THE LONDON, ENG., CONVENTION
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:--
The Convention just closed has been one of the most helpful seasons of refreshing we have been permitted to enjoy. From the first meeting to the last there was a deep and calm feeling of sweet communion, and the consciousness that we were to meet with the Lord as we met with each other; and already there are many evidences that the windows of heaven have been opened and the abundant blessings received. Besides the quickening of those who have long been consecrated to the Lord, there has been in the hearts of several who attended a decision to consecration, and we rejoice in having new brothers and sisters walking with us in the Narrow Way. The Psalmist said, "O taste and see that the Lord is good," but here we have had such abundance out of the storehouse of heavenly grace, that we have been feasting at the Divinely provided table, and surely our Lord has been fulfilling Luke 12:37. We thought that your recent visit to the various centers might cause a diminution as to the attendance, but though we know [R4202 : page 204] some were prevented through local activities the Convention came up to the general average. Indeed, owing to growth of interest in London there was a rather better average attendance than last year--so, at least, it seemed to us. About 650 were in attendance, though some meetings had many more than that number.
The Convention was opened by a word of welcome from Brother Hemery, representing the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. He expressed the hope that all would look out for one of the best times we could expect to have; that each should prepare his heart and mind to receive much from the Lord, and to be as ready to seek the good of each as he was to get good for himself. Brother F. W. Williamson also spoke briefly, carrying a message of love from yourself, and making us long for a renewal of the sweet fellowship we had with you so recently. Brothers Bull and Bilsbrough led us away into thoughts of the fulness of the Divine Plan--Brother Bull by a talk on the "Oneness" which is desired now and to which God is working, when all things shall be brought into subjection to Christ; Brother Bilsbrough by reminding us of the "Glory-Filled Earth" soon to be. In the evening Brother Hemery spoke on "Perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord," and surely the Lord helped us to see the need of the work yet to be done in each heart. Sunday was a happy day, spent in Testimony and Praise and meditation upon the Word. Brother Edgar gave a helpful address on "Humility," and in the evening Brother Williamson spoke to a crowded house on "Which is the True Gospel." On Monday there was an immersion service in a fine chapel kindly lent to us for the occasion. We rejoiced with 72 brothers and sisters who symbolized their consecration to the Lord, in this manner testifying to their death and resurrection as New Creatures in Christ Jesus. There were many wet eyes in the meeting, though the tears were mostly those which came from joy rather than sorrow; though we know tears were shed by some because they had not then given themselves to the Lord and could not share in the immersion. How gladly we would wipe these tears away by helping the weepers into the Kingdom, and into the joy of the Lord!
After the baptismal service we had a long afternoon and evening; more testimonies were given. That was a short but particularly blessed part of the day, for we were just a large family talking of the common love for our Head. Profitable and helpful talks by Brother Guard and again by Brother Williamson brought the afternoon to a close. In the evening Brother Hemery talked on our present privilege of "Fellowship with God"--our fellowship is (now) with the Father and with the Son. We parted with a love-feast of hand-shaking, bidding one another "good-bye" and wishing each other a real "fare-well," of which, indeed, we are confident, since our Father's hand provides for us! and since we are under his special care. Some present had never before attended such meetings, and the loving interest which the brethren showed in each other's welfare, and the fulness of experience in the Lord which so many had, were sources of surprise; but these soon proved to be of the best helps of the Convention.
We were very glad to have dear Brother F. W. Williamson and Sister Williamson with us, and they go on their visit to other friends with many prayers that they may be used of the Lord and that they may be fitted in all ways for the Master's use.
This year we had only three days of Convention, but many of the visiting friends have spent some days in getting a closer acquaintance with the London brethren, and such times have been spent in helping each other to a closer walk with God. All the evidences seem to show that there is a great work for the Lord waiting to be done; many are asking after the Truth, and of this "Way." A Christian brother unknown by sight to us, writes asking how he and others with him can cooperate in the work of Harvest, for they are interested in this clearer knowledge of the Christian's hope. Since the beginning of May we have sent out from here over 700,000 of the 1908 Volunteer matter and already many inquiries are coming in. Surely there are thousands of hearts waiting for the cheer of the only "hopeful" message. Continue to pray for us, dear brother, as we pray for you, that we may be faithful to our calling and to our opportunities of service.
With loving remembrances and good wishes, I am, dear brother, yours affectionately, in the Lord,
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As already expressed, we have great expectations respecting the harvest-work in Great Britain. The fact that the Colporteur work there is less successful than we had hoped must not deter us. We must look for other doors also. We rejoice to learn that the Volunteer Tract distribution progresses so well and is yielding results. This should lead to increasing zeal in that department of service. The Society is prepared to supply all the tracts you can use--FREE and freight paid. Let us by word and example double the output.
We fancy that Sharp-shooting would do much good to all of the dear friends, as well as do much to spread the Truth. "Sharp-shooting" is the circulating of DAWNS and booklets amongst your friends and neighbors, accompanying the introduction with a word of testimony respecting their effect upon your own head, heart and daily living. The effect will be beneficial to yourself as well as to your friends.--EDITOR.