DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:I thank God earnestly and reverently for the DAWNS and TOWERS, and that my understanding has been opened to receive and see the truth. When the "key" is applied, how beautifully the Scriptures open and reveal God's wonderful plan. In the June number of the TOWER you speak of dispensing truth to others, that in feeding we are fed. I know that to be true, and have verified it on more than one occasion. Will you please send some free tracts to be given out in a Dawn Circle for Bible Study that I am trying to get started in a neighboring town.
I often wonder, Brother Russell, if you can read thoughts. Several times when I have been studying over certain points and could not quite determine what was right, the next WATCH TOWER would have a full explanation of the very subject I had been studying. Is it the holy spirit that impresses your [R2506 : page 192] mind with the truth that puzzles others? It seems so. May the Lord bless the recent effort made here and your labors wherever they may be!
[REPLY.The EDITOR does not possess the gift of mind-reading, but our present Lord does, and undoubtedly in this "harvest" time, specially, he is watching over the interests of all those who are truly his. He knows exactly what kind of provender his "sheep" need, and according to promise provides "meat in due season for the household of faith."
Very many have made similar observations respecting the opportuneness of certain expositions which have appeared in the WATCH TOWER. We can only account for such repeated coincidences by acknowledging the Lord's knowledge and providential care, and we rejoice in the thought that he does take supervision of our humble efforts, to direct them and bless them in his service. Nevertheless, we are far from claiming any direct or plenary inspiration. We believe, however, that there are many ways in which the Lord can guide those who are anxious to serve him, without directly inspiring or in any manner interfering with their free agency. A careful examination of the subject leads us to the conclusion that the Lord providentially shapes our course so as to give us such personal experiences in life as will bring us to his Word for comfort and instruction in righteousness; and thus he permits us to sympathize with the experiences and questionings of his people, and then to present to them at appropriate times the lessons drawn from our own experiences, backed by the instructions and comfort of the Scriptures.EDITOR.]
DEAR BROTHER:In reading Isaiah, 2d chapter, which seems to refer especially to the present time, I notice that in vs. 16 we are informed of the judgment of the Lord on the ships of Tarshish, "And over all the ships of Tarshish." If I am correctly informed, Tarshish refers to Spain and especially to the city of Cadiz and the south-west part of Spain. The wonderful events that have occurred during the last year, resulting in the utter destruction of so many Spanish warships and with such slight injury to the American ships has suggested the thought that possibly these events may be a fulfilment.
[We present the foregoing, because the application made seems to fit remarkably well to the general context. It will be noticed that the theme of the prophet concerns the last days, and the establishment of the Lord's Kingdom, etc. (See vss. 2,3.) Vss. 19-22 seem to refer to the great time of trouble just before us, and frequently referred to throughout the Scriptures as the Day of Vengeance.EDITOR.]
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:I owe you more, I fear, than I will ever be able to repay for your many kind acts from time to time aside from a servant of the truth whom I love seemingly dearer than ever. But to say that my whole soul goes out in thankful appreciation for the brotherly interest you have manifested in my sufferings in overcoming the tobacco habit, seems to me, dear Brother, only mildly to express my feelings on this point. When I requested Bro. S__________ to lay my case before you for counsel and advice, which I knew you so well able to give from the standpoint of the Lord's word, I felt determined to "resist the devil" in his operations through the flesh in my case, if I conquered only through death. I am yet as fully determined, the Lord helping me.
The WATCH TOWERS of recent issue are appreciated as much as ever. How my heart went out to those dear brethren in New York when I read the article, "Think It Not Strange." Surely, Satan is getting desperate in his oppositions. In the Methodist Recorder, published at Pittsburg, in their last week's issue, I have been told by a neighbor, appears an article by Rev. Daniel B. Turney, A.M., attacking the truth contained in the booklet, What Say the Scriptures about Hell? From what my friend tells me it [R2507 : page 192] must be one of the boldest misrepresentations the representatives of the Lord and his truth have yet suffered from such "high places." I sent the above named Mr. Turney one of the booklets referred to some time ago as a reply to some of his unscriptural writings concerning the "Immortal essence of man," and I suppose this is the reward we and all who love the Lord can joyfully receive. (Matt. 5:11,12.) I trust you will be furnished with a copy of the above named publication.
I am glad to inform you that the interest here is growing, and we are having interesting times at our meetings every Sunday evening. How it rejoices our hearts to see the truth prosper, even tho the "increase" may be small comparatively. But, dear Brother, it is very evident that our influence for the truth's prosperity is nearly over; it seems that the time has almost come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but may we be enabled to understand and rejoice in the typical words of John the Baptist, "I must decrease." May we, dear Brother, be enabled to suffer joyfully and under all circumstances to preserve the unity of the spirit in the bonds of love and peace. I am getting much benefit from the Sunday readings suggested some time ago.
[REPLY.Respecting the decrease of the work: from our broader view-point it seems as tho much work is yet to be accomplished; indeed, every month shows an increase for the past three years, and during the last year specially. The people are getting awake and groping about for truth, and now is the time to lend a helping hand to keep them from stumbling into Infidelity, Spiritism, Christian Science, Evolution, etc. The chief opponents of the truth are the "ministers," the very ones who are undermining faith in Christ as a Savior from sin and death by teaching an Evolution salvation. Quite likely their opposition will become much more pronounced, and they may, in some form or many forms, "crucify" the members of the body of Christ: but this will furnish opportunities for attesting our love for the Lord's brethren. In view of our Lord's example and the Apostle's words, we should gladly let our light shine and render every other assistance, even tho it test our willingness to "lay down our lives for the brethren" (1 John 3:16).EDITOR.]