Your remarks in the January 1 TOWER in regard to 1914 are very sensible. There is no flaw in the time prophecies concerning 1914 as set forth in the DAWNS, but I would like to see an article from your pen on the subject—"What can we say we KNOW about 1914, and what do we merely infer or guess?"
There are only two things stated in the time prophecies concerning 1914. One is that the lease of power granted to the Gentile nations expires then, and the other that the Harvest Period of the Gospel Age ends there. Every thing in addition to these two bare facts is only an inference or guess founded on these facts.
The Scriptures nowhere declare that the time of trouble either begins or ends in 1914, nor that the saints, the Bride class, will all be taken away at that time. These are only inferences, and no difference how reasonable these inferences seem to us, we cannot know whether they are correct or not until after that date is past. The case is the same with all that has been claimed for 1914, with the exception of the two things mentioned above.
The fact that God's lease of power to the Gentile nations expires in 1914 does not necessarily imply that they will all fall to pieces in that year. Gentile nations existed for centuries before God gave them a lease of power; and as for anything we actually know they may continue to exist for a short time after that lease expires. Both of these events the time prophecies show are due in 1914—namely, the expiration of the Gentile lease and the completion of the Harvest Period; and yet nothing may happen in that year which the daily papers would specially record. The affairs of the world might apparently go on uninterrupted just the same as before.
On the other hand, our inferences may all prove to be correct, improbable as they now appear to the world, for the Scriptures state, over and over again, that the overthrow of Babylon is to come suddenly. But we need to keep our heads level and not say we know things which in reality we only infer or guess.
The earthly phase of the Kingdom will be established later than 1914, thus leaving a period after the expiration of the Gentile lease for the fall of the nations and the gradual establishment of the Kingdom on earth. As it appears now this period will be necessary, for several important events, such as the gathering of the Jews in Palestine; the attack on them there by God (Ezek. 38), the miraculous overthrow of Gog, which will demonstrate to the world that Christ's Kingdom has come (Ezek. 38:23; 39:21). It also gives time for the preaching of the Elisha class, whoever they may prove to be.
The only thing plainly prophesied in regard to the Elisha class is that they are to take up the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom when the Elijah class cease preaching, and it seems that that must be done after 1914.
The December 15th issue of THE TOWER is at hand, together with its annual report. I am moved with wonder, admiration and thanksgiving for the masterful management our Lord has shown in the conduct of his harvest work for the past year and his executive ability as evidenced in his choice of servants in that work.
No other organization on earth could have accomplished such a work with ten times the amount expended. Compare one large denomination, I have in mind, with $3,500,000 for missions and the work accomplished. From a business standpoint it should make them ashamed. Nothing but the spirit of love and sacrifice could have done it. It makes us all glad that we have had ever so small a share in such a work, and only wish all of us had a fuller appreciation of the immense returns on the money—from a purely business standpoint. This report should certainly inspire every co-laborer with such confidence in the Lord's direction of the Society's affairs that they would gladly entrust all available funds to you for the work.
I desire to express again my love and confidence and assure you of heartiest co-operation to the extent of my ability, as the Lord permits, for the coming year, which looks to me to be the one of grandest opportunities yet.
The Australian account of the doings of the fallen angels recalls a brief interview with you at the Put-in-Bay dock just as the boats were leaving for Cleveland and Toledo at the close of that memorable convention. The convention had the Vow as its basis, and also your expectations that as in our Lord's case the cause of the Truth went down in apparent disgrace, so might we expect that the servant be not above his Master. As then blasphemy was considered a crime worthy of death, so now public opinion lays great stress upon morality, and while the world is not strictly hewing to the line, it is certainly expecting it of those professing to be the Lord's people.
In this connection I had briefly related how, on coming home from Mansfield Convention, I had made the Vow my own and how the Lord has been pleased to use me in helping others to see; and how it had been my blessed privilege, at the Put-in-Bay Convention, to give a talk on "Consecration and the Vow," to a number of Kentucky friends assembled in an upper room in Hotel Victory, and how nearly every one in that room (I think there were thirteen) got down on their knees and vowed that Vow unto the Lord and then and there subscribed their signatures in witness thereof.
I was not among the first to take the Vow, but was FOR it and TALKED it and REASONED in its favor with the friends, though I did not make it my own until our talk with you at Mansfield, and then—oh, the PEACE that was mine!
On my return home at midnight, alone in the room (as far as human eye could see) on my knees I vowed a closer walk with God. I cannot describe the peace, contentment—the feeling of having done that which was pleasing to my Heavenly Father. I felt that I had his approval, and as though heavenly visitors were present saying, "Amen; well done!"
My heart goes out to you, dear Brother, for all your loving service to the household of faith, and daily our prayers ascend in behalf of you and all the dear Israel of God, that we all be kept by power Divine.
Brother __________ has ten acres of land located in Colorado, about four miles west of the Palisades, close to the foothills. The Brother would like to sell this and turn the proceeds over to the Watch Tower B. and T. Society for use in the harvest work. He asked my advice and I suggested that he turn it over to you to dispose of, as you have had experience with other deals of a similar nature.
This particular piece of land is not irrigated, and, of course, at the present time is not good for anything except from a speculative standpoint. Land next to this piece, and of the same character, is being held at $400 per acre. This land is just above an irrigating ditch, and the Government has been planning to put in another ditch; but has not gotten around to it as yet. When the Government does so it will greatly increase the value of the land.
I am glad to inform you that a huge burden has been taken off my mind and I feel as if I had new life. I may say that after reading some books I got from the Adventists, I was absolutely convinced that the Bible is real and true. God's Plan, as set forth by them, seemed beautiful, until I thought of the untold millions who would perish and who never have had a real chance. Then the thought that, after two thousand years of hard work, sorrow and cruel deaths, everybody was wrong in their worship and that they, too, would perish, and that all this had been wasted labor, made me lose heart in life, and all that goes with it.
I thank God that he has heard my prayer and at last I begin to see light. Of course, I must get the six books and study them with the Bible carefully, and I have no doubt it will require my reading them over several times. But I trust I shall come out with absolute peace and be established in the Truth.
I wish you to please send me the six volumes bound in full leather, as quoted in your list, price $3, plus 60 cents postage. I will keep the book you sent me, to lend to others and I herewith send you $5 as payment for same. The money which is over and above the price I wish you to keep to help defray expenses for books and tracts you give away—gratis. I have perhaps written rather fully, but I believe you will be interested to know the peace and joy I have derived from what you teach.
We desire to have our names registered as having taken "the Vow." In the Fall of 1908 some tracts were thrown in our yard in Birmingham, Ala.—"Earthquakes in Prophecy," "Tongues of Fire," "In the Evil Day" and "Filthiness of Flesh and Spirit." These had a charm for us that nothing ever had before.
Then we moved to La Grange, Ga., and there a Brother came with the first three volumes of DAWN. We bought them, read the first volume and started the second, but became confused in regard to the Spiritual Kingdom.
At the time I was a member of the Baptist Church and 'phoned my Pastor in regard to them—what wonderful books I had gotten hold of and asked his advice in regard to the Spiritual Kingdom. There were no Bible Students there for us to confer with. He said that if I wanted to I could read the books, but if they bothered me, I had better not read them. We put them aside.
In 1909, June, we removed to Texas. We were not there very long until Sister Lentz and Sister Marion Sturgess called, and we bought the six volumes. Now we are thankful and can say that the entire plan is so beautiful to us. We cannot thank you too much, dear Pastor, and desire your prayers that we may come off more than conquerors.
The article in the recent issue of THE WATCH TOWER, under the heading, "Blessing God and Cursing Men," has been such a great help to me that I cannot refrain from writing to tell you how much it has signified as having a place in my course in the School of Christ. And yet I do not see how I can fully tell you my appreciation for its effect upon me.
I am greatly rejoiced when falling into different testings to have such a full-length mirror show me just how Mister E. P. McKissick looks. And oh I am so disgusted with him! To show how deceitful the human heart is—the day that I read that blessed article I had been making use of a person's name in business. For fear that I would say anything to injure him I was mentally praying to guard against it at the time. But when I read such a gook analytical treatise of cursing men, I saw that I had said more than I should.
When I was a boy I liked to fish for eels. If you have ever had any experience in that line you will recall what slippery things they are. They will squirm out of one's grip when doing the best to hold them, unless by experience and education one learns just how to hold them; and then it requires all of one's concentration and strength to do so. Meantime they exude slime that, quickly hardening, tangles the line in an almost hopeless tangle. Now you have as good a description of my tongue as I can give. Please pray that I may succeed by experience and education in this wonderful school to hold my tongue on all occasions, unless it be solely to edification.
Our Ecclesia here, three in number, send greetings and love to you. You are made the subject of our earnest pleadings at the Throne of Grace. We seem to realize in some measure God's Chosen People's inquiring of a Gentile "What of the night?" (Isaiah 21:11,12); the action of the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church declaring against the sermons being published in the newspapers of the country; the noting by labor organs in their news that October witnessed more strikes and other disturbances than any previous month; and the contribution of $100,000 to the Committee on Church Federation at the recent Episcopalian Conference in Cincinnati, by J. P. Morgan, reputed to be the world's greatest organizer and wealthiest man—this and more will have an effect of great import upon the harvest work and the Body now so rapidly nearing her deliverance.
The modern chief priests, elders and pharisaical laymen must be stirred in their jealous hatred to the depth of human passions and their venom must of necessity be looked for—heartless, cruel, and powerful, because permitted only in this their hour of darkness.
We look for messenger ministrations to strengthen you and all the called, chosen and faithful. Strength for the moment ever comes from God, into whose hand we have committed the future. We are more thankful than we have ability to express that the presence of our adorable Lord gives us the understanding, and that we see so much of grand prophecy unroll with such accuracy before our astonished eyes. We long to be clothed upon with powers to most fittingly worship, praise and serve him who bought us with his own precious blood, and his and our Father, who planned it all.
Your Christmas letter to Colporteurs was received several days ago and is very much appreciated, being so full of loving sympathy and encouragement. Please accept my hearty thanks for this further evidence of your interest in our spiritual welfare, and I trust the daily perusal of the contents of these volumes shall continue to be a source of comfort and strength as in the past.
I notice in reading Annual Report for 1910, as contained in December 15 TOWER, you say, "Only in the Colporteuring of the SCRIPTURE STUDIES are we disappointed," and further you state that if any Colporteur may think he sees a reason for the decline you will be glad to hear from such.
Now, in regard to my own little share in the work I do see a reason. It is this: I have had so many opportunities to water the seed sown by previous Colporteurs, and to uphold the Truth in the face of opposition, therefore cannot make as many calls in a day. I call on many who have at least one volume in their possession and my time is thus taken up. For instance, I call at a home, make my introductory remarks, and the lady may ask me in. On showing the work she exclaims, "Oh I have the work, all six volumes, but have been told not to read them, etc., etc."
I may find this woman very conscientious, and giving evidence of being a sincere Christian, but fearful of being led into greater confusion than she confesses she is already in. Therefore, I try to encourage her to read the books, and at the close of our little visit she may remark that she will begin at once, or perhaps she thanks me for calling and asks me to call again. But, perhaps, a very brief call would suffice in such cases to be followed by another little visit after the person has had time to read.
I should indeed be glad for any suggestions you can give us along this line, for those of us working in cities which have been colporteured several times find so many books already on hand. I have spent the past four months here in Allegheny, and have found the work very interesting, though I have not put out a great many books. Have had many blessed experiences in meeting with the dear friends of our Home Ecclesia and rejoice in seeing the love and harmony manifested. "Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love." Your brief visit (Dec. 9) was much appreciated by us all, and we are looking forward now to another season of fellowship with you and many of the Lord's dear people on Feb. 19, D.V. "The Lord bless thee and keep thee."
Recently an incident came to my attention which, I think, might be of interest. A dear Brother, who has been in the Colporteur work for a number of years, experienced some difficulty in disposing of the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, owing to a great deal of prejudice.
He tried canvassing for the HEAVENLY MANNA with considerable success. About a year later he went over the same territory with the STUDIES. He was delighted to learn that the HEAVENLY MANNA had since borne rich fruit. One family had become so much interested in the daily reading that they had sent to headquarters for a set of the volumes, and also called the attention of a neighbor to them, and he had also sent to secure a set of the volumes. As a result, the two families were reading with much interest.
The Brother further advised that in nearly every home where he had previously sold the MANNA he was now able to dispose of the volumes of STUDIES, some taking one, others three and still others the full set of six volumes.
He related several instances in which the purchaser of the MANNA had been advised never to have anything to do with the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, but that, after reading the HEAVENLY MANNA and being assured that the STUDIES were from the same pen, they were glad, indeed, to purchase them, remarking that if these were in harmony with the thoughts presented in the copy of HEAVENLY MANNA, surely they must be good books.
They rejoiced to meet the Colporteur again, and desired to know if he could arrange for some meetings to be held at their home. The Brother was glad to comply, giving a series of Chart Talks, and organized a class which now meets regularly, with an average attendance of from eight to twelve.
It is very important that all of the friends receiving shipments, especially volunteer matter. PEOPLES PULPIT and EVERYBODY'S PAPER announcing lectures, check up carefully the quantity and advise us promptly the total number received. This is our only check against our printers, and prompt advice will assist us greatly in keeping records straight. We solicit your co-operation in this, as well as in other respects. Advise us promptly of all discrepancies in quality, quantity, or time of arrival.