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I do not know if you are aware of the fact that the conflict between the political and religious factions here in Germany is getting hotter and hotter. Various conditions, higher taxes and higher prices for the necessities of life, especially food and rents, and for the luxuries of tobacco and beer, have raised quite a commotion among the working classes.
The hosts of Socialism are rapidly increasing here. Since the last elections to the Reichstag, in which they had lost in the number of seats, they have since gained in eight cases, where substitutes for deceased representatives were elected. It seems evident that in the general elections of next year they will elect more representatives to the Reichstag than any other party. Moreover, the liberals of other smaller parties are preparing to co-operate with the Socialists in various measures, and vise versa. The Government is compelled to seek the support of the Catholic party. As a consequence we see how the latter are coming forward boldly with their claim to Divine rights in matters of education, etc. The annual Catholic day recently was an occasion for using "great swelling words," praising the Pope and the Kaiser and practically calling to arms every nominal Christian in the country, not only of the Catholic faith, but of every shade of belief. The war cry is: Down with the liberals, and let us get control of the educational systems, schools, books and newspapers.
The Kaiser on his part has not failed to show color recently. He took occasion to praise his great-grandfather and grandfather for having relied upon their "Divine right" to govern the people, and to say that he, too, would follow in the course which he was destined to go, and that he would take no notice of public opinions.
A storm of protests and mass meetings instantly followed all over the country, protesting against this antique notion of his. In one case a resolution was unanimously adopted, saying that the voters of the country were equally destined, and that since he would ignore the people, they were compelled to ignore the opinions of the Kaiser. Another distinguished speaker in Stuttgart reminded the crowded assembly that many thousand marks had been used as a bribe to secure the crown to King Frederick II. of Prussia. Thus the Divine right of kings was made ridiculous.
Recently the International Socialist Congress convened in Frankfurt on the Main and brought about 40,000 people together, most of these, of course, from the city. Representatives from Sweden, France and England spoke in German and used great plainness of speech. In all countries, they pointed out that the fight was against the Reactionaries, monopolies and against war and for liberty and the rights of the people in general.
The papacy, you may know, has undertaken to fight the modernists. The Berlin Tageblatt brings a very interesting item to the point, showing that these manifestations on the part of the vatican, the Kaiser and the Bavarian prince, who recently prided himself for having been born a Catholic, serve only to hasten the day of liberty from civil and religious potentates!
I see from a dispatch in the press that the vatican proposes to have a year of mourning in 1911, it being the 40th year since the united Italy made Rome its capital. No doubt the papacy will have more reasons than that for mourning.
This is certainly a wonderful day in which we are living. How unsettled everything earthly is! Old things are passing away, and all things are being renewed, or are preparing to be renewed. We hail Messiah's Kingdom with the earnest prayer, "Thy Kingdom come!" Surely, the perplexed nations and the groaning creation of mankind need a righteous rule.
We have just returned from a sweet season of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. The Lord who said, "Wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst," fulfilled his word this time also. Not only were we blessed as by the gracious presence, but we were constrained to shout aloud as we realized that "The Holy One of Israel was in our midst." It was a time of restful joy and the four days during which we were together were all too short for us. As was the case with the Celoron Convention, so here; there was a note of triumph, as if from a gathering sense of an increased knowledge of the Lord and of strength in him. There were no signs of lack of spirituality, nor any sense of fatigue; there was apparently none with loose hands or feeble knees, and surely, had anyone attended who might have been touched with the spirit of fear planted by the enemy, the joys of the Lord, and the manifested graces of the Spirit would have been evidence enough to restore such a one to faith and hope and love.
When we met in the opening meeting the signs of the times were on us. Many loved faces were missing. This Convention has provided for the brethren in this country the first clear showing of the signs of the end of the Harvest. The home Church (Glasgow) has in the past year lost many brethren. Our dear Brother Edgar, who labored so earnestly all the time of his consecration, has gone to be with the Lord. We missed him sorely. Others have, we believe, been joined to the happy throng now with the Lord; some have gone to other parts of the world, and some are no longer with us, having gone out from us. The addresses seemed very acceptable to the brethren, and were evidently of the helpful character, which is to be expected. The testimony meetings were as good or better than ever, and added much to the pleasure of the Convention.
At the baptismal service 61 brothers and sisters symbolized their vow of consecration to the Lord. This was a specially sweet and encouraging time, for of the 61 there were about eight young brethren who have been stirred to consecration through the death of Brother Edgar, amongst them being his two sons and three other members of the family. [R4726 : page 381] Our eyes filled as we watched a mother wipe away her tears before she could properly see to help her daughter out of the water. It is good to see many for whom there has been long waiting coming into the light of the Lord and into the fellowship; and it is wonderful to behold the ease with which they lay hold upon the deep things of the Lord. Of course, the Truth is ever becoming plainer and there are more to help, but it is wonderful all the same. It is the Lord's doings.
When we were about to part a Brother suggested a message be sent to Brother Russell, and all the congregation stood while this message was read—"I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast towards the Lord Jesus and towards all saints; that the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother."—Philemon 4:7.
Here in Melbourne the position does not show any change from what has been previously reported. We count about thirty that attend the meetings and several who, through infirmity, cannot attend, but are among the most faithful all the same. I believe that there is good progress among the friends that meet with us; I feel that almost all are truly consecrated. Our Thursday night study on "The New Creation" is a feast; I think it is the best meeting we have....
We have just had an interesting case of a man who, after
belonging to the Salvation Army, Seventh Day Adventists,
etc., had become agnostic, at the same time being possessed
of the spirits.
He got Vol. 1 and that made the spirits mad
at him; they would not give him rest while he tried to read.
But he had got enough of the volume to be sure that it was
right and fought hard.
He came to us for advice, and
thought that we should exorcise the spirits.
While he talked
with us they shook him up in a terrible way bodily.
him that we did not have authority to command them to come
out, but felt sure that if he was really determined to be the
Lord's and to make a consecration of everything to him, that
the Lord would deliver him.
After prayer several times and
much distress on his part, they finally laid him out on the
He gained the victory in appealing to the Lord
and was made free; he has never been bothered with the spirits
He has told us that his boy also would continually
waken up at nights screaming and saying that he could see
things and that they were after him.
But now that the [R4726 : page 382] father is free the boy sleeps all right, as though the spirits
were operating through the father to torment the son....
Although your time is so much taken up, yet I beg a few minutes to present a little in regard to the work for the blind, the spiritual eyes of some of whom are being opened to see the grand and glorious Truth.
The work has been going on steadily, and, by the Lord's grace, I have been enabled to help quite a number to reading matter in the English braille type. I have also been able to get out two or three tracts in the American braille, and a few in the New York point system, thus endeavoring to accommodate all classes of the blind. These different systems are used by blind people in different parts of the country. We have Volume 1 in the English braille, and this has done good work, but it has not reached all who would like to read it, for I have had a number of calls from those who felt they could not learn a new system.
I want to give you one instance of the loving zeal of a blind sister in Canada. So anxious was she to do something to help scatter the Truth abroad that she wrote me asking permission to re-write from the English braille into New York point some of the tracts that I had sent her. She has sent me three tracts already. Others also are doing good work in copying, both blind and seeing; and so, under the Lord's guidance, the work goes on.
I know the time is short for you to receive this and send me an answer, but I have written as soon as I could ascertain that I could get the work done. I hope I may get just a word from you which will enable me to push on, feeling that the Society will stand back of me financially.
A few months ago a gentleman called here from whom I obtained three volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. I am so deeply interested in them that I would like to get the other three. They have aroused a hunger for all the information possible to be gained on the all-absorbing topic. Surely, we are privileged whose lot is cast in the glorious dawn of the Millennium.
Your precious books were a grand surprise to me—my first intimation of the finding of the key to the wonderful prophecies. Although I have long noticed the changes constantly going on in the world, and have felt for years that the time was drawing near, yet I owe to you the realization of the great truth and desire to know if I may at once subscribe for your semi-monthly publication by addressing you in Brooklyn; or have you an agent in our city of whom I can procure tracts and other books, both for myself and others? Being in my 79th year, the time may be very short for me, and I hope I may be permitted to distribute to at least a few the glorious tidings.
TOWER of Oct. 1 to hand, containing notice of your departure for England, also Brother Harris' letter in respect to reading DAWNS, etc., as published in TOWER of Sept. 15, 1910, which is but a reiteration of the same notice published in THE TOWER of June 15, 1900, with only the remarks about failure to read added.
Your verbal instruction given the Elders, etc., at Celoron Convention is thus brought forcefully to mind, to wit: To preach by teaching; not to preach Pastor Russell, but to teach "Present Truth," God's revealed Word, properly holding the Head, looking to God through the merit of the Master's sacrifice, teaching that he is now present a Spirit Being, who hath girded himself and is spreading the feast.
In my own case, if it were not for the DAWNS and THE TOWER Bible Comments on the Scriptures relative to the Divine Plan, I would still be a skeptic and avowed Socialist, as I was for seven years after withdrawing from the M.E. Church and previous to obtaining Vol. 1, which, by the way, was received at the same hand as did Brother Van Amburgh, at Huron, S.D., though Brother Van is years in advance of me in the Truth. However, it took the testimony of that Stone Witness, "The Pyramid," treated in Vol. 3, to set me making use of the Bible to see if it indeed be true, and that God really loved mankind—was indeed a God of mercy.
Yet other seven years transpired before I had read all six volumes and become a subscriber to THE WATCH TOWER. Though it is twenty-one years since withdrawing from Churchianity, it is only three years since I fully consecrated to be dead with Christ, symbolizing shortly afterward upon the occasion of Brother Bundy's pilgrimage to the coast, and taking the Vow subsequently, rejoicing and abiding with confidence in the joy of the Lord.
I ask a further continuance and interest in your prayers, that I and mine may abide in the faith, properly holding the Head, duly recognizing the sign board, "That Servant," the Channel through which we are privileged to partake of the meat, the strong meat, due in its season. Praying your safe return to the United States and that the prophecy of Ezekiel, "I have done as thou hast commanded," may be fulfilled in its due time.