"OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT."
MR. C. T. RUSSELL, Illinois.
DEAR SIR:--It is now about two years since I first became acquainted with your work--MILLENNIAL DAWN. The assimilation of the truth has been a very slow and laborious work in my case. The so-called orthodox doctrines of to-day had been so thoroughly instilled into my mind as to have become almost a part of my being. The force of the logic of chapter I, VOL. I., took a firm hold upon my mind from the start however, and led me to see the folly of church work as usually carried on. Gradually I was able to accept the truth regarding hell as presented in your little pamphlet "What Say the Scriptures about Hell?"
Now I have just finished reading VOL. I. for about the 6th time, and the truth has come to me in a very convincing manner, so clear, so simple, and yet so wonderful and sublime, that I have many times stopped to praise God for his wonderful plan, while I have been led to love and adore him as never before. The truth seems so clear now that I wonder how I stumbled over it so long. There is now a question in my mind as to just what my duty is regarding some money and notes in my possession which have been pledged to the China Inland Mission. The pledge was solemnly made before God before a house and lot which I used to own was sold, that if the Lord would send me a buyer the entire amount should be given to the support of a missionary in China. I now see the truth of God's plan in a different light and the sending of the remainder of the money to that field seems almost useless, and I have often wished of late that I could use the money here at home to spread the truth and help the poor, but my pledge still stands, and I do not know what to do regarding it.
I write to ask your advice and pray that God may give you wisdom in answering, as I desire to make no mistake. On a separate sheet I enclose an order for DAWNS and tracts with a renewal of my subscription to the ZION'S WATCH TOWER, also for one of the hymn books. May the Lord richly bless you and yours and may the truth shine out brighter and brighter from the gloom of the early dawn, is my prayer.
Yours truly, CALVIN DODGE.
[IN REPLY:--God be praised, dear Brother, that under the guidance of his Providence you have been led out of darkness and uncertainty into his marvelous light. God speed! Be faithful to the light and let it so shine, that men may see your good works and glorify our Father in heaven.
Your responsibility to the Inland China Mission depends upon circumstances.
(1) Did you pledge the proceeds of your property unqualifiedly to the Missionary Society? If so, to it every penny should go.
(2) But if you pledged to the Lord, that as his steward you would use that money in his service in supporting a missionary in China, the case would be totally different: you may properly consider the Lord's guidance into present truth to be his instruction to you as his steward of "a more excellent way" of serving his cause.
(3) If the latter is your case, and if after pledging the money to the Lord, you gave the "China Inland Mission" more or less directly to understand that it would be the channel you would use as God's steward, you should judge, as best you are able, whether or not or to what extent the Society undertook any obligations as a result of your declarations to it. Then judge to what extent the amount you have already contributed has reasonably met those obligations.
(4) To sum up: So far as your consecration to God is concerned, it touches every penny of the pledged sum, but leaves you free at all times to act according to the highest intelligence given you of the Lord. So far as men are concerned your donation would generally be understood to depend upon your faith in the Society and your sympathy with its work; and your loss of either of these would be understood to imply the discontinuance of your cooperation. As a rule, Societies do not reckon definitely upon any contributor: on the contrary, their rule is to reckon on a certain average of discontinuances.--EDITOR.]
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--The TOWER of July 15th gave us great pleasure in the reading, and was helpful in "building up." We know that a clearer understanding of the conflict between the mind of the flesh and the mind of the spirit cannot but be helpful. How beautifully the Rotherham Translation puts Col. 3:15: "Let the peace of Christ be acting as umpire in your hearts." We were quite interested also in the question in regard to the Christadelphian Views.
About two weeks ago we were studying the question of Death, and among other things we came across the statement in Psa. 49:19, "They shall never see light." Never is a long time and seemed to conflict with ransom and restitution. We looked that "never" up in Strong's Concordance with this result:--
Never--"ad," as far as or until; "naytsakh," goal or the bright object at a distance traveled towards; "lo," not.
Does not that word "never," instead of teaching everlasting death, teach "resurrection" and "the desire of all nations?" The more we study the wording of the Bible, through present-day helps, the more perfect our faith becomes in that wonderful Word of God.
Sister Bell joins me in Christian love and greeting.
Yours in Christ, CHARLES C. BELL.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--I often desire to write to you concerning the Church at this place, but am just as often hindered. We are all feeling very much encouraged spiritually at present. In the first place, ZION'S WATCH TOWER during this year has cheered and strengthened us in a wonderful degree. Divine principles have never been so clearly portrayed, or else we are in better condition to understand them. You have demonstrated the holy spirit of love until we comprehend more deeply what it is to "Bear all things" for righteousness' sake. We thank the giver of all good for the abundant blessing we have had through your kind instrumentality.
We have recently enjoyed a visit from our dear Brother Rogers, and we believe the fruit of his labor here will be quite marked as time rolls on. I do not know whether you have had a report of his meetings here or not. I attended two meetings at the home of Bro. Kuntz. Only a few were present, as the day was inclement, but as always "The Old, Old Story" was refreshing. In the evening Bro. Rogers and others [page 256] attended a "Mission," conducted by a Brother Dann. I was not present, but understand that Bro. Rogers gave them a rousing sermon on the ransom and restitution which was gladly received.
There are twelve in our class fully in the truth. Bros. Kuntz, Hutchinson and Bardelmier symbolized their baptism unto death last week. Sr. Grace McGee will do the same this week. How I wish Bro. McPhail could visit us now, he would be very helpful. Mother joins me in Christian love to you. We are praying for you constantly. In Christ, AMELIA POWER.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--I canvassed Helena, Millersville, Burgoon and Bettville last week, every house in each place, and left a tract at each home. At Toledo last Sunday we had two good discourses from Bro. Draper, and two good audiences. [Sixteen immersed] Enclosed please find order and M. Order. Expect, D.V., to try for a while to sell DAWNS as a specialty. I purpose to be faithful in that which is least, and to do what I can for the Kingdom and glory of our Heavenly Father, who is infinite in Love.
Yours in the service of the truth, JAMES A. WEST.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Ever since the meetings, where we had the long-desired privilege of seeing you in person, and hearing your voice, I have wanted to write to you and tell you of the blessing and help received through that privilege. Indeed, I could not begin to express what those meetings were to me, of the misty places which now are as plain as noonday, of the realness of our Savior's presence, and of our "high calling," of the comfort, strength and encouragement received, to persevere in the "narrow way." I am very thankful to God that what I had so longed for was made possible. But those four days of your stay with us passed all too quickly, and it seemed that we had to say good-bye to you almost directly after meeting you.
When I am at home, and that is nearly always, I have not one person with whom I can talk about the truths that are more precious to me than I can express. Being confident that I can pass the test of loving the "brethren," you will understand that this is a great privation. But I have my beloved books, the DAWNS; and the TOWER will be more welcome and more carefully studied than ever, if that is possible.
Your Sister in the faith, S. A. YENNEY.
[R2358 : page 256]
MR. CHARLES T. RUSSELL, Colorado.
DEAR BROTHER:--I must take the liberty of sending you a message of gratitude in reference to your article in July 15th TOWER on the double-minded man. It was particularly enjoyed by me for the reason that for a long time the questions reviewed have been thought over, and to a great extent in the very light in which you have so clearly presented them.
From several previous articles in the TOWER I had gained the impression that you were writing not only in the light of the blessed Savior's presence, but also with a clear understanding of the principles of Phrenological science. This has now been confirmed, for which I praise the Lord.
Phrenology (as taught by its true representatives) is certainly the correct theory of mental phenomena, and those who are ignorant of its principles must of necessity be in the dark as to a proper understanding of human nature.
For some years I have contended that there was too much truth--too much light--in the phrenological science for its general acceptance in the past and present time. This is proven, to my mind, by the fierce antagonism the subject has received at the hands of college professors, physicians and especially the clergy, as well as others, whereas if they had given the matter honest investigation they could have verified its correctness time and again, every day of their lives.
Babylon's religionists refuse it because if admitted it would utterly condemn the eternal torment idea, and render that vicious theory unbearable, even to themselves. It would teach them the fact that many of our poor, fallen race have retrograded so far from perfection and the proper balance of faculties as to be entirely incapable of appreciating and accepting a "system of theology," and therefore to be doomed to eternal torture. Presume, however, they would manage to get this class of unfortunates through on their peculiar "infant and idiot" plan of salvation.
It seems to me that in the Millennium perfection will be attained gradually along the lines of phrenological principles--fully developed, of course, and under the direction of the earthly representatives of the Kingdom. In conclusion, I want again to express my thanks to our glorious Father and blessed Master for setting the truth so clearly before the remaining members of the Church. Your Brother and servant in the precious faith, G. M. HUNTSINGER.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--The Day of Vengeance (DAWN, VOL. IV.) in German would be more of a good thing to have, than I had dared to hope for, and would, I think, do a great deal of good. Glad of the opportunity, I herewith subscribe for a sufficient number of books to amount to five dollars and stand ready to double this number, should it be found necessary to reach the required sum to guarantee the cost of typesetting. Your Brother in Christ, J. G. KUEHN.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--I subscribe to the IV. VOL. of DAWN in German to the amount of $5 and hope that I can do better if it should become necessary. The meetings with Bro. Draper in Toledo have been a rich feast. Several of the brethren have come back again and accepted the ransom; two of them were baptized by Bro. Draper. Remember these brethren as well as myself before the throne in your prayers.
Yours in the Redeemer, S. KUESTHARDT.
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DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Rejoice with me, for my soul so long in darkness is illuminated with the glorious beams of the "MILLENNIAL DAWN." I have been in the world 61 years. I have lived in Babylon since 1854. I have been a Baptist minister since 1867. During all these years I never saw the "King in his beauty," until now. Through the kindness of Elder Job Chalfant I have been reading the first three volumes of your valuable book, MILLENNIAL DAWN, and the WATCH TOWER. Never before has the gospel of our blessed Redeemer been so precious to me. The Bible seems like a new book--I see the glorious plan of redemption as I never have before. I cannot preach any more as I formerly did. The voice of the Master has reached my ears, "Babylon is fallen! Come out of her my people." I have obeyed the command, and may God help me from this on to speak the blessed present truth. Please send me the WATCH TOWER and the four volumes of MILLENNIAL DAWN.
Your brother in the present truth, D. SIMONS.