For some time I have felt that I should write you about the results of THE PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION in this vicinity and of the strenuous opposition which this, together with our work, has brought about.
At Manchester, Iowa, a permanent Class of eight or ten has been established by the service of the Dubuque Elders, holding regular meetings. The Baptist minister fought every inch of the way until he met with a misfortune which prevented further action on his part. He used all kinds of methods to bring the Truth and yourself into disrepute, continuing this for possibly two months, when he made a final effort for as large a crowd as possible to hear him "expose Russellism," as he termed it.
Two of our brethren "faced the music" and heard a terrific onslaught which was generally accepted by the audience, although some expressed disapproval of his language and methods. The next morning the poor man was stricken with paralysis of the face and did not preach another sermon for about three months; he is now able to talk only a very short time. Many people in Manchester and vicinity assert that this affliction was a judgment sent upon him. The Methodist minister at this place is friendly and has attended a number of our meetings.
At Warren, Ill., we rented the Orpheum Theatre. At our first exhibition the manager of the house became so enthusiastic that he went out during its progress to bring in others to hear the "good tidings of great joy." During three exhibitions the opposition was very busy, and by the time of our fourth exhibition we were refused the use of the theatre because of the pressure the local ministers brought to bear upon the owner. They also intimidated the editor of the local newspaper so that he refused our paid advertisements.
The Methodist minister here, who was the real instigator of the opposition, was so bitter that he not only made special attacks from his pulpit every Sunday, but even accosted people on the street—including the brethren from the Dubuque Class, threatening to drive them from the town, etc.
We then rented a small hall owned by a man who had become much interested, but the intense opposition forced us from this place also. One of our brethren then leased the Opera House for five Sundays, paying part down and securing contract from the owner, who was friendly to the Truth. The ministers turned their attacks upon this man, three of them calling at his store. He replied that we should have his Opera House as often as we wanted it, even though he should lose every dollar he had; that WE were the only people who had ever preached the Gospel in Warren. At the same time another friend offered his home for our meetings, where a Class of ten or twelve meet regularly.
During all this we have endeavored to manifest a spirit of love. We have continued preaching the Truth and have won the approval of all the fair-minded people of Warren, and are also recompensed by the organization of a Class of earnest Bible Students, who are rejoicing with us in the glorious prospects that await those who patiently endure.
I have today read Vol. 6, No. 8, of THE BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY, and have been deeply impressed by the article under the heading, "Clergy Ordination Proved Fraudulent," appearing therein. The text from Isaiah, "Cry aloud, spare not; show My people their transgression," is most appropriate. I unhesitatingly agree with every word in the article.
In my opinion there is absolutely no Divine authority for ecclesiastical titles. I am happy to know that such a personage as yourself is living in this Age. This article of yours is, I believe, the death-blow to "Clergy Ordination"; it is bound to go to oblivion hereafter.
Your recent letter has been read with much interest, as I had been passing through a siege of testing doubtless permitted to see if I would tolerate evil thoughts. Your kind and sympathetic letter struck the proper chord. The thought that possibly the Adversary had been touching me awakened the impulse to call at once upon our dear Lord for relief, remembering the promise of 1 Corinthians 10:13.
Although this has been a very severe test, the one which I had soon after making consecration was more so. It began in thoughts of hatred toward every one I met. This continued about two days, when I commenced continually repeating the sentence, "I LOVE EVERYBODY!"
Having a very sensitive nature and an abhorrence of evil which is highly developed, it is possible that my self-examination is too critical. My daily and oft-repeated prayer is that everything not in harmony with the Divine will may be rooted out of my heart, making it a fit temple of the Holy Spirit.
I have never let slip an opportunity to witness for the Truth, either by handing out literature or by word of mouth. This activity has resulted in my business being boycotted. I was notified that this would result if I persisted. But I rejoice in the persecution, which I experience also in my own home. It only stimulates me to further zeal for the Lord.
I have a brother who has been twice wounded in the war. I wrote and told him some Truth and sent some tracts while he was in England. (He is still there at Belfield Park, Weymouth, County Dorset.) He wrote and told me that to forgive your enemies is not in a soldier's creed, and that they must take revenge on the Germans.
I received a letter again a day or two ago, and he said he was pleased with the tracts I sent, and that he was beginning to realize the Truth. He says he got some of the men to read them, and now they have a class of fourteen, and their officer has allowed them a tent for study. They sent for books to the London Tabernacle, and received them. He says their officer drops in occasionally. He asked for more tracts on the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION, so I sent some, together with other tracts. I ask your prayers for these poor men, should any have the qualifications for the Truth. I told my brother to write again to London Tabernacle to see if they could not get somebody to go down to teach them. It would, indeed, be well if this could be done. I pray that your good work will bring forth fruit. Pray for me!
I must tell you what a blessing the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES have been to me, and what joy and peace they have given me! Although a believer for years past, yet I was dissatisfied and unwilling to consecrate myself. But now the Lord has seemed to meet me as He met the Prodigal in our Lord's parable.
The "Vow unto the Lord" I have recently taken, and I would like to be baptized; I suppose, however, that none of the Pilgrims visit this place, as it is isolated and the people are generally indifferent to spiritual matters. I have met but one interested person—a humble, simple woman—grieving over the loss of a child, the sorrow opening her heart to the things of God. Talking with her, she begged me to come again; she is eager to know more. I think others like her can be found here.
I hope soon to send a contribution for the work; I hope also that a Pilgrim will make his appearance up this way. I occasionally attend a monthly religious service and would like some Withdrawal Letters if you will kindly send them.