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A VISIONLESS PEOPLE.
The serious charge Jesus brought against the religious leaders of His day was that they did not discern the signs of the times. The Pro verb-writer declares that where there is 110 vision the people perish. The chronicler of David records the high position of the men of Issacliar, who were men of understanding of the times and knew what Israel ought to do. Was there ever such a time as this? Are we understanding the deep Divine meaning of the occasion? They are times when men are being brought close together. Some years ago it was the writer's privilege to see and talk with the first American woman, who ever lived in San Antonio, Texas. She came from Greenville, S. (<., and took seven months to make the trip in wagons. Now one may leave Greenville in morning of one day and the next night reach the same city that this woman took seven months to arrive at. In an air-plane, one could make even a quicker trip. The news of the Battle of Waterloo took three days to reach London. In 1915 we used to read the news of battles in Europe before they occurred by our time, as electricity beats the sun in an easy fashion. These are days when men are close together and what concerns the most distant nation with us. Every nation is wide open to whatever influ ences wish to enter, be it Bolshevism or the gospel. These are days when men are thinking as never before. The schoolmaster is abroad in the world. Intelligence is not confined to one race. Authority does not give much voice to truth now. The reason of things must appear if men are to accept them. It is a day of expermental knowledge. It is true that in days of distress and upheaval men do their straightest think ing. And out of the confusion will come the clear leading of the star of truth. Men are conscious of a great need. The foundations of all social orders have been shaken, and we have failed to find in man made schemes the safety and satisfaction we once had. Something else we crave and, men are groping after God if haply they may find Him. Never was there a greater need of a clear and persistent declaration of the old truths of* our religion than now. If the world does not. have our vision of God, it will perish, and the Church will perish with it. The word used by the Proverb-writer is a peculiar one. It means, "to be scattered" and then, "to resist authority," and "to become unbridled." To run without check and so perish. The voice of history has only confirmed this word. Before the French Revolution the iron hand of the King suppressed the truth till almost every Bible was burned in France and her noblest sons were exiles and the excesses of the French Revolution were the consequ ences. Fifty years ago Germany cut the Bible to pieces and rejected the religion of the lowly Nazarene for Nietschian philosophy, and Ger many has perished. It is always true. Has the Church of God a discerning eye to see the times? Does she hear the call of the World? If so, would she spend so much time on non-essentials and neglect the Missionary and Evangelistic phase of her work so greatly, as she seems to be doing? There is a subjective meaning to this verse. The Church that does not send forth the light, will smother at home. Macaulay notes the fact that Protestantism has made no progress since its first century, and no growth except by natural causes. The reason is not far to seek. After her first century Protestantism ceased to be mis sionary and propagandist. Seeking clarity of expression in her creeds and confessions she neglected other matters and spent her energy in creating factions by fine distinctions. Only when the Missionary spirit arose in her did she begin to grow. God has called His Church to a great work now. Unless she becomes a missionary army as terrible as an army with banners, unless she goes as her Lord commanded, she will perish. You cannot kill a missionary church. It has its life in itself. There is that seat tereth abroad and yet increaseth. "Would that some great leader, like Petor the Hermit, might arouse the Church of God, not to an earthly and perishing conquest of .Jeru salem, but to a zeal that would plant the truth in every town and village and hamlet of heathendom, at any cost of men and money. A. A. L. Contributed ACADIE DAYS. By Rev. \V. H. T. Squires, 1). D. VI. Cape Breton's Arms of Gold. Cape Breton is a huge island of rocks, sand, forests and water, salt and fresh. It is the bridgehead to Newfoundland and Labrador and partakes somewhat of the frigid aspects of those forbidding outposts of civilization. The name is probably the oldest in North American geography. Some Basque fisher man in the early days of the Sixteenth Cen tury gave the name to this headland that thrusts its nose far eastward into the fogs of the Atlantic. The early names of French and Spanish origins have for the most part dis appeared, but Cape Breton has lived; and not oidy survived, but expanded to cover the whole, great island. For Cape Breton is one fifth of the province of Nova Scotia. The narrow strait of Canseau thrusts a long blue arm from the Atlantic through the for ested hills and joins a similar arm of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. At the narrowest the strait is only one-fourth of a mile in width. What it lacks in width it makes good in depth f?r the bottom falls away 130 feet and more below the blue surface. In a more hospitable land the strait would be bridged. But here the winters are long and hard, the tides are wild and the seas run high. The ice pack is the most serious prob lem for the engineers. The crossing is nego tiated by a barge so flat, broad, and pondcrops that it reeeives an express train with only a slight tremor. Captain and pilot stand on a bridge far overhead. The huge furnaces and boilers are hidden below and are totally in visible, unless one peers through the sooty gratings and sees the sweating stokers piling the fires in the immense hold. The strait here is less than a mile in width and the crossing is effected in fifteen minutes. Once upon the island one is astonished to find it hollow, as it were. The ocean that surrounds it has eaten out its heart. A vast, inland sea covers a great part of the surface. A distinguished author has said that Cape Breton reverses the definition of an island, for it is a body of water surrounded by land. The inland sea is called Bras d' Or, "Arms of Gold." Just why "gold" is not apparent. The waters are sapphire, as blue as the heavens that bend above. When the sun lies upon the water and the dark green shore Bras d'Or is a lake of molten silver in a frame of emerald. The water is limpid and crystal, as pure as snow, as cold as ice, and as salt as the parent sea, to whose pulsing tides and raging storms it moves in ready sympathy. The shores of Bras d'Or are neither rugged nor steep as iu other parts of Nova Scotia. The ice cap of glacial ages has evidently ground them to lower levels. Innumerable islands and islets, penin sulas, bars and tiny bays indent the wild and lonely shores. They are far too numerous for names, or inhabitants, or even for owners. The long and heavy train creaked and jostled as it came to an unwilling pause at Iona. A little door was opened grudingly, and T step ped into the thick dusk of early morning. The ponderous locomotive dragged its burden into the dim distance and soon the pall of solemn silence settled again. The little box of a station was as solitary as the traveler. But he had not long to wait for midsummer dawn comes early in these extreme climes. The stars went out one by one in the infinite expanse of the heavens, and an indescribable movement in the twilight, that one feels rather than sees, tells that a new day trembles at dawn. Gray streaks of light chained earth and heaven, and the rising sun peered through the morning mists. The sunbeams touched the broad bosom of Bras d'Or with opelescent light. The warm breath of the south wind caressed the dark forest and the cold rocks of the head lands; and another day of opportunity with its unknown joys and sorrows had come. In the strong light of morning one could sec that the shores of Bras d'Or draw closer and closer as though the hills had determined to throw their arms together and bar the way of the waters. At Iona they almost meet. But there is to be no union, no wedding, no recon ciliation, for when the converging shores look one another full in the face they retreat never to meet again. To Iona gallant little steamers come in sum mer sailing this sunsilvered sea with passen gers and freight to be delivered to the long trains. From lone there is a daily steamer to Baddeck. "Baddeck is always full of Yankee tour ists," said the Scotch station master, who had now arrived to begin the day's tasks. He pro nounced Baddeck to rhyme with Quebec. "And in Baddeck lives onf of the great sci entists of the world," I replied. "Ajre, Alexander Graham Bell." It is im possible to describe the rich accent which a Scot gives to Scotch names. "He has bound the world with telephone wires. The first Ca nadian airplane made its fight here under his patronage. And now he is maturing a new breed of sheep that will triple the world's sup ply of mutton and wool." "Hard at work dospite his seventy years," I added. "Aye. Seventy-three," corrected the sta tion-master. Cape Breton is the most Scotch part of New Scotland. And these Scots are the children of the highlands. They cling tenaciously to their Gaelic customs, speech and religion. Many are Presbyterians, and many are Romanists. The two churches that have faced each other in the Scotch highlands since the days of John Knox face each other in Cape Breton today. "I)o you know the Sidneys?" asked a lady who also awaited the train at Iona. "Well ? yes," I replied. "There was Philip who lost a good coat to gain a red-headed woman's smile. Though I always considered that Sir Philip made a good investment. In fact, I think that the handsomest coat is not worth more than a woman's smile, even a red headed woman's smile. And then there was Algernon. I have always thought it a calam ity that his naije was Algernon. It should by all means have been John. lie lost his head