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(Ebttorial J^otesi anb Comment
COMMISSIONERS to the General Assem bly are to be elected by a large majority of the Presbyteries at their meetings this month. Sometimes their choice is not given the earnest thought that it deserves. One thought should always be uppermost in the minds of every member of the Presbytery, and that is that the men who arc selected ought to be chosen because they are well fitted to do the work of the kingdom in the highest court of the Church. This is not always done. Some Presbyteries have what is practically the rotary system of selecting ministerial com missioners. This is entirely wrong. Some min isters are well litted for certain work, but are not fitted for membership in the Assembly. Often this is due to youthfulncss. Sometimes a pastor wishes to do a favor to some elder in his church and nominates him in Presby tery, without regard to his fitness, when he is not qualified for the high position in which lie is placed. The Assembly ought to be made up 011 the basis of highest efficiency, and not on that of giving certain persons a pleasant trip and a high honoi*. The Lord's work needs and deserves the highest efficiency. + + + DR. \V. M. MORRISON has completed his work on the Congo and God has called him to a higher work on high. This to his many friends is the sad news that comes over ? he cable. And yet we know that it is only the carrying out of God's plan, which may seem mysterious to us. Dr. Morrison did a work in Africa that has been equalled by that of few missionaries in the history of the world, and his work abides in the lives of those whom he served and in the literary work he has left for the present and coming generations. On another page will be found a fuller sketch of this hero of the cross. + + + READING is almost universal in this coun try in this day. The question is what do people read. That there has been improve ment in this direction there can be no question. Forty years ago the most common literature read by young people, especially by boys, was the so-called dime novels. These were very poor from a literary standpoint, but were far worse from a moral point of view. They gen erally dealt with blood-curdling stories of crime and vice. Fortunately they are rarely seen to-day. Although there has been great im provement in what is offered to the young for their reading, there is still much more to be desired in this direction. Parents should see to it that their children are provided with suitable reading matter. In doing this the age of the child should be considered. Do not expect a boy or girl ten years old to read Baxter's Saints' Rest. The first book we ever owned, except a Testament, was one of this character, given us by an old lady. Of course, it was not read after an attempt at the first page. That book is still in our library, and it is still unread. Papers and magazines give much help in this direction if they are wisely selected. The best Church papers fur nish good, helpful and interesting reading mat ter for all ages in the family, and there is nothing else that will take their place. If they were read in every family, the spiritual life of the family and of the Church would be greatly advanced. FORGET your troubles when you write to the soldiers, is most excellent advice given by those who arc looking after their welfare. Your troubles will depress your soldier boy, will make him less efficient, and so more ex posed to danger. Is this not good advice to follow at all times. Forget your troubles when you write to your friends, and when you talk to them. Did you ever stop to think how talking over your troubles to others saddens and depresses their lives? And did you ever think how little this habit has helped you? Take your troubles to Jesus and leave them with him. Carry your joys and pleasures to others, and so make their lives brighter and better. ANADA now has national prohibition. The Dominion Government has stopped the manufacture, importation and sale of all kinds of intoxicating liquors. The new law went into efi'cct April 1st, with a few local exceptions, where the enforcement of the law will be post poned for a few months. Canada will now be in a better position to do her part in the great war, although she has already shown wonder ful patriotism and self-sacrifice. She will also be able to exert a stronger influence in secur ing the protection of her brave soldiers in France. IIow long will it be before our Gov ernment will take the same step and put itself in the same advantageous position? LLOYD GEORGE is probably better in formed in regard to conditions in Eng land connected with the war than is any other man. What he says, therefore, ought to have weight Listen at this: "Drink during the war has used up as much tonnage as the Ger mans have sunk with all their submarines. Drink during the war has killed more men than have been killed by the German submarines. Drink during the war has destroyed more food than all the German submarines put together." Four million tons of food have thus been de stroyed. While this is permitted it is hard to see how the British government can ask this country to make sacrifice to supplj' their peo ple with food. And while a similar condition goes on in this country it is hard to see how our government can call on its people to make sacrifices. + + + + <*? + JOB on the stage. This is what is reported from New York as one of the Lenten at tractions offered by the theatre. It is claimed that this is just a revival of the old Miracle and Mystery Plays of Mediaeval days. But it should he remembered that they were given by the Church for the purpose of teaching religious truth, and would naturally be kept within the bounds of what the Church held to be the truth. But when Bible stories are put on the stage by irresponsible parties for the purpose of making money, who is going to control the teaching of their presentation? It is a well known fact that dramatists take large liberties in preparing any story for stage. They must be made to present features that will attract a popular audience. Most of the Bible stories are very brief and arc given only in outline. To make them serviceable for presen tation as a drama will require that they be greatly expanded. Novelists have tried this with great injury to the cause of truth. Every Bible story is intended to teach some great truth. Will the dramatist be the one to stand before the people as the exponent of'the teach ings of God's word? Who will insure his proper training and who will stand sponsor for his judgment? Who will have the right to censor his productions? Is this not merely making financial gain out of religion? Is it not the same as the sins for which the Saviour drove the traders from the temple? Is it not prostituting sacred things to an unholy end? It is to be hoped that Christian people will not be led into supporting such undertakings, no matter how plausible may be the arguments in favor of them. Let us keep sacred things above the plane of amusement and money making. * * -h PltAYER is the most powerful weapon in the hands of God's people. It is probable that no war has brought forth as much prayer as has this fearful one in which we are now engaged. And yet have we prayed with our whole hearts? The Phialdelpliia Public Ledger says in an editorial: 44 We do believe that a nation 011 its knees is a nation that cannot be defeated. We do believe that prayer is a mightier power than any yet brought to bear in Europe." Do all Christian people believe this? Let us pray. + ?J* + WEALTH is pouring into t ho South. * Last year the crops of the South were worth $5,710,000,000. This does not include the value of live stock. This amount is greater than the value of all the farm crops of the whole coun try in 1911. The increase in the South as com pared with the rest of the country is remark able. The gain in 1917 over 1916 in the South was $2,000,000,000, while the gain for all the rest of the country was $2,600,000,000. We are sure Presbyterians got their full share of this wealth.