SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
MY DEAR PASTOR AND OTHER MEMBERS OF CHRIST'S BODY:--
God has certainly been good to me, and I cannot express the joy that has so recently come through the light of "Present Truth." And am so thankful, too, that it came at the time it did. For several years my life and my husband's life--and since our marriage our united lives--have been consecrated so far as we had light, and there was a great peace and comfort in our daily service for him. We were members of the M.E. Church from childhood, and, as "touching the righteousness which is in the law (Methodist law), blameless."
For some years I served as class leader, Epworth League President, Junior League Superintendent, Superintendent Primary Department in Sunday School and afterward as a Nurse Deaconess and Evangelistic Deaconess under the Woman's Home Missionary Society. Six years ago I married Mr. Brown, General Secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association at Decatur, Ills. We were led, through the study of the Bible, to see that eternal torment, as taught by our church, was false, also to expect the establishment of Christ's Kingdom upon earth in the near future, though we knew nothing of the teaching of Millennial Dawn.
About a year ago our first sorrow came, when a dear little babe died, and that was only the beginning of sorrows. A few weeks later my husband's health failed; he was forced to resign his position, our home was broken up, household goods stored, and, after vain attempts to restore health and for which all our money was spent, death again came and took the one upon whom it seemed my very life depended. A few weeks before his death some one mailed us a copy of "What Say the Scriptures about Hell?" I read it and said to my mother, who was present, "If these are the teachings of Millennial Dawn they are greatly misrepresented. I have always thought of them as I have of 'Dowieism,' but this gives me the proof that I have been seeking for three years--that the Bible does not teach eternal torment." Then I got the first three volumes of the "Dawn-Studies" and hurriedly read two of them. Under the circumstances I could not study; then came the death. The comfort that the knowledge of the high calling gave me and the peace which filled my soul sustained me through the sad hours and days, and continues even now. After reading the remaining four volumes, I subscribed for the "Tower," severed my relations with the Church and social organizations, and am rejoicing in the Blessed Hope.
I have searched the Scriptures daily to see whether these things are so, and am proving beyond a doubt that they are the teaching of his Word. We (my two little children and I) are living in my old home town, where much of my church work has been done. My friends do not understand my action toward the church and are deeply grieved. So far as I can learn, I am the only woman in Casey who has accepted the Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to stand alone when I have had so many friends and such a strong Christian husband to help me, but the Father knows how much I am able to bear, and I rejoice that I am counted worthy to suffer for him and that I may "go to him without the gate bearing his reproach."
Dear Brother Abraham is "strong in the Lord" and helps me very much. He and his wife come to my home (or I to theirs) one or two evenings each week for study of the Word. All the past earthly blessings "I count but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord." We are thankful indeed to our blessed Lord for the strengthening food received through our dear Pastor, Brother Russell, and also for making us acquainted with members of the Body, who have been very helpful. We are also grateful for the increase of knowledge which Brother Hall's visit gave us, and the opportunity of having the harmonious teaching of the Word publicly presented to our friends.
After much thought and prayer, I have decided to take the "Vow" and, with his help, keep it. My sacrifice is on the altar. Pray that I may keep it there until it be consumed in his way. With much love to all in the Truth, and an intense desire to make my calling and election sure, I am,
Your new Sister in Christ, MRS. GEO. B. BROWN.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
For some time I have been thinking of telling you of my appreciation of "The Watch Tower" and the sermons, to say nothing of the books and all of the helps we have for the thorough study of our Father's Word.
I feel very humble and thankful to our loving Heavenly Father and to our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ that I am permitted to see these grand truths while some others blessed with larger opportunities are now stumbling on account of not being able to see eye to eye with you on the Covenants and the Vow.
When the Vow first came out in "The Watch Tower" one year ago, I did not understand it and objected to it, as I felt that my consecration vow covered the whole ground. But it was not long until I realized that my objections were from the great Adversary of our souls. I soon discovered that there was a wrong condition of heart back of the objection, so I asked the Lord to remove all feelings of resentment and to fill my heart and mind with his holy Spirit and with a desire to obey his will at whatever cost. I praise his name that my prayer was answered and that he led me to see my need of the Vow and I gladly and thankfully made it my own; and now, daily, I pay my vows to the Lord. When I see a weak point in my [R4509 : page 331] character I strengthen it by making a vow to the Lord that through his grace I shall overcome that weakness.
One vow that I have taken is that I will not murmur nor complain; another, that I will not speak evil or even slightingly of any one; not that I was particularly given to murmuring or complaining, for I am naturally of a hopeful turn of mind; neither was I given to evil speaking; but I never realized how much I needed to be on my guard along those lines until I made them a subject of special prayer and vowed to the Lord that by his help I would overcome those faults. At first I failed a number [R4509 : page 332] of times; then I would go to the Lord and tell him how I regretted my weaknesses and how I desired to be pure in heart; then came "The Tower" with the article, "There is a sin unto death." I read it over and over many, many times and then I realized more and more the great necessity of paying our vows to the Lord and that only those who come off more than conquerors will be of the Little Flock.
Dear brother, it is indeed a narrow way, and I praise the Lord that he is showing me with each succeeding step more and more the narrowness of it; and I rejoice that the "path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."
It is to me a great blessing and strength to remember you, dear Brother, at the throne of heavenly grace many times daily, and to remember the Brooklyn Bethel family, some of whom I know personally, with all the interests of the harvest work and also all of the Lord's dear people.
I hope, dear Brother Russell, that you had a pleasant and helpful visit with the dear ones on the other side of the great Atlantic. Will it not be glorious when we all meet in our Father's Kingdom, and the glory and knowledge of the Lord shall be filling the earth ocean wide and ocean deep?
Praying the Lord's blessing on yourself and all others in "Bethel Home" and on the harvest work, I am, with an humble request for your prayers on my behalf,
Your sister in the One Hope,
J. M. GOODHART,--Ohio.
P.S.--I have been in Present Truth four and one half years.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I wonder if it is not a pleasure for you to hear from those who have been blessed through your ministries!
Five years ago my husband and I received light which we gladly accepted, when Brother Marchant stopped at our door and presented Vol. 1. We bought, read, wondered and eagerly obtained the other volumes and began to attend the meetings held by the Bible students.
During these five years we have enjoyed the Sunday addresses on the Truth by Brother Streeter and visiting Pilgrim brethren, and the testimony meetings and Friday evening studies. The interest has grown so that from the handful that met together five years ago, there are now about a hundred regular attendants on Sundays, and often there are fifty or seventy-five above that number. Our testimony meetings have outgrown the parlors of any of our members, and so they have been divided into two sections. It is delightful to enjoy the harmony here, and I attribute it to the fact that we "have not many teachers," but study the Scriptures with the "Key" under the wise and careful leadership of our dear Brother Streeter, who patiently studies and guides us to the solution of each point, referring us constantly to God's Word as unfolded in the light now due.
Interest has been aroused and is being developed in Pawtucket, and in Pawtuxet also, where a number of people await anxiously the next chart talk. Truly the Lord has blessed us in Providence, and we bless and praise him and ever rejoice in the Truth.
Your Sister in our dear Lord,
F. A. R.,--R. I.
A little over a year ago I providentially became acquainted with "The Watch Tower" and "Dawn-Studies," which I have read with increasing interest and enjoyment and deepening conviction. A friend loans me "The Tower," and I have the full set of books and "The Tower Bible." "The Tower" and "Dawn-Studies" have given me such new and blessed views of the Scriptures that they have superseded my church papers and other denominational literature, which no longer satisfy me, and which I have discontinued. I find my greatest delight is studying and conversing upon these gracious truths.
The teaching refuting eternal punishment, declaring the grand and glorious restitution blessings and proclaiming the Lord's presence, though so wholly at variance with the doctrines and teachings of my church (Methodist), which I had ever loyally and devotedly supported, especially appealed to me, affording unspeakable joy and thanksgiving. I can never be thankful enough to God for bringing me a knowledge of these glorious things through your writings. The thought that Christ is now present and is setting up his Kingdom gives me keenest joy.
Yours in the Present Truth, M. G. ROBERTS,--Me.
DEAR BROTHER AND PASTOR:--
As per your request, I send this postal to tell you I have made the Vow my own resolution before the Lord. I feel that I want to take my stand with those who are supporting the Truth and the Harvest Work and to withdraw myself from those who are opposing either. I feel it is incumbent on me to take advantage of every means of grace the Lord places at my disposal. I believe your visit removed the last barrier in my mind, and I think there may be others who have been helped to see the Vow in a different light as a result of your visit. May the Lord bless you and keep you.
Your Brother only by his grace,
FRANK P. SHERMAN.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I have wanted so much to write you, but understanding how very busy you are, I refrained until now.
Six years ago I was a nominal church member and a great Spiritualist, trying to find peace and comfort from those sources, but, finding none, was about to say there is no other world than this.
When I purchased the first volume of "Scripture Studies" of Sister Coppage I was rejoiced to read it and found such comfort that I left off attending church, and read my book and Bible, not knowing that there were others of like faith until Brother and Sister Schuler canvassed here a year ago, of whom I bought the remaining volumes, since which I have carefully read your book on Spiritualism.
I cannot tell you what joy I found, for even my children were afraid when night came; we were almost possessed by those evil ones. Since I have read and told them all, they all know and say, "Mother, we do not fear any more; and home is at peace again."
When first I read the Vow I was much impressed with its grandeur. I have made it my own. Would that I could tell you all that your writings have done for me.
Your Sister by his grace,
MRS. N. J. KENDRICK,--Ga.
While in Carnegie Library at Conneaut, O., recently, I came across your series of "Millennial Dawn." Now I should like to have samples of your tracts. I might add that my interest in your message has already caused some stir among friends who, like the Pharisees of old, think good news bad doctrine.
Until I read those Keys to the Bible in Conneaut, I had no good light on eternal torment, which from a boy I never could accept. I prayed for light and the Lord, I believe, sent me into the library and to the "light." They were the first books I touched on entering and were just what I wanted.
Yours in Christ Jesus,
CHAUNCEY G. McCOY,--Pa.
DEAR BROTHER AND PASTOR:--
If you think this might prove an incentive to some one to study more faithfully please use it, if you think best.
For the third time in a little over four years, I have commenced the study of the full course of "Millennial Dawn" series. During this time every available moment has been given to this course of reading, which has [R4509 : page 333] also included every printed sermon and issue of "The Tower." This has necessitated the giving up of visiting, fancy work, music and all other reading; none but necessary work of any kind has occupied my attention.
As I take up Vol. II. for the third reading, I am amazed to find the many points overlooked in, or forgotten since, the former readings. Each time I read I find each volume more intensely interesting because of prophecy fulfilled or in process of fulfillment before my eyes.
I need not add that the benefit received is inestimable, incalculable; that I would not exchange the knowledge and satisfaction thus far gained for the wealth of all the world.
Undoubtedly this continuous study of the unfolding of the Father's plan, as also the making of the special vow to the Lord my own, has enabled me thus far to "stand in this evil day;" and by his grace I shall pursue this study and adherence to the entire vow of consecration according to ability, until our "change" come, that so "having done all," I may "stand" perfected in his presence.
My Bible is a thousand fold more precious, because with each perusal of any one of the volumes, the eyes of my understanding are still more widely opened to discern the will and purpose of its Great Author. My reverence [R4510 : page 333] for and gratitude to him for the precious "meat in due season" for all who "will receive it," knows no bounds.
May he keep you moment by moment, ever closer and closer "under the shadow of the Almighty," sustaining and protecting you through every trial or persecution he may permit to come into your life and crown you "more than conqueror" at the full close of the earthly pilgrimage!
Your least Colporteur and joyful fellow-servant,