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EXTRACTS FROM INTERESTING LETTERS
Falls Church, Va., June 26, 1887.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I read in this month’s Tower a selected article entitled „The Son of God and the Son of Man.” The question is asked, Why does Jesus call himself the Son of Man? and the writer seems to think the answer is found in the fact that he descended from David, and calls attention to the fact that the Greek emphasis makes the term read—The Son of the Man.
It seems to me that the answer must be sought for farther back than David, who was not the man, but a man. Adam might be called the man, because God created him by a special act, but David was the natural son of Jesse. When God promised a Deliverer who should bruise the Serpent’s head, he was to be the seed of the woman. Adam was not mentioned because he was legally dead, as were all his descendants, David with the rest—In Adam all died. But if we come down to the giving of the law to the children of Israel we get further light on what is to many a very strange provision of that law. If a man died without heirs his brother took his widow and raised up seed unto the dead brother. The children were literally the children of the living man, but
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were counted to the dead brother. We see by the light of this typical provision of the law, why God promised the Deliverer through the woman and not through the man. Adam had sinned and was legally dead, and therefore could have no living children; all would be like himself dying and reckoned dead, while justice demanded as a ransom from death an exact equivalent, the sacrifice of a living, perfect, man. In due time God raised up just that man, in the person of Jesus, born of the virgin Mary; not by the will of man, but by the power of God. He became so to speak the son of the widow of the dead Adam by a living father, and by the provision of the law he came to fulfill was reckoned unto the dead Adam the only living son, therefore he had a right to be called the son of the man.
G. E. R__________.
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Ohio, July, 1887.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—It is getting to be something of a task for me to write even a short letter.
It seems a long time since I received a letter from you, but I know that the Master’s work makes a demand on all your time, and I will not complain. I am quite feeble and not able to do much more physically than to sit in my easy chair from morning to night. But the Lord is very gracious to us, and bestows blessings more than I can enumerate. Among them we number the visits of the TOWER.
We enjoyed the May WATCH TOWER much. Glad there was so much interest in last Passover meeting. I never saw before, that the cup is drank only by the Priest class, while the bread is eaten by all believers. If this be correct, (and I do not doubt it) how true is the counterfeit, (Papacy) to the genuine. She gives the cup to the priest only, and the wafer to the people.
Am greatly pleased with „The body of Sin destroyed.” Those who are misled after a careful study of that article, are not, it would seem to me, very anxious to find the truth. All I can now do, is to pray that God may keep the eye single that the whole body may be full of light.
I deem Sister R.’s article in July TOWER „Discipline in the church” very timely. It surely is time that any who deny the great foundation, that the Lord bought them, should be cut off; [ignored as brethren]: else the body would be without spot, etc.
I think I am gradually failing, as my strength is growing less, my lungs seem to be worse, and I am losing my flesh, but though heart and flesh fail, my trust in God shall never fail. He most gloriously sustains us day by day.
We send our love to you both. Affectionately, S. T. TACKABURY.
Texas Co., Mo.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I have canvassed about one half of Mountain Grove, and got 36 subscribers. I think I will get 65 or 70 there, and will want 10 or 15 extra copies to sell to acquaintances between there and Seymour; therefore please send me 80 copies, paper bound DAWNS.
I have desired to sell M. DAWN ever since I read it last fall, but was not able to pay my expenses and do so, and I did not think I could sell enough of them to pay expenses. My intention now is to spend the remainder of my life selling MILLENNIAL DAWN. My reason for supposing I could not make expenses selling DAWN was that I had tried to sell FOOD and take orders for Z.W.T. and failed to clear expenses.
May the Lord continue to strengthen you in the work. Yours in fellowship and service. J. R__________.
Lebanon, O., June 18, 1887.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I am laboring on slowly in the way which the Lord seems to have outlined for me one in which self is wholly subjected to the law of the Spirit, and no allowance made for the flesh. I am slowly passing from the milk stage of the gospel into that in which I can endure some stronger meat; I strive to forget the things of my gentile state and press on and reach after the things which pertain unto godliness.
My Z.W. TOWERS samples are about exhausted. I sent many of them by mail, and I am constantly receiving letters from those of the faith and oh! how wonderful! they all speak the same things, having the same mind and judgment.
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How easy to be of one mind when once we reach the fat place in God’s unlimited pasture lands. It matters little how lean the sheep may be on leaving their sectarian enclosures, soon after reaching the rich succulent pastures of Christ’s fold they begin to improve. Some of us are having a weekly Bible meeting in which we search the Scriptures to see if these things be true. The Lord is with us and we are getting stronger and stronger.
In conclusion, I cannot refrain from saying that I am so glad I am free; free from those awful shackles of a benighted and misguided mind and conscience. I shall always thank God for your instrumentality in lifting this burden from my tired shoulders, and pointing me to the glorious light. I remain Yours in Hope and service.
J. P. M__________.
Johnson Co. Ill. June 20, 1887.
BRO. RUSSELL:—I received the circulars and followed the plan of using them in canvassing our town for a while. But I soon found this too laborous, so I adopted the talk plan and put energy and soul into the work with the following results: I went from home two miles to town and took 48 orders for the paper bound DAWN and 3 for the cloth bound, 51 in all, in less than one half day.
I enclose on a separate sheet an order for more books; also Money Order for the same. Yours for the Master’s honor.
H. N. A__________.
Willow Springs, Mo.
C. T. RUSSELL, DEAR BROTHER:—Since writing to you before, I have had a severe attack of Pneumonia Fever in which I came near dying, and from which I have not yet recovered. I am now so that I cannot walk more than a quarter of a mile without resting, and every one or two hours I have to lie down and rest, so that in four days and a half, I have been able to put in only sixteen hours work. But during that time, I have taken fifty orders for the paper bound DAWN, and eight for the cloth bound. I am going from here to Cabool, to canvass there while I am waiting for the enclosed order to come. I desire to spend the remainder of my days canvassing for the DAWN. Fifty eight copies in sixteen hours beats any preaching I ever knew, 16 sermons to the copy makes 928 sermons in 16 hours.
The advice of the Doctor is that I go West for my health; so I wish to canvass in that direction. Hoping to hear from you soon, I am yours in the service of our Lord. J. R__________.
DEAR SIRS:—I have been both reading and praying with friends over the truths contained in the book entitled „Food for thinking Christians”—and we do feel that our loving Father has caused us so to do. I have had that book by me for about five years, and never thought of reading or becoming in any way, interested in it or the subjects upon which it dwells: but blessed be God! He has caused us (a few young men and women) to thirst and hunger after righteousness, and also implanted within us a desire to „come out and be separate,” and to fully consecrate ourselves to Him who has redeemed us: and also to know of the things of God that we may be the better able to serve Him.
Will you kindly send me any further matter upon these or other truths which will be to the glory of God. We do earnestly ask for your prayers. We pray for you: May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. I remain Yours in the Lord,
FRED S. D__________.
Columbus, O., July 4, ’87.
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL:—It has been sometime since you have had a letter from me, but it has not been from lack of love or zeal, but because I wanted to give a good account of myself. Of course the Master knows, but one wants the brethren to know also; for „we all are one in Christ.”
I have wanted to canvass with the DAWN ever since it came out, but from one cause or another I could not get out with them until the 24th of June. I am naturally very timid with strangers, and that made it quite hard for me, but with the aid of the Master, I have succeeded, not in selling the DAWN, but in overcoming the flesh. I trembled like a leaf in the first house, but was treated so well that I soon gained composure and retained it throughout. I think the Lord was with me. Although I did not take any names, I found quite a number of truth-hungry people to whom I loaned the TOWER.
I have great hope of selling a few DAWNS at least. I suffer with terrible headaches, which lay me up for several days, and have to be careful about getting too tired. I tried to follow as carefully as possible the directions in reference to canvassing. I shall never forget my first effort, how I stood at the gate and said, Dear Lord I cannot. But now I can say, My Master I can, I must. Our Father is able to help us in every undertaking that is right. Blessed be his holy name.
Enclosed find Money Order for $5.00. Please send DAWNS as soon as possible. Your sister in Christ. B. F. M__________.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Enclosed you will find $5.00. Please send MILL. DAWN to the following persons: …
Please send some April TOWERS for distribution and for the balance of the money please send me M. DAWNS, paper bound. I am more thankful than I can ever express for a knowledge of these grand truths, and desire to do what I can to give them to those who will accept them.
With much love to dear Sister Russell (whose articles in Z.W.T. do me so much good) and gratitude to yourself so generously permitting us to spread this knowledge of God’s plan, I remain Yours in Christian love. MRS. O. W. SEELEY.
Oceana Co. Mich.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—A few of us here who are rejoicing in the freedom wherewith Christ hath made us free, met on the evening of April 7th and united in celebrating the Anniversary of our Lord’s death. A blessed season to all was the result.
While we continue to be denounced by the blinded worshipers of the „image,” yet our God is with us, and the truths we proclaim are becoming more manifest in the sight of men, as from God.
I have discovered a movement, among the Swedes similar to ours, a family of them rented a farm joining mine. They are good pious people. I paid them a visit after they had become settled, and learned that they in common with numbers of their countrymen here had discorded sects and sect names, salaried ministry, etc., etc. They believe that where two or three meet, there is the true Church, and every one is encouraged to use his or her own talents as the Lord has endowed them. The Bible and the Bible only is their rule of faith and practice. I found that from a study of Scripture they have discovered many truths similar to those we rejoice in.
Mr. B__________, the head of the family, was highly interested in the account I gave him of our Church with no name, but Christian. He would like to have a sample copy of the SWEDISH TOWER; he can speak but not read English. I believe my dear Brother this is the very class (the meek) which it is our privilege to feed, and Mr. B__________. may desire to spread the truth among his countrymen.
We have meetings once a week for studying, praise and prayer, and the members of the Lord’s body are realizing daily growth in grace, and in the knowledge of the truth.
May the Lord bless you and Sister Russell with all who in your city call upon the Lord in sincerity and truth. The Church here sends love and greeting.
Your brother for the truth.
Tuscola County, Michigan.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—May the grace and peace of God be with you and all the „elect.” May the Giver of every good and perfect gift endow you with wisdom and courage, and strengthen your faith. May you be able to discern and expound the truths contained in God’s Word; for we realize that the days are evil. I am fully persuaded that the time when „the very elect” should be deceived, if it were possible, is upon us. Within the past year or two I have seen quite a number of new periodicals purporting to give advanced light, pointing out unmistakably many of the errors of „Orthodoxy,” and, although somewhat garbled, many of the truths of God’s Word; and holding up the example of Jesus Christ, as the beacon to guide us up to everlasting perfection. These teachings will be very apt to mislead, and indeed are misleading many thinking Christians who are unlearned in the Word. A noticeable characteristic of these new doctrines is an ignoring of God’s ransom for the lost, but taking, for imitation, the example of our Lord’s suffering for the right, just as any general might inspire his soldiers by telling them how Napoleon’s soldiers faced death at Austerlitz or Lodi, or how Leonidas stood at Thermopylae. They thus ignore the fact that the penalty for sin is death, and that man having sinned is in death; that the laws of God are absolute and eternal, and that there is no escape from the penalty of these laws until the uttermost farthing is paid. How easy for the flock to be deceived by some of these „strong delusions;” these thoughts have induced me to write to you now, instead of waiting longer until I could get a little money to send. I can sell a few „Dawns,” to some that I have talked with. I have been an invalid for two years but I am some better now. If you will send me ten April „Towers,” I will place them discreetly; also send me ten paper-bound DAWNS.
But if the interest of „Tract Fund” will suffer by it do not send them. I perceive that there is so much to do that I want the means used that will accomplish the most. I do not expect to be able to do much for awhile yet but I can do a little.
W. C. M__________.
Ohio, July 28, ’87.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Card received. Thanks. Took 60 subscribers to-day. Best day (though hot), except the day I expected to take 100 and ran out of territory, after I had 70. I shall yet take 100 subscribers in a day. But it is not safe for me to go more than a slow jog in this great heat. It is very hard not to preach as we canvass. I think this almost a model day in respect to refraining from it. DAWN is preaching, and will—the separation goes on rapidly and every DAWN agent is a bright and shining light—a repetition of those who at the first Advent preached: „The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Much love, regard and sympathy joined by Mrs. A. to you and yours,
J. B. ADAMSON.
Willow Valley, Neb.
DEAR FRIENDS:—A few days ago a friend handed me MILLENNIAL DAWN and asked me to read it. As soon as I looked it over, I saw I had received it as an answer to my prayer for more light on the teaching of the Scriptures. I had been fed on the diluted „Milk of the Word” so long that I was nearly famished, and when I saw a table before me loaded with such soul-satisfying food, I could hardly sleep until I had devoured it, and now my hunger is appeased for the first time in my life. Pray, do not think by my ready acceptance of this, that I am one of the kind that is „blown about by every wind of doctrine.” I had previously searched the Scriptures enough to know that this doctrine harmonized perfectly with its teachings the attributes of God, and the need of the whole human race, and what more could any one ask. I had seen long ago that sectarianism was contrary to the spirit of Christ’s prayer for the unity of the church, and that the Scriptures did not teach any kind of lasting life to the wicked. But I had not seen the restoration of the human race to human perfection during the Millennial age. When you showed me that, it shed such a flood of light on the Scriptures that God’s plan for the redemption of mankind seemed to stand out in capital letters all through the Bible. How could I have been so blind! My almost one prayer for myself has been that God would not let me fall below the highest possibilities of his grace, and so when I received for bread what to all appearance was a stone, I knew it must be just the kind of food I needed. I see now that he was preparing me to receive „meat in due season.” I hope to send you with this my subscription for „Dawn” and „Tower.” Please send me what reading matter you think best for distribution. I am a farmer’s wife and do my own work, but have many acquaintances in town whom I hope to interest in this work, and I think I can get quite a list of subscribers for the paper and book. I shall consider it not only a duty but a blessed privilege to assist, by every means at my command, in proclaiming this gospel. Sincerely yours, O. E. S__________.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I feel grateful to you for your kindness and generosity in sending the WATCH TOWER so long, and that, too, without remuneration. I am an old man—in my 87th year, I can labor but little.
Be assured, dear brother, that the WATCH TOWER is a welcome visitor. It is always freighted with the „meat in due season.”
Your „View” article in the June TOWER is truly seasonable, but to the world at large, and even to the nominal church, it will be „all Greek.” But few can tell whereabouts we are in the world’s history, and what relation the „land question” or any other question sustains to prophecy. Darkness more dense, (if possible) than that which pervaded Egypt, enshrouds the people on all of the vital questions which are coming, or are already come.
„The perilous times,” in which we now find ourselves engulfed, should intensify our desire for the kingdom to come, and the will of God to be done in earth as it is done in heaven.
Our God is not slack concerning his promises, as some men count slackness. Everything is hastening to its final end. Human governments are very fragile, and they will be able to stand the strain which is brought to bear on them but a short time longer. M. I. LEWIS.
DEAR BROTHER:—Not long since I was busily engaged in reading Charles Reade’s novels. A friend whom I esteem dearly sent me MILLENNIAL DAWN with the request that I cease my novels and try to become interested in it. I did so to please my friend, without the least notion of being anything but bored, still I wanted to be able to say, „I have read it.”
Now I will digress into a little autobiography that you may understand how I feel since reading DAWN. I was educated with a view of entering the Presbyterian Ministry, and on various accounts abandoned that and with it all interest in religious affairs. I became skeptical and had no patience with either churches or preachers. In this condition came DAWN, and you can understand why I did not expect to be interested. I had not gone far until the scales began to fall from my eyes and the light to pour in upon my darkened mind. I finished the book almost before I gave it up and I thank God this day for the glorious results to me, in which I have the assurance beyond a doubt that I have found the „narrow way” and am rejoicing in the truth. I have passed through a very severe ordeal of sickness and have felt that my remarkable preservation from death must have a purpose. So strongly had I been impressed that months before I heard of DAWN I promised that if God would show me his will I would devote myself to his service. I trusted I should be shown and when DAWN came I saw. I felt that whatever it was I would accept the work for Christ, however humble, and I started out with my volume of DAWN last Monday morning, and while the heat was intense and my crippled condition made the work very laborious, I have today (Thursday noon) 58 orders for DAWN to be delivered in two weeks. I am much encouraged—hope to sell 200 volumes here. I make this an order then for 200 copies of DAWN to be shipped by freight to this place at once so I may meet my engagement. I expect if my health admits it to push the work as rapidly as possible.
I am very faithfully, Yours believing.
G. W. DALE.
Chatham Co., N.C.
DEAR BROTHER:—I now give you an account of my success in Durham. I was one week in canvassing the place, I sold twenty the first day, twenty three the next day by eleven o’clock, and so on, thirty-six being the highest sold in any one day, my average per day was thirty. I enjoy the work very much.
I enclose an order for 210 copies of paper-bound DAWNS VOL. I. Please send at once.
I wish that every Christian could realize that there is a work for him to do. I wish that they would come and help us to roll this large wheel. It is rolling fast but we need more help, we want the labor of more thinking Christians to carry on this grand work of God. Yours truly, J. G. C__________.
— August, 1887 —