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EXTRACTS FROM INTERESTING LETTERS
TOWER TRACT SOCIETY—DEAR BRETHREN:—Your tract, “Protestants, Awake” has just fallen into my hands, and as I have been recently excommunicated from the Methodist Episcopal ministry and membership for protesting against ecclesiastical dogmas and denouncing the errors, superstitions, traditions and prelatical usurpations of authority, and declaring the “whole counsel of God” without reference to church creed, or Christless cast, I devoured it with avidity and delight. May the blessings of God speed it on its high and holy mission.
The time is rapidly coming, yea, now is, when we must contend earnestly for “the faith” once delivered to the saints, and “resist, even unto blood,” the son of perdition who as an angel of light, nay, as “God himself, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” This is not only true of the Papacy, but of Protestantism as well, as you suggest in your well-written tract.
The “abomination of desolation” is now “standing in the holy place.”
The depth to which an individual falls is determined by the height to which he has been exalted. The same is true of churches. The M.E. Church having been exalted to heaven in point of spirituality, and possibilities of holiness, is sinking under the weight of her worldliness and corruption to the uttermost hell. The worldliness of the churches here in this great West is alarming and appalling! Men of influence and wealth have been courted until they hold with an iron grip the balance of power, and dictate the policy, shape the administration, padlock the preacher, laugh at spirituality and frown down any attempt at true Christian effort.
The flood-gates of corruption have been opened, and socials, fairs, festivals, balls, theatricals, lotteries, grab-bags, broom brigades, tamborine drills, games, etc., have entered.
At first the devil came as an angel of light. “Oh we must have amusements, you know, to attract and hold the young people.” Yes, how plausible! Now he shows his hoofs and horns and is monarch of all he surveys.
What are the preachers doing? They are “prophesying smooth things” and crying “peace, peace,” “no evil shall befall you;” and this in the face of what God says, “I have set watchmen on thy walls, O Jerusalem, who shall never hold their peace, day nor night. Ye that make mention of the Lord keep not silence.” “O my people, they who lead thee cause thee to err.” The preachers here are mostly of the time-serving, man-pleasing, salary-seeking class. They keep their hand on the public pulse and govern themselves accordingly.
The churches are rapidly becoming centres for the fun-loving, fashion-displaying, mutual admiration classes. The consequence is, they are as impotent as an infant to successfully grapple with the mighty moral, social, political and economic problems pressing upon us for solution. The tides of immorality, worldliness, avarice, intemperance, profanity and the social vice are coming in like a flood upon us, as resistless as the waters in the Conemagh Valley.
But thanks be unto God forever and ever, we have the promise that “the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” “The Lamb shall overcome them.” “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” “Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” “Now thanks be unto God who always causeth us to triumph.” “No weapon formed against us shall prosper.” “Glory to God in the highest.”
Enclosed please find amount to pay for “The Plan of the Ages” and “The Time is at Hand.”
Also please send me 100 copies of the tract, “Protestants, Awake!” Also, sample copy of all the tracts you have in stock. Yours in the war, J. T. M.__________.
DEAR BRETHREN:—I enclose a P.O. order for $18 for books ordered. I see strong, convincing evidence of the guidance of the Spirit in the work in which the Tract Society is engaged.
Its low prices, its free distribution to the poor, its uncompromising spirit with error, its independence of all sects and isms, its sole reliance on God for success, its boldness to attack error wherever it exists regardless of consequences, which in all probability will be bitter opposition, or worse; its strict fidelity to God’s Word, its reasonableness, and I might as well say everything about the enterprise seems to bear the impress of genuineness and is all convincing, to those who will investigate the matter, that it is what it claims to be—the truth as revealed in the Bible.
I am surprised at the indifference I find everywhere manifested on Bible subjects. But it is just the condition of things foretold in the Bible. I find many here who like the book and want the second volume. Still but very few are deeply interested in the closing events of the gospel age, and but few are running for the race for the prize. I cannot tell you how much I prize your writings, and I don’t know how I can spend my time more profitably than in circulating the truth, by selling DAWN as at present.
Yours for the truth, E. H__________.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I have often thought I would like to write you of my high appreciation of your good work in disseminating the truth, and tell you of the wonderful comfort and benefit your writings afford me. I would not be without them for thousands of dollars. My only regret is my inability (financially) to do more toward spreading the good tidings of truth. During the past year I have given away about 300 copies of “Old Theology” and several copies of Dawn. But, alas! how few take hold of the truth. Yet I occasionally hear the remark, “I agree with him mostly,” but that is the last. I have found only one, so far, who heartily takes to the truth and sympathizes with me, and that is my father. May be other seed will germinate later on; leastwise I shall continue to sow as best I can. I would like to devote my entire time to the service of our Master, but am compelled to work all the time to support my family. I greatly rejoice to see the glorious Millennial reign of Christ closely approaching. May he hasten the day, and shield his faithful ones from the preceding great tribulation coming on the world. Please send me 500 Arp slips. I think I can use all these judiciously by enclosing in letters, etc. Yours in the love of truth,
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:—I am glad to know from letters in TOWER that the truth is spreading and more laborers are added, and some are continually rallying round the standard of truth, although the numbers are few compared to those still opposing the truth. In this vicinity many have become interested to some extent, and have rejoiced for a time, but I am sorry to say but few have the courage or will to make the sacrifices.
What a wonderful book the second volume of Dawn is. The proofs are so conclusive. I have read it through many times, and every time I read it am more and more astonished and convinced of the presence of our Lord, and that the time is indeed at hand.
Yours in Christian love, J. P.
DEAR BROTHER:—I would like to read the WATCH TOWER regularly. Though a preacher, I am very poor. If possible I will pay for it some time during the year. I admire your “Old Theology.” I greatly admire your Christian spirit. May God bless you.
Yours in hope of eternal life, W. B.
MR. C. T. RUSSELL:—Some time ago I wrote you to send me Vol. I. of Millennial Dawn. I received it and read it, and found wonderful knowledge in it, but not until my brother-in-law handed me Vol. II. did I find the grandest, dearest and deepest knowledge that it has been my fortune to acquire. I have read first and second volumes twice. Indeed I am continually studying Vol. II. I notice in it that you are engaged on another volume, and I want it just as soon as you complete it. Very respectfully, J. N. M.
Eureka Springs, Ark.
TOWER PUBLISHING CO., Allegheny, Pa.—Gents:—I have just read your Plan of the Ages, through the kindness of a friend, and it so sharpened my appetite for knowledge on this plane that has so long been uppermost in my very soul that I have a “hungering and thirsting” after more light, and covet the best gifts that I may study to be approved and be counted one of the “little flock.” I aspire to nothing short of “glorification” and to be a “priest and king unto God.” Therefore please send me for enclosed, Vol. II. of Millennial Dawn. “The time is at hand,” and if there are any subsequent volumes to follow, I will send for them in due time, whatever may be the outcome of the matter. Brother Russell is undoubtedly putting many who read his works to thinking for themselves. May God bless him in his labor.
Very truly, G. A. V.
DEAR BRETHREN:—I received six copies of the DAWN, Vol. II.—cloth-bound. I meant it to be paper-covered but forgot to say so in my order, so it is my own mistake. I enclose $5 to cover the shortage. Please renew subscription for WATCH TOWER—three copies per month—for 1890. The balance use where most needed. How lonely some of us would be without it. I humbly ask your prayers that the Lord would renew a right spirit within me.
My employer has urged me to buy a home and pay for the same in small installments, (price $2,000,) himself being security for the amount; but as I thought this would be putting a yoke around my neck for a number of years, and perhaps would serve to draw my interests away from the great prize, I have, against the advice of many, refused the otherwise kind offer. May the Lord give grace to remain a “stranger and foreigner,” and not get entangled with the things of this world, but, instead, to lay up a treasure in heaven. Yours, in the Lord, __________.
— March, 1890 —