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EXTRACTS FROM INTERESTING LETTERS
California, Feb. 5, 1886.
MY DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER:—
How natural it is to share with each other in joy and sorrow. Now rejoice with me, dearly loved ones, that the good seed sown here has fallen in much good ground. The prospects are bright and encouraging beyond all my expectations. It is so cheering to me, and of course, to you also. I drink deeper than my parents, who are very religious, but they, whom you would think, in their tender regard for me, their first—and if possible, their dearest child—would say, go sow the good seed, are trying to have me stay at home, saying, Don’t go out to-day, people will think strange to see you on the street so often, etc., etc. I try to preach to them by manner, look, and word, I try to be gentle, meek and mild, like the pattern, but firm. I tell them it would be pleasant to stay with them and sit in my easy chair, by the comfortable fire, and read, work and talk, but dare not. My time for rest is in the near future. My crown depends on running faithfully to the end.
„He that loves father, or mother, or anything more than me, is not worthy of me.” I have willingly, yes, very joyfully, given my little all. I do not think this trial strange; it is the order now. We will be associated with the Saviour soon, and like him know how to succor others. Blessed privilege! If the contemplation is so glorious, what must the reality be. I am unspeakably happy, not only now, but all the time and under all circumstances. When a great grief comes suddenly, I say to myself over and over again, „I am a child of the King.”
Where shall I begin to tell you all the good news? New Year’s Day, 1886, I sent a TOWER and „Food” to the Congregational minister here who lives in an adjoining town, dividing his time between the two places, and lecturing once a week to the Y.M.C.A., of San Francisco. I have heard the best speakers on this coast, and I believe he is the star, so earnest and faithful. It is less than a month since I first saw him. He took right hold of the soul-inspiring truths. Next time he came here to preach I went to hear him, with a family of his members. As we went home they said „he beat himself.” I knew why, but said not a word about it.
Next morning he called on them and said, „I have just got the best book I ever saw. It has helped me right out of the ruts, I don’t know who sent it, and no mark tells where it came from. But it is addressed in a lady’s hand.”
When I saw them next, they told me about it, and said, „When we asked him the name and he told us, ‚Food for Thinking Christians,'” you ought to have seen his surprise when we told him we had it, and brought it out and showed it to him! We have had Bible class in his church Sundays, also in our house during the week, but now we have him lead the one during the week too. This is only a drop of the good. Our nearest neighbor is a German Lutheran, set, and with stakes driven, till I went to have her translate for me dear Brother Zech’s tract. The truth broke the hard shell, and as we read „Food” together, you would be glad to see her countenance beaming as the truth entered. I think she will take the German TOWER.
Dear brother and sister, you are made mention of in our constant prayers. I long to see you. Yours, __________.
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Lowell, Mass., Jan. 25, 1886.
GENTLEMEN:—Have you anything in the way of books or papers which you would send to one who, for the last fifteen years, has borne the title of Infidel, because of an inability to accept any of the doctrines at hand? A few days ago I got a glance at a little book from your place; and must confess myself much interested in what I read therein. I want to follow this first gleam of light till I reach the full brightness, if such a thing is possible for me.
Truly yours, __________.
Berks, Co. Pa., Jan. 25, 1886.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I received the German WATCH TOWER, and I am thankful that a new light is dawning upon my work, by which I am able to do ten times more work and with better results than with English papers. All here are Pennsylvania Germans with but little knowledge of the English language. I will do all I can for the cause of Christ.
Remember me in your prayers, that the Lord may give me strength and wisdom to carry on the good work during the closing days of this „age.”
Trusting in the Lord for his help and support, I am your brother in love.
Wichita, Kan., Jan. 24, 1886.
I can now say I enjoy more peace of mind than I ever did before and am willing to give up all to follow my Master, although I cannot hope to escape the ignominy and shame. My trial of faith began at the mention of coming out of the church, and I realize the persecutions I shall have to endure, especially from those of my own household. But I pray God to show me his will, and give me strength and grace to do it. I hail with joy the arrival of every TOWER and have commenced canvassing with the „Food” as directed, and have already seen some fruits of my labor.
Please send me another copy of „The Tabernacle” (paper July, ’85); also send two of the TOWER each month. There are evidently many truth-hungry Christians in this city, and I want you to pray for me that I may have strength to help them. Yours truly, __________.
Bledsoe, Co., Tenn.
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Please send the TOWER one year to the enclosed list. … Many are ready to receive the precious seed and to listen to the „glad tidings.” I rejoice that I, although so unworthy, am permitted to labor with the saints in the vineyard of the Lord. I see nothing discouraging in the great plan of feeding the sheep of our blessed Master. May God help us all so to live and work this year, as to produce much precious fruit. Your fellow worker in the Lord. __________.
Salina Co., Kan., Jan. 28, 1886.
DEAR BROTHER:—I can do a good work with a few copies of the German TOWER in print. There seems to be quite an awakening of late among the people seeking and asking after the truth. Many are reading the „TOWER.” Many who have long known of it and its teaching, now begin to enquire. Brothers, what think you of this? I am, dear brother, yours in Christ, __________.
— February, 1886 —