DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL:--
Just about eighteen months ago I wrote to thank you for the great happiness your books had brought to my husband and self. Today I write to tell you that he finished his course--on September 25.
It was truly as St. Paul says, "In the twinkling of an eye." He had been out, and was telling me something he had seen--and stopped in the middle of a sentence.
In your answer to my last letter you said you noticed we were anxious to spread the Truth, and that perhaps we should be given more opportunity. He was. He became mate on the ferry here, and as it is quite a big thing, he had many opportunities of talking to people, and I don't think he ever missed one.
Last year people used to laugh, but this year they were either annoyed or said, "Well, we can all see there's something coming, and perhaps you're right--hope you are!"
Several, I know, thanked him for telling them of your books, and said they were just what they were wanting. He always said he wasn't nearly good enough for the "little flock," but it seems to me he was just the sort you describe in Vol. V, page 237. He hated the thought of the "Great [R5171 : page 31] Company," as he did anything that was half and half; and he certainly never turned his back on the Truth.
His death was a great shock to everybody in the town, for he was considered one of its healthiest inhabitants, and he was only forty-three. As he lay there, I said to the doctor (who did not know him personally), "He never played a mean trick on anybody in all his life," and the doctor said, "You've only to look at his face to see that, Mrs. Childe."
People who knew him always said he was the most absolutely honest man (very often to his own detriment) they had ever met. His deck hands have told me he was the nicest man they ever worked for--so fair and just, and always ready to stand up for them if anyone else tried to down them; and I would rather have that than a good word from the King--one doesn't put on company manners for one's deck hands.
It may interest you to know that my husband tried twice (before we heard the Truth, and principally for the protection of myself and the children) to join a secret order. Each time--in different towns--the same men black-balled him. They had injured him, and so hated him. Since he knew the Truth, he has been asked to join (which is much against their rules, I believe), not only that order, but several others. They said it would make things so much easier! Of course, he stood clear, and was not in any "bundle" whatsoever.
We were left with almost no money--had lost all we had a few years ago. I have three children--11 and 9 years and 10 months old. I hadn't a relative nearer than 2,000 miles away. I left it all with God, knowing "our bread and water were sure," anyway. And now we are provided for, for at least two years! There was no appeal made--just everybody wanted to help. Ah!--
"I read from the past that my future shall be
Far better than all my fears!"
They all respected my husband for his character, though many thought he had "queer views." I should so value a word from you at this time. I don't know what I should do without the Truth now; I should be despairing. But now every newspaper I take up tells me I shall soon see him again! Thank God! I can say--
"The billows that guarded my sea-girt path
Carried my Lord on their crest!"
He has been as good as all His promises.
With many thanks for the comfort (under God) you have given me in this, my greatest trouble, I remain,
ELEANOR I. CHILDE.--B. C., Can.
DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER IN CHRIST:--
Your letter to colporteurs I have received, and I wish to express my great appreciation of its words of encouragement and counsel. I also wish to thank you for the offered gift-- I chose a "Heavenly Manna"--as my other one is wearing out. I could not live without these words of Truth each day, as they give needed strength in trials, and are a source of great blessings.
The WATCH TOWER, too, is eagerly waited for. Each issue is most precious. When I saw the last report, I felt so glad that I had been permitted a very small share in the work. Oh! the joy of service. I wish to briefly tell a little experience regarding our newspaper here, The Piqua Leader-Dispatch, which gives us the sermon each Monday.
Quite recently I was in the office on business, and being well known to the editor and others of their force, they called me in to inform me that a local minister had just been in to request the discontinuance of our sermon feature. They inquired of me the "why."
I knew at once what brought this on, for we were that week putting out our recent "Hell" tracts. This was the result. I carefully, wisely (I trust) chose my words in answer. I also stated that I had worked this city for a year or so in the interest of the Bible Society, and knew of many who were much helped by the reading of the sermons. I said that all great men have enemies, but ours is a Christian cause, and a great success, too.
Their reply was that personally they considered it very "small" for any minister to take such a stand.
A week or so later this same minister publicly announced that he would expose "Pastor Russell," our society, Bible Students, etc. And he did--to a moderate audience. But the wrath of men must praise God; for he spoke of our untiring zeal, of the wonderful scope of the work, but couldn't understand where the money came from!
Then he related how he had requested The Leader-Dispatch to discontinue the sermons. Their answer had been, however, that "they were too valuable!" "Then," he added, "if they will put them before us, we can at least refuse to read them."
I think this a good advertisement, don't you? But I found Catholics and Protestants, Christians, Jews and non-professors, who read them. Thanks be to God! How glad we are that in "due time" all shall know, even the least. We pray richest blessings upon you, dear brother, in the coming year.
Yours by His Grace, MRS. GEO. H. KELLER.
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Enclosed herewith please find clipping from the Gospel Messenger, December 14, 1912 issue, containing an article entitled "Hell and Damnation," by B. E. Kesler, River Bend, Colo. This paper is a Dunkard paper, or more properly is the mouthpiece of "The Church of the Brethren."
You will note that Mr. Kesler makes the charge that Pastor Russell makes all kinds of fanciful translations of the Scriptures in order to sustain what he designates your "theories." It is another case of "throwing dust" into the eyes of the people. I don't understand how any one can write such an article without knowing that he is misrepresenting the facts, and in proof note what he says respecting 2 Peter 2:4. Here he makes you say that God cast the angels that sinned down to the fires of Gehenna, whereas you plainly show in the pamphlet, which he evidently read, that the Greek word here is not "Gehenna," but "Tartaroo." This I find is what the Emphatic Diaglott, as well as Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Scriptures, reveals it to be.
Is it not now time in the Lord's providence to answer the charge, "It is a peculiarity of his writings, generally, that he doesn't seem to find his theories taught in any of the commonly accepted translations of the Bible, and so he makes bold to make his own translation as he goes, and in this way tries to cover up his assumed prerogative, to condemn as 'heretics' and 'hypocrites' all who do not bow at his shrine and accept his theories"?
I will not now take the time to call attention to other discrepancies in this article of nonsense, but will leave it to your judgment of the Lord's will in the matter. Surely now is the separating time; and all who are professing to be the Lord's people are most surely now taking their stand for either Truth or Error, as never before.
We surely can never appreciate the Present Truth enough, nor render unto the Lord sufficient praise or thanks for the anointing of our eyes with the "eye salve" of Truth through your faithful ministry.
Yours in the Beloved, M. L. WOLF
* * *
Thanks, dear friend! It is saddening to find religious teachers striving to throw "dust" in the mental eyes of their [R5172 : page 31] followers. Some are "blind leaders of the blind," while others apparently are "willingly ignorant." Like the Pharisees of old, some have taken away from their too trustful followers the "key of knowledge," and are grieved that the people are now being taught better. However, the result is that some are getting awake and learning to think, and to study the Bible for themselves, who otherwise might have slept on. It is God's "due time" for His faithful to be awakened and to come to a knowledge of the Truth; and for aught we know He is using the wrath of man to praise Himself.
A still more despicable course is followed by some claiming to be ministers of Christ. Unable to controvert Pastor Russell's teachings they slander him shamefully. Professing to be Christians, they insinuate and come as close as possible to infracting the lowest standards of human law respecting slander and libel. They that preach the Golden Rule and profess to believe that everybody who breaks it is going to everlasting torture, do they forget the words of St. John that their course is in the sight of our Lord really "murder"?-- 1 John 3:15.
MY DEAR PASTOR:--
Received the last WATCH TOWER for 1912 yesterday; and oh, how much good it has done me already! The article which appeals to me specially now is one entitled: "The Philosophy of Our Daily Experiences." It is meat in due season for me; and I thank the Lord for such strengthening food, as I am now undergoing some "training." By His grace and help assisting, I would like to come to the place where I will delight to do His will.
God bless you and keep you till the end.
MINNIE J. WILSON.