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ENCOURAGING WORDS FROM FAITHFUL WORKERS
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Just a word to tell you that our little Church (thirteen in number) met last evening and joined with the rest of the body in commemorating our Master’s death on our behalf. We had a solemn but blessed time, and we realized perhaps more than ever how much his death means to us. We thank God and take courage.
Your brother in the faith,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—A little company met at our house and celebrated our Lord’s last Memorial Supper. We all felt how graciously the Lord hath dealt with us in leading us out of darkness into his glorious light. We realized our shortcomings and unworthiness of the high privilege of participating in the communion of his death, after being made acceptable to our Heavenly Father through the merits of our Redeemer. After a brief explanation of the symbols, seven partook of the same. We closed with Hymn 276.
All were greatly strengthened, especially as we realized that all the Lord’s people everywhere were praying for one another. We also felt, from previous experiences, that we have especial need at this time to encourage one another. May the Lord be gracious unto all, and keep us very humble; “for many are called, but few chosen.”
Love from your brother, joined by all the company at Oakland,
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL:—I pray for you daily that our Father in heaven will give you a clear conception each day of his will and grace and strength to stand for God and the truth. Oh, how thankful we are (I am speaking for our little assembly here) that God has been pleased to reveal his Son to us, and that we know him as the way, the truth and the life!
Our little assembly is using me for its leader, and I am so weak, dear Brother, that I need your prayers daily; but Oh, I am so thankful that I feel very humble, and pray the dear Lord always to keep me in that way. How much I need to study and meditate on the love of God to usward, in order to get the mind of our dear Lord. Only by continuance in well doing and prayer can we have the spirit’s guidance in this wilderness journey. Our daily song should be,
“I love thy Church, O God!
Her walls before me stand.”
We met for the Memorial Supper at Brother Fry’s. When I saw a good-sized room full, the thought came to me, “Can I serve in a way that will be satisfactory to our blessed Lord and the truth-loving ones?” The answer came like a flash. “I will be with thee and uphold thee; my grace is sufficient for thee; only trust, and lean on me.” How strong I was, dear Brother, after the answer came to my whispered prayer! I read a short article on the subject from one of the dear old TOWERS, and Brother Chase gave thanks. All appeared to be deeply impressed and to realize the solemnity and import of the occasion.
Yours in the love of the truth,
R. S. MOORE.
[The three letters above are fair samples of about one hundred reports received of the commemoration of the Memorial supper: and probably as many more celebrated from whom we have had no reports. These seasons are becoming more precious yearly. Indeed, we are glad to be able to report that the spiritual health of the Church was probably never better than now, the servants of the truth never more active nor more wise, and the triumph of truth over error never more pronounced. God be praised for the privileges and pleasures of his service! This we believe is the sentiment of an increasingly large number.
May the strength and blessing derived from this Memorial of our Redeemer’s sacrifice and of our fellowship in it abide with us all as a blessing, fitting and preparing us for further faithful service, and to endure whatever trials and tests our Lord may see best to permit to come upon his flock; we cannot expect that such a season will altogether pass without “siftings” for the wheat, to separate the chaff and the tares.—EDITOR]
DEAR BROTHER:—The TOWER is as fully appreciated now as at any time during the past fourteen years in which I have been privileged to receive it. Its form and size are
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convenient; its title page is a sermon in itself; but as “in de wah time” the Richmond newspapers were eagerly welcomed, though printed on the commonest of wrapping paper, so the TOWER would be gratefully welcome for the blessed truth and spiritual food it contains, apart altogether from its outward appearance, necessary though it be that it should be becoming, pure, chaste, sober, unsensational in garb, as a fit covering to the purity within.
I have said it is as much appreciated as at any time; in some respects it is even more so. Articles are anonymous, less controversial matter appears with regard to those who “went out from us” and those not of us; only so much as is necessary, that the true flock may be kept true, and guarded from false shepherds and false and poisonous food; and less prominence is given to “Encouraging words from faithful workers” in the omission (if I remember rightly without referring back) of names of writers. Altogether there is a welcome appearance as of a chastened purity, which without doubt has a corresponding effect upon its readers.
Whilst in heart and mind I give thanks to our Father through Jesus our Lord, that I have been privileged to hear and to accept of the blessed truth of the most holy Word, and to partake of the spiritual food now spread before us, in His due time; I yet, whether rightly or wrongly I know not, have a great distaste for the relation of “personal experiences.” Perhaps the liking or disliking of it in different persons may be owing largely to early training and sectarian association; … though the admonition “confess your faults one to another,” in a proper spirit, is fully recognized.
It appears to be a duty, whenever occasion offers, to boldly declare the truth, as far as lieth in one, and certainly it is a great pleasure so to do, and especially to an ear that can hear; but how few these are.
With kindest seasonable greetings and affectionate respects and regards,
Yours in the one faith, __________
[Experience meetings in which the speakers vie with each other in the relation of their past wickedness, or in boastfulness of present grace or attainments, are sure to be injurious in their tendency. But testimony meetings at which each child of God present in simplicity and godly sincerity recalls the Father’s care and love and discipline for the week or month preceding are surely very profitable. If each is careful to relate such features of his experience, his trials or triumphs, as will be helpful to others, all will be edified. This letter column is designed to supply such a lack for many of our readers who are isolated and enjoy no such privileges of communion of saints.—EDITOR.]
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—It is now a few years since my eyes were opened to the present truth; and I feel that I ought to write you a few words telling you of the great joy and happiness it has given me. Oh, how thankful I am to God that the “present truth” has illuminated my path! I can not find words to express myself. How I rejoice that I can now see that all the world will be blessed in “due time,” and that the time is fast approaching when the Gospel Church will be glorified with Christ, our Lord and Head.
Brother Franklin was the first to present the truth to me. I remember very well the first time we conversed about the matter. When he said that death (extinction of being) was the penalty for sin, and when he denied eternal torment, he startled me! I thought it was horrible that a man, claiming to be a Christian, could be so bold as to deny eternal torment for the ungodly. I purchased the first volume of DAWN of the brother, but at that time I could not read English, and not until after two years did I commence to read it. It was hard for me to get rid of all my inherited prejudices; but, thank God! I can now see what the Word of God teaches and also the value of Christ’s sacrifice; and I have tried to present the truth the best I could to my countrymen.
I am glad to inform you that in my judgment the Swedish translation of DAWN is very good, and I will circulate as many as possible. Please remember me in your prayers, and be sure that when at the throne of grace I always remember you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
A. T. ERICSON.
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DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Received your very kind letter, and appreciate very much your kindly interest in my spiritual welfare. I realize the necessity of walking close to God, and striving day by day to cultivate the mind that was in our Savior.
I also feel the need of approaching the throne often in order to renew my strength to continue the conflict. I feel as if I had more temptation to endure now than when I first embraced the truth; yet, while they are at first grievous, I ought to rejoice in them as giving opportunities to build up a Christian character—if rightly resisted. The glorious end of our high calling grows more precious to me as the time grows nearer. Sometimes Satan injects the thought that I am very presumptuous to aspire to be part of the Bride class; but I am fully satisfied that if I draw back now, the Lord will have no pleasure in me. I fully realize the importance of walking humbly before the Lord, of following him who was meek and lowly of heart; and yet, while I am striving to this end, my poor, fallen nature gives me a great deal of trouble, so that I am very often grieved at my slow progress in Christian development. Nevertheless, the sincere desire of my heart is that I may walk more worthy of the vocation wherewith I am called, so that by attending faithfully to the Lord’s will, mine may be the joy of sharing his name, his honor, his glory, as partaker with him in the divine nature.
Your brother in Christ,
S. J. RICHARDSON [Colporteur].
DEAR BROTHER:—Enclosed please find order for 200 or more DAWNS. Am doing better here than I expected. It looks now as though it would take me two or three months to finish up.
My health is very good, and I have sufficient encouragement to keep my spirits cheerful. Had one very snowy day in which I worked some among the stores. Found one man who recognized me as one who left a tract there once. He said he usually tore such things up, but this he put into his pocket. Did not know why, but read it, sent to the office for VOL. I., read it, liked it and bought the other two volumes of me.
So the work goes on. Those who hunger and thirst for the truth will find it. The Lord as a good Overseer is watching the work and will guide it all right. As I see the work going on, and the Kingdom class building up, I feel like shouting, Glory!
Yours in full sympathy with the work,
— April 15, 1896 —