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ENCOURAGING WORDS THROUGH THE BRITISH BRANCH
Dear Brother Russell:—
You will be pleased to know that the work in Great Britain is going on nicely. There are now fourteen Colporteurs spending all their time and energy in the blessed service, in this country, and several others are giving much of their spare time in the same way, some of these with a view to entering wholly into the work when able. These are encouraged from time to time by seeing some fruit of their labors.
The volunteers have been quite industrious also, and the tract distributors as well. We shall not at this time give figures to show how many Dawns and Tracts have been placed in the hands of the people here this year, as we hope to do so in due time in the Annual Report.
As brethren and sisters have taken their holidays this summer, the principal thought with most of them seems to have been how to use this time to the very best advantage. With this in mind, many have gone to new places, and have consulted together so that as many as possible of the seaside towns might be visited. While there, they have been diligent in the volunteer work and tract distribution to the residents and visitors from all parts of the country, who might carry of the influence back to their homes. Some happy results have attended these labors of the harvesters, for which we thank God. We continue to pray, as we doubt not you also do, that the Lord of the Harvest will send forth more laborers into the field.
Herewith are extracts from interesting letters recently received at the British Branch.
Yours faithfully in Christ,
E. C. Henninges
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I write to thank you for the parcel of booklets and tracts which you forwarded. As the Lord opens up opportunity for me, I shall make good use, I trust, of the good seed entrusted to my care.
I know many “thinking Christians” who are expecting our Lord’s return, but who weary in the waiting, and are, I think, somewhat confused in their minds, looking for the person and neglecting the “signs.” For these I shall find the little pamphlet on the Second Advent extremely valuable, though I am beginning already to find that many of these dear people are not quite ready to assimilate the “meat in due season.”
My own experiences in studying this magnificent work are such as I have never known before. From childhood I have been a great reader, and have read the standard works in all departments of English literature; but no work apart from the Holy Scriptures has ever given me such satisfaction and joy—such understanding of the Divine Word—as Millennial Dawn. It is indeed happiness to live now, for clouds of darkness have rolled away from my mind.
Yours faithfully in Christ,
A. E. D.
My Dear Brother:—
In consequence of the distribution of “Food for Thinking Christians,” I am now coming into contact with many enquirers, some of whom are giving the truth careful consideration, while others are becoming veritable enemies, denouncing us and our work, saying that it belongs to the devil. I thank God for positive proof that his grace is amply sufficient for us all, and we feel that, having put our hands to the plow, we dare not look back, but will press along the path revealed, whereon the light shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
I have sent literature to various parts of this country, and to Bermuda; so you see that our little circle of work is spreading. I only wish I were able to do more; but if the Master wishes us to do so, I have no doubt he will open the way. We shall be glad of another supply of “Food.”
With kindest love from Brother C., my wife and self, and praying our Father’s richest blessing be your portion, believe me,
Very sincerely yours in Him,
H. W. L.
We are now settled in D__________. We have been spying out the land, and—well, if it isn’t flowing with milk and honey altogether, we think there should be some good work done here.
We should like to serve the churches here with some “Food” on the Sundays. There is a considerable number of them, and we shall require a large quantity. Brother C. will be the “captain,” and I will be one of the “volunteers,” meantime, and perhaps the Lord will send recruits.
With Christian love and kind regards, we are,
Yours in His service,
(Colporteurs),—C. & C.,
Greeting! It is refreshing to hear of the increased interest in London, and we praise the dear Lord you are permitted to see some fruit of your labor. Thank God, the time is near when the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. Oh, may we all be faithful unto death, and so have a glorious share in revealing our gracious Father’s character to an astounded world! Oh, what a prospect, how stimulating! How can we keep from singing? Are not we the blessed people who hear the joyful sound? Hallelujah!
We have not done so well as usual the past two weeks, and we must acknowledge we have been much disappointed; but we shall certainly, in future, be more sympathetic with those who are less successful; yet, if it please the Lord, we wish to do better, so as to encourage others to come out into this branch of the harvest work. Please pray for us; we remember you without ceasing.
Yours in our dear Redeemer,
L. & K. (Colporteurs),
Dear Sir and Brother:—
Of the “Food for Thinking Christians,” which you sent for distribution, I have given away about 200, not without a good deal of opposition; but I rejoice that the truth is being listened to by a number, and obeyed by a few, among whom are one of my brothers, a sister and her husband, who are now rejoicing in the truth of God’s Word; also a dear friend who recently went to Scotland; there he has had to suffer persecution for the truth’s sake; but in that he greatly rejoices—that he is counted worthy so to suffer.
I find that the majority of people have to be educated up to these things, and our tracts are most useful for that, in my experience.
With all good wishes for the furtherance and spread of the truth, I am as ever,
Yours sincerely in the Lord’s service,
We distributed about 500 of the Towers in R., when prejudice against the truth became so great that we were obliged to withdraw. The place is small and the news of the circulation spread so rapidly, and so much had been said against them, that a very large number of the people began to refuse them. Truly, Satan hath blinded their eyes, lest the glorious gospel of Christ should shine into their hearts, and they be free; but thank God for the assurance that this condition shall not long obtain. Soon the light and knowledge of the Lord shall be caused to fill the whole earth, and Satan will no longer have power to deceive the people.
I am thankful still to be privileged to do a little “harvest” work, now and again, and I do thank God that I do see some fruit for my labor. I often wonder why our Lord has been so gracious to me, for I am so unworthy. His blessings have been so rich, that I am persuaded that nothing shall separate me from the love of Christ, my Savior.
Yours faithfully in Christ,
G. H. T.,
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On occasion of your recent visit to M__________, from which place I have been transferred, I did not get an opportunity to see you and have a talk; circumstances beyond my control prevented me from being at M__________ that day.
On taking up my duties here, I soon began to realize that I was alone, so far as my views are concerned, and that if I wished to have any friends and co-workers, I must set to work at once. I distributed quite a lot of tracts without apparent success; but am pleased now to inform you that by the help of God, I have made a very favorable impression on three of my workmates. We have spent several profitable evenings together at my home, and I have reason to hope that our heavenly Father, in answer to my prayers, has favored me with at least one brother and helper.
Although my knowledge as yet is limited, I am quite sure that our Master will help us, for it is written, “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” I am most anxious to transmit to others the truths with which I have been favored, in the earnest hope that I may be of some use in heralding the approach of our Master’s kingdom, and thereby discharge, to some extent, the great debt which I owe him for all that he has done for me.
I trust that you will remember me in your prayers.
Yours in Christ’s service,
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LETTERS FROM THE HOME FIELD
[The following letter, written on return from the Oakland Convention to the Brother who so kindly entertained the friends, will be very interesting to many of our readers. We publish it with Brother Weber’s permission.—Editor.]
My dear Brother Webster:—I am glad to write you that I arrived home Tuesday morning. Had a very pleasant and profitable journey, for which I thank and praise my heavenly Father. How much I thank him upon every remembrance of you! He put it into your heart to write to me; then so to arrange that I met you on that memorable day in Baltimore; then in inviting me to this last feast at your home—to meet Brother Russell, your own dear family, and so many of God’s dear children; then to feast at our Father’s table. Oh, how good it tasted! I felt so hungry for the truth. Altho the Lord has richly blessed me since this glorious truth began to dawn upon my soul, I had never met with but two people of the Dawn faith before this.
I have written a long letter to the Church where I have been a member for nearly 30 years, asking them to drop my name from their roll of membership, and giving my reason for this. I shall also have to write to several missionary societies and other churches and colleges where I have been a contributor. Of course for the present fiscal year I shall have to contribute according to my pledges, but after that it will close and I shall be able, if the Lord continues to prosper me, to do more for this Truth for which I now stand.
Well, I will not weary you with too long a letter. I thank the Lord for you and ask you to extend my sincere thanks to dear Mrs. Weber and the girls for all their work of labor and love, also to the boys that were kept so busy. I know God will bless them. And now whenever you come East remember your oldest (or youngest) boy in Cromwell, Conn. I shall indeed esteem it a favor to have the privilege of having you with us, and any of your family that can conveniently come this way. I am arranging with Brother Russell to have a Pilgrim brother come here and give Chart lectures. Yours in the Master’s service,
Dear Brother Russell:—I have not written for a long time; nevertheless my thoughts and prayers are constantly with you and the friends at the “Bible House.”
Circumstances forbid my entering the colporteur service, as I had so fondly hoped; but I wish you to know that my zeal for the cause is no less fervent than when I was first enlightened. The experience of those days was sweet to me, for then I drank deep draughts from the fount of knowledge—it was sweet in my mouth, but you are acquainted with the after effects. We can have Christian experience only as we put on Christ; and since it is my daily labor to be transformed by the renewing of the mind into an example of godliness, I can bear witness to the truth of the experiences of the brethren. You may remember how anxious I was in the beginning to spread the Truth; how confident that I would be an excellent instructor of the foolish and erring ones. Having read four volumes of Dawn, I felt there was very little more to be known about the Scriptures; but now having advanced further in the knowledge of God’s plan, and having developed further in Christian character, I feel thoroughly unfit to be a teacher of so great truths.
The school I had last winter was closed prematurely for lack of students. I have tried in many ways to provide for my temporal necessities more comfortably at home, but they have all failed;—rather they have not materialized as I expected; but perhaps from the Lord’s standpoint they were a success. I know one thing; they have taught me humility and dependence upon God’s loving care. This assurance that I am still in the way I think is due you.
The Watch Tower I find an indispensable vade mecum, ever full of instruction profitable for all who run for the attainment of the joy set before us. May the Lord ever provide you wisdom, strength and courage, that you may incessantly preach the Word, endure hardness as a good soldier, and be faithful unto death.
Yours in the service of our present Lord,
James A. Browne,
[The above is from a colored brother; and incidentally we remark that about 200 colored persons on the Watch Tower lists give good evidence that they are of the “pure in heart,” “accepted in the Beloved.” Some have thought that we in some measure disdained brethren of color, because we stipulated that the “Volunteer” distribution should be done at white Protestant churches. But not so: we meant no disparagement of Catholics, nor of blacks; but arranged thus merely because their average standards of intelligence, etc., do not seem to warrant the necessary outlay.—Editor.]
— October 15, 1901 —