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DEAR MR. RUSSELL:—
I received Millennial Dawn from a dear sister who is a Colporteur, and I have received so much light and am just rejoicing in the Lord so much that I feel constrained to write and thank you. Thanks cannot express my gratitude to you. Oh, the joy I have got in the Lord! I realize how highly favored of the Lord I am that I am counted worthy to share in his sufferings and to follow in his footsteps. It is going eight years since I became the Lord’s, but I never got any farther than justification until I got the Dawn and „Shadows,” and the Lord has brought me rapidly into the light. I felt I must write you, for I know it is right you should enjoy the fruit of your labor. If you knew how much darkness I have been in during the past years as a Christian you would know much better how I feel toward you. You are a spiritual father to me. From you, under God, I have got my greatest blessing.
I am, your sister in Christ,
MAGGIE OLIVER, Scotland.
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DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—
It was my privilege to have an interesting conversation with an Adventist preacher a few months ago. The brother referred to, being at our home on business, I handed him several „Old Theology Tracts.” The next day he called again, and the conversation which took place was in substance as follows:
He said to me: „My dear brother, I have come to your house this afternoon to try, if possible, to rid you of the terrible errors which the tracts you gave me yesterday support.”
I replied that I certainly appreciated the brotherly intention, but assured the visitor that his attempt would be fruitless.
„Well,” said he, „you will at least talk with me upon the subject.”
„Certainly,” I replied; „but since I have been in the Truth but a few months, and since I am your junior by many years, and not wishing to seem disrespectful, I ask one ‚handicap.'”
On being asked what it was, I told him that I preferred him, instead of attacking my views, to question me concerning them and allow me to give a reason for the hope within me. He readily acquiesced, stipulating that all views must have a „Thus saith the Lord.”
He then asked me concerning our erroneous (?)
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idea of future probation. I read Acts 3:20; Jno. 1:19; 1 Tim. 2:5,6; 4:10; Heb. 2:9; etc., and he tried to refute these testimonies by argument and a feeble attempt at quoting Scripture. Then taking his own standpoint I quoted Isa. 65:17-20, and asked him how sinners (according to his belief) could be in the new heavens and earth.
„My dear brother,” he replied, „when you reach the 20th verse you should know that God goes away back in his dates hundreds of years.”
I replied, „There is one thing sadly lacking in your argument—namely, your stipulated ‚Thus saith the Lord.'”
After a painful pause, he said, „I simply cannot quote Scripture today, and my ideas do not seem as clear as usual. I hoped to convince you of your
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error, but I see you are too well established in it to be moved.”
(Oh, how I thanked our heavenly Father for the encouragement thus brought to my heart!)
I asked him if he had ever read the Divine Plan of the Ages. He replied that he had done so, and that its author crossed the Bible, human reason and common sense, besides crossing his own arguments.
„If that is so,” I replied, „I want to know it. Here is the book. Please show me his first error.”
He nervously turned the pages of the book and said, „I don’t seem to see any place now.” I urged him to hunt, or, if he was very busy, to take the book home, and when he found such a place to show it me. After a few more spasmodic attempts he turned to me with a distressed look and said he was not familiar enough with the work to really find such places. After begging his pardon if anything in my manner was not becoming to my youth, I urged him to either become sufficiently acquainted with the book to warrant such assertions, or else be very cautious about bringing such accusations. He left me very soon, and despite the fact that he insisted to our neighbors that I was possessed of the devil, I rejoiced in the privilege of thus serving our Master. I truly realized that the brother’s defeat was not occasioned by his inferiority as a student, for I am sure that he was recognized, and doubtless justly too, as a Bible scholar; and I realized then my own insufficiency, but perceived that God allowed the Truth to triumph, to encourage me at that time. This fills my heart with joy, and I can indeed say with the Apostle, „I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ.”
Yours in him,
W. H. B., Rhode Island.
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MY DEAR PASTOR:—
The great wave of spiritual power and joy which it was our privilege to experience during your visit here last spring will long remain in our memories. The blessing of the Lord attending all the proceedings was manifest, and much beyond the little faith mingled with fears as to the result. Truly the Lord is good, and we have felt his goodness, and the hearts of all the dear saints here are verily overflowing with gladness since hearing the joyful tidings proclaimed, and the Truth so lovingly and charitably presented to their minds.
We are very hopeful of good results. Certainly many are less prejudiced after hearing for themselves the unadulterated Word of Life.
Oh, for the word of God, so pure,
Sweet and refreshing to the mind;
A constant draught from heavenly springs
Within the Scriptures we can find.
Free from adulterating creeds
The soul true progress then can make;
When strengthened by the Word of Truth,
Man’s faith in God no foe can shake.
The lessons I was permitted to learn during your stay,—”beholding your order and steadfastness in Christ”—I trust will greatly instruct me to be more qualified for the responsible position as leader of such an honorable cause in the service of him „Whose I am and whom I (desire to ever) serve.”
The present commences a new epoch in our Christian history, which, by the Lord’s help, will chronicle a larger sphere of influence, a more faithful declaration of the Present Truth, deeper spirituality of life, and fitness for the high honor of being joint heirs in the great future assigned for the faithful. It is the earnest desire of all our hearts, particularly that of my dear wife and self, that you may ever realize the needed supply of the holy Spirit to use you in „confirming the churches,” and to be spared in furnishing the Lord’s Table (through the Watch Tower and the remaining volumes of Dawn) that his people may continue being nourished „with the finest of the Wheat.” With kind remembrances,
Yours in the Redeemer’s service,
JAMES HAY, England.
MY DEAR SIR AND BROTHER:
I do not wish to burden you with much writing, but I know how you must be interested in the human family or you would not devote so much time and labor for their good. I only wish that I could devote my time in the same way.
I meet with a great many traveling salesmen in my business, and it has been my pleasure to get some of them interested in God’s Word and its real value to us. One of them was an infidel, or, if not altogether one, he was at least an unbeliever of the Word of God—and by insisting on a promise from him to read the ‚Plan of the Ages’ if I would loan it to him, I succeeded in getting him to read; and now he is much interested in it, and, using his own words to illustrate his feeling, „It makes me glad to the ground.”
Another traveling man has become very much interested and has already distributed quite a number of tracts which I gave him.
Yours very truly,
J. D. HENDERSON, Iowa.
— December 1, 1903 —