SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
I feel constrained today to say a few words concerning the joy which I feel in my heart and what I owe to your faithful ministry. No loyal heart could fail to be impressed by your unwavering fidelity to our Master and to His "flock," to whom you stand so peculiarly related.
Appreciating the "Vow" submitted in 1908 as a Heaven-provided safeguard for the "flock," I felt from the first that subtle tests just ahead were sure to emphasize the needs of just such a safeguard. Realizing that there is a practical side to the Christian warfare, I promptly availed myself of the "Vow," at the same time realizing that our relation to it must be the same as to our original Vow of full consecration; that while the taking of the Vow was the initial step, its value as a safeguard is in the faithful carrying out of all it expresses. While the developments following this note of warning have been more startling than I had anticipated, I have been impressed as never before with the significance of the Scripture, "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee; the remainder of wrath (that which could not praise Him) shalt thou restrain."--Psa. 76:10.
During 1909 I tabulated a large number of subjects being treated in WATCH TOWER concerning the "Ransom" and closely related topics. I feel that those wonderful explanations of Truth which have come to us, especially during the past two years in a faithful endeavor to shield the "sheep," are a forceful illustration of the "Vine and Branch" proposition --that nothing the Lord permits means loss to the fruit-bearing branches. The Divinely provided nourishment withdrawn from the unappreciative means added enrichment to those giving evidence of a disposition to use it. Truly, we have realized that the more searching the analysis the more glorious the Truth becomes; indeed, our hearts should be filled with wonder, love and praise.
I am trying to weigh the serious side of it. Sometimes I cannot keep back the tears as I think of the abounding wealth into which we have entered. I feel that if we are not energized to greater appreciation and to greater faithfulness, as the reasonable acknowledgment of such favors, then we have lost all reasonable grounds for hope of their continuance. Surely we must enter into the spirit of His work now (the development of the "Bride"--laying down our lives for the brethren, not only willingly, but gladly), if we are to share in the ultimate work after the preparatory features are completed.
God bless you richly, dear brother; our prayers follow you on your missions of love. We are constrained to express our sentiments in the language of the MANNA comment for Sept. 1, as follows: "It is because we see Jesus to be the Father's choice that we unite ourselves to Him; because we see the Father's character manifested in Him, that we leave all to follow Him. Similarly, if we lend our aid, our support, to any human being in connection with the Divine Plan and service, it should be simply upon this ground--not merely a personal magnetism or favoritism, but because our hearts are touched by the Lord with the leader's being of His appointment."
The hearts of the dear ones in these Lower Provinces of Canada are made glad with the hope of arrangements for a Three-Days' Convention during this season.
We ask that you pray for us all, increasing faithfulness. Sister Black shares with me, dear brother, this expression of love for yourself and for the Lord's flock.
Faithfully yours in the joy of service,
W. W. BLACK.--CANADA.
DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL:--
I thank our Heavenly Father for the Truth and for you, through whom great blessings have come to me. I am also very thankful for the opportunity to be associated in the Harvest work, in Berkeshire Co., Mass., with Brother Goodwin, of Torrington, Conn., through whom I have received added blessings.
I have recently had some remarkable experiences with the Jews, of whom there is a colony of about twenty families, including a Rabbi, in the vicinity of my home.
Some time ago I distributed among them copies of Die Stimme, the Yiddish paper. The young people of the colony cannot read Yiddish and are asking for similar matter in English. As PEOPLES PULPIT sermons are along lines of Christian teaching, I have not distributed them, lest the motive be misconstrued.
These people have the correct idea concerning the cause of the centuries of suffering which they and their ancestors have experienced. They acknowledge that Christ was sent of God to bless the world; even the Rabbi assented to this. They were very cordial, urging me to come again.
This colony, composed mainly of farmers from Russia, I am told, has the support of the Rothschilds. They are looking for the resurrection of the Ancient Worthies, expecting it within a few years.
Your statements upon Jewish matters, when clearly understood by them, will, it seems to me, be one of the most potent factors in uniting the Jews in the Zionist movement. Since the distribution of the Yiddish paper, I find your name a household word among them. I would like suitable literature (English) to give them, as they request it for the young people. Dear Brother, I wish always to be
Your faithful brother in Christ,
NEWTON T. HARTSHORN.--MASS.
DEAR PASTOR RUSSELL:--
I am enclosing just a "mite" for use in the Harvest Work. Although I realize that you are very busy, I will take some of your time to tell you about it, for I know you will find it interesting.
It is the contents of a "mite box" to which I contributed for six or eight months, putting in small amounts for each blessing which I received--not counting the daily blessings of bread and health, etc. It shows that the Lord was good to me, doesn't it? However, the most interesting part follows:--
My box was one among several which our Sunday School teacher gave to us girls in 1909. We had previously withdrawn from the church with which we were associated, and its school, but had been held together by the Lord's loving kindness, and had weekly classes of our own. For some reason, which we could not then exactly understand, we were reluctant about sending the money to the Missionary Society of our denomination.
About a year ago our teacher died after a short illness. I will not dwell upon the persecutions which she had suffered in the church, nor our own sorrow afterward. I will only say that God has opened the eyes of our understanding and enabled us to see Present Truth. As in her life she was a great blessing to me, so, also, in her death. I believe the Lord had me save the money for this very purpose, and that she was one of his bright "jewels."
I cannot express the blessing which you have been to me, and the rest of us, and I thank Him for it. We daily remember you before the Throne of Heavenly Grace, and also the general interests of the work and the dear co-laborers.
By His grace, one of the "Little Ones in Christ."
MARY L. JENKINS.--MASS.
Having a growing conviction that the following extraction may be of interest to you (the more so after reading WATCH TOWER of March 15), I determined to send it along, hoping that you would be able to spare about two minutes of your valuable time for its perusal.
The Rev. S. Manning, who traveled through the Holy Land in the early part of 1873, in recording his experiences, says concerning the barren slopes of southern Palestine: "Even yet we can trace the lines of those ancient terraces, showing what the land once was, and what it may yet become again when 'the time to favor Zion, yea, the set time, is come.' From our camp, a few miles north of Bethel, we could see the hills clothed to their very summits with fig gardens, now in their bright spring greenery. A Syrian gentleman, who was my frequent companion through this part of Palestine, plucked the young figs as he passed without stint or scruple. His reply to my question as to his right to [R4844 : page 191] do so was instructive, as throwing light upon an incident in the life of our Lord, as to which some difficulty has been felt.
"In the early spring, when the first leaves appear, an immense number of small figs are produced, which do not ripen, but fall from the branches, crude and immature, to the ground. To these we find a reference in Rev. 6:13. The true crop is not produced till later in the year. This first crude, 'untimely' growth, though of no commercial value, is yet plucked and eaten by the peasantry, sometimes with a pinch of salt, sometimes with bread. Like the wild fruit of our hedgerows it is free to all passersby. It was just at this early season, before the feast of the Passover, that our Lord and his disciples, having walked from Bethany, 'hungered.' Seeing a fig tree 'afar off having leaves' they sought fruit, but found none. Seeing leaves they had a right to expect fruit. Finding fruit they would have had right to pluck it, 'for the time of figs was not yet'--the true and valuable crop was not yet produced. This incident He turned into a solemn lesson of warning to the Jews, etc., etc."
Yours humbly in Him and His service,