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railroad makes them more valuable. And we know of a property which would make a good parsonage, with all necessary out-buildings, with room enough for church, which could be bought for $2300, which would leave us with $700 to begin another church without any subscription. Would the Board help toward building another church? We would like a better one than the one we have, i, e., more modern, better conveniences for heating (furnace instead of stoves). Those who sit near the stoves are too warm, others not warm enough. Please let me know as soon as you can conveniently all the good news you may have. Hoping it may be all I would love to hear, I am, Yours respectfully,
A LIVELY LETTER. We think the following lively letter from one of the “honorable women" of whom there are not a few will interest our readers. We were happy to be able to answer that the good elder was mistaken:
Ohio, September 23, 1887. DEAR SIR :-Our Presbyterian church here seems to be going backward instead of the way a part of us at least would like to have it go. We have had a railroad here two or three years, which is a great help in many ways, but runs so near our church as to be very annoying. At Wednesday night prayer-meetings frequently two trains come past. Everything might as well be stopped, and often is, as nothing can be heard. At service on Sabbath morning the train always comes through, and generally during sermon. There is no alternative but for minister and congregation to wait -often just spoils something which might have been quite impressive. If you have never been in such a place, it is impossible to make you understand just how annoying it is.
Perhaps you begin to wonder why I am telling you this. Am “only a woman
too, not an officer. Will try to explain. A very few of the members have been talking of selling the church. More than a year ago succeeded in getting a congregational meeting where it was declared the church was no longer suitable for church purposes. A part of the members have been looking up all sorts of excuses—“do not want to sell it;" “the train don't bother us ;" “it is good enough as it is;" “ where is the money to come from ?” (Should have told you that we few are crazy” enough to want to build another church and parsonage too.) But our last blow was the hardest! “You cannot sell the church without (the Board helped build the church) paying the money, with interest for all these years, back to the Board.” Of course we could not do what we would like with what would be left. I told them I could not see why that should be so provided. The money would be used to build another church. I think from what one of the elders said, he had written to you about it some time ago and had received such an answer as that. I thought perhaps he did not explain it well. me your address, after I told him I would write myself and see if things could not be brighter. We certainly could not afford to pay back either principal or interest. Some of us are in hopes we could get $3000 for the church property. There are almost two lots, and being so near the
LIFTING TO THE UTMOST. We publish the following letter as a type of many that we receive that show very plainly that a little congregation is lifting to the utmost, and counting with anxious eye every penny upon which it can rely.
The deduction for insurance to which this good brother refers would amount to just six dollars. The request was gladly complied with.
CALIFORNIA, September 14, 1387. Rev. E. N. WHITE, D.D.
MY DEAR BROTHER :-Expecting the completion of our chapel about the 25th of this month, I wrote you for “the necessary papers,” that our trustees might fill them out and forward to you. Have not yet received them. But I have received your report to the last Assembly. Your rules show that five years' premium on policy of insurance are to be deducted from the amount granted. Alas for us! “It is the last ounce that breaks the camel's back.” Our improvements (completing the chapel) will cost not far from $600.
We applied to you for $500 aid, putting the amount at lowest figure.
We did not put it at $600 so as to provide for a cutting down on your part; but we put it at what we felt we actually needed. Great was our disappointment that only $100 was pledged. I have moved heaven and earth to make up the deficit. Only after earnest appeals (too many to mention) to personal friends have I secured barely enough. Have relied on every cent of the $400 pledged in order to meet
claims. Fearful that some of us (not able to bear it) would have personally to assume yet further obligations, I came very near making an earnest appeal to you for further help some weeks ago. And now comes word that a slice is to be cut from the $400 !
My dear brother, “I am weary to hear it.” Struggling to carry this thing through, this last jolt upsets me.
Let me herewith then, in behalf of self and trustees, make an earnest appeal that you
will grant us $20 or $25 more.
This cry is wrung out from us in the last stages of exhaustion, ready to sink under a burden too heavy to bear.
oping that you will grant this our earnest request, and thus come to our relief and gladden our hearts,
IN BEHALF OF OUR TRUSTEES.
The delay has been unfortunate but unavoidable. The letter containing the check was received when I was on my vacation in the mountains of southern Oregon. I immediately forwarded it to our trustees, but the president and secretary had both been sick, and were absent at that time recruiting. These brethren returned only a few days ago, and I had the matter attended to as rapidly as possible. I hope our delay has not caused any uneasiness on your part.
In behalf of our people I wish to express to you their gratitude for your timely assistance. Had you not come to their relief I am certain they would still be on the bridge [the church was left aloft tottering upon trestle-work when the road was graded away.- E. N. W.]. I never knew them to be happier and more earnest than now. They realize that they have a house of their own. They are most pleasantly located, with a neat and comfortable house of worship. Every one is well satisfied. We are now praying that great spiritual growth shall follow. To God be all the praise.
D. D. GHORMLEY.
EAST PORTLAND, OREGON, Sept. 19, 1887. Rev. ERSKINE N. WHITE, D.D.
DEAR BROTHER :-Enclosed find receipt for the five hundred dollars donated by the Board of Church Erection to the church of East Portland.
MY DEAR DR. NELSON :- I have read ing their invalid years. I know also merand re-read several times the article printed chants and manufacturers, as well as bankin last May's number of The CHURCH AT ers, who have honorably retired their wornHOME AND ABROAD, and ever with increas- out clerks or other agents and continued ing interest. This title attracted my atten- salaries to them during their lives. No one tion at first: "Honorably Retired.” Who doubts the justice and the humaneness of are they? I know something of men retired this. and retired honorably from active service in But who are those of whom the article civil and military life, when broken down referred to speaks? They are not men who by disease or accident or when incapacitated have been employed in the duties and enfor further service by the weakness attend- gagements of civil or military life. They ing advanced years. For them the country have not had large opportunities for providhas made provision. They have made sac- ing, beyond the current necessities of their rifices for the welfare of the country, and families and the education of their children, the country, benefited by those services, has for the necessities of infirmity or old age. justly and gratefully acknowledged its in- From such opportunities they have volundebtedness, and allotted to them pensions or tarily withdrawn in obedience to a divine payments or salaries for their support dur- call. In early life, when the allurements of worldly distinction were in bright array ceived from the churches to which they before them, when earthly fame and wealth, have ministered has not enabled them to or at least competence, held forth fair prom- make provision for ruined health or for the ises to those who sought them, and when needs of old age, or for the comfort of the the avenues leading to such prizes seemed wives who have sympathized with them in open, they deliberately turned from them all their labors and self-denials. They canall, and, constrained by the love of Christ, not help themselves. To help them is not devoted their lives to his service and to the charity; it is payment of a debt due to service of his church. This choice they them from every Christian man and woman. made, though, in most cases, foreseeing that It is well to look at the magnitude of the it involved a life of self-denial, of privation claim. I find, in looking over the minutes to them and to their families, a life of poorly- of the last General Assembly, that of the recompensed labor, a life of living not unto 5654 Presbyterian ministers of our church themselves, but as the loving Saviour lived, 340 are honorably retired from the active a life of ministry to the highest welfare of duties of the ministry-retired not from others. They are men to whom neither the their own choice, but because of inability world nor the church has given much, but resulting from extreme old age or hopeless who have given very much to the world and physical prostration. The proportion is not to the church alike by their instruction and large-about one in seventeen-but the ag. by their example. Many of them, most of gregate includes a vast amount of suffering. them, have through long years been faithful Of this the church has not been entirely ambassadors of Christ, pointing ever to the unmindful. Something has been done to way of life, warning and entreating men to relieve the suffering. Yet hitherto it has repent. Their teachings and their influence been miserably inadequate. We propose to have been powerful in preserving the purity celebrate next spring the one hundredth of our churches, in elevating the standard anniversary of the formation of the General of piety, and in stimulating Christians to a Assembly-unitedly to offer thanksgiving more Christ-like life. They have baptized to the great Head of the church for the the children of the church, married the sons blessings bestowed upon the church in all and the daughters, buried the dead, carried its history. We propose to show the sincersympathy and consolation to the bereaved, ity of our thankfulness by contributing the and in numerous instances have saved the sum of one million dollars to constitute a young from going astray, and led them to permanent fund to secure reasonable approseek and find that better part which can priations for the comfort of these servants never be taken from them. Such has been of the church. This has been approved by the labor of their lives, continued generally the Assembly. Will the effort to raise this from early manhood until disease or old age fund be successful? If it shall be, it will has laid them aside. Are they not worthy bring joy and gladness to the hearts of all of the appellative “honorably retired”? these honorably-retired ministers and their Are they not worthy of the gratitude and families, and also to the hearts of those needed assistance of all who bear the name Christian men and women who shall aid in of Christians, yea, of all who, though not accomplishing it. It will do much more: Christians, have either themselves or in
it will encourage young men, greatly needed their families been benefited by their self- in the ministry of the church, to give themdenying labors? Are they not peculiarly selves to it unhesitatingly. Very many of those who in the last great trial day will bright young men, energetic, hopeful and be recognized by the righteous Judge as his truly Christian, are the sons of Presbyterian brethren relieved or neglected in their time ministers, some the grandsons of these honof necessity ?
orably retired. They have been witnesses Most of them greatly need assistance. of the privations of their fathers and mothThe scanty support which they have re- ers or of these retired grandfathers. At
their entrance upon active life, and when names of living officers of the army and determining what lines of life they will navy, and of judges of our Supreme Court, adopt, they naturally shrink from encoun- are those of men who have been retired tering the suffering which in too many after
of active and honorable service. cases attends ministerial life, and especially Whilst occupying official place they have when sickness or old age overtakes it. The been prevented by the very nature of their apprehension of it for themselves and those duties from engaging in the pursuits of life whom they may love has turned good men which ordinarily yield a competence for old away in sorrow to other pursuits, and the age, and the government has therefore wisely,
, church is suffering thereby. Much of this and justly I think, provided for them whether apprehension will be removed if permanent they need such provision or not: wisely, beprovision shall be made such as is now pro- cause they are thereby enabled to devote all posed. I believe that such provision will be their energies of body and mind to the work made. Surely followers of the Lord Jesus in which they are engaged, before old age will not withhold from his ministering serv- comes; and justly, because after such servants, his brethren, the helping hand. ice the government, having used the best
W. STRONG. of their years, cannot righteously allow WASHINGTON, D. C., October 20, 1887.
them to retire from its service without adequate provision for the years which are
necessarily unproductive. If this be true COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, EXECUTIVE CHAMBER,
of those in secular life, with how much HARRISBURG, October 17, greater force may it be urged in the case of MY DEAR DR. NELSON :-I read at the those who, by the very nature of their calltime it was published, and have since care- ing, are prohibited from engaging in active fully re-read, your article in the May nun- and remunerative business of any kind ! ber of THE CHURCH AT HOME AND A BROAD, If the success of the proposition to raise a entitled “ Honorably Retired.” The scheme million for the endowment of our Board of therein outlined meets my hearty approval. Relief could by any possibility cut the In my judgment some provision should be Board off from the active sympathy of the made for any minister of the gospel to whose church, and relieve it from the necessity of name a presbytery, after careful consider calling upon the church continually for its ation, will append the honorable title of contributions for this purpose, it would seem "H. R.” In retiring the officers of our to me to be a great calamity, and should army and navy, and the judges of our fed- hardly meet the approval of our people; eral courts, at a certain fixed age, the gov- but the fact is that such an endowment ernment does not inquire whether or not would serve simply as the balance-wheel to they have the means of livelihood. The the machinery of the Board, which would fact of their being in commission at the time enable it to distribute its bounty regularly entitles them to retirement upon the pay and systematically, whether the contributions and allowances provided for officers of their of the church came up to the full amount rank. Why should not faithful servants of required for its annual wants or not. The the church, who have given their lives to church should be kept, it seems to me, in its ministry, be entitled, when age and the closest and most sympathetic contact disability come on, to a fixed and regular with this work of relief, and the grand stipend or pension, regardless of the fact project which has received the sanction of of such penury and poverty as will entitle the General Assembly should unite our them to relief, so called ? Such provision people in the most cordial and earnest efforts would undoubtedly dignify the whole scheme to secure its entire success during this cenof ministerial relief and would lift above the stigma of pauperism all who are its
Very cordially yours, beneficiaries. Some of the most honored
JAMES A. BEAVER.
A BEAUTIFUL CHARACTER. considered so successful as a peacemaker Less than twenty years ago there was in
that he was often called upon to adjust difattendance at the regular meetings of his pres
ficulties in neighboring congregations, and bytery a member over ninety years of age,
was never known to fail in his efforts." whose venerable presence was ever wel
He was regarded as a MODEL PASTOR, comed by his co-presbyters. He had long and from the day of his ordination, when secured their love and admiration by his only twenty-three years old, until worn down many years of self-sacrificing and successful by old age and dimness of sight, was never labors in the cause of Christ. A member left without pastoral employment; and when of his presbytery described him as a man no longer able to preach, he took charge of that would attract attention anywhere. His
a Bible class and continued to teach until very look was apostolic. He was the gen- near the close of life. While in pastoral tlest of gentlemen. No provocation was suf- charge he generally preached three times ficient to induce him to utter a harsh word, every Sabbath, and frequently superintended or pronounce a severe opinion. His affec- his Sabbath-school. Although so industrition for the church shone out in all his con- ous in the work of the church, he seems to versation. His distinguishing characteris- have been indifferent about his own secular tics were patience, cheerfulness, lovingness, interest, for at no time did his salary exceed spirituality and faith.” He was in the line
five hundred dollars per annum, and he of the gospel ministry for four generations, often relinquished some of that amount when and had also married the daughter of a he heard that some of his parishioners were clergyman and thus obtained a model too poor to pay their subscriptions. As a wife, to whose prudence and devoted piety consequence he had no opportunity to secure he attributed the most of his success in his a competence for old age. Still, when by pastoral relations. There was a rare combi- reason of infirmity he could no longer pronation of gentleness, prudence and energy
vide for himself, he trusted in God to supin this beloved man. His ministry extended ply everything needed, and was not disapover a period of sixty-eight years, and was pointed, for assistance soon came, not from invariably successful in every enterprise he any one particular congregation, but from undertook. He was favored with many re
the heartfelt generosity of the whole denomivivals of religion, and as a result of one of
nation whose churches he had loved so well these upwards of two hundred persons were and so successfully nourished for more thau hopefully converted. On another occasion, sixty years.
sixty years. In the organization of the having been pleasantly settled for thirteen MINISTERIAL RELIEF Fund the church has years in a harmonious congregation, he felt shown its grateful acknowledgment for such it his duty to accept a call to a church then valuable service as that rendered by our in a distracted condition. Against this venerable friend, and it was under the care change the members of the church he was of this fund he was cordially received when about to leave earnestly remonstrated. But over eighty-two years old, and tenderly prohe felt it his duty to make an effort to save
vided for until his ninety-third year, when the distracted congregation, and he went. he calmly departed from this world to go The sequel proved his judgment was correct, and “be ever with the Lord.” His last for in a few months harmony was restored words, uttered in a low whisper, were to the congregation. A revival of religion
ALMOST HOME!” soon followed, and upwards of seventy con
CHARLES BROWN. verts were added to the church. He was September, 1887.