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WHAT we anticipate as the most blessed convention our Society has ever held has been provided for as above. We have arranged for the exclusive use of Hotel Victory, which is located about two miles from the steamboat landing and reached by an electric car line. The seclusion from the world and its affairs will, we trust, be conducive to our highest spiritual profit, and the nine days will give opportunity for reasonable rest and refreshment of body as well as of mind. Jesus said to his disciples, Let us turn aside and rest for a season, and we may do well to follow their example.
The hotel grounds are spacious and beautifully kept and the house itself is an exceptional one. Besides large parlors and dining rooms it has more than 675 large, airy bed rooms. Experience shows that to enjoy spiritual refreshment we need to be physically comfortable and this comfort the Lord seems to have arranged for us on this occasion.
The hotel management agrees to provide a very large tent, with a capacity of three or four thousand, and chairs on the hotel grounds. There is also on the premises a large swimming pool, where baptism may be symbolized. One of the main features of the Convention, we expect, will be the personal fellowship which the friends will surely enjoy.
Hotel Victory prices generally range from four to five dollars per day, but by our special contract with the management, and on an assurance that our people, although not wealthy, are genteel and refined, and that probably not a single cigar-stump or tobacco-quid will be dropped, our rates will be as follows: Six persons in a room, 50 cents per day each; two persons in a room, 75 cents per day each; one person in a room, $1.50.
Meals will be provided on the hotel plan at 40 cents each, and on the home plan, a general table and general dishes, at 25 cents each. Besides, there will be a lunch-counter, at which sandwiches, cakes, pies, milk, coffee and tea may be had at five cents for each item. Thus it will be possible to regulate one's eating according to his appetite and pocket-book. We advise, however, that no one calculate on less than $1.25 per day.
Friends from the west and south of Toledo will surely do best if they purchase "G.A.R. Encampment tickets" to Toledo and return. The Western Railroad Association has already "agreed to a rate of one and one-half cents per mile from all Missouri River points," and the Southern Association, we learn, "will give a one-cent rate." Probably by Convention time the Central Railroad Association will make some extra concession also. Such information, however, must be obtained from your Railway Ticket Agent. As for other points east of Toledo and in Canada each must determine for himself what will be the most economical arrangement. The Canadian friends should inquire for Excursion Tickets to the WATCH TOWER SOCIETY'S CONVENTION on the Certificate Plan—either to Detroit or Buffalo. Buy boat tickets separately. Be sure to get your Certificate. New York and New England friends may find this ticket cheaper than the G.A.R. rate and should inquire.
We have a boat rate from Toledo to Put-in-Bay and return for 50 cents. The Cleveland boat rate is $1.00; the Detroit boat charges the same for round-trip. The Buffalo rate to Put-in-Bay for the round-trip will be only $3.50. Ask for boat excursion tickets to the WATCH TOWER SOCIETY'S CONVENTION at Put-in-Bay.
The Buffalo boat leaves at night, and Put-in-Bay is reached about noon of next day. The Cleveland boat leaves in the morning at 8:15 and reaches the Bay at noon. The Toledo boat leaves in the morning at 8:15, reaching the Bay at noon. But as Toledo will be crowded, and as most of the friends will embark there, we have chartered a night boat to leave at ten p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, August 28 and 29, at same rate; 50 cents for the round-trip.
The hotel will be able to accommodate 2500 people; it is quite possible that the attendance may exceed that number, and provision has been made for some to be lodged in cottages not far distant from the hotel. However, those who desire rooms to themselves, or where six of one sex prefer to be in a room together, it would be safe to make application in advance. Address Hotel Victory, Put-in-Bay, Ohio.
Although each individual can buy his ticket as cheaply as others, some may desire to go in company with others for the sake of the fellowship. Thus a considerable number will be going from Pittsburgh via Cleveland, rate $7 for the round-trip, or 70 cents less where ten or more ride on a "party [R4222 : page 245] ticket." Leave via P.R.R. Friday, Aug. 28, midnight. Sleeper $1.50 extra. If going, advise at once "Convention Dept."
Similar companies will be starting from Cincinnati, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, New York, Washington and Boston. Those who desire to join any of these companies we shall be pleased to supply with proper directions, which should reach you at least a week in advance of the Convention date. The Chicago friends advise that they will have a special train via the WABASH RAILROAD on August 28th. Any desirous of joining them may address Dr. L. W. Jones, 2024 Washington Boulevard, Chicago.
Let us not forget, dear friends, that no matter how beautiful the surroundings and favored are the conditions and fellowship, our share in the blessing will be proportionate to our readiness of heart to receive it! Let each one purposing to attend prepare his heart in advance for a blessing; the words of the Apostle constitute one of the best prescriptions we know of for such preparation; he says, "Let us put away all filthiness of the flesh and of the spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord." (2 Cor. 7:1.) With prayer and supplication let our request for the divine blessing be presented at the throne of grace, that the Lord may open to us the windows of heaven and pour out such a blessing as we shall not be able to contain—such a blessing as will overflow from those who attend the Convention to the other dear ones at home not thus privileged.
The condition upon which the Lord promises this out-pouring of his blessing is that we bring our tithes into the storehouse; that we pay our vows unto the Lord; that we seek to appreciate and live up to our consecration, and to develop in harmony therewith more and more of the spirit of our Master—the spirit of Love. Come desirous of an opportunity for comforting and strengthening and refreshing others as well as with the desire to be comforted yourself. Thus drawing nigh to the Lord according to his arrangements we shall be sure to have his smile and his blessing.
We were obliged to abandon the project of coming to Pittsburgh for the closing Sunday of the Convention, for two reasons: (1) The expense would be considerable. (2) The fatigue incident to such a program would be too great for the majority. Discerning this we considered whether it might be the Lord's will to have the entire Convention at Pittsburg, and we allowed the matter to be decided by our ability or inability to secure a suitable Convention Hall upon satisfactory terms. The result was our decision in favor of the quiet and restful season at Put-in-Bay for this year. Possibly the way may be open for a Pittsburgh Convention some time again, but we concede that Convention facilities here are not very favorable at present.
"I dearly love the noble band of Colporteurs although not privileged to be one of them. Their heroism in leaving home and earthly comforts to preach the 'glad tidings' and to assist the Lord's poor, blinded sheep out of Babylon, specially appeals to me. I can well realize what a treat to such are the Conventions—what an uplift! I wanted to do this year as I did last year to assist some of them, but I learn that their number has increased, besides the year being less prosperous proportionately more may request the aid. What shall I do with no more money at my disposal?
"I think of only one way of discriminating, and so (without any reflection on those who have not taken it), I decide to favor those who have taken "the Vow" published in the June 15 TOWER, which I also have taken and which I heartily commend to all in all of its provisions.
"My offer then is this: I will pay through your Colporteur Department ONE-HALF OF THE MINIMUM EXPENSES of any Regular Colporteur on your list who has made reports or ordered books during June and July and whose financial condition makes necessary this aid, in order to his or her attendance at the General Convention at Put-in-Bay. Please publish the offer in the WATCH TOWER, but withhold my name."
These funds will be disbursed at the Convention. Buy excursion tickets. The hotel expenses will amount generally to as much or more than the ticket; if not, write to the Colporteur Department at once.