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RESISTING WORLDLY INFLUENCES
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I wish to acknowledge receipt of VOL. V., M. DAWN. I appreciate very much the favor of receiving the volume so early. It rejoices my heart to see how much brotherly kindness is manifested among some of the Lord’s people here. Bro. S., after reading only the table of contents, loaned his copy of VOL. V. to Bro. N. and Sr. M. who do not have so many privileges and opportunities in many ways as Bro. S. has. I learned from Sr. M. yesterday that she had intended letting me read it first, should her volume come before mine. I was ignorant for three days of the fact that only Bro. S. and I had received the volumes, and when I learned this, I hurriedly read mine and sent it to another brother anxious to see it.
Altho I did not give the book a very careful reading, I am able to say that I feel the Lord has wonderfully used you in the work of setting before the household of faith so clear, logical and Scripturally satisfactory a presentation of the glorious corner-stone of our faith. How vastly superior the Bible explanation of man’s fall and God’s plan of redemption through our Savior, Jesus Christ, is to all the teachings of science falsely so-called! It seems that we alone of all earth’s millions are able to sing the Song of Moses and the Lamb: “Just and true are all thy ways!” Sometimes I am almost overpowered by the desire to literally leave all and “spread the truth from pole to pole.” It is so hard to be patient and wait; but I think of him who has waited more than six thousand years and is waiting still in infinite patience; and who am I—to faint!
I wish your prayers especially, dear Brother, that I may be able to resist gently all the influences of my worldly surroundings, so antagonistic to the “new nature.” I will call to mind the Apostle’s encouragement, “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial that is to try you.” I have no difficulty in resisting the influence, but I find it hard to do it gently, without giving offence. I guess it must be my old nature which is very nervous and quick. I am sure I have not the faintest sympathy at heart with worldly things, but I do not wish to be too severe against those who mean kindly tho they try to draw me from the “narrow way.”
What do you think about the saints using opiates for pain, especially in a last illness? I have thought of it in connection with our Redeemer’s refusal of the vinegar and myrrh. With much Christian love and prayers for your steadfastness,
Yours, in the love of our Mediator and King,
MRS. R. S. S__________, California.
[REPLY.—We are glad, dear Sister, to note that your worldly surroundings do not ensnare your heart, but that on the contrary you fully maintain your love for the Lord and his way, the “narrow way.” We sympathize with your desires to resist worldly influences in a gentle spirit, and trust that you may have much blessing in this endeavor, and may be enabled through it to cultivate the various graces of the spirit. You will be strengthened by the Lord’s declaration—that in his sight a meek and quiet spirit is an ornament of great value.—1 Pet. 3:4.
Respecting our final illness and opiates: I had not thought of our dear Master’s example in refusing opiates. Personally I would incline to leave the matter in the hands of friends and trust to the Lord’s providence respecting what they would do and prescribe at such a time,—praying that the Lord’s will might be fully done even unto death. —EDITOR.]
— December 1, 1899 —