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EXTRACTS FROM INTERESTING LETTERS
MR. RUSSELL:—DEAR SIR: Enclosed find postal order for Diaglott, Concordance, and subscription.
I am a member of the Presbyterian church, and have been for quite a number of years, but have never been satisfied with my profession of faith, and never could understand the Bible until a friend gave me a copy of „Food for Thinking Christians,” which has given me a thirst for the Scriptures. I have read a few copies of ZION’S WATCH TOWER, and think I am on the right path. God grant to show me his way and make his path plain. If you have back numbers of paper for this year, please date my subscription from January.
Yours, longing for truth, __________.
Binghamton, N.Y., March 15, 1886.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: We are still here, and enclose a list of names and report. I think my course of lectures closed auspiciously as I could think, if not wish.
Some told me that if the series did no other good, it at least softened the attitude of the fiery dogmatic Free Methodists, who expect to run away with all that dare try conclusions with them. At the meeting yesterday they showed, as a result of my answers to their questions at the stand and in the papers, that they were better disposed and had „changed their minds,” both as to methods and as to denying all except tradition. At first they knew everything. The congregation increased, and many expressed regret that the lectures closed. The last lectures were received with great warmth and expressions of benefits received. I stay till to-morrow to have conversations with parties to-day. You see work is plenty for the willing. Surely I begin to see why the Lord sent me this way. Mrs. A. joins in kind remembrance, sympathy, and prayers for all saints, but especially for you, dear Bro. and Sister Russell. In Christ, J. B. ADAMSON.
DEAR SIR:—It is with heartfelt gratitude that I reply to your letter, which I received this week, and I trust that I clearly understand all that you have so plainly set before me. I see that what I thought was „light” before was not the „true light.” It seems at last what I have been seeking ever since I was twenty years old; and truly I have not known one hour of real rest of mind all these ten years, and I cannot but sincerely regret so much time in a sense wasted. It is exactly as you put it—I believed that if I trusted in Jesus I should be saved, and would doubtless be given a sense of my „acceptance in him.” Now I see it to be true that he died for all, therefore, of course, for me, and the difficulty of believing is gone. The difference of this way is almost inexpressible in the relief of mind it gives to receive it, after being so long harassed by the other. It is indeed „good tidings of great joy,” and I wish I had more ability to help to spread it. I was very much astonished to find that you thought I could be one of the „overcomers” of this age; it did not appear to me that there could be any possibility of it. I do not think I have had much desire to live to the „flesh” for some time, but still I have not understood what the life of consecration meant. I am learning much from the WATCH TOWER teachings. I have read with great interest the articles marked in one sent, of February. It all seems clearly scriptural, for I can see it plainly enough in the Bible now. I used to be almost afraid to read some parts of the Bible, for they appeared to contradict one another, but always thought the fault lay with myself—from a wrong state of heart. I have but one friend who receives the WATCH TOWER views, and he thinks I have gone too far. The articles on the „Mediator,” in the October number, feasted me for some time; and another one, too, in the February, ’85, TOWER: „Except a corn of wheat die.” I know that I do appreciate God’s goodness, and am able to love him now as I never could before, but did not think that I was a special recipient of his favor, and can scarcely realize the precious truth. I have no one with whom I can speak on these subjects, and therefore my WATCH TOWERS are so eagerly looked for.
With the endeavor to express my gratitude to those who have proved so truly my friends.
I remain most faithfully yours,
Sampson County, N.C.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: Your letter and sample copies of the TOWER, etc., came to hand in due time. I have been hindered from doing much harvest work by sickness in my family until about three weeks ago, when I commenced trying the plan for harvest work in this community, and it is working exceedingly well among the Methodists and Missionary Baptists here. The members of the churches come in crowds to my school-house appointments and many of them are manifesting great interest in the „good news.” They say that their preachers, some of whom are saying this doctrine is dangerous and false, must prove it so by the Bible or they are done with them and their doctrines. Some of the preachers promise to meet me and prove this doctrine false, but when the time comes they are absent. I am now called upon to make more appointments than I can fill under my present circumstances, but I will do all I can. I have appointments for each week to which I walk, one of which is twenty miles, another ten miles from home. Three brethren and four sisters have come out of the F.W.B. Church from whence I came, and are trying to run for the prize, thank the Lord. We now realize that the „harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few.” May the Lord send forth more laborers into his harvest is my prayer.
Hoping to hear from you soon, I remain yours in fellowship and service.
BRO. RUSSELL: I am much pleased with your work and publications. Please continue to send your paper. I love its doctrines and spirit. Am in full sympathy with your plan of labor. I am an itinerant minister, but expect to be free from such bands soon. Your brother in the labor and love of Jesus.
DEAR SIR: Will you kindly forward the ZION’S WATCH TOWER. I had an opportunity to glance through the number for January, and there saw your notice, and so I decided to write for them. There are several things in the number for January that I should like to go through very carefully. Through reading one of your papers I was led to look at one or two verses, where the coming of Christ is spoken of, and found that it really meant that he is present. I have been long ago tired of sectarianism, and am now speaking out the word of life without regard to sect, leaving it with God to supply my needs.
New Orleans, La.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: Inclosed please find my subscription for 1886, and also addresses inclosed. I have not had a chance to do much work in the vineyard of late, as I am working on board a tugboat. The Lord has given me the two men—two brothers—I am working with. They are Italians by birth, and are very earnestly interested in the glad tidings, although raised in the Church of Rome; it is to their address the WATCH TOWER is ordered. May the Lord of the harvest continually guide and direct you, is my prayer.
Yours, etc., __________.
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Putnam Co., Ind.
DEAR SIR:—I have distributed the pamphlets you sent, as I thought to the best advantage, and I can already see good fruit. The people are reading, some sitting up nearly all night; they say they cannot stop after commencing to read „Food.” In this neighborhood we have had all kinds of preaching, but about five years ago there seemed to come a change over the minds of the people in this locality, providentially it seemed. We went to reading the Bible for ourselves, and the result is, some of them are Universalists, some are Infidels. The fact is they are like sheep without a shepherd; but the WATCH TOWER comes to them as the Shepherd of the little flock did in Christ’s day. We are beginning to see eye to eye as it was foretold by the prophets, and to have greater love for one another, and greater love to God, and faith in the Scriptures. The inconsistencies of the modern Christian theories are all laid bare now, as we see that God has a plan and a due time for all things. Yours very truly, in great faith. __________.
DEAR BROTHER IN THE LORD:—It is with pleasure I write you so soon again. It is encouraging to know that among the lowly houses there are ears to hear. Enclosed please find address for a new subscriber for the Z.W.T. for a year. __________.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—The tracts which you sent me are drawing out such an amount of thought that I would like to canvass this place and adjoining towns. Please send me some more copies. I think I can make good use of them. At present I am giving only a part of my time. But I want to increase the time as interest increases. I have been trying for a week to take up the other copies to redistribute, but they will not give them up. So my canvass must be short with so few copies. Yours in hope of a better resurrection. __________.
— April, 1886 —