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WORDS OF CHEER AND ENCOURAGEMENT
Dear Brother Russell:—To my mind the Oakland convention is the best I ever attended, due perhaps in some degree to the fact that it was in the country, amid nature’s surroundings, God’s own handiwork, instead of being in a city; and again, due largely to the fact that it was at Bro. Weber’s home. We have much to be thankful for to the family who did so well by us all, and to the Lord be the praise for his “goodness and mercy (which) shall follow us all the days of our life.” I cannot find words to express my gratitude in having been privileged to assemble with those of like precious faith on this blessed occasion. One brother remarked to me, “Surely this is a foretaste of how it will be in the Millennial age,—such brotherly love everywhere manifest.” Did ever a company of worldly people or even nominally Christ-professing people come together and mingle with each other as cordially and confidentially as if members of one household, leaving their valises and handbags open and their room doors unlocked? And did ever so many men, entire strangers to each other, sleep in one room on the floor and not tuck their valuables carefully away under their pillows? Why, such a thing was not thought of on this occasion, much less put into practice. Each brother recognized that in the other a change of heart had taken place—a heart that thinketh no evil, a heart that delights in giving rather than in receiving.
Again, there was no going out after meals to indulge in “a quiet little smoke.” No tobacco here in evidence at all, not an unkind word heard. Truly, this was brotherly love according to the Scripture presentation of what brotherhood should be. Everybody had a glad smile for everybody, each recognized the other as one of the family of God, a member of the body of Christ. Surely all attending this convention gained a good appreciation of how matters will be when all shall know the Lord from the least to the greatest, and when the knowledge of him shall cover the earth as the waters cover the mighty deep. I want to tender you a word of thanks for the part you took to make this an occasion ever to be remembered with joy. The Lord grant we may have more such joyful gatherings, and finally meet to part no more. Your brother in hope,
J. A. Bohnet,—Washington.
Charles T. Russell,
Dear Sir and Brother:—A small package of tract matter is at hand, containing the views of “Bill Arp” (a personal friend of mine) on Millennial Dawn. They are being distributed, mostly in letters; I can use a lot of them. I am often tempted to write you, but the belief that your time is too valuable in the Lord’s work to read personal letters deters me. The seed is being constantly sown hereabouts by the few dear brothers who have been blest with sight; but though interest is stirred up in a few, no genuine results have been thus far noted, yet we keep steadily at it. We think that things are ripening fast enough to satisfy the most impatient, and the daily papers in their reports of lawlessness confirm us. God’s work and Word are marvelous in our eyes.
Gratefully and sincerely yours,
Dear Brother Russell:—Your kind letter came to hand to-day, and my wife said when she read it, “That is like a pastoral visit.” It has made her feel much better. Since we received a letter from our old (Lutheran) pastor, stating that the Book of Daniel is not a prophecy, but a kind of religious fiction, her faith has had a hard test; but we have gone to God’s own Word and studied it out for ourselves, and now she says she has a firm foundation for her faith. And so
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the way is growing brighter day by day, and it is the earnest prayer of our lives that we may be guided into such a knowledge of the truth as will lead us into that perfect childlike submission of ourselves and all we have and are,—that we may fight a good fight and finish our course, as did the grand apostle Paul.
We have our little meetings regularly every Sunday at 3 p.m., only five, but the room always seems full, for we have one in our midst who is all in all. Oh! the blessedness of having our Elder Brother to guide and lead us by the power of his Holy spirit into all truth. How precious the dear Bible has grown! How as it possible for us to live so long in blindness? We can never thank you enough for your gracious teachings which led us to God’s Word, and unfolded the beauty of it all to us. We pray daily that God will continue to use you, in his own way, to spread the truth.
Trusting that we may be used in God’s hands in the spread of his truth we remain,
Yours in Christ,
A. W. Goodrich and wife,—Pennsylvania.
Watch Tower, Bible & Tract Society:
I am very lonely here at present, having no friend in the truth thus far. I hope though to get some interested before a great while, although the majority of the people here in the north of Ireland are very “set” in their ways.
I am still rejoicing in the truth and giving diligence to make my calling and election sure.
The Watch Towers never were more appreciated than they are by me at present. They are all good and helpful in building me up in the faith and knowledge of the Lord. I am thankful I ever came under the influence and power inspired by the literature from the “Tower” office. I pray the Lord daily to continue to bless Bro. Russell and all his co-laborers as well as all those who have espoused the Truth in sincerity and godly reverence.
With best wishes for spiritual prosperity in the harvest-field of this dispensation,
I remain your brother in the one Hope,
My dear Brother Russell:—I have long purposed to write you a letter concerning my coming into the Truth, but something always came to hinder me when I thought of it. Some 6 or 7 years ago two colporteurs came to Greenwich to sell Millennial Dawn. A friend of mine had a conversation with them and learned something of their doctrine, and the Colporteurs asked him to allow them to have a meeting in his office (he is a dentist) on the next Sunday; but he being a good Methodist would not hear of such a thing. He told me of this, and I was rather displeased with him, because he did not grant permission and invite me to be present, so that I might tear their newfangled doctrine to pieces. I was just foolish enough to think that I could do that, but I did not get the opportunity. However, a night or two after I had the conversation with my friend, I met one of the Colporteurs in the postoffice and went for him rather roughly, but when I saw we were going to attract a crowd I desisted.
I paid him for 3 vols. of Millennial Dawn and asked him to leave them in the office of my friend, which he did. He and his companion left for another town a day or two after, and I never have seen either of them since to my knowledge. At the first opportunity I got the books and began reading them for the purpose of condemning the teaching they contained, but had not read far before, to my astonishment, I was carried away with their Scriptural teaching, and found before I had the first volume half read that instead of condemning the teaching I was condemned myself and had such a blessing and uplift as I continued to read that but those who have had a like experience know how to appreciate.
I was convinced that I was reading the truth, and that it was not in harmony with the doctrine of the church of which I was an official member. At that time I was a class-leader and Superintendent of the Sunday-school in the M.E. Church. I had received the very best of treatment in the church, and had a great many friends in it whom I esteemed highly. How I was ever going to cut away from them was a problem that gave me a great deal of anxious thought, but to remain where I was was impossible. Finally I made up my mind to go to my pastor and tell the whole thing; and ask him to drop my name from the church register. But he would not hear of such a thing: he told me I had a perfect right to hold any views I chose and persuaded me to remain in the church: After a while I got relieved from being superintendent of the Sunday-school and took my place in the Bible class, of which the pastor was teacher. In the course of the lessons we had some pretty warm discussions in a friendly way, and while in the class I got some of the members down on me.
After a time the pastor decided to have a different class, and another teacher was appointed in his place. While the new teacher remained, I tried to avoid discussion as much as possible, but he left town after a few weeks, and the class was without a teacher. So they insisted that I should become the teacher. I demurred, but after some talk I consented on condition that I would teach what I believed to be the truth, to which they assented. I had the class for about a year and got along very well with it on the whole, considering that I did not hesitate to teach the truth, as I understood it in the lessons. Some, of course, were very much displeased, and did not come at all after I became teacher; others liked to hear the truth, but did not accept it. I am glad to say, a few did accept it. Things went along in this way till the pastor was changed and another took his place, who, to use his own words, was “determined to have a clean church if there was nothing left but the walls when he got through.” The second Sunday he was here he fired a volley or two, but I thought it had come to him spontaneously, for he is somewhat of an orator, and I thought he was not long enough here to understand the state of affairs. I took my medicine feeling that I deserved to get it, and said very little until more shots were fired, and then I concluded that I, with some others, were the targets aimed at.
As soon as I arrived at that conclusion, I determined to hand a withdrawal letter to the pastor. This
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time I had my mind fully made up to be out of the M.E. Church, no matter what it cost. So when the pastor came to see me, I was prepared to take my stand, and I did it, and have never seen the day since when I was sorry for it. I have enjoyed more real spiritual life since than I ever did before; besides I have a more exalted idea of God than I ever could have, had I remained in the darkness and confusion of “orthodoxy.” I am thankful to the Providence that ever put Millennial Dawn literature into my hands; and I hope to follow in its teaching as long as life here shall last. I will try to help the truth as long and as well as I can.
Pardon me for taking so much of your valuable time. I thought it was in order to write this before leaving this country, for the sole purpose of showing how the Lord is using your efforts to bless many who are desirous of doing his will. I pray that Heaven’s richest blessing may accompany your labor of love for the Master’s cause till he calls you to receive the reward of well doing. I enclose a donation for the “Good Hopes” fund.
Your brother in the faith once delivered to the saints.
James Bright,—New York.
Dear Brother:—I thank you for your kind words; be assured the “Tower” is a welcome visitor to me; enclosed find $1.00 for one year’s subscription.
Last Sunday the church people here were supplied with the pamphlet “Food for Thinking Christians,” by some friends from Lynn, who stood near the churches and passed them to the people as they came out. Just about a year ago a Tower was handed to me as I came out of church, and what a change has been wrought in my thoughts since then! God helping me I shall remain in his hands to be taught and purified.
John W. Goodwin,—Massachusetts.
Dear Watch Tower Friends:—It is with pleasure I enclose the little I can spare for “Good Hopes”; I pray it may help to bring the good news to some hungry soul. Not a day passes that I do not think of you, and long to see your kind faces. Pray that I may be faithful even unto death. The more I read and study God’s plans the more I love my Saviour, and I thank him all the time that I was found worthy to receive the true gospel.
Yours in our blessed Lord and Redeemer,
Mrs. O. F. Boyer,—Illinois.
Dear Brother Russell:—I don’t wish to worry you with a long letter, but must tell you that we now have a “Dawn Circle” of seven, and more are interested. On the fifth Sunday I spoke where a debate between “Christadelphians” and “Campbellites” had just closed. There were five preachers present to listen to “Ransom and Restitution,” and some of them gave close attention;—”Bless the Lord, O my soul”! God will gather his sheep—precious thought!
Bro. H. has the work started in Kerrville by making a special trip over there, and the Campbellite preacher, through the solicitation of some, has tendered me his day—fourth Sunday—and we anticipate a glorious time.
All my Sundays are occupied, and I can’t fill the calls that come, for I must attend to my office duties. I will preach long enough to get the people interested, and to give the “sheep” a chance to come into “green pastures,” and then I may close that part of my work;—the “Dawns” are all any one needs.
So far God has blessed my efforts; some are much interested, and a general Bible reading is going on in many homes. Some who have not entered the race for the prize say that what they have heard has blessed and helped them to live better lives. Pray for me.
May God keep you to feed us!
J. A. Currie,—Texas.
Dear Brother Russell:—Although I have been interested in the Harvest Truth for nearly two years, I have never expressed my gratitude to you, the channel through whom this great blessing has reached me.
I was first attracted to this message by my sister, Mrs. Lee,—whom we believe now to be with our Lord—and since her death I, too, have given all I have or hope for respecting earthly things for joint heirship in God’s Kingdom.
I do thank you for the helpful words and sound doctrines found in the columns of your journal. My prayer is for you to obtain grace, wisdom and strength to feed us unto the end of the Church’s journey through the wilderness of sin.
I have much faith in the prayer of a righteous man, therefor ask you to remember me at the Throne of Grace that our Father may guide my every step and make me faithful unto death.
Enclosed please find my “Good Hopes” offering for this month. With Christian love I remain,
K. M. Day,—California.
Dear Brother Russell:—Allow me to thank you with all the earnestness of my heart that by the grace of God you were enabled to give us meat in due season. The Millennial Dawn series has been to me a well in the desert. I cannot tell the joy, the blessing, the light and the strength it has been to me, a poor, hungry, struggling soul; and I am just as if I had not got through rubbing my eyes in wonder yet. It was in March Brother Bright put the books into my hands. For quite a while before that I had been perplexed and troubled because I felt I did not understand the Word. I have been praying to God to help me; to give me just the right light; and that He would make me ready when He came. My prayer was answered, far above what I could ever have asked or thought. My Lord is now,—”More dear, more intimately nigh, than e’en the sweetest earthly tie.” It is far easier, now, to walk in the “narrow way.” Dear brother, do not forget to pray for me that I may be kept faithful; it is such blessed thought that God does not judge us according to our weakness, but according to our spirit and mind.
May God abundantly bless you in your work for our King.
Mrs. Bessie Keyes,—New York.
— September 15, 1901 —