REPORTS already received indicate that the Memorial Supper was more generally celebrated than ever beforein modern timesprobably one-third more than last year. We are glad of this: it generally indicates good spiritual condition; for those who intelligently and conscientiously memorialize the shed blood of the New Covenant and our Lord's body broken for us are not the ones to fall into the sin of denying that the Lord bought them. (2 Pet. 2:1.) And in turn, it is those who most heartily realize that they were bought with the precious blood who are most constrained by the love thus manifested to resist sin and additionally to consecrate themselves to be "broken" also and to lay down their lives for the brethren.
We have received up to the present 339 reports of meetings, representing 2501 participants (quite a few of these neglected mentioning the numbers participating). We will not attempt a full tabulation of the various reports received,many of which were from solitary ones and little groups of twos or threes. We will merely give numbers of some of the principal meeting thus far reported, from various States, and a few extracts from the letters reporting same:
Pennsylvania.Philadelphia, 24; Altoona, 30; Scranton, 21; Butler, 13; Rockland, 9; Tyrone, 9; Washington, 12; Easton, 7; Laughlintown, 6; Oil City, 7; Wheeler, 9; Jefferson, 7; Allentown and Bethlehem, 8; Allegheny, 250.
Ohio.Felicity, 7; Newark, 7; Cincinnati, 24; Toledo, 40; Cleveland, 25; Columbus, 30; Dayton, 14; Mansfield, 7; Tiffin, 12; Youngstown, 28; Canton, 17; Oxford, 7; Barnhill, New Philadelphia and Dennison (one meeting), 25.
Canada.Goderich, 4; Meaford, 5; Dorchester, 5; Brantford, 22; Niagara Falls, 7; Hamilton, 10; Toronto, 21; London, 7; (Ontario). Truro, N.S., 8; Regina, N.W.T., 7; Rapid City, Man., 10; Brandon, Man., 8; Clive, Man., 4; Wharnock, B.C., 5.
As a feature of next year's report we propose that the numbers witnessing to full consecration by symbolic immersion in water, during the year beginning March 26th, be mentioned in connection with the number participating at the Memorial Supper.
All of the following reports will be read with keen interest and warm love and sympathy by the "brethren;" but we wish to add to your zest in the reading of the Jamaica letter, by explaining that our dear Brother Clarke is a full-blood Jamaica negro: and we doubt not that at least one-half of those who celebrated with him are negroes. We rejoice that our God is "no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him and worketh righteousness is accepted with him."Acts 10:34,35.
Brother Clarke was already a Christian when the harvest message reached him: he was serving the Lord to the best of his knowledge and ability and loved the Bible. The American Bible Society made him its agent, and he went hither and thither holding up the "Lamp." God in due time considered him worthy of the light of present truth and poured fresh oil into his heart, as well as into his Lamp, through MILLENNIAL DAWN. Brother Clarke rejoiced in the truth greatly, and enjoyed his work more than ever, because now he could not only take the people the Bible as God's jewel casket, but he could also take them the "keys," also provided by God, by which they could open God's Word and understand and appreciate its wonderful harmony and beauties as never before.
But the American Bible Society was not willing to have the "keys" go with the jewel casket and informed Brother Clarke that he must either drop the DAWN or leave their employ. He promptly decided that there were already more Bibles circulated than people could understand and that the highest service he could render to the great Giver of all good was to lay down his life in serving the brethren with this "marvelous light" which God has now granted all his people who have eyes to see it. God bless Brother Clarke! His loyalty of heart proves that he has the spirit of the truth.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:A number of us met together here yesterday evening to commemorate our Lord's death. We began our service at 7:30 P.M., and had about twenty present, including two or three Christian friends who participated with us.
Some few were hindered from coming out, and others did not care to participate, on the ground that it was only to be observed "till he come," not being able to see that the Apostle Paul evidently included in this expression the complete glorification of every member of the kingdom, and that "we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord" are to commemorate his death, the very basis of our hope, just as the saints did who preceded his coming, until we receive our change from the human to the spiritualto be with and like our Lord. Blessed hope!
We meditated upon our Savior's great agony in the garden, as he prayed to the Father, when his sweat, as it were great drops of blood, fell down to the ground, and then we saw him before Pilate, being falsely accused of the Chief Priests and Elders, and he answered nothing, but "committed himself unto him that judgeth righteously," and then in our mind's eye we saw him as the soldiers took him into the Praetorium and put a purple robe upon him and a crown of thorns upon his head, and then bowed their knees before him, saying in mockery, "Hail, King of the Jews," and he endured it all patiently, "who, when he was reviled, reviled not again," and "who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame." We then read in 1 Pet. 4:1, that, inasmuch as Christ [R2458 : page 96] has suffered for us in the flesh, we are to arm ourselves "likewise with the same mind,"not that we might have to experience the same amount of suffering, but the thought was with "the same mind," "who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered he threatened not, neither was guile found in his mouth," and that thus possessing the "same mind," the "mind of Christ," to the end of our course, we would come off more than victors through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We then saw him as he hung upon the cross, surrounded by his enemies, wagging their heads and saying, "If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross and save thyself!" And lastly, we beheld him as his sufferings reached the highest point, when the Father's fellowship of spirit was withdrawn and he uttered those agonizing words, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" We could see that he was taking the sinner's place, that he was to die just as if he were the sinner, and that the sinner's place was a separation from God's fellowship and subsequently the surrendering up of life itself in death, and there in his death we appreciated our ransomthe equivalent for all who lost life through the disobedience of father Adam. Oh, how my heart goes out to him, when I think of what he has done for me
MY DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:I write you a few lines to acquaint you with the memorial services. I received your letter of the 25th and notified the sister promptly, but she did not get to any of the meetings. We had a lesson on Baptism at Dover Hall, our present place of meeting, at 2:30; at 5 we adjourned to the Brethren Church building, where three brethren and one sister symbolized their burial into Christ's death; then we returned to our hall, and after two hours of social intercourse we partook of the Lord's supper. I neglected to count those present, but I think 24 would be about correct. We had a most pleasant time, and we trust a profitable one, too.
DEAR BROTHER IN CHRIST:I am just writing you a hurried note to inform you of the blessed time we had at the Passover Supper last evening. You will doubtless rejoice with us in the increased numberwe had twenty-one who participated in the Supper, this being more than double who joined us last year.
In the usual afternoon meeting we had 23 or 24, about as many as we could get into our little room. We read from the TOWER "A Look at the Crucified One," taking up many of the touching incidents at the supper and in the garden. All seemed deeply interested and touched; all seemed thoroughly imbued with the responsibility and the necessity of a more thorough consecration to the Master's service and love; harmony and earnestness prevailed and much depth of feeling, as also at the Memorial Supper. Our service in the evening commenced with a season of quiet meditation. We then read Matt. 26:26-28 and sang Hymn 2; then followed a prayer of thanksgiving for the great privilege of being able in heart to comply with our Lord's command; then a few words upon the responsibility we were assuming and also an earnest exhortation for the fulfilling of our vows more heartily in the future than in the past. We then read 1 Cor. 10:15-17, also 1 Cor. 11:23-33, and sang Hymn 122. Then before breaking bread thanks were offered by Brother Raymond, and before participation in the cup thanks were offered by dear old Brother Moore, and the meeting closed by singing the first Hymn. Much time of quiet, silent contemplation and communion with our dear Lord was allowed, and we dispersed almost in silence. All seemed to realize the deep solemnity of the occasion, and there seemed but one heart and one mind in desiring to energize for the crown of immortality; every heart seemed full to overflowing in love to our blessed Redeemer. We did not forget you in our prayers.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:I feel thankful to be able to inform you that I had the privilege of observing the Memorial Supper, alone as usual; I say alone, but not lonely, for I had a precious Friend with me who never leaves nor forsakes me. He is more than all the world to me. I have been cooperating in the proposals you made last year to ask the Lord's blessings in striving after the spirit of love, and reading every other Sunday Matt. 5 and 1 Cor. 13. I sincerely believe they have been a great help to me.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:I make haste to send you the report of our little Convention here: the manifestation of divine love, the rejoicing;Oh! the blessing. I can scarcely write the things which transpired here on the 26th of March. Scoffers who came to scoff at us were speechless, and many were compelled to join in praising our dear Lord.
We began at 5 A.M., with prayer and praise, and at 8 o'clock we marched to the pool prepared by the Bros. Davidson a few chains from their home, where three hundred people looked on with amazement. A short address was given: believers' baptism was set forth to the best of our knowledge. Three brethren symbolized their consecration "unto death" with their Lord. At 11 o'clock we had public preaching, when the benefit of the "ransom" was set forth to the best of our ability. Eighty-five were present at this service. At 2 P.M. we had refreshment. Many scoffers were surprised at the manifestation of love among us,so that they apologized for being satisfied with both temporal and spiritual provisions. Invitation was then given to all who are trusting in the merits of the "ransom," and fully consecrated, to partake with us in the "cup" of suffering. At 6:30, twenty of us drew around the Lord's table, with solemnity,following the suggestions given us in the WATCH TOWER. The blessing received at this service can hardly be expressed by me, in writing. The brethren join in sending their love.