DISAGREES WITH RUSSELL
St. Paul, Minn., Dec. 12th, 1912
Enclosed is a tract by Dr. Gray of the Moody School, Chicago, on the teaching which you are now running for Russell. It will at least, explain why I spoke as I did and I hope you will read it for its own sake and to learn the attitude of your more numerous readers. I would like to see you publish it in the interest of fairness but could not offer to get a hundred subcribers as a bonus. The harm in Russell’s sermons is that they appeal to the sincere but ignorant. Hope you may see it as I do and publish at least an analysis of its contents (contents of the tract by Gray).
Cordially yours, W.H.H. MOUNT
IF you have read of the experiences attending the removal of the Ark of God from Baale of Judah under the supervision of King David you will understand why we must not undertake the task requested by our good brother Mount. Recollect the story, how the ark was placed upon a new cart and was being transported amid the rejoicing and music of the multitude until it arrived at the threshing floor of Nachon’s It was there that the oxen got to kicking up their heels and shook the ark and poor Uzzah put forth his hand and took hold of the ark with the evident well-meaning intention of saving it from injury but he got his right then and there, for God smote him there for his error and there Uzzah died by the ark of God.
And do you think we haven’t reverence enough for holy things to prevent us from undertaking the duties of a Levite? We who cannot agree on the amount of the budget for the coming year or on what street a new car line shall run—do you think that we are going to endeavor to make men agree on things we do not understand? And most certainly we shall do nothing to shake of any one who is seeking the light through the only source open to him. The words of holy writ.
But we will give Brother Mount the privilege of doing what he asks us to do. The sermons of Pastor Russell come in plate form from the American Press Association. We could not afford to set them in type and of course we cannot be expected to set up a lot of type to show that they are not so. The proper method, it seems to us, is to take the Good Old Book, and settle the question, every man for himself, by personal investigation instead of allowing some one else to do his thinking for him.
We refuse absolutely to be drawn into any religious controversies, and we acn give no other advice than we have here.
STRENGTHENS OUR COURAGE
St. Paul, Minn., Dec. 13th, 1912
We take great pleasure in writing you these few lines to let you know how much we appreciate your good paper, especially the sermons of Pastor Russell which you have been publishing lately.
We were born and raised in the Greek Catholic church and for many years thought that they were teaching us the truth as it is contained in the Bible, but when we read Pastor Russell’s sermons and the writings we proved them by the only sure word of prophecy. You said in your editorial, "We must test a faith as a tree is tested, by its fruits," and the Bible tells us that we should prove these things whether they are so or not. "If they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them."— Isa 8:20.
You said in your editorial: "If they have the truth why hide it under a ‘Bushel?’" Why? The prophet answers the question in the above quotation.
This reminds us of the words of our Lord Jesus when he spoke about the asking for fish and receiving a serpent, bread and receiving stones instead. How well are these words fulfilled. We asked our wise instructors for instruction along simple lines (bread) and they gave us the stone of evasion. We asked for stronger meant (fish) and they gave us a serpent—a stinging rebuke for meddling in matters theological, so, dear editor, we are very thankful to you for making it possible for us to read and study these sermons weekly in your paper.
We read over and over again your editorial, for it as so good and logical, especially where you say: "Pastor Russell’s sermons are awakening serious consideration. The books of Daniel and the Revelations, coupled with the world’s history make intensely interesting study, and history foretold in prophecy is the best evidence of the truth of the Holy Bible." This is from your issue of December 6th.
We would not like to miss any of your issues as the sermons are very precious to us for they expound the wonderful truths of the Bible—something we never receive in our church.
Wishing you continued success, we remain,
Yours sincerely, MR. AND MRS. GEORGE E. KAFOORY, 597 Front Street, St. Paul.
SHOULD BE WIDELY CIRCULATED
Since I learned you were to publish Pastor Russell’s sermons, I have very gladly subscribed to your paper, believing that the message he proclaims should be as widely circulated as possible.
They certainly are "glad tidings" and much needed by the sin-sick and suffering world.
I greatly admire your fearless and independent stand in regard to them.
Yours very truly, EDNA A. POWER."
APPRECIATES THE ENTERPRISE
"St. Paul, Minn., Dec. 23, 1912.
Having recently become a subscriber to your very interesting paper, I take this opportunity of expressing y appreciation of same. Pastor Russell’s sermons, the correspondence column and your editorials and comments have impressed me very much. It displays a logical mind and a firm and noble character which is always sure of a reward.
In your last issue, how well the point was illustrated that the responsibility does not rest upon ours, nor upon brother W.H.H. Mount’s shoulders, to steer "The Ark of God" into certain grooves and channels.
The creator of heaven and earth is amply able to manage His own affairs that God’s program for the salvation of mankind is progressing satisfactorily and according to the divine plan of the ages, and that shortly His glorious character of justice, wisdom, love, and power will be revealed to all mankind.
Mr. Mount, in your last issue, makes a most remarkable statement in favor of Pastor Russell’s sermons. He says, "The harm in Russell’s sermons is that they appeal to the sincere but ignorant." Would that all church goers, and the Christian world would be sincere. It is a quality of much value in God’s sight. Re 3:15, 16
But since only the sincere have a keen vision for the proper spiritual food, we can appreciate the saying of our Lord Jesus: "For wheresoever the carcass (body, food) is, there will the eagles (keen of vision) be gathered together." Mt 24:28
These, like the noble Bereans of old, "search the scripture daily whether those things were so." Ac 17:10, 11. The duty of every Christ, and one which professed Christians generally neglect.
As to Mr. Mount’s last statement that these sincere are ignorant. Well, wise and learned men and doctors of divinity are unable to agree on doctrinal points, so why boast?
Wishing you continued success and assuring you of my support, I am
Yours for Sincerity and Truth, L.J. LUNDGREN. St. Paul, Minn.
FROM ONE OF THE "IGNORANT"
Minneapolis, Minn., Dec. 24, 1912
Last Sunday my good friend, Mr. Chas. L. Dick, handed me a copy of your paper, containing the letter of Mr. W.H.H. Mount and your answer thereto, and I was so much pleased with the latter that I decided forthwith to subscribe. I will hand Mr. Dick the dollar tomorrow and he can hand it to you with my address.
You may be interested to know that I had the distinction of seeing the first copy of Dr. Gray’s attack on Pastor Russell that came off the press last March. I was then living in Chicago, a neighbor and close acquaintance of one of Dr. Gray’s associates in the editorship of The Christian Worker’s Magazine. HE sent me a copy of the attack ten days before I was able to buy a duplicate of it anywhere in Chicago. I made a long and very careful reply to Gray, in which I proved to him in the most convincing manner that in his attack on Pastor Russell he was guilty of untruthfulness, inconsistency and unscripturalness. He acknowledge, but never tried to answer my reply. I preserved a copy of my reply, which I would be glad to loan to anyone interested.
I have written to Mr. Mount, indicating to him that he is not correctly informed about Pastor Russell.
He says that Pastor Russell’s sermons appeal to the ignorant. He is, parrot-like, repeating that from Gray, and Gray in turn borrowed the expression from a Dr. Haldeman of somewhere East. They are like a bunch of preachers down in Illinois, who went in a body to protest to an editor against the publication of the sermons. The editor said "why?" and pressed for an answer, and by pinning them down, finally got every one of them to admit that they had never read even one of the sermons, and had no idea what was in them.
You should by all means read a recent attack on Pastor Russell by Wm. T. Ellis, a Presbyterian editor. It is a gem, and would interest you most thoroughly. To convince his readers that Russell is to be feared, he extolled the greatness of the man’s influence, and before he got through, he had painted him as the most widely read, the most heard, the best advertised, the smoothest, most sagacious, influential and faithfully followed and supported man in America. If Russell is half of that, his sermons ought to be a big drawing card in any paper. They are certainly the most scriptural and reasonable sermons now being preached anywhere, and the editors who print them will surely some day yet have reason to congratulate themselves for their sagacity in doing it.
Take this from me as to the ignorance of Pastor Russell’s followers:
I am a university graduate, and in my school career was seven years constantly in debate, and only once beaten—which ought to constitute me somewhat of a judge of mentality. I am also succeeding in life, as witness my rise from Assistant Advertising Manager of the Fair, Chicago, to a similar position with Sears, Roebuck & Co., and finally the management of the Advertising Department of the firm whose card appears above. I have mingled with Pastor Russell’s people in half a dozen different states, hundreds of them, and have met with them in public services and study classes hundreds of times, and i have found that as a class they have shown logical acumen, powers of penetration and analysis and ability for deep study, and have imparted to me a mental stimulation of unvarying intensity to which I find absolutely no parallel in my university days, or anywhere in my business life or in my former long and numerous church connections. Some of their public speakers are the brainiest, cleverest and most overwhelmingly convincing men I ever listened to, and I have heard some of the world’s most favored orators at that. Mr. J.P. MacPhereson, who recently addressed a thousand people in Shubert Theater on the subject "Not good enough for heaven; too good for hell—where then?" made one of the most sparkling, intellectually compelling addresses that I can conceive it possible for a human mind and tongue to frame.
If Mr. Mount would advise himself whereof he writes, he would be a wiser man and his influence would be more nearly as it should be.
I have written somewhat lengthily, moved by the feeling that you deserve encouragement in the move you have made.
With best wishes, I am, Sincerely yours, W.H. BRADFORD, Advertising Manager, L.S. Donaldson Co. Home address, 1407 Yale Place.
INFIDELS NO LONGER
Minneapolis, Minn., Dec. 22, 1912
I admire the attitude in regard to religious questions which you have taken.
For many years I have wished that some Twin City paper would publish Pastor Russell’s sermons, which today appear in some 1,500 papers throughout the world.
When Mr. Dick told me that the St. Paul Enterprise had agreed to publish the sermons for a year I was therefore very glad.
People should think for themselves, along secular as well as religious lines. In the past a man was hired to stand in the pulpit once a week to do some thinking on religious matters for the people. Time was when that would be excusable, when education was limited to a few, but in these days, learning of all kinds in common and within reach of all, especially along religious lines, with dictionaries, bible concordances and other helps for bible study.
Christian people realize more than ever the force of the admonition, "come, let us reason together." They want more of "Thus sayeth the Lord" and "It is written" than they did in former days, when they took for granted what the pastor said. We are, however, astonished to note that among those who stand as the representatives among the people, Christian ministers and teachers are opposing Pastor Russell’s teachings.
We like to think that it is not because of the light he throws on the Good Old Book with respect to the plan of God for human salvation, but rather because of ignorance and error on part of many who profess to be teachers in divine things.
IT has been so since the fall. Darkness hates the Light; we see professed nominal Israel persecuted, stoned and killed the prophets of old. The Doctors of the Law, those who sat in Moses’s seat, planned to have the Lord Jesus put to death.
In the dark ages, some of the most horrible things were done in the name of religion and should we, in spite of these historical facts, engage in further persecution of the Lord’s people? God forbid.
I know I am voicing the sentiment of many in saying, that if it had not been for the publication of Pastor Russell’s sermons and others of his writings, many, who are not rejoicing through Christ, would have been infidels, styled Higher Critics, and evolutionists, etc.
He would therefore be my advice to all who are as yet inclined to quote from what someone else has misinterpreted this man’s teachings to mean, to make a thorough investigation for himself, and that without the colored spectacles of our forefathers, but only in the light of the Bible.
A Minneapolis preacher a few weeks ago, said that most of his congregation, in his judgment, were foolish virgins, who did not know the day of their visitation.
Instead of being jealous of one another, we should join hands and hearts in the promulgation of great joy for all people, thus helping to shed the light of the kingdom of God.
Wishing you success in the publication of the truth, I am yours in His service.
H. FINJORD 2445 Eighteenth Ave. S.