We had a very enjoyable time at this little Convention, which served about four hundred of the friends, many of whom will not be able to attend any of the larger Conventions. July 6th will long be a bright page in our experiences. We had a delightful meeting and fellowship with the friends to the number of nearly four hundred, and at night a public meeting attended by about one thousand. The attendance and attention were splendid, especially when the extreme heat of the weather is remembered. At the conclusion of the evening meeting we took the train for the
When our train reached the Canadian line a representative of the Canadian Government announced to the Editor that under instructions from the Government he was [R5936 : page 238] obliged to prevent our entry into Canada. This, of course, was quite a disappointment, and yet we realize that nothing can happen to us or to the Lord's cause without His knowledge, and there being nothing we could do, we cheerfully submitted to the arrangement and wired the brethren at Winnipeg not to expect us.
We understand, nevertheless, that the Convention was a splendid success, and the Auditorium in which we were to have spoken was crowded to overflowing and some turned away, and that one of the local brethren took the opportunity for giving an address on the subject that had been advertised for the Editor's public meeting.
It seems quite probable that the result may be for good rather than for ill. The Canadian brethren attending the Convention, some of them coming hundreds of miles, felt greatly disappointed, of course, but as the news reached the public it apparently brought sympathy for our side of the question from some who otherwise might have paid little heed. Anyway, the Canadian people and many in the States were put on notice that the Bible Students Association believes that they are taught by Jesus and the Apostles not to participate in human carnage, but to follow peace with all men, and holiness without which no one shall see the Lord.
We, Associated Bible Students, assembled in convention, desire in this message to convey to you our heartfelt sympathy and deep Christian love, while feeling that our dear Lord's overruling has been that we may not greet you face to face, and hear your kindly words of Christian love and helpfulness at the present time.
We are realizing that the Lord under the existing circumstances is pouring out to us a great blessing. By receiving His appointment in the proper spirit, and with this additional indication before us that "the night wherein no man can work" is rapidly closing in, we do the more firmly resolve that we each will be loyal to the Lord, the Truth, and the Brethren.
It is already manifest that the action that has, for the present, prevented our sweet fellowship face to face, is another mark of the further accomplishment of the great work of the Harvest. We rejoice with you Brother, and, as admonished by the Master, lift up our heads with rejoicing, seeing that our deliverance draweth nigh.
With much Christian love, and great appreciation of the honored position our dear Lord has called you to in this great work of the Harvest, we the undersigned, tender to you, not only the love of those in Convention here, but of the dear ones in this portion of the Harvest field unable to meet with us.
The attendance at this Convention varied from three hundred to four hundred, but the interest was splendid and the spirit manifested by those in attendance was very loving indeed. The four days were filled with spiritual feasting, the evenings being given over to the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION. On Sunday morning, July 9th, the Editor's topic was "The Good Shepherd," who gave His life for the Sheep, and who when He puts forth His own Sheep goeth before them, and who has other Sheep of a different fold who also, in due "Times of Restitution," will be brought into Harmony with the Divine arrangements, and have a share in the blessings of the Lord for all who love Him and who seek to walk in His way. After the discourse, the Love Feast followed, participated in by about four hundred.
The afternoon session was for the public, the topic being, "The World on Fire." The attendance was excellent, about 1,200 being present, on an extremely warm day. One very interesting feature noticed by nearly all the brethren is that never before has the public given so close, thoughtful and intelligent attention to subjects related to the Truth.
About one thousand Bible Students attended the Newport Convention, although not all of them found it convenient to remain during the entire eight days. Newport is a delightful summer resort of high class. The days were given to the Convention Program, and the evenings to the presentation of the PHOTO-DRAMA OF CREATION. As we expected, the public did not give any great heed to the Convention, but we were pleased to note that they crowded the DRAMA and apparently took great interest in its presentation. The final public meeting, addressed by the Editor on Sunday, July 16th, was the only one in which the public to any great extent participated. The attendance at that meeting was approximately twelve hundred. We trust that the interest manifested and the large number of cards requesting literature may eventually lead to a considerable dissemination of the knowledge of the Truth, and ultimately bring some hungry hearts into closer relationship with the Lord and His Word of Truth, and that the latter may be more digestible and helpful than anything they have yet enjoyed, even from the same source.