THE MEMORIAL CELEBRATION GENERAL.
FROM every quarter reports show that the numbers who celebrated our Lord's Supper on April 16th were much larger than on any previous occasion. It would appear, too, that it was a more solemn occasion and observed more reverentially than ever before. This is right. God forbid that any of us should lose any of our respect or reverence in connection with the great sacrifice or its memorial. In our last we suggested some reasons for celebrating on the anniversary day nearest to the year date, and thus keeping the more closely in touch with the days of our Lord's last week of earthly life and their great events. We hope that all of our readers will weigh the matter, that between now and the next Memorial we may be of one heart and one mind on this matter. A few years ago the Jewish mode of reckoning brought the Memorial Supper on Thursday evening. We recall that the harmony of the days of the week with those of the first celebration added special zest as well as peculiar solemnity to the days of that week.
Reports show very many small gatherings. The number celebrating at some of the principal cities follows:--
Boston, Mass., 186; Philadelphia, Pa., 99; Cleveland, O., 73; St. Louis, Mo., 75; Washington, D.C., 94; Richmond, Va., 30; Altoona, Pa., 36; Indianapolis, Ind., 67; Toronto, Ont., 58; Columbus, O., 47; Binghamton, N.Y., 37; Chicago, Ill., 170; Providence, R.I., 42; Cincinnati, O., 54; Youngstown, O., 35; Dayton, O., 40; Scranton, Pa., 42; Buffalo, N.Y., 40; Houston, Tex., 45; New York City, 109; Los Angeles, Cal., 142; Allegheny, Pa., 525; London, Eng., 190; Glasgow, 142; Liverpool, 66+; Manchester, 37+; Bristol, 29; Edinburgh, 21; Sheffield, 25; Sevenoaks, 21; Dublin, 20; Elberfeld, 64.
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DEAR BROTHER:--Last evening the little company here met to celebrate the Memorial. There were sixteen present, twelve sisters and four brethren.
It was an hour of blessed privilege, into which we all heartily entered. We remembered the other companies who would be gathered together to likewise "do this" in our Lord's remembrance, not forgetting the isolated ones.
We feel assured that we, too, were remembered by the other ones who were joining in this Memorial, and that our prayers for blessing on the Body were being repeated by all its members.
May the Lord's blessing continue with you as you are still spared to serve him.
__________., Atlantic City, N.J.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Last Sunday evening a few earnest, fervent Truth-seekers, twenty-four in number, assembled at the home of Bro. D__________ to partake of the Memorial Supper, and thus commemorate the death of our dear Lord and Master. After appropriate hymns, [page 134] reading a few extracts from the sermon in March 15 Tower, and prayers, the emblems were partaken of and we dispersed, "silent, like men in solemn haste," to our homes, there to "think on these things," and renew within our hearts our covenant to die with him, to have no mind or will but his. The thought underlying all is, if we would share with him in his Kingdom we must be a part of the broken loaf--that as his blood-life was poured out for the world, so our blood-life must be poured out, even to death, for only in this way can we be worthy to drink with him of the new wine (immortal life) in his Kingdom.
Dear brother, we all share in the prayer that God may bless and strengthen you and your co-laborers for the contest ever before us, and grant that we may all drink the new wine with him in his Kingdom and share with him in blessing all the families of earth, in that glorious day which shall have no end.
With much love to all the brethren, we are, sincerely in the one hope,
THE CHURCH AT DETROIT, MICH.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Ten brothers and sisters partook last evening of the emblems of the broken body and shed blood of our dear Redeemer. We considered the meaning of eating the sinless flesh and drinking the precious blood, as by faith appropriating its virtues and merits each for himself. We also had our attention called to the deeper significance of the loaf and the cup to us as representing our communion and fellowship in his sufferings and with those of the fellow-members which we have been so graciously permitted to have. The propriety of observing the memorial on the anniversary of its institution was entirely new to one sister, who became quite interested. It was truly a blessed hour of spiritual refreshment. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.
With much Christian love from us all, yours in our dear Redeemer,
__________, Racine, Wis.
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DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--Last evening a few of us, seven in number, met and together celebrated the memorial of our dear Redeemer's death. One brother and sister came 25 miles to join with us in this most solemn feast. We realized our dear Lord's presence and felt drawn closer to him in our sincere desire to serve him better. As this was our first celebration since entering into the light of Present Truth, the partaking of the emblems was, as to their true meaning and import, keenly felt and much appreciated by each one as a great favor. We remembered at the throne of grace all who similarly met together, praying that our heavenly Father would keep each and all from falling and help us to be faithful until death.
Yours in love and fellowship,
__________, Port Jervis, N.Y.
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--I am very glad to be able to tell you that five of us were permitted to assemble together to celebrate the Memorial. I feel that the Lord was with us. One of our number said it was his first participation in the observance and that he thought its influence would last him through all eternity. We all seemed to be like-minded in the desire to know the full significance of a "full consecration" and to conform our lives thereto. We were rejoiced to know that all over the world were like companies enjoying a similar blessing.
Praying the Lord's blessing upon your labors, in his name, __________, Tallapoosa, Ga.
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DEAR BRO. RUSSELL:--Bro. H__________ and I met last evening at my house and partook of the Memorial Supper, showing forth the breaking of his body and the pouring forth of his blood, our passover sacrificed for us, at the same time renewing our pledge of consecration to him and to his service.
Our hearts assured us of his presence, though the eyes of our flesh saw him not. We realized somewhat of the infinite love of our Father in giving his only begotten Son, "a ransom for all," but especially of them that believe; and more, that the Son willingly, joyfully, made the great sacrifice. Shall we not then patiently endure our light afflictions in the hope of sharing with our Head an "eternal weight of glory"?
In our present state we can but faintly estimate the infinite wisdom and love that conceived the plan and bestowed this gift upon mankind, and we can only measure our love for him by the love we bear to the brethren. This is commonly called "Holy Week," and is not this season indeed holy to us? We pray its solemnizing and humbling influence may continue and grow till we drink of the new wine with our Head in the Kingdom. May his blessing continue with you and your helpers, and may your work prosper as our Head deems best.
Always yours, in the greater love begotten of the greatest of all events, that we have just been commemorating. __________, Winnipeg, Man.