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EXTRACTS FROM INTERESTING LETTERS
Michigan, August 25, 1886.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: I have just finished reading Millennial Dawn the second time, and although the subjects treated were not new to me, but had been studied and digested before, I am delighted with the book, and have experienced great pleasure and profit, and feel like a giant refreshed with new wine, better prepared and equipped for the conflict.
One feature of the book that escaped my notice before, is the wise arrangement of the subjects, and the mild and gentle language used in contrasting the truth with error. Although these truths set forth so clearly, may still be rejected by the so-called great teachers in the
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nominal church it appears to me it would be impossible for any to take offence. The book is a production well worthy of a Master in Israel, one whose eyes had been anointed with eye-salve. The book will be „meat in due season” to all who are true followers of Christ. I will be anxiously looking for the issue of Vol. II.
I feel deeply obliged to you for any word of advice, encouragement or reproof by letter or in the TOWER. Reproof no doubt is what I need the most, will receive it as from the Lord. Shall feel deeply thankful to you at all times.
All my sympathy is with you in your labor of love. Yours in Christ, J. P.
Brooklyn, Aug. 23, 1886.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: Last evening as I sat home perusing the August TOWER, I noticed some articles of special interest, and it occurred to my mind that this number would be a good one to send around with my name on wrapper, and marked articles, to many of the members of the church I have left. So please send me 35 copies and charge to my account. I did think in the Spring that I would take but one copy, but now I think I must have three or four regularly. I give one, two or three away each month.
For the last two months these truths have been clearer to me as a whole, and I begin to realize (that is quite different from accepting or believing) the power of these truths.
The Millennial Dawn, two copies, came to hand last week, much to my satisfaction. The work, as a piece of manufacture, in clearness of type, fine paper, careful printing and neatness and beauty of binding, is very excellent.
I have only, as yet, had opportunity to glance over the chapter headings, but that glance affords much satisfaction, and next month I shall commence a careful study of these doctrines, which you here present in such clear and connected form.
I anticipate great profit from your work, which I cannot but feel that the blessed Lord has directed you in and revealed to you. I want two more of each of the coming volumes when out.
The TOWER has always much profitable reading in it, and I particularly like the „View” and „Interesting Letters.” That one in last TOWER from the gunner in India is excellent and very interesting. How he sees through the shams of worldly missionary life. These letters do me good and give me new ideas. I often feel that I do not amount to much, but „every little helps.”
I have given away but three Foods lately, but think they are profitably received. Am hoping for another Christian to ask me, to whom I gave a July TOWER with a few words.
One earnest Methodist associate has read a number of TOWERS and some in Food and is giving respectful consideration to the views. He is quite a student and a Bible class teacher of adults.
I have always had joy in the Lord, but as the years roll on I rejoice more and more, and realize the privilege of serving him as I can.
I do not expect you to answer my letter. With all your work, correspondence, etc., I wonder that you can get time for writing books, let alone answering occasional correspondents. With Christian regard, yours in hope, __________.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: I held a meeting at Bradford, Pa. on Sunday, and obtained four (4) subscriptions for the WATCH TOWER. I enclose herewith Post-office Order for $2.00 and names of the parties. They want me to hold it in a hall the next time. One party, a hardware merchant, proposes to raise $25.00 for the hall. This man who has become so deeply interested, has been a Free Thinker. Yours in the Lord, S. O. BLUNDEN.
Galt, Cal., July 31, 1886.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: I thank you again for all the tracts and papers received a short time since. I am constantly on the alert for opportunities to place them where they will accomplish most good. Each copy is given or sent with a fervent prayer, and not carelessly. There is much to remind us that this is the gleaning time; only a few scattered everywhere will accept the truth. How precious they are in God’s sight. Only the humble hungry ones, whose eyes are opened to see how vain all their pleas for God’s love according to Sectarianism are, can receive the truth. Some see a little at first, but when they find how much they must suffer if they go out of the „pews,” they cling to their creeds with some mental reservations.
Yours in Christian love, __________.
England, August 9, 1886.
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: It is with unspeakable satisfaction I find the long-looked for „Millennial Dawn” announced in the TOWER for July, which has just reached me. I hasten to ask you to forward as many copies as you can for the enclosed amount.
I am sorry I cannot report any marked improvement in the work here, but every number of the TOWER encourages us to go on quietly doing what we can, leaving results, though we are thankful for some evidences of good being done. If men will not come right out, they confess we are right. Yes, the truth will sink into honest hearts, and we need not fear that all who have ears will hear. Your article this month (July) is especially opportune. You may be more advanced in America, but exactly the same is rapidly increasing here. If the Lord will may it please Him to use us to speak a word in season to those who are giving up truth along with error.
I must not trouble you with a long letter, as I know your time is well occupied. Your faith encourages us here. Bro. W. and myself and wife pray that the Master may continue to bless your labors. We know and realize fully that none but the Master could give the light we get upon his word through the TOWER.
We send loving greeting to yourself, Sister Russell, and all whom, though having not seen, we love for the Master’s sake.
Affectionately yours in Christ,
A. P. R__________.
Metcalfe Co., Ky., August 11, 1886.
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL: Your dear WATCH TOWER seems to be an associated agent with the blessed Bible, sent forth into the world by the Holy Spirit to bring to us clearer knowledge of the plan of God. Many thanks for the chart, I appreciate it more than tongue can tell. I have not been well for some time, and have the chart on a screen where I can study it with „Food” as I lie upon my bed. I am trying to learn it so that I may be able to explain it to others. My interest in the Restitution is increasing. Oh! how I long for it to be proclaimed throughout the land that the dark clouds of ignorance and tradition be driven before the bright Star that is rising.
I love the WATCH TOWER more every day, and am willing to do anything in my power to circulate it more, or anything of a similar nature.
May the blessings of heaven rest upon you and your work in the Lord, is the prayer of one who remains,
Yours truly, M. E. S__________.
Uniontown, Pa., Sept. 2, 1886.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: Some time since I met Mr. __________, who told me of your work, and gave me a few of your teachings in regard to the Word. Now I am filled with a desire to know all. Am a Baptist-professing Christian, but I want the truth, and I will try to recognize it wherever I see it. Please send me a list of all publications that has been or is put out by ZION’S WATCH TOWER. I never have been so moved in mind as I have been within the last few months in regard to spiritual things. „FOOD” has opened much light to me, and I am hungering after the rest. I expect to do missionary work, or as I understand it better, colporteur work. I hope the Lord has some sphere in which I may cast my mite of work for his honor and glory. I am very poor in this world’s goods, but I want to buy as soon as I can all of your publications, including, if possible, the back numbers of the TOWER. God willing, I want to get down to the Bible class and other meetings in Allegheny. Yours truly for God and his glory, J. H. G__________.
DEAR BROTHER: I notice by my last TOWER that the first volume of „Millennial Dawn” is ready. I do not ask you to send it to me now, for I have not the ready money, but I expect to have it by the middle of next month, when I will send it. I write to ask you to reserve a copy by all means. I have not yet sent my subscription for the TOWER, but, dear brother, do not stop it. I could not do without it, nor can I do without „Millennial Dawn.” Next month, or sooner if I can get the money, I will send what I can, two or three dollars if possible. I must have them all. I can’t do without them. My mind craves the truth (spiritual food) as much as my worn-out body craves natural food. With lasting gratitude to you and Sister Russell for my present enjoyment of the glorious light now bursting upon the sleeping Christian, I sign myself,
Your Brother in Christ, __________.
A Swedish Brother writes:
DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST: „Millennial Dawn,” which I received some time ago, I prize very highly, and nothing in the world would please me better than to see it in the hands of every professing Christian, and I think it would make real Christians out of many of them. I thank God and you that I have a copy of it.
Dear Brother, as far as human companionship is concerned, I am alone out here; but then I do not feel lonesome in the least, for I can truly say that Christ our Redeemer is my companion (in mind) a good deal of my waking time. And then again, I am often with you and Sister Russell (in mind) thinking and almost seeing you working away with might and main to prepare and send out the glad tidings of great joy, and by this means I do not feel lonesome after all. __________.
Amboy, Ohio, Aug. 26, 1886.
DEAR FRIEND: I embrace the first available opportunity to acknowledge the receipt of the „packets,” and also the „Millennial Dawn.” I have read it almost through, and consider it a wonderful production. It makes the truth so plain that I can hardly wait to finish the reading of it, feeling so desirous that somebody else should have it, for it seems to me they cannot fail to see the reasonableness and truthfulness of the subjects therein discussed. Yours in Christian love, F. E. R__________.
New Lisbon, O., August 24, 1886.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: Enclosed you will please find one dollar, for which you will please send me Vol. I, of „Millennial Dawn.” I have seen a copy of the book and am much pleased with its appearance externally and delighted with the contents so far as I was able to examine it. A few of us here are doing what we can to proclaim the glad tidings. The greatest opposition we find comes from the sources we least expected, that is from the churches. And those claiming to be the most advanced and most liberal seem to be the most bitter. I am not surprised at the action of the church of Ephesus in expelling those members who differed from them. Probably if they had kept quiet they could have remained in the church. That seems to be the rule of the „Disciples’ Church” here. I thank God to-day I am free from all such organizations, and I intend to speak out what I believe as I have opportunity, and to do all I can to advance the cause of the Master. Wishing you success, I remain, Your Brother in Christ,
W. F. F__________.
Easton, Pa., August 26, 1886.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: I am sure you are always pleased to hear from the little flock, still on account of your arduous duties I have heretofore refrained from writing, but can do so no longer. Bro. Blunden was with us last night and preached on The Restitution of all things. (Acts 3:21.) The number present was not as large as we could have wished, but they were much pleased. It is our intention to have Bro. B. preach for us each time he comes, (this was the second time) and some are becoming interested. I want to do all I can to bring them and others into this marvelous light of the Gospel. In compliance with your request, I herewith send the names of some whom I know are Bible students.
Yours in grace, F. P. G__________.
September 1, 1886.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: Will you send me four more copies of Millennial Dawn for the amount enclosed. When I loan them I ask my friends to read them carefully by chapters and in their regular order, and then to give me their opinion. At the same time I caution them, that if they do not critically examine the contents of the book as suggested, I shall not care for hearing their opinion, neither should I desire any criticisms based upon an imperfect understanding of portions read and examined disconnectedly, for the reason that such criticism would be entirely unworthy of consideration.
I would very much like to ascertain from honest, intelligent skeptics and infidels, their convictions regarding the existence of a supreme, intelligent Creator, and regarding the Bible as a divine revelation, after reading the whole book in the manner suggested. Also, I would like to ascertain from my unbigoted Christian brethren (of the household of faith) their convictions as to whether the character of our God, as demonstrated in these pages, is not such as to incite to greater reverence and veneration for him; and whether the plan of God, as the unfoldings of truth have revealed, and to which their attention is called in this volume, does not enable them to recognize these unfoldings to be in perfect harmony with his justice, wisdom, love and power, and to realize more clearly than ever before that the Bible is indeed God’s Word.
Will you please let me know how my account stands with the Z.W.T. Tract Fund? There will be no danger of my wanting to „sound a trumpet” (Matt. 6:2), for I know the amount must be shamefully small; but the reason I ask for the information is, because it has occurred to my mind that I ought to give at least no less than I used to give to the support of the sect to which I belonged. Indeed, we who have been helped out of Babylon, and thus freed from her shackles, ought not to forget how the truth first reached us, and we ought to do all in our power to have it reach others.
When we begin to count up the prejudices and errors that the Z.W.T. publications have been the means of divesting us of, and when we begin to reflect upon the liberty we have been called unto and enjoy, and upon the floods of heavenly light that have been pouring in upon our understandings, we look back and feel as though there had fallen from our eyes, as it had been scales. (Acts 9:18.) And as Paul done, so should we, for straightway he began to preach the truth he had received, and he increased in strength, confounding the Jews who dwelt at Damascus. So may we confound those who dwell in the cities (sects) of mystic Babylon. As the truth reached us, we have good reason to believe that it may yet reach others, and in the same manner. If we can not write it, or tell it, may we not by contributing our means thus aid you in publishing it, until it has reached all who have ears to hear, and brought them into the enjoyment of that liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free?
Still trusting in God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy, I remain, your brother in Christ. Grace be with you, and with all your fellow-laborers.
W. C. MACMILLAN.
— September, 1886 —