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LETTERS OF INTEREST
Dear Brother Russell:—I have been just a little tardy in sending in my offering to the “Good Hopes” fund; but I have desired to tell you how the Lord is blessing the efforts put forth by one of his weak and timid children. Praise his holy name, he has such wonderful power! About two weeks ago the pastor of the M. E. church gave me a conditional promise to take my name from the record. This did not satisfy me, and I requested a prayer-meeting at our home in the country. Yesterday a half dozen of the church members, including the pastor and wife, came out, and I had the opportunity I had long wished and prayed for. I asked God to help me to tell some of the good things which he has given me to see and understand from the Bible, through the use of the Key, which he allowed you to supply. Praise his name, he did help me boldly to tell of them. I was strongly criticised, but it was done quietly. Bro. U. again promised that he would take my name from the record, as I told him the Lord had given me assurance that it was his will that I do so. (Rev. 18:4.)
Bro. U. once told me that he read Dawn fifteen years ago, and thought he burned it. He tried to persuade me not to read such books, saying they were the work of the devil. Yesterday he and his wife told me they had a set of “Dawns,” and that there were many good things in them. I wonder if they secured them after my first talk with them.
One sister told me of the influence of a talk I gave the Epworth League last year, when I was assigned to lead the meeting. How glad I was that the topic given was the Parable of the Draw Net! I tried to bring out prominently the idea that the Lord is not trying to save the world in this, the Gospel age,
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since their time is in the future; the Gospel age being for the choosing of the little flock, the bride of Christ. So the sister said that on account of my influence they could not get any one to join the church. How I wish she was not too blind to discern the Lord’s work!
One of the friends to whom I had the “Tower” sent, has written thanking me, and stating that it was just the kind of reading she enjoyed. The Lord is pouring out great blessing upon our home, tho my brother is the only one who has come fully into harmony with the Truth.
I pray God’s blessing to rest continually upon you, and ask that you pray that his work here may continue to grow.
Yours in the work of the Master,
I am so glad to tell you that two or three in __________ are becoming interested in “Dawn” writings. I took two Towers to a friend to whom we had previously lent some. He delighted me by saying, “They are always welcome.” We then loaned him a “Dawn,” and were told that he said to another friend that “he had a book now which helped him to sort it out for himself.”
A poor, old, but intelligent friend of ours was speaking in her parson’s presence of what she had read in the Dawn. He said, “Have you seen them? Burn them, burn them!” He warns all not to be led astray by us. He lately got up a sermon on Hell, and had the town filled with bills. We, of course, did not go, and have not been for many months. We study our Bibles, Dawns and Towers, and get more good than we ever thought to get in this life.
We delight in the Towers, and when they are read, count the days until the next one will come. And how we are longing for the next volume of Dawn, I cannot tell you. We can’t keep the light to ourselves, but feel as though we must try to share it with others.
Mrs. S. J.,—Cumberland.
Dear Friends:—Through the kindness of some brethren here I have been supplied with Millennial Dawn, Vols. I. and II, and have not the language to express the joy and comfort afforded me through the Divine Plan of the Ages, revealing more abundantly the inexpressible loving-kindness of our Heavenly Father. I have been an ordained minister of the Baptist church for ten years, endeavoring to enlighten the people and comfort the saints. In fact, I have spent my time and living in the work, and have just come to the understanding that very much that I thought to be meat in due season, and which I gave them, was but the husks of tradition. Imagine, then, the comfort, the joy, the consolation since the pall of gloom is removed, and I begin to understand the teaching of the Word concerning Restitution, etc.
Some of my friends are getting alarmed; they think such exposition of Scripture very dangerous, and I desire to be fully prepared to meet their objections.
Yours in much love,
Dear Brother Russell:
Will you kindly give me some instruction as to how I am to answer the “world” when questioned about my Church? The people who know me ask why I do not go to church. I tell them that I belong to no man-made systems; that the Lord Jesus is my Teacher, and the Bible my Church; that Christ Jesus has set me free, and I belong to him, and to do his will is more to me than my daily bread.
To this Churchianity answers: “So do we belong to him; and we assemble ourselves together to show the world that we love to serve him, and you do not.” I can only make answer that my trust is in him; that I know he leadeth me, and that so long as I walk by the light he has given me I shall never be alone nor fall; and that by the grace of God I am called to be a witness to the fact of his presence now in this sick old world. Blessed be his holy name! I can not say that I belong to your church, for I do not even know by what name your church is called. Besides, I do not know if you recognize me as a sister. I can not say that I am a Second Adventist, for I know nothing about them, except that they are looking for Christ to come at any moment with an audible “shout” and visible “great glory,” which I do not believe to be the correct view.
I have found only four persons here that know anything of your publications; and they have only a vague idea as to the purport of your teaching. One woman told me she had been informed that Millennial Dawn and Ingersoll taught on parallel lines (Oh!), and her pastor told her to have nothing to do with it for it was “a dangerous book.” Well, I sent her home with Dawn Vol. II., and a handful of Towers. She will read them and get a blessing, for she has “ears to hear.” The second person, a man who has a set of Dawns, says that he bought them just to help on an agent, that he was a good (?) Baptist and that he could not afford to read Dawns, as he did not want to be called a crank. The third person, a woman, held up her hands, and cried out: “Oh, my! I am a Baptist! a Baptist, from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet!” Adding, “I suppose you are waiting to hear the trumpet sound.” I told her the trumpet was sounding now, and that I was awake and conscious of every note it made.
She stared at me, as though she thought I had lost my mind; and finally said she would read the Tower to please me, but as for the Dawn, it was “too much for her” (which is the literal truth). I gave her a few “Towers” and left her. A few days after her father (a preacher) came on a visit, and the Towers were bundled up and sent back to me. I long to point out Jeremiah 25:35,36 to such.
As to my experience with “Babylon” at large,—I am laughed at and looked upon as a sort of harmless lunatic. My old friends, who have known me as a devout church-woman for years, are really concerned about my sanity and spiritual condition, because I do not attend church services, nor participate in their sociables, fairs, etc. And when I refused to have anything to do with the “Ladies’ Aid Society” the climax was reached, and I am now a dangerous person to know.
Glory be to God the Father, I rejoice and am “exceeding glad” to be counted worthy to suffer the least bit for “his name’s sake.” I know I am gaining knowledge, and I feel that I am growing in grace, according to his good pleasure. I have the faith, and, thanks be unto God, I have the witness of the spirit, by which I am exercised daily to do his holy will with joy and thanksgiving.
Will you excuse this long letter? There is no human being of our faith near with whom I can commune. In that respect I am utterly alone. I feel that your great loving heart will respond to my call for instruction, and a word of encouragement.
May his peace, grace, and love ever rest upon you and yours. Pray for me.
Yours in the faith,
B. L. PALING.—Alabama.
[Answered by letter—and printed matter. Editor.]
— February 1, 1902 —