DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Sister Cox and I are both well, and are having very good success. I am delighted with this place, and think we will do much better in country towns than in large cities, as the people are more plain and seem to do more thinking. Before noon of the first day I went out, I sold a DAWN in every house except two, and have been doing well ever since. All praise be to the Lord for using me in this way.
I have not the words to express the comfort and peace I enjoy, when carrying the good news to others. Surely we are the Lord's favored people, and are living in a grand time. I have also been doing quite well among the Germans. In some houses I can sell both the German and the English DAWN.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Your kind letter received—for which I thank you, as words of comfort and sympathy are especially welcome to me in my helpless condition. I am glad to tell you that though I am stricken, yet I am not cast down; for I realize that underneath me are the everlasting arms, and I am holden up and sustained. I have entirely lost my voice, so that I cannot sing a note. I used to pass away a deal of time singing the sweet Hymns of Millennial Dawn; but if I cannot sing here, I shall soon sing the song of Moses and the Lamb, and tell Redemption's story in a nobler, sweeter strain. I am kept in sweet peace, believing it will not be long before my Father calls me home, and I shall be with him whom, not having seen, I love.
I cannot in my present condition pledge myself to send any stated sum to the Tract Fund at any particular time, but I would have you know that to me it is more blessed to give than to receive. I am so glad to know my beloved brethren and sisters remember me at the throne of grace. Ever yours in the blessed gospel hope,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I have been meeting with fair success, I think, considering the heavy rains to contend with—eighty orders in five days. Nothing in the world does me so much good as to meet some who are interested [R1479 : page 367] in these precious truths; and I know you will be glad to hear that the Lord has of late given me that privilege. One gentleman recently said, "You could not bring me any books that I would appreciate more than these, and I know I will believe every word of them, as I feel it is God's due time for us to know of the coming Kingdom."
I have read the 45th Psalm many times in the light of the suggestions offered in your letter, and I think the attitude of the Church is beautifully pictured there. To think of being called out of our [earthly] father's house [the world], and of being on the way to the King's palace! Blessed, indeed, will be those who have the privilege of entering, and how thankful I am that the Lord has granted me the light, and the grace to walk in it.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—The Lord sends me much of blessing. Just in the last days of my stay in Buffalo he led me to three more who are feeding upon the blessed Bible truths to which DAWN has led their thoughts. I do want to tell you a little about them.
One has for years been one of my most loved friends, a prominent temperance and mission worker. Early last fall I tried to get her to read the DAWNS, but she said she had no time to read anything but her Bible. Later I went to her again, and urged her very strongly to read the DAWNS; but she had just become deeply interested in another special mission work, and again declared that she had no time. I have been in the habit of visiting her frequently, but felt this summer that my time must be spent with those who had time to hear the truth. So I did not go to see her again until a few days before I left the city, and then went only to bid her good-bye. Imagine, then, how glad I was when she met me at the door and exclaimed, "Oh! those blessed, blessed books. I never was so blessed in all my life as I have been in reading them." It seems that in our talk, early in the summer, I had mentioned the fact that through reading them many infidels had been brought to a belief in Christ. Her work a little later bringing her in contact with an infidel whose arguments she could not meet, she bethought herself of the DAWNS, and borrowed from a neighbor the first and second volumes to lend to this infidel. In glancing through them she caught, here and there, a thought that held her, and she did not lend them, but read them herself.
From one of the other two, Brother Rogers last year took an order for DAWN, Vol.; but before he came to deliver it, her pastor had told her it was a dangerous book to have in the house; and when Brother R. came she refused to take the book. A day or two afterward her married daughter came in and handed her another copy of Vol. I., saying, "Here, Ma, is a book I bought of an agent. I don't like it, but I guess you will." The thought struck her that she should read the book, since it came to her in spite of her first refusal to have it. Since she has read it, her own words are, "It was food such as I had never before received from either pastor or teacher." She then lent it to a friend who found it equally good.
Both are confined at home pretty closely, so they could not attend our meetings; but a day or two before leaving the city I took my large chart down, and spent a very delightful three hours and a half in explaining it to them, and answering their questions. Found them, I believe, ripe for the truth, and rejoicing in each little bit that is made clear. Both will study the truth carefully, and walk in the light they receive.
The cold weather seems to be nigh upon us. I must sew next week, and then labor in harvest work every minute that I am able. I wish I might be able to do as well as sister McPhail, but I suppose I must be always content to do a little. Perhaps were I permitted to be a really efficient worker, I should get to thinking of myself more highly than I ought to think. The Lord knows me better than I know myself, and will doubtless grant me all the success I am able to bear.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I take the first opportunity of fulfilling my promise, and herewith enclose Money Order for Young's Concordance, and the surplus for anything you please. Our little band will all send together in a month or so subscriptions to TOWER and Tract Fund.
You will be pleased to learn of our spiritual welfare. Brother W__________ has just returned home after a week's stay with us. We have the meetings in our home, and he was much impressed by the quiet work which is being done. I feel assured that the Lord sent him, and in so doing has blessed us all; and I trust he may be stimulated to further work in his neighborhood. He has thrown light upon the difference of colporteur work here and in the United States, having spent some years there himself. Colporteurs are looked upon with suspicion here, being either connected with Evangelical Associations [R1479 : page 368] or hawkers of encyclopaedias and larger works. Whereas in America much of the book selling is done in this manner, in England all has to be done through booksellers. Still I [R1480 : page 368] think we might be doing more than we are, although much is being done in a quiet way.
[The fact is that America is overrun by book agents, and the people often feel very much annoyed by them. It would seem, therefore, that if there is but little done in England in that line, that field would be all the better for our Colporteurs. The people would give them a heartier welcome than here, where two or three sometimes call in one day. And we heard recently that nearly four thousand copies of a high-priced American book, containing much unpopular error, were sold not long since in Dublin, Ireland. The sale of this book at a high price gives us great confidence that at its low price thousand of DAWNS could be sold there.
We find that many, even here, do not make a success of the Colporteur work until they have received some personal instruction from some experienced and successful worker. There is a particular "knack" required that all do not possess naturally, but which can be acquired by intelligent perseverance. When the way opens, we hope to send some experienced Brother from here to Great Britain in order to start the work there.—EDITOR.]
I was much blessed by the letter from the good "three score and ten" brother. Yes, I am sure there is no soul hungering and thirsting after the Kingdom of God, that will not be filled sooner or later.
The TOWERS are very precious; but I think I must be selfish, for I often wish that, with the exception of the encouraging letters from brethren, all discussion could be avoided. I know words of warning are necessary to the weak ones and children, but I feel sure that none of the Lord's little ones will be led astray by false teachers. And Oh! I do so love the spirit that has prevailed all along in the TOWER, and I dread anything that does not extend the same charity to others that we ourselves so much need. I seem so to revel in the beautiful pastures that I can only pity those who prefer to feed on husks.
[We are quite in sympathy with the general drift of this sentiment, and the readers of the TOWER are witnesses that its warnings are not personalities nor on trifles, but respecting the fundamentals of the Gospel and based upon the plainest teachings of the Scriptures. The denouncing of the scribes and pharisees as hypocrites and the cleansing of the typical Temple were not the most pleasing parts of our Lord's work at the First Advent, but they were necessary; and so here the warnings are not the pleasantest part of our duty, but they are a part of it, nevertheless—"Reprove, rebuke, exhort." (2 Tim. 4:2; Tit. 2:14,15.) Experience has proved that some of the Lord's people are in need of words of warning in order that they be not deceived. Facts are more than theory. God does not promise to keep his little ones free from temptation. The Lord is seeking for his Bride such as love him supremely, and he permits Satan to promulgate seductive doctrines and to be successful in deceiving all but this special class. The Apostle recognizes this in his warning—" Keep yourselves in the love of God." (Jude 21.) Each one, in order to be kept, must be fully consecrated and must abide on the Rock.
That some of the consecrated can be and are being deceived is shown by a recent experience which will be related in our next issue. This one, and others of whom we know, have been saved from error by words of warning and reproof, and brought back into the way. The Ninety-First Psalm intimates that human instrumentalities are used in bearing up those in danger of stumbling, as well as in the upbuilding of those who have remained faithful.—"He shall give his angels [messengers] a charge [a warning] concerning thee,...lest thou dash thy foot against a stone." This is part of the ministry of the saints. Otherwise there would be no meaning to the words of the Apostle James (5:20): "He which converteth a sinner [wanderer] from the error of his way shall save a soul from death."—EDITOR.]
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I have been working in Mount Vernon during the past week: sold 160 DAWNS—making about 800 sold there in a little less than a month's time. Many of them, I trust, are in good hands, and will bring forth fruit to the Master's praise.
I expect to deliver in Mount Vernon tomorrow and part of Tuesday, and desire to spend the remainder of the week in the interests of the meetings—calling on some of those to whom I sold the books last winter, giving out notices, etc. I have hopes that the meetings on the 27th will be quite well attended and that you will have large, intelligent and appreciative audiences.