"In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good" (Ecclesiastes 11:6).
The circulation of tracts as a means of preaching the Gospel is actually older than the art of printing. Wycliffe, the reformer, was a great writer and distributor of tracts, employing his pupils and friends to multiply copies by hand. Martin Luther was a worker through tracts as well, but with the help of the printing press. Two hundred years later, Count Zinzendorf, another devoted reformer, made extensive use of the printing press in the spreading of Gospel tracts.
All these years our God has been watching over these silent messengers, and, no one but the Lord Himself can tell into how many hands they have fallen, and how many hearts have been moved to receive the truth as to God's salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Richard Gibbs wrote a tract entitled, "The Bruised Reed." A tin peddler gave it to a man named Richard Baxter: through reading it he was brought to Christ. He then wrote, "A Call to the Unconverted." Among the thousands saved through it was Phillip Doddridge, who wrote "The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul." It fell into the hands of William Wilberforce, the emancipator of the slaves in the British Colonies, and led him to Christ. Wilberforce wrote, "A Practical View of Christianity," which fired the heart of Leigh Richmond. He wrote "The Dairyman's Daughter," of which as many as four million copies were circulated, as it testified for Christ in over fifty different languages.
As with all service for the Lord, we cannot tell what great and wonderful results He will bring when we act in obedience to Him. "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days" (Ecclesiastes 11:1).