WELCOME BACK, DEAR BRETHREN!
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
You are the first person I have acquainted with the fact of my return home to fellowship with the brethren here at Victoria, B. C. I find myself, through my Heavenly Father's grace, brought back into the most blessed fellowship on earth, after being severed from that same fellowship for now six years.
You will doubtless remember me at Manchester, England, and how I, with some others there, saw cause to secede from the brethren on the subject of the Sin Offering. Well, I am happy to state that I now see that that action of mine was not justifiable and that I did wrong. I now wish to express my heartfelt shame for all the sorrow and pain such action caused to so many of my brothers and sisters in the Truth in England and Scotland, and most especially to yourself, for I am so much indebted to you for the Truth, on which I stand and in which I rejoice.
By God's grace, and abiding in Him, I will re-devote myself to Him and His Cause, show Him my love, live up more and more to Jesus and "toe the mark" for the Prize. Meditating on the thirteenth of 1 Corinthiansbrought me to see the error of my way--together with God's providential dealings with me. Oh, that all, like myself, would or could see their mistake and come back again; what rejoicing there would be in many hearts and what gladness to the heart of our Heavenly Father and our dear Lord and Savior and to all of like precious faith!
May the grace of Him who called you, dear Brother, and of our most precious Lord, abundantly sustain you to the end! Sorrowfully and gratefully,
Your brother in Christ, J. T. HODGE.--B. C.
CALLED AGAIN TO TENT-MAKING
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
In terminating my services with the Society, I wish to express my thankfulness to the dear Lord, and to you His servant, for the blessed privilege which has been mine during the past two years, of engaging in the Pilgrim work.
In this period I have had many blessings, and learned many lessons, not the least important of which is to more humbly value my few talents. The responsibilities of a "teacher" have frequently weighed very heavily upon my heart, lest by careless word or thoughtless act I stumble one of the Lord's little ones. I feel that I have not at all times acted or counseled as wisely as, under the circumstances, I might have done. But He whose eye sleepeth not will overrule.
Knowing of your care for all the churches, and how heavily their spiritual interest weighs upon your heart, I am prompted to call your attention once more to the flood of literature and "sermonizing" now being forced upon the attention of the brethren. Some of this literature is advancing very subtle error; much of it is of doubtful value and considerable calculated to confuse or discourage the friends. The SCRIPTURE STUDIES and WATCH TOWER articles, in my judgment, could serve far better the issues in question.
While some slackness respecting faithfulness to their Vows and the systematic reading of the SCRIPTURE STUDIES can be noted since October, 1914, yet on the whole, I am glad to say that the general spiritual condition of the brethren is much improved.
The WATCH TOWER for Jan. 1st is very encouraging. May the Lord continue to bless you His servant, as you faithfully sacrifice of your time and comfort in ministering to our spiritual needs. With sincere Christian love to yourself and the Bethel family, I am
Your servant in the best of bonds, WM. A. BAKER.
THE MINISTRY OF SORROW
BELOVED PASTOR RUSSELL:--
In THE WATCH TOWER of November 15 there appeared that most beautiful setting forth of "The Ministry of Sorrow." I want to impose on your most valuable time to tell how much I appreciated and do appreciate the article. Not that each TOWER does not contain most helpful and precious food, but as contrasted with the many things I have read along this line, the "Ministry of Sorrow," referred to above, is incomparably sweet. It has opened my eyes to a field of service I had not heretofore seen.
One Class that I visited have what they call their "Up-to-Date Meeting," which is given to careful study and analysis of such WATCH TOWER articles. Thus the application of doctrine to personal experience is more thoroughly impressed. I am sure from my own experience that many of the good things appearing in THE TOWER can be reread and studied with much profit.
We are sure, beloved Brother, that none could minister such things except he had the experience of such a ministry.
Thanking you for your ministry of love, and praying the Father's continued blessing upon you in such a ministry, I remain with much love,
Your Brother by His grace, W. M. BATTERSON.