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BIBLE READING INDISPENSABLE
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I can heartily appreciate the advice given by you in the last WATCH TOWER, under caption of “Attention, Watch Tower Readers!” inasmuch as I am always benefited by a re-reading of the DAWNS, but permit me to say that I believe there are some who may misconstrue the last two sentences of the above article and think into them a meaning it is not intended they should contain, viz., that you are advocating the reading of the DAWNS exclusive of God’s Word. I have learned from observation that those who merely read the DAWNS without examining the context of Scriptures quoted do not become well established in the truth, so that when the fire that tries every man’s faith becomes more intense, they are unable to endure the ordeal. It has further been my experience that those who state that “they” have the Bible to read, and that it is sufficient for them without reading the DAWNS, never come to a clear knowledge of the truth, because they thereby ignore the instrumentality that God has been pleased to honor in setting forth his truth in these last days. And in ignoring the instrumentality they ignore not man, but God, “who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will;” and hence, as long as they maintain such an attitude, they cannot hope to be led into all truth. But happy are those who keep their minds in a receptive condition for truth, willing to receive it through whatever agency the Lord may be pleased to send it to them. May the Lord enable each one of us so to be.
Before closing I must tell you that I was greatly encouraged by the article, “Keep yourselves in the love of God.” How it has refreshed me in spirit! I appreciate more fully now the fact that it is one thing to possess the “love of God” and another thing to maintain it to the end of our course. How much effort on our part is implied in the word “keep!”—continuous effort, yet ever mindful of the fact that the Lord is the “author” as well as the “finisher of our faith.” It is to “pray without ceasing,” to “quench not the spirit,” to “despise not prophesying,” to “prove all things and hold fast that which is good.”
Some three years ago, when I began to appreciate the beauty of “present truth,” I realized I had lost much precious time, and desiring to make the best of the little I had left, I thought over several plans and finally decided on this one, “Every day I will try to become a little more like Jesus, and then he will make plain to me those things I do not now understand.” And I find that my knowledge of the “deep things of God” has ever been commensurate with my progress in becoming more and more like God’s dear Son, but herein I became aware of the greatest struggle of my life, a struggle to the death of the old nature, and oh, what a struggle it is, only those who have tried to stem the current of a fallen and depraved nature know. I found arrayed against me the world, the flesh and the devil, but “thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” How appropriate are the words,—
“Keep striving: the winners are those who have striven
And fought for the prize that no idler has won;
To the hand of the stedfast alone it is given,
And before it is gained there is work to be done.”
Enclosed find order for DAWNS. With much Christian love, I am,
Yours in our Redeemer,
E. J. COWARD,—Texas.
— July 1, 1900 —