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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 5

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    April 5, 1903

    “Great Britain” The General Conference Bulletin 5, 9.

    EJW

    E. J. Waggoner

    Talk by E. J. Waggoner, Sunday, April 5, 3 P.M.

    [As the Conference gathered Sunday afternoon, it was observed that the audience of visitors was larger than usual, and it was suggested that the public would be more interested in field reports than in regular business. It was therefore decided to postpone the consideration of regular business for the day, and E. J. Waggoner was invited to speak of the work in Great Britain, which he did, as follows:-]GCDB April 5, 1903, page 137.1

    I can say with all sincerity that this is a surprise to me, and while I am thankful for the privilege of saying a few words, I do not want you to get the idea that I have a report to make. I have nothing prepared. But I can tell you a few facts, if I can not give you the exact figures.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 138.1

    I have not even the figures as to the number of workers that we have in Great Britain; not at my tongue’s end; but, roughly, we might put the situation thus: I think the area of England is about the same as that of the state of Iowa. Now you have in Iowa nearly 4,000 members. You have in the city of Des Moines a church of two or three hundred members. There is no conference that I know of that I can bring as an exact parallel. What conference have you that has about a thousand membership?GCDB April 5, 1903, page 138.2

    A Voice: Texas.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 138.3

    How many workers have you in Texas?GCDB April 5, 1903, page 138.4

    Answer: About fifteen, ministers and Bible-workers.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 138.5

    That is more than we have in Great Britain. Suppose that you had in Texas, but in a great deal less territory than that, of course, the problem, with that thousand Sabbath-keepers, of carrying the truth to all the people west of the Allegheny Mountains. You would have the same problem that we have.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 138.6

    Now if we had a territory two-thirds as large as the United States, with a population the same, that is, all east of the Allegheny Mountains, then you would say there is a struggling people with a vast territory, and a vast work to be done: but because it is concentrated in small territory, you get your eyes on the territory, rather than on the people. But the land has not ears, and the people have; and the gospel must be proclaimed to every kindred, tongue, and people and nation, and not to every territory. It is people that we preach to, and not acres or square miles, and it takes something to get to them....GCDB April 5, 1903, page 138.7

    What shall I speak about first? We have to begin with the South England Conference. We have a small territory there, comparatively, and something over 15,000,000 inhabitants. We have not five hundred Sabbath-keepers in that territory, and we have only one preacher besides myself, and I do not count, for I am settled in one place. I have not an opportunity of traveling about and preaching, except as I may get away from my work over Sabbath and get back Sunday. Think of it, we have in that territory 15,000,000 of people, and only one active minister in the field. We have also four Bible-workers and a few canvassers. Now, a person holding Bible-readings can reach only so many people. It does not make any difference whether you have a large or a small territory, a Bible-worker can reach only so many people; and you can yourselves calculate from your experience how long it would take that force of workers to reach that number of people, even though the territory be limited.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 138.8

    The other fields of Great Britain,-the northern portion of England, the North England Conference, and even the mission fields of Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, are better manned in proportion to their territory, but not as they should be. There is Wales; its population is nearly a million larger than the population of the Australian field. They have two ministers, and two Bible-workers, I think, in that territory. Scotland has one now. I think possibly there is another one on the way. Its population is still larger than that of Wales; and in Ireland there are two ministers, and there the population is something over four millions of people.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 138.9

    Shall I tell you just a few words in regard to the publishing of “Present Truth”? Eleven years ago I went to England and began to edit that paper. I went there for that sole purpose. I have considered that my special work. The circulation of the paper then was about what we would call 1,500 weekly, although it was not published weekly. It was published semimonthly; but the circulation amounted to about 1,500 weekly, because we were printing about 3,000 then. It soon began to increase. The brethren took hold and began to sell the paper, with a zeal that they had not before, until, about six or seven years ago, there was a decided increase in the circulation of the paper. Since that time there has been an annual increase, with the exception of one year, so that it has come up steadily year by year, until last year the average weekly circulation was 20,000. Now, that you may know what this means. I have only to tell you that those papers are sold by our brethren and sisters, single numbers almost entirely. I suppose there are about a thousand copies sent through the mails. All the rest are actually sold week by week. Not only are they actually sold, but there are orders coming in almost every week that can not be filled.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 138.10

    Some of you will ask, Why do you not take subscription?-Because we have not, in that country, the same way of sending publications as you have here. Here the Pacific Press bundles all the papers into a big mail-bag, and takes them down to the post-office, and they are weighed, and you send them out, and pay the postage in bulk for the whole lot. There is nothing of that kind there, but every paper that is sent through the post has to have what is the equivalent of a cent postage stamp upon it; so that the cost of the paper being, say, a dollar a year, just one-half of that is added for postage. People, therefore, buy their papers from the stationers, or have them delivered to their houses, and thus they save one-third, and we can not expect people to subscribe for a paper, and pay $1.50 when they can get it for $1.00.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 138.11

    Perhaps I ought to explain more fully: Our paper sells for a penny. That is the equivalent of two cents in American money. But there are many people who have no other means of living. They depend entirely upon the profits of selling that paper, which they must sell at not over a penny, two cents. They depend on the meager profits that they get out of that for their support. You can calculate that it does not give them enormous profits. In order that they can get a simple living out of that,-so that they can buy even bread, without any butter on it, and sometimes to get a living for their families,-we furnish the paper to them for a farthing, a half cent, per copy. But it costs us more than that to get the paper out. We lose about an eighth of a penny on each copy of the paper.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 138.12

    Since last conference, in August, that responsibility has been divided, and the conference has taken it; but it has only transferred the difficulty; it has not removed it, because the conference has no means.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 138.13

    For instance, take Wales, take Ireland, take Scotland. They have no means in the treasury at all. They had an appropriation, we will say, equivalent to the necessities of the moment, to pay for the workers in the field. Then was thrown upon them the task of making up the deficit on all papers that were sold in their territory; but they had no means with which to do it; so, although it has been transferred from the publishing house to the field, it has only been transferred, not removed.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 138.14

    Now we are brought face to face with this position: The Israelites had to make bricks without straw. It has seemed to us, sometimes, as if we had to make bricks without either straw or clay. There is nothing to hinder that paper’s having a circulation of 100,000, instead of 20,000,-nothing, except the men to carry it to the people. But here is the problem: The more papers issued and sold the worse we are off financially. The greater our list sold, the greater our deficit; and that must come from somewhere.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 139.1

    Sometimes the deficit on “Present Truth” has been called a loss, the deficit being about $2,500 a year. Now, I say that that is not a loss, any more than they money you pay to a preacher is a loss. You may say, a conference may say, Here, we have laid out last year to our ministers; we have paid out $10,000. Now then, those ministers paid a tithe in, but you must count the difference between the money paid to those ministers, and the tithe they paid in, as a dead loss. Do you call it so? (Voices: “No.”) Now in just that sense the “Present Truth” is a loss, and in no other sense. It is an investment made, that for about fifty dollars a week, eighty people are kept in the field. Now that is cheaper, than you can get work done in any other way. For that investment, eighty people are kept actively at work all the time, and many people are brought into a knowledge of the truth.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 139.2

    I will have something else to say in just a moment about that, but my mind is turned to the school just at this moment. A year ago last January a school was begun. Brother H. R. Salisbury was sent over from Michigan, and he took hold of it, and we had an enrollment of thirty; an average attendance, through the whole sixteen weeks, of about twenty. Last September the school began in another place, and we have had seventy, and there has been a deep interest.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 139.3

    Let me tell you how that school is carried on. It meets in a hall: the room is about half the size of this. All classes recite at the same time, and in the same room. We have a sort of camp-meeting Sabbath-school there all the time. It is not the most convenient way, but the Lord has helped and blessed.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 139.4

    It is an industrial school, and everybody works; and I know of people who are working with all their might for an education, by canvassing. It is truly industrial; they work in the cause, supporting themselves and paying their tuition. Some of them have families. I know of one man who has a family, and he was somewhat in debt when he began; but he was moved by a holy ambition to understand the Bible, to get an education that would fit him for a larger field of usefulness in the work. He started into the school, he got his lessons, he took full work, and he not only paid his tuition, but supported his family, and kept himself going, simply by canvassing from day to day.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 139.5

    Now there is another thing: There is one institution, one school, that is not only not in debt, but it has some money saved. When the “Christ’s Object Lessons” campaign started-yes, before that-a fund was started for a school in Great Britain by contributions. Afterward the “Christ’s Object Lessons” campaign was taken up, and the money that has been raised for that has been set aside religiously for the school. It has not been drawn upon for running expenses; it has been regarded as sacred, and we have had this resolution: Though our conference might go down to absolute pennilessness, we would not withdraw one dollar of that fund that belonged to that school. That is sacred, that belongs there, and it has been lodged there, and it is intact, and is not drawn upon even for the running expenses of the school. It is kept against the time when we shall have enough added to it to be able to buy some little place where we can settle down and carry on the work. But the school is supported by the tuitions. But how is it?-Well, it is simply because the teachers work for nothing; and that is the way we are able to carry it on. If the school were obliged to pay the teachers out of the tuition, of course, we could not do it. Now, we are willing to work along in just that way. But we have not a book, except a dictionary. A small library would be a wonderful help to us. If some good brother, who has money that he could get along without, could help us to secure a library, he would not be denied the privilege, I am sure.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 139.6

    We need some little apparatus in the laboratory line. If some other brother could give us another five hundred dollars to draw upon when we are located in a fixed place, it would be a marvelous help to us, because we must not draw on that money that was appropriated and is being appropriated for the school itself.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 139.7

    A. G. Daniells: Say a word with reference to your plans for the future operations of the school.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 139.8

    Brothers Daniells asks me to say a word or two regarding our plans for our future operations. I think that depends somewhat upon the plans of our brethren here. But we expect to go on just as we have been going. The conference pays the support of the teachers mostly. And there is a small tuition charge. We expect next year to get a place where we can have our school altogether; where we can have them all living in one place. As it is now we can not. We simply have a hall rented, in which we have our classes day by day, and then the pupils have to be here and there in the city, wherever they can find lodging or board. Some of them board themselves, and go into the houses of some of our brethren. They are all among our church people, except a few who have rooms outside and board themselves. We would like to have it so that they might be together, all under one supervision. We were in hopes to have it so this year, but we could not. If we are unable to purchase a fixed location for next year, we shall try to rent a house, if possible, where we can gather together; but there is this that we do not propose to do: We do not propose to buy a place until we have the money to pay for it. And that is the reason why we keep that money laid, and add to it dollar by dollar, a little at a time, hoping that the brethren on this side will come to our help, and make up the sum to enable us to buy some simple place where we can gather the students together and teach them. We do not ask anything elaborate.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 139.9

    We do not want a vast building, we do not want any great facilities to work with, but in that country it is necessary to have a roof to cover us, because it rains a good deal, and we have to come in out of the wet.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 139.10

    But we believe that a school consists of somebody to teach and somebody to be taught, and when you get those things, then you have got a school,-those are the prime essentials,-you have to have a place to sit down in, and a roof to cover you. You have to have some books. Our students must have them; you recognize the necessity of that.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 139.11

    Now our plans are to go ahead, and make it a Bible school, to teach the Bible, to bring our students face to face with the Bible, and fit them as quickly as possible for work. And while studying, they are working. They are out selling books to get the money for their daily needs. I like to work with such students.GCDB April 5, 1903, page 140.1

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