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The Presbyterian of the South
V0L- 94- RICHMOND, VA., NOVEMBER 17, 1920. No. 46 ?@? Cbttortai JStotes J^mment _ 9,a ?o. Thanksgiving day is near at hand, when every true child of God will try to find some way in which to express his thank i ulness to God for all Ilis goodness shown dur ing the past year. What better opportunity ?ould we have than that which is provided us in the effort being made to add the Graham Building to the endowment fund of Ministerial Relief? We ought to be very thankful for the ministers who labored in the Church for God and who have largely completed their work. .Many of these have not as many of the ma terial blessings and physical comforts as they need and deserve. Let us make a thank-offer ing to God in a gift to aid in the purchase of that building. Let every one give as the Lord has prospered him, and the building will be bought. The Church cannot afford to fail in this great opportunity. Act quickly, that it may not be lost. + + + SHALL the prayer, meeting be abolished, asks a contemporary. We have no hesita tion in saying no to such a question. In the Apostolic days and those following, we hear more of prayer meetings than we hear of preaching in churches. The reason for asking this question is no doubt that often times the church prayer meeting does not prove to be as much of a success as it would seem that it ought to be, especially in the matter of attendance. It may be borne in mind that our Saviour has promised to bless the meeting of two or three. But the greater the number, the greater the blessing ought to be. We shall never be satis tied with small attendance at any of the church services. If the prayer meetings are not what they ought to be, it would be well for pastor and elders to discuss the subjcct in the frank est and fullest way. It may be that some radi cal changes in the method of conducting these services may be needed. Certainly the prayer meeting ough: not to be a diminutive copy of the Sunday preaching service. + + + DEVELOPMENT of an idea often pro duces wonderful results. One hundred and thirty years ago all cotton was picked from the seed by hand. It was difficult work, and it is said that a man could only pick a pound a a day. Eli Whitney began to think about it, and while thinking one night he heard a noise on his porch where some chickens were con fined in a coop. Investigation showed that a <at was trying to pull the chickens through the bars of the coop. This she could not do, but she did pull the feathers through. Whitney caught the idea and in three months had made a machine in which the teeth of a set of cir cular saws drew the cotton through a set of steel bars and left the seed behind. This ma chine picked three hundred pounds of cotton from the seed in a day, doing the work of three hundred men, who were thus released to do other and more profitable work. By any fair estimate Whitney's brain was worth in this matter the muscle of three hundred men. This shows the importance of having a well trained mind. Thousands of men and women for geii orations had laboriously picked cotton from the seed with their fingers, but their minds had not brought them relief. The result of Whitney's invention was the laying of the foundation for the wealth of the South in raising cotton in quantities that could never have been seeded by hand, and added largely to the wealth of lK?th North and South in the manufacture of this cotton that had been run through the Whit ney gin at such small cost. Thoughts and ideas are often the gifts of God and should be de veloped and used for the good of mankind. + + + Let Us Come Before His Face With Thanksgiving Resolve to look for causes of thankfulness. "Seek and ye shall find" 1s a principle as well as a promise. Look for trouble, for sin, shame, ash heaps, broken dishes, you will find them. Look for goodness, good people, good apples; you will find them. The Pharisees saw in Matthew a despised 'publican, and their pride was gratified. Jesus saw in Matthew a man, a possibility, and His love was gratified. Look for the good in peo ple, In history, in the providence of God. Look for the goodness of the Lord in your own life. The dross and slag of life accumulate; smoke is in the air; flakes of soot fall softly upon us; life can easily seem a poor affair. But life is full of dignity, grace and joy, full of opportunity for goodness and kindness. Will you wait till the sunset hour gilds its passing? Will you wait till death stirs your imagination and you see, but too late, how much beauty and half-appreciated joy there was in life; how much you had of bless ing, in how many ways you could have been a blessing? Look for God's goodness to-day. Only so will you come to see life in its fulness. The disagreeable may be forced upon you; but your mind will instinctively find an offset*. Sweet uses will shine out of adversity. You will find "Tongues in the trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in every thing." In every storm you will hear your Saviour's voice, "It is I." Every day will have sufficient testing; but the word of Jesus will hold good. "My grace is sufficient for thee." You will see the sterner side of life, the rock-like structure of righteousness with the Puritan; but also life's gentler side with the Mystic, the green pastures and still waters of Peace. In your life mercy and truth shall meet, righteousness and peace shall kiss each other. The world of law shall yet be a world of love. You shall hear it thunder at Sinai; but you shall hear the angel voices at Bethlehem singing the glory of the God of love, heralding to all mankind tidings of peace and good will. "Old friends, old scenes, will lovelier be, As more of heaven in each we see; Some softening gleam of love and prayer Shall dawn on every cross and care. "Such is the I llss of souls serene, When they have sworn to steadfast mean, Counting the cost, in all to espy Their God, in all themselves deny." ? Mattlrie 1). Habcock, D. I). + + 4 DON'T waste the old hynin-l>ooks ; let them do missionary work, says one of our con temporaries. We do not agree with that writer. By the time most churches are ready to throw aside their hymn-l>ooks they are usually badly worn jyid torn. If a home missionary were to go into a new community and start work with such a set of books, his work would be much handicapped by the bad impression made. Our great Church can well afford to give new books to the few congregations that cannot buy them. UNREST and disturbance is found to a irreatcr or less extent in almost every eoun O * try in the world. It is due largely to the an archistic propaganda of Bolshevists, started in Russia and now spread all over the world. Ac cording to this teaching all government is to lx? overthrown and all title to private property is to he destroyed. Naturally, when men begin to deny the authority of government, they soon proceed to deny the authority of God. Here is a manifesto issued by the Union of Russian Workers: "We go tranquilly, cheerfully, be cause that, far lxryond the corpses of heroes, be yond the blood-covered barricades, beyond all the terrors of civil war, there shines for us the magnificent, beautiful form of man without a God, without a master, and free of authority. We hate reli|:"? 1 because it lulls the spirit with lying tales, takes awav courage and faith in the power of man, faith in the triumph of justice here on the real earth, and not in a chimerical heaven. Religion covers everything with fog; real evil becomes visionary and visionary good a reality. It has always sanctified slavery, grief and tears. And we declare war upon all gods and religious fables. Wc are atheists." + + + WIIY do Christians so often say, as the leader of one of the great Church move ments has recently said in a published article, that Christianity has failed? Christianity is of God and cannot fail. Its manifestation is of men and that may fail. Hut to say that Chris tianity has failed is dishonoring to God. Chris tianity is God's plan for the salvation of the world through the death of .Jesus Christ. To say that it has failed is to say that Christ died in vain. It is very evident that Christianity has not accomplished as much in the world as it would seem that it ought to have accom plished. But we must keep in mind the fact that God has. for reasons which we do not un derstand, put the working of Christianity into the hands of weak and sinful men. They do fail. An inexperienced man may be given a perfect machine, and with it fail to do the work intended. That is not the fault of the machine. The workman should learu to use his machine and use it faithfully. Christianity has never failed and it will never fail, ?i* * + TH K Welsh Presbyterian Church, whose legal name was The Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Church, was received into the North ern Presbyterian Church last May. This union has one peculiar feature. All the Welsh Pres byteries and Synods retain their separate and distinct organization. This brings about a condition of affairs that is unusaul, if not else where unknown. 1 here are two sets of courts of the same church, covering the same terri tory. This is true of l>oth Presbyteries and Sy nods. Phis would indicate a very loose kind of union, and it is hard to see the advantage of it., or indeed how friction can be avoided. There will l>e found in some places, two Presbvteries, covering the same ground, and that must l>e the case with all of the Welsh Presbyteries and the same will l?e true of the Synods.