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a stony desert ; the sultry and utterly desolate
track of the Hedjaz Railway. The exiles who are still alive have suffered worse than those who perished by violence at the beginning." This is a brief, and ? in consideration of the frightful features of the narrative ? a marvel ously dispassionate outline of the extermina tion of two millions of human beings at the hands of their fellow-men in the twentieth cen tury of the Christian era. The victims had committed no crime against their persecutors. There is no better proof of this than the cir cumstances that no accusation has been brought against them by contemporaries save that implied by the following statement set down in Lord Bryce's address: "Let me add in view of the excuses which the German government are putting forward, and which their ambassador in Washington is stated to have given, when he talked about 'the suppression of riots,' for the conduct of those who are their allies ? that there is 110 ground for the suggestion that there had been any rising on the part of the Armenians. A certain number of Armenian volunteers have fought on the side of the Russians in the Cau casian army, but they came, as I have been informed, from the Armenian population of Trans-Caucasia. It may be that some few Armenians crossed the frontier in order to fight alongside of their Armenian brethren in Trans-Caucasia for Russia, but, at any rate, the volunteer corps which rendered such bril liant .service to the Russian army in the first part of the war was composed of Russian Ar menians living in the Caucasus. AVherever the Armenians, almost wholly unarmed as they were, have fought, they have fought in self defense to defend their families and themselves from the cruelty of the ruffians who consti tute "whrt 'the government' of the Tuere no excuse whatever, upon any such ground US a< ?me German authorities t and newspapers allege, for the conduct of the Turkish government. Their policy of slaugh ter and deportation has been wanton and un provoked." Comment upon the single apology offered for the unspeakable crime, deliberately planned and deliberately carried out, is needless. But we cannot refrain from dwelling in bitterness of soul upon the fact that neither Abdul Ha mid's open declaration of the policy of whole sale assassination, nor his satellites' obstinate adherence to it for over a score of years, could bring the diabolical plot to a head until the coalition indicated by Lord Bryce in the sig nificant phrase: "Then came the war and Tur key entered it on the German side." That tells the rest of the tragedy. Imagina tion sickens in the effort to complete the tale. Two millions of fugitives ? homeless, penni less, and so far as human succor can reverse their fate ? hopeless, are scattered, as by the desert winds, into such asylums as adjacent friendly countries can offer. Jerusalem ? now for the first time since the last Crusade, in the Christians' hands ? opens hospitable gates to those who can escape to the shelter of her walls. The number of destitute Armenians in that city is estimated at twenty thousand. *? ? ? ^ "In Cairo medical relief is established; our five doctors are working incessantly. Twenty three Armenian exiles reached Port Said after inconceivable sufferings. They have wandered two and a half years from villages near Cac sarea through Asia Minor mountains and Ara bian deserts. Two hundred and twenty-seven perished en route." Thus runs a cabled message from the repre sentative oi tne United States in Cairo to the Secretary of State in Washington. A dispatch from United States minister in Teheran, Persia, says: "Distress appalling throughout district; only hope is in American liberality." Similar returns come from Russia and Con stantinople. One consul says of a populous region of Asia Minor: "The 120,000 or so dependent persons in my consular area have no other resources for bread, and once the relief (from America) stops, these people will disappear from the face of the earth. "Every dollar contributed for the relief of suffering Armenians in the Turkish empire will reach the persons for whom it is intended, and no part of such funds will fall into the hands of others." "Madam," said a New York merchant, an Armenian by birth, to a compassionate custom er, "my nation has been wiped from the face of the earth." The gesture accompanying the lament of the Oriental exile brought irresistibly to the Bible reader's mind the passage ? "As a man wipeth a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. ' ' Sultan and Kaiser have, between them, made clean work of the long-drawn-out task of "get ting rid of the Armenians," so far as the Turk ish dominions are concerned. As is but natural and inevitable, the ques tion springs at us from all sane, right-thinking people : ;; ? ity "What motive underlies the age-long perse cution? The end gained would seem utterly inadequate to the expenditure of time, means, energies and human lives." The answer is wrapped in one sentence. From first to last this has been a fight. The. Moslem against the Christian. The key of the mystery is found in a statement set down in the earlier part of Lord Bryce's address: "A strong civilized Armenian kingdom was the first state in the world to adopt Chris tianity as its national religion." The working-motto of the great prophet of Moslemism, "The Koran or the Sword!" has not been tempered by the advance of civiliza tion. If other proof than the ugly fact were needed to convince incredulous readers of the twentieth century of the astounding truth, we have it in the damning circumstance that the alternative offered the condemned to death or deportation was apostasy from the Christian faith and acceptance of Moslemism. Further argument is superfluous. As incontestable is the claim upon Christian America of the survivors of massacre, starva tion and torture of mind and body ? inconceiv able to us who shrink from the revolting de tails. There is not one of us who can shirk the personal obligation to hold out a helping hand to the homeless exiles. I take the liberty of borrowing a closing excerpt from the eloquent appeal address to the Christians of America by the Committee of Armenian Relief, the headquarters of whicl are at No. 1 Madison Avenue, New York City, under the caption of "For Christ '8 Sweet Sake and Charity." "Other martyr nations have had their hosts, their legions of friends. Other stricken peo ples have had bountiful prodigal help. But Armenia has been virtually cut off from out side aid, isolated, left to bleed, to suffer and to die. A little more and an entire Christian nation will have perished from the earth. These two million five hundred thousand Armenians can be saved from final starvation only as America appreciates their awful condition, ex tends them the helping hand of fellowship and sympathy, and multiplies a thousand-fold her divinely inspired benefactions." THE RURAL CHURCH. The Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America is composed of representa tives from about thirty Christian denomina tions, ours being one of them. It undertakes to make plans and offer suggestions to all of the churches on practically every subject that it thinks ought to be considered by them. It has recently had a good deal to say about the Rural Church, and it now sends out a state ment as to what it considers a Standard Rural Church. After reading it we wonder what place the gospel has in a church controlled by such a standard. Will the preacher have a chance to deliver the messages of salvation to sinners and of comfort to saints? Will the Sunday-school teacher have the opportunity to teach the plan of salvation? We leave some one else to solve the problem. Here are the "Points in the Standard. "1. A church in a community in the open country or in a village of less than 2,500 popu lation which has one-half its membership from families actively engaged in farming. "2. The pastor, rector or priest is resident; that is, he lives within access to the church building in which he ministers. "3. The pastor, with the co-operation of his church, is active in the support of the govern ment in all measures growing out of the war and looking toward reconstruction. Particu larly he and his church co-operate with the government in its financial projects, with the Red Cross, with the organization engaged in the seven-fold drive, in food and fuel conser vation and with the national agencies for re construction. "4. The Liberty Church and its pastor are active in all concerns of the community; that is, of the region within easy access by drive to the church and in promoting the common in terests of all the people; especially the prob lems of education of social and economic wel fare, of health and of home conditions. "5. The Liberty Church displays service and national flags and an honor roll of its men in the service. "6. It maintains regular correspondence with the soldiers and sailors of its membership until complete demobilization is accomplished. "7. Its pastor preaches at least one sermon a month upon patriotic subjects, such as food production and conservation, the moral aims of the war and the necessity for lasting peace. "8. The church and its organizations co-op erate with the county agents, the State and Federal departments of agriculture, the boys' working reserve, the Red Cross and similar agencies. "9. The Liberty Church will realize the defi nite needs which it must meet by a survey of its area. "10. The Liberty Church is keen in its ser vice of sympathy for wounded soldiers and broken families. "11. The Liberty Church is active in the Americanization of aliens and of immature and disaffected citizens. "12. The Liberty Church will show the same vision and ability in meeting the tasks of re construction that it has displayed in the war work."