PERTLE SPRINGS AND HOT SPRINGS
OUR Western Convention Tour may properly be termed a series of Conventions, of from one day to eight days' duration each. First came one day at Kalamazoo, Mich.; then one day at Toledo, O.; then one day at Jackson, Mich.; then one day at Kansas City, Mo. At all of these cities interesting public meetings were held, averaging about 1,200; besides smaller meetings for the interested.
Next came Pertle Springs, Mo.--an eight days' Convention. It had an attendance of about 500, with occasionally 800, when swelled by the public. All seemed to enjoy this quiet resting place, away from distractions of every kind. The program showed fourteen Pilgrims. Besides these, others of ability were tried out on symposiums. Fifty-four were immersed--25 brethren and 29 sisters. The Editor's stay was for only two days. He hastened onward.
Oklahoma City was our next stop. Two meetings were with the interested, including about 100 from nearby places. Seventeen were baptized. A public meeting was attended by fully 3,000. A deep interest was manifested and we trust some were drawn nearer to the Lord as the eyes of their understanding opened more widely to the beauties of God's Word.
Little Rock, Ark., had a One-Day Convention with about 200 friends in attendance. The public meeting was rated at 700. The public is surely awakening to a realization that the lack of church attendance is to be attributed to a lack of faith; and the lack of faith to be attributed to a lack of knowledge of the Bible's real teachings.
Hot Springs, Ark.--Our eight days' Convention here was none too cool at midday, but the friends had a most enjoyable time. It was a splendid Convention in every good sense. The friends in attendance represented thirty-two States, to the estimated number of 1,000-- though we doubt if there were so many except at the public meetings, when the attendance ran up to the auditorium's capacity. Total number immersed forty-one--23 sisters and 18 brothers.
Amongst the items of interest here were three resolutions [R5270 : page 203] of the I.B.S.A., declaring:--
(1) That it is the sense of the Convention that the time has come for the learned to inform the less learned that the Bible words Sheol, Hades, Tartarus and Gehenna do not refer to places or conditions of fiery tortures, but that the first two signify the tomb;
(2) That the Earth was already created when the narrative of Genesis begins: "And the Earth was, without form and void"; that the seven Epoch-Days of Genesis should be made known to the public, that the true harmony between the Bible and Science may be realized.
(3) It was unanimously resolved that the time has come for the use of moving pictures in teaching Bible truths. It was brought out by the discussion that the Lord sanctioned this in His use of parables and in the symbols of Revelation, which are word pictures. It was conceded that so important an avenue for reaching the heads and hearts of mankind should not be neglected.
The Editor later explained that he had been at work upon this very plan for three years and now had almost ready hundreds of beautiful pictures, which will undoubtedly attract great crowds and herald the Gospel, and help the public back to faith in God, and in the Bible as the Word, or Revelation of God.
Later, when endorsing the Convention's resolutions, the Association's President declared that he would advocate the use of "The Temple," West Sixty-third Street, near Broadway, New York City, as the permanent home for the Gospel in pictures--"The Photo-Drama of Creation." He believed that its use on seven days of the [R5271 : page 203] week, and three times daily, would prove a wonderful work of grace to many--much more so than to use it merely one day of the week for preaching.
This led to an explanation of what "The Temple" is. Almost providentially a property worth nearly half a million dollars had come under the Association's control for Gospel work. True, the property is mortgaged for nearly its worth; but no matter: the low interest will be a very moderate rental. Besides, while The Temple will be the home of "The Photo-Drama of Creation," the Exhibition will have numerous duplications, for the preaching of the Gospel far and near.
At Hot Springs, Brother Russell joined the Excursion Train. It consisted of nine cars, and in them about 200 Truth friends, desirous of accompanying their Pastor on the trans-continental tour.
The Convention was royally welcomed by the Business Men's League of Hot Springs, and urged to "Come again." Their letter of invitation addressed to the I.B.S.A. Secretary follows:
The Business Men's League of Hot Springs, Arkansas, herewith tender the International Bible Students Association, a hearty and cordial invitation to hold their next convention in Hot Springs.
In extending this invitation, we wish to assure you of our appreciation of the honor and pleasure you have conferred upon us by favoring us with your presence during the past week.
Hot Springs is to be congratulated upon having had your celebrated leader, Pastor Russell, in our midst, and you may rest assured that, should you decide to accept this invitation, nothing will be left undone to make your next visit one of the most pleasurable and memorable ones in the history of your organization.
Trusting you will favor us with an acceptance, we are,
Yours very truly,
HAMP WILLIAMS, President.
GEORGE R. BELDING, Secretary.