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A WORD TO OUR DEAR COLPORTEURS
WE want you each and all to realize that you are continually, daily, in our thoughts and prayers. We know exactly what your general experiences are, and are anxious to assist you in every possible manner. Firms that prosper in the subscription book business—in expensive books yielding large profits—drill their new agents for about a week on just the words to say and just the tone and emphasis to give them to make the best impression. We regret that this is impossible with us; but neither is it as necessary as with “book agents.” Our Colporteurs are in the work “for the love of it”—for the love of the Truth—and the animation and emphasis of their presentation are not “put on,” but are the spontaneous utterances of their hearts. Over three hundred are now actively engaged in this blessed service in this country alone, and not one of them follows it as a business,—all recognize it as a ministry of the Truth and themselves as “ambassadors for God” to his true children.
But zeal requires knowledge to make it the more effective. Knowledge on the subject of colporteuring comes from experience, and our experience covers years and is world wide. Hence it is both our duty and our pleasure to assist the dear devoted Brethren and Sisters engaged in the Colporteur service.
We perceive that some full of zeal and enthusiasm on entering the work soon become discouraged from lack of success, while others, who start timidly and fearfully, do well. The reason for these peculiar conditions evidently is that the latter give the more careful heed to the printed instructions, while the former, too self-reliant, fail to profit by the experiences of others thus supplied. None should attempt a “method of his own” until he has been in the work at least three months, using one of the successful methods presented in Hints to Colporteurs.
We have found that some Colporteurs get poorer results with larger experience; and we have learned to attribute such a retrogression to a gradual change of “method” to a poorer one, often unconsciously. All these reasons lead us to present below four of the most successful methods now in use amongst our dear Colporteurs. They are all alike in that they are brief, and do not discuss or even mention the doctrines, nor attempt to prove or argue Scripture. Many of the dear friends err in not observing this point. To attempt to tell the plan of God in a few words is to spoil matters and neither you nor your auditors have time for a lengthy discussion. The six volumes of DAWN treat the plan in the proper order and as briefly, we believe, as it can be clearly expressed.
Make note of the interested ones and call back to see them after they have had time to read. Then you can talk as far as they have read, but if “wise as a serpent,” you will not talk much beyond that point, but deepen their interest in their reading by continually referring their questions to the books which they then will have.
When referring to the price, usually say, “Only thirty-five cents;” in contrasting say that “books on such topics usually sell for a dollar and a half each.” But when referring to the price of a set say “only two and a quarter,” making no mention of “dollars” this time because, unconsciously to the person, the price appears more trifling than if the word “dollars” be used.
The fourth method mentioned below is intended specially for use in a new edition of these books which will have the general title, “Studies in the Scriptures.” instead of “MILLENNIAL DAWN.” Some sets of these will be ready (for trial by Colporteurs to test whether or not the new name will help in effecting sales) about October 1st. Whether or not the new name will later be abandoned, or ultimately supersede MILLENNIAL DAWN we leave to the Lord’s providence to determine.
Good morning! I am doing a little Christian work in this neighborhood; may I have a moment of your time? [If an opportunity is given enter the house.]
The Bible and Tract Society of Allegheny, Pa., which I am representing has prepared some systematic studies of the Bible, which have been a great blessing to many of the Lord’s people, and we are endeavoring to place them in the hands of all who will appreciate them. I have a copy of the book, which I would like to show you. [Show book, preferably in your own hands.] It is a “Helping Hand” for Bible students, entitled, “The Divine Plan of the Ages.”
This, the first volume of the work, takes up sixteen very interesting studies, all “meat in due season” for thinking Christians. The object of the work is to teach the study of the Bible systematically. All know that in studying the Bible a great many things are found that are hard to understand; this work takes up those difficult parts. For instance [pointing to the seventh chapter], “The Permission of Evil.” We all have often wondered and asked why God permits evil, sin, sickness, suffering, death, and these awful and terrible disasters, etc., and why he does not prevent them when he has the power to do so. All this is beautifully explained and answered from the Scriptures, in this seventh chapter. It shows just why God has permitted sin and evil for now six thousand years, since the fall of our first parents in the Garden of Eden. It also points out God’s promises for the final overthrow of evil in his own due time; when Satan will be bound, and the knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth as the waters cover the great deep.
The sixth chapter treats of our Lord’s return, and shows the object of his second coming—his work at that time,—that it will be a restoring of all that was lost in the Garden of Eden. In proof of this it gives the testimony of “all the holy prophets since the world began.”
[I do not always bring in the next paragraph.]
The fifteenth chapter treats on “The Day of Jehovah”—the time in which we are living, and shows that the ever-growing conflict between Capital and Labor is clearly foretold in the Scriptures, and what the final outcome will be.
Chapters two and three I must tell you about; they are so helpful, especially if you have young friends inclined to be skeptical. The one gives evidences, aside from the Bible, that there is an all-wise Creator; the other thoroughly answers “higher criticism” and infidelity by the internal proofs that the Bible is inspired. These chapters alone are worth many times the cost of the entire set of books. As one reader has well said, “These helping hands to Bible study are worth more dollars than they cost in cents.”
We have six volumes of this work, beautifully bound in cloth, similar to this first volume I am showing you, but averaging 500 pages. We sell them all for the very low price of $2.25, the usual price of one volume on such a topic. The title of the second volume is, “The Time is at Hand;” the third, “Thy Kingdom Come;” the fourth, “The Day of Vengeance;” the fifth, “The Atonement Between God and Man;” the sixth, “The New Creation.”
I am only taking orders today, and will deliver next Monday [or whatever day you decide on].
[If this does not secure the order, give a brief outline of the Chart; and refer them to the Apostle’s statement (2 Tim. 2:15), “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly
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dividing the Word of truth.” Show them from the Chart how to apply and rightly divide the Word of truth:—]
This Chart shows the past dealings of God as related in the Scriptures, and also the future development of his plan; and it shows us just where we are on the stream of time. It is fully explained in the twelfth chapter.
[If an order for the set of six volumes cannot be obtained, urge that the first volume at least be taken and read—over a million and a quarter of them already issued.]
Pardon me. I represent the Bible and Tract Society. I thought you might be interested in the “Plan of the Ages.” It explains why evil is permitted—sickness, wars, crimes, etc.,—something we are all interested in, and want to know more about. It shows that the Bible, when rightly understood, is in perfect harmony with itself and with reason, from Genesis to Revelation. More than a million copies of this book are now in circulation. It is unsectarian. The book is extremely interesting and makes plain so many points that have troubled us all our lives. It is truly wonderful how it opens up the Scriptures!
Aside from this it treats satisfactorily the important subjects and questions of the day, such as, What is the world coming to, into what are we drifting, religiously and socially.
This Chart is fully explained in the book, and shows how to “rightly divide” the Scriptures, in order to have perfect harmony from first to last. It awakens an absorbing interest in the Bible, and develops reverence and love for the Creator. Every presentation is abundantly substantiated by Scripture. I am sure you will enjoy reading it. The type is large, the chapters short. It has good paper and contains 380 pages. A cloth-bound book for thirty five cents! Think of it! Such books usually sell for a dollar and twenty-five cents.
If you prefer the entire set of six volumes, the cost is just two twenty-five for the lot. I am merely taking orders today; my delivery will be on__________day. You can pay then. Let me see—What are the initials? How do you spell your last name? Now,—Shall I bring you the complete set; six volumes for two twenty-five? Very well. I thank you, and you will thank me. I bid you good day.
Good morning! Excuse me, please, for troubling you. I am representing the Bible and Tract Society of Allegheny, Pa., and think you will be interested in our work. This Society sends us out to call the attention of Christian people to the MILLENNIAL DAWN, or PLAN OF THE AGES. Perhaps you have heard of it. There are already over a million in circulation, and the exceedingly low price of thirty-five cents per volume places it within the reach of all. The object of this book is to teach us to study the Bible systematically, so that we can understand it. No doubt you have noticed in studying the Bible that you often come to passages you cannot understand. This has been my experience, and I have often felt discouraged in trying to study the Bible without a system. However, I have found a great blessing through carefully studying the Bible in connection with this book. The author takes up matters that have never before been satisfactorily explained or understood; for instance, “THE PERMISSION OF EVIL AND ITS RELATION TO GOD’S PLAN.” We have all wondered why God permits evil—sickness, death, calamities, murders, wars, etc. This book explains why these things are permitted, and does it from the Bible standpoint. The book also explains “THE OBJECT OF OUR LORD’S RETURN,” “THE RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS,” and “THE DAY OF JUDGMENT,” subjects in which we are all interested, but which very few understand to their satisfaction. In this work the Scripture texts are given, so that you can refer to them as you read, and all can understand if they will.
There are in this volume sixteen chapters on the most interesting and important subjects in the world;—380 pages; nice paper; large, clear type; ALL FOR THIRTY-FIVE CENTS! There are six volumes of the work, averaging 500 pages each, all for $2.25, about the usual price of one volume on such subjects. I am merely taking orders today, for delivery next__________day. May I enter your name for a set?
[If purchase is declined proceed to show Chart.]
This Chart gives an outline of the whole plan of God, as revealed in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Beginning with the creation of man, it shows us just where we stand on the stream of time, and the progressive steps each one must take to become like our Lord. It gives the Divine Plan in order, and makes the Bible so plain that even a child can understand it. [Have memorandum book ready, with pencil in hand.]
I am only taking orders today, and will deliver next__________day; you pay for the book when delivered. [Whether the other volumes should be further mentioned or not, depends upon interest and circumstances.]
Vol. II., “The Time is at Hand,” treats of the manner of our Lord’s SECOND ADVENT; it also gives a complete Bible chronology, which is very important in order to help us to understand something of the times in which we are now living. It has a long chapter on The Anti-Christ.
Vol. III., “Thy Kingdom Come,” treats on various important themes also. It has one long chapter on The Great Pyramid in Egypt, with seven full-page illustrations of it. It shows that it is mentioned in the Bible, and is truly called “The Stone Bible.”
Vol. IV., “The Day of Vengeance,” takes up the affairs of the Church and the world in general; shows us the meaning of all the trouble and confusion around us, as explained in the Bible,—that the times we live in are a fulfilment of the Word of God. It shows what the outcome of the impending trouble will be, and also gives the only remedy, set forth IN THE SCRIPTURES! One chapter is an itemized explanation of our Lord’s great prophecy, in the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew, and is worth more than the price of the set of books.
Vol. V., “The At-one-ment Between God and Man,” explains everything connected with the ransom—why it was necessary; how it was accomplished; the separate and related works of the Father, Son and holy Spirit in connection with our salvation—with the Scriptures bearing upon these interesting themes. One chapter on “The Undefiled One” deserves special mention. It shows how Jesus was born of a woman without partaking of her sins or weaknesses as a member of the fallen race.
Vol. VI., “The New Creation,” deals with everything pertaining to life and godliness affecting the Lord’s consecrated people from start to finish—Church duties, home duties, family duties—everything. It has also one chapter on the natural creation, showing the harmony of the Genesis accounts with the facts of nature.
It is the most wonderful work that has ever been published on these subjects, and you get the complete work—SIX VOLUMES—for only two twenty-five, the usual price of one such volume. These six volumes are a whole Christian library in themselves, and all for only $2.25, payable on delivery. May I take your order? This is the noblest cause in the world, and we all want to have a share in it.
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Pardon me if I intrude. May I ask, Is this a Catholic or a Protestant home? [After answer proceed.] Very well then. I am doing a little Christian work, in which I believe you will be interested.
Christian people are becoming more and more awake to the fact that a great tidal wave of unbelief is sweeping over Christendom;—not the blasphemous atheism voiced by Thomas Paine and Robert Ingersoll, but the cultured kind represented in the scholarship of our day, which makes the danger all the more insidious.
Not only are the great Colleges and Seminaries undermining the faith of the better educated, but the Common School books, and especially those used in the High Schools, are similarly inculcating a distrust in the Scriptures, a contradiction of its teachings. For a college graduate of to-day to declare his faith in the inspiration of the Scriptures would bring upon him the scorn of his companions—a scorn which few would court, or could endure. At very best, a few will be found to claim that they believe that Jesus and his Apostles were sincere, though they blundered in quoting from the Old Testament as inspired.
Such a belief in Jesus and his Apostles is no belief at all; for if present-day “higher critics” are wise enough to know when and where our Lord and his Apostles erred in their quotations from the Old Testament, then these wise men of our day are our proper guides,—more inspired than Jesus and his Apostles.
Our Society, realizing the need, is seeking to do all in its power to stem the tide and lift up the Lord’s “standard for the people.” It has prepared six sets of Scripture Studies (of which this volume is one) for the Lord’s people of all denominations to use in lending a helping hand to all perplexed inquirers with whom they may, by God’s providence, come in contact. These are supplied at bare cost, and can be had direct from the Society’s warerooms or of its colporteurs, who are gradually reaching forth these helping hands far and near. These valuable “studies” are supplied at little more than two cents each;—16 of them well
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bound in a cloth case, embossed in silver, for 35 cents.
The thought is this: As a Christian man or woman you have children or relatives or neighbors or friends open to your influence—perhaps, indeed, seeking your counsel—asking, “How do we know that there is a God?” or, “What proofs have we that the Holy Scriptures are inspired?” It is no longer wise to call these silly questions, nor to ask, “Are you an infidel?”
However competent you might be to prepare answers to these and a score of other questions, you may not have the needed time and opportunity to do so. How convenient then to step to your book-case, take down the proper study on the subject, and to say to the inquirer, Sit down and read that short study, and the whole matter of your question will be fully and satisfactorily settled; and if your doubts ever again arise come over and read the same again.
Possibly you may be a member of an Epworth League or Christian Endeavor Society, or of a Baptist Young People’s Union, and may be called on for an essay on some Scripture topic. How convenient to select one among these numerous studies (covering almost every topic) and to find therein the appropriate Scriptures cited. Ministers use them thus when composing special sermons and addresses.
Ministers who have large libraries touching every conceivable religious topic—many volumes costing $6 to $8 per volume—may not feel their need of these “Scripture Studies” but to others they are almost indispensable. Indeed, in addition to the price feature, which brings them within the reach of everybody—six volumes of over 3,000 pages for $2.25—the usual price of one such volume—they are written in pure, but simple English, whereas the “scholarly works” are replete with technical terms and only for the few.
We invite Christian people of all denominations to join us in our work of extending these “helping hands” to the rising generation. A single friend or relative helped—rescued from doubt or unbelief—would repay the cost of these studies a thousand times.
[Note.—Catholics seem to prefer the term Scriptures to Bible.]
— August 15, 1904 —