VOLUNTEER WORK FOR THE SEASON 1903.
FOR several years the dear friends of the cause in all parts of the United States and Canada have industriously circulated on Sundays, at church doors, various of the WATCH TOWER publications. Good results have come--though far less than we hoped for from the vast quantity of printed matter thus circulated. We can only trust that some of the seed has fallen into good ground, and is bringing forth fruitage quietly, which will later be manifest. We believe that on the whole a general modification of the views of Christendom is in progress, and that the tendency is in two directions--the majority toward infidelity, higher criticism, etc., and animosity toward the truth; and a minority toward a proper appreciation of the Word of God and its teachings. We are thus encouraged to go on in the good work while it is called today, realizing that a dark night of unbelief is rapidly settling over our dear brethren and sisters still in Babylon, and that those whom we would rescue must be reached speedily, if at all, before the great time of trouble shall have closed the door to the high calling.
We propose that the Volunteer work this year be varied a little from the methods of previous years--to the extent that the tracts we are expecting shortly to furnish be circulated from house to house, on Sunday forenoons, instead of being circulated at church-doors. We advise that foreign quarters, and especially Roman Catholic quarters, be avoided, as the circulation of tracts there would mean a loss of time, effort and means. Our thought in making this change for the current season is that there may be people who would [R3196 : page 153] thus be reached who have not been reached by the church distributions of the past. We find that there are today quite a number of thinking people who rarely go to church, sometimes for one reason and sometimes for another. Amongst these are some of the most conscientious, God-fearing and well-disposed, who should be amenable to the influences of present truth. We have found it so.
Our arrangement with the printers is that the two tracts which shall constitute the "ammunition" for this year shall be put up, mixed alternately, in bundles. The thought is, not to give two at each house, but one, that neighbors may possibly exchange with each other, and thus a greater variety of reading matter be utilized.
This new method of distribution will render useless the information secured by the various captains during former seasons, but will, nevertheless, give them plenty to do in districting their cities and towns so that every house in proper districts shall be reached and served, and so that the workers shall not lap upon each other's territory. We recommend that the circulation take place on Sunday mornings, at such hour as seems to the friends at each place the most convenient one, least likely to inconvenience those who rejoice to give their time in this service.
It may be possible that some of the friends will find a week-day more convenient than a Sunday, and if this be so we advise that their wishes for territory and tracts be granted. On the whole, however, we rather think that Sunday will be the most advantageous and convenient day. We are not to think of this, nor will other right-minded people think of it, as being "labor," and in violation of Sunday rest. The walking will be no more than would ordinarily be done in going to church, and the labor would be considerably less than in the preaching of a sermon, while the printed sermons thus delivered will, in the judgment of the distributors, be superior, of course, to what would be generally obtained.
FOR THE GERMAN WORK.
We are preparing this season to do some Volunteer work amongst the German Protestant churches, and will be pleased to fill requisitions for "ammunition" in that language. We advise that this material be served on Sunday in the way the English churches were served in previous years, as it would be difficult to locate the Germans otherwise.
We hope that all orders will be with us promptly, and as soon as possible we will have the tracts shipped. We remember daily in prayer the dear brethren and sisters engaged in this, as well as in every branch of the service of the Lord, that his rich blessing may go with the efforts put forth, to the awakening of the true ones of the flock. May grace, mercy and peace abide with all in your loving efforts to cooperate in the spread of the glad tidings.