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The Colporteur Evangelist

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    Chapter 14—Prices of Our Publications

    Some things of grave importance have not been receiving due attention at our offices of publication. Men in responsible positions should have worked up plans whereby our books could be circulated and not lie on the shelves, falling dead from the press. Our people are behind the times and are not following the opening providence of God.CEv 77.1

    Many of our publications have been thrown into the market at so low a figure that the profits are not sufficient to sustain the office and keep good a fund for continual use. And those of our people who have no special burden of the various branches of the work at Battle Creek and Oakland do not become informed in regard to the wants of the cause and the capital required to keep the business moving. They do not understand the liability to losses and the expense every day occurring to such institutions. They seem to think that everything moves off without much care or outlay of means, and therefore they will urge the necessity of the lowest figures on our publications, thus leaving scarcely any margin. And after the prices have been reduced to almost ruinous figures, they manifest but a feeble interest in increasing the sales of the very books on which they have asked such low prices. The object gained, their burden ceases, when they ought to have an earnest interest and a real care to press the sale of the publications, thereby sowing the seeds of truth and bringing means into the offices to invest in other publications.CEv 77.2

    There has been a very great neglect of duty on the part of ministers in not interesting the churches in the localities where they labor, in regard to this matter. When once the prices of books are reduced, it is a very difficult matter to get them again upon a paying basis, as men of narrow minds will cry, Speculation, not discerning that no one man is benefited, and that God's instrumentalities must not be crippled for want of capital. Books that ought to be widely circulated are lying useless in our offices of publication because there is not interest enough manifested to get them circulated.CEv 77.3

    The press is a power; but if its products fall dead for want of men who will execute plans to widely circulate them, its power is lost. While there has been a quick foresight to discern the necessity of laying out means in facilities to multiply books and tracts, plans to bring back the means invested so as to produce other publications, have been neglected. The power of the press, with all its advantages, is in their hands; and they can use it to the very best account, or they can be half asleep and through inaction lose the advantages which they might gain. By judicious calculation they can extend the light in the sale of books and pamphlets. They can send them into thousands of families that now sit in the darkness of error.—Testimonies for the Church, 4:388, 389.CEv 78.1

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