ALTHOUGH our train was considerably late, about a dozen of the friends of the Truth awaited us at the depot with greetings in the Lord. After a bountiful supper and a good night's rest we enjoyed a day of glorious fellowship in spiritual things. In the morning a service of praise and testimony was followed by a discourse from the Chart of the Ages by Brother MacMillan. In the afternoon about 160 were present—interested ones from the city and surroundings, with their friends. The discourse was, we trust, encouraging and helpful for those already acquainted with Present Truth. Following it seven were baptized in symbol of their consecration unto death with Christ.
The evening service for the public was attended by about 600, who gave closest attention to our discourse on "The Oath-bound Covenant." We considered it an excellent hearing, considering that it was a Saturday night—the busiest of the week. The dear friends of the cause brimmed over with the joy of the Lord and shook our hand time and again, some telling that they had come over ten, others over twenty, others fifty, and others over a hundred miles to enjoy the blessed associations of those few hours. Many, with tears, told how they longed for the "General Assembly of the Church of the First-born." We encouraged them to wait patiently for the Lord's time, meantime remembering that all the trials of faith and patient endurance and brotherly kindness and, in general, of our love for the Lord and for all—even our enemies—are necessary for us, that we may be approved and make our calling and election sure.
Here the experiences were almost an exact duplication of those at San Antonio, except that the interested numbered 250 to 300 at the morning and evening sessions, while the service for the public brought out 750. The difference in numbers was due in part, no doubt, to the fact that these sessions were on Sunday. The afternoon topic was "To Hell and Back. Who are there? Hope for many of them." The close attention given and the subsequent greetings from strangers as well as friends, encourage us to hope that a work was accomplished in some hearts at least, and that some heads were assisted to clearer views of the divine character and plan.
We had but one session here. We arrived too late for a morning meeting and left too early for an evening one. About seventy-five of the interested (fifty whites and twenty-five blacks) assembled for an afternoon session which lasted two hours. We received the closest attention while we discussed "The Very Elect," and how we must make our calling and election sure by faithfulness to our covenant. We recalled the Lord's words, "Gather my saints together unto me, they that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." "They shall be mine in that day when I make up my jewels." The colored friends gave every evidence of being as deeply interested and as fully consecrated as their white brethren and sisters—which is saying a great deal for them.
The Dallas friends had arranged for excursion rates on the railroad, and nearly a hundred came from nearby points. The morning rally numbered 150. The afternoon session for the interested showed about 250. The evening session for the public was attended by 550. Six symbolized their consecration by water baptism. The attendance and interest were excellent for a week-day. Indeed all of our experiences in Texas, as well as along the entire route, tended to show that the religiously inclined public is becoming more and more awake along the lines of Present Truth. And this is just what we should expect at this the zenith of the "harvest" time.
The Dallas meetings were very enjoyable to us and we trust also to all in attendance. Our afternoon topic was "Consecration unto death" and the glorious rewards—present and future. The topic for the public was, "To Hell and Back."
Our last appointment of the trip was at Sherman, where we had time for a morning session only. About 100 were present, of whom forty were previously interested. During an hour and a half we discoursed to them of the great "Oath-bound Covenant," showing its import to the Church and also to the world. Our words received the closest of attention from thoughtful-looking people, five of whom, we were advised, were preachers of various denominations. A three hours' ride brought us back to Dallas for supper and for our night train homeward.
A ride of two days and two nights brought us to Allegheny and the Bible House, as pleased to be back to the labors of the office as we were pleased just a month before to depart to visit and address the far distant brethren. Our journey covered 8,650 miles and included thirty-three addresses of an average of an hour and a half each, besides numerous semi-private talks. We thanked God for the privileges enjoyed, and felt refreshed in spirit, though weary in flesh by reason of the rapid going necessary in the interest of the work demanding our speedy return.
We were met by a reception committee at the depot and on arrival at the Bible House found the office force (30) gathered to greet us and welcome us back with outstretched hands and kindly words and with a hymn and prayer of thanksgiving for our home-coming. In the evening (Saturday) about two hundred of the [R3654 : page 326] Allegheny congregation met us in the Chapel and extended their welcome similarly through a chairman and by praise and prayer. We thanked these dear ones, as well as the morning gathering, for their many manifestations of love, and assured them that, although we had met many dear ones residing afar off, and although we love all and enjoyed the fellowship of all, yet none could be more precious to our heart than the tried and true of the home congregation.
Then we detailed some of the incidents of our tour and assured the friends that we brought love and best wishes and heart greetings to them from all along the route. We concluded with a little dissertation on Christian love—its breadth and depth—chiefly toward God and the brethren who have his heart-likeness, but also sympathetically toward all men, yea, even toward our enemies who despitefully misrepresent us and our endeavors, even as they have long misrepresented the Father and his plan.