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WHAT THE CHURCH NEEDS.
We have heard) much of what the Church is doing. It is well to take a survey of accom plishments, but that is not enough. Too often we see the mistakes, and the alchemy of de sire transmutes them into successes, when they are anything else. We often hear optimists of a foolish sort, saying "always dwell, in your reports, on the encouraging and optimistic things." This may lead us to the folly of the ostrich who hides his head from sight of dan ger, but leaves his life exposed. Would it not be a healthy exercise to look at failures awhile if looking at them will bring us to realize our needs f We are a great Church. Counting the U. S. A. and A. R. P. branches of the Calvinistie faith, we have in the South a constituency of two or two and a half millions. But there are 40 million people in the borders of the Southern States and this does not seem a large .proportion of Presbyterians. The boasts of other churches that they hold the South is almost, true. We are growing in the foreign field, but we surmise that the heathen popu lation of our territories is increasing faster than our additions. It is dangerous to fool with figures, for they will tell almost anything you want them to tell. But to get to more general propositions: Is it not true, that as a Church, we need more consolidation of purpose? Is there not one purpose we may be obscur ing? That of carrying the Gospel to every person in our Southern States, and every one of 33,000.000 committed to our care in foreign lands? Have we a passion for souls, or is not our interest of a languid and perfunctory sort? l)o we not need more concentraton of ef fort? Presbyterians fritter away a vast deal of energy and money on every philanthropic and benevolent cause that appeals to the Amer ican public. We venture to say that they give five times as much as any other people in pro portion to numbers and means. All the while our foreign mission treasury is empty, and numbers of choice men and women waiting, but unable to go. Our equipment is of the meagerest kind. There is too much independency of spirit among Presbyterians. General Assemblies are afraid to order Synods, Synods are frightened at the shadow of a command to Presbyteries, Presbyteries stand in solemn awe of Sessions, and Sessions jump at. the snarl of a grouchy member, who says, "I'll give where I please, and do what I want to do." And so it goes. If we were to remember that the Iloly Spirit, the Executive of our Lord and Master, is pre siding at the court, perhaps we would be more obedient to the vision of service and concen trate in effort. Do we not need more consecration of life? IIow few of us have gotten to that place where we can say: " 'I am come to do Thy will, O Iiord.' " Our will and our foresight is as good as the next one. So we are not going to yield to another's, but if we realize that Jesus Christ is ours and we are His, our wills are one, then we are not heeding another frail creature's will, but that of our infinite Lord. Do we not, therefore, need more commun ion of soul with our Lord Jesus Christ? This is the fountain source of purpose, the main spring of effort, and the secret of happy con secration. We venture to affirm that these ara the general objectives of the Presbyterian Pro gressive Program. . When these are accom plished, all financial troubles are at an end. Why not preach them and talk them by the way and in our homes until our beloved Church shall arise and shine, her glory hav ing come? ^ A. A. L. Contributed WHY A CHRISTIAN EDUCATION? Rev. A. B. Curry, 1). D., Ex-Moderator of the General Assembly. A recent writer has pointed out three dis tinct stag 's of development through which our country has passed or is passing. First: The Struggle for Liberty, chiefly in the eighteenth century. This was the colonial period, in which occurred the great war for independence from foreign domination. This was the day of Thomas Jefferson and his won derful Declaration of Independence. It was the day of Patrick Henry, who voiced the sentiments of the young nation when he cried in the Virginia House of Burgesses: "Give me liberty or give me death." It was the day of George Washington, whose memorable victor ies in war and whose wise counsels in p.^ace gained for him the title: "Father of His Conn try." Liberty was the demand of the hour, the one thing needful to bring happiness and prosperity to the people ; and at great cost of money and blood liberty was secured, and America became the freest nation on earth. Second: The Effort for Education, covering in large part the nineteenth century. It was soon realized that an ignorant people could not long be free, because' they could not use their liberty aright. A monarchy may exist with an ignorant population, provided the monarch and his ministers of state are intelli gent; but not so with a republic, for the ob vious reason that in a republic its citizens are its rulers, and if its citizens are ignorant then the country has ignorant rulers and the republic falls. Eft'orts have been made for years in the countries south of us, Mexico and Central America, to establish and conduct re publics, but with indifferent success, largely because the masses of the people were left, in illiteracy and ignorance. Our fathers understood this, and so they ad dressed themselves to the education of the f/eople. The Church led the way and in thfc early days was the strongest factor in the work of euueation. From colonial days it was the policy of the Church to establish the school house along side the church. At the begin ning of the nineteenth century there were a few schools which had developed into colleges or universities, as Harvard, Yale and Prince ton, all founded and sustained under the in spiration of the Church. The State as such had not entered the educational field. There was not a university, not a college, not a nor mal, not even a grammar school, established by state money and under state control. But a great change began to take place. Some of the states used extensive land grants, and all of them appropriated large sums of money for the promotion of education. With such vigor was the work carried on, that by the close of the Century each state had its higher institutions of learning, and its system of free public school, with tens of thousands of stud ents in the former and hundreds of thousands in the latter. The country seemed secured against illiteracy and ignorance. This period was marked also by enormous increase of wealth. We became the richest country in the world. Third: The demand for good citizenship which grows stronger as the twentieth cen tury advances. It was now thought by many that our great country with its liberal laws and educated citizenry was safe. But we have been awakened to the fact that liberty and education are not enough to make a people great and strong and good. Along with our free institutions and the raafvclous educational development of the last century, we have seen developed in our country moral corruption, commercial, dishonesty and political graft. Some highly educated men have been leaders in exploiting the public for their own gain, and in sapping the foundation's equality and justice 011 which the republic had been built. Much of the education itself had become rationalistic and materialistic. Some of the universities and schools were teaching doc trines that obscured, if they did not destroy the higher and finer things of life. They prac tically repudiated the idea of an immortal soul made in the likeness of God. They were emphasizing man's kinship to the brutes be low him, teaching that man was only higher up in the same scale of being, of which lions and tigers were lower members. They were taking from men all pride of ancestry and all inspiration of destiny. They were tracing men back to the jungle, and as far as any future destiny is concerned leaving him there. Is it strange that men so taught should show a tendency to drift back to the laws of the jungle, viz: that "the natural passions are supreme" and that "might makes right?" The nation Where these teachings, perhaps, had their earliest and ablest advocacy and widest acceptance among its leadei's, is the nation which, through its leaders, claimed to be sroer men of the earth, with a right to as much of the earth as they desired, regardless of the rights of other nations, and which in the actual effort to realize this jungle ideal plunged the world into one of the greatest and most lamentable tragedies it has ever known. This ideal and this policy will do the same or worse for any nation that pursues them. And so there has arisen the conviction in thoughtful minds that the nation needs some thing more than liberty and education, and that if it does not get it, it will in time lose both its liberty and education ? even its civili zation. That something is virtue, moral rectit tude, goodness of heart. How is this to be se cured! In the Image of God. First there must be held up before man the spiritual in his origin and in his destiny. He must be taught that however much of his body may resemble that of other animals, in his spirit he resembles God. If there are teach ers who find special pleasure in teaching the young that they are made in the image of the ape, there must be found other teachers who .will also teach them that they are made in the image of God ; that true science confirms this statement of revelation: "God created man in Ilis own image, in the image of God created He bin*." We need to emphasize man's kinship to God rather than his kinship to rattlesnakes, hyenas, tigers and gorillas. In short, we must emphasize and cultivate the spiritual in man, realizing the fact, that man without the spirit ual is like a triangle with the hypothenuse left off ; he ceases to be a complete man, or eyen n man at all. God the Source of All Good. In the second place, good moral character must be secured in the individual citizen. But for man there is no good character apart from God, the source of all good. Therefore, there must be found a way to bring and bind men hack to God, and this is religion, as the etym ology of the word indicates. Here is the im portance of religion to a nation's character and life. There are no atheistic nations; th.^re