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EXTRACTS FROM INTERESTING LETTERS
February 5, 1885.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Thank you very much for your quick and kind answer of my letter. The money I send, you may use for any purpose of spreading the grand news as you think best. How I long to have all the back numbers of the TOWER. Is there no way of procuring them? Any price! I am preparing to work among my (German) countrymen, and would like to have them on that account.
The glorious truth which since a year ago shone on my heart through the „Food,” becomes brighter and brighter. I had the „Food” three years in my possession, but never found time nor opportunity to read it, but always saved it. Last winter I got poor and lean and all creeds and dogmas seemed to leave me. I searched and found „Food.” No book ever took me like that. I forgot meals and all. I could not sleep for joy. O, the blessedness I have enjoyed since then. God is still revealing more and more to me by the TOWER and Scriptures. Diaglott and Young’s Concordance are great helps to me. I would like
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this glorious truth to be spread among my people. I find much opposition with some, but some take it readily. I am still in the Methodist Church (German), but preach and talk in private and openly of the glorious truth. What will become of me the Lord knows—I expect to be thrown out. I would much like to see you personally and talk to you about plans which I have. If any way possible I will see you.
Yours in Christ, __________.
BRETHREN:—There are three of us—ministers of the Gospel—laying ourselves out for the spread of the glorious truths set forth in your publications. I have just come in from a preaching tour and expect to start again as soon as I have filled my present appointments, which will take me three weeks. I ask you to send me what publications you think best for distribution, so that we may give these grand truths to the people in this section of country. Hoping you can and will comply with our request, I remain,
Yours in Christ, __________.
MY DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST.—When I received the February WATCH TOWER with the article „Two Baptisms” marked, and found the answer to my question given so plainly in it, I felt sorry I had troubled you when I had it in the house; and what is more, had read that very article repeatedly. Do you think I must have been very stupid? I think so too; but my dear brother, don’t you know that I have had a Bible in the house all my life and have read it ever since I could read, have read it by daylight and lamp light, and by moon light, have learned whole chapters by heart, and even prided myself because of my knowledge of the Bible, and after all it remained for the TOWER, in the providence of God, to show me that I knew nothing about it. The knowledge I prided myself on was such knowledge as a parrot has; I knew the words but that was all. It remained for the TOWER to point out to me the grand, glorious, hidden manna there is in that blessed old book. And how I love it, and how every feast makes me hungry for more.
I thank God every day that he has permitted us to feast at his table. Were it not that the cares of a family press upon me I think I should do little but study the Word. With Paul I can say „I have not been disobedient to the heavenly vision.” When I first saw the light, I thought that all we had to do was to show these things to our neighbors and friends and they would grasp them eagerly as we had done, but I found an indifference that astonished me.
You told us that though these things were sweet in our mouth, yet after we ate them they would become bitter. I was full of the sweet and I did not see where there was any bitterness for me. After awhile what I supposed a cord, that bound me to the nominal Church, proved to be a chain, and it increased in weight so rapidly that I tried to shake it off, but it only bound the tighter. I began to long for true baptism. I had been sprinkled long ago, but now I saw a new beauty in baptism. I resolved to break the chain and to be baptized if I could find some one to do it without taking me into another Church, and then I found the bitterness, but I need not give details. I have thought often of writing you something of my experience for publication for the encouragement of others, but it would fill up the paper and not edify as much as the articles you give us in explanation of Scripture, which are manna indeed to our hungry souls.
I thank our Father that though we have the bitter trials, yet in him we have a never-failing source of joy. And I thank him that he gave me strength to burst the chains and furnished one to give my husband and I the symbolic baptism; now we rejoice in the love and freedom of Christ. He is leading us and we desire to do his will. We are all sitting around the Lord’s table and the TOWER is helping us to our food. May its supply be continually increased that we may all be filled and come into the unity of the faith, all praising God with one voice.
As ever, your sister in the Lord.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—During the last two months I have been laboring for the Master as best I could according to my ability. Preaching in public, and in private houses as well as by the way side, and by distributing Z.W. TOWER and tracts. I do not intend to shun to declare the whole council of God so far as I know it and am competent to do it. I travelled 250 miles nearly all on foot; have had many good meetings, and have had many what most men would call troubles, fatigued, and wet with rain, etc. Some times hungry and sometimes athirst, sometimes in comfortable quarters and sometimes otherwise. Yet I feel that I am made stronger by these, and more able to carry out my covenant of sacrifice. It is a great pleasure to hear from the many dear brethren and sisters by the letter extracts in the TOWER.
I leave home to-morrow again. I pray an interest in the prayers of all the saints.
Your brother in the love of Christ,
DEAR SIR:—I was requested to give a reading, at what is called the Mutual Improvement Society composed of members from all sects in the town, the president knowing somewhat of my views asked that the title might be, Advanced Religious thought. I did not decline, and with the pamphlet, Food, and the various numbers of the TOWER which I have, I made quite a long essay. After the reading, a discussion was freely entered into and I was branded by all sorts of names, such as Materialist, Universalist, Calvinistic, Baptist, etc. Although the Wesleyan minister, who had the Scriptures in his hand, could not find any mis-quotations, he was surprised at the different light given to them to what they are used to give them. Others said I had given the best paper that had been given during all the sessions. I hope by God’s help to speak at any time, the truths of the Scriptures as I have received light on them through the TOWER, so that I may be the means of turning some from errors of doctrine.
I am, dear sir, yours teachable in Christ,
Newton Co., Texas.
ZION’S WATCH TOWER:—I have just finished reading a pamphlet, published by you, entitled, „Food for Thinking Christians,” and have become very much interested in the subjects treated of. I wish to know more and more of these precious truths. Though a minister, I have been made to realize often while studying these pages, how true it is that many of us are „ever learning, but never come to a knowledge of the truth.” Having received so much light from this pamphlet, I gladly avail myself of your proposition, „Ask and ye shall receive,” so please send to me such reading matter as you deem best.
Is ZION’S WATCH TOWER a paper? if so, send me a specimen copy, or subscription price, I must have it.
Yours in hope, __________.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I have not forgotten you nor the glorious cause you represent. The blessed gospel has so permeated my soul that it seems I have forgotten all other themes. Politics used to enthuse me some while I was in „Babylon,” but now such a glorious landscape has burst upon my enraptured vision that I can see nothing else, and wherever I am and whoever I address, this song of the world’s ransom is on my tongue. Persecution and the cold shoulder of former friends and associates is nothing to me, the Lord is my shield and hiding place, and the rock of my salvation. His fellowship and his approving smile is all I crave.
Truly your brother. __________.
DEAR BROTHER:—Please erase my name from the poor list. Although poor in this world’s Treasures, made richer in faith through reading the TOWER, I feel I must pay for the paper this year. I love to read it more and more and shall continue to use my influence in getting others interested.
Yours in Christian hope, __________.
England, Feb. 14, 1885.
DEAR SIR:—Having lately come into possession of a copy of your valuable „Food for Thinking Christians” and finding that it is taken from the bread of life, I have a strong desire that others should read it as well as myself. As a Missionary to the Seamen and Fishermen on the coast of England I apply to you for a few slices i.e. copies of your Food for free distribution among them, and any other crumbs from the Master’s table will be most gratefully received, and willingly distributed among the hungry souls with whom I labor.
I have about twelve miles of sea coast and three seaports, and seeing that by asking I might receive, it put me so much in mind of the grace and favor from the great Captain of our salvation, that I felt constrained to apply, and I believe I shall receive, and will be thankful for anything you may send.
Yours in Christ Jesus. __________.
Palestine, Ill. Feb. 22, 1885.
BRO. C. T. RUSSELL:—I am now thoroughly satisfied as to the Ransom, the Church, the Bride, the Little Flock, the Presence of Christ, the Coming Troubles upon the Nominal Church systems and world, and the deliverance of the Bride, the Restitution during the coming age in which „all men shall be saved and brought to a knowledge of the Truth” for its acceptance or rejection, when all that was lost in or by Adam will be restored in or by Christ—indeed, much more than that; for Christ’s Bride shall be just like him, glorious, more brilliant than the sun, and immortal; and the balance of the race given an opportunity for a life grander than Adam’s—everlasting; or a worse death than his—”the second„—”everlasting destruction.”
Light is looming up on these subjects plainer and plainer, and I now glory in the Cross of Christ in a way in which I never could before. I can now rejoice to know that „the Word” was changed to a perfect manhood, „made flesh” in order to die for man.
I can rejoice that I now have opportunity to consecrate my life and being to God—to aid in filling up „the remainder of Christ’s sufferings”—rendering my life „a living sacrifice to God, which is my reasonable service”—so that I might „reign with him.”
I do not glory in self-righteousness; I have none. „I have no confidence in the flesh,” but all in my Ransom, the Sacrifice, the Atonement; but, to receive their glorious effects, I must die to sin and live to holiness.
I am, too, satisfied that there are no churches, nor have been, since the apostacy, through which those consecrating can act; for, in all these, thus far shalt thou go, and no further—all are hindrances instead of aids, because attention is called to their church and teaching instead of the Christ and the infallible Word!
That there are good and pious in all I do not doubt; hence the call, Come out of her my people, so that you may have no fellowship with her SINS, and that you receive not of her PLAGUES.”
I, as I wrote you before, was raised by Baptists, then was a „Campbellite” for over a quarter of a century, and preached the doctrine acceptably a good part of the time, then a member of „the Church of the Abrahamic Faith” for over fifteen years, preaching its doctrines acceptably. I was honest and sincere in both and had „a good conscience” in both, until it was better educated. As I never preached for money, neither would I now, and as I have a family to support and a business to sustain, I cannot do much; still that little I intend to do at all times and places practicable.
Yours, in the blessed hope, __________.
— March, 1885 —