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These men were the representatives of the type
of theology and style of preaching then most approved in Virginia, and in the South, yea, among Presbyterians all over the land. And that theology and that preaching, 1 cannot but think were then, and would be now, best for the learned and for the unlearned, and for both classes with reference to the life that now is and that which is to come. But I must believe also that Aunt Matty had a better teacher than even these holy and gifted men. The divine Spirit instructed her. It was He enabled her to rise to the clear and sublime conception of the glorious scheme of salvation which she clothed in words so ap propriate and impressive. Old Paths. (Would it not be well to have more of that same kind of doctrinal preuching in this good year of 1922?? B. P. B.) Charlotte Court House, Va. REAL PROBLEMS. By Rev. A. J. Ponton. That the Church is? facing many real prob lems to-day, no thoughtful and informed man will deny. If the daily experiences of every faithful pastor could be placed on the front page of some daily newspaper, it would surely cause more than a passing glance. Just what is the best solution, I feel quite sure I do not know, but we may at least get some help by a careful and honest study of facts. To start with, let us say that the situation is bad ? very bad. I do not assert this as a fact. We might say things are pood ? very good ? if we looked only at the bright side ; and use the same pro cess in arguing. This condition did not obtain or result over night. It has been a steady process. What meets the real student of God's Word to-day at every turn! The line between the Church and the world is obliterated. No one dare say where it is. The Sabbath is more and more desecrated. Lawlessness in every form seems to be on the increase. The authority of the Church is a thing of the past. If there is any law in the Church, no one seems to know about it, and it certainly does not command respect, and so we might multiply numbers, but let this suffice. Now the Bible is either the Word of God, or it is nothing. The Church is either God's divine institution, or it is nothing. The Law by which this living Word is applied, and this institution is conducted, is either God's law, or it has no real meaning at all. To what purpose, if we are raising more money than ever before, if there are more agencies, if there are more plants and plans; unless they all have the seal and mark of God upon them, and unless they all, at all times seek first, last and always the glory of God, in the salvation of men? Now it is a fact that we have some "old fogies," so-called, in the Church, and for most of those we ought to thank God. For the pro gressive Church is harking back to these* same men and women for its support in all thes'j undertakings. The writer seriously doubts the wisdom, if not the Scripturalness of many things, that at present our Church seems to be treating light ly, in some cases; in others, paying no atten tion at all, and in still others showing a zeal ous interest. Many of our people cannot see any good reason or Scripture for the drives that have been made, and will be. Whether the word "drive" is just an unfortunate choice, I am sure I cannot say, but I cannot believe that our people who are able are stingy and penu PRESIDENT HARDING'S THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION. In the beginning of our country the cus tom was established by the devout fathers, of observing annually a day of thanksgiving for the bounties and protection which divine Providence had extended throughout the year. It has come to be perhaps the most characteristic of our national observances, and as the season approaches for its annual recurrence it is fitting formally to direct attention to this ancient institution of our people and to call upon them again to unite in its appropriate celebration. The year which now approaches its end has been marked, in the experience of our nation, by a complexity of trials and tri umphs, of difficulties and of achievements, which we must regard asour inevitable por tion in such an epoch as that hhrough which all mankind is moving. As we survey the experience of the passing twelve months we shall find that our estate presents very much to justify a nation-wide and most sincere testimony of gratitude for the bounty which has been bestowed upon us. Though we have lived in the shadows of the hard con sequences of great conflict, our country has been at peace and has been able to contribute toward the maintenance and perpetuation of peace in the world. We have seen the race ot mankind make gratifying progress on the way to permanent peace, toward order and restored confidence in its high destiny. For the divine guidance which has enabled us in growing fraternity with other people, to attain so much of progress; for the boun teous yield which has come to us from the resources of our soil and our industry, we owe our tribute of gratitude and with it our acknowledgment of the duty and obligation to our own people and to the unfortunate, the suffering, the distracted of other lands. Let us in all humility acknowledge how great is our debt to the Providence which has gen erously dealt with us and give devout assur ance of unselfish purpose to play a helpful and ennobling part in human advancement. It is much to be desired that in rendering homage for the blessings which have come to us we should earnestly testify our con tinued and increasing aim to make our own great fortune a means of helping and serv ing, as best we can, the cause of humanity. Now, therefore, I. Warren G. Harding. President of the United States of Amcrica. do designate Thursday, the thirtieth day of November, as a day of thanksgiving, suppli cation and devotion. I recommend that the people gather at their family altars and in their houses of worship to rendor thanks to God for the bounties they have enjoyed and to petition that these may be continued in , the year before us. In witness whereof I hpve hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of Washington thij second > day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and twenty-two and of the independence of the United States of America the one hundred forty-seventh. WARREN G. HARDING. rious. So let the brains and consecration of the Church wrestle with this problem, and just bring to the masses of the people a plain "thus saith the Lord." Again, many of our best people in the rural districts do not take kindly to the summer conferences, the multiplicity of places and the customs. For instance, there is surely no harm in swimming. This is a popular sport and form of recreation at all of our places of conference. But let the whole Church see to it that modesty and decency are observed at all times and under all circumstances. For many of our rural communities have been rude ly shocked by their young people imitating the indecent practices of some of our popular sum mer resorts in quiet country streams and mill ponds. Let not the Church pass these things by, but let the whole Church look to this prob lem with jealous care. Again, there are many good people in our Church who feel that too much latitude has been given to women's work, or that it occu pies too large a place, and in some instances that this arm of the Church's work has gone beyond the pale of the authority of the ses sion or any other church court. Let me pause to say that I realize that I am on thin ice, and if some good, zealous woman should pause long enough to read these lines, I want to say to her that no one in our beloved Zion has great er respect for the true Christian woman in all of her God-given rights and privileges to work for her Master than I; yet here is another problem: some ? yes, many ? of the very best and truest of our women have come to me as a pastor and asked for counsel, advice and help. I believe women, more than men, love leadership in society. We know of sad and hurtful instances where the leader of the church society is also the leader at the card table and at the dance. No woman who is truly consecrated to her Lord's service, or man, either, for that matter, will attempt to do the impossible. I believe the time is now here when the Church should say in words of loving, yearning entreaty, but at the same time in words of command: "You cannot be both at one and the same time." The very same law should apply to the men of the Church, especially our official members, who seem to interpret the entire Bible, not accord ing to the law, as laid down by our fathers, but according to the customs of the day and the desires of the carnal' mind. Compromise of the eternal principles of right, and the low ering of the blood-stained banner of the cross, to the damnable whims, caprices and sins of the world, is, I believe, the leading sin of the Church of to-day. What is the Church going to do about it? Is it not a real problem! We might mention the problem of the empty church. The faithful few at the mid-week prayer meeting, the work of the Sunday school, cur young people and many others; but this would make our story too long. The problems are all here. They are with us every morning when we arise. They are with us at night when we lay our heads on our pillows for rest and sleep. You and I are swiftly passing. We will not pass this way again. May we not help the Church to solve some of these problems by a higher type of consecration and consistency in our own lives? May we not be the "Safety First" signs in things moral and spiritual! May we not, by a fuller surrender of our own lives to Christ, lead our young people to see that the highest form of joy and amusement if not in gratifying the desires of the carnal mind, but in humble, loyal, joyous service for the Master? Thus we might begin to help solve some of the problems. Pamplin, Va. For all right judgment of any man it is es sential to see his good qualities before pro nouncing on his bad. ? Thomas Carlyle. "What would be the effect on me if I should stop giving?" "Your soul would grow small as your bank account grew large." Tn the mysterious dealings of God sorow and affliction are sometimes the disguised blessings that lead into the paths of service.