing that it displays a cross and crown. Of this he makes the following assertion: "This People's Pulpit was just one of many items published by Russell with the Knights Templar logo." (Page 82) He simply asserts as being fact that the symbol that Russell used had to be a Knights Templar symbol. Of course, in reality, it has to be imagined and assumed that, because it is similar to that used by the Knights Templar, that it must be a Knights Templar symbol. Springmeier then presents some more pictures, the last of which is a Christmas greeting card, of which he asserts: "A Christmas card by C.T. Russell using the Knights Templar logo." Again, he imagines and assumes that because the cross and crown symbol used by Russell is similar to that used by the Knights Templar, that the cross and crown illustration that Russell used IS the Knights Templar logo. In reality, there is nothing anywhere that indicates that Russell used the cross and crown symbolism to mean anything other than taking up one's cross to follow Jesus in order to receive the crown as a joint-heir with Christ -- all Biblical.
So far no one has shown anywhere that Russell utilized symbolism that "coincided with the freemasons and rosicrucians." All that has been presented is what someone is evidently in some vague manner imagining and implying that Russell was in some unexplained way using symbolism of the freemasons or the Rosicrucians. What is generally offered as proof is a display of forms of graphics that are used by the Knights Templar and Rosicrucians, and then explanations of what this is supposed to mean to Masons and/or Rosicrucians are given, evidently with the thought that such proves that similar graphics used by Russell proves that Russell was in support whatever is being claimed. In reality, anyone who is familiar with the works of Russell know that he did not use any graphic to mean what is presented on such sites. All that is really proved is that these organizations use graphics that are similar to what Russell used, but it does not connect Russell's usage of such artwork to the symbolism attributed to those organizations. Does the symbolism of the Rosicrusians or the Knights Templar (which do include a form of a cross and crown) coincide with the symbolism that Russell employed in the symbolism of a cross and crown? Absolutely NOT! Indeed, one has call upon the spirit of human imagination, and by use of imagination, make assumptions, claim those assumptions to be fact, etc. It would assume to be fact that anyone who makes use of similar imagery must be either Masons or Rosicruicians. Indeed, these organizations also use the Bible, but does this make the Bible a Masonic book, or a Rosicrucian book? Does it mean that everyone who uses the Bible must in aligned with those organizations?
The pictures given related to the Freemasons' use of a form of a cross and crown:
This is linked to from:
http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/dirtywatchtowersecrets.htm
The author that wrote the material  -- that appears on the above page linked to -- falsely imagines and assumes that Russell was buried under a pyramid, and further imagines, and, based on that imagination, assumes as fact that there is a masonic symbol on the pyramid that Rutherford had constructed, when in reality, there is no Masonic symbol at all on Rutherford's pyramid monument.
The above picture is linked from the page at:
http://www.mmoutreachinc.com/jehovahs_witnesses/russell_mason/wasrussellmason.html
(This page totally misrepresents Russell and twists as much as possible in order distort anything to make it appear that Russell was a freemason.) In the sermon -- The Temple of God -- that is quoted out of context and distorted in application, Russell plainly stated: "I have never been a Mason."
Nevertheless, so far it has not been shown that Russell ever once employed the artwork given in those pictures, and certainly not the symbolism that is being attributed to that artwork.
We have tried to find out what these forms that include a cross and crown mean to the Freemasons. According words that appear on the site from which Rosicrucian picture below (cuttingedge.org) is obtained, the Freemasons' cross and crown...
is a philosophical cross, according to Albert Pike, 'Morals and Dogma', p. 771. It is philosophical in the sense that it represents the generating fecundating principle by the perpendicular shaft [Phallus], and the matrix of womb of nature, the female producing principle[Female Vulva], by the horizontal shaft. The philosophy of the Masonic cross is totally phallic. The 'Crown' of this Masonic emblem is also phallic, it being the first emanation of the Cabalistic Sephiroth ..." [C.F. McQuaig, "The Masonic Report", Norcross, Georgia, Answer Books and Tapes, 1976, p. 34]
Russell never once employed such symbolism. From what we have read, it seems the Freemasons may also view the cross and crown as a symbol of salvation in this world by means of works that would make the present age in which the world is deceived by Satan a better place for mankind to live in, in effect, joining hands with Satan to make his kingdom a better rule of mankind. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9) Russell certainly never utilized any such symbolism as described above. Many of the Masons I have talked with do connect the cross with Jesus, and possibly to his death, but even this falls short of the symbolism that Russell employed.  Russell certainly never used any "masonic symbols" or "masonic symbolism."
Below is the link to the  picture given in the post on page 19 of the thread as being Rosicrucian:
After searching the internet, we could not find any confirmation that the Rosicrucians actually used the form of cross and crown as shown in the picture on page 19 of the thread (other than the site linked to). Regardless, the form used in the picture is not the same as that used by Russell.
We could confirm that the Rosicrucians do use of a form of cross and crown, but we were not able to verify the exact form given in the post. According to the site linked to above, we find some explanation of the Rosicrucians and the cross and crown:
While they read the Bible and quoted from it, and prayed to Jesus, they actively practiced Witchcraft rituals! Rosicrucianism is probably the most important example of mixing "Christ and Baal". While they revere the cross, they insert it into a worldly crown. They felt that Jesus could not return to earth until and unless the Christian Church conquered the earth first -- a most onerous and unbiblical doctrine.
Thus it would appear, at least from what is stated on that site, that the Rosicrucians may have a similar view of the cross and crown symbolism as given above for the Freemasons (assuming that the sites cited accurately portray the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians). It has been stated that the cross in their symbolism means "salvation, to which the Society of the Rose-Cross devoted itself by teaching mankind the love of God and the beauty of brotherhood, with all that they implied." [Baxter, James. Sir Francis Bacon and The Rosy Cross] Others saw the Rosy Cross as a symbol of the human process of reproduction elevated to the spiritual: "The fundamental symbols of the Rosicrucians were the rose and the cross; the rose female and the cross male, both universal phallic [...] As generation is the key to material existence, it is natural that the Rosicrucians should adopt as its characteristic symbols those exemplifying the reproductive processes. As regeneration is the key to spiritual existence, they therefore founded their symbolism upon the rose and the cross, which typify the redemption of man through the union of his lower temporal nature with his higher eternal nature." [Manly Palmer Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages: Bacon, Shakespeare, and the Rosicrucians, 1928, p.141]
Regardless, Russell never employed such symbolism related to the cross and crown artwork that he used, nor do we know anyplace that he employed the same exact artwork as used either by the Freemasons, the Knights Templar, or the Rosicrucians. We are certain he never employed the same symbolism as that being credited to the Freemasons or the Rosicrucians. Russell explained the symbolism of the cross, crown and wreath symbolism:
The cross represents our faith in the death of Christ and our desire to walk in His steps; the crown represents the reward of glory, honor and immortality; and the wreath around the cross and crown represents the Restitution blessings coming to the world of mankind. Harvest Gleanings, Volume 3,, page 721.
Russell did, however, sometimes make use of some of the terminology used by Freemasons, as, for example, in that of the of "building" of the temple of God as described in the Bible; nevertheless, he did not apply this with the Freemasons' own symbolism, but he applied it to the Bible, and he also applied the concept of a "secret society" to that Biblical mystery (secret) of the church and the secret things that only the people of God can understand. Russell also, in harmony with Colossians 3:4 and Romans 8:19, made use of the Mason's expectation, showing that what they (as well as the whole world) are expecting is the true Messiah of the Bible. Russell's method was similar to Paul's use of the heathen idol of the unknown God as basis to explain the true God, who was unknown to them, or the races that he applied to the Christian race. (Acts 17:23; 1 Corinthians 9:24) Paul was not condoning the unknown god idol, nor was he condoning all that is associated with Roman/Greek races; neither was Russell ever condoning either the Freemasons' or the Rosicrucians' organizations. He classified all such "secret societies" together, and advised Christians to have nothing do to with them.
The symbolism of the cross and crown that Russell used is taken from the Bible itself.
Concerning its symbolism, Charles F. Redeker writes:
Bible Student meaning for the Cross and Crown is taken from the Scriptures where both symbols are given a prominent place. The cross, besides being the instrument used in the death of Christ, is also a metaphor of the trials and persecutions of the believer. (See Matt. 16:24.) The crown is frequently used as a symbol of the glory, honor and immortality granted to Christ and his church for faithfulness in serving God. (See Rev. 3:21; 2:10.) The Bible also makes it clear that gaining the crown is dependent upon bearing the cross faith fully even unto death. (See James 1:12.) The poem, “No Cross, No Crown,” emphasizing this point, appeared in the July 1, 1911 issue of the Watch Tower. This again is not a concept unique to Bible Students and may be found in church hymnology dating back to at least the eighteenth century.28 And finally, the wreath encircling the Cross and Crown symbol is taken as a sign of victory. Its use in crowning the winners in the Greek games is directly alluded to in 1 Corinthians 9:25.
Actually, the usage of forms of the cross and crown by the Catholic church and other denominational churches goes back for centuries, although the symbolism attached to the cross and the crown may not have been entirely the same symbolism as given by Russell or any of the Bible Students. Regardless, such usage of a cross and crown artwork is not using a "Masonic symbol" or certainly not Masonic symbolism.
In this regard, the Masons also use the Bible; does this mean that the Bible is a Masonic book? (Indeed, there are some that claim that the Bible, as we have it, is a Masonic book because they claim the Bible contains Masonic symbols.)
Nevertheless, the sun is God's creation; yet it is claimed that Masons worship the sun. Does this mean that the sun itself is Masonic?
Where did Russell get this cross and crown emblem from? Many Bible Students believe that Russell based his original idea from the writings of William Penn. Brother Richard Doctor wrote an article on William Penn that appeared in "The Beauties of the Truth of February 2000. In that article, he notes:
Through the writings of William Penn, the emblem of the `Cross and Crown' would emerge to be disseminated throughout North America and Europe.
The main writing upon which the above statement is supported is Penn's "No Cross, No Crown". There is no indication whatsoever that William Penn obtained any symbolism of the cross and crown from the Masons
http://www.gospeltruth.net/Penn/nocrossnocrownIndex.htm
Richard Doctor further wrote:
Quote
The seven months in prison were spent writing No Cross -- No Crown, `A discourse showing the nature and discipline of the holy Cross of Christ, and that denial of self, and daily bearing of Christ's Cross, is alone the way to rest and the Kingdom of God:' Even after three hundred years, and 53 editions, it is a moving call to a life of consecrated living. The wide distribution of this work includes editions in French, German, and Dutch. No Gross -- No Crown helped to fix the image of the Cross and Crown in the hearts and minds of a broad spectrum of the Lord's people. Its language is simple and sincere. Its extensive scriptural references show a thorough knowledge of scripture.
Although we have found unsubstantiated claims that William Penn was a freemason, the actual proof of his writings indicate otherwise. Albert Gallatin Mackey, Robert Ingham Clegg wrote in the Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Volume 3, page 1323, that William Penn "was not a Mason, but his family was Masonic." More precisely, Penn's son became a Freemason, which evidently is why many assume that William Penn himself was a Freemason.
At any rate, the use of the cross and crown symbols predates William Penn amongst traditional church usage, although the symbolism attached to it may have meant different things. There is no indication, however, that traditional church usage of cross and crown symbols is, of itself, from the Masons or designed to the promote the Freemasons' organization. Any such thought simply has to be imagined, which many have done, and then based on what is imagined, many have simply assumed that Russell and some others used a "Masonic symbol".  In order to make the cross and crown symbols, of themselves, to be Masonic, to be consistent in such logic, one would have to believe that all the major denominations of Christendom are Masonic (and we have conversed with some who imagine this also to be so.).
Another point also to consider -- it is being claimed that the cross and crown symbol is Masonic; and it is also being claimed that the cross and crown symbol is Rosicrucian. To be consistent in logic as being applied to Russell's usage of a cross and crown symbol, this would mean that all Masons must be Rosicrucians, and all Rosicrucians must be Masons.
The following are a few of various quotes from Russell that demonstrate what Russell believed and taught about such secret organizations such as the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians, as is being claimed. Anyone familiar with Russell's works would know that it is ludicrous to think that Russell would spend most of his life speaking and preaching a message totally opposite to that he is alleged to have supposedly been in some unknown manner secretly supporting by openly sabotaging what is he is alleged to have been secretly supporting.
This brings before us the whole question of orders, societies, etc., and what privileges the New Creation has in connection with such organizations. Is it right for them to be members of these societies? We answer that while Church associations are purely religious, and labor and beneficial organizations in general are purely secular, there are still other orders which combine the religious and the secular features. As we understand the matter, for instance, the Free Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, etc., perform certain rites and ceremonies of a religious kind. Let it be understood that we are not waging any warfare upon those who hold membership in these various orders, even as we are not waging warfare against the various sectarian religious systems. We place upon one level all of those which have any religious ceremonies, teachings, etc., and consider them all as parts of Babylon, some quarters or wards of which are cleaner, and others less clean, but all, nevertheless, full of confusion, error -- contrary to the divine intention, as displayed in the organization of the primitive Church and the instructions, by word and example, given to it by the inspired Founder, and his twelve apostles.
We admonish the New Creation to have nothing whatever to do with any of these semi-religious societies, clubs, orders, churches; but to "Come out from amongst them, and be ye separate, and touch not the unclean thing." (2 Cor. 6:17) Their things, their worship, their teachings, their doctrines, are unclean to us, though they may not be unclean to themselves. The eyes of our understanding have been opened, and now to us all things appear in a new light, so that things which we once loved now we hate, and things which we once hated now we love. -- The New Creation, pages 580, 581
Principle in some cases, and policy in others, would separate us from the various social arrangements among men. On principle, it would set free any who are entangled with the oaths and obligations of the various secret societies; for ye who were in darkness are now light in the Lord, and should walk as children of light, having no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reproving them. Eph. 5:6-17. -- The Battle of Armageddon, pages 44,45.
In our judgment the majority of "secret societies" are merely beneficiary and have no secret schemes antagonistic to the general public welfare, the secret rites and ceremonies being merely "boys' play," occupying the time and attention of persons who have no greater aims than those which pertain to the present life. We note, however, that several Roman Catholic Societies seem to have schemes connected with the use of fire-arms, and are therefore to be classed as malevolent rather than benevolent.
We note also that the Order of Free Masons, if judged by its past history, has some secret object or scheme, more than fraternity and financial aid in time of sickness or death. And, so far as we can judge, there is a certain amount of profane worship or mummery connected with the rites of this order and some others, which the members do not comprehend, but which, in many cases, serves to satisfy the cravings of the natural mind for worship, and thus hinders it from seeking the worship of God in spirit and in truth--through Christ, the only appointed Mediator and Grand Master.
In proportion as such societies consume valuable time in foolish, senseless rites and ceremonies, and in substituting the worship of their officers, and the use of words and symbols which have no meaning to them, for the worship of God, in his appointed way -- through Christ, and according to knowledge and the spirit of a sound mind -- in that proportion these societies are grievous evils, regardless of the financial gains or losses connected with membership in them. -- Watch Tower, June 15, 1895, pages 143,144.
The following was not written by Russell, but it was presented in the Watch Tower as a letter from a reader:
Your remarks under caption of Secret and Beneficial Societies in TOWER, of June 15, '95, seem rather funny to me. You hit the nail very fairly considering that you were hammering so much in the dark....
As to the secret societies, they use a ritual applicable to each different degree, which is fully as reasonable as that of many of the churches, and like those of the churches, it is usually of heathen origin. The worship of the Sun appears prominently in Masonry, and so it does in the service of the Catholic and Episcopal churches. The term "Worshipful," as used in masonry, is now practically obsolete, but was formerly and generally used as a term of respect. I occupied the station of "Worshipful Master" for three years, but I never received the adoration of my fellow mortals, and I certainly never gave it to others. Your suggestion, that it is done ignorantly, is a good suggestion, but it does not apply in that case. Perhaps no man in my state, during the twenty odd years I was a member of the fraternity, gave more careful study to the symbolism of Masonry, its moral teaching, and its jurisprudence.
While masonry does not inculcate the worship of its officers, it does what is worse; for in its essence the symbolism used in the ceremonies are derived from devil worship.
Although no longer unequally yoked with those unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14-17), I do want to say for those who are still in the bondage that they have much excuse. Masonry consists very largely in a series of moral instructions, taught agreeably to ancient usage, by types, symbols and allegorical figures. It is a system, and a very beautiful system--as is very much of Satan's work--when seen from the worldly standpoint. -- Watch Tower, August 1, 1895, page 182
We wish to point out that the writer of the above mentions the worship of the sun; the sun is God's creation; should we claim that God's creation is of the devil by means of the worship that any may give to it, or by any symbolism that may be attributed to the sun? (Deuteronomy 10:14; Nehemiah 9:6; Isaiah 44:24) The Bible itself uses sun symbolism (Genesis 37:9; Judges 5:31; Psalm 84:11; 89:36; 148:3; Ecclesiastes 1:3,5,9,14; 2:11,17,18,19,20,22; 3:16; 4:1,3,7,15; 5:13,18; 6:1,5,12; 8:9,15,17; 9:3,6,9,11,13; 10:5; 11:7; 12:2; Isaiah 30:26; 41:25; 49:10; 59:19; Hosea 6:3; Joel 2:10,31; 3:15; Amos 8:9; Nahum 3:17; Malachi 4:2; Matthew 13:43; 17:2; 24:29; Mark 13:24; Luke 2:29; Acts 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:41; Revelation 1:16; 6:12; 7:16; 8:12; 9:2; 10:1; 12:1; 16:8; 19:17; 21:23); are the Bible writers all committing worship of Satan? Russell also utilized sun symbolism associated with the Bible; he certainly was never advocating sun worship or anything of the devil.
Rev. 6:15-17 describes the distress of that time, saying, "The kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bond man, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand?" The powers of earth will seek to make alliances with one another for self-protection, and to hide themselves from the sure-coming storm. And individuals will seek to be covered and protected by the great mountains (kingdoms) of earth, and to be hid in the great ROCKS (protective secret societies). But they shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's anger; for all the kingdoms of the world shall be thrown down, and instead of these the kingdom of the Lord becomes a great kingdom, and fills the whole earth. (Dan. 2:35-45.) -- Watch Tower February, 1884, page 6
The next quote is in the context of discussing the temptation of Jesus to worship Satan, in exchange for the kingdoms of the world and their glory. -- Matthew 4:8,9
We may readily discern that this temptation of our Lord was but a sample illustration of such as beset his followers all along the narrow way, from the same source, directly or through agencies. Satan, through his various mouthpieces, is continually saying to the saints, Here is a more successful way of accomplishing your object than that which you are pursuing, a more successful way than the Lord's way. Bend a little; make compromise with the worldly spirit; do not hew too close to the line of the word of God and the example of the Lord Jesus and the apostles; you must be more like the world, in order to exert an influence -- mix a little into politics, and a good deal into secret societies; keep in touch with the fads and foibles of the day, and above all things keep any light of present truth under a bushel, -- thus alone can you have influence and accomplish your good desires toward men. But our dear Master assures us that we are to be faithful to the Lord and to his plan, and let things work out as best they may along that line; and that we may rest assured that in the end the Father's plan not only is the best but really the only plan for accomplishing his great designs, and that if we would be associated therein with him as colaborers, it must be by recognizing him as our only Master, and with an eye single to his approval.
The following quote is in application of Revelation 6:16, relative to the "rocks" symbolism of that verse:
When that time of trouble comes, the people will recognize it, and then the Scriptures say they will be calling upon the rocks and mountains to fall upon them. That is not the real thought--not to crush them, as if a mountain fell upon them, they would not know much about it, but the thought is, cover us, protect us, because of this great day of wrath. These rocks of society are the Free Mason rocks, the Odd Fellow rocks, this insurance society and that insurance society, and the people want to get into these rocks to protect them in this time of trouble, and they want to be identified with the strong governments, such as the United States, for they want to be protected. If they go to Europe, they want to say they have their passports from United States or from Great Britain, etc. So they will say, those great mountains will be my protection. That is the way these things are used in the Bible. Here rocks represent stone fortress. When the trouble breaks out they will begin to go into these things so they may be sheltered and protected, but the Scriptures say they will not be able, for it will be a time of trouble that nothing will be able to deliver from. -- Convention Reports Sermons, page 291.
I am not judging at all, I am merely saying, so far as I can tell. But my understanding is, that all of these are bundles, and each bundle is getting tighter. Some of you know a great deal more about Freemasonry than I do, and I am not here to say anything against it, because I do not know anything to say, and I do not know as I would say it if I did know it. The Lord did not send me to preach against Masonry or Odd Fellowship, nor against Presbyterianism or Methodism. Our opportunity is to tell the truth, to preach the true gospel of Christ, and the Lord says that this message is to have its effects on the different hearts. Now, if you find yourself in any kind of a bundle, you know that is not the program so far as the wheat is concerned. The wheat is to he gathered into the garner; it is not to be put into bundles in the present life. The wheat is to be free. If you find yourself in any kind of a bundle, better get out of the bundle. Trust in the Lord, and be in harmony with Him, and this will take you out of all kinds of bundles and human organizations, I believe.
I should, perhaps, say a cautionary word here to the effect that I would understand this would mean, for instance, that if I were a carpenter I would prefer to be at liberty, but if it were demanded of me that I should join a union before I could have work, and that I must pay so much of my money into that union's coffers, I should join. I should understand that I was making so much of a contribution to the general weal of the carpenters, and I would have no hesitation in the matter, because there is nothing of a religious kind there. There is nothing that would fetter my heart or mind. But if that organization should do anything I could not approve, I would feel perfectly free to withdraw at any time. So I would make that limitation. But, so far as wheat and tares are concerned, I think there are plenty of bundles all around you, and I notice, too, that these different worldly organizations, if we may so call them in contradistinction to church organizations, are also taking the same methods the church people are taking. It used to be very easy to withdraw from one of the churches and you could say, "I will thank you for a letter," and then they would take the letter and never deposit it, but burn it up, if they desired. And so with the Masons; they had a method by which anyone desiring to leave the order could ask for a demit and he would get that without any particular question. I have been informed that now this is changed somewhat. If you are a Presbyterian, and you wish a letter, they say, "To which church do you wish the letter addressed?" You say, "Oh, just make it out anyway." "Oh we do not do that now; we will give you a letter to a certain, particular church and it is to he deposited there--good when deposited there." And so I am informed that our Freemason friends are doing the same thing; they do not give demits now. If you wish to be transferred to another lodge they will transfer you, but they do not give demits now in the same way they formerly did.
A Brother: Brother Russell, I am a Mason and, unfortunately, hold a high position in the order, and I would like to make a little correction on that. A Mason is perfectly free to leave when he feels so disposed. No restraint whatever is placed upon him.
Brother Russell: I told you in the beginning that I did not know about it myself; I was only relating what a brother told me.
Another Brother: I was a Mason in a different jurisdiction from that of the brother. It may he all right in his particular jurisdiction, but it is not the same in other jurisdictions, as I know.
Brother Russell: You will notice that we never have anything to say against any of these. We have not said an unkind word about Freemasonry, and you never read anything unkind that we have ever said about it, and I do not wish to say anything unkind about Presbyterianism, or Methodism. I think that many of the dear friends in these denominations are good people, and I appreciate their characters. What I talk about sometimes is Presbyterian doctrine, and they talk about it, too. And I have read things they have said about Presbyterian doctrines far harder than anything I have ever said. I sometimes quote in the Watch Tower some things Presbyterians say about their own doctrine, and I occasionally quote in the Watch Tower something the Methodists say about their doctrine, because they say it stronger than I should wish to say it. -- What Pastor Russell Said, Question 317:2 (1910)
All of tens of thousands of pages that have been produced of Russell's works overwhelmingly testify that he spoke the truth when he stated: "I have never been a Mason." Those who claim that Russell was in some way secretly supporting the Masons have used their spirit of human imagination as proof that he was doing so. It would also mean that Russell spent a lifetime sabotaging what he was alleged to have been secretly supporting by sabotaging what he was secretly supporting, although I wonder how much time he would have left to actually practice what is claimed that were his secret practices after all the time he spent sabotaging what he was secretly practicing. Maybe a few seconds here and there out of each month or year?
See Russell's Sermon:

 The Temple of God

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