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OUR homeward journey was uneventful. It afforded opportunity for literary work in conjunction with Brother Jones, our faithful stenographer. Such of you as desired have already through the newspapers a report of our sermon for the Sunday we were on the Atlantic.
Arriving at the pier early Friday morning, June 3d, we were warmly greeted, especially by the Bethel family. (We learn that the date of our arrival was measurably kept secret from others.) Our attention was drawn to a schooner yacht, "The Angel." As soon as possible we were taken on board of her. In a brief and neat speech the vessel was presented to us and the papers handed over. We replied briefly, expressing our appreciation of the gift and accepting it as Trustee for the Peoples Pulpit Association. We expressed a hope that the vessel might be used and blessed of the Lord in connection with the service of the Truth in New York Harbor. There is room on the deck for an audience of about one hundred and, in stormy weather, the cabin will accommodate about seventy. The vessel is fitted with sails and also with gasoline engines and an electric light plant. Her outfitting [R4649 : page 232] was not quite complete at the time of presentation. It is hoped that she will be ready for service soon. The endeavor will be to use her for the preaching of the Gospel in various languages to the sailors from all parts of the world, to whom also literature will be freely supplied. The different evenings of the week will be divided amongst the various nationalities of the port, "The Angel" lying at some suitable dock convenient for those of the nationality to be addressed. Pray for the Lord's blessing upon this, another opening for the service of the Truth.
We were glad to get back to "Bethel" and to the Tabernacle. Prior to our arrival the New York congregation arranged to give us a reception on Saturday evening, June 4, at the Tabernacle. The house was well filled. The congregation included some from surrounding cities. We had a happy time together. We rehearsed some of our foreign experiences. Next we showed that the evidences on every hand indicated that the harvest work is nearly completed, but that, nevertheless, more remains for willing reapers to do. In conclusion we shook hands with the friends and they were careful not to demonstrate all of their good wishes by pressure of the hand.
On the Sunday following, June 5, we had a grand public service at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The attendance was estimated at 2,800. Several hundred more waited in vain in the corridors, hoping for a chance to get a seat. Other hundreds were turned away, but received literature. As our topic was "Jerusalem," quite a number of Jews attended. Indeed, a great amount of interest seems to be stirring amongst the Hebrews. They are surprised to have kind words from Christians, and especially surprised that we should proclaim the ultimate realization of their hopes as to Messiah's Kingdom and channel of blessing for the world. Reports of our discourse were published in prominent Jewish papers and went all over the world. One thing which seemed to astonish the Jews was the fact that we made such particular reference to the writings of their prophets. Many Jews have become Higher Critics and lost all their faith in the Bible. One of these, a prominent newspaper man, called at our study to inquire our motive for kind words to his people. We told him that it was not because we appreciated the Jews as better or nobler than the remainder of mankind, but our loyalty to God's Word, which we believe makes us proclaim its testimonies. We recited to him some of the prophecies showing the restoration blessings soon to come to his people. We pointed out to him that we were not endeavoring nor expecting to make Christians of the Jews; that to our understanding the Bible teaches that God has an earthly blessing in reservation for the seed of Abraham—not a heavenly one—although a few have accepted Christ and been begotten of the holy Spirit to the spiritual inheritance. We pointed out that God's blessings mentioned to Israel from Genesis to Malachi are all earthly and they are shortly to begin to be fulfilled. Upon leaving the study the gentleman said that he had entered it an agnostic, but that he left it contrariwise, a believer in the inspiration of the Bible.