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DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I found a good interest at the last two points where I preached. To our joy the prejudice of many people is cooling greatly, while the bigots and self-willed are enraged wonderfully.
At some places near here, where ten years ago I could not have gotten a hearing, they now invite me to meet them and preach for them. But those whose “craft” is in danger are not enjoying this. Our prayer is, Speed on the good work and let God’s name be glorified.
Yours in the work,
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—Your discourse in the TOWER, “Remember the Sabbath Day,” presents a grand and wonderful view of the Christian Sabbath which my mind had never conceived. I truly join you in the earnest wish that all Christians could see it so: that our God is too gracious to us who are his to limit our Sabbath of rest to a single day of the week, but on the contrary extends it through all the days of all the weeks of all the years of our Christian life, during which we may rest in full assurance of the ransom paid for us by our great Redeemer, free from any passionate anxiety concerning our final deliverance, of which no man needs try to assure us, because God has been pleased to seal us with his own holy disposition—the earnest of our inheritance. It is marvelous light to me, giving me, if possible, a more exalted opinion of our infinitely gracious Heavenly Father.
Arrangements for my future colporteur work are
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quite satisfactory. The Lord continues to bless me in interesting some, and my course in the community produces great commotion, and a few have gone about to “trim their lamps.” There is much here to be done. I find the leading “Reverends” among the most offended. But public ridicule and increase of opposition seem only to brighten the splendor of the prize which is spiritually discerned.
Very truly, Yours in the service of our present Lord,
J. A. BROWNE.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—It is some time now since I last wrote to you about matters here in Denmark. We have had much sickness all around among our little company this winter; so much that we have had to stop our meetings for several weeks. Now Springtime is here, and with it comes new energy and a better feeling, and we are now a good deal better in health.
We are holding MILLENNIAL DAWN Meetings in a small hall every Tuesday evening, and these meetings are well attended. The people are glad to hear these good tidings we are proclaiming; the interest is constantly increasing among God’s people here; many are reading the DAWNS and have accepted their teaching into good and honest hearts, and the fruit will surely come, in the Lord’s own time, to his praise. I believe there are many of his true sheep here, many who realize the voice of the Shepherd; as Jesus says, “I know mine, and am known of mine.” Yet, it is only a “little flock” that will be chosen and elected, out of these many millions of church people.
The WATCH TOWER is received here regularly, and is ever warmly welcome. I know of nothing to compare with it, as a herald of the glad tidings to God’s people. With much Christian love to you all and kind greetings, wishing you God’s blessings, and upon the harvest work,
Your brother and fellow-servant of Christ,
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DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I have not written for a long time, but you have not been absent from my mind, and I now take this opportunity of thanking you for the benefit and pleasure received from perusing your last labor of love, DAWN, VOL. IV. I have read it carefully twice, and I received more pleasure and strength from the second perusal than the first. While I had already a very fair outline of the general features of the great time of trouble from the study of the TOWERS and DAWNS and God’s Word in connection with them, and from observing the signs of the times through their light, yet I had no conception how much the leading thinkers of the world corroborated the prophetic evidences. It almost seems as if they were all ripe for the truth and must, perforce, accept it as soon as brought to their attention. But sober reflection, in memory of my poor success in interesting the most likely cases within my knowledge in the truth, endorses God’s Word—that Satan is exerting a blinding influence on all but those whom God is calling. In this volume you have given us a systematic, logical, Scriptural and exhaustive presentation of this important subject; you have called up in evidence the opinion and conclusions and warnings of leaders of thought from every strata of society, and every creed and party and field of public life: and I hope that we shall all be blessed and edified and encouraged by the results of your labor and God’s guidance: thereby realizing that we have not read God’s Word amiss, not followed cunningly devised fables, but may in consequence be sure that our redemption draweth nigh.
By what some might think an odd coincidence, during the last few weeks, a large number of pamphlets have come to my hand, the work of writers apparently disinterested and earnest for the well being of others, which completely harmonize with the teachings of Scripture on these times: but who have no knowledge of either DAWN or God’s Word in connection with current events, and yet who can see the present trend of events with startling clearness, but each imagines that his remedy is the one thing needful.
We have still some trouble occasionally here: chiefly from Mr. C. (I can no longer call him brother). For nearly two years at every possible opportunity he has forced us to listen to “holiness” theories and tried to compel us to accept a hash of present truth and Methodism until we were obliged to send him a written request to absent himself from our meetings and seek more congenial society, and this has been a rather unpleasant step. This he has declined to do on the ground that he is the father of the Church here and intends to look after us. He has often told us that none of our number were even justified, to say nothing of being consecrated, and has sometimes included himself in the same category. So far as I am capable of judging he held and taught the truth clearly some four years ago, but he has seemed to be getting gradually into denser darkness for half that time, and he seems to attend our meetings for the purpose of annoyance.
Jude intimates, in his epistle, that the falling away during the Gospel age will be on three lines:—typified by Cain, Balaam and Korah. Does this mean (1) approaching God under the cover of a different sacrifice to the one he had appointed, (2) covetousness, and (3) envy?
Your brother in Christ,
[It is for the Church (each little company meeting for communion, fellowship and the study of holy things) to decide the character of the meetings and the leaders of the same according to their best judgment of the Lord’s will as expressed in his Word. Any attempted deviation from this Scriptural rule should be kindly but firmly resented. And, furthermore, only those who profess both justification and full consecration should be recognized as having a voice on such matters. Such as have not the Spirit of the Lord surely could not know the mind of the Lord.
I think that you correctly interpret Jude’s teaching. And who cannot see that these three points are the causes of stumbling in nearly every instance—and especially among those who have talents and who aspire to be used in the Lord’s service. Let us beware of these seductions of the Adversary, (1) a rejection of the ransom, (2) covetousness of wealth or honor or fame, (3) envy, malice, hatred, strife as against others more liberally endowed with talents or more favorably situated for service.—EDITOR.]
— July 15, 1898 —