We have received 99 reports of celebrations of our dear Redeemer's death, upon its last anniversary, April 19th. These gatherings were of course small,—the Allegheny meeting, at which about 160 were present, being the largest; while New York and Brooklyn meetings [R1650 : page 140] consolidated report a larger than usual attendance—eighty-five, Chicago (two meetings), Des Moines, Altoona, Boston, Baltimore and Philadelphia followed in order, down to the threes and twos and even the solitary ones.
All the gatherings report blessed seasons of communion, though marred in some instances by a knowledge of the great trial which the adversary has brought upon the Church, as explained in our Extra edition, of April 25th. All this, however, only deepened the impressiveness of the impressive occasion.
The conduct of some who learned of the trial and who, though sorely grieved and perplexed by it, kept it from others and made them subjects of prayer, that their faith might not fail when the storm of trial should reach them, was indeed a beautiful manifestation of the spirit of Christ, in which we greatly rejoice. And thus we are made to understand more fully that expression of the Apostle Peter (1 Peter 1:7): "The trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold," etc.
The effect of the latest trial and sifting seemed to be to draw all our hearts nearer together than ever; and the reports show that the dear ones assembled in little groups poured out earnest prayers to the throne of grace on our behalf and on behalf of all the members of the body of Christ everywhere. These prayers, dear friends, in our case were answered. We enjoyed the peace of God which passeth all understanding. It ruled our hearts while "unreasonable and wicked men" did all that they knew how to do to injure and distract us—even circulating their slanderous circulars amongst our worldly neighbors.