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The Presbyterian of the South : [combining the] Southwestern Presbyterian, Central Presbyterian, Southern Presbyterian. [volume] (Atlanta, Ga.) 1909-1931, May 11, 1921, Image 3

Image and text provided by Library of Virginia; Richmond, VA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/10021978/1921-05-11/ed-1/seq-3/

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Synods united in the General Assembly to reach
its full measure of Home Mission responsi
bility. This is a splendid result.
This principle is possible of an application to
other churches in certain directions. It is still
more possible of an application to the local
church. When we have learned truly to unify
every part of our church in its supply to each
part, we have come to the highest development
of the Cchurch. The Spirit is given to profit
withal. Each is to supply his part and the
whole is built up. Let us not think for a mo
ment that our little part is unessential; nor on
the other hand, that it is so self-sufficient, that
nothing else is needed. Let us not think that
our denomination is useless, or a fifth wheel to
the chariot of the Lord; neither let us think
that we do God's work in the world or even in
the South, without others. A. A. L.
By Mrs. Ona Winants Borland.
In one of Rev. Andrew R. Bird's articles on
the need of an enlarged Church of the Pilgrims
in Washington he spoke of having recently a
fuller realization of why Jesus, on His tri
umphal entry into Jerusalem, wept at sight of
Ilis national capital. Tlit disciples were filled
with patriotic pride as they gazed on the mass
ive structure of their national Temple. But
Jesus wept. He was not weeping at thought
of what this city would do to lliin five days
later, in turning Him over to Roman soldiers
to crucify. He wept because this city and its
people were so blind that they could not see in
Him their King, King by right of blood inheri
tance and doubly King by Ilis power. lie wept
because they were so dead in their sins that
they could not recognize in Him the Prince of
Life. They trafficked and bartered up to the
very sacred doors of their holy temple, alert
and alive only to material things, blind, asleep,
dead to all things spiritual.
And suppose Sunday morning Jesus were to
stand on Capitol Hill and gaze out over Wash
ington, over its broad avenues, its classic gov
ernment buildings, its parks, its mansions and
its churches, would lie weep? His gaze pene
trates beneath the surface to the very soul of
the city. He sees its very heart. lie sees
Washington, the Capital of the nation, which
was founded by our forefathers for the very
purpose of worshipping God in all freedom of
conscience; Washington the Capital of this
nation, whose supreme court rendered a de
cision in witing (1892, Church of the Holy
Trinity of United States) that this is a Chris
tian nation; Washington the Capital of this
nation, which vaunts to all the world on the
margin of its silver dollar that "In God We
Trust," and seeing Washington as, alas, Wash
ington does not see itself, Jesus weeps.
What does He see as He stands on Capitol
Hill at 10 o'clock on Sunday morning? The
church bells are ringing (and there are so few
churches for half a million people). The little
children, hundreds of them, are playing all
morning in the parks; not just the poor chil
dren in neglected districts, but the wealthy,
fashionably dressed, nurse-ridden children of
Sunday-school age, play all morning in the
more exclusive "Circles" and parks. He sees
the young society belles and beaux dressed in
riding breeches, crop in hand, congregating
along Massachusetts Avenue ready for a Sun
day morning gallop out into Rock Creek Park.
All morning He sees the automobiles go by
bound for the popular Sunday dinner at the
Dower House. lie sees the street cars and the
suburban ears packed and overflowing from
the platform steps with pleasure seekers going
for a picnic in the zoological gardens, or at the
Great Falls of the Potomac, or out into Mary
land. lie sees the University students lazily
paddling their canoes along the canal or up
the Potomac. And our own daughters and
sisters who went to Washington at the call of
patriotic duty to do war work, what are they
doing Sunday morning? Some of them are
loyally true to their colors, but hundreds of
them who "back home" taught in Sunday
School and led Christian Endeavor are too
tired Sunday morning to go to Bible Class or
even church. Sunday is their only day to wash
and "marcel" their hair, and although Wash
ington is an unusually clean city, this seems
to be a weekly necessity. Sunday is their only
day to launder pink crepe de chine, bits of
garments, to write to their families, to read
and otherwise "improve" themselves.
We have all heard of the little boy whose
family was moving from Missouri into Kansas
and who, the last night in the old home knelt
down and said: "Good-bye, God, we are go
ing to leave Missouri. We are going to live in
Kansas." Perhaps the people who leave the
old home and the old church to sojourn a while
in Washington aren't even that polite to God.
They don't even consciously say good-bye to
Him. They just forget all about Him. They
feel vaguely that He will be waiting when
they come back home. But while in Washing
ton almost everybody takes a spiritual vaca
tion. The Bible is left back home. The Sun
day habits of a well-trained lifetime are left.
The wife of a well known Senator started a
week-day Bible study class two years ago in
one of the palatial homes of the Capital. At
the first meeting she asked to have some Bible
references looked up in class. Among two
hundred society women in attendance there
were two Bibles. She asked that next week
everyone bring her Bible. The next time the
class met such an aggregation of brand-new,
gilt-edged Bibles with their leaves all sticking
together, was never seen before.
There are so many places needing our
money, why should we all be asked to help
build a Church of the Pilgrims in Washington?
There is the foreign field, there are Assembly's
Home Missions, Synodical, Presbyterial and
Congregational Home Missions. Why can't
Washington build its own churches? Because
for one thing there are practically no Wash
ington residents. Every Senator claims to
maintain Church relations "back home," the
Cabinet members the same. Army and Navy
people are stationed there for so brief a time,
they usually say, "Well, we ought to be Meth
odists," or "We ought to be Presbyterians, but
we haven't got started to going to church
here. We can't hope to be here very long."
Ask a congressman to support a church in
Washington, and he informs you that he pays
pew rent back in Squeedunk, and can't keep
it up at both places. Mrs. Congressman sends
her thank offering also back to the Ladies' Mis
sionary Society of Squeedunk.
Nine years ago the Y. W. C. A. launched a
whirlwind campaign in Washington to obtain
funds to build an adequate Y. W. C. A. build
ing for our national capital. Such campaigns
have succeeded in any other city wherever at
tempted in this country, but no one would eon
tribute. Everyone claimed that he subscribed
to the Y. M. and the Y. W. "back hom.\"
After a terrific struggle they raised enough 1c
buy a modest and retiring lot and that was all.
Why should we build churches in Washing
ton? Why do we do everything else? Who
paves the streets in Washington? The land
owner pays fifty per cent of the bill. The
American taxpayer from Maine to Southern
California pays the other half. Who builds
the government buildings? Who builds the
national museums and galleries, who erects the
monuments to Grant and Lincoln, who plants
the parks, who pays the Capitol police that
Washington may be the best policed city in
the country? Who foots the bills?. You and
I, our husbands and brothers. It is not the
Washington residents' capital, it is our capi
tal, yours and mine. We have builded a mate
rial capital of which we are justly proud. Who
is to build the spiritual capital of our Christian
country, if not you and I? Shall we be sat
isfied that the exterior is lovely if the heart
life of our nation's capital is not right in the
sight of God?
Where can we spend a dollar for the cause
of Christ where it is more needed than in
Washington? We must hold our lines, we
must do more, we must advance in the foreign
fields. Hut shall we let the insincerity of our
religion at home undo the work of our conse
crated missionaries? As individuals our Chris
tianity is judged by the way we live at home,
not by the way we pray in meeting. As a na
tion our Christianity is judged, not by what we
preach abroad, but by what we pactice at
home. Shall we let another Chinese minister
take back to his countrymen the same report
of the insincerity of our Christian professions
that Minister Wu Ting Fang, the Thomas Jef
ferson of the Chinese Republic, took back after
his long residence in our national capital?
Shall we let them say, we export our religion
because we have little use for it ourselves?
Wellington Koo, the present minister from
China, who holds a Ph. D. from Columbia Uni
versity, who uses perhaps the most perfect,
well-chosen, flexible English of any man alive,
is very friendly toward the Christian religion.
It was my pleasure to take two of our mission
aries on different occasions to call on Minister
Koo. He displayed not only Oriental courtesy,
but sincere, lively interest in their work.
Every Sunday he looks out upon just the scenes
described above. Will he judge Christianity
by the way it is preached in China or by the
way it is practiced in Washington? There are
perhaps fifty young Russians attached to the
Russian embassy, wide awake, keen of judg
ment. Through all the bloodshed of the past
few years in Russia the Greek Orthodox
Church has been tottering to its doom. Russia
today is open to Protestant Christianity as
never before in the world's history. What will
these young men and women report of our
Protestant Chistianity as witnessed by them
in our Capital? What will the Japanese Am
bassador have to report? What of the delegate
in Congress from the Philippines, from Porto
Rico ?
Is it not true that as our love for our Saviour
grows, giving becomes a necessity? Giving
for llis sake comes to be like the very bread of
life to us. Hread is a necessity. Hut we want
more than the bare necessities of Christian ex
perience. We want to enjoy the luxuries. We
want butter on our bread and jam on our but
ter. Our systematic benevolence is the bread,
a necessity, glorious, occasional giving, over
and above, is a luxury. On top of our regular
gifts let us enjoy the luxury of giving to this
most strategic field of labor. Let a fifty dollar
share in the Pilgrim Church be the jam on the
top of the butter on top of the bread of our
regular giving. All we need is the faith to
sign our names; God will provide the fifty

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