THREE MINISTERS FREED.
The first of the following letters is from a brother in Connecticut, who has been for years the minister for a German Baptist congregation; it speaks for itself, and will be read with great interest. It is only a few months since his investigation of the Bible, from the standpoint of the Plan of the Ages, began. The second letter is from New Jersey, from a superannuated Methodist minister, coming into the clearer light. The third letter is from a Baptist minister in Florida, who has gotten quite free, and is full of zeal for the truth, and anxious to counteract the influence of former false teachings. The Lord's words are being continually fulfilled: "If any man will do my will he shall know of the doctrine;" and "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The Lord bless these each and all. May they learn to expect and love the wages promised by the Lord to his faithful servants--in the present time "tribulation," "persecution" and "all manner of evil," and in the age to come everlasting life and glory, as his joint-heirs. --Mark 10:30.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:--I must let you know that the blessed truth has reached my heart and mind so deeply, that since I received the MILLENNIAL DAWN and ZION'S WATCH TOWER, both German and English, last July, I have read and re-read, and studied nothing else but these blessed truths which I have been comparing with the different translations of the Bible, German, English and Greek. I have since that time done as the Bereans did, which received the Word of God with all readiness, daily examining the Scriptures whether those truths which Paul preached unto them were so; and I have so far found them Scriptural: "How precious unto me are they thoughts, O God! how mightily great is their sum!" So must I say over and over again, while I read, and study, and compare M.D. and Z.W.T. with the Bible. Yes, the dear Lord has blessed my dear companion and me through these Scriptural truths so much, that we cannot find words to tell it, though we speak of it whenever we can. We are not ashamed of these glad tidings; because they are unto us a power of God. One thing I do know, that having been blind (in regard to these real Scriptural truths) now I see." Now I know the truths which are so graciously given to us by God through Jesus Christ. Words not taught by human wisdom, but by the teachings of the mind of God; comparing spiritual truths with spiritual, as the spiritual man can examine, indeed, all truths! Praise the dear Lord for it; I find that this is so now! All the sectarian doctrines, traditions of men, etc., which I studied in the Theological Seminary, I can now examine no longer by comparing spiritual truths with human wisdom, doctrines and traditions, but, by comparing spiritual truths with spiritual; Scripture with Scripture; I see now wherein I failed to see and know, the real mind, will and glorious plan of God!
With the help of God I am now determined to preach and teach these truths. I am willing, with the grace of God, to suffer the loss of all earthly things. I will give my life, my time, my talents for the service of the truth. I have heard already his voice, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? And I said, Here am I; send me." I say this not hastily, but with consideration. Indeed, when I remember how, under false training in the theological seminary (though I have no bitter words or thoughts towards those men), I was led away from the real truth, now having obtained this glorious knowledge, and this strength which God supplies, should I not be willing to give up all? Yes, dear Lord I will; here am I! O, how I wish that others may know and believe. But knowing that wishing don't bring the truth to them, I will leave my church-parish, in order to bring the truth to them by canvassing for Dawn. I have already handed in my resignation as the first step toward it.
O, what a heart-cheering joy and willingness fills my heart and mind, when my whole being is centered in this perfect, beautiful, grand and harmonious Plan of the Ages! O, how it agrees with all the plain declarations of the Holy Scripture, from first to last--from Genesis to Revelations! How these truths uphold the true character, righteousness, justice, love, mind, will and plan of God. And, how gloriously it relieves him of those fearful aspersions which a heathen philosophy and the human wisdom of the different sectarian doctrines and traditions of men have cast upon it! O, how in vain they do worship Him, by teaching as doctrines the precepts of men; and laying aside the commandment of God, by retaining the traditions of men. So did Jesus say: "Well do you annul the commandment of God, that you may keep your own traditions; making void the Word of God by your traditions, which you have delivered; and many such like things you do."
For this high and heavenly calling of God by Christ Jesus I desire, and I shall forget all things behind, and will stretch forth under the grace of God towards the things before; yes, I will press along the line (as dear old Bro. Paul says), toward the prize of the high calling of God. I praise God through Christ Jesus, my Lord, that I, even I, can be an associate of that heavenly and high calling. (Phil. 3:14; Heb. 3:1.) My dear brethren I would not want to miss this high and heavenly calling; no, not for all the wealth, honor and office of this world. It makes the tears flow for joy and gladness since my heart and mind is centered in these glorious and harmonious truths. O, how these truths, when we have learned them in the real theological school of God, confirm and beautify every doctrine of the blessed Bible! I have already found out that it is of no use to patch the Baptist sect with the doctrines of the new dispensation; and therefore will not try to patch this old worn garment, falling now to pieces, with the glorious and harmonious new stuff.-- Matt. 9:16.
In regard to your questions of DAWN Vol. I., page 347, let me say that, having counted the cost, the value, and the profit, I am ready and willing to leave all, earthly friendships, social ties, church-parish, ministerial-office, salary, and even my own brothers and sisters and parents, if required. Yes, solemnly I can say, I am willing to give myself with all I am, and have, and shall be, to the ministry of this blessed truth, as a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that the time is short. Your Christian brother. J. A. WEIMAR.
DEAR BROTHER:--I have lately seen "Millennial Dawn Vol. I.," and am delighted with it. I am a Methodist minister in broken health, and laid aside for the present. I am seeking information on the second coming of Christ, and the true meaning and object of the Millennium, etc., feeling confident that the Methodist view on the subject is not Scriptural. The lady whose book I read, has kindly offered it to me, and I would like to pursue the subject further, but I am not able to purchase now. I would be very thankful if you could send me occasionally ZION'S WATCH TOWER, if you could not afford to send it regularly. I might, after I get work be able to subscribe for it. Pray that the dear Lord in whom I do trust most implicitly, may soon make some provision for me and mine. My family are 1900 miles away from me in the West Indies, while I am here for my health, and to try to earn a living for them. Pray for us. I know that the Lord hears prayers, and will help me soon; but I believe it is Scriptural to request the prayers of God's people for those in distress. Yours in the fellowship of Christ.
S. H. BAYLEY.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Again I feel that I must write you a few lines, to let you know how I am progressing. God be praised, dear brother, I am FREE from Babylon. Inch by inch, I have progressed until I have now passed and left far behind me, I trust forever, the musty traditions of men, and have been able to enter into the glorious liberty of the gospel. Oh, how happy I feel! Yet I am persecuted, by those who once called me brother, and have to contend with ignorance and prejudice. At times I am cast down in heart, faint and weary, but I can never give up the fight. The pleasure and consolation I now derive from reading the Word, I never felt before. And ZION'S WATCH TOWER, what a white winged messenger of peace it is to my soul. I read it carefully, and send its glorious message to others. It is beginning to bear fruit in a small way; but I have faith in small beginnings. I have been preaching the gospel now, for some time, until finally the chief priests, scribes and pharisees, commanded me not to preach "this way." I answered, "Whether it be right to obey God or men judge ye--I can but preach what I have learned from the Word of God." I have sent a letter to the association to which I formerly belonged, announcing my withdrawal [R1085 : page 6] from, not only the Baptist denomination, but from all purely sectarian societies. But I have decided to let my church (where I am a member) bring me to trial,-- instead of withdrawing as they wanted me to do. My object in this is, to use the opportunity this will afford me, in exposing the errors of so called orthodoxy.
I hope and pray this may prove acceptable to our heavenly Master in a manifestation of the truth, and the consequent conversion of some from error. Already some are almost persuaded. One old brother, a deacon, says he is going to withdraw, and a few more are fast coming to the light. Two of my former churches want me to preach for them, which I will do as long as I am permitted.
God helping me I will do my very best to dissipate the mists and fogs of so called orthodoxy, in this country. Oh how blind, how utterly blind is sectarianism! It is hard to realize that people who profess to be Christians, with an open Bible in their hands, can be so utterly blind to what the Word of God so plainly teaches.
Enclosed you will find cash for one copy of Millennial Dawn, paper cover, and one subscription for the TOWER for myself. If you have any spare numbers Z.W.T. that you think would suit my work now, please send them to me, and also a supply of Arp slips.
Oh how I need help! What a large field, and no laborers. God bless you dear Brother and Sister Russell. Pray for me, and for all the poor blinded ones. God bless all the brethren. If you have time, please write me, and advise me in regard to my contest with my church. Help me dear brother all you can.
W. D. WILLIAMS.