REPORTS of the observance of our Lord's Memorial Supper on March 29th, its anniversary, have come in quite promptly this year—much to our pleasement. We rejoice to be able to announce that the interest and the numbers reported show quite an increase over those of last year and previously. In a sense the present is the opening of the year to us, as it was to typical Israel. Our remembrance of the Master's sufferings—"the just for the unjust"—and of our debt to him, and of our consecration to die with him in the battle of righteousness against sin, all press home on our hearts and serve to reinvigorate us for a fresh start in the service we love to render, even at the cost of afflictions and self-denials which, with the Apostle, we count but "light afflictions, working out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
The letters received from every direction breathe the same spirit of love and devotion, with resolves for the future year, and prayers for the prosperity of the work centered here at Allegheny. We also remembered you all and continually do so in our daily worship. Brethren, continue to pray for us. As the work widens and deepens we need more of heavenly wisdom in connection with its general direction.
Of those already reported the following are those showing the largest attendances: Allegheny, Pa., 366; Altoona, Pa., 36; Boston, Mass., 197; Cleveland, O., 68; Dayton, O., 39; Los Angeles, Cal., 112; Lynn, Mass., 34; New York City, 62; Philadelphia, Pa., 170; Toronto, Ont., 68; St. Louis, Mo., 69; Washington, D.C., 67. We append a few of the letters, remarking that they are samples of all as respects sentiments.
The Church at Allegheny had a most enjoyable season of fellowship with the Lord and fellow-members on the 29th ult. The attendance, 366, was the largest we have ever had—overcrowding our conveniences—and so far as we can judge all but fifteen partook of the Memorial emblems. The Spirit of the Lord was richly with us at the afternoon session, also, when a baptism service was held. Owing to the fact that at Allegheny we have given opportunities for symbolic baptism on the first Sunday of each month there were fewer baptisms on the 29th than some above reported. That day there were thirteen.
Sixty-seven brethren and sisters met tonight in Bro. M__________'s studio and partook of the spiritual privileges of the Memorial, as well as the emblems thereof. The number is exactly the same as last year, but since January 1st no less than five faithful ones have entered other fields of usefulness, colporteuring or otherwise. Besides, several were unable to be present. It was a blessed occasion of refreshment as our hearts feasted together in faith upon those verities which the emblems so beautifully symbolize.
We were happy to adopt the suggestions made in Vol. VI. pertaining to the order of the service, in which I enjoyed the privilege of being the leader. Brothers F__________ and R__________ respectively offered our prayers of thanksgiving and praise for the "bread" and "wine," and various brethren shared in other portions of the service, while all were enabled to share in the heart-communion with the Lord.
The Church in this place and vicinity met last [page 117] night in our home and celebrated the Memorial Supper, and thus we remembered him who redeemed us by his blood. 26 were present, who all partook. We rejoiced together that the "unspeakable gift" of everlasting life was reckoned to us by the sacrifice of our dear Lord, appropriated to us by faith, and we pledged ourselves afresh to serve him faithfully, even unto death, saying: "O for such love I would make some return," and realizing that "my humble offering I know he'll not spurn." Within the past year—from Memorial to Memorial—ten have been immersed and in about a year four of our number have entered the harvest work as colporteurs. The spiritual health of the Lord's people here seems good, if one may judge by the thoughtfulness and loving consideration which all seem to manifest one toward another, and it seems correct to think of Love as the golden reed by which God measures us. Oh, that we may come up to this mark of perfect love!
Dear Brother in Christ,—It gives me great pleasure to advise you of the blessed privilege extended once more to the Church at New York of commemorating the death of our dear Redeemer. Sixty-two partook of the emblems of the broken body and shed blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which sacrifice I am sure we appreciate much more than we did one year ago. May the feast continue until by his grace we shall celebrate it anew with him in his Kingdom. Our dear Brother R—ably set forth the Truth in detail; the service altogether was very impressive and of great blessing to many.
The Lord's Memorial Supper was celebrated last evening in the vestry of the People's Temple with 197 adults and three children present. The season was, as it has always been, a blessed and impressive one. All or nearly all of the thirty-seven dear ones who were immersed symbolically into Christ last Sunday were present—an object lesson and illustration to the Church of Boston and vicinity of the truth that "he that reapeth receiveth wages." No one had any idea that so many as sixteen brothers and twenty-one sisters were to be baptized, the number being the largest we have ever had, as was also the number partaking of the emblems of our dear Lord's body and blood.
Our hearts are touched as we think of the suffering of our Head and Elder Brother, yet we glory in his great victory o'er the grave, the redemption bought thereby, and rejoice that we are one year nearer, if faithful, to drinking anew with him of the fruit of the vine in our Father's Kingdom. One of our beloved and faithful Elders served the Boston assembly, while the other served friends in another city. A number of the brethren were also with smaller companies in neighboring towns.
We feel more keenly the responsibilities as well as the blessings that come to us through participation in the loaf and cup. There were thirty-four present and the emblems were sent to some who were unable to be present. We are looking forward to that time when we shall drink the "new wine" in the Kingdom with our dear Master.