I am a stranger to you, having come into a knowledge of Present Truth only last spring; but as I had for long been Truth-hungry, I accepted all of the SCRIPTURE STUDIES with the avidity and zeal only known to those who have for long been starving for the Bread of Life.
At the time I came into the Truth, I was talking to a class (of women only) on Sociology, having previously given a course of lectures on History, Philosophy and philanthropic subjects. Indeed, for the past twenty-five years I have given the most of my time to giving talks on subjects in the line of humanitarianism, to women.
As I am very deaf, and as the only one talent I have is the gift to make clear the subject I am talking on, my friends have believed that my work has been useful and uplifting. Now, at the advice of our dear Sister Calkins, I wish to ask your advice upon a problem I have now for solution. Immediately upon my consecration I testified to my class as to the marvelous light that had come into the darkness of my life, and that as I considered the "Kingdom of God" was the one and only solution to the problems of present-day questions, hereafter I could not talk upon any other subject than that of the Kingdom.
In pursuance of this plan I invited some of the sisters "in the Truth" to come to my house for a study hour, thinking that gradually I would invite those outside who might manifest an interest in our subject. Then, learning of the Scriptural teaching regarding woman's sphere in the Church, I felt that I should like your advice as to my future work.
As I was perfectly willing to consecrate all, I had in this [R5162 : page 15] also meant my only gift, or talent—but I could not keep still—every one I met I talked to—I gave the "Divine Plan" into the hands of no less than twenty women; and many people formerly in utter darkness are coming to see the light.
And now, the women of my class of last winter and the winter before are begging me to talk to them again. I may choose my own subject, and I want to give some "Talks on the Bible." I have consulted a dear brother and sister here, and they advise me to give the talks—they think it is a wonderful opportunity. But we finally decided we would submit the question to you.
The situation is, I know, unusual, and as I told Sister C., it is so difficult to make the situation understood in all its details. But I think I have stated the main facts. Of course, my whole object will be to endeavor to have those who listen to me read the SCRIPTURE STUDIES for themselves.
I know, dear brother, you are a busy man, and I am sorry to trespass so much upon your valuable time, but I am so anxious to do whatever work I can at this time; for "the night cometh in which no man can work." And at the same time I do not wish to be disorderly or bring any reproach upon the Ecclesia. Now, will you please tell me what I ought to do?
Yours of recent date is at hand and contents are noted. We rejoice with you in the fact that the Lord has found you worthy of receiving a knowledge of the Truth. May His continued guidance and blessing be with you, enabling you to profit by every experience which comes to you.
My thought would be that the Lord would be pleased to have you use the talent you possess. Apparently He has given you a constituency in which you can work and regarding which you have responsibilities toward Him. I would recommend, therefore, that after you have thoroughly familiarized yourself with the Truth, you resume your lectures to women, discussing nothing but the Truth, and stick close to the teachings in the volumes of STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. The restriction that St. Paul makes regarding women's teaching refers to meetings of the Church, and these usually include both men and women. The meetings such as you would have would not be meetings of the Ecclesia, and to my understanding you would not in any wise come under the restriction mentioned by St. Paul. In such a case, even if some men should take upon themselves the position of women and attend one of your lectures, this would bring you under no condemnation.
Not only would it be proper for you to resume your lectures, but if your finances would permit, and the way should open for you to again meet and address women in other cities, whom you had formerly served, or whom you could reach, I would recommend that you extend your work accordingly.
As an encouragement to some who may grow weary in well-doing, we report the instance of a man who said he got PEOPLES PULPITS stuffed into his pockets nearly everywhere he went. We solicited him for STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES in his work-place and got his order for six volumes immediately, he saying on sight of the titles that he was just reading a paper about them Sunday. He commended us to three others of his shop-mates with the result of an order for six volumes each. They in turn gave us the names of others yet to be called on, which we trust will likewise result in further sales.
Again, on the train Sunday returning from Bainbridge, we handed out "BRIMSTONE" PULPITS to the conductor and others, having given out 1,000 or more at the above town. When we left the train the conductor was still eagerly reading in a corner beyond interruption.