SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
WATCHING LEST HE SHOULD SEEM TO COME SHORT
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
Greetings in the name of our precious Redeemer! During the weeks that have intervened since leaving Bethel en route for the South, it has been on my mind to write you; and I have refrained from so doing merely because I know that your time is so thoroughly occupied in the Master's service. However, I want to say that the Truth is becoming more precious; and that my appreciation of spiritual things is daily increasing and I am rejoicing in the many, many evidences of the Lord's love and care.
The last few TOWERS have been so grand and truly a spiritual feast; especially those articles re the time features of the Divine Plan. While I have full confidence in the chronological features of the Plan, yet nevertheless my consecration is unto death and forever; and I am trying to live each day as if it were my last, and then there is just ONE DAY between me and the Kingdom.
My heart has been grieved, as I have come in contact with the dear brethren in different parts of the country, to note in many the tendency to complain and to find fault on the slightest pretext. I feel we are drawing very near a time of testing [R5382 : page 15] for the Church. Surely if we have a deep heart appreciation of the Truth, we would not be so prone to find fault and to criticize. Personally, the Truth is so precious and so all-absorbing that I feel less inclined to murmur, and more and more inclined to be thankful for every experience in life, be it pleasant or unpleasant. The resolution not to murmur or complain has been so helpful, for which I thank the Lord.
Every day sees fresh cause for thankfulness for "The Vow." As I see the wave of immorality and debauchery which is sweeping the country, and the generally prevailing tendency to lower the standards of morals and propriety, I am sure the Lord has given us the Vow for our protection. Some of the dear friends seem to think they are strong enough without the Vow, and perhaps they are; but for my part I am glad for any protection and help which will enable me to stand more firmly.
Another thing that comes under my observation is this: Some of the friends seem inclined to be rather lax or careless in their deportment, with the excuse that their motives are pure and that they mean no harm; and it seems to anger them if their actions are called in question. Sometimes I wonder how many of those who profess to be in Present Truth will be "overcomers." The standard is so high and we have so much to fight against! Many seem to be lacking in a deep spiritual appreciation of the Truth. I cannot judge the motives of the dear friends; and therefore I am trying by the Lord's grace to walk more circumspectly and watch myself closely lest I would even "seem to come short."
Oh, that prize is so wonderful, so glorious, and the Kingdom so near, "what manner of people ought we to be in all holy conduct"! Praise the Lord, we are almost home! The lights of the Eternal City are almost discernible, and soon we shall be at Home and at Rest!
In conclusion, dear Brother, let me assure you of my hearty co-operation in the promulgation of the Harvest Message, with which I am in perfect harmony. I hope, if it should be the Lord's will, to see you some time this winter. In the meantime, I hope and pray the Father's smile of approval will continue to be your daily portion. Pray for me, as I do for you and all the family.
The classes throughout the South send their love and greetings. With much Christian love, I am
Your Brother, by His Grace, J. P. MACPHERSON.
"CAST NOT AWAY YOUR CONFIDENCE"
Although our Heavenly Father sees fit to try the faith of His people along various lines, yet it seems that during the coming year we may meet a more severe testing of our confidence in God and His Word.
I am aware, however, that the faith of the dear brethren and sisters is very strong, and believe they will continue to fight the good fight of faith successfully to the end.
Pastor Russell, as I have always understood him, never claimed his interpretation of the time prophecies to be infallible. His writings have always impressed me that way.
Should the year 1915 come and not witness all that many of the brethren expect, it will matter but little to me. We know still that "Thy Word is Truth," and that not one jot or tittle will pass till all be fulfilled. We know further that, according to the signs of the times, the Day is not far distant.
When fiery trials assail us, let us remember the words of inspiration, "Cast not away, therefore, your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward."
Yours in faith and hope, N. E. BUTLER, N.S.
WITHOUT HIS CONSENT
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
A copy of 1913 "Convention Report" has just come to my attention. It contains what purports to be a report of a discourse delivered by me at the Springfield Convention.
I have not the disposition nor the power to control the actions of others in the publication of what I say at Conventions; but I would like to have the friends know that such publication is without my consent. A stenographic report of the above mentioned discourse was handed me at Springfield, but I declined to read it, not wishing to have anything to do with its publication.
Yours in His service, J. F. RUTHERFORD.