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toil under which women work; for the reduction of the hours of labor, that men may have time for variety of employment and needed leisure; for rest from toil one day in seven; for a living wage as a minimum in every industry, and for the abatement of . poverty.
It declares that the church must demand a suitable provision for the old age of the workers and for those incapacitated by injury. The conditions under which men toil are vastly different from what they were in former days, yet we go on testing the rights of men by rules made to fit old-time conditions. We ask of men most difficult tasks. The office building in which I have my office cost the lives of two men in its construction. The bridge being now built across the Missouri River at my city has already cost the lives of five men. The families of these men, so stricken in their work, have not, most likely, any cause of action against the employers. They are, most likely, poor; and there are helpless children to be reared. These accidents are incidents of the employment in which men are engaged.
The world's work must be done. Those who risk life and limb are the soldiers of the industrial army. We are the beneficiaries of their toil. Equal justice demands a system which shall put upon the industry itself, and the product of it, the cost of the care of those who are crippled, and of those who are left helpless because of the inevitable incidents of the conditions under which work is done.
“But" it is asked, “why should the church be concerned with all these matters ?” Because the church is concerned with the bringing in of the kingdom. It was the promise of the Master that it would come. He taught us to pray constantly for it. That kingdom is a kingdom of the here and now.
If, then, the kingdom is to come among men, it must come under the conditions and limitations of life on the earth. It cannot exist in the midst of physical or moral uncleanness; nor of political corruption; nor of graft and fraud in business life; nor of falsehood and selfishness in social life. As it is the concern of the church to bring the kingdom, it must be concerned to see that all these things are done away with.
Again, if the kingdom is to come on earth, it must come and endure in the midst of a life which rests back upon a physical basis. All that supports and maintains life is the product of the earth, yielded up to the toil of men. The manner then in which the needs of life are to be supplied, and the place of industrial workers in the kingdom, are essential problems and concern the church.
It follows that its attitude may not be one of indifference. The church cannot justify itself if it shall concern itself alone with charity toward those who suffer in the industrial battle, nor yet in pursuing methods heretofore pursued to gather a portion of the industrial host into its membership. The individual churchman recognizes, if he is sincere, that he cannot win his possessions in the industrial field by processes which are fundamentally unjust, and wipe out the wrong by dividing out a portion of his ill-gotten gains in charity, or in public philanthropy; and the church must declare this truth without hesitation. Nor can it be content in declaring the truth concerning wrongdoing here as it may see it. The church must have direct part in the establishment of rules under which the kingdom can exist. It may hesitate to grapple with the great questions which lie at the foundation of property rights and the basis upon which men shall live together; but these concern the kingdom. There can be no doubt but there are rules which may be established, which rest back upon the principles of eternal justice, and which God himself has ordained. We, men of the church, must be honest enough and brave enough to search for the truth here and to follow its teachings wherever it may lead.
In the bringing in of the kingdom there must come among us a new attitude toward physical toil. All our life and our higher being rest back upon this toil. We would not dare to stop the toil of men for even a brief time; if we did, the world would starve. The doing of these things which must be done with our hands is vital to the existence and welfare of the kingdom. We will yet recognize, not by mere force of argument, or when compelled to consider, but instinctively and always, the inherent dignity of toil. We will honor more and more every one who does well his part in the physical work of the kingdom. We will recognize what comes out of it; how the miracle of life about us is repeated in us. The seed takes root in the dead soil, reaches out its stem and leaves, and takes of the air and sunshine; out of these dead things makes a living tree. So we out of our toil build our characters—and there are characters wrought
in the midst of every day toil as noble as have been wrought anywhere.
I think we shall recognize more than this. The kingdom cannot come unless the church shall consent to take up the task assigned it in the declaration we have referred to. The kingdom cannot be wrought out away from these things. They are essential parts of it. If they are left out, that which exists will not be the true kingdom.
Neither can the kingdom prosper unless it shall have in it the army of those who toil. Life is not understood except the view of these enter into it. These are bound closer together by ties of human brotherhood than are men of other walks in life. There is something about their very toil which clears their vision. They are our safest constituency. Our country's future rests secure largely because they will have, under our form of government, such large part in settling great public questions.
These men who belong to the industrial army stand not afar off. They have in large part kept away from the church because they felt the church lacked in interest in them and their problems. They are in sympathy with the fundamental things on which the church rests. They believe in the Christ and count him as having had great sympathy with those who toil. Organized labor is already massed in societies which have their origin in fraternal principles. Grouped thus they are more easy of access. They have admitted representatives of ministerial associations into their own membership and have sent their own representatives to fraternize with the ministers. They are constantly publishing in their weekly and monthly periodicals sermons and other religious articles. They have approved of Labor Sunday as a permanent institution, and are listening to their leaders when they plead for total abstinence and that their meeting-places shall be apart from the saloons.
Much has been said of social difficulties which lie in the way. These will grow steadily less and less. We find companionship with those who hold with us the same ideals and strive for the same ends. If our highest aim is for material gain, then those who have will find small companionship with those who have not. If, however, our purpose is centered in the bringing in of the kingdom, then we shall find companionship with all those who have part in that.
Time forbids consideration of the means by which the churches of America may bring about the fulfillment of their industrial obligations. To determine how that shall be accomplished will require our most strenuous endeavor. To its accomplishment the Congregational churches of America stand committed.
IMMIGRATION IN RELATION TO THE CHURCH.
PRESIDENT OZORA S. DAVIS, CHICAGO, ILL.
CHANGED CONDITIONS IN IMMIGRATION.
The Protestant Church in America finds itself, within the past few years, face to face with a religious condition which demands new and enlarged forms of service to meet it. Immigration always has been an essential factor in our development; our nation has been built up from immigrating people as well as by natural increase. The problem is not new, the church is not without experience in attempting to solve it; but present conditions are different from those that have obtained in the past, and new methods must be shaped to meet these radical changes.
The shift is geographical, racial, and religious. Geographically, it has changed from northwestern to southeastern Europe. Racially, it has changed from the Teutonic to the Slavic people. Religiously, it has changed from a Roman Catholic and Protestant to a more pronounced and less developed Greek and Roman Catholic type. Therefore the points of contact between the Protestant churches and the immigrants are less, their establishment more difficult, and the problem of the religious care of the immigrant more perplexing, than before.
THE CHURCH DEFINING THE PROBLEM. The church itself must, therefore, redefine its problem and remake its methods.
First, the Protestant Church must clear up a confusion which exists concerning its duty in the religious care of immigrants. It must settle, first of all, certain questions regarding the right relation between evangelization and proselyting.
We are challenged fairly by the fact that thousands of these immigrants belong to the national church which bears the Christian name. To disturb them with preaching which shall have for its primary object the undoing of their faith as taught by the churches into which they were born and baptized is no part of the mission of