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EXTRACTS FROM INTERESTING LETTERS
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Last March a Brother of this city employed me to work in his paint store. Every day more or less men gathered in the store and would engage in argument on different topics, and sometimes on religion, and by the grace of God I preached to them Christ, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of them that believe. I explained to them how Christ had paid the debt, and there was now justification for believers, a crown for overcomers, and restitution for the world. The grace of God began to work in my employer’s heart, and one day he brought down stairs a large Bible and said to me, „William, it is not everybody wants that book in his store, but I am going to have it here from this on,” and I praised the Lord. I had the FOOD for Thinking Christians that you sent me several years ago, and began reading it in the store, but he did not believe in restitution, and fought hard against it for a long time. I tried to get him to read FOOD, but he said, „No, that is all man’s work, I won’t have anything but Scripture.” I said I was glad he wouldn’t have anything but Scripture, and if he would only read FOOD and search the Scriptures, he would be surprised to see how the little book agreed with the Scriptures. But no, he would not touch it. I had almost dispaired of him, but I told it to the Lord, and left it all with him. I had put the FOOD in the show case, where he could see it, and one day I came in the store, and there he was, behind the counter, all broke up, and the tears running down his cheeks, and FOOD in his hands. I was sure it had entered his heart, as he said, „God bless him! God bless him!” and he has been preaching restitution ever since. Of course you hear from him, and know all about it. One day Bro. Hickey came in the store, to buy a brush to paste up Eternal Torture around the city. I told him about restitution, but he, being a regular ordained minister of the Presbyterian Denomination, could not see it, and thought I was a little off. Another day, I was reading out of FOOD in the store to a crowd of men, and Bro. Hickey was present. He came over to me and said, „What have you got there?” I told him it was a little book called „FOOD FOR THINKING CHRISTIANS.” He asked me where I got it, and I told him. He said he would write to you, and he did. You sent him MILLENNIAL DAWN, and you know how he was closeted for three days with DAWN and the Bible, and when he came around to the store again, he was very happy, and praising the Lord. You know the rest. Dear brother, I write this for your encouragement, and to let you see how the Lord can use one little FOOD; that little book is bringing light and peace and joy to many a household. I received MILLENNIAL DAWN; it is a wonderful book, and has the right ring, and I am sure the Lord will
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use it to his honor and glory. I am out of employment, and if you will send me some packages, I will spread the glad tidings, and take subscriptions for the WATCH TOWER.
How I long to be with Jesus, to see him as he is, and be like him, to reign with him in glory.
Your brother in Christ, and his labor of love, __________.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Need I tell you? My joy continues to abound in the Lord: and I am putting forth every effort that his name may be magnified in my body.
I informed you previously that I aided Brother Hickey four Sundays in succession. I then turned my attention to my own immediate neighborhood above Harlem Bridge, N.Y., and was instrumental in awakening some interest. Sold several FOODS and took some subscriptions for the WATCH TOWER, a list of which I here inclose. The „FOODS” I ordered were for this purpose and came duly to hand.
I left N.Y. on Friday last and held a meeting that evening at Easton, Pa. Some of the brethren there said it was the most interesting meeting we have yet had.
I preached yesterday (Sunday) in the Court House, Allentown, but my audience was small, owing no doubt, in a great measure to the inclemency of the weather.
I expect (D.V.) to see you in about a week. Until then, farewell. With love to your household, I remain yours in the glorious Lord. S. O. BLUNDEN.
DEAR BRO. Russell:—The Z.W.T. of February received, I was glad to see it once more. I hailed it with joy, for its teachings lead to a higher plane of life. I have read and re-read M. DAWN, and every time I read, I see something that I overlooked previously; in fact I would not be without it for anything. I find, the more I read it the more I think of my God and every thing he has done and created. I used to blame men unmercifully, and thought they did not get punishment enough for their wickedness, but as I become more acquainted with God’s plan for their redemption, my heart grows softer. I gradually take in their situation in their fallen nature, and I feel more like pitying than blaming them. A Methodist Minister said that by talking of this I would become unpopular. Such an idea! I would like to meet with you April 7th., and celebrate the Lord’s Supper, but being so far away I see no chance of coming.
Yours in Christ. D. R. D__________.
DEAR BROTHER: I appreciate the teachings of the TOWER very highly, except upon one point. You seem to ignore or deny the Sabbath kept by our Lord and all the Jews—for he was „born under the Law,” and bound by it so long as it held dominion (Rom. 7:4-6). I am not able to see clearly, as yet, that the keeping of the seventh day (Saturday) is not binding on Christians as it certainly was upon Jews. It seems to me that the observance of Sunday, the first day of the week, instead of the seventh, was a change for which Papacy is responsible. What say you? S. I__________.
DEAR BROTHER:—General articles on the Sabbath question have already appeared in the TOWER (Oct., 1883, Dec., 1885, etc.) Have you carefully read them? If not, read them and wait for Millennial Dawn in some of its future volumes to deal with the subject at length.
The Sabbath was a part of the Law. It and all other parts of the Law on stones was given to the Jew. I never was under the Law as a covenant of life, thank God, else I would have found it as the Jew did a covenant of death.
As regards the Papacy’s substitution of Sunday instead of the seventh day, we do not dispute it; but had they or any one else a right to make a substitute for a law that was never given except to the Jew, and which even to them ended as a „covenant of death” when Christ died for them and for all, becoming the end of that covenant, its fulfiller? The text you quote (Rom. 7:4-6) is against you, and says No. No day is commanded to the church. We are glad that a day is observed, but sorry that any suppose it to be a substitute for the day fixed by the Mosaic Law. Such bring themselves under a law not put upon them by God, but by Rome. I am glad to be of those who, in the liberty wherewith Christ makes free, am not under the law—neither that of Moses, nor that of Papacy.
The Sabbath is not a „moral” law, as some claim; there was never any thing moral or RELIGIOUS about it. It was not a command to worship nor to study nor anything of that sort—but merely to DO NO WORK.
It has a typical feature and lesson and NO OTHER: it illustrated or typified the REST OF FAITH from our own works—rest in Christ’s merit and sufficiency as the one who fulfilled all righteousness for us and redeemed us all from death.
I and every Israelite indeed (antitypical) keep this Sabbath or REST, not on one day of the week but EVERY DAY. I am ALWAYS RESTING. I have FOREVER ceased from my own works, ceased trying or hoping to justify myself by my own deeds or works.
This glorious peace and rest which I enjoy is the antitype of the typical and enforced rest or Sabbath-keeping put upon the typical people, just as much as their Temple and all their sacrifices were types of which we have the higher and real antitypes. EDITOR.
DEARLY BELOVED AND FELLOW LABORER.—Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God always, making mention of thee in my prayers, (knowing thy love and faith which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and for all the saints) that the fellowship of thy faith may become effectual … for we have much joy and consolation over thy Love, Brother! Because the tender sympathies of the saints have been refreshed through thee. The February ’87 TOWER has been a refreshing draught from the wellspring of truth. The „View from the Tower” has confirmed our position; „The Lord’s Supper” has awakened pleasurable anticipations; „The Easy Yoke” has been more perfectly adjusted; that „The Time is Short” has been more fully realized, and our grave responsibility more deeply felt; „Bible Light on Probation After Death” dispels still more fully the awful gloom that so recently enveloped us because of the God-dishonoring creeds of Babylon; „Living by Faith” becomes a sweeter experience, and the things that are not seen and eternal, more and more real; „No Variableness neither Shadow of Turning” is the attribute of our God that gives stability to every doctrine of his word, and is the ground of all our confidence and all our boasting, for He hath spoken and He will bring it to pass; „Extracts from Interesting Letters” stir our hearts within us, as we learn of like blessing received by other members of the body of Christ, and of their work and labor of love in the Harvest.
Altogether we have been strengthened and encouraged, hand and heart for the warfare and still more greatly rejoice, and more fervently thank Christ Jesus our Lord that He counted us faithful putting us into the ministry. I enclose list of subscribers to Z.W.T.
In Christian Fellowship and Service
affectionately yours, S. I. H__________.
— March, 1887 —