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We publish the following letter and its answer, as they may be of assistance to others of similar mind.
MR. C. T. RUSSELL, Dear Sir:—I write to solicit two copies of „The Tabernacle and its Teachings,” as I have just found where they are needed. I regret that I am unable to send a mite for the tract fund with this note. I am only a sinner, but I take great interest in this work. I do what lies in my power to propagate these truths, but few seem to have any curiosity, and still less the patience to investigate, yet occasionally we find one who is willing and anxious to search and find.
I have always ridiculed orthodoxy, but have believed in the divinity of Christ. The WATCH TOWER has made the Bible very plain to me, and although I often feel myself a castaway, it is a great comfort to know that such a glorious future is soon to dawn upon this dying world. In reading the letters and articles of the WATCH TOWER I see that some are drinking the cup of which he drank, and are being baptized into his death. It seems to me impossible that any who have been so enlightened by the Spirit and exalted to such fellowship with God should falter or suffer any influence of evil in to any measure separate them from the love they have in him.
If in early years I had known what I now know, I might have been among your number, but doubtless it is well.
Yours very truly, __________.
DEAR BROTHER:—I presume you will be somewhat surprised that I address you as brother when you do not seem to reckon yourself a child of God. But of one thing I feel quite sure, that if you are not a brother of the anointed company, you are a brother of the household of faith—a sinner SAVED BY GRACE—and therefore not now a sinner. The weaknesses of our flesh which will not permit our perfect conformity to the will of God, are not imputed to us. They are not reckoned as our sins. Our sins were all laid upon Jesus who bore their penalty for us. Please read in the TOWER of March, 1884, the article entitled, „Lost and Saved,” and I think you will see that I am right in calling you brother.
But it may be that even in a higher sense you are a brother, yet not fully discerning your high relationship to God and his anointed. May it not be with you as it has been with many others, that you have at some time in the past given yourself to the Lord fully and in all sincerity, yet because of surrounding temptations, and only a vague indefinite knowledge of our Father’s will and plan, you had grown cold and even forgetful of your covenant? If so, the truth now made so clear to your mind should be regarded as a special incentive urging you to fulfill your covenant, and thus make your calling and election sure. It is our Father’s good pleasure to give us the kingdom, hence the special incentives now made so manifest in this special time of need. The restitution, or restoration to human perfection, which is to be the portion of the mass of mankind, will indeed be a glorious portion; but those who have once presented themselves as living sacrifices, holy, (justified) and therefore acceptable to God, can never be developed to human perfection (restitution); such are „new creatures in Christ” (spiritual) and as new creatures they must be developed. The human once given up and accepted of God, cannot be taken back.
Think well, dear brother, and in the light of God’s truth determine what is your position and calling, and then run with patience the race set before you, whether it be for human or for spiritual perfection.
May the Lord richly bless you and lead you to a yet fuller and clearer apprehension of his glorious plan and his will concerning you.
— July and August, 1885 —