[R3744 : page 89]


THE convention at Canton, O., was a decided success so far as human judgment could determine. Nearby towns were well represented—as many as twenty-three came from Cleveland. The morning text was, Mark 9:47,48. Many of you received the daily press report of that discourse. The afternoon session for the public was well attended. The Opera House was crowded—about 1500 persons gave close attention for two hours to our discourse on "To Hell and Back." The friends at Canton must have advertised extensively, for the day was not favorable for a large attendance.

The friends of the Allegheny Church thought that Pittsburgers should have a chance to hear on the subject. They secured Pittsburg Carnegie Hall and advertised liberally a meeting for Sunday evening, March 4, for the topic, "To Hell and Back." They did nobly, and on a stormy night packed the house with a most intelligent audience, which gave closest attention and in various ways indicated deep interest in what they heard. The official count of the attendance was 2,614. A number of friends were present from surrounding towns. The regular afternoon service was held in Bible House Chapel: the discourse of that occasion you have in the secular press.




Behold, these burrs a story tell;
One closed, the other opened wide:
And should we heed the story well,
Great things to us it may betide.

We note with thorns that each is armed;
The one its secret will not broach.
The wise by this are fully warned,
Forbidding thus a close approach.

The other opened wide to view,
Discloses rich, sweet fruit within;
Yet once 'twas like the first one too,
And held its secret safe from men.

What wrought this change? Pray bring to light
Why one should yield its fruit so fair,
And one remain unopened quite,
Absorbing God's pure light and air?

Ah! There's the key, my brother true;
For when the Sun completes its task,
Its kernel then will come to view,
In God's own time. Who more can ask?

For God has times and seasons too,
And all shall be as He has said;
Tho' this is known to but the few,
Who to the world are "reckoned" dead.

Just as the burr so slowly grew,
Knowing the seasons in their round,
To God's appointed time was true,
Its open petals then were found;

Thus Truth shall yield her fruits to men,
When ripened in God's own fixed day;
Her portals firmly closed 'til then,
Nor yield to aught that men may say.

Shall we not profit then by this?
With patience wait 'til He reveals
His times and purposes to men,
Withdrawing that which now conceals?

But we are told in His own word,
The "wise" alone shall understand.
Then make us "wise," most gracious Lord,
To know what cometh from thy hand.