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Cbitorial Jiotes atib Comment
RUSSIA has undergone, and is still under going wonderful changes. These are not all political. There was no country in the world in which the Christian religion was pro fessed where there is as little religious free dom as under the old regime in Russia. There was no country where Church and State were so closely united. Now there is religious freedom for all, no matter what their creed. Russia's treatment of the Jews was a dis grace to the human race and members of various Christian denominations .other than the Greek Church fared little better. Now the people all over the country are said to be awaking to a deep interest in religion and are open to the appeals of evangelical truths. In all parts of the land the power of the pure gospel is being felt. In this country efforts are being made to aid the Russians in getting the gospel as held by evangelical Christians. Hundreds of thousands of gospel tracts and copies of the Scriptures have been sent them. The Christian Russians in this country are very much interested in having their people sent the true gospel. In New York they have opened an institute in which there are now 52 young men taking a special course in train ing to go back to preach the gospel to their fellow countrymen. + + + DUTY. What is their duty many men are asking as they face the fact that this country is now at war. Many prayers are being offered that we as individuals and as a nation may be preserved from the curse and the dangers of war. We wonder how many prayers are being offered, asking God to use us for the advancement of His purpose what ever that may be. Most people in this coun try feel that we have entered into this titanic * struggle only that we may be able to aid in advancing the cause of liberty in the world. This being the case, as individuals and as a nation, we ought to be willing to devote our selves to do whatever God wants us to do. It seems now that there is great probability that many -of our men will see service in the trenches. We believe there will be no diffi culty in finding loyal men who will dp their full duty under the flag of our country. There is a call for patriotic loyalty in every man and woman in this country. Let every one willingly put himself into God's hands to be used as He sees fit. 0 ? ? * CATALOGUES have been received from Union and Columbia Seminaries. Each of these Seminaries makes a gratifying report of the work done during the session in training young ministers. Union reports 107 students, of whom 31 are . in the Senior Class ready,, to go out and enter regularly into the work of the ministry. Columbia reports 59 students with 13 in the Senior Class. M. C. A. There is no other organiza tion in the world, except the church, that has done as much for men. In this coun try it is looking after the physical, mental, moral and spiritual welfare of three quarters of millions of men. But the great world war has opened up to it opportunities for the ex pansion of its work, that had never been dreamed of before. From the very begin ning the Association has been busy and has ?accomplished wonders. To the United States was granted the honor of introducing this work into most of the armies of Europe. And privileges have been granted to the repre sentaitves of this country that are not granted to those of any other nation. They practical ly have free access to the armies, hospitals, and training and prison camps of all the war ring countries except Turkey. It was only by persistent effort that the Association got permission from Germany, France, Italy, Aus tria-Hungary and Russia to demonstrate that the work would be helpful to the men. Now the demands in all of these countries are far more than can be met. Our entry into the war is not to put a stop to the work in Eu rope. Even the work in the prison camps of Germany is to be continued. Some of the workers, with the consent of the German gov ernment, have allowed themselves to be in terned in that country till the close of the war, in order that they may continue their work among the war prisoners. While this work is being kept up in Europe, the Associa tion is planning to do the work that will be needed in the training camps of this country. It is estimated that in a few weeks there will be a million and a half men in these camps. To give them what the Association can bur nish and which will be very much needed from now until the first of next January will cost $3,000,000. A campaign is being launched to raise this amount, and it is believed there will be no difficulty in doing this, as our peo ple will be anxious to do all in their power for the welfare of our soldiers. SPIRITUAL munitions are going to be needed in large quantities for our soldiers. Some one has said that a man's physical strength is tried 011 the battle field, his moral and spiritual strength is tried in the camp and in the hospital. Bibles, Testaments, tracts, papers, magazines and books will be very val uable. There should be good chaplains pro vided. They ought to be of the best grade of ministers. The Y. M. C. A. ought to be equipped to furnish the soldiers many forms of Christian and welfare service. There is not a Christian man or woman, we dare say, in this country who would not be willing to make great sacrifice to provide the soldiers with needed food. Will they not be as ready to pro vide the bread of lifet + + + Administration costs of church funds are sometimes considered excessive. There are some people who think that the cost of handling the funds of thfc foreign mission work are too great. We heard a man say not long ago that he had been informed that it took ninety cents out of every dollar given for this cause to get the other ten cents to the work among the heathen. The fact is that the whole cost of administration of these funds is only 5.98 per cent. We are told that this is a lower rate than it costs any other missionary agency. It has never seemed right to us to call all of the expenses of the Foreign Mission office "cost of administration." There are two very distinct classes of expenses in connection with this work. One is the expense involved in raising the money. The other is the cost of receiving and putting it to use after it is raised. We are very sure that it costs a great deal more to instruct the mem bers of our Church as to the needs and the opportunities of the mission work and to per suade them of their privilege and responsi bility and to induce them to give of their means, than it costs to administer their gifts after they have been made. If pastors and church officers, end missionary societies and Sunday-school workers would all take this matter in hand and inform themselves fully and then educate all the others of their con gregations, it would not be necessary for the Committee to do so much along that line. The salaries of several members of the official force would be saved. It would not be necessary for the Secretaries and others to do so much travel ing. Printing .and postage bills would be cut down. Thousands of dollars would be saved. There are many people who say they cannot give much for missions. If such people will give some time to the study of missions and then become educators of others as they have opportunity, their efforts may be worth as much as the gifts they would like to srive. Try it and save, the Committee some of its campaign expenses. + + + EXAMINATIONS before Presbytery are trying experiences for the young man who is applying for licensure or ordination. We sometimes sympathize as much with the ex aminer as with the examined. Frequently he has to conduct the examination when he was not expecting to do so. No matter how well informed a man may be on the general sub ject of theology, it is difficult oftentimes for him on the spur of the moment to form satis factory questions. We have just received a series of Review Questions, prepared by Dr. A. R. Shaw, for his classes in Olarksville Semi nary. We believe it would be a great help to any member of an examining committee on theology to have a set of them, from which to make selections for use in Presbytery. They are wisely and carefully prepared.