The following, received July 24, '96, will be encouraging to those who sometimes see little result from tract distribution. It shows that immediate results may follow in the experience of the recipient of the tract, though they may not be apparent for many months.
GENTLEMEN:—In 1894, while attending the C.E. Convention at Cleveland, Ohio, your tract "Do You Know?" fell into my hands. I was much interested in it, and have often thought of writing for further information; but for sundry causes have delayed. Have been much interested in reading and studying the prophecies since reading your tract; but feel the need of some help and guides. What can you do to help me? What is the "Chart of the Ages" spoken of in the tract? and what does it cost, etc.? Any information or helps will be thankfully received.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—We had a good meeting Saturday afternoon with about 75 people present. Yesterday we held two meetings in an old church building, about twenty miles from here, with an attendance of over one hundred. Since coming here one week ago fourteen meetings have been held, three in private houses and eleven in public buildings. Some drove over fifteen miles to the meeting yesterday. I send a number of names for sample TOWERS.
Brother __________ had spoken to one of the leaders in the Christian Church; he told him we would use the building Saturday evening; and it was so published. The Methodists held a meeting in a Baptist church building that evening, and the Christian friends closed their building out of courtesy to them, they said. It was then understood that we should have the use of the building Sunday afternoon, but matters were so arranged as to make that impossible. They then agreed to let us use the building for three services Monday, and announcement was made to that effect; but when we went there Monday morning, it was locked, and the janitor refused to open it.
Some who were very anxious to hear what we had to say then went to some of the leaders in the Baptist Church, who agreed to let us use that building Monday afternoon and night, and the janitor was paid in advance for cleaning and lighting. The friends published the meeting by going through the town and telling every one they met. A member of the Baptist Church, who heard of the proposed meetings, hurried to town to stop them. He said that if that stranger preached in the Baptist Church he would have to "stand over his dead body." As we had no desire to be riddled with bullets from a "Baptist gun," we decided not to have the meetings in the church.
You can imagine that by this time quite an excitement was stirred up. We had distributed tracts at the meetings Sunday; and this, with the bitter feeling aroused in the minds of some by the action of the church members, created a strong desire for a meeting. Several in sympathy with us then obtained the school house for the evening. The house was crowded, and I spoke [R2076 : page 294] nearly two hours. The "best element" of the place attended. We distributed more tracts, and many gave their names for sample TOWERS. I am inclined to think that the results will be greater than if we had succeeded in holding meetings without opposition.
I arrived at __________, which is a "Shaker Community," and was warmly received by Brother E__________. The "Shakers" are very exclusive religiously and do not permit preachers not of their faith to hold meetings in their midst. But for the first time in the history of this Community they departed from that time-honored custom and permitted me to preach in their school building. We held three meetings with an average attendance of 75 or 80, I judge. Most of those who attended the meetings were delighted.