Herewith I forward to you reports of the WATCH TOWER BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY'S work in Great Britain for the fiscal year. It is not all that we could have desired and hoped for, but all that we were able to attain. In some respects, I am sure, you will be pleasurably surprised at the good results. My chief cause for regret is the slowness of the colporteur work here. I realize, too, that this in some respects is the most important branch of the service—for the dissemination of the Truth—for the finding of the wheat, for the gathering of it into the garner. I regret the fact that our sales of DAWN, Vol. I., during the past year were not so large even as during the previous year, whereas in all reason, with the love and zeal and knowledge which the friends of the Truth here seem to possess, we should have put at least five times as many into circulation. I trust that the fault is not mine: that I am doing all in my power to forward this important branch of the service.
How I wish some of the dear friends of the cause here, of good address, and unencumbered, could see their way clear to enter this grand work. Truly, as the Master said in the harvest of the Jewish age, The fields are white for the harvest but the laborers are few. Would that all of the dear ones here might fall in line with the Master's exhortation, "Pray ye the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth more laborers into his vineyard": I should hope that as a result of such earnestness and prayers quite a good many would quickly be saying, "Lord, here am I! accept my little service—send me!" And if this should include some who can only give a part of one or two days a week from business or household duties, as I understand is the case with many in the United States, we would be glad to assign to such what territory they could profitably use nearer at home. I do trust that next year's report will show a great advance in the service of our King in this most valuable department. We have plenty of territory as yet untouched. We feel ashamed to ask aid from the American laborers for this field, yet would be very glad indeed if some of them were here to assist us, to stimulate us, to put more vim in us.
We had two General Conventions during the year, both of which were very profitable and deeply interesting, besides which some Pilgrim work was done, including that by Brother Barton, whom you so kindly sent to us and whose ministries we so greatly appreciated.
You will note that the volunteer report this year shows well: those of the brethren who did take part have worked hard, and the year shows larger than any before in the distribution of free literature. We are preparing for a great campaign next year, not forgetting that the time is short and that the privilege and opportunity of service is grand beyond compare. We hope for more volunteers this year, too. As the Truth takes hold of our hearts more and more and its spirit energizes us, we will be wanting to do with our might what our hands find to do—and there is so much to be done! How can we be idle or careless or indifferent or overcharged with the cares of this life while we have the opportunity of serving such a Master and of telling such good tidings?
The Tract Fund donations, you will notice, have considerably increased over previous years—another [R3919 : page 6] evidence of the deepening of the work of grace in the heart. When the Truth touches the pocket-book, so that such donations are offered without request, without an appeal, without urging and without collections, it means considerable of love for the Lord, for the Truth, and for the brethren.
DAWNS and STUDIES, various bindings, sold...............23,987
DAWNS in magazine form.................................. 1,898
Total number of DAWNS and STUDIES put into circulation..25,885
Total number of Booklets, Hymn Books and Manna sold..... 7,897
Total number of Tracts and TOWERS circulated free....1,159,000
(Expressed in usual form of tract pages)............30,195,800
Letters and cards received at this office................7,825
Letters and cards sent out from this office..............8,150
"Pilgrim" and Convention expenses................... 104 0 10
Cost of Tracts, postage and office expenses.........1318 2 5
Total...............................................1422 3 3
Donations to Tract Fund............................. 908 14 0
Deficit for year 1906............................... 513 9 3
I send you with this a report of the Society's work done through its German Branch during the past year. It has been a great year with us, a year of great activity, as the report shows. And yet along some lines we might feel discouraged did we not know what to expect in this "harvest" time. We are always glad to have your sympathies, your love and your prayers in this part of the harvest field. The oneness of the Lord's cause is sustaining us, not only financially but in every way. It certainly encourages the less numerous friends of the Truth on this Continent to know of the prosperity and the love of the Lord's people in other parts of the world. We rejoice that the Truth is made more and more accessible to the hungering ones of various [R3920 : page 6] nations through its publications in many languages.
We seem to be unable to accomplish much in that very important department of the harvest work—the colporteur field. We are ashamed of the small showing in this particular, although books are sold at an extremely low price and although there is a large middle class of people here who are able to purchase. We seem not to have been able to find the right method for impressing them with their need of these helps in Bible Study. Indeed, one great difficulty is that good, well-meaning people here are full of prejudice, while those who get free from the prejudice and superstition seem very generally to fall into Socialism, with its earthly aims and prospects, ignoring the Bible, or into open infidelity and antagonism to everything religious. I remember that it is your opinion that great numbers of DAWNS could be sold here if we only get at the proper method. I have been endeavoring to find that method and will still endeavor.
You will be glad to learn that quite a work of grace is in progress amongst those who have received the Truth. Many of them have been subjected to calumny and opposition of various kinds, but now seem to be learning that the "disciple is not above his Lord"—learning to overcome their trials. Letters from these dear soldiers of the cross bring many messages of love and sympathy and requests for remembrances in prayer. The Truth is rooting and grounding them in character, so that none of the attacks of the Adversary move them. Others are fearful and need our tender care, words of sympathy, etc.
Our principal work accomplished has been in the distribution of free literature, some of which, we trust, will ultimately prove to be good seed in good hearts, bringing forth abundantly to the Master's praise.
We had one Convention this year which was very interesting and we trust very profitable to all. We made four extended "Pilgrim" tours (with frequent visits to neighboring towns). The mileage covered in these tours was 7625—one of them extended a considerable distance into Russia. Through these various methods, by voice and pen and printed page we trust that we have succeeded in bringing the Truth before a considerable number, and that some of these are the Lord's jewels.
Here I mention that I read with concern your kind words of admonition in the November 1st TOWER, "Gathering or Scattering. Which?" I hope and pray that the love of Christ may constrain us each and all more and more to be of "one mind," "one mouth," "of the same judgment," having the "same love." How well meant and tender-hearted are the Apostle's words along this line in Rom. 12:16; 15:6; I Cor. 1:10; 2:16; 2 Cor. 13:11; Phil. 1:27; 2:2; I Pet. 3:8; 4:1.
DAWNS sold, various bindings,............................2,805
DAWNS issued, magazine form..............................3,250
Various booklets sold....................................4,290
Sample TOWERS and Tracts free (stated in tract pages) 5,600,000
Cost of Tracts, postage, samples, Pilgrim expenses,
rent, light, heat, etc..............................$3,990.82
Volunteer Donations to the Tract Fund................ 1,802.81
Deficit for 1906..................................... 2,188.01
[This mission, now several years old, is under the general care of the colored brother who sends this report. Thus far the work is almost exclusively among the blacks. However, a little interest is being aroused amongst the whites lately and we will assist them as opportunity may offer.]
We send you herein our General Report for the fiscal year 1906. Our tongues can but feebly express the gratitude we feel for our heavenly Father's leadings during a year so fraught with wonderful experiences for us all. We feel like David when he said, "Truly God is good to Israel, even to those who are of a pure heart."
We are pleased to say that the spiritual condition of all the brethren is constantly growing better and the number of interested ones is gradually increasing. We were agreeably surprised at the many inquiries from strangers who had come in contact with colporteurs or with tracts bearing our address stamp. Some of these we are continually watering with DAWNS and TOWERS and they give evidence of genuine interest.
The Pilgrim service has been used effectively and chiefly to establish an assembly in Montego Bay, the [R3920 : page 7] second city of importance in the Island, situated in the west. The Adversary was strenuously opposed to it and gave us much trouble, but he who is on our side proved to be mightier than all those who are against us; and now there are about a dozen brethren and deeply interested ones in regular attendance: and Bro. Condell is rendering good service.
The inconvenient situation of the brethren in the country parts as well as the difficulty of reaching them prevented us from paying them Pilgrim visits as often as we desired. We made two trips during the year which took in all the assemblies except Cedar Valley, covering a distance of 362 miles and holding sixteen semi-private meetings and two public ones. In addition to these we held three public meetings in Kingston which have done much to arouse some of the sleeping ones.
The Colporteur brethren should be specially mentioned: the work here is extremely hard, even distressing, and we are sure that it is only the love of the Truth that would lead anyone to give up his life to it.
There are no facilities for traveling or for conveying books. All the work is done in the mountains and brethren have to walk from 20 to 60 miles, carrying on their shoulders from 15 to 30 books. It is difficult traveling over the mountains and into the valleys, sometimes being overtaken by rain, sleeping out often at night because unable to find lodging, and, being disappointed many times in deliveries, have to return long distances with the books they carried. And yet some of them call it a joyful privilege to be so engaged. Their appreciation is shown by the fact that others are joining the ranks. The physical condition of our colporteurs in general is very poor: at one time during the year every one was sick and the work had to stop.