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Preachers and people in large numbers have been enjoying vacations during the past weeks. A vacation is a good thing in many ways. It gives rest from labor, which oftentimes is hard, grinding and monotonous. This rest allows tired nature to recuperate and gain renewed strength to take up work again and do it more successfully than if there had been no ureal* in the routine of life. A vacation gives one the opportunity of a change of scene and surroundings.. Men are far more influenced by their surroundings than I hey sometimes realize. A vacation gives the opportunity of meeting new people or of renew ing the acquaintance of old friends. Solomon well said: "Iron sharpeiieth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." This is also true of mind and heart. The man who does not use his vacation for self-improvement that, will tit him to do better work on his return does not deserve to have one. These are days in which every person in the world ought to realize as never before that he has a most important work to do, no matter what his line of employment may be. This is true of material things, but it is espec ially true of spiritual things. Every member of the church and every pastor returning from his vacation ought to feel that renewed strength has been given him in order that he may serve God and his fellowmen better than he has ever done before. This should be true of his individual work and his team work in the church. Now is the time to begin planning the work for the coming year. Each individual should take counsel with (Jod and plan to use all of his powers of mind, body, soul and estate in the way that will accomplish most good. The church often loses valuable oportunities for service, because plans are not made. The calls upon the church today are sounding out louder and clearer than ever before, and right nobly is she responding to these calls. Vet 110 one will venture to say that the Church is do ing all that it can do. The call is coming to the individual congre gation in many ways. The best way to an swer these calls will be for each pastor to gather his oflicers together and talk the matter over seriously, carefully and with prayer. Let them see what calls are coming to their church and how best they can meet the calls. Then gather the whole congregation, working in the most elective way possible to secure a large atten dance, and discuss the whole situation with the people. There are so many opportunities for work that it is impossible for any one to make a list of them, but there are some things that are specially worth considering. The first thing that the officers of the church should do is to consider the question of their pastor's salary. Is he receiving enough to enable him to be "free from worldly cares and avocations?" If not the church is badly handicapped as to its work. He will not say anything about it. He and his will suffer and sacrifice. The church should be just. The officers should plan to put everybody in the church to work in some way. Do not wait for volunteers. Assign the work, and in most cases it will be done. Start an effort to increase attendance on the the church services, especially the mid-week prayer service, and to increase the roll and at tendance of the Sunday school. Look out a place to start a mission Sunday scho?l, and a neighborhood prayer meeting where people cannot or will not attend church. Special emphasis should be laid upon the importance of personal work for the salvation of souls. I>o not leave all this work to be done by the pastor. Make a list of all the un converted people in the community and care fully select one or more of the members of the church who shall be asked to try to lead each of them to Christ. Form prayer bands to pray for the church and its work, for its pastor, for the unconverted in the community and especially for the men from the church in the army and vavy. Plan the Lord's work with all the care and thought that would be given to any great bus iness. The Lord will bless such effort. AWKWARDNESS, OR ELEGANCE. There are many who make a boast of the ex cessive plainness of Presbyterian speech and practice in church lines. We doubt if the sub ject is one over which to boast. We do not find Paul, one of the earlier Presbyterians, g'orv ing in the excessive simplicity of ihc early church practice. Instead he constantly enjoins that everything be done decently .and in an or derly fashion. The great doctrines of the gospel are plain doctrines, adapted to simple minds, and like all great and useful things molded in simple forms. But even the most universally neces sary things are made agreeable. The world is round, it has fewer rough edges than if it were square. The curve of the graceful is on all God's handiwork. The grass is green, which is the most agreeable of all the colors; and even the white ray is a composite of the seven beau tiful prismatic colors. God has certainly chosen the agreeable appealing to the aesthetic in our nature. There is a regular and graceful uniformity in the processes of itature. Night follows day and day night, with great and regular proce dure. Season come into other season's time by due gradation. Seed-time and harvest, sum mer and winter, heat and cold follows plain and agreeable laws. Why should there not be the same regular and agreeable procedure in church life and work ? There are times when we can only plant and water; why not expect the harvest at other times. Sometimes the sneer is flung at the re vival in July and August. Why not? The winter is the time of meditation ; the spring the time of cultivation ; why not expect the fruitage to come in the suiner season? Religions may be seasonable as well as anything else. Yet some ministers are always sowing and never reaping. They do not expect it. Js it lack of faith in the seed, the sower or the God who gives the increase, or is it sheer laziness in doing the hard harvesting work? How little prepartion there is for the church worship, except in the matter of the sermon. The hymns are chosen too often by the choir for the purpose of showing off the leading so prano; the Scripture reading is of course the passage from which the text is taken and un seen until the pulpit is ascended. The prayers are the unthought of utterances of an unpre pared heart. We pride oureselves on the sermon, and well we may, for too often there is nothing attrac tive about the whole worship to attract us or anyone else. Is not the whole hour to be one of worship, and if the parts do not harmonise and lead up to a spiritual and worshipful feeling, is not a great opportunity largely lost ? If God speaks to us through His revealed word, and we speak to Him through the voice of prayer, why not do it decently and in order? The writer once heard a member of the Episcopal church be wailing the fact that the average Episcopal minister did not know how to read, yet much of the service is reading. The complaint may be confined to that church. Who in Richmond has not heard Dr. Huge read a hymn ,and felt lifted into the third heav ens of worship. We have forgotten every word of his sermon, but never have we gotten away from the spiritual impression of the reading "O God of Bethel by whose hand" or "How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord." We have often sighed, as others have butchered tin* beautiful hymns and Scripture readings by careless and awkward rushing through of these masterpieces of English, pure and undefieled. Why not read elegantly ami impressively? No two Presbyterian churches seem to ail minister the sacrament alike. So in the eliurch courts where the elders are gathered from dif ferent churches, there is a confusion and awk wardness. Some stand and others sit, and there is a bareness and lack of elegance that cannot but grate on the souls of those who love the impressive mid orderly administration of this secrament. Often the receiving the ottering is done in a slip-shod and apologetic manner as if the dea cons did not know what they were there for, and not as participants in an important act of worship. The only corrective is for men to be taught that elegance and not awkwardness is proper for the worship of the God of Grace and beauty. This is not a hotch-potch, a congeries of per sonal acts, but the leading out of the soul to the highest function that of worshipping God in the beauty of holiness. Elegance is never to be sacrificed to strength, but combined with it. A. A. L. CHINESE GENERAL ASSEMBLY. For the last four years the twenty-five Pres byteries in China have been united in the Presbyterian Federal Council. The question of the organization of a General Assembly includ ing all the Presbyteries, which are the out growth of the mision work of various churches in this country and Great Brtain, has been under consideration for some time. Nineteen of them voted for the immediate organization of the General Assembly. The other six were in favor either of delay or some modification of the proposed plan. At the recent meeting of the Federation, besides the representatives of the Presbyterians there were also present representatives of the churches of London Mis sion and the American Board, both Congrega fionalists, as we understand. They came with the request that their churches might be per mitted to join in the organization of the Gene ral Assembly. After careful consideration it was resolved to call a meeting of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in China to meet in 1920. In the mean time those present formed themselves "into a provisional Assembly to pre pare the way for the regular Assembly, and which shall continue to represent the Presby terian Church in China, until the regular As sembly is formed." Rev. Dr. P. F. Price was elected moderator of this provisional Assemb'.y, and Rev. I)r. J. M. Blain was elected treasurer. Both of these gentlemen belong to our mission. The plan is for the Chinese Presbyterian Church to be autonomous. It will prepare its own confession of Faith and Book of Church Order, but it is generally understood that these will be based upon the standards of the churches represented by the missionaries who have built up the Chinese churches.