Hey Eddie. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Russell teach that Jesus returned invisibly ( parousia or presence) in 1874 and 40 years later He would end Armageddon in 1914? I've read the headlines in the watchtower! Its well documented and as plain as 'mircle wheat'.
Yes you're correct. After going back and reviewing our old publications, Brother Russel was further convinced by Nelson H. Barbour that Christ’s invisible presence had begun in 1874.
Per the article below it explains how this occurred:
*** jv chap. 5 pp. 46-47 Proclaiming the Lord’s Return (1870-1914) ***
Time Prophecies and the Presence of the Lord
One morning in January 1876, 23-year-old Russell received a copy of a religious periodical called Herald of the Morning. From the picture on the cover, he could see that it was identified with Adventism. The editor, Nelson H. Barbour, of Rochester, New York, believed that the object of Christ’s return was not to destroy the families of the earth but to bless them and that his coming would be not in the flesh but as a spirit. Why, this was in agreement with what Russell and his associates in Allegheny had believed for some time! Curiously, though, Barbour believed from Biblical time-prophecies that Christ was already present (invisibly) and that the harvest work of gathering “the wheat” (true Christians making up the Kingdom class) was already due.—Matt., chap. 13.
Russell had shied away from Biblical time prophecies. Now, however, he wondered: “Could it be that the time prophecies which I had so long despised, because of their misuse by Adventists, were really meant to indicate when the Lord would be invisibly present to set up his Kingdom?” With his insatiable thirst for Scriptural truth, Russell had to learn more. So he arranged to meet with Barbour in Philadelphia. This meeting confirmed their agreement on a number of Bible teachings and provided an opportunity for them to exchange views. “When we first met,” Russell later stated, “he had much to learn from me on the fulness of restitution based upon the sufficiency of the ransom given for all, as I had much to learn from him concerning time.” Barbour succeeded in convincing Russell that Christ’s invisible presence had begun in 1874.""<<
Upon reading more of our old publications (which is available to all), I've also read that they celebrated Christmas, birthdays, wore crosses and were active in political affairs and other things. But as time went by, it became clearer and clearer to them the true Bible teachings and Bible doctrines. Thus they saw the error of their "ways" so speak. And with humility, they slowly but surely got rid of these things. They were continually being cleansed as time went by and their knowledge being refined.
On the other hand, Christendom became embroiled and two world wars killing their fellow brothers. Catholics against Catholics and Protestants against Protestants.
And rather than abandoning unscriptural teachings and doctrines such us the Trinity doctrine, immortal soul, hell fire - to list a few, Christendom continue to promote it even now.
So on this point, you're correct. I should have read more of our old publications because this is what critics wants to keep coming back to. They like to go back to old times instead of the now and the future.