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The Southwestern Presbyter/a m
The Central Presbyter/an z The SouthernPresbyter/an VOL. LXXXVI. RICHMOND, NEW ORLEANS, ATLANTA, OCTOBER 31, 1917. No. 42 (Ebttortal J9otes? anb Comment STRANGE things are done by some of the courts of the Northern Church, notwith standing all that Church has to say about com ity. Here is a case in point. The Presbytery of Paris, in Texas, of the Southern Church, had a candidate for the ministry under its care. If he had returned to college this session he would have been in the sub-freslimen class. The Presbytery of Paris of the Northern Church received him under its care, licensed and or dained him, without notifying the Southern Presbytery or asking for a letter of dismissal. Common courtesy would seem to demand that his connection with the Southern Presbytery should have been recognized. What prepara tion for preaching a man could have who was only ready to enter the sub-freshman class it is hard to see. + + + DEMOCRACY is gaining ground in Church as well as in State, and it is making re newed claims. The Methodist Church is more democratic in some respects than some other churches, but the feeling is growing that the bishops have too much power and that the laity does not have full recognition. The bish ops, for instance, have unrestricted power in making the appointments for preachers, send ing them to any churches they may see fit to send them to. There are many in the Church who think this is not a wise concentration of power. The laymen of the Church are much in the minority in most of their Church courts, thus leaving the power in the hands of the ministry. The laity is protesting against this and are demanding more recognition in the affairs of the Church. It will be interesting to see how these questions will be worked out. We believe that the more complete dem ocratization of this great Church will strength en it greatly, and will fit it to do even a greater work than it has done in the past. 4. 4. 4. THREE million dollars for benevolences. That is what the General Assem bly has been saying for some years is needed, for the work that our Church ought to be doing. The admirably expressed bulletins that have appeared in this paper for several weeks show most clearly that this amount is needed, and they show also that it can be raised. It is often said that prosperous times are not good times in which to raise money for benevolent purposes. It ought not to be so. In prosperity we ought to show our thankfulness to God by largely increasing our gifts for His work. But for some reason this often is not the ease. Men in their prosperity often forget God. There is no question that this money and much more can easily be given by the Church. We hear a great (leal about the high cost of living, but very few people tell of the tremendous increase in their receipts. Profits in almost all lines of business are such as were never dreamed of before. This is shown by the enormous increase in bank deposits, notwithstanding the vast sums that have been invesetd in Government bonds. If Presbyte rians will only increase their gifts as the Lord has increased their incomes, not only will the $3,000,000 be raised, but there will be far more put into the treasury of the Lord. Ten per cent of the increase of the incomes of the mem bers of our churches would produce an amount far beyond the wildest hopes of the most en thusiastic optimist. ?!? *fr + CONSERVATION of food is one of the most important duties that face this country today. It is hard for the American people to realize that fact. A great deal has been said and written on this subject, but we fear that little attention has been paid to putting it into practice. If we could realize the conditions in the world today this would not be the case. Not only are our troops depending upon us to feed them, but to a large extent we must feed the troops of our allies, and also the home populations of these countries. Millions of men, women and children will starve during the next year, if we do not feed them. There fore we ought to save every mouthful of food that can possibly be saved. There are many ways in which food can be saved which few people seem to be making any effort to put into practice. It is said that rats and mice destroy hundreds of millions of dollars worth of food every year. A general campaign against rats will save this food. A lady told us just a few days ago that the cats in her yard had killed more than a hundred chickens for her this summer, and those cats are still alive and killing chickens. Just a few nights ago, near this city, dogs got into a flock of sheep and killed of them what the owner esti mated to be worth $165 before they were driven away. These things are going on all over this country. Are the American people going to let rats, cats and dogs, none of which are of any real value, go on destroying food, while men, women and little children are starving for lack of this foodt + + + MORMONISM is taking advantage of the present unsettled conditions to push its propaganda. Under the influence, and no doubt by the authority, of the church a series of articles by Susan Young Gates, a daughter of Brigham Young, is being published in some of the metropolitan dailies. They come out clearly and strongly in favor of polygamy. The Mormon Church has always taught polyga my to its members and they have practiced it. But they have denied this before the world. Now they are showing their true colors. How long is this country going to permit the black stain of Mormonism to remain f WAKE up, Presbyterians. This is what an elder is saying to the Church. America is awake as a nation. It is subscribing in a most liberal way to the Liberty loans. The people are realizing the need for money to wage the great war in which we are engaged, and we are providing it. And in all probability we shall be called upon to provide much more. If the Church were as wide awake as the nation is, there would not come the distressing informa tion that the work of the Church in many di rections will have to be curtailed, if we Pres byterians do not wake up and provide more means for carrying on the work. Can it be done. Undoubtedly. Notwithstanding the very high cost of living a great many people are living more luxuriously than they ever did before, but are giving no more for the Lord's work than they did in former days. Wake up. + + + MEETINGS of Synods have begun. There will be one radical change in most of thein this year. Instead of having four or more secretaries or other reperesentatives to present each one of the departments of the Church's work, there will be only one to pre sent them all. This is in accordance with the plan adopted by the last Assembly. As we understand, this was done to save traveling ex penses. The wisdom of the plan is yet to be proven. It is not always wise to save money. It is hard to see how any one man can become familiar enough with the work of all of our committees to be able to give all the information that is needed to present the work clearly and fully. From information received in advance from several Synods, it seems that plans are being made to give these representatives a very short time in which to present the work. A program sent out by one Synod provides thirty minutes for this purpose. Another is reported to have planned to give forty-five minutes. Any one who will give the matter a little thought will know that it will be impossible in thirty minutes to tell of Foreign Missions, Home Missions, Publication and Sunday school work, and Christian Education and Min isterial Relief. The Synod has no more im portant work than the consideration of the great causes of the Church, and sufficient time ought to be allowed for this purpose. No man should be required to present all of these causes in one short speech. + + + ARABS are said to be the most cheerful people in the world. A traveler once said to one of them: "This is a terribly hot day, isn't it?" His reply was: "Oh! I don't know. God is generous; tomorrow may be cooler." How much better world this would be if all Christians were as optimistic as the Arab. And why should we not be? We have a better knowledge of God and I lis goodness than the follower of Mohammed has.