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VIEWS ON UNION.
We have been asked to state our position on the question of union %vith other churches. We believe that this is a subject upon which every man is entitled to his own views. We believe that every man ought to make a care ful investigation of the subject and form his opinion on the basis of all the information lie can get. Prejudice should never have any place in the formation of any opinion and es pecially in matters pertaining to the interests of the kingdom of God. We believe that no man ought to insist that another shall accept his opinions, whether they coincide with his judgment or not. We believe, further, that no man has the right to impugn the motives of another or question his loyalty and de votion to the Master's cause, because the other man does not think as he does. We believe that all discussion of this question should be in love for the Master and for the brethren, and that it should all be with the sole aim of discovering what is the will of God. 80 far as our columns are concerned they are open, as far as space will permit, to any one who wishes to discuss this subject, and does so in a courteous manner and with a Christian spirit towards those avIio do not agree with him. As to our position. We see no reason why the time may not eome when there may be union, or some other closer relation than we now have, between our Church and one or more of the other Presbyterian churches of this country. The matter which is before the Church now i.i the report of the Committees on Conference of the Northern and Southern churches. As that report has not yet been prepared, and as timation of what it will be has been given ay these committees, of course it cannot y be discussed. The action of the Northern Assembly was specifically with reference to the union of our Church and theirs. The action of our As sembly suggested the broader subject of the federation of all the Presbyterian churches. Most of those who have written on this sub ject, so far as we have seen, seem to think that the only question is that of union between the Northern and Southern churches. We cannot undertake to predict what this report will be and, of course, any discussion of it now is out of order. But as we have been asked as to our views on the subject of the union of our Church and the Northern Church, we have 110 objection to giving them, claiming for ourselves what we grant to all others, a right to our opinions and a right to express them. We have a very high opinion of and a very high regard for the great Northern Church and the magnificent work it has done, both in this country and in foreign lands. The vast majority of the ministers and members of that Church we believe are entirely sound. We believe that this position may be main tained without forcing the conclusion that there must be union between the two churches. We do not believe the time has come for union. The arguments advaneed in favor of it do not seem to be conclusive. The more im portant arguments in favor of union seem to reduce themselves to two. One is that a large Church, covering the whole nation, will present a better appearance to the world, and will, therefore, exert a greater influence. We are not sure that one great Church will make a better appearance before the world than two smaller ones, which live and work together in Christian peace and harmony. We are sure that the larger Church will not make the bet tor show, if entire peace and harmony do not exist in its membership. We are also very sure that it is unwise to try to get two house holds to live under the same roof, if they can not live quietly and peaceably in adjoining homes. It may be said that the two churches ought to live in perfect harmony, whether united or separated. This is true. But what we have to deal with is fact and not theory. One of the arguments used in favor of union is that it will avoid friction where two churches are located in the same community, and would, therefore, make a better appear ance before the world. Where two churches arc near together and there is need for only one, there is nothing to prevent their uniting now, if they desire to do so. If friction exists, there is probably no desire to unite. If the higher Church courts were to order those con gregations to unite against their will, it is not probable that existing friction would be re moved. The second important argument in favor of "nion is that the efficiency of the churches will be increased, that the united Church will ac complish more than the two working separate ly. Theoi'etically this seems plausible, but we have seen 110 evidence produced to show that this will be true. We believe that it is an admitted fact that, in proportion to men and money used, our Church is accomplishing more results than the Northern Church, both in the home land and in foreign lands. If the union of the two churches would insure the united Church being brought up to our standard, it would be a strong argument. Hut we can scarcely ex pect the smaller body to have such an influence over the larger. Among other reasons why we arc not in favo? of the union of the two churches at the present time are these : There is 110 general demand for it on the part of the ministry and mem bership of our Church. If union could secure a majority vote there would be a strong minority that would not agree to it and who would stay out. We would then have division, instead of union, just as was the case with the Cumberland Church in this country, and the churches in Scotland. We believe the cases of overlapping, where friction has developed, are not as numerous as is sometimes supposed. We remember hearing a representative from one of the bor der States, where the trouble is supposed to exist, say 011 the floor of the Orlando Assembly that there were not more than a half dozen places in his State where the two churches came together. Where there is trouble of this kind, we would like to see the Northern Church a. lit tle more careful about carrying out the comity agreements between the churches than it seems to have been in a number of cases in recent years. We would like to see the Northern Assem bly show a desire and an ability to exercise more control over the actions of its Presby teries. Against the wish of the vast majority of that Church New York Presbytery has been licensing men, who were entirely unsound in the faith. But the Assembly has not put a stop to it. The Assembly gave some of the border Presbyteries instructions in regard to the course they were to pursue in matters of comity. These Presbyteries ignored the in structions entirely. The position of the two churches is almost diametrically opposed on the question of the relation of the Church to the negro, and on that of the relation of the Church to political questions. Until some agreement can be reached on these questions, it seems hard to see how the churches can get together to ad vantage. We believe that this is a very unauspicious time to take up the question. The Canadian churches wisely decided to postpone the dis cussion of union until the war was over. Just now every Christian is called upon to exert all his powers in support of the government, and in meeting the many calls of the great opportunities of the world for work for the Master. This question of union cannot be set tled in less than several years, and, granted that the outcome may be all that could be de sired, the time thus spent cannot be afforded during the strenuous days through which the Church and the country are passing. When the war is over will be time enough to take up the discussion of questions that are not vital at this time. FALSE AND TRUE ECONOMY. There is an intelligent cry for the conser vation of our resources. This will be greatly increased as the days go by and the demands of our millions of soldiers is heard. We do not intend them to suffer more than is neces sary. They must have the best to fight with, and fight on. Unquestionably we are the most extrava gant nation 011 the earth. God has been so bountiful and gracious in supplying our every need that we have lolled in the lap of luxury and feasted on more precious plates than ever Roman conquerors had before them. The very best of the war will come in our remodelling our extravagant tastes and cutting out the luxuries. So we arc hearing earnest requests from our President and his advisers as to conserving food. One slice less of bread per man will feed the allied army. And so down the list. Some are looking to this war as a period of loot; others as a time when they will refuse to cut out one thing from their usual pleasures. Many, and we believe most people, are ready to sacrifice much that righteousness may pre vail. A shrill howl is going up from the liquor Mien at their enforced conservation. It is very certain they would never have saved one bushel of corn, nor one pound of sugar. The whole fabric of civilization might go to utter ruin, the world might welter on into the Dark Ages, just so the liquor barons might have their easy millions. A true economy demands that the whole liquor business go to the last drop. It is a true economy to substitute the plain and cheaper and less exportable things on our tables. Last year's clothes should be made to do business another year. New furniture and equipages should be denied, and everything un necessary should go for the time. But there is an economy that is false in the extreme. There is an economy that takes our boys away from high school and college, and puts them in the "army. As Lee said in the last year of the Confederacy, when the boys of eigh teen and twenty were conscripted, "The Con federacy was grinding its seed-corn." There are ten to twenty million men in America who o?n carry arms. Why take the youth who is gaining knowledge and put him in a place where he can never go back to college again? It is surely grinding the educational seed-corn of the land. There is a demand that ministers should volunteer; especially for Y. M. C. A. service. Ferhaps it would be well for a few. But when we think of the tens of thousands of well prepared laymen, who could fill the places with great acceptance, we are surprised that this demand should be made. Recently the splen didly fitted President of the Technological In