My Dear Sir and Brother:I have again to tender you my best thanks for your kind attention in sending me a number of "Zion's Watch Tower" and "Thy Word is Truth," which I received a few days ago. I read "The Plan of the Ages" with very great interest and pleasure: for it has confirmed many ideas I already possessed, and developed others which were latent and vague in my mind. I am happy and thankful to say that since my early youth, I was enabled to acquire, through God's grace and my dear father's instrumentality, much knowledge, which gave me much higher ideas of the Almighty's wisdom, justice and mercy than are generally possessed by nominal Christians. "The Plan of the Ages" did not come to me, therefore, as a revelation, but as a joy-giving confirmation of ideas I had already acquired. To a dear friend of mine, however, it has been a source of new light and of much comfort. He is delighted with it, and wishes to write to you on the subject.
I enclose five dollars. Kindly take out one year's subscription for me to "Zion's Watch Tower" and for the remainder send me as many of the three volumes of "Millennial Dawn" as the money will buy, as I wish to send them to several friends both here and in Europe. I hope to find, in the "Watch Tower," articles which may do good in this country if translated and published in Spanish; I might even undertake the translation of the "Dawns," if I had the funds to have them published.
GENTLEMEN:I have pleasure in acknowledging the receipt of three copies of the Tower, duplicate Tracts, etc., for which I have returned thanks to Him who bestows every good gift. I desire to say to Brother and Sister R__________that I received much light and strength in coming to the Lord, through the aid of The Plan of the Ages. It carries with it a substantial blessing to every reader who is seeking light and truth with a sincere heart. It takes away the hideous thought, that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a monster of cruelty, ignorance and injustice, [R1513 : page 110] and reveals, instead, that he is wisdom, justice and love. Truly the light shines more and more unto the perfect day.
Great and mighty works has he wrought in me, and he is doing the same for others here, all so quietly, yet surely. Through the power of God and the grace of our blessed Lord, I am free from bondage to the old nature. I know and fully realize why the Apostle with such vehemence urged upon all to put on the whole armor of God. As a man, I have been exercised until I look upon my past life with shudders of horror.
May the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with both of you, with all of your fellow laborers, and with all them who love our blessed Lord in truth and sincerity. Yours in the faith, __________.
I received in due course your postal card and Tracts, for which I beg to express my thanks. The papers were carefully read, and, I am frank to say, made clear to me many things which formerly appeared dark and unmeaning. As soon as I possibly can, I shall arrange for a regular supply of your semi-monthly WATCH TOWER; and I mean to procure, as soon as I can, the present volumes of Dawn.
I am fully convinced that my perusal of the first volume of DAWN opened my eyes to the truth. I read the book eagerly, and consulted nearly all the Scripture references as I went along. The result was an awakening. I thought much over it, and perceived at last what it was to walk in the way of life. The Bible became like a new revelation to me. I read it with feelings of delight. It is not now a labor or a duty, as once it was, but I turn to it with eagerness and joy.
There are souls here inquiring for the way of life. I speak of those who, quietly, and without intending to inform any one of it, are seeking God. They give evidence of sincerity. These I try to reach, for I consider the soil to be such as will bear fruit. As for the others (the great majority) all that seems possible now is to hope and pray that God will open a way whereby their hearts can be reached. Yours in His name, __________.
For enclosure please send me The Time is at Hand and the Watch Tower commencing with the January number. I have read and studied The Plan of the Ages, until the facts therein stated are perfectly clear to my mind. At first I rebelled against its teachings, could not have it so and would not. Then I said, If this is the truth, I must take it, whether it is palatable or notlike bitter medicine to a sick body: hard to take, but good in its effects. Truth is what my sin-sick soul needs; and it shall have it is the decision of my sanctified will.
I did not intend to write you a letter (nothing but an order), but I know it will cheer you to know that your book has done me good, and that I have lent it to several others who have read it with benefit.
As an illustration of the text, "The entrance of thy truth giveth light," we subjoin extracts from four letters received within five weeks from a Brother in Iowa. Each letter represents a growth in knowledge and love and zeal.
TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY:I hereby acknowledge the receipt of your Tracts, Thy Word is Truth and The Wonderful Story. I read them over with interest and benefit; and now, according to your offer, I send for Tract No. 12 and any other you may be pleased to send. At first reading of "An Answer to Ingersoll" I thought it too liberal, but on reading "Pulpit Infidelity" I apologize for any uncharitable thoughts I might have entertained. I am a learner, and anything that will teach without injury I want: others I do not want.
Thanks for samples of ZION'S WATCH TOWER received. At first I suspected a snare, and was ready at the first appearance of the cloven hoof or wolf in sheep's clothing to "flee away;" for nowadays we have to watch. But I keep in mind that as I am Christ's, no man is able to "pluck me out of my Father's hand." So I send you $1.00 for the three volumes of MILLENNIAL DAWN and Tracts. Have read February TOWER; and though on first reading its doctrine seemed strange, I find that it clears up many passages of Scripture hitherto not understood.
I hereby acknowledge the receipt of the DAWNS. I do not know how to express myself: I am so delighted with them and your other publications. It was really Providential [R1513 : page 112] that I saw your tract The Wages of Sin. First I thought it was too Universalistic; then I thought it was too Purgatorial; and I did not know what to do until my regular Bible lesson (Ezek. 15:44-45) confirmed the tract. I find it is just like Christ Jesus to be just to all men. Oh! praise his name! the Scriptures began to unfold to my poor, benighted mind. I know what it is to fellowship with him in joy and pleasure, and am learning (slowly to be sure) to suffer with him; and know that I am accepted in the Beloved. I stand alone in my community, but I cease not to do the work he has appointed me, nor will I.
I have read the three DAWNS critically as I can, and I must say they have to a great extent revolutionized me; and, though your DAWNS struck me a little contrary at first, I soon got righted. Oh, the blessedness of this truth! He has led me in a way I know not, but he doeth all things well. I have fought a good fight up to the present time and have the armor on awaiting his orders.
You may be and probably are spoken against; but I am with you: not that I have hastily adopted these teachings; but I was ready for the DAWNS. I did not know what I wanted, but they filled the aching void.
DEAR BROTHER:Thanks for the knowledge of which you are the channel. A few weeks ago I came across your MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I., and at the time I was struck with the facts therein enunciated, but did not take hold of them. However, I could not get away from the thoughts induced by the first reading, and so determined to have another perusal; and how any rational being could fail to perceive that plan as set forth in the Scriptures I should be at loss to understand, if I had not had experience with the blinding effects of tradition. "Take hearsay for granted, and never mind searching the Book" was my mottoand is that of many at the present time.
True, I called myself a Christian, and did believe in Christ as a Redeemer, but I had absolutely no idea of the extent and benefits of the Redemption. But now, thank God, I know in what my duty consists, and am striving to run the race, keeping only the goal in view.
I am in daily contact with Spiritualists and others of similar beliefs, and some with no belief at all, and would ask for your prayers, that the light may shine, and that I may be given the requisite strength to keep my light shiningnot burning, simply, but shining. I shall not forget you; and may you long be spared to continue the work the Master has given you to do.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:The DAWN series has brought great light and joy and peace to our home. We had been studying and groping for some time, to find what the second advent of Jesus Christ meant to the world; and since we have come to "understand," we have had the pleasure of helping to lead some others into the Truth.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:Some time since, I bought MILLENNIAL DAWN of one of your colporteurs, and have given the three volumes a careful reading; and though your ideas are somewhat different from my own, yet I feel drawn towards you, as one after my own heart. For many year past, I have been making myself ready for the appearing of the glorious Bridegroom, having been connected with those expecting his soon appearing since 1842.
While I have been a believer in restitution and in the reign of Jesus and his bride over the restored earth, I have not attached such importance to the ransom-price paid by the blessed Redeemer for all mankind, as I ought to have done. Truly it is the goodness of God that should lead men to repentance, and not his supposed wrath.
Dear Brother, everything I have is on the altar, and has been since I was called out, seventy-three years ago. I still holding myself ready to do my blessed Master's will, to follow him through evil as well as good report, and to say at all times, "Not my will, but thine be done."