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ment for one of those articles when the vender of the pottery was out of cash, for the Indian, like the Mexican, parts too freely with his money.
One striking character I met in an Arizona town who bore the expressive name Navaho Joe.' He proved to be an interesting type of Indian. Although Navaho Joe had been educated in a government school, he still was a man of the wild. His shack was a poor apology for a home, having little roof to it and less walls, but it was in keeping with Navaho Joe's surroundings up there among the rocks and scraggy pines. He was surprised when I told him that I could furnish him with the Scriptures in the Navaho language, and when I brought him Genesis and Mark in that language, he was delighted and willingly paid me for it. He told me the Catholic priest promised to supply him a church book in the Navaho language, and I was glad that I got ahead of the priest.
We found conditions somewhat different among the people of Utah than when we first entered the state in Bible work five years ago. I have frequently made the statement that more Bibles have been carried into Utah within the last five years than in the fifty years preceding. There study of the Bible, like a study of the people, reveals certain peculiarities that suggest the close connection between the ridiculous and sublime, and how ridiculous the most sublime truths may appear when separated from their connections. The people as a whole are very ignorant of what the Bible contains and generally get their ideas second-hand. Their doctrine of the plurality of gods they claim they get from the Bible. Paul's statement, 'There be gods many and lords many,' is the Scripture they alway's quote.
“It was St. Augustine who, when asked which was the greatest of the Christian graces, replied “Humility,' and when asked what the second and third greatest grace was, still replied, 'Humility.' If one should ask me what is the greatest obstacle to the Mormons receiving the truths of the gospel, I would answer ' Arrogance,' and if I were asked what was the second, third, and fourth greatest obstacle in the way, I would still reply · Arrogance.' You may consult your dictionary and get the etymological definition of the word, but the dictionary gives you but a faint conception of the real meaning of the word compared with an experience of the most enlightened missionary among the Mormon people who attempts to teach the people what the Bible contains. We had many encouraging words and much help from the various ministers in the towns we visited.”
The Rev. J. L. Nations, of West Plaines, Mo., is another colporteur who has labored with us for several years and whose efforts in the distribution of God's Word has meant the salvation of many souls. He traveled about in southern Missouri with his buggy supplying a needy field, and we find this method most successful in placing the Holy Word. Mr. Nations oftentimes preached in differ
ent churches for pastors and organized Sunday schools. In one of his last letters he wrote as follows:
“I visited and preached to a religious society which hitherto appeared to be adverse to the use of the Bible, notwithstanding the almost incredible fact that they had a Sunday school of an average attendance of nearly one hundred. Before I left I succeeded in inducing them as individuals to take nearly $25 worth of books. They had given marked attention to two sermons on the practical use of the book.
He said in his work he often found it necessary to make the second call upon a person, and sometimes more, in order to make a sale; in every case it required a good deal of diplomacy to do anything with them. In the early fall this brother made his last sale, drove his last mile, and then put down his burden, for the Lord said, “The day is done, faithful servant, come home.” When the Secretary drove over the long dreary trails through the Ozark Hills with this brother last May, grown folks and children called out friendly greeting; all seemed to know and love this earnest man who carried the Bibles. When the word came that he had passed away so suddenly we could not but surmise how these kindly people would feel when their loss should be known; but the seed he sowed is growing still and some day will come to the harvest.
The Rev. T. B. Odom, of Eldridge, Mo., has handled our books during the year in connection with his evangelistic work, having disposed of a considerable number in this way.
The Rev. Rade Pesut has by his faithful work won for himself a warm place in the hearts of American Bible Society friends. A man truly consecrated to God, with a large vision and enough energy to keep him at the task when others fail, makes of this brother a colporteur greatly to be desired. It would be impossible for us to provide his entire support. In this we are aided by the Presbytery of St. Louis, which pays half of his salary, thus making it possible for our Society to share the services of this accomplished man. A Bohemian by birth, with a good education and a working knowledge of twenty-one languages, Mr. Pesut is a rare example of the kind of man we need in our work among the growing settlements of foreigners who crowd into the large cities and mining camps. I wish all our colporteurs and workers could develop the art of reporting their work as interestingly as this brother does. Never a month that a splendid report of his work and experiences does not reach this office. Our regret is that we can give only a few of the many instances he has described. Following we quote from his reports :
I have learned it is easier to make converts among American unbelievers than it is among foreigners; especially among the poor, and there are some very poor Americans in St. Louis. I found a cordial welcome among these people. They do not go to church because they have no friends there who are interested in them and are willing to teach them. I have been told many times by Americans, ‘We believe in God, but not in the Christian Church.' I have been able to sell Bibles more easily among these people than among Germans or Bohemians. I have often found these people with but little ready money, but they would cheerfully give all they had in order to buy a Bible for their own use.
“In a Polish family I found about ten persons, young men and women, drinking beer, treating each other, joking, and jesting. When I inquired if any of them would buy a Bible or a New Testa· ment, a young man asked at once, ‘Have you a Devil Book ? We want to hear about the Devil.' During our conversation had been listening came over and at once bought a Testament. He had become interested through overhearing the discussion. The first man said nothing more, except that he himself did not want either Bible or Testament. I hope, however, the seed sown in the doubter's mind will some day bear fruit in deeds of repent
A Slovak seemed very happy when I read the Bible to him and explained some of its passages, and I counted the fifteen minutes well invested. The man eagerly purchased a Bible also. At first he inquired doubtfully, 'Is this a Catholic Bible ?! I was able to show him that there is but one Bible for all the world. It is the same Word of God to Catholic, Protestant, and unbeliever. The Bible is God's message to every man. This teaching seemed to be
new message to the Slovak, and he bought a Bible eagerly. Another Slovak ordered a Bible, and his wife said, “I would not carry your satchel and do your work for five dollars a day.' I asked why, and how they liked my kind of work, because they were enough interested to order a Bible from me. 'I do not think you have much of a job,' she replied. But you must approve of it,' I insisted,
because your husband has ordered the Bible, and presently you shall have it to read.' Her husband laughed heartily. A good many people, both American and foreigners, have an uncomplimentary opinion of my work. In their eyes the colporteur is only a book agent, or a peddler, but they forget the unusual opportunities given the colporteur to be a messenger of God, and that his work may be far-reaching long after the books he has distributed have been destroyed. Would that more Christians were willing to be 'all things to all men’ that 'by all means they may save some.' The Germans do not use the name colporteur,' after the man's pack, but they more truthfully style the missionary ‘God's messenger,' and such indeed he is. 'South from Valley Park, on a hill, I had a very good experi
Americans of English, Irish, and German birth live there; some are Protestant and some Catholic. They are middle class people, neither rich nor poor. I had my breakfast at six o'clock the day I visited this place, and by the time I reached South Valley Park I was hungry and hoped to get dinner in some home. I visited from twenty to twenty-five houses, at each house introducing myself
have a copy.
as an agent for the Bible Society, explaining my work and saying that I was selling Bibles very cheaply in order that every home might
Then I would ask for dinner, saying, Have you anything to eat for money ?' But I was not able to get a meal. This was a surprise to me. I had read in the Bible Society's report of a colporteur in Virginia who said that he was unable to buy a meal in any of the mountain homes, and I wondered at this; but now I was having the same experience, and for the first time in my life. I was really hungry, but I got interested, and thought I would keep on asking from house to house for a meal and learn what the people would say to me. When I came to the east end of the town I made another attempt. I found some Americans of Dutch (Holland) ancestry, but they all refused, saying, 'We have no meals to sell.' It may be that they did not really think I was hungry, or that they thought their home meals were not good enough to set before a stranger. At any rate they one and all refused me. They have by no means cultivated ' the grace of hospitality.' When I found an Italian amily I said, 'I will see; it may be I can get dinner here.' This man and his wife welcomed me, saying, “Come in,' and they shared their dinner with me and I paid them what they required. They had two Italian boarders, and the husband spoke fair English.
When I asked this Italian what was his denomination, he told me he was a Socialist. I do not like to judge these people, but I thought it was strange I should be turned away bungry from the homes of the Catholics and Protestants, and should be received so cordially by a Socialist. Certainly not all of Christianity and Christian practice is found among the adherents of the Christian Church. I understand now the experience of the colporteur in Virginia, that he was not able to get food to eat. This is my first experience of going hungry in colportage work either in Europe or in America. But if one has a smooth voyage over the sea of life, he will not be able to sympathize with afflicted travelers as he is, after he himself has had a tempestuous sea and a rough crossing. I can now sympathize with hungry men who are none the less faithfully trying to do their day's work.
“I asked a Bohemian one day if he wished to buy a Bible. He looked at me and asked, “Do you believe in the Bible?' I said, 'Yes, I believe in the Bible. Listen.' I quoted from the Old Testament prophets and the teachings of Christ to show the need of every man for the Saviour. I spoke earnestly, for these teachings are very real to me and are the authority of my life. When the Bohemian saw that I was not trying to sell him a Bible with the arts of a salesman, but that I was in earnest about wishing him to have a Bible, he did not attempt to argue with me, but said very quietly, ‘Yes, I wish to have a Bible,' and he gave me an order for a copy of a size I did not have with me. This experience is suggestive of the attitude of men toward the Bible to-day. Do you believe in it ? 'they ask the
Christian, and they are more impressed with what a man believes than what he merely says.
A Croatian told me how a little boy in a poor family in Croatia died suddenly. His father was a drunkard and the family were in distress. This Croatian and his wife gave the necessary clothing and prepared the body for burial. Then they went to the parish priest and asked him to conduct the funeral services. The priest asked:
Who will pay the burial service fees? The boy's father is a drunkard and has no money.
I must have my burial fees first.' The Croatian told the priest what his family and the neighbors had done, how they had showed kindness to the bereaved family, but protested that they could not pay the funeral expense. The priest was firm. The Croatian got indignant, and asked if the priest could not show as much charity as the neighbors had shown. Then growing bolder, he said, “If you will not bury the boy, I will get some men and we will bring the body to the church, and we will get some candles and have a service ourselves.' The priest thought hard for a moment and then said quietly, Well, bring the body to the church and I will hold the service for the family,' 'You see,' continued the Croatian, who was telling this story, we are learning more about the duties of the priests, and that they should not require money of us for every service. The priests too should show mercy and love for the people.' This gave me an opportunity, and I read to the Croatian from the Bible passages about how the Lord requires men to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly before the Lord their God. I told him of Jesus Christ, who was all love and of infinite compassion, and urged my hearer to read the story of Christ's life for himself. The Croatian seemed much impressed and readily bought a Bible, that he might learn more about Jesus and what God requires of men.
Miss Zadie Royalty, of Flat River, Mo., is a young woman with whom we have been glad to co-operate this year in connection with the Wesley House Social Settlement work under a local mission of the Methodist Church, South. Miss Royalty has placed Scriptures in various languages such as Hungarian, Russian, Polish, Croatian, Italian, Bulgarian, as well as English, in the Lead Belt district. A letter from one of the Presbyterian ministers says that this mining district is in the greatest need of much careful work, and asks that a foreign missionary colporteur be sent there to work among the foreigners. While we do not see our way open to comply with this request now, we are glad to see that Rade Pesut, our efficient worker from St. Louis, is making occasional trips to this field and spends several days with the foreigners whose language he is able to speak.
The Rev. Sam Van Meter, of Lexington, Mo., has also distributed a number of Bibles, Testaments, and portions for us during the year, even though he has been greatly hindered because of the mines having been closed down. The Rev. Van Meter, however, states in