SIX rather bulky volumes, comprising in all some 2,000 pages, are published by the “Watch Tower and Tract Society” of Brooklyn, N. Y.
The author of this work is Mr. Charles T. Russell.
Formerly his publications issued from “Zion’s Watch Tower”, Pittsburgh, Pa.
They then bore the somewhat ostentatious title. “Millennial Dawn,” (1886) – The volumes now bear the more modest inscription, “Studies in the Scriptures”, (1911).
Why the change in the title is made can only be conjectured. Some rather severe criticism and strictures of the views advocated in these books have brought Millennial Dawn into disrepute in the minds of many people, and accordingly we think the former title has been dropped and the later and less objectionable one substituted for it.
Some colour is given to this conjecture by the fact that certain evangelical terms are applied to the movement of which Mr. Russell is the head, as, e.g., “People’s Pulpit of Brooklyn”. “International Bible Students’ League”, “Brooklyn Tabernacle”, “Bible House and Tract Society”, (Our Hope. Feb., 1911).
The later title and the various names now freely used tend to allay suspicion and to commend the propaganda of Mr. Russell and his followers to the Christian public.
In the introduction to the first volume we are told that “our Society, realising the need, is seeking to do all in its power to…lift ‘the Lord’s standard for the people’”.
It has prepared six sets of Bible studies for Christian people of all denominations. These are supplied at bare cost”.
The whole six volumes, “bound in cloth, embossed in silver”, sell for the ridiculously small sum of $2.25 or 37½ cents each! The object is to scatter this literature throughout our country, Canada, and other lands, for we are assured that it is translated into no less than a dozen different languages. So it is asserted in the first volume.
Some idea of the circulation may be had from the statement made in the title page of each of the first three volumes: “Series I 3,358,000 edition”, “Series II 1,132,000 edition”,“Series III. 909,000 edition”.
The enormous circulation of the books serves to show how industriously “Our Society” is propagating its literature, and the vast number of readers it is reaching, i.e., if these figures tell the truth! That the teaching of Dawnism has done immense harm is certain; that it is calculated to subvert the faith of Christians by substituting for the truth of Jesus Christ the calamitous doctrines of Mr. Russell cannot be denied; for the whole system is anti-Scriptural, anti-Christian, and a deplorable perversion of the Gospel of the Son of God.
In the discussion of the system it is the doctrines of Millennial Dawn that are arraigued, not the author, Mr. Russell.
It is conceivable that he is self-deceived, as some think, and that he believes that what he has published is the truth of the Bible. This is within the range of possibility, of course.
Personally, however, the present writer withholds his assent to this opinion That Mr. Russell is being used of the Evil One to subvert the truth of God, that the Christ he commends to men as an object of trust, love, and worship, is not the Christ of God, is the profound conviction of not a few who are familiar with his views.
This is a grave indictment, but it is deliberately made.
To establish it beyond peradventure and contradiction is the aim of this paper.
A summary of the chief errors and heresies embodied in Millennial Dawn is here submitted.