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LETTER FROM BRO. ADAMSON
I desire to note a few points of experience that may serve to comfort, cheer and strengthen the saints.
Of godly parents, I had always a religious turn, but I failed to get as clear an idea of consecration as I wished. I never believed in lukewarm or disobedient Christians, but I had no wise, loving saints to confer with in my early religious experience. Few or none thought of the Bible as the only rule; therefore, I was sometimes cast down and discouraged. I never could join a church, or enter the ministry, though I had tempting offers of the necessary funds. And recognizing God’s tender, guiding hand in all my leadings, I thank him that I never joined the nominal Church, nor entered the ranks of its ministry. And yet, I always worked heartily in all churches, Y.M.C.A., or other revival work.
Two years ago I came to Columbus, Ohio, and found a copy of ZION’S WATCH TOWER at the Y.M.C.A. rooms. I was attracted at once, finding in it so much Gospel (good news) and so much better than I had. I went to Pittsburgh, and found the WATCH TOWER office; and in my inquiries for it among various religious newspapers, I found it had Scriptural marks of saintship—being ignored, „cast out,” and „suffering reproach” for Christ’s sake.
I could hardly follow Bro. Russell in his explanations and see at once that there really is a plan of God in the Ages, and that all the Scriptures fall into line and harmonize with it. It was too good.
Men are sometimes dazed by a bright natural light, and so also by bright unfoldings of the word. This was my case, and still pondering these things in my heart, I went East to attend Dr. Cullis’s training school, and finding it unsuitable for me, I went on to Providence, where I acted with the Y.M.C.A. in a revival; thence to Bridgeport, Conn., where I attended the Mission revival services. From that I purposed to return to Boston again, but there was no opening except toward Pittsburgh.
The six months of absence had been valuable to me, I had practiced consecration, and was better fitted to hear spiritual teaching than at my first visit. [How wisely our Father deals with his inexperienced children, and how necessary is the entire surrender of self to the reception of his truth.] I then saw that there is a grand, glorious Plan of God. For eight months I have been preaching this glorious Gospel in private houses, halls, street corners and Fair grounds. Sometimes the Lord would open a free hall, or one so cheap that I could pay the price. People listen eagerly from two to four hours to the Gospel which „God conceived at the first, then hid, then revealed” (Eph. 3:9,10). Even upon Fair grounds, some classes would listen hour after hour; then proceeding to the town or city, I would preach in its streets for hours to eager listeners. I reach specially three classes:
1st. Consecrated Christians, whether in or out of the Churches;
2d. Moral men who see the contradictions of prevailing theologies, and never would join a church;
It is blessed to deal with the first class—”preaching the Gospel to the meek.” It is also blessed to guide this second class in the true way. These, at least, are honest „poor,” to whom Jesus said the Gospel is preached. And, third, how blessed to have the infidel come and say, „I will henceforth do reverence to the God I once despised, since I behold him merciful, just and loving.” Surely none are dumb who have learned to sing the „Song of Moses and the Lamb”; for out of the
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abundance of the heart the mouth must speak.
No one who knows the song well will say, I am not gifted. It is hid from the gifted class, and revealed to babes—the meek, who tell it whether gifted or not. Even if present rewards alone are weighed, I would not exchange places with the most eloquent man living, who knows not God’s Plan in the Ages, and so cannot honor him fully. I have now a quiet, restful, unwavering faith and confidence in God in my work. I aim to do the very best I can, but not on the high-pressure principle some think so needful. I have no interest of my own, but find my all in God. Success, as the world counts it, will never follow preaching the real Gospel. Then, since my earthly fortunes can only change for the worse, and since God knows what his cause needs, and that his sons are working along, lovingly, as for a loving Father, why unrest? Let all who hear tell the good news to others and you will see how much more precious is this Gospel of Peace.
Earnestly desiring the prayers of all the saints,
Your brother in Christ,
J. B. ADAMSON.
— February, 1883 —