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The Southwestern Ppesbyter/ai^
I The Central Presbyter/an ? The Southern Presbyterian VOL. LXXXVn. RICHMOND, NEW ORLEANS, ATLANTA, APRIL 3, 1918. x ? a ^ ^ ' ? l.lifl I No. 14 Cbitorial Jiotcs anb Comment n Li. UNION with the Northern Church does not seem to have been brought any nearer t? accomplishment than it was before by the two meetings of the Conference Committees of the two Assemblies. At the final meeting recently held at Atlantic City the report to the Assem blies was adopted, we are informed. The Northern Committee insisted upon the union of their Church and ours. Our Committee, under the action of our Assembly, advocated taking steps looking to the federal union of all the Presbyterian churches of this country. Neither committee would recede from its posi tion, and so they will report to the Assem blies. We have no doubt that so far as our Assembly is concerned that will settle the matter for a time at least. As we have said before, the present condition of this country and of the world makes this a very inappro priate time to launch upon the Church such a discussion as would be involved in any proposi tion to unite in anyway with any other Church. The world needs to-day all the work that every member of every church can do. ? + + CHERAW Church, in South Cacolina, has an enviable record of which it may well be proud. It is now 90 years old and is now being served by its fifth pastor, Rev. A. H. McArn, who has just completed the twenty fifth year of his pastorate. In these feverish times pastorates are usually all too short and changes are entirely too frequent. We have no acquaintance with this church, but we feel sure that it is made up of a substantial mem bership who are loyal to their church and their pastor. The complaint is often made that pas tors are so ready to move. We believe few pas tors are anxious to move. What is needed is holding churches. + + + TOBACCO has been bought in large quan tities to be sent to the soldiers in the L camps and at the front, especially in the form ,of cigarettes, under the plea that it was to add V to the comfort of the soldier. No doubt as the lL result many young men have learned to smoke ? who had not acquired the habit before. Our Government has taken great precaution to prevent its soldiers from drinking liquor of any kind, because it decreases their efficiency. The use of tobacco does the same thing only in less degree. Col. Ryan, of Fort Sheridan, Illi nois, has been making some investigations along this line. He found that in tests of skill, ?uch as speed, athletic exercises and target practice, smoking reduces efficiency at least 20 per cent. That means, that, if all our soldiers smoke, one-fifth of the efficiency of our army is lost. It will take 100 men to do what 80 ought to do. Giving tobacco to soldiers is not ./patriotic action at all. .It is helping the Kaiser. MORALITY in the American army in this country and in France is said to be of % higher grade than that of any army the world has ever known. Therefore it is not surprising to hear that a British army officer, who had spent some time in one of our training camps, said, as he looked at the men who were gathered there : 4 ' Such an army as that can go anywhere and do anything." Clean lives give steadiness of nerve and strength of body such as nothing else will. We are therefore not surprised to hear such fine reports of the work being done by our men at the front and we expect to have good reports from all who go. There has never been as much done for the moral and spiritual welfare of any other army, and our men are showing their appreciation of the efforts made in their behalf by giving hearty support to them. + + + NEW YORK PRESBYTERY has frequently tried to introduce something new into the Presbyterian Church. Here is its latest effort, A church appointed a committee to appear be fore this Presbytery to prosecute a call for a pastor. On that committee was a woman. How many other members there were we do not know. The Presbytery recognized her pres ence on the committee as entirely constitu tional. The Continent asks: "Does anyone know of an earlier precedent elsewhere?" We, leave it to the ecclesiastical lawyers to say whether membership on such a committee con stitutes one for the time being an officer of the church, and whether the Presbytery could give a woman official recognition, involving the rights of the floor, under such circum stances. We cannot help wondering what this Presbytery will do next. + + + COLUMBIA SEMINARY'S catalogue for this session has just arrived. It shows a registration for the year of 11 in the Junior Class, 13 in the Middle Class, 19 in the Senior, 9 Special students, 5 Graduate students, 4 in the Correspondence Class ? a total of 61. These came from 21 educational institutions, and from 9 States and one foreign country. This Seminary has a strong faculty of eight pro fessors and is doing fine work in preparing young men for the gospel ministry. + ? + CHRISTIAN people all over this country ought to be influenced by the order recent ly isued by President Wilson, as Commander-in Chief of our army and navy, in which he direct ed all officers and men to do all in their power to secure a proper observance of the Sabbath. We fear that many Christian people have drift ed away from a right conception of the sacred - ness of the day. All agree that the day is not generally observed as it should be. The thing for each 'one to do is to examine his own life in this matter and test it by God's requirements. HEALTH of children has not attracted as much attention as it deserves. This is shown as distressing by the results of medical examinations conducted in connection with the draft for soldiers. The Government report shows that 26.6 per cent of all the men examined were unfit for military service due to some physical defect. What farmer would be satisfied if more than one-fourth of the colts, calves and pigs that he raised, when they were grown should be found unfit for service? This report of the Government military authorities of course took no account of the vast number of children who ought to have lived to become men, but who died in childhood from lack of proper care. There is no being born into the world that is beset with as many enemies to its life and health as a human baby. Far more attention should be paid to its care. Medical science has progressed so far that it shows that almost every disease is largely, if not entirely, preventable. To gain the benefit of this knowl edge parents and others should seek informa tion from doctors and government health au thorities and then carefully follow instructions given. He who fails to take reasonable steps to preserve life is guilty of its destruction. + + + CITIES have far more murders in propor tion to the population than, do country districts, and there are some surprises shown by some of the cities of the country. One of these is that the five cities that show the highest murder rate in proportion to popula tion are in the South. According to the Spec tator, as quoted in the Literary Digest, Mem phis leads the list with 134, or 89.9 to each 100,000 of its population. Atlanta comes next with 59, or 31 to the hundred thousand. These figures for New Orleans are 95 and 25.6, for Nashville 29 and 24.8, for Charles ton 14 and 23.1. Among the Northern cities Dayton, O., leads the list with 26 murders, or 20.4 to the hundred thousand of popula tion. For Cincinnati the figures arc 58 and 14.1, San Francisco 63 and 13.6, Chicago 330 and 13.2, Washington 38 and 10.4, Pittsburgh 40 and 6.9, Philadelphia 110 and 6.4, New York 256 and 4.6, Boston 30 and 4, Milwau kee 8 and 1.8, Reading, Pa., 2 and 1.8. Tin figures are well wortli studying. The pres ence of the negro in the South is portly re sponsible for its high rate, but the whole re sponsibility must not be put upon him. We shall be glad to have any one give us the causes of these conditions, and suggest prac tical remedies. * - + + + CANADA has gotten ahead of the United States in adopting prohibition for the en tire country. The date fixed for the ending of the liquor business in the Dominion is, we lieve, May 1, 1919. It is to be hoped that we will soon follow her example.