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our farmers do not, and will not, attend church done by the faithful men who have been service in the towns. Our pastors and churches, called to it, and give some suggestion of its with one or two exceptions, are in the towns, necessity and value. and therefore do not reach the farming classes, and these form the major portion of our population. The colporteur is the only agent the
THE VALUE OF TRACTS. Presbyterian Church has able to reach them. Of late several articles have appeared in In this sparsely-settled country, however, a
these columns narrating the great work team and vehicle of some sort are indispensable. wrought by single leaflets, which had found Our church is losing much every year by not
their way, under strange divine guidance, having some one to look more closely after the
to those who needed their ministry. It is immigrants who settle in the foot-hills and outranges. This work is urgent and will not suf- quite the fashion to despise tracts; but fer delay. In all of the homes there is need of there can be no doubt that they are often more religious literature, especially for the used of God to accomplish great good. young people. Generally, parents allow their They can go where books cannot be sent children to grow up with no moral training or and where no living preacher can go. They restraint. From childhood up they have been
are like little seeds, which the wind carries, accustomed to rough society and the power of
and which lodge in the crevices of the rocks bad example. Soon they leave the older settled 'parts to become herders in the range,
and grow into beauty. The writer of this where they can indulge their lawless propensi- paragraph keeps tracts and leaflets always at ties, many times meeting a violent death in hand, and slips one into many a letter which some drunken brawl.
he writes, and ofttimes does not have to wait The following interesting account of an long to learn of blessing wrought by these Indian service is from one of the Board's little lowly messengers which he sends out. missionaries in the Indian Territory:
These thoughts have been suggested by On last Sabbath I attended an “ Indian
the following portion of a letter received Cry." I will try to give you a description of
from one of the Board's missionaries in the meeting. I arrived at the ground and New Mexico, to whom a grant of Spanish found that there were about one thousand peo- tracts had been sent : ple there, wbites, Indians and negroes. There
Tracts are among the most important instruwere a number of tents and booths, and a large
ments in the hands of the missionary. They brush arbor in which to hold the meetings.
enter where the missionary cannot. They Going over to the arbor I found a large congre
preach silently the most wholesome doctrine gation listening to the preaching of a full
at the fireside when the missionary is asleep. blooded Choctaw Indian. He kept them there
Like a planted tree, growing while the owner for two hours, as he had two funeral sermons
rests, so tracts are working often and often in to preach. These meetings are almost camp
the silent watches of the night, a thing of life meetings, and are held for five or six days, and
by the blessing of the Holy Spirit. They are always near a burial ground. On Sunday
a John the Baptist, pointing to Christ, and morning the funeral sermons for those who have departed this life during the year are
saying, “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh
away the sin of the world.” I was myself preached. In this case two had died, both
awakened by tracts in my early life, when far men. The widows sit in front, the next in re
away on the Sandwich Islands. How I loved lationship come next in order, and so After the close of the sermon & procession is
those little messengers of peace! I kept them
for years sewed together. I read and re-read formed, the women in the lead, and they all
them. As soon as I was converted, I procured march to the burial ground. On arriving there
a bundle of tracts every Sunday morning. I the women sit on the ground around the graves
distributed ten thousand papers every year. and weep. The Choctaw Indians build little log houses over the graves. The men sing a
And many a soul has been brought to Christ
by them. I distributed tracts in Spain when hymn, then prayer is offered, and all return to
Isabella was queen of that country; and how the meeting ground for dinner; tables are set at each of the booths, and all are welcome to eat.
eager the people were to get tracts! After I
had exhausted my supply, people would come These letters show how this lowly work is long distances in order to get some. I remem
ber how sorry I felt for that poor people then. particular cases which might seem to call for I have distributed tracts not only in Spain, but his arbitration, because he is so busy with the also in South America, Germany, Denmark extermination of the evil tempers of heart and and in other places. I have sent by mail and mind which make such cases possible. He by freight (in care of sailors) tracts to Norway, shows this by his further utterance on this very Sweden, France, Italy and other places; but occasion. He does not stop with the refusal. never shall I know what good they have done. He proceeds "Take heed, and beware of covThe recipient may never know from whom eteousness: for a man's life consisteth not in they came, but God knows the souls that have the abundance of the things which he possessbeen saved-knows that they are saved, and eth.” And he adds the parable of the rich that is enough. How unspeakably happy must barn-builder who took the other view of life, be those who gave their funds to the Lord for and who at the end went out of this life to the extending Christ's glorious kingdom among other stripped and naked. the nations of the earth! Would to God that If the church is to follow in the footsteps of more of his people might see the good that is her Master, she must look deeper than the suryet waiting to be done by tracts! They would face of life in such a case. She must seek the not tighten their purse-strings against those cure of social evils in that spiritual regeneraboards and societies that are trying to contrib- tion which gives society truer ideals of life and ute to the evangelization of the world by these what it consists in. We need this caution powerful instruments.
from our Lord's words all the more because in
these days we are tempted to look for some TIMELY WORDS.
more superficial remedy for the deep evils of
society. We are inclined to ask by what new One of the burning questions of the day arrangement of our industrial system we can is that of the duty of the church in the
overcome the difficulty-what contrivance will conflict between labor and capital. The meet our need. Great is the faith of the AngloRev. Robert Ellis Thompson, D.D., pro- Saxon race in contrivances! After fifty years' fessor in the University of Pennsylvania, preaching from Mr. Carlyle that no moral rehas recently spoken wise and timely words sults are obtainable from machinery, we still
are on the outlook for some mechanical device on this subject, and his address has been
that shall solve our moral difficulties and enissued by the Board of Publication and Sabbath-school Work. It is entitled “The Duty duty and responsibility; so we talk of co
able us to dispense with a higher standard of of the Church in the Conflict between
operation, of arbitration and of profit-sharing, Labor and Capital.” (Price, five cents.) as though in any of these lay our social and A few paragraphs of this address are here industrial salvation. No doubt these all have given. Dr. Thompson says of the duty of their uses, and especially the last. It is very the church in this conflict (pp. 14-16):
encouraging to see that employers of labor in “To treat in an ecclesiastical way” such a
our own city are resorting to this admirable problem as this is to treat it as representing
corrective of many of the evils of the wages Christ and his methods of social reform. I
system; but they are expecting too much if think his refusal to act “as a judge or a di
they think that even profit-sharing will prove
a cure-all. Its break-down in several notable vider” in the case of the disputed inheritance
instances shows that until the temper of wageis an apposite an instance of his method as any in the Gospels . No doubt there was a right better, even profit-sharing will not bear the
payers and of wage-earners is changed for the and also a wrong side in this controversy between the two brothers; no doubt it was a part
strain of industrial antagonism, much less get
rid of it. of Christ's work to abolish all such wrongs out of human society; no doubt the wrong in this The whole address is intensely practical. particular case was not a matter of indiffer- Dr. Thompson's familiarity with all phases ence to him; and yet he refuses to interfere in
of this question and his splendid commonthe dispute, declaring that to be a work to which he is not called. The reason of his re
sense way of looking at things and dealing fusal is found in the fact that he deals not
with them qualify him in an unusual way with the branches of the world's evil, but with
for the discussion. He looks at both sides its roots. He is making the tree good that the
of the vexed and vexing problem and throws fruit may be good also. He has no time for much light upon it.
PRUDENCE AS WELL AS ZEAL. tory which admits of putting off the armor
In the annual report of the Board, just for a well-earned rest. And this applies to published, the statement will be noticed that the organizing of a church as well as to the during the year there have been fourteen in- building of a house of worship. There is stances in which funds given by the Board
often too great haste in forming a church, in former years have been recovered in con
and then saying, “Let us rise up and build." sequence of its lien upon the property of a
In a general view it is a good thing to see church that has been dissolved or that has
churches multiplied over the land. It is an changed its ecclesiastical connection. The indication of the spreading of religion, and fact of the recovery of the money under such
a promise of health and strength to our circumstances proves the value of the plan national character, and of the triumph of arranged by the General Assembly to pre
Christ's kingdom. But there may be misserve to the church the grants made for a
takes of judgment in planting them, and
there specific purpose; but that there should be
be the influence of selfish motives this constantly-recurring necessity of re
in their origin. It is a matter of regret that claiming money given in the expectation of every year some feeble churches“ die out,” insuring the permanence of a congregation and that so often church edifices built with suggests the importance of wisdom as well great effort, and with aid from funds given as zeal in the organizing of churches and the
for wise use in that direction, are abandoned location of their edifices. As is remarked
and offered for sale. Undoubtedly there are in the report, it is true that however pru
cases where real good has been done by hindently and wisely presbyteries may act in dering the organizing of a church in a given the organization of churches, experience locality; and the Board of Church Erection proves that success cannot be always as
has proved itself a faithful and wise steward sured: churches not infrequently die from
in declining to contribute to building when causes that could not have been foreseen;
the enterprise has not commended itself to but it is also probable that there are in its judgment. In this particular a careful stances in which a wise foresight would have
revision of its acts will show it to be worthy counselled delay in the formal organization. of commendation. Of course, the responsiSuch considerations have suggested the fol
bility of organizing a church and recomlowing article by one who has had large ex
mending it for aid comes more directly upon perience in the practical working of this
the presbyteries. There lies the authority Board.
of beginning, as there is presumed to be the
intelligence of all the facts in the case upon “Let not him that girdeth on his armor boast which that authority is to form its judgment. himself as he that putteth it off.” It is well Experience shows that too much care canto begin with courage and confidence; but not be exercised in this direction. Of course it is also well to begin cautiously and wisely, it is possible to be too timid and to fail to if we would continue steadfastly advancing take an intelligent view of the promises of and accomplish sure and good results. the future. Sometimes a sagacious observa" Which of you intending to build a tower, tion of things present and prospective will sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, fully justify the organization of a church whether he have wherewith to complete it?" with a very few members. But it is also It is often much easier to begin than it is to possible to move too quickly, to be influenced finish ; easier to gird on the armor with bold by a sympathy with a few individuals which anticipation than to come to the grand vic- is more generous than wise; or by rivalry with other denominations that is hardly in har- often been deceived by promises, it is no wonder mony with a Christ-like spirit; or by secular that they are not confiding; and yet their conconsiderations which override, unconsciously
fidence once gained, and they are fast in their to the individuals concerned, the aiming for friendship. An opportunity is now offered the
Presbyterian Church to occupy this Nation, God's glory, by a desire for the improve
and the doors and the hearts of the people are ment of property and the growth of a com
open to us. munity. Build the tower; but be sure that One of the necessities of this country is the the tower ought to be built, and count the building of manses; and until something is cost. Gird on the armor, not boastfully, done we shall find it hard to secure and retain but as called of God, and with expectation
ministers. It is not like the states where houses of wearing it to the end.
are built to rent. I doubt if a house was ever built in this Nation to let, unless possibly
in Vinita ; sọ that many times a minister with THE “WARDS" OF THE NATION.
family cannot secure a house. The following appeal in behalf of our In- One brother has left us, as we learn, on this dian brethren is one of touching eloquence. account. Another is here boarding, and his Who will heed and respond?
family in Kansas. Another has built a little OOWALA, IND. TER., April 11, 1887.
box cabin, thinking he could save enough from REV. E. N. WHITE, D.D.
his salary to pay for it, but has signally failed. DEAR BROTHER:- As chairman of the Pres
Now, dear brother, I have brought to your byterial Committee on Church Erection, Pres
notice some of our difficulties in order that
you bytery of the Cherokee Nation, I am instructed
might advise or suggest. If I could only see to address you, showing the wants of the church
you, or, better, if you or some one of your numin the Cherokee Nation, and to ask for such ber could only visit us and see our wants and aid and encouragement as is necessary for the prospects, I am confident of your then feeling successful operations of the work in our bounds.
an enthusiasm. In the Cherokee Nation we have churches at May God open the hearts of his people to Vinita, Pleasant Hill, Fort Gibson, Eureka,
the cry of the Indian for "living bread” is the Park Hill, Tahlequah, Pleasant Valley, Seven
Yours in him, Houses, only two of which are west of Grand
D, N. ALLEN, River, viz., Vinita and Pleasant Hill, and not
GROUNDS OF APPEAL. one in the entire country west of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, and no place of worship of We give below the conclusion of Dr. any kind on that road from Vinita to Tulsa.
White's address in the Assembly at Omaha, In this field, south and west from Vinita,
upon the motion to adopt the report of the reaching to the Osage and Kansas, and to Grand River south and east of Vinita, we have Standing Committee upon Church Erection. Rev. A. D. Jacks at Coody's Bluff, Mr. John
It followed an explanation of the principles F. Allen, teacher at Kennedyville, and myself
and methods of the Board : .at Oowala ; and not one thing in the shape of a And now, brethren, having laid before you church that belongs to us, but holding our these plain facts, what more is it necessary for meetings in dwellings, public school-houses me to say? I see before me not only the repand often in the woods.
resentatives of this great growing West with We need four houses of worship here,-one its magnificent possibilities for our Lord and at Claremere, one at Oowala, one at Coody's Master, but, also, the representatives of many Bluff and one at Bartelsville.
regions that were themselves once young and Brother Smallwood, a Cherokee of full blood, feeble, but now are strong and vigorous in their needs a building on Barren Fork. His people mature life. will furnish the lumber.
I appeal to you, brethren, by the inspiration Good and sufficient houses can be built at a you have received from the sight of these cost of five hundred dollars each, size twenty- springing empires, that you go back to your two by thirty-six feet. The people here are churches and arouse them to the claims that willing to do all they can, but having had so the younger portion of the common church has many promises from unauthorized persons, they
upon the older. want to see the work of building begun before 1. Weld this great church together by a they are willing to contribute. They have so bond that nothing can break. Eastern capital
ists are investing their money here. Invest Our Board has sometimes been called the here your interest, your money, your love, your right arm of the Home Missionary Board. prayers. Where your treasure is there will Every church erected speaks of the power of your heart be also. You will take an interest religion, every steeple points upward to God, in these sister churches when you have money every bell rings out an invitation. in them. Two or three weeks ago, a church It is to fellow citizens of the household of was dedicated in Sterling, Dakota. On a tab- faith, to your brethren and kindred, that you let at the side of the pulpit are the words that are asked to give. It is all in the family. The show it to be largely the memorial to a Chris- universal testimony is that unless these rapidly tian lady who died upon the Atlantic seacoast. increasing churches are provided with church Her children have erected it. I know one of homes, then the missionary work, its toil, its them, and again and again he was in the office deprivations, its expense of money and of lives, asking in regard to Sterling. Dakota and is for the most part in vain. Sterling are different places now to him; yes, Why, Mr. Moderator, if there were no such sacred places. Our church will be forever one board as that of Church Erection, the wisest church when welded together by such kindly thing the Home Missionary Board could do deeds.
would be, first of all, to set aside $100,000 to Encourage the men upon the distant out- $150,000 to do this very work. Thus every one posts. They often feel lonely, these dear breth- of the splendid, unanswerable arguments that ren, who have to travel 300, 500 or 1000 miles you heard on Tuesday might here be repeated to attend a meeting of presbytery or synod. in regard to this work that to-day we are conOften single-handed they must do their work. sidering. If our great West is to be won and
What courage and confidence it gives a mis- held for Christ, not only must the gospel be sionary as far away upon the prairies or upon preached by the itinerant missionary, but the the mountains he commences his work in some ground must be held by an organized congrelittle hamlet or mining town, to know that be gation, by a house of worship, by a resident has an army at his back! He knows that he is pastor. John Knox understood this relation not to be left solitary and unaided.
of power to an established and permanent I remember once during the war riding out abiding place when he said with reference to from Harper's Ferry down the banks of the the monasteries, “ If you would rid yourself Shenandoah. Several miles from the body of of the rooks, you must burn the rookeries." the troops I found a single tent upon the river The wisdom of every army is to destroy its bank, and a sergeant and four or five men in enemies' entrenchments, and then throw up the blue uniform of our army. They were a entrenchments of its own. picket guard. They were alone, but they were An infidel writer understands what he is not disturbed by the thought. They knew that saying when he points to the fact that paganjust over the bills beyond the wood were en- ism lost its power upon the Roman world when camped the army. If there was an alarm, they the heathen temples and shrines were wrested had but to give the signal and help was at from the priests. He adds, “To emancipate hand.
the world from Christianity, we want to break Such courage you may give to those Chris- up the houses of worship; if needs be, tax tian soldiers upon what we have heard called them to death." the skirmish line. They will fight without Brethren, even such an assault, if possible, fear the world and the flesh and the devil, would not destroy Christianity; but the conwhen they know that their brethren stand ready verse is true, that, while rearing sanctuary after to back them up.
sanctuary to the praise and honor of God at 3. See to it that your magnificent contribu- the rate in this country of more than ten every tions to home missions are not made in vain. day in the year, the church of Christ is show
Brethren from these western fields, am I not ing no sign of decadence. right in saying that unless you can go on to erect a church building, the money expended in
We mark her goodly battlements home missionary work is largely thrown away?
And her foundations strong;
We hear within the solemn sound When I was in Dakota last fall brother after
Of her unending song. brother answered me that so far as Presbyterian influence was concerned, place after place had Mr. Moderator and brethren, this work of been lost because no church edifice could be building churches will never cease yntil Christ built.
comes again in glory,