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We rejoice that you are counted worthy to suffer for Christ's sake and the Gospel's, and regard it as evidence that the spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. We are also glad and thankful to be your companions in sorrow, suffering with you as members of the same Body. We do indeed desire that we might comfort you, but know that your help and consolation are sure; are near you indeed at all times—his Word in your mouth and in your heart. This being so our prayer for you, dear Brother Russell, is that you may continue in the Father's favor, standing steadfast in your defense of the Truth, and faithful in your service of teaching, and that your fellowship with the Father and with our dear Lord may daily grow more intimate, as more and more you sound the depths of the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ.
We would like to express our continued appreciation of [R4529 : page 366] THE WATCH TOWER, especially the articles on the Covenants and the Sin-Offering. The Truth on these subjects is becoming more beautiful and harmonious as we view it with you from every angle. We are glad to say that as we search the Scriptures earnestly we find that these things are so, and we are thus well defended against the attack of the Adversary. We think that some of the dear friends fall because they neglect to "eat" these things; they forget that the food on the Lord's table must be thoroughly assimilated—not merely sniffed at and barely tasted.
Having through you, dear Brother Russell, come into possession of all these treasures, we would as humble learners call your attention to some Scripture passages which seem to us of great value in establishing the fact that the New Covenant is to fleshly Israel only, and which, as far as we can discover, you have as yet not made use of. They are these: Ezekiel 37, the whole chapter, but especially the last nine verses. And in connection with these: Zechariah 8:20-23. We would also be glad if you will at some time in the TOWER explain Heb. 9:15. To us this verse seems plainly to teach that The Christ becomes the Mediator of the New Covenant by offering himself in death as a Sin-Offering for the transgressions that were under the old Law Covenant—both covenants, thus proving to be with fleshly Israel only. Is this right? You would be able to make this matter so much clearer to us, if you will.
I acknowledge your kind letter of the 26th ult. Being admonished by the sure word of prophecy, we do not think it strange concerning the fiery trials that are now amongst us, realizing that to these we were "called." After we have patiently endured to the end we hope to obtain the crown of life which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to all that love him, in that day.
Your article in Nov. 1 issue of TOWER, entitled "Them that are contentious," has had the effect of inciting the writer to a very close scrutiny of his own heart—of its attitude toward the Lord and the "brethren." Am sure it will prove a great blessing to all TOWER readers who desire to be humble and faithful. Your recent articles on the Covenants (particularly in Oct. 15 issue of TOWER) have made the subject clearer than ever to my mind.
It seems that the Lord permitted the subject, so much discussed in the Church of late, namely, the Covenants and the Sin-Offering, to be a little difficult to clearly understand at first, in order to prove whether or not we had genuine Christian love for the brethren, and now, those who had that love are being wonderfully blessed by a much clearer understanding of those, and related subjects.
Ah, yes! we are coming to see more and more that "love for the brethren" is one of the strongest tests of true Christian character. And I more than ever realize how important it is that we all keep very humble; and how strongly the leading brothers are tempted to pride and arrogance. For a long time my special prayer has been that God would enable me to be in the proper attitude toward all the brethren, and very humble before him.
Last night, with a few of the "brethren," we briefly studied the particular Covenant the Church is under, and, by God's grace, received additional light on the subject from the consideration of Gal. 4:21-31—particularly verse 29—in which it is intimated that Isaac was born "after the Spirit," and that "even so it is now," with respect to Isaac's antitype, the Church, whose members are spirit-begotten, heavenly-minded beings, "new creatures."
In verse 26 we see that Sarah was a type of the Heavenly Jerusalem, the Covenant that produces the Seed class—the Christ, Head and Body. As Isaac was produced by unnatural means, under the operation of God's holy Spirit, so is his antitype, The Christ, thus produced. And as Isaac was a child of "promise," so are all the members of The Christ, the Seed class, children of promise.
In Jeremiah 31:27-34 it is plainly intimated that the "New Covenant" will be earthly, and not heavenly; that the Lord will "Sow the house of Israel, and the house of Judah, with the seed of man, and the seed of beast." How plain it is to see that the "New Covenant" is entirely earthly, while the Sarah Covenant—"Jerusalem which is above"—is entirely heavenly. It is quite evident that the Church, whose members are spiritual, "new creatures," could not be under a covenant which, when in operation, will replenish Israel with "man and beast!"
How we praise our God for the clear light he is now giving us on these subjects, and how we more than ever appreciate THE TOWER, through which he is giving us such light! With much Christian love, and very best wishes,
Just a few words in regard to the Vow: Before taking it, I never fully understood my Consecration Vow, or the import of it, until you suggested the recent Vow; then I said that is just the very thing we all need; it is my Consecration Vow, put into words that I never could form. I wish to say that I realize his leading so much more, and for this I am glad.
Brother Utzler had to go to Aulander recently to deliver. When he arrived there the books had not come and the station agent told him it would be at least twelve or fifteen days yet. However, a freight was due at five o'clock that evening and Brother U. concluded to wait. He sat on the platform of the station all day, and when the freight came in and a car was opened, the first thing he saw was his box of books. "Praise his name." They were just in time. We thank our Lord for his wonderful goodness to us. I could tell you of numerous instances of a like character. Oh, how we love and trust him in everything, even the very smallest item.
Both of us desire to express to you our sincere love and sympathy in the trials you are passing through. We pray for you every day that the dear Lord will sustain you and bear you up and keep you in his mighty love.
As there is a party representing himself as a Brother Smith from Illinois and now traveling through Kansas and the Southwest securing money from the friends wherever he can, I have thought it best to write you that a warning be put in the TOWER regarding him.
He is heavy set, light complexion, with small, blue or gray eyes set well back in his head; has a heavy head of hair which he parts in the middle; he wears a winter suit of light colored clothing with a black derby hat; he has on a cross and crown pin or button and carries a WATCH TOWER and seems to be not only well versed in the Truth but also fully aware of the sifting that is in progress and speaks familiarly of many of the prominent brethren.
He tells a very smooth story and seems to deprecate any lack of confidence, professing great reluctance in receiving anything not freely and fully tendered. His general course is not to ask assistance but to solicit a loan.