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TRACT FUND REPORT
This report is for two years, none having been made last January.
Indebtedness January 1, 1883…… $2,571.34
Total expenditure for publications during 1883 and 1884,
including those in the Swedish language……………………. 2,366.10
Total cash receipts, voluntary contributions, including those of German and Swedish funds…… 2,491.43
*Balance owing………………. $2,446.01
*We here remark that the Florida land donated to the Society, is not included in the above account, as it did not come into the Society’s possession before the close of 1884. When it has all been sold we hope to be more than out of debt, so that virtually we may so consider the matter now.
It will be remembered that in order not to allow the debt to hinder the publication of missionary papers in foreign languages the proposition was accepted, to start a German and also a Swedish fund, which, though included in the general work of the Society, should be specially applied to publishing matter in those languages.
We have to report that the total donations to the German fund amounted to $126.54. The total receipts on account of the Swedish fund amounted to $360.14.
We published nothing in German, the fund being insufficient for even a start, but, growing gradually, it may be of use some day; meanwhile, we have obtained the addresses of some, able and willing to assist, by translating, when we are ready.
In Swedish we published four numbers of the same size as the English TOWER, containing selected articles—translations from English numbers. Many among the Swedes were deeply moved by the truth, and we regret that the number of such (about 800) would not justify at present the regular publication of the TOWER in that language. However, the truth is spreading among them, and it may not be long before this will be practicable and possible. The total amount expended on this account was $744.16, or $384.02 more than the receipts on account of the same.
Aside from the mailing of several thousand copies of “Food for Thinking Christians,” etc., already published and accounted for, we published, paid for and distributed, since last report:—39,000 Swedish Missionary papers and 79,000 English ” “
118,000 in all; equal to about four and a half millions of tract pages of the ordinary size.
Those who have assisted in the work, both by donations and in circulating—by giving and loaning literature to those supposed to have an “ear to hear,” are too numerous to mention. It is one source of great encouragement to us to note the holy and pure zeal which inspires so many to labor and sacrifice to give to others, so soon as they taste of the “good word of God” themselves. It seems to be an unvarying rule, that light and opportunity afforded by the truth must be used, or these talents for service will be taken away. We must let our light so shine as to glorify our Father in heaven, else it will become darkness.
After all, the principle of our Father’s dealing with us—allowing us to be light-bearers to others, seems to be as much or more to develop and bless us through the incidental labor and sacrifice, as to bless those to whom we bear the light; for unquestionably God could spread the truth without our feeble aid.
The Lord has so placed us that our sacrifices must be free-will offerings, and the measure of our sacrifice and self-denial, in whatever form, must in our Lord’s sight be the measure or gauge of our love and appreciation of his favors and exceeding great and precious promises.
When presenting themselves before the Lord in the parable of the Talents, each one was approved equally, who had used what talents he had, few or many, “every man according to his several ability.” And our Lord showed that it was the spirit of sacrifice which he appreciated when he said of the poor widow who cast two mites into the Lord’s treasury, “She hath cast in more than they all.” She, in her penury, had made a greater sacrifice than some who had given much more.
Some, and probably most, of the money accounted for in the above
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statement was “hard-earned,” and only sent by a similar self-denial to that of the widow mentioned by Jesus. Such gifts only as cost us self-denial in some form are sacrifices, whether it costs us friendships, or conveniences, or luxuries, or ease.
Let us make sure of the Master’s “Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.” Such, having sacrificed with Christ, shall enter into the joys of the Lord. May it be true of us as of Mary, “She loved much”—”She hath done what she could.”
— January, 1885 —