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IN harmony with previous appointments the Editor of THE WATCH TOWER spent three weeks in London, visiting Manchester and Glasgow before returning. We left New York Wednesday morning, October 12th. A representative of the American Press Association and Brother P. E. Thomson, our stenographer, comprised the party. On the pier, waving us goodbye, were nearly a hundred New York Bible Students. Their words of good cheer and loving manifestation of interest in our welfare cheered us on our journey. Later, in our stateroom, we found reminders of them in certain comforts—fruits, nuts, sweets, flowers. The fragrance of the love behind all these made them doubly precious.
We had an uneventful journey, which afforded opportunity for our literary work. We arrived at London on the evening of October 17th. On the platform we were surprised and cheered by meeting about fifty friends from London and vicinity, waiting for us, extending the glad hand and a cheering welcome. We thanked God and took courage.
On this occasion we devoted nearly all of our attention to London, the greatest city in the world. Three Sunday evenings in succession we occupied that superb auditorium, The Royal Albert Hall. The attendance was estimated to vary from 4,600 the first night, to 6,000 the second night, and 7,600 the last night. Our themes were:—
(1) "God's Message to the Jews."—Isa. 40:1,2.
(2) "God's Message to Christendom."—Isa. 40:3-7.
(3) "The Great White Throne."—Rev. 20:11.
On all three occasions the interest manifested by the audience was splendid. We could not have asked for better. We feel much encouraged with the evidences of a class possessing deep spirituality in Great Britain, and with an apparently increasing interest in Present Truth. We will not here give any details of the discourses, as we understand that they were reported very widely all over America and in some of the English papers. We will assume that those interested in reading them not only secured them for themselves, but sent encouraging words to the editors and purchased extra copies for their friends.
Between these more public services at the great hall we had six district meetings in London in fine, large town halls, with which English cities are so much better supplied than our own. At East Ham Town Hall, at Acton Baths Hall, Woolwich Town Hall and at Bermondsey Town Hall the theme was the same—"Times of Restitution of all things which God hath spoken." At Alexandra Palace our topic was, "Where are the Dead?" At Shoreditch Town Hall, in the Jewish district, our topic was, "Zionism in Prophecy." We feel sure that our readers can well imagine our treatment of these themes, hence we will not dilate upon them here. The pleasurable matter we have to relate in connection with the meetings is that in all of them we had splendid attention and audiences which ranged from six hundred to twelve hundred. We were surprised to have so good audiences and so intelligent a hearing on mid-week evenings.
We had one special meeting with the London Church. We enjoyed that meeting very much, and hope that the friends there enjoyed it also. We would have liked to have several more meetings of the fellowship order with them, but our time and theirs was fully occupied. We were hunting again for more satisfactory office accommodations, etc., while many of the dear friends were extremely busy in doing their part to make successful the nine public meetings. That they worked very hard will be known when we state that over six hundred thousand copies of PEOPLES PULPIT, advertising these meetings, were circulated. If the Lord smiles upon our projects we will have more meetings in London and more Pilgrim service throughout Great Britain shortly. Surely there is a large wheat field there to be harvested—as well as here.
The Class of Bible Students at Manchester numbers about 400, and they are very zealous. They would have preferred, of course, Sunday meetings with large halls, but were nevertheless pleased with the best we had for them, under all the circumstances, namely, addresses to the Household of Faith on the afternoons of Friday and Saturday, October 4th and 5th. The attendance was good, although, of course, many of the dear friends, obliged to attend to their secular pursuits, were unable to be present. We endeavored to speak some words of cheer and comfort which we hoped, under the Lord's Providence, might build them up still further in the most holy faith.
On Friday evening we had a public service in the new Auditorium of the Y.M.C.A. About 1,000 were present, [R4721 : page 376] mostly middle-aged people, intelligent, thoughtful. They gave close attention to our discourse on "The Great White Throne of Judgment."
On Saturday evening we had a hall in the Jewish neighborhood, and spoke specially to the Jews. Our topic was, "Zionism in Prophecy." The hall was not a large one and many desirous of hearing were unable to gain admission. Seven hundred had seats, and about 500 more were tightly packed in all the aisles and clear out to the street. We never addressed a more representative Jewish audience; they were from all classes and conditions of life. All but a very few heard us with many manifestations of interest, especially after we had reached the center of our theme and they perceived that we were not trying to get them into some Christian sect, but drawing their attention as Jews to the promises of God through their own prophets. Many of their faces lighted up with hope, and some wept.
At the conclusion, in harmony with a request, we gave opportunity for questions. These developed the fact that the three questioners were opponents, unbelievers in the Bible and its promises—young infidels. The audience noticed this and spoke out against them. When we answered that a man who did not believe the Bible, and who did not trust in the promises made to Abraham, was not really a Jew, and had no proper right to ask a question at a meeting called for the discussion of "Zionism in Prophecy," the audience drowned our opponents with their applause.
We gave Glasgow, Scotland, also two days of two meetings each. The regular meetings of Bible Students at Glasgow, we understand, number about 500 every Sunday. They seemed to be in good spiritual health. The programme at Glasgow was practically a repetition of the one at Manchester.
The meeting for the public in Glasgow was well attended. The audience was estimated at 3,200. The Glasgow meeting for the Jews was our last in Great Britain, the attendance being about 1,400. They listened with keen interest, and on our conclusion gave us very warm applause.
At the landing pier in New York City we were met by three of the brethren as a committee for the whole family. Soon we were at Bethel and had the pleasure of greeting the family at their noonday meal. On our entering the room all of this dear family of God arose and sang a verse:—