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EXTRACTS FROM INTERESTING LETTERS
St. Louis Co., Mo., Sept. 28, 1885.
C. T. RUSSELL, DEAR FRIEND IN CHRIST:—You will find enclosed one dollar to pay for the TOWER. I am doing all I can to spread the glorious truths. I am very poor in this world’s treasures, but rich in faith. Year before last I had the TOWER sent to a brother of mine and he loaned it to his neighbors. I was there since, and was surprised to see how much good fifty cents could do. Men who had never feared God, who would not talk on religion, had their Bibles searching for more light, and would hardly talk of anything else. I am „anxious for greater service in the vineyard,” and wish to know the plan you have to suggest. I have one copy of „Food” very nearly worn out by loaning and desire more, please. I know it is but little I can do, but I know it will be acceptable to our Father.
Yours in Christ, __________.
GENTLEMEN:—Working in an empty house some days ago, I found some leaves of a book treating on the Bible. There is nothing to lead me to a conclusion as to what the title is, but every leaf I have is about the Bible and its teachings. „Why Evil was Permitted, The Day of Judgment, The Plan of the Ages,” etc. These leaves have whetted my appetite, and after searching well I found what appears to be the last leaf, and it directs me to address a letter as this is directed for further information on these matters. I can only say that, not only I, but others with whom I associate, are never tired of talking, reading or hearing of these things. The leaves I have I would not sell for money, but I should like more, and I hope you may be able to supply me, God bless you richly. Yours in Christ,
Berrien Co., Michigan.
ZION’S WATCH TOWER.—Dear Friends:—A pamphlet published by you, accidentally came to my notice a few days ago, and although torn and mutilated, I have read all I can of it, and desire more of that light that seems to have penetrated your soul. In accordance with your request, which I find on last page of cover, I write you as an earnest, prayerful seeker after truth; knowing that in time past it has pleased God to send light to his children through one another, as in the case of Cornelius (Acts 10). My prayer is „Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”
Now I send to Pittsburgh, to Zion’s Watchman, that he may tell me what to do, and send me what he thinks I need. I think I could use several of the pamphlets to good advantage.
Yours in fellowship of Christ,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—It is with heartfelt thankfulness that I write to you for the TOWER. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. The TOWER is looked for with delight, not by myself alone, others here look for it with equal pleasure, and we desire you to send it for another year. The subjoined list are the names of those who send money. We have of late had a real feast through the TOWER; it has opened up the Scriptures so that we can now search for ourselves. What once was to us very nearly a sealed book, now becomes full of harmony and beauty. We are already despised and rejected of nominal Christians, but we count it joy that we are accounted worthy to thus suffer with him. Since we have seen something of the truth, and are no longer building with the wood, hay and stubble of men’s traditions.
Our little Bible class does not grow very large, but we are not building on numbers. We find we get some very precious seasons with about four, and I think up to the present our best meetings have been the smallest; and during the week when two or three meet for a few minutes we often part with some new thought or reminder of the grandeur of the plan or character of God, and go forth with renewed energy to serve him. I find the experience vastly different from my previous experience in the nominal church, then doubting and fearing with a very indefinite idea of what was future both for the servants of God and those who did not serve him.
But now we are glad to see that all shall be taught of God. Looking at the unfolding plan of God we cannot but see that his ways are higher than our ways and his thoughts higher than our thoughts. Please send more reading matter. We are gradually finding interested readers.
Your brother in Christ. __________.
Neosho Co., Kan.
DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST:—If I should not be too late please forward a wall chart to my address for which I will pay express charges. I expect to return to my own nation in the near future (Cherokee Indians) and I will be more able to make the vision plain. I would send you money to pay for one or two years subscription of your paper, the Z.W.T., if I had it; but just now I am so pressed financially that I can scarcely keep my family, but hope I can do something soon. I preach as often as I can leave home, and ride from ten to twenty miles to make known this truth. Pray the Lord to bless his poor servant, who once was blind but thank God that now I see. I ever remain your brother in the Anointed One. __________.
[N.B. The supply of WALL CHARTS is exhausted.]
Toledo, Ohio, Sept. 20, 1885.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Again is the welcome Z.W.T. at hand. But alas I can not read it any more. [A cataract has been forming over his sight gradually.] Having it read second-hand, and by those not consecrated however well meaning they be, it has not the satisfactory result as when read by myself. I am hungry for the glad tidings, but for the present cannot be satisfied and must now draw on the store gathered when natural sight was one of the blessings. Please inform me what your plan is for the consecrated ones. If I cannot see to read I may find a willing ear to talk to. Hoping you may be able to gather the meaning of this communication, the Lord bless you and be with you in his work is my prayer. Yours in Christ, __________.
Mitchell Co., N.C., Sept. 29, ’85.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—A suggestion in your last number of WATCH TOWER to those having time to invest in the Master’s service at the eleventh hour, caught my eye and moved my heart, as I had been asking the Lord to open up the way that I might be enabled to do more effectual work in his vineyard. Not that I have been idle or careless about the „glad tidings of great joy which shall be to all people,” or of the Church’s glorious position, either; as I have been lecturing on these glorious themes for some time past until this summer, when the powers of darkness became somewhat alarmed, taking possession for the present, but it is only for the present, for they have already whipped themselves.
It was after this manner: I had, as a feeble instrument in the hands of the Master, built up a considerable Sunday attendance, on lectures and Bible readings, in a section deserted by all denominations, but formerly belonging to the Baptists. They saw a good chance to reorganize their church and Sabbath school, which they did, offering me the superintendent’s place if I would join them. Telling them I was not for sale, of course they left me „out in the cold.” Many were dissatisfied with the proceedings and caused considerable interruption, so much so, that they now have no Sabbath school and very seldom any preaching.
Their preacher passed my house today and told me that perhaps he would leave this fall, not having been here quite twelve months. Truth will prevail. He sees there are impressions of God’s eternal truth so deeply rooted that he will either have to submit to it or leave.
I was lecturing on the Millennium and God’s promises to the Jews, when by a strange circumstance I fell in with your Sample Copy of Z.W.T. This has been over two years since. I was led by God’s Word to see that there are deeper and richer blessings for the church and world than held out by the sects. Praying for more light on these glorious truths, the Lord sent your publications. It would be strange to you indeed, if you could know the harmony in our teachings before I saw your views, or heard of them. But I only had the outlines until the Lord brought us together. O then, what light indeed, rayed forth from „ZION’S WATCH TOWER.”
Ever since I have been circulating your publications and lecturing. In this and the adjoining county deep impressions have been made and I feel confident will show fruit in God’s „due time.” The Methodists and Baptists prevail in this country, and held strong antagonism until the true light burst forth; since, they have become alarmed and are holding meetings together. Pilot and Herod were made friends in condemning the Lord of Glory. Strange coincident with his first rejection! It is only a question of time, when the way will be open for more successful labor. Patience for the Lord’s „due time,” is what we all, perhaps, are deficient in. May we „let patience have her perfect work.”
I have engaged a school, but am not bound for any definite period; I only take it while waiting for the Lord to open up something in which I can serve him better. If he has directed through you in the „plan” mentioned in last TOWER we will shortly „know of his will.” I wish to stand ready for whatsoever and whenever he may call me.
Being aware of the great value of time with you, and the vast importance of the glorious work in which the Lord has called you, makes me feel as an intruder by writing so much, but I cannot close without giving you an expression of my feelings and desires as a co-worker in the closing gospel harvest of the age, which indeed „is ripe” while „the laborers are few.”
The vast importance of the truth of the millennial glory so thrills my whole being, that I could proclaim the „glad tidings from Greenland’s icy mountains to India’s coral strand,” and „from the rivers to the ends of the earth” in honor to the name of Jesus who is riding forth in his majesty.
Sweetest name on mortal tongue,
Sweetest notes in Seraph’s song.
— October, 1885 —