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DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I feel prompted to assure you that my interest in the glad tidings of great joy is increasing. I assure you this—not that I believe you think otherwise concerning me, but it is a pleasure for me to tell you in words what I am not able always to prove in deeds. I rejoice that in the present great harvest our Lord uses all willing witnesses of the truth in some capacity: no one need be discouraged, for, “Those members of the body which seem to be more feeble are necessary.”
ZION’S WATCH TOWER is a very welcome visitor to our home. While meditating on two discourses in July 15 TOWER, viz., “The Ministry of Comfort” and “Forgive Us our Debts,” I rejoiced in spirit that you so clearly defined the divine disposition for those striving to attain it, since it is the heavenly Father’s desire that we should become copies of his dear Son.
The subject of Justice, alluded to in “Forgive us our Debts,” used to perplex me, but about two years ago I was much enlightened by an explanation on the exercise of the above attribute, that I read in a WATCH TOWER. Among other things you wrote, “God did not enact the penalty of sin from sinners, but of a perfect man, created in the image of God, whose sin was wilful. If we were perfect ourselves and dealing with others who were likewise perfect, a law of Justice and demands of Justice would be in order. Since we are transgressors ourselves, and objects of divine grace, and since our fellow-creatures are in the same pitiable plight, through the Adamic fall, there is no room for us to take our stand upon Justice.” In another place I noted, “While always endeavoring to be just we should not demand justice from others but act along the line of love and compassion.” This view of righteous judgment (John 7:24) appealed to my heart and cleared away my difficulty.
I am so thankful for this Scriptural instruction and that I have learned not to consider the brethren by daily conduct, or rather by the imperfections of the earthen vessel. Doubtless all are striving to do the best they can, but by the ruling thought or controlling motive of their lives. I believe all those who are guided by righteous principles to the best of their ability and earnestly endeavoring to spread the glad tidings of the Kingdom have God’s loving approval. How tender, patient and long-suffering our Father is! If there is any sign of fruit on the branches the great husbandman prunes and prunes and does not cut off entirely: only dead branches are severed from the vine. Oh the love and mercy of our God! Praise be to his holy name forever!
My love for God, for the Church and for humanity increases constantly, but I am slow about cultivating the fruits of the spirit. Please pray for me, dear Brother Russell, that I may bloom in this direction. I long for perfection of character.
Accept this letter as a little token of appreciation and much Christian love for yourself and all dear harvest workers in the Bible House.
AMELIA E. POWER,—Pennsylvania
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—I beg you not to think me less appreciative if I do not correspond as frequently as others. Indeed, I have at times reluctantly refrained from writing you, having in mind your many thousand correspondents, and your work to “prepare the table” and give “meat in due season,” and “declare what he seeth.” Assuring you that wife and I try to do our part—watch in the WATCH TOWER, “eat and drink” at the Lord’s table (Isa. 21:5); and thanking you for your share in setting forth this meat and drink, we also thank our heavenly Father, the giver of all good—especially for that feature of his plan which you have been chosen to carry out. We make mention of you daily before the throne of grace.
I am happy to report that my efforts, together with yours, have not been in vain in this place. Here are some of the “more noble” who are receiving the truth with all readiness of mind, searching the Scriptures daily to see if these things be so. One sister who was quite prominent in the Salvation Army notified the officers of this sect that she could no longer cooperate with them, and to this end gave a banquet, inviting the officers to it (one Ensign, one Captain and one Lieutenant), at which she took occasion to explain why she withdrew, assuring them that she was not joining another sect, neither leaving God nor Christ nor the “brethren.” Then she offered me the opportunity of speaking and reading out of the Word of God.
I have found two who purchased DAWNS a few years ago but did not know what they contained. They have now been aroused to read them. I go over the field once in a while, to see how they all get along with their reading and find out where the wheat is, seeking to ripen it, and will, when they can appreciate it, call their attention to the TOWER. I will try ere long to gather the interested ones to a series of chart talks and to get acquainted, and then will suggest a DAWN Circle.
I often think in solitude of the favor shown me, that I have been called to a share in the sufferings of Christ, and to the hope of sharing with him in glory. He only knows how dearly I love the cause, and how humble it makes me when I think of the kindness you have shown me, first in bringing me onward toward maturity in the knowledge of Him who hath called me out of darkness into his marvelous light, and then in permitting me to share with yourself in the harvest work as a co-reaper and fellow-servant, going from house to house, calling attention to that wonderful book, MILLENNIAL DAWN. I highly esteem this service with you in the gospel as a son with his father (Phil. 2:22), and assure you that I am from henceforth fully and unreservedly in the service of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. I invite your suggestions at any time, for while I am a colporteur, by the grace of God, I am, by the same grace, a “volunteer,” so that if you think best to “shell the forts” first, here I am, or if to skirmish on the borders from house to house, I will so continue. At any rate send me some “volunteer ammunition.” “Remember me with thee … and make mention of me unto Jehovah.”
With due respect and love to the TOWER helpers, I am yours with much Christian love and gratitude,
CHARLES J. PETERSON,—Kansas
— August 15, 1900 —