I personally think that this article writen by CT Russell himself,,shows him to be a wise manipulator....oppressive husband....ruthless distorter of information cleverly used to promote himself before all his followers.
I do not view Maria as totally innocent either,, but C T Russll was by far the worse of the 2. As many already know C T never was intimate (sexual) with his wife. Read the article here quoted and form you own opinion. I think even thought it was written by CTR himself,,and is designed to give his side of the story and manipulated his readers in his favor,,his oppressive,,egotistical,,mock humility will still show thru.
the link and cut and paste:http://www.ctrussell.us/
EXTRACT FROM AN OPEN LETTER TO THE CHURCH BY MRS. RUSSELL, Published in ZION'S WATCH TOWER, June 1894, relating to this same conspiracy: "Mr. Adamson also told that my husband forbids people to marry, and as a proof of this related how he once sent Mr. Bryan a three days' journey into the country at an expense of twelve dollars, in order to prevent a wedding. I answered that this statement is as untrue as the others; that Mr. Russell never forbade any one to marry, and that not a living being could truthfully say that he or she had been forbidden; but that I knew that when his opinion was specially asked he gave the Apostle Paul's advice, and as nearly as possible in his words, citing them. (`1 Cor. 7:25-35`.) And when I had given a truthful explanation of his proof, above referred to, all saw that it was to my husband's credit that he spared neither trouble nor expense in order to let a sister in Christ know something of what he knew of the character of the man she was about to marry; that, thus informed, she might the better judge for herself whether or not he would make a desirable husband. Mr. Bryan, who took that letter, and who brought it back undelivered, because too late to be of service to the sister, knows the truth of the matter, while conniving with Mr. A. at its misrepresentation of my husband's character and teachings. Anything to down Mr. Russell's influence,--seems to be their motto. "In the same connection, Mr. Adamson is telling that Mr. Russell wrote to him shortly after he was married, telling him that he should make his will so as to give what money he had to the Tract Fund, and to be sure not to let Mrs. A. see that letter. They affirmed this story in my presence, and said they had the letter in hand. I denied it emphatically, well knowing my husband's disposition to the contrary. I asked them to read the letter aloud to us all, but they refused to do so, and this clearly showed to all present that the statement was not worthy of credence. Only since my return home have I learned the truth on the subject, as follows: "Shortly after Mr. A.'s marriage, Mrs. A., it seems, declared that she 'was not going to race over the country after him, like a mad dog.' In writing to Mr. Russell on the subject, Mr. A. said in substance, 'What money I have was all consecrated to the Lord before I married; and in the event of my death I do not intend that any of it shall go to Mrs. Adamson or her folks: it shall go to the Tract Fund.' "In his reply to that letter, my husband urged that Mrs. Adamson be not ignored ; that as a wife she had a just claim upon him; that on general principles any woman he would call his 'wife' deserved consideration as such, even if out of harmony on religious subjects, as Mrs. A. then was, according to his representation. But he advised that if Mr. A. decided to will any portion of his effects to the Tract Fund, it would be wise, under the circumstances he described, and to the interest of his domestic happiness, not to inform Mrs. A. respecting
::R3811 : page 215::
it. That is probably the letter they had in hand, and were afraid to read lest their misrepresentations should be made manifest. Thus do falsehoods force the truth to view.--`Matt. 10:26`. "As illustrating the depth of wickedness to which these men would stoop, under the influence of envy and ambition. I told the Church how Mr. Adamson had written to Brother Wright (and we know not to how many others), citing `1 Cor. 5:1-6` without comment, as applicable to my husband. Mr. Adamson could not deny the fact, under the evidence, but protested that he had not intended any reflection upon Mr. Russell's moral character. Some of the brethren present remarked that such a charge would have no weight with anyone who knew Mr. Russell or who had ever looked into his face. In telling what inference he did wish to give by the citation named, Mr. Adamson replied that he meant to say that Mr. Russell is a "railer." But since railers are not mentioned at all in the citation, but five verses further down in the chapter, I showed that this is only one of the many cunning methods of misrepresentation resorted to by these wicked men-- because they do not know any real crimes to lay to his charge. I mention these items here, because no doubt they have been similarly misstated orally or by letter to others; and to show that the same spirit that prompted the misrepresentations of their first attack still controls them, and that reconciliation with such people, under such conditions, would neither be possible nor desirable, nor right, nor scriptural."
THE BAD SEED GERMINATED
The excitement connected with the conspiracy against me above referred to temporarily hindered the sprouting of the bad seed of so-called "woman's rights" and ambition, and temporarily Mrs. Russell became very enthusiastic in my support. It was she who first called attention to `Matt. 24:45-47`, applying it to me in a meeting at Allegheny and subsequently in another meeting with the New York Church. I demurred that I had not thought of the passage thus, and declined to make any personal application of it, although I could not deny the force of the argument that it pointed out "that servant," and "fellow servants" and "the household," apparently clearly and designedly distinguishing between these terms. Some little objection was aroused by her interpretation and I urged great moderation in the making of any personal application, suggesting that the WATCH TOWER rather than its editor might be considered "that servant." As an evidence of Mrs. Russell's position on the question I give a copy of a letter she wrote in defense of her statement of the matter before the New York Church, as follows:-- ALLEGHENY, Pa., Dec. 31, 1895. Mr. Geo. D. Woolsey, Dear Brother in Christ:--Husband has shown me your kind letter of Dec. 18, the spirit of which was much appreciated by both of us. I am glad to note your frankly stated opinion as to the interpretation of `Matt. 24:45-51`, and I have carefully examined the arguments and Scriptures you have set forth. Thinking you will be glad to know how I view the Scriptures you mention, I will proceed to tell you. I fully agree with the interpretation of `Isaiah 52:7`, presented in the TOWER of Oct., 1881, which you endorse, the one in that case being the Christ, Head and body, of which the living members constitute "the feet." I also agree that `Rev. 16:15` refers to any one of the Church who complies with the conditions. The entire statement gives evidence to this effect. It could not be understood otherwise. I also agree that in the parables of the talents and pounds, as in all parables, the thing said is not the thing meant, and that each one here mentioned, as in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, represents a class. But when we come to `Matt. 24:45-51` it appears to me to be a totally different case. Here are brought to our attention--"that servant," "his fellow servants" and "the household." Now, if the Lord wished to indicate a chief servant of the Truth, and fellow servants assisting in serving the meat in due season to the household of faith, he could not have chosen more precise language to convey such a thought. And, on the contrary, to ignore such an order and reasonableness in the account, to my mind throws the entire narrative into confusion, making the "servants" (plural) and "that servant" interchangeable terms. If we should handle all Scriptures thus loosely, it seems to me we could either prove or disprove anything according to our preconceived ideas. It does not seem to me reasonable, nor a justifiable interpretation of our Lord's testimony, to say that the entire household fed itself, and that the Lord gave the meat in season to all together without using any of the number as his agents or servants in the distribution. And if it be conceded that there is a difference between "the household" and "the servants" who minister the meat in due season to the household, then it cannot be denied that our Lord's words also point out one of those servants as specially intrusted with the meat in season and used in dispensing it to the fellow servants and the household in general. I notice that you do not analyze the text as I do. If you see any way for making these three expressions, viz., "that servant," "his fellow servants" and "the household," all mean the same thing without making nonsense out of the entire statement, I hope you will favor me by pointing out how it can be done. It seems to me, further, that the interpretation which I suggest is the one, and the only one, which corresponds to the fulfilment. We agree in the belief that the Lord is now present, that he assumed his office of King in 1878, and that since that time his household has been richly fed with meat in due season. It seems to me that in dispensing the food to the household the Lord has not given it personally to each member, but from among them he has chosen and used a number of servants, and that all of these servants have been supplied with the meat in due season through one particular servant-- "that servant." So, both from the construction of the Lord's language, and from the facts before us which constitute their fulfilment at the time indicated, viz., in these days of his presence, I can, so far, reach no other conclusions than those I have stated. However, my object in writing is not to urge my convictions upon you. I merely state them for your consideration, believing you will be interested in examining them, and that you will agree with me that whatever God has expressed in his Word is worthy of
::R3811 : page 216::
our most careful consideration, and is for our instruction and profiting. With the greetings of the season, in which Bro. Russell joins, Your Sister in Christ, MARIA F. RUSSELL.
Letter from Mr. Joseph L. Russell (now deceased), father of the Editor, relating to the same trouble:-- My Dear Son:--It is with love and sympathy in my heart that I write you at this time, after having read the full account of your trials and troubles amongst those whom you accepted as brethren in Christ. It does seem almost incredible that those people could be guilty of such mean and despicable conduct toward you, from whom they had received so many marks of kindness. But, my dear son, these are some of the trials we all may expect--especially those engaged in the "harvest" work. I am proud of the noble defense you make in vindication of your conduct, and especially in the cause of the Truth we all love so dearly. I feel confident that you will come out of this trial brighter and more appreciated in your character and works than you ever were before. The good Lord, who has been testing your works, will promote you to still higher honors in his Kingdom. I pray that he may bless you always and sustain you in every good word and work; and to him we will ascribe all the praise forever. Amen. But while confident that the outcome will be a final victory for the Truth, it is very trying for one who has labored late and early for the last twenty years for the cause of Truth, to have his supposed friends turn against him and brand him as a liar and a hypocrite. Oh! it is terrible! I often think of you and your many trials, which you seem to meet very courageously. But with an approving conscience a man can stand considerable, especially if the Lord is on his side to help and strengthen. Please extend to your dear wife my hearty congratulations on her noble defense of her husband and the cause of Truth during this trying ordeal. With love and congratulations from us all, I remain, your loving father. JOSEPH L. RUSSELL."
* * *
As matters began to settle down, the "woman's rights" ideas and personal ambition began again to come to the top, and I perceived that Mrs. Russell's active campaign in my defense, and the very cordial reception given her by the dear friends at that time throughout a journey (which she volunteered at that time to take, for the express purpose of defending and vindicating me amongst those friends who had been disturbed by the slanders circulated by those involved in the conspiracy), had done her injury by increasing her self-appreciation. Instead of considering the kind expressions of the friends as applying to her as a representative of the WATCH TOWER, a representative of the truths it promulgates, and a representative of her husband, as well as for her personal worth, the lady appeared to credit all the demonstrations to the latter--as acknowledgments of her personal abilities. Gradually she seemed to reach the conclusion that nothing was just proper for the WATCH TOWER columns
::R3812 : page 216::
except what she had written, and I was continually harassed with suggestions of alterations of my writings. I was pained to note this growing disposition, so foreign to the humble mind which characterized her for the first thirteen happy years. Gradually her interpretation of "that servant" worked upon her mind. First she suggested that as in the human body there are two eyes, two ears, two hands, two feet, etc., this might properly enough represent the twain one--she and I as necessarily one in marriage and in spirit and in the Lord. But the ambition did not stop here--(it is a plant of thrifty growth). Within a year Mrs. Russell had concluded that the latter part of the statement (viz., `Matt. 24:48-51`) was not merely a warning, but that it would have actual fulfilment--that it meant that her husband would fulfil this description, and that she in consequence would take his place as "that servant" in dispensing meat in due season. This was in 1896. In harmony with this thought she concluded that her individuality was not sufficiently prominent in the WATCH TOWER announcements that she was the Associate Editor. She requested that her name thereafter appear with each article that she wrote. I told her that this would imply the erasure of her name as Associate Editor. She assented, saying that that did not amount to much anyway, as nobody knew her articles. She also at this time notified me that her articles must appear just as she would write them, without corrections or emendations on my part. To all these requests I agreed, telling her, however, that I was afraid the WATCH TOWER readers would consider that I was demeaning my wife in dropping her as Associate Editor, placing her instead as a mere correspondent. Furthermore, I suggested that if I could make no editorial corrections to her articles it would imply that some of them would not appear in the WATCH TOWER, because where many corrections would be necessary it would be easier to write the article myself. Those possessing back numbers of the WATCH TOWER upon examination will find that Mrs. Russell's name as Associate Editor first disappeared from the 2nd page of the TOWER in the issue of Nov. 1st, 1896. Fearing that this might be understood as some indignity to my wife I referred to the matter in the Dec. 15th issue, page 301, the "Tract Society's Annual Report," in these words: "The withdrawal of our 'associate editor' has been noted by some, so we explain now to all that this was granted at her own urgent request. She prefers to appear as a correspondent over her own signature, MRS. M. F. RUSSELL."
HELP-MATE CHANGED TO OPPONENT
Prior to this time my Sunday topics constituted a considerable portion of the matter for the WATCH TOWER. Mrs. Russell took notes of my Sunday afternoon discourses and later on wrote these out as TOWER articles. This was, of course, a great saving of my time, and permitted me to attend to other parts of the work, and justified my denominating her "Associate Editor" of the paper. She notified me that I must not expect such assistance further, that whatever she wrote would be for publication over her own name. Apparently her thought was to impede the work, and to force me to call upon her for larger and still larger contributions to the columns of the paper--contributions which she had already stipulated must be taken just as she wrote them, without the alteration of a word. Had this program
::R3812 : page 217::
carried out as she evidently intended it would have made her virtually the Editor of ZION'S WATCH TOWER, and would have opened its columns to matter to which I could not assent. Furthermore, I saw that this would be fostering in my wife an ambition which sooner or later would work to her very serious injury and perhaps to the entire cause of "Present Truth." After making the matter a subject of prayer I adopted the method of dictating my articles direct to a stenographer, and enlarged the size of the WATCH TOWER from a 12-page to a 16-page journal. The trend of events led me to see that in at least one instance in the past, yielding to Mrs. Russell's importunity, I had failed in my duty in allowing an article written by her, with which I did not agree, to appear in the WATCH TOWER, thinking that it would do no harm and at the same time gratify her wishes. In the WATCH TOWER issue for Feby. 1st, 1897, page 38, I corrected the error in the "Question and Answer Column," item "Concerning the Epistle of James." I quote from my answer as follows:--"The article to which you refer last, as being in conflict with our general presentations, was not an editorial article; nevertheless the Editor does not claim that his negligence in the matter is a sufficient excuse. It is a part of his duty to be critical, and to exclude whatever his judgment does not approve; and he now promises that by the Lord's grace he will hereafter be still more careful of his stewardship, to the end that ZION'S WATCH TOWER may ever speak as 'an oracle of God.'" Despite this distressing situation of antagonism on the part of my wife the work continued to progress. Mrs. Russell's next move was to so harass me as to make it almost impossible for me to proceed with the work. I appointed a desk drawer in which I requested that she place any articles she had to offer me. From this I made selections. That I might have no choice in the selection of her articles, in Feby. '97 she removed all of those articles except two. Neither of those two being acceptable, no articles of hers appeared in the February 15th and March 1st issues. Mrs. Russell was indignant at this, but I explained the situation. It was at this time that she took ill of a troublesome disease and required much of my attention, which was cheerfully given at the expense of every other consideration, and with the hope that what I believed was a discipline from the Lord might work out for her profit. I thought, too, that my kind and incessant attentions would touch her heart and restore it to its former tender and loving condition. I was mistaken, however. Just as soon as she recovered health she called a Committee along the lines of `Matt. 18:15-17`, specially with the object of having the brethren instruct me that she had an equal right with myself in the WATCH TOWER columns, and that I was doing her wrong in not according her the liberties she desired. The Committee consisted of Bro. W. E. Page, of Milwaukee, Wis., and Bro. M. M. Tuttle, of Pittsburgh, Pa. Mrs. Russell, with them as her Committee, met me in my study. The entire matter was a great surprise to me, for I had kept my troubles secret even from those nearest to me in the home. I assured Mrs. Russell and the brethren that I was very glad matters had taken this turn, and that my hope was that it would solve some of my difficulties, because I had no doubt as to what their advice would be. Not to center the difficulty exclusively upon the WATCH TOWER question, Mrs. Russell had two other charges against me which were read first. One was that a will I had drawn for my father at his request, and which expressed his wishes fully, was not acceptable to my wife and her sister. I explained to the brethren the kind of a will I had drawn, and they told Mrs. Russell that it was such a will as most people would consider excellent. She disagreed with them. I explained further that I had advised my father to destroy the will and to make one that would suit his wife's ideas, that his declining years might be as peaceful as possible. The brethren were surprised that they should be asked to discuss a will no longer in existence and the character of which was considered excellent. Mrs. Russell's second charge was that I had not treated her with sufficient consideration at a certain meeting in the Bible House Chapel. I explained the affair to all: that the lesson for the Bible study that evening was in Jude, respecting the Second Death, "twice dead plucked up by the roots;" that Mrs. Russell had been granted more time by far than any other person in the meeting to express her views respecting the text, but that she took offense because I intimated that she was taking more than her share of the time. I confessed that at heart I was solicitous lest she should succeed in making clear her views on the subject, which I considered unscriptural, and to which I feared she would be wedded more than ever after expressing her opinion; but that I had no unkind intent respecting the matter. I told them how Mrs. Russell had appeared ill-humored after the meeting, and I had inquired the trouble and found that she felt offended, and that I then assured her that I had no unkind intention in the matter, and that I was sorry if I had offended her, and that if she would prefer to have it so I would make the same expression to the Class on the following Sunday night. I explained that she finally forgave whatever there was wrong in the matter that night; but that she had brought it up four times subsequently, and I said, "Now, brethren, this is the sixth time that Mrs. Russell has brought this matter up, having forgiven it five times: I now ask her in your presence, the sixth time, to forgive whatever she considered wrong in respect to that matter." The brethren looked at Mrs. Russell in amazement, and she again said that she forgave the matter. Then came the real question for which they had been called, one of them a journey of nearly 1,200 miles. When the brethren caught the idea of the real object of their visit they were astonished, and told Mrs. Russell kindly, but very plainly, that neither they nor any other persons in the world had a right to interfere with Bro. Russell's management of the WATCH TOWER: that it was his stewardship only, and that he alone was accountable to the Lord for its management. Further, they suggested that they considered Mrs. Russell had the grandest of all opportunities in the world as my associate and co-laborer in the harvest work; they told her that personally they could think of no higher honor, and advised her to take this same view, that evidently was at one time her own view of the situation. Mrs. Russell was chagrined, broke down and wept, and left the room. Subsequently she was prevailed upon to see that since the Committee had come at her request it was her duty to treat them with greater respect
::R3813 : page 218::
and to give some heed at least to their counsel. She returned to the study and there stated herself in substance that she could not agree with their decision, that she still had her own views, but that in deference to their advice she would endeavor to look at matters from their standpoint. I then asked her in their presence if she would shake hands. She hesitated, but finally gave me her hand. I then said, "Now, will you kiss me, dear, as a token of the degree of change of mind which you have indicated?" Again she hesitated, but finally did kiss me and otherwise manifested a renewal of affection in the presence of her Committee. It was hoped that this would be the end of the matter. The crisis had been reached at about the Memorial season, but seemingly through wise counsel the storm had passed without breaking in any public manner.
BAD COUNSELLORS--FRESH DIFFICULTIES
Following this conference Mrs. Russell's articles again appeared in the WATCH TOWER of March 15th, 1897, indicating my own good faith in the adjustment of the difficulties, and earnest desire to make use of my wife's co-operation as fully as possible. Some of Mrs. Russell's relatives were evidently "evil counsellors," and the fruit quickly began to manifest itself. At Mrs. Russell's request I appointed a weekly meeting of "The Sisters of the Allegheny Church," with herself as its leader, little thinking that this was to be a new method of attack upon me and the interests of the work which I represented. A systematic endeavor was now made to work up a spirit of opposition to me amongst the Sisters of the Church. For months thereafter I could see that an evil influence was at work, but could see no honorable way of correcting it, so secretly was everything done. In the meantime I had some very trying experiences with my greatly changed wife. I could see that herself and relatives were working up some kind of a figurative "bomb" intended for my destruction. My confidence was in the Lord, however, and I said nothing to others until, on August 30th, I learned definitely that there was a movement on foot amongst Mrs. Russell's party which was to culminate in some kind of explosion on Sept. 12th. I acted promptly, but quietly, so that on Saturday night, Sept. 4th, about 50 brethren gathered in the Bible House Chapel, none of them knowing in advance that a meeting was to be held. I explained the situation to all and found that some of them had more knowledge of the business than I possessed. As the matter had passed from an individual affair to a Church affair, I suggested that it would be the duty of the elders of the Church to act, and that I was too closely identified with the matter to take any active part in the investigation. Upon the unanimous expression of all present it was decided that the proper procedure would be that a private meeting of the consecrated believers of the Church should be announced for the next evening, Sunday, Sept. 5th, at which the two sisters who had been circulating slanderous and false statements (presumably received from Mrs. Russell) should be charged with slander and false witness and asked to clear themselves by substantiating their statements if they could. One of these sisters had stated that they had the women of the congregation already committed, and were wanting now to get a few men into the matter, so that it would not appear so completely a woman's affair. Her tale was that Bro. Russell was treating Sister Russell shamefully. The other indicted sister had made similar charges. Without going into particulars they had given the strongest kind of inferences, and the Church eldership determined that it was time that such slanders should cease, or that if they continued all of the congregation should know that they were wholly without foundation or justification. At the evening Church meeting Bro. M. M. Tuttle presided, and the board of Church elders served as jury. The accused sisters were asked specifically whether or not they had said such things. At first they were disposed to deny the matter entirely, but witnesses to whom they had talked were present and, called upon, gave their testimony. Neither could offer any explanation or defense --neither had any foundation whatever for the charges. This is the meeting from which Mrs. Russell and her sisters were excluded--because they had ignored the Church, declared they were not of it, and did not attend its meetings for several months prior to this meeting. It was a strictly private meeting of the consecrated believers of the Church, and hence they had no right to be present. They were excluded because it was recognized by the elders of the Church that had they been present they would have created a scene, and would have hindered the investigation for which the meeting was called. The two sisters who at that meeting were shown to have been guilty of false witness and slander as charged were, at my request, not condemned; the board of elders holding the matter over pending a possible later apology to the Church for their wrong course. I took this opportunity to briefly explain to the congregation present a little of the trouble that surrounded me, as an explanation of the slanders which I knew had been circulated. I took particular care to shield my wife as much as possible, laying the principal blame on one of her sisters, whose evil influence I could note at almost every turn of my affairs. Following this I sought to separate my wife from her evil counsellors in hope of recovering her. I sent those false friends letters, warning them not to come to see my wife, etc., and gave my wife the following letter which she put into the court record of the case:
ALLEGHENY, September 6, 1897. My Dear Wife:--I send you a copy each of three letters just sent as legal notices. [Accompanying were notices to Mr. J. L. Russell, Mrs. J. L. Russell and Mrs. L. J. Raynor, "not to receive, harbor or entertain my wife under your roof under any pretext whatsoever."] I wish you, my dear, to know that these steps now being taken are in your interest as well as in the interest of the Lord's cause. I desire to shield you from what I believe has been a very pernicious influence upon you for some time past. I do this in the hope that under favorable influences, and by divine blessing, you may free your heart of the slime of misrepresentation which others have poured over it, and that thus relieved you may realize your first love for me, and that no one on earth so really loves you, or so genuinely desires your advancement in all the graces of the spirit of Christ and in the service of our dear Redeemer. Come back to me, my dear! I promise that I will do all in my power to make you as happy as you ever were,
::R3813 : page 219::
and as much more so as lies in my power. Think, my dear, that God has already favored you with a position as my queen and associate and helper that, in some respects at least, is second to that of no lady in the world. And do, my dear, remember that ambition is one of the foes of the people of God, that has snared more of the bright ones than perhaps any other. Consider, I pray you, in time, ere it be too late to retrace your steps, whether or not your present condition of heart may not be a seduction of the great adversary. Is not the situation sufficiently critical to make you go very cautiously and prayerfully? Stop, I entreat you, and join me in humble heart to seek afresh to know the will of our Lord and Master. Remember how Satan fell and how our Lord proved himself worthy of his high exaltation, and remember the Apostle's words: "Humble yourselves, therefore, brethren, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time." Remember Miriam, and Korah, and remember the various conspirators, and how they all have not only left Brother Russell, but also the Lord and the Truth. Remember that the present matter is as humiliating for me as for you, because if a wife is the glory of her husband, so any reflection, even against her, is to his injury and shame. Remember, also, that I will be anxious to lift up your head and influence in every proper manner, and will not glory over you as a foe, but as one who has recovered a lost and highly-prized treasure. And now, my dear wife, all that I could wish for as respects my earthly life is that I may serve the Lord, his cause and his people, amongst whom no one can hold so near and dear a place as you have held and may again hold if you will. And next to my effort to serve and please the Lord shall be my effort to serve and please you as my wife, if you will permit it and co-operate to that end. Finally, not in anger, nor in any other spirit than that of love, and as my final move in your favor, and to help pull you out of the fire of the present trial, I give this legal and formal notice, which I shall be only too
::R3814 : page 219::
glad to rescind absolutely. Done in love, and as a despairing effort to separate you from evil influences, and with a hope for speedy reconciliation and annulment of this limitation, at Allegheny, Pa., this 6th of September, 1897. C. T. RUSSELL.
NIPPED IN THE BUD
As a result, the entire conspiracy dissolved like a pricked bubble. The Sisters of the congregation and others realized how sadly they had been deceived in the name of the Lord and in the name of righteousness. Mrs. Russell was completely overwhelmed with the defeat of her scheme. I hoped the crisis had been reached and that the tide might turn in her favor, in my favor, and in the favor of the Truth. I pointed out to my wife the error of her course carefully, kindly, gently. I told her how wrong it was for her to plot to do me injury, and pointed out that if, as she thought, the Lord wished that she should supplant me as the Editor of the WATCH TOWER and general overseer in this harvest work, he was abundantly able to carry out his purposes and needed no evil assistance from her. I suggested that he could easily permit me to be mangled or killed in an accident; that he could smite me with paralysis or other disease; or by the merest touch of the brain he could disorder my mind; and that thus he could cause everything connected with his work to drop into her hands, for, as I assured her, my confidence in her had been so great that in my will everything had been left to her care and supervision. (This is so no longer. I have already transferred everything I possess except my personal clothing to the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY.) Mrs. Russell afterward denied that she had authorized any of the slanders or that any were uttered; but I pointed out that the slanderers had confessed; and that if she were truly on my side, instead of being angry with the fact of their exposure she would have manifested righteous indignation for their false accusations. But still my hope was the recovering of my wife to her former condition, and accordingly I forbade her relatives to visit her, hoping that she would be benefited thereby. I invited to the home a Sister Jones, her friend, a woman of great kindness and large experience, whose influence I knew would be favorable. I opened to Mrs. Russell's mind a door of hope by suggesting that if I could come to accept her declaration that she had no sympathy with the slanders I would know well how to bring order out of the confusion and restore her to the love and fellowship of the dear friends. She demurred that since the exposure of Sunday night, Sept. 5th, it would be impossible to heal the breach. I told her that it was only necessary for her to convince me, and that I could do the rest; but that whatever we would do should be done before Sunday, so that if harmony were effected we could at the following Sunday meeting make an announcement of the fact to the dear friends of the Church, which would set their hearts at rest. On Friday night I drew up a paper representing the re-established harmony, wording it as favorably as possible for Mrs. Russell and her misguided friends. On Saturday morning she and Mrs. Jones, her friend, were quite enthusiastic over the paper. We got several copies typewritten and Mrs. Russell and I signed the paper, and she and Sister Jones went out and got the other signatures. Mrs. Russell's two sisters and one of the two persons who on the previous Sunday night had been convicted of slander and false witness signed it with us, and on Sunday afternoon I requested the consecrated ones to remain for a special service, and to them I read the said letter, asking them that as many as desired to do so would signify their participation in the spirit of the letter by a rising vote. The dear friends were overjoyed and arose as one person, praising God for his mercy in thus bringing order out of confusion. Here is
A COPY OF THE SAID LETTER
To the Allegheny Church, Bible House. Dear Brethren and Sisters:--It is with praise to God and with thankfulness of heart that we unite in a joint note to you all. Since last Sunday we have sought earnestly through prayer divine aid in respect to some matters which grieved us all, and have obtained help in time of need. Investigation revealed the fact that our troubles arose largely through the too free use of the tongue and the neglect of the Scriptural rule of `Matt. 18:15`. Many things had grown out of all semblance to their originals; and many of the originals upon close investigation
::R3814 : page 220::
proved to be mere fears which had no foundation in fact. We are happy to tell you that all misstatements and misapprehensions are mutually rescinded and forgiven, and supposed grievances are all forever blotted out, while mutual love fills all our hearts for our Lord and for all his Church. Although the trial has been a severe one, we trust that its present happy outcome may prove to be everlasting; and that some lessons have been learned by us all respecting the need of charity, and the close following of the Scripture rules laid down in `Matt. 18:15` by our Master. We hope (D.V.) to meet with you next Sunday; and are all resolved by the grace of God to more zealously strive to act and speak kindly to one and all, especially to God's children; and if we know nothing favorable to tell of one another we will abstain from such personalities altogether. (Original was signed by) CHARLES T. RUSSELL, MARIA F. RUSSELL, LENA GUIBERT, EMMA H. RUSSELL, LAURA J. RAYNOR.
On the following day, Sept. 13, 1897, a copy of that letter was sent to friends from nearby towns who had been present at the meeting of September 4th, with the following one:
To the Friends who kindly visited us at Allegheny on September fourth and fifth, Greetings:--It gives us great pleasure to inform you that our Heavenly Father has very graciously heard your prayers and ours in the interest of all the parties concerned in the matters which caused us so much distress. It appears that certain features of difficulty in the case, which eluded our every effort to grasp, prove to have been in many respects fears and misunderstandings and the results of these. In an altogether unexpected manner the Lord has straightened out these troubles. The letter following is a copy of the one in which the various parties interested have joined heartily and gladly. I send it to you realizing that it will help to bring rest and peace to your hearts as it has done to ours at Allegheny. The entire Church here has been greatly troubled, not only for the past week but previously, and after the reading to them of this letter yesterday all their hearts rejoiced, and they unanimously joined in as parties to the letter as a congregation. Many expressed the sentiment that the matter, although very grievous, will prove a lesson of great value to us all. "God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform." Individually I feel as though I had received a great fortune, and appreciate each of the signatures more than I would $5,000, and the second one many times that. Join with us all in giving thanks to our heavenly Father for having delivered us out of so great a trial. Your brother and servant in Him, CHARLES T. RUSSELL.
Our hope was short lived. On the following Sunday, when all was to have been harmony, the storm broke out afresh. One of Mrs. Russell's sisters came in late and went out early, and Mrs. Russell herself posed as wounded innocence, refusing to shake hands with some, calling others traitors, etc. I made no further effort to secure her attendance at the meetings, believing it would be better for all concerned for her to be absent.
THE DEPARTURE NOVEMBER 9, 1897
I put in two months more trying in every way to recover my wife to her former condition. On November 9th, being called from the city, I made arrangements for her to have a Sister's company until my return. She accepted this, but subsequently left for Chicago without leaving me the slightest information. I had no knowledge of her whereabouts for two weeks. Chicago had then the largest congregation in the "Present Truth" outside of Allegheny, and Mrs. Russell sought every way to enlist the friends there by slanderous statements. So far as we are aware only three came under the influence, as about eight had done in the Allegheny Church. Later on, finding that she accomplished nothing there, she proposed to return to me at Allegheny. I refused to accept her return unless she would acknowledge the error of her former course and pledge herself to reasonable, proper, wifely conduct. I wrote her that in her departure the Lord had granted me great deliverance, and that I felt that I must require this guarantee for the future, otherwise it would seem to be tempting Providence. In January, 1898, Mrs. Russell returned to Allegheny, to the home of her sister; and herself, sisters and friends began a campaign of vilification of every kind, regardless of the truth, going hither and thither wherever they could find any one willing to hear them, bound on injuring me in some manner. This lasted for about a year, at the end of which time my wife gave me
::R3815 : page 220::
her solemn assurance that she had ceased to bear false witness against me before others, whereupon I gave her possession of a house which I owned facing the parks, and furnished it for her in good style--a better home than she ever before had--thinking to myself, I will overcome her evil with good; she shall yet see the wrong of her course and appreciate my loving intentions. She manifested some appreciation, sat on my knee and kissed me, and knelt with me in prayer in that house. The house contains ten rooms, and she had considerable income from renting some of these to lodgers. In hope that a change of sentiment was in sight I visited her every Thursday evening for some five times, when she said, "Husband, I have been fearful that the neighbors and lodgers would think it strange to see you come here every Thursday." The hint was sufficient; I discontinued attentions. The puerility of the situation was ludicrous. The neighbors would see lodgers, men, going to and from the house daily, hourly, but would be surprised to see the woman's husband come once a week. I perceived that further quest for her affection was useless. Afterward she merely requested me to come to see her when she desired some repairs or additional furniture.
A FRESH ATTACK IN 1903
By 1903 Mrs. Russell had laid by in bank a little sum of money which evidently was consecrated to the injury of her husband. The opportune time for its use came, and with it she published a new kind of tract--not
::R3815 : page 221::
to stir up the pure minds of God's people, but the very reverse. It was an endeavor to misrepresent me, to slander me. It purported to give letters which I had written to Mrs. Russell and copies of her replies. It was declared therein that I ill-used her, would not speak to her, and wrote her these unpleasant epistles. I remembered well the time when she was with me when she would not speak despite my every effort, and I remembered another time in which she did everything to hinder my work, when I was obliged to tell her that my time could not be used continually "discussing affairs." To save time I wrote her several replies on my common manuscript paper. The tract as a whole was a gross perversion of the facts, and written expressly to injure the interests of the cause which I represented. These were sent to all the WATCH TOWER addresses she could secure, and bundles of them were sent to ministers in different towns where Pilgrim services were announced in the WATCH TOWER columns, and a letter accompanying each bundle requested ministers receiving it to get the tracts, to look up the meeting of the MILLENNIAL DAWN people, and to have some person circulate these tracts at those meetings. It was expected that ministers of various denominations would be so antagonistic to MILLENNIAL DAWN and their author that they would take pleasure in this scurrilous work; but to their credit be it noted that not many of them accepted the proposition. Some wrote back declining the service and characterizing the request as mean, despicable, insulting to their manhood. This was in the beginning of 1903, and led me to conclude that my endeavor to help my wife was being taken advantage of by the adversary as a means to do injury to the Truth to which I have consecrated life and all. I concluded that assistance from me must stop, and put my sister in charge of the residence, reserving however a room for Mrs. Russell and arranging for her boarding. The result was a commotion, Mrs. Russell, her relatives and roomers, created such a disturbance that my sister was obliged to call for the protection of the police, while Mrs. Russell and her friends misrepresented matters through the public press to the extent of their ability. Since then, under the direction of the court, Mrs. Russell has received from me $40.00 per month for her maintainance, and her suit for divorce from bed and board with alimony has just come off. She has been as separate from me as could possibly be imagined for years. No advantage could accrue to her from a monetary standpoint that she did not already possess. I must presume therefore that the motive back of this suit is revenge: to have an opportunity of defaming me and scandalizing the Truth, as a retaliation for my refusal to permit her all the liberties she desired in the columns of ZION'S WATCH TOWER.
THE COURT RECORDS
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." Mrs. R. claimed bad treatment from her husband, but produced no evidence to substantiate her claim. Her husband's principal crime was that on one occasion (during 18 years of married life) when he was going to Denver he neglected and refused to kiss her "good bye." Next day, on the witness stand, Mr. R. corrected the statement, saying that his journey was to New York City instead of Denver, and that he had explained to his wife that her conduct at the time did not justify any special exhibition of affection, and that he did not believe in giving hypocritical caresses. Mrs. R. also claimed that her husband had opened her mail. Mr. R. explained that by mutual consent this had been so for years--their mail had been treated as common property, until (about six months before she deserted him) Mrs. R. requested that she receive mail addressed to her unopened. Her request was promptly thereafter complied with, much to her inconvenience; for many TOWER readers used to write to Mrs. R., thinking to save the Editor's time, their letters containing questions that needed to come to him in the end. Another of Mrs. R.'s complaints was that she was asked to give an account of her use of moneys. Mr. R. explained that for eighteen years he had asked no reports or explanations regarding money matters, until about six months before Mrs. R. left him, when he asked her what she was doing with moneys received from him other than for usual expenses. Was she starting a bank account, or what? When she refused to tell him, he told her that if she refused to report after using the money his only recourse would be to inquire what she wanted the money for when she asked for it. Another complaint was that Mr. R. had treated Mrs. R. unkindly during a spell of sickness in the Spring of 1897; and that he had cruelly told her that she was suffering a chastisement from the Lord. Mr. R. explained that he surely did so consider her illness; but that knowing Mrs. R.'s general opposition to him and anything he might say, he did not mention it to her. However, fearing that Mrs. R. might miss a blessing from the illness, he did hint his thought to her very special lady friend and confidant who assisted in caring for her. As for his treatment of his wife during that sickness, Mr. R. assured the Court that it could not have been more kind and considerate. He explained that Mrs. R. had a contagious erysipelas that covered every inch of her body from head to foot; that this required the aid of an assistant in the day time to perform three processes of dressing the eruptions (and who caught the disease); but that at night the ailment was much worse, and, others being afraid, he himself performed the three-process treatment twice every night. He thus spent four to five hours each night, and handled his wife with extremest tenderness, hoping to win back the affection which her ambition had crowded out.
::R3816 : page 223::
Another fault charged by Mrs. R. against her husband was that he would not speak to her for weeks at a time, but wrote her letters. Some of those letters were put in evidence. Mr. R. explained that his conduct was wholly misrepresented--that he uniformly treated his wife with the utmost courtesy--that no wife in the world could have been better treated. He explained that about the time Mrs. R. stopped reporting his discourses for the WATCH TOWER she seemed bent on hindering him in his editorial work, and would have wasted his entire time "discussing" her ideas, etc., if he had permitted it: that to save his time he was obliged to write, because her discussions were so unreasonable and interminable. One of these letters, selected by Mrs. R. as the strongest against her husband, we quote below from the Court record.
THE OBJECTIONABLE LETTER
Mrs. Russell's attorneys introduced a number of letters which were really against her case, for they proved that Mr. R. had tried in a variety of ways, as before stated, to recover her to her former good self. The first of these which is here quoted is one from which Mrs. R. extracted a few sentences for the pamphlet which she sent out in 1903. The portion she quoted then is italicized here, that it may be seen how grossly the quotation misrepresented the letter as a whole. It was written without the slightest thought of it ever being used again, and no copy was kept by Mr. R. The following is a copy of the original put in evidence in court:-- July 8, 1896. My Dear Wife:--In reply to your proposition for "a further discussion" of the matters which have recently been alienating our affections, I reply: I must decline such a discussion, for two reasons, (1) It probably would only lead to a still wider breach, and (2) As I told you before, I have no wish to discuss new grievances with one whose judgment after 17 years of acquaintance is-- "a lack of confidence," and that I am devoid of love and justice. For the past three years you have been gradually forcing upon me the evidence that we both erred in judgment when we married--that we are not adapted to each other, not capable of making each other happy, as we agreed to do, and supposed we could do. The last month has fastened this conviction upon me much against my will. I am convinced that our difficulty is a growing one generally--that it is a great mistake for strong-minded men and women to marry. If they will marry, the strong-minded would far better marry such as are not too intellectual and high spirited, for there never can, in the nature of things, be peace, under present-time conditions, where the two are on an equality. This all the more convinces me of the wisdom of God's Book. The convictions forced upon me during the past month have been an extremely severe trial to me, for I have enough manhood to make me crave the sympathy and love of true womanhood, which in many respects you well represent, but by God's grace I feel strengthened to continue in the "good fight of faith," upheld by his sufficiency. You need not fear a transfer of my heart to any other woman! As I have often told you, I never met as near my ideal as yourself, and I never expect to. I conclude that I am adapted to no one, and that no one is adapted to me--except the Lord! I am so thankful that He and I understand each other and have confidence in each other. This letter is not meant to be unkind. If anything in it seems unkind please excuse it as not so intended. By and by we will know each other better. Let us hope that it will reveal fewer rather than more blemishes that now vex each other. With fond remembrance of every kindness, and with very best wishes for your temporal and eternal future, I remain Yours truly, C. T. RUSSELL.
Another charge made by Mrs. R. against her husband was, that he had isolated her from her sisters and friends and had sent them insulting letters. Mr. R. explained that this prohibition was made in Mrs. R.'s interest, when she had become his active enemy in cooperation with them, in hope thus to reclaim her from her wrong course. He sent such letters on two occasions: the first set in September were negatived by the reconciliation. The second set, also filed by Mrs. R. as part of the Court's record, we quote below:-- ALLEGHENY, Pa., Nov. 9, 1897. My Dear Wife:--I think it but duty toward you to give you a copy of a letter sent (yesterday) to four of your friends who clearly manifest that they are my enemies. No one has knowledge of the matter except
::R3817 : page 223::
Brother Bohnet, who knows confidentially --because he prepared the letters on typewriter. As I have prohibited these persons from having intercourse with you, I must, and now do, prohibit you from having intercourse with them in any manner. My hope, Dear, is that freed from this bad influence you may "come to yourself" and take right and sensible views of matters; peradventure the Lord may bless us again with happiness which we once enjoyed together in our home life, and in our Christian fellowship and cooperation in God's service. It gives me great pain to deprive you of what seems to be your only pleasure, but my hope is that you may become weaned from the love of those who hate me; and that not only to my comfort, but also to your own present and everlasting welfare. Should these later manifest a change of heart, I shall be very glad to have former relationship restored all around, but until then it cannot be otherwise than mischievous, and cannot be permitted. I have carefully weighed this matter for now about a month, and believe that my course is the wise one, and in conformity with the Lord's will and Word; as I will show you if you desire. Permit me to add for your comfort that your conduct last night and this morning is much more kind than formerly, and had this manner been commenced sooner I would have waited still longer before writing to your friends--my enemies. With sincere love and sympathy, Your husband, C. T. RUSSELL.
ALLEGHENY, Pa., November 8, 1897. Mrs. __________:--Some time ago I addressed you in regard to your influence upon my wife. I have since had some ground for hope that both you and she had come to view matters in a different light, and that your mutual conspiracy to do me injury had been repented of and
::R3817 : page 224::
abandoned. And acting in good faith I made no further objection to your intercourse. For a month past, however, I am reluctantly forced to the conclusion that the great adversary is deluding your clique to take some other lines for mischief--hoping for better success than last time. I have been praying for you each and all, earnestly, that the Lord would open your eyes to the enormity of your course; but I now conclude that it is my duty toward my dear wife to isolate her from your pernicious influence; for such it is, whether you are aware of it or not; and I hope and incline to believe that you are not wilful, but blinded, in the matter; but that there be no chance for misunderstanding, and that this notice shall be in every way a legal notice, I must use great plainness of speech, and tell you that your influence, however intended, is a wicked influence; for it has a wicked effect upon my dear wife. So far from being a "peacemaker," as all who bear the name of Christ should be, you are a mischief maker--a disturber of the peace. You have already alienated from me the affections of my dear companion, who I believe was given me by the Lord, so that she bears no resemblance to her former loving, generous self. You have incited, or helped to incite in her, an evil, selfish disposition, as contrary to the Scriptural definition of the spirit of love and the character of our Lord, as it is contrary to her former beautiful character under the influence of Divine grace. The laws of our State, not to mention the higher laws of God, deprecate all such conduct and pernicious influence as seeks to alienate and separate between husbands and wives.-- "What God hath joined let no man (nor woman) put asunder"--either actually or in spirit of mind. Very reluctantly, therefore, I hereby give you notice that you must not continue this baneful influence; and that to this end you henceforth abstain from all intercourse with my dear wife--either personal or otherwise-- that you shall not receive her into your home, nor visit her at my home, nor meet her elsewhere, nor correspond with her either directly or by proxy through others. As it is with pain and reluctance that I thus write to you--and only as a last resort in the defense of my home and in hope that under Divine blessing my dear wife, being freed from such false sympathy and evil encouragements, shall regain "the spirit of a sound mind" --the holy spirit of love,--so, I shall be most glad to recall the restrictions here placed upon you with reference to my wife. But nothing shall be construed as revoking this notice except it be given in writing over my own signature. And failure on your part to conform to this notice, absolutely, will justly lay you liable for such heavy penalties as the Courts of Allegheny County may prescribe. Sorrowfully yours, etc. C. T. RUSSELL.
Other letters of similar import are parts of the evidence, but the above will suffice as fair samples of the others.
JUDGE'S CHARGE--JURY'S VERDICT
The judge in the case as well as the auditors in court, attorneys, etc., perceived clearly that Mrs. Russell's charges were trumped up, that she had suffered no indignities at my hands; and the charge of the judge was about as strong as it could have been made in my favor. The jury was out about two hours and returned with a verdict granting the divorce--much to the astonishment of all concerned. In explanation of the verdict some of the jurors said, "We concluded that there would be no hope for reconciliation, and that we would be doing a kindness to both parties to decide in favor of a divorce." My attorney has made a motion before the Court that the jury's verdict be set aside as being opposed to the law and to the evidence in this case. The court I am told may not reach a decision in the matter for months; even then we all know a judge dislikes to so arbitrarily deal with a jury's verdict, although the law gives him a right to do so in such a case. I am not unwilling that my wife should have a divorce, but opposed it because her plea was a false and slanderous one.
"THE CUP WHICH MY FATHER HATH POURED, SHALL I NOT DRINK IT?"
Whatever the Court may decide, however untruthful, malicious, and paltry the evidence, the accusations have been scattered broadcast through the land, the public know the untruth, and the great majority will not know the truth in the present life. My conclusion is that these things could not have happened: that so far as the Lord's consecrated ones are concerned not a hair of their heads can fall without divine notice and power to prevent. Hence, it seems quite evident that for some reason it pleased the Lord to wound me and put me to shame. My principal grief is on account of my friends; and yet we sorrow not as others who have no hope. "We know that all things are working together for good to them that love God--to the called ones according to his purpose." How this bitter experience will work for good we may not clearly see, but we can firmly trust. Perhaps it is intended as a part of the shaking and sifting which is to separate everything that is shakable from that which cannot be shaken. (`Heb. 12:26-28`.) The unshaken ones undoubtedly will be drawn nearer to each other. We have every confidence that though Satan desired to sift us as wheat and to discourage us and to discredit us as the representative of the Lord, he shall not succeed beyond what the Lord sees would be to his own glory or for our profit. As the Master prayed for Peter we may be sure that all who are truly his have his sympathy and backing. From numerous letters received I am sure that I have the prayers of the Lord's dear flock, and I assure you all that my prayers ascend for you and that I fully realize that it is your hour of trial also. May the Church come forth from the furnace brighter and stronger and purer every way. Respecting the influence of this matter upon the world: it is hard to tell just what it may be. I have heard from many, previously somewhat opposed or non-committal, whose indignation has been aroused on my behalf, as they see in the testimony that my treatment of my wife was most considerate under adverse conditions, even according to her own testimony, when the facts were explained. Some of these have been brought into closer sympathy with the Truth. However, as respects the mass of the world, we know that they love not the light, and long for any excuse for opposing it, and quite likely therefore a general effect may be the arousing of
::R3817 : page 225::
a greater opposition than before on the part of some who will strive to use the malicious statements and false charges of this case as though they were true--thereby to crucify the Truth and all who stand firmly by it. Believing, as we do, that the Harvest work must come to a close now within a few years, we recognize that some experiences will be permitted to gradually narrow down and finally end the opportunities for service of the Lord and the proclamation of the Gospel call of the present time. We are expecting of course to suffer somehow. We have pledged ourselves to the Lord to be faithful unto death. It is not for us to determine in what our trials shall consist, nor how they shall come, nor through whom. The Lord's grace is sufficient for us. His promise is, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee," even though he assures that in this Harvest time the Adversary would deceive, stumble, if it were possible, the "very elect," but it will not be possible, because "Greater is he who is on our part than all that be against us." We cannot undertake to publish all of your many precious letters, in which sympathy and confidence have been so liberally expressed, but we are preserving them all and can here give you a little taste. We have heard from many others less directly--as congregations or
::R3818 : page 225::
through the Pilgrim brethren or through a few words injected into business correspondence. We have not had time to answer these precious letters as they should have been acknowledged. Please accept this statement as my personal reply to your communications, with my love and best wishes. Your Brother and Servant in the Lord, C. T. RUSSELL.