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The Presbyterian of the South : [combining the] Southwestern Presbyterian, Central Presbyterian, Southern Presbyterian. [volume] (Atlanta, Ga.) 1909-1931, May 01, 1918, Image 1

Image and text provided by Library of Virginia; Richmond, VA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/10021978/1918-05-01/ed-1/seq-1/

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Cfcritorial 35ote? anb Comment
WAR has interfered with many lines of
activity, and has made some changes
necessary in the work of the Church. It has
been advocated by some that the Church's for
eign mission work should be given up or
greatly curtailed upon the ground of expense.
But certainly the Christian people of this
country cannot and will not make the plea that
they cannot give the money needed. Our
church made a very creditable advance in its
contributions for this cause during the past
year. The total 'amount was $670,287, an in
c reuse of $83,743 over the preceding year. But
owing to the increased cost due to high prices
our Executive Committee has been left with a
deficit of $128,131. This is a call to all of
? God's people to come up to the help of the
Lord. When the war began nearly four years
ago it was thought probable that Great Brit
ain and Canada would have to give up their
loreign mission work, and that it would be
necessary for America to take it over, if it
were done at all. But instead of the gifts for
this cause falling oil' they have increased, not
withstanding the fact that Great Britain has
felt the effects of the war not at all realized
in this country. The need is great. The op
portunities are unlimited. God's people have
the money. Shall the work be abandoned or
shall it be done?
+ + +
CARELESS legislation by the General As
sembly has been mentioned several times
lately by our correspondents. As we have
watched the proceedings of the Assembly for
a number of years, we have become convinced
that such occurrences are due not so much to
individual carelessness as to the manner in
which the business is sometimes transacted.
It sometimes occurs that matters that are
closely allied are put into the hands of differ
ent committees. When their reports are made,
each one is ignorant of what is in the hands
of the other, and each makes its report. The
reports are presented to the Assembly, and
nine times out of ten the report is adopted as
presented. A body of the size of the Assem
bly cannot possibly study carefully all of the
reports presented, when the only opportunity
it has of gaining a knowledge of most of them
is a single reading by the representative of
the committee. It is also impossible for the
clerks to keep up with the contents of all the
reports that are presented. It is their busi
ness to record the actions taken by the As
sembly. They really have no right to criti
cize any report but must assume that the re
port expresses the mind of the body. Another
source of careless legislation is due to the
fact that oftentimes a report has to be pre
pared very hurriedly and the committee does
not hav? time to study carefidly the law or
the former actions of the Assembly on such
matters. Xo committee could be expected to
know all these things connected with all sub
jects. It is not therefore the committees or
the elerks that arc resf Misible for such mis
takes as occur, but the responsibility rests
upon the system under which the Assembly
works, and especially the haste with which its
business is so often transacted. By way of
remedy we would suggest that more time
should be given to the consideration of the
many important matters that come before the
Assembly. And further than that we believe
much good would result from the appoint
ment of an able revisory committee to whom
all papers should be referred, after they are
adopted by the Assemble, that they may be
studied to see whether they are consistent
with themselves, wkh the law of the Church
and with former potions of tne Assembly. The
next best method to this will be to require all
reports to be printed for distribution among
the members of the Assembly before they arc
presented. The cost would not he great, and
the result would be that the members of the
Assembly could study them far more intelli
gently than by having them read.
+ + +
FOREIGN Missions pay. If there is reason
for investing labor and means in any
part of work of God, with the idea that re
sults will be accomplished, those reasons hold
good in the foreign work. There was a time
when those of little faith questioned whether
it was wise to spend money and effort to carry
the gospel to the heathen. Sometimes ten or
more years of labor and toil were, spent be
fore the light dawned in the first soul. But
the laborers had faith and they toiled on. The
church had faith and it continued its support.
But today such conditions cannot be found in
any of the mission fields. All over the world
the gospel is finding ready access to the hearts
of those who had long ]>een living in a worse
than Egyptian darkness. In proportion to
the men and women and money employed
greater results are being accomplished in
heathen lands than in our own country. In
1017 in our church in this country there were
361,257 members including ministers. For
each 18 of these one soul was led to Christ
during the year. In the same year in our for
eign mission churches there were 38,616 mem-,
hers including foreign missionaries and the or
dained native ministers. For each 7 of these
one soul was led to Christ. This shows that
the church in heathen lands is growing much
faster in proportion than it is in Ibis country.
Anjl if we were to compare the cost we would
see that the proportion would be even still
more in favor of the foreign fields. Without
investing any less here, let us invest more
largely where we shall receive the larger divi
dends.
MAY the month of flowers belongs to For
eighn Missions in onr churches. And
wliat better use can we put this month to than
to use it as the occasion of making oflerings
to God in thanksgiving for all the beauty
with which lie has surrounded us here in this
life? When we compare the beauty of our re
ligion and the lives it produces with the hid
eousness of the heathen religions and the ugli
ness of the lives that are developed by them,
our whole hearts ought to go out in thankful
ness to the God of all beauty. There are many
ways in which we may show our thankfulness,
but there is none in which we can show it
in a more unselfish way than in giving our
service or our money to give the gospel to
those who are in the darkness and ignorance
of sin.
+ + +
T1IK General Assembly is soon to meet, for
evidently it is the sense of the great ma
jority of the Church that its meeting should
not be postponed. The Assembly has asked
that the whole Church shall offer prayer for
God's blessing upon its deliberations. Many
are the criticisms that are passed upon the
body and its actions. If all these criticisms
were turned into prayers, there probably
would not be so much to criticise. The mem
bers of the Assembly are chosen as the rep
resentatives of the Church to do the Church's
work. The Church ought to aid and support
them in every way possible. And there is no
better way to do this than to go to God in
prayer asking that He will guide them in all
that they do, giving them wisdom and grace
to devise things wise and liberal for the build
ing up of the kingdom of God.
?5* + +
PATRIOTS have many ways of showing
their patriotism during these stirring days
through which we are passing. It is not enough
to be a citizen of this country and swear al
legiance to the Government. Patriotism is a
state of mind and heart, but if it is real it
will find more ways of expressing itself than'
ii- cheering when the band plays. It demands
the loyal support of the Government in all
that it undertakes, where no principle of right
is violated. This calls upon all of our citizens,
who can by any sacrifice do so, to buy Gov
ernment Bonds or War Savings Stamps.
Kv? ry suggestion in regard to Food Conserva
tor. should be carried out just as far as pos
sible. Help should be given to every move
ment for the welfare of the soldiers. The pa
triot should be an optimist and expect his
Government to succeed. Above all the patriot
should have firm faith in God. When all the
men and women, boys and girls of this coun
try are true patriots, we will have a nation
that will be able to meet any foe.

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