DEAR BROTHER:Several weeks ago we were studying 1 Thess. 3, where Brother Paul was expressing his love and concern for the brethren. One brother remarked that we could draw from this that an occasional letter to you would be appreciated.
My rejoicing in the glad message (which I have had in the last four years) has been the most profound experience of my life. The Bible is more and more commanding my reverence by its harmony, its beauty and its majesty, which can only be seen by observing God's order in its study, and can also say as much of my dear brethren here.
We had a visitor at our public meeting last Sunday from a neighboring town, and the effect of sound doctrine on him may be of interest to you. He is a man of about thirty-six years and had been a drunkard for many years. Nine months ago he came in contact with the Truth through a brother in Christ and it appealed so forcibly to him that it allured him from his old habits. He is quite a sturdy student of the Bible now and has quite a ravenous appetite for the Truth. He is considering seriously a full surrender of himself to the Lord. His fellow-townsmen of the Babylonian frame of mind, seeing his wonderful reform, are at him on all sides to join their churches and to head a siege of the "joints," etc., but the spirit of a sound mind turns a deaf ear to these. The dear brother is running under a higher tension than the ordinary, but will not be tested beyond that which he can endure. Thank God!
DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST:For some time I have been thinking of writing to you a brief statement concerning the Lord's dealings with me, and will do so now. I am rejoicing in the blessed hope set forth in the glorious gospel of Christ. I am truly grateful to my heavenly Father for permitting me to see and appreciate the wonderful truths which I now so clearly see, and I now especially thank you, his faithful steward, for the part you have had in opening the eyes of my understanding to these blessed truths, which so cheer and comfort me.
My parents were Methodists, and when I was converted at the age of nineteen I joined the same denomination, and some years later became a minister, preaching during five and one-half years in the North-West Kansas Conference. I was a sincere and loyal minister in that denomination until the last year of my ministry, when I began to have a clearer and more Scriptural view of the character of God's Church, and I could no longer in good faith perform all the duties required of a Methodist minister. Then I asked for and received a certificate of location from the conference, and went back to my former trade, that of carpenter, meanwhile studying the Word of the Lord and asking for more light.
Step by step the Lord has led me and given me light as I was ready to receive it, until a few years ago, in the providence of God, I was led to come to this place. Here, through the faithfulness of Brother S__________, my attention was called to the MILLENNIAL DAWN books, and I scarcely need say I have seen a great light. I now see a beautiful harmony in the entire Scriptures such as I could not see before.
I am rejoicing in the glorious prospect of the speedy beginning of the fulfilment of Dan. 2:44, and many other precious promises contained in the Word of God.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:I feel moved to write and express my gratitude for the new light which has been shed upon the "Path of Life" through the influence of the "Plan of the Ages" and "The Time is at Hand." The Bible is a new book to me, and although I have read it for years I can truly say that I have learned more of the wonders of God's love from the reading of those two books than in all my years of misdirected study.
I now prize the Bible as never before. Stumbling blocks have been removed. New light has come in. I have had a wonderful experience of God's love and direction. I have always craved more light, and in prayer asked God to grant me the true light, and the manner in which the WATCH TOWER came to my notice was God's answer to the prayer for light.
In 1900, while located in G__________, as a local preacher for the Methodists, a sample copy of the TOWER came to a Mr. R__________, with whom I was living, and I read it with great interest, as it treated a subject with which I was having a great amount of trouble (the future state of the wicked). I could never accept the doctrine of eternal torment as the plan of a loving God. I wrote you for the TOWER and you sent it to me as requested, but I must truly confess that I did not give it the attention I should, but gave away some and left some without reading, for I was impressed with the idea that in reading the TOWER I was disloyal to the teachings of "my Church."
In 1902 I withdrew from the Methodists and joined the Church of Christ, for they were not creed bound, and gave one liberty to study the Bible as the only "rule and guide for our faith and practice" and the Bible only as a creed to follow. Since that time I have devoted all my time to the study of the holy Book and have never preached a sermon without being able to give God's Word as proof.
I have searched for the truth as a pearl of great price, and a few months ago the "Plan of the Ages" in WATCH TOWER form, came into my hands, and I read it with a mind freed from all sectarian prejudice, with the result of being led into more light. I have ordered [R3766 : page 127] the remainder of the series and shall continue to test them by the Word of Truth, and I have no doubt but they will lead into greater light.