DEAR friends everywhere were greatly interested in the Japanese missionary's letter published in our July 15 issue. We have pleasure in telling you that we authorized the Japanese translation before the letter was published, and made a remittance for that purpose. We will see later as to the advisability of publishing, and how many copies. You will know in due time all particulars. Meantime we must be secretive because of our numerous enemies.
Meantime we have some news from China. We [R4042 : page 245] learn that the Truth reached a lieutenant in the British forces there, who, full of zeal, interested others of his fellow-soldiers, of whom four symbolized their consecration by water baptism. His activity, we learn, made him obnoxious to the missionaries, and it is supposed that the latter secured his removal from China.
This surely means the carrying of the good tidings to still another foreign field, and seemingly under the Lord's direct providence: for we cannot doubt that the noble brother, the lieutenant, will let his light shine out in his new environment. We hope for a report from him ere long.
And now what! The Lord, we believe, is preparing a chosen and already prepared vessel for Chinato bear the water of life to probably a very few there also. He is well qualified for the workbetter than we could have expected.
This opening of foreign doors to the harvest sickle seems to imply that the harvest work nears its closepossibly four years may see the open doors closing, because "the harvest is past and the summer ended." It has been a surprise to us all around. We had little thought of foreign fields, so busy have we been in the harvest fields of "Christendom."
By the way, Russia may well be styled a foreign mission field also. The DAWN is prohibited there, or was until lately. A few copies, however, were sent in fragments by letter-post by some of those who had feasted and desired to bless their brethren. As a result fifteen members of a German Baptist Church were excommunicated and suffered considerable ostracism, until now the majority of them have reached the United States and more liberty,and the message continues to spread. Wonderful to relate, the very minister who opposed them and led them out of the meeting has since been convinced of the Truth and is rejoicing in it. How many who were most ardent opposers of "this way" are now colaboring with us! Let us think kindly of those who for conscience sake (misguided) oppose us and the harvest message.
Another thought: As we see so much fresh interest springing up and new believers making rapid progress in grace, knowledge and zeal, we note with pain that some once zealous colaborers are less so, and given rather to criticising those who are filled with the Spirit. We fear for these lest they lose their "crowns" to others. Nor dare we say much to them, for critics are very sensitive and easily offended. Evidently the thrashing and winnowing of harvest time are upon us. "Who shall be able to stand?" Let us fear and watch and pray, lest we enter into temptation.