We regret the delay of this number, but it was unavoidable. Part of the paper on which the supplement is printed was detained by the railroad blockade: We had a part of it and a part of THE WATCH TOWER printed and could not finish either; nor could we find a paper to match closely enough to substitute. Now that it has come, we hope it will be satisfactory to you all. The supplement is larger than we had at first expected to make it.
The work in general progresses; the interest of old and new readers seems to increase daily. Two new preachers are preparing themselves for the field, Bros. Boyer and Leigh, both are here at present, and with two others are endeavoring to obtain and systematize the Bible teachings, so they can the better present them to others.
Oh that more could realize what a privilege it is, to preach the "glad tidings." The pay is extraordinarily large, but will scarcely allure any but the wholly consecrated. It is as follows, paid regularly—viz.: Trials of faith, of patience, of perseverance, of privations, of forbearance, of forgiveness, of self-sacrifice; these are also sure—plain bread and water, sometimes more. You shall, in all, have a hundred fold more of houses, lands, brothers, sisters, etc., than you gave up to enter the service; and (here comes the grand and glorious part of our wages) in the world (age) to come, eternal life and glory.
Many who receive "calls" for their services at from $2,000 to $10,000 would consider the above a very poor call indeed. But it is a poor call, only to those who look at the dollars which are seen, and not at the glory which is unseen. Ours, is the same "call" that Jesus had to the ministry however—He, (not for ease, comfort, wealth, respectability or honor,) but for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross and despised the shame. It was our call that Peter, Paul, and others received, and they said it was a "High calling," a "Heavenly calling." Let us, like all of these, esteem our calling to suffer for a while, and to be glorified after (1 Peter 5:10) a great privilege; and as we draw our wages of shame and reproach daily, let us rejoice that we are accounted worthy to suffer the reproaches for Christ and the words of his testimony, and esteem these greater riches than all earthly things; for while so doing "the spirit of glory and of God resteth on you." (1 Peter 4:14.)
Now some are so situated with families dependent on them, that they cannot see their way clear to go forth in the mission work of teaching these glad tidings; and quite a number have expressed regrets, thereat. To such we would say, one talent or one opportunity used to the best of your ability, will as thoroughly demonstrate the degree of your sacrifice as ten could; and we know it to be one of the Lord's ways, to increase the talent and opportunity as we make use of it. Let us see how one talent of ability could be used. You could study and plan the more thoroughly, how these subjects could best be presented privately to your christian neighbors and friends. If you have many talents of ability and only one of opportunity, then try to use it, study how you may say much in few words, pointedly. Deprive yourself of some of the time you spend otherwise, and have a meeting in your room for Bible study on Sunday, and on a week evening. Or call on any fruit bearing consecrated christians you may know of; hand such a tract with a few brief expressions relative to your own view concerning it. Always have three or four charges of such ammunition in your pocket. If you attend any meeting, be sure you make it count for TRUTH if there are any who seem to have "an ear to hear."
But let us remember always, that it is their fear of God which is injuring them, (Isa. 29:13) and hinders their coming into the sunshine of his love. We remember that we, (as all, "of this way") first got to see a little of the Love of God, and then we found the entire plan to be "just like him"—Love. "The love of Christ constraineth us." (2 Cor. 5:14.)
Love is the lever which will move men's hearts in the Millennial Age, when they will learn of God's love as exhibited in the selection of the "little flock" to bless them; and the love of the "head and body of Christ," whom they persecuted and who suffered patiently, etc.,—yes, that will move where fear will not.
And it is this same mighty lever that must now be used by us, to move all who are running the heavenly race to press with vigor on, and so run as to obtain the prize of our high calling. Then let all be actively engaged in the service—preaching the TRUTH by act and word—"doing with our might what our hands find to do"—that "so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord." (2 Pet. 1:11.)—Thus we may have it true of us—He or "she hath done WHAT she could," the Lord expects no more: but how few, are doing all they could.
Let us not forget that while we may be deeply interested in doing good to the world, in such ways as preaching temperance, etc., yet that is not our mission now. The injunction is always "Preach the Word;" "Feed the flock;" "Feed my sheep;" "Feed my lambs." Are you a partaker of the Spirit of the Anointed one? If so, remember it was not designed to qualify you for any work except preaching—in some sense, in action or word; as we read: The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me (head and body) because he hath anointed me to preach the glad tidings to the meek, etc. (Isa. 61:1.)
The fact that what is preached generally is very bad tidings of great misery to more than nine-tenths of the race, makes it the more necessary for those of us who have some knowledge of the "good news" to let it be known; that all hearts may bow before our God and worship, and in truth adore.
DEAR BRO:—The publication entitled, "Food for Thinking Christians," was duly received a few weeks ago, and I have carefully distributed the greater portion of them among such as would appreciate such teachings; and they all speak volumes of praise. It is indeed food for Christians—rich food. Would to God we could only have the whole world read and fully understand. May God bless the work, and may the blessed seed sown sink deep in each and every heart, and bear much fruit to the honor and glory of God.
"ZION'S WATCH TOWER"—My dear good friends:—Your kind favor, "Food for Thinking Christians," reached me in due time. To say that it is an exceeding welcome gift but feebly expresses my appreciation and gratitude. I have learned what I never knew before, and it has brought to me such a flood of light that I am amazed at the grandeur of the scheme and plan of redemption. To allow the phrase, I have literally devoured it, and my soul is ravished with the indescribable excellency and magnitude of God's plan of salvation. Oh, how dull and blunted does now appear the common method of Christian instruction. Who can read these things and longer doubt and waver about the truth, beauty, and inspiration of the Bible, or the manner in which its glorious truths should be inculcated and demonstrated. I trust and believe that the great Author of the Word will prosper and bless you abundantly. Whatever else you have of like nature for grateful hearts, I trust you will favor your present correspondent with. At present I am very poor, but have better prospects before me, and when they arrive I will not forget "Zion's Watch Tower." Yours truly,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I have derived great comfort from the December number of "Watch Tower." What a substantial meal of "strong meat." I have read it nearly all twice over; some of it three and four times. I derived especial comfort from the article entitled, "The Blessed dying." I have always dreaded dying, but if its conclusions are correct (and it at once impressed me so), I think I want to die—anything to be with Christ. The "Creative Week," by W. I. Mann, I thought was especially strong in its conclusions and deductions; shall read it again and study it.
Now, dear brother, perhaps it would be as well to introduce myself. I am a preaching member of the Minnesota Conference of Christian Adventists. I have long been leaning toward the age-to-come views, much as one [R312 : page 2] would grope in the dark—seeing much truth in it; but with the light I had, could not make all points harmonize. It remained for your September number of "Watch Tower" to supply the missing link. I am thankful to God for it. I received it (humanly speaking) by the merest accident, but I believe it was sent of God. Now, dear brother, I would like a few copies of "Food for Thinking Christians." I will treat and place each one as though it were pure gold. I want to send one to my brother, a minister, and to others. I am anxious to do all I can. Am very poor, but if God blesses will contribute to your Tract fund. Yours in hope. __________.
DEAR BROTHER:—The books and paper I have received safely, for which accept my sincere thanks. I have received a great deal of profit from the reading of them. God's plan of salvation as seen by the aid of the "true light" (as I firmly believe), is sublime beyond anything of which I have had conception. My heart is overflowing with thankfulness to our Father and Saviour that I have been thought worthy to receive the "good news." I feel as though my experiences were something like Paul's—as one born out of due time. My wife also believes, but does not seem to be able to forget the old teachings so readily as myself. Do you know of any other members of Christ in this neighborhood?
Please put my name on your list of subscribers for the "Watch Tower." Enclosed find one dollar to pay for above and postage on books, etc. 25 cents of the above was the price of a theatre ticket; I should have spent it for that before I received the light; now when I am tempted I shall send the money to you to use in the good cause. Will you kindly advise me in regard to severing my connection with the church of which I am a member. I feel as though I should not attend, because it would be consenting to their teaching, which I do not now believe. I have not really believed it for a long time, but I knew no better way. Now, thank God, it is different. I remain yours in the hope of eternal life. __________.
DEAR BROTHER:—I am filled with thanks and praise to our heavenly Father for the precious truths received through your paper. I have spent much time in studying the subject of baptism; and just as I came out with my convictions on the subject, the "Watch Tower" came with an article ("Importance of Baptism") expressing my views better than I could. O, how gratifying to see what the real baptism is! Now we can see that "he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." But, my dear brother, I would like you to say a little more on one point, viz: If Jesus went into that eternal death of the human for us, why should we be baptized into and go through it for ourselves? __________.
[Answers to your question have been given in former numbers; but a very clear answer will be found in the reading of this month's supplement—"The Tabernacle" tract. We do not die for ourselves; but have fellowship with our Head in the atonement sacrifices for the world. We "fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ." Col. 1:24.—EDITOR.]
DEAR SIR:—I have perused your little book "Food for Thinking Christians," with very great interest, and also with profit. I am a missionary and divinity student in the last session of my course. I am very desirous of preaching on these glorious themes so well handled in your little volume; and will ever be much indebted to you, if you will supply me with some more copies, say 40. I shall certainly distribute them with judicious care, and sincerely trust they will be much blessed to those who read them. I will also be glad to receive some copies of the "Tabernacle and its Teachings."