"We ought also to lay down our lives
for the brethren."--1 John 3:16.
VOLUNTEERS FOR HOME DUTY,--male and female, are called for: those who can give about two hours every Sunday, and who are willing to give these in the Lord's service and as part of their "living sacrifice" (Rom. 12:1)--together with the best they have of influence, and good personal appearance. The service is such as any person in health can render: it is an unusual but dignified and very successful preaching of the truth, which we will explain hereinafter.
The necessity for this service is that "brethren" are in danger; and love of the brethren and the Elder Brother's approval are the incentives to enlistment. All, whose eyes of understanding are open, realize in harmony with the View of this issue that the leaders in religious thought have already lost their anchorage --their faith in the precious blood of Christ as the ransom price; and that those under their influence are tending rapidly in that same direction under the doctrinal winds of Evolution and higher criticism. They do not cry for help, because they do not realize their situation. We must not wait our sacrificing until they [R2457 : page 93] request it; even as our Lord did not wait for sinners to call him to sacrifice: he gave himself for us, and thus should we voluntarily "lay down our lives for the brethren."
There are some faithful brethren enlisted in the foreign service, who as colporteurs and pilgrims go from city to city. The Lord is blessing these and sending more such laborers into his vineyard; but through love of the brethren still in Babylon he is stirring us up to arrange a plan of work in which many more can engage;--those who are anxious to serve as good soldiers of the cross, but who cannot leave home and family responsibilities, and whose week-day employment [R2457 : page 94] leaves little time for special service of the King of kings and the exercise of their Ambassadorship. (2 Cor. 5:20.) We will explain the plan proposed-- indeed already tried with excellent success in Allegheny and Pittsburg.
We propose publishing the booklet, "The Bible vs. Evolution," in large quantities (indeed, have already contracted for over 300,000 copies) for free circulation under restricted conditions, as follows: These neat, tastefully bound booklets which we sell at five cents each or twenty-five cents per dozen for general use, will be supplied free to those who will agree to distribute them to church-goers on Sunday mornings and evenings--one church at a time. The preferable plan of operations is for the friends who will so engage in each city or village to lay out a program which will insure that no congregation be omitted and that none be served twice. All large congregations require at least two or three for proper rapid service as they come out. And generally the effect is better if the distributors locate half a block away from the church building in each direction in which the people go--or according to circumstances.
Unusual--for God's servants to follow the example of the Lord and the apostles and go after the lost sheep? Yes, rather unusual--few are ready to lay down anything for the brethren, tho many are willing to toil day and night for wealth or fame or some other selfish consideration. The majority of those who attempt to feed the flock even on unclean provender, and to mislead then, require goodly clippings of their golden fleece for so doing. Hence, some may think of these Volunteers as "fools" or "crazy" for giving books away free. The black-sheep and the "goats" may do some butting and bah-ing, but return them good for evil--kind looks for scowls, kind words for bitter ones.
If there be any of the Lord's true sheep among them, these will take knowledge of you that your methods resemble those of Jesus, and if your manner corresponds, they will know that you have learned of him. And these are the only ones you really need expect to help anyway. And the more genteel your appearance and graceful and loving your manner, the more will your printed testimony count with your auditors.
The minister inside the chapel has entertained the congregation for half an hour and received from ten to fifty dollars for his services, and his congregation will soon forget most of what he said. You on the outside deliver to each a printed sermon an hour and a half long, which can be thought over carefully and repeatedly, and which under divine blessing may do some more good than all the sermons they ever heard, --as many testify.
You might not be able to get the attention of even one congregation in your city, even if you had superior ability: but by this ministry you can reach every congregation. Do you know any better investment of two hours every Sunday, in the interest of the "brethren" yet in darkness? Do you know any work that would probably glorify the Lord more or bring you more of his love and blessing? If you do, you should be actively using that better plan and should be wonderfully blessed in the service.
All Volunteers in each city should come together at once and lay out the work of their city methodically. Then select one of your number as scribe on this business to write to us stating the number of Volunteers, the number of churches in your city and your estimate of the adult attendance, and also the number of juniors. For the latter we would furnish tracts, to save the more expensive booklets. Letters on this subject should be headed "Volunteers" and be on a separate sheet of letter paper from your business orders and from your letters to the Editor,--tho all may be enclosed in same envelope. Care over the Volunteer work will be in the hands of an office assistant, tho under the Editor's supervision.
Even our smallest services are sure to be blessed and owned by our loving Lord who says,--"He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto eternal life."--John 4:36.