ATTACKS now being made upon Pastor Russell in various newspapers were intended to have commenced November 1. However, the war, so closely coinciding with the presentations of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, temporarily intimidated those intent upon the assassination of his reputation. The great war threatened disaster here through financial complications which pressed everybody for awhile. The National Banking Reserve arrangement gave temporary relief, and shipments of grain at high prices have greatly stimulated business. Pastor Russell's enemies no longer fear in "looking after those things coming." Instead, they say, "This is only what the world has had before, but is on a more gigantic scale; it is not the prelude to Armageddon that Pastor Russell claims. All things will continue as they were. Our institutions will prosper and will not be swamped in anarchy, as he declares the Scriptures to teach."
This boldness of feeling leads to aggressiveness. The preachers have approached some of the prominent newspapers. Newspaper men, not specially religious, are deceived by the preachers into supposing that there is something substantial in their claims. They wish to curry favor with the preachers, and improve the opportunity of hitting somebody when there is a religious excuse for so doing. As the Master foretold, they are saying "All manner of evil falsely" against the Pastor. This is for Christ's sake in the sense that it is to injure the Pastor's work, to hinder it—because he is telling the Truth; because the people are hearing the Truth, and therefore their shackles of ignorance and superstition are falling, their eyes of understanding are opening, and the lost key of knowledge is coming into their hands.
We need not repeat explanations of matters nineteen years old and every way honorable and creditable to the Pastor, when rightly understood. But we should, perhaps, explain the latest device of the Adversary. It has been published and re-published everywhere that the Pastor had "abducted Ruth Galbraith," seventeen years old; that he was holding her from her freedom; that a Judge of a Philadelphia Court had issued a writ of Habeas Corpus commanding the Pastor to bring Ruth before him; Ruth being heir to some money that the Pastor sought to get control of.
The whole matter is absolutely false from first to last. No Judge ever issued such an order. Ruth Galbraith was neither abducted nor restrained of her liberty. With her mother's consent she visited her sister, Mrs. William Hollister, who is a member of the Bethel Family. For a while she boarded and lodged in the neighborhood, but not in Bethel. Later, Pastor Russell was asked if Ruth might take her meals at Bethel. The explanation was made that Ruth was anxious to stay for a while in Brooklyn—that her health was not the best; that her brother had consumption; that Ruth's health demanded the change; that her mother had permitted her to come to Brooklyn on a visit; that meantime her monthly allowance from her father's estate had entirely stopped, and that she was without money to pay her board. The request was granted, she staying as the guest of her sister. Meantime Ruth's mother desired her return home, but Ruth refused to go. Called to Philadelphia in an endeavor to get her monthly allowance from the Executor, Ruth was accompanied by her sister and brother-in-law, William Hollister. Thereupon the mother's Attorney obtained a writ of Habeas Corpus on Mr. Hollister, requiring him to produce his sister-in-law in a Philadelphia Court.
Seeing how wonderfully the Adversary can accomplish evil purposes, circulate falsehoods and find agents for these services, proves to us that Satan is not yet bound; and that he has little difficulty in finding human servants. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Romans 6:16.) This fact should make us extremely skeptical respecting whatever we hear that is uncomplimentary to anybody. How do we know but that one-half, or more, of all the disreputable things mentioned in newspapers are as absolutely false and foundationless as this and other matters that appertain to Pastor Russell? We think it due to Pastor Russell and to the readers that this statement should appear in these columns, much as we dislike anything of a personal nature—always seeking to reserve these columns sacredly for the dissemination of the Divine Word and its interpretation.
The slandering of God's people for righteousness' sake is represented in the burning of the "Lord's Goat" on the typical Atonement Day. Whatever ignominy befalls one member of the Body is shared by all. Whatever shame the Lord thus permits He could hinder; hence it must serve some good purpose—in testing our patience, love, loyalty, obedience, humility or what not. Let us not forget for one moment the Text for 1915—"The Cup which My Father hath poured, shall I not drink it?"