Emperor William's Message To The Y.M.C.A.
( Originally Published 1902 )
JUNE 13, 1901, was a memorable day in the history of the Young Men's Christian Association. It was the Jubilee Day of the International Jubilee Convention of the Y. M. C. A., held in Boston. The meeting at Mechanics' Hall was presided over by James Stokes, and formal ad-dresses were made by Cephas Brainerd, President Faunce of Brown University, and Rev. F. C. Clark. The delegates from foreign lands were received with great cordiality and enthusiasm. In their native costumes they presented quite a picturesque appearance. One of the most conspicuous figures was Father Nicholas W. Vassilief, a delegate from Russia, gowned in the deep crimson silk of his office, a silver chain and crucifix about his neck, which gave emphasis to his sturdy figure and handsome face. In the afternoon, Governor Crane received the delegates in the State House; an immense meeting was held in Faneuil Hall, which was addressed by Lieut. Governor Bates, Mayor Hart and others; a memorial tablet was unveiled in the Old South Meeting House, where, fifty years before to the day, the first Young Men's Christian Association had been organized.
But the notable feature of this day of jubilee was the receipt of a message from the German Ambassador at Washington, transmitting a telegram from Emperor William, which read as follows :
" I ask you to transmit to the brotherhood of Young Men's Christian Associations of America, assembled for the jubilee Convention, my hearty congratulations. With pride the brotherhood may look back on its past life, which promises further to flourish and increase. May this expectation be fulfilled in a rich measure. With satisfaction I see that the German Associations, active in the same endeavor, take part fraternally in this solemn gathering. May the American Associations also in the future train for their great Fatherland citizens who are sound in body and soul, and of earnest convictions of life, standing on the only unmovable foundation of the name of Christ, whose name is above every name. (Signed) WILHELM, I. R.
The message produced a profound impression upon the Convention, which returned a fitting answer, which closed with the following words :
" May our alliance, founded on Christ, forever bind the kindly sentiments which now exist between the two lands."
In these days, when there is such a consolidation of industrial enterprises upon the part of capital and labor, there seems to be in the religious world a spirit of concentration and unification, as illustrated in the great Missionary Convention held in New York, and the International Convention of the Young Men's Christian Association held in Boston. The Missionary Society and the Y. M. C. A. have not only been the strong arms of the Church in rescuing souls from spiritual death, but they have been the efficient ones in enfolding the members of the various denominations into the bosom of a common Master, into Christian unity.