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THE NORTHERN CHURCH.
The minutes of the General Assembly of the II. S. A. Church have been received. They make a massive volume of 1,104 pages, and yet do not include any of the reports of their Hoards. These usually come in a second volume of about double the size of the minutes. This volume is one of intense interest to the student of the work being done by the churches in the Master's kingdom. This is a great Church and it is doing a great work. We can only gather a few facts here and there. This Church consists of 40 Synods, 291 Presbyteries. It has 9,751 ministers, 21G licentiates, 285 local evangelists and 1,343 can didates. There are 9,908 churches with 43,758 elders and 16,963 deacons. There were 96,792 added to the churches during tiie year on pro fession of faith. The total 'membership is 1,604,045. Baptisms on confession were 36,184 and of infants 38,115. The membership in the Sunday-schools is 1,455,466. The contributions for all causes were $31,236,588. Of this amount $21,468,345 was for congregational purposes, and $10,768,243 was for benevolences, Home Missions and Foreign Missions each getting a little over one-fifth of this amount. This shows the per capita gifts of the Church for all causes to have been $13.17. The expenses of the Assembly and its officers for the year were $122,733, and the estimated expenses for the current year are $156,605. This does not include any of the expenses of the Boards in charge of the various branches of the benevolent work of the churches. This estimate includes $80,000 for the traveling ex penses of the commissioners to the last As sembly, and $27,000 for their entertainment in Dallas. The salary of the stated clerk is $5,000. His assistant gets $3,000, and $U,500 is paid for clerical help in the stated clerk's office. The permanent clerk gets $500 for recording the minutes at the meeting of the Assembly. In glancing through this volume there are certain things that attract attention. The Northern Church has ten Boards for tlfe handling ami conduct of its mission and be nevolent work, where the Southern Church has only four. A Publicity Committee is appointed to give publicity to the meetings of the Assembly and the actions taken by it. Some idea can be formed of the amount of work that comes before this Assembly when ?t is stated that 621 overtures were presented to it. The Committee on Bills and Overtures jertainly has its hands full. The Assembly is still trying to straighten out the legal tangles connected with the union of the Cumberland church in 1906. It appro priated $3,000 for the expenses for the current year of its Legal Committee in connection with these matters. The action of the Assembly on Sabbath ob servance has the true ring, and sounds a clear warning against the increasing desecration of the day. It calls especial attention to the way in which the day is desecrated by moving pic ture shows, golf, railroad work, military move ments, postoffice work, open stores and other similar means. A great work is being done by the Church in Home and Foreign Mission work, education and ministerial relief. Its field is almost liter ally the world. A familiar note is struck on almost every page, as the call is made in most earnest and pleading tones to the Church to provide greater means for carrying on the ever increasing work of the Church. Political matters occupied a good deal of at tention. There was the pledge of. the Church to stand back of the President of the United States in his policy in connection with the war. A resolution was passed in favor of an amendment to the National Constitution on prohibition. Another resolution committed the Assembly and the Church to woman's suf frage. There was an appeal case presented against the action of one of the Presbyteries, in which the Presbytery had taken action en dorsing one candidate for a political office and urging the members of its churches to sup port him, instead of his opponent. The ground given for this action was that the one can didate favored prohibition and the other did not. The Assembly disapproved of the action of the Presbytery. The relation of the Assembly to the Theo logical Seminaries gives the Assembly a good deal of trouble. The relationship varies very greatly, and the Assembly is trying to bring about a satisfactory solution of the matter. This Assembly has what is known as its Executive Commission, which, between the meetings of the Assembly, seems to have very large powers. To it 'is committed the carrying out of many of the decrees of the Assembly, and to it many matters are referred before they are presented to that body, with its recom mendations. One cannot look over these minutes with out being impressed with the immense amount of work that has to be done by the Assem bly, and without wondering how a body of nearly a thousand members, who have never met together before, can accomplish so much in the short time it is together. Congress might learn some good lessons from it on this subject. The next meeting will be in Columbus, Ohio. THE CHANGING CONDITION OF LIFE AND THE PREPARATION NECESSARY. That the conditions of living are changing rapidly is no secret. Where we traveled live miles an hour, now we travel liftv. Where we spoke slowty over long distances through tedons mails, now we tell the news of Europe hours before it happens. Wireless outruns the solar system. Where we listened with awed hearts to the dictates of enthroned autocracy, now we shout liberty in the palaces of the once great czars. The world changes, and changes rapidly. Conditions affect us perhaps more than we think. "Circumstances alter eases," is a legal dictum. Conditions change men, and manners. There is a decided change in the increasing ease with which we can secure the comforts of life. What we can get easily we are apt to demand and consider necessary for our wel fare. It is wonderful how many things that were luxuries a decade ago have become neces sities now. The world was rapidly increasing its store of creature comforts. The common soldier in the trench is better fed than the man of wealth was a generation ago. This has made the demands of our bodies more imperious than ever. The author who penned the products of his genius in a garret by the light of a tallow dip, now demands a morris chair in a comfortable apartment, bril liantly illumined by the Mazda lights. The student at college who fed his body on "mess house" fare and took an economical walk, now expects the luxuries of the season and a $'20 season ticket to the football games. Muscles were hardened by a proper proportion of manual labor mixed with intellectual or com mercial pursuits. Now golf must excite our languid interest enough to keep our muscular system taut. The effect of this is to increase the import ance we attach to the bodily nature. Wl:ile the purely intellectual and spiritual must give place. There is an enlarging belief in the prin ciples of socialism. It is true there are ten thousand shades of this philosophy; but some phase of it is gaining strong hold of the world. We are realizing in the widest sense that we are our brother's keeper. We have some ob ligation to him that at times, and at most times, submerges the individual obligation. From that it is an easy step to assert and practice the belief that the common things of earth, and even the earth itself belongs to all for the benefit of all. Monopoly is crime. The changes brought about by war have carried us a long way toward this belief. If, as men argue, it is wise to fix the price of coal in war times and the people are saved from extortion, why is it not equally good and wise in days of peace? Are the people any more able to protect them selves in one time than in the other against an unstopped rise in prices? If a minimum price can be tixed for wheat, will not the farmers want it fixed every year? If it benefits the world for some strong powers acting together to prevent war, will not the world demand that that power continue? If a concert of nations can end the war, why not continue that concert and hereafter pre vent it altogether? That the old Jewish theocracy embodied many of the sane principles of a safe socialism is without doubt. It may be we are nearer the coming of the kingdom than we think. It may be that this is to be the prophetic re turn of the nations to God. There is a de cided increase in the interest of woman in the affairs of the world. One writer has said that when the masters of the world gather around the table to arrange the world peace, there will be women at that board. The destinies of the world will hereafter be more in the hands of women than ever before. It is sure to be a better world by reason of this. It could not be a worse. When we think of the breakdown of masculine government alone in this world, we can but wish that a wiser if gentler hand might help to control it. It may be this is the meaning of that king dom in which there is no male and female, but Christ alone. The sexual, which constitutes such a large part of our life now, will step into the background somewhat. Whatever be the changed conditions of life of this we may be sure, Clod is over all, and He is preparing His people for whatever changes are coming about. Our duty is plain. Live right. Seek His will and His guidance. Even if we be strangers, like Daniel, purpose in our hearts to do the right thing always at any cost. Then we will gradually meet the changed conditions with a changed life and all will be Cheerfulness and content are great beauti fiers and are famous preservers of youthful looks. ? Charles Dickens. It is no use to grumble and complain; It's just as chetop and easy to rejoice, When God sorts out the weather and sends rain ? Why, rain's my choice. ? James Whitcomb Riley. Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm. It is the real allegory of the tale of Orpheus. It moves stones, it charms brutes. Enthusiasm is the genius of sincerity, and truth accom plishes no victories without it. ? Bulwer.