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The Southwestern Presbyteriak
The Qentta ^Presbyterian c These " ' presbyter/am iL 1 VOL. 93. RICHMOND, NEW ORLEANS, ATLANTA, DECEMBER 3, 1919. No. 49 CiJitorial JftoteQ anli Comment WAR, as to its active operation, ceased more than a year ago. The representa tives of the allies and the associated govern ments spent months in preparing a treaty which was to be offered to Germany to be i adopted by her in acknowledgment of her de ^ feat, and in working out a compact for a League of Nations, by which it is hoped that war will be prevented for all time to come. In the preparation of these two documents the combined wisdom of the leading statesmen of these countries was brought into play that the best schemes possible might be devised. Natu rally, when so many interests were involved and so many countries concerned, it could not be expected that the agreements reached would be exactly what any one country wanted. There necessarily had to be compromises in some particulars. It is a world recognized fact that President Wilson had more influence in making these covenants fair and just to all concerned than any one else, and yet, of course, even he could not get all that he wanted. He got into them more of his ideas and ideals than did any one else. After more than six months of discussion the Senate of the United States, the treaty-making body of our govern ment, adjourned and went home without tak ing action, because some of the members did not find these two documents exactly in ac cordance with their ideay in some minor par ticulars. They are unwilling to adopt the treaty and the league compact, because they are not just as they would have written them if they had been allowed to do this without any suggestion from anyone else and without con sidering the interests of any nation b\it ours. They show thus unpardonable egotism and self ishness and an entire lack of faith in the other nations with whom we were allied in the great fight. As a nation we made every sacrifice that was needed. We pinned our faith to our al lies. We committed our army and navy prac tically to their command. We gathered to gether four million of our choice young men, more than half of whom were sent overseas, in order that we might unreservedly unite with our allies in supporting the cause for which they were fighting. We furnished them with vast resources of money and supplies. It seems strange that we could trust them so implicitly in times of war and cannot now trust them in times of peace. This is particularly strange when we bear in mind the fact that in the League of Nations any act or proposition can be stopped by the vote of our own government, as unanimous consent must be given to any thing that is done. The delay of our Senate in ratifying the treaty with Germany is prevent ing the establishment of peace and the carry ing out of the terms imposed upon that and other countries. The result is that there is unrest in almost every country in the world. We are feeling it in increasing severity in our own country. While the Senate delays busi ness is in confusion, many people in this land are suffering, and across the waters thousands of men, women and children are dying because peace has not been established. Congress has now reassembled and the Senate is called upon again to consider the peace treaty. Every man and woman in this country should demand of the senators that they lay aside all selfish in terests and act promptly in the way that will bring peace to the world at the earliest pos sible moment, even if wc do not get all that we would like to have in some minor particu lars. ?fr ? + CHRISTMAS is near, only three weeks off. Sunday-schools are beginning to think about the day. There is a fine opportunity for the officers and teachers to make this a very helpful day for the Sunday-school and congre gation. Christmas has often been made too much of a day of selfish pleasure, of frivolity and sometimes of sin. If it is to be observed at all it should be as the birthday of the Babe of Bethlehem, and not as a day of visitation from an old mythical character, no matter how good and kind he is supposed to be. Why not tell the little ones that the gifts they receive come from the Saviour who loves them 1 At least in the church and Sunday-school services the religious idea, as it is shown in gifts and service for others, should stand out clear and distinct. There is no difficulty in getting all the helps needed to provide for such a pro gram. One of the very best, and for our Sun day-schools the very best program is one that is being sent out by the Committee on Chris tian Education and Ministerial Relief, which is mentioned more fully on another page of this paper, and called "Their Christmas Vision." Do not delay. Send at once and get as many copies as you may need, and begin as soon as possible the preparation for the exercises sug gested. If other selections are needed to fill out the program a number of suitable ones will be found on two pages of this paper. + + THE Interchurch World Movement was given a guarded endorsement by our last General Assembly. The Federal Council was given a vigorous statement of protest, by the same Assembly, because of the Council's go ing into all kinds of civic and industrial mat ters. Now the Interchurch World Movement has undertaken the same kind of things. Are we to tolerate it? The Interchurch World Movement is a voluntary committee of excel lent gentlemen, not appointed by any church organization whatever, and not responsible to any court beyond the court of public opinion in the churches. It proposes to do certain things for all the churches, in the line of great ffurveys, education, inspiration, and raising of funds. It has lately done two things which should give pause to those who have been the advocates of our church's co-operation with it. The first is its recent entrance into industrial problems, with its formal announcement of the platform on which it is to conduct its in quiries into labor conditions and its effort in the direction of industrial amelioration along the lines of industrial representation, the or ganization of workmen, the extension of the co-operation movement, the industrial status of women and their equal right to an equal voice with men in the democratic control and man agement of society, and the recognition of the right of "our negro fellow Americans" to economic justice and to freedom from economic exploitation. The second thing just done is the movement's calling upon our church to con tribute towards its funds, to cover its expenses in taking part with us in the effort to raise the four millions proposed in the coming Pres byterian Progressive Program. Our Sys tematic Beneficence and Stewardship Commit tee has estimated our own expenses in this Progressive Program to be sixty thousand dol lars, or one and a half per cent, of the total sought to be raised. This two hundred thou sand dollars asked of us by the Interchurch World Movement, and which we shall haVe to guarantee, is additional, and is five per cent, on what we hope to raise ! Surely it is a time to call a halt. If those having the matter in charge do not, then the Church at large will do it when the call comes before it. So far as we can see, the Systematic Beneficence and Stewardship Committee has no authority to pledge our Church for any amount, and we are glad that it did not do so. If we are to follow the Federal Council and the Interchurch World Movement in carrying out their pro grams, we might as well give up our claims to having tiny distinctive views as a Church as to political and social matters. + + + COMPLAINT is common, and increasing, that there is too much encroachment upon the session in many of the movements and ac tivities of the day. Churches tfnd congrega tions are exploited. Agencies secure full and classified lists of members and communicants, sometimes by the help of officers, sometimes in spite of them, and then attempt to deal directly with the people if the session or pastor is un sympathetic or has other plans. The time and energies of pastors are demanded, methods are proposed and must be rigidly used, and if the officers are at all hesitant about the procedure they are denounced as opposing the progress of truth and the upbuilding of the kingdom. All the while the session, which, according to the constitution of the church, is in charge of such matters is entireily ignored. Why have a con stitution at all, if such ignoring of it and such intrusion are to go one? In too many cases churches are looked upon as simply bodies to be exploited, and pastors as men solely to be the agents of the exploitation.