DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST:—I will enclose an order for a few tracts. I do not come in contact with many people, but I want to have the "bread" on hand, when I do meet some who are starving for God's righteous plan, even when they do not know what they need. I often wish I could engage in the Lord's work more actively; but at present I am cut off from so doing in many ways, though since the new year dawned I have been trying to find more opportunities, also to appreciate those I have. I believe it is possible to neglect the privileges within our reach, by looking out to those which lie beyond our environment.
No one need conclude he is without opportunities. All have the privilege daily in their respective families, and among acquaintances, to endeavor to fill their mission as representatives of Christ's Kingdom, holding up the divine standard of justice, love, etc., to the best of their ability, by the grace so freely given. Individual development, spiritually, is so necessary, that we may not be "castaways" from the prize.
One way of spreading the truth, which I appreciate more fully now, is by means of the Missionary Envelopes. If the knowledge of God is to overthrow all error, the slightest means to that end should be used, that individually we should do all we can toward filling the earth with the truth, "as the waters cover the sea;" hence I feel there is power in the message on the Missionary Envelopes, and I am thankful for the privilege of using them. The "Good Hopes" fund is another blessed privilege, and although I can do so little toward that fund, I rejoice to know the "mite" is acceptable, if prompted by a willing spirit.
The privilege of tract distribution; also of writing to some dear saint, thereby ministering to the body of Christ; in fact, so many privileges of building each other up in the most holy faith, present themselves to the mind of the thoughtful and watchful, that no one need be without work in this harvest time. I believe if we use the given opportunities, others will be presented to us.
The answer to "Representative or Substitute" elucidated the doctrine of justification satisfactorily. The robe of Christ's righteousness grows lovelier and more precious daily to those who prize it. It is invaluable to the saints, for in no other garb would they be acceptable as kings and priests to our Father. May we continue to guard it carefully from fleshly stains, as we by grace strive toward actual righteousness.
Some weeks ago an article appeared in the Winnipeg Tribune, headed "Hell," and giving an imaginary description of a place of torment. I wrote a letter to the paper, giving the real meaning of the word, and saying I would be glad to correspond with any person who wished to look into the subject. The Tribune published my letter, and I have already heard from seven [R1635 : page 95] people. To each one I sent a copy of the "Hell" number of the TOWER and "The Hope of the Groaning Creation," together with a very few words of explanation of the ransom and advising the parties about the DAWNS.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—To-day's papers furnish a report of a Dr. Stebbins' discourse yesterday, in which he descants upon the Scriptures as being the unreliable and uninspired utterances and writings of fallible and ignorant men. To what straits a so-called "Minister of the Gospel" must be reduced, when, failing comprehension, his only alternative is to discredit and denounce the blessed Word of God; and how it makes one burn with indignation to know with what baleful influence such blasphemous mouthings are fraught, and that they are accepted as the utterances of a "learned" (?) and devout man, instead of what they really are, the vain and pompous frothings, and merely sensational statements, of a hireling shepherd, a blind leader of the blind.
The more I read the DAWNS, the more am I interested, and the more am I impressed with their wonderful unfolding of the truth and of the hitherto hidden mysteries of the sacred Scriptures. I shall rejoice when the succeeding volume is announced.
I am thankful to be able to tell you that the good work of truth is yielding some fruits in this place; but we find a merely mental reception of truth to be only a partial work. For satisfactory results we find consecration the important feature. Wishing all co-workers in this grand harvest work God-speed, I remain,
Eight months ago I was in the "hedges;" but the Master rubbed "clay" on my eyes, and gave me no rest until I went and washed in "Siloam;" since which I have been gaining eyesight very fast, for which I never cease to praise the Lord. The Bible now looks so plain, that it seems that a blind man ought to understand it, but the trouble seems to be that they will not take the trouble to examine the matter. Oh! If poor, fallen humanity only knew the blessings in store for them, how quickly they would flee from the wrath to come.
Some time ago I wrote you about my brother-in-law, to whom I had been talking in regard to DAWN; also about a man who had killed several men for revenge. Here is the latest from them: "Am studying all the time I have,...my faith in the Bible getting stronger all the time....Mr. P. Says it (DAWN) is the grandest book he ever read. Have loaned him the second volume." Yours in the Lord,
We are daily feasting our souls on the Word and by communion with our Head and Redeemer, and have been much encouraged by finding several to whom we sold DAWNS several years ago gradually coming into the truth.
I wish to tell you of one brother in particular. Two months after selling him DAWN, I stopped at his house. Said he, Are not you the man who sold me the DAWNS? I replied, "Yes sir." "Well," said he, "I am happy in the love of Jesus, and I am trying to live a fully consecrated life. When I got that book, I was an infidel. My parents were infidels and I had been taught infidelity all my life. If it had not been for DAWNS and like helps, I would have been one still."
Wife and daughter join me heartily in sending love to you. We daily pray for you both and for each colporteur. We have very little Christian fellowship except [page 96] at home; but, thank God, we have sweet fellowship here. Pray for us. Yours in the bonds of the Gospel, and in loyalty to our Head, E. R. WEST.
DEAREST FRIENDS:—While working my "trick" one day last week, I overheard a conversation at the wire between two of our operators in regard to some books they were exchanging and reading. When they got through, I asked who it was, among our operators, that was such a philosopher. One replied, Here I am. I asked his name, told him I had been a student of your publications for some years and found them just what suited me, and said if he had no objections I would like to have him read a volume of your works.
Enclosed please find a letter I received from him after reading VOL. I. It gave me such unspeakable joy to receive, as it were, from the dear Savior's own hand confirmation of his appreciation of my little service in the harvest. I am not relating you this for vain-glory or any praise; but that you, too, may share in the joy of the fact that the work is appreciated when received into good, honest hearts.
In reply to the request for more on the subject and to allow the agent's wife to read the book, I sent him some tracts and an old TOWER and referred him to you. May the Lord give it increase as it pleaseth him, and give those who are actively engaged in the "harvest" the needed encouragement to press on.
FRIEND:—I received the book, and am more than pleased with it. Never took any "notion" to such kind of works until now. I think you have opened my eyes, so I can see better. You need not be afraid you have offended me, not in the least. When I first received the volume I thought, "How absurd;" but after looking it over I changed my opinion somewhat. Now I can thank you for changing my course. I have read this through. Have you any objections to the agent's wife reading it? She said she would like to read it. I am afraid I cannot send you any books that you would care to read. I have given up reading this "silly stuff."
I recently sent a letter to the First Congregational Church of S__________ (of which I was so long a member), addressed to the pastor. I have a reply from him, in which he says, "Your candor in not wishing to remain where your membership would misrepresent you does you honor. Nor shall we fail to appreciate the sentiments of Christian sympathy and of love for all of God's children which pervade your letter. I am sure the church would not do such violence to its [R1636 : page 96] love for one of the disciples of our Lord as to drop your name, leaving the record to be interpreted by those who, not knowing the cause, might infer excommunication." He then adds, "With your consent, therefore, I shall recommend the granting of a letter in which your reasons shall be fully stated, and in which we will state that while differing from your views we still retain you as a child of God, a disciple of our common Lord."
I have talked with Brother F__________ about it, and he thinks it will be right for me to receive a letter under those conditions. What do you think? I made use of the letter you published in the TOWER [Sept. '93], with some changes to suit the circumstances, and I am very grateful to you for the help it was to me.
Please see that my TOWERS are sent regularly. I miss them so much, if they do not come on time; for their contents are such a rich feast. Praise the Lord for meat in due season for hungry souls! May God spare you both to feed his flock until the fulness of his time has come.
[In reply: We congratulate you, dear Sister, upon your action here related. We advise that you accept the proffered Letter. The minister's letter certainly shows an excellent spirit. Such a man should be ripe for present truth. Be sure that you at least offer him some reading matter bearing thereon. Perhaps he would accept as a loan or as a gift the first volume of MILLENNIAL DAWN? The Sept. '93, and Jan. 15, '94, TOWERS would also be good for him.