||Chosen no: R-4852 b, from: 1911 Year.
|Change lang |
Our Convention Tour-No. 1
HAVING reached Denver on our westward journey, we must give
an account of the Lord's blessings and favors and our experiences; for we well
know that the prayers and thoughts of many are with us. Although the blessing
of the service keeps us busy continually, our thoughts and prayers go out to
the Lord's dear flock collectively, and individually in many cases. "We
share our mutual woes, our mutual burdens bear, and often for each other flows
the sympathizing tear."
Our first stop was at Cleveland, Ohio,
where a meeting had been arranged by the Bible Students in the interest of the
Jews. The topic was, "Zionism the Hope of the World." We will not
even outline the discourse, because the interested will have the report from
our San Francisco
The meeting was successful in one sense of the
word, in that the Lord always blesses those who seek to serve and praise Him;
but it was not a success in respect to the number of Jews present. Two reasons
contributed: (1) It was Friday night, the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath, the
worst night in the week, as we subsequently learned; for the Orthodox Jews hold
the Sabbath very sacred, and many of them would not even ride upon a street car
on that day. (2) The prejudice awakened amongst the Jews by one or two of their
journals calling us a "missionary" has not yet worn out. The audience
altogether was probably a little over a thousand, and of these less than half,
probably only three hundred, were Jews. The dear friends of the Cleveland Class
felt a little disappointed that their efforts had not brought larger success.
We encouraged them, however, with the thought that having done our best the
results were entirely in the Lord's hands, and the credit that He would give
them would be just as great as though five thousand had heard.
THE INDIANAPOLIS CONVENTION
The night train carried us to Indianapolis, where a Convention was already
in progress and continued also after our leaving. The attendance was
excellent--about six hundred (three or four hundred from the surrounding
district). The attendance at the public service to hear about the
"Hereafter" was about a thousand. Excellent [R4853
: page 211] attention was given, but how much "wheat" was
ripened we, of course, know not. By some oversight this three-days' Convention
was not properly announced in THE WATCH TOWER--merely our special services were
mentioned. But it was a success and a blessing evidently to many in attendance.
ST. LOUIS CONVENTION
A night ride brought us to St.
Louis early on Sunday, June 11th, where we were met by the
Convention Party, organized by Brother L. W. Jones, M.D., of Chicago. On the route its number has varied
from one hundred and fifty to two hundred, some joining and some leaving at one
place and another. It was a very happy company, amongst whom the Spirit of the
Lord is quite manifest. The train consists of eight cars, including one for
baggage. They are sleeping cars, and are not only comfortable but economical in
that they save hotel expenses and transfers. In the party are five doctors. Chicago is, of course,
better represented than any other city. All have the spirit of helpfulness, the
spirit of love for the brethren, and a desire to spend and be spent in the
Master's service. The presence of so goodly a company in the various
Conventions of this trip certainly adds, not only to the singing, but also to
the general interest of the meetings. The brethren take part in the testimony
meetings and symposiums, and in giving addresses. Our own time being fully
occupied, except when on the platform, has hindered us from enjoying these and
making a report of them.
The Sunday afternoon meeting for the public on
the topic of "Hereafter" was well attended, the audience numbering
about fifteen hundred. The evening talk on "Zionism the Hope of the
World" was not extensively advertised. The audience was estimated at about
a thousand. Only a small proportion was Jewish--about one-third. On Monday our
afternoon address to the interested and also our evening service (a Question
Meeting) were well attended. The St.
Louis Class seem to be in good spiritual condition so
far as we can judge, earnestly pressing forward in love and devotion. Here, as
elsewhere, we saw good evidence of the zeal of the friends in the circulation
of the public announcements, and other necessary and expensive arrangements for
the Convention services.
THE KANSAS CITY CONVENTION
Tuesday and Wednesday, June 13th and 14th, were
devoted to Kansas City.
There is quite a good sized class of Bible Students there, and their loving
zeal was everywhere manifested. The meetings were all good. Brothers Ritchie,
Swingle, Senor, Edgar, Jones and Wise participated in addresses on this
occasion. "Convention Hall" had been secured for the public services,
the first evening [R4853 : page 212] on
"Hereafter," the following one on "Zionism the Hope of the
World." The attendance was estimated at three thousand and one thousand
Here again we experienced some disappointment
respecting the numbers of Jews interested in hearing a subject of such vital
importance to them. Incidentally we learned that the Rabbis are trying to keep
the people from hearing. It was ever thus. The teachers take away the key of
knowledge, and neither enter in themselves nor permit others to enter, if they
can prevent it.
The spirit of Judaism is marked today, as it was
in the Master's day, by a subserviency to the elders and traditions --very much
the same as with Christians. How much the overseers of the religious world will
be obliged to answer for respecting the ignorance of the people and their
estrangement from the truth!
Prof. J. T. Read of the Chicago Class
contributed greatly to the interest at all the meetings by leading the music,
and also by singing solos while the audience gathered. At Kansas City Prof.
Riggs and wife also assisted, adding much to the pleasure of the services. The
total attendance of interested ones was about six hundred.
Following one of these meetings, by request, we
had a service for the consecration of children. A number of parents formally
presented their children in consecration to the Lord. We made clear to all that
there is no Scriptural command governing this matter. The basis of our
innovation is the fact that the Jews in general were accustomed to consecrate
their male children to the Lord by circumcision, and the parents of Samuel the
Prophet made consecration of him to the Divine service.
Many Protestants practise infant sprinkling,
called baptism, not as a saving ordinance, nor as an induction into the church,
but as an act of public consecration to the Lord. We reminded the friends also
that when certain parents brought their children to Jesus, he said,
"Permit little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such
like is the Kingdom." That is to say, those acceptable to the Lord as
joint-heirs of Messiah's Kingdom will all be child-like, simple, trustful,
obedient children of God.
We suggested to the parents that such a formal
offering to the Lord of the fruits of their bodies should, in after days, help
them to accept whatever Divine providences might come to their children, with
more loving submission.
We suggested further that as the children grow
to years of discernment, it may be helpful to them to know that their parents
had thus devoted them to God and His service of righteousness. We recalled our
own experience, that when about seven years of age our mother told us,
"Charles, I want you to know that I gave you to the Lord, as Samuel's
mother gave him. It is my hope and prayer that in God's providence you may
become a minister of the Gospel." We recall the impression made upon us,
and our reply at the time: "Ma, I think that when I grow up I shall prefer
to be a missionary to the poor heathen. The people here have many preachers,
have many churches, while the poor heathen have few."
Our mother made no remark, but as we look at the
matter now, her prayer is being fulfilled in our present opportunities for
ministering to the "household of faith," and our own proposition to
help the heathen will also have realization in the blessed Messianic Kingdom.
About fifteen children were consecrated, by prayer, laying on of the hand and
the invocation of Divine blessing. We made clear that none should think of this
matter as an obligation, merely as an opportunity for such as desire to avail
themselves of it.
ONE DAY AT WICHITA
We had a very enjoyable experience at Wichita. A goodly number
had gathered from surrounding places, and with our own party made up an
audience of about four hundred for the Thursday afternoon meeting, when we
talked to the interested. Of course, we had a good season of spiritual
fellowship. The attendance in the evening was estimated at one thousand. We had
remarkable attention, and believe that surely some grains of wheat will be
found as a result. Here also, following the afternoon discourse to the
interested, a number of parents presented their children in consecration to the
Lord --about 12.
ONE DAY AT PUEBLO, COLO.
Another night-ride brought us to Pueblo Friday, June 16.
We had two good meetings here--one for the interested in the afternoon, at
which about three hundred were present, and one for the public in the evening,
the attendance being about a thousand. The resident class is a very small one,
and the numbers from the outside were comparatively few, but all seemed to have
the spirit of the Truth. The dear friends who arranged the meeting here
manifested great zeal and courage, the Lord greatly blessing their efforts. The
public meeting was attended by some very intelligent people, who seemed deeply
interested in the things they heard respecting the better Hereafter--the two
SATURDAY AT COLORADO SPRINGS
We arrived here early and had a good day. In the
morning a testimony meeting; in the afternoon a symposium, participated in by
twelve brethren. Following this, by request, we had the service for the Consecration
of children--about twenty participating. The public service in the evening was
specially large for Saturday. The audience was estimated at from twelve to
fifteen hundred. We had excellent attention. The close attention, the earnest
faces and desire for free literature at the close of the service are hopeful
indications as respects the Truth here.
W.T. R-4852b : page 211 - 1911r