N.B.—Those of the interested, who by reason of old age or accidents, or other adversity, are unable to pay, will be supplied FREE, if they will send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper.
He came to my desk with a quivering lip—
The lesson was done—
"Dear teacher, I want a new leaf," he said;
"I have spoiled this one."
In place of the leaf, so stained and blotted,
I gave him a new one, all unspotted,
And into his sad eyes smiled—
"Do better now, my child."
I went to the throne with a quivering soul—
The old year was done—
"Dear Father, hast thou a new leaf for me?
I have spoiled this one."
He took the old leaf, stained and blotted,
And gave me a new one, all unspotted,
And into my sad heart smiled—
"Do better now, my child." —Selected.
Dear Readers, we wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year. Although the times are unfavorable, money scarce, etc., we trust that He that feedeth the fowl of the air and clotheth the grass of the field will provide for our necessities in food and clothing;—giving us the needful strength and opportunity to "provide things honest in the sight of all men." Let us "seek first [chiefly] the Kingdom," and make our calling and election sure, remembering that "All things work together for good to them that love God, that are called according to his purpose."
Although you know it, we will put you in remembrance of the fact that joy comes not with temporal abundance, but that godliness with contentment is great gain. The happy and the holy are more often the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom. Therefore let us pray:—
We are rejoiced by the promptness of a large number of our readers this year, in the matter of renewals of WATCH TOWER subscriptions;—not only those responses which contain payment, but also those which ask a continuance on our List as the "Lord's Poor." To these last we would say, You are very welcome to the TOWER, dear friends. We rejoice that the Lord's bounty permits us as his stewards to continue to serve you and all with "meat in due season," from his storehouse.
To all we would say: Your kind words of appreciation are very refreshing and encouraging. Not that we labor for human approval,—for we seek only the "well done" of the heavenly Master,—but if in the path of duty we have the encouragement of fellow servants of the Royal Priesthood our joy is complete; for thus the coldness and opposition of others is much more than offset.
Aside from those letters which contain questions requiring answers, we hope that our eight thousand correspondents will accept this as a reply to their welcome letters—together with the change of date upon the address tag, which will indicate the renewal of their subscription. Your letters are attentively read and greatly appreciated by us; and the many requests for prayer are remembered by name at our family gathering around the throne of grace. "Brethren, pray for us."r1605 VOL. XV. JANUARY 1, 1894. NO. 1.
r1607 ECHOES FROM THE PARLIAMENT OF RELIGIONS.
r1608 THE BOOK OF GENESIS - I.
LESSON I., JAN. 7, GEN. 1:26-31; 2:1-3.
Golden Text— "And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good."—Gen. 1:31.
VERSES 26-30. "And God said, We will make man in our image, after our likeness," etc. The plural form of the pronoun used here calls to mind the statement of John with reference to "the only begotten Son of God," "the beginning of the creation of God," "the first born of every creature," that "he was in the beginning [of creation] with God;" that "all things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made"—1 John 4:9; Rev. 3:14; Col. 1:15,16; John 1:2,3.
Man was created in the image and likeness of God, having mental and moral faculties corresponding, so that he could appreciate and enjoy communion with his maker, for whose pleasure he was created. "Male and female created he them," not only for the propagation of the race, but also that the twain might find their happiness complete in their mutual adaptability to each other and to God. Their dominion was to be the whole earth, with all its products and resources and all its lower forms of life—a wide and rich domain affording ample scope for all their noble powers.
VERSES 31; 2:1,2. "And God saw all that he had made, and behold, it was very good." The physical earth was very good. It was a good storehouse of valuables for his intelligent creature, man; a good field [R1609 : page 13] for the exercise of his powers; a good place for his discipline and development; and finally a good and delightful home for his everlasting dominion and enjoyment. And so with the whole material universe, all of which was answering the ends of its creation; and so with all the laws which God had set in operation, all of which were wise and good and for the ordering, perpetuity and development of the purposes of their great designer. And so also with man, God's intelligent creature, created in his own image and likeness. Truly he was very good—morally, intellectually and physically—a likeness which God was not ashamed to own and to call his son.—Luke 3:38.
VERSE 3. "And God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it; because on it he rested from all his work which God in making created." Here God established the order of sevens—an order of time to be observed throughout his plan subsequently. Six periods of equal length were to constitute the working days, and the seventh was the appointed period of rest. To this principle he subjected his own course in the work of creation. No special reference is here made to the seventh day of the week; but rather to the seventh period in any future division of time which his plan might indicate. In conformity with this principle the seventh day was appointed to the Jews under the law as a day of rest, a sabbath. So also their seventh week, seventh year and their culmination in the Jubilee or Sabbath year were on the same principle. (See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., Chap. 6.) And likewise the seventh millennium or seventh thousand-year day is to be a Sabbath, a blessed and hallowed day of rest; for so God appointed in his ordering of time.
We have heretofore shown, and will in some future volume of M. DAWN again present the evidences, that the seventh day of God's rest, which began just after man's creation, has continued ever since, and is to continue one thousand years into the future—to the full end of Christ's Millennial reign—in all a seven-thousand-year day. During this long day Jehovah God rests—avoids interference with the operation of the laws under which originally he placed all his earthly creation. (See Heb. 4:3,10; John 5:17.) He rests from or ceases his direct work, in order to let Christ's work of redemption and restitution take its place and [R1610 : page 13] do its work as a part of his divine plan.
If thus the seventh day be a period of seven thousand years, it is but reasonable to say that the six days of creation preceding were also periods of seven thousand years each. Thus the entire seven days will be a period of forty-nine thousand years; and the grandly symbolic number fifty, following, speaks of everlasting bliss and perfection in full harmony with the divine plan.
It will be well to notice in connection with this lesson the general disposition of teachers and Lesson Papers toward the theory of evolution;—denying that God made man in his own image; claiming that he was practically only a step above the orang-outang. Mark such teachings. They are misleading and contrary to the ransom. For if Adam were not created in God's image, then the account of his trial and fall (See next lesson) is nonsense; and if man did not fall a ransom would be absurd, and a restitution (Acts 3:19-21) would be a most undesirable thing.
LESSON II., JAN. 14, GEN. 3:1-15.
Golden Text—"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."—1 Cor. 15:22.
In the brief text of this lesson we have recorded the cause and beginning of all the woes that have afflicted humanity for the past six thousand years. It was not a gross and terrible crime that brought the penalty which involved us all, but a simple act of disobedience on the part of our first parents against the righteous and rightful authority of an all-wise and loving Creator, the penalty of which act was death.
This was the extreme penalty of the divine law, and its prompt infliction for the very first offense—an offense too, which, in comparison with other sins that have since stained the race, was a light one—is a clear declaration of the Creator that only a perfectly clean creation shall be accounted worthy to abide forever. A celebrated photographer will not permit a single picture to leave his gallery which is not up to the standard of perfection, even if the party for whom it was taken is pleased with it. Every photograph must reflect credit upon the artist. Just so it is with the divine artist: [R1610 : page 14] every creature to whom eternal life is granted must do credit to its great author; otherwise he shall not survive. God's work must be perfect, and nothing short of perfection can find favor in his eyes.—Psa. 18:30; Hab. 1:13; Psa. 5:4,5.
The test of character must necessarily be applied to every intelligent creature possessed of a free moral agency—in the image of God. In the case of our first parents it was a very simple test. The tempter was not necessary to the testing: the tree in the midst of the garden, and the divine prohibition of the tasting or handling of it were the test. The tempter urged the course of disloyalty; and this God permitted, since both the tempter and the tempted were free moral agents, and both were subjects of the test. In assuming that position, Satan also, as a free moral agent, was manifesting his disposition to evil—proving himself disloyal to his Creator and a traitor to his government. The serpent was an irrational, and therefore an irresponsible, instrument of the tempter, and in choosing such an instrument Satan unwittingly chose an apt symbol of his own subtle, cunning and crafty disposition. The penalty pronounced upon the serpent could make no real difference to the unreasoning creature, but in the words apparently addressed to it, in man's hearing, was couched the solemn verdict of the responsible, wilful sinner, which, for the evil purpose, had used the serpent as his agent.
VERSES 1-3. The prohibition was clearly stated and clearly understood. They were not to eat of the forbidden fruit; neither should they touch it, lest they die. So should we regard every evil thing, not exposing ourselves to temptation, but keeping as far from it as possible.
VERSE 4. The assertion—"Ye shall not surely die"—was a bold contradiction by the "father of lies" of the word of the Almighty—"Ye shall surely die." And it is marvelous what a host of defenders it has had in the world, even among professed Christians, and in the present day. Nevertheless, the penalty went into effect, and has been executed also upon all posterity ever since—"In the day thou eatest thereof, dying, thou shalt die"—i.e., in the gradual process of decay thou shalt ultimately die. The day to which the Lord referred must have been one of those days of which Peter speaks, saying that with the Lord a thousand years is as one day. (2 Pet. 3:8.) Within that first thousand-year day Adam died at the age of nine hundred and thirty years.
VERSES 5-7. The reward which the deceiver promised was quickly and painfully realized. The offenders could no longer delight in communion and fellowship with God, and with fear and shame they dreaded to meet him; and in the absence of that holy communion with God and with each other in the innocent enjoyments of his grace, the animal nature began to substitute the pleasures of sense. The spiritual nature began to decline and the sensual to develop until they came to realize that the fig-leaf garments were a necessity to virtue and self-respect; and in these they appeared when called to an account by their Maker.
VERSES 8-11. The natural impulse of guilt was to hide from God. But God sought them out and called them to account—not, however, to let summary vengeance fall upon them, but while re-affirming the threatened penalty, to give them a ray of hope. The fig-leaf garments had spoken of penitence and an effort to establish and maintain virtue, and the Lord had a message of comfort for their despairing hearts, notwithstanding the heavy penalty must be borne until the great burden-bearer, "the seed of the woman," should come and assume their load and set them free.
VERSES 12,13. In reply to the inquiry of verse 11 Adam told the plain simple truth, without any effort either to justify himself or to blame any one else. Eve's reply was likewise truthful. Neither one tried to cover up the sin by lying about it. Nor did they ask for mercy, since they believed that what God had threatened he must of necessity execute; and no hope of a redeemer could have entered their minds.
VERSE 14 is a figurative expression of the penalty of Satan, whose flagrant, wilful sin gave evidence of deliberate and determined disloyalty to God, and that without a shadow of excuse or of subsequent repentance. No longer might he walk upright—respected and honored among the angelic sons of God, but he should be cast down in the dust of humiliation and disgrace; and although he would be permitted to bruise the heel of humanity, ultimately a mighty son of mankind, the seed of the woman, should deal the fatal blow upon his head.
Mark, it is the seed of the woman that shall do this; for he is to be the Son of God, born of a woman, and not a son of Adam, [R1610 : page 15] in which case he would have been an heir of his taint and penalty, and could not have redeemed us by a spotless sacrifice in our room and stead. God was the life-giver, the father, of the immaculate Son of Mary; and therefore that "holy thing" that was born of her was called the Son of God, as well as the seed of the woman; and because thus, through her, a partaker of the human nature, he was also called a Son of man—of mankind.
This lesson should be studied in the light of its Golden Text, and in the light of the inspired words of Rom. 5:12,18-20.r1610 "OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT."
N.B.—Those of the interested, who by reason of old age or accidents, or other adversity, are unable to pay, will be supplied FREE, if they will send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper.
We have quite a number of calls for these calendars for this year. Those who got them last year seem to have been pleased and profited by them. They contain excellent selections of Scripture texts, one for each day of the year. The text for each day is pulled off, showing that for the day following.
However, this promptness on the part of so many will hinder our promptness in the changing of the dates on some of the address tags. We hoped to indicate on the tag of this issue all receipts up to Jan. 1, but some must wait over until our next issue.
It seems impossible, too, for us to answer any but the most important letters—except by the WATCH TOWER articles (which frequently are designed to meet inquiries), and by a Postal-card referring you for answers to back numbers of the TOWER or to M. DAWN. Be assured that we are pleased to receive and read all of your welcome letters. It requires much less time to read than to answer them.
We called attention last year to the inauguration of Experience and Prayer Meetings, in various parts of this city and Pittsburg, held every Wednesday evening, under the leadership of different brethren, who move from one meeting to another every quarter. We want to tell you that these meetings have been growing in interest and profit from the first. They average from six to eighteen in attendance, and now could not be dispensed with. The spiritual sentiment of the Congregation of the Lord, which meets every Sunday at Bible House chapel, was never before as good as at present; and under the Lord's blessing we attribute this to these meetings.
Thus far they have been chiefly experience meetings (doctrinal questions are avoided at these meetings); but we propose that for the coming year they shall take on more of a prayer feature. All have learned to express themselves to one another, and all should learn to "draw nigh to the throne of the heavenly grace, that each may obtain mercy and find grace to help in every time of need," before the brethren, as well as privately.
Several little groups here and there have written us that they have tried the plan and have been blessed thereby. We therefore urge all groups, everywhere, to try this service faithfully, during the year beginning. And those who have no companionship and fellowship in the truth will all the more need just such an evening each week for personal inspection, and praise and worship, and thanksgiving to the Giver of every good gift. Try it!
Those who dispose of their TOWERS after reading them once or twice do themselves an injury. Preserved, they would often refresh your memory. A "Patent Binder" holding forty-eight copies, lasting for two years, we can supply for fifty cents; or you can keep them in order without one, or in a home-made binder. Order extra copies for loaning or giving to your friends. If you cannot afford to pay for the extra copy, say so, and we will send it upon the usual terms to "the Lord's poor"—free.r1611 VOL. XV. JANUARY 15, 1894. NO. 2.
r1611 THE FUTURE—SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS.
r1612 ECHOES FROM THE PARLIAMENT OF RELIGIONS.
I. QUAR., LESSON III., JAN. 21, GEN. 4:3-13.
Golden Text—"By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain."—Heb. 11:4.
VERSES 3-5. Coupled with the first promise of deliverance from sin and death through the seed of the woman, was the typical foreshadowing of the great sacrifice of "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world," when God substituted the garments of skin, which required the sacrifice of life, for the fig-leaf garments of Adam and Eve. Whether more plainly told them or not, we know that the idea of typical sacrifices for sin was received, and offerings were made at certain intervals of time—probably yearly, as subsequently commanded under the Jewish dispensation, and also as indicated by the sacrifices of Cain and [R1614 : page 29] Abel—Cain's offering being of the fruit of the ground, a part of his harvest, and Abel's a firstling or yearling of his flock.
The offering of Abel was, according to the divine institution, a sacrifice of life, and therefore a true type of the promised redemptive sacrifice, while Cain's offering was not. Hence the offering of Abel was acceptable to God, while that of Cain was rejected.
VERSES 6,7. "And Jehovah said unto Cain, Why art thou angry? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin croucheth at the door, and unto thee is its desire; but thou canst rule over it."
VERSE 8 shows that Cain disregarded the counsel received and allowed his anger to burn unchecked. He failed to resist the enemy Sin, here figuratively represented as a devouring beast, and it gained control of him, and drove him, first to unkind words, and finally to murder.
VERSE 13. When Cain began to realize the deep remorse of a guilty conscience, in his agony of mind he cried out, "My punishment is greater than I can bear;" and in connection with the unbearable load he mentions regretfully the hiding from him of Jehovah's face, showing thus an appreciation of God's favor to which he would fain return. This evidence of penitence was quickly responded to by the Lord, who graciously set a mark upon Cain, that no one finding him should slay him, declaring that any such transgressor should receive sevenfold punishment. Thus the Lord guards the penitent. A bruised reed he will not break, and smoking flax he will not quench. (Isa. 42:3.) If there be even a slight disposition to penitence, he fosters and cherishes it. This merciful course with Cain foreshadowed God's similar course with the whole guilty world: when his chastisements shall have brought them to repentance, then his arm will be extended for their recovery.
The Golden Text shows that it was not by custom nor by accident that Abel chose his sacrifice, but by faith. Evidently he had been seeking the mind of the Lord, and had found it; and thus was enabled to offer acceptably. So with God's children now: it is to those who exercise faith, and who seek and knock, that the mind of the Lord is revealed, and they can see that nothing short of the great sacrifice, our Redeemer's life, could be acceptable before God.
The Apostle in speaking of Christ institutes a comparison (Heb. 12:24) which seems to imply that Abel was in some degree a type of Christ;—in that he offered an acceptable sacrifice, and was slain therefor. But while Abel's death called for vengeance, Christ's life was sacrificed for us and calls instead for mercy, not only upon those who slew him (Luke 23:34), but also upon the whole world. Not only was he slain by men, but he was slain for men; and by his stripes all may be healed who will penitently come unto the Father by him.
I. QUAR., LESSON IV., JAN. 28, GEN. 9:8-17.
Golden Text—"I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth."—Gen. 9:13.
With the deluge the Apostle Peter says the first world, the first heavens and earth, passed away—i.e., that dispensation, that order of things came to an end. (2 Pet. 2:5.) That was the dispensation in which the angels were permitted to mingle with men, assuming the human form for that purpose, the object being to influence and help mankind to retrieve their great loss by the fall. This, God knew they could not do; but in his wisdom he permitted the endeavor, foreseeing the ultimate utility of such an experiment.
The immediate result was the corruption of some of the angels (Jude 6,7), who, leaving their first estate, took to themselves wives of the daughters of men; and by these mixed marriages a mongrel race of "giants" was produced, who, having the unimpaired vitality of their fathers and the human nature of their mothers were indeed "mighty men of renown"—"giants" in both physical and intellectual strength, especially as compared with the fallen and rapidly degenerating human race.—Jude 6,7; Gen. 6:2,4.
The account of the deluge is not merely a Bible narrative, but is corroborated by the traditions of all races of the human family [R1615 : page 30] except the black race. It is found in India, China, Japan, Persia, among the native Indians of America and the natives of the Pacific Islands. What are known as the Deluge Tablets were found not long since among the ruins of the great stone library of Nineveh. The accounts given by these harmonize in many respects with the Scriptural account.
The extreme wickedness of these men and of the world in general, as described by the inspired writer, seems indicative of almost total depravity—"And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that EVERY imagination of the thoughts of his heart was ONLY EVIL, CONTINUALLY. (Gen. 6:5.) So God determined to wipe them all from the face of the earth, saving Noah, who "was perfect in his generations," and his family; that is, he was not of the mixed race, but was of pure Adamic stock; and his heart was right before God.—Gen. 6:9.
With Noah, after the flood, God again established his covenant, as he had done with Adam at the beginning, giving to him dominion over the earth, as he had done with Adam. (Gen. 9:1-12.) And here again, as at the beginning, he indicates the true nature of the marriage relation—a union of one man and one woman as husband and wife, which order began to be violated very early in the world's downward history.—Gen. 4:19.
The rainbow in the clouds was given as a sign of God's covenant with man, that the earth should never again be destroyed by a flood of waters. So ended the first dispensation, or the first world, the heavens and earth that then were, as Peter describes it (2 Pet. 3:6); and so began the second dispensation, "this present evil world" (2 Pet. 3:7; Gal. 1:4), the heavens and earth which now are, which are soon to pass away with a great noise, which are to be burned up with the fire of God's jealousy, and whose elements are to melt with fervent heat; for, like that first great dispensation, it also has become corrupt. (2 Pet. 3:10-12; Zeph. 1:18.) And when this present evil world will have thus passed away, then the new heavens and the new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, shall appear.—2 Pet. 3:13.
In this destruction of worlds it will be seen, as the Prophet also declares (Eccl. 1:4; Psa. 104:5; 119:90); that "the earth abideth forever." The same physical earth remains, and is the scene of all these great revolutionary changes, which so completely destroy the preceding order of things as to justify the mention of them under the significant symbols of a new heavens and a new earth. See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. I., Chap. iv.
While the present world—this present order of things—is also doomed to pass away, and will be replaced by another new dispensation, the new heavens and earth, God's promise, of which the bow in the clouds was a pledge, will be kept: he will never again destroy the world with a flood of waters; but it is written that all the earth shall be consumed with fire: not a literal fire, but the fire of God's jealousy (Zeph. 3:8)—a symbolic fire, a great calamity, which will completely destroy the present order of things, civil, social and religious.
I. QUAR., LESSON V., FEB. 4, GEN. 12:1-9.
Golden Text—"I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing."—Gen. 12:2.
VERSE 1. The Lord had commanded Abraham to leave his native land, etc., while he was yet in Haran (verse 4); and later, when his father was dead, and when he arrived in the land of Canaan, God showed him the land and gave him the title to it for himself and his seed after him for an everlasting possession. (Verse 7; 17:8.) Thus we have a very important point in chronology established, viz., the date of the Abrahamic covenant. See MILLENNIAL DAWN, VOL. II., pages 44-47.
VERSES 2,3. In partial fulfilment of this promise, the nation of Israel has indeed become a great nation—a nation unique in its separation from other nations, and in its peculiar history under the divine guidance. And the promises and threatenings of verse 3 will in due time be dealt out to those who bless and to those who oppress her.
The blessing of all the families of the earth through Abraham and his seed—which seed is Christ, head and body, as the Apostle Paul explains (Gal. 3:16,29)—is a promise which few Christians have duly considered. All the families of the earth must certainly include the families that have died, as well as the families that are living. And it points forward, therefore, to the grand millennial reign of Christ, when, according to his Word, all that are in their graves will [R1615 : page 31] hear the voice of the Son of Man, and shall come forth.—John 5:25,28.
Nor is God's dealing with this nation yet ended; for the gifts and callings of God are not things to be repented of or changed. In God's due time, after the full completion and glorification of the elect Gospel Church, the mercy of the Lord shall again turn toward the seed of Jacob. And so all of fleshly Israel shall be saved from present blindness, as it is written, "There shall come out of Zion the deliverer [the Gospel Church, the spiritual seed of Abraham—Gal. 3:29], and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob;" for this is God's covenant with them.—Rom. 11:25-33.
The remaining verses of the lesson show that Abraham obediently followed the Lord's direction, walking by faith in his promise. Thus his acts attested his faith, and his faith, thus attested, was acceptable to God.—Jas. 2:22.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I came into possession of the truth so recently, that I feel that I should work with might and main, day and night, for the remnant of my days. Oh, how blessed to come to the thousand three hundred thirty and five days!
I have given some lectures, and have invitations to lecture at other points; but I am sure it does not spread the truth as effectively as the blessed DAWNS have and will spread it. I am sure it was through the DAWNS that meat in due season was served to me, and I now rejoice with joy unspeakable.
My dear Brother, I pray that all the saints may make themselves ready for the glorious union with their Lord and Head, and specially for you and your helpmeet, Sister Russell, that you may be faithful in your work of labor and love.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—The TOWER has come regularly to hand, each number filled to overflow with the "Gospel of Peace." "The poor in spirit"—the "humble" and "meek"—are indeed refreshed, yea, filled, after reading the many spiritual subjects treated in the pages of the various issues of that welcome guest. Often have I turned from the burdens, sorrows, cares and temptations of the world, and sought comfort, consolation and peace, and found them, in their pages, as the Editor, through the holy Spirit, unfolded the spiritual meaning of the different texts from the standpoint of the "Plan of the Ages." You and Sister Russell have my earnest prayers for the divine blessing in your efforts to obey the injunction—"feed my lambs," "feed my sheep"; and as each presses quietly and persistently along the narrow way to glory, honor, immortality, eternal life, may the indulgent Father tender the "helping hand"; knowing that the way is rugged, steep, difficult and beset with many dangers.
TOWER PUBLISHING CO.:—I received the Diaglott and the two Swedish DAWNS, and am exceedingly well pleased with all. I had feared that the Swedish translation would not be equal to the original; but I am indeed agreeably disappointed. The force and clearness of tone, the lucidity and charm of language, are so happily transferred as to make it a literary treat, beside its innate, inestimable worth as a help to Bible study and a luminary in the dense darkness that has so long vailed the many precious truths of God's Word. May God richly bless its author.
DEAR BROTHER:—I am having quite a struggle of it here, in the territory in which I have been canvassing for a few days past, running only six, seven or eight books a day. This is the hardest experience I have yet encountered for so many days at once. However, if I can manage to meet my actual expenses through the winter, and can endure the cold weather, I shall be satisfied.
When I entered this particular phase of the harvest work, it was not with the motive of becoming wealthy. Had that been the desire, I would have taken up some more lucrative employment. At the same time, of course, I want to scatter as much of the "good seed" as is possible, in the hope that thereby some precious wheat may be found, to the glory of [page 32] the Lord of the harvest. It has been my purpose (and I trust I have thus done) to give myself altogether to him who has bought me with his precious blood; and, if I understand aright what this giving means, it is to be his through good report and through evil report, in failure or in success, in sorrow or in joy, in the dark, or in the light, in life or in death, his only, wholly and forever. Pray that this may ever be my happy condition—kept through the "riches of grace" in Jesus Christ. If I try to do this in my own strength, I shall always fail. But if he accept me, and keep me, I shall then be kept indeed.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—In the past few days I have succeeded in getting several persons thoroughly interested in the DAWN, and am in the hope that at least some of these will come into the light and prove wheat. One is a Methodist minister who has been not altogether satisfied with his belief. I have his promise to read the DAWN carefully, which I trust he will do.
I feel the dear Lord is using me to his honor and glory. Working for him is such a pleasure: such blessing I derive from it that meeting with opposition and taking the cross are not at all hard for me. I am again reading the DAWNS, and find more good things, and see more and more into the truth.
I have just read in the December TOWER your views in regard to the annual convention; and I fully agree with you. It seems to me your time should be given to the many rather than to the few. While I am very grateful for the opportunity of meeting you at the last one, I feel as if it had been at the expense of others to whom you could have given your time. We who are in the faith do not need conventions as much as we need to impart to others the blessed truths. We are, I think, willing to forego convention pleasures if doing so will hasten the publishing of other volumes of the DAWN series.
DEAR BROTHERS:—Enclosed find $1.00 to continue the WATCH TOWER. The grand news received from it last year has, praise God, filled my heart with love that I cannot find words to express. May God still continue to bless you in the work.
Last Sunday by arrangement we met a few friends, to whom I explained our chart. I have not enjoyed a talk so well for many a day. Every one present was ripe for truth, and had not a word of opposition.
One had begun to read DAWN with a strong and firm determination to fight it from the beginning. So she read on and on and on, and, as a result, she began to see God as a God of love, and is now rejoicing in freedom and the truth. It did us much good to be of use to these few friends, and we hope for increased usefulness. Accept love in our Head. F. B. UTLEY.
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I have been confined to the house for some time, after having canvassed only one day; I am not discouraged, however, for my faith grows stronger day by day; and, if I cannot work in one way, I will try another, until convinced that the Master wants me to leave the field; and then he will surely show me what he would have me do. May the Master lead and give me strength to follow is my prayer.
Yesterday I was reading an account in the American Baptist of St. Louis, of the trial for heresy of J. M. Carter, pastor of a Baptist church. Some of the charges are as follows: (1) He denies the immortality of the soul. (2) He denies the consciousness of the soul between death and the resurrection. (3) He holds the restoration and possible salvation of the dead and the final annihilation of the incorrigible. It seems that the major part of the church went with him, and still retains him as pastor.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—What a great blessing it is to us to be able to understand the things coming to pass at present, so as not to be fretting and complaining about these hard times, but, "having necessary food and clothing, therewith to be content." "Godliness with contentment is great gain." Jesus is indeed a satisfying portion.