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CAN WE SUPPLY THEM?
The most serious question before our Church is whether we can supply our vacant churches and press out into the memberless places calling for the Gospel at our hands. It is evident we canot supply these open doors with carefully trained and specially educated men. We never have caught up with the demand in the day of the largest number of candidates. Then it is a question with some, whether* the men thus trained are altogether adapted to some of the varied kinds of service. It is no reflection on our Seminaries to say this. It can scarcely be expected that they can fit men for every type of modern work. Why not hark back to the method of John Knox, when there was a paucity of ministers in Scotland? We arc told that lie took hold of laymen and after a little train ing sent them to the parishes to conduct re ligious services, to comfort tin* sorrowing, in struct the ignorant and preach the Gospel of the Son of God. It saved Scotland. It can save America for our Church. We have often emphasized the opportunity and duty of the ruling elder, going out to the weak and pastorless churches and hold ing services. It has been more theory than actuality. The reason is not from lack of zeal and conservation on the part of elders. It more frequently- comes from a sense of inability, a fear that they may not be proclaiming the true message of God; and from a conscious ness that the Church has not sent them to this work. The Home Mission Advisory Council, at its recent meeting in Montreat, suggested that our Seminaries provide a short course in Biblical Theology and Sunday-school work, to be given to such laymen as could give a month or more to this study. The course might be comparable to the Pastor's course given by the White Bible School in New York. It was further suggested that a Correspond ence School might be arranged for, to cover several months. Many valuable things are taught by cor respondence. Why may not a good course of Biblical Theology br* imparted in the same way ? In this way an increasing number of our layman might be fitted to go out from their homes to do just this work so much needed. Our elders would become "apt to teach." It is worthy of careful consideration. The Church that does not expand will die. Opportunity, such as the Southern Presby terian Church has, does not always knock at our doors. Shall we respond? A. A. L. NOTES FROM MONTREAT. This delightful place is all the more re freshing after the excessive heat of the sum mer. The grounds are well kept under the care ful management of President Anderson. The fare at the Hotels and Boarding Houses is good and the rates less than is usually found in Summer Resorts. The good fellowship, the earnest spirit of a sensible religion is felt on every hand. It is impossible to describe the addresses of the various speakers. All that is needed to say is : Come and taste for yourself. It is a pity so few of the synods have taken advantage of the offer of a lot on which to build a Synodical Home. These homes are intended to furnish a place of rest for the Ministers of the Synod. They are conveniently located to the Cafe teria and Boarding Houses ami materially help to reduce the cost of a stay at Montreat. Let all the Synods fall in line. A. A. L. Contributed GATHERING RECRUITS FOR THE MINIS TRY. By Rev. \V. J. Iluneycutt. It is gratifying, indeed, to notice that the Church is waking up to a realization of the importance of gathering recruits for the de pleted ranks of the ministry. We have too long neglected this part of the work with the result that 790 churches in our Southern As sembly are now pastorl;\ss. Since 1, myself, am a young minister just having completed the course of study, I feel some hesitancy in writing upon this subject for the press, yet, having been thrown with candidates and having studied with them for the last seven years may put me in a position to say something that would be of interest, or helpful to the Church in conducting this great work. It is a good sign when the Church realizes the great need of young men for the minis try, and when the people begin to talk about this need. It is through discussion that we become informed. And it is by the light of information that we act intelligently. The subject is so momentous that anything and everything should be said and done that will arouse interest among the ministers, among the laymen, and especially, among the j'oung men. Speaking from experience, and also from a psychological standpoint, I would say that in making an appeal to young men we should magnify the importance and the great-* ness of the work of the Gospel ministery, showing the possibilities of a real career in the ministry. We cannot emphasize this point too much. Every young man has a de sire ? shall I say unconscious? ? to make his life count for most in the world. Why should he not? Since he has only one life to live, why not throw it in where it will be most felt? Is not this the impulse that draws so many young men into the study of law and kindred professions? The lure of the possibilities of serving mankind as a states man ! the idea of really counting for some thing, of being felt among men and affairs! Now, once we could get the young men to realize that there are greater possibilities of really accomplishing things in the pulpit than anywhere else; that the Gospel ministry offers a more influential career than any other field of service, then we woidd see our Seminaries filled with the choicest mm of the South. And are not these facts? What can be greater than bringing light and life to a world that is dead in crime and sin? In what way can anyone yield more influence upon the existing social order than by preaching Jesus Christ and holding up the great stand ard of Christian ideals? Dr. Sikes in a recent article in the Presby terial of th? South, says, "Let me beg my readers to stop having so much to say about the hardships, the humdrum life and the com monplace duties of the misistry. Let us talk more about the joys of it, the greatness of its service, the manliness of the men required in it, the soldier spirit called for and the line loyalty that may be displayed." This is the spirit in which we should go about this work. Dr. Sikes might well have emphaized Ihe phrase, "The greatness of its service." Xo one with the qualities that arc essential to success in the ministry wishes to give his life to a losing cause. lie is perfectly will ing to sacrifice, if that sacrifice amounts to something. W? must magnify the calling of the ministry. We must appreciate the im portance of the Minister's work in the com munity, his worth to society. Of course, we must do nothing to hire un worthy and worldly ambitious young men into the ministry, for there is no greater failure than a professional preacher. Hut we should present the facts about the great work, and they, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, will draw worthy men into the Gospel ministry. One way in which the Church might strees the importance of the ministry and her ap preciation of the young men who offer their lives to the servieo would be by keeping a "service flag" in each church. Upon this flag should be placed a star for everyone who enters any branch of church work as a life work. When In makes the supreme sacrifice in the service of the Master, he should be given a gold star. Why could not this plan be adopted by our Church? There is noth ing our churches would be prouder of than this flag, and as the silver stars increased in number and were in time replaced by gold it would be a stimulus to the whole mem bership and a clcar call to the young men to oflf-T their lives to the greatest work in world. Great Falls, S. C. AMENDMENT CONCERNING DEACONS. By Rev. Robert Adams, I). D. Would it not be welL for the Presbyteries, at their fall meetings, to adopt some such resolutions as the following? Re it resolved: 1. That the Sessions of the various churches be requested to call the Deacons to a confer ence with them for a study of the proposed amendment to the Form of Government, chap ter IV, section IV, and to advise the Presby tery, at its next stated meeting, whether, in their judgment, it would b? wise for the Pres bytery to give its consent to said amendment: a majority vote of Elders and Deacons com bined determining the judgment of the con ference. 2. That ths Pastor, if there be one, should preside at the conference and should assist in this study. 3. That the Stated Clerk be instructed to have printed a sufficient number of copies of the proposed amendment and of these resolu tions to place one in the hands of each Church officer, and to mail them to the Pastors and to the Clerks of Session of the vacant churches. This is a very important matter, and such a general, study of it could not fail to be of great benefit to the Church at large. Cer tainly the Deacons, who are especially in terested, should have the opportunity some where of giving expression to their views. The ad-interim committee was appointed by the Assembly of 1919 under the following item in the report of the Committee on Bills and Overtures: "5. From the Presbytery of Central Texas, asking for the appointment of an Ad-Interim