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THE TIDE OF WORLD LINESS.
Too often the Session is in doubt as to whether worldliness prevails in a congregation or not. The question is modified, and smoothed down, and dodged often. It is a difficult ques tion to answer. What is worldliness? It is the love of and indulgence in those things which the world makes its chief end in life. If the chief end of man is to glorify God, the chief end of the world is to glorify self. Everything centres around self, and self glorification. This may be an unholy ambition, a desire to rise to heights of fame for fame's sake. So a man may be worldly who lives a most ascetic life, in order to master his fellow men. The foot ball player who denies himself many an indul gence, because it will imperil his team's suc cess, may do so from a purely worldly end. The desire to acquire money, even in legal ways, may so obsess men as to make it it be come the main motive of life. This is the worldly spirit. They desire to have the power that money gives, to be looked up to and con sulted and even asked to go into certain en terprises, because they have acquired great wealth. There is nothing like the adulation money brings, and no power so immense as the power it holds over the heart of man. Even a desire for earthly comfort may beeome worldliness. Ease of circumstances and body may and in deed is often an hindrance to the Kingdom of God. Jesus said, "In this world ye shall suffer persecution"; not, "you shall have ease and comfort, much less, luxury." So when we put these as the main object of our life we are to that extent worldly. If comfort enables us to do Ilis will more effectively, then we ought to be comfortable. Of course the thrills that come to our aes thetic taste and bodily nerves do constitute a large element of modern worldliness. This is expresed by the modern forms of the dance, the card-party and the salacious theatre and other forms. That worldliness is the wrong adjustment. It puts the emphasis on the wrong thing and on things that are wrong. It is no doubt the greatest enemy of the Church of God to-day. "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." If love be absent all is lost. Every motive to a higher life is gone. Every safeguard against the depths of sin is withdrawn. The rail along the precipice is taken away, and we may do down to eternal destruction. The contagion is in the air and while some may escape inoculation, most do not. Seventy-eight per cent, of the gamblers learned to play in the home, and going out with the skill they plunged down that awful road to perdition. Seventy-five per cent, of the women who shame our cities and fill our slums, began an evil career by learning the im proper dance. Many may dance some forms without evil, but the gate is open and the for bidden pastures of sin are very alluring. The little boy said to his aunt; "O, Auntie, if you go to circus you never will want to go to the prayer-meeting." Anything that makes an assembly of God's people tame and uninteresting is fatal to the Christian develop ment. Worldliness is rapidly becoming more pre valent and more powerful. We may shut our eyes ? we may flatter our souls by pointing to the large sums raised by the churches, but ex cept to the man who willfully shuts his eyes, it is apparent that worldliness is sweeping like a tidal wave over our people. ? Sessions may well consider this matter care fully. Ministers should speak of it even at peril of their ecclesiastical heads. They may lose them like John the Baptizer, at the malici ous purpose of a dancing girl. Above all we should seek to make God's gracious service so attractive that it will outshine and outdraw the world. A. A. L. Contributed SABBATH? SABBATHS. By a Bible Student. The wide-spread and insistent propaganda of Sabbatarians, particularly of Seventh Day Advent ists, lias led to a re-examination of the Sabbath question. The writer has stumbled on to something that he had not noticed be fore nor seen mentioned by any one else, which seems to entirely negative the claim that Saturday, the seventh day of the week, is the one and only Sabbath recognized in the Scriptures. The Greok word sabbaton, a singular noun of the second declension, and sabbata of the third declension always in the neuter plural, are used sixty-eight times in the New Testa ment and are always translated sabbath until after our Lord's resurrection when, strange to say, they have a different rendering! Matthew 28:1 is, "In the end of the Sabbath (sabbaton) as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week"; but the Greek for "first day of the week" is mian sabbaton, i. e. literally, "first of sabbaths" (plural). Ac cordingly, there was more than one sabbath, and the day after the seventh day was one of them! This seems as plain as a demonstra tion. This same phrase, "first day of the week," as translation of mian sabbaton, "first of sabbaths," occurs in Mark 16:2 and 9, Luke 24:1, John 20:1 and 19, Acts, 20 :7, and I Cor. 16 :2 ; only in Mark 16:9, the Greek word is not in the plural, but in the singular, sabbaton, showing that "the first day" ? the day of Jesus' resurrec tion ? was a sabbath. Scripture, then expli citly calls a specific first day of the week a sabbath ! More demonstration. In Colossians 2:16 we have, "Let no man, therefore, judge you .... in respect of ... . the Sabbath days," Greek, "of Sabbaths." The heavy judgments visited by Sabbatarians upon all those who do not accept their Sabbath views, have no warrant in a proper exegesis of post-resurrection Scripture, and they do violate the apostolic injunction against judg ing brethren. "We be brethren." A GOOD WORD FOR WEST VIRGINIA. By Rev. Ernest Thompson, D. D. West Virginia has been in the lime light quite a good deal recently in a not very en viable way May I say a good word for West Virginia from a Presbyterian point of view? . , When the Synod of West Virginia was e? tahlished in 1915, it was with some misgiving on the part of the Mother Synod of Virginia and hesitancy on the part of some who would be included in the New Synod. In fact some of the churches in West Virginia declined to come into the new organization and are still outside. But we have prospered without them, though we need them and would have done a better work with them. These figures which are only for the Presby terian Church, U. S., speak for themselves: Statistical. 1915 1921 . Number Churches 89 93 Number Ministers 52 66 Church Membership 9,956 12,924 Number Sunday Schools.... 93 109* Sunday School Enrollment. . 11,797 14,851* ?(The records show the Synod now has 131 Sunday Schools with an enrollment of 17,051, or 22 more schools and 2,200 more scholars than the official reports give). Contributions. 1915 1921 Pastors Salaries $38,147 $ 81,246 Church Expenses 66,031 177,884 Benevolences 29,284 197,292 (When miscellaneous $39,969 is added, the Benevolent total for 1921 is $237,261). Total Gifts for all Causes, $133,462 $496,4.11 \ I Per capita Gifts for Benevolences in whole church is $14.92 West Virginia capita gifts for Ben-jvo lences in whole church is 18.36 Total per capita gifts from whole church is 30.53 West Virginia per capita gifts from whole church is 38.41 Benevolent gifts for year ending April 1, 1921: General Assembly Causes $ 72,639 Synod's Home Missions 6,644 Orphan Work 42,149 Educational Institutions 15,712 Presby terial Home Missions 24,259 Congregational Home Missions 35,889 $197,292 Miscellaneous Gifts 39,969 1 Grand Total Benevolences $237,261 Charleston, W. Va. ABOUNDING IN THANKSGIVING: OUR PRIVILEGES. Next to the blessing of a pure heart is the blessing of a thankful heart. The Psalmist said. "I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth." They who bless the Iiord only when all goes well with them are much like the man of whom it was said, "He served the Lord off' and on for forty years." "Off and on" thanksgiving is a poor kind. A better kind is told of by Mr. Charles M. Alexander, the noted gospel singer. He tells the story of an old colored man in Chicago, who came into one of the missions with a bright and shining face, no matter what happened. One day he came with his thumb tied up. They asked him what was the matter, and he replied: "To day I was fixing a box and I smashed my thumb, but, praise the Lord, I have my thumb yet." A -few nights after he came in with his face as bright as ever. Some one inquired : "Well, uncle, what have you to praise the Lord for to-night T" "Oh," said he, "I was coming down the street to-night with a big piece of beefsteak. I had spent all my money on that beefsteak, and I laid it down on the sidewalk to tie my shoe, and while I was ty ing my shoe, a big dog came along and took that beefsteak and carried it off. Praise the Lord!" A man said: "Look here, uncle, what (Continued on pago 4.)