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(1918) With: Jesse W. Brooks - Tema: Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - Brief Word of Greeting. The Rev. Jesse W. Brooks, Ph. D.

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THIS meeting tonight is in itself a great answer to prayer.
We call this "The First General Conference for the Evan-
gelization of Russia," but this is not the first effort that has
been made to have such a conference.
Away back in 1884, in the city of Petrograd, a similar conference
was called by two Russian noblemen. A large number of people as-
sembled. Different denominations were represented, just as they are
here tonight. At least three or four different countries were repre-
sented, just as they are here tonight. There were at least two mis-
sionaries present at that first conference in Petrograd, who are to be
with us now in our Chicago conference. And those early leaders were
stirred with the same high purpose, the same ideals of service, that
stir us.
But suddenly the Russian spies were at work. The powers of both
Church and State combined, and the conference was ended abruptly.
Its leaders were arrested, some were imprisoned and some exiled. And
then for a quarter of a century, among the innumerable exiles to Si-
beria, there were more than a thousand, we are told, who had com-
mitted no other crime than that of attempting to proclaim to the
people the unsearchable riches of the Gospel of Christ.
But old things have passed away. We are living, thank God. in a
land of liberty and this liberty is something which we want to share
with the people of Russia. President Wilson wants to share political
liberty with the people of Russia and we as American Christians want
to^ share spiritual liberty with them; and it is fitting that now, in
1918, we should be gathered, not in the capital city of Russia, but in
this gFeatest Russian and Slavonic city of America, and that we should
be^" gathered here to dedicate ourselves to the work of giving the
Gospel to our unfortunate brothers across the sea.
An Appeal for Unity
I have referred to the conference of 1884 that was called in Petro-
grad, and in opening this conference in Chicago I want to reiterate,
and make our own, the appeal of that early conference, in the very
words of the leaders of that conference: "Remember, brethren, that
Christ died that He might gather in one the children of God who are

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