VOL. XXVIII DECEMBER 15 No. 24
A.D. 1907--A.M. 6036
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society's Annual
The Volunteer Work............................371
The Colporteur Work...........................372
The Newspaper Mission.........................373
Zion's Watch Tower............................373
The Pilgrim Service...........................374
The Year's Convention Work....................374
Foreign Mission Work..........................374
The Financial Showing.........................376
The Word was Made Flesh...........................376
"In the Beginning was the Word"...............379
John, Our Lord's Forerunner...................380
An Interesting Letter.............................382
LETTERS FOR THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO ALLEGHENY, PA., U.S.A.
BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS AND REMITTANCES
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--EQUITABLE BLDG., COLLINS ST., MELBOURNE
PRICE, $1.00 (4S.) A YEAR IN ADVANCE. MONEY MAY BE SENT BY EXPRESS, BANK DRAFT, POSTAL ORDER, OR REGISTERED. FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES BY FOREIGN MONEY ORDERS, ONLY. TERMS TO THE LORD'S POOR AS FOLLOWS:--
All Bible Students who, by reason of old age, or other infirmity or adversity, are unable to pay for this Journal, will be supplied FREE if they send a Postal Card each June stating their case and requesting its continuance. We are not only willing, but anxious, that all such be on our list continually and in touch with the Studies, etc.
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.
The year-text selected for 1908 is a double one: "The eternal God is thy refuge" and "Thy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven." We have gotten out a very handsome motto-card bearing these texts in artistic silver lettering--the one above and the other below a beautiful chromo representing in Isaiah's symbolism the peace and harmony of the Millennial Kingdom. The card is panel-shaped and corded, size 10 x 15 inches. The chromo is the work of Sister Darlington --the same sketch from which the Millennial pins were made. Price, 10c, postage 7c extra. Per dozen, $1.00, by express, charges collect, or $1.25, charges prepaid. One of these cards is included in each $1.00 package of mottoes, unless otherwise ordered.
INSTRUCTOR'S GUIDE AND BEREAN INDEX
Now ready--68 pages--India paper--thin, can be carried in back of any Bible. Price, 10c, 6 for 50c, 12 for $1.00, includes postage. Free to any on our poor list.
RENEW THROUGH US SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR PAPERS PUBLISHING BROTHER RUSSELL'S SERMONS. COST TO YOU IS LESS AND INFLUENCE IS GREATER.
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WATCH TOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY'S REPORT
--FOR THE YEAR ENDING NOVEMBER 30, 1907--
ANOTHER year has coursed swiftly by. We congratulate you that one year less lies between us and the glorious consummation of our hopes--the completion of our "change"--that one year less intervenes before the establishment of God's glorious Empire, which is to bring blessing to all the families of the earth through the setting at liberty of the captives of sin and death. From this standpoint we rejoice to see the years fly swiftly by, and, as our Lord directed, we lift up our heads and rejoice, knowing that our deliverance draweth nigh. (`Luke 21:28`.) But while we would not restrain the speeding days and years, nor wish for a renewal of their trials and difficulties, joys and sorrows, nevertheless we believe that the expiring year, like many of its predecessors, has been a joyful, a pleasant one to the majority of the Lord's faithful followers. To the world it might appear that the trials, the testings, the scoffs, the slanders to which faithfulness to the Lord is sure to expose, would rob life of all its pleasures. But not so: "When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble?" (`Job 34:29`.) All the Lord's people are surely being taught the lesson enunciated by the Apostle--that we must learn to rejoice in tribulation, and to be patient because of our hope, which, as an anchor sure and steadfast, has entered within the vail. Quite to the contrary of what the world would suppose, our own experiences, and the testimony of many of the household of faith, assure us that no other people in all the world are so happy, so contented, so joyful in the house of their pilgrimage as are we. The poet has well said:
"Think what spirit dwells within thee,
Think what Father's smiles are thine,
Think how Jesus died to save thee--
Child of heaven, canst thou repine?"
If, momentarily, earth-born clouds and shadows do to some degree becloud our pathway, it is but for a brief season until we hear the voice of our Father and of our Savior assuring us of "Love divine, all love excelling." Before our mental vision comes the bright picture of the first manifestation of divine love on our behalf--in the redemption accomplished by our dear Redeemer; then the call of the Little Flock, and the fact that the way of attainment thereto has been made so clear to us--justification through faith in the blood, and begetting to a new nature through the operation of the truth and the sanctification of our hearts. Then comes the evidence that we have the divine favor, in that the eyes of our understanding have been permitted to see wonderful things in the divine Word--to realize that we are in the harvest time, that the great Chief Reaper is present, that the separating work is in progress, that the wheat is already being garnered, and that when the reaping, threshing and winnowing processes shall have been completed, and the last worthy member of the Body shall have been changed, "Then shall the righteous [the saints] shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father."--`Matt. 13:43`.
Our sighs and tears are indeed called for as we think of our dear friends and neighbors who are still blind to these glorious things. Yet the murmur is hushed and the tears dried, as we hearken to the voice of him that speaketh from heaven, assuring us that his love and sympathy for the groaning creation are far greater than ours, and that he has made ample provision for every man, and that in his "due time" all shall have the necessary knowledge and the necessary assistance to a participation in the glorious "restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began." --`Acts 3:19-23`.
THE VOLUNTEER WORK
We begin our report of the year's work with that feature in which the largest number of us have had the privilege of active participation--some by the contribution of money for the publication of these tracts and the payment of the freight and express charges thereon, others by the free circulation of the tracts, giving their time and energy thereto, and some
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by participating in both of these ways, and still others who, unable to actively participate, have sympathetically assisted the workers, figuratively holding up their hands in prayer and otherwise.
This year properly enough surpasses any of the previous years in the distribution of free literature. Many who have recently come into the Truth have found in this arrangement an opportunity for service, joining hands with those who for years have been active in volunteer tract distribution. And more and more, as the Truth works down deeply into the hearts of the Lord's people, and they come more and more to appreciate the Lord's favor to them and their privilege of being co-laborers with him, the dear friends are seeking opportunities to engage in this work. Many are obeying the Apostolic injunction to redeem the time-- to buy it back from earthly cares, pleasures, ambitions, etc., that they may have the greater opportunity of "showing forth the praises of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light." (`Eph. 5:15,16`; `1 Pet. 2:9`.) We congratulate you all, dear brethren and sisters, in the success of this department of the Lord's service, and we trust that the figures shown may so stimulate and energize you that the new year before us may show no slacking of our zeal, but rather an increase, as the signs multiply about us confirmatory of our faith and hopes.
Amongst the laborers in this department of the Lord's harvest work are many brethren and sisters of good education, good social position, etc., who rightly reason that whatever of social standing or honor amongst men they may have attained should be brought to the support of the Truth--laid as a tribute upon the altar of the Lord. We think, for instance, of one company of volunteers in whose ranks are to be found several business men, several teachers, a high-school professor, a General of the U.S. Army and several bank clerks. These, instead of being ashamed to own their Lord and to witness a good confession of his Word of Truth, are properly glad that they have a little influence in the world to lay at the Master's feet. Not that we consider it a great matter to distribute gratuitously leaves of healing for the mental and moral comfort and relief of our friends and neighbors-- it is, indeed, a light service, a precious opportunity for showing to our Master on a small scale our love and zeal. Glad would we be if we had a thousand tongues to sing our great Redeemer's praise, and a thousand hands and feet to use in the promulgation of the blessed message of "good tidings of great joy which shall be unto all people."--`Luke 2:10`.
THE COLPORTEUR WORK
The summing up of this year's work in the Colporteur department has exceeded our most sanguine hopes. Many of the dear friends, astonished at the results of last year's efforts, thought that we must not expect as great results this year: others thought it would be unwise at least to expect more; but we ventured to express the hope that this year we might reach nearly to the half-million mark. To our surprise, and yours no doubt, the totals show that we have surpassed this-- notwithstanding the fact that a strike in the bindery interfered considerably for a little season.
The love and zeal with which the dear Colporteurs have labored during the year is worthy of our highest appreciation, and gradually their numbers have increased, until now we have about 600 laborers in the field, more than half of whom are giving all of their time, and others a portion, to this blessed service, which the Lord seems to be using so wonderfully in the scattering of his message. Amongst these dear laborers are several who were physicians, others who were school-teachers, stenographers, farmers and preachers, and others still who left manual labor and housework to give their time and energy to this method of preaching the Gospel. God is blessing these dear co-laborers, and we can note in their letters to the office, in their reports, and in the good results which follow their labors, that they themselves are growing continually in grace, in knowledge and in the love which the Truth begets, which includes meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, brotherly kindness.
We note with interest also that the public are awakening more and more--that they are discovering a spiritual deadness in the nominal Church, and that those who have been begotten of the Lord's holy Spirit are feeling and hungering and thirsting for the Truth, which the chaff of sectarianism cannot satisfy. Many formerly earnest are therefore absenting themselves from former Church associations--sometimes to seek for spiritual food elsewhere and sometimes giving themselves over to worldliness and carelessness and doubt. These, who could not be reached from any pulpit, are reached by the Colporteurs, who not only defend the Bible as the divine revelation, but proffer them helpful suggestions, and seek to put into their hands the Bible Keys. The books may be neglected for a time, yet the earnestness of the Colporteur will so attach itself to the STUDIES that, as the time of trouble nears, the keys
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will more and more come into use for the blessing and enlightenment not only of the Little Flock but also of the Great Company. As the earnestness and spirituality of the Colporteurs increase and abound more and more, their work becomes more lasting, more effective, as, for instance: a report from one group of Colporteurs recently received showed that after their canvass of a small city they were able to locate a number of deeply interested Christians, some of whom had purchased from them, while others already had the DAWNS in their possession. These were gathered to a little meeting in one of their homes. The Colporteur talked over with them the Divine Plan of the Ages for a whole Sunday, and on the following Sunday he urged that they have regular meetings. This was decided upon by a vote of twenty, and one of their number, who manifested not only a deep consecration but a clear knowledge of the Truth, was chosen as their Elder or leader for further cooperation in the studying together of the
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Divine Plan. Thus the harvest work goes grandly on, despite the opposition of the world, the flesh and the devil.
THE NEWSPAPER MISSION
Some eight or nine newspapers are now publishing Brother Russell's weekly sermons--the aggregate of their circulation amounting to more than 300,000--possibly 400,000. This in a year means approximately 18,000,000 copies of sermons, and since newspapers are presumed to be read by three to five persons each, it swells the total of possibility in this direction to an enormous figure. We are not forgetting that comparatively few have ears to hear the whole truth, the deep things of God, but are remembering also that there are many features of Present Truth which at the present time appeal strongly to the common sense of even the natural man, and it is our belief, based upon experience, that a favorable influence for the Truth is thus being widely exercised.
What is the power, the influence, that is pushing forward this department of the Harvest work? We trust that it is the Lord who is moving in this matter, as in all others, and rejoice that he is using the brethren in this as well as in the other matters. For instance, the latest request that has come to us for publication of the weekly sermon explained that various of the brethren had made request of the editor that he should publish these discourses, and that finally some of them addressed the "Circulation Manager," assuring him that they could guarantee at least 100 new subscriptions to his journal if the sermons should appear. Thus was the Lord pleased to use the brethren, who had in mind not only their own desires in respect to the reading of the sermons weekly, and the opportunity of sending copies to their friends, but additionally the thought that thousands would thus be brought in contact with the Truth who otherwise could not be so favorably reached. We commend this course to the dear friends in various quarters.
We note specially favorable results through the Pittsburgh Dispatch, and believe that other good work is gradually being accomplished. We encourage the dear friends who have been maintaining this work by their subscriptions to the Dispatch to continue so doing to the extent of their ability. We also suggest that the dear friends everywhere encourage the editors of these papers from time to time by mentioning briefly some point in the sermons which they have specially appreciated, and acknowledging the good work which the editors are doing by assisting in the publication of these sermons. In nearly every case ministers of the various denominations, sometimes singly and sometimes in a body, approach the editors and, by misrepresentation and threats, endeavor to have the publication of the sermons stopped. If the friends of the Truth manifest no interest, and give the newspapers no encouragement in the matter, and the opposition is active, it is easy for the editor to conclude that his interests would be better served by discontinuing the publication of the sermons.
The Woman's National Daily has made a clubbing arrangement with ZION'S WATCH TOWER, which now includes all the United States. Under this arrangement we are permitted to receive from within that territory $1.60 as a year's subscription to both papers, or 60 cents for a year's subscription to the National Daily from those who are already TOWER subscribers. Many of the dear friends have already taken advantage of this. Some, going further, have solicited subscriptions to the National Daily at $1.00 per year (one-third cent per copy) and have thus made for themselves a little profit, besides putting into the hands of their neighbors 52 sermons for the year. We suggest to all residing in the favored territory that such subscriptions, costing them but 60 cents each, would be excellent Christmas gifts, which might accomplish much for the Truth. We hope soon to know of some weekly papers in the North and East which would give our friends in those districts as good an opportunity at as low a price. We will advise you how we can accomplish the largest good in this direction--by assisting in the circulation of a paper which already has a large circulation amongst intelligent people.
ZION'S WATCH TOWER
The only disappointment we have to note in this year's report is in connection with the subscription list of ZION'S WATCH TOWER. It is not what it should be --not what we had expected it to be by this time. True, its circulation is large. We print 30,000 copies of each issue, sometimes more, when extra sample copies are needed. But our regular paid list is only about one-half of this. It seems a pity that this branch of the service cannot be extended more widely. Those who receive the TOWER assure us of their high appreciation of it and the blessings which they look for and receive with every number. For this encouragement we thank the Lord and you all. However, it is our opinion that if every thoroughly interested brother and sister would take this matter to heart, they could increase our list at least 10,000 during the present year. This is not an appeal for money. Our desire is that the good influence which we believe accompanies the TOWER shall be extended--that many who now have some interest and are reading the DAWNS and STUDIES, and are participating in the meetings, should additionally have the privilege and blessing that the Lord has provided through this journal. We remind you all again that those whose circumstances do not permit them to pay the price, are welcome to the TOWER free upon application, and that those who prefer not to ask for it free, yet have not the money conveniently now, may have it on credit with the plain understanding that if they should never be able to pay for it, and so request, we will cancel the indebtedness at any time. We would like to have the WATCH TOWER list representative of all the truly deeply interested friends everywhere, regardless of their financial conditions. Let each one do his part and watch and labor and pray for a wider influence for good in this direction--for the further ripening of the wheat and its ultimate preparation for the heavenly garner.
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THE CORRESPONDENCE DEPARTMENT
The correspondence feature of the work continues to increase, as we should expect, and we take this opportunity of assuring all that we are glad to have your letters and respond to your queries. If sometimes our replies are brief we trust you will not take it as an indication of lack of interest and appreciation. Sometimes on a card we can refer the questioner to the answer to his query in the DAWNS or in a back TOWER, and thus really respond more fully than the proper compass of a letter would permit. The new Bibles will bring many of you into closer touch with your DAWN- STUDIES and back TOWERS, and we trust will be very helpful. Nevertheless, do not forget that we are pleased to hear from you. We again request that all orders for books, tracts, etc., be on a separate sheet of paper from your general letter, that your address be very plainly written, and that any questions be separate from the letter itself. We also remind you that each receives a personal communication from the Editor twice every month--ZION'S WATCH TOWER. Please accept these communications in lieu of any lengthy epistles from him.
Number of letters and postal cards received at Allegheny.......................................... 60,580 Number of letters and postal cards mailed from Allegheny.......................................... 50,232
THE PILGRIM SERVICE
This branch of the harvest work has had the Lord's blessing to a marked degree during the last year. Altogether, thirty-five brethren have done more or less work in this branch of the service--some of these giving all of their time, others giving such portions as they could spare from their other engagements in life. The names of the latter do not appear in the Pilgrim list, but notifications of their visits are sent by mail. The following brief summary will give quite a comprehensive view of this branch of the service:
Total number of visits made.............................1951 " " public meetings held....................2009 " " semi-public meetings held (in parlors,
etc.)..................................4210 " " miles traveled.......................184,878
THE YEAR'S CONVENTION WORK
We have reported all the General Conventions and need not here repeat that they were simply grand--one and all. How we wish that all TOWER readers could attend at least one each year! They are such an inspiration
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as pen cannot do justice to. Once we considered them too expensive: now we consider that they pay well in increased zeal and love. "They that feared the Lord spake often together," writes the prophet, and then he adds, "A book of remembrance was written before him of them that thought upon his Word. They shall be mine, saith the Lord, in that day when I come to make up my jewels."
All cannot attend in person, but we feel sure when we meet that many are with us in spirit who cannot come in the flesh. And they are remembered by us and by the Lord, and share the blessing.
We cannot announce any program for these General Conventions for 1908, but feel impressed to have one in Pittsburg if the way seems to open. Let us look to the Lord for guidance--wisdom from above on the subject of time and place. We desire to take advantage of some large Convention's special excursion rates, that the larger numbers might be enabled to attend.
The "One-Day Conventions" of the past year have been events of increasing interest. We have not reported them all, for two reasons: (1) Our space is limited, and (2) although each one is different and has its own special blessings to those attending, there would of necessity be much sameness in the reporting of them. But they are surely awakening the public-- Christian people in particular--especially such as have gotten hungry and tired of the "husks" of false doctrine. And they do the "brethren" good, too. They enjoy hearing not only on their own account, but also on account of others. Their self-denial in raising the money necessary for rent of auditorium and advertising brings a spiritual blessing as a reward. And their zeal to scatter the advertisements and place the show-cards finds a reward in the greater strength of character thus engendered. More than this, the conventions promote brotherly love and fellowship amongst the brethren of an entire district. Thus, for instance, at our last One-Day Convention--at Brockton, Mass.--more than 50 brethren came from Providence, R.I., on a special electric car; while friends from Lowell, Lynn, etc., joined the Boston friends and came together in a special train of five cars (321 passengers)--enjoying the journey and cheering and encouraging the Brockton class. May the Lord continue to bless this branch of the service in 1908 also.
"He is the fountain of blessing,
Yes, worthy is he to be praised."
FOREIGN MISSION WORK
In proportion as the Lord's spirit of love pervades our hearts, it overrides and obliterates all division of country, race, sex, language, etc., and emphasizes the Lord's words, "One is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren." (`Matt. 23:8`.) We properly, therefore, feel the same interest in finding one of the Lord's hungry sheep, whether the color be yellow or black or white, or whether the residence be in Africa, in Europe, in Asia or America. However, every year seems to emphasize what we have suggested along the line of the divine providence, viz., that the Lord has gathered to this favored land people out of every nation, tribe, kindred and tongue, and especially the poor emigrating classes of all nations, with a view to their emancipation from the thraldom of priestcraft and superstition in preparation for this "harvest" message; hence, it does not surprise us to find that the great majority of those interested in Present Truth are still being found in this country. And a great many of those who are being interested in foreign lands have received more or less of the knowledge of the Truth through their friends
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residing here. Nevertheless, while using every energy here in the opening of the eyes of understanding of those who give evidence of having heart loyalty to the Lord, we feel it to be both a duty and a privilege, as the Lord opens the way, to convey the light of Truth to other lands, that the loyal and the true may be found and be refreshed, and be prepared for the Kingdom by the meat in due season--the "harvest" message--"the good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." --`Luke 2:10`.
Since during the past year the Lord has sent to our care and stewardship an increased amount of money, we have taken it to be his will that we should not only increase our activities in the home field, but also avail ourselves of the opening doors in foreign fields, and continue to enlarge the foreign missions already established. Reports from some of these will appear in a later issue. We content ourselves in this report with a brief general review.
Principal amongst these missions is the British, which during the past year has flourished exceedingly, giving evidence that many of the British people are becoming awake and responsive to Present Truth. The condition of things in Great Britain more closely resembles the conditions in the United States and Canada than does that of any other section. We feel greatly encouraged by the outlook there.
The Australian mission is making good progress, too. The field seems to be a ripe one, but not many Colporteur reapers have presented themselves there, and consequently the work is not progressing as it otherwise might. We are hoping great things from the dear friends of that mission, and that they may become more and more warmed and imbued with the spirit of the Truth.
Considerable work has been accomplished in Germany, but results are rather disappointing for the amount of effort put forth and money expended. The Colporteur work does not seem to prosper there either, because the dear friends do not learn how to do it, or else because of the scarcity of money, or perhaps the two difficulties in combination. The people of Germany certainly live comfortably, and if they were made to appreciate the value of the spiritual food that the Lord is now spreading before his consecrated ones, they would be ready to deny themselves natural food and luxury for the sake of the spiritual. We fain would encourage the Colporteurs in that field to greater courage and greater zeal in thrusting in the sickle of Truth. What has been accomplished there has been largely through the distribution of tracts, and, alas, but a small proportion of these were scattered through volunteering, nearly all having been sent in conjunction with newspapers through the mail. Thus, the tract distribution does not mean so large a share of blessing to the dear friends of the cause as might otherwise be supposed. Nothing in this, however, should be considered a reflection on the loving zeal which has exercised many of these German brethren and sisters. We presume that the narcotic influence of nominalism, Higher Criticism, etc., has affected Germany as much as or more than any other land. We here remark that the Germans in America are amongst the most active, most earnest, most self-sacrificing.
The work in Scandinavia, especially in Norway and Sweden, has been making considerable progress in the last year. We are glad of this, and rejoice to note the zeal of many of the dear friends there. The work in Denmark seems to lag. We are trusting for much better things in the year ahead of us. The work in Switzerland, France and Italy is extremely small, rather discouraging, nevertheless some true wheat has been found and we trust some ripened for the garner. We bid the dear friends in these countries be of good cheer, and to pray the Lord of the harvest to send forth more laborers into the vineyard. (`Matt. 9:38`; `Luke 10:2`.) The work in Jamaica has prospered well during the year and is taking good hold, finding a considerable number who are very zealous to serve the King of kings as Colporteurs. Nearly all of these are colored.
We cannot give much of a report from Africa. A great many books and tracts have been sent there, and Brother Booth is there doing what he can to gain a hearing amongst the blacks. He reports some success, but nothing that he can boast about. It remains to be seen whether or not we acted wisely in supposing that there might be some true "wheat" among the aborigines, and in undertaking to find it and ripen it with Present Truth. We expect to send Brother Browne (colored) shortly to see if he can do anything to further the interests of the cause there.
The proposition to serve the Truth in Japan miscarried. The missionary who had read and rejoiced and who desired to spread the Truth amongst the people there had not become sufficiently rooted and grounded in it. However, we are advised that the Japanese can read Chinese literature, and, a favorable opening having manifested itself in China, a work is under way there of which we have nothing as yet to report. We trust, dear readers, that all these various interests of the harvest lie so close to your hearts that you continually remember them at the throne of grace, petitioning for all your representatives and the Lord's in these various services of the Truth, that wisdom and grace from on high may be granted, that the Lord's will may be accomplished thereby, that his people may be blessed and his name honored. The Society's expenditure in these various missions, noted below, is in excess of whatever was collected and used in the missions themselves:
In Great Britain..................................$ 5,973.47 In Germany........................................ 6,385.00 In Australasia.................................... 5,142.54 In Scandinavia.................................... 2,089.91 In Jamaica........................................ 1,446.73 In Switzerland, France and Italy.................. 303.02 In Africa......................................... 1,740.25 In China.......................................... 1,288.19
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THE FINANCIAL SHOWING
The increased donations of this year encouraged us to spread the work as never before. The increase may be accounted for in part by the general prosperity prevailing; but this accounts for it only in part. In various ways we have evidence that a deepening work of grace is in progress amongst us. This led not only to financial activity but also to activities in Colporteuring and Volunteering and in attendance at the Conventions and arranging for them. The Lord be praised! This zeal to know the Lord, to understand his Word and to assist others toward the Kingdom is just what we should expect of the "called and chosen and faithful"!
We are not deceiving ourselves into thinking that our financial showing is very great. We know well that all of our receipts would be very small for some of the large institutions, which propagate "a ring-straked and speckled" Gospel, and that the amount would not be large enough to pay the salaries of the "officers." But we thank God that in his providence he has made us stewards to the extent indicated. We are striving to use the money so wisely that He will be pleased with the results and by and by say, "Ye have been faithful in a few things, I will make you rulers over many things."
1907--SUMMARY OF THE OUTPUT--1907
Total number of DAWNS, "Scripture Studies," cloth-bound, sold at cost......................... 554,021 (This is more than 1,789 volumes per each working day of the year.) Total output DAWN, Vol. I., magazine form, sold at cost.............................................. 41,625 Total output DAWN, Vol. I., magazine form, given gratis............................................ 11,125
------- Total.............................................. 606,771
Total output of free TOWERS, Tracts and Newspaper publications of our weekly sermons--stated in the usual form of tract pages.......................212,696,246 (This does not include several millions of Tracts and TOWERS printed and scattered in Germany, Scandinavia, etc., for which see later issue.)
Balance from last year............................$ 3,349.75 "Good Hopes" realized and other Tract Fund donations........................................ 83,042.07
Expended for Pilgrim service. (This year this item is greatly enlarged by reason of including hall rents and advertising expenses, nearly all of which extra was actually sustained by the friends who were served. We have invited their reports of the amounts expended, have credited the same as a Church donation to the Fund, and charged the same in as part of the expenses connected with the Pilgrim service. This also includes the reported expenses of One-Day and General Conventions.)....$17,091.38 Expended on Foreign Missions...................... 24,369.11 Cost of Tracts, TOWERS and other free literature above, with postage, freight, rents, etc......... 35,670.91
---------- Total expended during 1907........................$77,131.40
========== Balance, overplus for new work....................$ 9,260.42
* * *
Although this comfortable balance encourages us to an aggressive campaign for the Truth in 1908, we cannot hope that the receipts will equal the above report. But, if next year's receipts should be less, we will strive to use them wisely and to remember that our Lord owns all the gold and the silver and the cattle upon a thousand hills. If he sees best to withhold he will have a reason for so doing. Possibly money may be less plentiful in general, and hence the output of DAWN-STUDIES may be less, and the test of the loyalty and faithfulness of the dear Colporteurs the more keen. He knows! He knows what is best!
But on the other hand we are most decidedly of the opinion that the Harvest Message is to have a much wider circulation than it has yet had, before the closing in of the world's dark night of sorrow. It is for us to apply to ourselves the message, "Speak to the people that they go forward." It is ours to lay down our lives for the deliverance of the brethren from the yoke of error and the blindness of the Adversary, and to "show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light." Let us be faithful and endure hardness as good soldiers and wait for our Captain's word, "Well done! Faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things."
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THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH
--`JOHN 1:1-18`.--JANUARY 5.--
Golden Text:--"The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us."
AS a pendulum swinging from one extreme to another, passes the true center of gravity midway, so are the conceptions of Christians in general respecting our Lord: they go to one extreme or the opposite. One extreme view declares our Lord Jesus to have been simply a good man, a member of Adam's race as are others, the son of Joseph; others that he was perfect but not preexistent. Some deny the personality of God, and claim that what is called God is merely an operation of nature--that man is the greatest personal being in existence, and that he was not created but evolved himself from lower conditions. All of these theories we must set aside as being entirely inconsistent with the divine revelation, the Word of God, which teaches us respecting the intelligent Creator that he, in his sympathy and love, provided a Redeemer separate and distinct from our race. The opposite view holds to a personal God, the Creator of all things, and accounts for the honorable station of our Lord Jesus by assuming that he was the Father, but called himself the Son of God in a harmless deception of mankind for a time. It assumes also that he was "incarnate"--that is, that God entered a human body and used it in an obsessional sense.
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It would be in harmony with the carrying out of this thought to say that when Jesus prayed to the Father he really prayed to himself, but in this mild manner deceived because the disciples were not able to comprehend the great fact that he himself was the Father. Pursuing the same line this theory would imply that our Lord on the cross, praying to the Father, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" merely did this for the effect upon the disciples, since he was the Father and could not forsake himself. The same theory carried out supposes that when the body of Jesus died it was merely the moment when God stepped out of it, because it would be claimed that God could not die, and that the universe could not be left even for three days without supervision, and that if God died he could not raise himself from the dead. Therefore this theory compels the thought that our Lord's experiences from first to last were deceptive. We cannot agree with this thought; it is founded upon several errors, and as a whole is repugnant to reason as well as to Scripture.
Another thought along the same line is that the declaration of the Scriptures that there is but one living and true God is to be accepted in an accommodated sense --that there are really three Gods, but that they cooperate so thoroughly in every plan and purpose and act that they might properly be called one God.
According to this theory one person of the Trinity left heaven, was incarnated, and addressed another person of the Trinity as Father, and prayed to him and not to himself, and declared that the Father was greater than he--though this was not really the truth, since they were all one, according to the Westminster Confession, "equal in power and glory." Nevertheless this view also insists that Jesus, being God, was not made flesh, but merely appeared in flesh in an obsessional sense--in the same sense in which the demons took possession of men. According to this claim this God obsessed Mary's babe and dwelt in him until he died, performing through him wonderful works and giving forth wonderful teachings, but being God this one could not die, and therefore did not die at Calvary, but merely allowed the obsessed body to die.
The foregoing statement of the views of Unitarians and Trinitarians is not in exactly the verbiage used by the advocates of these doctrines, but our presentation is truthful, merely stripping their statements of the matter of some of the gloss they would use to hide the difficulties of their theories.
We now come to a consideration of the Bible view of this important subject, which agrees with none of the foregoing. We do not admit that either we or others
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have a right to ignore the plain statements of the divine Word, but claim, on the contrary, that the Scripture should be allowed to interpret itself, and that what it presents should be accepted by all Christian people without cavil. Let us look at the subject candidly as presented in this lesson.
"IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE WORD"
The first verse of our lesson, although not a bad translation, fails to give to the English reading the force, the significance of the Greek, and gives the implication that there are at least two Gods, whereas the Scriptures declare that "there is one God, the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ." (`I Cor. 8:6`.) Nowhere in the Scripture are these said to be equal in power and glory. On the contrary, whether we take the words of the apostles, or the prophets, or of the Lord Jesus himself, they all declare in harmony that the "Father is greater than I." "I came not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." (`John 14:28`; `6:38`.) When we read, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God," that makes two, the Word and the God whom he was with or represented, and then the statement that the "Word was God," we are thrown into confusion. How could the Word and God be God? It is here that the Greek gives the relief and makes the matter plain. It reads, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with the God and the Word was a God; the same was in the beginning with the God." If we accept this just as the Greek gives it, with the emphasis of the Greek article in the one place and not in the other, then all is straightened out--is clear. Then we can see that originally there was but the "one God, the living [self-existent] and true God"; that the glorious personage in this verse called the Word or Logos was the beginning of the Father's creative work.
This is in full accord with the Scriptural declaration that Jesus was the beginning of the creation of God--the "Firstborn of every creature." (`Col. 1:15`.) But some one objects,--"You are making Jesus, the Son of God, a created being." We answer, No; we are making nothing. We are just finding out what the Scriptures say; we are twisting nothing. The fault lies in the error of the "dark ages" in assuming that Jesus was one of three Gods or that he was all of the one God. For neither of these positions is there a particle of Scripture. Let us not be wiser than God. If we accept the Bible as the divine revelation--as the voice from heaven said of our Lord Jesus, "This is my beloved Son, hear ye him"--does not the very word son, applied to our Lord, imply that he was not his own father nor coexistent with the Father, but a begotten or subsequent creation? Surely there is no escape from the simplicity of the Scriptural presentation of the subject. "The same was in the beginning with the God" clearly implies a certain time recognized as the beginning, but so far as the heavenly Father himself is concerned, the Scriptures declare, "From everlasting to everlasting thou art God." (`Psa. 90:2`.) In other words, while it may be beyond our comprehension, it is the Scriptural presentation that the Father alone was without beginning, and that the Son was the beginning of the Father's creative work--created before angels as well as before man.
"ALL THINGS WERE MADE BY HIM"
Let us notice carefully this statement: it refers to the Logos, and is in full harmony with the statement made by the Apostle, "All things are of the Father, all things are by the Son." (`I Cor. 8:6`.) The power was of the
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Father, but it was exercised through the Son, the beginning of his creation, and hence "without him was not anything made that was made." What a beautiful testimony! How honoring to the Father! how honoring to the Son! The Father used the Son as his active agent in every creative work--nothing whatever was done without him. Is not this a sufficiency of honor for our dear Redeemer? Is it not as much or more than he ever claimed? In his humility he said nothing about his high honor, which he left to be our Redeemer.
The name he used, "The Word of God," the "Logos," was of itself significant, and in full harmony with our interpretation, as all scholars must admit. In olden times the kings kept themselves more or less apart from their subjects; they were rarely seen. It is said that it was a custom for them, when addressing multitudes of their subjects, to sit behind a screen or curtain, while in front of this stood the king's interpreter or representative, who spoke the king's words in a loud tone to be heard of all who were there. How beautifully this represents the honorable position of our Lord Jesus. He is the mouthpiece of the Father; he is his representative to every creature, to angels and to men. He is his active agent; by him were all things made, and without him was not anything made.
"In him was life." Abruptly the writer passes from our Lord's great work in the creation of all things to his appearance amongst men. He declares, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men." Our Lord is here contrasted with other men. He was different from others because he was not born of the flesh, though born in the flesh--that is to say, his life did not come from a human father, though it was nourished, matured, by a human mother. It was this peculiarity which marked him as separate and distinct from all of the race. That perfection of life was in marked contrast with the imperfection of the remainder of the race. The death sentence which passed upon father Adam, and which all of his children increasingly inherit, had brought them down to low mental and moral conditions, while our Lord Jesus, having a perfect life transferred from a heavenly condition, was in consequence very different from others of his people. This life constituted the light amongst men. They perceived that he was a remarkable character--"Never man spake like this man." "They marveled at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth." (`John 7:46`; `Luke 4:22`.) They had never before seen one in whom was life: all others whom they had met, like themselves, were dying creatures, nine-tenths dead.
"And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not." Not only is it true that the sin-darkened ones of our Lord's day comprehended him not, nor the light of truth and grace which shined from him, but it is still true that the darkened class comprehendeth not. "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not." (`2 Cor. 4:4`.) This is the Apostle's explanation of the matter --he still blinds the darkened class, and their eyes will not be opened until, at the second coming of Christ, Satan shall be bound for a thousand years; and then, during that Millennial period, under the reign of our dear Redeemer, all the blind eyes shall be opened and all the deaf ears shall be unstopped, and every creature shall come to a knowledge of the mercy and goodness and love of God, operating through Jesus Christ our Lord.
JOHN, OUR LORD'S FORERUNNER
The people indeed recognized John the Baptist as a notable character and servant or messenger of Jehovah, and this the Evangelist corroborates, saying that he was sent from God to be a witness of that Light. But John's witness was received by comparatively few, though it was given to all the favored nation to whom the Light was sent. The fact that John as a servant of God was given that honorable position of identifying and declaring Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of God, which taketh away the sin of the world, was of itself an assurance that the great One thus introduced and announced was very great in the estimation of Jehovah God, very honorable, the Messenger of the Covenant.
"HE WAS THE TRUE LIGHT"
"He was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." This is a prophetic statement, for our Lord at his first advent did not even enlighten all of his own nation, and made no attempt whatever to enlighten the world of mankind. Nevertheless it is God's purpose that ultimately all shall see, all shall know of his love and wonderful provision. And our Lord Jesus is that great Light, the great Enlightener, that is yet to enlighten Adam and every member of his race. When amongst men the glorious Light was not fully revealed, even though what the Jews did see caused them to marvel. Our Lord himself, according to the Scriptures, "learned obedience by the things which he suffered," and was thereby prepared for his exaltation, his glorification, which he received when he had finished the work which the Father gave him to do--when on the third day thereafter the Father raised him from the dead by his own power, to glory, honor, immortality, the divine nature. Now, in his highly exalted condition, he is still the true Light which shineth with a brightness above that of the sun at noonday. He is to be the great Sun of Righteousness which, during the Millennial age, shall bless and enlighten every man that cometh into the world; and we are given the blessed assurance that the Church, the Bride class, the Elect, will be with him in that glorious mission of blessing and enlightenment.-- `Matt. 13:43`.
"HE WAS IN THE WORLD"
"The world was made by him and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not." These words set forth in plain perspective the dignity of the Son of God, who was made flesh and dwelt among us. The world knew him not! and, still more surprising, his own nation, the Jews, knew him not! although they had been instructed from the beginning
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of their nationality to look for the Messiah, and although to them a description had been given-- not only that he should be very great, but also that he should be born of a virgin and made of no reputation. How they received him not is clearly set forth in the Scriptures: they mocked him, derided him, rejected him; they preferred instead of him Barabbas, the robber; at the instigation of their priests and doctors of the Law they cried, "Away with him! Crucify him!"
But while this was the course of the majority, a few had the eyes to see and ears to hear the message of God's love which came through him as the Word of God. Of this our lesson tells, saying, "As many as received him to them gave he power [privilege or right] to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." These were the "Israelites indeed," of whom were the twelve apostles and the seventy, also the "500 brethren," and those Jews subsequently reached on the Day of Pentecost and afterward during the entire harvest of their age. These had formerly belonged to the house of Moses, the house of servants--"For Moses, verily, was faithful as a servant over all his house." But now, the due time having come, these favored ones saw the true Light, because they were in the proper attitude of heart, and they received from him not only forgiveness of their sins through the merit of his sacrifice, but also the begetting of the holy Spirit--an adoption by the holy Spirit into the family of the sons of God--quite a step above their previous position as merely members of the house of servants, for of our Lord it is written that Christ as a son was faithful over his own house, whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.--`Heb. 3:6`.
The following `verse (13`) emphasizes all this, saying, "Which were begotten, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." We render here the term gennao begotten, and not born, as in our common version, for although the same Greek word is used interchangeably as referring to begettal and birth, yet there is that in the construction of the Greek sentence which fixes it here as signifying begetting. It refers to our begetting of the holy Spirit, whereas our birth of the holy Spirit is the Scriptural designation for the resurrection. It was not along family lines of blood relationship, not along fleshly lines of worldly sympathy and judgment, not according to man's wealth or wisdom that some were changed from being members of the house of servants and made members of the house of sons of God, under Christ. It was of God that all this came to them, because they were Israelites indeed in whom there was no guile-- the very class for whom God had prepared the exceeding great and precious arrangements of his plan. Only such are at present able to appreciate the full riches of God's grace and loving kindness. As sons of God, as members of the Royal Priesthood, they are privileged to have a greater fellowship in the great High Priest, Jesus, and a greater intimacy with the divine Word than is granted to others. As the Lord expressed the matter, "Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God; but unto those who are outsiders, these things are spoken in parables."--`Mark 4:11`.
"THE WORD BECAME FLESH"
The last verse of our lesson contains much food for thought: from it our Golden Text was selected. It declares that the Word was made flesh. The revised version renders it, "The Word became flesh." Both are correct, and both contradict the two extremes of view held by Christendom. It was the Word that was made flesh, and hence our Lord's was not an ordinary birth. On the other hand, note that it does not say that the Word was incarnated or got into flesh or obsessed it, but says quite correctly, "The Word was made flesh--the Word became flesh." Let us make no mistake in the reading of this message on this important subject; let us take it just as it is written, without twisting. The lesson is that the great One, the beginning of the creation of God, the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, came down from that glorious condition as a spirit being and was made flesh and dwelt among us, as the Apostle says. "The man Christ Jesus" was not an incarnated being, but was himself the One who had been with the Father, and whose nature as a spirit being had been changed, exchanged for human nature as a fleshly being. It was when he made his consecration at thirty years of age and symbolized it in water baptism that he received his begetting of the holy Spirit to a new nature, a spiritual nature, as high or higher than he had before. From that moment on he was the Anointed One, which in the Greek signifies the Christ, and in the Hebrew the Messiah. He was anointed with the holy Spirit, with the oil of joy above his fellows. And directly after this anointing came upon the Master, he began the work of selecting those who were to be joint-heirs, otherwise styled the members of his Body, the under priesthood, the Bride, the Lamb's Wife. In the preceding verse we have seen how some of these "fellows" were given liberty to become the sons of God--to be begotten of the holy Spirit, with a view to their ultimately reaching the same glorious nature.
It is not the Word made flesh that was glorified and exalted; rather the Word made flesh offered up himself a living sacrifice to the Father and carried out that sacrificing covenant, completing it at Calvary when he cried, "It is finished." The sacrifice was finished, the Word made flesh had died, had ceased to be. Neither was that Word made flesh ever revived. No, he gave his life a ransom for many, for Adam and all his race, and never revived as a man, never took back that sacrifice. Hence we may go free. As it is written, "Deliver him from going down into the pit: for I have found a ransom for him."--`Job 33:24`.
But if the Word made flesh died and did not rise again, what did arise from the dead? and who is the Lord of Glory that now ever liveth? We reply that the
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Lord of Glory was begotten at the time the Word made flesh offered up himself, namely, at the time of our Lord's consecration and symbolization of that covenant at Jordan. Not the newly begotten Son of God, begotten of the holy Spirit, but the Word made flesh sacrificed himself, gave himself up as a man, with all of his earthly rights and privileges sacrificed on behalf of father Adam for the restoration of Adam and all those condemned to death through him. This New Creature, begotten of God by the holy Spirit, prospered, grew, developed, as the Word made flesh yielded and finally died. This New Creature, which did the sacrificing of the man Christ Jesus, was the One recognized of the Father, the One who gave his flesh for the life of the world. (`John 6:51`.) This New Creature's life was not given for the life of the world, the New Creature was not sacrificed for sins. No! it was the Word made flesh, the man Jesus, that was sacrificed, while Jesus the New Creature, begotten again, was delivered in the resurrection --raised from the dead on the third day by the Father. He it was who ascended up on high, there to appear in the presence of God on behalf of the Church, which is his Body, the under-priesthood, and on behalf also of all the household of faith, the antitypical Levites.
Meantime not only the faithful of Natural Israel, but also the called-out ones from amongst the Gentiles have been privileged to walk in their Master's footsteps. True, they had not perfect flesh as he had; true, it could not be said of them as of him that in them was life. But to them was imputed life, because they believed --they were justified through faith, and their sins and imperfections reckonedly covered. Hence from this, the divine standpoint, they were thenceforth like their Lord. They also consecrated their flesh, they also were begotten of the holy Spirit, they also were reckoned as New Creatures, they also crucified the flesh with its affections and desires, they also laid down their lives, their flesh, in death, and to them also was the promise that eventually, as the Father raised up Jesus from the dead, so also will he raise them up in his likeness, in his resurrection--the First Resurrection of the blessed and holy. They like their Lord will never more be of the human nature: when perfected as New Creatures they will be like their Lord, see him as he is and share his glory, because they will be changed--because "flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of heaven." --`I Cor. 15:50`.
When the Apostle says, "And we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth," we may not surely know his thought. He may have meant that subsequent to our Lord's resurrection he and the other apostles had beheld the Lord's glory when he had manifested himself to them; or he may have meant that during the days of his flesh before his sacrifice of it was complete, that they beheld his glory, his honor, his dignity, his perfection, as the earthly image of God--God manifest in the flesh. In any event we may here apply to ourselves, not only a good doctrinal lesson, but also a good practical lesson, for we are amongst those who are hoping to make our calling and election sure, that we may become joint-heirs with our dear Redeemer in his glory and Kingdom. The lesson shows us clearly that if we would be so honored by a share in his resurrection, we must be faithful now and make our calling and election sure by walking in his steps and finishing the sacrificing of our flesh: "I beseech you, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, your reasonable service."--`Rom. 12:1`.
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YOUR "GOOD HOPES" 1908
[The plan here proposed we designate "GOOD HOPES," because nothing is actually promised--only your generous hopes expressed, based upon your future prospects as they now appear to you. The plan proved not only so beneficial to the cause of truth, but also so blessed to the hopers, for some years past, that we again commend it to all as Scriptural and good. Those who desire to make use of this plan can fill out both of these memoranda. One should be kept for the refreshment of your memory; the other mail to us.]
"WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY."
Dear Friends:--I have read with interest of the openings for the Dawn and Tract work in foreign lands and here at home. I need not tell you that I am deeply interested in the spread of the Glad Tidings of the lengths and breadths, the heights and depths of redeeming love expressed for us in God's great Plan of the Ages.
I am anxious to use myself--every power, every talent, voice, time, money, influence, all--to give to others this knowledge, which has so greatly blessed, cheered and comforted my own heart and placed my feet firmly upon the Rock of Ages.
I have been considering carefully, and praying to be instructed, how to use my various talents more to my Redeemer's glory and for the service of his people--those blinded by human tradition who are, nevertheless, hungering for "the good Word of God," and those also who are naked, not having on the wedding garment of Christ's imputed righteousness, the unjustified, who stand at best in the filthy rags of their own righteousness. I have decided that so far as my "money talent" goes, I will follow the rule so clearly laid down for us by the great Apostle Paul (`1 Cor. 16:2`), and will lay aside on the first day of each week, according to my thankful appreciation of the Lord's blessings during the preceding week. Out of this fund I wish to contribute to the several parts of the Lord's work specified on the back of this letter. Of course, I cannot in advance judge or state particularly what the Lord's bounty may enable me to set apart weekly, and hence you will understand the sum indicated to be merely my conjecture or hope, based upon present prospects. I will endeavor to contribute more than I here specify; and should I not succeed in doing as well, the Lord will know my heart, and you, also, will know of my endeavors.
My only object in specifying in advance what I hope to be able to do in this cause is to enable those in charge of the work of publishing and circulating the Tracts, etc., to form estimates, lay plans, make contracts, etc., with some idea of what I will at least try to do in the exercise of this my highly appreciated privilege.
My present judgment is that during the coming year, by self-denial and cross-bearing, I shall be able to lay aside on the first day of each week for Home and Foreign Mission Work (to assist in circulating Millennial Dawn in foreign languages, and in publishing the "Old Theology Tracts" in various languages, and in supplying these gratuitously to brethren who have the heart and opportunity to circulate them widely, and in meeting the expenses of brethren sent out as "Pilgrims" to preach the divine plan of salvation, and in general to be expended as the officers of the Society may deem best), the amount of__________per week.
To comply with United States Postal Laws, all or any portion of my donation may be applied as subscription price for Watch Tower or O.T. Tracts sent to the Lord's poor or others, as the Society's officers may deem advisable.
That the work be not hindered, I will endeavor to send you what I shall have laid aside for this cause at the close of each quarter. I will secure a Bank Draft, Express Order or Postal Money Order as I may find most convenient, and will address the letter to
WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY,
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WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIPTIONS
--ON GOOD HOPES ACCOUNT.--
The friends who contribute to the "Good Hopes" (described on the reverse of this sheet) at times desire to send the Watch Tower to friends who are not yet interested enough to subscribe for themselves; or to deeply interested friends who are too poor to subscribe and backward about accepting our Lord's Poor offer. They are invited to give us such addresses below--the expense to be deducted from their donations. Give full addresses, and write very plainly please, mentioning the length of the subscriptions.
CHRISTIAN HOME EMBELLISHMENTS.
For several years we have been supplying our readers with handsome text and motto cards for the walls of their homes. Their influence is excellent; for they continually and cheerfully catch the eye and remind the heart of our great favors present and to come, based upon the exceeding great and precious promises of our Father's Word. We commend these as helps in the "narrow way,"--helps in character-building.
OLD THEOLOGY TRACTS
These are published quarterly at 6 cents per year. But extra SAMPLE copies, for distribution among friends, from house to house, for enclosure in letters, and in general for use in such ways as seem judicious, are supplied freely, the expense entailed by the great demand for them being borne by the Tract Fund of voluntary contributions. Write for the tracts as you feel able to use them, even if not so well able to contribute toward the expense; some who are not able, and do contribute, do not have opportunities personally to use all that their contributions pay for, so that the matter is equalized and all may have a part in this service of disseminating the truth.
A PRIVILEGE AND A SERVICE
We are convinced that the Watch Tower lists do not contain the names of one-half of those deeply interested in its teachings. The total is small enough surely, and we are not content that the name of any should be missing. We believe that all such will be stimulated and encouraged on the "narrow way" by its semi-monthly appearance on their table, reminding them afresh of spiritual matters which the world, the flesh and the devil continually tend to crowd out of mind and heart.
Hitherto we have required that all desiring the Watch Tower on credit, or free, as "the Lord's Poor," should make personal application; but now we request every subscriber to inquire among those whom he knows to be interested in present truth, and to obtain the consent of all such to send in their subscriptions either on credit or free, as their circumstances may necessitate. Any getting it on credit may at any future time request that the debt be cancelled, and we will cheerfully comply. We desire that as nearly as possible the Watch Tower lists shall represent all those deeply interested in its message.
Our object is not the gain of "filthy lucre," but "the perfecting of the saints for the work of ministry"--present and to come. (`Eph. 4:12`.) We offer no premiums, desiring the co-operation of such only as appreciate the privilege of being co-workers with us in this ministry. Our list is now about 22,000; but it should be at least 30,000, and we confidently expect the above program to bring it to that figure. Let as many as appreciate it as a privilege, join at once in this service.
WATCH TOWER SUBSCRIPTION RENEWALS.
Most of our subscriptions end with the year, so we take this opportunity to remark that we will be glad to hear promptly from such as desire the visits of the Watch Tower continued. The Lord's Poor friends have been requested to send in their applications in June. When names are dropped and afterward renewed it makes us unnecessary trouble.
When desiring to know date of expiration, look on your Tower wrapper. Date is given in lower left-hand corner.
HYMNS OF DAWN WITH MUSIC.
Our readers have for years inquired for this book. We now have it for you in handsome cloth binding and at cost price. It is the best and the cheapest hymn book in the world, at 35 cents per copy, postpaid, and contains 333 of the choicest hymns of all ages. By express, collect, 25c each, in any quantity.
WATCH TOWER BINDERS.
These are substantially made of stiff cloth boards, and can hold two years' issues of the WATCH TOWER. They prevent soiling and loss. Price, postpaid, 50c.
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AN INTERESTING LETTER
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
I have just returned home from a colporteuring tour, occupying several months time. During the time I canvassed about 117 days and sold 4,406 volumes, averaging a little better than 37 books a day. One little town I canvassed in one day and took orders for 127 books, and when I came back to deliver I delivered every book ordered, besides three more, after three o'clock in the afternoon.
In one town it was "noised about" that the books I was taking orders for were the DAWNS. In fact the subject was discussed at the M.E. "sewing circle." One of the ladies had Vol. I., said she had read it and enjoyed it, and wouldn't take a hundred dollars for it, and yet thought it wasn't quite safe for young people to read! This same lady called on me that evening at my rooming place and told me I wouldn't likely secure any more subscriptions from Methodists, and that those who had subscribed would likely countermand their orders. Of course this made me a little uneasy; still, I knew if I lost the orders, the experience would be good for me, and so I left the matter with the Lord. Well, the result was I still kept on taking orders from Methodists, and not a Methodist went back on me. One man whose wife didn't give me an order, sent word for me to call when I was delivering and he bought all six of the books.
I met a man in a little town who said he had got the first three volumes last year, and that he had read all of them three times, that he found something new every time he read them and that they never grew stale. He said he has a library of over a thousand books. He bought the other three from me. When I find persons having the first three I always try to get them to take the other three and they do not often hesitate to do so.
I have heard from a set I sold last year, that the person had read all six books three times in less than a year and considered them the finest literature on the Bible that he ever read.
I met a dear old brother who is ninety-one years old. He is two years old in the Truth, and got the Truth by reading the "Debates."
With much Christian love, in which the household here joins, I am, your sister in the Lord,
ANNA J. GILLESPIE,--Colporteur.