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A REPLY BY THE EDITOR
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I am pleased to acknowledge receipt of yours of 16th
After making copies of your letter, I went to the Editor
of the Gazette and submitted to him your original letter.
After reading it he said he would publish all except that
portion relating to ordination. I hand you herewith the page
of the Gazette containing the article, and I praise the Lord
for rewarding your efforts in defending the Truth here.
Through the Lord's providence I had heretofore been
able, apparently, to parry every blow directed against the
Truth, but in this attack of Rev. Ross the javelin seemed to
pass me and strike notwithstanding my best efforts to turn it
aside; but now the darkness disappears and the light again
shines on the cause of Present Truth through the good defense
which you have offered; the Lord has shown us again
how He can make the "Wrath of His enemies to praise
Him." The Editor of the Mirror (Protestant), a contemporary
of the Gazette, told me he would run your letter in
Dear Brother, would it not be well to let your letter come
out in one of the BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY or in THE
WATCH TOWER? It would give many of the dear friends
some good ideas as to how to offer defense along this special
line of the Adversary's attacks on you and the cause of
Present Truth. I received a letter from a brother in Grenada,
stating that some prominent Plymouth Brethren were circulating
Rev. Ross' pamphlet. Of course, they will not circulate
so very many, as the pamphlet costs 10 cents, and very
few of the Plymouth Brethren or other denominations are
willing to pay that much to defend their errors.
How grand it will be when the people are delivered from
the bondage of error! I am glad for the ministers' sake
also, for they will not have to fight any more, and I am sure
that will be a great relief to their minds! One Catholic
gentleman told me that Catholics and others could argue with
us until we got to the Bible, and then they had to stop!
Assuring you of my continued love and fullest confidence,
which you have always had and which have never wavered
since I laid my life upon the altar of sacrifice in 1897, I am,
Yours in the Redeemer's service, E. J. COWARD.
Below we reprint the portion of our letter as published in
The Port-of-Spain Gazette, Trinidad, B.W.I.:
PASTOR RUSSELL REPLIES.
MR. E. J. COWARD,
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, B.W.I.
Dear Brother in Christ:--Yours of October 3d is before
me. Thanks for its clippings from the Gazette and the
I am quite familiar with the slanderous screed issued by
Rev. J. J. Ross. In Canada they have just two laws governing
libel. Under the one the falsifier may be punished by
the assessment of damages and money. Under the other,
criminal libel, he is subject to imprisonment. I entered suit
against Rev. Ross under the criminal act, at the advice of
my attorneys, because, as he has no property, a suit for damages
would not intimidate him nor stop him. The lower
Court found him guilty of libel. But when the case went to
the second Judge he called up an English precedent, in
which it was held that criminal libel would only operate in a
case where the jury felt sure that there was danger of rioting
or violence. As there was no danger that myself or
friends would resort to rioting, the case was thrown out. I
could still bring my action for financial damages, but it would
be costly to me and impotent as respects Rev. Ross. He,
however, is having troubles of his own. Since he began to
attack me, he has split two Baptist Congregations--one in
Toronto, the other in Hamilton. The last heard of him, he
was in London, Ont., and again in trouble with his congregation.
A lying spirit is sure to be a boomerang.
As respects my education in Greek and Hebrew: Not only
do I not claim very special knowledge of either language, but
I claim that not one minister in a thousand is either a
Hebrew or a Greek scholar. To be able to spell out a few
Greek words is of no earthly value. Nor is it necessary
longer to study these languages, in order to have knowledge
of the Bible. Our Presbyterian friends have gotten out at
great cost Young's Analytical Hebrew, Chaldaic, Greek and
English Lexicon Concordance, which anyone may procure.
And our Methodist friends have issued a similar work--
Strong's Analytical Concordance and Lexicon. And there is
a still older one entitled Englishman's Hebrew, Chaldaic,
Greek and English Lexicon and Concordance. Additionally,
Liddell and Scott's Greek Lexicon is a standard authority.
The prices of these are not beyond the reach of the average
man. By these works scholarly information respecting the
original text of the Bible is obtainable. I have all four of
these works and have used them faithfully. Very few college
professors, even, would risk to give a critical translation of
any text of Scripture without consulting these very works
of reference, which are standard. To merely learn to read
the Greek and Hebrew without a six years' course in their
grammars is more likely to hinder than to help in Bible
study; far better take the acknowledged scholarship to which
I have referred.
Additionally I remind you of the many translations of
the Bible now extant--all of them very good. I have all of
these and find them useful in comparison in the study of
any text--one sometimes giving a thought which another may
not. The other day, for curiosity's sake, I counted Bibles in
different translations, etc., in my study and found that I have
As respects my business dealings, Brother Coward, I need
not remind you that American Courts are very strict and that
if anybody feels that I have wronged him out of a dollar, he
would have no difficulty in haling me into Court. You have
my assurance, dear Brother, that I do not owe any man on
earth a penny and that I have never taken a penny from
anyone unjustly. On the contrary, as you know, I have spent
[R5543 : page 287] several small fortunes in seeking to do good to my fellow-men
--in helping them to a better understanding of God and
the Bible. Having once been an infidel myself, and having
subsequently found that I had confused the teachings of the
Bible with the teachings of the creeds, and that the Bible's
teaching is a glorious, grand doctrine, it has since been my
business and pleasure to do all in my power to help fellow-mortals
out of darkness into the true light.
* * *
If you choose, you may make such extracts of this as are
likely to reach intelligent people through any of the newspapers.
But really I care little for what men may say or
think about me. Of course, such things are painful; but they
are only what the Bible tells us will be more or less the experience
of all who would be loyal to God and His Word.
So persecuted they the saints and prophets of the past--
even the Master Himself. And as for how I got my education
--it seems to me of little consequence. I have enough
to serve my own purposes, and, apparently, too much to
please Rev. Ross and others of his type, who, not knowing
how to meet my theological teachings, do not attempt to do
so at all, but merely charge me with ignorance. As I read
his vile slanders I thought of what the New Testament says
about St. Peter and St. John. They were so woefully
ignorant that all the people perceived that they were
"ignorant and unlearned men." If they were living today, I
suppose that the Rev. Ross and Co. would be after them to
show them up as not having been ordained by the Baptists
and not knowing anything anyway.
Very truly your servant in the Lord,
C. T. RUSSELL.
The portion of our communication omitted above, follows:
I need not tell you how absurdly untrue Rev. Ross' statements
are in respect to my ordination; but really it seems
strange how little people use their thinking faculties in such
matters--how few who would read the Rev. Ross' statements
would see their absurdity. For instance, he is a Baptist
and was authorized or ordained by the Baptists--not by
Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Catholics or Episcopalians.
Would an Episcopalian recognize Rev. Ross' ordination?
Surely not! Would a Roman Catholic recognize his
ordination? Of course not. Ordination merely means authorization.
The Catholics will authorize, or ordain, those
only who belong to their faith. The Baptists will ordain, or
authorize, those only who are Baptists. How foolish, then,
to talk about ordination from their standpoint!
But ordination from my standpoint, the Bible standpoint,
the standpoint of an increasing number of Bible students all
the world over, is different. It is a Divine ordination. But
our Baptist friends and our Methodist friends would say
that they, also, recognize Bible ordination, that they are not
[R5544 : page 287] merely dependent upon each other. But we challenge them
to prove that they ever had a Divine ordination or that they
ever think of it. They merely think of a sectarian ordination,
or authorization, each from his own sect or party.
True, Catholics and Episcopalians are different and do
recognize a Divine ordination. They claim that Jesus ordained
His Twelve Apostles and that these have successors
in the Bishops, who are styled "apostolic bishops," and under
the theory of "apostolic succession" have the same power as
the original Twelve Apostles to ordain and to teach. Bible
students believe that they err in this claim and that the
doctrine of "apostolic succession" is unscriptural. The
Bible recognizes only Twelve Apostles. More than that, the
Bible denounces all apostolic bishops as being in error. Referring
to them, Jesus said that they claimed to be apostles,
and are not, but do lie. (Revelation 2:2.) In other words,
contrary to the superstitions of Catholics and Episcopalians,
their bishops have no authority whatever to ordain anybody.
What, then, is the proper ordination of a minister of
Christ, and how can it be obtained, according to the Bible?
We answer that God's ordination, or authorization, of
any man to preach is by the impartation of the Holy Spirit
to him. Whoever has received the Holy Spirit has received
the power and authority to teach and to preach in the name
of God. Whoever has not received the Holy Spirit has no
Divine authority or sanction to his preaching. In other
words, he is unordained in the highest, truest sense of that
What is the secret of the opposition and slander that is
being raised up against me and against all who, like me, are
Bible students? It is malice, hatred, envy, strife, on the
part of those who are still hugging the nonsense of the Dark
Ages and neglecting true Bible study. They see that their
influence is waning. But they have not yet awakened to the
true situation. They think that I am responsible for their
smaller congregations and small collections. But not so.
The real difficulty with them is that the people are becoming
more intelligent and can no longer be driven with the crack
of a merely man-devised whip of fear. The colleges of the
world have been teaching that the Bible is a foolish old book,
until few preachers and few of the educated of the world
believe it to be of Divine inspiration. Losing faith in the
Bible, in the preachers and in the creeds, the people are drifting
toward atheism. That is the real difficulty.
While my work does not, indeed, help to build up any of
the sects of Christendom, it is helping to establish Christian
people in a true faith in God and in the Bible. It is giving
them a firm foundation and an intelligent understanding such
as they had prayed for and hoped for before, but never
found. This is not because of great ability on my part, nor
on the part of my associates, but because God's time has
come for blessing Bible study in the light of present-day opportunities.
It is as Jesus promised--the Wise Virgin class
of Christian people, who "trim their lamps"--study the Bible
--find it to shine out brightly and to point them to the new
Age of blessing under Messiah's Kingdom.
"TIMES AND SEASONS"
The letter of a dear brother in THE WATCH TOWER of a
somewhat recent date, drawing attention to the fact that a
total eclipse of the sun would occur August 21, visible to the
whole of "Christendom," exactly 40 days before October 1,
the day which we believe marks the close of the Gentile Times,
interested me deeply--particularly so, in view of the other
coincidences which specially mark this year. April 10 synchronized
with Good Friday and with the 14th of Nisan. On
that day the moon reached its full at the moment (as near as
we can ascertain) in which our Lord died (3:49 p.m.
But more remarkable still, the following is worthy of
notice: Next to the Passover, the great day of the Israelites
was the Day of Atonement, which was commanded to be observed
on the 10th day of the seventh month. (Leviticus 23:27;
16:29.) After the daily sacrifice, the high priest sacrificed
for himself and his fellow-priests a bullock for a sin-offering.
After this a goat was offered, part of its blood being
sprinkled in the Most Holy and the remainder, mingled with the blood of the bullock, was sprinkled toward both sides of
the sanctuary. "Then shalt thou make the trumpet of the
Jubilee to sound on the 10th day of the seventh month; in the
Day of Atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout
all your land."--Leviticus 25:9.
If we now turn to the dedication of the Temple, we find that
it also took place in the seventh month, and "fire came down
from Heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifice."
(2 Chronicles 7:1.) This apparently was on the 10th
day of the month, the Atonement Day; and it was followed
by the Feast of Tabernacles, beginning on the 15th day of the
month. Then the assembly was dismissed on the 23d day of
the month. (2 Chronicles 7:10.) This 10th day of the seventh
month (Jewish sacred year) so particularly marked, falls this
year on the 30th of September, the day closing the Gentile
The real 14th of Nisan this year seems to be an uncertainty
among the brethren, some considering it to be April 9th. Page
470, Vol. VI., states: "The Hebrew year begins in the Spring
with the first appearance of a new moon after the Spring
Equinox." Some seeing that the new moon occurred on
March 26th at 6:9 P.M., Greenwich time, consider the following
day to be the 1st of Nisan. But the Lord never acknowledged
either Greenwich or New York time, and the time mentioned
is 8:30 P.M. Jerusalem time, which was after sunset. The
appearance of the new moon was therefore on the 27th, and
the following day, the 28th, was the 1st of Nisan, commencing
the Jewish sacred year. With all Christian love, dear Pastor,
Yours in His service, A VINEYARD LABORER.--England.
READ IT TEN TIMES
A deeply interested subscriber to THE WATCH TOWER
"Will you please publish the First Chapter of the Second
Volume of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES in THE WATCH TOWER?
I have just read it for the tenth time, and its every word is so
full of meaning, strength and encouragement to me that I
would like others to have the same."
Instead of re-publishing the Chapter we refer our readers
to the Volume, merely approving the above suggestion of re-reading