DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Many thanks for VOL. V. It is truly a wonderful book and inspired me with awe when I read it and wonder why God has permitted me to understand his wonderful plan even as well as I do. My husband is reading it every spare moment. Sister Mooney has not yet received her copy of DAWN V. and thinks her subscription paid. Please have it seen to. ISABELLA LUNHAM.—Illinois.
DEAR SIR AND BROTHER:—I have just completed the first reading of VOL. V. and it is not necessary to commend it. It commends itself to every thinking mind that will weigh its arguments. There is however one position taken on page 352 in reference to 1 Thes. 4:14 that confuses me and if your position be the correct one and the sleepers referred to in verse 15 are the same sleepers referred to in verse 14 it would imply that the general resurrection of all the dead must take place before the glorification of those of the Church who are alive at that time. I state the matter as clearly as I can in the hope that you will point out wherein my difficulty lies.
[REPLY.—Your favor of the 6th is at hand. I am glad to know that you have enjoyed thus far the study of DAWN VOL. V., and that it commends itself to your heart and head, except on the one point mentioned. On that point I would say:
We must distinguish as between references to the Church and references to the world. Both classes die, both classes sleep, both classes need resurrection, yet they are different classes in every respect. In 1 Cor. 15 the apostle points out that "as by a man came death, by a man came also the resurrection of the dead." He further points out that "As all in Adam die, even so all in Christ shall be made alive," but "every man in his own order" or class. Some will be made alive in Christ now at the end of the present age as his bride and joint-heir, and will be of the first order or first resurrection: others will be made alive in Christ during the Millennial age, completed at its close as his children, and will constitute the second order or subsequent resurrection. Both orders are referred to in the same connection.
Now in reference to the text which troubles you, 1 Thes. 4:14,15. Verse 14 refers to mankind in general, and verse 15 to the Church. All mankind "sleep in Jesus" as we show on page 352 of VOL. V., and all mankind are to be awakened, but not all in the first order or first resurrection. The apostle passes from the consideration of the general fact to the consideration of the first order, the Church, which is always made most prominent throughout the New Testament [R2528 : page 240] as most interesting to the Lord's people. Thus in verse 15 he speaks of the last members of the Church at the close of this age, indicating that the change of the remaining members will not precede that of the same class who have already fallen asleep. That this second class refers not to the world in general who "sleep in Jesus," but to the saints, is clearly indicated in the 16th verse, where they are spoken of as the "dead in Christ." The whole world sleeps in Jesus in the sense that Jesus bought the whole world, and is to be the quickener or lifegiver to the whole world; but only the saints are dead in Christ—members of Christ's body, the Anointed body. I trust this will make the subject more clear to you.—EDITOR.]
MY DEAR BROTHER:—Inasmuch as it has been something more than a year since I have written you I feel at liberty to trespass upon your time for a little while now to thank you for VOL. V. of MILLENNIAL DAWN. It is, in my judgment, with the possible exception of VOL. I. the most instructive of the DAWN series yet published. I feel assured that members of the household of faith privileged to peruse its pages will with myself acknowledge having received from it a blessing and spiritual uplift.
While my most earnest studies during the past years have been to be thoroughly clear upon the foundation stone of the gospel—the Ransom, yet in this work I have been permitted to see many new beauties of the height and depth and length and breadth of God's love through our dear Redeemer toward us as a class and the entire race as a whole. Many of the points brought out in the chapters devoted to the operations of the Spirit, as for example, "the spirit of fear," as treated on pages 213 and 214, must of necessity be exceedingly helpful, as I feel confident all true children of God have had similar tempting and discouragements.
The short chapter upon "the spirit of a sound mind" also will be especially helpful to other dear ones who like myself are found by the truth a little lower down the scale of Christian character than the majority of professing followers of our dear Master at least appear to be. All of the company here in Philadelphia are quite hearty in their praise of the whole subject from first to last and acknowledge having received great blessings from it for which we thank our heavenly Father sincerely.
We continue to have excellent meetings at which the spirit of our dear Master is displayed by all. The number attending and interest shown is, I think, all we could look for, inasmuch as we are so scattered.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I have received VOL. V. of DAWN and I am reading it very carefully. I think, as do all with whom I have talked, that it is "meat in due season" and my prayer is that all may benefit by it and be able to "give a reason for the hope that is in them." There are some who have not received theirs as yet. Will you let me know when you can let me have 25 or 30 of them and the price, paper covers? There are a great many who have read the four volumes that do not subscribe for the TOWER that are anxious for it. I consider it good for those who have never read any of the other volumes. The "atonement" is a grand theme for every Christian to fully understand. Please find checks and orders. And may that peace and fellowship of Christ which prevailed at our Boston Convention remain with us forever, is the prayer of, Your Brother in Christ,
[We now have DAWN VOL. V. in good supply. For prices see second page of this journal. Encourage all who manifest any interest in present truth to become WATCH TOWER subscribers. Assure them that if too poor to pay they are thoroughly welcome to its visits free upon the terms stated on page 2. Those who hope to be able to pay in the future may say so and have it continued year by year indefinitely; so long as they continue to ask for it. We desire that so far as possible the WATCH TOWER lists may represent all who are interested in the Divine plan of salvation as presented in MILLENNIAL DAWN: nevertheless we are all aware that this would increase its issues three or four fold. And this is what we desire—not for our gain but for the assistance which we believe would thus be rendered to many who need it.—EDITOR.]
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—It gives me pleasure to write you again. You will find report of meetings, etc., on list sheets, therefore will not say anything about them in regular letter, except that some interesting meetings have been held since I left St. Louis.
Words would fail to express the amount of spiritual and intellectual benefit I derived from the convention. It was indeed "a feast of fat things" to me, and I think also to all the other interested friends present.
Since the Council Bluffs Convention (held a little more than a year ago), I have met quite a few of the friends who attended it and all confessed that it was a means of great spiritual blessing to them.
I am more and more convinced that these conventions are being greatly blessed of the Lord to the edifying of his people, and the dissemination of "harvest" truths amongst many, who will be benefited by them later. There are four results of such gatherings in which I greatly rejoice: (1) the direct benefit to the Church, by way of instruction, fellowship, etc., (2) the distribution of DAWNS, Tracts, etc., (3) the newspaper reports, many of them more or less favorable, and (4) it gives to many of the Lord's dear people, that you otherwise might not meet in the flesh, an opportunity to become personally acquainted with you.