—1 COR. 12:26.—
MY DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST:—Your favor, A Conspiracy Exposed, to hand. I cannot wait until I read it all before offering you my congratulations. "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth;" "his grace is sufficient for us," his own, in all trials; and all things work together for good to those who love the Lord. My sympathy I reserve for those poor, misguided ones, who have lent themselves, I am afraid, the too willing tools of Satan. My prayer for you and Sister Russell is that the Lord may prosper you in every good work and word. Your brother in Christ,
[The following letter is from the editor's aged father, who received one of the slanderous circulars. Step by step he has been interested in the present truth since 1872—being one of the Bible class mentioned in the Extra.]
MY DEAR SON:—It is with love and sympathy in my heart that I write you at this time, after having read the full account of your trials and troubles amongst those whom you accepted as your brethren in Christ. It does seem almost incredible that those people could be guilty of such mean and despicable conduct towards you, from whom they had received so many marks of kindness. But, my dear son, these are some of the trials we all may expect—especially those engaged in the "harvest" work. I am proud of the noble defence you make in vindication of your conduct, and especially in the cause of the [R1664 : page 176] Truth we all love so dearly. I feel confident that you will come out of this trial brighter and more appreciated in your character and works than you ever were before. The good Lord, who has been testing your works, will promote you to still higher honors in his Kingdom; I pray that he may bless you always and sustain you in every good word and work; and to him we will ascribe all the praise forever. Amen.
But while confident that the result will be a final victory for the truth, it is very trying on one who has labored late and early for the last twenty years for the cause of truth, to have his supposed friends turn against him and brand him as a liar and a hypocrite. Oh! it is terrible! I am most surprised at Mr. Bryan: to my mind he is the most deceitful one of them all. If I had known his true character when he came to our house in Richmond, I should have treated him very differently.
I often think of you and your many trials, which you seem to meet very courageously. But with an approving conscience a man can stand considerable, especially if the Lord is on his side to help and strengthen.
MY DEAR BRO. IN CHRIST:—I have read carefully pages 92 to 119 of A Conspiracy Exposed and Harvest Siftings with special interest, and must say my recollection of events named by you are very much like your own; and while there are details, in some cases, of which I know nothing, and hence cannot speak as to them, yet I do know there were such transactions as you name, and at the dates given. I am quite conversant with some of the dealings, and am surprised at the very merciful manner in which you speak of those with whom you were associated. "The servant is not greater than his Lord." "If they have done these things in a green tree, what will they do in the dry?"—"Perils among false brethren," etc., etc.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER:—We have copy of Extra, and take much pleasure in answering. I know the trial is hard for you to bear; but we are praying earnestly "that your faith fail not." "Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial." "Be patient, therefore, brethren." "Count it all joy."
The Devil uses the best men and women for his work if he can secure them. "Stand fast, therefore;" "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood." One of my favorite Scripture texts is 1 Cor. 16:13,14. "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with love."
Having had a little experience in colporteur work, and also in preaching orally, we have long ago become convinced that circulating the printed page is almost the only way to reach the hungry and interested ones. I am satisfied in my own mind that you are entirely correct in your views on this matter. We enjoyed the colporteur work, and it was and is one of our hardest trials to be compelled to give it up. Pray for us.
DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL:—A Conspiracy Exposed and Harvest Siftings reached me safely. I praise the dear Lord for this, the other side of the question. I have heard the rumblings of the present storm for quite a long time. As I love you dearly (and often pray for you), it grieved me very much to hear all these things. But I would be surprised if "all men spoke well of you;" for our dear Master was very cruelly spoken against; and if they have misunderstood and condemned and betrayed him, the "holy" and the "just one," how much more we should expect, who are imperfect—yet, praise God, our intentions are perfect. I am delighted to find in your "Exposure" that your course has been highly commended by the intelligent and consecrated ones, and for myself I would say, Rightly so, indeed.
When I received A.B.R. and Z.'s letters containing the blasphemous charges against [R1664 : page 177] your character, I was surprised. I see one of them even went so far as to criticise your views respecting Jacob's dealing with his father in the matter of obtaining the blessing.
See what a different effect the truth on the subject had on a consecrated heart. My heart responded in praises to the dear Lord, for another clear vindication of his glorious character. Truly, "Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart." Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. Praise his dear name for such comforting assurances. May the God of all peace comfort your hearts, is the prayer of your humble servant and brother in the Lord,
I heard a rumor of this trouble about a year ago, and just after the convention heard another. Neither was very definite, only a hint that "Some of the colporteurs felt that Bro. R. was attempting to lord it over the heritage." In the light of his writings, however, we knew perfectly that the man would never dream of [R1665 : page 177] such a thing; and we concluded that his strict business principles were not appreciated by those persons who had loose ideas of business. There are many well-meaning people who mistake justice for cruelty. A schoolma'am appreciates that fact very thoroughly. Our experience in Chicago strengthened our ideas on the "whispers"—you recall how some had to be kept in their place to enable others to hear what was profitable.
Mother and I feel that Bro. Russell is a "chosen vessel" of the Lord, and we hold him in great esteem for his works' sake. We had two ideas in mind when we went to Chicago; viz., to be baptized, and to see Bro. R. face to face. We were satisfied. His face is one to inspire confidence and we studied it carefully.
When I received those circulars ["bombs"] last April, I was stunned, for Mr. Zech was one of the last persons whom I would have suspected of perfidy. Of course, I know nothing about him except what I have learned through the TOWER. Bro. R. has always spoken so kindly of Mr. Z. that I supposed he was faithful.
After the others retire, Mother and I usually read and talk. That evening I gave her one of the circulars, and we discussed the matter. We decided that Bro. R. would never have been honored by the Lord, had he done the things of which he was accused; that you, Bro. Henninges, would never stay in an office where such things were done; that we would hear the other side of the story before we decided what was the real trouble. We laid the matter before the Lord and told him that we were following him and not any earthly leader; that our sympathy was with Bro. R., for we felt that he was a faithful servant; that we wanted the Lord's help to decide the matter justly, for we had esteemed those whose names were signed to the circular highly for their work's sake, also. So we left the matter. The next afternoon, we compared the letter signed S. D. Rogers with "The Work in England" in the April TOWER. The conclusions were not flattering to Mr. Rogers. We knew that his ideas would not work in our house, for my father and brothers would not tolerate his ideas for a single day. We concluded that he was tired of colporteur work, and wanted an excuse for leaving it. Since we had seen that one of the four was to be blamed, we felt that the other three were in bad company to say the least, and again left the matter.
The "Conspiracy Exposed" is a full reply to every point raised. It is an awful warning to those who neglect to cultivate the fruits of the spirit, for these people seem to have been content with head knowledge rather than heart practice. Mr. Bryan must be a most miserable person. I pity him. That any one could be in daily communion with such people as Bro. and Sister R. and profit so little by their presence is a mystery to me. What manner of man can he be?
We have felt that it will not do to depend upon any "arm of flesh," for it will fail us. So we have long urged our little company here to search the Scriptures and make the truths we love a part of themselves. While honoring Bro. R. and his work, we have used his writings as outlines of Bible study; so that should any difficulty arise, we would not easily be moved or shaken. We think this to be a wise course. God's Word is sure, and when our hope is based upon that alone, we are safe. It is not always an easy matter to study out these things; it is far easier to take Bro. R's word, for we have great confidence in him; but we know that we shall not be permanently benefited unless we appropriate these things to ourselves. Hence we test everything he says to the best of our ability. May the Lord keep us all from falling! With love and sympathy for the friends in the office, I remain
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER IN CHRIST:—At our Bible Class meeting on last Sabbath, I was requested by the congregation unanimously, and with my most hearty concurrence, to convey to you by letter the information, that, after a full examination of charges against you and your reply to the same, our confidence in and love for you both are greatly increased, and we feel doubly assured that you will not be shaken or moved in the defense and promulgation of the truth, but rather prompted to increased vigor and activity in your noble work. May the Lord who has delivered you from the claws and mouths of the lions be ever with you to direct, strengthen and protect you as his faithful servants.
DEAR SISTER RUSSELL—BELOVED IN THE LORD:—Husband has intended to write Bro. Russell before this, but has been very busy (has in mind to care for some German brethren in L__________who desire to have this trouble interpreted to them), and he is absent now for a few days.
Our confidence that dear Bro. Russell would be able to clear himself of those vile charges, is amply rewarded, and now he only shines brighter in our estimation then before. We praise the dear Lord for his sustenance of you both and all the faithful in this severe trial, and that you know the peace that abides at such times. All who have stood this shock will certainly put themselves yet more firmly on their guard, and realize more and more how dangerous it is to permit a moment of carelessness or indifference. How necessary to pray without ceasing! for otherwise we know not but we may be caught unawares by the enemy, and our feet slip. How perilous are these times; and who shall stand?
The letter written by your office workers, telling of the ways in which they are bound, I am trying to make my own in sentiment; for while I am not yet an active worker, I am trying to prepare myself for whatever the Lord may have in store for me.
"Seemeth it a small thing unto you that the God of Israel hast separated you from the congregation ...to minister unto them?" (Num. 16:9.) The honor which these terribly deceived brethren once had of dispensing the meat provided in due season, is oh! how great; and one (is it wrong?) that I covet.
We contemplate holding a special meeting having for its subject the Ransom; some desiring to understand it more fully. Please remember us especially in your prayers, that we may be strengthened with might by his spirit. God bless you both and continue his upholding of you in his arms.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—When I first received the circular of B.A.R. and Z. I confess I was greatly surprised, as I had learned to hold them in high esteem because of their active zeal for the truth, and I prayed earnestly that if their charges, or any portion of them, were true, God would give you grace and humility to confess your error; but that if they were not true, you might be more and more used of him to feed the household of faith with stimulating and strengthening strong meat. At all events, I felt sure that the teachings of the DAWNS were in harmony with God's truth, and I meant to hold fast to them. Yet I assure you I was not inclined to believe the charges, having many reasons for not believing them; and since you have exploded their bomb more thoroughly than they could, it shows plainly what an infernal machine it was. It may cripple some of the weak sheep, but it will prove fatal to many wolves in sheep's clothing.
MY DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—The exposure of conspirators in the very heart of Christ's laborers has been the greatest surprise to us since we came to a knowledge of God's plan. Their conscience must be completely asleep, or they could not be compelled to retain such a spirit, which a little consideration would prove to them is of Satan. I fear they are in a most dangerous position, that vanity and pride are causing them to sin against the power of God, which I consider brings on the second death. I think if they could see their condition they would be frightened and humbled by it, and return to the Lord in meekness.
The outside world and the nominal church have truly more sense of justice than they, as they are too honest and just to pick flaws where there are none. I know of a [page 179] man here who is a great enemy to you, who wrote to a Presbyterian minister in your city to know who you are and what kind of a man you are, that he might air your bad qualities. But, praise the Lord, I understand the answer came that you are a nice enough man, but very far astray in your religious opinions. This shows how, far and wide, others have been looking for flaws in your character. Oh! how guarded we always ought to be that none may find occasion to stumble over the truth on account of our unworthiness to carry it to them. Trusting you to the care and guidance of the holy power of Jehovah,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—The TOWER Extra received and read with a great deal of interest. We felt on reading the letters of others, as well as on realizing more fully the severity of this trial to you and Sister Russell, that our expressions of confidence and sympathy, as given in a former letter, have very partially expressed our mind. We do praise him for this thorough vindication of the cause of truth and yourself, and the evidence of the Lord's gracious overruling to the honor of his name. While our faith has in no degree been shaken, we have been led to a firmer determination as well as a greater nearness to our dear Lord and head.
We realize in it a sad warning: that if the enemy can find in us any vulnerable part he will surely exercise himself. It has called forth from us quite a searching of heart and an examination of the armor. Your article, "Personal Liberty," had a similar effect with the result of my discovering a degree of the same contagion in myself—undervaluing to some degree the talent already blessed by Him and reaching out for other talents not given. How I thank him for the timely rescue! I for one shall not give place to the least entrance of Satan's shaft. The example before us of presuming upon talent not given by the Lord is too clear an indication of the Lord's will to be lost. He shall find me faithful in the one talent placed in my hands. We are more than ever convinced that the colporteuring of DAWN, with the distribution of TOWERS and tracts on subjects requiring explanation, is our means of largest service.
All with whom I have communicated express the same thought: That this is but another of Satan's efforts to deflect the course of the harvest laborers and a prompting of the flesh, individual heart-searching being necessary in order to be amply defended against the adversary and to prevent his gaining any degree of advantage. Our trust is firm in Him who is able to keep us from falling; and you may be sure that you are daily remembered by us before the throne of grace. We are in this yet more fully reminded of the burden of responsibility that rests upon your shoulders; but we know that, with us, you realize that our sufficiency is of God, that the power of God may be made manifest. With much love in Christ to you, Sister Russell and all the faithful ones of the dear household,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—With great joy I received M. DAWN, VOL. I., in Danish, and the tracts for the introduction of the same. So far as I have examined it, it is a very able and faithful translation. Praise be to the Lord and thanks to you and Bro. Samson, now the glad tidings can be sent to Denmark. You will find enclosed check for $50. Please see business slip. I am working hard to fix my home affairs, so as (if the Lord will) to go to Denmark and do some colporteur work there.
I am very sorry to see from the Extra the trouble and trials you have with false brethren. It is liable to make some stumble, but will make others stronger: for true members of the body of Christ will not be deceived by a strange voice, but will be more closely bound together in watchfulness and prayer. I have much sympathy for you and Sister Russell. I know that your trials are severe, because these are men in whom you have had confidence. So far as character is concerned, I have but a short personal acquaintance with you, but in my best judgment you have an uncommonly well-balanced mind and good business capacity; moreover, the Lord has intrusted to you a knowledge of his Word (a key to his storehouse), that he has granted to no one else; and this is proved by your writings. Now if the Lord, who is acquainted with your heart, has placed so much confidence in you and made you his instrument to bring meat in due season for the household [page 180] of faith, in this day of the Lord, we also should have confidence in you. This conspiracy will only bring you, with Jacob's earnestness, closer to him. Therefore, brother and sister, be strong! Fear not! The deadly arrows are only passing by! The Captain of our salvation will bring you through more than conquerors.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I take this opportunity to assure you of my heartfelt sympathy for you and Sister Russell in the fiery trials you have both passed through in the past few weeks, and which you have been able, by God's grace, to endure.
I rejoice to say, dear brother, that the little company in this city has never doubted your allegiance to the truth; and that the sweet incense of our prayers has reached our Heavenly Father, we feel assured, in that you have acquitted yourself so honorably. The last TOWER was joyfully received, and doubly assures us that the Lord still permits you to serve the meat in due season, the second article in particular being strong meat indeed.
I trust that your prayer, viz.: "May we all walk faithfully and humbly in Christ's footsteps—even unto death," will be true of us. Our meetings continue good. The canvass fair. Some newly interested ones constantly coming in, while others move or grow careless.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—When our little flock gathered together to-day to read and pray and study God's Word, this severe trial of yours was uppermost in all our minds; and we desire to write you a word of condolence and comfort.
We all feel sad that so many having received kindness at your hands should turn about and be so cruel; we are thankful that you have passed successfully such a severe trial; and we more than ever believe the truthfulness of your teachings.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I had a letter from you in the early months of this year, which I have not answered for many reasons, chiefly that I did not know what to write, being torn with conflicting emotions; but now I will hold my peace no longer, for I wish to place myself (in the late unpleasantness) on your side, which I think is also the Lord's side. You have acted a Christian part, and all of the Christian friends should let you know their stand. You remember how Moses said, "Who is on the Lord's side let him come to me." (Ex. 32:26.) I think this is another occasion when the Lord wants every one to show his colors.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—I drop you a few lines to inform you of the receipt of A Conspiracy Exposed, and to assure you of my sympathy and Christian love. I read it through with much interest, some amusement at the flimsy charges, and indignation at the attempt to divide husband and wife; but I experienced no surprise at the depths of infamy exposed. I am too old, and have had too much experience of "spiritual wickedness in high places," to be ever surprised at anything in that line. I remember being in great trouble once at seeing much of my work, through Christ, as I thought, pulled down, until that beautiful line occurred to me.
At once peace and rest came; and now I hope at all times to be able to say, "None of these things move me;" and I feel sure, dear brother and sister, that you are too far [page 181] along in the road to be much disturbed by a few "fiery darts." Thank God for the glorious truth! "Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing shall offend them." Yours in Christian love,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I have just finished reading A Conspiracy Exposed. Surely you have acted the part of a Christian. I cannot here tell you how much I sympathize with you in this persecution. By the grace of God you have helped me into a light more clear than I ever hoped to realize in this life. May God continue giving strength and courage to overcome.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—We, the undersigned, followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, with confidence in his all-sufficient sacrifice for our redemption, would hereby tender our sympathy, also our sentiments, in regard to your recent sharp experience of the power of the adversary in your midst.
It is highly gratifying to us to know of your ability to stand in the evil day—though the powers of darkness cast their shadows even in your very household. True, we should expect nothing less from such as you, with your experience, strength and profession; but we remember that even such may be in danger of discouragement under such rude shocks, and we would at least make known our love and esteem in support of the tired hands.
We would not further strife by unnecessarily taking up a line of criticism of the false brethren; but to such we would say that the throwing of "bombs" is of itself, to say the least, nihilistic, anarchist, devilish—infernal in conception, development and results, unworthy soldiers of the cross. And we offer our prayers that such offenders may have the error of their ways brought home to them in such manner as to lead to their repentance—that they may learn a better way of service than by self-exaltation and the overthrow of brethren more advanced, earnest and active in the service; that they may learn to train their weapons, not upon brethren in the front ranks, the fore-front of the battle, but upon the adversary and the powers of darkness—the strongholds of the enemy opposite.
But is even this work all we have to do? We should say not! For what of the time? We rely on the Scriptures for answer, believing that God is his own best interpreter, and find that an all-important work is to seal the servants of God in their foreheads, that they may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand; and we should be about our Master's business.
But, dear brethren, the sower soweth the word, and, as in the case of these false brethren, it sometimes occurs that the lusts of other things, entering in, choke the word and it becometh unfruitful. But we realize that you and yours are such as hear the word, receive it and bring forth fruit; and for our mutual encouragement it is written, "There is nothing hid that shall not be manifested; neither was anything kept secret, but that it should come abroad;" and coupled with this the fair warning: "Take heed what ye hear. With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you." "For he that hath, to him shall be given; and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath." (Mark 4:22-25.) And, in fact, we find the good old Word full of help, encouragement and blessing for those who press along the line of duty; merciful admonitions for the offending, the erring, the unfaithful. "And this also we wish, even your perfection."—2 Cor. 13:9-13.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I have read A Conspiracy Exposed and hasten to express my sympathy for you in your severe trial. Oh, how I wish I could grasp you by the hand and make you feel that you had one more friend for yourself and the truth.
While I am very much grieved that such able workers for the Lord, as the conspirators have once proved themselves, should turn and pursue the course that they have, and while their loss to the cause and the injury such wolves may do among the sheep is painful to contemplate, I rejoice and am thankful to God that every single charge of [page 182] each individual was satisfactorily refuted and made to be as chaff to the wind. I rejoice that while their every effort in the conspiracy has been to wreck the progress of the work by so humbling you that you would not dare to hold up your head again, you seem to have a more earnest zeal for the cause, if possible, than before. I rejoice, too, that while it was endeavored to have the pestilence reach the faithful office-helpers they seem to have escaped unscathed, as instanced by their splendid letter to you. And I am hopeful that all the faithful will be drawn closer and closer together and be made to feel their own danger more, and to be more watchful and earnest.
As for myself, I know that it has influenced me in that direction. I shall, by the help of God, make more earnest endeavor to spread the truth in every possible way. As to my little donations to the Tract Fund, I do not care to hear by certificate how much it is. I do not remember, nor do I care to know. It is sufficient for me to know that it has been properly applied. Only wish I could do a thousand times more. I would like to speak many words for your encouragement in your hour of sore trial, but I reflect that I could not say anything that would give you such cheer as the words of the Master, and I commend you to them; for they are able to build you up and to cause you to rejoice that you are able to suffer reproach and to have all manner of evil said against you falsely. May the Lord strengthen you, shield you and guide and use you to his further glory.
DEAR SISTER RUSSELL:—My heart urges me to write, to express to you the loving sympathy I have felt for you and Bro. Russell, during this terrible testing-time. At first (being still weak in the faith) I was stunned by the four terrible letters, but gradually light came; and now I can see that this trial was meant to teach our "little flock" to rely on no one but our Father and the Master. Then, when we had learned the lesson, our sorrow was turned into joy by Bro. Russell's complete and truly Christian reply to all the cruel accusations evolved from envious and malicious hearts. The shadow to our joy is in hearing that some of those who call themselves followers of our Lord could be lead into such wickedness. This again is a lesson: "Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall."
It is strange that, though I struggled against it, I had from the first a sense of discomfort in Mr. Roger's company, and thought it something wrong in myself which made me feel his preaching almost intolerably tedious. Now I can see it very differently. The man who could write that supplement must be devoid of love and kindliness in his heart.
I can never feel thankful enough for having been led to read M. DAWN, and finding therein a satisfactory explanation of all my difficulties with regard to revealed religion. It seems to me now that what we all need most is "pure religion and undefiled" in our every day life.
We were very sorry to receive such a venomous circular, and especially from men who had been held so highly by the Church. However, we discovered at once the spirit of envy, strife and jealousy which pervaded the whole circular, and decided that the adversary was at the bottom of it.
The TOWER Extra came; and I am glad to tell you that the spirit in which you wrote is to be highly commended—being essentially Christian. Your answer was not only satisfactory, but it was noble and generous.
We are glad that you remembered that vengeance does not belong to you, and that you did not attempt to take the rod out of God's hands. He (only) knows how much guilt is connected with their sin, and also what penalty to attach. You did what our blessed Lord would have done, and did do, under similar circumstances, "Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again, when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." We are glad that the spirit of retaliation did not find a place in your answer, and that, while it was impossible for you, under such circumstances, to keep from getting angry, [R1665 : page 183] we are glad that you did not allow yourself to sin. Neither did you "give place to the devil" (Eph. 4:26,27), as the conspirators did.
"No man is really dishonored except by his own act. Calumny, injustice, ingratitude—the only harm these can do us is by making us bitter or rancorous or gloomy: by shutting our hearts or souring our affections. We rob them of their power, if they only leave us more sweet and forgiving than before; and this is the only true victory. We win by love. Love transmutes all curses and forces them to rain down in blessings. Out of the jealousy of his brothers Joseph extracted the spirit of forgiveness. Out of Potiphar's weak injustice, and out of the machinations of disappointed passion, he created an opportunity of learning meekness. Our enemies become unconsciously our best friends, when their slanders deepen in us heavenlier graces. Let them do their worst; they only give us the God-like victory of forgiving them."
Terrible as this thing has been, good will come out of it to all who are rightly exercised thereby. It will bring them nearer the Lord; make them more earnest and self-sacrificing in his service; and assist them to escape the "fiery darts of the wicked" in the future.
Mr. Adamson—at one of the meetings—expressed himself as being "very sorry that this affair ever occurred." We sincerely hope that this sorrow is of a godly kind. "For," says Paul, "godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of."—2 Cor. 7:10.
[We fear, however (in view of his words uttered in Sister Russell's presence, "I do not repent. I would do the same thing again to-morrow," and his course of continued misrepresentation), that his is not Godly sorrow, but merely that born of disappointment at the failure of their scheme.—EDITOR.]
He (Mr. Adamson) said, also, that he could not see much love in the act of treating him "as an heathen man and a publican." All we have to say to that remark is this: God (who is love) could not and would not ask us to do an unloving act. We could not love God and at the same time disobey him. "If ye love me, keep my commandments;" "He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me;" "He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings."—John 14:15,21,24.
"Now here can be no mistake. Nothing can be love to God which does not shape itself into obedience." God counts nothing else as love. So we see that we are perfectly safe in following the instructions of our Lord, as found in Matt. 18:15-17; 1 Tim. 6:4,5 and Rom. 16:17, without overstepping the limits of love or justice.
The Church in Chicago (with but one or two exceptions) are on your side and on the side of the truth; and I am sure are more determined than ever to not only know the truth, speak the truth and defend the truth, but also to live the truth.
May the Lord bless you and Sister Russell and all your household and all the body of Christ at this time; and may he give us all the necessary strength to overcome all temptations and trials in the future.
DEAR BROTHER:—After reading the Extra I cannot refrain from sending you some words of encouragement. The charges brought against you have been conceived in ignorance if not malice, especially as relates to the sending of addressed wrappers. This you had a perfect right to do. I am first assistant Postmaster here, and know whereof I speak.
Trusting that you will come out of the affliction like gold that is tried in the fire, and that those that would injure you may come to see the injustice that they have done you and yours and return to the Lord, I remain,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—Words fail me to express to you the state of my feelings while carefully reading through the pamphlet duly received: such a nefarious plot merits righteous indignation. My heart aches for you; but, dear Brother, do not let it vex you; but rather let it be an encouragement; for it should prove to you, as it does to me, the spiritual power and truth of your labors. Wherever one finds Satan most active, be sure it is because there is truth and purity in that which he is aiming to overthrow. Otherwise it would be beneath his notice; for he loves only a lie, and he never fails to make tools of weak-minded men to carry out his purposes. No man of sound mind and of a spiritual nature [page 184] would ever lend his name and influence to such a heinous scheme; and I am quite sure you will continue to hold the love and respect of all right-minded brethren.
In my opinion there is more spiritual power in the reading of any one volume of the M. DAWN, to draw men to the proper study of the Scriptures (and thus, through the grace of God, to accept salvation through the ransom), than hearing one thousand sermons, let them be ever so spiritual and well studied—because what the ear receives the mind often fails to retain; but that which enters the eye is almost always permanently photographed in the chambers of the brain and thus is continually rerising before the mental vision. Such has been my own experience.
P.S. How true is the Scripture word photograph: Man that is born of woman is naturally conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity. He is not righteous. His mind is enmity against God. The imagination of the thoughts of his heart (from his youth upwards) is evil and deceitful above all things. He neither understandeth nor seeketh after God, but out of his heart proceedeth evil thoughts, murders and all kinds of iniquity. He is blinded by Satan. His mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. The poison of asps is under his lips. His lips are like a burning fire. His tongue is a sharp sword, and his teeth are spears and arrows. He stretcheth out his hand against God. He conceiveth mischief, and bringeth forth vanity and falsehood; and if he repenteth not, his foot shall slide in due time; for the days of his calamities are near.—Job 14:1; Rom. 3:10; 8:7; Gen. 6:5; 8:21; Rom. 3:11; Matt. 15:19; 2 Cor. 4:4; Rom. 3:13,14; Prov. 16:27; Psa. 51:4,5; Job 15:25; Psa. 7:14; Deut. 32:35.
DEAR BROTHER:—I received TOWER Extra last night, and also the circular letter and paper from the opposers. I did not for a moment entertain a thought but that you could show their evil designs. To the true Church you are esteemed as a true brother and servant of the Truth as never before.
The work, as I understand it, is to find the "wheat" class, and with the present Truth intellectually seal them and thus separate them from Babylon. In doing this, many DAWNS are sold to others who may not now appreciate them, but who thus assist in bearing the expense of the laborers; and they will be read by and by. I lecture some and quite acceptably, but have no ambition to make that a special work.
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL:—I write briefly, just to express my deep sympathy with you in reference to the severe trial through which you have been passing. We, as a little company of the Church, have been praying for you, and will pray that God will keep you faithful through it all. This trial is especially hard, because it comes through "chosen" ones. Our Lord, agonizing in the garden, looking to the cross, and sweating, as it were, great drops of blood, received so little sympathy from even the disciples that they could sleep; and after all Paul's faithful ministry to the Churches in Asia, he wrote "all they that are in Asia are turned away from me." Please read 2 Tim. 4:10,14. The trouble referred to seems to have existed at the close of Paul's ministry; and yet he writes with bold confidence. (Verses 6,8; Rev. 3:21.) We are engaged in the conflict now, surely; but the prize is yonder!
I read the letters of the four conspirators before TOWER "Extra" came, and was able to read their condemnation between the lines so completely that if you had never written a word in defense I could not have condemned you. The charges as to your being a pope, and other action in the matter, show all the more clearly the necessity for a firm stand on your part. The TOWER is your ministry, and may God bless you and it more and more.
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL:—Yesterday I received the extra number of TOWER, and I can assure you I was both grieved and pained to find that their had been divisions in the body of Christ. Knowing as I do that you were continually sending out so many sound Bible truths, and every word breathed in the spirit of love and humility, I have sometimes thought that your fears as to a falling away were groundless; but, since reading A Conspiracy [page 185] Exposed, I have had to change my mind, and I now see clearly how Satan will assault the strongholds of present truth. But I cannot understand how any brother having a spark of honesty in his heart, or professing to have the love of Christ in his heart, could plot and endeavor for two whole years to injure a fellow worker for the Master. I have seen plenty of that kind of work amongst members of the nominal Church, but I did not expect it among the readers of DAWN and TOWER. Dear brother and sister, I feel deeply for your trouble, and tender you and your household my sincere love and sympathy; and my prayers are and will be that the dear Master will give you needed strength to overcome your enemies. I have no doubt that the injury intended for you will recoil with double force on themselves; and I firmly believe that God in his love will raise up ten friends and co-workers to one that has proved false.
Again thanking you and dear Sister Russell for the joy I have experienced at your hands in being fed with meat in due season, and having perfect confidence in your love and honesty in the Master's service,
BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL:—In the name of the Lord Christ, I greet you. "They departed from the presence of the council rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name." "And they shall walk with me in white, for they are worthy."
I have spent the afternoon carefully reading the "Conspiracy" number of TOWER, which I received this morning; and although I am so little acquainted with you and those of "like faith," and only partially see eye to eye with you, yet I have a heart fellowship far beyond the brain conception of the now due Truth, as you see it. [This brother has been acquainted with DAWNS for only four months.]
I thought it best, at first, to write some words of sympathy to you in what I know must be to you both a great trial; but after considering the matter from the true overcomer's point of view, I have decided that instead of sympathy you should have congratulations. No, I will not weep with you over this, but rather rejoice. Why not? If God has seen fit to open your eyes to the real character of those brethren (?), you certainly ought to praise the Lord, as no doubt Gideon did to see his army diminish. I am very, very sorry for those whom Satan has blinded to become his tools in this matter, and I pray God they may be led to judge themselves, that they may not be judged. Numbers do not count with God; and, my Brother and Sister, I am quite sure that those children of God—followers of Christ—who determine to stand true to the Truth as the Spirit reveals it to them will certainly suffer much and walk very much alone—alone with him. Every honest Christian who is interested in the truth will suffer with you in this trial.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Have received and read A Conspiracy Exposed. I consider it a complete refutation of all the malicious charges brought against you; but I was just as well satisfied concerning your innocence two weeks ago as I am now. Notwithstanding the fact, I was very glad to receive the pamphlet. Surely, "no weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper." We believe that all who love the truth will be unmoved by Satan's "devices." Am still pressing on. There is much to overcome. Pray for me. Am doing what I am able to support and spread the truth.
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—ZION'S WATCH TOWER, Extra was taken from the P.O. at sundown last night, and we did not leave it until we had found that every charge made by Rogers, Zech, et. al., had been entirely refuted, and yourself completely vindicated. For this outcome we feel to praise the Lord with full hearts, and at the same time extend to yourself and Sister R. our earnest sympathy and sincere congratulations.
At first we were dumbfounded almost beyond expression—not that we believed any real offence could be laid to your charge, but that such a conspiracy could rise up against you from such an unforeseen source—from men who had been at the very front of the colporteur work, and (supposedly) your bosom friends. To us who had so recently come into the company of the "little flock," it seemed almost beyond comprehension that such a thing could occur. But we were not moved from the steadfastness of our purpose, or from our love and perfect confidence in you. Too long and too [page 186] often have we seen the venomous fangs of the evil-one striking at the very heart and citadel of the Church of God, not to know something of the fatal blow, that, if possible, would strike you down in the very hour of certain victory.
What the purpose of these men was we may not fully know; but of the purpose and real interest of the arch-fiend of death we certainly cannot be ignorant. He knows that his time is short and that what he does must be done quickly. No instrument is too sacred for him to use, so he may accomplish his foul designs upon the little fold of selected ones. The surprising thing is that those who had been in the very front of the battle should become the shafts in the hands of him who is the chief instigator of all the sin and venom in the world. God pity them! would that they could go out, Peter-like, weeping the bitter tears of repentance and self-abnegation, till God could give them a new heart and a new life. My heart is grieved that such a sin could be found at the door of any who had come into the wonderful truth of God's Word, as made so plain in the Plan of the Ages; and after such protestations of love and loyalty, not to say of consecration. We cannot account for it, my dear brother, except to use your own words and say Satan must be the chief schemer in the whole plot.
Thorns and thistles, sorrow and pain, temptation and trial, are the inevitable results of a life of consecration to such a service as yours and ours. But we have respect to the recompense of reward. God will not leave us comfortless, and his grace will be sufficient. "Thou shalt run and not be weary; thou shalt walk and not be faint, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength." "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee," is the sure promise of the Eternal Lord. "Great peace have they that love thy law, and nothing shall offend them," or become a stumbling block to those who are walking as the redeemed of the Lord—and as the smoke of battle is clearing away, how important that we begin anew to feed the bread of life to the hungering multitudes, and preach, everywhere, the undying love of Jesus to save a dying and helpless race. How rich, how full, how complete is the corresponding-ransom-price! Oh! how we need to hasten, in these, the last hours of our glorious privilege, to gather all the golden sheaves into the garner-house of God. Soon the night will come wherein none can work.
If some are going from us, others are coming into this beautiful light and glorious privilege. Two ladies, formerly Catholics, were at our prayer-meeting last Wednesday evening. Their hearts are full of joy at this new-found truth. Our room was full to-day of anxious students of the Word, some old soldiers of the cross, some young men, but all seemingly in earnest to find the pearl of great price. Bro. Owen gave us a fine lesson on the two Covenants; and while a sorrow was brooding over us, yet a great joy was welling up from our hearts that so few had gone away, and there were so many faithful hearts. We need not ask that God will bless you. He will bless you and the little tender flock who have grown up around you, willing, if need be, to give their lives in your behalf. To yourself, Sister Russell and all the lowly ones, we send our earnest greetings in the Anointed One.
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL:—I have read with mingled feelings of sorrow and joy your noble defense. Glad that you were so able to acquit yourselves of all blame, and sorry that you should be so sorely tried. Surely the devil has come down unto us having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time. I was also much pleased with the review of the history of the TOWER, back to the time of the Herald of the Morning; for I was a reader of it. From the days of Wm. Miller I have been deeply interested in the subjects of which the DAWNS and TOWER treat, with a steadily increasing interest; and I am thoroughly convinced that they teach the truth. I have received much comfort and instruction from them, for I have invariably compared them with the Scriptures and have not found them wanting. I heard Mr. Miller lecture in 1842, and read his book, but could not receive his conclusions, for the reason that our Savior said that the Gospel of the Kingdom should be preached in all the world—to all nations—before the end could come; and I felt sure that was not then done; but he taught much truth. For you I have often prayed, that God would keep you from error. I send enclosed the balance on Good Hopes for this year. May send more before the year is out.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I am glad I wrote to you last Friday, before I received your answer to the circulars sent out by the four former co-workers, because it is evidence that our confidence in you had remained unshaken; but now, after having read your defense, I rejoice to see how plainly and satisfactorily you answer [page 187] your accusers. I am sure that this affair will make all of us here love you the more. How I hope and pray that we may not be sifted through the sieve!
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—The Extra Z.W.T. reached me safely. After a careful reading of the whole book, I would say that I can find no fault in you at all. Dear Brother, we all, I hope, know you too well to believe such false reports. I have been with you in this precious faith while you were with the Herald of the Morning, and ever since the first issue of the TOWER; and I know I could not be convinced now to turn against you, or even to sympathize with those who have turned against you. My prayer is, that the dear Lord may give you strength and courage to overcome all evil, and keep you faithful.
When we first received the "Big 4" circular, I must confess—as one brother expressed it to-day—I was just simply paralyzed. For several days I could scarcely think of anything else; and while we did not forget the fact that there were two sides to the matter, and that we had heard but one side, we could not help thinking that "where there is so much smoke, there must be some fire." But it seems now that the smoke was caused by friction—the result of having a misplaced crank among the otherwise smooth-running machinery.
I am satisfied that the libel sent out will do no harm here, and think I can safely pledge you the confidence, fidelity and unshaken devotion of the whole Church at Indianapolis, without a single exception. Sister Owen desires me to emphasize the fact that she is in full harmony with the spirit of this letter.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—You may think I have forgotten you, because I have not written for so long a time, but this is not so. I have been thinking a great deal about you and Sister Russell in view of the severe trial. When, about four weeks ago, one of those libelous circulars came to my attention, I was greatly shocked, and did not know at first what step to take. I could hardly believe that four of the oldest (and should have been the firmest established) brethren (?) could get up such a slander as that, so I determined to investigate thoroughly both sides of the question, and asked the Lord for strength and light. This is the reason I have not written to you before.
As you know, Mr. Rogers has stopped at Rochester, Buffalo, and about all the places along the Hudson, where there are brethren, and tried to convert them to his idea; but I am glad to announce that he had very little success. I heard him say things I never expected to hear from him. Among other things he said that the Lord never revealed anything to Brother Russell, and he did not think the Lord would ever use him (Brother Russell) again. He said that he would go to New York (which he did), and try to have a meeting there; and that if possible he would get Mr. Zech to come and take part in it. (He sent a telegram to Mr. Zech to that effect.) So I went to New York last Saturday evening, and was gladly surprised not to find Mr. Zech there, but to hear that Sister Russell would be there Sunday. We all had a very blessed day of it. In the evening we gathered at Bro. Mott's house. For the opening we sang "Blest be the tie that binds"—which I have never before heard sung with such a spirit of oneness and love.
I have now heard enough of both sides to convince me fully that all these charges brought up against you are without the slightest foundation; and can see that you have treated these conspirators very gently, notwithstanding the unchristian attitude they have assumed toward you. With much love,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—Words fail me to express fully my deep love and sympathy to you both. I want to assure you of my continued purpose with you in the forwarding of the work over which I believe the Lord has made you overseer. So I want to sustain you by my love and sympathy and co-operation, as well as by my prayers, and to give you every reason to believe that I am your brother.
Happily I received the Extra TOWER to-day. I was so surprised and interested that I could not stop until I had read it through. At night, when I went home, to my surprise I [page 188] found the enclosed postal-card from one of the very conspirators, Elmer Bryan, wanting to get the names of the saints here. I at once understood his purpose.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—I take this opportunity of sending you a few words of encouragement and sympathy. Although I am not known to you by face, I trust we are of the same spirit. When I read your article, "Lest Ye Enter Into Temptation," and then your remarks upon it in next TOWER, I knew something was amiss; but I did not find what it was until I received the Extra Edition of TOWER a few days ago. As you express fears for those just receiving the truth, I think it but just to you to let you know that I for one pay no attention to such reports. I received the truth through reading DAWN, and can testify that like the two disciples that went to Emmaus—"my heart did burn within me" while I was reading; and I have always thanked God that he led me to the work. So while I am but a babe in Christ I know that such trials as you have passed through are common to all the faithful truth-givers. Let us trust that your trials will work for you "a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—Many thanks for the Extra number of ZION'S WATCH TOWER. Have read the same with much interest (though sadly). When we read in the TOWER of this iniquitous plan we guessed correctly some of the unsteady and unbalanced minds that have turned from a good cause to a very bad one. When that quartet of trumpeters prepared to give their blasts, did they expect to see the walls of Zion tumble? It seems they are like men spitting against the wind: it has turned back with terrible force into their own faces.
You will remember a few months ago, I wrote to know what the expense would be for you to come to our place. You replied that you could not come, but that you had sent the letter to J. B. Adamson; and he afterward wrote me stating his demands for himself and wife. Though I have not the letter now, I remember he wrote these words, That I would probably feel disappointed to hear of his offer instead of yours, because "Bro. Russell is not only a superior writer, but one of the greatest preachers on earth." Why he should so change his mind is strange to me. Yet this same thing has been repeated before. "They went out from us, because they were not of us." The body of Christ must be Christlike, or it can never reign over the world. Therefore none with such characters will appear in the Kingdom of God as rulers. May God keep you pure unto his Kingdom!
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—We received the special issue of Z.W.T. yesterday morning, and have perused its contents with deepest interest. I hasten to make known to you and Sr. R. our conclusions, in the way of encouraging you.
As we surmised, you have had no trouble in showing, to all unprejudiced minds, that all accusations brought against you are false. It seems strange that sensible men would even attempt to weave a net out of such flimsy material as has been used in all of the charges that have been set forth by your four assailants, in whom we have hitherto placed such implicit confidence. Then, too, it is strange that those whom you have befriended in so many ways and for so long a time should, at the very time they were engaged in spreading the truth that should separate the wheat from the tares, be engaged in concocting such diabolical schemes against an acknowledged friend in the harvest work, to try to break down his character, and influence, and thus hinder the cause of Christ. And another strange thing connected with this matter is, that they should expect us to believe such unreasonable things.
Now, dear Bro. Russell, Sister H__________and I can testify that after reading both sides, we have suffered and sympathized with both you and Sister Russell in this severe trial. The "bombs" have not, however, accomplished what they were designed to do; nor will they. The truth is mighty and will prevail. God's work cannot be stopped by any power. The Lord will provide a way of escape for all the consecrated, who are faithful, from all their [page 189] trials, if they are rightly exercised by them.
What hurts us most is that those whom we esteemed so highly heretofore have turned upon you that God has used so largely to make plain his great plan of the ages. But as all of their charges are so unreasonable, and you have proven them false, we can no longer consider them worthy of the cause, or of the name of brethren.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I feel like striving to do anything I can for the sake of Christ Jesus; and anything I can do to hold up your hands, in advising and strengthening the younger brethren will make me glad. Never did anything shock me as much as your late trials and not only yours alone, but the whole Church's.
Surely Satan is making great efforts to deceive if possible the very elect. I see that nothing unclean can enter the Kingdom. Paul saw it in his day; for though he preached this gospel to others he realized that he himself might, through unfaithfulness, be a castaway. Who shall be able to stand in this evil day? Oh! that I may be able to stand firm upon the rock, Christ Jesus, that my will, my life, and all that I am, may be fully immersed into his will, is the humble prayer of your brother in the harvest work, J. S. Bott.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Sympathizing with you in the trial and persecution which have been permitted to come upon you, I feel it my duty as a member of the body, to send you a few lines, saying that you have the sympathy, love and hearty, sincere approval of the whole Church at Newburgh; for if one faithful, true member of the body suffer, all like true members sympathize with that one.
An evil spirit causes contentions, envy, strife, and evil suspicion, wrangling of men. They may think that they are brethren in Christ, but are deceived by Satan; for the Scriptures say if they do not restrain their tongue, they delude their own hearts, and their religion is vain. But to the pure all things are pure. The brother who is true to his consecration vows is pure in heart; loves the whole body of Christ; suffers long and is kind; does not envy his brother; is not boastful nor puffed up; does not act unbecomingly; and does not impute evil; but he rejoices in the truth, covers all things, and endures all things for the body's sake, which is the Church. What a wide difference between these two descriptions!
From the position these men held, they hoped to destroy the whole body; but there is a mighty super-human power over God's little ones: they are chosen, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God, through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth." What weapon formed against them can prosper? Will not all things work together for good to them that love God? He is testing and sifting the wheat. Let the good work go on. He knows his own. He has set his seal on them.
I have no doubt but that this will try the Church intensely; but the faithful and true will cling more closely together. Even now I feel a more tender and close knitting together in love towards the true ones of the household of faith, and towards the tried and persecuted. Your brother in Christ,
DEAR BROTHER:—I hereby tender you my hearty sympathy. Your exposition was the first intimation I had of the painful subject. I believe you are an earnest worker for the truth, for how could God reveal to a very sinful person (as they are trying to make you out to be) his plans? He surely would employ cleaner hearts and hands.
Before I reached that part of the Extra where you exhort all to a deeper interest in the truth, I had resolved to do more for the truth than I have been doing. While I believe that the truth will be spread without my assistance, I feel as though I ought to do part of it. I enclose a check. Please send DAWNS, Tracts, etc.
DEAR BROTHER:—I received your pamphlet to-day. After reading it, I was not a little disgusted at the conduct of the parties that compose the unhallowed confederation. There is no telling what ambition will do. I have been a constant reader of M.D. and Z.W.T. for nearly eight years, being strongly imbued with the faith. Yet only twice was I permitted to meet with the Church at Allegheny. In those several meetings, lasting impressions were made on my mind. Some of these impressions I kept to myself. Being a reader of character, and known as such among many people, it was natural for me, without special effort, to note the peculiarities of many; and I mused on the out-come in the testing time.
In my own estimation, I always feel the least among God's humble servants—otherwise I [page 190] would have troubled you more with scribblings; but I thank God for humility. How the conspirators can claim consecration to the truth, I am at a loss to know—especially when we consider the charges are preferred on pecuniary matters, self-interest, &c., at the sacrifice of the truth, and obedience to the same. [See 1 Sam. 9:21; 15:17-23.—EDITOR.]
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—Enclosed find my "Good Hopes" for first quarter. I am sorry to have been so late in sending it to you; and in view of the "bomb," I am more sorry that I am unable to remit an equivalent in money of the confidence I have in you both. I wish to say that I have heartily approved of all that has appeared in WATCH TOWER since I have been a subscriber, and especially "The Responsibility of Liberty" and "The Work in England."
Brother Russell's answers to the charges of the conspirators are satisfactory, and I am sorry that I cannot find words to express to you my exact feelings. I am glad, however, that you do not require words of sympathy from me; for I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.—Rom. 8:18.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I am glad, so glad, that your character has been vindicated. To say that I have been anxious would be putting it very mildly; and now I hope we will have sunshine for a while. I could not more than half work for the last two weeks.
I drop you this line hastily to say that you have my deepest sympathy, as well as my constant prayer. It all looks to me so plain that it is only the necessary "sifting," and that you will come out of it triumphant. God sees, understands, leads and loves.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Your exposition of the "conspiracy" came duly to hand. I am not surprised at the course of those men. We are now in the days of sifting and all that are not right at heart will fall. I hope you are not troubled about it. Your works speak for themselves. No man can do the work you are doing, unless God be with him.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—"Extra" just received, and read with keenness and interest, urged on by a desire to see this trouble cleared up; and, praise the Lord, it is done. Well, dear Brother, you have come through without a scratch, and how thankful I am is beyond my power to express. You can hardly realize how these two weeks have been weeks of suspense and fears lest you would fail to vindicate yourself. I wondered what would become of the cause I so dearly love and what would become of all our efforts. I had faith in all these four men, since they all had been in the work longer than I; and you also seemed to give them so much credence and honor. I naturally supposed they were telling the truth in this case; yet I had my doubts in this, and hoped and prayed you would vindicate yourself. And so you have. I can now go forth feeling stronger for the trial and more determined to spread the truth against all opposition.
I hope your explanation will be received by the brethren in general, but of course some will fall. The Lord's will be done; but let us go on fully trusting in his strength and power to carry his work to the finish.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—I have just received and read A Conspiracy Exposed, and feel much grieved at the trouble you have [page 191] been called upon to pass through, and also to find that those we esteemed faithful brethren "walk no more with us."
I am sure you feel anxious to know the effect these things will have on each one of the "household of faith." The first intimation of the trouble I received from the TOWER; and with all the evidence before me, as laid down in the Extra, it is not difficult to judge who is on the wrong side. I rejoice with you that most of the dear brethren and sisters there in Allegheny stand firm, and it did me good to read the noble letters of others who are scattered in other parts.
As to the present method of circulating the truth, I can say that I am more thankful every day that while engaged in the harvest work, we are enabled to "eat our own bread in quietness" and also to have something to give to those in need. I trust that the dear Lord will not permit any who remain faithful to become discouraged or unsettled in purpose.
At the Church at my house yesterday, I learned that, as stated in my last letter, none of the brethren except myself and Brother Williams had received the libelous and slanderous circular sent out by Zech, Bryan, et al. To read this miserable stuff made me very sad, and I refused to believe that the charges preferred against you were true. I felt confident that you had been shamefully and outrageously misrepresented.
Your reply has more than satisfied us. It is indeed a full and complete vindication of your character, and one which will redound to the glory and honor of God, and to the shame and dishonor of those who sought to "murder your character."
The May TOWER came to hand, and was read with much interest. It is a good number. In fact, all the issues of the TOWER are good. In excluding the articles of vain-glorious and ambitious men, who are eager to have their names appear in print, you have followed a wise and just course, and one that the brethren here fully approve.
Your suggestions under the title, "Fervent in spirit, serving the Lord," are timely, and I trust many will avail themselves of the privilege of engaging in this work. It has been a great blessing to both Brother Williams and myself to be engaged in it, and we feel much encouraged to know that some good is being accomplished. Mr. Pippen reports the sale of a dozen copies of M. DAWN since we commenced distributing tracts on Sundays, and of course we have no means of knowing how many have been or may be ordered direct from Allegheny.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—It is with mingled feelings of joy and sorrow that I write you: joy to know that you have so grandly cleared your character against the late conspiracy (we thank God that he has brought forth your righteousness as the light): sorrow to hear of any falling away from the truth.
And while you have had such a terrible struggle with the enemy, we here have not been left alone. Brother Turnbull, who, it appears, so largely influenced Mr. Rogers, is still here, and with some of his friends has been attending our meetings. In a very subtle way, and at every opportunity for conversation with our little company, they have been trying to prove that death to the consecrated is a thing of the past; that now they are actually passed out of death into life; and that if they are faithful they will be changed from glory to glory until like Christ. It is a smattering of evolution with other truths and errors. This is brought in subtly to win the flock; and at present I cannot say how many it will injure.
I have felt it necessary to show plainly to the brethren here, that if such were the facts the consecrated are no longer consecrated unto death, but to the gaining of life; and that this would be turning our backs upon the covenant we made,—symbolized by baptism—planted in the likeness of Christ's death, in hope that we might bye and bye reign with him. When Mr. Rogers left us, he desired that this Brother Turnbull should lead our meeting.
[This was a very unwise arrangement; for whatever natural qualifications for leadership Bro. T. may have, as a "babe" of only two weeks' acquaintance with the Truth he was certainly not well qualified to act as leader of a class whose members have been DAWN and TOWER readers for years.—EDITOR.]
With this error already in our camp, the letter of the four conspirators came like a heavy cloud upon some here, although I could not believe the charges. We have been passing through a searching time, such as I never before experienced; and, like all trials, it has caused me to look to my Father for the wisdom and guidance necessary. We have learned something of what it is to suffer with Christ.
We feel indeed that we have past another "mile post," thereby gathering fresh courage to continue in the way, giving thanks with joy that we are not cut off as unfruitful branches. Though many prove unfaithful, yet shortly the beautiful Church will be complete, "without spot or wrinkle or any such thing."
I have met all of the interested ones here since, and find that none are stumbled; and I think I can say the same for all in Manitoba. I have heard from some by letter, whom, though separated from others of like faith, the Lord has preserved and strengthened in their time of need.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—After an absence of six weeks I am home again. In my bunch of mail I found several surprises, one of which, Elmer Bryan's letter, I will mail to you. As you see, I could not answer it in time to suit his purpose, though I could only have repeated Mr. Dubbs' business name for him, "skunk." My next surprise was that I did not find several numbers of the WATCH TOWER that I expected to be waiting for me. Could you have taken me for one of the conspirators (heaven forbid) and stopped it? I hope not. Next I found the Extra, which I have carefully read; and I am glad to see how nobly you have defended yourself.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I have carefully read your expose and defence, and must say I esteem you more highly, if possible, than before. In reading the manifesto of the four, it is plainly to be seen from the spirit pervading it that their object was to destroy and not to build up. On the other hand, your expose of the conspiracy is written in a different spirit and seems calculated to defend the truth and to shield the weak ones from danger of stumbling, and shows a spirit or desire to suffer personally rather than give offence; yet for the truth's sake, and for the sake of the flock that is looking to you for guidance, you have nobly given a personal account of even some of your private matters for the benefit of the brethren. Surely none of the meek ones will stumble over the very paltry charges of the dissatisfied ones, which have been so signally exploded!
Dear Brother, this only shows what manner of persons we ought to be. The adversary would not attack one of the feeble ones in such a manner, but the leaders must be on the alert for him at every turn. Had you been careless at any point, so that you could not have fully met every dart, then Satan would have scored a victory, and your usefulness would have been impaired. Clean hands and a clear conscience are a noble defense, and rout the enemy every time. Our God will not defend the unrighteous, but the humble and obedient servant he will sustain. May this attack of the adversary bring us all nearer together and nearer the Master, and eventually redound to the glory of God. May the erring ones see the folly of their course, return to the narrow path, humbly confess to God their weakness and fall, and seek to be re-instated in the household of faith.
It means something to be a leader in divine things. It is not all praise and joyfulness, but often comes the test when the leader must throw himself in front of the flock and meet the enemy single-handed and alone; but if he go out like David of old, trusting in the living God, he will kill the Goliath and save the flock; but if there be any Babylonish garment or wedge of gold in his defense, he will be discomfited before his enemies. A leadership is a deserving prize, but it should rather be thrust upon one than sought after; for it carries with it a great responsibility, and only if faithfully performed does it reap a rich reward.
May you live near to the Master, may you and yours prosper in the service of the Lord, and may the cause of our God be greatly advanced. May we all strive to come to the unity of the Spirit and the bond of perfectness, and may God use us all in some way to his glory and our eternal welfare.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I do not believe those false brethren will be able to do you any real harm, nor the cause either; and the latter is about all you are really much concerned about. I would pay as little attention to them as possible, and go on with the work of feeding the flock to which, I doubt not, you are divinely called.
I see some good results from this trouble. Heady, envious, ambitious colleagues are no elements of strength; and the Lord's servants can better do his work without such. How any one can think of self in this most glorious work passes my comprehension. I am so glad to be allowed to serve in any capacity.
We have some excellent and important articles from your pen, as "The Relative Claims of Love and Justice," "The Twelve Apostles," "Man and Woman in God's Order," etc., which we might not have received had not your mind been so stirred up. And, now, "Harvest Siftings" is of great value to me. I believe it would be well to send that Extra to every one of your readers. I have often wished to know how you came to write DAWN, etc.,—especially how you came by your interpretation of Tabernacle Shadows; and now I am satisfied. I am so glad you do not deal in trances, visions and the like.
"Harvest Siftings" calls our attention to the importance of holding to the ransom, as scarcely anything else could, and gives most impressive warning to each to take heed lest he fall. This is an opportunity for your friends to testify their affection and sympathy. I believe you will be surprised to learn how many warm, steadfast friends you have. I presume there are hundreds who, like myself, never saw you, but who love and esteem you highly for your works' sake.
The present editorial management of the TOWER suits me exactly. I am very glad you do not permit it to be filled with miscellaneous essays. Expositions of Bible truth, especially present truth as relates to present duties and privileges, are food to my soul, and helpful, as no essays on general subjects or mere exhortations could be. Do not take valuable time answering this letter. We are hungry for DAWN, VOL. IV., and the regular issues of the TOWER.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Until I saw the TOWER extra I was unaware that a plan had been concocted to injure you and the cause of truth. I had not dreamed that such a trouble was brewing in the camp; and while I know that such a thing is possible, I did not expect it from that source. My heart was indeed sorrowful when I read the first few pages, because I feared it was something that would break us asunder, and thus destroy the source whence came to me so much joy and peace in the Lord Jesus, through the past eleven years of my life. I feared that the TOWER would cease to visit me. No paper on earth do I prize more highly; for it has done more for me than any other paper could do. Its utterances are so nearly like those of the Master that I have noticed the re-readings seemed as fresh as the first. I have for years anticipated its arrival as I would that of a friend; for verily I regard it as a message from him who sticks closer than a brother. It has wielded a most wonderful influence upon my life. I remember vividly how, when I was drifting into sin, though under the nurture of orthodoxy, I was lifted and borne away by its sweet influence and encouraged to live a better life. And yet all the while I never once believed the editor popish or infallible or dishonest in any particular. Neither do I believe it now.
I am glad to see the staunch and Christlike stand you take in defending yourself and the truth. Long may you and Sister R. live to lead and encourage us, that we may be kept in the path for the crown!
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—The special issue of the TOWER and your welcome letter duly received. Thanks for both. The TOWER confirmed us in our judgment of the trouble and its cause, not only by the spirit manifested, but also by your statements relative to the charges and also the judgment of the brethren.
The effect on our little Church here has been very good, as it has resulted in a self-examination and a drawing closer to Jesus and the glorious saints and to the "remaining members" such as we never before experienced. Our subject this morning was "The Oneness of the Body;" and it was a blessed subject, with all of Paul's wonderful epistles from which to draw.
I am sure we all feel a more earnest desire to be found doing our own individual work, as the Spirit is divided to us. The contrasts of Phil. 2:5-11 and Isa. 14:12-20 are so strong and so obvious that the most humble follower cannot mistake the difference between Christ and Satan, and the spirits of each. The more we see of the spirit of those who went out, the less it seems like that of Christ, and the more like that of Satan.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—The extra edition received: "How are the mighty fallen!" I am inclined to be more diligent in the service. No one knows what turn they will take now. May we be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. We have the promise that his grace will be sufficient for us. L. M. DeLaMater.
We believe that good will come out of it, though we regret that you should have suffered, as must have been the case, to be thus treacherously assaulted by those that had been brought by your kindness and indulgence, and even expenditure of money, to such a position as to make it possible.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I wish to write just a few lines to you in regard to the charges lately brought against you (a circular was sent me) and your answer to them. I am glad to say that, instead of injuring your character, they have made it shine brighter than ever. It seems to me that we all have great reason to be thankful to our Heavenly Father for his loving protection in time of such trials. May the Lord sanctify it all to our good. The Lord will not suffer one of his faithful ones to be moved. Though the storms rage and beat all around us, we feel secure, because the foundation is sure and steadfast.
May the Lord continue to be your comforter and use you yet more and more as a faithful worker in Zion. I assure you that you still have the love and confidence of myself and wife. Your friend and brother in Christ,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—A Conspiracy Exposed to hand. After a careful review of its contents, we cannot find words to express the deep sense of our sympathy for you and Sister R. Permit us to express our sincere approval of the resolutions which were unanimously adopted by the Church of Christ in Allegheny. Be encouraged and comforted by Paul's admonition to Timothy. (2 Tim. 4:1,2,5,18.) The Lord knows his own, and we are confident that sincere prayer and supplication will be made to the God of all grace for you and all the faithful co-workers, by those who hear the Master's voice.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—We, the undersigned readers and believers in the doctrines of Jesus Christ as promulgated by you through the M. DAWN, and all other matter from your pen, sympathize with you in your present trouble, and will do all in our power [page 195] to counteract any and all issues taken against you, knowing that by so doing we are upholding the cause of Christ. Hoping that you may come through as did our Head and Master, we remain, Your brethren in Christ, E. L. Booth, H. F. Russell, E. Wallace.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—I have been waiting anxiously for the first of May number of the TOWER, in which I looked for an explanation of the troubles alluded to in former numbers. In my painful suspense I feared that some great calamity was impending over the little flock, that might scatter them as sheep without a shepherd. Imagine, therefore, my joy, when the Extra came, explaining the many frivolous charges that had almost frightened us into trembling. I had expected that the great enemy of truth would ere long give us a master-piece of his ingenuity in opposing the Prince and his Kingdom. With his more than four thousand years of experience in fighting against the truth, we had reason to expect something more fearful than a war of words. When the great battle of the Lord Almighty is impending over the world, this little skirmish with spys only warns us to put on the whole armor our commander has furnished us, and listen for his commands and watch for his signals.
I often think of an expression I heard long ago. If God is with us and we are only one, we are a majority of the universe; and Jesus has said, Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst.
I will stop far, very far, short of what I would like to say of my own experience, suggested by your experience, as given in the Extra, in the beginning and gradual development of present truth. That itself is worth more to us than all the cost and trouble to you to bring it out; but I forbear. I pray the Lord to "preserve your souls from death, your eyes from tears and your feet from falling." Yours affectionately in Him whom we love and serve, S. G. Kerr, Sr.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—As brethren and sisters in Christ, our hearts have been touched with sympathy toward you, in the trying ordeal through which you have passed during the past few weeks. None other evil is greater than that of fellowshiping false brethren. God has blessed and sustained you, and has greatly blessed us individually, through your works. As a token of respect, and confidence to you, we attest our names, and enclose a small amount taken as a collection on May 13th, at our regular meeting, to be devoted by you in furtherance of the cause of Christ and his truth. Yours in Christian fellowship,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—We write, expressing our deep sympathy for you in the severe trial through which you have been, and are passing. In the words of the poet, "Our prayers and tears are all with thee." We are so glad to know, however, that through it all the Lord has been with you, cheering and comforting, blessing and supporting; and our most earnest prayer is that he may continue to do so. Truly, you need much of the grace of God to enable you to manifest the Christ-spirit in dealing with those who seem to be to such an extent under the influence of the spirit of Satan.
You will be glad to know that so far from this having a detrimental effect upon the interested ones here, it appears to have been used in the opposite way; and several testify that the little book, sad and grievous as it is, has been a real blessing to them.
And now, feeling assured that you can say with the Apostle (Acts 20:24), "None of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus to testify the gospel of the grace of God," we remain,
DEAR BROTHER:—Although I am a stranger to you personally, yet I have been a subscriber to the WATCH TOWER over two years; and now, after reading the April Extra, I am constrained to write this line to wish you a loving God-speed.
I would also like to let you know the peace of mind I am enjoying, amid the troublous [page 196] times, based on a faith in God and in his Son Jesus, our Savior, and which has been so greatly increased and fortified through the knowledge of present truths as set forth by you in the M. DAWN series and W. TOWER. Please allow me to express my grateful thanks to you as the honored instrument in the hands of our Master for the good and deep things from his Word therein made plain.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—We, the undersigned, as members of the Church of Christ, of which the Lord Jesus is the Head, desire to communicate to you our heart-felt love and sympathy for you in the work of the Master, who has evidently chosen you as an honored servant to feed the dear sheep and lambs of his fold. Rather than hinder the work, our desire is to hold up your hands, by prayer and supplication for you at the throne of grace. We also further wish to assure you of our continued confidence in you and interest in the cause, which has become so dear, both to your and our hearts.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Your Extra was the first intimation I had of the trouble or trial to which you have been subjected; but if I had heard the other side first, it would not have changed my judgment of your work nor of you; and I cannot understand how any one, in the face of the evidence of your life and work, could bring forth such charges. Speaking from my own experience, I have received many times my money's worth, from both a worldly and a spiritual standpoint. Your DAWNS were first read about half a year ago; and the whole aspect of life has been changed to a broader, fuller realization of the destiny of man. I could write pages, and then not express one tittle of what I feel since I know that God is so much better than we gave him credit for. I am spreading the glad tidings as I find opportunity.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER:—We have received the little book, entitled A Conspiracy Exposed, and to say it was a complete surprise to us would be putting it very mildly indeed. I know that this has been a trying test to you and the Church at Allegheny, as well as some others who are scattered abroad; and we are glad that the Lord did not permit the "bomb" explosion to do its intended work. Our sympathies are with you, first and last; and we trust none of God's children have been turned aside by this latest freak of Satan's ingenuity. Of course, we are troubled and sad after reading of Satan's cunning and boldness in laying so deep a scheme for the overthrow of the little flock, and we are forcibly reminded that "if it were possible" even the elect would be deceived.
Pray for us, dear brother and sister, that we may not fall, and that the way may soon be opened for us to resume our place on the roll of colporteurs, that we may enter more fully into the harvest labors of the Lord. We remember you all in our devotions to the Lord. He will stand by his little ones to the end.
BELOVED BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—I was not surprised to hear of the crisis that you had and have from false brethren; for it is written that we will have them; and all these trials are for our good, that we may become more like our Savior and Master. I sympathize with you and wife, and my prayers have been that sustaining grace might be given and victory be yours over these carnal and selfish brethren who fight against the innocent. They will not prosper in their devilish deed, but they will be pointed before the others as Judas that betrayed Jesus is pointed out to this very day. "Fear not," my brother and sister. Go ahead! Satan will not overcome you, no matter how many will rise against you. God knows, and he is on your side, to protect you, to give victory and to strengthen your faith.
I have passed through a similar experience. Without any evil cause I was imprisoned in Turkey and sentenced to be banished to Asia for life in prison. Five hours after the sentence God, the Almighty, delivered me; and three years afterward, in the same place, I freely proclaimed the Gospel. False brethren they were that led to my imprisonment, and they have never had peace since.
God has given us wonderful promises, and they are fulfilling in our daily life, bringing joy [page 197] and peace and hope. "Be not afraid of their faces, for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord." "And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee."—Jer. 1:8,17-19.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Your exposition of the late conspiracy was duly received. Your straight-forward, honest statement of the facts is enough to convince any unbiased mind of its truthfulness, and, with the added testimony of the other dear friends, is a complete refutation of all the charges against you.
By some of us it was not needed. From the moment I read the infamous circular, not a shadow of doubt crossed my mind but that you could clear yourself from every charge; and the only effect it has had on me is to draw me closer to Christ and into deeper sympathy with yourself and Sister R. and all the dear friends that are trying to follow in the Master's footsteps.
I have comforted myself many times in the last two weeks with a remark that Mr. Adamson made while here three years ago. My mother, who was then living, inquired anxiously about your health, fearing that you were wearing your self out too fast, and saying that we could not spare you. He said, "Oh, mother Rany, don't worry. The Lord will take care of Bro. Russell."
I received a scoffing message to-day from a Presbyterian, asking if I had received one of the circulars. I answered, yes; and in it recognized the same spirit that prompted others—of like sort—to call Christ a wine bibber, a drunkard and a friend of publicans and sinners.
DEAR MR. RUSSELL:—I received yesterday a little book, entitled A Conspiracy Exposed and Harvest Siftings, which I have carefully read. I write to say that aside from the vindication, which you have thoroughly established, of the charges which the malicious agents of Satan have endeavored to bring against you, it contains something that will greatly interest and benefit distant readers by giving them some acquaintance with one whom God has chosen to reveal his beautiful plan, heretofore comparatively unknown, to those who are willing to "see" and "hear."
I have read the three volumes of M. DAWN, and have been greatly benefited by the perusal. Always interested in theological subjects, in the course of my examinations, I stumbled across some skeptical works, which made me doubt even the existence of God. Your book has entirely removed the rank weed of infidelity, which had taken root in me, and I take this opportunity to thank you sincerely for it, and heartily to extend my sympathy to you in the trial which has lately been brought upon you by those four unworthy servants. I think it will redound to your credit and to their shame. Yours sincerely, L. L. Hains.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—We have received the Extra and have read the most of it. We desire to express to you our sincere sympathy in the difficulties you have to contend with, and to say that our confidence in you is not in the least shaken. You certainly have given us too much food when hungry and too much drink when thirsty to be what the conspirators would make us to believe you to be. Your case is not without parallel. History, both sacred and secular, gives many such instances. Can only say what you already know, to trust in the dear Lord, who is able to bring peace out of confusion, light from darkness and joy from sorrow.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Have just finished reading A Conspiracy Exposed, your defense against the villainous charges brought by those who should be bearing up the "feet" of the Master, instead of endeavoring to stumble them.
Mr. Rogers came to see me (before I received the Extra), and wanted me to subscribe for their new paper; but I declined, telling him I would take no part with them until I had better evidence of your having gone astray. So he gave me the circular, saying that would show me how you were no longer fit to lead God's people, and that they had mentioned only a few of the many things of which you were guilty. I expected to find something awful in them, and so I did—but to their shame, for I soon saw the signs of the cloven hoof.
He said he hoped I would be guided to follow the true spirit, to see and follow the truth (so may the good Lord grant). When I had read the circular, I pitied them all, for it did not take much study to see that the Arch-enemy had a hand in the whole thing. From [page 198] the time I talked with Mr. Rogers until I found time to read his circular, I prayed God to guide me, that I might see who was in error, and that I might follow the right; but when I had read it, I found that the spirit of Christ was not there.
He tried to get me to have nothing more to do with you, as you had become corrupt, and that all who continued to follow you would be led astray. I told him that if it were so, I thanked the Lord that he had shown me as much of the truth as he has, and that I thought I would stand alone for a while, until I found which way the spirit of Christ was leading; but, praise God, I did not have to wait long to see.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Although the circular had perhaps but little effect after the first shock, still I have had many trials in other ways. Dear brother, I would ask you to remember me in prayer, that my faith fail not, that I may prove faithful. I am able to realize more and more each day the subtlety of the great enemy of us all.
Have not heard of any in Ontario who have been shaken out in the recent severe trial. As one brother says, "Satan appears to have overreached himself in his desperate efforts to do away with God's successful method of spreading the truth."
Surely it becomes us to watch and pray in such perilous times. Oh, how I do long for the end, when this terrible day will be over and the Kingdom fully set up, when the blessings will begin to flow through the appointed channel, "the seed." May we prove worthy to a position in that body. Much love to you all.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—Yesterday Bro. Hays brought your defense to me to read, and added that the charges were the weakest he ever heard brought against any one. It is very painful to us to hear that we were so much deceived in men as we have been in these conspirators. The earth is open for them, and it is sure to swallow them. It must needs be that offences come; but woe to them by whom they come.
We take this opportunity to attest our loyalty to the Master and our confidence in the instruments which brought us from darkness into the marvelous light we now enjoy. The interest you manifest toward the sheep has increased our confidence.
DEAR BROTHER:—I have not seen the charges made against you, but have read your reply. No testimony could shake my confidence in your sincerity and honesty of purpose. I do not know you personally, but your writings uniformly breathe the spirit of the Savior. The charges will be harmless with the few brethren here.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—We wish to say that the conspiracy has not in the least shaken our confidence in you as instruments in the hands of God to give out the truth as now due, and in which we now greatly rejoice. The explosion of the "bomb" reminds us of the recent incident in the east, where the man who threw a bomb which exploded hurt no one but himself.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I have received the Extra. I see in it nothing more or less then another evidence among thousands of the signs of the times that we are really and truly in the glorious time of the harvest. The good Master knows how earnestly I pray that his Kingdom may come.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—We have just read A Conspiracy Exposed. Truly sorry that such has been the state of affairs with you. Language fails us in the expression of our sympathy for you and the household of faith.
We desire to be numbered with those who will sustain your hands above your enemies until the battle is over. May God prosper you and the work until his voice shall be heard, "Come up higher," is the prayer of your humble servants, H. Hoskins and Wife.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I have been reading the Extra TOWER, and am truly grieved that any brother who had so enjoyed the favor of our Father as to have the future unfolded to him as it has been to me by DAWN, could fall into such ways as these unfortunate brethren appear to have done. But, dear brother, must you not expect these things, and does not God permit them for the good of all who are humbly in the race for the high calling—the crown of immortality? May our loving Father keep me humble, so that in his own due time he may exalt me. "He that exalteth himself shall be abased."
I cannot refrain, dear brother, from giving a short account of how I came into the truth. In the spring of 1888 a lady gave me a copy of DAWN, VOL. I. I was a deacon in a Presbyterian church, and thoroughly believed in its doctrines; but oh! the blessing that the Father sent me when he sent me that book. I afterwards read VOL. II.; and that merely confirmed and enlarged the truth I had already imbibed. Then, last winter, God sent Bro. Hettenbaugh with VOL. III.; and now I impatiently await the fourth volume, confident that the truth will be imparted in still larger quantity—"meat in due season."
For yourself, I know that our Father will sustain you in everything that may be brought against you by the evil one; and do not forget that many earthly brethren are with you in spirit in all these struggles.
No doubt this fiery ordeal through which you are passing will deepen your sympathy for Christ and the apostles. The time may come when you, too, will have to be let down in a "basket," to escape injury of your person.
Your defense in the Extra is nobly and well timed. Dear brother, let us all take courage and lift up our minds and hearts. Hope will spring up anew, as we unite in singing the song of the new heavens and new earth. For this glorious time the whole creation is now groaning and travailing in pain. This doctrine of "the restitution of all things," will, when Christ shall subdue all things, and when God will gather together in one, all things in Christ, expose all error and settle all difficulties and right all wrongs. When this manifestation of the saints of God takes place, the earth will be filled with a knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. His glory will be revealed, and all will see it together.
DEAR FRIENDS:—The charges made are the merest babbling and will, as we believe, strengthen those who are of the household of faith and who have been so wonderfully blessed by your researches and interpretations of the Scriptures. Be not dismayed. If you are not injured at home, where you are known, do not apprehend that you will be injured, by such foolish charges, with people who, while they do not know you personally, love you none the less. We are only surprised that you have been let alone in your work so long as you have, and will not be surprised, if, when this attack fails, as it surely will, we hear of another from some other direction. But you must stand firm, believing what the Savior said, "Lo, I am with you alway;" and so are the hundreds of friends who have read and listened to your incomparable interpretations of the Scriptures.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Myself and wife have received and read TOWER Extra. While we knew, by certain previous references, that something serious had occurred, we did not think that a thing so infamous was possible. We wish to express our sympathy and love for you both in this thing, but we cannot do so, for the feelings of our hearts are inexpressible; but our earnest prayer to the Father is that you may ever be just as free and blameless from wrong and as Christ-like in your every dealing with a thankless world as you have been in this one. Many thoughts present themselves for utterance concerning this affair, but we are confident we could express nothing new nor touch a responding chord in your hearts which has not been reached often before. Therefore, the whole substance of our letter is, We love you; for from the borderland of infidelity your help called us back to truths so grand and love so great toward God and men that we can see no greater obligation to love and respect and sustain as we can than this we owe to you.
—It is with joy that I try to express to you my continued love and confidence. You have passed through a severe trial; but, thank God, you are the victor. Blessed are you when men shall revile you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for Christ's sake. If they have persecuted the Master of the household they will also persecute those that are his. But the persecution coming from those whom you thought brethren, makes it doubly hard to bear. I have carefully read A Conspiracy Exposed, and think you have answered all their charges in a way that would satisfy any unbiased mind. I cannot express how glad I was to know that Mrs. C.B. Lemuels was Mrs. Russell. I never thought of that; and now I want her to know the joy and peace that have filled my heart. Oh! how many times I have wanted to write to her and tell her of my gratitude. There could be no harm done, loaning books in that name, if it had brought joy to no one but me.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I received your book in reply to the four conspirators, and return thanks to you for the same. It indeed meets the case fairly, squarely and honestly, and is in marked contrast to the spirit and evident purposes of the circular sent out by them. I was not pleased with the spirit of their circular, when I received it; and while I had known nothing previously regarding the charges (?) contained therein, I felt that there was certainly a mistake or a conspiracy somewhere, and consequently did not lose my confidence in you and Sister Russell, believing that out of the matter the Lord would bring the true light on the subject. And now that the whole purpose of the conspiracy is laid bare, it ought to cause them (were they true and earnest disciples of the meek and lowly Jesus) to hang their heads in shame and sorrow; but alas! this is not to be expected when Satan seems to have so completely puffed them up. May the dear Lord keep us, who are striving to be [R1666 : page 200] his, very humble and meet for his best uses.
I was surprised this A.M. to have Mr. Rogers call at my brother's house. He had only a few minutes to spend with me; but that was sufficient. He had in a few brief words (but to the point) my opinion of his recent misdoings. The topic of most of the few minutes' conversation was at first a surprise to me, but after further thought, I concluded it was only what might be expected. He said that Bro.—or, rather, as he put it, Mr.—Russell had been too dogmatic in insisting on a particular phase of the Ransom and dis-fellowshiping those who saw other important features of it, and said that this dogmatism had caused those who were at first associated with you to separate from you, or you from them, and had caused many to stumble and fall; and he gave it as his opinion that they were nearer right than you. (Verily, they "love darkness rather than light.")
My earnest sympathies and prayers are with you and Sister Russell, and I am confident that out of it all final good will come. This is truly the time when all are being "weighed in the balances;" and they who are found wanting will be dropped out by the hand of the Master who holds the scales.
P.S. I should like to ask a question regarding Mr. Rogers; but as you may consider it a matter of private business, you may perhaps not feel like answering. He has intimated to one or two that I know of, that aside from his traveling expenses, board, clothing, etc., about all of his income was donated to the Tract Society. I should like to know if that is so; for, if not, I feel that this, another of his deceptions, should be known. Personally, I take "no stock" in the statement; but in the absence of information I cannot pass upon it.
LATER. Am rejoiced to learn that the recent arrows of the Adversary have accomplished but little harm to the saints, and are apt to return upon his own head to his own discomfiture and hurt. Thus God overrules apparent evil to work out good to his own trusting ones. And, as you say, I also hope it may have the effect of drawing our hearts closer to our dear Lord and to each other.
It seems to me that if they had observed the Christian rule in regard to their various seeming offences, all would have resolved into thin air, as very often is the case with even worse charges. You have taken more pains than I would have done to refute the same, as many of them are as idle tales of gossip and unworthy of attention. Life is too short to grieve or worry over the frequent slanders of the envious. Joseph was sold by his brethren, Christ deserted for a time by his apostles, and suffered much therefrom; but have not we a sure refuge in One who will not leave us desolate? I am very glad, however, to get this book, as it gives me a knowledge of the Tract Society, your work, and much other valuable and interesting information, put into concise form for future reference, and for explanation to others of the work in which you are engaged.
You and Sister Russell have my heartfelt sympathy in your constant and great work and labor of love; and may you ever have the abiding comfort of the dear, loving Master. With the fullest confidence that you are led by him and following in his footsteps.
DEAR BROTHER:—Sorry you should have been called to spend so much valuable time in defending yourself from the misrepresentations of others; but I see that it was absolutely necessary. You have defended yourself nobly, with true Christian spirit, which gives me greater confidence in you than ever. I received your TOWER Extra on the 17th. I also received the letters published by your adversaries. I am sorry that I was called to spend so much time to go through them. I first read these letters, then your reply, which quite convinces me you are in the right.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Doubtless you are flooded with letters and other business, but I must tell you how our recent trials have affected me, up here alone, with hardly a friend who was connected with the DAWN work.
The way through it all was rough indeed. That stumbling stone of a circular was well calculated to stumble such weak babes as myself; but the dear Lord was with me, according to his promise; and, resolving not to condemn one side or the other till I had heard both sides, and expecting a satisfactory explanation in the coming TOWER, I did not fall.
Mrs. Jewett, who lives in this place, though having had DAWN for a comparatively short time, is quite established in the faith. We have taken pains that others here who were only beginning to read DAWN should hear nothing of the matter.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—We, the undersigned, being regular subscribers to your excellent paper and readers of DAWNS and other helps, and having received your Extra, take this method of expressing our heartfelt sympathy for you. We have carefully studied the matter, as explained in your Extra, and have no hesitancy in saying that you have fully and fairly vindicated yourself in every instance, so far as we can see, and that we highly approve the Christian manner in which you have so nobly defended yourself. Go on, our Christian brother, looking to God for help, and he will be with you to the end. May this persecution only incite you to greater zeal for the truth, and may God give you renewed strength in his cause, is our prayer.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I received the special TOWER, and am well satisfied with it, as are all the brethren here. I thank God that we are not so weak as to be hurt by anything that your enemies can bring against you. We could readily see that Satan was at the head of it all. We are all well pleased with the kind letters from the faithful ones sympathizing with you. They draw us closer together. The Allegheny Church Resolutions are good, and while I read the letter signed E. Abbott, W. Campbell, R. Ball, E. Henninges and J. A. Weimar, I was greatly lifted heavenward; for I know that such persons must be the Lord's own. I wish I could shake hands with the writers of [page 202] all. With this letter I send you, in behalf of the Church here, ten dollars for yourself; for we know you have been put to a lot of expense and trouble.
[We appreciate much the thoughtfulness and confidence expressed by the sending of the $10. Accept thanks. Have placed it in the Tract Fund, to which we have charged the expense of the Extra, because we considered it not so much a personal matter as in the interest of the truth and TOWER readers in general. Had only ourselves been concerned, we might have maintained a dignified silence, ignoring both the slander and the slanderers.—EDITOR]
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—Let me congratulate you that you have been able so nobly to refute the slander of your enemies. I have just finished reading A Conspiracy Exposed. Surely, the Christ-like spirit manifested through it all, if nothing else, will convince those of the truth whose hearts are right in the sight of God.
For others' sake I am glad every question is cleared up; but for my own part, it needed no explanation; for after receiving those horrid letters, I took the whole matter to the Lord in prayer and I was convinced they were of Satan. Brother and Sister Bourquin's letter to Mr. Zech expresses my sentiments.
To me this has been the hardest trial since I came into the truth; for I was acquainted with the four and loved and esteemed them highly; but I feel I can do so no longer; nor can I recognize them as brethren in Christ until they do show his spirit. But I trust this trial will bring me only closer to the Master, and make me stronger and better fitted for his use. Hoping and praying the same for you and Sister Russell and all the household of faith, I remain, Yours in Christ and his service,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—We, the undersigned WATCH TOWER subscribers, believers in the truth as set forth in the MILLENNIAL DAWN Series, desire to extend to you our heartfelt sympathy and brotherly love in this time of trial that has been brought upon you by those who have called themselves brothers. We extend to you our most sincere thanks for your past labors and faithfulness in pointing out to the "household of faith" the truth of God's Word. We wish you a most earnest God-speed, and pray God to give you courage and strength to carry on the good work to his honor and glory in the future as you have done in the past. May his rich blessing rest and abide with you and help you to bear this trying ordeal patiently, as becomes the true servant of God, is our prayer.
We heartily condemn and protest against the cruel treatment you have received at the hands of Messrs. Zech, Rogers, Adamson and Bryan; and while we look upon them as being no longer "brothers," we draw the closer to you, whom we believe to be the true servant of God, and the under-shepherd of his flock.
False accusations and hard sayings were brought against the Head Shepherd, and they will do the same to his true under-shepherds; but in all this rejoice, for suffering such things for Christ will only help you to put the finishing touches on the wedding garment that you will be required to have on at the marriage of the Lamb. The devil has side tracks laid all along the main line, so we have to keep a vigilant watch to keep from being switched off on some one of them.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I feel satisfied that the men to whom we looked up as brethren were overcome or blinded by Satan, who appears "as an angel of light." I trust they will see the error of their ways and retrace their steps ere it is too late.
I must give you a little of my experience just after receiving their circular. The next morning I was requested by an interested brother, to whom I had sold DAWN, to come to his house the next Sunday and give an explanation of the Chart of the Ages and some insight into the truths brought to light in DAWN. I accepted the invitation gladly. I canvassed till noon, when I met a Methodist lady, who had heard something of DAWN, but was afraid [page 203] to read it. The Lord helped me to bring some truth to her attention, and to get her interested in the book. Just after dinner I succeeded in getting a gentleman quite interested and was used the same week to aid Sister White to see the importance and significance of baptism. The following Sunday, from 2 P.M. until 11:30 P.M., I had ten attentive listeners, and we all seemed very much blessed of the Lord. I was requested to come again every Sunday, if convenient—which you may know we shall make convenient and very glad of the opportunity. I feel very much encouraged indeed—not because I am called on to be a leader, but that the Lord has kept me so busy that I have had no time to think of or try any new departure. I would prefer to follow the "old paths," not of sectarianism, but the path trod by my dear Redeemer—the humble and quiet way, trying, as such as lies within my power, to "live peaceably with all men."
Since receiving your reply I feel stronger and more determined than ever to press forward to the mark for the prize of our high calling, which is in Christ Jesus. Well, dear brother, "let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." We rejoice to know that the Lord has brought you out more than conqueror.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—I feel I must emphasize the dear; for since this fearful trial has come upon you and you have so clearly proven the groundlessness and injustice of the attack upon you, you look nobler to me than ever before. You are kept in peace, but now go further, rejoice! Rejoice that you are counted worthy thus to suffer for his name! Yes, rejoice; for out of this you come forth purer and brighter—and those who really love the Lord, not in word or tongue only, but in deed and truth, will love you more, trust you more fully and show themselves more willing to heed all your words of advice and encouragement.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Your valued favor of 18th inst. came duly, and was especially appreciated as I did not anticipate any personal words from you during this trial, knowing that you were taxed to the utmost. Though I love to hear from you, yet never consider it necessary to write me particularly, for I would prefer to know that you had used your time and powers among "lambs," where such need attention.
That I was permitted in any measure to "hold up your hands" in the severe trial just passing, is a comfort to me. Having any measure of the spirit of the Master, how strengthening it is to help bear one another's burdens! Yours in the Master,
MY DEAR FRIENDS:—It is with feelings of sorrow and regret (shall I say indignation?) that I read of the scheme of false friends to cast a blot on the servant of the dear Master. Some years ago I heard an old minister say that Satan had a spite at him, and that he (the minister) had a spite at Satan, and always did him all the harm he could. It seems to me the remark suits my brother; for Satan seems to have let loose all the malice of his nature. Edgar Fawcett says, "The best reward of a kindly deed is the knowledge of having done it." When I read Mrs. Russell's noble defense of her persecuted husband it reminded me of Mrs. Fletcher's words when her heavenly-minded husband was traduced. She said: "I cannot bear to have the good in him evil spoken of."
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—We have just received the Extra, which brings to us the sad intelligence of the severe trial which has been brought upon you, by those whom we trusted were true to the dear Lord and His cause. After reading their charges, we fail to see anything in them which has not been most satisfactorily answered by you. Therefore, dear brother, we send you this letter, to express to you our heartfelt sympathy, Christian love, and continued confidence.
We turn to our infallible guide (the Word of God), and inquire, Shall the followers of the [page 204] persecuted Jesus suffer also? We hear the answer, "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." (2 Tim. 3:12.) May the dear Lord help us joyfully to bear all the sufferings trials and afflictions that may come upon us; for "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."—Rom. 8:18.
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER IN CHRIST:—How true it is that the sheep know the voice of the Shepherd and a stranger they will not follow. It is very easy to discern the difference between the spirit of the TOWER and that of the conspirators. My confidence in you remains unshaken. The thing I am most interested in is that I may be one of the overcomers. I know the testing is becoming more and more severe, but I will trust the dear Lord. His grace is sufficient, for I have proved it over and over again. I want the full assurance of faith, having my heart sprinkled from an evil conscience. I want to hold the confidence which hath great recompence of reward, and I am confident that nothing will befall me but what is for my good. Pray for me, that I may be kept meek, always at the Master's feet. The cross was very heavy at first, but, thank the dear Lord, it is getting lighter. Indeed, it has become a source of joy to me, and the more I take it up the lighter it gets and the more I realize the Master's presence. I stand upon the rock, which is Christ Jesus.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Pamphlet containing the account of a conspiracy exposed duly received, and carefully read. I fail to discover anything in it to excite my sympathy for yourself, as I find that not a hair of your head has been singed, neither has the "smell of fire been found in your garments;" but my sorrow is more than I can express for the misguided brethren who, having permitted an evil influence to distort their better judgment and to lead them into an attempt (oh! "Tell it not in Gath!") to wreck this blessed Harvest work, that they themselves have assisted to carry on. A great man once said, "Save me from my friends." We will hope, and try to believe, that ere this they severely feel that amount of conscientious remorse that will convince them of the wrong step they have taken, and that, too, under the malignant eye of a scrutinizing world.
Of course, the great cause under your management is instrumental in doing too much good in the world to suit the infernal characteristics of its wily "Prince;" but he has met with a disappointment for the present. But this may be only a sally, to put us on our guard and to prepare us for a general assault. We will suppose that ours is about the last and only fortress that is worthy of his steel. It is but natural to suppose that he will make the best use of the short time he has to work, especially when he reflects on that chain that John saw the angel use on the highly famous "Patmos."
Cheer up, dear brother, you are in the service of Him who has all power in Heaven and on Earth, and is therefore quite capable of maintaining his own cause against every assault of the enemy. You have a grateful and loving community at your back, that will be more zealous than ever in holding up your hands in the great work that has been given you to do.
BRO. C. T. RUSSELL:—We, the undersigned brethren in Jesus Christ, having with much regret heard of the charges brought against your character as a follower of our blessed Lord and Master, and having read both the charges and the defense, have come to the conclusion that the charges are frivolous and vexatious, and that nothing but the spirit of enmity could possibly have actuated those who have made them.
We regret to see the amount of unnecessary trouble to which the vindication of yourself has put you; still we see that, holding the position you do, it was incumbent upon you to enter into such a lengthy explanation, thereby exposing your private affairs; otherwise (but for the Church's sake) it would have been well to have "answered not a word." We write you thus that you may feel assured of our intense sympathy. With kind regards to Sister Russell and yourself. Yours in Christ,
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—This we hope will find you with all shadows and dark clouds past. We are sorry that so much has beset our little band this year, but now we hope that [page 205] all will be the better for the experience. We are glad to say that we have not been shaken, but seem to have been drawn closer together. We earnestly pray that this may be the last deflection, and that hereafter we may present a solid front to the foe.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Owing to the trials through which you have recently passed, we feel it both our duty and privilege to inform you of the deep sympathy we feel toward you and of the perfect confidence we have in your fitness and ability to perform any further work which the Lord Jesus, the Chief Shepherd, may direct.
We were not surprised that such a conspiracy should occur. We can see the hand of the Lord in it all. It seems to be an important part of his work in this harvest, though we are surprised at the men who engaged in it; for we had expected better things of them. As to the charges brought against you, we need only say that as an impure fountain cannot bring forth pure water, or a corrupt tree good fruit, neither can the heart and mind which under the blessing of God have furnished us Z.W.T., Tabernacle Shadows, M. DAWN, etc., be full of wickedness as charged.
We highly approve your course, and congratulate you on the plain and straightforward manner in which you have explained the subject. Believing that God will work all things together for good for those who love him, we remain,
Mr. Rogers called here on Saturday evening. Of course you are the greatest villain that ever existed; but then opinions differ. Was he not surprised when I told him it was a matter of Korah and his company! "Why! I am surprised at you!!" he said. I think he was, for there was a momentary note of fear in his tone. I was not anxious to retain his services in any form. Yes, some are worthy of their hire—the devil, at least, thinks so; especially when they travel to villify the servants of God. I can tell you this plainly, Bro. Russell, that over two months ago, through the conduct of Mr. Rogers, I shut myself up and declined fellowship with anyone.
[This has been our intention, and we have deviated from it only for this special issue, believing that this would be to the Lord's praise and to the upbuilding of his people, to inform the Church of the outcome of the late conspiracy and of the deliverance vouchsafed to all the true sheep of his pasture. Mrs. Russell had no thought of going to England.]
Do you not remember that the Lord was in the cloud and pillar of fire, guiding the Israelites through the wilderness? So, remember that the Lord is in this cloud of trouble, and, with the fiery trials, these are our protection. Be not over anxious concerning the brethren and sisters in England; for the Lord will give to his people, peace.
Mr. Rogers says you are misrepresenting him in the article, "The work in England;" in fact, insinuating that he misappropriated the money. If you would give a concise statement showing what the $965.67 represents, you will remove some misapprehension. He says he sold 1,500 DAWNS in America and 800 here. Total, 2,300 @ 33c=$759—his own figures.
[Our figures are not the retail value of what he sold, but the retail value of what was sent him, representing books either sold by him, still in his possession or transferred by him to others (and for which he received payment)—exclusive of the last shipment of 2,000 lbs. to London, which he abandoned at the docks.
1535 @ 12-1/2c,.................... $191.88 264.93
Deduct prepaid freight,.......................... 23.67
This is the wholesale value of the merchandise
for which Mr. Rogers owes us
(assuming his statement of books stored
to be correct).
It represents DAWNS in
cloth and paper bindings, booklets,
TOWER subscriptions, etc. (the respective
quantities unknown), a conservative estimate of which places their retail
value at........................................ $942.00
Add freight charges,............................. 23.67
Mr. Rogers' credit had been extended, before he started for England, so that he owed us, on the day he sailed, for books sent him while in America, $214.72. This amount is included in the balance due Jan. 1, 1894.]
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—Somehow for the past month all of us here seemed to feel that a dark cloud was hovering above the household of faith threatening to burst upon us. We clung the closer together and sought comfort in prayer. We now see why it was.
Courage, brother! These false brethren cannot injure the cause: they have only helped it. Since God permitted it, we say Amen. The cause will prosper the better henceforth. These people have been as a thorn in the flesh. Being now withdrawn, the sore will heal.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Through recent issues of the TOWER I have been greatly blessed, instructed and cautioned by reason of the clear unfolding of the Scriptures touching the various subjects treated. Surely the Master is using you for his purpose in the Harvest of the Age, and is directing you from time to time, as to the proper dish of spiritual food to prepare for the truth-hungry of the household of faith; and, indeed, when so made ready and served, it not only meets the requirements of the spiritual appetites of the Lord's "sheep," but is always in season—"due time." The article in the April 1 number; viz.: "Lest ye enter into temptation," was timely: being opportunely written, and expeditiously sent forth on its mission of warning, carrying the signal flag of danger to the meek, the humble and unsuspicious ones; and now comes the Extra; and we inquire,
The answer comes, A Conspiracy Exposed, and Harvest Siftings of those who, in times past, were enlightened and blessed through your teachings of the Word, refreshed by your hospitality, and comforted by your fellowship and love, but who have now "lifted up their heels against you." But, praise the Lord, you have, through a knowledge of the truth, and with courage and fortitude, met and successfully refuted every charge, explained every grievance brought against you and against the cause of Zion and truth, and clearly vindicated your character as an intelligent and honest man, exercising correct financial principles and methods in your personal dealings and in all matters relating to the Lord's service; "being not slothful in business, but serving the Lord"—a sympathetic, loving and devoted friend, and an orderly, conscientious, consecrated Christian.
In view of the deflection and falling away of many, and the completeness and severity of the "siftings" as experienced as well as predicted, it is well to remember that the Harvest of the Gospel age is nearing its meridian splendor and ripeness; and the "time is short" wherein it will culminate in the refreshing brightness and glory of the Millennial morning, when the bride will have made herself ready, and "Zion will rejoice;" and that such of the Lord's children—the fully consecrated—as hope to stand in the time of trouble, and behold the salvation of God, should "gird up the loins of their minds;" go over and examine every piece of the Christian armor; see that every part is bright, in its place, and the whole properly adjusted, to the end that they may be able to meet and resist the shafts of the adversary. The way to immortality—the Divine nature—is too"narrow" and difficult; the dangers on either side thereof are too many; the "snares" too cunning and deceptive, and the pit too deep to be trifled with by any in the Lord's service, through mistaken efforts to share in the notoriety, vanities, ease, comforts and pride of life, at the expense of the Lord's means and his well devised system of harvest work; forgetting that, though in the world, they should not be of it.
On the other hand, the rewards are so great; the crown so bright; the life so enduring; that only the fullness of meaning carried by the term "immortality" expresses it. Indeed, all of the promises to the successful competitors for the "prize" at the terminus of the "narrow way" are so "exceedingly great and precious" as to command every talent of the consecrated Christian, "even unto death," bearing in mind that "Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall;" while "by humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life."—Prov. 16:18, 22:4.
I thank the blessed Lord for having given you physical, mental and spiritual strength and ability so successfully to defeat the wiles and temptations of Satan, by and through the timely and skilful use of that potent, effective and very convincing weapon, the "the sword of the spirit." Having done your duty as enjoined, "Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid;" for "The Lord will uphold you with the right hand of his righteousness."
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Your Expose was really a great surprise to me. I was afraid you would over or under do it—but, if there is a word wrong, I fail to find it after careful reading. All the points seem to be covered, and effectually too. The Holy Spirit has surely guided you through this severe trouble.
How long will the sun, just peeping from behind the clouds, continue to shine? Soon again will the clouds appear, the lightning flash and the thunder roll louder than before. Already from the last shower the ground is damp and muddy, and the walking is tedious and heavy. Who will continue to the end? Can any trial cut deeper than the one just past? It does not seem possible. We loved and trusted them so! God knows their hearts. They have fallen far: I fear past all recovery.
I suggest to your judgment with regard to the distribution of the Z.W.T., Extra, that it will be difficult to distinguish where and where not it should go. The only motive I can see for withholding it from any is to cover if possible the shame of the offenders.
The book is a witness for you, for us, and for the truth; and I feel confident that the dear Lord intends it for a witness;—of course permitting us to use our judgment. But he will not fail to correct our errors in the use of this powerful testimony.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Continuing from my last, I hardly need say that, as far as I know myself, [R1667 : page 207] I love righteousness and peace, order and decency, and that I hate the reverse. My relation and connection with the Sichel-Haus have taken such a character that I begin to feel a disgust. I am not ungrateful, and for all the good received through Zechs I was truly thankful,—not in word only; and I have now in sincerest love and gratefulness written much to them, desiring to do good.
But I begin to feel that I am already being misunderstood by them, and I doubt whether I shall be understood by them in the future; for I feel it to be the Lord's will that I sever all connections (which have not been severed by them) with the Sichel-Haus, and that I return to America, probably in three or four weeks, as matters may shape themselves. Karl may stay longer and probably return with Boehmers in the fall.
Furthermore, I wish to tell you that after careful and prayerful consideration I believe it to be the Lord's will to humbly offer whatever talents I may have to be used in the Lord's service under your direction. I am sorry, very sorry, that you did not come to know me better during my stay in Allegheny, partially by reason of certain influences. And though I must admit, as a brother of Paul, that I have need of self-control, by the grace of God I have succeeded some in the past few years in controlling my spirit and keeping my body under; and I have great confidence that with the Lord's help, under your influence and that of others, I shall receive a new impetus, to have all the good work continue in me, including self-control, meekness, patience, etc.
I feel, painfully to some extent, that I may be misunderstood by some. But I love the truth as pure and clear as possible, and, the Lord willing, I may see come to pass what I have often wished and expressed to Zechs, that one or more of the tracts of the TOWER Tract Society be translated into German; if it be the Lord's will that something be done among the Germans by the T.T.S. through your influence. I am so glad that we have One that judgeth us, and that He knows I am not trying to please men, except out of a pure heart. Furthermore, I believe I have the desire of many others, to see DAWN, VOL. IV., come out. For this reason I felt very sorry that the late disturbance has come in and that three of the office helpers have left their posts. If through my (as I hope quiet and faithful) service you could gain some time for VOL. IV., I should deem it a favor of the Lord. I hope that from the above and previous letters my sentiments and motives may be clear to you and Sister Russell: to be spent to the Lord's honor and praise, and, in unity of the spirit with those who are truly His, to grow up into Him.
I shall await your advice. None need know of this though, lest some of your accusers think you needed or asked me from Germany to testify [R1667 : page 208] for the truth on your behalf. It will be a test for them (if you should believe it to be the Lord's will that I come to Allegheny) whether or not they will think evil of me and treat me accordingly.
[The following is from one known to many of our readers as Sister Millie Long—formerly one of the TOWER office helpers. We place it last because we would specially commend to all the sentiments of its fourth paragraph, relative to the "false brethren."]
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Our family has been acquainted with you since you were quite a young man, and were fully convinced long ago, by your walk and conversation, that from boyhood you have faithfully desired to serve the Lord. Sometimes we have heard you assailed by opponents to your religious views, who, being unable to overthrow the Scriptural doctrines you taught, resorted to the same methods as the Jews pursued toward Christ, viz., abusive personalities, etc. (Jno. 8:41; Matt. 11:19.) However, you have always been able to prove that "Wisdom is justified of her children;" and as our dear Redeemer, fully cognizant of his perfect manhood and purity, exclaimed, "Who convinceth me of sin?" (Jno. 8:46) so can all those who wear the robe of his righteousness, and are striving daily to bring every thought into subjection to the divine mind.
The circular letter reached us a few days before the celebration of the Memorial Supper, and we (Mother and self) concluded that it was our duty to investigate the whole matter fully and impartially. The signatures the circular contained amazed us, owing to the fact that among them were brethren and sisters whom we honored and loved as God's children; but the Scriptures assured us that "all things work together for good to those who love God;" and we tried to rejoice in the trial, knowing the results would prove beneficial to the faithful, shaking out much that was detrimental to spiritual progress.
The charges against you were ignoble and unworthy of publication. The words pope, etc., had no weight with us. When I first heard you preach I was deeply impressed by your urgent advice to "Prove all things" by the Scriptures, by following which I have escaped many snares of the adversary. Subsequently, when I was a member of your household and had the blessed privilege of serving in the TOWER office, the daily faithful sacrifices of Sister R. and yourself were constantly witnessed, but I never found either of you taking a self-righteous course, nor exalting yourselves in any way—although there was plenty of opportunity to do so. I was indubitably convinced that you were depending on the sacrificial death of our Lord for redemption from Adamic sin and its penalty, and had battles to fight the same as all members of the Church have; hence your sympathy, loving care and untiring service for other members of "the body." Consequently it is apparent to me that the "pope" who has been blinding the eyes of the false brethren was the product of "evil surmising" of the sinful, fallen mind, manufactured while they were neglecting the Father's business. Satisfactory evidence of the above is fully given in your pamphlet, A Conspiracy Exposed, which I have carefully read.
This latest sifting of the Church is certainly the result of living after the flesh, instead of after the spirit. We who are begotten of the truth are reckoned to have passed the Adamic death; and if we cease to strive toward actual righteousness and wilfully continue to follow the flesh, we shall surely suffer the Second Death. (Rom. 8:13.) Even in dealing with false brethren I desire to avoid all fleshly bitterness that has a tendency to mingle with righteous indignation.
I rejoice to tell you that those whom I have talked with in St. Louis, and especially do I wish to mention Sister Gallagher [colporteur], as she is very young in the truth, have nobly stood for the Lord and in his spirit of meekness during the shaking. For myself I can say there is no idolatry in my heart. I desire to worship only God. At the same time I never forget that all I am by divine grace I owe to the instrumentality of yourself and your beloved wife.