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Prayer

By Jabez Hall


      First United Presbyterian Church Saturday Afternoon, October 16.

      The Chairman: A picture will be taken later, and we want to get ready for it. The time will be announced. It will only take a minute of our time. Some of the people we are very anxious to have in that picture are not in, so that we will announce it later.

      This gavel I have in my hand is made of a piece of wood from the old Brush Run Church--made on purpose for this meeting--so you may know this meeting is going to be thoroughly orthodox.

      My voice is in such condition that I very much fear I will not be able to make you hear. It is very unpleasant to me, but I will do the best I can; it is all I can do.

      Now the exercises will begin by singing hymn Hymn No. 19, in your program book: "How Firm a Foundation, Ye Saints of the Lord." That is one of the old hymns that the veterans sang fifty, sixty and seventy years ago.

      C. C. Cline led in the song.

      The Chairman: We very much regret that Frank M. Green, who was selected to conduct the devotional exercises at this camp-fire, can not be present on account of ill health, but we have the pleasure of announcing to you that Alanson Wilcox, a colaborer with Bro. Green all his life, and one of the old, old veterans, will have charge of the devotional exercises. Bro. Wilcox.

      Mr. Wilcox: Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. Thou turnest man to destruction, and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep. In the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down and withereth. For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in thy wrath. We spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? Even according to thy fear so is thy wrath. So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Return, O Lord, how long? And let it repent thee concerning thy servants. O satisfy us early with thy mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let thy work appear unto thy servants and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish thou the work of our hands upon us, yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. [Psalm 90, the prayer of Moses, the man of God.] [315]

      We will be led in prayer by Jabez Hall, of Indianapolis.

      Mr. Hall: Our Father, thou art the Father of mercies and the God of all Christians, the source of our being and the giver of every good and perfect gift. Above all things which thou hast bestowed upon us we praise thee for thy great and unspeakable gift in the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and next unto him we praise thee for those who, through him, have been redeemed into that liberty, into the service of the loving Christ for the redemption of this world from evil and sin.

      We thank thee for this hour that has brought together this remarkable gathering      of those who have long toiled, and who have been kept in the faith and are now finishing their course with joy. As we look into their faces, may we see reflected how thou hast changed them from glory to glory as by the spirit of the Lord. May we see in them the evidences of thy faithfulness in keeping them true and strong to bless this world with the light of thy gospel and with the testimony of their renewed and consecrated lives.

      We thank thee for the hearts that are open with abundant love to cherish them and keep them forever in blessed memory.

      We thank thee for all the thousands upon thousands that have been brought to thee through the preaching of thy gospel at the mouth of these thy servants. We bless thee for the churches which thou hast made to be light-bearers and which thou hast preserved by thy grace, planted at the hands of these thy ministers and watered by their prayers and kept by their faithful labor. We bless thee that what has come to us in the fulfillment of these years of grace is now to be seen epitomized in those that are before thee.

      As we bow in prayer before thee, we beseech thee that there may be light at eventide, the sweet peace and calm that shall usher in, not darkness, but eternal glory. We pray that as they have taught others by word and by deed, that there may be faithfulness on the part of those who are come after, that their mantle as it falls upon the shoulders of the younger men may give a double portion of the Spirit of our God.

      Bless thou, we beseech thee, every loving heart, every sacred memory, every tender and loving thought that comes to us as we look into the faces of these to whom we have been so abundantly indebted. And now, Father, we beseech thee to grant unto us all that power of perception that shall not be limited by this hour nor by this presence. May we see the great throng of those who have gone before. May we recall to our minds and to our hearts the glorious example, the blessed influence, the heritage of thy saints in those whom thou hast kept and guarded and guided into the final victory. O Lord, grant that the eyes of these, thine aged servants, may be truly satisfied in the more than fulfillment of their desire in Christ. May they see thy Son, thy salvation, and with courage and hope may their days end in glory here upon earth, but never end in the glory of thy blessed presence! Bless thou, we beseech thee, every one of them, and grant still to be with them to keep and cherish them and to make them the ministers of thy cross unto those who shall still be near enough to feel the touch of their spirit, to hear the tender tones of their voice, and to know that in their hearts they see the work of grace made perfect.

      And now, Father, take this meeting into thy hands for thyself, that the spirit of it may not be a mere reminiscence, but may there flash upon the future the glorious fulfillment of all that thou hast planned and purposed. And now bless us exceeding abundantly above all that we are able to ask or think, and with our sins forgiven, our service accepted, our admission made sure, we look forward to the life unending, to the glory everlasting, according to the promise of thy word through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, together with thee, be praise and honor and glory, now and ever more. Amen. [316]

      The Chairman: We are very glad indeed to have some of the younger brethren and sisters present. I am very sorry that we have not room to accommodate all. If there should be more veterans than there are seats in this part of the church [indicating the front], of course the younger people will give way to the older people, the veterans. We are veterans when we have passed the seventieth year of life, and I know the young people will be glad to give their seats to the old people if they are needed. They are needed back here, I am told [indicating the left]; some of the young people will follow the ushers and they will see that the old people have their seats.

      Mr. Wilcox: Let us turn to Hymn No. 14: "Come We that Love the Lord, and Let Our Joys Be Known."

      The Chairman: Now, we are told in the good Book that the glory of a woman is her hair. I do hope you will all let us see your glory this afternoon. The persons sitting behind you are very anxious to see. Please remove your hats.

      Now, the photographer is ready to take the picture, and, of course, he will want you all to keep very quiet while he is taking it.

      [A flashlight photograph was taken.]

      The Chairman: I want to announce that at the close of the service this afternoon the old veterans (all above seventy years of age) will have the kindness to stand in front of the church building and have their picture taken. Now, don't forget it; when the Convention adjourns, instead of staying in here and talking too long, get out there and let us have the picture of every veteran here in this great Convention.

      Mr. Wilcox: We will now listen to the president's address, by L. L. Carpenter, of Wabash, Ind., and famous as a dedicator of churches.

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