Page images

Society is doing excellent missionary work for Germans, and maintains two ordained missionaries and one Bible reader among the over 89,000 Bohemians of that city, we long to see it recommence its work for the over 96,000 Poles in its field. A number of years ago a promising little Polish mission was given up by the Chicago City Missionary Society, and the missionary dismissed to save $600 for other work. There was no other Protestant mission to Chicago Poles. Doubtless that $600 if put into English work produced larger immediate results, but whether it is wise to allow a people like the Polish, of whom we have about two millions in this country, to remain wholly unreached by evangelical influence, however difficult and slow the work may be, is a question that seems to admit of only one answer. Some oppose work for foreigners in their own language, holding virtually that only the children are worth saving. I submit that, firstly, experience abundantly proves that the adults are worth saving, and, secondly, that such a course directly contravenes the Saviour's command to give the Gospel “ to every creature.” Last Sunday President Tucker told us that the Christianity of our generation has not mastered the city and that our cities are in no sense a Christian or a Christianized institution; and they will not become such until the churches of Christ realize the greatness and urgence as well as the difficulty of fulfilling their high calling to love the stranger as themselves, and to win him for Christ and his church. All our great cities and many smaller ones in the whole northern half of our land are overwhelmingly foreign, i. e., from one half to three fourths, four fifths and over of the population are of foreign parentage.

In closing let me ask you, fathers and brethren, should not the spiritual needs of vast multitudes of our population of foreign origin, and the great evils of superstition and error, of infidelity, godlessness, lawlessness, anarchy, and immorality that threaten to engulf them, and bring disaster on our fair land and favored people, stir every true Christian to greater and more intelligent love for them and our country? Should not every consideration of prudence and self-preservation, every sentiment of patriotism, all regard for law and social order, every motive of supreme devotion to Christ and his cause, every pulsation of love for our fellow-men, and every desire for the glory of God, lead us to put forth all possible effort for the evangelization of the stranger whom God's wise providence has brought to our very doors, that we may bless and save him, and our country as well, by giving him that which we value above all else — the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That wise and noble man, Dr. William M. Taylor, said: “They are the noblest patriots who seek earnestly and wisely to evangelize all classes of the community, because a republic needs the highest type of manhood, and the more the people is Christianized, the happier and more exalted the nation.”

To this end our churches need to be filled with a deeper, more intelligent, and more self-sacrificing love for Christ and our country

a love that shall impel them to do as did the disciples when Christ bade them feed the hungry thousands. They brought to Christ all their store of food, and put themselves wholly at his service. Then it was, and not till then, that Christ put forth his divine creative power, and the multitudes were fed. As to-day the Master views those vast numbers of our foreigners and their children who are unevangelized, can we not hear him say to us, "Give ye them to cat"? When he commands he enables. We can do it. We must do it. It is the sacred duty and the high privilege of our churches, of every member of our churches, to place themselves, and all they are and have, at Christ's disposal for the accomplishment of his world-wide purpose of redemption. All our missionary agencies, national, State, and city, evangelistic, church planting, Sunday school and Publishing, Bible-disseminating, Educational, Church-building, should be brought speedily to the highest state of efficiency, and supplied with all the men, the women, and the means needed for the vast and all-important work which God, in the carrying out of his far-reaching plan, has laid upon us. Then will the divine power be exerted as never before. There will be a mightier and deeper revival of spiritual Christianity thạn this country or the world has ever seen, and Christ will be glorified in us as a truly Christian people, which he will delight to make “a praise in the earth” as his herald of salvation.


REV. J. C. ARMSTRONG, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS. The evangelization of our large cities may well claim our thoughtful consideration. They have always been the sources of power for good or for evil in the governments of the world, and now more than ever it is true that “As go the cities so goes the country.It is a significant fact that the cities of this country have increased from ten to over thirty per cent of its population within the memory of many now living, and the wealth of the cities has increased from fifty-six per cent to seventy-five per cent of the wealth of the country in fifty years. Growing with marvellous rapidity they have come to make our laws and break them. The gigantic liquor power, the social evil, political corruption, arrogant wealth, tyrannical trusts of capital and labor and organized anarchy, find their home in the city centre. n these cancerous spots of modern life are gathered the dangero elements of society, and here they breed their kind and decay. Meantime they tax our resources and corrupt our children and make them like themselves.

On the other hand, the cities furnish the greatest opportunity for the moral and spiritual improvement of our fellow men. The people are massed and waiting for the Gospel message of brotherhood, and of salvation from the guilt and power of sin through our Divine Saviour. Here are the strategic points: the world's battle fields in the onward movement of the kingdom of God. Are we doing enough proportionately in the cities? And can our present methods be improved ?

Our misssionary societies as a rule expect the needy fields to call for help before they enter them. A “Macedonian call” is looked for. The initiation of new work comes from the fields, not always but usually. Individuals are moved to form a church, sometimes because influenced by meetings where they may be visiting or temporarily on business, or by sermons read, and preferring our polity ask the Home Missionary Society of their State to help organize and maintain a church.

This method of waiting for communities to move is certainly democratic in the sense that it provides a church for those who desire it. The consent of the governed, or so many of them as may desire to be governed congregationally, is secured. Its weakness lies in its lack of aggressiveness. If Paul did hear the “Macedonian Call ” befor going to Eurc pe, he never advises us to wait for an invitation before going into Asia Minor or elsewhere. Moreover, the “Macedonian call" did not come from a nucleus of a church asking for help in organizing, but came from above, bidding Paul “ go." The great commission reads, “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations.” This commission must lead us into the most needy and most promising fields that can be found, and such fields are at our doors in our great cities. Our inquiry must be, “Where are we needed?"

1 Page 34

Furthermore, the old method of giving $500 or $1,000 for the payment of last bills on a building, and a small sum toward a pastor's support, while sufficient for country parishes is entirely inadequate in the city field. City lots cost from $2,000 on the outskirts to $15,000 or more in the thickly settled portions, to say nothing of brick or stone buildings requiring from $5,000 to $15,000 or more.

Many of our large churches are trying to make their work more effective by increasing the number of paid workers. It is claimed that competition is so sharp and the demands made upon business men so strenuous, that they are of liged to hire workers to take their places as visitors and, as suggested recently, Sunday-school teachers. Much is accomplished by the hired laborers. The overtaxed pastors cannot do all the necessary visiting. The sick, the strangers, and the feeble need more attention than they can give them. Why not ask their wealthy churches to pay for suitable helpers ? It must be a great comfort for the man of affairs to be able to say to himself, “ Aaron shall be my mouthpiece and Dorcas will make coats and garments, and I will pay the bills necessary for their support.” So it comes to pass that men, and more frequently women, are employed to do pastoral work. The Methodists and now our own denomination are turning to deaconesses as the way out of the difficulty of finding sufficient laborers for the harvest. This plan, with its logical sequence of endowed funds to pay the hired servants, is as certain to fail of the largest fruitage now as it has always failed. Whether the order be sisters of charity or deaconesses, the conquest of the world will not be effected thereby. Much good will be done but its failure lies in sending by whom we will send rather than in going. We are told that “Old Rome shortened her sword to extend her empire." It is by the shortening of the sword that we are to extend the empire of the King of kings to the remotest corner of the globe if it is ever done. And it must be done. The command is, “Go ye,” not “Send ye.” We must have the gifts of the wealthy, certainly, and we must also have the giver as well. The busy pastor will tell us, no doubt, that he cannot get the men of affairs in his church to give this personal help that is suggested. He will tell us also, that if such men would come to the prayer-meetings and take part and teach in the Sunday-School, and go from house to house and invite people to come to church and come himself to the second service, a moral and spiritual revolution would be the result. But how otherwise can we “teach all nations”? If the man of power and most influence cannot obey the command to give himself to Christian work to evangelize his own family, his neighbors and his employees, how can it be done? The conversion of the world waits for this simple program to be carried out. "When Zion travails she brings forth.” And Zion isn't travailing when the minister and a few paid helpers are trying to do all the needed work in a given parish. The laborers in the vineyard must labor not by proxy only, but personally as well. The word must still be made flesh to save the world. And however effective the work of any church may be by this method we have been considering, it ends of course in its own parish. The regions beyond need the Gospel

The Social Settlement is accomplishing something in its way. There is contact and some social betterment. The work, however, is humanitarian in its aim. In notable cases there is an entire absence of distinctly religious teaching Prayer-meetings, preaching, Scripture reading and teaching, and Sunday-school instruction for children, are not allowed lest Jews and Catholics should be offended and driven away. Instructive lectures are given on literary and scientific subjects. The poor are visited and their physical wants supplied. Billiards, dancing, cards, and bowing alleys are provided and theatrical plays are given. No question can be raised as to the excellence of the motives of those who conduct such settlements, but it seems evident that the command to make disciples must mean more than they are doing. Such work may serve to make people content with their hard environment and may improve their surroundings to some extent, but the deep need of the estranged and rebellious human heart calls for much more than good environment. Now as

« PreviousContinue »