ALTHOUGH we have not yet been able to fill all the orders for the new Biblessending them out as rapidly as the binders can furnish themnevertheless, we have heard from quite a number who have received them that they give great satisfaction. [page 158] We cannot do better perhaps than give you extracts from a few of these letters as follows:
Dear Brother Russell:I have received that beautiful Bible. I am in ecstasies about it. I am profoundly grateful to our Father, yourself and all those connected with its making and perfecting. It is indeed a wonder. I did not expect half as much when I first read of the work you were going to undertake. It is a great blessing indeed to all interested in present truth, and who are fighting the good fight of faith, and urging on toward the mark of the High Calling.
The wide margin Bibles for the Washington congregation sent in lot to my address were received this morning and some of them I have already delivered. Those who have seen them are perfectly delighted and say they would not take many times the price for them. It would do you good to hear the satisfactory remarks concerning these remarkable Biblesthe only ones of the kind in existenceand to note the beaming face and glad light in the eyes of the beholder. If I were tendered twenty-five dollars for mine I should not entertain for a moment the thought of parting with it if I could not secure another, altho I had already marked one of my Bibles in this way from the copy at the Watch Tower office. I have found that Bible more helpful in Bible study than all the other helps combined, hence know from experience how helpful this Bible will be to students of the Word. The Topical Index is an entirely new feature, and a happy surprise. It alone is worth the price of the book. I can in a sense realize the stupendous undertaking to prepare this work. We all owe you a debt of [page 159] gratitude for your solicitude on our behalf. I am sure the Lord will bless your effort and amply reward you. But you always declare that He already has rewarded you, and that you are striving to render some return for his goodness. To him be the praise in using you so admirably to the furthering of his cause. Brother, I cannot thank you sufficiently for this treasure. I prize it above everything I have. May the Lord continue to direct your mind and heart in this blessed service, and may your joy be full as you seek to know and do his will. My prayers are with you and for you as I know yours are ascending on my behalf. Continue to remember me at the throne of grace that my faith fail not. We are having splendid meetings with an average attendance of about twenty-five, and the Tower office force is always remembered in our prayers.
In behalf of Sr. Black and self, I wish to thank you for the new Bibles. Our hearts were strangely touched as we examined with considerable care the different features of the work; and we trust it will prove a new incentive to faithfulness. The value of the work is far beyond our sanguine anticipations.
The literature is being read here with a good deal of appreciation and our work does not seem to meet with much opposition. What proportion of the results will be reaped early is in the hands of the Chief Reaper.
We realize an ever-increasing joy in the privilege of engaging in this feature of Harvest work. All join in gratitude for your faithful service and in prayers for God's abundant blessing on every feature of the work now drawing so near to its close.
My new Bible has arrived and I feel that my heartiest appreciation of your services in providing for us such a treasure is but a very small return for your kindness. The whole arrangement of the work is so neat, compact, comprehensive and first-class that it seems as tho no improvement could be made in the book. To have the help of such a volume adds greatly to the pleasure of study and research. The material of the Towers and Dawns is available now in a moment's time and this fact will be greatly appreciated by those of us who have not been in the truth for any great length of time.
I today received my copy of the Bible, for which I have been looking, and praying. I have had time only for a general examination of it, but that examination has filled my heart with gratitude and praise to God for his wonderful help in the study of his Word. I could but fall upon my knees and express that gratitude to him for such a book, and to implore the life-giving power of his ever blessed spirit to shine upon it and our hearts as we descend to a deeper level of the great mine of golden truth. It impresses my heart very deeply, that he has restored my sight, for six months ago had the same book been put into my hands I could not have read a word, but now thank his dear name, I can feast on the good things there, and aid others to a like feast. Praise our great, loving and merciful Heavenly Father! And I feel that our thanks are due you for the great treasure you have (by the blessing of God) put into our hands.
We felt sure in advance that all the dear friends of the truth would appreciate having just such a copy of our Father's Word, and are glad that we were not mistaken. The publishers were astounded when they learned that the edition of 5,000 had been nearly all subscribed for in advance. It is now the turn of those who receive them to feel amazed that so splendid a book could be produced for the money. We are glad indeed to know of your appreciation of our efforts in your behalf; and now we trust that a systematic use of the new Bible will be instituted as quickly as possible amongst the friends.
We trust that all of you will promptly acquaint yourselves with the various new features of this new Bible; and for a complete explanation we refer you to a description which follows its title page, under the heading, "Special Features of This EditionBerean Bible Study Helps." Therein we offer some suggestions respecting Bible-study meetings. The regular leaders everywhere will have no difficulty in understanding the suggestions, and we believe that they will be found so helpful that speedily such meetings will be a part of the regular order amongst the friends in general. Indeed where there is no experienced leader, there should be no difficulty in conducting not only an interesting but a profitable and instructive service. If you cannot have a large meeting, remember the Lord's special promise to the twos and threes gathering in his nameclaim the promise by fulfilling your part of it. "Forget not the assembling of yourselves together," as the Lord, through the Apostle enjoins,and "so much the more as you see the day approaching."Heb. 10:25.
The custom of the nominal church systems, to have one member of the congregation do all the preaching, all the teaching, is one that has done much injury, in that it has given rise to a division of the church into classesclergy and laity;additionally it has laid too much work upon the few called the clergy to permit of their attention to things of this present life, providing things honest in the sight of all men; and by taking away from the majority of the Lord's people their responsibility and share in the ministry it has deprived them of a great blessing, and hindered their growth in grace and their development as servants of the truth.
We are not opposing the preaching of the gospel by those who have the talent for it; but our thought is that the Lord never intended the meetings of his people to be all of the preaching kind. It was not so in the early church as the Apostle explains (I Cor. 12; I Thess. 5:11.) An effort should be made to develop whatever talent there is in any little companyto incite and draw out thought and expression respecting the divine plan as presented in the Word. Let those who have ability to preach do so in moderation; let them also help others to various shares in the service of the truth. As each seeks to grow in grace and to assist others, the Lord will open further and wider doors of opportunityperhaps in near-by towns or in other quarters of the same city. The harvest is great and the laborers are few, and it should be the constant effort of all who are faithful to the Lord and to the cause, not only to serve one another, but to help one another into the service. We pray the Lord that the new Bible may be greatly blessed of him in this wayin helping many to engage in the ministry of the truth as leaders of Berean Bible classes.