EXTRACTS FROM INTERESTING LETTERS.
DEAR SIR AND BRO.:--I have been reading and investigating your book DAWN, and must confess to some interest and also curiosity. I know very well that in such investigation many important things are liable to be overlooked as well as brought out, and your book, or some other of your published conclusions may contain information on the very question I am going to ask you, viz.:--Do you teach the Scriptures on baptism (as well as faith and repentance), as an essential to forgiveness of sins? If not, why not?
If the church is not to evangelize the world, how do you justify your efforts to induce people to accept what you most certainly believe and discuss to be the truth.
I like much of what you say, as far as I have read it; but must confess that it is decidedly revolutionary. No matter for that, if it is the truth; for revolutions never go backward. I have met and heard Bro. Adamson, and expect to hear him again.
Sisters H. and M. of this city and I are friends, and we have been together in the same church, and I was curious to know what had led them and so am reading your book and paper. Yours for all the truth. C. W__________.
[Your questions with reference to baptism, I trust, are satisfactorily answered in the May TOWER and others to some extent in other TOWERS sent you.
With reference to your query--"How do you justify your efforts to induce people to accept what we believe and discuss to be the truth, if you do not believe in evangelizing the world?"--I answer, we believe in the evangelizing of the world; but we do not believe in converting the world; that is, we find that God neither intends his truth to convert the world in the present age, nor has he told us to expect it to do so. He has commissioned us to go into all the world and declare the good tidings and thus to witness to the truth, and he has told us to expect only here one and there another, a little flock in all, to receive it. He shows us that his plan is, that when this little flock is selected under the trying circumstances of the present age, he will then make use of them in the age to follow this (the Millennium) as his agents in blessing all the families of the earth, and that under more favorable circumstances, than the present.
This promise to raise up an Abrahamic seed to power and glory, and through it to bless the world, was the gospel first preached to Abraham; it is the good tidings of great joy for all people which must be fulfilled. Our Lord Jesus came as the head of this seed; and the Apostle Paul tells us (Gal. 3:29) that all the faithful church are members of this seed, and heirs with Christ of the promise made to this Abrahamic seed, that through them all shall be blessed.
Besides, we understand that now we are living in the closing period of the Gospel age, called "the end" or "harvest." --"The harvest is the end of the world [age]." This being true, it follows that the character of the work now to be done is harvest work--reaping rather than sowing. We, therefore, are engaged in dispensing the stronger truths not to the world but to the wheat and tares (Matt. 13), the professed church. These truths as harvest sunshine are warm and strong and tend to ripen the wheat; and they also lead (through a clearer knowledge of the truth) to a separation between the wheat and tares. In this, these harvest truths are the Lord's sickle. The separation of the true wheat from the mere professors, the tares, goes on as quietly but as surely as a similar separation did in the end of the Jewish age-- which was also called a "harvest."-- John 4:35-38.
I trust dear brother, that these things
may be indeed good tidings to you, as they
are to be to all the meek eventually; and
let me hope that you will not only have
the grace to see the truth and receive it
into an honest heart, but also the courage
when seen to confess it, and to give your
entire life in its service.--EDITOR.]
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:--I feel greatly benefited by the July number of the WATCH TOWER. I have read and re-read the rich truths contained in it, and have been wonderfully blest. It was food indeed to my hungry soul; it made the subject of prayer very plain and comprehensible. It is a lesson worthy the study of every saint; if we pray to God let us pray aright. I needed just such a lesson on how to pray, and when to pray, and what to pray for. Many thanks for it.
When I read the letter from the dear lonely brother, J. W. B. found on the seventh page, it filled my heart with joy; and tears of sympathy flowed from my eyes, for his opposition will be great. We will pray for, and sympathize with him.
"Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love,
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above."
God bless you in all your labors of love. Your brother in harvest work.
E. B. S__________.
[R1073 : page 2]
Hopkins Co., Ky.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--I have long wanted to write to you, but feared you were almost too busy to read. I am a farmer and belong to the Missionary Baptist church. I am sixty years of age and have been preaching thirty-five years, devoting part of my time to that work and refusing any pay. So you see I am quite free.
Only last fall I received Millennial Dawn, and read it with delight. I had long been seeking for more light on these deep subjects, and it was like the rising of the sun after a dark night. With my knowledge of the people hereabouts, I knew but few could stand the light all at once; so I have begun giving it to them [R1074 : page 2] just as they can bear it. The plan I adopted was to select about twenty of our very best men, without regard to their church creeds, and place in their hands M. DAWN for careful examination. The result is, about one half endorse it freely, and the rest seem undecided. I find it requires prudence to avoid a raid of persecution against it before it is understood. I am moving, but slowly and safely.
Out of four preachers I have the attention of three who promise to examine further to see if these things be so. I have been earnestly desiring Volume II.
May God bless you in your glorious
work. S. D. C__________.
Pott Co., Iowa.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:--I am again out on the road selling DAWNS. I could not be contented to settle while there is such a favorable time to be at work. I believe there will be time enough to fold our hands when we cannot find work, but now is the harvest truly ripe, and laborers few indeed. I have been on the road since the latter part of last week and have sold nearly half of the one hundred Dawns I had left, and will now order more, (order enclosed). I tell you it is a pleasure to me to scatter those tracts and Dawns. I would rather do it than anything I ever did. Of course there are lots of disadvantages about traveling in a covered wagon, but I cannot travel by train on account of my children, as I have no one to leave them with. I am very happy when I work just as hard as I can for the Lord, and in no other way. So as long as I can I shall sell Dawns. I have to stop now and then to clean and mend, and then go again. When winter comes I shall be compelled to settle, as did Paul, to winter. With great love to you and Sister Russell, I close by asking you to pray for my full deliverance into that blessed kingdom. I remain yours in Christ. MRS. M. L__________.