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Religious Tracts.

Widespread use of religious tracts began with the Reformation. The Meth. movement in Eng. made extensive use of tracts. A Soc. for the Distribution of Religious Tracts Among the Poor was est. 1782. In proposing this soc. J. Wesley* said: “Men wholly unawakened will not take the pains to read the Bible. They have no relish for it. But a small tract may engage their attention for half an hour and may, by the blessing of God, prepare them for going forward.” Tracts pub. by this soc. include Ten Short Sermons; Tokens for Children; A Word to a Swearer; A Word to a Drunkard. H. More* wrote the tract William Chip and The Cheap Repository Tracts and distributed 2 million copies the 1st yr. See also Simeon, Charles.

The Religious Tract Soc. of London was organized 1799; its work led to organization of the BFBS Other tract socs., of Gt. Brit. include The Religious Tract and Book Soc. of Scot. (1793), The Stirling Tract Enterprise (1848), The Dublin Tract Soc., The Monthly Tract Soc. (London, 1837). Many other tract socs. were est. in Eur., India, China, Australia, New Zealand, S. Afr., West Indies, Can., and elsewhere.

Tract socs. in the US included Massachusetts Soc. for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge (1803), Connecticut Religious Tract Soc. (1807), Vermont Religious Tract Soc. (1808), The Prot. Episc. Tract Soc. (1809), New York Religious Tract Soc. (1812), Ev. Tract Soc., Boston (1813), Albany Religious Tract Soc. (1813), New Eng. Tract Soc. (1814; became the Am. Tract Soc., Boston, 1823), Religious Tract Soc. of Philadelphia (1815), Religious Tract Soc. of Baltimore (1816), New York Meth. Tract Soc. (1817), Am. Tract Soc., Boston (1823). Bap. Gen. Tract Soc. (1824), Am. Tract Soc., New York (1825), NYC Tract Soc. (1827), NYC Mission and Tract Soc. (1864), Willard Tract Soc., Boston (1866), Monthly Tract Soc. of the US New York (1874).

The Am. Tract Soc., Boston, merged with the Am. Tract Soc., New York, 1878. The Bap. Gen. Tract Soc., organized Washington, moved to Philadelphia and became the Am. Bap. Publication Soc. 1840. The New York Meth. Tract Soc. later was inc. as Tract Soc. of the Meth. Episc. Ch.

Other tract distributors in the US have included Good News Publishers, Lutheran Press (a dept. of ALPB), Moody Literature Mission, Pilgrim Tract Soc. OCH

See also Tractarianism.


Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod


Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

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