DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—As many readers of the WATCH TOWER, like myself, are warm admirers of that renowned champion of the Bible, Alexander Campbell, and are always interested in anything from his pen touching the mysteries of the Book, I beg leave to give below a scrap from his writings on the Prophecies, directly bearing upon the thoughts uppermost in our minds, and showing the drift of his investigations in that line. He says:—
The expectation of Christendom is notorious. It is this: that sometime soon, perhaps in the present century, a new order of things in the political and religious relations of society will commence; that it will pervade the whole human family; that after its full introduction, it will continue a thousand years; and that soon [R1714 : page 316] after its completion, the present state of things will terminate and the multiplication of human beings cease forever. Without going minutely into detail, such is the general expectation of Christendom built upon those writings called prophecies.
Well, now, should we prove by an arithmetical calculation the certainty of such conclusions relative to the final consummation—what will the skeptics say? The premises or data are these: the present population of the earth is estimated, say, at one thousand millions. Now I will leave it to them to furnish the data, or to state what the population was two, three or four thousand years ago. They may even furnish me data from the census of any nation of Europe for two, three, four or five hundred years back. It will give the same result. We shall take the Bible data until they furnish another. According to the Bible data the whole human family, about four thousand years ago, was composed of eight individuals, four males and four females; and to keep our calculations in whole numbers, we shall evacuate Europe and America of all their population and place them in Asia and Africa on the population there, which will fill that half as full of human beings as can subsist upon its surface. We have now got, say, the half of our globe empty and the other half full. Now, the question is, if eight persons in four thousand years fill the one half of the earth as full as it can subsist, how long will one thousand millions be in filling the other half? If in despite of wars, famines, pestilences and all waste of human life, under the corruptions of the last four thousand years, such has been the increase of human beings, what would be the ratio of increase were all these to cease, and peace and health and competence be the order of the day for one thousand years? Why there would not be one half acre of land and water upon the face of the globe for every human being which would live at the completion of the Millennium or the seven-thousandth year from the creation, what I contemplate from these oracles to be about the end of the present state of human existence. Either then some devastation must empty the earth of its inhabitants or the human race be extinguished. Logic and arithmetic compel us to the former conclusions; but when we add to logic and arithmetic the prophecies of holy Scripture, we are compelled to embrace the latter. I think no prophecy ever admitted of so certain a calculation or so exact and definite a computation; in fact no other oracle in the annals of the world is proved by arithmetic so inevitably and unanswerably as I conceive this to be."