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Ctntorial JSoteS and Comment
NON-RESIDENT communicants are now re ported separately in giving the member ship of the churches. And it is well that this is done. One of the striking things to be no ticed about these reports is the large number of non-residents on the roll of most of the church es. Many churches report from one sixth or more of their membership as non-resident. Whole Presbyteries report as many as one sixth of the members of all of their churches as be longing to this class. Of the 348,223 members in our whole Church 39,107 are reported as non-resident, or about eleven per cent, of the whole number. The fact is that the number is much larger than this, for many of the church es make no report on this subject. It is a well known fact that a non-resident member is usu ally of no practical value to the church. Usu ally he is a hindrarice. When a man leaves the community in which is located the church to which he belongs, and does not connect himself with another chui'ch with which he can work, he very soon loses interest in and vital connec tion with the church. He can be of no moral support to the church from whose bounds he has moved and is not likely to continue long to be of any financial value to it. If he does not take enough interest in the church into whose bounds he has moved to uite with it, it is very certain that, with rare exceptions, he will not give it vital enthusiastic support. The result is that one ninth of all the membership of our Church is practically of no value to the Church. Is there any remedy for this waste? Our Book of Chureh Order is very specific on this question. It really leaves church ^sessions no discretion in the matter. Par. 277 reads, "When a church member or officer shall re move his residence beyond the bounds of the court to whose jurisdiction he belongs into the bounds of another, if he shall neglect for twelve months, without satisfactory reasons given to both these courts, to transfer his ecclesiastical relations, the court whose bounds he has left shall be required to transfer them. And should that court neglect this duty, the one into whose bounds he has removed shall assume jurisdic tion, giving due notice to the other body." + + + FAMILY WORSHIP means a great deal more to the members of the family, espe "?nlly to the children, than is generally real ?'ed. It emphasizes the fact that the family is a Christian family, recognizing its relation to God and its dependanca upon nim. It gives the father an opportunity to impress upon the children the fact that he Recognizes his obliga tion to God. It gives him the opportunity which he will not likely have in any other way * of praying with as well as for his children. It also gives him the opportunity of readirg a ? portion of God's word to them. The influence of the Scriptures read and the prayers offered in the morning upon the life of the day can scarcely be estimated. And the comfort that comes at night, when again the family joins together in the worship of God, will do much toward relieving them of the effect of the wor ries and trials of the day. Many excuses are given for not having family worship. We re member one man who said that he could not read the Bible aloud, and yet he could and did read other books and papers aloud. Some say they cannot pray aloud. Such men gener ally have not tried or persisted in the trial. But if this be true, books of prayers can easily be secured, which can be read, until a man gets used to hearing his own voice speaking to God. Some say they cannot find time. A short pass age of Scripture can be read and a short prayer can be offered in five minutes. This time can easily be arranged for with a little effort on the part of the parents. Usually the best time is at the table just at the close of breakfast and supper. Christian father, mother, try it. ?fc + + OUR PRESIDENT? WOODROW WILSON. By Mrs. Florence Wilson Flournoy. Virginia's light shone clear When you were born. Healed were the wounds of civil strife, And come the morn of conquest To the nation's waking heart, Ready to bring its wisdom, give its part To what the whole world whispers Is the best of man, his art, his genius, His power sublime, to plan and execute The-rhyme, the measure and rhythm Of his soul ? and through it touch all time. To tell its scroll; and thuB to speak So all the world shall hear The message that America shall bear The added freedom to the soul of man. The greater trust that shall work up From dust of gold possessed To learn it's night, and looking up Shall learn the trust in light; The common light of human brotherhood, By law defined, protected, understood, A world-wide message, For a wide world's good; Where harmony of bouI and life are one With peace defined ? by virgin spirit won. New York. + + + FAMILY RELIGION is the subject which is to occupy the special attention of the next General Assembly. There is no more vital sub ject that can be considered by the Church. The family is the foundation of the Church as well as of the State. The character of the family settles the question as to the character of Church and State. If religion is found in the family it will be found in the Church. If it is lacking in the family, it will be lacking in the Church. It is, therefore, distinctly the duty of every Christian to use his utmost effort to es tablish and cultivate religion in the family. This is pre-eminently the duty, as it is the privi lege, of the father and mother. Besides the training individually of each child the whole family should daily be led in family worship by the father. - DEACONS are waking up to the importance of their office in the Church in a way that is quite encouraging. The Church has failed to magnify the office as it should have done and naturally the deacons have not done so. We find that Deacons' Conferences are being held all over the Church, and they are accom plishing great good. We have in this issue an interesting account of a conference held in Lexington Presbytery, and we hope that our readers will make it a point to read the ad dresses of Mr. Adair and Mr. Penick, which we were fortunate in being able to secure. These addresses will be of interest and will be helpful to any member of the Church who has the good of his church at heart. When the Church wakes up to the fact that the financial is a vital part of church work and service, a great step in advance will have been taken. When the Church realizes that giving to the Lord of its money is a part of worship and is to be attended to in the same business-like way that finances are handled in other kinds of business, the Church will have taken another long step in advance. + + + I^ASTORS' salaries have been increase^ re A cently by a few churches and we are glad to know it. But this we fear is true of very few of them.. It is very certain that there are many whose salaries have not been increased. Mr. Penick in his address to the Deacons' Con ference of Lexington Presbytery, printed on another page, states that the increase in the salaries of the preachers of our Church in the last four years has averaged only 6 per cent. This means, of course, that many have received no increase at all. lie estimates the increase in the cost of living as 30 per cent. There are some who put it very much higher. It is a well known fact .that, before the increase in cost of living, preachers, as a class, had only salary enough to provide a bare living for themselves and their families. IIow they are managing to exist in these days without actual suffering is puzzling some people who are giving this matter serious thought. Preachers are at a very serious disadvantage in this matter. They are practically in the hands of their churches and must take what is given and when it suits the church to give. It is almost as much as the pastoral relation to a church is worth for a pastor to ask for an increase in his salary. A servant, a farm hand, a clerk may do this. Me chanics may go on strike to secure higher wages. No one will object seriously. But a preacher has his hands tied in the matter. That many preachers are suffering now because they have not been treated as most employed men have been, we have conclusive evidence. Their modesty prevents their saying much about such matters, and we, of course, cannot make them public. If any one wants to know anything more on the subject, we can give some informa tion privately.