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EXTRACTS FROM INTERESTING LETTERS
Morgan Co., Ala.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: I have received the „Food for Thinking Christians.” I sent one to my father, and the one I wanted to send to my brother-in-law I let a neighbor have. He was here when I received them, and nothing would do but that I might let him read it. He is much interested. So he and others that I have talked with want the paper and book. The poor class of people I can do the most with as a rule. One sister sent me word to-day that she wanted it sure, without fail. Good interest, so far as I have investigated. I am not a public speaker, but I could get as many as twenty-four subscribers without much lost time, I think; though if I had one hundred books, I would try, during this year, to take that many subscribers, although I have to work by the day for my living. Send me some of the books and sample papers, and I will do all I can. Yours in Christ,
DEAR FRIEND AND BROTHER:—I have great encouragement to remain yet a while in this neighborhood as the interest is becoming greater among the people. I shall expect other subscriptions in a few days. The people are becoming awakened and there is no one that is not fearful to tackle the WATCH TOWER. It stands fair and is cutting its way. The interest is among both saints and sinners. O, how it rejoices my heart to see the truth taking the place of error. I am well pleased with the Diaglott, and may expect others to order it soon. Your brother in the harvest work. __________.
Wayne Co., N.Y.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: Again I write you. I have taken but one subscriber since I commenced to canvass. I have not done much for the past three or four weeks, on account of injuries received from being thrown from a carriage. Last Monday I collected in and distributed some packages. I thought if I could only secure one each time, I would feel well repaid. As it was, I received encouragement otherwise. Quite a number told me they thought it good. One old lady said, „I find this the old style, or first way of worshiping Christ,” and looking up through her spectacles, she said, „I believe you will do a great deal of good distributing these books around, and the Lord will bless you for it, too.” This did me good, and I thought, one cannot always tell by outward signs where the seed of truth has been sown in good ground that may in time bring forth fruit to the Lord’s glory. When I started out in this work, it was with many fears. I did not know what treatment I should receive, but intended to do whatever was presented to me, which would tend to the carrying out of God’s plans, whatever they might be. Although I have not seen any great results as yet attending my efforts, I cannot tell what might grow out of it. There is, I find, a glorious blessing attending this work, and I wish I could put into it all of my time and influence, but as it is, I cannot. A year or so ago I gave „Food” and some of my papers to a minister of this place to distribute among his congregation. He replied, „I have received some of these papers before; it would do for me to read them, but not for them. I would not have them read these for anything.” But since I have been canvassing, I have come among some of his people. I should not wonder if more of his people will see and read the very reading he would not have them hear for anything.
Very truly yours, __________.
Jack Co., Texas.
A sister in Michigan writes of her effort to spread the truth, and the same mail brings us the following from an evangelist whom she has been instrumental in helping to see the truth more perfectly. This reminds us of the narrative in Acts 18:25,26. The brother writes thus:—
Battle Creek, Michigan.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I have most happily come across a copy of „Food” which I have read with much enjoyment. The thought of the Lord’s presence is both beautiful and Scriptural. I received this of Sister S., on whom I called, accidentally some would say, but providentially I believe.
Six months since I dedicated myself specially to the Lord’s service as he would be pleased to use me. Four months since I gave up my „license” (?) to preach, and determined to go henceforth in my Lord’s name alone and learn by his grace to trust him for means to support my wife and four children. They and my friends fear that I have made a mistake. It has cost considerably in dollars, but I have had much blessing. I go from place to place preaching without charge. I have tried to earn a living by selling books and charts during the day time.
I speak at the Lutheran Meeting House next First Day on „The Lord Jesus Christ our Mediator.” How precious is that truth to me now. I hope to be at home next week after two months’ absence in Evangelistic work. I little thought to get such a blessing when I left.
Please send me some of the packets; I will use them as suggested in the private printed letter shown me by Sister S.
Yours in the Lord, __________.
Fredonia, February 8, 1886.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I have been able to do nothing yet worth speaking of. In this sparsely settled region one can not see many people without traveling from place to place. I cannot travel on horseback or on foot; but when warm weather comes, if I find myself sufficiently strong, and have the means to fit out a wagon and team in which myself and wife can ride (for I am too helpless to go alone), I want to help to spread the truth by extending the circulation of the WATCH TOWER, and by teaching. I am using the few opportunities I have now, talking and trying to induce those who show some desire to learn, to examine the WATCH TOWER and the copies of „Food” you sent me. It is useless to cast pearls before swine. Those who will not study the Scriptures will take no interest in these things.
The Lord increase your usefulness and bless you abundantly.
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL:—I write you a few lines to tell you what the Lord is doing for us here. Three years ago when I came out of Babylon, I was alone but soon my husband followed; and now nine of us meet to read the TOWER and compare it with the Scriptures. And if it were not at the time it is, it would be strange to see how well we all agree, as we were Presbyterians, Methodists and Baptists. I think there are some others that are almost persuaded. Praise the Lord for his goodness and mercy. Little did I think that I ever would realize in this life so much of his grace; but his word is sure; „He that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” Your sister in Christ, __________.
— March, 1886 —