"In the city of Birmingham [Ala.] there are several persons now working who call themselves 'Non-Sectarian Christians.' They have espoused the doctrines as promulgated in MILLENNIAL DAWN. I desire now not to speak specially of their doctrines, which seem to me to be mostly theories, but of their methods of spending time.
"They have worked this city from house to house, selling MILLENNIAL DAWN and circulating other brief literature. They talk their religion every chance, and preach on Sunday. They call themselves 'Colporteurs.' They have put over two thousand copies of their books in this city. Their books are in cheap binding. Most all of our literature [Christian Denomination] is too expensive. These books are being read. How I wish 2,000 copies of some of our books could be placed here!
"Now, why cannot we disseminate our literature and the Bible doctrine, as we understand it, in this way? The fact is, I fear, we have stagnated on methods, and God is gradually hinting to us that, if we do not get to moving forward, he will give us a back seat.
"It will not help the cause for you to become anxious as to my joining the Mormons or Age to Come Folks. The best method of propagating the gospel of Jesus Christ in its ancient purity, simplicity and power is what I am seeking, it makes no difference who is using it. This subject must be agitated."
[There are three ways in which devotion and self-sacrifice may be induced, (1) by vainglory; (2) by superstition; (3) by a knowledge of the Truth in a consecrated heart. The first has plenty of illustrations in business and politics; the second plenty in heathenism and Roman Catholicism; the last is the energizing power in the Colporteur brethren, whose devotion is noted. Error is surrounded by the glitter and tinsel of public approval; it is backed by wealth and immense influence, yet it must provide its ministers with titles and honors and every comfort to secure their service. Those who receive the Truth into good and honest hearts cannot restrain themselves. They must tell the good tidings to others. Compare the message now going forth and the one which went forth at the First Advent, and then compare the effects of both, and you have the secret.EDITOR.]
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:Words cannot express the joy I feel after perusing the wonderful truths of MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOLS. I., II., and III. Oh! how I love the Word of Godthe Bibleand its Author more and more, ever since the Lord through one of his messengers directed my attention to one of those little tracts which I found in the library case of the Railroad Y.M.C.A., when I went to look for some good book to read. That little tract, The Wages of Sin, led me to look at others that were there, until I had read them all; and I was so pleased to see they were just as the Scriptures teach. What a flood of light came in upon some heretofore dark and difficult passages of Scripture! In fact, after I had gotten through reading MILLENNIAL DAWN, which I sent for at the earliest opportunity, the Bible had indeed become a new book to me, and God's plan so different from what I had always believed; and the beauty of it all is, I had not the slightest doubt from the beginning but that it is really and truly our heavenly Father's plan.
Sixteen months ago I was converted from Roman Catholicism to Protestantism, at a series of meetings held here. Before that I was very much pronounced against Protestantism, as I of course believed that the Catholic Church was the true Church, and the others only rotten branches of the same. In my young days I was an altar boy and was very devout, and indeed, my parents thought I would choose to be a priest, but after going through the Catholic school, I drifted into the printing office and became a compositor, and nearly ever since have followed that vocation.
Altho I had read a great deal, especially Romish papers and books, I never was aware that that church was such a blood-thirsty tyrant, and that she was the author and instigator of so many fiendish outrages. In fact, I did not know that she ever persecuted. Catholics are generally ignorant of this fact. They seem to think that all the persecution was on the other side. They are cautioned about reading "profane" history, as they call it; i.e., all history that is not authorized by their church. Up to the time when I was consecrated I never read the Bible, but had only a glimmering knowledge of some of its sayings and parables. I believed firmly that Peter was the first Pope and that he lived in Rome, and that the Church was founded upon him and not upon the truth he uttered, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
I am anxious to spread the glad tidings everywhere, as I am now nearly every day telling them to some one. Some think I am backsliding, while others believe the good news. I would like to know what arrangements can be made as to the sale of these valuable books. Of course, I never sold books, but I am greatly impressed that they would sell, especially to the right parties. I am anxious to put them as rapidly as possible into the hands of the brethren, along with the WATCH TOWER. I would like to engage in the work. Hoping to hear from you at your earliest opportunity,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:The light that has come to me through the DAWNS and WATCH TOWER is such that I feel it is both a duty and a pleasure to write to you. The four volumes of DAWN have been read again during the last eight months, and a larger portion of God's Word has thus been studied with a degree of understanding and enjoyment that was never before possible to me.
My prayer now is that I may be shown the work that the Lord has for me to do and that strength and courage may be given me to do it. I dare not presume to be a teacher, having so much yet to learn, but I try to let no opportunity pass of calling attention to the DAWNS, TOWERS, etc., and have given away some copies, and hope to be able to do more in this line.
I am peculiarly hindered from meeting with the few who have "come out" for the purpose of serving God in the liberty and in the light of present truth. I hope that the hindrance may be overcome, and that I may enjoy the fellowship of those who are striving to serve God in spirit and in truth. May their number increase, both here and elsewhere. With the fervent wish that God will prosper you in the work you are doing, I close, leaving unsaid many things that I would like to say, for fear of taking time that might be more usefully spent.
MY DEAR BROTHER:You remember my speaking of an old German here whom I found just before starting for Allegheny, who was so loyal to the Bible and to Jesus? Well, I called on him the other day. I do not know that I ever found a happier man. He had found a "new Bible" and a "new God," and he said, "Why didn't I know this before?" He had read the DAWNS once and almost a second time; says he has been trying to serve Christ for 72 years through much trial, even the threatening of death at the hands of his own brother for leaving the church, and now he says he has learned more about the Bible the last few weeks than during all the rest of his life. Such is the testimony for the truth in honest humble, loyal hearts everywhere. Praise the Father for his Truth!