DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:I have just received a letter from our beloved Brother Lundy, in which he tells me that you are preparing a tract for the Hebrews. I am so delighted over the news that I cannot keep myself from writing a few words. May the Lord bless you and develop in you a true, sincere and earnest love to his people which he formed for himself to show forth his praise (Isa. 42), and who through the erroneous teachings of the apostate church were led to believe that Christianity is only another form of idolatry, and blasphemed and rejected the "only name given among men whereby we must be saved," and the great blessings of the gospel.
Tell my dear brethren boldly and lovingly of the true Christian creed: We trust in the living God, who is the savior of all men, especially of those who believe (1 Tim. 4:10); that "By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities" (Isa. 53:11); that we Christians do not make the law of God void, but establish the law (Rom. 3:31); and that The letter killeth, but the spirit quickeneth.
DEAR BROTHER AND SISTER RUSSELL:I have been intending for some time to write you, but hitherto have had nothing new to add to the same old story of the amazing love of God for man. I am still holding on the same place of anchorthe ransom for all, the rock Christ Jesus. For the past six years I thought, like Elijah of old, that I was the only one in this place that cared for God, and that (typically speaking) many were seeking my life; but the good Lord has shown me that I was mistaken. During last Summer brother Wiltze moved to this town, and we at once met regularly for communion and study. Through him I learned that one of the members of the official board of the Methodist church with me when I resigned from the board and withdrew from the church was now reading DAWN and quite interested in its teaching. This brother had the DAWN at the time I left the church, but on the advice of the Minister he laid it away as a dangerous book. I called to see him and found both him and his wife much interested. After that they met with Bro. Wiltze and myself until they removed to near Boston, and I am informed that they meet regularly with the brethren in Boston. This greatly encouraged us to persevere in the work.
Two weeks ago I stepped into the butcher shop of a stranger to me to purchase a piece of meat, and while getting it ready he asked me if my name was Anger. I said, yes. He said he had heard of me as a reader of MILLENNIAL DAWN and that he had also been reading it. I asked, How do you like its teachings? His reply was that it was the only satisfying explanation of the Bible and the plan of salvation. His wife came in, and I was introduced to her. She was very enthusiastic, and I learned from her that her father had been a reader and believer of DAWN and its teachings for eight years, that her brother and sister and others of the family were also believers. On my way home I called upon her father and found him strong in the faith, and another daughter as enthusiastic as the father. After exchanging views for some time I invited them to come to our meetings at my house, and the next afternoon the daughter and her husband came out and we had a profitable time. I should have mentioned that before I knew of these brothers and sisters a son of the brother above mentioned had also become a believer, and was meeting regularly with us and is making rapid progress in the truth.
One week ago to-day our little company numbered eleven, all but three of whom I believe are true believers, and the others not real opposers. To-day there were only five present, but one of them was a new convert to the old gospel. And so the Lord is leading and we are rejoicing and beginning to understand why he has prevented us from closing up our affairs in this town in order to get out of it over a year ago. Some time ago we came to the conclusion that the Lord had a work for us to do here, but we could see no opening, for the ministers had effectually closed the door against us by warning their people to avoid us as dangerous persons to talk to on religious subjects, as hot-headed persons, religious cranks and disbelievers in God's Word. When these things came to us, we rejoiced that we were accounted worthy to suffer with Jesus, for in his day he was regarded very much the same by the religious people of that time. "Blessed are ye, when men shall speak all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." (Matt. 5:11.) But none of these things move us, for we know in whom we have believed, and that he is more than all they who are against us.
It is a strange thing that our opposers do not try to show wherein we have retrograded in life and action, but put forth all their efforts to show what a fearful thing it is to leave the church. To leave the church is a sure passport to perdition, and a man must be bad when he leaves the church, altho he neither swears, deals falsely with his neighbors or in any way deviates from the best standard of correct living, but on the other hand has an increased love for and faith in God's Word, diligently studies it to find out God's perfect will and earnestly strives daily to bring his life and conduct to harmonize with that Word. Yet herein is [R2142 : page 124] the evidence that human nature is still the same, perverted and unregenerated and far below the standard of perfect human nature.
What a glorious reality is the religion of Jesus Christ!glorious in its contemplation, glorious in its possession, glorious when we can get but one to espouse it, yet more glorious in its after-fruits, when we (the Church) shall have the privilege of instructing, guiding, controlling and leading our friends (now enemies) back to righteousness and to God during the space of a thousand years. We are content to do the Master's will in any way it may be required, and are rejoicing at the prospect of the progress of truth, and if need be are willing to suffer for it. May God keep us humble, willing and obedient.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:It has been a long time since I wrote to you, tho I have often thought of doing so. I was indeed pleased to learn of the opportune and powerful support received by the Society, and that it will be well spent is a foregone conclusion with me. In the TOWER you strike the keynote; you are building on the Rock, "and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." How easy and natural for our poor race to err now! Thank God, most of them know not what they do! In Feb. 15 issue you make so clear the flood that is sweeping away what little faith nominal Christians have. It illustrates, "Take away from him that hath not, and give to him that hath;" or, as expressed in Luke 8:18, margin, "even that he thinketh that he hath."
I want to call your attention to the last chapter of Micah, and invite your criticism on my applications. [We think the suggestions are good.EDITOR.] Verse 1 seems to apply to the true Church; vs. 3 is a picture of the present unbearable corruption in governments and the operation of trusts; vs. 4 refers to the nominal church; verses 5 and 6 are addressed to the "little flock," as in Luke 21:16; vs. 7 is uttered by them, as is vs. 8. And here is where it seems to me a partial darkness and confusion comes over them, so that she that is the enemy could bring a reproach. I would also like you to notice vs. 15the going out of Egypt as a type of entering the Millennium.
DEAR FRIENDS IN CHRIST:Received the books with thanks, and the brother is earnestly seeking the truth. Please send me a few more tracts. It does me good to find one who will receive the truth, and I praise the dear Lord for allowing me that privilege of service.
I think sometimes it is because I am so unworthy that the Lord don't use me more. In my early life I lived a devoted Christian for some years, then there came a time when I was measurably thrown out of Christian society, and I became cold, neglected duty and was what is called a "backslider," tho I never felt like denying the Lord who redeemed me. But seven years since, through the providence of our dear Lord, a brother handed me the DAWN to read, and it awakened me to greater love than I ever enjoyed before. Since that time I have tried in my weak way and through much affliction to do what I could. I fear I lost my place in the Bride company when living away from Christ; but, if I did, I will continue to serve him to the best of my knowledge. His service is all-glorious to me, and I will be his in some capacity. Please tell me briefly what you think of me. I study the Word all that I am able, and try to do all the good I can.
You ask what we think of your case. From what you say of your Christian experience and the present [R2143 : page 124] attitude of your heart, we should say, "Cast not away your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward, for ye have need of patience that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise." (Heb. 10:33-37.) The Apostle calls attention to some who were not able to go out in the midst of the battle as he was, but were loyal to the truth and rejoiced in the privilege of being the companions of some who were so used. And this, dear sister, has certainly been your case since you have come to a knowledge of the present truth. You have not lacked in sympathy for all the other members of the body, esteeming it a privilege to suffer with them if you could not do so for them. And as in David's day those who remained with the stuff received equal share of the spoils with those who went to battle, so we believe that you and all of like experience will receive share in the glories which await the overcomers.
That during a considerable portion of your life you were in a backslidden condition is to be regretted; but the fact that the Lord sent you the truth was a distinct evidence of his love for you, and that you had not fallen away beyond recovery. We have no doubt that as you look back you will be able to recognize that much of your languor was caused by lack of knowledge of God and his Word, and consequently your mind was not sufficiently awakened to the necessity for active service; and even if you had tried to teach the truth you would have been unable to do so, because you did not have it yourself. Hence, we are sure that, if you ask it, the Lord will forgive all the shortcomings of the past; in fact, we have no doubt that you have already done so, and that he has granted full forgiveness. All who are truly seeking to do the Lord's will can doubtless look back over the past years of their life and realize that they omitted many things they might have done. If it were not so, it would prove either that they have failed to grow, and have a low standard of excellence, or that all they did was perfectly done (which of course is impossible, for there is none righteous, no, not one). Herein lies the value to us of the robe of Christ's righteousness, covering all our imperfections, so that our best endeavors may be acceptable in God's sight as tho perfect.
Therefore, dear sister, we encourage you to renew your hope and confidence; do with your might what your hands find to do; let your daily life be a witness for the Lord and an example of holiness; and, when you can do nothing more, "Stand." (See Eph. 6:10-18.