Gospel Tracts: The Silent Preacher

Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. – Ecc. 11:1 (ESV)

The smallest tract may be the stone in David’s sling. In the hands of Christ it may bring down a giant’s soul. Robert Murray M`Cheyne

Never underestimate the use of Gospel tracts. They have been used of God for generations in bringing the message of salvation to lost souls. I have long been an advocate of them, and have, in the past, been especially encouraged in reading of their use by God during the great revivals within the confederate armies during the war between the states. For example, in an article entitled Confederate Tracts by Dr. H. Rondel Rumburg we have this historic note on the use of Gospel tracts:

Many would raise a startled eyebrow upon hearing that any preacher could be silent.  But there was a variety of Confederate preachers that fit that description.  Confederate tracts may be known as “silent preachers.”  The voice was confined to the printed page, but often spoke powerfully to the mind and heart of the reader.  The Spirit of God would according to divine purpose smite the conscience and trouble the sinful heart over the mandates of God and the good news of salvation by grace alone through Christ alone.

One Confederate soldier said tracts were “silent but powerful preachers.”  These “powerful preachers” were weapons of choice among the colporteurs.  Gospel tracts were weapons in the Confederate chaplain’s arsenal for the spiritual warfare he conducted in the Confederate army.  Robert Murray M`Cheyne the Scottish preacher asserted, “The smallest tract may be the stone in David’s sling. In the hands of Christ it may bring down a giant’s soul.”    There was a great consumption of reading matter in the Confederate armies. The soldiers had such an appetite for tracts, Bibles, New Testaments, hymnals, and other literature that full satisfaction was never met.  The Rev. Dr. George W. Leyburn director of the Presbyterian Board of Publications wrote to J. Wm. Jones from Appomattox Court House in February 14, 1867 that “Never … was there such an opening for evangelism by the press” [J. William Jones, Christ in the Camp, 490].

You can read the rest of the article here.

Video: The Life of A Gospel Tract