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EXTRACTS FROM INTERESTING LETTERS
Wayne Co., Pa., Oct. 23d, 1884
MY DEAR BROTHER:—A copy of the WATCH TOWER of October, 1883, has just fallen into my hands. There are several articles in that issue of such a character that, should the tone of the paper for 1884 be similar, I want to take it and circulate it as far and wide as possible. I am Pastor of the Christian Church of this place. Our people are liberal in sentiment and love the Holy Scriptures. Hence any paper containing so much candid research and Biblical exegesis as the above mentioned number, will find willing readers.
Please send me a sample copy.
Fraternally yours, __________.
SIR:—In the goodness of God I have got a look at your pamphlet, “Why Evil was Permitted.” I have been deeply interested in the subjects therein presented for some time. Please to favor me with a copy of ZION’S WATCH TOWER with the supplement already mentioned, and any others of a like description. Christians cannot but note to what an extent the power of God is being put forth in the calling of one here and another there. In striking contrast is the way in which the devil, knowing that his time is short, is using every effort in his power, and so the conflict is going on, while the so-called Church of God is sound asleep. Let us realize our position. By faith having received the blessed Christ and realizing the guiding and teaching of the Holy Ghost, may we grow in grace and in the love of God.
Yours, most respectfully, __________.
Bellaire, O., Nov. 23, 1884.
C. T. RUSSELL, Dear Sir:—In sending a little order to you, allow me to make an explanation of causes that led me to this course.
A few weeks ago, on a pleasant Sabbath afternoon, I went for the first time in my life across the Ohio river here, to Wheeling. While visiting churches and other places of interest, I passed, it seemed by chance, the State House, where Elder J. B. Adamson was preaching to a group on the pavement. I staid so long to hear him that I saw little more of the city that day. I heard the Bible explained—I heard him “vindicate the ways of God to man,” as Pollock says. I got the little book, “Food,” etc. I felt then, and more ever since, that that day was a great crisis in my life.
Mr. Adamson was in this town afterward, and I “heard him gladly.” He came, at my earnest request, to my room, and talked to me of this mystery—now made clear. Besides, the little volume is satisfying my mind wonderfully.
Please read the enclosed card, and then address it so that it will reach Mr. Adamson, if you know where he is.
Truly yours, __________.
We give below the “card” referred to in the above.
Bellaire, O., Nov. 23, 1884.
J. B. ADAMSON:—Dear Sir:—I now send a few lines to tell you how fully I believe I have found the truth. I have not quite finished the little book “Food,” and I have not read much of the paper yet, but everything is like the breaking of sunlight on a dark day. The darkest problems of my mind, that have confronted me for many years, are being clearly solved—so many of them. I tell my associates quietly but gladly, that I have found that for which I have longed. And I tell my near friends—the dear ones at a distance—that I have found peace with God. It was such a revelation to me: The Bible, the Saviour, the Church, and the world, all appear to me in such a different light from that in which I looked at them before. Yet truly my life’s experiences have been preparing me for the immediate acceptance of these things. I feel that I have long known what self-denial is—indeed I have tried hard. Now though I feel how unworthy my powers of body and mind, are, I consecrate them to God. I am so anxious to attain to the highest and feel sorry to think of failing in that. How glad I am that my feet were led that day, past the Wheeling State House. May God bless you and your companion in your work—Mrs. A.
Yours in faith, __________.
The brother need not conclude that he is too late to attain to the “High Calling.” Thousands of God’s children have given themselves to the Lord long ago, who are now being led to more fully realize the full import of their covenant. They have learned and practiced self-denial, self-sacrifice, and are now being quickened by the truth to renewed energy in sacrifice and devotedness to God. And it is the privilege of all such to so run to obtain. How many sincere hearts have in solemn song or words or prayer declared to God—
“My all is on the altar.”
“And the Lord hearkened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name. And (unless they should forsake or despise their covenant John 8:31) they shall be mine saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels.” Mal. 3:16,17. None of us understood fully the extent of our sacrifice when first we made it. Each added day brings its opportunities for sacrifice, and God’s word is now making clear to inquiring minds that it must be even unto death; and as we daily realize the death struggles of the old nature, glorious visions of the new burst upon our spiritual visions through the precious word. And thus we are impelled and helped in the way of sacrifice—even unto death.
Let all who see these incentives therefore be earnest in their efforts to make them known to other consecrated saints, that they too may be likewise inspired to make their calling and election sure.
Cheshire Co., N.H.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—My wife has been receiving THE WATCH TOWER for several years past, and I have occasionally read an article in them without awakening any particular interest in my mind until about two months ago. Then my attention was especially called to them, and since that time I have read them eagerly and with very great delight.
I have read, also, “Food for Thinking Christians,” “Tabernacle,” etc., and find as a result quite a revolution wrought in my life and religious emotions.
I was in the Methodist ministry seven years previous to the last four years, and should probably be there now but for the different and changing views of my wife, as she has been a nominal (though not a real) Baptist till within a few years past, and now neither of us find a resting place in either of these or any of the other churches. We find ourselves in sympathy with the most of your writings, though I am unable, as yet, to measure fully up to some views you put forth. Nevertheless, the doctrines you hold wherein I cannot go with you do not concern particularly your main teachings, as I understand them.
My mind is in lively exercise just now as to what my work in the Master’s vineyard shall be, and how it shall be done. That this “Plan of God” for the restoration of the race should be placed before those that are prepared to receive it, as also before the probably much larger company that would accept it if properly explained, I am fully convinced. But it is not so clear in my mind in what way this can be done with the best promise of success. “He that winneth souls is wise;” and this same wisdom is required in sowing the seed. Scarcely elsewhere than in the churches are there any prepared for such meat as this, and even there but few; and how even may they be best approached is a question.
I am inclined to start out to teach or in some way to proclaim this doctrine. My wife has been pondering this matter for several years, and is fully persuaded that it is the genuine teaching of Scripture. So she is ready to go out; but I am not so taught as to be confident of a qualification for the task.
In my ministry I professed and preached sanctification, but a little over two months ago I experienced an outpouring of the Spirit far surpassing anything I had previously known.
Then my wife, calling attention to the great consolation she had received from your writings, I began to see the harmony existing between your teachings and the Bible, and forthwith the wondrous wisdom and love of God became astonishingly grand and glorious beyond any former conception. “O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.” Your brother in Christ, __________.
[We pray that the Lord may abundantly bless you and use you as a channel of blessing to others. We kindly refer you to some hints on preparation in our August issue.—ED.]
New York, Oct. 27, ’84.
C. T. RUSSELL:—Dear Brother:—You have been giving me considerable of your thought and time lately, and I appreciate this. Your last letter is very strong but perfectly clear to me, and accepted, as I know it is according to the spirit of scripture teaching.
Rejoice! I have entered into a new consecration. I have been drawing nearer to this for nearly four years, and had given up time that according to human foresight belonged to my business, and on which my future prosperity very much depends. I have long realized that nothing in the world is of much value to me and have truly realized all worldly employment or position or name as unworthy to be compared with the joy to be revealed to us through our Lord.
I am deeply impressed. I am a thinking man and from past experience (in my advancement toward full consecration) know the trials and sorrows that will encompass me, and no one with whom I am connected or personally acquainted to give sympathy—My family opposed. But these things do not hinder me. I have been led to look only unto the Lord God Almighty for guidance and sympathy and from thence it is unfailing.
I have given up my business—that is, I am where I am, it seems to me, by the will of the Lord, and I see no possibility of change that I could advantageously make at present, and I am convinced that when a change is to be made the Lord will give me a conviction of mind and opportunity to that effect. I have given up my family—that is they, as well as everything, stand second to the will of God and to his love.
As far as I know and can judge of my own heart or purpose or choice I believe that I truly desire to give my whole time and daily life to the Master—wholly for his service.
The impression on my mind is that he will give me a greater knowledge of his truth and then open a way for me to use it yet more fully. I really count my life as nothing if I may win Christ. My question or thought is not how to avoid trouble or pain, but “what is thy will O! God?”
I am yet lacking in many things, but the Lord will make me better and better acquainted with his truth and his will. It takes all my faith to keep me, but there is no wavering. I press forward.
Yours in fellowship and service, __________.
— December, 1884 —