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Vol. IV.] JANUARY, 1888. [No. 1.

JUST PUBLISHED: The Fire Ok God's Anger:

OR

Light from the Old Testament upon the New Testament teaching concerning Future Punishment, by L. C. BAKER.

This volume consists of a series of Bible Studies, from a new point of view, upon the great questions of human destiny, with Preface, and a copious Index of topics, and of Scripture Texts. 282 pages.

Price 75 cents, or if sent by mail, 80 cents.
Three copies to one address, $2.00.
Five copies to one address, $3.00.

By enclosing $1.00, the magazine will be sent for three months with this volume: or for one year for $1.50.

Address, L. C. BAKER,

No. 2022 Delancy Place,

Philadelphia, Pa.

WHO WILL HELP?

We urge our readers to aid in spreading the truth by aiding in the circulation of this book. The church at large is feeding on a mutilated gospel, because it has not learned the meaning of its primary fact—-the resurrection of the dead. This book restores this doctrine to its true place of " hope" in the Christian scheme. If any of our subscribers will engage in the work of distributing it through a canvass, or in a more private way of obtaining a few purchasers among their friends, we will be glad to send to such a sample copy. Such helpers may retain a commission on each volume ordered of one-third the price.

TRUTH FOR THE TIMES.

The opening of this new year of 1888 finds the church of Christ on the eve of an important crisis. The obstacles that confront her were never so portentous. And, on the other hand, her activities are being greatly aroused to meet the emergency. The question therefore is most pertinent whether she is properly equipped for the work now put upon her. Is there anything she needs to learn from the failures of the past? And are there any new lines of service and of testimony upon which she must enter if she is to go on to victory?

Let us look at some of the facts in her present condition. Many things conspire to tell us that she is not fulfilling the hopes and promises fondly cherished by those who seek her welfare. She has of late been making extraordinary efforts to evangelize the masses, especially in large cities. And yet the crime and debauchery, the intemperance and frivolity, the pauperism and woes of the large cities of Christendom are not diminished. A number are rescued out of the downflowing stream, but a larger number are borne along on the tide and engulfed beneath the waves. The church has been showing great missionary zeal and seeking to push her conquests in every heathen land. And yet over against the three millions of converts made in this modern era of missions, we have to place the fact of an increase in the world's pagan and Mahommedan population of about two hundred millions. And new forms of infidelity are contesting the very fields on which she has been most successful among the heathen. It is also being made apparent that the missionary conquests of Islamism surpass her own. Under these circumstances a strong desire for united effort is springing up in the church, a result of the conviction that something must be wrong where results are so meagre. This is an encouraging sign. Church congresses meet to inquire how the divided ranks in the Lord's army may be drawn together under their One Leader. A noteworthy meeting has just been held in Washington to consider some of these great problems, as they are especially presented to us in our own country. None of these movements indeed go down to the bottom of the trouble. They can heal the wounds in Christ's body but slightly. The whole church has got to confess and abandon the sin of denominationalism, before it can become a fit channel of her Lord's saving health to all nations. He has told us that her unity must not only be theoretically asserted but visibly demonstrated, before the world will believe on Him as sent of the Father.

But not only does her Lord leave her to shame before her enemies. He gives her up to weakness within herself. These extracts from a leading article'in The Independent of December 1st will illustrate what we mean:

"an Alarming Drift"

There is a popular saying among non-christian men to this effect: '' Religion is all well enough for the women and children ; but it is hardly to be expected that thoughtful business and professional men should give other attention to it than to support the churches for the benefit of the weaker portion of the community who are still held by their prejudices and religious superstitions." This, in substance, is what was recently said to the writer during a conversation in which the fact that fewer men than women were to be seen in the ordinary Sunday congregations of the churches was under discussion. How far this conviction or belief is shared by the mass of intelligent non-church-going men we are not in a position to know; but we are certain that there is a drift among men away from the Church.

Save in the congregations of a few distinguished preachers in the metropolitan pulpits it is open to the eyes of any who cares to see, that the proportion of men in any ordinary Sunday congregation is small as compared with that of the women. This is especially true as regards the young men from twenty to thirty-five. We have taken Some pains to subject a dozen different audiences of as many churches of average standing and social position to a careful estimate, and in no one of them did the proportion of men rise to one-fifth of the whole. Of this number more than one-half were men past forty and from that up to sixty; there heiag a large preponderance of gray heads among them. In addition to this personal examinal ion the writer has taken some pauis by inquiry among many pastors as to the .state of the r cong;egat;ons in this respect, and be has found from their test'aiony that the above statement holds good in almost every case.

A further fact in this connection is that of those men who are Christians in profession and life, a large majority became so in their boyhood or early youth. In regard to those congregations where a large number of men are habitually present it is true that but few of them comparatively are becoming Christians, at least so far as open confession of Christ and church-membership are concerned. A recent cavass of two important small cities in New England reveals this also, that on the principal business streets, in one case, only about one out of twelve business men and proprietors were Christians in profession ; and in the other case the proportion was still less. True, some of these non-church-members were supporters of the church and more or less attendant upon the

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