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The Central Presbyter/an The Southern Presbyter/an r? VOL. LXXXVI. RICHMOND, NEW ORLEANS, ATLANTA, FEBRUARY 28, 1917. No. 7 Cbttovtal JJotes anb Comment MO CONVENTIONS are interesting from every point of view, and none more so than a great Laymen's Convention. To see thousands of business men leave their homes and their business, travel hundreds of miles, paying their own expenses, and spend two or three days from morning until late in the night in the consideration of any subject is an inspiring sight and shows an intense interest on their part. To look over the great crowd and see the earnestness shown in every face is proof that they are not there merely on pleasure bent. When one hears the earnest and soul-stirring speeches mad 3 by leaders in Christian work, and sees how hearts and minds are moved, there can be no question that vital matters are being dealt with, that great results must fol low. Why the Laymen's Convention is a ques tion sometimes asked. It, is the expression of a feeling on the part of the men of the Church that the Lord has need of them in the great work of saving the world. For a long, long time many men seemed to think that the work of the Church, which means Christ's work on earth, was to be done by women and preachers. They thought that if they paid the bills, which had been cut down as low as possible, they had done all that could be expected. The men of the Church have seen a new vision. They have not only seen Christ crucified for sinners, they have seen a world lost in sin. But more than that, they have seen that God expects them to go out and save the world by giving the gospel to dying sinners. In fulfilling this mission they are realizing that they have a great work to do, that it is not a little matter that can be attended to in a few moments of time left over from their business and their pleasure. They see that time and effort, thought and heart must be put into it. The Laymen's Movement is the outgrowth of that thought. 41 4* 4* MONEY raising has usually been connected with any gathering of the men of the Church. Some people have supposed that all the men were needed for in the Church was to provide the money to pay the expenses of the Church's work. The men themselves have caught a new vision, as was clearly shown in the Lexington Convention. Almost nothing was said about money, except as it was men tioned incidentally. The great central thought was that of service. Men are realizing that no matter how important money is, service ren dered to God and man is far more important. If men andjvomen can be gotten to give their service, there will be no question about their giving their money. If you tell a man about a poor, sick man or woman, he may grudgingly give a small amount of money to help relieve the distress. But if the same man becomes filled with the Spirit of Christ, and, desiring to render Christ a service, he goes to the sick to help them in any way possible, he will will ingly divide whatever he lias in order to pro vide what is needed. + + + TIIK keynote of the Laymen's Convention was the saving of sonls. While the doing of many things was advocated as necessary, it was always with the idea that their object was directly or indirectly the saving of souls. Who can imagine a greater work? It is so great that it has always occupied the thought and heart of the Triune Clod. Angels rejoice and men are made glad when it is accomplished. It is the saving from hell and fitting for heaven and everlasting life of the soul of a mortal man. + + + BE STRONG. We are not here to play, to dream, to drift. We have hard work to do, and loads to lift. Shun not the struggle; face it, 'tis God's gift We are living, we are dwelling In a grand and awful time; In an age on ages telling, To be living is sublime. The nations are in the proving, Each day is judgment day; And the nations that He finds wanting Shall pass by the shadowy way. + + + LAYMEN who have caught the new vision of Christ and their relation to him, are seeking and finding and doing the work that the Saviour wants done by them. They arc telling the glad story of salvation. They are lifting up the fallen. They are bringing back t fie erring. They are cheering the disconsolate. They are comforting the sorrowing. They are protecting the widows and teaching the chil dren. They are supplying the needs of the poverty-stricken. They are looking after the unfortunate of every class, and showing them that they are their brothers, ready, willing, anxious to give any assistance or render any service possible, and all because they love them for Christ's sake and because he loves them. + + + BILLY SUNDAY has had many charges made against him, but President Faunce, in an address to the students of Brown Uni versity, makes a new one, while intending to commend him most highly. In speaking of his preaching Dr. Faunce says: "The evan gelist's appeal is primarily ethical. . . . The supporters of ethical religion in this respect are at one with the evangelist." We thought if there was one man in this country who preaches that the sinner is saved by God's grace through faith in the atoning death of the Lord Jesus, that man was Hilly Sunday. If this is what Dr. Faunce means by "ethical re ligion," it is very different from our ideas on the subjeet. We wonder who is right. HOW can we tire our Church with the evan stic passion, is a question asked at one of the Laymen's Conferences. Here are some of the answers given, which may all be combined into one ? preach, pray and practice. There must be first of all a definite desire, then there must be definite prayer and definite work. We must expect something. Take God at His word. Surrender entirely to Christ. See the value of souls. See that souls are lost, until saved by Christ. Have a desire yourself for salvation of souls. Go yourself to the unsaved. Keep near to Christ. Get into an appreciation of what Jesus is to you. Realize through ex perience the joy of salvation. Teach others by example and in other ways how to win souls for Christ. If a few or even one mem her of a church will carry out this program it will not be long before the Church will be on fire with the evangelistic passion. Then many souls will be won for the Master. + 4* + T11E greatest sins are not the sins of the world, murder, stealing, eovetousness, gambling, drunkenness, they are sins of indif ference, carelessness, neglect, shirking on the part of members of the Church. The world may not appreciate the heinousness of sin. He who sins after Christ has forgiven him, does it in the face of his love, and against the light and knowledge that has been given him. and in defiance of God's command. Christian friend, are you guilty? + + + IF all men in the churches had caught the vision, and realized their true relation to God and the Church and the world as some have done, practically all the problems of the Church and the world would be solved. Tile trouble is that so many have not yet opened their eyes to see the dawn of the glorious day that is coming. The vast majority of men in the Church to-day are asleep and do not realize that fact. Those who are awake must waken others. This can be done by earnest prayer to God and by consecrated lives. -u ARE you going to New Orleans? This is the question that is being asked of and by men all over the southern section of the South ern States. It is being answered in the affir mative by hundreds ami will be by thousands. Every man who can go ought to do so, for anv man who fails to go will miss a great blessing. Many men would go, who have not yet planned to go, if they could realize just what such an experience would mean to their spiritual life. It would be a wonderful uplift to the whole Church, if a large delegation from each con gregation could attend this convention.