DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Opportunity presenting, I sent the enclosed letter to a Brother in Christ, who yet believes in eternal torture; have sent him Tract No. 1, and if it seems wise will send him some of the TOWERS later. I send the letter as an evidence that the Lord lets me do a little. Christian love to all the household. W. E. PAGE.
[The letter may be of interest to others, so we publish it below. Writing letters to your friends is an excellent way of serving them and the Truth—provided you have the talent for this work. Let each zealously use the best talents he is possessed of.—EDITOR.]
I have met Mr.__________, of whom you speak; he and I study the Word together once a week, and receive much comfort together. Treasures new and old are abundant in this "Treasure House," and the faithful steward must ever have something for the "household of faith." I am led to realize more and more how small this "household" is, and how easy it is to "let the things heard slip away." The testimony of Isaiah, applied by "our beloved Brother Paul" to both the Jewish and gospel churches, is that a "remnant only" will believe the report, and lay hold of the honors offered under each dispensation. As I daily learn more and more of our heavenly Father's mind, and of his purpose to have a "New Heaven and a New Earth in which dwell righteousness," and, in contrast, appreciate more fully present conditions, where evil reigns, I cannot express how my desire for the full consummation of our Father's plan grows. As you say, it seems to me that the thoughtful student of the Word must see that there are plain and specific promises that our Lord and Master will come again in person and reign; and also that the nations will mourn because of him on his arrival; that clouds and thick darkness will be round about him; that only "children of the day" will first know when he has arrived (as only such knew of his resurrection and ascension); that with the government on his shoulders a reign of righteousness will ensue from which will come the fulfilment of the prophecies that "All shall know the Lord, from the least even unto the greatest;" that a Highway of Holiness will be opened up in which there will be no "lions" or "wild beasts" and from which the "stones" will be removed. How like our God such conditions will be! How much higher are his ways than our ways, and his thoughts than our thoughts. The more I contemplate the ransom given by our Lord the more complete and ample it appears. He "once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God." "By his stripes we are healed." "The Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all." He gave "His life a ransom for all." "Without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins."
I rejoice not only that our Lord was a great example, but more in the knowledge that he is a great Redeemer. I realize that I am "not my own" but have been "bought with a price," even by the "precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish." Having received this light, I further realize what a fearful thing it would be to deny the "blood" that "bought me," and account it a common or unclean thing. Surely should any commit such sin, the "wrath of God must abide on him." "God is not mocked; that which a man soweth he shall also reap. He that soweth to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, and he that soweth to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting." How fearful a thing it must be to "fall into the hands of the living God" unprotected by our dear Redeemer's robe of righteousness. And yet, how ample that robe is for ALL who accept it, though but few have any conception now of what our great Redeemer is, or what his wondrous work will be when he "takes His great power and reigns." Through the Word, we know that "There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time." "We trust in the living God who is the Savior of ALL men, especially of those that believe." (Glorious special salvation; prospective members of the "Little Flock" and inheritors of the Divine Nature.) "As in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive." "As by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men unto condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." Thus we learn that while you and I and every one understanding God's present offerings—and how few such there are—are now on trial, having our probation; yet how glorious to see further that our Father's love, wisdom and power have made full provision so that in His own "due time" every creature shall have a full insight into Christ's complete work, when, if they but accept the ransom, IT will be ample enough to cover them; the gift then offered—perfect humanity—will be all those accepting it will want, and though not as glorious as the one now offered—the Divine Nature—it will be glorious and satisfactory. We thus learn how the logical conclusion, that if the ransom is a ransom its effects must become co-extensive with the effects of the fall, is, in God's providence, attained in fact as well as in theory. Thus all rejectors of God and his salvation will be punished on the ground of individual sin, apart from weakness due to heredity or surroundings. How we can appreciate anew and more fully than ever before that "God is love," as well as the message that "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all."
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I saw and read the TOWER for the first time sixteen month ago, and I thank God that your preaching has not been in vain. Since then, by joining in with several Brethren here, I find from week to week, when we meet together to praise God and study his Word, we get abundantly blessed and fed. Thank God, we are growing in knowledge, and [page 8] in love of the truth, by hearing what he has to say to us through his Word.
I enclose four shillings, a small offering to the Lord, which please do with as you think best. I have read January TOWER over again and see clearly the divine plan it sets forth, to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, the whole plan of Jehovah to the whole race of mankind. We each have a few friends (friends of God we hope they will be), who, we think, if they will read the January TOWER, with God's blessing, will see some light, and so lay hold on the truth. Please send us about twenty copies (if you have so many to spare). May God bless you and Sister Russell, and all our dear brethren and sisters across the waters.
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER:—The July and August TOWERS have followed me here, also the tracts sent. I disposed of one package before I left home, with my boy colporteur's help. In July TOWER Bro. R.'s answer to the Iowa letter was of special interest to me, and still more so was the article, "The Undefiled One." It brought out to me such a clear view of the strong, sweet, spiritual connection between the Bridegroom and the glorified church, the Bride—besides clearing up some scientific points which were not clear before. There is not a sentence in the TOWER which I do not devour. I am so hungry for the truth, and they are feasts indeed. Hardly a day passes that I do not have an opportunity to present the truth in some way to others, by giving out the tracts by hand or by mail, and by talking the good tidings.
I was invited to give a missionary talk to the Presbyterian M. Society here, and I read to them Bro. R.'s article, "I will draw all unto me," from July TOWER. Also in adult Bible Class, when the lesson was on the parable of Lazarus and Dives, I gave them our view of the parable and some copies of O.T. Tract, No. 1.—"The wages of sin," which explains that parable.
Of course all this is more or less of the going without the camp to Christ—part of my sacrifice—holy and acceptable to God. In doing this work I have great joy. This scattering of the "hail" is delightful work and so convenient; many will take a tract when they will not listen to a conversation.
The August TOWER came yesterday, and this is the first I have had of the "TABERNACLE TEACHINGS." It makes me more earnest to have the "goat" killed—willingly sacrificing all of the human for love of Christ, and the prize offered—Immortality.
MR. C. T. RUSSELL.—DEAR SIR:—It is with sincere gratitude that I acknowledge the receipt of your very interesting paper, ZION'S WATCH TOWER. I have been studying MILLENNIAL DAWN together with the Bible, and it has thrown a new and cheerful light on the subject of religion which I have never discovered before. You may wonder at convicts being interested in such matters, but let me assure you that all convicts are not the hardened criminals they are supposed to be. The present state of society, with all its evil influences, is making many so-called criminals; for a very large proportion of the convicts, here and elsewhere, owe it to the saloon, which is upheld by society. I am 42 years of age, and I had never a trouble in life that did not come through the saloon. I have spent upwards of $20,000 in my time, and finally occupy a convict's cell; but how mysterious are the ways of the Lord. If I had not come here I should eventually have filled a drunkard's grave, but now the power of Satan is broken, and when I leave here next September, it will be to use the talent the Master has given me for the spread of his Gospel.
I have read the book carefully; I have studied it prayerfully, and find that to give my opinion and be honest, I would have to say that I never understood the Bible before. A new light has been thrown on its pages that has become to me joy unspeakable.
I have been a leader in one of the churches at this place for years, but to make public my views as I now see through the pages of MILLENNIAL DAWN would certainly place me in the attitude of a heretic by the church to which I belong. [The Lord help you to be faithful to the truth, Brother, to let your light shine; and give you grace to endure the reproaches of Christ.] For the last ten years, I have given much time to the study of social and political economy as a pastime. I have certainly found in MILLENNIAL DAWN the only rational solution of those much vexed problems.
As far as I can see, your conclusions are logically chained to the premises laid down in what we all agree to be the Word of God. What a revolution in thought! and what a dark background the general theology furnishes the scene less!
I must proceed slowly along the golden line of truth, which, I pray God, we may all find at any cost. I write you this letter in hope that I may find out more of you and your "strange doctrine." I understand you are publishing a paper in the interest of the same. Please send me a sample copy of your paper. I should like also to get your suggestions as to what I should read of all your works. May God's blessings be added to you and yours, your work past, present and future. I am yours for truth, J. W. SWINDLER.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—The July TOWER came, as always, well filled with God's precious hope and promises, and it was very helpful in many ways. Days after I had read it found me still contemplating and feasting on its contents. As a result I now understand more clearly several of the articles it contains, and to-day I consider the one article, "The Undefiled One," alone worth more than many years' subscriptions. It is to me invaluable. I never before understood perfectly why the race was lost in Adam, not in Eve. With this light it is clear, and I see fully the reason why the Redeemer was undefiled while being born of a woman.
Although I should much like a personal letter from you, I do not expect you to take the time to answer my letter. The TOWER will come as your answer, but I could not forego the wish to say these things to you, that you may know how truly you are doing the good work of building up our most holy faith.
DEAR SIR:—I received your book and paper safely and was glad to get them much sooner than I expected. I approve highly of the book and am very glad I came in contact with its pages. When I went over to America, about five years ago, and stayed in different places, a while here and a while there, I got acquainted with a man of about seventy years of age, whose life was spent in a most careless way. All this came up before him, driving him to deep despair, thinking he would have to give account for a life so ill spent. But one day a young man came in with a few books which he was selling. He asked the young man the name of it. He said, Millennial Dawn. He had heard before of the Millennium, so he thought he would buy one. The young man told him if he would read it and believed it, he would get a great blessing from it, which he has, for he is a different man altogether, no longer dreading, but longing for the Lord's kingdom.
I myself was a Roman Catholic at the time I went to him, and after reading its pages I saw in it the truth; and whenever I found a text which looked very deep, I went and looked in the Bible, which I had never read before, and found it to be in harmony.
I am very glad of the help your work has afforded me. I feel sure all Bible students, when they read it, will acknowledge it to be the most reasonable presentation of God's plan ever set forth. I am anxious for the third volume: send it as soon as ready.
MR. C. T. RUSSELL:—Dear Brother, I have read the TOWERS and tracts that you sent me with much interest, and wish you to send me the TOWER for two years, The MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vols. I. and II., in paper cover, the Emphatic Diaglott and Leeser's translation of the Old Testament. To pay for the above, I send post-office money order.
I am much interested in the Old Theology, and wish to give it an impartial examination. I have Young's Analytical Concordance, and therefore do not need to send for it. I am 30 miles out in the jungles, preaching and teaching the word of life to those who are now hearing it for the first time.
DEAR SISTER RUSSELL:—You will be glad to hear that we are still rejoicing in the truth. It becomes each day more and more dear to us. We are filled with gratitude and praise to God for all the countless favors we are enjoying, both temporal and spiritual. He has done for us exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think. Although we are not at liberty to give all our time and strength to the truth, the Lord has very graciously opened up many channels through which we may do a little at the work which lies nearest to our hearts. There are not many here who see and believe as we do, but then that makes us look the closer for the Master's footprints to make sure we are in the right way.
Some, we find, will not read anything we give them, or listen to anything we have to say, but they go and warn others to beware of us. Others listen a few times and say, "Well, I hope it is true," then busy themselves with something else. Some who heard gladly at first and rejoiced with us for a while seem now to be more interested in other things. But, thank God, through the all-sufficient and precious blood of Jesus we have, so far, been able to stand.
We have had to endure some trials since we came home (things don't always run smoothly), but the dear Lord has never hid his face from us. Our little boys have the same keen interest in God's plan that they have always had. I can tell them everything as far as I know in such a way that they can grasp the meaning. They would rather hear a Bible story anytime than the most thrilling fairy tale. They have to spend several hours every day herding sheep; that brings them into closer sympathy with the Shepherd of the Bible. Bro. T. is toiling on, sometimes on the mountain-top of joy and sometimes in the valley. We expect Bro. Z. to-morrow on his way to Ontario to begin the colporteur work.
We send with this our heartfelt love and gratitude to yourself and Brother Russell, not despising but greatly esteeming all the food and training we have received through you. And we know that God will abundantly bless you and give you strength to finish your work. The boys send their love. Yours in the glorious light, MRS. S. WEBB.