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year, of the World's Congress of Free Christianity and Religious Progress, where a distinguished speaker (Professor Troeltsch, of Heidelberg) declared that “every future culture, in proportion as it possesses religious depth and maturity, will contain within itself that which forms the intrinsic vital power of Christianity - the regeneration and sanctification of personality through God.”
In response to an aroused Christian sentiment, we have had the satisfaction of seeing the governor of a Pacific coast commonwealth prohibit by public proclamation the holding within the confines of his State of a brutal exhibition; and we observe with hearty approval-that this courageous course is being supported in other States and in many cities, in effective protests made against the display of pictures of this debasing event.
We learn with profound thankfulness that there has been completed the revised translation of the New Testament into the Chinese language, together with a number of the books of the Old Testament; and we are assured that this will be to China what the Authorized Version of the Bible has been, and is, to us.
The Student Volunteer Movement, begun with 250 students, reports that, up to the present year, 4,338 recruits from this source have gone to labor in foreign fields, appointed by fiftyfive different mission bodies, and numbering among them hundreds of young women.
From government census sources, we have the gratifying information that, contrary to popular impression, church growth in the United States during the past ten years has been greater than the growth in population; and that this increase, both in the number of communicants and of religious organizations, is notably the case in the cities, while in the country districts the church growth has kept pace with that of the population.
The third International Congregational Council, held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in June and July, 1908, provided for its permanent organization, and it will be continued at stated intervals, under a constitution adopted at that time. America may well become the host of the next assembly of this body, representing our brethren from all parts of the world.
The American Bible Society will no longer be without suitable permanent endowment, as this year it reports the receipt of a million-dollar fund contributed for this purpose.
The establishing and maintenance of schools for the training of laymen and women for church work go well forward, and Congregationalism is not behind in these lines of Christian education.
We need again and again to be reminded of the necessity of studying carefully, and cordially coöperating in the work of our Mr. Metcalf, of Oberlin, Ohio, and Mr. Ford, of Cleveland, Ohio, in their all-too-little-appreciated efforts for the conservation of Congregational trust funds and endowments.
We would not mourn as those without hope the call by the Captain of our Salvation of our Christian soldier, Gen. 0. 0. Howard, from the ranks of the Church Militant to those of the Church Triumphant; the calling to the Higher Bar of our Christian jurist, Justice Brewer; and the closing of the earthly career of that devoted Christian minister and leader, the last of the noble “Iowa Band," Rev. Dr. William Salter.
But to enumerate further would be like "cataloguing the ships"; and yet each means so much, and represents so much, and has to do with so much, that the history of the day would be incomplete without them, and many more like them, of which space will not permit even the mention.
" THE MORNING COMETH."
We rejoice that we are members of an avowed companionship, in the United States alone, of over thirty-two million Christians, of whom our Catholic brethren comprise three-eighths. The capacity of these hosts for altruistic endeavor and moral uplift is measureless.
The frank and fearless preaching of a hundred and eleven thousand ministers in nearly two hundred thousand pulpits, sabbath after sabbath, throughout the land, of a gospel of individual responsibility to God, of personal cleanness and honor, and of honesty and efficiency in the public service, is doubtless in large part the immediate cause of the remarkable revival in civic righteousness which we are now experiencing.
This moral and political restoration does not mean that we are to make one single struggle only, and then fall back satisfiedly to somnolence and shirking. We shall learn well, and wisely apply the lesson, if we remember that weeds grow per
sistently, and often are most noxious, where once has been, but now has ceased, careful cultivation. If He who “keepeth Israel neither neither slumbers nor sleeps,” how eternally vigilent should be those who are set as watchmen over fold and field, over church and community.
In existing conditions, there is nothing to discourage, least of all to dismay, us. Our fathers experienced, we are going through, our children will encounter, religious and moral and social crises. The gospel creates an everlasting crisis, and solves it. With the advent of the day of stress, will come the Spirit of Divine Power. The Master lived on earth not to approve but to improve; He came not to bring peace, but a sword. He is both the cause of social desire and unrest, and its consummation and its cure. The Church could not, therefore, do other than to hold fast to “ the faith once delivered to the saints,” and to preach it with clearness, and courage, and constancy; to continue to be the uncompromising champion of that which alone “ exalteth a nation”; and to “cry aloud and spare not,” until there shall be adopted, and put into successful operation, in every land, every moral and social reform which shall make life better and more endurable, - surely world-motives, with a world-without-end object. Human experience is denied the comfort of perfection in order that we may be given the privilege of perfecting the imperfect.
“Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?”
“The morning cometh! The morning cometh!”
Ev its hasten toward the consummation which the whole creation moves.” The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ!
THE SOLIDARITY OF THE CONGREGATIONAL
REV. J. PERCIVAL HUGET, DETROIT, MICH.
In the opening portion of his address Mr. Huget referred to the splendid exhibition of unity presented in the personality and the messages of the speakers who had just brought greetings from other Congregational bodies. He also stated that in these addresses, as well as in the discussions before the Commission of Twenty-Five, and in the general discussion and conversation of the delegates to the Council, so much of the ground covered in his prepared address had already been thoroughly and repeatedly gone over, so that it seemed most proper for him to speak very briefly and informally. Moreover, with the expectation that certain points with which he had purposed to deal would be included in the report of the Commission of Twenty-Five, to be made on the following morning, he preferred to leave these points for discussion at that time.
The substance of Mr. Huget's informal address was as follows:
The solidarity of the Congregational fellowship is not a dream, not a vague hope, not a vision of something yet to be; it is a fact. We have already come to a denominational consciousness. The movements now manifesting themselves tend toward a fuller realization and a freer expression of this already existing unity.
This involves readjustment. This is the ever-present problem of growth. It involves the relationship of the individual Congregational church to other churches of the same denomination. This is the primary problem, that of effective organization and coöperation. It involves the relationship of Congregational bodies, local and state, to each other and to the whole body of Congregational churches. This is the immediate problem of this Council, the problem of effective denominational coördination and administration. It involves the relationship of Congregational agencies to each other and to the whole church. This is the fundamental problem, and the most intricate and
delicate one. In its most concrete form it deals with our Congregational missionary societies and their relationship to each other and to the denomination.
Our present duty and opportunity is in the line of unification, of conservation, and of utilization. We must unify independent elements into a real fellowship. We must protect the weak and the isolated. Nothing must for a moment be permitted to stand in the way of that conservation of the life and resources of our church which is our first and highest duty to ourselves and to the kingdom of God. We must utilize our united strength, realize upon our collective power.
The steps of more immediate progress will doubtless be indicated in the report to be presented to-morrow. The line of further advance has to do with the denominational oversight and control of the raising and the expenditure of our denominational funds. There is no criticism of the organization, the history, or the present administration of our splendid missionary societies. The simple fact is that the time has come in the denominational life for a closer union and a more direct control.
In a more general sense the expression of our newly realized solidarity, our newly appreciated unity and power, will be in the formulation and expression of the twentieth century denominational reason; in the effective utterance of our special message to the life of our day; and in the outlining and courageous forwarding of a wise and effective Denominational program.