I am seven months old in the Truth. I was one of those baptised at the Boston Convention. This blessed Truth was brought to me by one of your Colporteurs. For four years or more I had been hungering and thirsting for the true Gospel of Christ. I had been to several churches of different denominations, seeking to satisfy this soul hunger, but failed to get what I craved for, so at last I gave up going to any church, and went to God and told him I loved him and wanted to serve him, and him alone, and if he would make known to me the true way to serve him I would sacrifice my whole life in service unto him, even unto death; and there I left myself in his hands. In three months Sr. Boodry came to me with the DAWNS. When I first saw Sr. Boodry she was coming out of my neighbor's gate, and the thought came to me, if she comes to my door I will invite her in, for she may have something I want.
This was something very unusual for me, as I am generally opposed to canvassers of any description, and if I saw them first, I would lock the door and not answer them; but in this case I could hardly wait till she got in my house, I had such a strong desire to know what she had. When she came in and sat down she had not spoken a half dozen words before I knew my prayer was answered, and I recognized my dear Master's voice speaking to me through her. From that moment to this, I have never had any doubt as regards this blessed Truth, and every time I take up those blessed DAWNS tears of rejoicing and thankfulness fill my eyes for God's wonderful favor to me at the present time and for the future blessings that are coming to all mankind in due time. O, praised be God's name ever more through his dear son, amen.
We have thought for a long time that we ought to express our gratitude to you for your service rendered to the household of faith in giving out the "meat in due season." It is a little over four years now since the light of Present Truth reached us, and well do we remember when we first received some of your literature, and through it learned of our Heavenly Father's plan. How our hearts went out to Him and you as His servant, and we are still very grateful.
We are still rejoicing and how we long to tell the good news, but with our farming work we felt that there was not very much that we could do. But through your encouragement and the much advice and encouragement that we received [R3573 : page 175] from our dear Brother Owen, wife and I entered the colporteur work, feeling that if we could sell four or five books each day, we would be satisfied.
Since that time, we have, by the help of our Heavenly Father, succeeded in selling over fourteen thousand DAWNS, and we are still rejoicing and have an increasing desire to spread the good news. We are settled here with Sister Roberts for the winter, as my health will not permit me to do much at the work in extreme weather. However, we will do some work here as opportunity offers.
DEAR BRETHREN:—Believing it might be of interest to you, I will relate how the Truth as presented in Millennial Dawn affected a very rank outspoken Infidel, an old French doctor, 85 years old, an admirer of R. G. Ingersoll, of whom I was warned repeatedly that he was "poison" to all preachers and religious workers.
Unheeding the warnings, I called upon him. After, as a colporteur, stating my business, which seemed to nettle him, he asked if the DAWN taught that the Bible was the inspired word of God. I told him that it did. He at once told me that he wanted nothing further to do with us, and he had enough of Christianity, and that its whole foundation was a fraud and a fake from beginning to end.
After a weak attempt to entangle the Bible account of Creation, the Levitical Priesthood, etc., he left the Bible and attacked modern theology, and the "so-called Christian governments" as he expressed it.
After being informed that our mission was not to bolster up any creed or theory as held by the several Churches, but that it was rather to show and prove the harmony of the Bible with itself, as in contrast with all man-made theologies, which are casting so much reproach upon the Bible, he began to give ear attentively, and finally ordered the first volume of DAWN.
I have called upon him several times since, and really, words cannot justly describe the wonderful change in the spirit and disposition of this man—once haughty and sarcastic, he is now friendly and docile. He has become so interested in "The Plan of the Ages," that he has solicited orders among other free thinkers, and had me leave an extra DAWN in his office for him to sell for me.
Just how he will use this knowledge of the Truth is left for time to tell. For my part I am thankful for the privilege of scattering a few, at least, of the precious seeds of Truth, even though some fall upon stony soil.
It will interest and gratify you to hear that I have had a reading of the six volumes of MILLENNIAL DAWN, which I got from a brother who acts as Colporteur in this locality, disseminating these works and other tracts and booklets from the branch Australian depot in Melbourne.
I had my early teaching in the U. Presbyterian school, but for long years I have severed myself from that teaching, and for some time I have been associated with believers in "Life in Christ only," known as Conditional Immortality. Much of what truth you give we have long found and accepted, but I must confess that until I have been led to carefully read your works many of the vast problems in Scripture remained mysteries. I testify that your modest offer of a "helping hand" has been more than affording some light, a ray of light, but has come as an opened door, revealing a flood of light. Thank God for this. To him be all the praise. I am now re-reading these works, and shall apply all my intellect and intelligence to grasp this teaching. I have circulated quite a number of the DAWNS and created much interest in my circle of friends. I am in my 62nd year and feel situated like one called at the eleventh hour. Yours in the faith,
The Colporteur service is indeed richly blest to me, in accord with your kind prayer in letter of Feb. 23 and the Lord's presence does lend much of bliss in the narrow way. Through pain and disease I have had to smile with inward joy (as who can help doing, no matter how we feel, if the Lord smiles on us?) and sing in heart those comforting old hymns, "How Firm a Foundation," "Close to Thee," "He Justly Claims a Song from Me," "Nearer, My God to Thee," and also "Trusting in Jesus" and "I've a Message from the Lord."
I half wondered last Thursday night whether I should live till morning, having taken fresh cold Wednesday afternoon and being in the greatest physical discomfort. But I was never more blissfully happy in my life, in the thought of the Lord's glorious presence and favor. How absurdly impossible that would seem to anyone outside the Church! And next morning your kind letter was received and the pain felt better and has been better since.
But I realize that the earthly life must necessarily fade; yet there must be for me a narrow way of assured faith even in the matter of health—a path between indolence and reckless overwork and exposure. Am tempted sometimes to great disappointment that I could do so little for the Lord in his harvest this past winter (I am so thankful that it is past), yet I surely believe that his blessing rests upon the desire and endeavor to serve faithfully just as richly as though I had succeeded in my own eyes. He may not want this city canvassed in such a hurry as I would have enjoyed. His will not mine, be done. I praise his name.
I had a dozen very pleasant little visits yesterday morning with DAWN purchasers in delivering my books. There are lovely people here. At one place, where they found they already had the book but had not read it, I left one of your printed sermons and secured a promise to read the "Plan" and permission to call after a few months to see if they would like the second volume. Another place the lady said she was a converted Catholic, had taken "Father O'Connor's" paper, and felt she would very much like the DAWN.
While attending the St. Louis Fair about the middle of last September, I went through a car in the Transportation Building, and there picked up two tracts, "Sequel to Eaton-Russell Debates" and "Criticisms of Millennial Hopes and Prospects Examined." I read them after a time, and became so much interested in their contents that I procured the first volume of MILLENNIAL DAWN and found it interesting beyond anything I ever read. I thank God that I have found it and after a careful study of the same, and reading the other volumes, know that I have a correct understanding of many parts of the Scriptures I never had before. I also thank the kindly hand that placed those tracts in that car, and hope that some of them appealed to many others as they have to me.
Previous to that time I had never heard of MILLENNIAL DAWN. Now I'm trying with God's help to follow the path made so plain and clear therein. The fact that this wonderful work of yours appealed so strongly to me at once is a great encouragement to me to do the best I can.