L. s. d.
Preaching, Pilgrim and Convention expenses........ 164 15 01
Cost of tracts, freight, postage, and all other
office expenses.................................1,133 18 10
1,298 13 11
London..............................L. 88 12 0
The Provinces....................... 554 7 2
Special donations................... 400 0 0 1,042 19 02
Deficit for 1905............................... L.265 14 09
The season of the year when the annual report and review of the work is made has again come round, and I have pleasure in giving you the working of the British Branch for the year ending October 31, 1905. As on previous occasions, we have had the privilege of reporting an advance in every branch of the work; though the pleasure in this is modified a little by the fact that the onward march is not quite as rapid as last year. I speak just now particularly of the sale of the "Dawns," in which, though we report an increase [R3699 : page 8] in circulation of nearly 2,000, we have not progressed as much as last year, when we advanced 4,000. Our total issue of "Dawns" and booklets is 33,741; truly a goodly total, and one for which we praise the Lord. It has happened this year that several of our colporteurs have had to relinquish the work for a time; some because of their own ill-health, and some for domestic reasons. We thank the Lord for the noble band of colporteurs, co-laborers in the harvest field. Their sacrifices, as well as their difficulties and trials are many, and we constantly remember them at the throne of grace, that they may be strengthened as they go from door to door or from place to place. We are often cheered and encouraged as we read their letters full of cheery optimism or of courage to pursue the work. We have yet much ground to be covered and we are still praying "the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the vineyard."
The Volunteer work, as you know, was started late in the season, and though of necessity we have not sent out as much ammunition as usual, of tracts in general we have circulated 1,129,000, a larger number than ever. The ammunition for this season is very fruitful of inquiries and we hope for much result from it. The demand is still strong.
The "Tower" list continues to grow all the time at one uniform rate. Yet, judging from the pleasure which the "Tower" gives when once it becomes a regular visitor, we imagine there are many who would be glad to have it did they know of it and of the generous provisions through which it may be obtained, even by those unable to pay for it.
The receipts of the Tract Fund are considerably in advance this year. I have already informed you of the chief reason for this. One of the Lord's dear children, wishing to free the British Branch from the burden of debt, gave liberally of that which the Lord had given. As is generally the case, there are not many with us who are able to give largely, but the many smaller items swell into a good total by the end of the year, and give cause for rejoicing as the Lord prospers his work.
With yourself I appreciate the cooperation of all the dear brethren, whether it be shown in the colporteur work, volunteer work, or by donation to the Tract Fund. Many who are unable to donate are able to distribute the literature, and all may be co-laborers with the Lord and with each other. The Pilgrim visits of Brothers McPhail and Edgar were very much enjoyed.
Of the general work I could say much. The interest is getting more widely spread over the United Kingdom; and Ireland, through the labors of the few brethren there, is getting her opportunity to hear the "glad tidings." The meetings of the brethren in the various towns and villages are, [R3699 : page 9] generally speaking, making progress. Naturally the work grows most and goes forward the quickest where the attention given to the interests of the Kingdom is not divided with any personal interests. We could mention the labor of many, and, were it convenient, would gladly do so as an encouragement to them and to others. Many are laboring for the Lord unknown to the brethren at large, often with little apparent result; yet we are assured that of all work done for him, "Your labor is not in vain in the Lord." As we are not without signs of the coming "Confederacy," and of the growing political and social power of Non-conformity, there is need that we busy ourselves with the work that has been placed before us. Ours is a better cause than that political religious combination which proposes to amend the world. We know that amendment cannot come until the Kingdom comes into power. We wait to heal the world's woes, but in the meantime we can be preparing to "cast up the highway, gather out the stones and lift up a standard for the people," and there is no better way of doing these desirable things than by putting the Truth into the hands of the people.
Expended for Pilgrim service......................
The total amount expended for printing, postage,
freight and all other expenses of the work....... 18,202.28
Tract fund donations.............................. 3,125.57
Deficit for 1905............................*Marks 16,185.61
We might have reason to wish for a more rapid spread of the Truth on the continent of Europe, especially in the Protestant countries of Germany, Holland and Switzerland, but we are assured "the Lord knoweth them that are his" and who are hungering for a clearer insight into his plans and purposes, and that he will "seek and find" his own sheep. We have various evidences of how the Lord is doing that very thing and rejoice therein.
As the accounts show more particularly, we have been enabled to circulate 21 million tract pages of free literature and ten thousand "Dawns" and booklets. We may hope that some of the seed will ultimately show some fruitage in the gathering of the Lord's people to the Lord and his feast of fat things from his Word. We are constantly securing addresses of earnest Christians, many of whom may be of the class who do not really bow their knees to Baal.
Our Pilgrim service this year has not been very extended. The Colporteur service has thus far proved itself impracticable for Germany, or it may be we lack capable and experienced colporteurs. It seems to be a fact, though, that poor circumstances of a large proportion of the people, the spread of infidelity and socialism, together with the large percentage of Roman Catholics in this country, the ever-increasing prices of food and taxes, and perplexities innumerable of the small merchant, etc., and the fight with carnal weapons of Protestants against the encroachments of Catholicism on the one hand and the loss of faith in the virtue and supremacy of Protestantism over Catholicism on the other hand, as manifested in the Rome-ward leanings of the Kaiser himselfthat all these things are creating and have created a general contempt for religion of every kind.
With much love from us all, in loving sympathy for all the Lord's people in every land, in every clime, and commending ourselves to their and your prayers for our heavenly Father's and our dear Master's leading, I am,
P.S.The mutiny of the Russian soldiers is evidently driving the Kaiser to desperation. He fears the bad example. The Socialists claim the sympathies of the great majority of the soldiers, officers and men, whether in the standing army or in the reserves. To the Socialists their regime or a republic seems within sight, and it must seem folly to them to hear the Kaiser talk of the soldiers as belonging to him personally, to whom they are compelled to give the oath of allegiance.
"Recruits! Since you have now rendered me the oath of allegiance you no longer belong to yourselves alone. Through it you have been received into the great family, whose calling it is to protect the Fatherland when it is in danger. By this oath which you have rendered in view of these glorious field-emblems you have become mine! You have thereby taken upon yourselves [under stress] a great responsibility toward the highest lord [of the empire]. I expect that you will be conscious of this. I greet you as my soldiers! Wherever it may be, remember what a privilege it is that you may belong to my corps of Guards, with its great and glorious memories from the times of your fathers. Many are jealous of you for this privilege, and you may well be proud of it; therefore always remember your oath. Remain true to it, even as your comrades who, in a far country, far from home, have now for twelve months been subject to all kinds of deprivations, doing their duty and fighting a hard battle for the Fatherland and for German culture. This is the special trait of the German soldier, that he willingly follows the call of his king, without murmuring and hesitation, all in faith and confidence in his king, and in confidence in his God, who will not forsake the upright. Therefore [R3700 : page 10] continue steadfast in prayer, for the calling upon God gives strength, even in the most difficult hour when one is inclined to give up, not to despair but to look forward with courage. Thus do your duty in obedience and you will not fail to receive acknowledgment from your superiors. Practise self-control and never grow weary of today's promise. May this day be to you all a constant source of soberness and a stimulation to zeal, for your entire life, especially since his majesty the King of Spain has so highly honored and distinguished the Guard corps by his presence. To his majesty the king of Spain, Hurrah! hurrah! hurrah!"
"Berlin, Nov. 13.According to the 'Local News,' the Kaiser yesterday, after receiving the oath of allegiance from new recruits in Potsdam, addressed them as follows: 'You see here an altar, upon it a cross, the emblem of all Christians. As such you today gave the oath in support of the flag. I wish and hope that you will always remember this oath. Just now a memorable event comes to my mind. When Emperor Leopold of Austria delivered the supreme command of the army to Prince Eugene, handing him the marshal's staff, Prince Eugene grasped a crucifix and held it high with the words: "This shall be our supreme general." Such an attitude I expect of you. I want pious, brave soldiers in my army and no mockers. You have the privilege of service in the Guards of Potsdam, where you will be constantly reminded of the great soldier-king who not far from here has his last resting place, and of the most glorious history of Prussia. Show yourselves worthy of this special distinction by special cultivation of the soldierly virtues and set a good example to the others in godly fear, faithfulness and obedience."