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I suppose you know that there are a number of publications being circulated by persons who have, at some time, been enlightened by Present Truth. These publications teach the Truth to some extent, but are considerably mixed with error in regard to important doctrines. The channel which the Lord has used for the blessing of his people during this time of the "Harvest" has been the WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY, and it continues to be so used, and we render praise to our heavenly Father for the benefits so conferred.
Now what shall be our attitude toward those other publications which claim to be channels of instruction? A good many of us have listened to their claims and have bought the publications, only to find that our money (the Lord's money) has been wasted and the publication of pernicious literature has been encouraged. Of the 30,000 TOWER subscribers (more or less) perhaps one-third might be reached by the plea that these other channels contain more "light," and it is no more than a business proposition to put these things on the market, relying on the claim of the Truth friends to be "students" in order to sell the goods. No matter how unauthoritative may be the "teaching" how could its claim be investigated without encouraging its circulation?
I realize that all that might be said against buying anything not published by the WATCH TOWER, has been urged upon Nominal Christians to prevent them from being "poisoned" by the Truth, and anything we may now say will be used to support the claim that the DAWN readers have become a part of "Babylon," and that these other publications now represent Present Truth, and are being persecuted because of their unpopularity. In fact, every argument and Scripture may be used in their behalf which we have used in opposing the DAWN teachings against Nominal Churchianity. Which horn of the dilemma shall we take; that of refusing to investigate and open ourselves to the charge that we are not truth-seekers or, on the other hand, risk the encouragement of that which is opposed to the Truth?
It seems to me safe to assume that the Lord will supervise the publication of ZION'S WATCH TOWER so long as that help is necessary, inasmuch as it has been used thus far to bring out dispensational truth, and that we may show our faith in the Lord's promises by accepting his provision for our enlightenment by refusing to help the circulation of that which we have good reason to believe to be error. Satan would be highly pleased if he could induce us to investigate the claims of everything purporting to be Truth. As we note the spirit and character of those who have been led to investigate these things we feel more sure that insidious error is most safely left entirely alone. "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his." We would be glad to have your thought on the subject.
[In reply: We appreciate the force of your very well-stated proposition, and endorse its sentiments in every way. It seems to us that this question is one which each WATCH TOWER reader must decide for himself. Accordingly we have refrained, so far as possible, from criticism of the views of others, either publicly or privately. Those who are not our fellow-servants in any sense of the word would doubtless rejoice to have us berate them, and to claim that we were thus fulfilling Matt. 24:48,49smiting our fellow-servants. We love fellow-servants too much to wish to smite them, and we trust we are too wise to allow the Adversary to draw us aside to squabble with the enemies of the Truth, thus to hinder the more important work of scattering the Truth.
The Lord said, "It must needs be that offences [stumblings] come, but woe unto that man by whom they come!" Some of the dear friends who have been long acquainted with the Truth, and fail to become zealous and active in its service, are, we fear, in danger of being entrapped by the "snares of the fowler" which you mention. Some of them have been so long in the [R4194 : page 191] Truth that they think they understand it perfectly, while in reality they have forgotten nearly as much as they know. These are just in the attitude where a mixture of Truth and sophistry would be likely to catch them. And for aught we know it is a part of the Lord's will that they should be trapped and ensnared, because they have not received the Truth in the love of itwith a proper zeal.2 Thess. 2:10.
So far as our observation carries, the earnest, the zealous, the warm-hearted, are in no danger from these snares. They are protected in various ways: (1) Their love for the Truth is so great that they would be continually feeding at the table of the Lord. Their perceptions of the Truth are correspondingly clear. Instead of forgetting half of what they knew, these are continually growing in grace and knowledge. (2) They are so satisfied with the Lord's provision of which they have been already partaking that they have no appetite for other food, and are not seeking for it. In this respect they are different from the great mass of mankind, nearly all of whom are in doubt, in perplexity, in bewilderment, hungry for something to satisfy in respect to the life that now is and that which is to come. The class we refer to as being safe under the shadow of the Almighty is able to sing, with the Spirit and with the understanding also, that beautiful hymn:
In conclusion, then, dear brother, it seems to us that all those who have received the Truth half-heartedly, and who do not give heed thereto, do not study it, cannot be expected to have the strength, the knowledge, or the character which would enable them to endure the tests of this "harvest" time, which we expect will become more severe throughout the remaining years. It seems that we would do best to set an example of studiousness, and to a reasonable degree urge the use of the wonderful helps which the Lord has provided us, and not to specially chide or interfere with those who are unsatisfied, if they look further and become confused and entangled. The result with such seems usually to be a complete turning aside into the state of uncertainty in which the world and the nominal church are called, by the Lord in the parable, "outer darkness." Those who receive the Truth in good and honest hearts, full of zeal and love, get such a filling, such a satisfaction, become so strong in the truth and its spirit, are so well equipped with the armor, that the "Adversary toucheth them not." I think we would make a mistake if we should fail to recognize the Lord's own supervision of this "harvest" work, and the necessity, according to his wisdom, that errors be permitted for the very purpose of sifting the wheat.EDITOR.]
The Lord has seen fit to let us sell our old home and relieve us all of any ties, that we may each be free to go where the work is. And the increased opportunities for service make us all rejoicethat we are pilgrims and wanderers in the land, journeying always toward our heavenly home. Our stay here will be but three weeks, by which time (June 6) we hope to have all weights (furniture included) disposed of and enter our new field of labor with renewed energy and zeal.
I have desired very much to express my deep appreciation of the encouragement and help received through yourself and the dear Bible House helpers, especially in regard to the recent experiences in Louisville, Ky. It seems to me such a special leading of the Lord that the territory should be divided among many of us, thus sparing any few from having the entire burden of such trying territory for any great length of time. At first we were inclined to think we would not be permitted to stay there as long as we should wish, but the Lord soon showed us the wisdom of his ways.
I wish also to say that I am more firmly convinced that the Lord knoweth how to take care of his own. First, he provided for us fitting language to present to the public in the house-to-house canvass. As for myself I have always rejoiced in this fact that the Lord saw fit to provide even the words, that I need not depend upon my own poor judgment. I have taken great pleasure in speaking to others about the "successful method" and in watching the results of their change of method, which have always been markedly for the better. Secondly, we find that as our needs are made manifest these are all supplied, for we find we have very little strength left with which to "tote" the books, so now we have the Dawn-Mobiles, which beautifully does that part for us.
It was my good fortune to use the sample wagon in Louisville when delivering several days last week, and I cannot express my appreciation in words. While [R4195 : page 191] it caused some comment and made me a little conspicuous, it was on account of interest in the new invention, which met the approval of all who saw it. I am so thankful, not only for myself but for many other sisters who find their strength insufficient to do the heavy part of the work, which now may be rolled along with any steady hand to guide it. We are anxiously awaiting the announcement that the Dawn-Mobiles are ready for our use. We hope that all needing such a convenience will avail themselves of it.
We are all rejoicing that the Lord has seen fit to bring you back from the old country to Allegheny again. Our prayers are with you and "the family" daily that you all may have strength to keep the sacrifice so pleasing to him on the altar until soon entirely consumed. God bless you!
For a long time we have been on the lookout for some device which would aid our Colporteur sisters in making delivery of their books. Fifty books weigh forty pounds and are too great a strain on the delicate of either sex.
Colporteur Brother Cole has solved the problem splendidly. He has contrived a device having two wheels which may be attached to any ordinary "suit-case" in five minutes, and without injury to the latter except two holes. In use the wheels support the weight of the books and are easily guided by the hand on the suit-case handle. On a car the wheels fold up against the side of the suit-case. The mechanism is of light weight. The device will be supplied at cost to any colporteur$2.50 plus express charges.
Knowing that few of the sisters can do better than meet their expenses at Colporteuring, Brother Cole makes the following generous proposal: Through our Society's Colporteur Department Brother Cole offers one of these attachments free to each Colporteur sister now working and who has worked on a regular assignment of territory during the six months ending June 1, 1908, to the extent of sending in regular reports, and paying for not less than sixty dollars worth of books in that time. Orders may be sent in at once, naming your express company.