I desire to acknowledge receipt of route sheet. I cannot express how deeply I appreciate your kind words. I am well aware that the indicated necessities of the field govern the routes of the Pilgrims, and you may be assured that I am sufficiently grateful to the dear Lord for the privilege of the service that the place and the time are gladly left to the disposition of his will.
Beloved Brother Russell, the joy of this blessed service is more like such as one might expect to experience beyond the vail than that which would be known in the flesh. The Spirit of the dear Master as it is manifested in his true-hearted ones is seemingly becoming more and more precious and like that of the other side. If the closing scenes of our earthly experience are to be especially severe, surely he is preparing us for them by the abundant outpour of his blessings now.
As we often have painful examples of the power of a strong personality in doing evil among the classes it is most refreshing to observe the beneficent influence of complete devotion to the Lord. From every side come most heartfelt expressions of love and greeting to yourself, dear Brother Russell. My own deep love I earnestly desire to add to the large measure from the Lord's dear ones I am communicating, and my appreciation of the comfort and strength that the knowledge of your sympathy, your prayers and your love gives me.
It is with sorrow that I inform you that I will have to give up the colporteur work for the winter, on account of my health. Giving it up after being such a short time in it was like getting just a sip of water when one was thirsty and wanted a big drink; but I know and realize that "all things work together for good" to the Lord's children, and I am glad and thankful that I had the honor and privilege of selling 77 books for the Lord. Oh! that those who have strength and opportunity could realize what a privilege it is to spend it for the Lord in introducing his truth to the weary ones who are looking for something, they know not what; and could also realize what a blessing goes with this work!
I want everything to be just as the Lord would have it be and I praise him for all the wonderful help and enlightenment that is coming to me through the Bible by the means of the DAWNS and WATCH TOWER. The way is growing narrower and rougher, but it is also growing brighter, and my prayer is for you, dear Pastor, that you may be kept safe to the very end.
When you are so busy I don't expect an answer to this, because I know just how you sympathize with those who are set aside through no fault of their own. My determination is, by God's grace, to be on the lookout for every opportunity, no matter how small seemingly, to witness for the Truth and to send it to others; and I ask an interest in your prayers that I may be faithful in trading with the talents given me.
and remembering that I then believed we were singing the truth and that Methodism was a very great factor in spreading that Gospel light, no wonder I esteemed mine a very happy experience. But, oh! to know God's glorious Plan of the Ages—to be able to discern as error what I once believed as truth, and consciously to turn away from blind misstatements having but a "form of godliness," and receive, in place of husks, the satisfying portion of God's meat in due season—is delight inexpressible.
And then, out in the great harvest field, to be counted worthy of association as laborers together with the great Chief Reaper, our Lord; to be privileged to bear his message, which is to garner the true wheat; to have, in contact with those "who oppose themselves," a little taste of enduring hardness and trying that it be "as a good soldier of Jesus Christ"; to know just the little, even, that I have been privileged to learn, of suffering with him; knowing also the great and precious promise of which our light affliction is the condition—Oh, when I try to pin down, with pen or pencil, expression of these experiences, I feel how powerless I am!
To realize that one is making progress, instead of going over the same ground year after year, knowing no more at the close than at the beginning—the sordid matter of so many dollars raised for expenses being the acme of one's attainment, growth in grace and in knowledge of our Lord being only incidental matters, if not entirely omitted from consideration; or, at "revival time" to "work for souls," mainly for the purpose of their financial help—oh, what a relief to have forever laid aside such mockery of religion and really to have that knowledge that causes one really to grow in grace! What joy to experience that Christ dwells in our hearts by faith; that we may be rooted and grounded in love and be able really to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height and [R3957 : page 79] really to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge that we might be filled with all the fulness of God! This makes the narrow way bright with his radiance, for
because we are able to recognize God's loving purpose in even the persecutions that are heaped upon "this way," and find that their outcome is to bind us all more and more closely together and to him whose prophecies those persecutions fulfil.
Gratefully and lovingly remembering always that through you, dear Pastor, the exposition of God's great plan and of the real, true meaning of his wonderful Word of Truth, was given, as "meat in due season for the household of faith,"
I have often thought of writing to you and asking if you would bear with me if I would tell you a little experience of how the Truth came into my life, and now I take this opportunity to carry out my intention, trusting that you will bear with me. About four years ago my most intimate friend got hold of Vol. I. She received it from a young Jewess who said she was not interested in it. My friend about ten years previously had united with the Baptist Church, and I did likewise the following year. She was very devoted to the Church until within two years of receiving "The Plan of the Ages," when she became cold and indifferent to everything connected with the Church and was determined to see some of the world. I prayed for her and did all that I could to get her back, but she seemed to think there was nothing there to hold her. Sunday after Sunday I stopped for her to go to Sunday School or Church service, and thinking I could get her to promise me she would go the next week, but all my efforts failed. After this dear sister got Vol. I. in her possession and began to devour its contents, I was the first to whom she told the "glad good news." We both lived in the country, and on Sunday afternoons as I came from Sunday School I would stop on my way home, and she would always walk part of the way home with me and carried "The Plan of the Ages" under her arm. As we came to the wood between our two homes we sat down and talked until dark, and I well recall the tears running down her cheeks as she explained to me God's glorious plan. She seemed completely carried away by its teachings, and I was led to question, Could this possibly be true? or is this dear acquaintance being led astray? The latter I believed to be the fact, but never criticised her to another because I saw her earnestness and believed it to be genuine. Well, she gave me no rest, kept at me continually, gave me Vol. I., and I read it to please her; then Vol. II. I read also to please her, and finally Vol. III. Then she began to question me concerning certain teachings. With some I could agree with the author, with some I could not; in fact, I had not studied them enough to know whether or not they were Scriptural; in short, I did not know what to do. I was very uneasy; we had been friends so long that I did not like to drop her, for I realized her worth. She talked some of going west with some friends; I was only hoping that she would decide to go and then I would be at my ease.
I thank our dear heavenly Father that now I rejoice in that comfort and ease of mind and that "peace which passeth all understanding." I believe it was through this sister's prayers and also the prayers of some others of the Lord's dear ones that I at last became interested and that the interest grew and still grows. It was while reading Vol. V. that I became alive to my duty of making an entire consecration—presenting my body a living sacrifice, which is my reasonable service. But, oh, "the Adversary goeth about as a roaring lion, seeing whom he may devour." I ask you to pray for me, dear brother, that I may become more like our Pattern, the Lord Jesus.
The other day, having read the 15th chapter of Genesis, the 9th verse seemed to suggest that the years mentioned had some meaning, and, doing a little figuring, here is the result. In the 8th verse Abraham asked some proof that he should inherit the land promised him in the seventh verse. In verse 9 the Lord said to Abraham, "Take me an heifer three years old, and a she goat three years old, and a ram three years old, a turtle dove and a young pigeon." Now a bird is usually considered young up to one year old. So I figured three years each for the heifer, goat and ram—nine years—and one year each for the birds, eleven years in all. Eleven prophetic years of 360 days each equals 3,960. A day for a year gives us 3,960 years. On page 42, Vol. II., of the DAWNS we have the chronology as
From the Covenant to the giving of the Law...... 430 years
To the division of Canaan....................... 46 "
Period of the Judges............................ 450 "
" " Kings............................. 513 "
" " Desolation........................ 70 "
Thence to A.D. 1................................ 536 "
Total from the Covenant to A.D. 1...............2045 "
2045 taken from the 3960 years leaves 1915 years from A.D. 1, which seems to be the proof Abraham asked of the Lord whereby he should know that he would inherit the land. This seems at least to be a remarkable coincidence.
In our Volunteer work last year we put out 155,000 tracts, or over 3-3/4 tons. These, if laid out flat, tightly pressed, would make a pile 260 feet high, or 35 feet higher than Bunker Hill monument. This report encouraged the friends here greatly. All through the dark ages the truth has been kept down to earth, but now we can see where