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EXTRACTS FROM INTERESTING LETTERS
Brother Adamson has been laboring for the truth in New York state for some time past with good success. In Buffalo especially quite a number were awakened to see the morning light. A hasty note recently received from him at Rochester, says among other things, „I have excellent letters from various places, especially Buffalo. Saints are encouraged and comforted by the truth, and growing daily in favor and knowledge. Here, storms have prevented much out-door work, but I have out 336 of the Packets, (containing Food and sample TOWER) nevertheless. Catholics and Presbyterians seem to have gotten some „orders” respecting the Packets, not to read. Poor, stupid, blind „orthodoxy.”
Yours in tender regard and love in the anointed. J. B. A__________.
Word received from Brothers Marting, Gillis, Myers, Bryan, Cobb, Blundin, Hickey, Van Hook, Bowman, [Brother Bowman, please send your present address in another good letter.] and many others, indicate that amid circumstances sometimes favorable and sometimes adverse, each is seeking to do what he can. And though our home (Pittsburgh) missionaries are seldom referred to, you should know that there are here quite a number who will we doubt not, receive of the Master in due time such honorable mention as, „She hath done what she could,” „Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.”
We are more and more convinced that the „slothful servant” becomes a wicked one, and in the present time of trial will be sifted out, and by getting out of the light into darkness, will thus get his portion with the hypocrites. It will be found that every one who shall be of that „little flock,” the „Royal Priesthood,” will have been a priest not in name only but in deed and in truth—he must sacrifice his own will, and spend and be spent in the Royal service if he would share in the glories to be revealed in that Priesthood. This applies to each, not merely the public teachers, but to the private also. Every under priest will not only recognize his justification by the High Priest’s sacrifice, but must also bring his sacrifice to God, acceptable in the name and merit of the great High Priest.—EDITOR.
Orangeburg, S.C., Dec. 13, 1886.
BROTHER RUSSELL: The special number of TOWER is at hand. I am highly pleased with your plan in thus absorbing the three issues of the TOWER whereby the many readers of the TOWER may obtain so invaluable a work as the Millennial Dawn, at the trifling extra charge of 25 cents. I sincerely hope that not only every subscriber may obtain it, but that many of the thousands of creed-bound and famishing ones in the various sects may obtain one, or read one thoroughly. No book is more calculated to establish one in the truths of God’s word than Millennial Dawn, and those who are drifting upon the sea of insecurity would do well to clasp Millennial Dawn very warmly. Enclosed is 75 cents, the extra charge for three of us here.
Yours in Christ,__________.
Ohio, Dec. 13, 1886.
MY DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: I am so near the wall that my being cries out with anguish—hard pressed by the flesh and Satan. My desire is to resign my position in the nominal church—that of pastor, (though not a salaried position, for I will not hire). I might say my desire was to do so, but now I conclude to remain a while yet. My reasons are these: Your late work, „The plan of the ages,” The Fire of Judgment, I call it—is in season to accomplish a great work here. It is the wedge which will separate the true from the false; and I shall see that it is driven into our congregation, but I shall be wary in my work. When all the wheat has been reached, then we will forsake the old nominal threshing floor and go out into the broad, white wheat fields and glean.
I have delivered three lectures here in my native village, which are not in the least in taste with nominal religion. My themes were: 1. God—His attributes—His Plan, and Purpose in Creation. 2. Man—His Origin and Destination. 3. Life and Death—The Wages of Sin and the Gift of God. My next will be the new race—Christ. By the time I have these all fixed in their minds I will be ready to preach any Bible subject to them, having their minds prepared to receive it. I am now ready to advertise Z.W.T. from the pulpit, as people are wondering where I get this strange doctrine. Verily God has been leading me; I have no purpose of my own.
Some of the brethren in __________, are arranging to have me come and preach for them. If it is God’s will, I expect to go there in a few weeks, but I do hope the Lord will not permit Satan to exalt me, for I am heart sick of worldly praise. I think we are in the midst of a great trouble in the nominal church, and M. Dawn is destined to take a prominent position in this coming storm. It is the panacea that will open the blind eyes and unstop the deaf ear, and unloose the dumb tongue in the nominal Babylon. What a confusion I anticipate! „Come out of her my people.” I would send you some money, but I can’t just now. I am no financier, I am more of a Bible student. I remain your brother in Christ, and ask for your prayers in my behalf. J. P__________.
DEAR BROTHER: Your letter of the 13th rejoices me greatly. May God bless you dear brother, giving you grace according to your day, and upholding you with the word of truth.
I am glad that you are seeing clearly, I am glad too that you have a fervent zeal which permits you to become warm and excited over a matter worthy of excitement and warmth—the great prize—the inheritance—a pearl of great value. I pity those who become deeply absorbed muck-raking for earthly treasures, but are cold and lifeless and do less in regard to the heavenly prize of our high calling. My prayer is that you may not be moved when you find others lukewarm. Do not conclude that you are too hot, our Lord and the chief apostles were enthusiasts, and burned with zeal and love for their work.
Go on, dear brother; your plan is good, carry it out thoroughly. Being unbound by oath of office or covenant with any denomination to preach only their doctrines, you are at perfect liberty to preach God’s Word as it opens.
It is well to understand what we must expect that we may not be disappointed but strengthened as we see the harvest separation progress. In this as in many other respects the „harvest” of the gospel age closely resembles its type, the „harvest” of the Jewish age. Now as then „they shall cast you out of the synagogues,” and „shall say all manner of evil against you falsely,” and shall „hate you.” Rejoice, however, and be exceeding glad, for this is an evidence or „witness of the Spirit” that you are in the „narrow way” as voiced by the word of sure testimony.
For this reason you must be on your guard that your opponents may find no real cause for their evil speaking. Guard weak places. If you are „no financier” that would be a very assailable point. Guard it well. Live within your income, if it cuts off all luxuries and reduces you to potatoes and salt. Owe no man anything but love.
You will want to arrange your affairs on a business basis at once, because as soon as you begin to scratch instead of tickle the ears you will find purses begin to close, and, generally speaking, you may expect the truth to separate you from the more wealthy of your friends and leave you in company mainly with the poor, rich only in faith and the coming inheritance.
As an ambassador of the Great King, yet as a follower of him who was a servant of servants, be both noble and fearless, as well as humble and condescending. Be careful for nothing, but in everything and in every condition give thanks always and make full proof of your ministry. Such fruitage will honor the Lord and stand the test of the present trial—”so as by fire.” Let me hear from you often. Grace, mercy and peace.
Yours in fellowship and service,
C. T. RUSSELL.
Howells Depot, N.Y., Jan. 2, 1887.
MR. C. T. RUSSELL, DEAR SIR: I was very much surprised, and so much pleased, to receive the Dawn. I was eagerly watching for the special paper, but never dreamed I was to get the much wished for Dawn. I had hoped to be able to pay up the two years arrearages, renew my subscription and send for the Dawn, which I have greatly desired ever since you announced it ready, but owing to recent sickness, a light form of diphtheria, including husband, self, and our four children, which caused us great anxiety and some expense, I abandoned my purpose, concluding to wait awhile. But through your kind consideration I have to-day had the pleasure of perusing some of the contents. It is valuable to me, and I shall try to do what good I can by loaning it to others.
Humbly and sincerely yours in Christ,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: Accept my tribute of thanks for the Dawn. I concur most emphatically in all Brother Adamson has said respecting it. Notwithstanding some of the chapters are old friends, they add to the book’s value. I esteem its price, next to the grand text-book of our faith, above rubies. I have read the book through and some chapters several times, and I am amazed at the light it sheds upon God’s word. Truly the Lord is with you and your dear wife, may he grant you all needful grace to sustain you. You are willing to be accounted „fools” for Christ’s sake now and seek only for „glory, honor and immortality hereafter.” You will be glad to know that I received my copies safely and have six of them loaned out at work. I cannot tell you yet what effect they are having on the readers, but will report in my next. I want seven more copies to send to friends in different parts of the country. I feel that this is just a sort of work I can do.
Praying that the blessing of the Master of the harvest may continually abide upon you, I remain in loving fellowship and service, yours affectionally,
A. P. R__________.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: I am slowly improving in health. I am usually quite comfortable, and am able to take a walk of a few rods each day—usually about the yard. I have not strength for more than this. I cough considerable at times, though by no means as much as I did. Have not finished Millennial Dawn yet, as I cannot read much without getting too tired.
I am thankful to our dear Father in heaven for giving you light and ability to write this volume, and trust it will be a very effective agency in disseminating the truth. I am aware that to have it so, the book must be brought to the attention of the people, and were I able it would be a great pleasure to me to add my mite in this direction. Perhaps the Lord may yet give me the strength. His will be done. Permit me to express my hearty approval of „A Word of Warning” in last number. I am thankful that all through the struggle you hold the readers of Z.W.T. to the Scripture teaching, and that while there is so general a tendency to looseness on Bible teaching, the WATCH TOWER has held up Christ and him crucified as the only foundation.
Mrs. T. joins me in Christian love to yourself and Sister Russell.
Yours in Christ, S. T. TACKABURY.
Brooklyn, Jan. 9, 1887.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: Both your letters were received in due time and suggestions considered. I am afraid you over-estimate my service; or is it possible that there are so few willing to do much of anything that what I rejoice to do appears to be more than it is? Well, I feel that I am doing but little to what I would do, and so do that little gladly.
The package arrived in due time. I was surprised at its size, but glad that I could get so many to distribute. Have sold one book to a Methodist brother in business, who has been considering these views for some time.
On Friday evening I went down to Talmage’s church with about 100 copies of Z.W.T. About eight hundred or more were present. The first half hour was devoted to lecture; then, while singing, all who do not wish to remain longer go out. Then about three-quarters of an hour are given to devotional meeting. Six hundred were present. I sat near the door, and was out nearly first; pulled wrapper off papers instantly and commenced handing out rapidly, saying, „New Christian work, new book,” &c. By the time all were out my papers were gone. Many go there from other churches, so the paper must be pretty widely spread. Then I went into the church, and, seeing a couple of young men looking at a copy, I handed them two, with the request that they should be handed to Dr. Talmage.
I am profiting by the perusal of Millennial Dawn. Your statements are clear, backed by Scripture proof, and advance step by step in so orderly and connected a manner that the learner is led gradually up to the view of these great truths, instead of being overwhelmed at once, and thus turned away from them. I do wish every earnest Christian could be induced to read the book.
I shall go to another large church next Friday evening, and also mail copies to different places. To many places in the United States, and to Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland, and even Russia, has the October number WATCH TOWER gone. You may think I have done some mailing when I tell you that almost all that large package of TOWERS have gone by mail. The five Millennial Dawns came safely to hand, and I sold two and mailed the other three, one to Mr. Moody, one to Major Whittle and one to Rev. Geo. E. Needham, Secretary and originator of the Proph. Conf., with letter to each, and asking a reply; and I sent a bound copy of Millennial Dawn to Canon F. W. Farrar, of England, with a longer letter, which I am almost certain will bring an answer. I have been very busy during December, but now am sitting down to go a second time studiously through Millennial Dawn. I desire to fasten many things therein upon my memory.
I mailed you yesterday a money order for $10, which I expected to send you last month. Wish it were greater. I rejoice, even though not without trials.
Yours in service, B. P__________.
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C. T. RUSSELL, DEAR SIR: Find enclosed $1.25, for which please send one copy of Millennial Dawn and the TOWER one year. I never was interested in religious writings till I read Food. I am not a Christian; it is so hard to do right; but I just love to read this teaching, it is so reasonable. I was on the „Poor List” last year, and am not really able to subscribe. I live in a „dug-out,” with only a dirt floor, with a large family; but I do not feel like taking so much for nothing, so will send this much in spite of all. Will also send some names for samples.
Yours sincerely, E. W__________.
DEAR FRIEND: You probably are more acceptable in the sight of our Lord than many who profess much more. Your willingness to sacrifice for the truth proves this. The fact that you love the truth proves that you have an „ear to hear.” The fact that God has sent it to you at all, proves that he has some blessing in it for your heart and life. In fact, you are already a believer, and now you are experiencing some of the „joy and peace” promised to such as believe. Grasp a firmer hold of the Lord; realize him not only as the Saviour of all from death, but as your Redeemer. Trust him for the future and learn to trust him for the present also. Serve him by serving the truth and daily seek to be more like him in your thoughts and deeds. „She hath done what she could,” is the highest praise any disciple can expect.—EDITOR.
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Brother Brown, writing from Chicago, says: „I called yesterday to see Brother C. (an attorney-at-law) and passed about three-quarters of an hour very pleasantly with him. I found him to be a Scotch, „dyed in the wool” Presbyterian, but by accident a year or so ago his attention was called to Food. On Sunday last he sat down immediately after breakfast and began to read Millennial Dawn, Vol. I. He read without stopping even to eat until 10 o’clock that night, and the first half of the book looks as my own copy did, only more so, for he had underscored fully half of it.
MR. C. T. RUSSELL: Enclosed find one dollar for the paper.
Educated by a Methodist father and Presbyterian mother, even as a child my inquisitive mind detected the inconsistency of accepting the tenets of both denominations, and also of rejecting them. When I grew older and ventured to express my doubts, my father replied, „It does seem illogical and inharmonious; but, my child, I am sure the Bible is true and logical if it were clearly understood. Do not try to comprehend what you cannot understand, but believe in Christ.” Even then the thought crossed my mind, if Christ died to restore what Adam lost, why not make every man just as Adam was? That would be restoring. However, I tried to follow the advice given, tried earnestly and sincerely to exercise faith, but after a time fell into skepticism—stayed away from church, and had for my friends worldly people, scientists and infidels. My home was then in a beautiful city, but my mind kept at times reverting to the old subject. I finally concluded there must be, there is, one true church, and it must be the Catholic Church, since so many of the Protestants whom I knew were so insincere; and as the Episcopalians claimed the same origin, I would try that.
Just as the change to this little town was talked of, your tract fell into my hands. I glanced over it, thinking it odd; said something to the pastor about it, who laughed at me for thinking it something new. The little book was packed amongst my effects, and while in a doubting mood one day fell into my hands again, seeming to answer every troubled question. I believe now my faith is established; and it seems odd to me that other people—cultured, Christian people—cannot see it as I do.
Pardon my long letter, unless it interests you to hear details. I am in the „Wilderness condition,” have consecrated, and dare not turn back. Remember me in your prayers. Kindly and respectfully, MRS. E. W. R.
Brother MacMillan, of Latrobe, says: „We don’t express our praise as does the Salvation Army, but if any of God’s people can feel and live a Hallelujah life, we ought to. I sometimes wonder what those Salvation Army people would do if the light from God’s word would shine upon them and illumine their understanding as it has done ours; for the little they have makes them so noisy.
An aged brother here wishes me to say that the Dawn is the best prepared table of food that ever he sat down to, and that he cannot get done eating. He keeps right on partaking, and, strange as it may seem, his hunger has not yet diminished.”
San Joaquin Co., Cal.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: I have now given Millennial Dawn a thorough examination, and like the book. I took one day last week trying to get subscribers for it, and have got twelve for my first day’s work, and as I intend to place one in each family who attend my Sabbath school (I say my school because for the last eighteen months I have had no connection with any denomination of Christians), and as I wish to send some to distant parts, I send you enclosed a P.O. Order for fifteen dollars, for which send the value in Millennial Dawn, Vol. I. Yours, etc., D. K__________.
Bear Lake, Michigan.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: I have not done as much as I should like for the advancement of the truth, and the setting up of Christ’s Kingdom, but I desire to do more. I long to give all my time to the glorious work of spreading the truth. To open the blind eyes, and to turn men from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Christ Jesus.
I had an opportunity last summer to symbolize my baptism, I was baptised by immersion by a Baptist minister, we had a talk together and I found his idea of baptism was according to scripture. He could not accept all of our views, although he was the most liberal Baptist I ever met, acknowledging the evils of sectarianism but fearing to come out. He baptised me on my confession of faith, but not into the Baptist church as is generally the custom.
I have been approached by two Congregational ministers, one of them a great scholar, bearing the title D.D., trying to persuade me to unite with them in a Congregational church which they are trying to organize in this place. They made use of all manner of nice speeches, saying my influence would be a great help; and it mattered not what I believed if I would accept their creed. They even went so far as to write out what they called articles of faith, separate and apart from their regular church creed, leaving out some articles which they thought I and some others who have accepted the TOWER views, would object to. But they found we were not for sale: we told them that we would take nothing less than the Word of God itself for our creed, with Christ for our only foundation and hope; and with firm faith in him as our only Saviour, we claimed the right to search the Scripture for ourselves and to believe whatever it teaches.
The TOWER is a great help in the search for truth, we would not do without it. There is always some new light received from the Scriptures by reading it and comparing it with the Bible.
The Millennial Dawn which I am reading through the second time, is indeed a most wonderful book, it seems impossible for any one to read it and not be convinced of the truthfulness of its position. It is a great feast to my hungry soul. I find too, that the Diaglott is a wonderful help in clearing up many seemingly dark passages. I thank our dear Father in Heaven for all these helps.
Will you please send me about a dozen of the October number of the TOWER? I think I can make good use of about that number. I intend loaning them instead of giving them away. I intend sending for some packets in order to do some colporteur work as soon as the way opens.
Below are the names of two ministers (Baptist and Methodist) to whom please send the TOWER, October number.
With love to yourself and the church at Pittsburgh, I am yours in Christ,
J. N. L__________.
Buffalo, Jan. 2, 1887.
DEAR SIRS: I have just received the first volume of Millennial Dawn, I was about to send for one bound in cloth, as it would stand rougher usage, as I intend to lend it to all inquirers after truth. A priest here desires to read it, and I am more than pleased to loan it to him, as I believe it to be the essence of the word of God. ZION’S WATCH TOWER has been distributed to a great many of the members of the church of which I am a member. At first it was not received very warmly, but now many are anxious to read it and are seeing the Bible as a new book through its teachings, especially the priest to whom I allude.
Yours in Christ, O. E__________.
Helsingborg, Sweden, Dec. 19, 1886.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL: It is now some months since I had the pleasure of receiving your letter and papers (Swedish as well as English), for which I thank you much. I will use them so that they will do the most good. People in general are averse to hear of salvation for any after this life, just as in America. Here the Lutheran faith predominates, but many have been led to abandon the idea of an atonement, and, as I have seen in the TOWER, you are fully acquainted with their way of mixing things. At one meeting, where I was defending the atonement, and claimed that Christ purchased us with his blood, one speaker said, „The average of Christian teachers allow that something great took place at the crucifixion of Christ, but of what and how, there seems to be no clearness.” An odd one is desirous of perusing the TOWER, and they have nothing to say but that light and truth are shown through them. Thanks be to God, when I see through all God is showing me, that my efforts are not in vain, and people are getting more prepared to hear the glad tidings of great joy which shall be to all people. Thank God that light is shining; thank God that I am privileged to help to spread it. Some years ago, when I sacrificed myself to God, I had no idea that I should be distrusted and rebuked of any that trust God, but in entire reliance on God and his Son, my Redeemer, I shall be able to overcome. Yours, in hope of glory,
N. M. O__________.
Fort Dodge, Iowa, Jan. 17, 1887.
DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST: I had just finished reading your book, lent by a friend, when the cheaper edition came. I thank God that he has given you such a work to do for his children, and now I have a great desire to persuade as many as possible to purchase and read the book. I had thought to get as many copies as I could and lend them, but that does not satisfy me. I could not reach enough, and I believe the way is open for me to visit the Christian and thinking people of this place, and perhaps of others, and my brother proposes to do the same in other cities and towns, if we meet with success sufficient to cover our necessary expenses. My hopes are very buoyant, because I want everybody to read it, yet I know that I must not expect too much.
I enclose fifteen dollars, send me of the cloth and paper bound Dawn, Vol. I., half each.
In Christian fellowship. Sue B__________.
New Orleans, La., Dec. 17, 1886.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL: Inclosed please find P.O. Order for ten dollars, for which please renew my subscription for the WATCH TOWER (three copies), and send another copy of Millennial Dawn. What is over use where most needed. The money I send I received in answer to prayer. I have been desirous to send my subscription and something for the Lord’s work, but somehow was not able to spare it out of my wages. Yesterday I asked the Lord to help me get it. Today my employer handed me twenty dollars as a present, which seems to me a direct answer to my prayer.
I have been since asking the Lord to make plain his will to me regarding it, which I believe to be this, to give ten dollars for the clothing and feeding of the spiritual man, the other ten I give to my wife for her part of the work, namely, supplying the physical necessities of the Lord’s poor around us. Still trusting in God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy, I remain as ever your fellow-laborer in the harvest field.
Oceana Co., Mich., Dec. 6, 1886.
C. T. RUSSELL, DEAR BROTHER:
The first volume of Millennial Dawn, so kindly sent came safe to hand, may the Lord richly bless the unselfish love bestowed on the poor of the Lord’s flock. I have not read it all through yet, but have been greatly blessed from the perusal so far. I thank God every hour of my life that I am enabled to understand so much of his grand loving plan for the blessing of all the families of the earth. I am sorry I am unable to forward you any money with this, the great drouth here the past summer has deprived me of that happiness. I am compelled this winter (with poor health) to labor in the lumber woods for means to supply self and family with bread, and food for my stock. However, I expect some money before long and part of it shall be appropriated in renewing my subscription for the TOWER and the volume of Millennial Dawn, and I trust something for the Tract Fund.
I shall want one of the cloth bound volumes for my library, and intend to use the present volume for lending to those whom I have reason to believe are hungering for the truth.
Your brother in fellowship and service.
— February, 1887 —