This is the first number of a new volume. It opens our fourth year. Thanking our Father in heaven for progress made in the pathway of light, and in the understanding of his Word, given during the past, and looking to him as the fountain from which comes all truth and every good gift, for continued supplies during the year now begun, we go forward. We expect, according to his Word, that the light will not oppose, but harmonize with past light; that it will not be light of a different character, but more of the same sort.
No previous year ever had so favorable an outlook. Though opposition on every hand increases, so do the encouragements. The spread of truth and liberty among God's children more than compensates for the stigma and opposition. The persistency of Satan in spreading error is more than compensated for, in the brighter shining of the truth in contrast. "Praise God from whom all blessings flow."
More interesting letters, show that the interest in the study of the Scriptures is increasing. The light from our Lord's presence is breaking upon the sight of others of God's children, and the effect upon one and all is, rejoicing, with growth in grace, knowledge and love of God. As we come to see light in God's light, it lifts us up above earthly things, and more than compensates for the loss of human friendship, which it surely involves.
During June two ministers came to see the force of the truth so clearly as to ask for a supply of "Food" for their congregations, and one reports that he never saw people so hungry. He expects to withdraw from the M.P. Church, and thinks that a number of his congregation will follow. The other minister is a Lutheran.
Many from North, South, East and West are asking for preaching. It is impossible to fill those applications which come from afar, but we make notes of such and will remember you when we can. We cannot remind you too often that we are all commissioned to preach the glad tidings:"Go ye also into my vineyard"is to every consecrated one. Go, do all you can, and seek at the fountain wisdom and grace by which you can do more and be further used in blessing those around you with the heavenly light.
There is a disposition on the part of all, to be together and have the comfort and support of fellow travelers in the narrow way. But, beloved, this does not seem to be God's plan; we are scattered, so that we may let our light shine. If we should get to one place, we would probably be scattered as were those mentioned in Acts, 8:1.
If you feel the "glad tidings" filling your heart, and wish that others could also hear the message? Gather from this that you may and should, let your light so shine as to glorify your Father in heaven. God is able and willing to use you, if you will let him. See then at once that your consecration is complete, and begin at once to tell the message the best you can, praying for more ability, and digging for it in God's Word, and you will become daily a vessel of greater honor as you are daily more filled with the spirit of truth and used by our Master. But remember that to be used of the Lord, we must be very humble"Broken and emptied vessels for the Master's use made meet." "The Lord abhorreth the proud, but giveth grace [His favors] to the humble."
Dear Bro. Sunderlin is again sick and confined to his bed. He writes to give his love to you all; says he will continue his last article sometime, if the Lord will. He rejoices even in pain, in the knowledge that "all things shall work together for good." Other brethren report progress of the truth against much opposition from the world, flesh and devil. Brethren and sisters, we hope all these dear ones have your sympathy and prayers; as Paul expresses it, "Brethren, pray for us, that utterance may be given us." (Eph. 6:19.)
Bro. Keith sends word that he is enroute for his Michigan trip which was before interrupted: He will be with us at Pittsburgh shortly. Bro. Lawver of Missouri, starts about July first, for a trip through Kansas and Texas. Letters, requests for preaching, may be addressed to this office.
The Chicago friends will be glad to know that Bro. McCormack is about to remove there. Chicago is a good field, and our Brother and his wife remove there in the hope of being used by the Master for the blessing of the household of faith, by disceminating the truth. When he calls on you, receive him wellhe is a brother in Christ. Let meetings be commenced at once, and the Lord bless you.
We have about twenty-five questions yet unanswered, and as space is limited, they must come gradually. We like them; they indicate thought and study. However, many are already answered, if you would reread papers and pamphlets which you have. Never give away back numbers; frequent reference to them is necessary. Loan, but do not give away.
DEAR SIR:I gratefully acknowledge the reception of your letter. In reply I would inform you that I was brought up a Congregationalist, but when I entered upon my profession I took holy orders in the Protestant Episcopal Church. I have been more than forty years in the ministry. I have regarded the P.E. Church as the most liberal and scriptural of all the Protestant organizations. Still there have been some points, held in common by all, of which I have had my doubts and misgivings, such as the day of judgment and the eternal punishment of a large portion of the human race who had no opportunity of being benefitted by the Gospel. The reading of your publications has dispelled my doubts on those points. I have been deeply interested in the discussion of these points and of many others also, particularly the restitution. I have been struck with the aptness and cogency of the interpretation which extends throughout the publications. There are some points upon which I am not yet altogether satisfied, but presume that further investigation may clear my vision. I am now reading the Prophecies and Revelation with more interest than ever before. I am watching with intense anxiety the present movements of the Jews, and the ominous condition of Europe. Most of my reading for the last few months has been your publications, and I may say, with a most absorbing interest.
MY DEAR SIR:I see that by last number of the WATCH TOWER that the pamphlets are indeed bearing fruit, notwithstanding all the opposition, not only in America but here. Now, could you not arrange some plan by which we, who rejoice in the same blessed truths, might have the opportunity of at least corresponding with each other, on this side of the Atlantic? You see there may be [page 2] others only a short distance from me who, like myself, are yearning to find some with whom they may hold sweet communion on our blessed hope. May I ask for a few copies of the "Tabernacle" to send after "Food" to Australia?
We are not idle here, since I last wrote; we have now a Bible-class every Monday at 7 P.M. "The Food" we keep circulating in "good ground," so far as human judgment can discern; and it is delightful to hear their expressions of surprise and gladness at our kindness in thinking of them. One brother here tells me he lent the "Food" and "Tabernacle" to one of their ministers, and the subjects have laid hold of him.
I have greater pleasure now than ever in reading the dear old Chart, having (thanks to my American brethren) struck a new vein of hidden treasure. Strange, is it not, that the light should work West first?