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Cbttonal Jjotcs anb Commet^^Sf00 THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY is a great body. It is an inspiration to see three hundred men selected from all over the Church and sent to represent all the Presbyteries gath ered in one body with the one purpose of doing the Master's work. Day after day these men sit through three long and ofttimes tedious sessions, that run all through the day and far into the night. Few seem to be weary. They are alert, interested and active. They give careful consideration to the great affairs of the Master's kingdom. They are in earnest. Discussions may be earnest and animated, but they are conducted with courtesy and con sideration for all. A fraternal spirit, and a cordial sociability is manifest everywhere among the members. + + + THE MODERATOR oi an Assembly occu pies a very important position, as well as one of high honor. He must be a man of wide acquaintance with the work of the Church; he must know parliamentary law and the methods of procedure in the Assembly; fie must be always on the alert, that nothing escape his attention; he must always hold himself in perfect control in order that he may control the body over which he presides; he must show courtesy and consideration to every one who claims a hearing, and yet must be firm in dealing with those who are not en titled to be heard at any special time ; he must be able to hold the business well in hand, and be able promptly to state motions and render decisions clearly and distinctly; he must be able when occasion demands to make wise sug gestions for the conduct of the business. Here we have the outstanding characteristics of Moderator Rev> J. M. Wells, D. D., who pre sided with grace and dignity over the General Assembly at Birmingham. + + + TEN MINUTES are sometimes given to the representative of some great work of the Church to present his cause. It scarcely seems reasonable. A man, well informed in regard to some matter in which the Church is inter ested, comes, it may be hundreds of miles, at great expense, and taking sometimes several days for the trip, and the Assembly gives him ten minutes in which to speak. Every man who has tried to present some great cause knows that it cannot be done. The limit is placed upon the ground that the Assembly is pressed for time. But it seems that the time necessary should be given for the considera tion of any cause that is worthy of a hearing by the Assembly. Time is precious, it is true, though the Assembly does not always seem to think so. Not infrequently much time is taken up in the discussion by the members of some matter of minor importance. It seems that the Assembly ougbt to be willing to give a respectable hearing to an account of any work that has a right to come before it. THE CLERKS of the Assembly are far more important officials tliaii is sometimes supposed. They must not only keep an ac curate record of the actions of the Assembly, but they must keep all the papers that come before the body in proper shape and so ar ranged that they may be presented whenever needed. Their work successfully done is essen tial to the proper dispatch of business. The Assembly is fortunate in having for this im portant work Rev. Dr. T. II. Law, as Stated Clerk, and Rev. Dr. J. D. Leslie, as Permanent Clerk. , These men have for years shown their efficiency in administering the trusts com mitted to their hands They had this year two very helpful assistants in Rev. Dr. J. S. Sibley and Rev. W. Fred. Galbraith. Few realize the value of good clerks or give them the appre ciation they are due. Their work is laborious and important. + + + REPORTS from the churches brought up to the Assembly show gratifying results as to the work of the Church for the year. More than 19,000 members were received into the Church on profession of faith. The total lift, gain in membership for the year is about 10,000. In contributions there was an increase for each of the causes. But in not a single case was anything like enough to keep up the work or begin to meet the needs. If all the members of the churches could hear the won derful accounts of the work accomplished and the heart-rending appeals that come up from all parts of the world, we believe that every one of these needs would be met. Let Chris tians pray, live and give for the meeting of the needs of the Lord's work. + + + BIRMINGHAM the busy. It has been called "The Magic City." A few years ago it was a small and comparatively unknown city. To-day it has nearly two hundred thousand population, and is known the world over. The change is due to the fact that treasures long hidden beneath the ground were discovered. Here near the surface for many ages there lay inexhaustible supplies of coal, iron ore ami limestone. Such a combination in such proxi mity, it is said, is not to be found anywhere else in the world. These brought together here in furnace and rolling mill produce steel and iron at so low a cost and in such enormous quantities that Birmingham fixes the price for these metals. These mines and mills have brought great prosperity to the city, as is seen in its great business houses, its skyscrapers, its .handsome homes. + + + REPORTS of the meeting of the Assembly may seem long to some of our readers, but they will find in them many things of in terest and profit. These reports ought to be read. PRAYER and business go well together, and the Assembly put this thought into action on various occasions. When some difficult question was before the body the suggestion would be made that divine guidance should be asked; when some gratifying fact of the success of the Church's work was presented, there was the desire expressed of rendering thanks to the Giver of the great blessings re ceived. In this way the dependence of the Assembly and of its members upon the God of all grace was shown. + + TIIE WOMEN, God bless them. IIow could man get along without them? And how could the Assembly have gotten along without the good women of the South Highlands church? Fortunately, it was not necessary to ask this question. The Assembly did not have to get along without them. Each day they pro vided and served in the Sunday-school room a luncheon that would have satisfied the ap petite of any epicure, and graced it all with their bright presence, gracious smiles and cor dial greetings. They added in this way much to the pleasure, comfort and convenience of the members of the Assembly. We wish to ex press to them our sincere thanks, and we are sure that we voice the ininiLand heart of every commissioner. + + + BIRMINGHAM the beautiful. The business 1 part of the city is practically level and is laid off with a regularity that fits it for the heavy traffic of the streets. But as one goes out to the surrounding residence sections he finds that streets in graceful curves run around and ascend the hills. On the sides and upon the tops of these hills are built the residences, many of them palatial, surrounded by trees and grass and flowers. Many large, handsome and attractive churches furnish opportunity for "Christian people to engage in the wor ship of God and do His work. + ? + C"> ONSERVATION of resources is attract -> ing a great deal of attention in tins coun try and ought to attract a great deal more. Hut it should not be forgotten that there is a great difference between conservation ami hoarding. It is said by 'some in a position to be informed that many people in this country are buying up food and other supplies and storing them away for future use, or for spec ulation. This is forcing prices up phenomi nally and is making it very hard upon the people of moderate means. Every one should avoid waste, but beyond that it is better for all concerned, if buying were done on a nor mal basis. It is earnestly to be hoped that Christian people will not try to conserve their resources to the extent of cutting down their gifts to the Lord's work. Loyalty to him may demand sacrifice, but it should be made will ingly.