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THE GLASGOW CONVENTION
DEAR BROTHER RUSSELL:—
There seemed to be a general expectation that this Convention would, in one respect, at least, be like all its predecessors. So far each Convention has been better than those before it, and the one just past has conformed to the rule. Former occasions have been sweet and precious as we have met to talk over the good things the Lord is providing, but as we approach the end of the journey, with a wider experience of the love of God, and a clearer understanding of the great call with which we are favored, the joy deepens and the fellowship becomes more and more a foretaste of the good to come. It is only a few short years since the first of this series of meetings was held in Glasgow: then there was a small company in a small room. The Truth was hardly known in the city, but the few upon whom it had laid hold, whose hearts were touched, worked hard in the use of their opportunities, and some of the results were apparent as the Glasgow brethren made their visitors welcome. The number of those needing sleeping accommodation was about 180, and of these 140 or more were placed with the home brethren. The average attendance at the meetings would be about 400 while the largest meeting was said to about double that number.
The chief topics of the talks that were given by the brethren who addressed the meetings may be said to be the “Kingdom of Heaven.” Much was said about its constitution, the time of establishment, our present responsibility towards its interests, and, last but not least, how we must prepare ourselves for a place in the Kingdom. One brother urged that as the Kingdom is to be given to the “saints,” only those who charge themselves with its present interests will be proved worthy of a place in it. To each comes responsibility, and all can do something. Our Master did not say, “Stir yourselves for great work in the time of harvest.” Instead he left us the responsibility of the harvest work by saying, “Pray ye the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the vineyard.” If all may not enter upon active work at least all can pray, and thus prove the interest is there.
The brethren appreciated having Brother McPhail at the Convention, and all appreciated your kind thought in prolonging his stay for it. The friends had learned to love him, and to esteem his ministry, and were glad to have the opportunity of seeing and hearing him again before his departure for the States. The loving harmony of the meetings and the peaceful and happy looks of the brethren made a great impression upon some who attended. We hope they will seek and find the same peace in the one Lord. We heard of many weak ones who were confirmed in “this way,” and we know of one dear brother who came with troubled heart, and lost his troubles in consecration to the Lord. May he ever find the rest of the people of God.
On Sunday there were thirty-three brothers and sisters immersed, in this manner showing their consecration. One was an elderly brother who for a time refused to listen, but who now rejoices in the Truth. Another was a dear lad of 16 years, one of three brothers who attend the Glasgow meeting. We trust for these, as we do for all, that the Lord’s grace may comfort and strengthen them all the way, whether longer or shorter. The elder brother just spoken of told us of an unusual experience. He was at the railway station in a pondering mood, for he wanted some DAWNS and had come to the end of his immediate resources. Standing wondering whether or not he should ask a sister for some books on credit, he was accosted by a man with whom he had a slight acquaintance but with whom he had not spoken for ten months or more. “How are you for money just now?” said the friend. “Well, I’m not exactly ‘flush,'” was the reply. Without further words L.5 was placed in the brother’s hands with the remark that nothing was wished back, and the friend immediately boarded an outgoing train. The brother at once went away to get the books he wanted for his friends, paid for them and left some change for the Tract Fund.
Many of the friends went away on the Monday night, but before the Convention proper was closed a message of love was sent to yourself. It is probable that you will get this from one of the local brethren, but in any case the message will not spoil by being sent twice. The message is Philemon 6,7, and Hebrews 13:20,21, and it was with heartfelt love that the brethren testified to this. Some stayed until Tuesday night, when the final meeting was held, and at which a good number were present. Many who had come long distances went away by the late night trains. A good number went to the stations to see them
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away, and it was good to see the laughing joy, even though there were wet eyes. On the Tuesday morning about forty brethren said a final good-bye to Brother McPhail, and wished him “God-speed,” and also a quick return, if that should be the Lord’s will. But we all want to see you again, dear brother. Come soon!
With much love in the Lord, I am, as ever, your brother in Him, J. HEMERY.
— November 15, 1905 —