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A CHALLENGE was once presented to a certain church. The pastor, in speak ing to his people on the subject of propor tionate giving, told them that if they would all give him five per cent of their incomes he would be willing to assume all the financial responsibilities resting upon that church for the year, as they had been placed by them selves or by the Presbytery. He was criti cized by one of the officers for making such a statement, and was plainly told that he did not at he was talking about. A careful ion made later by this same officii ...owed that the people were not giving two and a half per cent of their incomes for all church work .Yet it is probable that this con gregation was doing as well as most churches. + + + SABBATH desecration is one of the hardest sins to combat. It is constantly appear ing in some new form at some new place. One of the most aggravated forms in which it has recently appeared is in the training camps. For some weeks the people of this country have been urged to buy "smileage books" to provide the soldiers with admission to high class entertainments provided by the Camp Activities Commission. It is very certain that many Christian people who bought these books would never have done so if they had known what was planned. We are reliably informed that in more than one camp low class vande ville shows have been given on Sunday nights. The cities near which these camps are loca would not permit such performances within their limits. They are given in buildings erected and controlled by the government, under the management of a commission ap pointed by the government. The claim is made that the soldiers need recreation and entertain ment. There are six days in the week with out taking the day that belongs to the Lord. Christian people have given large amounts for the support of the Y. M. C. A. The govern ment is using the people's money to pay for chaplains. All this shows that the moratls of the soldiers may be improved, for it is recog nized that morals are a very valuable asset in a soldier, as well as in any man. These agencies and the churches near the camps are doing all they can to provide religious services for the soldiers. Now comes the Camp Activities Commission with its vaudeville shows, run in competition with the worship of God. On a recent Sunday night four thousand soldiers at tended one of these shows and thousands of others failed to get in from lack of room. Christian people all over the country should enter their protest against this violation of God's day. + + + OPPORTUNITIES for service are never wanting to those who are ready to serve. But a special opportunity is presented to all the churches of this country at this time. It is generally understood that the government will make its second call under the draft not later than some time in April. Many of the young men who are subject to that call are not Christians. Many of them are thinking more seriously than they ever did in all of their lives. This gives Christian people a wonder ful opportunity, as well as lays upon them a great responsibility to make an earnest effort to win them for Christ. They are waiting for some one to lead them to the ? Saviour. Who will go to themf < MINISTERIAL Relief is beginning to come to its own. The churches are taking hold of the matter in real earnest. Almost every one of the larger churches has raised or is raising an endowment fund for this cause. Their plans call for the raising of $65,000,000. Of this amount about $33,000,000 has been raised. The Methodist Church, North, has raised $12,00,000; Protestant Epis copal, $8,000,000; Northern Presbyterian, $6, 559,933; Northern Baptist, $2,000,000; Con gregational, $1,900,000; Methodist, South, $1, 200,000; Southern Presb3rterian, $543,652. Our Assembly has asked the Church to make this fund at least $1,000,000. The need for this is shown by the fact that the families aided by this fund receive only an average of $200 a year. This is far too little. + + + PASTORS are not receiving the consideration from their churches in many cases in these days that they ought to have. A pastor prob ably finds his work harder than it has ever been for many reasons. There are more calls upon his time and sympathy than ever be fore. Present conditions are making many new calls which he must answer. Instead of being free to give his whole time and thought and energy to these things, -he has to devot much serious thought as to how to support himself and family on the salary he is receiving. Government experts are saying that the whole sale cost of food products has increased 75 per cent since the war began, and it is certain that the retail prices have not increased less that amount. An expert business man said a few days ago that taking into consideration all the purchases of a household, $1,000 to-day will only buy as much as $370 would have bought twelve years ago. How many churches have increased their pastor's salaries mater ially since the war began? How many have kept up with the increase in the cost of living during the last twelve years? How about your church ? + + + PENNY wise and pound foolish is illustrated in many ways. In one of our exchanges a pastor was very highly commended for hav. ing built a manse and a stable with his own hands out of material furnished by the con gregation at a cost of $900, and it was said that he is now engaged in building a churcl in the same way with a little volunteer help. One of two things is true, either the church made a mistake in calling a carpenter to be its pastor, or it made a mistake in employing its pastor as a carpenter. We doubt the wis dom of a pastor's turning aside from his high calling to do such work. It is worse than "serving tables," which the apostles said they could not afford to do. There is no doubt that the church made a mistake in allowing the pastor to do this work, when he ought to have been attending to the things of the king dom. His duty is to use the sword of the Spirit and not the saw and hammer. Many churches are forcing their pastors to give of their time for work that ought to be done by others. And many others are forcing their pastors to spend time in doing work for him self and his family, which he cannot pay some one else to do, because of the smallness of the salary paid him. The church ought to see that its pastor is so provided for that he can give his whole time and undivided attention to the spiritual work of the church. SABBATH desecration is appearing in some new form almost every week. One of the lat- i est forms to which our attention has been called is the sale on Sunday of War Saving Stamps. In one of our Southern cities we saw it stated that the committee in charge of the sale of War Saving Stamps was planning to have the whole city canvassed on Sunday afternoon for the purpose of selling these stamps. The sell ing of War Saving Stamps is a commendable and patriotic service to render the Government. It is a matter of business with the Govern ment. If it is right to sell these on Sunday, why may it not be right for a business man to sell life insurance! Life insurance is a good thing. If this is right, why may not food, fuel and clothing be sold on Sunday t They are good things. If selling may be done on Sunday, why may not men of other trades and professions carry on their business on Sunday? Then where would be the difference between the day that God has set apart for Himself and the other days of the week! A Imsiness man said to us just a few days ago: "I believe the great outstanding sin of today is the violation of the Sabbath, and I do not believe that God is going to bring this war to a close until we get down on our knees and confess our sins in this particular and ask Ilis forgiveness." This is certainly wort thinking about. + + + DIVISIONS there are in the Church, as there have been almost from the very beginning, but that does not necessitate nor does it imply any animosity the one to the other. That this has been found is sadly true. But it has been due to the emphasis laid on non-essentials, where it should have been upon essentials. Just as great a spirit of Christian love can be shown between two churches, while they remain separate, as can be shown by the members when they are united. One of the striking things about all of God's work in this world is the lack of uniformity. Plants are not all alike, trees dif fer among themselves, the fruits of the earth show a variety that is very pleasing to man kind. No two human beings are exactly alike in body,- mind or soul. Mankind presents many divisions into races and nations. The desire of the world now is not that all na tions should be merged into one, but that all shall live in peace together. The churches are getting closer together all the time, and are thus showing the spirit of Christ, and are helping to answer his prayer, that they may all be one, as he and the Father are one, though they remain two persons. When unity has been fully developed union may come. Union will be unwise until unity is manife^. + + + METHODISTS, through two representative committees, are trying to find some plan by which the Northern and Southern and pos sibly all the Methodist churches of this coun try may be brought together into one organi zation. One question which is troubling them very much is as to the status of the negro. In the Northern Church there are about 350, 000 negro members. In the independent ne gro churches there are about 1,500,000 mem bers. The Southern Churqh wants the negroes all to be included in a separate church. The Northern Church, wants them all in one church with the whites. We sympathize -with our Southed brethren in their position.