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LETTERS OF INTEREST
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—
Greetings! Peace be unto you and to all the dear coworkers in the Bible House! We praise God more and more for the great privilege of being engaged in the colporteur work. We often say that we believe if the brethren in England who are able to enter this branch of the harvest work could only realize how sweet is the work there would be more in it. We can live well and cheaply, and can much more than make a living, so that we are able to give to him that needeth, as well as to give a little to the Tract Fund. But, of course, the sweetest joy is singing the song of Moses and the Lamb from door to door, day by day. Even if at times we do not do so well it is a great satisfaction to us in having such a good supply of tracts to leave one at each house. They are tracts, too, full of good clean provender, food for thinking Christians. Praise God for such a good supply!
We have just been in Bristol three weeks today, and already we have found hungry souls. One gentleman got tract No. 21 and has sent for more food; he now has Vol. I. and has become a subscriber to the TOWER. As a result of the first Sunday morning’s volunteer work, a merchant sent for Vol. I. and tracts, and has since sent in several orders and contributions. In his last letter he writes, “I am reading Vol. I. with intense interest and wish all to enter into its joys. Mr. Russell has explained things that have troubled me for many years.”
We have been doing very well indeed here in Bristol. We were never better received anywhere. In Manchester a little mission has, with its three leaders (two now TOWER subscribers), heartily accepted the truth, and will not have anything but the truth spoken from the platform. Before leaving, we gave them three talks on the chart, and one of the leaders offered us money, which of course we thanked him for, and suggested that he send it to the Tract Fund, which they did. When they begin to send money to the Tract Fund, to our mind, it looks well. Another dear soul, a sister, to whom we lent the DAWN months ago, called to see us some weeks before we left M__________. She said, “I had been praying for more light, and when you came that morning I would not buy or order, but I thank God you were patient with me, and lent me the book. I promised to read it within a month, which I did, and now I have come to encourage you, for I believe it to be the truth with all my heart.” She now has all the DAWNS, is also a subscriber, and has bought more DAWNS to send away.
We praise the dear Lord for these things and take courage. There are many other interesting cases in M__________, and we believe that in the Lord’s due time there will be good results from the spread of the truth there. We know that you pray for us that God will keep us humble and help us to grow more like him. Oh, to be nothing, nothing, and Christ all! We long for the time when we shall see him as he is. The Lord bless you and keep you in the secret of his presence.
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With kindest love from us both to you and all the dear ones, we are, Your affectionate and grateful brethren in our dear Redeemer, ALBERT E. LLOYD and FRANK KITTRIDGE,—England.
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DEAR AND HONORED SERVANT OF CHRIST:—
You may recollect having received a letter from me about a year ago, when I was in India; also, how, after ordering a copy of the MILLENNIAL DAWN, I returned it, having given up as darkness what had seemed light to me.
Your kind letter of January 9th, 1902, expressing your sorrow that I had turned aside “to the husks, theories and creeds of men,” caused conflicting thoughts to arise in my mind again. Former Scriptures that had taken hold of me, revealing the utter destruction of the wicked in the Second Death, came with power to my soul, and I found myself in doubt concerning the “orthodox” view. In this state of conflict I cried to the Lord for light. The following verse of Scripture caused me to know that God would in his own time show me clearly which was truth:—”All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine.” I decided that when I had leisure I would study the Scriptures on this point of doctrine, using Dr. Young’s Concordance only to help me find all verses treating on the subject. Just then I was busy preparing to return to Ireland for a rest. After searching and comparing Scripture with Scripture, I became fully convinced of the truth of the Second Death; and of the non-existence of the soul of either saint or sinner from death till the resurrection.
I confessed this to the elders of the assembly with which I was in fellowship, and to other friends and evangelists. They expressed their deep sorrow, and some denounced me as a heretic, saying they “believed all would accept this doctrine of the devil ere the Man of Sin would be revealed.”
The elders (known as “Open Brethren”) assembled to examine me, and decided that I should be excommunicated—delivered over to Satan! 1 Cor. 5:4,5; 2 John 7-11, were the Scriptures read to exclude me from their fellowship. Some were in tears, but were obliged to submit to the authority of the Brethren, which is equal to the authority of the Church of Rome.
In the midst of these trials the Lord filled my heart with his own perfect peace, and saved me from having a bitter thought against those whom I knew were walking in darkness and therefore did not know what they were doing. Since being excluded I have met a few Christians who are like-minded, so I am not so isolated here as I was in India. One of my sisters, a brother and a brother-in-law see the Truth and are suffering for it. There are some who are seeking more light and in many ways the Lord is opening up doors of service.
The missionary friends had hoped that after a rest I would return to N__________ next year. But as I have written to these, they also will exclude me from
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their circle. Still, knowing that I am not the servant of man, I am confident that if the Lord wants me to go to India again, he can and will prepare the way for me.
I regret having returned the MILLENNIAL DAWN, and am now ordering a few books.
With grateful thanks, yours in the patience of Jesus Christ, (MISS) M. A. McBRIDE,—Ireland.
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DEAR MR. RUSSELL:—
On leaving Church (of England) one Sunday morning, I met one of my fellow workmen at the top of the road, and I asked him what he was doing there, to which he answered that he was distributing literature belonging to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, handing me at the same time a tract on Evolution. This I read with interest and asked for more reading. I next got the DAWN, VOL. I., and had not got far before I saw that was the very thing I was in need of, as I was quite puzzled with orthodoxy on several important doctrines, which you have made so clear to me, so much so that the Bible is now a new book. I find it the most interesting study which I have yet entered into. I am of a studious nature, and after reading Vol. I., I got the remaining four volumes, which I have just finished, and there are no books in my limited library which I prize more than your five volumes. The object of this letter is to express to you my feelings of gratitude for the great help which you have been able to render me by your deep insight and clear reasoning of the Scriptures. I need hardly say that I am interesting my friends in them.
The plan that you have set forth in the DAWNS is one that appeals to one’s reason as being rational and in harmony with one’s conception of a God. Apart from such a plan existence remains a riddle.
With feelings of gratitude to you, I remain, yours affectionately, E. WORSNOP,—England.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—
I was one of those interested ones who asked questions when you were in our city last summer. I felt so grateful to you for your explanations, and all the time I am growing to love this pure gospel more and more. Oh, how I do praise the Lord that he has let me hear some of the good things that are untainted with the world! I was so weary and heart sore to see a color of sin in everything, even in the loudest religion! I thought death would be the only relief. But when divine love touched me I revived and had strength enough to rise and be fed of the Lord, like Elijah under the juniper tree. And now I am glad that the world was not pleasant to me, else I might have been satisfied with it. I used to think that I was unfortunate, but now I know that it was just a working out of his plan.
Your fifth volume has been such a blessing to me in connection with the Scriptures which it unfolds. The Bible grows more beautiful to me all the time. Now to me it is the Book of all books. I have seen the time when I believe I really preferred Shakespeare or Goethe or Darwin or Plato. I say it with shame. I do not know what that experience was for, unless it was to find out that there is nothing in what the world calls great.
I was brought up religiously and taught to regard the Word as sacred and to believe in a personal God
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and a personal Savior. I had a natural tendency for religion, too, and loved church and Sunday school work and Bible study from a child until grown. Then Evolution and Higher Criticism played havoc with my belief and I came to think I had been greatly imposed upon by pretentious theologians, and after all the whole thing was only a fraud. This darkness in which I was for several years, was great, and so I appreciated the light and the truth more when it dawned upon me. What a relief! what a joy! I had never experienced such previously. Your “Plan of the Ages” comes in like a great search-light turned upon the Word of God and the Truth is illuminated,—there can be no mistake. But why am I so highly favored? Others right around me and close to me do not see it. That is so distressing! I can seldom talk of these things, but can only pray and wait. The Spirit of God does not seem to approve of talking very much. I am willing to be patient, as I have put myself entirely on the altar, that my death may be as absolute as his.
Yours in the bonds of “peace and good will toward men.”
ALICE M. TAIT,—Indiana.
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DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—
It has been a long time since I have written you, and so I thought to drop you a few lines, just to let you know that I am still in the “race,” striving to reach the “mark.” Glory to God!
Acting upon suggestions received from you previously, I have now for the second time refused to sign petitions for dram-shop license. I wish to state first, that I know you instructed me rightly and Scripturally, for which I thank you. Added to this, the churches here organized quite a temperance movement, with which I also would have no connection, but have endeavored to occupy neutral ground; and the same in regard to politics; seeing that I am an “alien,” I would not vote. In consequence there is a disposition to persecute me—from all sides, seemingly; because formerly I was interested in church work, took part in politics and signed petitions for dram-shop license. But do not think, dear brother, that I am complaining. Nay, “I rejoice in the Lord alway!” Formerly I was a member of a fraternal organization, and because I refused to accept suggestions from any of the Masonic fraternity (which includes all men of any prominence in our town) to become a member, they likewise have transferred their patronage, generally, to a competitor.
I am realizing how, by taking part in a political campaign, or other movement, it would be possible that I might be found fighting against the Lord, “who maketh even the wrath of men to praise him.” I am realizing more and more the import of our dear Savior’s words, while praying to the Father, “They are in the world, but not of it.” Ah, yes! This means much to any consecrated believer. While we are in the world, yet we should keep separate from the world—not have our robe “spotted” by contact. If we would not be worldly minded, it is necessary that we have great care how we act in regard to those things which at this present time engage the attention of the world generally,—reform movements, matters of finance, etc. For inasmuch as we give of our time to such things (no, not our time, seeing that we have consecrated our all unto the Lord) in so much the world has a claim upon us, so that while we are in the world, we would also be of the world, seeing that that which interests the world would also interest us. “The natural (worldly minded) man perceiveth not the things that are spiritual,” and consequently is not interested in them; how much more, then, we that do see should not mind the things natural or worldly. All such movements which are the absorbing topics of the day, merely engender “strife, malice, anger, hatred,” etc., causing all who have connection therewith to foster and cultivate an evil disposition, wholly contrary to the law of love.
Praying the Lord’s continued blessings upon you and all with you, Yours in the one blessed hope,
A. W. KRUEGER,—Missouri.
DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST:—
The many spiritual blessings we have enjoyed throughout the year increases our gratitude to and love for ZION’S WATCH TOWER. We will not be able to comprehend, dear brother, how much we owe the Lord this side of the “golden city.” Until that glorious day when we reach the glad home-land,—the fruition of all our hopes,—we take much pleasure in manifesting the appreciation of which we are now capable.
The Society’s Annual Report filled my heart with thanksgiving. There was only one sad note, for which I am grieved, and that was the reference to the fact that some of the letters received at the TOWER office were filled with acrimony. Truly, this must be very painful to you.
Looking back over the old year I can truthfully state it has been a blessed year for me. Enclosed find money order for $__________; please credit $1.00 on TOWER subscription, and balance in Good Hopes for 1902. You will also find herewith my Good Hopes filled out for 1903.
Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy, profitable New Year, with much Christian love, I remain, yours in the service of our King,
The eight-year old daughter of a sister in the truth writes the following herself:—
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—
I had my choice to go to Eden Musee or have the 50 cents and I want to consecrate it to the Lord. Mamma has told me all about how many different ways I could give it to the Lord, and I would rather have a part in sending the truth to some one; so you will please put it in the Tract Fund. I will send it with mamma’s.
I send my love to you and hope I shall see you some day. God bless and keep you all.
Your loving friend,
RUTH SNOW,—New Jersey.
From another of the little ones:—
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—
As we children have sold our pony, enclosed please find eight dollars, which is my share, to be used in the spreading of the truth.
Your sister in Christ,
HATTIE E. HUYCK,—Iowa.
— February 1, 1903 —