The Rich Young Man Whom Jesus Loved
AND Another Rich Young Man
Memorial Address for
PASTOR CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL
Delivered November 5,1916
ODDFELLOWS TEMPLE. ST. PAUL. MINN.
By W. H. Bradford, an Elder in the St. Paul Ecclesia, Associated Bible Students
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The Rich Young Man Whom Jesus Loved: and Another Rich Young Man.
It is realized by us this afternoon that two classes of hearers have assembled for this tribute service to Pastor Charles T. Russell, whose funeral is at this very hour occurring in the city of New York.
Many who have long regarded him as their leader and their friend have come that their hearts may burn over the rehearsal of his deeds which have woven the ties of friendship.
Others with open minds have come to be enlightened as to the claims of this man to enduring fame. Silently their presence asks us, What monuments has the departed reared to cause his memory to live in our admiration?
We confidently challenge the attention of every hearer with the sweeping but deliberate assertion that no man since the Apostle Paul has done so much to promote the highest interests of the human race as has Charles T. Russell. We laud him, therefore, as most truly great of all men who have lived upon the earth since the days of the Apostles of our Lord, greatest in the truest sense in which it is possible for man to be great.
We go one step further with the assertion that no man, not even the Apostles of the Lord, not the great Apostle to the Gentiles himself, has carried the Good Tidings of the Kingdom of Messiah to so many human lives as Charles T. Russell has reached by the various phases of his ministry.
The Apostle Paul once spoke of the life of a Christian in terms of the Olympian Games, each contender striving for the mastery and for the token of championship. It is the custom of modern men to award championships of the world to the best contenders in various lines of endeavor. As we this afternoon pass judgment on the race that has just been completed by Charles T. Russell, it is our privilege and our duty, under the conditions of the race, to award him worlds championships in a greater number of lines of laudable activity than have been triumphantly pursued by any other man of whom human history speaks. It is our purpose to uphold the truth of these sweeping assertions by enumeration of the lines in which he has excelled and brief mention of his achievements in each of them.
Little Charles Russell enjoyed the immeasurable advantages of good birth. His parents were Christian people of marked intelligence and refinement. His father was a successful retail merchant in the city of Allegheny, now part of greater Pittsburgh. His mother died when be was about eight years of age, leaving her son to be thereafter the boon companion of his father. As such, he learned to keep the rooms in which the father and son together lived, and developed the traits of neatness and precision so marked in after life.
He began at a very tender age to take great interest in his fathers store; and showed such aptness for business that the father encouraged him, meanwhile committing the education of his precocious child to private tutors. At the age of fifteen, so great was his sagacity as a wholesale buyer of merchandise, that his father often sent him alone on purchasing tours to Philadelphia and other markets, trusting the boys judgment as superior to his own.
A young man of such commercial talents would not long be working for others. He started a store of his own, selling mens furnishings. It increased to a chain of stores in leading cities of the state of Pennsylvania. He was thus one of the pioneers in the development of the marvelously successful idea of the chain of stores; an idea which has since enriched many men. It soon enriched him, and before he was well past the year of his majority he was worth a quarter of a million dollars. His wealth increased by leaps and bounds. This was in the early seventies of the "nineteenth century." Rockefeller was then unknown, except by his own immediate associates. The known millionaires of that day could have been counted on the fingers of ones hands. Think of the prospects that danced before the eyes of rich young Russell! Think of the lure that must have haunted the dreams of his ambitious young mind! What pictures of colossal fortune must have hung on the walls of the chambers of his heart! What consciousness of ability and of power must have been his! Where would such consciousness be likely to lead such a man?
If he had pursued the allurements of fortune with the same ability which he displayed at the start, with the same sagacity for management and for leadership which he manifested at every turn of his life to the day of his death, if he had but stayed in the race for commercial supremacy, no one can reasonably question that he would have been the rival of John D. Rockefeller for title as earths richest man. This was his legitimate prospect at the age of less than twenty-five. Not one such young man in a thousand would have hesitated to go on.
Jesus, during His earthly ministry, met such young man. The young Israelite was not so rich as young Russell, nor were his prospects for material wealth so dazzling. But the record says that he was very rich. With all his possessions, he desired one thing more; eternal life. Doubtless recognizing Jesus as the one who had the words of eternal life, he came to Him inquiring the way.
Jesus told him to keep the Law. The young man was able to testify that he had kept the law from his youth up. He inquired, What lack I yet? with a sincerity that won the heart of Jesus Christ, and Mark tells us, "Then Jesus loved him." It was recorded of but few that Jesus loved them with a special love. The rich young man was greatly honored to receive that love. He must have been a man of singular merit of life.
Jesus gave this wealthy, Jewish noble .the supreme test of worthiness of eternal life: It was to prove his real merit. "Go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the pool, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow Me." What answer would we expect? What answer would we be likely to give, if such a test were really ours? "And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved." Let us be very honest with ourselves and say if we are surprised. Jesus was not surprised; for He said to His disciples, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God."
If this saying of the Son of God was true, it was true of Charles T. Russell. The identical test came to him. It was not an easy test; it tested every fiber of his nature; it proved whether he was worthy, of eternal life. He had been a student of the Bible and a lover of God from "his youth up. But like the rich young man of old, he was not satisfied. Taught by the Calvinistic creed to believe in an austere God who showed partiality by electing but few to salvation and fiendishness by dooming the remainder to eternal suffering, he read in the Bible that God is full of loving kindness and tender mercy, and he was confused and distressed. He yearned to know God and to understand a His plans and purposes. He searched the creeds of Christendom and of heathendom. They only confused him the worse with their contradictions. At eighteen he became an infidel, but not for long. He came back to the real source of the words of eternal life and searched the Scriptures for himself, divesting his mind of every prejudice.
God rewarded this earnest effort of this brilliant independent mind by illuminating His Word to him. The young man began to see what all the theologians of the ages had failed to see, the harmony of the Word of God and the beauty of the Plan of God. This was his first worlds championship. He realized its value. He perceived that he had found a pearl of great price. He realized. its possible value to others. He must tell others. It would turn the world to love God if they could but know Him thus. But could he tell this message to the world and at the same time gather earthly wealth through a chain of stores? No; it could not be done; he must forsake the one or the other. He could not serve God and mammon. Here was the test that proved too great for the rich young Israelite, the test before which a rich man can hardly escape. What did this other rich young man do? How did Charles T Russell meet the test?
Without a moments hesitation, he followed the example of the merchant man in the parable, who "when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it" As we are told of the man who found the treasure hidden in a field, young Russell "for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that lie bath, and buyeth that field." He eagerly paid the price of the Kingdom which Jesus had stipulated to the Israelite: "Sell whatsoever thou hast." The chain of stores was sold to others, and the proceeds, more than a quarter of a million dollars, given as a foundation to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, "incorporated for the promotion of Christian knowledge orally and by printed page unto all people." The charter of the Society is said to indicate that his gift of money to the organization from his private purse fell little short of five hundred thousand dollars.
Let us not lightly pass by this initial period in this great life. Let us not fail to give to these first triumphs their full significance; for with all the brilliant achievements of his subsequent long career in view, we must pronounce these beginnings with one single exception, the greatest of them all. The one exception was the development of the fruitage of Christian character under the discipline of adversity.
At the age of twenty he independently discovered the truth that the Ransom Sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary as a substitute for Adam and all his race is the foundation-stone of Christianity, the touch-stone doctrine by which all other doctrines must be tested. In the same early year of his life he discovered the importance of the restitution doctrine in the Plan of God. Thus he was enabled to proclaim these two great, truths for a period of forty-four years, and he was always their faithful defender. It was indeed remarkable that so young a man should see for himself such truths so long unappreciated by the scholars of the centuries. These truths led him logically to all the others, and made it possible for him to become recognized as the only theologian of the Gospel Age who had been able to demonstrate the harmony of the Bible with itself from cover to cover, and to put to rout that irreverential saw that "the Bible. is an old fiddle on which any tune can be played."
It was the discovery of these truths, and the realization of the meaning of them to the poor fallen race and of his duty to make them known as a faithful steward, that gave him the passion to sell his worldly possessions and prospects in order to bestow upon the poor the greatest of all blessings-a genuine hope for the future. It is doubtful if history bears record of another young man who surrendered so much for such a purpose; so that we seem well justified in counting his renunciation of the world as his second achievement of worlds championship, caliber.
It was at the age of twenty-four, that the young Bible Student Russell became aware of the time features of the Scriptures which unfolded into his elaborate system of Chronology. It was at this age he began to see that the end of the Gospel Dispensation would be marked in 1914 by the great war now raging on the other side of the world: It was then he discovered for himself and for us the Manner of the Second Advent of our Lord as a great Spirit Being. It was the unfolding of these features of Truth that swept his worldly goods onto the altar of burnt offering and took him out into the campaign of Truth-preaching which ended only with his death. His career as a traveling preacher deserves our special mention; because, in the number of years spent in such work, in the number of miles traveled, the number of addresses made, in the number of people who were reached by his messages, he outstripped all other preachers who have ever lived, and thus proved his right to a third worlds championship: His preaching encircled the globe, penetrated almost every civilized country, and enabled him to truly say in the words of his immortal predecessor, John Wesley, "The world is my parish."
In this connection it is fitting to mention a feature of his ministry which was begun fully two decades after the public preaching was started, but which is inseparably connected with his work as a platform orator. The publication of his leading Sunday sermon, commenced in a modest way in one of the dailies of his home city, was extended to other papers, under the guiding hand of a syndicate organized for the purpose, until as many as four thousand newspapers had at one time or mother regularly printed and circulated his weekly message. In one particular year of this work, no less than two thousand papers were simultaneously assisting in spreading the Good Tidings from his lips, reaching a combined subscription list conservatively estimated at fifteen million and a reading constituency much greater. Talmage in his palmiest days reached but a small fraction of this great number, which is the largest newspaper audience ever enjoyed by a single man; for it is doubtless true, as an enemy of Pastor Russell once declared through a great denominational organ, that his writings had a "greater circulation every week than those of any other living man; a greater, doubtless, than the combined circulation of the writings of all the priests and preachers in North America; greater even than the work of Brisbane, Hapgood, Lorimer, Crane, Haskins and a dozen other of the best known editors and syndicate writers put together.
If Pastor Russell had achieved no other distinction than this one so freely accorded to him even by those he outstripped in the race, he would have been well entitled to undying fame; and on this score we are compelled to award him his fourth championship of the world.
At the age of twenty-seven, after several unsatisfactory attempts to conduct, in partnership with others, a journal for the dissemination of Present Truth, he independently entered the field, as Editor of Zions Watch Tower and Herald of Christs Presence. This semi-monthly publication, which he has put forth for thirty-seven years, is the only one on earth heralding the fact that the Second Advent of Christ is a present reality. It is also doubtless the oldest and largest religious publication is the world which has, been through its entire history printed without advertisements or other monetary features. The success of this periodical under these unusual conditions entitles him to another worlds championship for work of supreme excellence-his fifth.
At the age of twenty-nine he wrote his first great manuscript, a pamphlet entitled "Food For Thinking Christians:" Nearly one and a half millions of them were circulated. It was in connection with the circulation of this writing that Brother Russell conceived the idea of a form of religious service that was destined to revolutionize all former ideas of service and to inaugurate a movement the most stupendous that Christian workers had ever contemplated. This has since been known as the Volunteer movement. Having a message calculated to arouse the zeal of the most earnest members of the churches of various denominations, he hired A. D. T. messengers to hand out a large number of these pamphlets at the doors of hundreds of metropolitan churches on a certain Sunday morning. The people received his message gladly; and many here and there were so stirred by the truths presented that they desired to assist in their circulation and volunteered their services free of cost.
The voluntary distribution of religious literature in tract form grew from these small beginnings until an annual distribution of approximately fifty million free tracts, in thirty languages, was reached and has been maintained now for several years. The upbuilding and management of a distribution so much greater than that of all tract societies and all denominations and religious bodies in the world combined, is another achievement of Pastor Russell which of itself entitles him to enduring remembrance, and sanctions our award of his sixth worlds championship. It provided a way by which the poorest and feeblest Christians might render efficient service, and brought hundreds to their first knowledge of Truth.
In the same year; and before he was thirty years of age, Pastor Russell wrote what has been in the minds of many of his friends his most remarkable book, the one which has perhaps been used more extensively as a text book for study classes than any other religious work in existence-"Tabernacle Shadows of the Better Sacrifices." In view of the fact that this book was his first, and written so long ago, at so early a time in his life, and before the great unfolding of Bible Truth that has come in the past quarter century, it is nothing less than Providential that he was able to present its truths so accurately that scarcely a word of it has since required revision, and its authority is as great today as ever. Surely he had the aid of the Spirit of God in, working out the problems of the Old Testament types. "A million copies of this book have been sold.
At the age of thirty-two he organized the parent society of all the subsequent stupendous activities; the one to which all other organizations founded by him have been subsidiary: the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. As president of this body from its inception to the present, he has been recognized as the responsible director of every Bible Student activity, and every result achieved has been freely credited by his associates to the sagacity of his personal leadership, under Divine direction. The Peoples Pulpit Association of New York and the International Bible Students Association of London, later organized by him to conform to the laws of the respective headquarters, merely performed their part to make the success of the work of the Tower Society.
At the age of thirty-three he put forth the first volume of the famous series of Studies in the Scriptures; at first called Millennial Dawn, and still affectionately known by thousands of Bible Students as "the Dawns." This volume was followed at intervals by others of the series until in 1904 the sixth and last appeared. These volumes, which contain the complete unfolding of the Divine Plan of the Ages, with nearly six thousand Scripture quotations and citations, have had a total sale of nearly ten million copies. No writer in the history of all literature has written books and lived to see them have so great a sale as ten million volumes, except Pastor Russell. In this achievement, again, he has won a worlds championship, the seventh we have awarded him.
If Pastor Russell had set out to make the modest profit of one cent a volume on this gigantic sale of his books, he would have reaped a hundred thousand dollars, a comfortable fortune. If he had taken a profit of a dime, he would have been a millionaire by the sale of books alone. The real story of his action would scarcely find belief among the majority of mankind, so accustomed are they to the spirit of greed for gain. He did not make a single cent from his books. He made the adjustment of the price a matter of careful study, that these masterpieces of Truth might be sold at actual cost and their sale be thus increased to the benefit of the people.
The method he pursued in getting his books before the public was unique. There has been nothing at all equal to it in history. At first he attempted to market them through the leading book stores. But other preachers were jealous of his growing strength with the people and threatened to boycott the dealers who dared to sell Russell books. Their tactics were quite effectual. One of the leading book sellers in Chicago shipped the Dawns back to their author and refused to have anything to do with them. Some other selling method must be found. It was found in the Colporteur system. Men and women who loved the books were found willing to devote their time and strength to the introduction of them by the house-to-house method for a bare living. The price was set at such a margin that the energetic; tactful salesman could make expenses and continue in the work. And be it said to the credit of the cause that volunteers have appeared in sufficient numbers to accomplish the greatest book-selling feat in history by the humble, prosaic method of colporteuring. All honor to these faithful, devoted colporteurs: The Studies in the Scriptures have done more than any other one agency to spread the knowledge of Present Truth to all the corners of the earth; and the honor of this grand sowing of the gospel of great joy is surely shared by their author with all the faithful men and women who have braved the hardships of the life of the despised book agent to accomplish the result. It will not be amiss in this connection to speak of the masterly literary style exhibited throughout the writings of Pastor Russell. It has been said that William Shakespeare possessed the largest vocabulary of any writer of English. Some authorities have declared that fifteen thousand English words are to be found in the writings of this great poet. We thoroughly believe that if the English words used by Pastor Russell in his books, papers and sermons were to be carefully checked off in a standard dictionary, the number would be far in excess of the record of Shakespeare. Though his works have been studied. so carefully by thousands of the most intelligent people, and criticized freely by .the most captious, we have yet to hear of the first point properly taken against the correctness and. fitness of his use of any word.
His style exhibits remarkable ability to condense great volume of thought into a small compass of words. Hundreds of paragraphs could be cited that are marvels for the, number of important thoughts they contain. His writings and sayings abound with epigrams. Their exact conformity to all the rules of language, to the demands of exact grammatical construction; to the finest points of punctuation and, other little details of precision, to the nicest requirements of rhetorical elegance, and to the strictest exactions of logic, stamp their author as a veritable master of the best English spoken in his day. Many passages from his pen deserve to be handed down along with the works of such masters as Addison, De Quincey and Hawthorne as examples of excellence in the use of the mother tongue.
Nor should it be presumed that has style is too exalted to reach the common reader. In, spite of its elegance, it is, plain, direct and simple. His strongest hold has been upon those who could be reached only by such methods. Whether as writer or as platform speaker he was always easy to comprehend. His sparkling and inexhaustible fund of wit and humor added to the charm of his elegance and simplicity. Especially in conversation, his tendency to artless mirth gave an enlivening tone to the dignity that naturally attended his sacred mission.
His habitual quotation or citation, whenever such became necessary; from authorities of the highest standing among scholars proves that his library contained the very cream of gleanings from all the works of men, whether in history, science, philosophy, philology, or whatever line. He did not ignore the authorities in these various lines; on the contrary, he was manifestly thoroughly conversant with them. He knew which were a the best in their line; he knew what they had said on any point that came in contact with his own work; and he had their opinions at his finger-ends to use on the slightest provocation. An intelligent reading of his writings proves this to any painstaking observer. And yet, it is not strange to us that so bright a mind as he exhibited from earliest childhood, after devoting more than forty years to constant study and instruction of others, should have secured such a grasp on the products of the best scholarship of its own and other days.
His frequent reference to the problems of proper translation of the Scriptures, so important a consideration in doctrinal studies, proves how faithful he was in his library. Not himself a student of the classics in the original tongues, he is said to have had more than thirty translations of the Scriptures on his study table, and to have constantly used not only them, but also all the best concordances, commentaries and other helps. As a result of his faithfulness and keen perception in the use of these, although his writings abound with statements as to the proper translation from the Hebrew or the Greek, and his critics have likewise abounded, they have never yet been able to point us, with proofs, to any important particular in which he has misstated facts or drawn unwarrantable conclusions as to proper translation. It is manifest, therefore, that his knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew was far greater than any ever acquired by any youth in a four years course at college.
His was an extraordinary ability to adapt to his own uses all the knowledge of others. In pursuing this method, he was not peculiar; for it is the method of many of earths brightest minds. It is sand of Edison, the wizard of invention, that in approaching any new problem, he first has his librarian bring him all that has been written by other men on the subject, so that he need not waste his time digging out any point that has already been brought out by others. He can begin where they have left off. That is what Pastor Russell did; and his particular genius lay in the fact that he was able to go on from where others stopped, and blaze the trail of progress. Such work requires originality of the most striking type. And it is striking of these original geniuses that they are humble enough to rely on their predecessors for whatever of good can thus be obtained.
Not a little of Brother Russell's development of doctrine and of successful methods of work was due to the well-known practice he had of sounding his associates for whatever ideas of merit they might possess. His part was to draw out these expressions and to discriminatingly sort-out, the good from the other. Those mho had suggestions; meritorious or otherwise, found him arrays approachable and willing to listen. It is well at this point to refer to Pastor Russell's habits as a student. His great success as a leader of progress was mainly due to his habit of thoroughness as a student. In his study of the Bible he was thorough. It was this very thoroughness that caused him to discover the harmony of the Bible, where all others had failed to see it. His own experience led him to introduce his thorough method of Bible study to others for their edification. He thus revolutionized all existing ideas as to proper methods of approaching the Bible to understand it. His plan is the one known as Topical study. If he desired to get beyond the existing confusion of thought regarding Baptism, for instance, and to get the Scriptural idea, his way was to locate with the aid of an exhaustive concordance every text in the Bible bearing on the subject of Baptism, omitting not a single one. These he would then take on a table before him, treating each text much as a child fitting together a sectional map of the United States on blocks would treat the separate blocks, adjusting and readjusting the individual blocks until all fit together into the big unit. If the blocks are properly cut out by the maker of the puzzle, they will fit together; and yet they will riot fit unless they are put together the right way. Thus Brother Russell calculated about the Word of God. Having been inspired by an infinitely perfect Maker, the parts should fit if properly aligned. If the harmony of outline is not apparent, the fault must be with the fitter and not with the Maker.
The way in which he used this method has been very striking in connection with some of the greatest doctrines he has renovated. Particularly is this true as to the general conceptions of Hell and future punishment: It has been said of him by unthinking persons that he took Hell out of the Bible, and he has perhaps become better known for his presentation of this subject than any other. He did not take out of the Bible anything that was actually in the Bible, in any subject; but by his thorough method of studying the great Book he was enabled to strip it of much veneering that human teachers had fastened upon it. His pamphlet entitled, "What Say the Scriptures About Hell?" is the most familiar of His shorter writings, and over, three million copies have been circulated. In it, he has caused the truth to stand out clearly by the careful examination of every text in the Bible bearing or supposed to have a bearing on the subject.
Almost equally striking is the way he has applied this thorough topical method to the study of the subjects of Soul, Spirit and the Holy Spirit in his fifth volume of Scripture Studies: It was in the course of this study that the truth on the false doctrine of the Trinity was discovered. The manner in which he treats every text in the Bible having any possible bearing on these subjects cannot but be striking to the careful reader.
It is because of receiving from Pastor Russell this efficient plan of Bible study that thousands of people have been able to testify that they now understand the Word, when formerly it was dark arid mysterious to them. They have adopted his method, and it has transformed their minds and their lives. No other man who has lived since the formation of the canon of Scripture has performed such a service for mankind. Pastor Russell has enabled the common people to understand and appreciate the Divine Word, when all the theologians of Christendom had failed to cause anybody to understand it or to comprehend it themselves. Surely this was one of his greatest accomplishments, one for which he has been supremely blessed by a multitude of people as his most helpful service to them; arid it more than warrants us in awarding him an eighth championship of the world.
It has seemed to afford a peculiar pleasure to many of Pastor Russell's critics to question his right to the title of Pastor. Unwittingly they have thus but emphasized one of the striking facts of his life in which he has excelled others. Among many of the denominations of the congregational type of church government, it is customary for the members of the local organization to pass upon the merits of prospective ministers and to select from them the one they prefer for pastor. They pride themselves on the independence of action they thus enjoy. It can he stated of the Bible Students in all truthfulness that no religious bodies in Christendom practice greater freedom of congregational action than do they. Pastor Russell constantly encouraged them to exercise great freedom as individual congregations and allow no man or set of men to domineer over them.
Thirty-four years ago Charles T. Russell was first elected as a Pastor, by the free action of the congregation of Bible Students in Allegheny. He has been re-elected to that position annually ever since. If he had no other right to the title of Pastor, there was sufficient right inhering in the action of the Allegheny church. But from the facts of his incessant traveling ministry, his voluminous correspondence, his influence through his books, the Watch Tower and other writings, as well as his printed sermons, and the frequent visitation of his traveling assistants, it ere long occurred to other congregations that they had almost as strong a claim upon . his pastoral attention as had the church in the city of has nominal residence. Thus other congregations of their own volition began to elect him as their Pastor, and to repeat the action annually; until at the time of his death he enjoyed the rare distinction of being, without any solicitation or suggestion on his pert whatsoever, the properly constituted Pastor of over twelve hundred congregations throughout the world. No other living man has ever had such a distinction heaped upon him. It constitutes Brother Russell's proper claim to his ninth worlds championship. Every one of these classes was thoroughly satisfied that he had discharged the duties of the pastorate in the- way they had expected and desired of him at the tune when they elected him and notified him of the action.
HIS PASTORAL ACTIVITIES
His pastoral activities were among the richest of his rich life, and made him a host of very devoted personal admirers and friends. The churches which elected him felt free to refer any perplexing problems to him for counsel; and much of his time and strength, especially in the later years, was taken up with the burden of the welfare of the churches. In every visit paid to any city, he carefully reserved a large share of his time for the addressing and counseling of the local congregation. Many, of his best discourses were delivered on such occasions. It is said that his recent and final-trip across the continent was especially marked by the large number of local and personal difficulties brought to him for adjustment or advice. No other pastor has ever labored so incessantly for the welfare of his flock.
The mention of his traveling assistants brings to mind another very distinctive feature of his work. As the work began to assume large proportions, about twenty-five years ago, he began to send out men whom he had first tried as to their ability and spirituality, to lecture to the public on Bible topics and assist him in counseling the local classes. This move soon developed the, proportions of a religious lecture bureau, the only one of its sort in the world, so far as we have heard. Men of the finest talents, capable of holding positions of honor and large compensation in the world of affairs, volunteered their services for such work without pay except their actual expenses. Some of these men have traveled cinder the direction of Pastor Russell for more than twenty years, and have addressed hundreds of thousands of people. Fox several years past, as many as seventy lecturers have been constantly engaged in this most productive activity, speaking almost daily, sometimes two and three times a day, holding at least one big public service a week, besides numerous semi-public and parlor services; invading not only the cities, but all the little hamlets and out-of-the-way places where any believers chanced to live; reaching thus, as Pastor Russell's assistants, thousands of places he could never have gone to personally, because of the large demands upon his time. The blessedness of the ministry of these Pilgrims, as they have been known, has been of a degree that defies expression in words. The red-letter days of the year to thousands of people the world over have been those that were marked by the ministry of these devoted and inspiring men.
Pastor Russell has held these men at all times personally responsible to him for their teaching and conduct. To oversee their regular reports, and examine the correspondence regarding their work, and keep in such touch with each of them as to be able to answer for their ministry, was in itself a weighty care. Most men would regard the management of a successful lecture bureau as the full work of a good man in itself, without other labors. With Brother Russell it, was but one of many burdens carried simultaneously; and yet no lecture bureau in the world has been so capably managed, nor with so good results. Shall we not, in the light of this fact, award him his tenth worlds championship?
In connection with this Pilgrim service, he organized and managed as auxiliary lecture bureau composed of seven hundred men whose engagements in commercial life would not permit them to give all their time to the work, but who were able to go out on Sundays and other occasions and give their talents to the spreading of the gospel of the Kingdom; in many instances even paying their own traveling expenses. These brethren all acted under orders gladly accepted from the master director at Brooklyn, and much of the credit for the good they were able to accomplish-his been due to the wisdom of the arrangement under which, they served, especially to the fact that each of them was thus but one of a chain of closely associated and co-operating workers. It has been the cumulative effect of the movement, rather than the special ability of the individuals, that has constituted its helpfulness to many of those served.
About three years ago, Pastor Russell launched the Photo Drama of Creation, founded upon the idea that the popularity of the phonograph and the moving picture had made them possible agents of great efficiency in the presentation of the plan of salvation to the masses of the people. For years he had personally labored on the preparation of this stupendous work, unknown to more than a very few of his associates. Miles of expensive films, all his own selection, were brought together; hundreds of the most beautiful hand colored slides depicting Bible scenes, also his own selection, were assembled; and these were arranged, as most of us well know, into four connected entertainments, each adapted for an evening. To accompany and explain the pictures, a series of nearly a hundred short lectures, adapted in length to a phonograph record disc, were prepared by him. These lectures, known collectively as the scenario of the Photo Drama, furnish the finest examples Pastor Russell has left us of masterly use of the English language. Their condensation of thought and epigrammatic style, as well as their simple elegance of expression, mark them as classics worthy of reading and re-reading to time immemorial.
These lectures were spoken into the phonograph for the preparation of discs by men personally selected and personally drilled for their part by Pastor Russell himself. His painstaking care to have the elocutionary effect of every sentence such as to make the truth as impressive as possible, was said to have been a revelation of patience and technical ability; and the telling effect of the records was the best proof possible that Pastor Russell himself knew as well as any what constituted effectiveness in public speech.
The musical selections interspersed with the lectures on the records were also the choice of the Pastor, and his taste for fitting and inspiring music was well, testified by the hundreds who inquired the titles of the musical selections, that they might purchase them for their own use. We make mention of these things to prove the extraordinary versatility of Pastor Russell's genius. Whatever line of human endeavor came in touch in any way with his ministry found him perfectly at home to its essential qualities and able to employ it to the best possible advantage. Music, art, literature, oratory, business, whatever claimed his attention gave him but another opportunity to prove his power to grasp and use all the best afforded by the advanced civilization of his day.
The Photo Drama has been exhibited repeatedly in all the large cities of Christendom, in the leading auditoriums of those cities, to crowded houses, numbering in the grand aggregate now nearly ten million people, absolutely free of charge of any sort to those attending the presentations. The cost of preparing it was prodigious; besides the films, slides and records, there were Moving Picture and Stereopticon Machines and Talking Machines in considerable number; operators to be secured and trained for handling them; advance agents and superintendents to be found and instructed; arrangements to be made for advertising; ushering, transportation, etc., not to speak of the immense expense of renting for long periods dozens of the finest auditoriums in this and other countries. The feat of the general management of such a project would in itself have well nigh crushed the average manager; but Pastor Russell carried this load in addition to all the other features of his great work which we have considered, and so smoothly was it conducted that ten million people were served almost without a serious hitch in the program anywhere.
The conception and management of such a singular enterprise of public service was in itself a work of such magnitude as no other religious leader had ever undertaken. It overwhelmingly entitles Pastor Russell to the award of his eleventh world's championship. But the astounding and overshadowing fact of all was that he was able to present so elaborate a spectacle to ten million people without asking or accepting from them a single cent in the way of admission fees or collections. How did he do it? is the question that has been sounded again and again. It leads us to the consideration of the grounds for his twelfth championship, the one that is perhaps the most spectacular of them all.
In his more than forty years of public ministry it is safe to say that he held more than ten thousand services, well advertised by newspapers, bill boards, street car cards, hand bills and all the other means of publicity known to modern advertising genius (for it has been said by his critics that Pastor Russell was the best advertised man in the world); and these services were almost invariably held in the best public assembly rooms obtainable. It would be conservative to estimate that a million dollars were thus spent for rent and advertising for his meetings alone. Yet never once did he take a collection in all his career, nor permit one to be taken. Money was never solicited, nor the giving of it or the need of it suggested. It was never mentioned in his meetings. He believed in the religion spoken of in the Scriptures, which is "without money and without price." He believed the Scriptures which tell us that the earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof, and that He is too rich to require that begging be done in His name: He believed that if the Lord ravished him to do a work, He would provide the financial necessities of that work. He acted on that faith.
Not only this. He laid it upon all his associates as a principle of the deepest conscience that they should follow his example in this regard. His immediate associates have field meetings numbering into the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, always well advertised and in halls of good repute. Local elders and others working under his leadership, but not so directly associated with him, have held millions of other similar meetings. At not a single such meeting, anywhere in the world, since the very inception of the work to this day, has a collection been taken, an admission charged, or a solicitation of money allowed, so far as we are able to know. If in any exceptional case it has been done, the act was in violation of hit principles and ours.
PASTOR RUSSELL's MINISTRY
Pastor Russell's personal ministry has beaten all worlds records; the expensive Pilgrim visitation has likewise broken all records; so have the free tract distribution, the Photo drama, the local ministry throughout the world, -- all of these ministries freighted with expense. And yet no moneys have ever been solicited. How has it been done? Thousands of ministers, agonized to the point of despair at the painfulness of the contrast between this efficient free ministry and their own beggared and fruitless efforts, have chorused this question-flow does Pastor Russell do it?
I purpose to explain one of the simplest and yet profoundest mysteries of Christianity. When Christianity takes hold upon a human life as its Founder intended it should take hold upon His disciples, it lays a controlling hand upon every atom of the possessions of that life. Nothing whatever is excluded. When a penitent believer takes the step of entire consecration to do the will of God, his all goes on the altar of sacrifice, and that all exempts nothing. The teachings of the New Testament are so plain in the requirement of this sweeping step as to leave no possible room for argument; the man or woman who fails to take this full step, the man or woman who withholds anything, is not in the proper sense a follower of Jesus Christ. Jesus made the conditions of discipleship incontestibly plain when He said to the rich young man: "Sell whatsoever thou hast; take up the cross; follow Me" The selling included worldly possessions, money, everything tangible. The cross meant surrender of himself, his talents, powers, reputation, personality. The following indicated the giving of time and service: Nothing of value was left out.
As we saw at the beginning of the tribute, this wag the test at which the rich young man of the first century fell and the rich young man of the nineteenth century rendered joyful obedience. Pastor Russell placed himself in the proper position to effectively preach entire consecration by setting a worthy example: He was able to say: "Follow me as I follow Christ: His own exemplification of a Christ-like life was his finest achievement. His next greatest service was his plain and consistent preaching of the Christian duty of entire consecration. His first duty, as he expressed it, was the making his own calling and election sure. His next was the assistance of others in doing the same. He did it by clarifying for them the old but little appreciated doctrine of consecration. His duty was well done. Thousands presented themselves, not to Pastor Russell nor to any other man, but to the Lord as the result of his presentation of. the high privilege of consecration. What result should be expected?
In the far corner of this room, near the door, on a little table, is a small box with a slot in its top. In four years of constant attendance upon the services of this congregation I have always seen it there, but to this very hour have never known that any attention, public or personal, has ever been called to its presence theme or its purpose. It has been there for those who were able to see and recognize it. I world not dare now to thus bring it to your attention, but for the unavoidable purposes of this tribute to Pastor Russell. This congregation has elected a treasurer at the beginning of each year. His one and only duty, so far as the gathering of funds for our work has been concerned, has been to open that box at the end of each Sabbath day, and remove its contents. The contents have provided the financial basis for all our work.
The same is true of all our congregations in the world. Their little box, unheralded and explained, has made possible all the great work conceived and generated by Pastor Russell. His preaching of entire consecration has made the solicitation, nay, the very mention of money unnecessary; and has brought to the little box all the consecrated means, cheerfully given by unostentatious givers, the rich mans contribution and the widows mite, all that has been necessary to finance the most marvelous ministry of the gospel of God that earth has ever seen.
ONE LAST TRIBUTE
One last fragrant flower of tribute must yet be added, else the wreath we weave today for the victors brow would be unfinished. Men have noticed a marvelous devotion to Pastor Russell on the part of all who have come under the influence of his writings and his personality. They have called us idolizers and hero worshipers. They have imagined there must be some mysterious oath of allegiance, some unseen but rigid band that has bound together a people so marked for their tenacity, for their faithfulness to one another and to their leader. They have thought that the machinery of organization must be complex.
So opposite is the real truth, that the very simplicity of the matter constitutes the finest tribute that could be paid to the leader of such a movement. There have been practically no fences and no visible bands whatever to, confine us together or to attach us the one to the other. Never will I forget how I was startled at the first realization of the reality of these conditions. We had already read Pastor Russell's Scripture Studies and resolved to join hands with his movement, before attending our first- public service with those of like persuasion in the city of Chicago. After a sermon full of spiritual power by an elder whose name is ever sweet to memory; we sought him with an introduction and told him earnestly that we wished to join the organization as members. He replied simply, "If you wish to be one with us, just come." Thinking that he had misinterpreted the sincerity of our purposes and convictions, we explained to him that we desired to go through the forms necessary to constitute us members of the body and give us recognition as such. It was ourselves who were guilty of the misunderstanding, as we were soon to see. He merely repeated with earnestness his quaint expression, "If you wish to be one with us, all you need to do is come."
We came -- my wife and I -- and have been coming ever since. Our names have never been enrolled anywhere as members. We have never taken any pledge to any organization, never made any promises of loyalty to doctrines or leaders, never obligated ourselves to give any particular support. We have just come, arid have found that in the coming all the blessings we had sought or hoped have been freely ours. And it has been the same with all the others who have come. Pastor Russell imposed no enrollments, promises or pledges; and none have eves been made or taken. He has not known the number of those who walked in the same way with him, for there has been no such thing as books of membership. He argued that the Lord knoweth them that are His and their names are written in Heaven. If a perfect record is, written there, why keep an imperfect record here? . We do not certainly know who are His. How, then, can we keep a record? The record was dispensed with, and time has proved that it was not needed.
But how do they elect officers or servants, if they have no test of membership? That was the next question. The simple answer came at the first election we attended. It was explained that all who had made a full consecration to the Lord were accorded the right to vote by the uplifted right hand; and that the decision would be left unchallenged to our individual consciences. We were upon our honor before the Lord. In the years that have followed, not a case has come to notice where this solemn test has been abused. In its presence, no other rule is necessary. Such are the ties that have bound us to Pastor Russell and to each other.
"Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian Love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above."
Verily, it is the tie of love that has bound each of us to our precious Brother Russell. It is the tie of love, the tie of admiration for his well rounded Christian character, the tie of reverence for the spotless purity of his personal life, the tie of responsiveness to his tender consideration for others, that has bound so inseparably to him those who have known him most intimately of all the department managers of his great. Christian enterprises, that company of talented men who have joined with him in personal sacrifice of all for the work of service, the company at the Bible House in Brooklyn. It is the same tie of attachment, felt only in slightly lesser degree, perhaps, because of the lesser personal contact, that his made every one of us love him as our truest friend on earth.
The thousands of consecrated men and women who have been really acquainted with Brother Russell, who have known him, pay him today the tribute of a life devoted faithfully to the highest precepts of his Master and ours. Since this is so, what matters it what others say, who did not know him? Some misunderstood him, and reviled him. In this, as in all else, he did but follow in the footsteps of Him, who was hated without a cause. But even in this, he has left us; as did the Master, an example of pity and forgiveness. Let us not forget.
The finest tribute we can render to the memory of the man who has introduced us to the Court of heaven by serving as a helping hand, is loyalty to the leaders he has left in charge, loyalty to the work that is yet to be done, loyalty to the principles of righteousness and consecration he has pointed us in the Word of God. This will constitute loyalty to his memory, the loyalty he would invite, if he could audibly speak to us today. Every one of us can render him this tribute which he has so richly earned by his service to us. May I not truly, at this moment, while our hearts are solemn, bespeak for every one present such loyalty in all sincerity? I dare assume thus to speak. May God help us. Amen.