SOME INTERESTING LETTERS
QUERIES OF A COLPORTEUR
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
How shall we do respecting the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES after October, 1914? Will the Society continue to publish them? Will the Colporteurs and others continue to circulate them? Is it right to circulate them now, since you have some doubt respecting the full accomplishment of all expected by or before October, 1914? With Christian love,
Your brother, M. F. C.
MY DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST:--
Yours of May 20th has reached me. Thanks! I think that you are not taking a right view of the matter treated in STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, Vol. II. It is our thought that these books will be on sale and read for years in the future, provided the Gospel Age and its work continue.
So far as the features are concerned, we have merely set forth the Scriptures and our view respecting their application and significance. We have not attempted to say that these views are infallible, but have stated the processes of reasoning and figuring, leaving to each reader the duty and privilege of reading, thinking and figuring for himself. That will be an interesting matter a hundred years from now; and if he can figure or reason better, he will still be interested in what we have presented. In any event, we think that the consummation cannot be long deferred.
To cease to print and circulate the STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES because everything suggested therein has not been, apparently, fulfilled, would be like rejecting our Common Version of the Bible because the chronology given in the margin throughout is known to be incorrect to the extent of a number of years. Usher's chronology is used in our Common Version, and shows the birth of Christ in the year 4004. Scholars are agreed that the event varied at least two years from that date--some say four years. And STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES show from the Bible that the date was actually 4128. Nobody thinks of throwing away his Bible on this account. No more need any one think of throwing away his STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES or failing to circulate them on account of the fact that October, 1914, may not witness all that we had expected and in the manner expected. With much Christian love,
Your brother and servant in the Lord.
AN OCCASION FOR REJOICING
DEARLY BELOVED BROTHER:--
You have had my continuous love and prayers for a good many years, but I have not written you personally for quite awhile, knowing of the pressure of the Harvest work upon your time. But knowing that you would be much pleased to hear of the wonderful demonstration of the Truth that I have just witnessed, I write you this brief account:
Brother Petran, wife and I have just returned from Osseo, Wis., where Brother J. M. Kidd's whole family, sons, daughters, son-in-law and daughter-in-law, numbering thirteen, have consecrated and been baptized, except one, who was unable to symbolize on account of sickness, but is coming to Appleton before long, D.V., to symbolize.
Dear Brother, I never saw a more happy family and a more loving and sincere demonstration of an appreciation of the Truth and of the brethren as they embraced each other and wept for joy and gladness. They are all in deep earnest and thoroughly understand the steps they have taken. All have taken the Vow also. They also organized a class with regularly appointed officers and set the time of their Berean, praise and testimony meetings, etc.
A Brother Davis, Brother Kidd and his sister, Sister Blakeley, have been witnessing hereabout for the Truth for a great many years without much apparent result, until after Sister Blakeley's death, just a few weeks ago. Brother Petran, of the Appleton class, accompanied me and assisted in the funeral service, after which three of the friends consecrated themselves to the Lord on the train on their way home. When they arrived there the influence of the Holy Spirit spread among their friends and relatives and the result is we have already immersed twenty-three.
At the last talk at Osseo, the evening before we left, about sixteen of the neighbors were present at our meeting, at the close of which we asked if they would be willing, for the sake of the Truth, to give their attention, their time, their reputation, their friends, their money, and life itself, as the service might require of them? At each of these questions a number of them gave their assent, which, if fully understood, means a complete consecration to Christ. And so we are expecting to be called upon in the near future to perform another baptismal service. In fact, six more have expressed the desire to be baptized at the first opportunity.
I might add that the brethren have had quite a struggle with tobacco, but they have conquered and cast it out.
We rejoice with you in the Harvest work and pray God's blessing to continue with you until your work is done. Sister Deming joins me in sending much Christian love.
Your Brother in Christ, H. W. DEMING.--Wis.
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A SIGNIFICANT MESSAGE
As one who believes in "the Present Truth" as presented in STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES, I venture to write to you for a word of advice and comfort. I am in deep distress and have suffered intense mental agony during the last few months through being careless of the privileges connected with Present Truth.
I came, through God's favor, into touch with the Truth ten years ago, and had great rejoicing in it. My fatal mistake was a lack of decisiveness and a consequent failure to act according to my conscience. I became timid and avoided my fellowmen because of my failure to speak out. Added to this I stumbled, time and again, through weakness of the flesh, and gradually settled down to the thought that success in the "narrow way" was not for me.
At the end of last year my interest in Volume One was revived and I argued that if it is true why should I fear to come out of Babylon? Acting upon this I sent for withdrawal letters. I had a talk with our minister here, but at the critical moment I gave way to fear. This plunged me into a blackness which I cannot describe; I imagined all sorts of things, chief amongst which was that I had committed the sin unto death. The thought of this made me worse, and I gave way to careless living.
Dear friend, I would give anything for a word of comfort! I have striven hard to find peace of mind. I would not trouble you, as I know you are fully occupied; but somehow my unhappiness compels me to write you, as I know you are in close fellowship with the Lord. I hope that you can help me. My soul is sadly diseased. I cannot express the gratitude I shall feel. God bless you! Yours sincerely,
T. H. HUGHES.--N. Wales.
Yours of the 28th ult. has come duly to hand and contents are noted. Frequently, "earth-born clouds arise" to obscure the Lord's face from us when we neglect to do those things which He indicates would be pleasing to Him. Faithfulness to the Lord will restore a sense of His favor. My suggestion, therefore, is that you start anew, doing faithfully everything which you find to be His will for you.
The very fact that you are penitent and feel the separation is a good sign. Those who have sinned the sin unto death are not usually penitent. A rereading of the Six Volumes, laying hold upon the promises quoted therein, should be of help to you. May the Lord's guidance and blessing be with you as you seek to return to a condition of favor with Him. With much Christian love, we remain,
Yours in the Master's service.
THE CORRESPONDENCY SEEMS CLEAR
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
Have often thought of writing you as to how far the type and antitype extend in the Harvest of the Jewish and Gospel Ages; particularly as to whether the time that the Roman army under Titus besieged Jerusalem and the length of the siege are types of the trouble coming on the world?
To my understanding the Harvest of the Jewish Age commenced in the fall of 29 A.D., and, being a period of forty years, ended in the fall of 69 A.D. In the spring of 70 A.D., at the time of the Passover, the Roman army besieged Jerusalem. The siege lasted about six months and ended in the fall of 70 A.D. Thus the great calamity that our Lord foretold to Jerusalem did not reach its worst until six months after the end of the Jewish Harvest, and continued about six months thereafter, or one whole year after the end of the Jewish Harvest. This same period in antitype, if antitype it is, would seem to be from April, 1915, to October, 1915. If there is any significance in this it would seem that the burning of the "tares" in the Time of Trouble will not take place until the Harvest is entirely ended.
This may be reaching after types where none are intended. Will be thankful for any suggestion along this line.
Yours in the one hope, S. W. PENNOCK.