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The colporteur's work is not easy. It is often difficult, and in some places even dangerous. But as a rule their devotion to duty has been marked. A volume might be written concerning their success, often attained at cost of their own comfort.
Last year Israel Moses Joy, our Hindu representative, encountered three men in a restaurant where he had his meals. He tried to get them to buy Bibles, but they replied that the priest would be displeased if they did so. He then urged them to accept copies of one of the Gospels, adding that they would do well to obey God's Word as therein given, rather than the arbitrary command of any
He promised to pray for them. Returning to the same vicinity this year he found the seed sown had been abundantly prospered. All three of the men, together with the family of one of them—father, mother, brothers, sisters, and children—had, as he quaintly expressed it, farewelled” their old connection and united with a Protestant Church. They were glad to greet him, who had pointed out the right way, saying, Once we were blind, but now
Let Christ be praised, and Christ exalted.” Adam Paul Folta, who is able to work among nine nationalities, interviewed a Lutheran who had married a Catholic. The man explained that he had been overborne by his wife and her family, and having no one to help him, had consented, although reluctantly, to be a Romanist. With something of wit and more of spiritual wisdom, Mr. Folta replied: “You need to hear the words of Jesus,
Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."" The man, step by step, was brought back to the acceptance of the idea that justification comes through faith. And his wife, hearing this truth for the first time, was won by its unanswerable power, and is now a member of a Protestant Church.
Another case is related by C. D’Ippolito, of Pittsburg. He went into a corner grocery store and opened his grip filled with Bibles. A number of men who were loitering there purchased copies. Noticing this, the owner of the store became very abusive, and denouncing the Bibles as “ being worth less than mud,” declared that anyone who read such a bad book would be made spiritually blind in this life and continue in outer darkness forever. Those who had purchased, and who in the few moments at their disposal had noted some of the contents of the Scriptures, quickly resented this, and not only assured the irate man that he was mistaken, but expressed a belief that he and all persons present might be benefited by accepting the principles which they read. The colporteur closes his statement by asking the prayers of God's people for just such cases as these, where the seed that is sown needs to be nurtured and made fruitful by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Philadelphia's Playground Fairmount Park affords an unusual opportunity on each Lord's Day
to dispose of His Word. The official report of the commissioners of the park state that the average number of visitors every Sunday through the summer is 200,000, and that on special occasions, where attractions have been held out to people, 500,000 have been found within the enclosure. Not directly, but through the Presbyterian Evangelistic Committee, we have entered into the work of giving the Bread of Life to this multitude. In acknowledgment of this the Superintendent of Summer Tent Work has expressed the most hearty and cordial thanks of the committee for the aid which our Agency was able to give. The committee greatly appreciated the courtesy and co-operation shown.
Reunion of the Blue and Gray At Gettysburg in July there were brought together 53,000 Union soldiers and 11,000 of those who were once their opponents. It was a striking commingling of the aforetime antagonists. Quite appropriately the one camp signaled to the other, Peace on earth, good will to men,” and received the answer, Glory to God in the highest.” The Atlantic Agency sent six selected men to undertake the task of Bible selling to this unique gathering. Two of these were army men and four were college students. Through the great courtesy of the Quartermaster's Department, U. S. A., tents and cots belonging to the government were provided free of cost. Special passes were also issued and army rations supplied at a nominal price. Headquarters were opened, displaying overhead in large letters the words, American Bible Society." Copies of God's Word in khaki were ready for those for whom they were intended. Except for the excessive heat that interfered materially with work during the first two days of the encampment, everything was prospered and very large sales were made. It was pleasant to discover the interest of many of the veterans in him whom they recognize as the great Captain of their salvation. The following letter speaks for itself:
Office of the Chief Quartermaster,
June 2, 1913. AMERICAN Bible Society,
710 WALNUT STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA. Gentlemen : In reply to your letter of the 29th ultimo, permission is hereby granted you to sell a special khaki Testament at this camp.
Arrangements will be made to furnish two tents for three men each, and I will also lend your men half a dozen cots for their use from June 27th to July 7th. Blankets and any other articles of camp equipment your men may need they had better be careful to bring with them.
I cannot state anything about messing at the present time, but
unquestionably your men will have little difficulty in making suitable arrangements in camp in that respect.
J. E. NORMOYLE,
By W. R. GROVE,
Major Q. M. Corps, Assistant. This effort was followed through August by attendance at the United Artillery manæuvres at Toby hanna, Pa. The Third Field Artillery of Fort Meyers, Va., had encamped for target practice as well as for the maintenance of instruction schools for militia artillery battalions of the Eastern States. Eleven of these battalions participated. We were delighted to find that the utmost respect and co-operation were manifested on the part of the officers, and the reception given our representatives by the rank and file was cordial.
We have not forgotten those who were in the navy, a considerable number of whom were ordered to rendezvous at Philadelphia in preparation for their ultimate dispatch to Mexico.
As far as possible these men were given the New Testament. None refused, and many expressed gratitude.
Depositories The work in the three depositories at Philadelphia, Scranton, and Pittsburg has been more successful than in any previous era.
The Main Bible House 701 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, has never before transacted so much business. Better methods of endeavor and larger results have attested the work of Mr. R. H. Thomas, Jr., Business Manager, and the indefatigable zeal of the Rev. Walter H. Waygood, who has visited and reaped abundantly from all portions of the field.
At Pittsburg the Rev. J. Walker Miller has moved into very attractive new headquarters in the Jenkins Arcade, a central location, where trade was immediately increased. A quiet man, he has made on the city and surrounding territory the impress of one conspicuously judicious and zealous and successful.
The Rev. H. G. Harned has also made desirable improvements in his quarters, 124 Washington Avenue, Scranton. He is assisted at the present time by the Rev. E. P. Seymour, who has had large experience in the Massachusetts Bible Society and who is bringing to us a high Christian character and an earnest desire to promote God's cause. It is believed that together with Mr. Harned much will be done to give the work vigor and enlargement in its scope. Mr. Harned's great energy and indomitable continuance in welldoing is the same as in the past.
The work in Luzerne County has been materially advanced during the year. At first two colporteurs worked at Pittston, Wilkes
barre, and the surrounding territory. During this period popular meetings were organized at several strategic points. They seemed to awaken considerable interest, and a number of subscription cards were signed and the money subsequently paid.
Following this, and on the recommendation of the Luzerne County Bible Society at Wilkesbarre, Mr. and Mrs. M. E. Stone were designated to represent the work in the field, both for the distribution of the Scriptures and the collection of funds. The colporteurs were transferred to another field. The happiest results have been thus secured by the new arrangement at Wilkesbarre, a very large number of books being disposed of, far in excess of previous years, and a general awakening on the part of the community regarding the importance of Bible work. Mr. and Mrs. Stone have had large experience and are admirably qualified for the work which they are so successfully maintaining.
Auxiliary Societies We are glad to report the most pleasant relations with the Auxiliary Societies. In notable instances they have entered most heartily into the scheme suggested to them by the Agency. The following have sent subscriptions through the Agency, while others are expecting to do so in the future: Gettysburg Woman's Bible Society, Pa., Cape May Bible Society, N. J., Lackawanna Bible Society, Pa., Wayne County Bible Society, Pa., Female Bible Society, Philadelphia, Camden County Bible Society, N. J., Newville Bible Society, Pa., Johnstown Ladies' Bible Society, Pa., Bergen County Bible Society, N. J., Schuylkill County Bible Society, Pa., Altoona Bible Society, Pa., New Alexandria Bible Society, Pa., Somerset County Bible Society, N. J., Hunterdon County Bible Society, N. J., Female Bible Society, Milton, Pa., Salem County Bible Society, N. J., Cumberland County Bible Society, N. J., Wyoming County Bible Society, Pa., Bradford County Bible Society, Pa., Susquehanna County Bible Society, Pa., and Luzerne County Bible Society, Pa.
Billy Sunday Meetings The unique evangelistic gatherings of this powerful speaker have afforded a splendid opportunity for the sale of the Bible both in Wilkesbarre and in Pittsburg. Mr. Miller availed himself, as did the colporteur under his care, of the opportunity as presented, and the results have been of a character to show the wisdom of the steps that Mr. Miller took. At Wilkesbarre a booth was erected next to the Tabernacle, and about eight hundred dollars' worth of Bibles sold by our single representative there. Much larger results would have been secured, but we had no colporteur who could be spared to assist Mr. Atherholt, who was at obvious disadvantage in working alone. Although not coming in the report of this year, we cannot refrain from saying that Mr. Harned has made very wise and judicious arrangements for similar services in Scranton where Mr.
Sunday is about to go. These include a booth near the Tabernacle, where sale of Bibles will be made and where a splendid work will undoubtedly be accomplished. Mr. Harned's activities, as thus manifested, call forth our highest praise.
The Approaching Centenary of the American Bible Society will occur in 1916. Together with the other Agencies, the Atlantic Agency has already commenced to prepare for this most significant anniversary. We believe that it has national and international value. The purpose of the Agencies is to give publicity to the plans proposed for a country-wide recognition of the American Bible Society. We will also promote local celebrations at strategic points. In every way possible interest will be awakened and the effort made not only to advance the financial and other interests of the Society, but above all else, to make clear to the people of the land the wonderful opportunity presented to them through the Society for giving God's Word to God's world. All who know the facts must come to feel their own obligation with reference to them. At the proper time the churches throughout our territory will be separately addressed, and an indorsement of all church courts and other representative bodies will be sought.
Vacancy-Supply The vacancy referred to in our last report caused by the death of Mr. George I. Bodine has been met by the appointment as his successor of Franklin Spencer Edmonds, Esq. The Pennsylvania Bible Society, in its agreement with the American Bible Society at the time of the establishment of the Atlantic Agency, became entitled to two representatives in the Board of Managers of the American Bible Society, to be proposed by the Pennsylvania Bible Society and confirmed by the New York Board, subject to the constitution and by-laws governing the latter. The death of Mr. Bodine left a vacancy which it was very hard to fill. Providentially, the name of Franklin Spencer Edmonds, Esq., already a member of the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Bible Society, was suggested and the suggestion immediately received unanimous approval at Philadelphia. On January 9, 1914, an official notification was sent that Mr. Edmonds had been confirmed as a member of the Board of Managers of the American Bible Society. The American Society is to be congratulated on securing one whose private and public character and attainments will make him an efficient aid in all matters likely to come under discussion. Mr. Edmonds is a well known lawyer and has always taken a leading part in matters pertaining to the growth and proper development of the city and state in which he lives.
The Year Closes with great encouragement to our working force. The Lord has done great things for us, whereof we are glad. From the Atlantic side of America it is a far cry to the Pacific side of Asia. Yet re