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I wish to tell you of a strenuous experience I had soon after leaving Atlanta, Monday morning following the close of the Convention. Soon after the train started, I went to the rear of the coach to hand out literature; and nearly everyone accepted the papers until I had almost reached the end of the car. I offered a fine-looking man one; he refused, attacking me violently, saying he "wanted nothing whatever to do with Russell's devilish literature." Said he knew all about Russell, lived in Brooklyn, had read his books and THE WATCH TOWER, knew all about the libel suit. He spoke loudly enough for all around us to hear him. And I saw we had the attention of nearly all in the car. So, while he raged with slander against our dear Pastor and all his followers, I lifted my heart to God to direct me, and quietly waited until he had subsided sufficiently for me to speak; and I said, "Sir, you are mistaken; all you have said about Brother Russell is as base and false as Satan himself, and you know it, and because you can't find fault with his teachings, or combat him with Scripture, you try to slander his character behind his back."
He replied, "I am a Baptist minister myself, and know all about Russell and his methods; and furthermore, you are paid $125 to hand out this stuff; and I have been offered $165 to do the same."* I replied, "You are mistaken, sir, I am not paid a cent, have not been offered a cent, have not asked for a cent, and do not want a cent—as it is a glad and willing service for the Lord." "For Russell," he hotly and quickly replied.
I said, "Furthermore, sir, no member of the I.B.S.A. has ever made you any such offer as you claim, and if you will prove it to me, I will sign a check for a thousand dollars in your favor. All you have said about Pastor Russell is as [R5573 : page 335] base and false as Satan himself." He made no reply, and grew silent. I said, "Brother, you say you are a Baptist minister and a professed mouthpiece of God, who tells us in His Word to 'speak evil of no man' (whether good or bad). Now, do you think you are showing the spirit of Christ, or of Satan, in your false and slanderous remarks just uttered? We know that there are but the two Masters."
He made no reply and grew very red in the face; and a gentleman sitting two seats ahead of him, who had been facing him and listening to all that had been said, and who knew him, said, "John, would you like to have some hot water?" to which the reverend (?) gentleman replied, "No, I'm in hot water enough now;" and the listeners simply roared with laughter, which made him madder and his face crimson. I then left him, saying, "Brother, I fear you will be in still hotter water before the Lord gets through teaching you some needed lessons." As soon as I got back to my seat, a young man came to me, offering me money, "for some more tracts like the one you gave me, if you have any more." I told him I did not want any money, that freely I had received, and freely I gave, and he was welcome to all he wanted. He took four or five and went back to his seat.
Another young man came with his Bible, asking me to explain some things he did not understand in Revelation. A sister sitting in front of me had a Bible with the I.B.S.A. Comments, which she handed me, and I turned to them and read to him. He looked at the Bible and said he must have one like it, and gave me his name and address, and promised to read some literature I would send him.
Then another young man came with his Bible, and asked to sit down by me and asked me to explain some Scripture texts he did not fully understand. He also gave me his name and address; and I promised to send him some literature. Both are traveling men and live in Atlanta. When I got home I mailed them each a copy of THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES, Missionary Report, several different tracts, etc. Yesterday I heard from one of them, saying he was reading the PLAN OF THE AGES, and was deeply interested, and thought he would subscribe for THE WATCH TOWER if he was as much pleased when he finished reading as he now is. I see from his letterhead that he is a very prominent member of the __________ Baptist Church and a leader of its Bible Class. His name is __________.
All this was the result of one man's prejudice and opposition to the Truth; and shows how God can make the wrath of man to praise Him. I certainly felt honored, and thanked Him for the opportunity of witnessing for Him, though in an unpleasant and unexpected way. That preacher looked at me as though he could chew me to pieces, and I suppose he thought he would in a few words silence and put me to flight; but with the dear Lord's help I stood my ground and came off victor. Pray for me, dear Brethren, that I may be used more and more to honor and glorify His precious Name, and show forth His praises unto others; for I do delight to do His will, and I do so want to gain that most glorious of all prizes—immortality, beyond the Veil, and be forever with my God and Saviour.
I am realizing more and more the shortness of the time in which to prepare for the Kingdom. When I think of the change that is just ahead of us, I think of some fairy dream; and yet I know that the Gentile Times are ended and the new Dispensation is being ushered in.
I am glad that I shall not be here and have an inheritance in the flesh, but I shall be glad to see the work of Restitution begun, to see the earth blossom as the rose and to see man made perfect, a fit ruler for the restored Paradise.
I want to see the dead come back and to hear the shouts and songs of joy. And to be where we can see all this and to help to bring it about and to know that our efforts are wise, that our Lord directs and will succeed in the great undertaking, is a prospect most transporting.
["This honor have all His saints"—to bind their kings with chains and their princes with fetters. (Psalm 149:8,9.) We are inclined to believe that this sister effectually bound a princeling of ecclesiasticism. No doubt the Lord will grant special opportunities and aid to others worthy of the honor—saints indeed.]
*A publishing company of Philadelphia styled International Bible Press has a bookselling proposition something like the above. It offers $125 per month, provided a certain number of books are sold, or 40% on what may be sold, if less than the limited number. Our Society has no connection whatever with this concern.