Bradford Co., Pa.
DEAR. BRO. RUSSELL:--MILLENNIAL DAWN received, many thanks. If you can find time would very much like an answer to the following question.
Could any one who had not the Holy Spirit take your book and read it and understand it? Would any one care for those things if they did not have the Spirit? You think, do you not, that any one who desires to do the will of the Father no matter what it may cost, is begotten of the Spirit? that this mind to do his will is the DIVINE MIND and is the "earnest of our inheritance". If you can get time please answer.
Should I sacrifice everything--all the innocent pleasures of my home life, or could I enjoy such things as come to me which do not seem to be wrong and in which I may be happy. I wish to do the Lord's will in all things, so far as it is made known to me.
Do you think I can say that God is revealing his will, his plan, through your works? or if I had his Spirit should I be able to take up the Bible and understand it all?
Yours in hope of being one of the "overcomers," MRS. W. L. M__________.
[DEAR SISTER:--It is my judgment that the evidences you mention are sufficient to identify you with the spiritual children of God. If you appreciate those things which are above, so that your affections are centered on the heavenly things in preference to the earthly, and to such an extent as to lead you to sacrifice earthly things, then I would judge that you are not of the earthly class, but that you are begotten to a higher nature through the word of divine truth.
Now keep your eye of faith fixed on the prize of your high calling which is of God through Christ, and carry out your consecration faithfully and thus make your election sure.
If you were on the natural (human) plane, you might still take pleasure and delight in learning God's great plan as all the world shall, by and by. But your hopes, ambitions and aspirations would still be earthly. The prospect of the earthly glory would be your delight, although aware of the higher spiritual glory.
Not all of those begotten of the Spirit are able to understand the Scriptures without assistance, but such can do so by assistance which others cannot accept of. God has always raised up some in the church, in every age, to be teachers and helpers of others, [R967 : page 8] to bring forth from his storehouse of truth "meat in due season," "things new and old." Call to mind an article in the TOWER of March, '85, "If the whole body were an eye." Every member of the body of Christ has not the same office of service, but every member has some ministry (service) to perform for the benefit of other members.
It is not wrong but right to examine yourself in the light of God's Word to determine what part you are to take in his plan. The test as to pleasures is not as you suppose; if entirely crucified the doing of the will of God will afford you greatest pleasure. The saints are never miserable though others would often be if in their places without their hopes and aspirations. It is a part of God's will that we do a reasonable share to make others happy, only, moderation must govern and in this as in all things we must seek to honor our Master and his principles, while not neglecting other duties and privileges.
May the Lord bless you and give you grace to endure hardness as a good soldier.--EDITOR.]