DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Your book, The Time is at Hand, has been received and read with avidity. I can scarcely restrain myself from continually crying aloud, "Glory to God in the Highest!" Hallelujah! for evermore. May the praises of God and the Lamb be upon every tongue! How can it be otherwise? Who so great or so glorious as our Redeemer who gave himself, was slain, for the sins of the whole world—save the Great Jehovah who planned the redemption. I rejoice daily that I am made wise even at this day, and yet my heart grows sad when I think of the years that I have been led by the blind. Why was I not permitted to know sooner? Your book MILLENNIAL DAWN came to me last Fall—the first hint I ever had of such a work. I received it on a Saturday evening, commenced to read it immediately and never laid it aside, except when obliged, until finished. Its truth captured my heart at once; forthwith I withdrew from the Presbyterian Church where I had so long been groping in the dark for the truth, and found it not.
The DAWN came as a light in a dark place and you cannot know the eagerness with which I have devoured all that I could get of your writings. My first impulse was to deliver the tidings to all I knew, but especially immediate friends, that they too might be made wise, and have cause for rejoicing; but they one and all discarded the book and TOWER, as the theories of one man trying to start a new religious sect for his own aggrandizement, I suppose, instead of an effort to place us upon the original Christian basis, which Christ and his apostles outlined for all the true followers down to the end of the age. I sometimes grow discouraged; still I cannot help rejoicing that I have found the true version of the Scriptures, even if others will not accept. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me. I try to do what good I can, but when others deem me crazy or lost to all my former senses, where is my influence?
I long to tell you all that is in my heart, of joys and hopes, but cannot at present. May God bless you through time and eternity, which I know he will do; but what will become of such as I, who have never known the Scriptures aright, nor even concerning our Lord's presence and the harvest, until so late.
[This must not discourage us; we must expect just such results; they were promised. (Matt. 10:22; 1 Cor. 4:10.) Even our Lord's faithfulness made him of "no reputation." And Paul and the early church were "counted fools for Christ's sake." Yea, and whosoever will live Godly, in this present time, "shall suffer persecution" of some sort—according to the degree of civilization by which surrounded. While pitying their blindness and longing for the clearer, fuller dawn, when all shall see clearly, let us rejoice that we are counted worthy of an experience so much like that of our dear Redeemer.—EDITOR.]
Still, I will praise him. I cannot help being so late to know the truth. For many years have I prayed and striven to lead a [R1110 : page 8] Christian life, but with only blind leaders what could I know? I blush to think of my ignorance. Your last book is so conclusive in all its proofs; who can doubt them? I must read it over and over again. I do not feel able to say much to others, until I have informed myself more perfectly. How chilling such retorts as the following: After reading all the chronological facts and Scripture bearing upon them, my heart was so filled with joy that I mentioned them to a friend of Christ's coming, when he remarked, He has set the time, has he? I cannot tell you, how it makes me feel. You do not set the time; 'tis God, and undoubtedly there is a set time, as all will yet see.
[Be of good courage, dear Sister, consider that the readiness of heart in which the truth found you, indicates that you were a true child of God before, and that it was sent to you by our Master; because, blinded and starved by human tradition, you were hungering and thirsting for righteousness [truth]. He now invites all such to be filled, both with the truth and with its spirit. What VOL. II. has made clear to you regarding the "harvest," etc., will be emphasized and clinched by VOL. III. in due time, making very clear the importance of the work of harvest. Meantime enter as fully as possible into the present blessed opportunities of service, making known the good tidings of great joy—The Plan of the Ages—whenever and wherever you can find or make opportunity. The results to you will be deeper joy and clearer insight, whether they hear or whether they reject. Faithfulness in receiving and confessing the light, as God supplies it, is imperative. Yet, let us be "wise;" let us feed the "milk" before the "strong meat."
"The Plan of the Ages" (Vol. I.) should, therefore, always be presented first, before any mention is made of "The Time at hand." If they cannot digest the "milk," we may be sure they cannot the "meat," and the result would be only the greater and stronger opposition. Remember how our Lord exemplified this in his teaching; he even said to his followers once, "I have many things to tell you, but ye cannot bear them now." To us, as well as the apostles, our Lord's words apply: "Be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."—EDITOR.]
GENTLEMEN:—I came into possession of a copy of MILLENNIAL DAWN VOL. I., The Plan of the Ages, a short time ago, which I read with a great deal more than ordinary interest. Though there are a few paragraphs I do not altogether comprehend, yet as a whole, it has given me an entire new channel of thought relative to the impenetrable future. I carefully compared all your Bible references, and became so favorably impressed with your version of Scripture and so hungry for more of the same kind of spiritual food that I feel I must have the second volume.
I have enlisted in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remainder of my life; and it is my heart's desire to be even more faithful to Him than I was to the stars and stripes during the dark days of the rebellion. Oh! how I should love to be one of that "Little Flock," one of the Lord's daring soldiers, to help bind the great dragon, Satan, the vile enemy of all those faithful to the Lord.
MY DEAR SON:—Your welcome letter is received. We are glad to know that you are in usual health, and I trust and pray that your labors are still being blessed to yourselves as well as all others who have ears to hear and eyes to see.
As for myself I have been greatly blessed by the reading of Vols. I. and II. of DAWN. I have just finished reading Vol. II. and I feel that it would be impossible to ignore the truthfulness of these wonderful developments. The types and antitypes of the Jewish and Gospel dispensations, The Times and Seasons, the Manner of our Lord's Second Advent, Earth's Great Jubilee, Parallel Dispensations, Elias shall First Come, and the wonderful unfolding concerning Antichrist, the Man of Sin,—these contain very much that I had never fully understood before. I am perfectly astonished at the array of Scriptural argument to substantiate every position taken; and I can only say, To God let us give all the praise. It seems to me that no one can overthrow these arguments and conclusions except they deny the truth of the Scriptures.
I am very sorry to know that Brother Clowes is so very low. Possibly before this time he has gone to his rest. But his works will follow after; and may we also be ready, for we know not when our change may come. We are all in usual health at present, and hope you are all well. Joined by Wife and Mabel in love to you all, I am your loving Father,
[The above is from the Editor's aged Father, whose appreciation, love and zeal for the truth, seem to grow with his years. Now in his seventy-fifth year, he is more and more seeking to let the light shine, loaning DAWN, tracts, etc. His fellowship is highly appreciated.
On Jan'y 25th our dear Brother Clowes, with whom some of our readers were acquainted, having heard him preach the word of truth at various points near Pittsburgh, passed away full of triumphant faith and glorious hope. "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the spirit, they shall rest from their labors, but their works follow with them."]
I would like to tell you how much we enjoy the Second Volume but haven't the words. I shall be very glad when the next Vol. comes, but expect to read this over many times yet; and having the "Sure Word of Prophecy," there is no lack of food, until it is ready.
It is true that comparatively few are yet interested, but some of this sowing is for the future harvest and the truth must be first made known before it can be received. Our heathens are at our own doors. "Who is blind but my servant?" I send a check for $30, toward the fund for paper bound "Time at Hand." If you do not think it best, however, or if means are not sufficient, use the money in any way that you deem proper or in the Tract Fund.
In your last you expressed the desire to hear how the good work prospered with us. Although "our report" is looked upon as foolishness, and ourselves as deluded, I do not at all feel disheartened, for the rumblings of our chariot wheels sound all around. The papers have to announce sermons upon special subjects by the different pastors to notify the people of very interesting themes, viz., Immortality, Future Punishment, etc. DAWN has stirred up the waters any way! If none believe, it is not surprising, no man has helped them yet to get into the water and be healed, but they will soon get help and then they will proclaim the goodness of the Lord. (Psa. 107:10-16.) The greatest obstacle in the way is the denunciations of the clergy. They tell their sheep this is poisonous food and they are so ignorant of God's Word, that they are afraid of the unpardonable sin if they dare to read for themselves and trust to the spirit of truth to interpret for them. Truly "they sit in the shadow of death and are bound with fetters of iron and brass. But when they cry unto the Lord he will hear and deliver them." "Wait upon the Lord and ye shall see his salvation," is good enough cheer. In most kind remembrance and love in Christ, Your fellow-workers,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I enclose a letter which is so full of interest and encouragement to me, that I thought it might be interesting to you also. I am sorry to say that I am unable at present to do much in the cause of truth, as I cannot leave home, but expect to go on the road again about April 1st. Then I shall use every possible opportunity to distribute Arp tracts and sell as many DAWNS as I can. Yours, L. A. PATCHEN.
I feel that Mr. Russell has been entrusted with the key which has unlocked the prophecies. It seems that the blessed time we have been so long praying for is very near, even at the door. I am trying to spread these truths as much as I am able. I talk to every one I can reach. Does it seem possible that 25 years more will see evil overthrown and the "King of Righteousness" reigning in the Earth? Will there then be no more, agonizing wives in behalf of drinking husbands? No longer shall mothers on bended knees cry to God: how long, O, how long!
Thank God, the clouds are parting, and we begin to catch glimpses of the great plan which was laid before the foundations of the earth. Evil has had its day. The good have been powerless to turn back the tide of wrong-doing which has flooded the whole earth. How we have suffered on account of evil, but could not see why we were not able to subdue wrong. I have verily thought myself to blame for many things which I now see I was powerless to control.
I trust I shall ever feel grateful to you, brother, for calling my attention to these things, when in agony of soul, God was leading me through affliction away from the love of earthly things, that I might be prepared with those who love Him for that rest that remaineth for the people of God. I am trying to spread the truth and with some success, apparently.