DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I enclose some clippings regarding Brother __________'s experience which explain themselves. I do not know all the facts in the case, but as reported, it would seem that our Master's cause has suffered from zeal untempered with wisdom. No one realizes more fully than I do how easy it is to be taken captive by our great Adversary for his pleasure, and we must walk very humbly before our Lord to escape these things. Yet we rejoice in the knowledge that it is his good will to deliver us from all these snares, if we commit ourselves fully to him, and diligently pursue the truth. This episode has led me to crystallize a few thoughts which I send you herewith for such use as your good judgment dictates.
"Let all things be done in a becoming manner, and according to order." "For God is not a God of confusion [tumult] but of peace."—1 Cor. 14:40,33.—Diaglott.
While it is the privilege of the saints to "endure affliction" and make full proof of their ministry, we must be constantly on guard against the Adversary, who specially delights in tripping us up. Nor must we fancy that we are not subject to strong and blinding temptation from this wily foe. Unless we are constantly on the alert we will fall into some snare of his setting.
We must not hesitate at all opportune times, and with the "wisdom of serpents and the harmlessness of doves," to proclaim the truth about these present evil times, and the seductions that are blinding the great ones in Babylon. Yet, the questions of time, place and manner must all be carefully weighed; and when we act, it must be after careful and unprejudiced study to ascertain the right: if we diligently seek for this light in the "sure word of prophecy," we will find it. Babylon, and the world, have their rights and privileges now, which we must respect, or else forfeit for the truth that dignified position to which it is entitled, and which will command for it the respect of its opponents. It is our blessed privilege at all times to proclaim the knowledge we have of passing events in the true Temple of God, and we will there find hearing ears and seeing eyes. When approaching Babylon on any errand, we must be sure that we give no occasion for criticism as evil doers. We must not present the truth through lawless means. Right here socialism, anarchy, etc., commit their greatest error. With many and convincing truths regarding the rights of men (restitution), they go about to establish their hopes through one form or another of lawlessness. Until the completion of "The Times of the Gentiles," we must not expect to reign, and must be subservient to the powers that be, when they are not exercised to make us deny, in word or deed, the "Lord that bought us."
By attentively considering the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, in his walk in the world, we will gain much information as to how we are to conduct ourselves. He never attempted to force himself or his views upon any one. "According to custom," he spoke the truth in the Jewish Temple (the type of the true one, the Church, which God, not man, builds), or in the wilderness, as occasion fitted, but his cry was, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." "In driving the money changers from the courts of the Temple, he simply did what any Jew under the law could do: it was no form of lawlessness. In studying the Acts of the apostles, we find that they conformed to custom in their manner, time and place of publishing glad tidings, and where propriety required, gained proper license before speaking.—Acts 21:37-40.
Justice and fairness require that if we desire to address any sect on the truth, and especially if we select the time and place which they control, we first gain their consent; if we cannot do this it behooves us to await other times and places. If we are faithful, full opportunity will be given us to complete our consecration, and to fully do our Lord's will, and carry out his purposes for us. He will use every empty vessel that presents itself. We must be careful not to interpose our ways, and insist on doing the Lord's work our way. Such a course can only bring confusion upon the cause, and distress upon us. We must, sometimes, patiently wait to be used in the Lord's way and at his time. The test of waiting in the armor will not be without its fruit. "Having done all, stand!"