SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
A MATURING OBLIGATION
DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST:--
Accept love and greetings from one who has been greatly blessed by your faithful service. For several years I have recognized THE WATCH TOWER publications as the means of grace provided for the "Feet-members" of The Christ--the Anointed.
The information herein desired I feel sure has already been given, had I a mind sufficient to have grasped and retained it. But I hope you will bear with my feebleness and, if you think proper, serve me a morsel of advice.
I have a wife and three children for whom I am able to earn but a bare living. As a Colporteur I have been able to provide as well for my family as by other employment. For some months I have suffered from a peculiar physical weakness, causing a nervous strain which, in turn, affected my mind. My salvation has been in concentrating my attention upon the study of God's great Plan, so that, by His grace, what seemed about to wreck me was turned into a great blessing. I have found, in secret prayer and study, peace of mind which enabled me to bear my disordered condition, although I grew physically weaker.
Having taken up the Colporteur work I find joy and peace in keeping actively engaged in the service, but I can barely make expenses. I am owing a note at bank which will be due October 1st. I have a life-policy for $1,000, and I have an undimmed faith in the correctness of our chronology. In spite of the deadly attacks of Satan I have hope that I shall, through much tribulation, enter the Kingdom.
My question is, Shall I be accounted faithful if I go on in the Colporteur work and leave it to the Lord's providence to provide the $100 to pay the note on October 1st? I have given instructions that in case of my death the note be paid from the policy, as it now appears that the insurance companies may hold up longer than the Church Militant.
I wish to express my deep appreciation of the "meat in due season" provided by our Lord through you, as a "chosen vessel," and that to me, also, the article, "The Peace of God," in the August 1st TOWER was a master-piece and one of the weapons of resisting Satan's attacks upon me. I have learned that there is life in activity, mentally, physically and spiritually.
Pardon my obtruding upon your valuable time. Please do as you see fit in this matter, but I shall be glad to be remembered in your prayers--that I may be given strength to serve [R5486 : page 191] acceptably. It is a delight to remember you and all the dear ones at Brooklyn Bethel and everywhere.
Your brother in love, service and hope, __________.
* * *
[We advise that you pay the interest in full, immediately, apologizing for delay, stating your excuse and promising to be punctual as possible in the future. Thus the matter may stand for some time, until you can conveniently pay the debt according to the evident original intent of the lender. But if, any time, payment be demanded, you should cash your insurance to pay, or borrow on it.--EDITOR.]
GRATEFUL FOR THE TRUTH
MY DEAR PASTOR:--
It is nearly twelve months since I wrote, thanking you for the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES. In that letter I said that if nothing happened apparently to fulfil our expectations, that 1914 marks the end of Gentile favor and the setting up of Christ's Kingdom, I should be as prepared as ever to accept with gratitude and joy your explanations of the Scriptures.
Oh, what blessings I have received from THE STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, THE WATCH TOWER, the tracts, TABERNACLE SHADOWS, etc.; I have feasted royally on "Present Truth." I grow hungrier after each meal! I feel I must thank you, and tell you also what a blessing the Vow has been to me.
I came into the Truth in a remarkable way. Having been a professing Christian for thirty years, and taking part in all kinds of religious work, yet I was most unhappy, with a hungering for something I never received. One day I said, I will read nothing but the Bible; I will know, if possible, what is God's will and do it with His help.
After this for weeks I was seeking books to throw light on the Bible. A man brought some Swedenborgian literature to the village, and loaned me one of their books. One night I took this up, as I thought, and found I had THE DIVINE [R5487 : page 191] PLAN OF THE AGES. The verse on the front page caught my attention at once: "To make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery," etc.
I felt, This is something I want. I started to read and never rested till I had read it through; looking up all the references, with growing joy and wonder over every chapter. Oh, how precious it was at once! I said to my neighbor, I would not give away the knowledge this book has given me for a thousand pounds. In six weeks I had all the STUDIES, and soon I had all of your literature that I could get.
THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES had been in the house for four years and I had not seen it. That day it was lying where I had put the Swedenborg book; I do not know how it got there. It seems it had been sent to my father four years previous. But the most remarkable thing I have not yet told you: A few days previous to finding your book I had gone to my room and on my knees told my Heavenly Father that I was unsatisfied. I was not being "persecuted for righteousness sake"; most people appeared to love me. I told Him I wanted, like Paul, a share in Christ's suffering: I was ready to die, if only I might attain. I wanted nothing less than the best. In a few days I found THE DIVINE PLAN OF THE AGES, as I have told you. Then I was short of time to read, and I fell and sprained my ankle very severely, and so had plenty of time to read.
Oh, how thankful I am for my Heavenly Father's mercy and loving kindness and condescension in allowing me to have a place in His Little Flock! My heart is full of Christ, and "longs its glorious matter to declare"; but so few will hear-- especially because I have come out of the Wesleyan church and all the offices I had there. My old friends fight shy of me; some have told me they would rather not hear if it would convince them they must come out.
I am only a woman keeping house for my dear old father, and now that I have no offices in any church, I feel I am feeding and not passing the food on to others. I do not wish to be like the servant who buried his talent. I speak to all as I have opportunity, and some listen with great interest; but I do not know that I have succeeded in bringing any into the Truth. Two persons have bought full sets of THE STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, but are not reading them.
I have never looked back and feel I never shall. I feel consumed day by day to know my God, and do His will. Though a Wesleyan I was baptised (immersed) eleven years ago into Christ's death, understandingly, though not so fully as I understand today. Do you think I need to be baptised again? Please excuse me for taking your valuable time.
Yours very gratefully and lovingly in His service,
GRACE E. ROWSE.--Eng.
WHAT THE PHOTO-DRAMA DID FOR HIM
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I have intended before now to write, especially to tell you what the PHOTO-DRAMA has done for me. It is a wonderful presentation of the Gospel, of man's degeneracy under the blinding influence of "the god of this world" (Satan) and of the saving and reclaiming power of Christ.
I thought I knew my Redeemer, but oh, how much better I now know Him who bore for me the shame of death on the cross! My heart went out to Him, and I indeed suffered with Him.
The pictures, while portraying man's degeneracy, show, throughout, our Father's Wisdom, Justice, Love and Power; they have established me more firmly in the promises of His Word.
The people are asking questions of the nominal ministry, and being unable to answer the questions, they lower themselves to personal abuse and vilification of you. You, doubtless, know of the attack of the Y.M.C.A. upon you, brought on by questions asked after viewing the pictures.
I was especially impressed with the fact, in mingling with the audience after each exhibition, that the thing that appeared to attract them most was the Thousand Years of Blessing.
The pictures have made me more zealous to spread the Truth, and have increased my love for the Heavenly Father and our dear Elder Brother Jesus. I daily pray God's richest blessing upon the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION and all engaged in its presentation, and upon you, dear Brother, its author.
I am your servant in Him, F. W. KNOCHE.--Iowa.
----------[R5487 : page 191]
A WORD TO THE WISE
DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL:--
While the closing hymn was being sung at THE TEMPLE recently, I noticed that rather more than a few of the ladies were apparently more interested in getting together their loose articles of attire and assuming their wraps than giving their respectful, if not devout, attention to the solemn and beautiful words that closed the day of praise and worship. The same people were in no particular haste to leave the building, as evinced by the greetings and adieux to their friends.
Perhaps you might consider it would help in realizing our duties as the Lord's people, to wait quietly and orderly until the final words of the service are uttered, followed by a few moments of quiet thought and prayer before plunging into the cares of our daily life. A few words from you in THE WATCH TOWER, and occasionally an admonition, might remind the whole Church of the great privileges which we enjoy, and for which we should be grateful.
Yours in the service of the Lord, ROBERT E. BRAY.
RE PROMPTNESS AT MEETINGS
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
It seems to me that a word of encouragement to some of the dear friends in respect to greater promptness at meeting hours would be helpful. Apparently some do not realize the necessity for reverence in this respect. If we do not preserve order in regard to our meetings we are not observing Heaven's first Law. We must lack reverence for our Heavenly Father and for our Master, if we are less prompt in the Lord's affairs than we are in our own.
Some of the dear friends come to the meetings as much as from thirty to forty-five minutes late. The same dear friends are very prompt in observing other appointments. How can we expect the Lord to be pleased with us if we give Him the inferior things? How can we expect to receive the chief promises if we do not put forth as much effort for our everlasting welfare as we do for the temporal?
If we set a certain time for meeting and very seldom get there on time, we are not to be depended upon; our word is broken. How can we expect the Lord's approval in such a condition as that? He was so prompt and precise, doing the Father's will to the dot.
These same dear friends are very noble in other respects; and how they can be so indifferent about coming into the meetings on time I cannot understand, except it be that they have gotten into this bad habit and do not know how to get out of it. I am sure I would like to lend them a helping hand in this direction.
Yours in the one hope of all saints, FRED OTTI.