Threats Fail to Intimidate “Sheep”
IN ENDEAVORING to fight the truth, the forces of error ever resort to threats of harm of one kind or another. But when men of good will gain a knowledge and understanding of Jehovah’s purposes, such threats are made in vain. Illustrating this fact is the following experience reported by a traveling representative of the Watch Tower Society, serving in Quebec.
“At St. Louis de Gonzague lived a very devoted Catholic who never missed mass and communion on Sunday although living three miles from church. About one year ago, or late in 1952, he attended my public talk at Ste. Germain, some twelve miles from St. Louis. He had previously obtained a Bible, and that evening, although still quite fearful, subscribed for The Watchtower and Awake! and obtained other Bible study aids. He had begun reading his Bible and now was studying the publications of the Society explaining the Bible. Incidentally, he had told the witness missionary, from whom he had obtained the Bible, not to call back as he was a Catholic. Nevertheless, a month after he had attended the lecture at Ste. Germain he was invited to attend an assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses at Trois Riviéres. This he did and as a result came back with such joy and conviction that it was the truth that he took a firm stand for the truth and began preaching to all what he had learned.
“It is needless to say that the news soon spread throughout his village of about 150 families regarding his having changed his religion. It was quite a shock to many and especially to the priest and such of his friends as were still as devout Catholics as he had been. But not all were shocked. Many were curious and wanted to hear about his new religion, some even coming twenty miles to hear him. He obtained a number of French recorded Bible discussions, which he played for his visitors, at times having as many as ten listening. As a result he has placed many Bibles and Bible study aids with the people.
“This young man has a saw mill and a blacksmith shop on his farm and at times he hires men to work for him. Being a bachelor he himself prepares the dinner for his men, and while doing so during the lunch hour he has one of the men read the Bible to the rest. The one who was doing this, the best reader in the group, was also a singer in the church, and became so interested that he requested the young bachelor to conduct a Bible study in his home, which study was soon increased as a neighbor across the way started to attend it.
“When I visited the group last week, to my surprise this young bachelor was now Brother R————, one of Jehovah’s witnesses. With a Kingdom smile and enthusiasm he said: ‘I would be very happy if you would come and give a public talk in St. Louis, because I have many friends who would like to hear it.’ A lecture was at once arranged for, to be held Thursday evening at the home of the singer with whom Brother R———— was holding the Bible study. We spent the whole day visiting and inviting all those who he thought would come, and in the evening eleven of them came.
“During my talk they repeatedly expressed appreciation of what they were hearing. While these were very happy, there were others who were not so happy, for at ten p.m. someone rapped on the door. It was the mayor of St. Louis, who wanted the man of the house to come outside as he wanted to speak to him. The mayor was accompanied by five other men, one of whom was the Inspector of Colonization, who came from Ste. Justine, some twenty miles away, at the request of the mayor. This inspector told the man of the house to chase the witnesses of Jehovah out of the house, warning him that if he did not he would be reported and might lose his home as he was a settler on government property.
“The man of the house replied: ‘I wish you would come in and hear the talk; it is the best thing I have ever heard in my life.’ They refused and so he told them: ‘I am sorry; I have never chased any people out of my home and I do not intend to start tonight. These people are my guests.’ Finally the men, failing to intimidate him, left quietly. Understandably, after this incident the people in the home were a little nervous, but I continued to talk to them about the persecution and about Jehovah’s help if they continued to study the Bible with Jehovah’s witnesses, and soon they were just as enthusiastic as during my first talk. Needless to say, Brother R———— will continue to study with these people.
“All this interest is the result of the groundwork laid by a missionary brother who for the past eight to nine years has been patiently and kindly calling, even when told not to return. Due to his perseverance in the door-to-door work many people are now listening and talking the truth.”