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ment? We are but just beginning to receive the first installment of the loans made a year ago; but very naturally these first installments are for small amounts, for in all loans the Board has deemed it wise to make first year's repayment smaller than those of the two succeeding years.


About two years ago a long-cherished hope of the Board was fulfilled by the liberal gift of $25,000 to form a fund to aid churches in the erection of manses. As the fund was of a limited amount, two things were manifest from the very inception of the work: first, that if disbursed in absolute grants, it would very soon be exhausted, and secondly, even if paid out only in the form of loans, the amount in hand, if unincreased, would be inadequate to meet the annual requirements of the work. Yet the General Assembly, in view of the pressing need of houses of worship, did not dare to permit any of the regular contributions of the churches to be diverted to the manse fund. It felt constrained to confine that fund to "special gifts and such portions of church collections as may be designated by the givers for this end."

As yet the additional contributions have been very small, less than $3000 in the aggregate having been received. At the end of eighteen months of administration the result is what from the beginning was foreseen. The fund has been all pledged, and the only certain resource for future work is the repayment of the loans by the churches. But these payments are in installments running through three years. It is thus evident that, even if no absolute grants are made and all installments are punctually repaid, the fund, if unincreased, will afford a working capital only to the amount each year of one-third of the fund, or, as the account stands at present (a portion having been given in absolute grants), about one-third of twenty-four thousand dollars, or eight thousand dollars a year.

This amount, if promptly received, would be entirely inadequate to the work that should be done. To meet the reasonable expectations of struggling churches, overburdened ministers and suffering women and children, not less than $20,000 should be disbursed each year, and with the utmost stringency in administration not less than two or three thousand of this amount should be given in absolute grants.

But how do we stand at the present mo

From these repayments, if all are promptly made, the Board will receive before the first of next April just $1850; but already some of the churches are asking for an extension of time. Assuming, however, that the $1850 will be received, we shall be enabled to make loans for the building of manses to about five or six churches before the close of the present ecclesiastical year. Even after the system is thoroughly arranged and the money returns with established regularity, we should upon the present basis be able to aid only about eighteen churches each year, while the number that will certainly apply and with equally good reasons will reach fifty annually, and probably more.

Is it necessary to do more than to present these simple facts to convince any one that the fund ought to be immediately enlarged? For this, in the name of scores of patient and suffering wives of our home missionaries, we plead to-day. No more beneficent scheme has ever been devised than this, that aims to provide homes for our pastors upon the frontier. As we write, a letter comes in from Washington Territory, which speaks eloquently of the need of such help.

"Last May," the writer says, "I was commissioned by the Home Missionary Board to come and labor in this fieldWaitsburg and Prescott. My home is to be at Waitsburg. I arrived there on the 9th of July, but have not yet been able to secure a house. It is a town of about eight hundred people, and all the houses in town are taken up. The people are talking of building a house for us, as my wife is very anxious to start housekeeping, for she would rather do her own work than board, and besides boarding is too expensive. The church and society are not very strong, and they are just through with paying for building a church, and hence feel rather poor to commence building a manse without outside

help. There is a grand outlook to this field. and country, but at present the people are not many nor well to do. The country is new, just opening up, with plenty of room. for farmers and business men to till the land and build factories and open up business of every description; plenty of room too for workers in Christ's vineyard. Will you have the goodness to forward me a blank form for applying for aid in building a manse and other information that may be needful?"

What shall we reply to such an application, which is one of similar appeals reaching us every day?

Brethren, cannot $50,000 be raised immediately as a special contribution to the manse fund? How better can we signalize this centennial year than by monuments of benevolence and mercy? And what cause can appeal more eloquently than the provision of homes for the wives and little ones of those who are standing for us upon the frontier to save this country for Christ?

The General Assembly proposes that this contribution shall be designated as a memorial of the late Dr. Wilson, who gave his best years to the work of the Board. Brethren, are you willing that this plan, that appeals so strongly to our sympathy for the suffering, and to our reverence for the faithful brother and soldier of Christ who has gone to his reward, shall fail? Read Dr. Phraner's letter on this page and see how this work is estimated by one most competent to judge.

Surely giving to this end is such service as the King shall honor in the great day with the answer, "INASMUCH AS YE HAVE


WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT. Many of our readers will be interested in the following letter, not only on account of the kind words of encouragement to the Board, but also because of their personal interest in the writer, Dr. Wilson Phraner. Dr. Phraner, who has been for many years a member of the Board of Home Missions,

started last May upon a tour of observation around the world. He was present at the meeting of the Assembly in Omaha, and proposed upon its adjournment to visit the fields of greatest activity in home mission work in Colorado, Utah, Oregon and California, and afterwards to sail for Japan with the purpose of reaching China, Siam, India. and Syria before returning home next year. We were greatly gratified at the receipt of the following cordial letter from San Francisco, written just before he sailed for the East:

SAN FRANCISCO, August 30, 1887. MY DEAR BROTHER WHITE:-On my journey across the continent, in my conferences with the brethren, I have heard many pleasant things with regard to the work of the Board of Church Erection. I have been delighted to find the work so highly appreciated, and to hear so much approbation and gratitude expressed with regard to it, and I have been myself led to realize more than ever its importance as an adjunct of the great work of home missions.

It is really a department of home mission work. As I have seen how some of our missionary brethren live, and to what straits they are ofttimes put to secure a comfortable home, I have recognized the benefit of your manse fund. Before I go hence I want to make a small contribution to that fund, especially as a part of the memorial fund to bear the name of that noble man, Dr. H. R. Wilson. Enclosed please find check for $50 (I wish I could make it $500 or $5000), which please appropriate to that fund. I am well and very busy; am expecting to sail for Japan and China on September 10. With great personal regard and all good wishes for you and yours, and for the prosperity of the work you have in hand, I am fraternally yours,


HAMILTON, MICH., September 15, 1887.


MY DEAR BROTHER:-Your kind letter, notifying us that your Board had made the grant of $500 aid applied for, is received. Please accept our hearty thanks. We have the building completed, and comply with your regulation in sending herewith certificate signed by our trustees. We have some of the work to pay, and the seats and smaller bills to pay out of the $500. I suppose you will

forward the necessary blanks for mortgage and insurance, which, when properly executed, will put us in possession of the grant.

We have a very pretty and commodious building, of which we are justly proud, and for which we have to thank, in a large measure, our good friends who will not receive direct benefit from it. Allow us, in the name of our people, to thank you for the generosity shown us and to assure you that we shall spare no endeavor to put to a discreet use the funds of the church intrusted to us.

Yours fraternally,



DEAR BROTHER:- Enclosed find the papers necessary to the securing of the grant made to the First Presbyterian Church of East Portland by the Board of Church Erection. Our people are justly proud of their effort. We now have one of the best locations in the city. Our building was removed in safety, with the exception of fallen plastering. We are now on a good foundation. We worship no more in the miasmatic clouds which rise from the slough of despair. Our house has been repainted on the outside, replastered and kalsomined, and the inside wood work given a good coat of oil finish. We now have the most attractive house of worship in the city, all free from incumbrance. It has cost us about $1700, but the people gladly came to the rescue when they saw that another effort would give them such a good house. With the $500 from the Board our bills will be paid. Please draw the check in favor of Walter Jones, who is one of our trustees and will attend to it promptly.

With many thanks to yourself and the Board which you represent, for your generous assistance, I remain Yours fraternally,


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port it! Every Sabbath our meetings at Milo grow better. It was more the other way before we had our church. I think the spiritual prospects are even better than its worldly prosperity, and I believe we soon shall have a very large church there. Excuse delay, as I live fifteen miles from the nearest trustee and they are all scattered. Yours in Christ,



Sabbath, July 24, was a joyful day for the members and friends of the Presbyterian church and congregation of this place, which may well be called the Saratoga of Iowa. On that day their new church was dedicated to the worship of God. The day was beautiful, the audience full, and Rev. D. W. Fahs, pastor of Lemars church, preached an excellent sermon. Rev. T. S. Bailey, of Carroll, with the pastors of the Baptist and Methodist churches of Spirit Lake, was present and assisted in the services. Seven hundred dollars was still needed to free the church of debt-a large sum for such a community to raise after having done so much at the beginning of the enterprise. But by heroic effort it was done and the house dedicated free from all incumbrances. The church is a model of neatness and convenience, of modern architecture, with audience and prayer-meeting rooms connected by folding doors. It will seat from 200 to 250 persons comfortably. It is a monument of faith and perseverance on the part of this feeble congregation. The country is new and the people poor in this world's goods, but rich in faith. Three years ago Rev. Mr. Carpenter took up this work with fourteen members and no Sunday-school, worshipping in a dingy hall up stairs. Now he has fifty members, a good Sundayschool, a full congregation, a beautiful church and a fine prospect for future usefulness. Too much credit in this case cannot be given to Brother Carpenter and his wife, with the band of noble women who have co-operated with her in the women's society. Without the help of those women this church could not have been built. The Board of Church Erection gave the generous sum of $600 toward the building, which cost, finished and furnished, about $3000. T. S. B.




The announcement in the following brief letter (from one who, for the present, does not allow his name to be given) will be read with rejoicing and thanksgiving in many a minister's home-may I not say in all the homes of God's people?

August 31, 1887. DEAR DOCTOR CATTELL:-I have several times called to mind the very pleasant visits you have kindly made me in the interests of the Board of Ministerial Relief, and I herewith promise to give ten thousand dollars toward the new Million-dollar Fund for aged clergymen. I will make the payment to you before October 1. Hoping that my gift may prove a stimulus to others to also give, and with best wishes for ultimate success in raising the fund desired, I remain,

Sincerely yours,

In my last interview with this noble and generous man he said that as God had entrusted him with more worldly wealth than he had most people, he could not rest satisfied without sharing it with the faithful and self-denying ministers who had so much less than other people. Surely God will bless one who makes such use of his wealth!

Letters are coming to the office from home missionaries and pastors all over the country rejoicing that at last the church is moving in this direction. They do not expect for their old age the ample provision that is made by so many corporations and business men and governments in return for faithful service, but they give thanks for the movement that looks toward making some assured provision for the worn-out minister-enough at least to keep the wolf from his door-in the helpless old age to which most of them are hastening with scarcely the ability to lay by a dollar for its wants. Let me quote from a letter that came by last mail:

I have been forty-four years in the ministry. I seem good to reach the fiftieth. Might I rest then and look to the Board? I think I see on your walls, Jehovah Jireh-a good motto for your Board. With the ministerial and pastoral care of two freedmen's churches, aggregating nearly nine hundred members, and sole Sabbath-school teacher too, I am worked very much harder than when I was a more youthful minister. "Hitherto the Lord hath helped me." I am healthy and strong; have a grand old wife, a help-meet indeed, and Christian children, all in the church and one in a theological seminary. And we have plenty of bread and milk. I am not ready yet to sit down, but I hope you will get the centennial million to pension me with by and by.

Many of God's people have made, and are now making, money. Will they not send a cheering word, this centennial year of our church, all along the line of these toiling men-these servants of the church who, in choosing their sacred calling, turned aside from every profession or pursuit by which they, too, might have made money for their support in sickness or old age? Can those who have wealth "rest satisfied" until such a faithful and self-denying minister, bearing the heat and burden of the day for fortyfour years in missionary work, will write not only of his "hope" but of his assurance that "you will get the centennial million to pension me with by and by "?


But another announcement will be read with far different feelings than those of "rejoicing and thanksgiving." Our receipts for current expenses for each of the last three months have fallen so far below the amount received during the corresponding month of last year that, after voting the appropriations asked for by the presbyteries for September, our balance for current use is not far from the line of danger. Yet we began the year (April 1) with $21,389.87 in the treasury!

Those who read our Report to the last General Assembly may recall the sentence that followed the announcement of this handsome sum left in our treasury with which to begin the new year:

But it would be a painful result of this large balance, which will all be needed before the summer months are over, if it should induce on the part of the friends of this sacred cause any relaxation of effort on its behalf during the coming year. We enter the new year with an addition of nearly sixty families to our roll; and the same unwearied and zealous work that secured the enlarged contributions of last year must not be relaxed if the Board is to continue to pay in full the appropriations that will be recommended by the presbyteries.

Already, in the first six months of the year, this large balance of twenty-one thousand dollars is nearly exhausted and the season for large demands upon Board is at hand. Has the same "unwearied and zealous work" been continued this year on the part

of the friends of this sacred cause?

Doubtless the interest attracted by this centenary fund for the permanent endowment of the Board has had much to do with this large falling off in the contributions for current expenses, when, in view of the larger number of families upon our roll, there should have been an increase.

A remittance of $16 has just been received from a church which last year sent us $10.25. This shows a gratifying increase of interest on the part of this congregation in our sacred work; but of this enlarged contribution, $10 was directed to be sent to the General Assembly's Centennial Committee, leaving but $6 for our current expenses—a little more than one half the sum contributed by this church last year! Another church, that sent us $4.75 last year, sends this year $5.47 to the permanent fund and only one dollar and seventy-nine cents for our current expenses!

Have pastors and elders thoughtfully read Dr. Nelson's editorial on this very point in the September number of THE CHURCH?

peared some months ago in the Presbyterian Journal. As here reprinted some paragraphs have been omitted and others added by the writer :


The following article by one who has a thorough knowledge of what she writes ap


If people had ever taken the trouble to think five minutes about it, they might all know that it is only between thirty and forty years that two-thirds of our states have been settled, and that most of the pastors who made this rich western region something else than heathendom went out at first as home missionaries, on the slenderest salaries that would keep a man in working order. Most of the schools where our bright Ohio, Indiana and northwestern politicians, army officers, authors and business men were educated were taught by these minis ters and their accomplished wives, who added this teaching to the exhausting toil of their parish work. The change from the drinking, horse-stealing, shooting, dangerous state of

pioneer society dated in most cases from the logical studies, with much to learn, but resolute advent of a young preacher fresh from his theoto dare and to do, and if need be to die for the sake of his Master and the peace and good will he told them to spread. Compare the Western Reserve with the older parts of upper Canada in their poverty, ignorance and lawlessness if you want to see what that much-worn phrase, "the light of the gospel," means for a country. The treasure might be in earthen vessels, but the vessels brought it safely over mountains and floods, and it was treasure still. They not only brought control for lawless lives and com. fort for deathbeds, but the blessings of taste and home comforts; not only the Bible and sermons, but the school-books that made statesmen out of unkempt boys, the magazine and town library, the telescope and scientific apparatus, the white rosebush for the gardens and scions for the orchard. They drafted town laws and state constitutions, they fought riot and theft as they now fight anarchy and rum.

Surely people might have remembered, without telling, that the men who did all this were not beyond the natural life of man, that many of them must be still living, or if not, their wives and children are, and it might have entered into their hearts to inquire how these good servants of the church and the commonwealth, and those who shared their work and privations, were provided for. They could not lay by much for themselves against old age, or

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