::R0988 : page 8::
MORE GOOD NEWS
TOWER PUBLISHING CO
GENTLEMEN:—The MILLENNIAL DAWN was handed me, by Captain A. C. Bowman, with a request for me to read it. The grip of tradition was upon me, and I had settled down to the current idea that
„There is no death! what seems so is transition;
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life Elysian,
Whose portal we call death.”
I therefore commenced reading the volume, with a certain amount of prejudice; but ere I had finished the first chapter I perceived the pure, straightforward character of the writer and determined to give him that attention, his manifest honesty warranted. I resolved to note my objections as they occurred, and watch if his theory met and disposed of them, ere conclusions were formed. As I advanced the mist of tradition vanished, and the sunlight of God’s purposes began to shine through the rifts of the dark, melancholy clouds with which tradition has obscured our understanding of the Bible. By the time my first reading was finished, I had become so interested, that I commenced a second reading, with my Bible at my side; so that every citation, and its connections, was examined and referenced. As I advanced my objections grew beautifully less, then smaller still. I was perfectly astonished, as I traced the Millennial promise from its first faint glimmer into the glorious sunlight of God’s immaculate word.
Since I have read the first volume, I have felt more at ease and more hopeful than I ever did before. A new light falls upon the Bible that dispels the darkness of mystery. I can now think of God as the center of love. I now feel that I can (as far an humble mortal is capable) comprehend Him. I no longer regard the Bible as dry and irksome, but can feel its wondrous utility. I never felt this or knew it before—it is a new light, a Helping Hand for which I feel a thankfulness.
I want to have all the facts of the first volume fully established in my mind, and for that purpose, I propose to give it a diligent third reading. I want to get at the very corner stone of its ideas. I want removed from my shoulders entirely the traditional weights that I feel have hanged about me for years.
I have talked much about the MILLENNIAL DAWN with persons of intelligence, since I began its reading. Some priest-ridden persons reject it, but I find its ideas a joy to many. I traveled for fifteen miles across my county, a few days since, with a gentleman, and shortly after joining him I remarked, I have been lately reading the MILLENNIAL DAWN, the most wonderful book of our day. I gave him its outline and he eagerly continued the conversation through our three hours ride. The next day I luckily had another friend to make a part of the return ride with. I mentioned the book as before, and the gentleman soon became interested, and we discussed it up to our parting. He then invited me to go to his community and lecture upon the subject, which I promised to do, when I thoroughly investigated the whole subject. I thank you a thousand times for having placed this book in my hands and will be glad to have the second volume on any terms.
Respectfully yours, J. R. PHILLIPS.
— October, 1887 —