Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Another without a name

Update: I think this is probably the same writer as G. A. Rose, whose letter appears in the July 1883, Watch Tower. Sadly there are so many G. A Roses that I can't add more to this. Can you?

Update to the update: A letter headed Newberg NY in the 8/83 ZWT seems to be from our G. A. Rose.

This letter was printed in the March 1883 issue of Zion's Watch Tower. It doesn't appear in 'reprints.' I've expended too much time trying to put a name to the writer. I must move on, but I'm posting it here, hoping that one of you can do what I can't.

The Letter:

Goshen, N.Y.
DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:--I now send you another week's work-
-lists for the TOWER. The interest of the people here at the
reading of Z.W.T. is great. I feel like going from county to
county the coming year, and scattering "God's truth." As I
cannot afford to buy a horse, which I much need, I have to go on
foot; but I am no better to go thus than the Lord was. I meet with
the best results and the worst together. I have set my face like
flint to the world, and shall keep on until I reach the prize
(immortality). I expect every issue of our county paper to have
some express themselves against the WATCH TOWER; but I
have looked in vain so far. More speak well of it than I expected
would. I am trying to get one hundred yearly subscribers here
soon. I am out of "FOOD," but shall wait until it can be sent me.
Some here are so much interested with the reading matter that
they send word by mail to have me call and explain the blessed
truth more fully. Last night two families met, where they sent
for me, and when I opened my mouth the Lord filled it with the
restitution of all things. Night before last I was at
Bro.__________'s for the first time. He said he was so glad that
God's plan was now so plain; that he wished to make my
acquaintance, and hear from human lips the blessed truths; and
when the time came to part, he said, O, glory to God, we could
talk about this until morning and would not get weary. It is good
news! To-morrow I have three calls to make upon anxious
inquirers for the truth. So, you see, I work both day and night. I
had better tell you how it is with me. I am, or was, a Baptist
preacher. My name still appears on the list of ministers of their
Association. But when I got the "Food," I began to read it, and it
was food; and so I kept on eating, and am never done. My name
will undoubtedly soon be erased from the Association. My
brethren begin to lament my fall; but, glory to God, I rejoice in
my rise. Yes, I am much higher than I ever was. I see God's
love, and not hatred. Above all you do, Brother Russell, "keep
little and humble," and to God be all the praise. I pray for you.
Pray that God will open the way that I can scatter the truth more
abundantly. With much love and prayer, I am
Your brother in Christ,

If we can't find his name, and I really want to find it, rough draft of this is below:



A letter from a Baptist clergyman appeared in the March 1883, Watch Tower. It is datelined from Goshen, New York, but he seems to have preached in a wider area. He explained that he was “still on the list” of Baptist ministers, but he had abandoned that faith for a more Scriptural message. “I have set my face like flint to the world,” he wrote, “and shall keep on until I reach the prize (immortality).” Food for Thinking Christians persuaded him to abandon the Baptist belief system:



When I got the “Food,” I began to read it, and it was food; and so I kept on eating, and am never done. My name will undoubtedly soon be erased from the Association. My brethren begin to lament my fall; but, glory to God, I rejoice in my rise. Yes, I am much higher than I ever was. I see God's love, and not hatred. … Pray that God will open the way that I can scatter the truth more abundantly.



            He had been in the field for some time. We see that from his letter’s initial words: “I now send you another week's work-lists for the tower. The interest of the people here at the reading of z.w.t. is great.” He believed that he might obtain one hundred names for the Watch Tower subscription list “soon.” He lamented the lack of a horse. He was afoot with a wide territory. “As I can’t afford to buy a horse, which I much need. … But I am no better to go thus than the Lord was.”

            He met interest and opposition, enough opposition that he expected adverse newspaper comment: “I expect every issue of our county paper to have some express themselves against the watch tower; but I have looked in vain so far.” Despite persistent opposition, he said, “more speak well of it than I expected would.” Curiosity led some to write to him, inviting him to visit their homes and explain the message:



Last night two families met, where they sent for me, and when I opened my mouth the Lord filled it with the restitution of all things. Night before last I was at Bro. ______'s for the first time. He said he was so glad that God's plan was now so plain; that he wished to make my acquaintance, and hear from human lips the blessed truths; and when the time came to part, he said, O, glory to God, we could talk about this until morning and would not get weary. It is good news! To-morrow I have three calls to make upon anxious inquirers for the truth. So, you see, I work both day and night.



            We were unable to put a name to this letter. As with nearly all letters published in the Watch Tower, it was published anonymously, and the clues to identity that fill it led us nowhere. The one additional salient point is that the writer wanted to expand his ministry, traveling from county to county to spread the message.

 

2 comments:

jerome said...

There is a letter praising G.A. Rose for bringing the truth from an unnamed writer in New Hampton in the August 1883 ZWT page 3 (original issue). But I couldn't find him again in ZWT.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

an unsigned letter found in the Feb 1884 issue is obviously by him. Can't find anything else. And we need biographical detail.