DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL:—I enclose $10.00, our regular donation to Tract Fund. Am sorry I could not remit sooner, but we have been rather pressed for ready money. We will try to send more as we find ourselves able to do so.
Next Sunday afternoon I shall bring a Methodist friend to the chapel. I have been working with him for ten years, and though he is beginning to give an intellectual assent to the truth, he will not yet accept it, for prudential reasons. I have given him the three volumes of DAWN, a few TOWERS and all the Tracts, and I wish him now to hear one of your restitution sermons.
The great topic among us here is the conversion—his own term—of Brother Rogers. I gave him up three or four years ago, and so did Brother West during his canvass here; and now the dear old man can scarce contain his joy. He has spent the last few Sabbaths at our home, and they are love-feasts indeed.
At the last M.E. Quarterly Conference, charges were preferred against him and he supported his new position right nobly and at considerable length. He concluded by resigning his offices and membership in the M.E. church, and now is a free man in the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah!
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I give below extracts from a letter recently received from my own dear sister in the flesh. Undoubtedly it will be of interest to the readers of the TOWER, as it was exceedingly so to Sister W. and myself.
Dear Brother and Sister:—Your welcome letter of the 11th received. We were indeed glad to hear from you, and thank you for your gift, "The Wonderful Story." It is beautiful—a wonderful story indeed! I can see its beauty as I never saw it before. It now has a new meaning to me. We would like to have the second volume of MILLENNIAL DAWN. Please send it as soon as possible. I can hardly wait for it.
I have just finished reading the first volume for the second time. It has done more for me than any other book in helping me to understand God's Word. And I am only beginning to see the truth. I enjoy greatly the new light which I received through the reading of "The Wonderful Story" and "THE PLAN OF THE AGES." The truth has indeed made me very happy, and I am hungry for more such Bible truth. Now I am beginning to understand why you left the pulpit and the Baptist church, and what you spoke of when on your last visit, although at that time I could not comprehend it on account of the muddy waters of tradition. But thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus for "the shining light" upon the sacred pages of the Word of God, which "light" has now shone into my heart. I realize that I am only a babe in faith, but with the help of God I desire to grow in knowledge, love and grace. I also feel very thankful that he has permitted me to see his harmonious and reasonable plan before "the day of trouble" comes.
Dear Brother and Sister, what I have written is my own experience. We have loaned the books to friends, and trust they will perform their mission. There are some who do not believe this wonderful truth, but that does not discourage us.
The above letter verifies the words of the Scriptures, "Your labor is not in vain in the Lord." What a comfort lies in such a promise! It was a comfort to us in times past, and is now still more so; for after we had been so highly favored as to receive the truth ourselves, our desire went out for those who were connected with us by the ties of flesh and blood. The majority, however, did not seem able to see the truth—Matt. 7:14; but it seems my trip four years ago to Maryland, where my sister and her husband resided at that time, was not in vain, although for about two and a half years it seemed as if she had forgotten the testimony. From her letter, however, we see that she still remembered the tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people (Luke 2:11.); and when "The Wonderful Story" reached her it refreshed her mind and heart. Praise the Lord! It became, indeed, a wonderful story to our sister. J. A. WEIMAR.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Your kind favor is at hand, and I thank you very much for it. I think your expressions regarding Prof. Totten and his writings are quite correct. I have read his views, and while I have found some Scripturally supported arguments, I have found much that is merely assertion, for which I can see no proof. Certainly only the very learned (?) can [page 238] understand him all the way through: I cannot. But not so with the DAWNS. They are plainly written, easily understood by application, and to my mind well supported by the Scriptures, else I would not try to place them in the hands of others.
I have nearly finished Volume II., and it is my purpose to re-read both volumes and know every argument and point and have them all ready for use. I hope I can use them to the glory of God and the good of others.
Kindly let me know how far back you can furnish copies of the ZION'S WATCH TOWER, and at what cost? [Old TOWERS are supplied at the rate of five cents each. We can supply about two-thirds of the issues as far back as 1884.—PUBLISHERS.] I have already received much help from a few back numbers and desire to get more copies of other numbers. Also please name price of Old Theology Tracts in assorted lots of 50 or 100. [Since January 1st the O.T. Tracts, Nos. 1 to 6, 9, 10, 12 to 14 are supplied free for gratuitous distribution, and the expense is met by voluntary donations to the Tract Fund.—PUBLISHERS.]
I thank you very much for your kind wishes, and earnestly pray that I may "grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." I thank God for the DAWNS and the light they have given me; and may his blessing rest on you and the able work you are doing for his name.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Please accept the inclosed P.O. order for $35.00 as my ministration to the public service for the saints, for the past three months. It is short of my proposed "hope," but this on account of obedience to the commandment, "Give to every one that asketh of thee, and him that would borrow from thee turn not away." Indeed, I have found the saying verified, viz.: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." And I know that the Lord is abundantly able to make all things abound unto such as take heed unto his Word, walking by faith and not by sight, having laid hold of the glorious hope, which we have as an anchor of life, both sure and firm, and entering the place within the vail.
The Norwegian Tract was quite a glad surprise. It will be used to supply many Norwegian vessels that come into port. I have sent samples to Norway, and—if you can afford it—you may send one hundred of them to my father in Norway. As a good many people go to his place of business, it will be convenient for him to distribute the same.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—While examining Zech. 11:8, I came across Hosea 5:7. The clear, emphatic context of the latter adds force to the exact thirty years [one month] of [R1434 : page 238] the prophet as the divinely set time during which the "false shepherds" with their "portion" or "possessions [Leeser's trans.] shall be devoured." "Now" (see preceding verse, noting that Israel, Ephraim and Judah, with their flocks, "go to seek the Lord, but they shall not find him, he hath withdrawn himself from them"), "Now," while in that rejected, spewed-out condition—"Now shall one month devour them with their possessions." The devouring of these is the last thing mentioned in this paragraph. Benjamin and Ephraim are next made desolate, "broken through punishment." Previous to this time God said, "Ephraim is joined to his idols, let him alone." It is in their afflictions—in the great time of trouble—that they will come to acknowledge their guilt, and to seek the Lord and his presence, saying, "Come, and let us return unto the Lord, for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind up our wounds." Another thought: In Hosea 2:21,22 the Lord says he will answer prayer [Leeser], and the way or channel through which he will answer is indicated. He says, "I will answer the heavens and they shall answer the earth," etc. The thought is that the Anointed Christ (head and body), as a royal (heavenly) priesthood, shall make successful intercession for the earth (represented through its princes), and these princes answer the people, and so the great antitypical day of Jezreel is to be realized.—Hosea 1:11; 2:2.—Leeser.
So we are to look for the existence of the "false," "foolish," "idol" shepherds, whose "arm" of power shall not be "clean dried up," and whose "right eye" (mind's eye or right understanding) shall not be "utterly darkened" till the end of the thirty years, 1908.—Zech. 11:17.
That the overthrow of the present nominal ecclesiastical systems shall precede the overthrow of the civil powers is thus indicated—the former continuing only until A.D. 1908 and the latter until A.D. 1914. [We differ slightly here. The Editor expects from Rev. 19:20 that the final overthrow of present governments [R1434 : page 239] will be at the same time as the fall of ecclesiasticism and will be followed by from five to seven years of socialism and anarchy, to end with 1914 by the establishment of Christ's Millennial government.]
The union of the two systems [political and ecclesiastical], now so generally suggested, will be only partial, for the present "shaking" is preparatory to their destruction. "General creed smashing" is on time. The two ends of the ecclesiastical heaven—Protestantism and Romanism—shall roll together, come closer and closer together, for the purpose of more effectually opposing free thought and action. The fate of these powers has thus a little while to tremble in the balance before the ever darkening war clouds will burst in all their destructive fury. The three chapters of Zephaniah and thirteen of the fourteen chapters of Zechariah seem to apply in the Millennial age, including the "lapping period." How new and blessed the Bible of to-day—God's holy Word!
I rejoice that I can share with the Chief Reaper in the present harvest. 'Tis mine to thrust in the sickle of truth every day, though not by a set form of words, in a snug, well-arranged, lengthy discourse; but we know that the spirit of the message, accompanying the word fitly spoken to a fellow-toiler, is the most effective means of preaching. Then the judicious distribution of the TOWER, Old Theology Tracts and the Dawns enables us each to preach many sermons in a comparatively short time.
How many of us, who are now rejoicing in the present glorious harvest truth, came into possession of it by reading! How few by the sermons we have heard preached! I might say that in my own experience I never have heard a sermon on any Millennial-dawn theme (though it has been mine to make and fill a goodly number of appointments for public meetings), yet I have read and re-read all that Brother Russell and those laboring with him have published for several years past, with ever increasing interest. Nearly all that the prophets have written has, during the past, been sealed—not understood—having been written for us who are living in the present "due time" for its fulfilment. Thus enlightened, we shall not walk in darkness, nor fail of our share in the work and its reward.
How unmistakably we witness the sealing effect of the harvest truth we preach. We witness the wheat, the consecrated, one by one, with zeal embracing it, and soon in the love of it joining the reapers, while the tares are gathered in bundles. Praise the Lord! Thus the work goes on. E. J. ROGERS.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Yours of the 17th at hand. Thank you for your advice. In the last lot of books you sent me there was a copy of TOWER for July '88, and I can not tell you the joy it has given me. Although an old one, it was new to me, and contained just what I needed, viz.: "Ask What Ye Will" and "The Prayer of Faith." I freely admit that I had altogether erroneous views on these subjects. Your explanation under the latter heading, of sickness and how we should receive it, was needed, for I had never understood the difference between chastisement and rebuke. Thank God for his wondrous gifts to the Church!
Revival and sanctification meetings seem to be the order of the day here. Sanctification, as taught by some, is not the pure white garment of Christ's imputed righteousness, but the filthy rags of their own righteousness, claiming that it is impossible for them to sin, and that they stand before God pure and holy. Some claim that they have not sinned for a year and some for a longer period of time. None seem to understand the Bible view, that sanctification is through the imputed righteousness of Christ supplying all our unwilling deficiencies.
VERY DEAR BROTHER:—I still feel grieved that I was under the necessity of quitting the Colporteur field, and am hoping that my providential wheel may yet turn again in that direction. I do feel that I never can do enough for the Master, and often ask myself the question, Why am I so highly favored as to receive the message and to behold the light of the unfolding Word now due to be made known, while the world is permitted to see and not perceive, to hear and not understand.
The field here is rather limited; and what with a non-reading people under powerful pulpit influence, the good work progresses slowly; yet there are a few precious sheaves already garnered, and an impression made that I feel sure will not be effaced.
Am pleased with the last WATCH TOWER. Yes, the blind leading the blind; for many years I have been groping in the rear, but the scales have fallen, the bands are broken and I am free. RICHARD MARSTON.