May the richest blessings of the Living God rest upon you, and upon all who are determined to cooperate in the doing of the Lord's will. My prayers are for you and them many times every day. Your name is continually being pressed before the Throne.
Let me take this opportunity to thank you and the dear Lord for the full and beautifulyea, gorgeous light turned upon the Covenantsanother proof that the Word of God is being fulfilled: "The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." "The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble."Prov. 4:18,19.
This last clause brings a measure of sadness. They stumble at the light, the very thing that should be a blessing to them. No doubt this precious light will also prove offensive to the spiritual vision of some whose eyes are weak and cannot, therefore, stand the full glare of the light of God's Truth. If so, it shows they are unfit for the Kingdom. But it makes the heart ache.
It has been on my mind for some time to write you of the extreme thankfulness to our heavenly Father and to you for the experience I have had in connection with "the Vow." After reading February 15th TOWER, I can no longer refrain from writing. My heart overflows with gratitude after reading dear Brother Gibbs' letter, which surely needs no explanation.
He has exactly expressed my heart sentiments. I have been in one of the same traps in which he was. I also quickly ate of the bait which appeared so good, but now see the course I was following. I had not yet become a "first-rate back-biter," but was working my way rapidly toward one. Oh, Brother Russell, it grieves me to think of the untrue things I believed and thought of you. I am now deeply impressed by your sincerity and daily manifestations of the Christ-like spirit and tender love and care over the entire flock, as expressed in the TOWER.
I am so thankful for the Lord's guidance of you in sending our dear Brother Herr among us, for it was through him I have been delivered from the snare of the Adversary. He showed me in a most loving manner how all such evil surmises and back-biting (against you in connection with "the Vow") were not fruits of the Master's spirit of love. By these fruits we can know them. After clearing my mind of those evil thoughts, I then could not see any objections to the Vow.
I cannot see how a true child of God could oppose it, or your presentation of it in the TOWER. I have now made "the Vow" "my Vow" unto the Father, knowing what it means to me the rest of my life. I would prefer making it as a Vow instead of a resolution, as I feel a vow more binding than a resolution. Need we hesitate to be bound in any way closer to the Lord! I would not exchange the precious blessings enjoyed since making "the Vow," for the spiritual coldness endured while having the spirit which opposed it. Everything is with new beauty and clearness. I press onward with renewed zeal, realizing more clearly how very carefully we must guard our every thought (as we build character by thought), to bring every thought into captivity to the will of Christ, and think only of the things that are pure, holy, lovely and of good report. And with the holy things always uppermost in our minds, how can we find any time for evil surmising and speaking!
It is with great sorrow I see some taking the course they are in their oppositions to "the Vow," those noble and esteemed ones, who have been particularly dear to me as brethren in Christ. It is with very much heartfelt sympathy for you, Brother Russell, as I know what it has been to you, but I also know of the Lord's special care and guidance over you to keep you in such peace of mind and love amid such fiery darts of the Adversary.
I have made apology for my former stand to all those to whom I particularly slandered you and "the Vow," so I do not especially request that this letter be published, although I would not be ashamed to give such a testimony to the whole Church. I am assured of your forgiveness of my sin.
I feel that I must write you, if only a few lines. I have been thinking daily about "the Vow." It seems to me it is the sixth volume in a "nutshell."Rev. 21:9.