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CWtorial Jiotcs atii) Comment
THE LIVING CHURCH (Protestant-Epis copal) says: "It is rather strange that subscribers to church papers have to be sought out. They do not, on a large scale, come spon taneously." Commenting on this, Zion's Her ald (Methodist) remarks: "We wonder why this condition prevails. Why do not church people realize they cannot be intelligent, ac tive members of the Church, with a knowl edge of its various forms of work, without reading the Church press?" The Watchman Examiner (Baptist) says: "We pass up this matter to those who may be wiser than we. We agree with the original statement; we par ticipate in the wonder expressed, but we have no answer to the conundrum. We give it up." We suggest this as a partial solution of the problem: Those who do not take the Church paper do not know its value. Their ignorance is due to the fact that pastors do not realize the value of the paper in the homes of their people sufficiently to make an effort to induce their people to take it. A persistent effort on their part would accomplish a great deal along this line. They would soon see the re sult of their labors in the increased intelli gence, activity, consecration and liberality of their people. Another element of the solution of this problem would be for the readers of the Church paper to talk to others about it, telling them how interesting and helpful they find it. There is a feeling with preachers and some other people that doing anything to se cure new subscribers is rather beneath their dignity, as they think it places them upon the level of canvassers or newspaper agencies. Hut they should remember that the chief good will come to the subscriber. + <!? ? OUEER ideas are promulgated about the Church by -some who want to get it back of sonifr movement in which they are in terested. The publicity department of one of the reform organizations that has done and is doing a great work in this country, but a work which does not belong to the Church, sends out its idea of the Church. It says: "In various ways the Church is being made to see that everything that touches human in terest is a proper interest for the Church's activity." That strikes us as being about as broad a claim as we have ever seen 'made for the Church. If this is to be the standard of the Church's activities, then it should interest itself in taking steps to see that the proper party, according to its judgment is put in control of the government, state or city. It should see that merchants conduct their busi ness, so as to make a good return for their labor and their capital. Why not see that manufacturers conduct their business jn a profitable way. Many people ?re interested in war preparation in seeing that the best arms and best ammunition are provided for army and navy ,and that the newest and best designs shall be used in making airships and airplanes. Must the Church interest itself in such mat ters, because they touch human interest? We thought the duty and work of tho Church is to preach the gospel so as to win souls for Christ and to build them up in their faith. ? ? ? WE sing a beautiful song, ''The End of a Perfect Day." We wonder how many Christians at the end of the Sabbath can look back through its hours and say they have spent what even jipproximated a perfect day. There are some who, when they retired Satur day night, determined that they would lay aside all thought of business until Monda}-. Sunday morning they arose at their usual time so as not to be hurried in their preparation for the day or in their breakfast. Time was allowed for private and family devotions. Every member of the family who could do so went to Sundriv school with well studied lessons, realizing what a privilege it is to study God's work. They went reverently into the preaching service with a prayer for the min ister and that they might hear God speaking through him to them. The afternoon was given it may be to some mission work, carry ing the gospel to those who would otherwise be deprived of it. Or a part of the afternoon may have been devoted to doing some kindly deed to some one in need of the ministration of a friend. Whatever time was not used in this way was spent quietly at home refresh ing by rest the body wearied by the labor of the week, refreshing the soul by reading God's word, the church papers and books providing spiritual food. These blessings, privileges and pleasures were shared in various ways with the other members of the family. At the hour of evening worship they went again to the house of God. All through the day every op portunity was taken advantage of to say some thing kind and pleasant to any that could be reached. There was constantly kept in mind the fact that it was the Lord's Day, and that it was to be used for him. There was a con stant feeling of close communion with a lov ing Saviour. When the day had thus been ?spent, it was not hard to 'feel that there had come "The end of a perfect day." + + + CONDITIONS in the Presbyterian Church, TJ. S. A., seem not to be satisfactory to some of its members. Here is what one of its ministers, who for some years has been con nected with one of their leading papers, has to say in a letter to us: "Frankly the Southern Church appeals to me as maintaining the his toric Presbyterian standards. Our Northern churches are more and more settling Methodist ministers in Presbyterian pastorates." Dying Christianity is an expression that sounds strange in the ears of some people. This is the subject of a brief article, which in large type occupied the front page of one of our exchanges. In it we find this paragraph: "Is Christianity dying, as Mr. Arnold Bennett and others tell us it is, al most as if that were a pleasing fact? Of course it is dying; that is its genius, which they do not understand to die like the Master and rise again, radiant and reborn. Ever more it must die to its outworn forms of creed and rite, and rise to a new vision of the Truth; must die to its narrow sectarianism, and rise as the Beloved Community." If there are man-made rites and ceremonies connected with Christianity, it is all right for them to die. But they are not Christianity. That is the re ligion of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is one of the eternal verities that can never die. The Sav iour says nothing about the dying of Chris tianity, the religion he came to earth to give to man. He did say, however, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might h?ve "it more abundantly." (John J0:10.) This looks as though he expects Christianity to grow in the world and not to die. + + + ALFRED NOYES, the English poet, recent ly made an address in New York, in which he said: "Literature in England had been growing anarchistic since the death of Tenny son and Browning. It had been agnostic for twenty years. We were saved from the decline of Germany only because we had kept some traditions of honor, or playing the game, from the days when we had religion. But we are getting back to belief, to knowing there is a greater than ourselves. While losing from twenty to thirty thousand men a week, Eng land has affirmed something she had well-nigh forgotten ? that there is a power above the state. She has gone back to some words of old ? 'In the beginning, God'." If this state ment be anywhere near the truth, England had fallen much lower than" we had supposed. If it is true, it is in indeed time that the country that has in the past produced so many noble men and women of God, should be turning from the error or her ways to God. + + *? CURIOUS things happen where Church and State are united. In England recently a bishop of the Church of England was to be appointed for Calcutta in India. The law requires that the bishop shall be nominated by the Secretary of State. He is a Jew. He called in Mr. Balfour, an elder in the Scotch Presbyterian Church to aid him in the selec tion. We wonder how well they pleased the Church of England. And we wonder, too, if this church would not rather control its own affairs.