ZWT - 1904 - R3294 thru R3460 / R3474 (369) - December 15, 1904
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SEMI-MONTHLY. VOL. XXV.
DECEMBER 15, 1904.
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society’s
Brief Reports from Some of the Branches.......374
The Life and Light of Men.....................376
He was the True Light.......................378
Jews Not Sons of God..........................379
Witnessing for Jesus..........................380
John Not the Elijah...........................381
Water Baptism vs. Holy Spirit Baptism.........381
This is the Son of God.......................382
LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS AND REMITTANCES—ADDRESS TO—
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY “BIBLE HOUSE,” 610, 612, 614 ARCH ST., ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.—OR TO—BRITISH BRANCH—24 EVERSHOLT ST., LONDON, N.W. GERMAN BRANCH—MIRKER STR., 45, ELBERFELD. AUSTRALASIAN BRANCH—32 JOHNSTON ST., FITZROY, MELBOURNE.
PRICE, $1.00 (4S.) A YEAR IN ADVANCE, 5c (2-1/2d.) A COPY. MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED. FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY. SPECIAL TERMS TO THE LORD’S POOR AS FOLLOWS:—
Those of the interested who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for the TOWER, will be supplied FREE, if they send a Postal Card each December, stating their case and requesting the paper. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually.
ENTERED AS SECOND CLASS MAIL MATTER AT ALLEGHENY, PA., POST OFFICE.
THIS JOURNAL IS PUBLISHED IN THE FRENCH, GERMAN, SWEDISH, DANISH AND ITALIAN LANGUAGES. SAMPLE COPIES FREE.
R3474 : page 370
BROTHER RUSSELL’S DISCOURSES.
The year’s contract with the Gazette having expired the Pittsburg Dispatch has taken up the publication of the Discourses for an indefinite period with the agreement to refund to us pro rata of money paid on subscriptions should they be discontinued.
The Dispatch ranks as Pittsburg’s “best” paper and sells at 2c per copy or $6.00 per year. We have made a clubbing arrangement by which a year’s subscription to the WATCH TOWER and to Solon Journal and any four volumes of DAWN will all be included in the $6.00, which price the Dispatch will not permit to be broken. This extraordinary combination is made possible only by the willingness of the Dispatch to cooperate in the spread of our Society’s work.
Where the Dispatch agencies are established the issues desired can be readily obtained through them. The Dispatch refuses to mail papers to towns where they would interfere with agents already located.
In our last issue we erred in regard to the price of the Solon Journal. It is not $2 per year, but $1. Arrangements are effected by which all WATCH TOWER subscriptions will, on the clubbing plan, include a four months subscription to the Solon Journal, or it and the WATCH TOWER together will cost you $1.50 for the entire year. See our last issue, pages 354 and 360.
R3470 : page 371
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY.
—ANNUAL REPORT.—DEC. 1, 1903, TO DEC. 1, 1904.—
YEAR by year the Lord’s work through our Society seems to be increased, and with joy we recognize it and tell it to each other. It is so great a privilege to be associated with our wonderful Redeemer-Lord in the harvesting period of this Gospel age. And every now and then we see the Chief Reaper’s personal care over the work—turning aside and making void some of our well intentioned efforts to serve him, and guiding and giving success in another direction. Such experiences are not disappointments in the proper sense of that word—rather they are causes for fresh rejoicing, because we desire the Lord’s will, not our own; and because they give fresh evidences that we are not fighting our own battles merely but his; and because they give added assurance that he will continue to guide us and his work to the glorious victory foretold by all the holy prophets.
The year past has not been free from disappointments and heart-aches and testings of faith, perseverance and patience; but now it is gone and we may well rejoice that it finds us a year nearer to the Kingdom glories, and by faith we already sing with the poet:
“How light our trials then will seem
How short our pilgrim way!”
The reports we are rendering will surprise many of you, in that they show but 1,024 increase in the output of DAWNS, and that the subscription list of this journal, ZION’S WATCH TOWER, instead of increasing greatly as we had so confidently expected, has not much more than maintained itself at the 20,000 mark of last year; and that our expenses have exceeded our receipts quite considerably.
On the other hand, however, you will be surprised to note the tremendous circulation of free literature, tracts, etc., distributed—so greatly in excess of all our past records, and so greatly beyond any other tract work ever done by any or all peoples or societies. And when you scan the expense columns we are sure you will be amazed at the low cost of all this work.
R3471 : page 371
The Lord seems to bless the consecrated dollars as of old he blessed the loaves and fishes.
ZION’S WATCH TOWER.
We are publishing 25,000 copies of our journal regularly now, and this leaves about 5,000 copies for surplus, samples, etc. This, counting two readers for each paper, represents a considerable number, but it is not enough—we ought to have double this number. Experience teaches us that, in these busy times, those who do not receive the TOWER every two weeks to stir up their pure minds, are apt to become “overcharged” with the cares of this life, and lose their interest,—fail to make progress.
We must look to the dear friends of the Truth, everywhere, to effect the increase in the TOWER’S circulation, and thus to do something to deepen and fix the interest of those they love and desire to see well established and well developed spiritually.
What can and will you do, dear brethren and sisters, to push forward this part of the work? This, like every other part of the service, is a great privilege and will bring to you a great blessing. Inquire of the brethren and sisters and friends of the Truth, whether or not they are regularly on the TOWER lists. Tell them of its worth to you and remind them that if too poor to pay they are perfectly welcome to it free. We want that the TOWER list shall be nearly as possible a list of all “the sanctified in Christ Jesus”—the Lord’s jewels. This is your part of the work! Do it faithfully and let us have a better report next year. In sending in new subscribers’ names for 1905, number them when writing to us—say, This is my first, or second or fifth, as the case may be.
THE COLPORTEUR WORK.
We have had a great increase in the number of Colporteurs during this year. We now have about 300, but to our surprise the number of DAWNS sent out is not much greater than reported last year. Some of the new laborers have excellent success, too, and all seem very earnest, very loyal to the Lord, to his Word and to his brethren whom they seek to serve and to deliver from the thraldom of Babylon’s errors. Let us hope for still greater things in the year before us. Some of these dear Colporteurs have merely learned
R3471 : page 372
how to do the work recently, and will doubtless have greater results to show soon.
This feature of the work shows a great increase over all previous records. We have been cheered and comforted many times by your letters telling us of your love and zeal and efforts and triumphs and failures, etc. And we in turn have endeavored to encourage and strengthen you, with, we trust, some good results, of which we shall know more fully when we reach the Kingdom and have plenty of time to talk matters over and recount present blessings and crosses.
During the year we received letters and postal cards to the number of 52,065, and sent out 50,254. No small labor is represented in these figures, viewed from the earthly side; but when compared with our debt to the Lord it is nothing—very small interest; we can never pay the principal. As we can do nothing for the Lord direct we are glad to pay the interest to his Brethren in this and other ways.
THE PILGRIM SERVICE.
More and more we perceive the Lord’s leading in connection with this branch of the harvest work. The supply of funds more or less regulates its extensiveness, and the Lord’s program seems to be to have the Pilgrims encourage his people without taking from each little gathering the responsibility of its own affairs. In other words, it preserves the order of meetings usual in the primitive Church, as described in I Corinthians, twelfth chapter, and does not foster the idea of regular preaching and paid ministry common today. The little companies, thrown upon their own resources, are getting more and more free from the entanglements of Babylon, which exercise one man on every occasion and force all others to idleness as listeners.
The “Berean Bible Studies,” outlined on the third and fourth pages of the WATCH TOWER BIBLES, bring all to the point of careful thought on the subjects discussed, and all who do think on the divine plan grow stronger and stronger in the Faith. The Lord’s plans are always the best, and blessed are those who most carefully follow them. If WATCH TOWER readers were numerous enough to form large congregations and then were to adopt Babylonian methods it would mean great spiritual loss. Each should to the extent of his ability take some part in some of the meetings of “the household of faith.”
The Pilgrim visits are far better, therefore, than if protracted stays were made. They can assist and encourage without relieving the friends from personal responsibilities which are properly theirs and to their advantage. Excellent reports have come in respecting this branch of the service. We will continue it and add to it as divine Providence seems to direct and make possible.
Our records show that twenty-seven brethren took part in the Pilgrim service during the year. This record includes Brother C. T. Russell’s travels, etc. Over 140,000 miles were covered, sixteen hundred and ninety-five public services and twenty-six hundred and twenty-three parlor meetings were held.
We consider this an excellent showing of a great work which the Lord is directing. As the friends generally know, these ministries are wholly free—not one penny of collections having been solicited. The Lord supplies the workers and the means for the work. We have only the one general fund—the Tract Fund—supplied by voluntary contributions and used for the various departments and services according to our judgment of their needs and usefulness, as the Lord gives us wisdom.
The total cost of this service was $6,837.86. The “miracle” of so great service for so proportionately small a sum is partly explained by the fact that some of these “Pilgrims” not only served without compensation, but actually paid their own traveling expenses—donating the same to the Tract Fund. None of them receive more than their “expenses”—this in a very few cases including small allowances for dependent families. But all other things being equal we give a preference to the “free”—the unmarried.
THE WORK ABROAD.
This is our Foreign Missions account. The labor for the Truth amongst benighted Christian brethren in Europe and Australia and Jamaica is certainly a better work than any we could have done among the heathen; and surely the results, though not great, are superior to any we could have hoped for amongst the degraded of heathendom. As in the beginning of the Gospel age the apostles went to the Jews and most intelligent and most religiously inclined with the message of divine mercy, so the same course should still be pursued.
We have put forth a great effort in foreign fields during the past year, and have spent $16,354.00 in connection with it, we hope and trust under divine guidance and approval. What the fruitage or harvest will be the Lord alone knows. We trust that to you and the dear colaboring friends abroad, and to us, the Lord may ultimately say in connection with this and our other services, ‘Well done, good and faithful servants, enter ye into the joys of your Lord. Ye have been faithful over a few dollars and talents; I will make you rulers over larger opportunities in my Kingdom.” About one-third of the above sum is represented in DAWNS still on hand at the foreign branch depots.
The largest expenditure was made in Germany, amongst whose people over a million tracts and sample German TOWERS have been circulated free. No great results should be looked for immediately; but we are getting into touch with some of the Truth-hungry who “have an ear to hear.”
In the French and Italian languages, too, many thousands of tract-papers were circulated free, besides work being done by Colporteurs. Some fruit is showing; yet faith in the Lord is constantly necessary or we should be discouraged. Our confidence is that “The Lord knoweth them that are his;” and that he desires us thus to sound the great trumpet of Jubilee from one end to the other of the nominal “heavens.”—Matt. 24:31.
The Swedish and Danish friends have joined also in the free circulation of the Truth through the use of sample copies of the Danish and Swedish TOWERS. Some excellent heads of “wheat” are ripening there.
The British Branch received from us tracts to the value of $2,739.82, and did a splendid Volunteering work. This branch is growing and bids fair ere long
R3471 : page 372
to be self-sustaining. The Lord has many true children there and we are gradually finding them through the various channels in active use;—colporteuring DAWNS, tracts, preaching and TOWERS.
The Australian branch is our latest foreign work on a considerable scale. In money and printed matter it received during the past year $3,453.75 out of the total mentioned above. We trust that it will soon get so under way as to be nearly self-sustaining. Several of our American Colporteurs (among the best) have gone to Australia at their own expense,—to endeavor to give the work there a good start.
Jamaica was the center of a good work during the past year. The interested are nearly all blacks, and Brother Browne (colored) has apparently been doing excellent service there; not so much in awakening new interest as in crystalizing and rightly directing and deepening that already started.
R3472 : page 373
SUMMARY OF YEAR’S OUTPUT.
Total number of DAWNS sold at cost,.....
These were of various languages and volumes
and all in cloth binding. DAWN I. in
magazine form is included in statement of
Booklets sold at cost,............................
Copies of English WATCH TOWER
sent out free,......
Tracts of various kinds sent out,................ 4,589,300
These tracts and TOWERS represent in tract
pages, the usual form for stating such
These figures are really astounding, far beyond any tract distribution ever before accomplished. May the Lord’s blessing go with these messages of his love and mercy to their readers, and abide also upon all of you, dear readers, who joined in their circulation, either by distribution or by financial assistance in their preparation.
The dear friends in every quarter entered into the “Volunteer work” with great zeal during the past year, and experienced divine blessings accordingly, we believe. As examples of the four Churches most actively engaged we note the following:
Boston Church had 84 workers engaged and served Boston and 28 adjacent towns with tracts. Total tracts, 84,431.
Washington Church had 46 workers and served 33 towns adjacent. Total tracts, 64,876.
Chicago Church did much more Volunteer work than ever before, distributing 73,000; but we have no report as to the number of laborers who engaged. All, we are sure, received rich blessings.
Allegheny Church made a wonderful record this year—over 304,960. These, however, were not all distributed in the usual manner: a thorough distribution in this and adjacent cities used about 100,000 and the remainder were sent out by mail, some sending in the addressed wrappers and some wrapping them. About fifty participated and much pleasure and profit resulted.
So far as heard from there is a fervent zeal to begin afresh next spring, as soon as new Volunteer matter is ready.
Many will read a Gospel message from a newspaper who would not so readily hearken to the message from other quarters. Some of these are “disgusted” Christians, confused by the jargon of Babylon. Some are worldlings, whose parents were Christians, and who have never seen anything attractive in the so-called Gospel they have heard preached. During the past year the Lord has opened a door to many of these through the publication in the secular press of “Brother Russell’s” discourses. Millions of sermons have thus been scattered far and near; and some at least have done good. If the Lord wills we shall be glad to see this “door” keep open, or even open still wider. The dear friends in various quarters were prompt to encourage the journals which thus published the “meat in due season,” by purchasing extra copies and circulating them amongst their acquaintance.
THE FINANCIAL OUTLAY.
Naturally the outlay for so great a work has been considerable; and it will be seen that we have miscalculated to some extent and spent more than we received. Some who sent us “Good Hopes” for the year have written us of their inability to do as they desired. We of course reminded them that their “Good Hopes” were merely suggestions of what they hoped and would have liked to do; but that God accepted the good intentions and so do we: and that they must not grieve as if this meant the breaking of a pledge, for it was nothing of the kind. This has occurred before, but never for so large an amount. We must guard our expenditures during the coming year, for our Lord’s commands prohibit our going into debt, except, as in the present instance, temporarily.
Surplus on hand, Dec. 1, 1903,....................$
Receipts from “Good Hopes”.....................
“ Tract Fund from other sources,...........