I am in possession of a copy of the first volume of the Millennial Series entitled, "The Divine Plan of the Ages," and I believe you will be pleased to know that I am delighted with the work. I never have seen anything before that has shed so much light on the meaning of the Bible as it does. I have been a close Bible student all my life since a boy, but I have been wandering in the dark most of the time until now. The scales have fallen from my eyes at last, thank God, before it was too late. I was born of Christian parents who belonged to the Presbyterian Church, was baptized in that faith, and lived all my life in the belief of the doctrines connected therewith. But of late years I have had some misgivings in my mind. I never could see how to reconcile some of the teachings of the church with some passages of Scripture. But I rejoice to say that is all made clear now. I cannot think of anything that expresses my true sentiments so well as four lines of poetry that I committed to memory more than fifty years ago but never saw their beauty till now. Here they are:—
Now, having received so much good myself, it is natural that I should like others to be partakers also; and I would like to make some arrangement if I could see my way clearly to engage in some way to help spread the Truth so that others might receive some benefit.
It is with gratitude that I acknowledge the blessing the Lord has seen fit to bestow upon me through your last labor of love, DAWN VI. I wish to thank you as the instrument used of Him and pray you may have the grace sufficient to keep you faithful even unto death.
With so many chapters of good things, it would be difficult to say which is best; but I believe, to me, the chapter on Judgment has been as helpful as any, giving me a keener sense of the repulsiveness of the evils of the tongue, and I hope I may learn to be dumb until I can use my tongue only to sound His praises and honor His name.
The beautiful clearness with which you have shown us the type of man and woman has also helped me much. It was a new thought to me that approbativeness was more peculiar to women, and I trust I may set a double picket on that line, so that I may use it without abusing it. I also hope hereafter, when privileged to sit in a congregation of saints, to do so with more reverence. I thank you also for mentioning the covering of the head.
It has been my privilege to be with the Los Angeles Church for two years, and I wish to tell you something of the showers of blessing that have come to me through them. Their fervent love and unceasing efforts on my behalf have helped to teach me the way of God both by precept and example.
I received the tracts you sent me. Thanks be to the Lord and you for all they have revealed to me. Let me tell you how it all came about: I picked up a tract on the stairs one day when I came home from work, called "The Hope of Immortality." I never knew who put it there, but I know it was the Lord who sent it. I read it and it showed me very clearly my need of a Savior, and through it I have given my heart to the Lord Jesus and am now trusting in his finished work.
At the bottom of the tract it said that if the reader was interested he could by making application have "What is the Soul?" which you sent me, and a few more with it which looked as though they were especially for me. I took great pleasure in reading [R3448 : page 319] them, for I do hunger and thirst after righteousness.
I enclose a copy of a letter I addressed to about sixty ministers of St. Louis. As yet I have received no returns, as they are so wrapped up in World's Fair entertainments and civic reforms that they have no time to spare to point the inquirer the way to life:
Some time since I mailed to your address a copy of the Pittsburg Gazette, special edition, containing reports of the Eaton Russell debates. I have also come into possession of some pamphlets bearing on these subjects, printed at Allegheny, Pa., one of which I am mailing to you.
I am an ardent student of the Scriptures, and am associated with a small number of others who, like myself, love the Lord and seek always to increase our knowledge of his Word and revealed wisdom, to the end that we may become more able to do that which is pleasing to him. We are not connected with any particular denomination, but we realize that many earnest and well-informed disciples of Jesus are members of each, whose intellectual capacity is far greater than our own, hence this request, which I feel you will not consider presumptuous,—that, if agreeable and convenient to you, I may be privileged to have an expression of your views on the questions involved in these debates, either briefly or at length, as pleases you, and your opinion as to what methods would be best to pursue in order that a Truth-hungry child of God may reach a proper conclusion on these and other doctrines which seem to clash, and, while each claims a Biblical basis of proof, run counter to each other.
I can assure you that, knowing you to be a leader of thought among professing Christians, any assistance to further light on God's revealed Word will be greatly appreciated and your words will receive respectful consideration, should you deign to reply.
Each Pilgrim brother sent to us seems more capable of presenting the Truth and more humble and loving than the one preceding. Are they improving in ability to proclaim the glad news of salvation, and our call to glory, as likewise in spirituality and meekness, or are we developing Christian love and character so that daily we are enlarging our capacity for appreciation of the old, old story, which each time repeated becomes, as we sometimes sing, "more wonderfully sweet," or are both they and we making progress in the heavenly way, so that everything said and done touches the chords of harmony within and thus thrills our hearts with ever-increasing delight? On each visit of a Pilgrim we find ourselves congratulating each other and declaring "he is the best of them all," not merely as one capable of presenting the Truth—a forceful speaker—but one whose character conforms more closely to our ideal of a perfect life.
These Pilgrim brethren are truly in a great work, a work that affords splendid opportunity for ennobling those they visit. They have great responsibility, which perhaps they do not fully realize as yet. They doubtless also have many temptations to pride and self-esteem and must constantly be on their guard against self-exaltation. Not only in the words they utter but in their actions they minister to us either favorably or unfavorably. A Pilgrim returning a second time impresses us with his experiences and we can see where he has gained in spiritual things since his previous visit. I am glad so many are now in this good work. We of the Washington congregation may not so much need the frequent Pilgrim visits, but we want all we can get and as many as can be sent, though not more than our rightful share. Our heavenly Father has through your instrumentality been very gracious to us, and especially in the immediate past. There is much we have for praise, and thanks to you in serving us so well. The Lord bless you richly for your works and earnest effort for all his people.
Enclosed please find report. I must tell you that we have encouraging experiences by the way, with an occasional rebuff. In an out-of-the way place I saw two men by the roadside. As I introduced the work, one man broke in with the remark, "Did you ever read that great debate by that man Russell and Dr. Eaton? He is a smart man but he could not stand before Mr. Russell." He spoke in a very enthusiastic way. When informed that the book I sold was by Bro. Russell, he took it, and I trust it will become a great blessing to him.
In showing the Plan of the Ages to the M.E. minister at G__________ he remarked, "I have that book. I did not read it much, as I did not find it as definite as I expected." I began to read page 224 in explanation of the Chart, "The Path of Glory." I had not read far when he said, "We have found out that is not so; Adam was never perfect." We then brought the ransom to his attention, and having acknowledged that Jesus was perfect as a man, he could not well resist the force of this grand Bible truth. He said he was glad to have met me, would read the book, and asked could I speak for him some time I was that way. He seemed very sincere and desirous of the Truth, and now that he has it I trust it will be received into a good and honest heart.