THE MEMORIAL CELEBRATION.
BY many the sentiment was expressed that the Memorial celebrated on the evening of the 7th at Bible House chapel, Allegheny, was the most impressive and enjoyable of any ever held here. The program mentioned in our last issue, page 2, was closely followed. The morning discourse was from the words:--
"And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet, 'They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.' And, sitting down, they watched him there."--Matt. 27:35,36.
Sister Russell took notes of the discourse, and at some future time portions of it may be reproduced in the TOWER. The morning session, although unusual and less convenient for some of the friends, was well attended, --about one hundred and twenty-five being present--and, on the whole, the arrangement worked very favorably, giving a quiet afternoon for meditation.
Previous opportunities having been afforded for baptisms among the usual congregation, the majority of those immersed were visiting Brethren and Sisters from near-by towns. One Brother, however, came nearly four hundred miles. Twelve were buried in the likeness of the Lord's death, emblemizing in water the burial of their wills into the will of their Redeemer, and thus outwardly confessing him and pledging themselves before men to be dead with him, that they may share also in "his [the first, i.e., the chief] resurrection."
The evening service was well attended--about two hundred being present. We missed the pleasure of meeting with a number of earnest ones from abroad, enjoyed when we used to have the general Conventions at this Memorial date; but we believe that our loss was the gain of the little companies scattered here and there who specially need the very talent which used to be with us on such occasions. This service was introduced by a praise and voluntary testimony meeting in which a number told of the Lord's goodness, their deep appreciation of present truth, and their increased determination to let the love of Christ constrain them to his service--the service of his truth and of his Brethren.
The Memorial Supper followed at eight o'clock. The simplicity of our Lord's ordinances (Baptism and the Memorial Supper) was remarked;--so different from the rituals and ceremonies of men as practiced, not only by the heathen religions, but also as practiced by some who bear the name of Christ: no altar, only a linen-covered table; no candles, but instead the true light of life--Christ; no incense, except the true incense which God accepts through Christ's merit--the prayers of the saints; no priests, except "the royal priesthood" memorializing the death of the great "High Priest of our profession [order];" no gorgeous robes, no vestments, except the robe of Christ's righteousness.
Then we noticed the appropriateness of the emblems, the unleavened bread representing the sinlessness, the purity, of our dear Redeemer--the fruit of the Vine representing the blood of the New Covenant. We noticed how necessary is this bread from heaven; it is indeed bread of eternal life--none can ever get eternal life without it. (John 6:53.) We considered how we had already eaten the true bread, Christ, and how we appropriated his virtue and merit--by accepting by faith, as his gift of love, the blessings secured for us by his death--"a ransom for all."
We considered the Lord's statement concerning the "cup" of which our Lord said, "This is my blood of the New Covenant, shed for many for the remission of sins." We saw how our Lord's words contradict the words of many who speak in his name, and who declare that his blood, his death, has nothing to do with forgiveness of sins. We saw, too, that his words contradict the teachings of some who declare that all men will be everlastingly saved, and who fail to note that there are special conditions specified; viz., the New Covenant. We noticed also that his words contradict equally the view of others who claim that all except the "little flock" of this Gospel age will be eternally lost; for our Master declares that his blood was shed for the remission of the sins of many under the terms of the New Covenant.
Then the emblems were partaken of, and we departed for our homes, after singing,
"Nearer, my God, to thee, nearer to thee"--thinking meanwhile upon what our Lord endured for us, and judging that it is but a reasonable service now that we suffer with him and lay down our lives for the brethren in such little services as we can render; thus testifying our love and devotion to him who redeemed us.