We greatly appreciate the privilege of these visits and the rich blessings with which they are always accompanied. Our hearts are full of gratitude to our dear heavenly Father that he has seen fit, in his wonderful condescending goodness, to thus supply us with the help we so much need.
The work at this place has made very slow progress, it seems, to our waiting hearts, nevertheless there have been some results. When Bro. Draper was here this month we had one "new" sister at our little parlor meetings who eagerly drank in the sweet, blessed truths brought out in Brother Draper's Bible talks. She seemed to be greatly blessed and benefited, and our own hearts throbbed with tenderest love and sympathy for her in her new-found joy. Praise God for one addition to our number.
I have just read, through tears of joy, your annual report. I cannot express what I feel when I ponder the glorious harvest work now going on in the dear Master's wheat field, while the tares are sleeping in ignorance and indifference. I am constantly saying to myself, Who am I that I should be permitted to share in this the greatest work ever given to mortal man for accomplishment? I am so glad our heavenly bodies will have the capacity of expressing what the heavenly mind will feel, and not be so limited that they will simply ache for want of such capacity. Thank God for the assurance that every want of the perfect New Creation will be abundantly supplied. I have just returned from a visit at L__________. While there I heard a sermon from a man who was my pastor twenty years ago. His text was from the fourteenth chapter of Job, "If a man die shall he live again?" His theme, "Immortality." Almost the entire time devoted to the subject was given to the labor of attempting to show that immortality was proven from nature, reason, science and philosophy. About ten minutes were devoted to revelation and the resurrection of Jesus as additional proof. The number of Scripture references used was three, beside the context. I was sitting between one of my sisters and her husband, who is a Baptist preacher, and when the speaker declared that by the resurrection of Jesus "life and immortality was brought to light," I could not resist giving expression to an emphatic little "Amen," realizing that he had spoken the truth without meaning to. As I listened to all he had to say, and summed it all up, my heart was stirred with unspeakable pity for my dear old friend and all my other loved ones who had such scanty fare. I watched very closely for some indication of unsatisfied hunger, but they all seemed full. Oh, the pity of it! All noble hearted and clean handed before the world, and all seeming to have real love for our dear heavenly Father and all believing they are loyal to him!
Dear brother, I have wanted to tell you how greatly I rejoiced that our sweet and comforting belief—the truths that we greatly prize above life itself—were presented to so many people during your debate with Dr. Eaton, and presented in such a lovely Christlike way. All my Christian life I have longed to see my blessed Lord and Master so represented before the world.
It is with deep and inexpressible gratitude to the great "Giver of all good gifts," and to you, his honored servant, that I take up my pen this morning. I have read and re-read your dear Christmas letter [of greeting to the Colporteurs] and my heart echoes every sentiment expressed.
How truly "unspeakable" are our heavenly Father's gifts, not for one day only, but for every day, and for "ages to come," for he will show unto us "the exceeding riches of his grace (favor) in his kindness to us through Christ Jesus."
The year just past has been one of great blessing to me. The Lord's "table" never seemed so bountifully spread as it is now—perhaps my appreciation is increasing, too—and our standing in Christ Jesus, and our present privileges in the service of his Truth, never seemed more grand. Angels certainly would esteem it a pleasure to be in our places.
The dear Chief Reaper has permitted us to see some results of our feeble efforts, and this has caused our hearts to bubble over with joy, and has more than compensated for all the trials incident to our work.
Our prayer is that we may be given grace and strength to continue in this glorious harvest work as long as the door of opportunity stands open. We realize also that the time is growing very short, and we desire to be diligent in his service, and pray also that the "Lord of the harvest will send forth more laborers into his harvest."
We rejoice more and more in the knowledge of the "good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people." It is the one thing which makes life worth living, and even makes it a pleasure. And "our hearts up-leap in fond anticipation"—knowing that our "union with the Bridegroom draweth nigh," and soon the blessing of the "groaning creation" will begin. Oh, that we may "walk worthy of him who hath called us to glory and [R3350 : page 111] virtue," that we may be ever in the attitude of our dear Brother Paul, who rejoiced that he was "counted worthy to suffer shame for his name," who did so much for us!
May these be the sentiments of each dear "footstep follower (I Pet. 2:21) until they "finish their course with joy" and see their dear Redeemer face to face.
I have been long wanting to write to you. Since August last year when the Lord graciously called me, I have been by his gracious help holding steadily on to the faith. Your books, together with ZION'S WATCH TOWER, (to which I look forward eagerly) and other interesting tracts, etc., have been a valuable help to me, so instructive have they been.
It has helped to give the daily reading of the Holy Word an additional delight. Many passages having struck me as being peculiarly beautiful, I have learned them by heart, and while at my work (being an engine driver) I love to repeat them over and over to myself amid the roar and rattle of the revolving machinery. I have tried, oh, so hard, with, I hope, the blessing of the Lord, to interest some of my fellow-workmen in the great Truth, and as you know have caused two of them at least to become subscribers to the WATCH TOWER. As a child of God, wholly consecrated to Him, I am anxious that all around me should partake of the blessings and peace of mind that a child of God has amid the numerous distractions of life. My eyes have been opened to the fact that there are many blessed privileges I can live up to even in this life, and my Father has been surpassingly good to me. I am a simple man and do not know very much, but the good fortune that has come to me, and in which you have, under God, taken a part, impels me to write to you, repeating my thanks with a rejoicing heart.
Some weeks ago I received (as a Presbyterian minister, I suppose) a free copy of your "Divine Plan of the Ages." Before acknowledging it, I have taken time to read it. I now ask that you will send a cloth-bound copy of it to a friend and send your bill to me. You can also put me down as a subscriber to ZION'S WATCH TOWER. I expect later to order the MILLENNIAL DAWN series in leather. It is needless to say that the "Divine Plan of the Ages" has both interested and comforted me. I am anxious to follow up the series and to exchange a personal letter or two on some points.
Regarding the article in the Feb. 1 TOWER, "Can the Ethiopian Change His Skin," allow me to say, that I have ascertained by inquiry, from different colored people, that in this small town there are several instances of this change taking place. It usually begins with a small spot on some part of the body and gradually enlarges, and, strange to say, the individuals are loath to speak of it. My information extends to other communities, and the same experiences are occurring there. This appears to be general amongst the race all over the country. If a general inquiry was made amongst the colored people throughout the country it would be found that this is generally the case. I think that this is one of the many indications of the great changes that will soon take place when our dear Redeemer assumes his power and reigns.