FROM THE BATTLEFIELD OF FRANCE
BELOVED IN THE LORD:--
Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Often has it been my desire to write you of my experiences at the front, but the time has always been very limited, especially in the last weeks.
My first experience was in France, where I had copies of the French BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY sent to me. I distributed these as I had opportunity and they were received with gladness. At first the people were very much surprised that a Prussian soldier should hand them these papers, but hearing my brief explanation and after a perusal of the literature, they received it joyfully, many even offering to pay for it, which I declined.
My supply of literature having been exhausted, I was about to order more when we received instructions to break camp for transfer to the Eastern frontier--Galicia.
Sunday I was on night duty [baking dept.], therefore utilized the afternoon for a trip to the city. There I experienced much joy, for I met many Jews, to whom I could speak of their hope. I asked them if they believed all that I was telling them. "Yes," said they, "we believe it." One replied, "I thank you. We believe in a Messiah, also that the time of redemption is near at hand." Another remarked, "God will help, and it will all come about." I called on a third in his shop, where two others joined us. Much joy has come to my heart through calling on interested people, but I have never witnessed such joy as these Jews manifested. With tears in their eyes they declared, "May God grant it; may God grant it! We have already heard of it." All were rejoicing, but one who was made specially glad invited me to visit him soon again. I would have been only too glad to have done so, but on the next day our superior officer forbade us to enter the city.
A great battle is raging here; many Russians were taken prisoners. Six thousand have passed through here. Oh, what misery! One could see wounded refugees from all parts; wagons with women and children, and men driving cattle. I never saw such a sight. I am often reminded of the Second Psalm. And with all these things we know it is only the beginning. Yes, thanks be unto God that these days are to be shortened! I have distributed many BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLIES amongst our troops. May the Lord add His blessing!
On our next march we passed through a battlefield. The pitiful sight reminded me of the many promises and I thanked our Heavenly Father that I did not have to take an active part. What sorrow and misery sin has brought into the world, but what a blessing awaits humanity! All long for peace, and how they will rejoice when Micah 4:1-5 and Isaiah 2:4are fulfilled! We often hear it asked, "Why is this war?"
I thank you very much for the last WATCH TOWER. The
first article, "The Ministry of Angels," was a special blessing
to me. The grace of our Lord be with you. Remembering
you and all in fervent love before the throne of Grace, I am
Your faithful brother,
Carpathian Mts., May, 1915.
SOLDIERS ENTREATING FOR THE TRUTH
BELOVED IN THE LORD:--
Thank you for your letter to the brethren in the field, and for THE WATCH TOWER.
I also wish to inform you that I have repeated opportunities to discourse to my comrades. Out of 11 or 12 men there are six especially who, as often as time permits, come to me of their own accord and entreat me to give them another little discourse. When I want to close after talking two or three hours they plead, "Please continue; it is so grand." Often do I hear them say, "Why do not our preachers tell us these things? Why do they mislead us so?"
I am also frequently asked for literature. I give them THE WATCH TOWER and the sermons.
With hearty greetings, from
Your brother in Christ,
France, June, 1915.
THINGS ONCE DARK NOW CLEAR
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I hesitate in consuming any of your time, but I have long wished to write you of the great change in my life since being led into the Truth by a close study of your writings. How earnestly I had sought to understand God's Word and to love the Savior for His great sacrifice for mankind! I felt it was my duty to do so, but could not with the fervency I desired. Since coming to a better understanding of God's wonderful Plan of Salvation, and laying hold of the "exceeding great and precious promises" in His Word and appropriating them unto myself, in my heart I am constantly exclaiming, "Hallelujah, what a Savior!"
I began reading your SCRIPTURE STUDIES some six months ago and they have been my constant companions ever since. Daily the Light has been breaking; things that were once so dark to me have now become very clear.
I began with the "Hell Pamphlet" and was "caught" by it. I concluded that if so noted a place as a "burning Hell" could be reasonably and Scripturally done away with, and my mind be satisfied about the matter, I would pursue the same studies further. Next came TABERNACLE SHADOWS. Portions of the Bible that in my reading I had hitherto skipped over as too dry for anything were made just beautiful to me! I could verily say with the poet:
"'Tis the Song of the Lamb once by Moses foretold
In the symbols and types of God's Law,
As the dawn of the Day doth those symbols unfold,
We behold what we ne'er before saw."
What a wonderful privilege to be living at this time, and still more wonderful to be favored with even a partial understanding of God's great Plan; surely, by far the greater portion of the world is in darkness!
I have just read your discourse on "Love of the Father
and the Son our Pattern." It was indeed a feast, and has
strengthened me in several points where I am sure I was
weak. May the Lord continue to use you until He shall say,
"It is enough, come up higher."
A WONDERFUL DELIVERANCE
DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL:--
I wish to let you know of the great deliverance I have obtained, by God's grace, through the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION, which was shown here last fall. At that time I was a believer in Theosophy and was possessed by evil spirits, being both "clairaudient" and a "writing medium"; but, thank God, I am now free.
I thought I had the Gift of the Holy Spirit, but the sight of the picture of the Witch of Endor convinced me that I had a "familiar spirit," and when I prayed God to release me and make me His child again, He did so at once.
My husband went with me afterward to see the pictures, and we then obtained the six volumes of SCRIPTURE STUDIES. We are now fully consecrated and are rejoicing in the Truth.
We feel we can never express our thankfulness, dear Brother, but we daily pray our Heavenly Father to bless and guide you. It was such a wonderful deliverance that I can never forget the wonder of it, and my heart rises in gratitude to God, who could seek me when I had gone so far astray!
With best wishes from my husband and myself,
B.S.M. IN A LETTER-BOX DID IT
DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL:--
As I am changing my place of residence and should be sorry to miss a copy of THE WATCH TOWER, I am enclosing my new address. A few months ago I was so fortunate as to find one of your papers in my letter-box, and I thank God I was interested enough to read it.
In view of the many creeds I had often asked myself,
Which is the Truth? Surely they cannot all be right! I
thank God today that I am enjoying your STUDIES IN THE
SCRIPTURES and THE TOWER. They seem more reasonable than
anything I have seen. I have said to myself, At last I have
found the Truth, and I have not changed my mind.
E. COLBY HARRIMAN.--Mass.