Studies in the Scriptures
Zion's Watch Tower
PASTOR RUSSELL is known the world around as "the most celebrated preacher of modern times. When a young man of about twenty years of age he began to preach the Gospel of Christ Jesus, and continued faithfully to do so until his death, October 31, 1916. His explanatory writings on the Bible are far more extensive than the combined writings of St. Paul, St. John, Arius, Waldo, Wycliffe and Martin Luther—the six Messengers to the Church who preceded him. His sermons and other writings have been translated into many languages and are read appreciatively everywhere.
All Christian people will concede that St. Paul was the greatest of the Apostles of Jesus Christ. He was the Apostle who averred to the Church of his day, "I have not shunned to declare to you all the counsel of God." (
.) St. Paul’s greatness was due to the fact that the Lord used him most wonderfully to enlighten others concerning God’s great Plan of Salvation for mankind. Since the days of the Apostle Paul there have been other great reformers in the world, other great exponents of the Scriptures. But when the history of the Church of Christ is fully written, it will be found that the place next to St. Paul in the gallery of fame as an expounder of the Gospel of the great Master will be occupied by CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL.
In the first three chapters of the Revelation we are informed that to the Gospel Church have been sent seven special Messengers. Of these St.
Paul was the first, and Pastor Russell the last. To him, as the Seventh Messenger, was granted the wonderful privilege of clearly presenting to the minds of the people the magnitude and the vital importance of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ our Lord, and of explaining how that sacrifice will ultimately bring a blessing to every man. Through the Pastor’s preaching multitudes have come to know that Jehovah God is not a fiend, as many of the creeds of Christendom imply, but a mighty God of Love.
For a period of forty-two years Pastor Russell preached the Glad Tidings of great joy—a Message which must yet be heard by all, from the least unto the greatest. Those who heard him and had their hearts made glad by his Message passed it to others; and in time a public demand was created for Pastor Russell’s sermons. The public press furnished the medium through which this demand could be met. Then followed that which has never been duplicated in the history of the world—approximately three thousand newspapers published the Pastor’s sermons weekly. Approximately ten million people were reached every week by these newspapers; and doubtless many thousands read the sermons. The good thus accomplished will never be fully known until all things are revealed.
For many centuries the world had been deprived of the opportunity of Bible study. That period has well been styled the Dark Ages, during which there prevailed great darkness in the world and gross darkness upon the people. The clergy of both Romish and Protestant churches had induced the laity to believe the God-dishonoring doctrine of eternal torment—that the soul of man is immortal, that therefore death does not mean death, but only a change of condition, and that all except a very few would spend eternity in a hell of fire and brimstone. The Lord has used Pastor Russell to remove from the minds of thousands this foul stain upon the name of Jehovah.
His discourses have made luminous many of the dark places of the Bible. They throw a flood of light upon the Word of God, making it a new Book to the faithful and prayerful student. In simple and beautiful
language these sermons disclose God’s dealings with man from the dawn of creation to the blessed days of restoration of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets of Israel. They show why God has permitted evil in the world, how long evil will persist, and who will profit by experiencing it. They also show God’s wise provision for the redemption, enlightenment and complete blessing of all who accept the Divine blessings upon the terms proffered. In these sermons the Pastor points out why this great Time of Trouble upon which we have entered has come upon the world, what its result will be, and what blessings will accrue to all peoples and nations that are properly exercised thereby.
Thus they are indeed a balm for the broken-hearted and a comfort for those that mourn. Blessed is he who reads them with unbiased mind!
During the term of his ministry CHARLES TAZE RUSSELL was pastor of a large congregation at Allegheny, Pa.—now a part of Pittsburgh; London Tabernacle, London, Eng.; and of The New York City Temple; and was elected pastor of over 1200 other congregations. His reputation was international. His sermons were published in more than thirty languages. He was indeed the world’s ubiquitous preacher.
On October 31, 1916, after a most eventful career, Pastor Russell finished his work on earth. Suddenly the order-loving peoples of the world learned that a great force for good had been removed from their midst.
An aching void was left in many hearts, and thousands of people have continued to hunger for more of that precious mental and spiritual food which his discourses had supplied. To meet this demand, and as a lasting monument to the memory of Pastor Russell, we issue this selection of his sermons in book form. Some of these have never before been published.
St. Paul under inspiration wrote that at the end of the Age would come greater light. Pastor Russell was privileged to live in the close of the Gospel Age; and as a chosen vessel of the Lord he was permitted to point many thousands to the illuminated pages of the Divine Word.
In fulfillment of St. Paul’s prophetic statement, and as a result of Pastor Russell’s preaching, thousands of people today are enabled to see that God has a great Plan which He is working out in an orderly manner, and which will culminate to His glory in the blessing of mankind.
In these sermons Pastor Russell gives clear proof from Scripture that the Secrets of the Lord can be understood by those who, trusting fully in the merit of Christ Jesus, have made a consecration to do the will of God, who have been accepted by the Heavenly Father and who then apply themselves studiously to understand the Divine Plan. Christian people have long been confused upon many questions; such as, What is the condition of the dead? Is there hope of salvation for any aside from the truly consecrated? What will be the office of the Church in the ages to come? The reader of these sermons will see that Pastor Russell makes these questions clear, answering them to the satisfaction of all honest minds. He magnifies the merit of Christ Jesus’ sacrifice, and shows that in due time every man will receive the benefit accruing from the Ransom-price and will be given one fair, impartial trial for life.
Long before the great international war began, Pastor Russell fore-showed in his sermons the coming trouble upon the earth, made clear from the Scriptures the cause of the war, and pointed out what would be the result and what would follow after the trouble had subsided.
Both Christians and those who have never claimed to be Christians will find much satisfaction in reading these sermons. Order-loving Christians will desire to leave a copy of these discourses as a heritage to their children, that they may better understand God’s great Plan. It is our prayer that these sermons may prove a blessing to all who read them.