Gratitude and love to a gracious God and to you, his servant, constrain me to write this note. I resigned the Southern Methodist pulpit in the town of __________, this state. I resigned supposedly on account of my health, but really on account of my faith. I had not yet "added" courage to my faith (2 Pet. 1:5); was not yet really in the truth, but feeling for it. Keeping my "heretical" doubts to myself, I continued searching. Meanwhile, until last week, I have sustained supernumerary relations to the Conference which met last week, and, if they granted my request, which I suppose they did, John 8:32 is fulfilled in my experience. For the first time in my life "I stand erect and free."
I was searching earnestly for the light in the city library in Denver, Colo., reading everything that promised to throw light on the hard problems of life and death, when my eye fell on your God-directed work, MILLENNIAL DAWN. I had heard of it and knew that it was much despised; nevertheless, I resolved to read it earnestly and with an open mind, for in my distress I had reached that point where I was willing to receive truth even from "Nazareth." I read all [R3117 : page 366] five volumes with my Bible always open and with ever-increasing delight.
DEAR BROTHER:—I have been reading your book, "THE PLAN OF THE AGES;" it is indeed a wonderful book, and I thank God it ever came to me. My birthday was the second day of August and my niece, a worldly woman, sent me as a present five of your books. She little knew what she was giving me. Oh, the joy and gladness it has brought into my life! I have been a believer and been looking for the return of my Lord for many years, longing and hoping to live until he came; but for some time it seemed to me our people (Second Adventist) presented no new light, and we seemed to be standing still. Now this great restitution hope has come to us, bringing such a feeling as lifts us (so it seems) nearer our God and makes so many dark sayings in his blessed Word clear and beautiful. I never loved him so much as now when I see how great is his plan of salvation.
My husband and myself have read the first book three times, and also read the second, and now in the third. Sometimes it has seemed so strange for us to believe some of the things you write, for we have been taught so differently; yet by prayer we have thus far been able to accept the blessed light and feel we have entered into the joy of our Lord, believing he has come and raised the dead, or those of them who are to be his bride.
We feel such gratitude to you, our brother, for the light we now have that we greatly desire to know you personally. Again thanking you for the good received from your writings, and praying God to bless and keep you, I am, Yours in sisterly love,
I enclose you $__________; please send me one of those new reference Bibles, and the remainder please apply to the "Good Hopes" of myself and wife. I am sorry we cannot at this time send a larger expression of our "Good Hopes" for "the glad tidings of great joy which shall be to all people." We hope to supplement this offering shortly.
And now I want to express to you and all those of the Bible House at Allegheny how we enjoyed the convention at Washington. It was the greatest privilege of our lives to meet with so many dear friends of like precious faith. It was truly a "time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord." Especially was I delighted to witness on this occasion the symbolic baptism of my wife into the death of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are now not only one in the flesh, but one in the spirit and body of Christ, and probationary members of the Church triumphant. We pray that we may pass our trial successfully and "rejoice in our sufferings and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in our flesh for his body's [R3117 : page 367] sake," and in so doing may finish our course with joy.
For your benefit and encouragement I want to say, dear Bro. Russell, the literature you are sending forth as "meat in due season," is making the household of faith strong, yea, brave in the Lord, by truth. This morning I was hailed on the street by my former pastor, a D.D. (in whose presence two years ago I would have quailed). He introduced me to another D.D., and asked if I had any news. I said, "Yes, good news!" and drew from my pocket one of the discourses as I had taken it down at Washington. I said, "Look here,—in Acts 3:21 God has promised restitution of all things, and that all the holy prophets had spoken of it," and I showed him in their respective order from I Samuel to Malachi they all had spoken of it copiously, and that further God himself had made a covenant with Abraham as to this restitution and affirmed the same to Isaac and Jacob; and now that these patriarchs were dead, together with countless millions who had not received those blessings, said I, "the Lord has shown us in Jno. 5:28,29 when and where to look for the solution of this matter." In repeating the last clause of the 29th verse he broke in and said "damnation." I said, "No, sir! 'by judgment,' and you know as well as I do that 'by judgment' is the correct rendering. Now, gentlemen, why don't you preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ?" By this time Bro. H__________ had Bro. C__________ by the arm, pulling him down the street, and said to me, "Well, I reckon you will have to make the ministers preach it right." May God have mercy on the preachers who are promulgating false doctrine! Yours in Christian love,
I want, in a few words, to express my appreciation of the good things which we all received at the Washington convention. It was the grandest feast it has ever been my privilege to attend, and the memory of it will remain with me as long as I remain in this tabernacle. I wish to express my thanks both to the Washington brethren, who contributed so much to the welfare and enjoyment of visiting brethren, and also to yourself and coworkers for the part which you contributed unto edifying the "body of Christ;" but above all I wish to thank our dear Lord for his manifest presence and blessing. I believe it is impossible to estimate the good resulting from these conventions, in the way of spiritual blessings. Each person gets some new light on different features of the plan and purpose, and these are taken home and given to the Lord's truth-hungry people who could not attend; and the "unity of the spirit" is so manifest at these gatherings, that the "body" is more and more "knit together in love," while all realize the significance of Paul's statement, "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves together," as they otherwise would not. In my own case, I can truly say that I received such an uplift and blessing as it has never been my lot to experience before. Praise God for his goodness, blessing and love, as it is now manifested to his chosen people. May his favor and his spirit be continued to you, dear Bro. Russell, and to all the brothers and sisters everywhere, and may we all be kept by the power of God until we shall receive the "change" promised,—is my daily prayer.
DEAR BROTHER:—Although I could not go to either one of the general conventions this year (and oh, how hard it was to receive as from the Lord that I could not go!), it is with rejoicing that I write to tell you how true we find it to be, that it is hard to estimate the value of the knowledge and spiritual uplift received at these conventions, carried to other hundreds—in every direction. Our little company here has received so much of the convention drippings that we almost feel as though we had, all of us, been on hand at those love feasts. It brings to mind what Isaiah says, "As the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth." So also the convention blessing cometh down from heaven, and does not return void, but bringeth increase to the recipient, a rich store to him that passeth it on, and joy and strength to all who take it in.
Tomorrow will be the anniversary of the day when in Dallas you stood beside the pool in which I was buried in baptism with my Lord. At each recurring anniversary sweetest and most precious memories fill my heart to overflowing, and impel me to send to the WATCH TOWER missionary fund a thanksgiving offering for the same—as a tiny proof of my remembrance of the date. I enclose a money order. I would also like a few tracts for distribution.
I am an old man 78 years of age, with a very limited education, but a subscriber to WATCH TOWER for two years and have MILLENNIAL DAWN. Pardon me for intruding on your precious time in telling you how I enjoy reading the DAWNS and TOWERS; and now after being a member of the M.E. church for 35 years I have withdrawn from that church as I could not endorse its doctrines; am no member now, but trying to serve the Master as best I can. Pray for me.