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EXTRACTS FROM INTERESTING LETTERS
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I take the liberty of writing a few words to you to tell you how we are getting along here in the far west. We are a little flock here of four families, or nine members, which meet together every Sunday and try to build us up in the most holy truth. And, thank the Lord, we can say that we have been greatly blessed, and he has been in the midst of us as he has promised his disciples, and the TOWER is a great help to us to bring us to many facts; and as some of us cannot read English, we translate for each other, and we have the Bible by the side of the TOWER, and we have not found anything yet that has been contrary to the Bible. Thank the Lord! And thanks to him that he has considered us worthy to show us such important truth. But how sorry we are that we cannot do more in helping to spread the truth.
We are farmers, and we had a total failure of crops this year, and we have all we can do to get along over the winter. But God is rich in grace and mercy. And we hope he will have forbearance with us as he can see to the heart, and see our willingness. The only thing we can do is to pray to God and the Lord Jesus Christ that he will bless your work and open willing hearts who have the money to help spread the truth. There were a good many that walked with us for a while, but they “stumbled on that stumbling-stone” which Paul speaks about. But we shall not wander. Jesus had seventy disciples once, but when he spoke about the bread of life they said, “Hard is this saying; who can hear it?” And from that time many of his disciples withdrew and walked no longer with him. Many say and do the same now-a-day when they hear the blessed truth. God help us all!
I must close for this time. I am a poor writer in the English language, and I don’t know whether you can understand me. Please find inclosed $1.25 as payment for the TOWER for 1891, and one copy of MILLENNIAL DAWN Vol. I., and one hundred missionary envelopes.
May God’s grace be on us forever. Amen. I am your brother in the salvation,
O. C. MELIN.
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DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—You will find enclosed money order for my TOWER subscription for the ensuing year.
I received January number last night and quickly noticed the new suit in which the TOWER is clothed. I feel sure that the improvement will be greatly appreciated by its readers. The emblem of the cross and crown is an appropriate and beautiful design to be worn by the TOWER. Its presence should ever encourage, sustain and comfort the household of faith. It should also be a warning or reminder; for as the cross and crown are inseparable in the design, so the two are to be inseparably associated in the experience of the overcomers. If we would wear the crown we must bear the cross.
I saw in the New York World a few days ago an article called “In behalf of the Hebrews.” It stated that a movement had been inaugurated in Chicago in behalf of the Russian Hebrews, by W. F. Blackstone, who was chairman of the conference between Christians and Jews recently held in that city. It is to get up a petition to President Harrison and Secretary Blaine, asking them to use their good offices to secure the holding of an international conference, to consider the condition of the Hebrews, and to give them Palestine on the same principle that Bulgaria and other Turkish provinces have been given to their national owners. And it stated that the petition had already been signed by hundreds of representive citizens, including Protestants, Catholics, Jews, business men, city and government officials. It is endorsed by the entire secular and religious press of Chicago. It is stated that Mr. Blackstone will soon come east, to give New York and other eastern cities an opportunity to join the undertaking.
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This movement seems to fulfil the prophecy of Jer. 16:14-21. And I think that Mr. Blackstone is one of the fishers, and that the Czar of Russia is one of the hunters spoken of. This movement should cause much rejoicing to the watchmen. Let us lift up our heads, for our redemption draweth nigh. Yours cordially,
D. M. HESSLER.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I don’t know just when my subscription ends, but will send the money now so as not to miss a number, as I should much rather miss a Thanksgiving dinner than a TOWER. I often wish it were a weekly, and yet I think it is far too rich food to be partaken of too often. I find spiritual food needs time for digestion as well as bodily food; and I read them over and over, and get more benefit from them the second or third time than the first. I have read 1st and 2nd Vols. of DAWN, I think about six times, and if I could not get others I would not take ten dollars apiece for them; but as much as I prize them I have not succeeded in getting any one interested in them. They look it over a little and throw it aside as indifferently as they would a last year’s almanac.
Although I have but little of this world’s goods I can truly say if all the wealth of the United States were poured at my feet as the purchase price of the glorious truth I have learned in the last two years from reading DAWN and TOWER and study of the Bible, it would be no temptation as I have learned that truly man doth not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Sometimes when reading passages that I have read a hundred times and thought I understood perfectly, such a flood of new light will break in upon me that I clap my hands and shout for joy while the glad tears run down my cheeks.
I took none of your statements for granted, but kept my Bible beside me and looked up all passages referred to, so that I knew I had God’s Word and not fallible man’s; and while it has taken all Methodism and creed-doctrine out of me, I feel that I am a hundred-fold more a child of God than ever before.
May you be spared many years to carry on the Master’s work. E. H. BUTLER.
EDITOR ZION’S WATCH TOWER. DEAR SIR:—
I have read with pleasure and profit MILLENNIAL DAWN, Volumes I. and II. I can now read my Bible understandingly and contemplate the loving kindness and masterly wisdom of the great Jehovah. All the doubts that hovered over my mind in years gone by have vanished, and I live in a new light that is more than all the world to me. Two years have passed since I read your first Volume, but I have read and re-read it, and it grows and expands the more I study it.
I was a soldier of the “lost cause” in the days of “the Great Rebellion,” was badly wounded at the fearful struggle at the “Wilderness,” and I returned to my home that had been ruined, at the close of the war, and found myself a cripple for life with a life-struggle before me. I felt that my lot was a hard one, but I determined to honor God and keep up a resolute will. Sometimes dark and threatening clouds gathered about me, almost despair settled over my mind and fears almost paralyzed my hopes for the future.
A kind friend lent me MILLENNIAL DAWN, Vol. I. I read it, and poverty vanished into the marvelous light of a bright and glorious hope that grows brighter and brighter until by faith I see the glorious day of the Lord God Almighty.
I want some time to come to your city, enjoy one of your annual meetings and take you by the hand and thank you for the cheer that in the name of the eternal Father you have administered to your Brethren.
May eternal sunshine gild your pathway. Go on in your magnificent work—the God of Israel is with you. J. R. PHILLIPS.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—We received January TOWER and rejoice much in its new shape as well as in the matter. You mention in the article about the “talents” that the servant of one talent was an “idler,” but the only motive or reason given when judged was “afraid”—fear of earthly loss, that would result from using the talent, is prominent. God judges this servant “out of his own mouth”—confession of slavish fear. I would like the parable of the “pounds” explained in connection with that of the “talents.” We had another excellent meeting today. After reading and commenting on Eph. 5 and Zech. 8, the meeting was open and we had good stirring testimonies—about six or eight. Dr. A__________ said nothing had ever taken hold on him and wife like this truth, and he might have to give up his practice of surgery and circulate DAWN and preach. I sold several DAWNS and took two subscriptions for the TOWER. Next Sunday I lecture again.
I add a few figures from Sadler’s Catholic Directory, to show what a place Cincinnati is for Catholicism. Churches 196, chapels 35, priests
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288, beside 10 ladies’ academies, also colleges, convents, etc. Covington, with about 50,000 souls, has 42 churches, 25 chapels, 19 convents, 35 stations visited, 1 monastery, etc. Even Lower Canada can scarce beat that for “Mother” power. Jews are also plentiful, and “isms” abound: Swedenborgianism, Christian Science, Spiritualism, etc. Much love in Christ,
J. B. ADAMSON.
DEAR BRO. AND SISTER RUSSELL:—I wish I could tell you how much help and comfort Poems and Hymns of Dawn have been to me. But if I should try I could not tell you. Only this I may say, that my faith has been quickened, and my spiritual strength has been renewed by their perusal. My husband, too, is delighted with them. We have just finished reading the December TOWER, and I want to say that the articles entitled “Christ in you the Hope of Glory,” “The Easy Yoke” and “The Blood” seemed just suited to my present need.
This morning I seemed so weak and unworthy, so incapable of doing anything to the glory of God, and the dear Christ, whom I do so want to honor. The tempter assaulted my faith so severely, that I cried out in my anguish, O Lord! can I ever be an overcomer? Then I seemed to hear some one ask, “Do you want to go back?” Quick as a flash, there arose before my mind recent victories and blessings, and from my full heart the answer sprang to my lips, No, Lord, no! O, what a sense of relief I felt; what a sudden peace came over my troubled spirit. It seemed to me I could almost see my King and Redeemer reach out his loving hands toward me, saying, Well then, child, come on.
One thing I do know, that in all my Orthodox experience—and I believe I have been sincere and earnest in my Christian life—I have never felt such a sense of the presence of my Savior, as I have within the last few weeks. I humbly trust I am one of those who are looking for and hasting unto the appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
My husband wishes to continue his subscription for the TOWER. He has not the money just now, but if you will kindly send the paper, he will appreciate the favor, and will forward the money as soon as he can get it. He is a firm believer in the doctrine of the Millennium and Restitution as taught by you. He often wishes he could attend some of your meetings, especially your annual meeting.
Very sincerely yours, MRS. D. S. W__________.
God has wonderfully led me into the higher life, and I have surrendered to have his will worked in me to the highest, though it has cost me already my church and family and dear earthly companions—everything that I held dear in this world; but how little it is compared with what Christ can give and does give. I count every trial a joy; “my cup runneth over.”
Please send two more “Tabernacle” TOWERS. God bless you and teach you ever more of the truth. Yours in the blessed fellowship of Jesus Christ, S. I. S.__________.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—This morning we received the shipment of DAWNS ordered.
We are both well and are doing as well as can be expected for this time of the year. Dear sister Boehmer comes in every evening with glowing countenance, telling how she has found some who were ready to receive the truth. Her whole heart is in the work. Thus we all find some encouragement every day. I realize more fully every day that it is the work for the saints, and with Bro. West I wonder why more are not engaged in it. I hope I may be permitted to remain in the work. Pray for me.
Yours in Christian love, A. ERLENMYER.
MY DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—Bro. Brookman is very desirous that you should be with him at his hall on Sunday evening of the 22nd, so we have arranged thus, subject to your approval.
The interest in the truth here is growing steadily, and we hope and trust that the meetings will be productive of much good. I think that you may expect audiences of from five to eight hundred in the morning and afternoon. But of course the opposition is growing also.
Bro. Utley is with us now, and Bro. Eyres, Thompson and some others from outside the city will be with us at the meetings. The “Plymouth Brethren” held a meeting last night at which the small audience was advised to burn DAWN, and to give a wide berth to those who are circulating it. Yours in Christ, S. D. ROGERS.
— February, 1891 —