THE MEMORIAL CELEBRATION.
GOOD, heart-cheering reports are at hand from various quarters, showing that the Memorial Supper was this year an occasion of great interest and spiritual profit to the Lord's people scattered abroad. It surely grows in meaning to us as we grow in the knowledge of the divine plan, and as we come closer and closer into accord with the great Fount of every blessing.
Three hundred and thirty devoted souls gathered at the Bible House Chapel, Allegheny, and after a review of the meaning of the emblems, the bread and the cup, partook of them with hearts overflowing with gratitude (1) for the forgiveness of sins and reconciliation to God, already effected for all of the "church of the firstborn"; and (2) for the inestimable privilege of participating with our dear Redeemer as members or parts of the "one loaf"--the one body;--and as participators in the "one cup" of our Lord's sufferings, even unto death, as the Apostle explains. (1 Cor. 10:16,17.) Three baptism services witnessed to the consecration of eighteen, and made deep impressions upon those who had already witnessed the same good confession.
We have reports before us which indicate that a much larger number participated this year than ever previously. All report showers of refreshing. Some of the leading companies numbered as follows:-- Boston, 142 communicants, 32 baptisms; Philadelphia, 130 communicants, 14 baptisms; Chicago, 125; New York, 71; Indianapolis, 80, immersions 11; Washington, D.C., 67; Toronto, Ont., 57; Cleveland, O., 54; Columbus, O., 25; Houston, Tex., 30; Toledo, O., 37; Richmond, Va., 35; Brantford, Ont., 28; Tiffin, O., 35; Atlanta, Ga., 22; Buffalo, 27; Cincinnati, 46; Baltimore, 26; Dayton, O., 32; Lynn, Mass., 27; Auburn, R.I., 35; Scranton, Pa., 33; Minneapolis and St. Paul, 37. [page 151]
We give below a few sample reports:--
DEAR BROTHER:--The Philadelphia friends enjoyed a blessed meeting together to commemorate our Lord's death. There were one hundred and thirty present, and fourteen immersions.
Your brother in Christ, H. P.,--Philadelphia.
DEAR FRIENDS,--This has been a blessed Memorial season to the Church at this place. Sunday, April 5, we had a grand discourse by Bro. O. on baptism, followed by the immersion into Christ of 11 brothers and sisters, Bro. W. officiating. After a season of study, prayer and praise on Thursday afternoon and night, we met to partake of the emblems of our Savior's blessed broken body and shed blood. Owing to age and sickness the sacrament was administered at two homes to four. At our regular meeting seventy were present. Such a solemnly sweet festival! The holy spirit was manifest and we were blest indeed.
With love and prayers, E. W.,--Indianapolis, Ind.
MY DEAR BROTHER:--In compliance with your request I report our deeply interesting service of last night. You will rejoice with me in that, instead of nine or ten, as before this, we had around the table last night thirty-five --one not in present truth, but we do not exclude any who think themselves Christians; so, to be accurate, say thirty-four--who we trust discerned the Lord's body. The service was deeply interesting and strengthening, especially to the new brethren. There appeared to be unusual oneness and flow of love. I regard the service as [page 152] being the means of the greatest blessing the Church has ever received here at the Memorial Supper, and others are almost persuaded to take hold of present truth.
Lovingly, M. S.,--Richmond, Va.
DEAR FRIENDS:--Sixty-seven persons here partook of the emblems of sacrifice this year as against fifty last year and twenty-six the year previous to that. We were spiritually blessed by this service and remembered you and all the dear ones everywhere likewise assembled in our prayers. It was indeed good to be present to share each other's sorrows and the joys combined.
Faithfully yours, J. B.,--Washington, D.C.
DEAR FRIENDS,--The Church in Denver celebrated the Memorial of our Lord's death last evening; thirteen were present, six sisters and seven brethren. Some were hindered on account of sickness. The occasion seemed to be greatly beneficial in a spiritual way to all present, and the absent ones were remembered in our petitions to the throne of the heavenly grace.
Yours in Christ, F. H.,--Denver, Colo.
DEAR CO-WORKERS:--Twelve in Chetopa commemorated that great event, the celebrating of our dear Redeemer's death. Very much interest was manifest. Our dear Lord's presence was felt forcibly as our dear Brother Draper spoke briefly of the significance of the loaf and the cup, after which we partook of the emblems. With Christian love to all from the Church here, I am,
Yours in the love of the truth, P. Z.,--Chetopa, Kan.
PRECIOUS FRIENDS:--Christian greetings to all! The household numbering 20 (all could not attend on account of illness) assembled here at 8 o'clock last night to commemorate the Passover; and how truly can we say, "Sweet the moments rich in blessing"! Oh, the sweet precious moments we experienced, each one feeling greatly repaid for coming and renewing our consecration vows, and each feeling more fully determined to press on. Pray for us, dear brethren, that we may grow much fruit.
Truly, your colaborer, I. Z.,--San Antonio, Tex.
DEAR BRETHREN,--Thirteen of us met last evening to partake of the emblems of bread and wine, symbolizing the broken body and shed blood of our dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We pledged ourselves anew to be "broken with him," to "drink the cup" which he drank, asking a continuance of his blessed love and care, that at all times "his grace might be sufficient for us," and oh, dear brethren, what a rich blessing he poured out upon us, filling our hearts with a blessed sense of peaceful calm and rest and fortitude for the trials which are yet to come! We do most gratefully testify to the fulness of that grace and blessing. "What shall separate us from the love of God?" With love,
Your fellow-members of his body,
THE CHURCH AT DUBUQUE,--Iowa.
Following is a sample of many of the reports received. The solitary ones fellowshiped in spirit with the groups everywhere:--
Have just partaken of "the Memorial" alone, in my room. What untold joy is ours, to know the soon fulfilment of "drinking it new in the Kingdom" with our Lord.
Your brother, J. C. E.,--Wyoming.
FROM GREAT BRITAIN.
DEAR BRETHREN:--It is with much gratitude to our heavenly Father that we report at this time general evidences of his favor. The Memorial season has been a time of blessing, of encouragement and realization of the grace of God. Reports from various gatherings have been received, each telling of progress made, both in the deepened spiritual life in the Churches, and in the numbers of those who are rejoicing in the truth. In London, E., 104 partook of the emblems of our Lord's death and our participation therein, and 26 were immersed; in Sevenoaks 16; in Sheffield, 17; in Manchester, 100, while 30 were immersed; in Glasgow, about 70, and in Liverpool, 63. Besides these there were many other gatherings of both large and small numbers, particulars of which have not yet reached us. As we, here in London, were gathered together we remembered all the dear brethren of like precious faith, especially those lonely ones who were "alone with the Lord." With love,
Yours sincerely in Him, J. HEMERY.