SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
FLEETING OPPORTUNITIES FOR SERVICE
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
My ever increasing love for the Truths now due, and my growing zeal for the scattering of the same among the masses of people who are beginning to hunger for something more satisfying than brilliant essays and talented choirs, prompts me to mention several opportunities for service which many might use if brought to their attention.
Many Sisters have such splendid chances among their grocers, druggists, and others with whom they deal. The workers in Babylon are always begging these merchants for something for the church-fair, or asking them to buy tickets for the social. It has occurred to me, why not try to sell them the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES? Arrangements could be made to make purchases when no customers are likely to be present, and when the merchants would have spare time. A first volume might be carried, and after making purchases, inquire whether he has ever seen the book. He might be told how it has opened up the Bible to you and then he should be canvassed for a set. If he hesitates about taking a set, sell him a first volume. Say you will want to know how he likes it, as this will make him more likely to read. Try to make some of your purchases thereafter when he is not very busy, that opportunity may be had to water the seed sown.
Brethren employed where there are fellow-workmen have in many cases a grand opportunity to witness to them. These might be canvassed for the STUDIES at the noon hour. Try to eat your luncheon (if you take it with you) near a different man each day, and in the course of conversation tell him about the blessing you have received from these Bible Helps, [R5429 : page 95] and arrange to sell or loan him one of them.
If the Brother has some ability, he might do good by holding little question meetings while eating lunch. The answers should always be brief and to the point. To be helpful, such questions should be on the more simple features of the Plan; deep questions would choke those who are spiritual babes.
For instance, the conversation might be turned to the subject of Hell. The Brother could insist that there is not a single passage in the Bible where the word means a place of endless misery, and the only places seemingly teaching so are very highly figurative passages. Then say, "I have a little book in which every passage in the Bible where the word hell occurs is explained. I will bring it here tomorrow and read you a couple of wonderful paragraphs in it." This will probably bring them together the next day; and by promising to consider further questions the third day, one might have a regular little lunch-time class. Of course, the majority will tire of it, but a few may stick.
In the larger towns and cities the Truth-hungry might be advertised for. Some city-dailies will allow it among the miscellaneous religious advertisements; but in each case, judgment will have to be exercised as to where it should be placed, and how frequently inserted. The following is suggested as an advertisement:
"Those who want to believe the Bible but have never yet found in it anything as satisfying and reasonable as they would expect God to give, are invited to send their names and addresses to P.O. Box __________. This is no scheme, but simply an effort to bring real religious satisfaction to those who feel their faith is shaking."
Let some able, consecrated Brother call upon those who respond, and either sell or loan them "The Divine Plan of the Ages." He might first tell them of the blessing he is getting from the Word of God now, in contrast to the former conditions. He might call again, from time to time, to see what progress they are making, if the interest warrants. Sisters should call on the ladies who reply.
I find that the Brethren are not sufficiently alert to the opportunities among the foreigners in their town. If there be Greek confectioners in your town, send for a half dozen Greek tracts to give them. The same might apply to Chinese in the laundries, Italians at fruit-stands and in street gangs, etc.
"The Bible Students' Monthly," on "What is Baptism?" is specially good where Brother Russell has been misrepresented very much, because of the article by Prof. Ellis and letter by Rev. T. S. Thompson, endorsing him and his work. The Brethren sometimes forget that they are able to do more than merely circulate yearly Volunteer literature. Often a special tract will fit in very well with local conditions, if circulated at the psychological time.
Every day makes me more desirous for the time when our service will not be limited by the weak, imperfect body in which we now dwell. I am glad that day is so near.
I remain, with Christian love, on Jordan's Banks.
B. H. BARTON.
GRATEFUL FOR THE LIGHT OF TRUTH
MY DEARLY-LOVED PASTOR:--
It is impossible for me to express in words the gratitude I feel to our Heavenly Father and to you for your faithful ministry. Ever since the light has been brought into my life by STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES I have been desirous of giving you a token of my esteem.
God, in His mercy, has granted me the privilege of enclosing herewith a little gift to you. I realize your time is already very heavily taxed, and so do not wish you to feel it necessary to acknowledge this note. An interest in your prayers, which I know all of God's children have, is all anyone can desire. May God's richest blessings be yours!
Yours in the Master's service, SISTER F.--Mass.
Yours of the 8th inst. reached me duly, and is much appreciated, not only for the intrinsic value of the gift enclosed, but also for the sentiments expressed--your Christian love. The money, $100, goes to your credit in the Tract Fund with heartiest appreciation. My personal needs are all supplied from the Tract Fund, as are those of all the Pilgrims.
I am pleased to know that you are enjoying the Truth. I agree with you that it is the most wonderful thing and the greatest blessing that the Heavenly Father could give us in the present life--to know Him and something of His loving kindness, not only for the Church, but also for the world. With Christian love,
Your brother and servant, C. T. RUSSELL.
THINKING TOO MUCH ABOUT SELF
MY DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I am writing to wish you a happy birthday, and a glorious "new birth day" at the day that God may choose; also, to say that the Lord has brought me safely to Trinidad--I believe in answer to prayer before leaving Jamaica. First this, that God would send me where I could best be transformed into Jesus' likeness; and then be a blessing to others, by His grace.
So now I wish to say, I am looking for an answer to the latter prayer, and intend to co-operate in bringing the answer as best I can.
Brother Coward is still away in Demerara; meanwhile I am seeking to assist those already interested. We expect his return soon, and I believe we shall co-operate well together.
Dear Brother, I have just been thinking that possibly an article in THE WATCH TOWER dealing on the subject of too much approbativeness--thinking about self and what others think about us, etc.--might help some; that is, it might help them to overcome this tendency. As many of us ought to be approaching manhood in Christ, that very thing may tend to increase this trouble amongst us, especially as some seem inclined to criticize little things a good deal. This difficulty, over-approbativeness, seems to be something like a "will-o-the-wisp," very hard to catch hold of and kill.
As ever, your brother in Christ, A. B. BLAKE.
I.B.S.A. BEREAN BIBLE STUDIES
FOR MONTH OF APRIL.
QUESTIONS FROM MANUAL ON SECOND SERIES, "STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES."
Week beginning April 5.................Questions 1 to 8
" " " 12................. " 9 to 16
" " " 19................. " 17 to 24
" " " 26................. " 25 to 31
Question Manuals on VOL. II., STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, 5c. each, or 50c. per doz., postpaid.