We see darkness lifting in certain directions and with certain classes. The dawning light of truth which soon shall flood the world and permeate the present recesses of error and sin, is even now growing a little more grey as the darker shadows flee.
The interest in truth in general, upon all subjects, is spreading daily, and upon the most weighty and important subject of religion it is making rapid strides. Of course this does not apply so fully to the more advanced religious truths. But even of these advanced truths we may say, that they are making rapid strides among the truly consecrated, i.e., among those consecrated to God only, and not to a sect.
The TOWER goes into over 10,000 families monthly, and though some in those families bitterly oppose it, it is steadily commending the truth to the consecrated, and hundreds of hearts and hands are daily contriving ways for spreading its message of the justice, wisdom, power, and love, of our God.
The TOWER goes monthly to about 800 ministers of various denominations, and though some take it in secret and send us the names of fellow ministers to whom to send sample copies, who would not be known as the sender; and some preach long and loud against the "glad tidings," yet the truth is spreading and is affecting, directly and indirectly to some extent, the utterances of probably one-third the pulpits of this land and many in England. There is no resisting it; for it is of God. The King is present and is leading his truth, long trampled in the dust, to certain victory.
We mentioned in a recent issue that there are nearly two millions of Swedes in this country, among whom are many earnest Christians some of whom are becoming interested in "this way." We mentioned also the desire to furnish such, a tract similar in substance to our issue, No. 4, Vol. 4, of TOWER, and the establishment of a FUND for this special purpose. Some are now inquiring about it, and though we have to report but a small sum, yet it was mostly subscribed during August; and a few more months similar would enable us to publish at once. The fund now contains $153.08. We lay before you as usual extracts from a few
DEAR EDITOR:—A gentleman called at my study a few days ago, and I received of him a little pamphlet entitled, "Food for Thinking Christians." I did not think the pamphlet of much importance at the time, but from curiosity more than anything else, I began to read it, and I soon found that the title was not a misnomer, but that it was indeed food for thinking Christians. I have not finished reading it yet. Some facts, I think, will bear re-reading. I find in it many new and valuable ideas, and, as I am bound by no man-made creed, I am at perfect liberty to receive them.
Many of the positions are new to me, and as beautiful as they are new. Part VIII., on "The Narrow Way to Life," advances some new thoughts in regard to Christ that thoroughly revolutionize my former notions.
MY DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—By a fortuitous circumstance, which, however, I regard as providential, ZION'S WATCH TOWER was brought to my attention, and I was much astonished to think I had lived so long on the outskirts of civilization without knowing what was going on. I have been waiting and trusting, a little like the old prophet Elijah, almost thinking I was left alone, when to my astonishment I learn from the TOWER that a work is going on, and thousands are yet in existence who do not bow the knee to the image of Baal or Babylon.
I have passed my three-score years and ten, and three over. I was indoctrinated into the faith of Christ and consecrated to the service of God in my twenty-third year. Having drank deeply at an early period of the sentiments that seem to pervade the TOWER, I turned away from the doctrines of men, and regarded myself measurably as standing alone. I have written much upon the heavenly theme, as well as spoken much, but, to all appearances, to no avail. I appeared to address an unappreciative people. But now, as two drops of water, if placed in close proximity, will flow together by the law of affinity, so is my joy enlarged, and my heart goes out to you, my brother.
Having waded through many vicissitudes through a long life, and now standing on the verge of the grave, as it were, I cannot expect to reach the period which will usher in the reign of the Christ of God. But, be this as it may, I have a well-grounded hope that, whether living or dead, I shall stand in my lot at the end of the days; when all tears shall be wiped away, and when his suffering and waiting saints—the body, the bride of Christ—shall be received and installed into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Will you please send me the TOWER? Being decrepit with age, I am unable to work much, and can scarcely meet the demands of nature, food and raiment, and if you will so regard it, I am one of the Lord's poor. From what I can learn, the circulation of the TOWER is great, and what astonishes me is to think that a work of such magnitude and of such a character has grown up without my knowledge. I wish to learn more of it, and would be exceeding glad if you could spare the time from your pressing duties to correspond with me, giving a full detail of matters. You speak of the flock as being small; this, however, is not strange to me, but how small or how large are matters of my present solicitude....
MY DEAR SIR:—I am glad to say the work here is progressing amongst my own congregation, and also amongst outsiders. "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation," and so the work makes no great show at present, but it is advancing in many minds. I have little trouble with those people who have been accustomed to go straight to God's Book and abide by that, and who are truly walking with God. To let go old prejudice is comparatively easy to a mind made receptive by the Spirit of God. I have endeavored to act wisely, and not to ride roughshod over old views, as that might have aroused opposition and have defeated my object, which is to "lead into the light." Acting upon this method, I think I am finding my reward in a more ready reception of the truth than one might have expected.
BRO. RUSSELL—Dear Sir: While visiting friends, not long since, I saw the WATCH TOWER for the first time. My friend gave me some numbers of the TOWER, also "Food for Thinking Christians." I am highly delighted with them.
I am, and have been for twenty-five years, a minister of the Gospel, but have not dug after truth as much as I might. I want to know more of these things. O, what good, blessed gospel truths I find in "Food for Thinking Christians." Will you be so kind as to write me as soon as possible, and send me as many papers as you can, not only for myself, but for others, who are just now hungering and thirsting after righteousness?
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I have been reading your publications about twelve months; have compared with Scripture and find nothing to conflict. I have been a Baptist for several years, and have been reading and searching for truth; and I confess that I have received much light, and been led through many dark places, through the WATCH TOWER. I can read and understand the Scriptures better than ever before. I endorse the teachings of the TOWER. God has laid wide the gap through your publications, and seeing it, I have walked out of sectarian bondage, believing it better to obey God than man. I am not preaching in a public way, but am doing all I can in other ways to get men to see and understand the truth, though I meet with some opposition.
DEAR BROTHER:—I feel as though I stood alone here in Topeka in regard to these teachings; but it has inspired in me a better hope and a more abiding peace and love for God and man and the holy Scriptures than I ever had before, and I would rather stand alone throughout this harvest time, than to stand with and be of those whose faith is in the teaching of the nominal church. I feel that it is a sore trial to be so bitterly opposed by those, even of my own household, and to be misjudged by them.
I do rejoice in a bright hope that ere long, I may be gathered with all those that are entirely Christ's, and be ever with him; and I do pray that the WATCH TOWER may be blessed to all those that are hungering and thirsting after righteousness.