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The Presbyterian of the South : [combining the] Southwestern Presbyterian, Central Presbyterian, Southern Presbyterian. [volume] (Atlanta, Ga.) 1909-1931, November 16, 1921, Image 2

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/10021978/1921-11-16/ed-1/seq-2/

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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.)

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