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"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."--1 Tim. 1:15.
The lessons of the past six months have related particularly to our Lord Jesus and his ministry, and in view of this fact Bishop Warren has remarked:--
"I knew a man who went a thousand miles and back, and supported himself at great expense, to be with Agassiz a few weeks at his summer school at Penikese. An hour with the great naturalist would have amply repaid the trouble and expense. To even see the master of any department is helpful.
"Christ is the Master of the department of spiritual life. We have had six months' study with him and of him. Happily we do not have to go to Judea. He says, 'I will come to you and make my abode with you,' and, 'Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world,' either as to time or space.
"It is not fish we experiment on, as did Agassiz, but souls,--ourselves. So there can be no more interesting study."
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DEAR BROTHER IN THE LORD:--It is with pleasure that I report an increased sign of interest in the truth by some more of the Lord's people. Since the loss of our dear brother Nicholson (who will doubtless be profitable for the truth wherever he may settle in the States) we have unmistakably entered a new era in our Christian history. At the point of his leaving and for a few weeks later the lowest ebb of the tide was reached; but at the darkest hour of future prospect, a revival of interest set in which has increased steadily. Our work is altogether in the interest of the "household of faith"--seeking to be used of the Chief Reaper in supplying the present truth. The interest is marked in the saints who, realizing the great need of separation from what tends to compromise with Christendom and having a desire to be of the sanctuary class, follow the Lord outside the camp.
Our Dawn Circle (every Tuesday evening) is exceptionally successful compared with the past year, and the work on Sunday is at last bearing fruit. All the helpers are in our midst, and all who speak the truth are known to be sound in the faith. Thus we are able to avoid the inevitable consequences of the warning of Scripture, "Sow not the field with mingled seed." As far as lies in our power the truth (unadulterated) is proclaimed.
Some years ago I wrote you upon the seeming discrepancy of the 400 and 430 years of the Israelites' sojourning and afflictions, and since have come across what is a very helpful solution of the matter, and a further indication of the reliableness of the Bible dates.
This distinction between affliction and the bondage of the Israelites (the former including the latter, but not confined to it) throws light upon the difficulty which is often experienced respecting the period of 400 years here mentioned. The actual bondage in Egypt was of comparatively short duration (one-half of 430 years); but the affliction of the seed of Abraham commenced in his son, Isaac. The interval between Isaac's birth and the Exodus was 405 years; and if we place the predicted affliction of the seed to commence in Isaac's 5th year, when he would begin to feel the effects of Ishmael's mockery, we then have the afflictions enduring 400 years, and including in the last period of it the bondage. What is said (Exod. 12:40) about the sojourning of the people 430 years before the Exodus presents no difficulty in the way of this solution, but rather confirms it; because it is evident from Gal. 3:17, that this period of 430 years is to be reckoned from the giving of the promise to Abraham, which was first done 25 years before the birth of Isaac. This corresponds exactly, and was the whole period of sojourn, including the other two periods, which are more actually characterized as, first, the period of affliction, and finally, the period of actual slavery.
I remain, Yours in the Kingdom hope,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Inclosed is a draft for __________dollars which I wish to deposit in the Tract Fund for its use as a loan. It is the earnings of the past two years above my daily necessities. I gathered it with the thought of giving the interest for the Tract Fund, and later the principal. I do not need it; and, judging from the past, I will not need it. The Lord has always provided ways and means to enable me to earn all things needful in the past, and since he has permitted me to come into the wonderful light and knowledge of the present truth, I can trust him much more fully, for I understand his ways better. I did think of donating it entirely, but as I am not quite clear in regard to the difference between tempting and trusting, I will wait until I have more knowledge; meanwhile the Society can use it as its own. It is but little to help others into the knowledge of our dear Lord's plans, but it is all he has given me, and the only way I can find now to serve, outside of sending out tracts.
Some of the people of the world seem to like to hear the truth, and so long as they do, is it not best to tell them of God's wonderful provision for all that will obey him? I have wondered what was best to do when they do not work on what they hear, and yet come where they will hear more. They do not seem to be worse since they learned that God does not intend to roast them forever. Eagerly we look forward to the time when the blind eyes and deaf ears shall be opened.
It is such a wonderful joy to know the Lord's ways. I thought when I first read the DAWNS that I was full of joy (and so I was: all I could hold), but that was three years ago, and I have learned so much since of heart culture and head knowledge that my heart is singing all the time. When in the M.E. Church, I never was at rest; everything seemed mixed and hazy. I was never sure of anything, except a desire to know the Lord. No one could tell me why it was necessary for Christ to die, or how to present my body a living sacrifice, or how to keep the first commandment. Now an understanding of God's character enables me to keep the first commandment; now my eyes are opened, and the way seems easy. It is so easy that I am fearful that I may lack in some way and be blind to it, for I see so many warnings in the Word; yet while the Word teaches that the heart is very deceitful, I know that I love the Lord and his ways above all things. Yours in our dear Redeemer's name,
DEAR BROTHER:--I am waiting here for the afternoon train to D__________. Five meetings have been held here, in the opera house, all of which were unusually well attended. Brother Fairbrother advertised the meetings most thoroughly, having notices in the papers for two weeks, beside having sent 75 or 80 invitation cards to persons who purchased DAWNS from Brother Kent. The results were very satisfactory--from the standpoint of numbers at least. The two largest meetings were those of Sunday afternoon and evening. I judge that about 100 persons attended the former and between 200 and 300 the latter. The Baptist minister attended the Saturday evening meeting (when we presented the Plan of the Ages) and was so pleased that he closed his church Sunday evening, so that himself and congregation could go to the opera house to hear a discourse on "How God can be just and the justifier of him which believeth on Jesus."
The people took tracts quite freely, and a goodly number ordered sample TOWERS.
With much love, Yours in Christ, FRANK DRAPER.
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--I thank God that he offered me the opportunity of reading MILLENNIAL DAWN. Never in all my life of Scripture reading have [page 144] I found so much comfort and peace. Thanks to his holy and righteous name, I do not see as I used to see, since I have been led into the glorious light! I love God better; I love my fellow man better. No more fears are haunting my mind of a life of eternal misery in the future. To acknowledge that I have lived a long time in total darkness, is but mildly expressing my extreme blindness pertaining to God's plan. Now the mystery is solved. I have often wondered, and asked the question, What will become of those millions of souls who have died in innocent ignorance of the plan of salvation? and received the answer, My brother, they must live forever and ever in a flame of fire, which God has prepared for all who do not become Christians before they depart out of this life. Oh! to think that I ever charged such atrocities to One who has created and cared for me, pains my heart sorely. But glorious light fell athwart my gloomy pathway, and I read in beautiful lines--
"Good will to men; blest echoes that thrill
His first-fruits with rapture grand--
Shall be to all, when, on Zion's hill,
The Bridegroom and bride shall stand."
W. M. P. DEVINE,--Ind. Ter.
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DEAR MR. RUSSELL:--The undersigned, ex-captain of the Salvation Army, has recently, on account of the light God has sent him through your work, M. DAWN, left said organization.
I have read VOLS. I. and II. twice, and have just received VOL. III. God has, through furnishing me with this volume, plainly shown his will in regard to me; I recognize his voice. Glory be to his name! Even before I received the truth I was fully consecrated to the Lord's service, and am determined, by God's gracious help, to spread further the great light he in his wonderful graciousness has counted me worthy to receive. Should be very grateful to you for some advice on how to act in the matter. Could no doubt get a situation in some worldly business, but, as I have said, being consecrated to the Lord's service, and believing that God has work for me to do, I much prefer to turn my talents into the service of our King.
I am twenty-five years of age, have no worldly possessions, can only speak or read Swedish. If you so desire, I shall be very glad to go into the colporteur work here in Sweden; but if you think I could do more good in any other country, I have no objection to go anywhere you may suggest.
Yours, devoted and grateful,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Please find draft for One Thousand Dollars, a thank-offering to the Lord for his many blessings given to me. Please use it in the harvest work, and, if you think best, I would be pleased to have you use it to assist in defraying the expense of the "Volunteer" service, mentioned in the April 15th TOWER.
Please do not publish my name in the TOWER in connection with this. I am thankful that I can help a little in this way.
Your brother in Christ, __________, Wisconsin.
[The zeal of the Lord's dear people as "Volunteers" in the various departments of the King's service is very encouraging. Altho we have appropriated the name "Volunteers" specially to the public tract distribution now in progress, it is a fact that all who serve this harvest message in any capacity are really volunteers. The important financial part of the work is all volunteered--never begged, never urged, but always, as in the above case, done freely "as unto the Lord." The "Colporteur" service is similarly done by volunteers: and all these efforts are owned and blessed by the great Chief Reaper, we are sure.
The friends will be glad to know that the call for "Volunteers" for Sunday work amongst church-goers --circulating gratuitously the pamphlet, The Bible vs. Evolution--met with prompt and cordial responses from every direction. We send portions of each order in its turn and not all at once: and yet many orders are waiting for the pamphlets from the binderies. We have already sent out over 100,000 copies and are pushing the matter along as fast as possible: meantime fresh "Volunteers" are constantly reporting and the proposed half-million booklets may not be near enough; but if Providence so indicate, we are ready to issue more. The topic is apparently a very timely one, as many are in danger of "stumbling" on the subject of Evolution.--EDITOR.]
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--You will be pleased to have a brief account of our first two Sundays' experience in distributing the Bible versus Evolution pamphlet. Last Sunday we served six churches, and to-day we served five. Six of the brethren and four of the sisters in the truth are in the "volunteer" ranks at present. We have still over two hundred churches to be served. The average distribution to a congregation thus far has been about 125 of the pamphlets; as we are now working chiefly on the outskirts of the city among the smaller churches.
The common people receive them gladly and often with hearty thanks. One lady this evening was so favorably impressed by a hasty scanning of its pages that she walked back and tendered twenty-five cents to the sister who handed it to her, but the money was politely declined.
Another, a gentleman, stepped to the light to examine [R2483 : page 144] what it was that had been handed to him. In a moment he returned and said, "This is just what I have been seeking and did not know where to send for it; I am so glad to have it. Had I known you were outside to hand out these, I should have taken your supply inside and passed them out to our people." Others declared that we are certainly accomplishing a good work and wished us Godspeed. At one church, where we served this morning, the minister's sermon was on "Evolution," and he preached against that theory; our pamphlets at the door capped the climax.
I trust our effort will show for itself in the inquiries you will receive from here and requests for further reading matter along these lines.
We exercise great care in handing out the pamphlets so as not to pass them to any except such as we deem worthy of receiving them. We much appreciate our privilege of cooperation in spreading the Gospel to others. The Lord bless you and all the dear ones engaged in the harvest work!
Your brother "Volunteer,"
J. A. BOHNET, Washington, D.C.