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The testimonies were all along the line of the "Vow." The time at our disposal was too short for all to tell of the good they had received since making the Vow their own. Some of the testimonies were to the effect that now the Scriptures seemed so much clearer; others testified that now they felt so much more closely drawn to the Lord and the brethren. Others stated how the sermons at the Convention and discourses in general appealed to them so much more than in the past and that they could understand them better; that since taking the Vow a damper, so to speak, had been opened in their heads, which allowed the Truth to get in.
In this connection I might state how this meeting came to be along the line of the Vow. Some three or four weeks prior, the Chicago Elders, as a body (14 in all), took up the question of the Vow at one of our Elders' meetings, and decided unanimously that it would be a good thing to send in our names to the TOWER office as having taken the Vow, and to invite any in the congregation that wished to send in their names with ours. Accordingly three copies of the Vow were prepared and opportunity given at the various Sunday meetings since for any who wished to sign their names to these lists along with the Elders. The list of names has been growing each week, and after sufficient time has been given, so that all may have had an opportunity to sign, our Secretary will send in the list.
When the Vow first came out many thought it was all right for others to take it and send in their names, but that it was not necessary for themselves. Noting, however, cases where much sorrow and trouble would have been prevented had the Vow been taken in times past, and noting on the other hand the good that came to those who have taken it, the Elders therefore decided that we wanted to lend our names and influence along with others in holding up this Standard to the Lord's people.
While attending Conventions during the past two years, particularly the one at Put-in-Bay, I was impressed by the great number who have been in the Truth for a comparatively short time. A large number informed me that Put-in-Bay Convention was their first. Of course in such a large number there were many whose faces were familiar by reason of meeting them at former conventions. No doubt many whom I have met at other conventions were detained at home by various causes, but still this fact was so marked that I spoke of it to others.
Does this mean that some are losing their crowns? And these later comers into the truth are received in their place? When the boats were leaving the wharfs at Put-in-Bay, on the last day of the convention, the one going to Toledo and the other to Cleveland, the great numbers of people who crowded the decks sang as the boats began to separate, inspiringly sang "God be with you till we meet again"; but my heart was sad with the thought that so many singing so joyously, would not be met again, because they would not be faithful and some one else would receive the crown now awaiting the determination of their faithfulness.
What a great blessing the "Vow" has been to me, I will not take your time to describe. I cannot see how it can be other than a blessing to each one who takes it "to the Lord." I pray the Lord, daily, that he will continue to bless you as his wisdom sees you need, that you may continue to minister his Truth to the household as he sees they need. And that he will help us to trust more and more in his precious promises and grow in the knowledge of the Word, that we will be able to overcome in all trials and testings through which we must pass to become copies of his dear Son, our Redeemer.
We must remember that the number of interested is multiplying. This, thank God, accounts for the increased size of our conventions. It is a fact, nevertheless, that the "wheat" as gathered must be flailed, threshed, and winnowed before it is ready for the garner. We must not "think it strange," therefore, if some whom we loved dearly and hoped great things for, should under divine inspection be found to have less of the spirit of love than we had surmised.—Psa. 91:1-9; 2 Thess. 2:11-17.—EDITOR.