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ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FRIENDS
Dear Brother Russell:—
I am very glad to inform you that we, that is, those of us who attended the Richmond, Va., Convention, enjoyed the meetings very much. We reached the hall on Sunday morning, when you were about half through your discourse on Baptism, regret that we were not in time to hear it all. The afternoon Sermon on “Salvation” was grand, and gave us impressions which shall be as lasting as life. I thought of the large number of people in Richmond, and yet so few, comparatively, to listen to the discourse.
I informed you some months ago that I had rented a space in the ferry house where I placed a box for the distribution of Tracts. We were arranging for continuing it for another month when the Agent informed me that he had taken tracts from the box, to his wife, who had become very much interested; and desired him to refund the money which I had paid as rent, and also to continue the box in the ferry house at her expense. This, you must see, was very encouraging.
A brother at the Richmond meeting from this locality testified there that he had become interested through reading tracts taken from the boxes in the Ferry waiting rooms. We are quite sure that large numbers of people are reading the tracts, seldom do we find one cast aside or destroyed.
Your Brother in the blessed truth,
GEO. M. TURNER.
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Dear Brother Russell:—
Maybe you will remember that, coming home on the train from the Richmond Convention, I mentioned to you my friend who lives in Vermont. I think I spoke of feeling somewhat anxious, because I had not heard from her for some little time. Two days after that I received a letter, a long one, from her, from which I wish to quote just a bit. She says: “For myself—I can truly say, Margaret, that I now see clearly what our high calling is. I realize that once having seen it, and made a full and complete consecration of ourselves, we have surrendered all hope of life on the human plane—that if we fail then to be “faithful unto the end,” nothing is left for us but eternal death. I have “counted the cost”—I have laid my little all upon the altar. It is too late for me to draw back now. You will not think I have been hasty. It is seven months now since I began to study these things for myself. Slowly, but surely, I have come into the light. The Truth has held me and I could not escape. I know it is God’s own truth. And oh, Margaret, how could I do anything else but yield to my King fullest allegiance!”
You can understand what joy it gave me to hear this—in fact I cried for joy (and I am not easily moved to tears) to know that she has made the consecration, and has begun to realize joy and peace. She says further along in the letter: “With prayer and humility for weeks I have been counting the cost; and it has been a solemn and a glad surrender. I realize how utterly I am nothing; I know I am weak—but I know that I have His almighty strength to lean upon. It has brought such a blessed peace and rest and joy. I need not tell you, for you know it. And yet I must tell it—only I have not words to express it. I cannot see why He should have chosen me, and loved me, and taught me, but I know He has. I do not know where or when or how my trials will come. I dare not say I am ready for them, only as He gives me strength. I am not worrying about it. There is no room for worry in this strange, glad peace that fills me.” She had read Vols. 1, 2, 3 and 5, and when she wrote had just finished chapter eleven of Vol. 4. I can see she is not clear on some points yet, she does not yet realize that all who are truly the Lord’s are called to “come out”—but I believe it will not be long before she will see this.
Pardon the length of this letter, but I wanted you to know this, because I am sure you will rejoice with us.
We have just enjoyed our Pilgrim Draper’s stay with us, and feel it has been a season of refreshing.
With much Christian love, I am your sister in the Lord,
Dear Brother Russell:—
I do not often have opportunity to express to you my appreciation of your great benefits to me, for my time is taken up very much and I am studying the Bible with those wonderful helps, the Dawns.
Since my coming into the truth, one year ago last month, my views, plans, ambitions, hopes, condition of heart, knowledge in serving Christ, attitude toward mankind, and attitude toward many other things, have changed. What blessed truths the Lord has provided for his humble servants at this time!
I think one of the brethren wrote you that there were thirteen believers immersed here at Washington, Sunday, August 25th. There were three sisters and ten brothers, and I am happy to tell you that I was one of the ten that symbolized their consecration to the Lord.
My dear brother, I know your time is taken up in something greater, grander than reading letters; but I wish to say a word in connection with the spreading of the truth. Since starting out in the one hope and faith, one year ago, I see what wonderful progress the truth is making in separating the wheat and tares, the Lord’s true people from the world. Truly the way is narrow and few will find it, but that few are in such an attitude of heart that they look for a “thus saith the Lord,” for every step, so that they can follow the leading of the truth which we find in the Scriptures. I can see and testify that this light is doing the work it was sent to accomplish; and as the great time-lock that holds the time prophecies is now open it enables the true virgin class to obtain a much better understanding of God’s word.
Trusting that you may continue to be “the steward of Christ,” upholding all truth, I am your brother in Christ,
MARSHALL G. ELLIS,
Dear Brother Russell:—
To let the brethren know what may be accomplished by a little with the Lord’s blessing, and to encourage the brethren who read the Tower to send out to their friends and relatives “Dawns,” “Towers” and tracts, I send you the following short sketch of how the Lord gave us the light and gospel of peace, and how it has grown in so short a time.
Three years ago this winter a brother in Wisconsin sent a “Dawn Vol. I.” to a brother in Spokane, Wash. At that time, so far as I have been able to find out there were but two “Dawn” and “Tower” readers in the city, and they were not acquainted. That one “Dawn” was the means of starting the work which has brought together a class of eighteen brothers and sisters, all of whom have been engaged in the “Volunteer” work, so far as circumstances would permit. All are now firm believers in the Gospel of Peace (Eph. 6:15); and together they have distributed about eight thousand sample tracts, booklets and “Watch Towers,” and there are many others who are brothers who do not take part in the “Volunteer” work. So my dear brethren, be not discouraged if you see no results from your efforts (1 Sam. 18:7). Continue in the good work for it is indeed handing forth “meat in due season” to the household of faith.
Your brother in the Lord,
CHAS. E. BELL,
— November 15, 1901 —