R5667-110 Interesting Letters

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I write to say to you that I left the Presbyterian Church in November. I was baptized Sunday afternoon, January 24th, and am now enjoying full rights as a member of the Body of Christ with the brethren.

This came about by my having read one of your leaflets during the first part of November—a leaflet which had been placed on our front porch by some unknown messenger—one of the articles printed in it describing the Mystical Babylon’s fall with the command, “Come out of her, my people,” etc. This struck my mind with such force that I never went back to our Church, my last visit being the evening before Thanksgiving for a prayer service. I was dissatisfied before I left, not only with the weak sermons—sermonettes, I called them—but with the weak Sunday School lessons and fully as weak Bible Class lessons. I was honestly hungry for mental and spiritual food, commensurate with the strength of my mind. I never found it, outside of the Bible, until I bought a complete set of Pastor Russell’s books and read them through. I was extremely anxious to have Revelation and part of Daniel’s prophecies explained, but did not know where to obtain the needed assistance. Now all is made clear and I have to exclaim over and over, “I would not take a fortune for them and do without them!” My experience is the same as that of the rest of the Class; it is hard to pull ourselves away (even for rest and food) from the study of the Bible when it is done with the aid of those valuable books, “STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES.” Am so thankful for them.

Last fall the Methodist minister here warned me particularly to have nothing to do with those books or leaflets, saying I would be so drawn in I couldn’t extricate myself. This whetted my interest, but I found, unknown to myself, that he really told the truth; for I am drawn in, and what is more remarkable, I would not wish to extricate myself, if I could. I have the full set of books, largest size, have subscribed for THE WATCH TOWER and am pleased with the BIBLE STUDENTS MONTHLY also. I want some of these books to go to some of my Presbyterian friends by mail, sub rosa. Thanking you for your kindness, I am,

Very respectfully, MRS. H. B. PORTER.




In the fulness of time the attention of the dear Brethren here was publicly directed to the consideration of the VOW as an added safeguard to the New Creature and a further aid to the development of the spiritual graces. Here the first result was to cause a division in the camp for the time being, some of the brethren assuming an attitude of determined opposition to it. The great Adversary is mightily afraid of that VOW. He realizes that it will always be a most effective check upon his machinations, and so he invents a hundred and one reasons why it should be

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avoided. We had them all: It would “despoil us of our liberties”; it would “hinder our fellowship”; it would “make business intercourse difficult”; and “marriage of the saints impossible.” “No, we would not sell our liberties and spoil the loving fellowship we formerly enjoyed.” “We would not take the VOW, even though it cast us into outer darkness!”

Here, as always, the Adversary overreached himself, and reason returning, some were constrained to ask, “Could such a course that seems bound to stampede the Lord’s flock be of His leading?” And so one after another was led to reconsider his attitude to the VOW; and as this was done, the opposition thereto melted away like mists before the sun. A dear Brother who was strong in opposition to the VOW, was led to see the folly of that course, and was anxious, therefore, to publicly intimate his conversion. This he did in a most noble manner. After explaining his change of front and the reason therefor, he came out and in the presence of the whole class affixed his signature to the enclosed copy. Of course, such action was infectious and to our great joy one after another followed our dear Brother’s example until now the opposition to the VOW has vanished into thin air. Praise the Lord for His great goodness to us!

Now we, twenty-four Brothers and Sisters of the Ecclesia at Durban, wish to thank you for the admirable foresight which caused you some years ago to propound such a wise provision for our safeguarding in these evil days; and we wish to assure you that we have made this VOW our own, and are determined by His grace to vow and pay unto the Lord our God. To this end we humbly beseech an interest in your prayers; and in testimony of our determination we have set our names to the accompanying copy. May God give us all grace to be faithful unto death, that we may gain the crown of life!

With continued Christian love to you, dear Brother, and to all those of like precious faith at the Bethel, I remain,

Your Brother in our imminent Hope,
WM. W. JOHNSON.—Natal, S. Africa.

[New readers of THE WATCH TOWER may not fully understand the above letter, not having seen a copy of the VOW. Upon post-card request we will mail a copy of it free.]




In sending in current report I am constrained to bring to your notice a point of some possible moment as respects the arrangements for public meetings at small places.

It appears to me that some of the dear Pilgrim brethren have permitted the large audiences at certain places to create an impression that small audiences are hardly worth while. In consequence, whenever there is a small attendance at a publicly advertised meeting, they advise the brother, “If I were you I should not try a public meeting here any more.” At a number of recent appointments, friends have told me practically the same thing.

I find that sometimes not a single grain of wheat will result from a large meeting, while at other times several grains will come from a small meeting. Then, in such little places, everyone knows everybody’s business, and if a private class meeting is held there will usually be a few strangers. I don’t see why it wouldn’t be better to make some little public announcement and get twenty-five strangers instead of a few.

In such places a public meeting is practically no trouble or expense. Often there is no good hall in the place, but a schoolhouse to be had free.

If the Pilgrim brethren would not discourage the holding of public services, but would rather advise as to wisest way of getting results therefrom, I think it would be better.

Another thing: A class recently visited complained about the way the Pilgrims had been “scolding” them. Wouldn’t it be an improvement if all scolding was done more indirectly, by example and suggestion, rather than by direct and public criticism.

It has done me great good to perceive the great number who seem to be laying hold on the Truth. Everywhere this is so evident. With much Christian love,

Yours in His name, B. H. BARTON.




I was very much impressed by the statement in the Dec. 15 WATCH TOWER: “The Church has entered upon her last test.” In applying this to myself and others, I should be able to notice testings of a more peculiar and stringent character than in the past. And I do. One is the test to be especially recognized and honored of the brethren. The Lord has given me victory. I am reconciled to God’s ways. In watching others, I can see the same struggle.

In our Berean Bible Class Study, with fifteen or twenty attending, we do not always get around to ask each a question, though all have an opportunity to ask questions and comment. This does not meet with the approval of all the sisters. One Sister, with some teaching ability, is offended because we do not comment favorably upon her questions and answers. She thinks that the Elders are trying to keep the Sisters down, that we are not asking her enough questions and paying due respect to her.

We think it proper not to give too much encouragement where there seems to be plenty, but rather to encourage the quiet and backward ones. We think the Sister is in enough danger anyway, as she is taking upon herself to teach two classes of sisters. We shall strive to live and teach so as to have a conscience void of offense before God and man.

May the Lord help us all, Elders and otherwise, to realize more fully the responsibility resting upon us, and to manifest a more brotherly care for each other, knowing that we all expect to be with the Lord in glory shortly. May God bless you in your service!

Your humble Brother by His grace, __________.


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Your sermons in the newspapers are such a comfort, and I am proud to know that there is a man of God who is brave enough to tell the Truth as he sees it. We go to church, but where is the comfort to be found there? Money! money! money! The poor man is made to feel his position in life so keenly that it is far better for him to stay at home and go out in the fields or on the water and praise God there, for God wants the heart and a good, pure life.

We are hungry for God and for Christ’s love—pure, sweet love. We go to church, but we are made to feel that we poor creatures need to know more of God’s love! It is there for us, only our eyes are not yet opened. We have attended the same church for twenty years—Presbyterian, and a little over two years ago I had an awful, awful sorrow (I had but the two sons), when my older son was taken ill. Everything was done that could be done for him, but God called him home. His was one of the most beautiful characters. When he was ill and suffering, there was never a murmur. He was on the Produce Exchange, and his employer wrote him a most beautiful letter, stating that they had stood side by side for thirteen years and he had never seen a frown.

After the funeral, and our bills were being settled, we were horrified when the undertaker said to my husband that the minister expected his pay—from five to ten dollars. What a dreadful thing to think that the last prayer over the remains of my precious boy had to be paid for! We have the receipt.

What would our blessed Savior say to that? Oh, keep telling us of God’s love! It will help us to bear the cross as we go through life. If it were only known in the pure, simple way, how many dear, discouraged souls it would help! It is not to be found in the churches of today.

Very sincerely, MRS. E. H. LOMAS.




As one of more than fourteen-hundred prisoners confined in Clinton Prison at Dannemora, N.Y., I wish to thank you and all concerned in the production of the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION. It has been a great privilege to view the pictures, and I have derived lasting benefit during these past four days.

I but echo the sentiments of every prisoner within these walls when I say that this exhibition has given us a better knowledge of creation, of God and of Christ than we could possibly get, unaided, from any other source. It has made a deep impression upon all of us. It has lifted our thoughts to a higher, better life and has given us a far better understanding of things of which we have heretofore been ignorant.

It would have pleased you to have witnessed the manner in which the pictures were received by the hundreds of men who are considered hardened criminals.

When the motion picture of Jesus’ awakening of Jairus’ daughter and the healing of the lame and blind was on the screen the prisoners voluntarily joined softly in the hymn of the phonograph singer. This was most impressive; and the man must indeed be hardened whose heart would not be moved.

Again thanking you, please accept greetings and best wishes for a continuance of your health.

Sincerely yours, WILLIAM F. GILLESPIE.


— April 1, 1915 —