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Professor of Systematic Theology and New Testament Exegesis, 
Free Church College, Aberdeen; 


Edward Robinson Professor of Biblical Theology, Union Theological 
Seminary, A\-w i'orA: 








International Theological Library 






E D I N B U R (r 1 f 



P R E F A C E. 

This book is intended to cover the field of what is 
known as Pastoral Theology. The technical phrase is not 
well chosen : theology, in any proper sense of the word is 
not connoted by it. It deals Avitli the work of the Chris- 
tian pastor and the Christian church. Its subject is 
applied Christianity. It is concerned with the ways and 
means by which the truth of the Gospel of Christ is 
brought to bear upon the lives of men, in the administra- 
tion of the local congregation. It seeks to show the 
pastor hoAV he may order his own life and the life of his 
flock so that their joint service may be most effective in 
extending the Kingdom of God upon earth. It is not 
wholly a matter of methods and machinery, for the spirit 
in which the work is done is the main concern ; but it is a 
study of the life of the church as it is manifested in the 
community where it is planted. 

The forms of this life greatly vary as civilization 
changes. New occasions teach new duties. Ethical 
standards are purified and elevated; the ein])liasis of the. 
teaching is altered; modes of address, methods of adminis- 
tration that once were effective are no longei- pra('tica1)le; 
the ^\■lll•l■c (if tlic cliiircli iiuist tic a(l;i|ifc(l to {\w t'oiulitioiis 
by which it is surrouncU'd. 'J'liis truth has been con- 
stantly in view in the preparation of this treatise. It is 
tlie work of one wlio has been for many years an active 
})astor; it lias been Avritten in such Icisiii'c as could l)e 
snatched from tlie engrossing cares of a huge congregation, 
and it deals on every page witli ]>rolthins whicli liave l)epn 
and arc in (liis ])i-cscnt age matlci's of ininicdiiitc jiraclical 



concern. It is therefore to be feared that on tlie scholastic 
side it will be found less elaborate than many of the ti'ca- 
tises which have preceded it. The history of pastoral 
methods is a matter of interest, but that has been well told 
and scarcely needs retelling; the scholarly pages of Jan 
Jacob Van Oosterzee and Theodosius Harnack present 
all that the student needs to know about the administra- 
tion of the churches in past generations. What has 
seemed more important, in the preparation of this volume, 
is the study of the life of the busy pastor at the end of the 
nineteenth century, in the midst of the swift and turbu- 
lent intellectual and social movements now going forward ; 
in a society partially or ^\llolly democratized; in the pres- 
ence of influences that are reshaping philosophies and in- 
stitutions; in the day when it seems to be a question 
whether the religion of Christ represents an obsolescent 
force, or is just about to take up the sceptre of universal 
empire. That this is the day of opportunity and respon- 
sibility for the Christian church is the faith on which this 
treatise is founded; and if this be true the need of dis- 
cerning this time is the deepest need of the Christian 
])astf)i-. The hope set before him is that the Church of 
(mmI will liavc a great deal more to do with the life of 
romiiig generations than it has ever had to do with the 
life of past generations, — not as a i)olitieal power, but as 
all iiil'oi-niing and inspiring inllncnee. To lift uj) liis 
lieart with this exi)Cctation and to heli) him to see some of 
the ways in wliieh it may be realized has l^een tlie motive 
of this liilioi. 

It needs not to Ite said that no nian can fully understand 
the life of the cliurch in any eonntiv bnl liis own. It is 
only l)y inheritance of tlial life and lifelong idciililication 
with its various fortunes tliat hv, gains the |)o\\( rol esti- 
mating its aims and eritieising its practice, lie can li\c 
Ills life but once and therefore he cannot intimately know 
the oonditi(»ns and needs of the chni-ch in mor(> than one 
countrv. Such knowledge cannot be gained nuM-ely from 


books. It follows that works on what is known as Pas- 
toral Theology must always reflect the life of tlie churches 
out of whose experience they have grown. The flavor of 
the soil is always in them. Systematic Theology, Biblical 
Theology, Apologetics, Ethics are practically independent 
of local influences, but Pastoral Theology never is. It 
must be expected, therefore, that this volume, like those 
of Ilarnack and Van Oosterzee and Fairbairn and Palmer 
will show considerable local coloring ; if the book is alive 
it will pulsate with the life from ^^■lli(•ll it has sprung. 
Between America and Great Britain there is so close a 
relationship that the discussions of these pages will not, it 
is hoped, be wholly unintelligible in the older countrj-; 
and where the conditions are dissimilar, comparison and 
contrast may make them suggestive. Even to Chris- 
tians of the Continental churches the book may be of ser- 
vice as a somewhat imperfect picture of the Christian 
activities of other lands. 

For the free use of quotation which some of these chap- 
ters will show, the author has no apologies to make. 
The (questions under consideration are largely questions of 
])ractical administration concerning which many men 
know more tliaii any man; and the readers of this voluiiie 
have a right to know something of the best that has been 
said upon these themes by wise pastors and teachers of the 
present generation. 

To tlie younger men in the ministry and to those upon 
its threshold this book is offered in the liope that they may 
find in it some guidance in a calling whose l)rightest era 
and whose most ghuidus liiiuii[>lis ai'c yet to come. 

ror.tTMitts, Ohio, 

ISIairh 17, 1898. 




Pastoral 'i'lieology (lefiiicd, 1. A Hraiicli of rrartical Theology, 1. 
Relation to other branches, 1. To Cliurch Polity, '2. To Liturgies, 2. 
To Ilomiletics, 2. To Christian Jlissions, 3. Includes Poinienics and 
Catechetics, 3. Excludes Ilomiletics and Liturgies, 3. Its theme con- 
notes a working church, 4. Change in tlie subject matter of the 
science, 4. Earlier Treatises concerned witli tlie work of the pastor, 4. 
Later conception of the church as a working body, 8. The later con- 
ception the iiiglier, 10. Historical outline, 10. Biblical conception of 
Poimenics, 10. Patristic tiieories and treatises, II. Mediaival ideas, 
12. Poimenics of the Reformation, 13. Of the Eighteenth Century, 13. 
Of the >;ineteentli Century, 14. Historical sketch of cateclictics, — 
Apostolic times, 17. Among the Early Fathers, 18. In tiie Middle 
Ages, 19. Among tlie Reformers, 19. lu the Roman Catholic Cimrch, 
21. In various Ciiristian bodies, 22. 


Tin: Chlrc H 23-49 

This discussion is concerned with the local congregation, 23. Lim- 
its of its membership, 23. Parish must not be too large for ])astoral 
oversight, 24. Must not bo too large for efficient organization and 
fellowsliip, 2.'). The edifice — etiiics of its arciiitecture, 2G. Location 
of tiie edifice, 28. Constituency of the congregation, 29. No caste in 
its assemblies, 30. All classes acccs.silde, 31. Do tiie poor prefer to 
worship by themselves ? 32. The churclies on trial upon this issue, 33. 
Difficulty of maintaining Christian fellowship, 34. Significance and 
value of it, 35. Exclnsiveness not wholly tiie fault of one class, ."iG. 
Relation of tlie Cliurdi to tlio Kingdom of (Jod, 38. 'i'ho Kingdom, 
not tlic church, tiio inclusive term, 40. The need of specializing re- 
ligion in institutions of its own, 42. 'I'lio cliurcli ancillary to the King- 
dom, 44. Tlic end of the cliurcli the christianization of society, 4r>. 
Th'j cliunli must save society <>r \i>^(' its own life, 4S. 




Tin: Pastou 50-65 

iSiguilicauce of the name, 50. Is the jjastor a priest i 52. Growth of 
the sacerdotal idea, 54. Remnants of the idea in reformed cliurchcs, 
56. A spiritual priesthood, 59. The authority of the pastor, 61. 
Democracy implies leadership, 62. Spiritual power is moral in- 
fluence, 64. 


'I'liK Call to thk Pastoratk 66-82 

The I'astor is the minister of Christ, G6. Every good work a divine 
vocation, 68. Tlie iaward call, 68. The outward call, 69. The Pas- 
tor's dual relation, 70. How- shall tlie church find a minister, 71. The 
system of i)atronage, 72. Qualifications of a pastor, 73. Methods of 
calling a miui.ster, 74. Preaching as a candidate, 75. The calling of 
settled ministers to vacant ciiui-ches, 76. May the minister seek a 
church? 78. One candidate at a time, 79. No candidates without good 
and fresh credentials, 80. Must the call be unanimous i 81. Definite 
dealings wilii temjjoralities, 82. 


Tin. Pastok IX ms SxrnY s.3-106 

Tiio minister a student, 83. Other functions of the ministry, 84. 
The ])rophet must be a student, 85. Language and in.-;piration, 86. 
Art anil inspiration, 88. The minister will continue the studies of the 
l)rofe.ssional school, 90. The history of doctrines, 91. Apologetic 
studios, 92. Inductive study of liuman nature, 93. Literature, 95. 
Th(! Bible, 97. The individual and the social order inseparable, 100. 
The study of .social science, 101. Mischief of se])arating inilividnal in- 
terests from social interests, 103. A scientific sociology cnnlirnis the 
Christian law, 104. The minister's study is his oratory, 105. 


Priirr \m.! 107-171 

Preaching llie Pastor's chief lunclion, 107. Tlie message to the indi- 
vidual, 108. The conversion of men, 109. Preaching the law, 110. 
IVndiing the gospel, 111. The (Jospcl of the Kingdom, 112. The 
niiiiii4tcr'H relation to practical affairs, 114. Spiritual law in the natural 
world, llfi. ('a.-^uistry in the ])ulpit, 119. The evening service and 
applied Chrislianity, 121. The secularization of the pulpit, 123. Cur- 
rent topicH in the- pulpit, 125. Historical studies, 125. The poets as 
pronchiTM, 120. .studies, 127. The of a te.\t. 128. 
May Honnon.s bf repealed ? 132. The leader of worship, 134. Prepa- 
ration for pnldic prnyer, 135. The service of song, 139. Hymnals, 
140. ("hurrli ttinos, 141. The organ, 142. Vocal leadership of the 
coiigregaliuD, 143. English clioir.s, 144. American choirs, 145. 



Choir and congregation, 146. Liturgical enriclimeut of worship, 150. 
Kespousive reading, 152. Creeds and collects, 153. Devotional read- 
ing, 155. The administration of ba])tisni, 157. The significance of 
baptism, 159. Sponsors, 1G2. The Lord's Su])per, 164. Preparatory 
services, 1G4. Modes of administration, 166. (J warding tlie talde, 167. 
Reception of new members, 168. The ordinance of niarriage, 170. 


TiiK Pastor as Fkihnm) 172-203 

The Pastor in general society, 172. Intercourse with all classes, 173. 
As confidential friend, 176. His personal ministry, 179. Dealing with 
doubters, 180. Kcclaiming wanderers, 184. Despondency and despair, 
185. The visitation of tlie sick, 186. The Lord's Supper in the sick- 
room, 189. Infectious diseases, 191. Burial services, 192. General 
visitation, 195. Nature of pastoral calls, 197. Shall they be profes- 
sional? 198. The opportunity of fricndsliip, 199. Systematic visiting, 
200. Value of such work, 202. 


The Ciicrcu Orgamzatiox 204-219 

Temporalities and spiritualities, 204. The business side of the 
church, 205. Need of upright men for this service, 206. The christian- 
ization of church business, 207. A.ssignment of sittings, 208. Keep- 
ing of churcli records, 209. The minister needs as.sistance, 209. Pas- 
tor and Preacher, 212. Church officers as leaders of work, 214. Or- 
ganism and mechanism, 215. The ])rol)lem of organization, 217. 


The Sunday Scnoor 220-238 

Tlie Sunday school a modern institution, 220. Robert Raikes, 221. 
The O.xford movement, 222. The Sunday Scliool and the Clmrcli, 223. 
Rest hour for the session, 224. Organization of the school, 225. Tlio 
pastoral work of the teaclier, 226. The service of song, 227. Order in 
the scliool, 228. The Sunday school rooms, 229. Sul)jects to be 
studied, 230. Gradation of the school, 232. Senior department, 233. 
Work of this department, 234. The Higher Criticism and Sunday 
school teaching, 236. The Home Department, 238. 


The Midwicek Skuvice 239-252 

Need of a social meeting for worsliip, 239. Meetings for ])rayer, 240. 
" Experience " meetings, 241. Social jjraycr, and its uses, 242. Cscs 
and abuses of jjiiblic conference, 245. The work of tlic diurch the 
tiicnic of the service, 247. Leader of tli(> meeting, 248. Topics, 248. 
Familiar and conversational molhods, 249. Tiio singing, 250. 'I'lic 
question bo.x, 252. A Social opportunity, 252. 




Paijish Evanoemzatiox 253-270 

Tor wliom is the cliurch rosponsiblc? 253. Whose servant is the 
niiuister ? 254. Gettini^ acqiiaiuted with the neglecters, 25G. Their 
number sometimes exaggerated, 25G. Visitation by the cliurch, 258. 
Can tlie unchurched be brought to church? 259. Location of new en- 
terprises, 260. Churcli colonies, 262. Ineffectiveness of missions, 263. 
College settlements and churches, 2G4. Strong churches in poor dis- 
tricts, 267. Street preaching, 268. The shepherding of the poor, 269. 


The Social Life of the Ciiukcii 271-288 

The Church a social fellowship, 271. Not a commune, 272. It liar- 
monizes all types of character, 273. The opportunity of love, 274. 
Tlie mingling of the leaven, 276. Difficulty of this task, 278. The 
christianization of the church, 279. The fellowship of work, 280. 
Neighborly relations, 28L Division of the parish into districts, 282. 
Welcoming committees, 283. Social assemblies, 284. Fellowship 
meetings, 285. 


Woman's Wouk in the Ciiincii 289-312 

The place of woman in modern society, 289. Woman's work in the 
Apostolic cliurch, 291. In the post-apostolic church, 293. Tlie Sisters 
of Charity, 293. Tlie revival of the order of deaconesses, 295. In the 
Episco|)al churches, 293. In the Metiiodist Episc()])al Cliurch, 297. 
Dcacones-ses as pastor's a.«sistants, 298. In the Church of Scotland, 
299. 'i'hc Kaiscrswertli Institution, 302. Form of consecration, 304. 
The deaconess home and tlie local church, 306. Women's associa- 
tions in tlic churclics, .■J()7. Their liiianciiil (ipcratioiis, 307. Cliurcli 
of Scotland Woman's Guild, 309. 


TlIK VotNr; Mi.N AM> WoMKN 313-331 

The (Jcrman Chri.stliche.Jiinglingsvereine, 313. Young Men's Cluis- 
tian A.MHociation, 314. Young People's Societies of Ciiristiau En- 
deavor. 315. Epworth League and Haptist Young People's I'nion, 316. 
'I'ho nims of the.xo organizations, 318. TJic Endeavor movement and mu- 
nicipal reform, 310. Mi.«.sion work, 320. Work in the local church, 321. 
Thn Brotherhood of St. Andrew, 322. The Protherhood of St. Andrew 
nn.l Philip, 325. Young Men's Le.igncs, 325. The Church of Scotland 
(Juild, 326. I'rizc Kxaminalioiis and Competitions, 328. Free Church 
of Scotland Guild, 329. German " rniou.s," 330. " Prothcr Houses." 




The Pastoi: anu the Ciuldiucn 332-361 

The Siuulay schuul and the cliiUlrcn, 332. Juuior Societies, 333. 
The " Ciiiklren's Hour," 334. The pastor's relatiou to the children, 334. 
Catechists in tlie early cliurch, 335. Decline of catechetical instruction, 
337. Reasons why pastors should resume this work, 338. The rationale 
of catechetics, 338. The l)asis of the instruction, 341. Classification of 
catechumens, 342. Bishop Dupanloup's Treatise, 342. Catechetics 
among the Lutherans, 349. Among otlier American Chri.stians, 351. 
Tiie Church Porch, 353. Children's Day, 355. The hajjtized cliildren, 
355. The children in the Sunday service, 35G. 'J'he IJoys' Brigade, 


Missionary Societies and Church Contributions 3G2-377 

The universality of cliristianity, 362. Our debt to men in other lauds, 
363. Tlie expansion of Ciiristeudom, 365. The new era of missions, 366. 
Informing the church, 367. Woman's Mission Boards, 368. Methods 
of awakening missionary interest, 370. Who shall present the work? 
370. The development of benevolence, 371. Proportionate giving, 
374. 'J'he mites of the many, 375. Methods of gathering tiic offerings, 


liEVIVAES AND Revivalism 378-400 

Hebrew " revivals," 378. Was Pentecost a revival ? 379. The two 
modes of extending the Kingdom, 381. The implications of revival- 
ism, 382. Chills and fever, 384. Ciiristian nurture, 387. Christianity 
as organic, 388. Converting agencies not superseded, 389. The onnii- 
presence of the S])irit, 390. Seasons of refresliing, 392. Special evan- 
geli.stic measures, 394. Profe.ssional evangelists, 397. How to secure 
decision, 398. Lenten services, 399. 


The Institutional Cm kcii 401-414 

Definition of the term, 401. Some In.stitntional ChurchcH, 402. 
Churches doing similar work, 405. Criticism of these nu'thods, 407. 
Tlie fundamental ])rinciplc — all life is sacred, 409. Fruits of sudi 
labors, 410. The Churcii and tlic Social Settlement, 412. Couj)cra- 
tion of churches in tliis work, 413. 




The church as a haveu of rest, 41'). The cliurcli as tlie servant of 
Christ, 416. A ministering laity, 417. Inforniiug the church al)out its 
work, 419. TIic annual meeting of the church, 420. The cliurch prob- 
lem of the unemployed, 422. ])epartments of work, 423. Enlisting 
tlic whole membership, 424. Conferences of leaders, 423. Unused 
power in tlie church, 42G. 


CoOi'ERATiox WITH Otiier Cih.rches 428-447 

Christian unity, 428. Destructive competitions, 429. Endeavors 
after cooperation, 431. The basis of cooperation, 434. The division of 
the field, 436. Canvassing the districts, 437. Difficulties of the work 
in large cities, 439. Nature of cooperative M'ork, 439. Provision of 
safe ])laces of resort, 440. Closing the drinking places on Sunday, 441. 
I'pholding the sacredness of law, 442. Unity found in local coopera- 
tion, 444. But one church in any community, 446. 


The C.vre of the Poor 448-473 

Christian Charity in the Early Cliurcli, 448. Decay of this function, 
449. Its a.ssumption by the State, 451. The poor within the church, 
452. Public cliarities, 455. The new charity, 458. Three classes of 
charities, 460. The duty of the church as to public institutions, 461. 
The duty of the church as to private charities, 462. The duty of tlie 
church as to outside relief, 462. Tlie stimulation of the State, 463. 
Shall the churches undertake this work ? 467. The Buffalo cxjieri- 
ment, 468. Difficulties of such cod))eraLion, 472. The ministrv of 
discipline, 473. 

INDKX 477 




The Christian Chm-cli and its Pastor form the subject of 
this study. By the Cliurch is meant the local congregation 
of Christian believers. To the organization and Avork of 
this congregation, under the leadership of its minister, our 
inquiry will be addi'essed. 

The field to be explored is that which is covered by the 
branch of study commonly known as Pastoral Theology. 
Pastoral Theology is a department of Practical Theology, 
wliich Cave describes as " the science of the functions of 
the Christian Church," ^ and which in the words of Hagen- 
bach, " embraces the theory of the ecclesiastical activities 
(functions) as they proceed either from the church as a 
whole, or from its individual members and representatives in 
the name of the church." ^ Practical Theology is variously 
divided. It includes : 1. Church Polity. 2. Theory of 
Worship (Liturgies). 3. Theory of Preaching (llomi- 
letics). 4. Theory of Teaching the Young (Catecheiics). 
5. Theory of the Care of Souls (Poimenics). 6. Theory 
of Pastoral Training (Pedagogics). 7. 'ilieory of Missions 

It is evident that all these topics are related more or less 
closely to the life of tlie local church, and that most of them 
are likely to come under consideration ; but several of 

^ Introduction to Tlicology, by Alfred Cuvo, p. ^47. 
2 JincyUojiadie, 11" Aiijl. s. 421. 


them will be treated incidentally, while others will form 
the substance of our study. 

The question of clmrcli polity, for example, is not before 
us, except as its deeper spiritual implications may appear. 
Whether there ought to be two or three orders of the min- 
istry, and whether the church should be presbyterially or 
cono-regationally governed we shall not inquire. We are 
interested rather in learning how existing organizations, 
of all varieties, are employed, and may be more effectively 
employed in extending the Kingdom of God. Certain 
principles of church organization will, indeed, be assumed 
in the discussion. Those theories of the church which at- 
tribute to the clergy a sacerdotal character are not accepted ; 
all our reasonings about the relation of pastor and people 
will proceed upon a different assumption. It is not pos- 
sible to discuss these relations Avithout having some clear 
idea of the powers and prerogatives of the Christian min- 
istry; but, for the purposes of this work, tlie Protestant 
tlieory of the pastoral office will be taken for granted. We 
may gather from the practice of the hierarchical churches 
many useful hints respecting the administration of the par- 
ish ; but we do not consent to their claims for their clergy 
of superhuman dignity and power. 

In })recisely tlie same way Liturgies will come under our 
view, in its practical relation to the life of the chmch. 'i'he 
question between written and extempore praj'-ers wc do not 
raise; we rallier seek to know how worship is made hel})ful to 
life. That view of the sacraments which regards them as 
possessing an inherent and magical efficacy we shall not 
follow; but we have no controversy respecting the mode of 
their achninistratioii ; we wish to know what is their true re- 
lation to the faitli and the love of those who employ them. 

The art of sermon making we do not specially study, 
nor are we concerned with the prei)aratoiy discipline by 
wliicli llie minister is made? ready for his work ; Imt we 
liiid him at woi k in the parish, :ind discover tliat ])reaeh- 
ing is an essential ])art of his work; the I'clalioii of this 
work to the growth and I'niit ruliiess of ihe cluuLdi we must 
caiefully consider. 


The theory and practice of foreign missions are also re- 
lated to oiir study but incideutiilly. The foreign mission 
work is one of the channels through which the energies of 
the church flow out into the world ; and it is needful that 
the church should comprehend tlie importance of this 
work, and contribute money and men for its maintenance. 
The local church is not fulfilling its function until its in- 
terest and co-operation in this work has been secured. 

Two of the departments of Practical Theology named 
above — Catechetics and Poimenics — come wholly within 
the field of Pastoral Theology proper, and constitute the 
larger portion of this field, as hitherto defined. The teach- 
ing and training of the young, and the care of souls, take 
up most of the space in the standard books devoted to this 
sul)ject, — after the chapters which treat of Homiletics 
and Liturgies. The work of shepherding and training is 
of the essence of Pastoral Theology, and will receive due 
attention in the following pages. 

It will be seen that the scope of this treatise is at some 
points more restricted tlian that of most of the standard 
works on Pastoral Theology. By a necessary specialization, 
Homiletics and Liturgies have been excluded for separate 
treatment in other volumes of the present series of text- 
books. Yet it is to these topics that the chief attention of 
writers on Pastoral Theology lias been given. In turning 
from these great interests, to which Vinet ^ and Palmer ^ 
and Van Oosterzee ^ and Fairbairn * and Cannon ^ and 
Blaikie*^ and Rothe ' and Harms ^ and Cave '-^ and Shedd,io 
and many other great teachers, have devoted nnuli i)aiiis- 

^ I'-iig. Trans., Ilomilelirs, by A. Vinct. 

2 Pasloral-Theolorjie, by C. Palmer. 

•^ Practical Thcologij, a Manutil fur Theological Students, liy J. J. "\';in 

* Pastoral Throlorji/, n Treatise on the Oj/ici- and J)uli(s of l/ta Christian 
Pastor, by Patrick Fairbairn. 

'• Lectures on Pastond Theology, by James S. Cannon. 

For the Gospel Ministri/, by W. "g. Bl-iikic. 

^ Thcologischc Encgclopudie, by R. Rotlic. 

^ Pastoral-Thcologie, l)y Clans Harms. 

^ An Introduction to Theologg : its Prinri/ili s, its Ihiinchis, its Pesults, and 
its Literature, by Alfred Cave. 

^•^ Homiletics and Pastoral Theulogg, by W. (i. T. Slinlil. 


taking thought, we leave behind us a most fruitful and at- 
tractive study. We are constrained to omit these subjects 
by two considerations ; first, that there seems to be less 
need of dwelling upon topics which have been handled 
with learning and skill by so many great teachers, and, 
secondly, that other phases of the life of the church have 
lately come into prominence, to which much less attention 
has hitherto been given. 

The theme of our investigation is the working church. 
And it is evident that the working church as we now meet 
with it in every considerable community of English speak- 
ing people, is a comparatively new thing under the sun. 
For long periods and over wide spaces of Christendom the 
ruling idea has been that Christian work is the function of 
the ministry ; that the laity are the subjects of its gracious 
operation. There is a text of Paul's which has been quite 
too literally interpreted: " IFe are fellow workers with 
God; ye are God's husbandry, God's building." i It is 
not indeed difficult to find evidence that in the Apostolic 
churclics the laity wrought actively with their leaders ; in 
the Epistles to the Romans and to the Philippians there is 
clear proof of this. But a day came when the church was 
the clergy, and the function of the laity shrank into insig- 
nificance. And even after the Reformation, although in 
Protestant churches the ministry was shorn of sacerdotal 
functions, it still largely monopolized the work of the 
church. For proof of this examine any of the classical 
treatises on Practical or Pastoral Theology. The monu- 
mental work of Van Oosterzee, above cited, with six hun- 
dred and twenty comi)actly printed octavo pages, gives to 
tlic minister's call and Ilomiletics three hundred and forty- 
two pages, to Liturgies one hundred pages, to Catechetics 
sixty pages, to Poimcnics fifty-seven pages. But Poi- 
menics, as here treated, means only the work of tlie pastor 
among his people. The oidy suggestion that the people 
may be actively employed in the work of the cluirch is 
contained in a brief reference to the Sunday school, which 

' 1 (Jur. iii. 9. 


occupies luilf a page. It is a book of marvellous learniug 
and admirable wisdom ; the extent of tlie author's reading 
on this great theme is notable ; but the fact that it is a 
laro-e part of the pastor's business to find work for the 
members of his church, and to secure their general and 
hearty co-operation with himself in teaching and shepherd- 
ino- and savino- men and women and children, does not 
seem to have been brought home to him. \an Oosterzee s 
definition of Practical Theology is, " the science of labor 
for the Kingdom of God conceived of in its whole extent, 
as this is ccdled into exercise hy the pastor and teacher of the 
Christian Church in particular''^ Dr. Phihp Schaff^ 
divides Practical Theology into the following branches: 
" 1. Theory of the Christian Ministry — The Minister an 
Ambassador of Christ (prophet, priest, and king) ; 2. Ec- 
clesiology or Ecclesiastic (Church Law and Church Pol- 
ity) — The Minister as Ruler ; 3. Liturgic — The ^Minister 
in Worship (as priest) ; 4. Homiletic — The Minister 
as Preacher ; 5. Catechetic — The Minister as Teacher ; 
6. Poimenic — The Minister as Pastor ; 7. Evangelistic — 
The Minister as Evangelist and Missionary." He adds: 
" Tlie duties of the laity should be considered in each 
department."'^ This sentence recognizes the new condi- 
tions ; but the fact remains that the whole study is con- 
ducted from the point of view of the minister. All these 
l)ranclies of practical theology revolve about liim. The 
duties of the laity are incidental and secondary. The need 
of a readjustment is, however, admitted : " Heretofore this 
department has been exclusively confined to clerical duties 
and functions. But the recent development of the lay 
energies in Protestant churches, especiall}- in England and 
America, requires an additional brancli or a corrcs])on(hiig 
enlargement of other brandies. TIu^ l*rotestant docti-ine 
of tlie general ])riesthood of Ik^I levers implies the co-oper- 
ation of tlie meiiibers of the conjirefration with the pastor 

^ Practical Thcnhqii, p. 1. 

- Throln'ilrnl Prnjurfliuitic : a Genera! Introduction to the Stuili/ (if Theology, 
Iiy Pl.ilii) Scliaff. 

■^ ibid., pp. U'.), 450. 


in all departments of Christian activity, especially in 
clmrcli government, in the Sunday school, and in mission 
work." 1 

The judicious and admirable treatise of Dr. Patrick 
Fairbairn on Pastoral Theology cited above opens with 
a statement which agrees with the new conditions. He 
says : — 

" The office of a Christian pastor obviously proceeds on 
the assumption of a Chrisiian membership or community as 
the parties in respect to whom and among whom it is to be 
exercised. It assumes that the flock of Christ are not a 
mere aggregation of units, but have by divine ordination 
a corporate existence, with interconnecting relationships, 
mutual responsibilities, and common interests. It assumes, 
further, that the church in this associated or corporate 
respect has a distinct organization for the management of 
its own affairs, in which the office of pastor occupies a 
prominent place, having for its specific object the over- 
sight of particular communities, and the increase or mul- 
tiplication of these, according to the circumstances of 
particular times and places." '^ 

Yet I do not find in this elaborate treatise any evi- 
dence that Dr. Fairbairn seriously contemplated any ex- 
tensive co-operation of the people with the pastor in the 
work of the church. The concluding chapter, compris- 
ing five pages upon " Subsidiary Means and Agencies," 
just mentions the Sunday school as one of the interests 
which should '* receive the considerate attention, and, 
when formed, tlie watchful superintendence of the pastor." 
Prayer meetings — meetings for prayer only — the learned 
author encourages the pastor to estal)lish, "if he can only 
find persons wlio have the requisite zeal and gifts for con- 
ducting them." As to fellowship meetings, — known in 
America as Prayer and Conference Meetings, — "formed 
witli a vi(>w, not merely to engage in exercises of worshij), 
])nt also to inlerehango tlionghls among the members on 
mattera pertaining to divine truth or religious experience," 

1 Iliiil., p. 440. 

* I'astoral Thcoloijj, p. 1. 


he remarks that they are " safe enough, probably, and im- 
proving, if the membership is small, and composed of 
such as have much confidence and fellow feeling one with 
another, so that they can really speak heart to heart ; but 
when it is otherwise they are extremely apt to become 
loquacious, disputative, and even to gender strifes. A 
prudent pastor will therefore rarely intermeddle with 
meetings of this description, and neither directly encourage 
nor discountenance them." The care of the poor. Dr. 
Fairbairn suggests, is now in the hands of agencies outside 
the church; and the Christian pastor does not therefore 
find the field which once he found for organized work 
among the poor in his parish. But, he continues, " in the 
present circumstances of our country it belongs more to the 
province of a minister of the Gospel to concert, or lend 
his countenance and support to those who may be con- 
certing, measures which have for their object the reduc- 
tion of pauperism and other social evils ; in particular the 
repression of prostitution, and the diminution of that in- 
temperance which is a fountain of immeasurable disorders. 
For tills purpose he will readily co-operate in the efforts 
made to curtail, in particular localities, the number of 
public houses, to establish coffee rooms and places of 
healthful refreshment and innocent resort, and to form 
when they are ol)viously needed temperance societies. 
For things of this description, lying outside, in a manner, 
the pastoral sphere, yet pressing closely on its border, no 
general rule can be prescribed, or any uniform practice 
recommended." ^ It is not clear that Dr. Fairbairn ex- 
pected the pastor to enlist his people in any of these 
outside activities ; if hot, his scheme appears to make 
very little provision of work of any kind for tlicm. Tliis 
volume has been published since the death of its autlior, 
in 1874, and presents undoubtedly the view of church 
activities prevailing in Scotland during his lifetime. 

A later volume, by Dr. W. (1. I'laikie, gives some clear 
indications of the recent rapid (Icvclopincnt of the Cliris- 
tian Church along these lines. It contiiins a cliapti'r upon 

1 Ibid, pp. 348-350. 


the " Organization of Work," in which the importance of 
securing the co-operation, not merely of the officers, but 
of the entire membership of the church, in its proper work, 
is strongly argued. He says : — 

" It is evident from the New Testament that elders and 
deacons, though the only persons who are said to have 
been formally ordained, were not the only persons who 
were allowed to labor in the church. The sixteenth 
chapter of Romans contains the Apostles' greeting to 
many men and women who were laboring in the church 
at Rome. There is no reason to suppose that all these 
were expressly ordained. At the top of the list is Phebe, 
a servant or deaconess of the church at Cenchrea, but of 
whom we have no reason to believe that she was ordained. 
Priscilla and Aquila, a married couple, come next, the 
wife's name preceding the husband's. It is extremely 
improbable that the long list of active men and women 
that follows were persons who had all been ordained to 
office. But all of them were actively using their abilities 
for the advancement of the Kingdom, and in so doing 
they were not only recognized but commended b}^ the 
Apostle. It follows that in every well equipped congre- 
gation, in addition to those expressly ordained, but under 
their sanction and superintendence, there ought to be a 
body of active workers engaged in the various operations 
of Christian love and zeal which the circumstances call 
for. In many such congi-egations we find a body of Sun- 
day school teachers, or of helpers in a children's church ; 
a body of district visitors, a young men's association, a 
missionary association, a school committee, and a mothers' 
meeting. It is j-iglit that all these should be recognized 
and superintended by tlie office bearers. Their work 
ought to be embraced in the prayers of the congregation, 
and it ought to bo made ])lain tliat they arc not mere free 
lances but tliat they Labor under the warm wing and pa- 
ternal guidance of the diurcli." ' 

Tliis brings clearly l)el'or(! us the newer concc])tion o[ 

' For ihe Worfc n/'lltr ^/illistrl/, p. 219. 


the church as a working bocly,^ and of the minister as 
the organizer and leader of its work. " In this matter," 
says Professor Willcox, " as in other features of church 
hfe, there has been within the century an immense change. 
The minister among the fathers, being superior in edu- 
cation to most of his flock, was accounted, as to church 
work, their proxy. He was less like General Grant, 
directing the army, than like David, with sling and stone, 
fighting the battle for them. The midweek meeting was 
occupied with a lecture from the pastor. Sunday school 
there was none. With no women's colleges or higher 
seminaries, the sisters were not thought capable of giving 
instruction. Societies of Christian Endeavor and juvenile 
mission bands are among later inventions and discoveries. 
There were no young Christians in any considerable 
numbers. When a young man joined the church of 
Dr. Lyman Bcecher, in Litchfield, Connecticut, early in 
the century, so strange an event astonished all the western 
section of that State." ^ 

Pastoral Theology, therefore, whether we consider it 
as art or as science,^ has greatly extended its field within 
the past generation. New occasions are constantly teach- 
ing the minister of Christ new duties ; his position in the 
cluirch has greatly changed, and the functions which he 
is called to perform are quite unlike those which were 
assigned to ministers in the first half of this century. 
The American college president of fifty years ago was 
the ])rincipal teacher of his college ; to-day he rarely en- 
gages in the work of teaching; his work is mainly (liat 
of organization and administration. The changfc which 
lias taken place in tlie functions of the pastor is not so 
radical, Init it -is considerable. Tlic largest and mosl 
diflicult part of his Avork to-day consists in enlisting and 

^ Abniidant evidence, to wliieli we shall have freqiieiit occasion to refer, 
will l)c foiind ill the recent. Year IJooks of the Scottish churches, to show 
that tiicse churches liave fully coniprcheiidetl the extent of their calling; as 
working iir<i;ani/,ations. 

- Tlio Pitstor fuul Ills Fliirh, ]>, 77. 

'^ " r'est I'art aprcs la sciciic(>, on la science so n'suhant en art." \'inet, 
Thcologie Pastorale, p. 1. 


directing the activities of his people. In all wise teaching 
on this subject, the emphasis must now rest, not upon the 
pastor, but upon the church. 

We may perhaps assume that the conception which to- 
day prevails is the higher and truer conception of the life 
of the church. Not in the primordial germ, but in the per- 
fected organism, do we seek for the true idea of any Chris- 
tian institution. Belief in the constant presence of the 
Holy Spirit, who is guiding the church into all truth, who 
is taking the things of Christ and maldng them plain unto 
us, should assure us that the later phases of ecclesiastical 
life are higher and more near to the divine purpose than 
those of primitive days. The church, in its organic life, 
must leave behind the rudiments and go on toward per- 
fection.! ^Ye tio not, therefore, go back to the Apostolic 
Church, nor to any of the past ages for our types ; but a 
glance at the history of what we now know as Pastoral 
Theology may indicate the lines upon which the church 
has been moving forward. 

The theocratic and sacerdotal conceptions of the Old 
Testament left little room for that peculiar relation be- 
tween [)astor and people which Pastoral Theology assumes. 
The political heads of communities, such as the elders of 
the congregation, or the judges said to have been appointed 
by Moses at the suggestion of Jethro,^ exercised more of 
the true pastoral functions, probably, than did the priests 
or the Levites. The conception of the ministers of religion 
as sustaining a kind of pastoral relation occurs, however, 
in some of the later prophets. — in the Deutero-Isaiah,^ 
and notably in Iv/ekiel.^ Similar references in Jeremiah 
apply perhaps iii«hsci'iminately to political and religious 
leaders/' l*)Ut the ajijAication by our Lord to himself, in 
.John xii., of the figure of the fiood Shej.herd, gave to the 
Apostolic Churcli a conception ^liirli speedily bore fruit. 
In Paul's beautiful address to the J^phesian elders," and 
notably in the Pastoral I-:pistles, are laid the foundations 

1 IIcl.. vi 1-;^. - Kx. Nviii. 

1 Cli. Ivi. II. ■• Cli. xxiv. 

^ Cli. xxiii. 1-4. " Acts xx. 


of Pastoral Theology. In most of the Epistles, indeed, 
useful counsels are found concerning the proper consti- 
tution of the church, concerning the duties of pastors to 
their flocks, and of the members of the churches to their 
leaders and to one another. Especially instructive are 
those illustrations which Paul has given us in 1 Cor. xii. 
and in p]ph. iv., — the full meaning of which is only be- 
ginning to dawn upon the churches. 

Immediately following the times of the Apostles come 
certain manuals and directories of worship, most complete 
and authentic of which is the recently discovered Teach- 
ing of the Twelve Aj)ostlcs. The Apostolical Canons 
and the Apostolical Constitutions undoubtedly embody 
material which originated in that early period, and give 
us, in some of their regulations, the conceptions of church 
order and activity entertained by the successors of the 

It was in tljis period that the sacerdotal view of the 
clerical office began to be emphasized, and the hierarcliical 
organization of the church began to take definite form. 
The term Pastor was first given to the chief officer of a 
local congregation ; then the name Avas applied to the 
chief officer of a district or diocese including many con- 
gregations ; and finally, in a still more comprehensive sense, 
to the occupant of the See of Rome, who was styled Pastor 
Pastorurn. To these gradually enlarging conceptions of 
tlie pastorate, the theories of pastoral care necessarily 
adjusted tliemselves. To a primitive Congregationalist 
Pastoral Theology was one thing; to a believer in the 
Diocesan lOpiscopate it meant something more; and to the 
believer in the Papacy it Imd still another meaning. 

Accoi'dingly the tn^itises dealing with this subject which 
have appeared dnring the eentniies have not l)ecn nnilorm 
in scope and signirication. Tlie subject mutter viiries. 

The treatise of Chrysostoni, On. the J'rirsthnnd,^ written 
in the last year of the fonith century, rests on the sacer- 
dotal conception of tin; clerical ollice, and iiiagnilies the 

^ TTfp! l(p<ji(Tvvr)t. — Dr Snrii(li)tio, — translalfd liy \V. K. W. Sloiilieiis, in 
Scliaff's edition of Clirvsostom'rt Works. 


pastoral function in accordance with that high theory. 
About the same time appeared 'the treatise of Ambrose, 
De Ojflciis Clericorum, and that of Epliraem Syrus, Dc 
Sacenlotio. In the middle of tlie next century appeared 
the book Be Fastorali Cura, the authorship of which was 
ascribed to Leo the Great, and at the end of the sixth 
century the Liber Fastoralis of Gregory the Great. All 
these books take a high view of the pastoral functions. 
The last named, which held tlie place of eminence as a 
pastor's handbook for many centuries, which was trans- 
lated during its author's lifetime into the Greek, and later 
into English, and which was enjoined upon the clergy of 
the ancient church for constant use, speaks of the priest 
as " ruler," and of his parishioners as " subjects." First, 
it discusses the qualifications of a priest; then treats of 
his manner of life in his pastorate, and finall}^ gives spe- 
cific directions respecting the methods of instruction to be 
followed in dealing with different classes. 

The Middle Ages furnished comparatively few treatises 
of this nature ; as the emphasis upon the sacramental func- 
tions of the cliurch grew stronger, the need of the pastoral 
function was minimized. Two notable treatises appeared, 
iiowever, in the middle centuries ; the first is that of the 
illustrious Bernard of Clairvaux, Tractatns dc Morihus ct 
Officiis Clericorum. It presents a glowing picture of the 
true minister of Christ, and a stern denunciation of the 
scandalous conduct of the unfaithful clerics of his time. 
The second, whicli is like unto it, is by John Wiclif, — 
Tractatus clc Oftcio Fadorali. The first part of this dis- 
courses of purity of life, and the second part of wholesome- 
ness of doctrine. 

For the most part, however, the care of souls through- 
out this period is largely identified with the administra- 
tion of tlie sa<'raments, including, of course, confession and 
absolution. The manuals of the period lay great stress 
upon celibac}', ecclesiastical vestments, and the recitation 
of the divine offices. 

Tlic Protestant Rcformntion must nccfls h^xo given a 
great impulse to studies of this character. Luther wrote 


no consecutive treatise upon Pastonil Theology ; but some 
of his counsels were gathered by Conrad Porta in his 
Pastorale Liithcri. Zwingle's Voni Prcdigtamtc and iJcr 
Hirt^ and portions of the fourth book of Cdlwin^^ I nstitutio, 
deal with various aspects of pastoral relation. From this 
time forward the stream of this literature widens so rapidly 
that we can only note a few of the more important treatises. 
The Farcencsis ad Ecclcsioi Ministros of Joh. Val. Andreii, 
the Pia Dcsideria of Spener, the Monita Pastoralia of A. 
H. Francke are German treatises of the seventeenth cen- 
tury ; while the quaint Country Parson of George Herbert, 
and the Picformcd PaMor of Richard Baxter, appearing in 
the same century in England, are among the most precious 
gifts that the church has received since the daj-s of the 

In the eighteenth century we have the treatise in Fi'cnch 
of P. Roques, Le Pasteur Evangeliquc^ and in German the 
Pastor al-tlicolocjie of J, F. von Mosheim, and the Bcitrage 
zur Pastoral-tlieolorjie of J. F. Jacobi ; along with one valu- 
able handbook, presenting the subject from the Roman 
Catholic point of view, the Vorlcsungeii aus der Pastoral- 
tlicologie of J. M. Sailer. The rationalism of the eighteenth 
century tended to cheapen the estimate of the minister's 
calling, and some of the treatises which appeared toward 
the end of that century reduced pastoral theology to its 
lowest terms. Against the unspiritual conceptions then 
current, the passionate protest of J. G. Herder, in his 
Zivulf Provincial-bid Iter an Predigcr, and his Brief e iihcr 
das Studhun der Theologie, was not altogetlier in vain. 
Bishop Burnet's Discourse of the Pastoral Care, and 
Girard's treatise entitled Pastoral Care., belong also to 
tliis century; and Avith them may be numbered Cotton 
Mather's quaint Mannductio ad Ministerium^ or The Arigi'ls 
Preparing to Sound the Trumpets^ which was rcpu])lislied 
in England, with an oquall}^ quaint inti-oduction by John 
Kyland, addressed "To the (ientlemen and other several 
(Christians in Loiidon and the Country wlio liave tlio Cause 
of Christ and the Honour of the Christian "\Iiiiistr/- at 


At tlie beginning of the present century, Friedrich 
Schleiermaclier gave to the general subject of Practical 
Theoloo-}'- its first scientific exposition. In his Outlines 
of Theological Study, he treated this branch of theology as 
the culmination and crown of the theologic encycloptcdia. 
The advent of the nineteenth century strikes the hour 
of the utilities ; and the studies which bear directly upon 
the activities of the church are exalted to a rank which has 
not before been given them. Of this tendency of thought 
Schleiermaclier, who is pastor as well as professor, is the 
protagonist. It is not, however, to be wholly a question 
of utility, for Philip INIarheinecke in his Entiourf der 
237'aJctischen Theologie will have us consider it from the stand- 
point of speculative philosophy, and Clans Harms in his 
Pastoral-thcologic will enforce it upon us with the warmth 
of a most fervid piety. Other German works of this cen- 
tury are Karl Immanuel Nitzsch's Praktische Theologie, 
F. L. Steinmeyer's Beitrdge zur Praldischcn Theologic, Theo- 
dosius Ilarnack's Prahtische Theologie, and Johann Tobias 
Beck's Pastorallehren. 

The French writer whose work on this subject has be- 
come a classic is Alexandre Kodolphe Vinet, the Lausanne 
professor, whose Theologie pastorale, ou thcoric du ministerc 
evangelique, has been translated into English and German. 
The perspicuous style, the just discrimination and the evan- 
gelical spirit of Vinet are worthy of all praise. Vinet is at 
the farthest remove from sacerdotalism ; the minister in his 
view is a priest only as all believers are priests ; his author- 
ity is only that of knoAvledge and character. SuiJplemeuted 
by Jiis HomiUiique ou theorie de la 2')r('dic((tion, and his IHs- 
toire dc la jJrcdication 2}armi les reformcs de France au dix- 
septihnc siklc, Vinet's treatise covers the field of practical 

Perhaps the most complete treatise on Practical Theology 
which the present century has produced is that of Jan Ja- 
ki)l) \ an Oosterzeo, Professor in the University of Utrecht. 
Under the fnui' divisions of I loiiiih'tics, Iviturgics, Catc- 
chetics, and Toimenics, this writ it discusses exhaustively 
the whole subject of pastoral activity. Van Oosterzee, as 


the leader of the Evangelical party in the Church of Hol- 
land, occupies the standpoint of the conservative reformers, 
investing the pastoral office with large dignity and author- 
ity, and yet emphasizing, at every point, the bond of a 
common humanity whicli binds together pastor and people. 

Of English treatises appearing during the nineteenth 
century may be mentioned TJie Bislwpric of Souls, by li. W. 
Evans; A Treatise on the Pastoral Office, by J. W. Burgon; 
The Parish Priest, by J. J. Blunt; Pastor in Parochia, by 
W. Walsham How; An Par nest Ministry the Want of the 
Times, by John Angell James ; Tlte Christian Ministry, by 
Charles Bridges ; Pastoral Theology, by Patrick Fairbairn ; 
Por the Work of the Ministry, by W. G. Blaikie; Hornilctical 
and Pastoral Lectures, by C. J. Ellicott ; Christus Consolator : 
the Pulpit in Relation to Social Z^/c, by Alexander McLeod; 
The Pastoral Office, by Ashton Oxenden ; and Letters to a 
Young Clergyman, by J. C. Miller. An excellent volume, 
compiled in England about the middle of the century and 
entitled The Christian Instructor contains Herbert's Country 
Parson; Jeremy Taylor's Advices to his Clergy; Bishop 
Burnet's Discourse of the Pastoral Care; Bishop Sprat's 
Discourse to his Clergy; Bishop Ball's Companion for Can- 
didates of Holy Orders ; Bishop Gibson's Directions to his 
clergy ; Bishop Hort's Instructions ; Bishop Wilson's Paro- 
chalia ; a Pastoral Letter by Archbishop Howley, and a 
Charge to the Clergy, by Bishop Kaye. One could liardly 
desire a more comprehensive exhibition of tlie subject from 
the point of view of tlie Anglican Chunli. 

The vigorous development of the voluntary system of 
church maintenance in the United States lias naturally 
resulted in a diligent cultivation of the whole lield of 
practical religion and tlu; literature of Pastoral 'J'heology 
is abundant. Especially dui'ing tlu; present century have 
the treatises upon the work of the ministry been greatly 
multiplied. The Lectures on Iloniilciics and Preaching, and 
on Public Prayer, by Ebenezcr Porter, and the Lectures on 
Pastoral Theology, by .laiiiesS. Cannon, belong to the earlier 
])art of the century: iind to tlie liilter liiilf of il, the 7'".s- 
toval Theology of Thomas Miii])hy, which [ircsents the 


subject from a Presbyterian point of view ; the Christian 
Pastorate^ by Daniel P. Kidder, which represents the con- 
ditions prevailing in the Methodist Episcopal Church, IVte 
Pastor^ by Gregory Thurston Bedell, which is calculated 
for the latitude of the Protestant Episcoj^alians, The Office 
and Work of the Christian Ministr//, by James jM. Hoppin, 
in which a teacher in a Congregational Theological Semi- 
nary gives his view of the pastor's work. Familiar and 
pithy counsels to young ministers are found in Samuel 
Miller's Letters to a Student on Clcrieal Planners and Mahits, 
in Humphrey's Letters to a Son in the Ministry^ and in 
Francis Wayland's Letters on the Ministry of the Gospel. 
TJie Homiletics and Pastoral Theology of W. G. T. Shedd 
is a dignified treatise ; Enoch Pond's Lectures on Past- 
oral Theology are plain and practical ; Austin Pheljjs's The 
Theory of Preaching is the fruitage of a fine nature ; 
Franklin W. Fisk's Homiletics contains the harvest of a rich 
experience, and G. B. Willcox's The Pastor in the Parish 
presents its topic in the form of a conversation between 
a teacher and his pupils. A foundation established in 
the Theological Seminary at New Haven, in memory of 
Lyman Beecher, has been built upon by successive lec- 
turers ; the first three volumes of this series, entitled 
Yale Lectures on Preaching, are by Henry AVard Becclier; 
other lectures have followed by Robert William Dale, 
Nine Lectures on Preaching ; by John Hall, God's Word 
Tlirovgh PreacMng ; by Richard Salter Storrs, Preaching 
vnthout Notes ; by William M. Taylor, The Ministry of the 
Word; by Phillips Brooks, Leetarcs on Preaching; by 
Howard Crosljy, The Christian Preacher; by Ezekiel G. 
Robinson, Yale Jjcctiires on Preaching ; by Matthew Samp- 
son, Lectures on Preaching ; by Nathaniel J. Burton, Yale 
Lectures, Sermons, and Other Writings; by James Stalker, 
The Preacher and His Models; by R. F. Horton, Vcrhuni 
Dei; ])y John Wats(m, Tlic Cure of Souls ; and by A. J. F. 
Bcln-cnds, The Philosophy of Preaching. Most of tliesc 
volumes seem to put tlie emphasis upon homiletics; but 
tlio pastoral care is also considered in many of ilimi. One 
course of lectures on this foundation, by A\'ashington 


Gladden, entitled Tools and the Man; Property and In- 
dustry under the Christian Lau\ deals with the duty of 
the pulpit with reference to industrial and social problems. 
A compilation of Essays entitled Parish Problems, by the 
writer last named, exhibits the field of pastoral theology 
from the point of view of the co-operating church. 

General Poimenics is sufficiently covered by the above 
survey; a little space may be given to the history of 
Catecheties. The teaching to which this name is given 
is alluded to, but not delined, in the Xew Testament ; ^ oral 
instruction seems to be implied ; but there is no clear 
discrimination between preaching and private teaching. 
Apollos had been '• instructed " (/caT7;;)^7;/Ae'i/o<?) in the way 
of the Lord,2 before he came under the tuition of Aquila 
and Priscilla ; and Theophilus had received the same kind 
of " instruction." ^ Naturally, all who sought to connect 
themselves with the groups of disciples must have re- 
ceived, from intelligent and competent leaders, some such 
tuition. There is, however, no clear trace of classes or 
methods until the third or fourth century; then we find 
the converts organized for instruction ; and two classes 
distinctly appear. First are the "Audientes," who are 
receiving instruction in the rudiments of religious truth, 
and who are permitted to be present in the church Avlicn 
the Scriptures are read and the sermon is preached, but 
who are excluded when the liturgical worship is in ])ro- 
gress. It is not in order for them to hear the Greed or 
the Lord's Prayer in the church, or to witness the adminis- 
tration of the Lord's Supper.* After they have received 
a proper amount of instruction they advance into the class 
of " Gompetentes," and the Greed, the nature of the sacra- 
ments, and tlie penitential rites of the churcb, are ex- 
plained to them. This was the stage of preparation which 
immediately preceded baptism ; it continued forty days, 
during which a severely ascetic regimen was prescribed. 

1 1 Cor. xiv. i;) ; Cul. vi. G. 
- Acts xviii. '2.'). 
^ Liikc i. 4. 
* Const. Ajioxl., viii. 5. 


At the end of this time those who endured tlic ordeal 
were admitted to baptism. 

No distinct order of catechists appears during this pe- 
riod ; each pastor was charged with this function. It is 
evident that the teaching was progressive, beginning with 
the simplest truths of natural theology, and leading up to 
Christian mj^steries. It was, however, mainly intended 
for adult converts, who sought preparation for admission 
to the church; the character which it has chiefly borne 
in modern times, as that of instruction imparted to the 
children of Christian families, was not then impressed 
upon it. 

The first writings which bear this name are the Cata' 
dieses of Cyril of Jerusalem (^Karr]')(^i^creL<; cfycori^ofievcov), 
which consist of addresses delivered during Lent to the 
Catechumens. The Christian doctrines are carefully ex- 
pounded in these discourses, and much emphasis is laid 
upon relics, exorcism, unction, and the adoration of the 
cross. Discourses with a similar purpose are the Oratio 
Catechetica of Gregory Nyssen, and the Catccheses ad 
Uluminandos of Chrysostom. The first treatise on theo- 
retical catechetics is that of Augustine, De Catecliizandis 
Eudibus, which begins wdth sacred history and proceeds 
to the Christian doctrines. It is addressed to his friend 
the Deacon Deo^ratias of Carthage. All these treatises 
are intended for the instruction of adult candidates for 

As infant baptism became more and more prevalent, tlic 
catechetical preparation for Ija^itism necessarily fell into 
desuetude ; the catachete was superseded by the priest. 
"After the church had become established, and its increase 
was obtained by the birth and baptism of children rather 
than by conversions from heathendom, the idea of catechet- 
ical instruction passed from l)eing that of a preparation 
for 1)aptism to being that of a culture of l)aptizcd cliildren. 
When conln-mation became general, catechetical instruc- 
tion l)egan to Ijear the same relation to it that it had 
fonncily done to Itajitism. In the missions to heathens 
iu the Middle Ages, it became nsual to baptize converts 


at once, and the ancient catechumenatc fell into disuse. 
Nor was great attention given to the catechising of bap- 
tized children in the Roman Church up to the time of 
the Reformation: the confessional took the place of the 
Catechism." ^ Nevertheless something was done through 
all this period for the systematic instruction of the young ; 
Charlemagne, in one of his Capitularies, admonishes the 
bishops that their priests must be required to attend to 
this duty; and the names of Bruno, Bishop of Wiirzburg, 
and Hugo of St. Victor, are to be mentioned as those who 
were zealous for the restoration of catechetical instruction. 
Chancellor John Gerson, of the University of Paris, was 
the author of a tract Dc Parvulis od Christum TraliencUs ; 
but the subjects for which this instruction was intended 
were young men rather than young children. 

The Reformation brought about a great revival in the 
religious training of children. The appeal to private 
judgment demanded an instructed judgment. Luther was 
the leader in this enterprise ; his Catechisms, Larger and 
Smaller, which appeared in 1529, are still the standards of 
the Lutheran Church in all parts of the world. The title 
of the latter in 3rd edition is Enchiridion : Dcr Klcine 
Catechismus filr die gemeine Pfarher und Prcdirjcr^ 1529. 
Thj Decalogue, the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and 
the Sacraments are the principal themes of Luther's 

Calvin also prepared a Catechism for the Church of 
Geneva, which was published in 1507 under the title. 
Instruction & Confession de Foy dont on use en Vl^glisc dc 
Geneve^ in 1538 in Latin, revised 1545, and translated into 
English in 1508. The themes of this Catechism are the 
Decalogue, the Apostles' Creed, and tlio Lord's Prayer; 
after which follow brief chapters on the Bible and the 

One of the most influential of (lie Catechisms is lliat 
known as the Heidelberg Catechism, which was |)ul)]islicd 
ill (lie city whose name it be.ars in 1503. Its oriL^nual (ici- 
man title is Catechismus, odcr Christlirhrr Undcrricht wic 

^ ^IcClintoc'k ami Strong's Ci/clopwdi'a, Art. Calcchetica, 


der in Kirchen unci Schulen der Churfilrstlichen Pfcdz 
getricbcn loirdt., Gedruckt in der ChurfurstlicJien Stad 
Heydelberg. The Catechism Avas mainly the Avork of tlie 
famous Zachary Ursinus, aided by Caspar Oleviaiiiis, who 
was then court preacher to the Elector of the Palatinate, 
Frederick III. It was under the patronage of this Protes- 
tant prince that the work was undertaken ; a synod of the 
superintendents of the I'alatinate approved it in 1562, and 
it was at once by command of the Elector made the doc- 
trinal standard of the Reformed Church in his dominions. 
The Synod of Dort adopted it in 1618 ; for the German 
and Dutch Reformed Churches it has always been the 
authoritative confession. The three parts into which the 
instruction is divided are : 1. The Misery of Man ; 2. The 
Redemption of Man ; 3. The Gratitude due from ]\Ian 
to God, — under which are included our moral obligations. 

The Catechism of the English Church appears in the 
Prayer Book of 1549 under the title Confirmation wlierein 
is contained a Catechism for Children. In its linal revision 
in 1661 it is entitled A Catechism. 1'he language is evi- 
dently adapted to the use of young children. The lift}^- 
ninth canon of the English Church requires every parson, 
vicar, or curate, upon every Sunday and holiday, before 
evening prayer, for lialf an hour or more, to examine and 
instruct the youth and ignorant persons of his parish in 
this Catechism, commanding all fathers, mothers, masters, 
and mistresses to bring their children or wards to this 
service, and prescribing heavy penalties for the neglect 
of this injunction, whether by priests or parishioners. The 
letter of tliis law is not generally obeyed. The American 
Episcopal Church also expressly requires of its ministers 
regular and diligent instruction of the cliildrcn of their 
parislies in the trutlis of this Catecliism. 

The Presbyterian Catechisms are of later date; the 
Eargcr Catechism, ]irepared by the Westminster vVssem- 
blv f.f Divines, was presented to the House of Commons 
iuiil ]iriiit(<l liy autliority in October, 1647, and the Shorter 
Catechism in Xf)vcmber of the same year. These symliols 
arc fruits of the later lie formation. The Shorter Catechism 


has been in universal use among Presbyterian churches, 
and was formerly employed very largely for purposes of 
instruction by Independents and Congregationalists in 
England and America. Many volumes have been pub- 
lished in exposition of it ; those of Ashbel Green, Pater- 
son, Vincent, Boyd, and Wliyte are among the most 

The revival of catechetical teacliing in the Churches 
of the Reformation reacted powerfully upon the Roman 
Catholic Church. What may be regarded as one of the 
tirst fruits of this activity is a little book published at 
Mayencc in 1550 with the imprint of John Schoeffer, son 
of the partner of (xutenberg, entitled Brevis Instltiitio ad 
Christianam Pietatem, secundum Doctrinam Catholicam con- 
tincns Explicationcm Symholi Apostolici, Orationis Dominicce^ 
Salutationis Anjelicce, Decern Frcceptoruvi, Septcvi Sacramcn- 
torum. It was compiled for the use of the " noble youth " 
Avho were receiving instruction under Sebastian, Arch- 
bishop of Mayence. It is profusely illustrated with wood- 
cuts of the period, exhibiting the Creation of Eve, the 
Salutation of Mary, the Birth of Jesus, the Crucifixion, 
the Resurrection, the Ascension, and other Scriptural 
events. It is written in Latin, and presents the chief 
point? of Catholic doctrine in a succinct and interesting 
manner. The Catechisms of Canisius, the Jesuit, issued 
in 1554 and 1556, exerted great influence throughout the 
Roman Catholic Churcli as well as in (lermany unlil 
quitL' recent times. Hk; Catechism of Bellarmine, pul> 
lislied in 1603, was also mucli used. Tlie Catechism of 
the Diocese of Meaux, published by Bossuet in 16i>8, and 
addressed by him " Aux Curez, Vicaires^ aux F^res et aux 
Meres, ct it tons les Fidellcs dc son Diocese,''^ is one of tlic 
most careful and systematic maiuials of tlio Catliolic 

The standard Catecliism of llic Koinaii (Imrt'li is the 
Tridcntine Catechism, published in 15()(!, niidi'r the au- 
thority of Pins \^ Ivich l)is]io[) is, lio\vi'\i'r, allowed Ui pre- 
pare such manuals of instruction as he may deem necessary ; 

1 See Catechisms of the Scottish Re/or iiiatioii, by Iloratius Bonar. 


and in 1885, the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore 
compiled a new Catechism of Christian Doctrine, which has 
been commended to the faithful by the highest authorities 
of the Church in the United States. 

Many of the Protestant bodies have provided their 
childi-en with manuals of instruction. The Methodist 
Episcopal Church in the United States has a series of these 
catechisms, embodying the same questions and answers, 
but extending the exposition so as to provide for a graded 
system of teaching. The subjects of this threefold cate- 
chism are : God ; Creation ; The Fall ; Salvation ; The Means 
of Grace ; God's Law ; Death, Judgment, and Eternity. 

Socinian Catechisms were prepared by Schomann in 
1574, by Faustus Socinus in 1618, and by Moscorovius 
in 1609. The last named, known as the Racovian Cate- 
chism, was translated into English by Kees, and published 
in London in 1818. 

Christian bodies which adopt no theological S3-mbols have 
been furnished with catechisms by independent teachers. 
The Baptist denomination was thus served by Benjamin 
Beddome, whose Scriptural Exposition of the Baptist Cate- 
chism was issued in 1752 ; and even the Quakers have A 
Catechism and Confession of Faith., wliich was prepared 
by Robert Barclay in 1673, and which declares upon its 
title-page that it has been "Approved of and Agreed 
unto by the General Assemhhj of the Patriarchs, Prophets, 
and Apostles, Christ himself Chief Speaker in and among 
them." The questions of this Catechism are in the words 
of INIr. Barclay, but the answers are in the vrords of the 



All Protestant denominations unite in giving to the 
local congregation of Christian believers — those who 
worsliip in one place, and have an organization under 
which the sacraments are administered to them by their 
own olFicers — the name of church. By some of these 
denominations the word is used also to designate larger 
organizations, provincial or national ; but the Episcopalian, 
the Presbyterian, the Methodist, and the Lutheran, as well 
as the Congregationalist and the Baptist, speak of the 
permanent local assembly of disciples as a church. This 
is the sense in which the word is always used in these 

Into the question of the form of this organization we do 
not go. The church may be organized with a vestry, a 
session, a classis, an official board, a diaconate and pru- 
dential committee, or in any other manner which seems 
good unto itself. Certain questions are, however, pertinent 
and practical when we are considering the church as a 
working body. 

1. How large may a church l)e wisely permitted to 
become ? Is there any judicious limit to be placed upon 
the membership of a church ? Oljviousl}', much ^^•ill depend 
upon the nature of its pastorate. If the pastor is provided 
wilh a large staff of assistants, the membershij) of tlie 
cliurch may be more safely multiplied. The work of 
organization and supervision may thus 1)e extendi'd to 
large numbers, and a large body accumulates influence and 
moves with power. Yet these gains arc offset by serious 
losses. The worshi))ping congrogalion ciinnot exceed a 
certain limited nmnhcr witliout pull'mg upon the preacher 


a strain which few are able to bear. Not many speakers 
can effectively address more than two thousand people in 
the best auditorium. Indeed the chiu'cli audiences in 
America which are regularly more numerous than this can 
probably be counted on the fingers of one hand. Nothing 
is more uniformly exaggerated than the size of church 
audiences. And even if a larger audience could be 
brought within the range of the preacher's voice, the 
wisdom of attempting to care for so large a body of 
communicants is not beyond disputation. A I'egular audi- 
ence of two thousand persons would imply a meml)ership 
of about the same number. The communicants who are 
necessarily absent are usually about equal in number to 
the non-communicants in attendance ; and a working 
force of two thousand would be handled with considerable 
difficulty by the most efficient pastoral staff. The per- 
centage of the unemploj'ed in such a mass is likely to be 
very large. 

If a church employs but a single pastor, the policy of 
gathering a huge membership is still more questionable. 
A leader with even exceptional ability as an organizer 
finds himself burdened by the care of more than a thousand 
cluirch members. The impossibility of maintaining any real 
pastoral supervision of a larger number is obvious ; and 
the difHculty of developing the social life of a congregation 
which exceeds this limit is almost insuperable. There may 
be circumstances under which a larger number can be 
effectively employed in Clu'istian service ; there may be 
leaders to whom such a task is not impossible ; but as a 
rule it may be questioned whether it is good economy to 
gather churches of more than a thousand members. (u'U- 
erally it will be expedient to colonize before the number 
reaches that limit. The policy of concentration, whicli is 
so successful in commercial enterprises, does not work so 
v/ell in ecclesiastical enterprises. Two clmrches of six or 
seven liuinlrcd meinl)ers eacli will generally accomplish 
far mon; than oiu; chuicli of twelve or fourteen liundred 

In short, it ma}- lu; said that the chureli membership 


should not be so large but that some good measure of 
acquaintance and friendship may be maintained among its 
members, and between its members and their minister ; 
nor so large but that they may be effectively employed in 
the work of the church. " When we are commanded," 
saj'S Baxter, " to ' take heed to all the flock,' it is plainly 
implied that flocks must be no greater, regularly and ordi- 
narily, than we are capable of overseeing or taking heed 
of; that particular churches should be no greater, or 
ministers no fewer, than may consist with taking heed to 
all ; for God will not lay upon us natural im[)Ossibilities. 
He will not bind men on so strict account as we are boimd, 
to leap up to the moon, to touch the stars, to number the 
sands of the soa. If it be the pastoral Avork to oversee 
and take heed to all the flock, then surely there must be 
sucli a proportion of pastors assigned to each flock, or 
such a number of souls in the care of each pastor, as he is 
able to take such heed to as is here required." ^ 

The fellowship of the brotherhood is never to be lost 
sight of. The organizing principle of the Christian church 
is such a union with Christ, the Head, as brings the mem- 
bers into vital relation with one another. " For even as we 
have many members in one body, and all the members have 
not the same office : so we, Avho are many, are one body in 
Christ, and severally members one of another." ^ This sui'cly 
implies acquaintance and friendship. It is absurd to talk 
of such relations as these among people who have not even 
a speaking acquaintance vni\\ one another. The church 
must not be so large as to defeat the very purpose of its 
organization. And it is equally clear that it must not be 
so large that no effective use can be made of its forces in 
Christian work. It will be found that by far tlu; greater 
proportion of many large churches are merely " honorary 
members," having no part in tlie activities of the church. 

In the great cathedral churches, to each of wliidi is 
attached a large clerical staff, much good work is done; 
and it is pro])able that large classes arci rcaihcd and bene- 
fited 1)V such services who would not be l)r()Ught into ch)sc 

1 lioformed Pastor, \\. 10.'!. - Koiii. xii. -1, J. 


affiliation with smaller churches. So, too, in the great 
institutional churches which will be discussed in a later 
chapter, a certain kind of shepherchng is effectively done. 
For all such methods there is room in the Kingdom of God. 
Yet it may still be maintained that the ideal Christian 
church is a " household of faith," the members of wliich 
are bound together by personal affection ; and that it is also 
a working body whose function is best fulfilled when its 
members are all actively enlisted in some kind of helpful 
ministry ; and for this mutual fellowship and co-operation 
the body must not be too large. It is a serious question 
whether the passion for bigness which characterizes our 
time has not increased the bulk of many of our cluirehes 
at the expense of their vitality. 

2. Closely connected with this question of the extent of 
the membership is the question of the nature of the edifice 
which the church must provide for itself. There is no rea- 
son why the church building should not be a noble and at- 
tractive structure, if those who worship within it are able to 
provide such an edifice, and pay for it. It is not seemly 
that those who tliemselves dwell in palaces should offer to 
the Lord a barn for liis sanctuary. And j'ct it is easy to err 
in this direction. The church may be solidly and beauti- 
fully built; it ought to be comfortable and commodious 
and bright and attractive ; but it ought not to have the 
look of elegance or luxury. It should never be a building 
whose exterior or interior would make upon any ^^•orking 
man the impression that the people worshipping in it were 
too fine to associate witli him, A dignified simplicil}^ 
should characterize all its features and ap[)ointments. 
Many churches are as ostentatious of splendor, without 
and within, as are the turnouts in which tlieir worshippers 
dis})lay themselves in the park. To every passer-b}' tlicy 
loudly proclaim, " It is not the elect, it is the clitc^ Avho 
congregate here: Frocul, procid estr, profani!'''' Sucli 
churclies, and their entire administration, arc a hideous 
travesty of the religion of the Nazarene. A pastor wlio 
liad foi' several years Im'cii ministering to the Hock that 
worship[»ed in one of these splendid churches, once said to 


the writer : " It would have been far better for the cause 
of Christ if one huncli'ed thousand dollars of the money 
expended upon this church had been tlirown into the 
river ; there it would have done no harm, at least ; here it 
is a positive hindrance to the progress of the Kingdom." 
Money which is expended in such gorgeousness and sliow 
is worse than wasted. 

The ethics of church architecture needs to be studied 
by Christian disciples everywhere. There is no virtue in 
deformity and discomfort ; the ugliness of some of the old 
meeting-houses is an abomination. He who hath made 
everything l)eautiful in its season is not honored by offer- 
ing him a Iniilding which offends the taste that bears wit- 
ness for him. But, on the other hand, every Christian 
congregation must bear in mind who is its Master, and 
who are his friends, — the people in its neighborhood with 
whom he is most closely identified, — and must seek to 
administer all its affairs in such a way that they shall not 
be repelled from its assemblies. 

In churches whose chief function is that of teachinsf, it 
would also seem to be reasonable to expect that much 
regard would l)e paid to the properties of the church as an 
auditorium. " How shall they hear without a preacher ? " 
is a question not much more pertinent than '' How shall 
they hear the preacher ? " It would be well if architects 
could be impressed with the truth that all architectural 
effects must be subordinated to tlie uses of tlie church as a 
I)lace of worship. The lirst problem to be solved is that 
of Ijriiiging the whole congregation under the leader's eye, 
and within easy range of his voice. 

The newer conception of the church as a working body 
calls also for an adaptation of the churcli l)uil(ling to the 
purposes of work. In some portion of the edilice place 
must be found for class rooms, social rooms, connnittee 
rooms, and tlic other conveniences of a working organiza- 
tion. The arrangement of tlie structure will ])e detennined 
by the plans of the church; in some places it would Ije 
wise to undertake many more kinds of work than in others ; 
and in every case the edilice should be built w ith au intel- 


ligent regard for the future requirements of the church. 
It is not sufficient to commission an architect to furnish 
the design of a church edifice ; as well tell him to build 
a factory without letting him know whether it was pro- 
posed to manufacture cotton goods or mowing machines or 
writing j)aper. The church must carefully study its field, 
and determine what kind of work it can wisely undertake ; 
and must then adapt its building, as well as it can, to the 
requirements of its work. 

The location of the church is also a matter of great 
importance. Many churches are wellnigh ruined by 
placing them on noisy streets where the voice of the 
preacher is often ch•o^\^led by the din. It is well that the 
church should be near some principal thoroughfare, near 
enough to attract some portion of the throng ; it ought to 
be easily accessible from all directions ; but it is not good 
policy to push the church into the midst of the market- 
place. " Wisdom," according to the wise man, " crieth 
aloud in the street ; she uttereth her voice in the broad 
places ; she crieth at the head of the noisy streets ; " ^ 
and there may be occasions for Wisdom to deport herself 
after this manner ; but when she seeks to gather worship- 
pers into the sanctuary, she may well betake herself to 
quieter regions. There is reason to believe that Wisdom 
has often failed to make herself heard by reason of the 
clatter of carts and the din of electric cars, and the clamor 
of bands of Sabbath-breakers marching l)y. 

The question of economy must also be considered in this 
connection. It is a question whether any church has a right 
to expend hundreds of thousands of dollars upon a site for 
its cdilice, simply in order that it may occu})}' land u])()n 
which fashion has put an exorbitant price, wluii land 
equally serviceable can be ol)tained only one or two 
s(iuares away for one half or one quarter of tlie money. 
Tlie people wlio vnll worshij) on the most fashionable 
avenue and vnll not Avorsliip on a street where tlie resi- 
deufos are huniblor, are pco])lo for whom we have no right 
to spend the Lord's money. 'I'lie more of tliein there are in 

1 I'rov. i. 120, Ul, Mar;r. 


any chnrch, the poorer it will be in all the elements that go 
to muke up a true church of Christ. 

In short, it needs to be said that this question of the 
local habitation of the church is one that needs to be 
treated ■with much more intelligence and conscience than 
has sometimes been expended upon it. The life of the 
church is powerfully affected for good or ill by the envi- 
ronment which it thus provides for itself: the question 
whether pride shall be fostered or repressed ; whether the 
church shall be brought near to the people who need it 
most or separated from them; whether the standards to 
which its life shall be conformed shall be the standards of 
the world and the flesh or the standards of the spirit; 
whether the demands of style or the law of service shall 
rule in its assemblies, — will be answered in part, at least, 
in the one sense or the other, by the joint efforts of the 
architect and the building committee. 

3. What has already been said respecting the size of 
the membership and the construction of the edifice has 
suggested, in part, the answer to the question, What hind 
of people should be gathered into the fellowship of any 
given church? The answer is that the people who live in 
the neighborhood should, ordinarily, form the membership 
of the church ; and that they should be impartially gath- 
ered in, rich and poor, learned and unlearned, Avith no dis- 
tinction of caste or color. It is true that in large cities, with 
present facilities of transportation, families and individuals 
often travel consideraljle distances to Avorship in tlie 
churches Avhicli tlic}^ prefer. Sometimes they are constrained 
to do this by their attachment to old associations ; they have 
clianged their residence, but they cannot bear to separate 
thenisplves from tlie felloAVsliip in Avhicli th(\y Avere reared, 
or Avitli Avliich they have long been liaj)i)ily connected. 
Sometimes the pastor is inw Avhose ministry is to them es- 
pecially stimulating and ludpful, and Uiey are Avilling to 
mak(^ large sacrifices for the sake of what h(! gives them. 
It is not prudent, perhaps it is not dcsiraMc. to milagoni/.i! 
sucli preferences. Doubtless th<! j)riiiei|)le of s|)irilMal 
selection Avill determine, to a considerable extent, the inein- 


bership of clmrclies in all our larger coinmunities. Proba- 
bly they will be more eflicient and fruitful, if, as a rule, 
those whose opinions and tastes are similar are united in 
the same communion. Most city churches will be made up, 
not only of those who are near, but of some also who are 
afar off. But when the church itself considers the ques- 
tion of its own membership, and sends out its invitations, 
it can have but one message : " Ho, every one that thirst- 
eth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money ; 
come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk with- 
out money and without price." ^ " And the Spirit and the 
bride say, Come. And he thatheareth, let him say, Come. 
And he that is athirst, let him come ; he that will, let him 
take of the water of life freely." ^ If those from afar 
choose to come to its solemn feasts they must be hospitably 
treated ; but those who are near must not be left in any 
doubt as to the warmth of their welcome. The very first 
problem for any church to solve is how to make the people 
of its own neighborhood — all the people — understand 
that its services are for them ; that its bell rings for them ; 
that its doors open to them ; that its ushers are waiting 
for them ; that its seats are for them to occupy ; that it 
stands, as the representative of Christ, repeating to all 
the people, with such powers of persuasion as it can com- 
mand, his gracious call : " Come unto me, all ye that labor 
and arc heavy laden, and I will give you rest." ^ That 
there should be any mistake about this, any possibility of 
misconception, any misgiving in anybodj^-'s mind that this 
church does not really mean this, that it wishes only for 
the adhesion of those who belong to a certain social class, 
or who can bring contributions to its coffers and social in- 
fluence to its assemblies, — this is a thought not for one 
moment to be entertained. What I Can it bo true that 
there are cliurches bearing the name of Jesus Christ which 
are understood to l)e churches for the " upper class," or 
churches for the " lower class " ; churches in whicli con- 
siderations of wealtli or rank or culture largely determine 
llic membership ? The sooiun* such churches are blotted 
1 Isa. Iv. 1. - Hcv. xxii. 17. ^ Matt. xi. 28. 

THE fHURCri 81 

from existence, the sooner tlic Kingdom of God will 

It is true that in some neighboi'hoods the majority of 
the residents belong to one class, and in others the majority 
belong to another class ; such a geographical distribution 
of wealth and poverty may be unfortunate, but it exists, 
and we must make the best of it. It is therefore probable 
that the social standing of the membership of some churches 
will be different from tliat of others. But there are few 
neighborhoods in which many poor people may not be 
found, and few which are not accessible to some well to do 
people ; and wherever the sentiment of the church heartily 
favors it, the rich and the poor will be woishipping together. 
The pastor of a church which has lately moved to a rather 
fashionable residence district in one of our fairest Western 
cities, told the writer that his congregation contained a large 
working-class element. These were serving-men and serving- 
women in the households of the neighborhood, poor clerks 
and shop girls living near, and others of the same social 
class. Ordinarily these persons, if in church at all, would 
be found worshipping in some small mission chapel on a side 
street, probably at a distance from their place of residence ; 
but this churL-h had somehow convinced them that there 
was room for them in its asscndjlics. This is by no means 
an impossible task for men and women of good will ; and 
no church has justified its existence until it has exhausted 
its ingenuity and patience in seeking to accomplish it. 

Not only will many working people be found scattered 
through the districts where the more favored classes dwell, 
l)ut it is not seldom the case that sections inhabited l)y the 
poor are closely contiguous to churches now frequented 
by the lich. In multitudes of instances the most aristo- 
cratic churches are within easy roach of thousands of the 
humblest people. If the worshi[)[)ers in these churches 
are all of one social class, the reasons for this are not topo- 
graphical, but purely moral. Tlic oidy reason why the 
poor are not Ihoro is that th:'y arc not wauled. If these 
were IJonian Catholic churches the jinor woiilil lie found 
in them. There is no cathedral on the eonlinenl i>i I'-urope 


SO splendid tlmt the poor are not perfectly at home in it. 
To say that the same thing cannot exist in Protestant 
churches is to proclaim that Protestantism is a failure. 

We often hear it said that persons of this class are offen- 
sive to the more refined by reason of their uncleanliness. 
But a fastidiousness which cannot endure some discomfort 
of this sort for an hour or two, once a week, for the sake 
of the Kingdom of God, is not likely to achieve any im- 
portant victories in the Christian warfare. And nothing- 
would be more effective in improving the personal habits 
of these people than bringing them into association every 
week with tliose to whom such matters were a care. An 
object lesson like this is the best way of teaching them 
the important truth that cleanliness is next to godliness. 

It is sometimes said that the poor prefer plainer churches ; 
that they are more at home in them ; that they enjoy asso- 
ciation with those of their own class. Doubtless they 
would not feel at home in churches that Avere ostentatiously 
luxurious ; but we have already assumed that the Christian 
church Avill not be built upon that plan. They can have 
no distaste for a beautiful and comfortable interior. It 
would not be pleasant for them to W()rslii2i in churches 
where most of the worshippers were richly and gaudily 
dressed ; but few people of refinement are in the habit of 
dressing for display when they go to church. The ordi- 
nary laws of good breeding require plain and inconsi)icuous 
attire in the house of God. And as to the preference for 
association with those of their own class, it is to Ijc said 
that very few worldng people w^ould fail to respond to the 
overtures of a genuine Christian courtesy. Condescension 
or patronage the best of them do not want and will not 
endure ; but a sincere interest in them and a real friend- 
ship for them will win tlieir confidence, no ]natter liow 
large may be the possessions or how fine the culture of 
those wlio proffer it. Th(! Cln-istian churcli is on tiial 
before this generation upon this very issue, whetlier there 
exists within it a genuine l)rotherliood by which tlie bar- 
rici"S of social caste can be broken down. The separation 
of classes threatens the disruption of existing society, and 



the overturn of all our institutions. There appears to be 
no agency by which this separation can be averted except 
the Clu-istian church. If the church is true to the prin- 
ciples of its Founder we may escape revolution, and go 
forward with the processes of a healthy social evolution. 
If the church, faithless to its trust, becomes the embodi- 
ment of that pride and exclusiveness which its Master 
came to rebuke and destroy, the church, with the state, 
will be revolutionized ; the ecclesiastical structures now 
existing will be demolished, and the Kingdom of God 
will be rebuilt on sure foundations. The question of the 
social structure of the existing churches is one of great 
moment to the churches themselves, and to society at 
large. If tlie principle of Christian fraternity means any- 
thing, it is high time that we were beginning to compre- 
hend its meaning, and to give it full scope in our church 
organizations. The questions about which we are forever 
squabbling, — whether our churches shall be governed by 
bishops or elders, or committees of their own choosing; 
whether the clergy shall be robed in one color or another ; 
whether prayer shall be oral or written ; whether baptism 
sliall l)e with little water or with much ; whether we shall 
sing psalms or hymns ; whether Moses wrote all the Penta- 
teuch or not, — are of very small consequence compared 
with the question whether we are the disciples of the 
iMaster who is shown us in the fust seventeen verses of the 
thirteenth chapter of the Gospel of John. If we are, in 
deed and iu truth, learners in his school, followers of his 
divine example, we shall find some wa}^ of administering 
our churches so tliat those to whom lie came to bring the 
glad tidings shall feel at home in them. 

The unity of tlie church of Christ is something more 
than a voluntary association ; it is a vital, an oi'ganic unity. 
"For in one Spirit," says Paul, "were we all l)aptized 
into one body, whether Jews or (Jreeks, whether ])()nd or 
free, and were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the 
body is not one member, but many. If the foot sliall say. 
Because T am not the hainl, I am not of the body, it is 
not therefore not of the body. And if the ear shall say, 



Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body, it is not 
therefore not of the body. If the whole body were an eye, 
where were the hearing ? If the whole were hearing, where 
were the smelling? But now hath God set the members 
each one of them in the body even as it pleased him. 
And if they were all one member, where were the body ? 
But now they are many members, but one body. And 
the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee ; 
or again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 
Nay, much rather, those members of the body which seem 
to be more feeble are necessary ; and those parts of the 
body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we 
bestow more abundant honor, and our uncomely parts 
have more abundant comeliness ; whereas our comely parts 
have no need; but God tempered the body together, 
giving more abundant honor to that part which lacked ; 
that there should be no schism in the body, but that the 
members should have the same care one for another. 
And whether one member suffereth, all the members suffer 
with it, or one member is honored, all the members rejoice 
with it." 1 Here is the constitution of the Christian church ; 
and a right understanding of this, and a hearty acceptance 
of it, are a th(Uisand times more important than all that is 
involved in our disputes about polities and liturgies and 
doctrines. The one damning licresy is the rejection of 
this organic law of the church ; the one intolerable schism 
is tliat by wliich Christ's poor are practically cut off from 
the fellowship of their more prosperous neighbors. 

It is true that it is becoming increasingly difiicult to 
realize the fellowship on which tlie Christian cliurch is 
founded. In all our larger cities the conventionalities of 
society are so multiplied, and there are so many outside 
interests that engross tlic time and thought of churcli 
members, that it is hard to maintain any general acquaint- 
ance, even among those of the same class. But it must 
not bo a(lmi(t(!d that this is im])0ssible; the maintenance 
of 1lli^^ relation is essential to the development of tlie 
Cliiistian character. Tlie kind of association whicli is 

1 I Cor. xii. 13-2G. 


furnished by a Christian cliurch in which the rich and the 
poor, the cultured and the uncultured, the old and the 
young, meet together on a i)erfect equality, is a little dif- 
ferent from any other that wa enjoy in this world; and it is 
the only environment in which some of the best fruits of 
the spirit are likely to be cultivated. We do not find in 
our philanthropic work, in our condescension to those who 
are content to be our beneticiaries, still less in the super- 
ficial amenities of general society, the opportunity for the 
kind of social commerce which the church affords to those 
who intelligently accept its covenant and heartily endeavor 
to realize the life which it implies. There is pertinence 
in the counsel which bids us do good to all men as w^e 
have opportunity, " especially toward them that are of the 
household of the faitli." ^ The absf)lute mutuality Avhich 
lies at the basis of that relation calls for the cultivation of 
some of the highest Christian qualities. 

All classes in the congregation need this discipline. 
The capitalistic elements need to be brought, through the 
church, into fraternal relations with the laboring classes, 
and the laboring classes need it not less. The church 
ought to be a constant and unfaltering witness to the 
people of both these classes that they are members one 
of another. Tlie learning of this lesson is the beginning 
and end of wisdom in the solution of what is known as 
the social question ; and where is this lesson to be learned 
if not in the fellowship of the Christian church? Neither 
of these classes, it is to be feared, wishes to learn it ; both 
of them shrink from association with each other ; both of 
them often seem to prefer to cherish the alienations and 
animosities by which tlie bond of society is sorely strained 
and often sundered. Tliere are In-iglit exceptions on bolli 
sides, but tliis is the prevailing temper. It is liere, if any- 
where, that the true priestly function comes into ]ilay, — 
the function of mediation. If we, as Christian disciples, 
are nia(l(^ priests to (Jod, it is for sueli work as this. Tlie 
cliuicli wliirli (Iocs not see llial this is its lii^li ealliiiLC at 
this hour saill}- fails to discern this time. 

1 Gal. vi. 10. 


Between the educated and the uneducated classes the 
same work of reconciliation is called for. The conceit of 
culture is often about as virulent and anti-social as the 
pride of wealth. The fact that he can pronounce the 
English language a little more accurately than his neigh- 
bor, or that he can interpret some literary allusion which 
to the other has no meaning is, to many a man, good reason 
why he should treat that other with indifference, if not 
with contempt. The tendency is strong to erect these 
barriers of caste and exclusiveness between those who 
know a little more about certain things and those who 
know a little less. Such tempers are fatal to the best 
social construction. There will be diversities of knowl- 
edge in society ; the Christian theory is that men should 
be united and not divided by these diversities. 

"And what delights can equal those 
That stir the S})irit's inner deeps, 
"When one that loves, but knows not, reaps 
A truth from one that loves and knows?" ^ 

If these precious fruits of the Christian discipline are 
to be gathered in the church, it would seem clear that the 
church must have all these classes in its membership. 
No clmrch should tlierefore be content for a day to be a 
church of tlie rich or of the poor, of the educated or of 
the uneducated. It is hard, no doubt, to prevent these 
social stratifications ; the tendency is strong to bring the 
churcli under the domination of .Tsthotic rather than of 
ethical standards. The notion that wc arc to seek, in our 
church relations, that which will minister to our cnltuie 
and gratify our tastes, and surround us with congenial 
associations, is far too prevalent, even among our most 
orthodox Christians. How many are tlioie wlio do not 
make these or similar considerations ])aramount vlien 
they are selecting their phices of worshij)? 

It is not true, however, that the obstacles which liinder 
the realization of the ideal of the cliurch arc all interposed 
])y the more foi-tunate classes. However the fact mny be 
explained, it is the fact tliat the spiiit of exclusiveness and 

' Tennytioii, In Mevwriam, XLI. 


alienp.tion exists among the poorer classes, and is keep- 
ing a great many of them out of the church. The families 
that tend to pauperism can usually be reached without 
much dilticulty; their children can be brought into the 
Sunday school; they themselves are willing, for reasons 
that are usually too apparent, to maintain some sort of 
connection with a charitable church. Ikit among the self- 
supporting working people the notion seems to be growing 
that the churches are for the rich and cultivated people ; that 
they are not in sym]3athy with the working classes ; that 
they are the apologists and beneficiaries of monopoly. 
Tliis is by no means the universal fact; there are many 
churches which are largely composed of working-men ; 
and the sweeping condemnation of the churches as aristo- 
cratic and exclusive which we sometimes hear from work- 
ing people need not be admitted, though we may recognize 
certain ominous tendencies in this direction. It is plain 
that the alienation of the working people from the churches 
is in part the result of a systematic and energetic effort to 
separate them from tlie rest of the community and compact 
them in a class by themselves in the warfare with capital, 
or rather with the employing class. Industrial societ}^ is 
at present on something like a war basis, and the leaders of 
the labor army do not like to have their forces fraterni/e in 
any way with tlie enemy. It a[)pears to them, therefore, 
good tactics to keep the working people out of all associa- 
tions in which kindlier relations might be cultivated; and 
many of the denunciations of the churches are prompted 
by this policy. The aristocratic temper of the church is 
not the real objection ; the more of real fraternity there 
was in it, the less they would like it. It would not be true 
to say that all labor leaders are governed by this ])urpose ; 
j<erhaps it is not often consciously cherislied ; but the obvi- 
ous logic of the maintenance of industrial society on a Mar 
basis nuist lead them in this direction. Such, then, aic ob- 
stacles to the fraternization of classes wliich are found in tlir 
tempers of the less fortunate classes. There is just as nnuh 
human nature in the under crust of society as in the upper 
crust. r>ut it is the Inisiiu'ss of llu' Cluislian ihunh to 


break down all these obstacles, to bring these suspicious 
and antipathetic people all together in one fellowship, and 
teach them to respect one another and care for one another. 
To this separation, quite as truly as to that of an older 
day, we may apply Paul's words : " For lie is our peace, 
who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of 
partition, . . . that he might create in himself of the twain 
one new man, so making peace ; and might reconcile them 
both in one body unto God through the cross, having slain 
the enmity thereby." ^ The church that wrought this 
reconciliation in the olden time between Jews and Gentiles 
can do it to-day for capitalists and laborers, if it will only 
hold fast by the truth on which it is founded. And in or- 
der that it may do the work for which it exists, it must 
place itself firmly on this foundation. 

It may thus be evident that the question of the consti- 
tution of the local church at the present day goes a great 
deal deeper than our disputes about polity and dogma and 
ceremonial. It is a question which strikes at the very 
heart of the social order ; which challenges the principles 
of our conduct as social beings. The first question for 
any church to ask is, "Who is my neighbor?" That 
question must be answered in the Christian sense, and the 
whole regimen of the churcirs life must be conformed to the 
answer. If Christianity has a law for society, the church 
must first of all learn that law and o])ey it. 

The relation of the churcli to the Kingdom of God is a 
matter concerning which it is necessary to have clear ideas. 
To a considerable extent it is a question of words, but 
there are, after all, important distinctions which we must 
learn to make. In one of the most inspiring books ^ of this 
generation. Dean Fremantle urges that the church is tlie 
inclusive word; that all departments of what is known as 
secular life are in reality departments of chuich life; that 
''the church ("the fulness of Ilim thiit liilctli all in all') is 
the whole community of Christian pcoph' in the whole lange 
of their life, and tends to c'lnbraee the ^\ hoh; world ; and 
therefore that it cannot ])v, adequately represented by com- 

1 Kpli. ii. Il-IG. - The H'oiUl tis the Subject of Ilrdetiijition. 


numities organized for iiublic worsliip and its accessories. 
Why, then," he demands, '" do we hear the words ' The 
Church,' or 'The Churches,' applied solely to bodies or- 
ganized for public worship, doctrinal teacliing, and a few 
adjuncts of beneficence ? Why do historical writers con- 
stantly speak of acts that are those of the clergy alone as 
acts of the Church ? Why do we find that, in nine cases 
out of ten, when ' The Church ' is named, the clergy and 
the worshipping body (most commonly the clergy alone) are 
meant ? . . . Each of the rings or circles of human society, 
the family, the communities which exist for the further- 
ance of science, of art, of social intercoui-se, of commerce, 
as well as for public worship, are essentially religious so- 
cieties, and the Nation most of all. Why, then, are those 
societies still spoken of as secular or worldly, instead of 
the attempt being made to raise their spheres of action to 
the dignity of church functions, and their leaders to that 
of church ministers?" ^ 

The central idea for which this book contends — the 
sacredness of all life, the essential religiousness of every 
kind of useful work — is not to be gainsaid ; it is indeed 
part of the great constructive idea which is giving us all 
our new departures in theology as well as in practical 
Christian work. But it is a question whether the word 
church has not become so thoroughly fixed in its mean- 
ing that it cannot be stretched to cover all tliat Dean 
Fremantle tries to include under it. Will the old wine- 
skin hold the new wine ? Is it not l)ctter to keep tlic word 
church f(jr the " comnumities organized for pul)lic wor- 
ship and its accessories," and to a])ply to "• the whole 
community of Christian people, in all the range of their 
life," Christ's own phrase, the Kingdom of Clod, or tlio 
Kingdom of Heaven. It will be necessary, then, to show 
that it is possible and greatly desirable to widen the scope 
of the church, and make it touch the life of the people at 
many more points than it has liitherto done; and it will 
also be necessary to show that the church, so deliiicd, — 
even when so enlarged, — is subordinate in all respects, to 

' Preface to the new cilitiDii, 1 8'J5. 


the Kingdom of God ; that it is a part, and not the whole, of 
that Kingxlom. 

It might be possible, following the suggestion of Dean 
Fremantle, to include under the term church all the 
spiritual and ethical interests of the community, and to 
conceive of charit}^ and education, and even of art, as 
proper functions of the church ; but the function of civil 
government involves methods and agencies that cannot 
well be identified with the church in fact or in name. 
Civil government must employ force, and the weapons of 
the church are not carnal. The state does not lose its 
divine character when it employs force ; the powers that 
be are ordained of God, and they bear not the sword in 
vain,^ but the work to which the state is called is a differ- 
ent kind of work from that to which the church is ap- 
pointed, and it is essential to the effectiveness of each that 
the two functions be separated. The state with its politi- 
cal and retributive functions is an integral part of the 
Kingdom of God ; and the duties to which it summons us 
are not less sacred than those to which the church calls us, 
but they are duties of a different nature, and must not be 
confused. So, at least, it seems to those of us who do not 
live under religious establishments. The Kingdom of God 
includes both state and church ; it is, indeed, "• the whole 
community of Christian people in tlie wliolo range of their 
life " ; every part of that life is sacred, but there are some 
parts of it which are not wisely considered as functions 
of the church. 

The church and its ministry are, then, a part, a vital part 
of the Kingdom of God, but they do not constitute that 
Kingdom. It is not the churcli and its righteousness that 
we are Ijidden to seek first, but the Kingdom of God and 
his righteousness. The church is auxiliary to the King- 
dom, it is one of the means by wliich tlie Kingdom is 
brouglit in ; but every Christian's first loyalty is to the 
Kingdom, and not to the churcli. 'J'lic clmrcli, in its best 
estate, liolds much the same relation to the Kingdom that 
the political party, at its best estate, holds U) the govern- 

' IJoin. xiii. 1-6. 

THE cHrncri 41 

ment of the country ; it is an instrument which men em- 
ploy to secure the progress and the permanence of the 
Kingdom. Better, perhaps, we may say that it is the 
training school, ordained by God, in which men are fitted 
for the life of the Kingdom. The usefulness of the church 
is tested by observing the condition of the community in 
wliich it stands. If the life of the community is healthily 
affected by its presence its life is vindicated, otherwise it 
lacks credentials. By its fruits in the civic community 
its character must be judged. It is never an end in itself, 
it is a means to an end. The city which John saw in his 
vision, the New Jerusalem, which represents the perfected 
society that is to fill the earth at the latter day, was a city 
without a temple. All its life was sacred ; its home life, 
its business life, its education, its art, its work, its play, were 
all consecrated. Men had learned the meaning of that hard 
saying, " Wliether ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do 
all to the glory of God." ^ All work was done in the 
spirit of prayer ; all callings were sacred. That city is 
coming down out of heaven from God even now; but it 
comes without observation ; of its enduring temples one 
living stone after another is silently descending to its 
place, but long years are yet to pass before this process 
win be consummated ; it is only in its idea, its promise, 
its elemental forces, and in certain beautiful beginnings, 
tliat this city is now here upon the earth; the actual 
society of the municipality or the commonwealth is yet a 
long way from the millennial perfection. And yet this 
promise, this ideal, is always before tlie mind of eveiy 
well instructed servant of Christ. What lie is chiefly 
working for and praying for is not the success of his 
church, or his denomination, or any ecclesiasticism what- 
ever; it is the upbuilding of this Kingdom. 

To this end tlie churcli is a divinely a])])oint('d moans. 
As things now are, tlu' s])iritual interests nuisl, to a ccn-tain 
extent, be specialized. In our northern climates the green- 
house and the nursery are ini[)ortant adjuncts of tlie garden 
and the orchard. Yet it is not by what is grown in tiui 
' 1 X. :i\. 


greenhouse and the nursery that life is nourished, so much 
as by that which is planted out in the open air and in the 
broad fields. And the church, while the spiritual climate 
remains what it is, serves the Kingdom of Heaven in the 
same way; it affords a care and a culture in which the 
beautiful growths of the Kingdom may be made ready for 
planting out in the field of the world.^ 

It is necessary that religion should be specialized in in- 
stitutions which are devoted to its interests. The problem 
is to make all life religious ; but in order that it may be- 
come so, associations are needed whose function it shall 
be to cultivate religious ideas and feelings. 

Electricity, we are told, })crvades the whole earth and 
the whole atmosphere. It is everywhere about us ; per- 
haps the time may come when we can make this diffused 
electricity do our chores and run our errands ; but for 
the present we must have tlie power-house with the dyna- 
mos, where it is collected and concentrated and distributed 
to the places where it is wanted. And, in like manner, 
although the spirit of Christianity ought to pervade and to 
some extent does pervade the whole of the society in which 
we live, — though the Kingdom of Heaven, like the liidden 
leaven, is here, living and working upon the earth, — yet 
there is need that this inlluence be gathered up and con- 
centrated in institutions formed for this special purpose, 
that its nature may bo more distinctly seen, and its power 
more wisely directed. 

As we study the laws of life, we find the higher orders 
of being distinguished by what the physiologists call an 
increasing specialization of function. " In the progress 
from the lower to the higher organisms," says JMr. Huxley, 
" there is a gradual differentiation of organs and of func- 
tions. Each function is separated into many parts, which 
are severally intrusted to distinct oi-gans. To iLse the 
striking phrase of jNIilne-Edwards, 'In passing from low 
to high organisms there is a division of physiological 
labor.' " 2 

1 I take tlio lilicrly of (|iiiilintx Imtc a few [);irai;;r:i|ilis from a small hook of 
my own, obscurely ijulilislicd, eutilletl J'hc V/utich uud tin- Kimjduin. 
^ Enci/c. Brit., Art. Biolo(jy. 


Thus in the lower orders of sentient creatures the ner- 
vous system is diffused through the living nuiss, or dis- 
tributed over its surface ; but as the creatures rise in the 
scale, the nerves are gathered into knots or ganglions, and 
their function is gradually separated until in the vertebrates, 
and especially in man, you hnd the brain, a great central 
organ, safely housed in a strong cavity made for its pro- 
tection, whence it moves and directs the whole bod}-. The 
separation and specialization of the nervous function does 
not make the human body as a whole less sensitive or less 
responsive to nervous action than the bodies of the snails 
and the worms ; the contrary is the fact. By concentra- 
tion the nervous force is increased and intensified. 

In the same manner, as society advances, the different 
social functions are specialized; this is likely to be more 
and more the case. And although religion ouglit to per- 
vade and govern the whole of society, just as the nervous 
system pervades and governs the human body, yet religion, 
for this very reason, needs to be specialized in institu- 
tions of its owm, as the brain is specialized and localized 
in the human body. It is thus that it gains power to move 
and direct human society. 

This illustration may suggest to us the relation between 
the church and the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kinodom 
of Heaven is the entire social organism in its ideal perfec- 
tion ; the church is one of the organs, — the most central 
and important of them all, — having much the same rela- 
tion to Christian society that the brain has to the body. 
The body is not all brain, but the brain is the seat of 
thought and feeling and motion. A body without a brain 
could not be a very effective instrument of tlie mind ; 
society, without those s))eciali/,cd religions functions wliicli 
are gathered u\> in the clnircli. wmild not very readily re- 
ceive and iiieaiiKile and distrihnte llie gifts of the Sj)irit 
of (lod. 

And yet the lirain is of use oidy as it fninishos to all 
the other oigans and parts ol the body feeling and motion. 
It must make the eye sensitive 1o light, the tongue to 
flavors, ihc ear to sound, the hands and I'et't to the \(ililions 


of the will which set them in motion. The brain is in one 
sense the master, in another sense the servant of the whole 
body. It helps to co-ordinate all the physical powers, and 
it supplies them all with the conditions by means of which 
their work is done. Suppose that the brain undertook to 
set up housekeeping on its own account ; to look out for it- 
self, and have little relation to the other parts of the body ; 
to assume that the brain was the man, and that, so long as 
the brain was Avell developed, it mattered little about the 
other parts of the human economy. Is it not evident that 
any separation of the brain from the rest of the body 
would kill the brain as well as the rest of the body ? The 
life and health of the brain are found only in ministering 
to the whole body. 

In the same way is the church related to all the other 
parts of human society. Its life is in their life ; it cannot 
live apart from them ; it lives by what it gives to them ; it 
has neither meaning nor justification, except in what it 
does to vitalize and spiritualize business and politics and 
amusement and art and literature and education and 
every other interest of society. The moment it draws 
apart and tries to set up a snug little ecclesiasticism Avith 
interests of its own, and a cultus all its own, and stan- 
dards and sentiments of its own, and enjoyments of its 
own, — the moment it begins to teach men to be religious 
just for the sake of being religious, — that moment it 
])ecomes dead and accursed ; it is worse than useless ; it is a 
InuHi and a l)light to all the society in which it stands. 

These illustrations may enable us to see what arc the 
true relations of the church to the Kingdom of (Unl. And 
they will point out two eriors, of an exactly oi)posite 
nature, both of wliicli are too prevalent. 

The first error is that of those to whom Christianity is 
churcliism ; tliose who separate the church fi-om tlie rest 
of the world, and giv(^ their whole tiiiu^ and strengtli to 
exalting it, and l)uil(niig it up, caring little oi' imtliing for 
tlie other departments of life ; not A\isliing, or at any rate 
not trying, to estal)lisli any vital relations 1)etween it and 
those interests which ini-n call secular. To these persons 


the cliui'cii is not a means to an end, but it is an end 
in itself. The church is not the channel through which 
tlie life of God flows into the world ; it is the reservoir 
into which the tribute of the world is to flow for the 
honor of God. Humanity exists for the church, not the 
church for humanity. The great object is to make men 
into good churchmen, not to train churchmen to be good 

Tlie other error is that of those who think that, because 
it is the oflice of religion to mingle with and sanctify 
every department of human life, therefore there is no 
need that we should have any separate institutions of 
religion. This is much as if one should say, " Because 
we want the nervous influence diffused through every part 
of the human body, therefore we do not want any brain." 
This does not appear to be good philosophy. Is there not 
the same need of separate organs for the development and 
manifestation of the spiritual life in the social organism, 
that there is for the concentration and diffusion of nervous 
influence in the physical organism ? They are not wise 
who disparage the function of the church, or imagine that 
we are likely to outgrow it, as we go on toward social per- 
fection. We are just as likely to do without it as we are 
likely, in our ascent toward intellectual perfection, to dis- 
pense with brains, and return to the condition of the oys- 
ter, with the nervous system diffused through the whole 
molluscous mass. 

This relation of the church to the Kingdom of God, as 
that of a vital part of the whole, is often but dimly com- 
prehended. Tlic stanch ecclesiastic often maintains to- 
ward his church precisely tlie same altitude tlnit tlie 
partisan maintains toward liis party. As the pdliticiau is 
often willing to sacrilice the interests of the nation to the 
su(!cess of liis partvi so the churcliman often sliows liiui- 
self more tlian willing to put the interests of the Kingdom 
of Ili'aven in jeopardy for the aggrandizemnit of his sect. 
Not until the idea more widely prevails that eveiy Chris- 
tian's hrst loyalty is due. not to the i-hureh. not to any 
or all cluuehes, but to the Kin^dijui of llca\ru, ami that 


the chiirclies are simply helps in the building of that King- 
dom, shall we see any rapid [)rogress in the Christianiza- 
tion of the world. 

Those who have the care of churches find themselves, 
therefore, included in a larger organism which claims their 
constant interest. This is the community in which they 
live, and the commonwealth of which they are citizens. 
This larger society, with its government, its political 
machinery, its industrial and commercial organizations, 
its educational and charitable institutions, its groups of 
artists and writers, its manifold social life, — all this is the 
field of their labor. What they are there, as a church, to 
think of and work for, is nothing less than this, — that 
all this complex, highly organized life may be redeemed, 
regenerated, sanctified. That is the ideal always before 
their thought. Whatever kind of work will helj) toward 
this consummation is lawful : that which does not clearly 
tend in this direction is of small account. They pray, 
every day, " Thy Kingdom come," and their labors nuist 
tally with their prayers. What they do in and through 
the church will be done with the Christianization of this 
society constantly in view. If they should succeed in 
building up their church in numbers, in wealth, in social 
position ; if its individuals maintained a good degree of 
personal integrity, and its families were nurtured in do- 
mestic purity, and if, at the same time, the community 
round about them were steadily deteriorating; if its ])()li- 
tics were becoming more corrupt; if its laws were more 
and more disregarded ; if its business methods were in- 
creasingly tricky ; if the chasm between employers and em- 
ployed were widening and deepening ; if its society were 
sinking into profounder de])ths of vanity and frivolity; 
if its amusements w('r(^ degenerating from rccrcalion to- 
ward dissipation, — tlii'ii llie satisfaction with wliicli these 
cliiirclunen recounted tlie. details of tlieir elmich work 
sliouM, it would seem, be greatly chastened by the sjkm- 
tacle of tlie sinking eivili/.atinii I'ound abont them. It may 
be (|uestion(!(l whether tliey onglit to be very comfortable 
in tlieir own little sheepfold, with tlie Hock ever so well 


shepherded, if evil were raging and triumphing in tho 
community round about tlieni. 

In truth, however, it is hardly possible that they should 
be able, by the most strenuous exertions, to maintain such 
a contrast between their religious society and the rest of 
tho community. The ethical standards, the social senti- 
ments of the outside world will surely affect the congre- 
gation ; no separation between those within and those 
without the fold can be secured which will prevent the 
church life from being constantly and profoundly influ- 
enced by the thought and the life of the political and the 
commercial and the industrial world round about. They 
cannot save the church from decadence unless they can 
save the community from deterioration. The churches 
are, indeed, the salt of the earth ; but the salt is for the 
l)reservation of society. The church is not in the world 
to save itself, but to save the world ; and when it ex- 
hilnts no power to regenerate the community in which it 
stands, it is clear that the salt has lost its savor, and is 
good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under 
foot of men. " Ye are the light of the world," said the 
Master to his disciples. But when no radiance streams out 
tlu-ough the windows of the church, lighting uji the spaces 
round about, it is to be feared that the light which is in it 
is darkness. And how great is that darkness ! 

It is impossible, therefore, to segregate the church from 
tlie community. The very function of the church is found 
in its organic relation to thi; community. It is no more 
possil)le to have a sound churcli in a decaying community 
tlian it is to liave pure air within our garden walls while 
the surrounding region is infested Avith malaria. The 
church must either 1)0 pouring a steady stream of saving 
power into the community, or it will be receiving a steady 
stream of poisonous and debilitating influences from llic 
community. The current will go one way or llic other. 
If the church is not to the comnninity a savor of iilV unto 
life, the commiuiity will be to the churcli a savor ol' death 
unto death. Indeed, in spite of nnv best exertions, our 
most vicorous churches do feci coiitiuuallv these cK'adh' 


influences froni tlie materialism of the outside world. It is 
hard to hold up the standards of fidelity and honor before 
the thought of the young men, when the methods of jioli- 
tics and of business are generally disreputable ; when great 
fortunes are made, if not by downright dishonesty, at least 
by a cynieal disregard of the rights of the weak; when 
honor and humanity are sacrificed to greed ; when the 
spoils of office are selfishly sought and corruptly distri- 
buted ; when the oath of office is lightly taken and appar- 
ently forgotten, when the sense of public duty is obscured 
by party passion or personal ambition. Such methods are 
by no means universal, but where they are more or less 
common, and there is no effective public opinion to de- 
nounce and resist them, and those who practise them lose 
no credit among their neighbors, but are pointed to as 
the successful men of the community, the efforts of the 
teacher and the preacher to make the young believe in 
things honorable and true and of good report will be 
laborious and often ineffectual. 

If the church wishes to save itself from extinction, then, 
it must send out its light and its truth into the community. 
If it docs not wish to be pulled down into the mire itself 
it must lift up the community to a higher plane of thought 
and action. It is childish to suppose that we can shut 
ourselves within our little conventicles and sing and pray 
and have a happy time all by ourselves, saving our own 
souls, and letting the great roaring world outside go on its 
way to destruction. Nor is it enough to go out now and 
then, and pull a few of the passers-by into our conventicles 
to save them. Such evangelism is utterly inadequate. 
It misses the true function of the clmicli liy as much as 
the sanitary engineer would miss tlie problem of curing a 
malarious district, if he should try to catch tlie air in bas- 
ketfuls and treat it with disinfectants. 

If this trutli is many times repeated, it is l)ecaiise it is 
one of the things that most need to 1)0 said, and one of the 
things most easily misconceived and most constantly forgot- 
ten. It is to be feared tliatthe idea of the Cluirch still gen- 
erally prevailing is that of an institution into which men 


are withdrawn, as much as possil)le, from knowledge of or 
contact with the workl outside. '' Come out from among 
them and be separate," is still the classical text. In many 
churches there is a strong sentiment requiring the minister 
to make but little reference in his teaching to the affairs 
of daily life. " We have enough of that," say these pious 
folk, " in our week-days ; when we come to church, we 
want to stop thinking about this world and think about 
heaven ; we want to sing hymns and pray, and be soothed 
and comforted by purely spiritual ministrations." Whether 
such people have been born again we may not venture to 
judge, but it is certain that they have not seen the King- 
dom of God ; that they would not know it if they should 
see it ; that they do not even know ^^•here to look for it. 
Of that great realm to which their superior loyalty is 
due, which their Master bids them seek first, they in their 
unctuous sentimentalism are utterly oblivious. 

It scarcely needs to be said that the whole theory of 
Pastoral Theology is revolutionized by this conception of 
the relation of the church to the Kingdom. If the church 
is an instrument, and not an end, a great many of the 
theories and practices now prevailing will need to be 



The names by which the minister is known among Iris 
parishioners are somewhat significant. Hector and Domi- 
nie describe him as a ruler of his congregation ; Parson 
points him out as the Person, by eminence, of the com- 
munity; Ekler represents him as j)roving a maturity 
which in the primitive cliurch may have belonged to 
him ; Preacher, which appears to be the ofhcial title in the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, misses that part of the min- 
ister's function with which we are concerned ; Father, the 
familiar designation by which Roman Catholics address 
their minister is affectionate, but somewhat lacking in 
fitness when applied to one Avho knows only by observa- 
tion or by hearsay what the word means ; " Priest " they 
used sometimes to call the New England minister ; but 
that term was a stigma, invented by those who hated the 
standinsf order ; the liiss of the sibikmt with which it 
closes is distinctly audible. 

"St. Paul," says Bishop Burnet, "does also call church- 
men by the name of ])uilders, and gives to the Apostles the 
title of master-builders. This imports both liaid and 
patient lal)or, and likewise great care and exactness in it, 
for want of which the building will be not only exposed to 
the injuries of weather, but will quickly tumble down ; 
and it gives us to understand that those who carry this 
title ought to study well the great rule by which they 
must carry on the interest of religion, so that they may 
build up their people in their most holy faith so as to be 
a building fitly framed together. They are also called 
laborers in God's husbandry, laborers in his vineyard and 
liar vest, who are to sow, plant, and water, and cultivate 


the soil of the churcli. This imports a continual return 
of daily and hard labor, which requires both jjain and dili- 
gence. They are also called soldiers, men that did Avar 
and fight against tlie powers of darkness. The fatigue, the 
dangers and dithculties, of that state of life are so v,e\\ 
understood tliat no application is necessar}^ to make them 
more sensible.^ " 

The name by which the New England minister wished 
to be known, the otficial title by which he has always 
been known, is, perhaps, the best name of all, — the 
Pastor. This is the name by which our Lord loved to 
describe himself. " I am the Good Shepherd," he said ; 
and in the new version we find a statement about his rela- 
tion to his flock which startles us by its boldness : " I am 
the Good Slic})licr(l; and I know mine own, and mine own 
know me, even as the Father knowcth me, and I know 
the Father."^ The intimacy between Christ and his peo- 
ple, on the one hand, is the same kind of intimacy as that 
between Christ and the Father, on the other. All that 
this means we may not try to tell, but it must signify a 
very near and dear relation between the shepherd and the 
flock. If this term may be adopted by an under shepherd, 
it must have a deep and tender signification. 

" He calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them 
out. When he hath put forth all his own, he goeth 
before them, and the sheep follow him, for the}^ know his 
voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee 
from him, for tliey know not the voice of strangers." ^ 
'Fliis is the parable which Jesus spake unto his disciples. 
It is said that they did not understand it. It is to In- 
feared tliat it has been very imperfectly understood by 
many mIio Imve come after llieiii. The Master's words 
suggest a close and sacred frieiidsliii) between the shrj)- 
herd and liis flock. Ifc calls them, and they know his 
voice. His relation to them is not merely that of teacher 
with pu])il nor of master with servant, but of fi'iend with 
friend. A luigc part of his work among them is to be 

^ Of till- PiixlDinl Cnre, in The CIcnji/iiK ii's fiislrnrtui-, }). 92. 
- .luliii X. M, 15. -I Joliii X. ;j-5. 


wrought through familiar association and personal influ- 
ence. His chief function is that of teacher; but their 
love for him becomes the solvent and the medium of the 
truth which he imparts. " We can sum up the fundamen- 
tal idea of the ministry of the church at the present day in 
the conception of the scriptural Troifirjv. ' Shepherd ' brings 
out the idea of pre-eminence above the rest of the chui'ch, 
tlie dignity of the position, but at the same time it brings 
out also its aspect of duty, the obligation which he owes 
to the church, and his responsibility to the Lord of the 
Cluirch; moreover, both aspects, that of dignity and that 
of duty, are seen united in the shepherd by the tenderest 
bond, the bond of love or of mutual attachment. The 
shepherd's dignity is not one of lordly command, but of 
benevolent guidance ; the shepherd's duty is not one of 
servile herding and hireling labor, but of cherishing and 
tending." ^ 

It has just been said that the title of priest was ill- 
naturedly applied to the pastors of New England by those 
who did not love them. The word imputed to them the 
habit of assuming sacerdotal functions, the tendency to be 
lords over God's heritage. Doubtless the imputation bore 
some color of truth. The New England ministers at one 
time had more power than was good for them, and tliey 
were only men. There is no better opening for a pope 
than the Congregational system oiTers to a strong man in 
a church composed of weak or ignorant members. Never- 
theless, the sacerdotal assumptions of these pastors were 
openly at war with their own theory of the ministry. By 
tliat theory the minister is the servant of his ])oople; from 
them his ollice is derived ; he lias no spiritual riglits and 
powers that are not shared by the humblest member of liis 
flock. Whatever of clerical authority or extra-human 
agency the word " priest " coimotes is foreign to tliat 
conception of the ministry ujtoii \\hi(li tlie New England 
churches were founded. 

It is true, however, tliat some Christian ministers con- 

1 Pnstnriil Thcnlogij of the New Testament, by J. T. Bock, I). D., l-diii- 
Imrgh c(l., Traus. 


sider and describe themselves as priests ; it is the official 
title of the second order of the Anglican Church ; Charles 
Kingsley called himself a priest, and so do multitudes of 
the best men in the same communion. The term implies 
a distinction of functions and powers between the clergy 
and the laity ; it involves questions with whicli we cannot 
ade(|uately deal. 

Some of those who call themselves priests maintain, to 
use the language of one of them, that " within the Apos- 
tolic Church all are priests. There is no sacerdotal caste, 
as some opponents of Catholic doctrine have imagined the 
church to create, — performing religious oftices for a secu- 
lar laity. The contrast between clergy and laity is that 
between a higher and a lower degree in the priesthood. 
This is implied in the ancient title of ' Ordination,' and 
of ' Holy Orders,' which bear witness to the fact that the 
difference between clergy and laity is one of function and 
airangement and mutual relations, not a difference of 
fundamental opposites. If wilfully severed from the faith- 
ful laity, the clergy would liavc no right to act in tlie name 
of Christ. Their priestly ministries are those of the whole 
body, performed through them as its natural organs." ^ 
""JMiis view differs widely from that which regards the 
Cliristian minister as belonging to a separate caste. On 
the otlier hand it differs not less widely from the theory 
tliat tlie minister has no powers that do not belong to 
his Ijrethren, and that lie owes his oifieial funetion and 
leadership to their choice. For the higher and lower 
degree in the priestliood, to wliicli this writer calls atten- 
tion, marks an indelible distinction between clergy and 
laity, and sup])Oses the former to be invested with powers 
which the latter may not exercise. 'I'liis is a (•on('ei)tion 
wliich does not seem to have prevaih'd in (lie v.wly cliurcli ; 
as I)]-. Hatch has shown, preaoliing, tlie exercise of disci- 
pline, and the adininistratioji of bajitisin and tlie I'hicharist, 
were all practised by laynuii in the lirst two centiiries.- 
These duties were usually jierfdinied liy llie president or 

^ Tlir Faith oftlir Coxprl, hy Artlinr Jaiiifs Mason, ])j). Iij5, 25G. 
^ The Organization of the Early Churches, Lcct. V. 


leader of the congregation ; but when occasion demanded, 
laymen also performed them. The assumption of the 
priestly prerogative was a later development. Dr. Fair- 
bairn points out this change : — 

" In all that is said concerning the office, in the words 
either of our Lord or of liis apostles, not a hint is dropped 
which would bespeak for the ministers of the Gospel the 
character of a secret-loving, wonder-working priesthood. 
And when, a few centuries after the gospel era, we light 
upon descriptions which present them in such a character, 
one cannot but be sensible of a huge discrepance between 
them and the representations of Scripture. It seems as 
if an essentially new office had come into being, rather than 
the original office perpetuated with certain slight modifica- 
tions. Listen, for example, to Chrysostom's description of 
what he calls the glory of the Christian priesthood : ' The 
priesthood, indeed, is discharged upon earth, but it takes 
rank with heavenly appointments, and deservedly does 
so. For this office has been ordained not by a man, nor 
by an angel, nor by an archangel, nor by any created 
power, Ijut by the Paraclete himself, who has laid hold on 
men still abiding in the flesh to perpetuate the ministry 
of angels. And therefore should the priest, as standing 
in the heavenly regions amid those higher intelligences, 
be as pure as they are. Terrible, indeed, 3'ea, most aAvful, 
were even the things which preceded the Gospel, such as 
the bells, the pomegranates, the stones in the breastplate, 
the mitre, etc., tlie holy of holies, tlie profound silence that 
reigned within. Uut when the things belonging to (lie 
gospel are considered, those others will be found little, 
and so also what is said concerning the law, however truly 
it may be spoken: "That Avhich was glorious has no glory 
by reason of that which cxcellcth." And wlu-n you see 
the Loid tliat has been slain, nini now lies lu'lore yon, 
and th(! i)iics( bending over the victim, and interceding, 
and all d3-cd Avith that ])reeious blood, do yon still reckon 
yourself to be \\\\\\ men and still standing on the earth? 
Do yon not lather feid transi)lanted into licaven, and, 
casting aside all llcshly thoughts and feelings, dost thou 


not with thy naked soul unci thy pure mind behokl the 
things of heaven ? O the marvel ! O the philanthropy 
of God ! He who is seated above with the P^ather is at 
that moment held by the hands of all, and to those that 
are willing gives himself to be clasped and received ; all 
which they do through the eyes of faith ! ' He then refers 
to tlie action of Elias on Carmel, declaring that of the 
Christian priest to be much greater, and he asks : ' Who 
that is not absolutely mad or beside himself could slight 
so dreadful a m3-stery ? Are you ignorant that the soul 
of man could never have borne the fire of such a sacrifice, 
and that all should have utterly perished had there not 
been the mighty help of the grace of God ? ' Such was 
what constituted, in Chrysostom's view, the peculiar glory 
of the Christian ministry ; and he proceeds in the same 
magniloquent style to enlarge on the pre-eminent dignity 
and power connected with it in its prerogative to bind 
and to loose souls, to forgive or retain sins, to purge men 
through baptism and other rites from all stains of pollution 
and send them pure and lioly into the heavenly mansions. 
All that is, of course, priestly work ; work in Avliich the 
officiating minister lias something to offer for the i)eople, 
and something by virtue of his office to procure for tliem ; 
benefits, indeed, so great, so wonderf id, so incomparably pre- 
cious, that the typical ministrations of the old priesthood, and 
the benefits accruing from them to the people, were com- 
pletely tlirown into the shade. Now this is a view of pas- 
toral work on wliicli New Testament Scripture is not only 
silent, but against which it virtually [jrotests. The ser- 
vice which it associates with tlie nunistry of the gospel is 
one tliat employs itself not with presenting a sacrilice for 
men, but in persuading them to believe in a sacrifice already 
offered, and through that promoting in tlnin a woik of 
jiersonal reconciliation Avitli God, aiiil growing iiicctncss 
for his j)resence and gh>ry.'' ' 

This extract clearly presents the contrast between the 
sacerdotal theory of the ministry and the theory generally 
accepted by the reformed Churches. Yet even in these 

1 I'asloial Thiuloiiij, j,j). 47-49. 


churches there are survivals of the sacerdotal principle, in the 
belief that none but an ordained clergyman can administer 
the sacraments or pronounce the benediction. Thus one 
of the stanchest of the Puritans, Professor Austin Phelps, 
in his lectures on the Theory of Preaching^ recognizes 
the benediction as a sacerdotal act, and urges its retention 
on this ground. He says : — 

" It is the only act of clerical prerogative except the ad- 
ministration of the ordinances, in which the idea of clerical 
mediatorship is retained. The sacerdotal theory of it does 
no harm to either preacher or people. . . . Often the final 
effect of song and sermon and rehearsal of God's word is 
to excite a profound feeling of dependence, of which a 
craving for the blessing of a ' man of God ' is the natural 
sequence. The intervention of a solitary human voice 
between the silent assembly and God, si^ealdng in his 
name, and pronouncing his blessing upon them, becomes a 
relief to their wrought-up emotions. They feel the natural- 
ness of it. They volunteer to clothe it with the authorit}^ 
of their own devotional desires. It is an act in which the 
preacher is not as other men. He is invested by the wants 
of the people with a mediatorial office. Pie is an intercessor 
by divine appointment and by popular choice. The peo- 
ple will have it so. . . . Time has indeed wrought revolu- 
tion aiy changes in the ancient theory of Morshij). We 
will not ignore them. Ikit it has not destro3'ed, nor essen- 
tially impaired that instinct of human nature which exalts 
a teacher of religion above other men, and often invests his 
service with a mediatorial significance. Tlic one thing in 
which our Congregational society recognizes that instinct 
and in which the people, if left alone to follow tlieir own 
religious intuitions, will certainly obey it, is this act of 
pastoral ])enodi('ti()n. We are in no danger of an al)use 
of it in the direction of sacerdolal arrogance. We cannot 
afford to spare it. It is not wise to sacrifice it to eccle- 
siastical theory. Human nature craves it, and in some 
form will have it. For llic \\:\\\[ of it and sonic tilings 
kindred to it. Congregational and I'lcslytciian cliurches 
arc losing their hold upon ciitain materials in the con- 


stituency of churches Avhich by hereditary affinities belong 
to them." ^ 

This plea for a slight infusion of the sacerdotiil element 
coming out of the heart of independency, may be regarded 
as significant. Some of the facts which it adduces are indu- 
bitable, whatever may be the interpretation put upon them. 
The craving of men for the intervention of some person 
or power between themselves and God cannot be denied. 
Just how far this craving is to be encouraged is a question 
which the hierarchical churches commonly answer in one 
way, and the reformed churches in another way. The 
fact that men want some kind of human mediatorship may 
not be a conclusive reason for offering it to them. Is it 
a natural or an artificial want? Does it grow out of a 
true conception of the Father in heaven, or out of a 
heathen conception of him ? 

Still, if it be true that the minister possesses any media- 
torial function, even the slightest, he ought to exercise it 
to the fullest extent. If his office empower him to bless 
his parishioners, or to forgive their sins, or to offer sacri- 
fices for tliem, let him discharge, with all fidelity, tlie 
duties of his office. If his office confer upon him no such 
exclusive power, it is better not to go through the forms 
of it, no matter how much the people may crave it, nor 
how many of them may go over to the hierarchical com- 
munions in search of it. An assum[)tion, \\h('ther open or 
covert, of powers that do not belong to him will not be 
found, in the long run, to promote the influence of any 

So far as the fonii (if tlic bciicdictioii is cdiu'crncd, it 
seems to be a slight mattei-, and yet it is not dillicult to 
})resorve the dignified and beautiful (('iciiiony witliout 
employing language which implies saeerclotal functions. 
The benediction may be a prayer, in which tlic j)reac]ier 
identifies himself with the congregation. '• The grace of 
the Lord Jesus Christ be with us all "* is a form of 
words no less impressive or signilicant than that whith 
implies equality with the Apostles. It appears to answer 

1 Oi>. n't., i)p. 502-.'i04. 


all the ends of reverence for wliicli Professor Phelps is 
pleading', while it avoids an assumption which, though it is 
a little one, is repugnant to the feelings of some of the 
ministers of Christ. 

It will be said that the minister, in these acts ^\•hich 
have a sacerdotal color, is not speaking for himself ; that 
he is the mouthpiece of the church ; that he is conveying 
the grace which is committed to the whole church ; that 
he should recognize himself only as the instrument or 
channel through whom that grace is imparted.^ That this 
is the view taken by multitudes of devout men cannot be 
denied. There are many who call themselves priests wdio 
are as humble and self-distrustful as any men on earth. 
It is not assumed, in this discussion, that the sacerdotal 
theory is inconsistent with devoted and heroic (christian 
service. The whole history of tlie Christian Church con- 
tradicts such an assumption. But it is important that 
every pastor should have a clear understanding with him- 
self about the matter ; that he should know exactly what 
his functions are, and that he should make his conduct con- 
form to his theory. And those of us who do accept the 
reformed doctrine - can do no better than frankl}- and 
fully to accept the logic of our theory and utterl}^ to refuse 
to take upon ourselves any prerogatives or privileges by 
which w^e may seem to be separated from our brethren 
in the churches. We are ministers of the churches, and 
we are supposed to have enough knowledge of Latin to 
know what the word " minister " means. P^'or those who 
adopt this theory, it is well to avoid, so far as they can 

^ " Wo flic Kirclic al)cr ciii solclios Wort liiit, d.i ist .audi ilir Tlnin niclit 
ein Mosses Wiinsclicii uiul Cctcii, niclit cin Wunsdiscfxcn bloss, wic Lutlicr 
sagt, sondern eiu Thatsegcn, sidi fruchthar crwcisend an Jodcm, dcr in sei- 
ches fifottgcordnotcs Vcrliiiltniss tritl. iiiid don Soijcn dossclboii von Ilert/.cn 
ergreift." — Harnack, (ieschichtc unci Thcoric tirr Prcdujl iind dcr Srd- 
sorrfe, 512. 

'■* " Lo niinisloro occh'siastifnic scrait la consirration, faite sous ccrfaliios 
conditions, de f[Uol(|uos incmhros du troupeau clirt'tion a s'oi'(Mii)cr spccialo- 
ment, niaia non ii I'exclusion d'aucuns autros, do I'ailministration du culte, 
et dc la oonduito dcs fimos. line socic'to roliciouso pent d'aillours rc'p;lor quo 
les si)]oiinit('s qui la rounissont, soront prt'sidc'os oxclusivomont par cos 
hommos spec-iaux (jn'on appcllc ministres ou pjistcurs." — Vinct, T/ir'olo'jie 
Pastordle, p. 41. 


do so without rudeness, everything which implies minis- 
terial privilege. " Christianity," says a great authority, 
"allows no place to a tribe of priests, ordained to direct 
other men, as under religious pupilage, having exclusive 
charge to supply men's needs, in respect to God and divine 
tilings. "While the Gospel removes whatever separates 
men from God, it also calls men to fellowship with God 
through Christ ; it takes away, moreover, every barrier 
wliieli separates men from one another in respect of their 
highest interests. All have the same High Priest and Me- 
diator through whom all, as reconciled and united to God, 
have themselves become a sacerdotal and spiritual race ; 
the same King, the same celestial iMaster and Teacher, 
through Avhom all have become wise unto God ; the same 
faith, the same hope, the same spirit, by which all are ani- 
mated ; the same oracle in the heart of all, — the voice of 
the Spirit proceeding from the Father, — all citizens of the 
same celestial Kingdom. There were here neither laics nor 
ecclesiastics ; but all, so far as they were Christians, were, 
in their interior life and state, dead to wliatever there was 
in the world that was contrary to God, and were animated 
by the Spirit of God. Who might arrogate to himself, 
wliat an inspired a])ostle durst not, to domineer over the 
faith of (Christians? The olliee of teaching was not ex- 
clusively conferred on one man or many ; but every believer 
wlio miglit feel himself called might s[)oak a word in the 
assembled church for the common edilication." ' 

By our theory sacerdotal authority does not belong to us 
as pastors. The kind of power to forgive sins Avhich is 
claimed by the priest under the Roman or the High Angli- 
can rite is not ours, nor anytliing akin to it. Nevertheless, 
there is a certain priesthood which is shared l)v all .be- 
lievers. We are a kingdom of i)riests. Tlu' author of the 
Ki)is(le to the Hebrews shows that there is a liighcr jiriest- 
hood than that which is ollicial or ecclesiastical ; a ]»ricst/- 
hood like that of Melchisedec ; a priesthood whose basis is 
high and benign character. There are ]iries(s who ai-e made, 

' Ncanilcr, *l//^CHit('HC (Jeschichtc dcr christliclK n Hilii/lmi mid KiicIk, \'o\. 
I. p. 177. 


"not after the law of a carnal commandment " (for so tlio 
sacred writer characterizes the Levitical ecclesiasticism), 
"but after the power of an endless life," the eternal life, 
wliose elements are righteousness and peace and joy in the 
Holy Ghost. Every good man, in whom the life of God is 
dwelling, through whom the love of God is manifested, is 
in the Christian sense of the word a priest ; he has a woik 
of reconciliation to do; he is called to reconcile men to 
themselves and to one another, and to God. Men are 
often at war Avith themselves; the law in the members 
fiofhts aorainst the law in the mind ; there is need of the 
communication to them of a larger life in which these con- 
tradictions and conflicts shall be reconciled. So also are 
they at strife with one another, and the good offices of a days- 
man are needed to bring them together. So also are they 
estranged from their Father in heaven, and in deepest need 
of being led back to him in the ways of trustful reverence 
and obedience. Here, now, is a work of mediation in 
wliich men can lielp one another. It is for this work that 
Christians are made priests unto God. But this is no 
official function ; it is wrought l)y influences which are 
purely spiritual; it is the love of God, shed abroad in the 
good man's heart, incarnated in his life, whicli gives him 
the power to do this work. 

There is also a Christian priestliood of syin])athy. We 
are permitted to bear one another's burdens both of sin and 
of sorrow. The guilt of my sin no man can share, but tlic 
misery of it, the shame of it, my brother may share. And 
in all our cares and conflicts and woes the sympathy of 
those in whom we love and conflde is often a great allevia- 
tion. The best offices of the Roman confessional have 
been wrought tlnougli this power of sympatliy. When 
the priest is a wise and large-hearted man, liis words of 
gentle consideration and linn counsel are often the very 
words of life. But it is not the officialism of his counsel 
iliat mak(^s it oflicacious: it is the truth and love of God 
that aic in il. 

To tbis si)iritnal jtriesthood, tliis priestliood of Cliristly 
character, tlie pastor is ccrtaiidy called. The ministry of 


reconciliation, the ministry of svnipath}-, will enlist his 
highest powers. No matter what view he may take of his 
office, the real value of his service to liis people will be 
found in his pereonal and spiritual, rather than in his 
formal and ecclesiastical relations to them. His usefulness 
among them will be due not to any powers by which he is 
elevated above them or separated from them, but to a char- 
acter which in the fullest sense he shares with them. He 
is the servant of a iMaster whose work for his disciples 
is done, not by being made unlike Ids brethren, but by 
becomin"' identified with them. If the mind of Clmst 
is in liim, liis word will be with power, no matter how 
little claim he may make to superior dignity. If that 
chaiucter is wanting to him, the attribution of priestly 
rank will not add anything essential to his influence. It 
was said of our Master, that when he had linished his 
Sermon on the Mount, " the multitudes were astonished at 
his teaching, for he taught them as one having author- 
ity, and not as the scribes." ^ The one thing that the 
people knew about him was that he did not speak officially • 
there was no ecclesiasticism behind him to give weight to 
his words, and yet there was an autliority in them which 
they liad never felt before. Ilis ministry, in all its phases, 
derived its efficac}^ not from the law of a carnal command- 
ment, but from the power of an endless life. And the 
ministry of every true pastor will draw its power from the 
same source. 

This brings us to llie consideration of the question dl' the 
pastoral rule over the flock. Wliat sliall be said of Ids 
governmental prerogatives? If he has no sacerdotal func- 
tions, can we affirm tliat he has no power as a ruler to 
direct the conduct of those under his charge? Words of 
tlie a[)ostles are supposed to imi)ly i)astoral authorily: 
"Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit to 
them; for tliey watch in behalf of your souls, as they that 
shall give account." - " Likewise, ye younger, be sul^jeet 
unto tlic elder." "^ Passages from the I'urly I-\itliers bear 

1 .Matt. vii. 1^8,120. - Ih-h. xiii. 17. 

« 1 IVt. V. 5. 


the same significance.^ But this does not necessarily im- 
ply anything more than that wholesome subordination 
which is the condition of all concerted action. It does not 
argue any hierarchical powers, pertaining to the ministry 
as a separate and permanent order. The members of any 
association owe to the officers, whom they have chosen to 
take the direction of their affairs, respect and co-operation. 
The subjection and submission enjoined in the passages 
quoted above may mean no more than this. The words 
of Jesus are not to be forgotten : " But be not ye called 
Ilabbi; for one is your teacher, and all ye are brethren. 
And call no man your father on the earth ; for one is your 
Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters ; 
for one is your Master, even the Christ. But he that is 
greatest among you shall be your servant." ^ This seems 
to point to a genuine democracy as the social foundation 
of the church. But democracy is not anarchy; it implies 
order and subordination and leadership. And most of the 
New Testament passages which refer to the government 
of the church " agree in connoting primarilj^ the idea of 
presidency or leadership." ^ This is the very conception 
of the pastorate whicli the present conditions are tending 
to emphasize. For as a learning church needs a teacher, 
and a feeding church needs a pastor, so a working church 
needs a leader. It is not as a lord over (rod's lieritage, but 
as a wise organizer and guide of the working body that 
the pastor is appointed to rule the churcli. The eiriaKOTTO'i 
was the superintendent or overseer of the early cluii'cli ; 
the same term had been employed by the Greeks to de- 
scribe officers of private associations and also of munici- 
palities ; the eVtcr/coTrot were persons to whom authority 
had been del(\gated l)y the bodies over whicli they pre- 
sided. That the church must be to this extent an ordcily 
association; tliat those who are called to tlie leadersliip 
sliould 1)(^ loyally followed by those who call them ; tliat 
their administration should b(» firm and consistent and 
fearless, and that the spiiit and traditions of the organi- 

1 Hatch's Orijnnization of the Earhj Christian Churrhnt, p. 113, note. 
'^ Matt, xxiii. 8-11. :' Hatch, rit. sup. 


zation sliould couspiro to maintain this order, — sucli is 
the logic of all human co-operation. The pastor of a work- 
ing church is the leader, and he should take the lead, and 
steadily maintain it. The initiative belongs to him, and 
the support of the church is due to hhn. If he is not 
capable of such leadership, the churcli should not have 
chosen him, and should now, as soon as it can safely and 
kintUy do so, replace him by one who can lead. But, 
having chosen such a leader, the church owes him a prompt 
and hearty following. This is not to say that nothing 
which he proposes is ever to be questioned or criticised ; 
if he is a wise pastor, he wdll welcome any ingenuous 
criticisms ; but the fact remains that in any working or- 
ganization there must be trusted leadership and willing co- 
operation ; and those who are chosen as leaders must be able 
to count on the harmonious co- working of jdl the rest. 

Taking the lowest conception of the pastor's rank and 
dignity, he is entitled, therefore, to a certain deference as 
the one to whose hands the administration of the church 
has in an especial degree been confided. If his autliority 
is delegated, still it is delegated authority, and as such 
ought to be respected. 

Other theories of the office impute to tlie pastor a larger 
power. Tliose who find in tlie Chiistian minister a sacer- 
dotal character are compelled, of course, to ascribe to him 
a kind of autliority altogether different from that of which 
we have been speaking. Those who suppose that the 
sacraments are necessary to salvation, and that the minis- 
ter has the power to give or withhold the sacmmcnls, 
clothe him with a power which he is able to wield with irre- 
sistible effect in the government of the church. To such 
a priesthood the rule of the church must c\clusi\(ly be- 
long; the laity are there not to rule l)ut to l)c nilcil. 

Uut even when sacerdotal ])owcrs arc denied, there is 
sometimes a conception of j)astoral jjowcv whicli sejiarates 
the minister from his flock, and clothes liim ^\ itli essential 
governmental rights and dignities. In all such cases, 
however, the assumjttion of supeiioiity may well lie de- 
clined. The wise [)astor will noi, whatever may be his 


theory of his office, undertake to overbear the judgment of 
his parishioners by force of his prerogative. Even if he 
suppose himself to belong to a different order from theirs, 
his wisdom will be shown in understating that fact, and 
in putting himself on a basis of equality \\ith them. His 
problem is to secure their co-operation with himself in 
Christian labor. An arbitrary assertion of authority is not 
the best method of accomplishing this. He must convince 
their reason and get the consent of their judgment. His 
authority must be confirmed by the methods of influence. 

A familiar maxim declares that " governments derive 
their just powers from the consent of the governed." The 
accuracy of this proposition may be challenged. "Just 
powers " are not the creation of majorities. But this much is 
true — that governments derive their effective powers from 
the consent of the governed. Even the despotisms reign 
by consent of their subjects. And it can be no otherwise 
with the pastoral authority. It is only effective when it is 
" broad based upon the people's will." 

The day of absolutism in government has gone by. One 
or two European rulers still continue to assert an unlim- 
ited prerogative, but the whole w^orld listens with a smile 
to their presumption, and knows that they will keej) well 
within the limit of the popular approval. Representative 
legislatures, in almost all states, have assumed the chief 
control of the national exchequer. The power of the purse 
is in the hands of the people. 

Even the papal government shows many signs of sen- 
sitiveness to popular opinion. The Pope is infallible 
and supreme, by decree of the Vatican Council ; but the 
present Tope, witli these vastly reinfoiced ])rerogatives, 
shows himself to be far more closely identilied with the 
people than any of his predecessors. Even to him it is 
apparent that persuasion is stronger than coercion ; that 
if he would keep liis place at the head of tlie churcli he 
must lead his flock, not drive them. 'I'liat indeed would 
seem to be the pastoral method. "lie called liis own sheep 
by name, and Icadcth ihcvi out." Tliero is a whip for the 
horse, and a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's 

Tin-: TASTOii 65 

back, but sheep are not well shepherded by any of these 

Considerations of this nature arc urged, with consider- 
able force, by one who lately adorned tlie episcopal office. 
" Wc have no question" says Bishop Bedell, "■ of the truth of 
the Divine appointment of our ministry, and that Christ him- 
self directed the mode of its perpetuation hij a tactual succes- 
sion unhroJccn from apostolic days. And inasmuch as it is 
true it is to be inculcated. Judiciously taught it will ben- 
efit a congregation ; and a right appreciation of it will also 
increase our solemn sense of responsibility to God, and of 
obligation to be faithful to souls whom he has committed to 
our care. But, injudiciously obtruded, tenaciously insisted 
on, forced upon unwilling ears, and presented in such a 
manner as to lead our people to think that we feel our- 
selves elevated by divine intention beyond their reach 
and beyond their sympathies, and, more especially, if the 
cherishing of such an idea should separate us in the least 
degree from perfect unity of feeling with the people of 
our charge, this idea of clerical authority will annihilate 
our power. While, then, theoretically, our divine appoint- 
ment is an element of power ; practically under prevailing 
sentiments it will not be an element of influence. . . . Noth- 
ing remains from the conflicts of the clergy witli past 
generations but clerical character. The clergy have no 
spiritual power apart from their moral influence ; that 
idea, altliough once maintained, has disappeared. The}' 
have no sacramental miracle by which to enforce a tyranny 
over conscience. That idea, once held, has been exploded. 
Even their divine Ordination, tlieir right as lieavenly am- 
l)assadors by virtue of oflicc divinely bestowed (as I liavc 
said) lias been thrust out of sight by the hurry of niw 
and false ideas. So that, practically, nothing remains to 
be a somce of clerical influence in tliis age, excej)! indi- 
vidnal clerical cliaracter. Nor need we desire any other 
influence."^ Wliatevcr may l)e said of the logic of this 
argument, the practical wisdom of the conclusion cannot 
be. tlisputcd. 

1 Tlic Pastor, \)\). li 1, 25. 



The call to tlie work of the ministiy, and the training 
of the minister for his work, are subjects which do not 
come within the scope of this treatise. It is necessary, 
however, to refer in a general way to the nature of the 
minister's call, because of the conceptions of his work 
whicli grow out of it. 

We have found reasons for denying to the pastor sacerdo- 
tal or hierarchical functions ; we regard him in one aspect 
as the servant, and in another as the leader of the church, 
— as one who ministers to the people in holy things, and 
who superintends and guides them in their work. There 
is, however, a higher relation which must never be ob- 
scured. The pastor is not only the minister of the Church, 
he is also, and first of all, the minister of Christ. In some 
important sense he must derive his authority and power 
from the Plead of the church. Between these conceptions 
confusion is apt to arise. 

It may help us to solve this difficulty if we remember 
that every man is called of God to lioly and Christly ser- 
vice. Let us hear the judicious Fairbairn : — 

" It is a fundamental principle in Christianity that there 
is nothing absolutely peculiar to any one who has a place 
in (lie true church. Among its members there is room 
only for relative distinctions, or for differences in degree, 
not in kind. It is a consequence of tlic vital union of 
true believers to Christ by virtue of Avhicli there belongs 
to all the same spiritual standing, the same privileges 
and prospects, and, as a matter of course, the same general 
obligations of duty. If every sincere Cliristian can say, 


< I am one with Christ and have a personal interest in 
all that is his,' there can manifestly be no essential differ- 
ence between him and other believers ; and whatever may 
distinguish any one in particular, either as regards the 
call to work, or the capacity for work, in the Lord's ser- 
vice, it nmst in kind belong to the whole community of 
the faithful, or else form but a subordinate characteristic. 
The ministry itself in its distinctive prerogatives and func- 
tions is but the special embodiment and exhibition of those 
which pertain inherently to the church as Christ's spirit- 
ual body. And the moment any one recognizes himself 
to be a living member of this body, it thenceforth becomes, 
not his right merely, but his boundon duty, to consider 
what part of its collective responsibilities lies at his door, 
or what part of its common vocation he should apply him- 
self in some specific manner to fulfil. . . . The church 
collectively is the habitation of the Spirit ; so is the incU- 
vidual believer. The works, which, as a believer, he is 
called to do in order to make his calling and election sure 
must be works of God ; and for one and all of them he 
needs the illuminating and strengthening agency of the 
Holy Spirit. No Christian parent within the private 
walks of domestic life can fulfil his obligations in regard 
to the godly upbringing of his children; no Christian 
philanthropist, yearning over the miserable and degraded 
multitudes around him, can discliarge the labois of love 
which tlie mercies of God in Christ impel him to under- 
take in tlieir behalf ; no solitary individual, even, warring 
in his personal experiences with the solicitations of the 
flesh and of the power of evil in tlie world, can resist, 
and stand fast, and do the will of God, except by ri'- 
ceiving gifts of grace to qualify him for the work, and 
to render the work itself serviceable to the end toward 
wliich it is directed. In sliort, all who would serve their 
generation according to the will of God must stand in 
living connection with the heavenly world. Their call- 
ing as the Lord's servants warrants them to expect, and, 
if they succeed in that calling, tlieir success i)r()V('s (hem 
to have received, grace for spiritual work; in which re- 


spect, therefore, they are vessels of honor fitted for the 
Master's use, and partakers of the blessing." ^ 

Is it not possible to go further than this, and say that 
men are called of God not only to work which is dis- 
tinctively religious, but to all other kinds of honest and 
beneficent work ? Is not every man who helps to increase 
the sum total of human welfare a co-worker with God? 
Has any man a right to engage in any kind of labor in any 
other than a consecrated spirit ? Is the work of the min- 
istry distinguished in this respect from the work of the 
teacher, or the artist, or the mechanic? "Whatsoever 
ye do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto 
men, for ye serve the Lord Christ." This is the apostolic 
conception. That eveiy good man's work is a divine vo- 
cation is what he ought to believe. But the evidence that 
God has called him to this work must be gathered from 
various sources. It will not do for him to depend on 
supposed intimations and impressions ; these are often mis- 
leading. A strong inclination to undertake the work is, 
indeed, the primary indication of a divine call. Where 
such an inclination to the work does not exist in the man's 
heart, there is no evidence that God has called him to the 

But an inclination is not enough. There must be a 
love of the work itself, — not a hankering after its per- 
quisites, the position it offers, the gains and emoluments 
it promises. In the case of the ministry there must be a 
genuine i)assion for righteousness, and a strong desire to 
lead men into the knowledge and the joy of the Lord, 
and an unconquerable faith in the Kingdom that cannot 
be moved. 

There must also be a reasonable assurance on llie part 
of the candidate that lie possesses the qualilications of 
body and mind and licart for whicli tliis work specially 
calls. It is manifest that tlie mental and social equipment 
for a salesman or a l)anker or a dranglitsnian would be dif- 
ferent from that re([uired in a minister; and a man ought 
to be a]jle to judge his own al)ilities, and to determine 

1 Pastoral Thcolojij, j)]). G2-GC. 


wlictlier lie possesses a natural fitness for the work of the 

When any man can answer these questions satisfactorily, 
what is sometimes described as tiie imvard call may be 
regarded as sufficient. But in every vocation the imvard 
call must be corrected or confirmed by the outw%ard call. 
If a man thinks himself called to the vocation of a teacher 
or an engineer, and, after his best exertions in this direc- 
tion, can get no one to employ him in his chosen work, it 
is rational for him to conclude that he is mistaken in re- 
gard to the call. So if a man thinks himself called to 
preach, and can find no one who wishes to hear him preach, 
he ought to decide that the inward call was misunderstood. 
Thus it is plain that, whatever a man's inward impulses 
may be, he is compelled to test his inspirations by the 
judgment of his fellow men. And the Christian Church 
has wisely provided that this double test shall be applied. 
No minister ought to undertake the woi-k unless he be- 
lieves that he has a divine vocation ; but he ought to sub- 
mit this conviction of his to the approval of his brethren. 
Whether this approval is given by the church that calls 
him, or by the presbytery, or by the conference, or by the 
bishop, is a secondary matter ; it is well that oiher clear 
and judicious minds should confirm his choice and send 
him forth with their blessing into the work of the ministry. 

Thus it is clear that the minister is both the servant of 
the cliurch and the ambassador of Christ. This twofold 
relation he must always recognize. lie must preach tlie 
I)reaching that God bids him, yet he must wait upon the 
church to do the work to which it has called him. It is 
evident that, as the truth which lie is to teacli is divine 
truth, he sliould expect to receive his message direct from 
God, tlirougli prayer and meditation and llic study of 
every woid tliat proceedetli out ol tlic monlli of (Jod. 
TIk! ])roi)li('ts of all tlie ages haAc been men who spoki' the 
word given them by (Jod, wliether men Avould liear or for- 
bear, 'i'he preacher wlio iiKpiires onl\- wlial his jx'ojile 
wish to lieai', and adjusts his message to their demand, mav 
often prove a blind leader of the blind. The truth which 


they need is often the very truth which they do not de- 
sire. As preacher, the final responsibility rests with him. 
They have called him to be their teacher because they 
credited him with ability to teach; if he does not bring 
them a message from God, he is not faithful to the trust 
which they have reposed in him. The physician who in- 
quires what is agreeable to his patient, rather than what 
is good for him, is false to his profession. So the j)astor 
who is loyal to his flock will hearken most diligently for 
the word that God may give him. 

Still, the wise j)astor will listen also to the voice of liis 
people. They, too, are the people of God ; many of them, 
no doubt, are serious and consecrated men and women; 
it is by their godly judgment that he has been put into the 
pastorate ; God is speaking to them as well as to him ; and 
sometimes they, or some of them, may hear the word not less 
distinctly than he hears it. If those among them whom 
he believes to be intelligent and devout should question his 
message, it would not be a sufficient reason why he should 
recall it, but it would be a good reason why he should 
carefully reconsider it. After all objections have been duly 
weighed, he may still find that he cannot modify it, and 
lie must be faithful to the truth tliat God has cfiven iiini. 
But it will often be the case that the pastor will learn 
much from those to whom he ministers. " Let him that is 
taught," says Paul, " communicate unto him that teachcth 
in all good things." ^ 

Such, then, is the nature of the relation between the 
pastor and his people. He ought to be regarded b}^ them 
neither as a mere employee, nor yet as a master, but as 
their spiritual guide and fellow helper in the Gospel. He 
is their minister, but in a sense which they must never dis- 
regard he is the bond-servant of Another; it is because 
they believed and Avished him to be sucli that they laid 
tlicii" liaiids upon liini. Tliis character they must I'espect 
in biiii, so long as they Ix'lievo liim to jiossess it. If lie is 
not to thorn the monllipieee of tlie Divine Wisdom, lie is 
not the man they want for tlieir pastor; if this is his liigh 

1 Gal. vl, G. 


calling, tliey should listen to the truth he brings them, and 
the demands he makes upon them, never with abject and 
unreasoning submission, always with wakeful and discrim- 
inating minds, but with docile tempers and readiness to 
know and follow the truth. 

The ideal relation between the pastor and his flock will 
thus be seen to be founded upon their common relation to 
the Head of the church. The minister and those to whom 
he ministers all are called with a heavenly calling. All 
of them are about their Father s business. The minister is 
a servant of God ; so is the man who walks in the furrow 
or pushes the plane ; so is the woman " who sweeps a room 
as for God's laws." All are in some true measure in- 
spired, but none is infallible ; each has need to correct, 
l)y comparison with the truth given to others, his own 
inspirations : — 

" For all wc have power to see is a straight staff bent in a pool." ^ 

The refractions of our human imperfection make but 
broken lights of our best intuitions. And therefore pastor 
and people will dwell together in mutual confidence and 
expectation, each waiting for any word that the other may 
receive, all remembering that God is the author, not of 
confusion, but of peace in all the churches of the saints ; 
and that all the messages which he has inspired must agree 
with one another. 

But how shall this relation between minister and peoi)lo 
be formed? Every church needs a pastor, and every min- 
ister wants a church. Sometimes the two are long sepa- 
rated. How can they wisely be brought together? How 
shall the church find a minister, and the minister a (ihurch? 
Ill most established churches this is not a practical ques- 
tion. As there are social systems under which a maiden 
lias little to say in the choice of her husband, so there are 
ecclesiastical sj'stcms under which the church is furnished 
with a pastor without asking its consent. Doubtless some- 
thing can be said in defence of both these dispensations; 

^ Tennyson, The llijhcr Pantheism. 


we are not here disputing the validity of either. The 
Anglican Church numbers more than eleven thousand par- 
ishes; for about a thousand of these the Crown provides 
pastors ; twelve hundred or more look to bishops or arch- 
bishops for their leaders; deans and chapters have the 
choice in about eight hundred cases ; other dignitaries in 
about eighteen hundred, colleges in seven hundred, and 
private patrons in about six thousand. This last category 
includes all parishes in which the owners of estates are 
charged with the payment of the salaries of incumbents ; 
to the proprietor belongs the right of nomination. Neither 
the church, nor the bishop of the diocese, has much voice 
in the matter ; the patron has it all his own way. 

For a long time patronage prevailed also in the Church 
of Scotland, though here some form of consulting the 
people must be gone through with ; it was a dispute about 
the force wliich shoukl bo allowed to the popular veto upon 
the choice of the patron that led to the Disruption of 1843, 
and the establishment of the Free Church. In 1874, pat- 
ronage was abolished in the Church of Scotland ; the people 
now choose their own ministers under certain conditions. 

In the Protestant Churches of Germany, Sweden, and 
Denmark tliis right of patronage exists, subject to some 
important modifications; the consistory is generally allowed 
some voice in the selection of the pastor. 

In some of the Protestant churches of America provision 
is made, by the polity of the church, for furnishing every 
congregation with a minister. The Metliodist L^inscopal 
Church puts tlic whole power into the hands of its bishops. 
Rut even when the ecclesiastical rules are definite, the 
principle of natural selection often proves too strong for 
the church machinery, and the best pulpits are apt to be 
filled by tlic choice of the congregation. It is a rule almost 
universal in American Protestant cliuichcs that the local 
church has the virtual control of its own pastorate. The 
selection of a pastor tlion becomes an important practical 
question, — the most important question with which any 
church has to deal. Mow shall the church tind its pastor? 

It would seem reasonable, to begin with, that the church 


should come to a good undei'standing with itself as to what 
kind of man it wants for a pastor. Too much is generally 
left, in such cases, to mere instinctive impressions and 

The first qualification commonly demanded is preaching 
ability. And this, when rightly conceived, is indeed a 
capital qualification. The church is yet, and probably will 
always be, a teaching body ; efficient and adequate pulpit 
power is therefore always to be considered in calling a 
pastor. It is only to be remembered that the main thing 
in a religious teacher is not elegance of manner or elocu- 
tionary brilliancy, but the power of conveying spiritual 
truth to the minds and hearts of his hearers. The tempta- 
tion is strong: to choose the man whose discourses cause his 
hearers to exclaim, " How fine ! how eloquent ! " instead of 
the man whose sober words lead them to search their own 
hearts, and stir them to new efforts and larger sacrifices. 
The preacher who promises to fill the pews and swell the 
revenues is too apt to be chosen, without much reference 
to his spiritual thoroughness. There is need of much seri- 
ous thought and prayer when the church is looking for 
a preacher. 

The social gifts of a pastor are also to be considered. 
lie ought to 1)0 a courteous and kindly man, with some 
genius for friendship, with the power of drawing to liim- 
self the old and the young, and the strangers within and 
witliout tlic gates. The qualities which inspire not only 
respect, but confidence and affection, are greatly to be 
desired in a pastor. 

It will be well also, if lie possess some good knowledge 
of human nature, and sometliing of that saving sense of 
humor whicli serves as a lubricant of life's frictions. 

It is involved in what has lieen said already, tlial. Ix-foro 
all tilings else, he must be a genuine Christian man. \\li(> 
l)olicves from his heart the word that lie will ])r('ach. \\]\o 
knows by heart tlie Master wliom lie seeks t<i eoniincnd, 
ami whose deepest purpose it is to seel; liisl the Kingdom 
of (iod and liis righteousness. 

But if this is a working church, one of the piime (piaii- 


ficaticns of the pastor will be leadership. The question 
whether he is a man who possesses the gift of organization, 
and the power of enlisting others in the work of the church, 
would seem to be very important. The relation of the 
superintendent of a factory to the work of the factory is 
not in all respects similar to the relation of a pastor to a 
church ; but there is, after all, an important analogy. So 
far as the church is to be considered as a working body, 
the question about the pastor is simply, not how much nor 
how good work he will do himself, but how much he will 
get the church to do. And we have seen that the new and 
higher conception of the church is that it is primarily a 
working body ; that it is formed not mainly of those who 
seek to be fed and ministered unto, but of those who are 
working together to extend the Kingdom of God. The 
church which has attained unto this conception of its own 
vocation will emphasize in its choice of a pastor the func- 
tion of leadership. 

Having determined what manner of man it would have 
for its pastor, the church sets forth in search of him. In 
some of our American communions at the present time, 
there is no need that the church shall go far from its own 
doors after a candidate. As soon as the vacancy in its 
pastorate becomes known — sometimes long before it is 
known, even when it is first anticipated, — the candidates 
come flying as a cloud, and as the doves to its windows. 
It is soon suffering from an embarrassment of riches. 
And the need of a sober judgment and a firm will in 
dealing with this problem must soon be manifest. 

In independent churches a committee is generally formed 
to wliom the matter of procuring a candidate is intrusted ; 
in other churches the permanent officers — the session, or 
the vestry, or the consistory, or the ofTicial board — may 
act for the church. It would seem to be wise, whenever 
tlie rules of the church permit, that a sj)ocial committee 
for this purpose be carefully selected, representing all the 
different elements of whicli the churcli is composed and 
enil)odying in iisclf thi^ best wisdom of the organization. 

To the candidates brought to its notice the committee 


should faithfully apply such standards as we have just 
been considering, and when the minister is found who 
seems to promise a fair measure of conformity to them, 
his name, with the facts which the connnittee has learned 
about him, should be reported to the church. It would 
be well, of course, if some or all of the committee could 
first see him in some pulpit, and become acquainted with 
him, that they may testify concerning him not from hear- 
say merely, but from personal knowledge. 

The question whether the candidate should be invited 
to preach in the church before the invitation is extended 
to him is one to v.-hich it is not possible to give a positive 
answer. If the candidate is a man Avell known in all the 
churches, such an exhibition of himself seems quite super- 
fluous. Even if he is not well known, the practice of 
requiring him to preach before the church is often of doubt- 
ful expediency. The test is apt to be unfair. The better 
preacher he is, the less likely is he to be quite himself in 
such an ordeal. The consciousness that he is on exhibi- 
tion is not conducive to the highest spiritual frame in the 
best preaclier. The knowledge that his own personal for- 
tunes are in au}^ way affected by the work that he is doing 
needs to be put far away from him. The church that 
insists on hearing a candidate has, therefore, adopted a 
method by which its own ends are apt to be defeated. 
Still, it is possible for a good man to forget himself in 
such an emergency, and there can be no doubt that many 
happy pastorates have been initiated by this metliod. 
" When one is professedly preacliing to do good," says 
Professor Willcox, "it must be an awkward matter to 
preach for a position. But there are alleviations. You 
are not mercenary in seeking a pulpit. You can lionestly 
say, 'I seek not yours, Imt you.' Tlu-n, loo, it is as mucli 
in the line of God's ordering that you slioiiM |irc;i(h on 
trial as that you sliouhl afterward preach as a pastoi-. 
Therefore thorouglily pr(>pare for the service, coumu'iid 
yourself to God for liis presence and his grace, aud then, 
as far as possil)lo forgetting yourself, aim to benefit your 
hearers. Tho best of them will be looking for a man who 


hides behind his Master and throws his heart into his 
message." ^ But it is safe to say that, on the whole, it is 
not only less embarrassing for the minister, but wiser for 
the church, if the whole matter be intrusted to a large and 
judicious committee, upon whose report, without further 
investigation, the church consents to act. 

Should a vacant church, in any case, make overtures 
to the minister of another church? Here, also, it is not 
wise to lay down hard and fast rules. Ordinarily, it is 
not best to disturb with suggestions of removal a pastor 
who is happily at work. Yet this cannot be erected into 
a maxim. It may happen that a church in search of a 
pastor will find in some comparatively obscure and unim- 
portant place a man to whom it can offer a far larger op- 
portunity ; and it cannot be wrong for the church to make 
this offer. Paul may have been contentedly working at 
Troas, but tlie vision of the man from Macedonia who 
said, " Come over and help us," constrained him to arise 
and depart. In such a case the voice of the peoi)le may 
be the voice of God. When the Church of the Pilgrims 
in Brooklyn found its present pastor comfortably settled 
in his J\lassachusetts parish, it ought not to have been pre- 
cluded, by any notion of the exclusive right of a church 
to its pastor, from calling him to the position which ho 
has filled for so many years with honor. No church pos- 
sesses any exclusive right to any minister. The interests 
of the Kingdom of Heaven are paramount. Every man 
ought to be in the place where, on tlie wliole, his service 
can be most effective. A vacant clmrcli may act, consci- 
entiously, on this principle, in calling to its service the 
pastor of another church ; and it is fair to presume, when 
such a call is given, that lliis motive has entered into l]ic 
transaction. It is true 11i;i( churches, like indivitbials, 
may act selfishly, that llic main consideration may be the 
social aggrandizement of the local church making the call; 
but that ought not to ])o assumed, nor charged without 
abundant evidence. 

Churches thns dispossessed of their pastors arc apt to 

1 The Pastor (uniclst his Flock, p. 24. 


make complaints which imply a sweeping accusation against 
all churches and all ministers. They say that the pastor 
has been tolled away by the offer of a liigher salary and 
a more conspicuous position ; they resent this trespass on 
their demesne, and denounce the perpetrators of it. All 
this indicates not merely a bad temper, but a sad estimate 
of the motives governing Christian people in their work. 
If, indeed, their pastor is a man who can be induced to 
to abandon the post of duty by sordid or selfish consider- 
ations, why should they wish to retain him? lias not 
the church that drew away from them a false and fickle 
shepherd done them the greatest possible service ? Their 
pastor has gone from them either for selfish or for unself- 
ish reasons. If his reasons are unselfish, they have no 
right to complain ; if they are selfish, it is absui-d for them 
to complain. 

It must, however, be said that the vacant church, which 
thus seeks to remove from his field of labor a pastor in 
active service, ought to be sure that it is acting consci- 
entiously in the matter. It must not assume that, because 
its congregation is large and its position is more conspicu- 
ous, it offers necessarily a more important post of duty. 
The work which this minister is performing may be so 
fruitful, and his adaptation to it so peculiar, that any at- 
tempt to draw him away from it would be manifestly 
wrong. Every church must proceed in this business with 
a deep and prayerful sense of its responsibility, not for 
its own welfare alone, but for the interests of its sister 
cliurch and of the Kingdom of Heaven. To build it- 
self up by pulling down other churclics is not the ju'in- 
ciple on wliich it is founded. It is surely possible for a 
Christian church to understand and obseiTc, in its rela- 
tions with its sister cliurclies, the law of Cln-ist tlie J^ord. 

The question wliether, in the formation of the pastoral 
relation, the initiative should bo taken l)y the churcli or 
l)y tlic minister is one of somo practical interest. Ordi- 
naiilv, it would appear, the cliiiicli should be first to 
art. Although to the cliui-ch the feminine pronoun is 
ap[)lied, custom seems to require that the proposition 


sliould come from her and not from him. There is a 
seeming indelicacy in the direct approach by a minister 
to a church. The decisive action must be taken by the 
church, and for this reason the overture should, ordinarily, 
come from the church. 

The normal condition of the minister's mind in this 
matter would seem to be one of passivity. It is natural, 
under the law of the Kingdom, for him to say, "I am 
where I am, because God has placed me here; I would 
not have come hither unless there had seemed to be provi- 
dential leadings ; I ought to stay here until Providence 
makes it clear that he wants me somewhere else. When 
I am sure that he has called me to a more important or 
more difficult work I will go." This is not always the 
proper attitude of the minister's mind, for Providence may 
have made it plain to him that he might probably do 
better work elsewhere, before Providence has shown him 
the opening. And therefore it may sometimes be his duty 
to seek a change. The conditions of his health, or of that 
of his family, may indicate the wisdom of such a change ; 
lie may have discovered that the peculiar kind of work 
required in his present parish is work to which he is im- 
perfectly adapted ; he may know, by a careful study of his 
own capabilities, that he could do more effective work in 
a different field ; he may feel that the opportunity to 
employ elsewhere the intellectual capital which he has 
accumulated here, would set him free for other higldy 
important services which here he cannot render. And 
therefore he may wisely desire a change, althougli he feels 
that it would be unwise for him to abandon his present 
work, and indelicate for him to offer his services to any 
vacant church. It is this state of things which makes it 
lawful and expedient to give to the vacant church the 
right to open negotiations with tlie pastor in active ser- 
vice. Often it finds a man in precisely this state of mind, 
and its inquiry opens to him a clear jiath of duty. But it 
need not be laid down as a universal rule that the minister 
must always wait until the church has spoken. " Should 
one seek for a pulpit, or passively wait till Providence 


opens the way for it? " is a question which Professor Will- 
cox puts into the mouth of a theological student. And 
his answer is : " Faith is not inactive. Faith and works 
belong together. But do not apply in person to a vacant 
chiu'ch. Commonly it would prejudice your case. Some 
pastor or theological teacher can be found to introduce 
you." 1 The customs of the churches being what they are, 
this would seem to be the proper principle of action. The 
minister who has determined that a change of parish would 
be wise for him can usually, without any indelicacy, make 
tliat decision known to a judicious friend, who will see 
that his name is properly presented to vacant churches. 

One rule is to be always observed, both by the vacant 
church and by the ministerial candidate. No church 
should enter into negotiations with a second candidate 
while it has one before it whose case is not yet determined; 
and no minister should permit himself to be considered as 
a candidate by a church until he is positively assured that 
that church is negotiating with no candidate with respect 
to whom it has not reached a decision. The plainest dic- 
tates of good sense and Christian decency should enforce 
upon every church the rule of one candidate at a time, and 
should require every minister to see to it that the church 
lives up to this rule. Nothing is more scandalous than that 
a churcli should pass tlu'ough its pulpit a line of candidates, 
suspending judgment upon them until it has heard a con- 
siderable number, and then picking and choosing among 
them. Into sucli a competition no self-respecting minister 
will consent to go. Out of such conflicts over candidates, 
the bitterest and most disgraceful church quarrels often 
arise. The cliurch should permit but one name at a time to 
be presented to it ; not until it has determined that it docs 
not want this man, should it open negotiations witli any 
other man, or permit him to aj)pear in its pulpit as a pos- 
sible candidate. The condition into wliich clnirclies are 
sometimes thrown by long periods of candidating, and of 
disputation over candidates is melanclioly in the extreme. 
The whole attitude of the congregation becomes critical 
1 The rusior ,im!,!st A/.s- F/orL: ],. 21 


and captious ; the people come to listen, not with devout 
and receptive minds, but with itching ears ; a3stlietical 
standards replace spiritual standards ; the question, " How 
much good can I find in this message ? " is overlaid by the 
question, " How do I like this messenger ? " Add to tliis 
the disagreements and alienations which such strife in- 
volves, and a state of things is revealed which offers an 
unpromising field to the wisest and most devoted pastor. 

Yet it is quite possible that the experience of seeking a 
minister should bind the church together in a closer fellow- 
ship, and deepen the sources of its spiritual power. Cases 
are not unknown in which the church left vacant has come 
together in a prayerful spirit, and has sought so earnestly 
to be divinely guided in its search for a pastor that a new 
baptism of love and gentle consideration has descended 
upon it; all its deliberations have been full of harmony 
and sweet reasonableness ; each has sought to conform his 
choice to the will of the others, and to make tlie general 
good rather than his personal preference the standard of 
his judgment, and when the new pastor has come, he has 
found a warm welcome from a united and happy church. 

One word of caution is not superfluous. No church 
should admit to its pulpit, no, not for a single service, a 
man who does not come with the clearest and amplest and 
most recent credentials of ministerial standing. However 
it may be in other lands, it is true that in the United States 
not a few ministerial vagrants are abroad, and many of 
them are plausiljle villains, with smootli tongues and tak- 
ing ways, Avho are able to do incalculable injiuy to those 
churches which harbor them even for a day. "• These are 
they that creep into houses and lead captive silly women," 
and no less silly men; and the church that unwittingly 
gives tliem a footing is apt to repent, at its leisure, of its 
unwise hospitality. Tlie pains that are taken by most 
Christian communions to kecj) the lists of their ministers 
clean, and to allow no discredited name upon them, are 
not needless ; the purpose is to protect the churches against 
adventurers. It is easy for any man who lias a riglit to 
the confidence of his bretluen to bring clear and ample 


evidence of the fact. The papers shoukl be recent, and 
explicit; it would be better if testimony as to their genuine- 
ness should be furnished by some neighboring minister of 
the same communion. Simple carelessness about this on 
the part of church officials has resulted, not seldom, in the 
blighting of characters, the blasting of lives, and the rend- 
ing of the church in twain. For it is a melancholy fact 
that the most obvious scoundrel, if he be a fluent and in- 
sinuating person, is generally able to attach to himself 
and to lead away a considerable portion of almost any 
congregation. Important churches in the United States 
ha^e l^een divided by men whose pro[)er place was the 
penitentiary. It is a grave responsibility which is taken 
by church officers who admit an unknown or doubtful 
candidate to the pulpit of their church. 

One or two other matters of practical interest should 
be referred to. The question may arise whether a call 
which is not unanimous should be accepted. The answer 
of Professor Willcox is, on the whole, judicious: "'That 
depends.' Ask several questions. How large is the mi- 
nority ? Are they persons of weight or influence ? Are 
they obstinate or reasonable ? Is their opposition based 
on reasons that you can probably remove ? Seek candid 
answei-s to these questions. Seek them not only from 
your friends, but directly from the objectors themselves. 
But avoid implying that you submit to the objectors the 
decision of the matter. If you conclude to accept the 
call, give your first attention, after settlement, to the mi- 
nority. As the foremost duty conciliate them. Many a 
pastor soon has a united churcli s))lit into factions. Many 
a pastor who l)cgins liis work with n divided church soon 
lias tlipin harmoniously united."' ^ The only (lualification 
needful licre is that the efforts at conciliation of the mi- 
nority, after settlement, sliould not be too demonstrative. 
It is rather l)ettcr to assume tliat there is no minority, and 
to treat those wlio were supposed to constitute it with 
the same consideration and courtesy that arc oil'crc<l to tlie 

^ The Pastor (imitlst his I'luik, p. 'J7. 


Another question concerns tlie temporalities. The min- 
ister is a man amongst men, with what are known as secu- 
lar obligations and responsibilities, with physical needs, with 
a family, presumably, to provide for, and it is one of the 
prime necessities of his position that lie meet all the just 
demands of his neighbors, promptly and honestly. One 
thing that cannot be tolerated in any minister of Christ 
is financial looseness or irregularity. The minister who 
is always in debt, and who leaves a legacy of unpaid 
claims behind him in every parisli is never able, by the elo- 
quence of the pulpit, to counteract the damage done by 
his example. Therefore, as a matter of course, the min- 
ister must be enabled, by his people, to provide things 
honest in the sight of all men. It is not necessary that 
the stipend should be large, for the actual necessaries of 
life cost but little ; but it is necessary on the i)art of the 
minister that he should live within his income, be it large 
or small, and it is necessary on the part of the people that 
it be promptly paid. A fair and explicit understanding 
on this matter between minister and people is advisable, 
at the outset. The minister may wisely say, "I propose, 
with the favor of God, to owe no man anything but lo-\-e ; 
therefore I hope that my people will not permit themselves 
to be in any other kind of debt to me." It is generally 
far easier for the cluirch to meet engagements of this na- 
ture promptly than to bring up large an'earages ; to insist 
upon a business-like policy is to ligliten the burden of the 
church. There is often a Avoful lack of common lionesty 
in the administration of church finances, and the influence 
of the cliurch is greatly impaired thereby. It is not well 
that tlie minister should be burdened witli ilic linaiuinl 
athninistration ; the less he needs to know about it, the 
better ; but, on the otlier hand, there arc certain princi- 
ples of punctuality and probity which tlie church ought 
to observe in all its business relations, and it is not to the 
credit of the minister if those ])riiK'i])les aie violated. lie 
is bound to see that the administration of church affairs 
conforms to the highest princii»les of moi-aiit}-. 



The Cliristian minister is first of all a student. This 
is, indeed, the primary designation of all followers of 
Christ. Before they were called Christians at Antioch 
they were called disciples in Jerusalem, in Capernaum, and 
along the banks of the Jordan. The great name of the 
Founder of Christianity is Master, that is, Teacher ; and 
the generic description of those who bear his name is dis- 
ciple, that is, student. " To this end have I been Ijorn," 
said the Clu-ist, " and to this end have I come into the 
world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Every 
one that is of the truth heareth my voice."' 

When we are told by the Lord himself that the disciple 
must be as his Master, it is involved in that saying that 
the student must become a teacher ; it is for this that he 
r^tudics, that he may be qualified to teach. The Master 
himself was a learner before he was a Teacher. As a 
child he advanced in wisdom and in stature : " They found 
him in the temple, sitting in tlie nudst of the teachers, 
both hearing them and asking them questions." ^ And 
Ins method throughout his earthly ministry was that of 
the teacher. He " went about in all Cialilce, teaching in 
their synagogues and preaching the Gospel of tlie King- 
dom." 2 And his great discourse was delivered after the 
manner of an instructor rather tlian an orator; ''when lie 
liad sat down," — the posture of the teacher, — ''liis dis- 
ciples came unto him, and he oj)ened lus mouth and 
tauglit them." And to those who had l)een sitting at his 
feet he said wluii lie sent them forth, " Freely ye received, 
freely give.'" '^ He wlio teaches nuist first be u student, 
and lie studies that he may teach. 

^ Luke ii. 4G. - Matt. iv. 23. •' Matt, x, ». 


We need not forget that the Christian minister has 
other functions than that of the didactic instructor. He 
is, to begin with, to be a living illustration of the truth 
which he teaches. Unless it can be said, with some good 
measure of verity, of him as of his Master, " He is the 
truth," his teaching will not be influential. He must 
have digested and assimilated the vital word which he tries 
to utter ; it must have become bone of his bone and 
flesh of his flesh, else it will have but little power on his 

There is also that great work of evangelism which is 
sometimes distinguished from the work of teaching, and 
there is a sense in which the distinction may be main- 
tained. Christ said, " Go ye therefore and make disciples 
of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the 
Father and of the Son and of tlie Holy Ghost ; teach- 
inr/ them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded 
you." ^ Men were to be made disciples, and then to be 
taught ; that is to say, they were first to be enlisted and 
enrolled, and then instructed. In a certain large sense 
this ought always to be true. The greater part of the in- 
struction which men receive follows rather than precedes 
the date of their discipleship. They become disciples not 
because they are fully instructed, but because they desire 
instruction. The preaching which awakens in their minds 
this desiie is what we rightly call evangelistic preaching. 
And yet there is, in these days, a great deal of the element 
of teaching in the best of the evangelistic preaching. It 
is difficult to separate, in fact, the function of the teacher 
from that of tlie evangelist. It is unfortunate for both of 
them when tliey are separated. The evangelist who does 
not care to teacli is apt to 1)ecome a bad kind of sentimen- 
talist ; and the teacher who has no evangelistic fervor is 
apt to degenerate into a critic or an essayist. 

The minister, as we have seen, and sliall fiirtlior see, 
is also a leader of men, an organizer and inspirer of spir- 
itual activities. And yet this is all to come as the result 
of his teaching, — because the trutli wluch he has im- 

i Matt, xxviii. 19, 20. 


parted to his hearers has awakened in them the desire of 
service, and has pointed ont to them the work that needs 
to be done. In order that this desire of theirs may be 
sane and healthful, and in order that his leadership may 
be wise and effective, there is need that he should be a 
patient and faithful student. The man of God who is 
" famished completely unto every good w^ork " must be 
a patient and thorough student, lie must not only know 
his books, he nuist know men ; he must be familiar with 
the experience of the world; he must be able to avoid, 
in his leadership, the rocks and shoals on which many 
generous enterprises have been wrecked. Thus it becomes 
evident that before he can be a good leader he must be a 
patient learner. 

It may be said, however, that the function of the Chris- 
tian minister is mainly that of the prophet ; that his equip- 
ment for his task must come, not thi-ough study but through 
inspiration ; that the truth which he is to teach and the 
wisdom by which lie is to guide will be given him directly'- 
from heaven ; that the true Word of God which it is his 
vocation to declare and incarnate is immediately communi- 
cated to those who have the spirit of faith; that there- 
fore study is superfluous ; that meditation and prayer arc 
the only true methods of preparation for the minister's 
work. It is scarcely needful to confute this crude con- 
ception, but it may be well to give a little thought to the 
necessary relation between study and insi)iration. That 
tlic relation has long been recognized among rational men 
may be suggested by the fact that in the days when the 
prophetic function was most exalted among the Hebrews 
there were schools of the prophets. Even then some study 
was deemed necessary to fit a man to bo a prophet. If 
it is the breath within the flute that makes the melody, 
there is still need of mueli careful fashioning of tlic llulo 
before it receives the breath. 

The fact of inspiratioii — the iiuiiu'diale comniiiiiicali(»n 
of tlie trulli and life of God to the soul of the preacher — 
is indeed the one great fact that none nuist miss. For 
every preacher there is access to the very heart of the 


spiritual reality. Prophets we must be, and not mere 
reciters of traditions learned by rote. It is only when 

" The finger of God, a flash of the Will that can, 
Existent behind all laws," i 

touches our lips that we speak with authority. A strong 
statement of tliis need is found in Mr. Robert F. Horton's 
Vcrlum Dei. The possibility of inspiration, the truth tliat 
even in these days the Word of God is nigh to the mouth 
and the heart of every devout man, the fact that the 
preacher is not called merely to report what he has been 
taught that some one once knew about God and his King- 
dom, but what he himself knows about it, — all this is here 
set forth most impressively. Whatever reservations one 
may wish to make concerning some of these statements, 
he will feel, as he reads these burning pages, that the 
prophetic function is not wholly obsolete. And yet it will 
also be clear that this mystic has not disregarded the in- 
tellectual discipline by which the prophet is prepared to 
receive the message. Every page gives evidence of patient 
and profound study. Language, i)hilosophy, history, lit- 
erature, all have helped to furnish the transparent medium 
through which the winged word flies to its mark. The 
vivid metaphor, the felicitous phrase, the just discrimina- 
tion, the vital analogy, could not have been given to an 
untrained mind. So it must always be. If the message 
comes from God, the form which the message takes nuist 
be largely determined V)y the dimensions and the furniture 
of the mind through which it is conununicated. 

Language is the instrument by which the greater part 
of the minister's work is done. If he has a message to 
deliver, it will be conveyed in the forms of human speech. 
The Word of God must reach the minds of men throucfh 
the language of men. All revelation, all inspiration, is 
conditioned by this fact. There can be no more revela- 
tion tlian there is language to convey. A truth for wliich 
no word-mould has been prepared is a trutli tliat can- 
not 1)0 directly communicated. Every written or spoken 
revelation consists of words; and the words an^ iiiaiiu- 

' IJrowuiiig, Aht Voijler. 


fautiiied by men. The relation of this fact to the theory 
of un inerrant revehition ought to be well considered. 
That a revelation absolutely without Haw could be given 
through a medium so cloudy, by an instrument so inexact, 
so full of imperfection, so constantly undergoing repair, as 
human language is and must be, could be maintained by 
no one who has the slightest acquaintance with philology. 
The revelation may be sufficient for all the purposes of 
the spiritual life, — its very imperfection may adapt it to 
our needs, — but infallible it cannot be. 

Nevertheless, this instrument of human language, intri- 
cate and complex in its structure, constantly changing in 
its forms, growing as human experience grows, always ap- 
proaching that perfection which it can never reach, — this 
is the instrument by which the truth of God is conveyed 
to the mind of man ; and it is also the instrument by 
means of which men communicate with one another. It 
goes without saying that the better a man understands the 
instrument, the more familiar he is with its structure and 
its possibilities, the more perfectly he can convey his own 
conceptions to the minds of other men. And it is not less 
true that the Spirit of all truth can use the mind thus 
trained and equipped to convey messages which could not 
be given to minds less perfectly furnished. One of the first 
things that Paul found to thank God for, when he began 
to write his first letter to the Corinthians, was that they 
had been enriched in Christ Jesus "//i all utterance^ and in 
all knowledge.'" The enrichment of our utterance, the 
improvement of all those faculties by which thought linds 
expression, — this must ever be a large part of the duty of 
all who desire to be the messengei's of God to men. 

The fact of inspiration is, therefore, and nuist always be, 
a very liomely, familiar fact. It was so in the days of the 
propliets and apostles, it will be so in the millennium, it 
ought to ])C so now. Tlie primary reason why more of the 
Word of God has come to us through Isaiah and I';.iil llian 
through other men is that the minds of Isaiah and I'anI 
were l)ctter fitted to receive those sul)liine trutlis than the 
minds of other men. This lilness nia\- have bi-cn thic in 


part to providential causes, but it must have been largely 
explained by the thoroughness with which they had pre- 
pared themselves for such mediumship. 

The laws which govern the inspiration of the prophet 
must be in many respects similar to those which govern 
the inspiration of the artist. The artist must become 
familiar with the forms by which beauty, the beauty of 
which his art is the vehicle, iinds its best expression. 
Long and painful courses of discipline are needful in order 
that he may gain the power of utterance. There is a lan- 
guage for him to learn, and the task is difficult and tedious. 
We have been told that poets are born, not made ; but if 
this implies tliat all their powers are the gift of nature, 
and that none of them is due to training, it is far from the 
truth. The poet, for his part, was first compelled to learn 
the language in which he writes ; a great deal of patient 
training was expended on him by his mother, and his nurse, 
and all the household, before he was able to articulate the 
simplest words of our common speech. Later he was led 
by many tutors through the mysteries of alphabet and 
spelling-book and grammar; there is no royal road even 
for poets through these mysteries ; the knowledge must be 
gained by toil. After the rudiments of the language have 
been mastered, there is a great deal more for him to learn 
of the idioms and forms by means of which the spirit of 
beauty finds expression in language. And after llie tech- 
nique of his art, so to speak, has thus been acquired, if he 
is to be an interpreter of nature and of life — and tliis, as 
we are taught, is the poet's function — there will be room 
for long years of patient study of nature and of life before 
he will be able to interpret them to any clear purpose. 
Some men get this preliminary training more easily tlian 
others do, — get it, indeed, almost unconsciously, — but 
they must get it, before they can do genuine poetic work. 
And it is when, with faculties thus trained, with tastes 
thus purified, witli vision thus sharpened, the poet stands 
in the presence of nature or of life that liis inspiration be- 
comes productive. 'J'lie delight in beauty, the swift insight 
into truth, have found a voice. 


True it is that all this study and discipline would be 
worthless if through the forms thus furnished the spirit of 
life did not breathe. The inspiration is the essential thing. 
Life is diviner than form. Yet life is never formless. The 
poet's power is not all the gift of nature. The old adage 
is one of those vicious antitheses in wliich the thing denied 
is not less true than the thing affirmed. The poet is born 
and made. His faculty is from nature, his facility is from 
art. The tuneful breath is divine, but the instrument 
through which it speaks is fashioned for its work by the 
care and skill of man. 

Of every kind of art this princii)le holds true. The 
musician must prepare himself by the same kind of disci- 
pline. There is a certain manual facility which can be 
gained only by the most patient toil. Abt Vogler is right 
when he tells us by the lips of Robert Browning that the 
melodies and harmonies that flood his thought as he sits 
improvising at the organ are not products of art ; but if 
art had not had the training of his fingers they would 
never have found expression. 

The principle is not different in the case of the minister, 
even when we are thinking of his prophetic function. 
Prophecy is the divine Word spoken by the human voice, 
and the voice must be trained for speaking. Surely it 
must be to him who has most carefuUj' disciplined both 
heart and mind by patient and long study of the truth 
within his reach, that the larger truth, the unifying truth, 
will be given, — that the spirit of prophecy will be imparted 
in largest measure. Ins})iration is not cajirice ; it must 
follow the law which conditions all divine intervention in 
behalf of men. The gods help those who liclp themselves. 
Tlie grace of God is not given to relieve us from effort or 
to discharge us from responsibility, but to suj)plement our 
powers, and to stimulate our activity. Luther said that 
j)rayer is study, and it is true, — hcnc orClssc est hctic stu- 
ff uissr ; but it is not less true tliat study is ]irayer. The 
diligent prejjaraliou of lli'.- uiiiid for the heavenly gifts 
is the indispensable condition of llic bestowiuent of these 


The minister who has spent many years in the University 
and the Theological School has evinced his conviction that 
study is an essential part of the preparation for the work 
of the ministry. Possibly, however, there may lurk in the 
corner of some mind the notion that the period of prepara- 
tion is the period of study, and that the pastorate will be 
devoted to other kinds of activity in which study will not 
be an essential part. The conception was once quite preva- 
lent that when a man had passed through the professional 
school his education was substantially finished. That, in- 
deed, has been, so far as the ministry is concerned, a pretty 
general understanding. It has often been supposed that 
the minister is taught in the theological school all that it 
is needful or proper for him to know ; that it is rather 
dangerous and even disloyal for him to venture beyond 
the boundaries there prescribed for his thought ; that one 
of the chief functions of the theological seminary is to lead 
the student all round the field of investigation, and show 
him authoritatively the limitations thereof, and to say to 
him, " Thus far shalt thou go and no farther." But this 
phase of thought is becoming antiquated. Most of the 
younger ministers know that the teachings of the theologi- 
cal institution are no more final than those of the acadenfic 
department ; that the function of the divinity school, like 
that of every other school, is best fulfilled when it has 
tauglit us how to study. In the theological college the 
minister learns the use of the tools that he will be handling 
all his life. He is not to spend his life in rehearsing the 
lessons that he learned there ; things new and old will 
come forth every week from his treasury. 

But if tlie divinity school is a place where we learn to 
study, it would seem that the su1)jocls of study, after the 
work of the ministry is entered upon, would be likely to 
be, to a considerable extent, the same as those winch oc- 
cupied us in the preparatory period. Wc have not mas- 
tered those subjects ; we liave been fairly introduced to 
them ; we go on fiom the point at wliicli tin' teachers 
leave us in the paths into wliich they have led us ; we 
proceed to build on the foundation wliieli they have helped 


US to lay. Whatever it was worth our wliile to study in 
the days of preparation it will be worth our while to keep on 
studying after our work is begun. If Hebrew and Greek 
were wisely placed in the curriculum, the minister in his 
study cannot afford to drop them. Of course his manner 
of using these languages will be modified ; he Avill not 
necessarily continue to study them philologically, — there 
should, at any rate, be little need of studying them in this 
way ; he will employ them rather as the instruments of 
investigation ; he will not study the ancient languages ; 
he will study history and archaeology and sacred litera- 
ture and theology by means of the ancient languages. 

Other studies of the professional school will be treated 
in the same manner. The author of the Epistle to the 
Hebrews counsels those to whom he is writing to '* leave 
the word of the beginning of Christ" behind them, and 
press on to perfection, — not laying over and over the 
foundations, but going on to build on tlie foundations.^ This 
is the true method for the studious minister. The history 
of doctrine, the history of philosophy, are full of instruc- 
tion; the light which they throw upon the evolution of 
belief is profitable for guidance ; some general knowledge 
of the course which religious thought has followed, every 
Christian teacher ought to have. But it may be ques- 
tioned whether the effort to ti-ace the speculations of the 
church through all tlieir vagaries is altogether worth 
while ; whether we have not expended upon the eluci- 
dation of these erratic and fruitless efforts after religious 
certainty time that might have been more productively 
employed. A great deal of wood, hay, stubble, has been 
heaped together in past ages on the true foundation, and 
tlie fire of criticism has already consumed the larger part 
of it: to what extent it is wortli wliile foi- tlu' working 
pastor to reconstruct, from tlicir allies, tlic-i' \:inislied 
systems, is an op(;n question. 'J'lh' thinking which has 
advanced to some sure conclusion may be jjiofitably stud- 
ied ; tlie thinking that conducts us into a cul dc sac or a 
bcttomli'ss bog may hi' safely ncglecte(l. IWqu in the divin- 
' llcb. vi. 1, 2. li. V. Maiy. 


ity school these studies of morbid theology and abortive 
philosophy might be wisely abbreviated ; outside the semi- 
nary, the busy pastor is not likely to pursue them. It 
may sometimes be useful to know what not to believe, but 
the proper nutriment of faith is not negations. The value 
of contrast and comparison in elucidating truth is not to 
be denied, yet in our efforts to reach certainty we may 
easily spend too much time in the contemplation of what 
we know to be uncertainties. A sermon by a profound 
scholar was once preached in a New England church, 
from the text, " Where sin abounded grace did much more 
abound," and the preacher spent so much time in showing 
how sin had abounded, through the centuries, and made 
such an appalling picture of it, that he was by no means 
able, in the few minutes devoted to the other phrase, to 
counteract the impression; so that his discourse, without 
his intending it, exactly contradicted his text, and left liis 
hearers with the feeling that though grace had somewhat 
abounded, sin did always and everywhere exceedingly 
supcrabound. The laws of proportion must not be dis- 
obeyed ; they should govern our studies as well as our 
speech ; and they require that the great affirmations should 
always prevail ; that life and not death should evidently 
have the mastery ; that the things which cannot be shaken 
should occupy tlie uppermost place in all our thinking. 

Perhaps the same maxim will relegate studies of an 
apologetic nature to a secondary [)lace. If it is not wise 
to fill our minds with the futile speculations of past centu- 
ries, it may not l)e wise to spend a great deal of time on 
tlie doubts and denials of the present century. Too much 
stress must not be laid on this admonition, for the present 
difficulties of many minds in every intelligent congrega- 
tion must 1)0 met by the preacher, and if the preacher is 
to meet them he must understand tliem. l>ut when a man 
begins to preach the Gospel tlie great underlying verities 
of the Kingdom of Heaven ought to be settled in his mind 
beyond questioning ; it sliould not be necessary for liim to 
keep convincing liimself that they are true. That will 
not be a fruilful ministiy which is continually digging up 
the gerniiiKil Initli to see if it is alive. 


As to the directions which the minister's study shoukl 
take, it is possible to speak only in a general way. lUit 
there are two main lines which he may profitably follow 
in his studies. The problems about wliich his thought 
will chiefly revolve are the problems of the soul and the 
prol)lems of society. 

By problems of the soul are intended those which relate 
to the fundamental facts of character, — ethical and spir- 
itual, rather tlian ontological questions. The existence of 
the spiritual realm and the main facts of that realm are 
the postulates of the pastor's problems. That love and 
not law is the heart of the universe ; that there is a con- 
scious God, our Father, who loves men and seeks their 
welfare ; that between the spirit of man and the Spirit of 
(xod there may be fellowship and communion, so that 
light and help and peace and power can flow from the 
grace that abounds to the need that implores ; that man 
is a free spirit whose choices determine his own destiny, — 
all this is assumed. Any man who is in doubt on any of 
these propositions stultifies himself by accepting the oflice 
of a Christian pastor. His problem is not to assure him- 
self of these things, but to bring them home to the lives 
of men. 

This involves, first, a patient study of the facts of human 
nature. The men and women and children of his parish 
and his vicinage will l)e tlie principal objects of liis study. 
Jle is likely to find a great variety of t3-pes among them 
and all sorts of tendencies; tlio laws of character are work- 
ing themselves out before liis eyes ; he will see some sowing 
to the flesh and rea[)ing corruption, and others sowing (o 
tlie spirit and reaping life everlasting; retriljution \vill 
not l)e an obscure fact to a minister avIio keeps liis eyes 
open ; redemption should not be. A most fascinaling 
study is this to which liis voiiation calls him ; it uncov- 
ers many painful facts ; it raises many hard (piestions ; 
but it is more interesting and more significant than any 
other subject which can engage the Imman intellect. And 
every minister can be and must be an original investiga- 
tor. Genuine laboratory work is demanded of him. He 


must not get his knowledge of human nature wliolly or 
mainly from books, though books may greatly aid him in 
interpreting his phenomena. What other careful observ- 
ers have seen Avill guide him in his search. But first-hand 
knowledge is imperative. The people with whom he is 
dealing will be apt to know whether he is speaking from 
tradition or from observation ; he must be able to say, 
" We speak that we do know, and testify that we have 

The power of the teaching of Jesus lay, as a recent 
writer has told us, in the appeal to life. Jesus taught 
with authority, and not as the scribes, because he adhered 
closely to the facts of nature and of human nature. More 
than one hearer, like the woman at the well, cried out in 
wonder, " He told me all that ever I did." It is not for 
any of us to know as perfectly as he knew what was in 
man, but it is possible for all of us to follow his method. 

One large division of Christian theology is Anthropol- 
ogy, the doctrine of man. What is the ideal man? What 
are the elements of his constitution? What are the normal 
and the abnormal tendencies of his nature ? Has lie any 
verifiable relations to other powers above or beneath him? 
If there are evidences of disease and disorder, what is the 
pro])able outcome of these? Such are the primary ques- 
tions of tliG Christian thinker. Now it is oljvious that the 
truth about all this must be gathered by the study of human 
nature. There is no other source of knowledge. If the 
Bible gives us any information about this, it must be 
simply a repetition of what is before our eyes, every day, 
in living examples. Tlie I>il)le may liave something to 
tell us about the remedy for the ills of liuman nature, 
which we could not Icmii IVnm llie study of liiniiaii nature 
itself; but these ills thciusclvfs are part of our own ex- 
perience, and no otlier statement about man can possll)ly 
outweigh in autliority that wliicli is based upon a l)i()ad 
.and careful induction of the facts of liuman nature. The 
right way to study the geography of Biljle lands is to ex- 
plore the lands themselves, and explain the references of 
the Bible to them ; the right way to study the condition 


of the human race upon the eartli is to investigate the 
facts, and compare with them the statements of the Bible. 
We shall hnd many statements in the Bible that will 
throw much light upon our investigations; but our doc- 
trine of man must rest, after all, on facts which we ourselves 
can verify. 

It will be found, indeed, that the more careful our in- 
vestigations are, and the more complete our induction, the 
more perfectly will the doctrine of Jesus respecting the 
nature and needs of man be verified. The better we know 
the facts of human nature as they are displayed before our 
eyes, and as they report themselves in our own conscious- 
nesses, the more sure we shall be that He did indeed know 
what was in man ; that he spake as one having authority 

— the authority of perfect knowledge — when he dis- 
coursed of the human soul and its problems. But it is 
better, in our treatment of all this matter, to appeal as he 
constantly did to life, and to l)ring confirmation for his 
words from the experience of men. 

It has been said that books may greatly help the min- 
ister in his study of anthropological and spiritual prol)l('ms. 
Books contain a record, more or less complete, of human 
experience, — a report upon the facts of life. Patrick Henry 
said that experience was the only light by which his feet 
were guided ; it may be doubted whether his words were 
true of himself, and whether they have been true of any 
great leader of men. There are other and diviner guides 

— pillars of fire by night, and of cloud by da}-. 'J'lie ideals 
that transcend experience, the intuitions that throw light 
forward on our ])ath are also to be trusted. P)ut if cxpcri- 
once is not the only guide, it is a safe guide in many paths, 
and the record of it which we find in l)ooks is of []\v great- 
est value. Is it not true that for the minister more help is 
to be found in literature proper than in science or philoso- 
phy? Matthew Arnold's familiar siiyiug is to be rcnuMu- 
bered, — that our umlcrstanding of lif(^ is (Milargfd and 
purilit'i] b\' means of "getting to know on all tln' sultjccts 
which most concern us, (he 1)cst whidi has been tliouglit 
and said in the world, and through this knowledge turn- 


ing a stream of fresh and free thought on all our stock 
notions and habits." ^ The best that has been thought and 
said in the world is to be found in books, in sermons and 
essaj^s, in history and biography, in liction and poetry. 
Much of this literature is, of course, worthless ; all of it 
must be studied with a discriminating mind ; but it should 
not be difficult for the scribe instructed unto the kingdom 
of heaven to select out of all that has been said in the world 
something of the best, that it may turn " a stream of fresh 
and free thought " upon the facts collected in his own 
investigations. The great poets, the great novelists are 
always dealing with these very facts and tendencies of 
character ; the essayists have left us the results of their 
thinking on the same themes, and the preachers of many 
generations are ready to show us how they have grappled 
with the problems that are confronting us. 

Best of all books for the pastor are the good biogra- 
phies. The good ones, mark ; there is nothing worse than 
a bad one. Many successful pastors bear testimony that 
they have found more stimulus in books of this class than 
in any other kind of literature. Now, as always, life is 
the light of men. The life of Christ, incarnated in the 
lives of his bravest and best servants, is full of inspiration. 
The lives of Clement of Alexandria, Athanasius, Savonarola, 
Colet, Thomas More, Luther, Bernard of Clairvaux, Thomas 
Arnold, Thomas Chalmers, Frederick Robertson, Charles 
Kingsley, Norman McLeod, Frederick Denison Maurice, 
Dorothy Pattison, Horace Bushnell, will always l^e found 
profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for 
instruction in righteousness. 

That studies of this nature will be most useful to the 
working pastor is obvious enough. An artist perfects 
himself in liis art by making liimsclf familiar with nature, 
and willi the b(>st tliat has l)e('n done in his own dej)art- 
ment of art. The painter studies nature and the best 
paintings; the poet studies nature and tlie masterpieces 
of literature: tlie musician studi(\s forms of natural melody 
and the woi'ks of the Ix'st musicians. What they all crave 
* Cidture ai)(l Annn/iij. rrefacc, p. xi. 


is the power to convey the beauty of the world to other 
minds, and they study the works and the words in which 
this beauty has been expressed. IJcneath all these arts 
there are dee]) questions of philosophy, of metaphysics ; 
the artist may be interested in these questions, but his 
power and success as an artist depend in no great degree 
upon his ability to answer them. Poetry rests on meta- 
physics, painting on perspective, music on mathematics, 
but it is not by digging among these roots that a man be- 
comes an artist. Ai't is one thing, philosophy is another 
and perhaps a higher thing ; but it is rather dilficult for 
a man to excel in Ijotli. 

Is there not, in this analogy, some instruction for min- 
isters ? Might not tlie minister have too much ambition 
to be a philosopher, and too little care for the equipment 
which shall lit him for his calling ? It is not so much the 
solution of the fundamental problems of existence as the 
shaping of human character that is his proper task ; and 
therefore the actual working of the spiritual laws in the 
lives of men will be his chief concern, rather than the 
ontological problems which underlie all existence. If this 
is true, then literature, which deals directly with life, will 
give him more practical liclj) than pliilosnpliy, which deals 
with origins. 

All that has l)cen said al)out the studies of the minister 
lias been intended to throw light upon the question vv- 
specting his use of the Bible. That this book, above all 
others, will be the subject of his study, needs scarcely to 
l)e urged u])on these pages. Antlu-opology does not dept'iid 
on it, l)ut Soteriology does. No revelation was ncedc*! to 
sliow tliat man is a siiuifi- ; but a revi'latinu is iici'(l(<| lo 
tell him t)f a Saviour. And no other Ijook but the IWlilc 
lirings to him this v\vmv knowlcdgt'. All tliat the min- 
ister knows about that Christ wliose name he bears, whose 
g()S])el he proclaims, whoso life he ti'ics to cxem|)lifv, is 
contained in tliis [u-ecious Ijook. The I. iff whusc ii|)|»fiir- 
ancf in the woild nineteen centuries ago lias revulut ion- 
i/cd histoi'v, and gi\cn us tiie dale b\' whieli we reekdU 
the things of time, is (leseiil)iil \'nv us uiioii th<' jtages of 


this liook ; we read tlie record of the long ages of prepara- 
tion for him ; we are made familiar with the transcendent 
facts of his birth and death and resnrrection ; we hear the 
very word of him who spake as never man spake ; we see 
the marvellons growth, in the first century, of that King- 
dom of his which, in two more centuries, had overspread 
a good part of the then known world. To know all that 
human language can tell him of tliis divine Life is the 
minister's first task. The Book which puts this knowledge 
within his reach is the one book of the world for him. 
His reason, his imagination will be always under its spell. 
What Lamartine says of the young Bossuet should bo true 
of every minister : — 

" The Bible, and above all, the poetical portions of Holy 
Writ, struck as if with lightning and dazzled the eyes of 
the child ; he fancied he saw the living fire of Sinai, and 
heard the voice of omnipotence reechoed by the rocks of 
Horeb. His God was Jehovah ; his law-giver, INIoses ; 
his high priest, Aaron ; his poet, Isaiah, his country, Ju- 
dea. The vivacity of his imagination, the poetical bent 
of his genius, the analogy of his disposition to that of the 
Oi'ientals, the fervid nature of tlie people and ages de- 
scri])cd, the sublimity of the language, the everlasting 
novelty of the history, the grandeur of the laws, the pierc- 
ing eloquence of tlie hymns, and, hnally, the ancient, con- 
secrated, and traditionally reverential character of the Book, 
transformed Bossuet at once into a biblical entluisiast. 
The metal was malleable, the impression was recei\ed and 
remained indelibly stamped. This child became a prophet ; 
such lie was born, such he was as he grew to manhood, 
lived and died, the Bible transfiincd into a many ^ 

Tlie devotional reading of the Bil)lc is, of course, tlie 
first and most important use of it ; after this some critical 
knowledge of it is needed ; but its use as the sword of the 
S|)irit is tlie great thing for the pastor to learn. " To be 
al)le," says Dr. Blaikie, " to grasp the great purposes of 
Divine revelation as a whole ; to see at the same time the 
drift and Ix'aring of its several parts; to apprehend the 

1 t^uutfd by Bliiikie in For thcWork of the Ministri/, p. 77. 


great lessons of the various histories, biographies, and epis- 
tles, tlio parables, the sermons, the doctrinal statements, 
the allegories, the lyrical allusions that make up Holy 
Scripture ; to know where to find the most striking state- 
ments on any subject which Scripture embraces ; to make 
one part throw light on another, and bring out the chief 
lessons of the whole are attainments of inestimable value 
to the preacher of the Word." ^ 

All this falls in with ]\Iatthcw Arnold's true contention 
that the Bible is literature and not science nor pliilosophy. 
When it is so regarded and treated we get the best results 
of our study. The questions of criticism, now so hotly 
debated, are of temporary interest ; it is necessary for the 
minister to have some knowledge of the matters in dis- 
pute ; but the staple truths with which he deals are not 
touched by these discussions. The Bible, intelligently 
studied, will thi'ow just as much light on questions of 
conduct, on the laws of the spiritual life, under the new 
h}pothesis as it has ever given us under the old hypothe- 
sis — perhaps a little more. Some moral confusion may 
]je avoided by recognizing as altogether human certain 
elements which were formerly supposed to be divine. It 
is a great gain to be discharged from the task of defend- 
ing the historicity of certain narratives, and to be able 
to give our whole attention to their moral and spiritual 
values. The question wliether Jonah was swallowed by a 
fish or not can have no possible relation to the life of any 
living man ; but the moral and spiritual questions whicli 
the story so vividly brings before us are well worthy of 
our attention. The date of the B()f)k of Daniel is a matter 
of curious iiit<,'rest ; tlic character of Daniel is a tluiiu' 
of prolitable study. " Tlie importance of AI»raliaiii and 
Daniel does not lie," says a recent writer, " in tlu'ir Ix-ing 
uiu(jue personages, l)ut in (lieir representing Hebrew icU'als, 
the highest life of Israel. Of tlie reality in this sense of 
tlie patriarclial narratives there can be no doubt wliatever. 
They embo ly profoundly real experiences ; they were re- 
ceived into the traditions and literature of Israel because 

1 i'iir the Work of the. Ministri/, p. T'.t. 


they appealed to, influenced, and inspired generation after 
generation of pious Israelites. They maintained their 
place through successive revisions of the Hebrew Bible; 
they have passed into the sacred literature of Christianity 
and of Islam, because they have been recognized by men 
of many races and of many periods as representative of 
spiritual experience and fruitful of spiritual instruction. 
Whatever view may be held as to the origin of Genesis, 
its narratives are no longer mere histories of Bedouin 
sheiks ; they stand as symbols and emljodiment of what 
is most permanent and universal in human iiature." ^ 

Such is the merest hint of the direction which the stud- 
ies of the minister may profitably take when he seeks to 
comprehend the facts of the spiritual life. It is all summed 
up by saying that the pastor's main interest is in charac- 
ter, and that the studies which fix his attention upon 
character, the laws by winch it is conditioned, the influ- 
ences by which it is affected, the motives by which it is 
governed, the approaches by which it is brought into vital 
communication with the unseen Helper — are for him the 
studies of supreme importance. 

To the other great dej)artraent of pastoral study, that 
which relates to the problems of society, less space can 
here be given. But it should ])0 evident that no man can 
be understood when he is studied by himself, because " no 
man liveth unto himself." The individual can no more 
be se])arat('d from his kind in our study of Ins spiritual 
prol)l('ms tlian a stamen can l)e separated from tlie rest of 
the flower in oui- study of its nature, — llian a liaiid can 
be separated from the rest of tlie body in our study of its 
uses. It is in liis social relations that the spiritual activi- 
ties of th(! mail find exercise. 

The in(H\i(lual and the society in which lie lives are as 
inseparaljk; as the inside and tlie outside of a curve. But 
it is necessary foi- us to stmly tlir areas on both sides of 
tlic curve. TIk; individual linds liis perfection by seek- 
ing first tlie Kingdoni ol' (Idd. And the one sublime con- 

' Kcv. W. H. IJciinctt, in Fdil/i ami Criticism ; Essni/s hij Cougrrtjtttion- 
alisis, ]). 29. 


ception which must never depart from the mind of the 
minister is the thought of the Kingdom of God, for whose 
coming he dail}* prays. To comprehend this Kingdom; 
to gain that anointing of tlie vision by which he shall he 
able to discern it; to become sure that it is a present 
reality ; to understand the nature of the laws by which it 
is governed ; to trace the movements of those unseen 
Powers that are working to establish it; to learn how to 
help in extending its boundaries and in confirming its 
dominion, — this is a large part of the life work of the 
Christian minister. 

The question is sometimes raised whether the minister 
should devote much time to the study of sociology. If 
the relation of the individual to society is what we have 
represented it to be, it would appear that studies of this 
nature involve the very substance of the learning which 
he must acquire. If the Kingdom of God is here in the 
world, if it is not a remote possibilit}', but a present 
fact, and if it is every man's first business to seek it, then 
those studies which are called sociological must put the 
minister in possession of the facts and laws of this king- 
dom. TIcro, as in the case of the individual soul, he will 
liiid Ills induction confirming the teachings of Christ; 
lie \\ ill lind oljedience to the law of Christ bringing health 
and peace and contentment and social welfare, and diso- 
l)edience producing poverty and anarchy and social dis- 
integration. Tlie kingdom of God is discerned not only 
in the blessings which it brings, but in the woes w liidi 
are inherited by those who depart from its jncccjits. 
And these are the facts which confront the minister on 
every side. He ought to be familiar ^itli them. i'licy 
are the voices with wliich God is speaking dircntly to him 
and to the peo})le of liis genciatiou. A (liorougldy scien- 
tific sociology, a sociology wliieli takes in all the facts 
of tlie existing social ordei', which rccogni/.cs the fact, ot" 
human freedom, wliich includes the facts of historical 
Christianity and studies the actual working in the woild 
of the C'hristian morality, will fuiiiish a ih'odI' of the 
truth of C'hristianity which no cavilK-r can gainsay. Such 


studies have a great apologetic value. They show that 
Christianity has never yet been fairly tried anywhere in 
the world; but they indicate by cumulative evidence 
that the partial trials which have been made of it prove 
it to be the only social rule that will bring peace and 
good-will, with happiness and plenty. The minister who 
does not know this is not thoroughly furnished for 
his work as a Christian teacher. The fact is one that 
vitally concerns his people ; it is the one fact which they 
ought to recognize in all their conduct. The work of 
the church, in its largest sense, is the enforcement of 
this truth. The Christianization of society, in all its parts 
and organs, is the high calling of tlie church. How any 
minister can properl}^ guide his people in this work with- 
out faithfully studying the conditions of the society in 
the midst of which he is living it would be difficult to 

Of course this study will involve some familiarity with 
political and economic science, for the kingdom of heaven 
rules in every department of society. But so far as politi- 
cal science is divorced from ethics and becomes a mere 
consideration of expediencies, and so far as economics 
confines itself merely to material interests, and leaves 
out of sight the larger interests of humanity, the minister 
of the Gospel has no concern with either of them. It is 
a question whether sciences which undertake such a frac- 
tional investigation of Iniman life have value for any one ; 
l)ut if any one can find profit in studying tliem let him 
do so ; the Christian minister has other and more im- 
portant Imsincss. When he studies social questions, his 
sole interest in them is found in their relation to the 
facts of the spiritual realm. What lie seeks to know 
is the effect of social conditions upon cliaraetor — the 
character of individuals and of the social organism. That 
the character of every man is decj)ly itiid constantly af- 
fected by the society in the midst of wliich lie lives, we 
have seen already; how can the minister of Christ, whose 
high calling resjiccts only the values of character, bo 
unmindful of those social forces which so powerfully 


tend to shape the characters of the men and women to 
whom he ministers? 

So long as the old individualistic philosophy prevails it 
is possible to think of saving men as separate souls, with- 
out paying any regard to the social order. But as soon 
as the conception of society as an organism enters the 
mind, — as soon as it becomes evident that we are indeed 
members one of another, — then the attempt to fence 
off religion into a department by itself becomes manifestly 
absurd. The question whether any individual is living 
rightly, — whether he is saved, in fact, — can be an- 
swered only by considering how his life affects the society 
in which he lives. If his life is a savor of death unto 
death to those with whom he associates, it is idle to talk 
of him as a "saved" man. The distinctive quality of 
the saved is their power of saving the society in which 
they live. They are the salt of the earth. But in order 
to know whether his life rightly affects the society in 
which lie lives, we must have some clear conception of 
what that society ought to be. The separation of spiritual 
problems from social problems is, therefore, a most mis- 
chievous business ; it rends asunder what God has joined 
together; it can only result in sterilizing religion and 
in demoralizing society. That is a painful story which 
tells us of the rise in the early church of those purely 
theological distinctions by which tliis separation was 
effected. A failure to comprehend the true doctrine of 
the Incarnation lies at tlie root of it all. The faith for 
which Athanasius stood against the world would never 
have given room to this deadly heresy. We have no 
time to study the origin of that "principle of dualism 
whi(;li sanctioned the divorce between the human and 
the divine, the secular and the religious, the body and 
the spirit." But we shall find, if we look into the matter, 
that, in the language of another, it " runs through all the 
institutions of the Middle Ages, affecting not only the 
religious experience, but the political and social life of 
Christendom. As a theological principle it underlies as- 
ceticism in all its forms; it creates and enforces the 


distinction between sacred and profane things, holy days 
and common days, between the clergy and the people, 
the church and the world, the pope and the emperor, the 
city of God and the city of man. As a theological jDrinci- 
ple it reigned supreme from the time of Augustine till 
the age of the Reformation." ^ If, since the Reformation, 
its reign has not been unchallenged, it is still able to 
affect very powerfully the thought and the conduct of 
many of the stanchest of the Reformers. And it is not 
difficult to see that the whole evangelistic work of the 
church has been paralyzed by this unnatural bisection 
of human life. No valuable work can be done for the 
individual which does not keej) constantly in mind his 
social relations. 

It may be said that the minister should study sociology, 
indeed, but only Christian Sociology ; that he has no use 
for merely scientific sociology. Here, again, the old dual- 
ism crops out. It is assumed that there is a sociology 
which is scientific, which is anti-Christian or non-Christian. 
But sociology is the science of society. As such it ought 
to be able to formulate for us the law of the best human 
society. But it does so simply by collecting and com- 
paring all the facts and tendencies, and drawing from them 
the proper inferences. Much social science, so-called, fails, 
like many other attempts at science, of being truly scien- 
tific, because it either overlooks, or does not properly esti- 
mate some of the facts of the social order. Thus jNIr. Kidd, 
in his stimulating book on "Social Evolution" has pointed 
out to the sociologists that they have wholly failed to make 
due account of the one capital fact in tlio development of 
Western ('ivilization. Tliere may therefore be works treat- 
ing of social science whicli would not be profitable read- 
ing for any minister of the Cospel, because they either 
carelessly or dogmatically exclude some of the ruling ideas 
or elements of modern society. But the true fjbjection 
to these books is not that tliey are not Christian, but tliat 
the}' are not scientific. The genuinely scientifii; sociology, 
wliicli iiiclu(]rs nil llie ideas, influences, ninvciuents, by 

1 'I'hr ('ontinnit>i of ('liriMinn Tlinnqfit, liy A. V. (!. Allcti. ]). 145. 


which society is formed, and gives to each its proper 
weight, must be the true sociology. If what is called 
" Christian sociology " does less or more than this it is not 
worth studying. The Christian student may, indeed, sUirt 
with the hypothesis that a complete induction will verify 
the Christian law, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God 
witli all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself." But his 
study ought to be pursued in a purely scientilic spirit, with 
a determination to observe all the facts and to give them 
their proper weight. Let us not be afraid to subject Chris- 
tianity to this test. It is simply the test of reality. If a 
careful and thorough investigation of the facts of existing 
society does not prove that the Kingdom of God is here 
in the world, does not clearly indicate that the law which 
Christ has given us is the true law of human society, then 
there is no good reason why any man should be a Christian. 
But if these things are so, then there is a reason for being 
a Christian that no sane man can gainsay. 

The minister's study is also liis oratory. It is the secret 
place where he communes, not only with those Avhom God 
has taught, but witli their Teacher. It is not necessary, 
it is even a kind of impertinence, to dwell ujion tlic im- 
portance of this secret communion. He who is not fully 
aware of it, not only has no right to preach tlie gospel, but 
lie is not likely to be convinced of its value by any word 
of man. "It may, however," says Dr. Faii-l)aii'n, "be laid 
ddw 11 as a general principle, that the wliolc of a miiiislcr's 
labors should be intermingled with meditation and prayer. 
He should never be simply a man of learning and study, 
for this itself may become a snare to liim ; it may even 
serve to stand between his soul and (Jod and nnisc asjjirit 
of worldliness in one of its most relined and subtle foi-nis. 
If h(,' l)e really a man of God, experience will teaili liini 
how much, even for success in study, he needs to be under 
the hal)itual dii'ection of (Jod's )iresenc(>. and to liave the 
direction of his s])irit. It will also teaili him Imw little 
he can jirevail, with the most careful pi-e])arations and ac- 
tive diligence, in regard to the great ends of the minisliy, 


without the special aid of the Holy Spirit ; how, when left 
to themselves, his most zealous efforts and best premeditated 
discourses fall to the ground ; yea, and how often, amid 
the comparatively great and orderly events of ministerial 
employment, he will himself err in counsel and do that 
which he shall have occasion to regret, unless he is guided 
by a higher wisdom and sustained by a stronger arm than 
his own. Continually, therefore, lias the true pastor to 
give himself to prayer ; his study should also be his pros- 
euche in which he daily holds communion, not only with 
the better spirits of the past and present through the 
written page, but with the Father of Spirits in the secret 
communications of his grace and love."^ 

" La priere," says the French apostle, " est n<jcessaire 
pour nous maintenir au vrai point de vue des choses qui 
nous cchappe toujours; pour gudrir les blessures de I'a- 
mour-propre et de la sensibilitd ; pour retremper le cou- 
rage ; pour pr^venir I'invasion toujours imminente de la 
paresse, de la frivolity, du relachement, de I'orgueil spirituel 
ou eccldsiastique, de la vanity de pr^dicateur, de la ja- 
lousie de mdtier. La priere resscmble a cet air si pur de 
certaines iles de I'ocdan, oii aucune vermine no pent vivre. 
Nous devons nous entourer de cette atmosphere, comme le 
plongeur s'entoure de sa cloche avant de descendre dans 
la mer." 2 

1 Pastoral Theology, p. 101. 

2 Viuet, The'ologie Pastorale, p. 123. 



Nothing which has been said in the preceding' chapters 
shoukl be interpreted as a disparagement of the teaching 
function of the Christian minister. This teaching, as we 
have seen, differs from some other kinds of teaching in 
being largely prophetic ; nevertheless it is teaching, the 
impartation of vitalized truth. The minister has other 
functions, as we have already seen, and shall hereafter 
more clearly see. Some of these functions were but 
slightly emphasized in the earlier treatises on Pastoral 
Theology ; the newer conception of the church in its rela- 
tion to the Kinsrdom brinofs them out in clearer lij^lit. 
Nevertheless the first and highest function of the Christian 
minister is that of preacher. 

The minister's throne is his pulpit; Avhen he abdicates 
that, to become an organizer of charities, or a purveyor 
of amusements, or a gossip in parlors and street-cars, the 
clerical profession will cease to hohl the place Avhich be- 
longs to it in the respect of men. A great mau}^ kinds of 
work are now expected of the minister, and some of them 
are of great importance ; but tlie minister makes a great 
mistake who permits his pulpit Avork to take a secondaiy 
place. Christ said that the one supreme purpose of liis 
mission to the world was tliat he miglit bear witness to 
the truth ; and tlie same must always be tlie liigh calling 
of the servant of Christ. To ])()ur unto tlie minds of men 
a steady stream of the truth wliicli rcvc;ils the Kin;_;(liini nf 
Cod; to keep the realities of the moral oidrr always be- 
fore their thought, — this is his oiu' great business. Men 
are saved from being conformed to this A\nrl(l only wlnn 
th(>y are transformed hi/ fhr rcncwinu of tJirir iiiiuii-<; ;in<l 
it is tlie minister's chief business to keep their minds will 


yupplied with the truth by which this transformation is 

In pointing out the main lines whieli the minister will 
follow in his studies, we have indicated the scope of his 
work as a preacher. If the problems of the soul and the 
prol)lems of the social order are the themes of his study, 
the interests of character, and the interests of the Kingdom 
of God will be the topics of his discourse. Let all things, 
said Paul, be done with a view to building. A symmet- 
rical and beautiful character is the temple of the Holy- 
Ghost ; a Christianized society is the city of God, the New 
Jerusalem, which is to stand in the latter day upon the 
earth. This temj)le and this city are the structures which 
the minister of Christ is called to build. 

Let us think, first, of his preaching as a message to the 
individual. It used to be said that the chief end of preach- 
ing is the salvation of souls. If these terms are rightly 
understood no fault can be found with them. A soul is a 
man ; and there can be no question that a great many men 
are in danger of Ijeing lost, and that all men are worth 
saving. The preaching that saves manliood, — that saves 
it from being frittered away in the frivolities of life ; from 
being consumed by the canker of avarice ; from being 
blasted by the mildew of idleness ; from being wrecked on 
the breakers of passion ; from being enervated by luxury ; 
from being crippled by the creeping paralysis of doubt, is 
a kind of preaching which the world -will always need. 
Tlie meaning which we put into the phrase is thus a little 
larger than that whicli once it carried ; for once it signi- 
fied very little more than getting men to a place of safety 
after death. It is now pretty generally believed that if a 
man is saved in Ihis Avord from selfislmess and animalism, 
and liate, and ])ride, and all the otlier evils that are de- 
stroying his manliood, there is no need to be anxious about 
his future welfare; wlhle any assurance of salvation in 
anotlier worl<l tliat lias no j)or('e])libh' innuciice uj)on liis 
life in tliis world is ))rol)ably (bdnsivc. 'I'lic minister is 
preaching, (lien, \n sunc hkmi, — to save IIhmh fi^nm sin and 
sorrow and shame ; lo save them from losses that are 


irreparable ; to save them for lives of honor and nobil- 
ity, and for the service of hunianit3\ The longer any 
earnest minister lives, the more deeply he will feel the 
need of such preaching as this, — the more earnestly he 
will long for the power to speak the persuasive word which 
shall turn men from the ways of death into the paths of 

No fault can be found, therefore, with the statement 
that a lai'ge part of the preacher's work is the conversion 
of men. That lias been the mission of preachers and 
prophets from the beginning. In all the ages they have 
been crying to purblind and deluded men, " Turn ye, turn 
ye, for why will ye die ? " That many of the men whom 
the preacher addresses from week to week are going in 
wrong directions is a palpable fact ; it is his business to 
show them whither their steps are tending, and to persuade 
them to turn. There are a great many people in all our 
congregations for whom there is no salvation but in a 
complete reversal of their general course of life ; and the 
squeamishness which withholds from them this salutary 
truth is worthy of the severest censure. 

The value of what is called evangelistic preaching is 
therefore clear; and it would seem that any preacher, 
whether he call himself orthodox or liberal, who expects 
to serve the ends of character in the most effective way 
will find that he must do a large amount of this kind of 
preaching. The question of life or death with many a 
man is simply whether he will break with his past life and 
take a fresh start; whether he will take steps which hi; 
himself recognizes as revolutionary; whether he will burn 
his bridges, and so openly and manfully commit himself to 
another way of life that there shall be no line of retreat 
left open to him. No matter what the minister's theology 
may be, he must face just such problems as tliis; and lie 
will do well to make his preaching confoiin to obvious 
psychological facts. 

The old prca(diers used to make a distinction between 
preaching tli(^ law and preaching the gosjx-l. V>y {\\v law 
they generally meant the penalties of the law; and by the 


gospel the promises of escape from these penalties. The 
matter does not shape itself in our minds exactly as it did 
in theirs, for we have come to see that the spiritual laws 
are natural laws ; that they are self-enforcing, and that 
the only way to get their penalties remitted is to stop dis- 
obeying them. But Christianity is, as it has always been, 
a law as well as a gospel ; and the importance of preaching 
the law is not fully comprehended by some of our most 
orthodox preachers. 

Law connotes both precept and penalty. The Christian 
precept, which is grounded in the nature of things, which 
is, indeed, a clear induction from the facts of human ex- 
perience, is summed up in this sublime generalization : 
" Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and 
soul and mind and strength, and thou shalt love thy 
neighbor as thyself." 

Thou shalt love thyself with a rational love ; with a love 
that prompts thee to seek the completion and fullilment of 
the nature with which thy Maker has endowed thee ; with 
a love that restrains thee from degrading and imbruting 

Thou shalt love thy neighbor with an equal love ; be- 
holding and honoring in him the same divine humanity 
which is thine own birthright ; interfering in no way with 
the development of his manhood, but helping him, with 
all wise ministries, to become what God meant him to be. 

Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, who is the Life of 
all that lives, the Source of all love, and the Archetype of 
all perfect ideals, with a supreme and perfect love. 

This is the Christian law which the minister is to preach 
with all good fidelity and patience, whether men will hear 
or forbear. ITo is to apply this law intelligently and un- 
compromisingly to all tlie interests of life ; he is to show 
men that this is indeed the way of life, and that there is 
no other safe way. Tie will find that it is a very compre- 
hensive law; he will slowly come to understand what the 
Psalmist meant when he said. '• Thy commandment is 
exceeding broad." 

The penalty of the law as well as its precept he is also 


to declare. As tlie lav/ is grouuded in the nature of things, 
its penalties are natural. They are simply the fruit of our 
own doings, — the effects of causes which we ourselves 
have set in motion. This is the fact which the preacher 
has to emphasize. The old forensic conceptions still hold 
sway over the majority of minds ; the notion that penalty 
is an arbitrary infliction winch waits to be visited upon the 
transgressor at some future assize, and that the judge who 
inflicts it is clement, and may easily be persuaded to remit 
it, — this is the popular idea with respect to the punish- 
ment of sin. One great ])art of the duty of the Christian 
teacher is to show men how immediate and inevitable are 
tlie consequences of evil doing ; how sure is the law of the 
spiritual harvest, that he who sows to the flesh will reap 

But there is a gospel as well as a law to preach, a gospel 
of forgiveness and salvation. That gospel is that there is 
love as well as law in the universe, and that love is the 
deepest fact in the universe, the foundation, indeed, of all 
law. For while the retiibutions of natural law can never 
be set aside, the infinite love is always seeking to restrain 
the sinner from the ways of disobedience, to lead him into 
the ways of life and peace, to re-enforce him in every struggle 
to overcome the evil, to redeem him from the bondage of 
corruption and to lead him into the glorious liberty of the 
children of God. And tlicre are also remedial forces which 
the divine love knows how to use, by which the damage 
wrought in our natures l)y sin may ])e repaired ; a blessed 
vis medicatrix, for tlie si)iritual nature, as well as for tlie 
physical, by which wounds may be healed and wasted 
powei-s restored. IIow it is that tliis saving inlliiciicc of 
the divine love finds its way into human hearts and lives 
is a mystery; all life is a mystery. Hut this is the one 
fact that Jesus came into the world to l)ear witness to and 
to make men believe, — that their Father in heaven loves 
them and knows how to lielp tliem in overcoming th(; evil ; 
that he can help them when they have lost the |io\vi r (o 
hell) themselves; that where their sin has alKiiindcd his 
grace can mueh more abound : thai (here is hope fur (he 


degraded, suecor for the tempted, life for the dying. This 
gospel has beeu told in a great many ways ; it has often 
been encumbered with all sorts of theological impedimenta ; 
but the substance of it has been the message of all the great 
preachers of all the ages, and the world needs it to-day 
as much as ever it did. It is the men who have a gos- 
pel to preach, and who know how to strip it of its glosses 
audits excrescences, and to bring the light and the joy and 
the hope of it home to human hearts, whom the hungry 
world hears to-day most gladly. A literary man of the 
present day bears a striking testimony to this truth. " Much 
Christian symbolism," he says, "is doubtless entirely fanci- 
ful ; but the great central symbols are as exactly records of 
fact as any proven scientific proposition. The dogma of 
Conversion, the New Birth, for example, is no mere figure 
of Mysticism, but a psychological fact daily illustrated in 
the lives of thousands of persons. The change is not ne- 
cessarily brought about by confessedly religious agencies ; 
most frequently it comes of the mysterious workings of 
natural love, — but by whatever chance influence it is set 
in motion, tlie fact of its daily occurrence is undeniable. A 
man is a brute to-day, and in a week's time, without any 
apparent cause, he is seen to be undergoing a mystical 
change ; a new light is in his face, and he is every way a 
new creature. This is no invention of Cluistianity, but 
simply a natural process which Christianity has included 
in its body of spiritual doctrine. . . . What also is tlie 
dogma that man cannot be ' saved ' of himself Init a 
recognition of the obvious fact that lie did not make him- 
self, and the resulting doctrine of Grace but a more im- 
pressive way of stating man's entire dependence for his gifts 
and liis fortunes on a power beyond his own control?" ^ 

liut the preacher has a message, not oidy for the individ- 
ual, but for the society in which he lives. The Gospel of 
the Kiiigdoin is also committed to him. The Gospel of 
the Kingdom I 'J'Ik; l)readth and length and depth and 
lieight of it are yet hiii imperfectly measured. A glorious 
gospel it is, lliough some have never heard it, that (iod is 

* The lieligion of a Literary Man, by Riclmrd Lc Galliennc, pp. 75-77. 


organizing on earth a clivine society ; that the New Jerusa- 
lem, whose walls are salvation and whose gates are praise, 
is rising here upon sure foundations ; that there is no need 
to say Lo here, or Lo there, because the Kingdom of God 
is among us I The power to discern this Kingdom ; to 
recognize the silent forces which are building it ; to inter- 
pret its legislation ; to identify liimself with it, heart and 
soul, is one of the characteristics of the scribe instructed 
unto the Kingdom. One of the facts that he needs to get 
most clearly fixed in his mind is tliat the Christ is rightly 
named, — that he is the King ; that he does give to human 
society its law ; that it is only when men learn to conform 
their political and industrial order to his teachings that 
they find peace and welfare. Christianity is not merely 
for Sundays and prayer-meetings, for closet and death-bed ; 
it is for shop and office, for counting-room and factory, 
for kitchen and drawing-room, for forum and council- 
chamber. Unless it has the power to rule all these multi- 
farious affairs of men it is less than nothing and vanity ; 
the sooner the world is done with it, the better. The main 
reason why it has failed, thus far, to gain the allegiance of 
the whole world is that its adherents have contented them- 
selves with claiming for it only a secondary and remote 
relation to human affairs. Grievously is Christianity dis- 
paraged when it is represented merely as a scheme for 
getting human beings safely out of this world. When men 
begin to compreliend tliat the law of love is not a senti- 
mcntul inaxiiii, but that it is wliat the apostle James has 
named it, the Uoyal Law, the supreme regulative princiitle 
of human society, and when they l)egin to make their 
business mid their politics conform to this law, tliey will 
discover tluit C'hristianity is not a failure. 

It is the business of the ministers and witnesses of Christ 
in the world to lift up his law into its rightful regnancy, 
and to ])reach tlie Gospel of his Kingdom. It is a (iiosj)cl, 
the; good news that the world needs to hear. The wliole 
creation groans and travails together until now, under the 
burden of strife and confusion which it has lieaped uj) for 
itself through the long ages of greed and force and compc- 



tition, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, — 
for the day when it shall appear that men are of divine 
origin, made to be ruled by a heavenly law ; and to this 
groaning world the tidings of one who is able to compose 
its strife and to hush its tumult ought to be welcome. 
Doubtless it may be hard to make the multitude believe 
the message, but that is no reason why the messenger 
should hesitate to speak it. And no man can tell how soon 
the day will come, when the meaning of it and the joy and 
glory of it shall burst upon the world with convincing 
power. For as the lightning cometh forth from the east, 
and is seen even unto the west, so shall be the coming of 
the Son of man. 

Such is the substance of the twofold message which tlie 
ministers of Christ are commissioned to deliver, — the word 
of salvation for the man, the gospel of the Kingdom of 

It would not be difficult to find, in the treatises upon 
Pastoral Theology, statements of the relation of the pastor 
and his message to the world outside the church which 
would not agree with the foregoing. It may be well to 
consider some of these statements. Vinet, in his classical 
treatise, puts the question thus : — 

" It remains to ask what, apart from his pastoral rela- 
tions, the pastor should be in his relations to general so- 
ciety. Does he belong only to his parish ? Does he belong 
only to religion ? " In the light of all that lias been con- 
tended for in this discussion we miglit answer at once, 
that the pastor does not need to go outside of his pastoral 
relations in order that he should be a very active force in 
general society. If the church is one of tlie organs of the 
social organism, vitally related to every part of it, then the 
pastoral relations to general society arc of the very closest 
and most influential character. Tlie question " Does he 
belong only to liis parish?" is much like tlie question, 
" Does the linger belong only to the hand, and not to tlie 
wliole body ? " Vinet is not wholly oblivious of this fact, 
for lie goes on : '' It appears at first thnt, as religion adopts 
the whole of human life in order to elevate it, the pastor 


\vho is the most perfect representative of religion ouglit, 
in the same degree, to be representative of human life. . . . 
We agree to all this, and we acknowledge that duties may 
vary M'ith times, but we must make the following reserva- 
tions. Keligion is a specialty. It embraces everything, 
but it is not everything ; it is itself. To connect itself 
usefully with the things of life it must separate itself from 
them. Cliristianity has been in no haste to mix itself with 
the leaven of tlie people, or, when it has done so, it has 
been dynamically, as a spirit. It should be the same with 
every individual. He must be well rooted at the centre 
to sj)read his shade over the circumference. Let the min- 
ister be first of all occupied with his own affairs ; let him 
be solely a Christian, and a minister ; as a consequence 
his branches will spread out and his beneficent shade ex- 
tend itself over all the affairs of society." ^ 

In a later paragraph Vinet makes his meaning a little 
clearer. " The minister may extend his ministry by con- 
ferring external advantages ; still when there are others 
to do this, let him confine himself to his calling. He may 
employ himself in agriculture when it is necessary, also 
in schools and in religious music ; but before everything 
he should be about his ministry. Nevertheless, when it 
is his duty to ait, as did Oberlin and Felix Neff, by all 
means let him do it without hesitation." ^ 

With this compare the quaint words of old George Her- 
bert: "The Country Parson is full of all knowledge. 
They say it is an ill mason that refuseth any stone ; and 
there is no knowledge but in a skilful hand serves either 
positively as it is, or else to illustrate some other knowl- 
edge. He condescends even to the knowledge of tillage 
and pasturage, and makes great use of them in leaching, 
because people Ijy what they understand are l)est led to 
what they understand not."'' 

Two (lU('stif)ns are here suggested. Whether a min- 
ister should make himself familiar witli i)i-aetical alTairs, 
so that lie may inshuct his peoph; and set them a good 

1 TliO)li,<iie. Pdstonilr, pp. Kil), 170. - /hi, I., 170. 

" The Counliy Parson, tliaj). iii. 


example in their trades and their domestic life, as Ober- 
lin and Felix Neff did, is one question. Doubtless this 
is one of the duties of many a missionary; and it may 
easily be that practical skill of this kind would often add 
to the influence of ministers on the frontiers, and in the 
rural parishes. Nevertheless, the counsel of Vinet is sound, 
as a general rule, that the minister had better not try to 
be a jack at all trades ; his function is that of the spiritual 
leader, and not the business counsellor. 

What Herbert says respecting the value of such prac- 
tical knowledge for purposes of illustration is obvious 
enough. Analogies are not always proofs, but they help 
wonderfully to let in the light. None who sit at the feet 
of the great Teacher will fail to understand this. The 
common men who listened to Jesus were astonished at his 
doctrine, because he showed them the truth of the spirit 
mirrored in the life with which they were familiar. Jkit 
the minister's business is not only to find proofs of spiritual 
law in the natural world, it is also his business to make 
the spiritual law regnant in the natural world ; to show 
how all the realms of life must be brought under the domi- 
nation of the principles of Christianity ; and if this is his 
task the kind of separation for which Vinet, in some of the 
sentences above, seems to be pleading is not possible. And 
yet what Vinet has said about specialization contains a 
truth, as we have seen.^ The confusion of the thouglit 
arises from the failure to distinguish between specializa- 
tion and separation, in the inability to see that the special- 
ization of functions does not imply any separation of life^ 
but rather a vital union with each other of the parts thus 
sj)ccialized. The organic conception of society clears up 
all these confusions. One cannot, in these days, be "solely 
a Christian and a minister," any more than the liand can 
be solely a hand, or the eye solely an eye. Tlie life of the 
body is in all the organs of the body; and eacli nf llicm 
ministers to all the rest, and finds its b'fc and its iicaltli in 
the life and health of the whole. All this, Vinet liiiu- 
self did not fail to sec, for in otiier sentences following 

^ Chap. ii. 


those quoted he states with much clearness the essential 
trutlis for Avhich we are here contending. " In short," he 
says, " let us not condemn beforehand all extension of the 
ministr}-, nor undertake to define its limit ; we think that, 
when the times call for it, it is capable of an indt'linite 
extension ; but these times have their signs which it is 
necessary to attend to and understand." ^ And again, in a 
student's report of a later lecture of Vinet appended to 
Skinner's translation of the Hieologie Pastorale^ is this 
weighty counsel : " In a wider sense we may say that the- 
ology attracts all to itself, that it subordinates to itself all 
the sciences, and receives from them their tribute. And 
without disputing as to the word ' theology,' consider that 
there is not a development of the human mind which does 
not eitlier benefit or injure religion. As it borders on every- 
thing so everything borders on it. It must embrace all 
life, under penalty, if it does not, of being banished from it. 
This is true now more than ever. Our time, notwithstand- 
ing its chaotic aspects, is still a time of organization. 
Piety only can organize the world, and to he organized the 
ivorld must he hnoiun. Preaching, accordingly, that of the 
world and of books, must undergo some modification. The 
minister must know many things, not to be cumbered by 
thorn, but to serve himself of them with reference to the 
one thing needful. The more we sift everything, the more 
we shall be able to bring into captivity every thought to 
the obedience of Christ. The great awakenings have all 
l)een ])romoted by science. The Keformcrs were the learned 
men of their age. Unenlightened men have never suc- 
ceeded in anything." 2 

Here, surely, is the gist of the wluiU' uialler. AVe need 
ask for the pulpit no wider scope than that which Vinet 
here concedes to it. We must not say that all tiuth comes 
Avitliin the proper purview of the javaehcr. ThiMe are 
whole realms of science and art and industry and finance 
with whic'h he is not called directly to (K-al ; he is not 
commissiouiMl to investigate the propeilies and hiws of 

1 Chap. ii. p. 17.3. 

'^ Thvoloijie Pastorulf, Skiniirr's traiislalion, p. V12. 


matter, nor to teacli men how to plough or weave or build ; 
it is only when these interests and occupations come into 
direct relation to the interests of cliaracter that he has any 
concern with them. He has no call to instruct the manu- 
facturer as to what kind of machinery he shall put into his 
mill ; but he has a very loud call to study the human rela- 
tions which exist between the manufacturer and his men, 
because in these relations character is deeply affected on 
both sides, and the interests of the Kingdom are vitally 

As emphasizing the prophetic remark of the French 
teacher quoted above, respecting the extension of the min- 
istry for which the times may call, take these serious words 
of one who lately fell, greatly lamented, upon the threshold 
of his work as a teacher of teachers : " Industrial changes, 
added to the change of population, have modified our social 
customs, individual habits, ways of thought. The frame- 
work of society is subtly altered. Interests are isolated, 
men have grown apart, a common feeling is lost, mutual 
indifference succeeds, classes are strongly marked and 
separated. The simple conditions of the past are gone ; 
relations grow strained ; new social problems arise ; ethical 
questions become multiplied and complex. Differences in 
thought and life growing out of differences of inheritance, 
birth, training, and association are not lightly overcome. 
Men misunderstand one another, and a common standard 
is lost, . . . The church cannot remain untouched by these 
changes all around her ; she must hear and heed the call 
of each new occasion. If her members grow lethargic, it is 
the pnstor's task to awaken them, and set more clearl}^ be- 
fore their eyes the duties of to-day. In each community, 
along all lines of modern movement, in society, business, 
politics, the higlicst Clnistian principle, as already under- 
stood, needs to be made effective and paramount by the 
influence of an aroused, united church. Religious prol)- 
lems, also more complex than in other days, demand for 
tlieir solution larger intelligence and charity, sympatliy 
and patience. The diverse elements in every church, all 
ages and all classes, must be not simply harmonized, but 

rULl'lT AN1> ALTAll 119 

lifted into some Lroader union, knit together as members 
of one body, by diverse yet mutual service. Organization, 
so potent a factor in all our work to-day, must be extended 
here, and informed with life, until the church has brought 
her special blessing near the whole community and home 
to every heart.^ 

Having thus determined what the general trend of the 
minister's teaching must be, we may attend to certain prac- 
tical questions concerning his administration of the truth. 

Whether and to what extent questions of casuistry 
should be discussed in the pulpit is an interesting inquiry. 
That the pulpit should clearly inculcate the principles of 
good conduct is unquestioned. " Let the business of your 
sermons be," says Jeremy Taylor, "• to preach holy life, 
obedience, peace, love among neighbors, hearty love, to 
love as the old Christians did and the new should ; to do 
hurt to no man, to do good to every man ; for in tliese 
things the honor of God consists, and the Kingdom of the 
Lord Jesus." ^ But George Herbert counsels an applica- 
tion of the Christian law to life which is nmch more specific. 
In his description of the Country Parson he says : " He 
greatly esteems also cases of conscience, wherein he is 
much versed. And, indeed, herein is the greatest ability 
of a parson, to lead his people exactly in the ways of truth, 
so that they neither decline to the right hand nor to the 
left. Neither, indeed, does he think these a slight thing. 
For every one hath not digested when it is a sin to take 
something for money lent, or when not ; when it is fault to 
discover another's fault, and when not ; when the affection 
of the soul in desiring and procuring increase of means or 
honor be a sin of covetousness, and when not; wlieu tlie 
aj)petites of the body in eating, diinking, slecj) and tlie 
pleasure that comes from slec[) be sins of gluttony, drunk- 
enness, sloth, lust, and when not; and so in many cir- 
cumstances of action. Now if a shepherd know not wiiich 
grass will ])anc, and which not, liow is \n\ tit to be a sliop- 
heid? Wherefore the parson hath thoroughly canvassed 

' 'I'lif Christian Minislri/, l)y 'I'licodorc C rcasc, pp. .'Jl—'II. 
- " Advice to Clergy," in 'J'/ic VIcnji/ man's Instructor, j). Jtii. 


all the particulars of human actions, at least all those 
which he observeth are most incident to the parish." ^ 

Such a statement seems forcible, and yet it may be ques- 
tioned Avhether the Christian teacher would wisely under- 
take to discuss, with much fulness, the details of human 
conduct. The New Testament method seems to be the 
enforcement of general principles, rather than i)ractical 
rules. The Book of Leviticus in the New Testament, so 
strongly desiderated Ijy one strenuous character, does not 
ap2)ear to have been written. It is, however, difficult to 
enforce principles without giving some illustrations of their 
working. The preacher must not be so abstract that no- 
body shall understand him. Sometimes it is clearly neces- 
sary to make a definite application of Christian principles 
to the affairs of common life. Especially in these days, 
when a new system of industry has completely revolu- 
tionized human relations, the bearing of the Christian law 
upon the new conditions needs to be carefully explained. 

The question as to the right division of the word of 
truth between the interests that are more personal and 
spiritual and those that are more public and social is some- 
times difficult. The pulpit that becomes nothing but a 
platform for the discussion of sociological questions soon 
loses its power ; the pulpit which I'eflects only a cloistered 
piety is of little use in this generation. The problem is to 
fuse a genuine faith with a broad philanthropy ; to keep 
the people in the closest fellowship with God and with 
their neighbors; to lill the hours of the life that now is 
w itli the power of an endless life. He who seeks to s[)irit- 
ualize the whole of life must have the power to In-ing 
home to men the things of the sjjirit; and liis ministry 
must be one that sliall make real to liis jx'oplc the power 
of prayer, the reality of faith. How lu' shall or(l(>r liis 
ministrations so that neither oi' these interests shnll lie 
neglected is a serious problem for every minister. Tliere 
can be no hard and fast rule for this matter, l)ut it may 
sometimes be well to devote the morning services to themes 
more closely relating to tlie ])ei'sonal life, and llie eveii- 

1 C'ountri/ J'arniin, (.'li!i]>. v. 


ing to a wider application of Christian principles, or to 
the discussion of sul)jects germane to the progress of the 
kingdom of heaven. 

In America, at least, the problem of the evening service 
is one of considerable difficulty. In England and Scot- 
land the embarrassments seem to be less ; the churches 
there are fairly well attended at the second service. On 
the continent of Europe, many of the Protestant churches 
appear to have abandoned the evening service; and the 
tendency is strongly in this direction in America. In 
most of our churches the service is thinly attended, and 
the question of its maintenance weighs heavily on the 
minds of the pastors. Where it has not been abandoned, 
various devices have been resorted to for increasing the 
congregation, — praise services, musical services, spectacu- 
lar services with lanterns, and such like. One despairing 
pastor, of one of the larger cities, has lately grasped at the 
device of employing young lady ushers as bait to catch the 
young men. It would not be diflicult to hit upon a less 
objectionable method. If the great concern is to get the 
young men into the church, a free luncheon Avith liquid 
refreshments would be more effectual and less indecent. 

It nmst be admitted that all the plans for increasing the 
evening cr)ngregation which have the tendency to turn 
the church into a place of amusement are of doubtful 
utility. Hie churches cannot compete in the amusement 
line witli the Sunday tlieatres ; and Avhcn tlie chui-clies 
admit that Sunday evening uiay Ix' [)r()pcrly devoted to 
anuisement, their congregations will resort to the theatres. 
In all conscience it must be allowed tliat tlie jicople of our 
cities — the Cliristian people even — have amuseniciit, 
enough on the other six days, and are in no nianitVst ntid 
of amusement on Sunday evenings. The ;iLti.iu[)t to make 
the services attractive, therefore, in tlie sense of making 
tlii'tn amusing or diverting, is, to say tlic least, a mistaken 
policy. Nor is the plan of making tlieiii (i.rtiatinillii at- 
tractive any more legitimate'. The s(M\iee of the eliureh 
onglit to be decorous and beautiful. " l>i't the beauty of 
till- Lord our (Jod be upon us," is always an ap[)rojiiiate 


prayer for the Lord's house. But the element of beauty is 
always to be kept in strict subordination to the ethical and 
spiritual elements ; it is not to the aesthetic nature that the 
services of the church make their appeal ; and the moment 
it becomes evident that pleasure, no matter of how refined 
a sort, has been exalted in these services above serious 
thought, the power and the glory of the churcli are gone. 

It must be said, therefore, that the minister makes a 
serious mistake who seeks to furnish men diversion on any 
part of the Lord's day. The church may, under certain 
circumstances, be called on other days of the week to be a 
purveyor of amusement ; but the use of its Sunday ser- 
vices for this purpose is notliing less than the prostitution 
of a high office. 

There is no reason, however, why the evening service 
may not be made deeply interesting, and, in a strong sense 
of the word, attractive, without appealing to the love of 
diversion. There are plenty of themes which the minis- 
ter, in his public teaching, can make interesting. Most 
men are thoroughly interested in the social questions of 
the day ; they are, indeed, the burning questions ; and all 
these questions have, as we have seen, a spiritual side ; 
character is profoundly affected by them ; the coming of 
the kingdom of God depends upon the answer we give to 
them. The discussion of these questions from this point 
of view is, therefore, tlie minister's business. The applica- 
tion of the Christian law to the solution of these ques- 
tions is good work for Sunday evening ; and such work as 
this will be found legitimately attractive, especially to 
men, who are apt to be in a small minority in our Sunday 
congregations. The labor question, in all its moral as- 
pects ; the questions of poverty and pauperisui ; llie tivat- 
ment of the criminal classes; the question of the public 
Ileal th, especially as it relates to the welfare of the people 
living in neglected districts; the (lucstiou of cducatiou, 
with'particular rcfci'eiice to its effects upon chiiracter; the 
Hilation of nuiiiicipal government to jiublic morality; tlie 
ctliical bearings of jiolitical mcasui-cs and methods, — all 
sufh t(.i)ics as lliese, if liiey arc intelligently and temper- 


ately treated, \v\\\ a[)peal strongly to tlioiightfiil men and 

Objection is sometimes made to the discussion of these 
topics in the pulpit on the ground that they are mere 
secularities. Two classes of people make these objections, 
— those who hold the old notion that religion is mainly 
concerned with another world, and those who do not wish 
to know what are the applications of the Christian law to 
the business of this life, because they fear that it would 
interfere with their gains or pleasures. Such objections 
constitute the strongest justification of this kind of preach- 
ing. The pulpit may, indeed, be secularized; but it is 
not secularized so much by the kind of topics treated as 
by the manner of their treatment. Jesus dealt, in his 
teaching, with many common things, — seed-sowing, fish- 
ing, bread-making, — but his teaching was not secularized 
thereby. One can treat the doctrine of justification by 
faith in such a way as thoroughly to secularize it ; it has 
been so treated thousands of times in the pulpit; it has 
been represented primarily as a commercial transaction; 
the spiritual element has been virtually eliminated from it. 
On the otlier hand, one can preach upon the wages ques- 
tion in such a way as thoroughly to spiritualize it; the 
divine elements entering into this relation may be so pre- 
sented that masters and men may sec in it something sac- 
ramental. "The discussion of doctrine, the determining 
of duty," says Dr. George Hodges, " may be no more relig- 
ious than the transactions of the Stock Exchange ; the 
distinction between the sacred and the secular dors not 
depend on the subjects that men talk aluiut, nor on the 
places where men meet to talk about them, nor on the 
})i'ofession or the position of the debaters. An election is 
not made sacred by the fact that the ])eoi)le are voting for 
a bishop, nor is it made secular l)y the tact ilial tlic people 
are voting for a congressman. A good many political 
speeches have been really more religions llian a good 
many sermons." ^ It is of course the spirilual side of 
all tliese (jnestions that the niinister is to ])reseiit ; he is 

1 Chrislianili/ betivcvn Sutulai/s, \> 17 1 


to show how the Christian law bears upon these problems ; 
he is to indicate the way in which a Christian man will 
act when confronted by them. The idea that the Chris- 
tian pulpit is secularized by such uses of it is a singular 
misconception. "There is a social psychology," says 
Vinet, " as there is a social physiology. It forms part of 
the domain which we have just opened to the preacher. 
Nothing is more natural and more easy than to connect 
all providential institutions with the idea of God ; to 
show, for example, that from the beginning of the Bible 
and of the world, God was the Founder of society and of 
civilization by the almost simultaneous institution of the 
family^ of the Word of laiv and of labor. These objects, 
which are very much neglected, and which at the same 
time give a sort of religious shock to the hearers, are 
comprehended in the preceding one. In truth, institu- 
tions, manners, and, with them, industry, arts, civilization, 
multiform developments, flow from human nature. All 
truth leads to truth. Christ, without doubt, is the centre 
of all truth; but to show that Christ is the centre, 
we must speak of the circle, and of the most remote 
circumference." ^ 

It is quite true that preaching of this kind makes some 
unusual demands upon the intelligence of the minister. 
To speak instructively upon topics of this nature requires 
careful study and close observation. A minister may 
easily lose the respect of thoughtful men l)y his treat- 
ment of sucli themes. There is good reason, therefore, 
wliy much time sliould be given, in studies prepara- 
tory for tlic ministry, to subjects of this class. In many 
of the theological seminaries they have recently been in- 
troduced, and the proportion of time given to them miglit 
profitably be increased. 

The relation of such discourses to tlic ])i'ol)lciii of tlic 
evening service is the s])ecial point now iiiidci' discussion ; 
and the sum of what is to !»' said about it is lliis: that 
the minister who deals with these themes wisely and intel- 
ligently, never forgetting liis divine commission, always 

' Homiletics, jiarl i., section i., cliaii. ii. 


keeping the spiritual values and the laws of the Kingdom 
of God clearly in view, will be obeying, in this, the com- 
mand to make good proof of his ministry. 

Events are frequently occurring the significance of 
which may be profitably impressed upon the hearer. If 
God is now in his world every day, the things that are 
happening here should be of some importance to those 
who witness them. There may easily be a straining after 
the novel and the sensational in such presentations, but 
there can be no worse sensationalism than that which is 
often exhibited in the treatment of Scripture texts. The 
sensationalism is not in the subject, it is in the mind of 
the preacher. Regeneration may be treated in a perfectly 
sensational fashion, and the financial panic may furnish 
the theme of a reverential and earnest sermon. 

" Connecting general truths," says Vinet, " with certain 
and well known facts is doubtless a means of reanimating 
general truth, and, on the other hand, it is giving to parti- 
cular facts, which are often misjudged or unobserved, the 
form of instruction. If the preacher may say God in- 
structs us by events (God also preaches occasional ser- 
mons) why should he adopt the absurd inference that he 
ought never to speak of events? Undoubtedly, indeed, 
the substance of preaching is not that which is transient, 
it is that which does not pass away; but this does not 
imply that we deprive it of this cliaracter by using it to 
connect with passing events truths Avhicli do not pass 
away. The hearer brings into the temple all the sinall 
money of his particular impressions that it may become 
history. He wlio preaches in this manner, lliat is to say, 
in the spirit which generalizes the particular, wliuli eter- 
nizes the temporary, may discours(! of circumstances. We 
forltid it to the man who only regards it as a means of 
sliimihitin'^- our dull curiosity.** ' 

()llicr lilies of |iiil]iil work may be found useful tor 

this jiinposc. IlistoiN has fi-uitful lessons foi- ihc wise 

preacher. The great events which have signalized the 

presence in the world of tliat '• I'ower, not ourselves, that 

1 Uoniilitics, p. 8.') ; Skiiiucr's triiiislatiou. 


makes for righteousness," may furnish good themes of 
Sunday evening discourses. It is of great importance to 
present, now and then, such careful pictures of the life of 
those "good old times" to which pessimists are always 
harking back, and of the people then called saints, as shall 
make evident the progress of God's kingdom in the Avorld. 
The best course of lectures upon the Evidences of Chris- 
tianity that any minister could preach would be a course 
which traced in outline the history of law and govern- 
ment, of family life, of social life, of industry and trade, 
of language and literature, of philosophy and religion, 
through the Christian era, showing, by representative 
facts, picked up all along the ages, how the etliical stand- 
ards have been steadily but surely rising in all these 
departments, and how very inferior, morall}*, were those 
" good old times " to the times in which we live. 

The preacher should lay hold on the help of the great 
poets. It may be plausibly asserted that the best theolo- 
gian of the nineteenth century is Alfred Tennyson. Brown- 
ing is a more subtle analyst of the soul, but his ethical 
intuitions are less sure. Wordsworth may almost be called 
the leader in this age of tlie intellectual movement which 
has banished a dismal deism, and restored the living 
God to his world. Lo^^■cll and Longfellow and Whittier 
have all expressed, in words that will not die, many of the 
deepest truths of the spiritual realm. Studies of these 
and other poets wlin liave made these greatest themes 
their own, bringing out the testimony which they liave 
borne to the spiritual laws, and pointing out what may 
appear to be marks of disproportion and defect in their 
message as preachers may, with skilful handling, be very 
instructive. A more impressive statement of the su])lime 
prol)ability of the Incarnation it would be dil'licult to 
iind than some passages in Browning's " Saul," or the 
closing words of " The I'^pistle of Karshish." The best 
that man can say about immortality is said in Tennyson's 
" Wages," while liis poem "The Iliglicr Pantheism" puts 
into words tliat cannot be forgotten tliat trulli of the 
immanence of God which is leading iu the Jiew era. 


Most fruitful of all these lines of study, as we have 
seen already, is Biography. It is the living epistle that 
has in it the power of God and the wisdom of God. Life 
is the light of men ; it was in the beginning, is now, and 
ever shall be. Careful studies of the great characters of 
the Bible, male and female, putting each of them into his 
environment and illustrating through them the laws of 
conduct and the rise of the ethical standards, will be 
found prolitable. Great historical personages, like Con- 
stantine and Hildebrand and Savonarola and Wiclif and 
Huss and Luther and Cromwell and Wesley and Chan- 
ning, offer luminous lessons. 

The legitimacy of such topics will be made manifest by 
their proper treatment. If the ethical and spiritual pur- 
pose do but control the preacher, they will commend 
themselves to the most devout of his hearers. A minister 
whose main pui-pose is to amuse his audience would, of 
course, make very unprofitable use of themes like these. 
So would ]ie make an unprofitable use of any proposition 
of dogmatic t]ieolog3\ A man whose strongest motives 
are artistic or literary might also present such subjects in 
a way that would do little good. But the true preacher, 
the man who is seeking in these events, these characters, 
these testimonies of the spirit, for some word of God which 
he can bring home to the hearts of his hearers, may make 
them serve the higliest purposes in a very effective way. 
If all life is to be sanctified, such an ethical and spiritual 
criticism of events, characters, creations of art, would 
seem to be imperative. Discourses of this character dis- 
cover tliesc essential spiritual truths in regions of life 
where their presence had not been suspected by tlie aver- 
age hearer, and help liim to understand liow pervasive 
and universal are tlie principles of Christianity. 

These suggestions are offered, primarily, :is bearing 
upon tlie ])V()bh^m of tlio Sunday evening service. Tliey 
are not, iiuk^ed, limited in their ajiplication, l)ut inasmuch 
as the maintenance of this service has l)een fdund (iitli- 
cult, there may be more wiUingness to consider methods 
of this nature in connection with it. In short, it may bo 


said that the modern minister, who will put his mind into 
his work, can make his Sunday evening ministrations 
interesting and attractive in the highest sense, without 
worshipping the idols of the theatre, or pandering in the 
least degree to the craving for diversion. It will take 
work, hard work, to treat effectively such themes, but 
such work greatly strengthens the preacher's influence 
among thinking men. The only way to maintain the 
pulpit in the rank and dignity that belong to it is to hold 
it steadily to its own highest purpose. 

A question of some practical importance relates to the 
uniform use of a text from the Bible in pulpit chscourse. 
If the subject is some current event, or some modern 
personality, shall a text of Scripture alwaj^s be taken as 
the foundation of the discourse ? 

Most of the authorities in Iiomilctics are emphatic in 
saying that no minister should ever speak in the pulpit 
without founding his remarks upon some passage of Holy 
Writ. It is the minister's function, they say, to explain 
and enforce the truth of the Bible ; the word which he 
speaks has authority over men because it is not his Avord, 
but the word of God; it is therefore a tactical blunder, 
to say nothing worse, for him to divorce his message from 
this source of authority, and give it in his own name. 
" Preach the Word," it is said, is the minister's conunis- 
sion ; and there is nothing for him to do as a public 
teacher but to expound the truth of the Bible. There is 
no need that he sliould exceed his commission. Tliero is 
truth enough in the Bible to cover every j)art of tlie realm 
of human conduct; and the minister will never l)e at a 
loss to find a text to fit any message wliicli lie is called 
to deliver. 

Tlion^ is iiuicli force in these suggestions, and yet they 
come a little short of the entire truth. The minister is 
called to preach the Word of God, but we have no 
warrant Inr identifying the Word of God with the Scrip- 
tures of the Old and New Testaments. 'I'iiese contain 
a most precious portion of tlie Word of God, but by no 
means the whole of it. Other Avords of God, of the very 



last importance, are found outside the Bible. Through 
the whole course of history God has been revealing him- 
self to men ; he has never left himself without a witness 
in the world; and we do not well to ignore all these 
manifold revelations. It is doubtless true tliat we can 
generally find some passage of Scripture which we can 
connect with the present revelation; and a great deal 
of ingenuity has been exercised in making such adapta- 
tions. But it is a question Avhether this straining 
after accommodations of biblical words to the events of 
to-day adds any impressiveness to the teaching of Provi- 
dence, or any sanctity to the old Revelation. It is often 
painfully evident that a text has been dragged in by the 
hair of the head; that its relation to the discourse is of 
the most artificial nature. The Bible is not honored 
when it is treated in this way. Professor Phelps gives 
several illustrations of this manner of using texts, some 
of which he mildly approves. " Professor Park," he tells 
us, " once preached a sermon on the value of theological 
seminaries upon the text, ' That the soul be Avithout 
knowledge, it is not good.' .... From the text, Prove 
all things, hold fast that which is good,' the late Pro- 
fessor Edwards once preached a discourse on the state 
of the Roman Catholic religion in Italy. On the follow- 
ing Sabbath, in the same pulpit, a sermon from the same 
text was preached on education societies. Some years 
ago, on the occasion of a famine in Ireland, a charity 
sermon was preached in Boston from the text, ' I saw 
the tents of Cushan in allliction.' A Sal)bath-Sfho()l mis- 
sionary preached a discouise in Iviclimoiid, soiiu; years 
ago, on the text, 'The licld is tlu' wdild." The object 
of the sermon was to give some inlVtriuation ri'specting 
the estal)lishment of Sabbalh-scliools in Minnesota. Tlie 
result \\as the request for tlic sum of t wcnU-livc doJlMrs 
for a Sabbath-school liln-ary.'"' I [oniilL'tical acrobatics of 
this sort are at least of (loul)tful propriety. Nor does there 
appear to be any good reason why, if there is a famine in 
Ireland, and the minister tliinks it good to speak about it. 

' riip Theori/ fif fn aching, Icct. \s.. 


he should not do so, without hunting u[) some Scripture 
text, more or less pertinent, to tack his remarks upon. 
The event is the proper text ; his business is to draw the 
Word of God out of that, and bring it home to the hearts 
of men. 

If the examples of biblical preaching are consulted, they 
will afford very little warrant for the modern theory that 
a minister must always speak from a text of Scripture. 
Several of Christ's discourses are reported, and not one of 
them is founded on a text. In the most considerable and 
formal of them he mentions several texts only to repeal 
and set aside the maxims they contain. The teacliings of 
Christ were almost always founded on events which were 
happening before his eyes ; on similitudes drawn from 
facts and laws of nature ; on the circumstances of daily 
life. The same thing is true of the preaching of the 
apostles. Stephen's address before the Sanhedrin is a 
rdsumd of Hebrew history, but it is not the exposition of 
a text. Peter's sermon on the day of Pentecost is a recita- 
tion of current history, into which Scripture is woven for 
illustrative purposes, but it is neither an expository nor 
a topical sermon. We have several of Paul's discourses, 
and none of them was preached from a biblical text. On 
the Areopagus, before the Athenian philosophers, he took 
for his text an inscription which he liad just found on a 
heathen altar. The modern homilctical rules are not 
drawn from biblical models. 

Tliat the minister should speak God's word, and not 
his own, seems to some persons to be an end of contro- 
versy on this question. But what minister, let us ask, for 
a moment imagines that he has any word of his own to 
speak ? Any teacher who should intimate tliat his doc- 
trine was his own peculiar possession, a nostrum of his 
own concoction, Avould at once write himself down a char- 
latan. 7\11 truth is of God, and should be spoken revei- 
ently l)y tliose who fear liim, and l)oldly by those Avho trust 
in him. The fact that a preacher does not take a text 
must not be considered as a sign that he does not wish an<l 
intend to declare tlic truth f)f God. 

PULPIT A.Nl) ALTAll 131 

The liomik'tieal teachers are not all agreed upon tlie 
proposition that the Scripture text is indispensable. " I 
do not," says the prince of them all, "regard the use 
of a text as essential to pulpit discoui-se. What gives a 
Christian character to a sermon is not the use of a text, 
but the spirit of the preacher. A sermon may be Chris- 
tian, edifying, instructing, without containing even one 
j)assage of Holy Scripture. It may be very biblical with- 
out a text, and with a text not biblical at all. A passage 
of Scripture has a thonsand times served as a passport for 
ideas that were not in it ; and we have seen preachers 
amusing themselves, as it were, by prefixing to tlieir com- 
position very strong biblical texts for the sake of the pleas- 
ure of emasculating them. We have witnessed a formal 
immolation of the Divine Word. When the text is only 
a deceptive signal, when a steeple surmounts a playhouse, 
it would doubtless be better to remove the signal and 
throw down the steeple." ^ And one of the great German 
writers, Klaus Harms, is even more positive : " ^Nlay we be 
permitted to ask if preaching on texts is founded as much 
in reason as on custom? May we venture to express the 
opinion that the theme and the text approach each other 
only in order to their mutual exclusion of each other; 
that a theme does not need a text, and that a text does 
not need a theme ? May we dare even to say that the 
usage of preaching from a text has done injur}', not only 
to the perfection of preaching as an art, but to Christian 
knowledge also, and what is yet more serious, to the 
Christian life?"- Vinet, in commenting upon this passage 
of Harms, is inclined to iidmit its truth, I>ut sucli a 
sweeping condemnation of tlie practice is <iuite as far 
from the ti'uth as is tlie insistence U[)on it as in all cases 
indispensable. For, after all is said, the I)ible must be 
to every ])reacher the JJook of religion. All llie central 
facts and prin(ni)lcs with which he deals aic there, and 
some of the most central of them are nowhere else, lie 
who is himself Tlic Word is there revealed. ills life and 

' ViiU't's Ifumilctirs, pari i., sorl. i., ilia]), iii. 
^ I'astoniltheoloijie, vol. i., |). O'l. 


his words must be the one great theme of the preacher. 
The exposition and enforcement of the truth as it is in 
Jesus is his high calling. Most sermons of a devout and 
studious minister are apt to grow directly out of some 
portion of this written revelation. There need be no hard 
and fast rule about it ; but this will be the natural con- 
sequence of the kind of study and devotion required of 
every faithful minister of Christ. 

A practical question for the busy pastor of this genera- 
tion is whether or not sermons may be repeated. It has 
been the custom of the great preachers to repeat the same 
sermon very often. Whitefield had comparatively few ser- 
mons ; Mr. Moody repeats the same wherever he goes ; 
the same has been true of all the great evangelists ; and 
when the polity provides for an itinerant ministry this is 
undoubtedly the general rule. But the repetition of the 
sermon to the same congregation presents a somewhat 
different (question. Even here, however, some great ex- 
amples warrant a judicious repetition, at sufficient intervals, 
of sermons carefully prepared. " Dr. Chalmers," saj's 
Bisliop Carpenter, " was fond of preaching his old sermons. 
He did so openly, giving notice of his intention; but tlio 
crowds still came to liear from his lips even sermons whicli 
were in print." ^ ]>isliop Phillips Brooks often preached 
old sermons, and the piles of manuscript and notes in tlic 
closets of most of the great preachers would be found 
bearing inscriptions of numerous dates and places. There 
seems to be no good reason wliy a sermon, which embodies 
important thought, which has cost the preacher many liours 
of painful labor, and Avhich embodies, perhaps, the reflec- 
tion and experience of a lifetime, should not be given 
more than once to the same congregation. Congregations 
are constantly changing, and many will hear it on the 
second deliver}' who did not hear it on the first. And it 
is safe to siiy that, after an interval of five years, not one 
in one liiiiHlnd of the regular congregation would clearly 
recall even such sermons as those of Pliilli])S Brooks. A 
stranger hearing the preaclier once would be more apt to 

' [jfctiiri X nn Prrarhini/, ]). 0. 



remember the text aiul some portions of the sei'mon ; those 
who hear him reguUirly, and who are accnstomed to liis 
modes of jjresentation, would be much less likely to retain 
the form of the presentation dehnitel}' in their memory. 
But it seems rather absurd to suppose that, even if the 
sermon were remembered, no good could be derived from 
it by the auditor who heard it the second time. Those 
of us who possess the printed sermons of Robertson or 
Brooks or Mozley or Bushnell, are not, probably, con- 
tented with reading them once. Sucli sermons as Brooks's 
"The Light of the World," or "The Bread of Life," — as 
^lozley's " The Unspoken Judgment of Mankind," or 
" Our Duty to Equals," — as Bushnell's "Unconscious Liflu- 
ence," or " Every Plan's Life a Plan of God," — as Kobert- 
son's "God's Revelation of Heaven," or "Elijah," — have 
been read over by many of us, not once, but scores of 
times ; we have gone back to them, not because we had 
forgotten them, but because we remembered them, and 
desired to bring the truth wliich they contained once more 
into vital relations to our own souls. If printed sermons 
may be read many times over with profit by the most intel- 
ligent Christians, it is probable that a good sermon might 
be preached more than once with no detriment to the 
same congregation. The young woman who liad "ivad 
Browning once," and therefore did not care to read him 
any more, is the type of a class wlio would l)e troubled 
l)y hearing a second time a good sermon. It is often 
true that a sermon five or ten yeai-s old contains a truth 
whicli is specially })ertiiu'nt to tlie congregation in its 
present condition, — mon^ pertinent, perhaps, than wlicn it 
was iirst written. I'iici'e are circunistanccs wliidi make 
it specially applicable at the present jnnctnic. Possibly, 
also, it is a trnth wliidi was given out at first witli some 
misgiving, but expel icncc has slrtiintlicncd the preacher's 
hold uj)on it, and lie will uttci- it the second time with far 
more vigor and conviction than he was able to put into it 
at the Iirst deli\'el\-. It is also possible, vel'\- ot'leii, to 
l)ring an old sei-nion down to date, as it wci'e. hy added 
illustrations drawn from current events. \\'hile. theiefore, 


the repetition of sennons may become the excuse of hizi- 
ness, yet it is not to be forbicklen to the diligent and con- 
scientious pastor ; and in these days, when his burdens of 
administration are so greatly increased, it may furnish him 
at times a great and needed relief. 

The pastor in the pulpit is the leader of the worship of 
the congregation. Even when the worship is liturgical 
the proper conduct of it largely depends upon Ids judg- 
ment and spirit. "If the officiating minister should go 
through this department of his work in a dull and spirit- 
less style, like one treading the round of a i)rescribed 
formalism, the performance is sure to repress and deaden 
the devotional feelings of the people, rather than stir and 
quicken them into lively exercise. Let the mode of con- 
ducting worship be what it may, if it is to be for a congre- 
gation of believers a worship in spirit and in truth, the 
person who conducts it must himself enter into the spirit 
of the service, uttering from his OAvn heart what he would 
have re-echoed from the hearts of others. And, obviously, 
the more beaten the track that is to be followed, the more 
familiar to all the specific forms of devotion, the greater 
at once must be the need of a lively devotional sentiment 
to inspirit them with life, and the difficulty also of express- 
ing it through the appointed channels." ^ 

The need of entering the chancel or the pulpit in a 
proper devotional temper must, then, be apparent to every 
thouglitful minister. The people are there for worshii); 
this is the pi'imary object of the assembly. Jle must keep 
lliis trutli steadily l)cfore tlicir minds. They are some- 
times in the habit of calling themselves an "audience;" 
that is a word which lie will not use in des('ril)ing them. 
They are not there to "hear" liim, 1)iil to woisliip the 
Father of spirits. Unless the service lyings tlicni inlo 
this attitude it fails of its proper effect upon them. 'I\) 
this end llicic is need, whatever tlie foiin of worsliiji ni;iy 
be, tli:it the leader of the worship prepare Iiis own mind 
and heart for the service before liim. The reading in 

' Fairliaini's Pustunil Tlnoloi/ij, ])j). .'JOT, .308. 


the last hour before the worship begins of some stirring 
book of devotion, of some presentation of truth that 
shall awaken the mind and quicken the pulses of the 
heart, is a wholesome i)ractice. It is not the hortatory 
Ijooks that are best, but those which Idndle the emotions 
by stimulating the thought. A sermon of Phillips Brooks 
or of Horace Bushnell is often better than any manual of 
devotion. Nor is it needful to protract the reading. 
When the spark kindles the mind, lay down the book, 
and muse while the fire burns. 

If the service is not liturgical, the question will arise 
whether verbal preparation should be made for public 
prayer. That some careful thought should be given to 
this })art of the service is evident. Yet it is difficult to 
lay down any rule of conduct. To some minds any formal 
preparation would be a fetter ; to be in a praying frame is 
enough. Others are undoubtedly helped by reflection 
upon the substance if not the form of the petition. " For, 
as tlie pastor, when going to conduct the services of the 
sanctuary has to bear on his heart various interests and 
relations, none of which should be overlooked or passed 
lightly over, he botli may and should have in his eye dis- 
tinct topics for notice in prayer and particular trains of 
thought to Ijc pursued. Not otherwise will he be able to 
give suflicient freshness and point to his supplications, or 
present tlium in a form altogether ap[)ropriate to the occa- 
sion. Entirely unpremeditated prayers will usually par- 
take much of the character of unpremeditated discoui-ses ; 
they will consist chiefly of comm()n[)laces Avhicli float iinu-h 
ujxiii tlu! memory rather tlian of tliouglits and feelings that 
well up from the liiddcn man of tlie heart; and as tliey 
have stirred no depllis in the l)osom of the speaker, so 
tliey naturally awaken but a feeble resj)onse in the liearls 
of tli(^ hearers. . . . Pinlcililx- llie nioic advisable coiii'se 
for ministers of settled congregations will be to meditate, 
rather than formally eomniit to writing, the chief prayei-s 
they are going to olTer in tlie puljlic nu^etings foi* worship; 
to think carefully over, occasionally also to jiote down, the 
train of thought, or the special topics and petitions tluy 


mean to introduce, with snch passages of Scripture as are 
appropriate to the occasion. The mind will thus be kept 
from wandering at large in the exercise, and yet will move 
Avitli more freedom than if it were trammelled by the for- 
mality of a written form ; will be able more readily to sur- 
render itself to the hallowed influence of the moment." ^ 

The minister must never forget that in the public wor- 
sliip he is exercising, in a special manner, the priestly 
function which belongs to all believers. He must be able, 
by the exercise of a true sympathy, to put himself in the 
places of those whom he is leading in worship, and to give 
voice to their needs and their desires. Perhaps he knows 
the real needs of some of those before him better than 
they themselves know them ; perhaps he may be able, in 
his prayer, to utter the word that shall reveal to them the 
condition in wliicli they are, the good which they ought 
to crave. Tlie words which follow, from the pen f)f a wise 
and faithful pastor, show the nature of that priesthood of 
sympathy exercised by the pastor in his prayers : — 

" We may derive materials for prayer from the lives of 
our conofreo'ations, — materials of incxhaustil)le variety. 
There is always sin to be confessed, sorrow which Ciod 
alone can soothe and comfort, weakness that needs divine 
support; and there is always liappincss for Avhich we 
should offer thanksgiving. But wc must be ver}- indolent 
or else we must be cursed with a dull and unsym})athctic 
nature if we are satisfied with a vague and general remem- 
])rance of the sin, the sorrow, the weakness, the joy whicli 
cloud or brighten the lives of our people. Tii our })repara- 
tion for our public prayers we should thinly of Uu' ])eoplc 
one by one, and make all their trouble iiud their gliidiiess 
our own. "Jliere arc the children, — cliildren whose faces 
arc [)alf' from I'cccnt sickness or accident, oi- ^\•h(^sc forms 
are never rol)ust, and wliose s])irits arc never high ; cliil- 
dren that are strong and healthy, with pure blood in their 
veins, with sound liinlis, mid wlio -.wo always as happy as 
birds in snmmer-tinic : cliildivn lliat ai(^ wrclclird because 
they liave no kindness al lioiiic: cliildicii thai want to do 

' l-'airKiiirn's f'asturnl '/'/irnlnr/i/, ])p. ."119, 'WO. 


well, Init who have inherited from their parents a tempei-a- 
nient whieh makes it hard for them to be gentle, obedi- 
ent, industrious, com-ageous, and kindly ; and children to 
whom with the earliest dawn of reason there came a purer 
light from the presence of God, and to whom it seems 
natural and easy to be good. 

" We should think of the young men and women, with 
their ardor, their ambition, their vanity; their dreams of 
the joy and glory that the opening years are to bring them ; 
their generous impulses ; the inconstancy in riglit-doing 
AA'hich troubles and perplexes them ; the disappointments 
which have already imbittered the hearts of some and 
made them imagine that for them life has no gladness left ; 
the consciousness of guilt which already rankles in the 
hearts of others ; the frivolity, the selfishness, of wliich 
some are the early victims ; the hard light which some are 
carrying on with temptations Avhich are conquered but 
not crushed ; the doubts which are assaulting the faith of 
others ; the bright heaven of happiness in which some are 
living, happiness which comes from the complete satisfac- 
tion of the strongest liuman affections ; the still brightei- 
heaven whieh is shining around others who are ali'eady 
living ill tlic li^iii of God. 

"The enumeration, if I attempted to go tliroiigh with 
it, would occupy hours. We liave to thiidc of aged pe()[>le 
who have outlived their generation, and whose strength is 
gradually decaying, in lonely and desolate houses, un- 
cheered by the presence of living affection and sanctilicd 
by memories of the dcail. We have In lliiiil< dt" tlic nini 
and ■\\'oiiU'ii \\li()sc cliildrcii are growing up al)(>ut lliciii, 
:iii(I (111 wlidiii the cares of lil'c ai'C resting h('a\ily. We 
have to l!iiiil< of places wliicli are vacant in some scats 
Ix^cause a boy is at college or lias gone to sea, or lias just 
entered a liouse of Inisiness in a distant city, or because a 
girl has lieeii sent away to 7-ecover liealtli under some 
kindlier sky. There are other jdaces vacant for other 
reascms. Tliosc wlio once filled tliein lia\e foisakcn and 
forgotten llic God of tlieir fathers. W'e liave to think oi 
families in liie coiitrreiration whosi; fortunes have been 


ruined, and of orphans and widows ; and of the young 
bride whose orange-flowers have hardl}^ faded ; and of 
the young mother whose heart is hlled all church time 
with happy thoughts about her first-born at home." ^ 

The pastor who can identify himself with the life of his 
people after this manner, who can bear upon his heart 
their burdens, and enter into their joys, will have no lack 
of themes for his pastoral j^rayers. Only, this must be 
handled with the ^utmost delicacy. Any definite allusions 
to individuals in public prayer is of doubtful wisdom; 
the petition must be one in which the persons praj^ed for 
can heartily join, because it expresses the sense of their 
need, but which does not embarrass them by calling the 
attention of the con aeration to them." 

Above all we must remember, as taught by Van 
Oosterzee, that "even the best precepts with regard to 
liturgical matters and liturgical actions run the risk of 
failing of their object, unless powerfully supported by the 
liturgical personality. ... In the words of Goethe, 'say 
what one will, everything turns in the long run upon the 
person.' The liturgist, too, not less than the homilete, 
must be not merely a something, but also a some one ; no 
speaking-trumpet merely of the Holy Ghost, but his in- 
spired mouth-piece and living organ. The claim of the per- 
sonality is just as little unlimite(l in the liturgical as in the 
homiletic domain, but nevertheless real, and precisely from 
the Evangelical-Reformed standpoint to be emphatically 
maintained, in connection with the princi])le of freedom. 
The one prays and thanks, consecrates and blesses in a 
wholly different manner from anollier, and lie is free to do 
so, inasmucli as he is really a different man from liis more 
iiighly or less liigldy endowed brothel'. Here, too, the diver- 
sity of charism is unmistakable, ^ — ^ Ii;iiiiilcss, yes even of 
advantii'^e to lliu unity, beauty, and growth of the whoh; 
sjiiiiiii;il organism. In order to be a good liturgist the 
lirst requisite is not brilliant lalcnl, luil the spiritual bent of 
tlie heart, and the presence of a radically moral character." ^ 

' Diilc's Lectures on /'rdu/iiiii/, jiji. lifiT-liG'.t. 
■■^ Practical Theolof/i/, p. 443. 


Tlie imstor in his pulpit is tlic director of the worship of 
the congregation, including it« song. This part of the ser- 
vice should never be surrendered by him to the control of 
irresponsible choirs and untutored music connnittees. The 
service of song in the house of the Lord is an integral part 
of the worship ; it should harmonize with all the other parts 
of the service ; it should be made tributary to the general 
effect of prayer and Scripture and sermon. The indepen- 
dent conduct of the music by organist or choirmaster, who, 
in many cases, is utterly devoid of the sentiment or spirit of 
wtn-ship, is a shocking anomaly. It is not too much to say 
that the musical portion of the service in many American 
Protestant churches verges close on blasphemy. In many 
congregations it is the first duty of the minister to instruct 
his people in the first principles of Christian worship; to 
make it entirely clear to their minds that the church is no 
place for the exhibition of vocal gymnastics ; that Chris- 
tian song must never degenerate into a show, and that art 
must always be suljordinated to reverence. 

There is need, no dou])t, of judicious and considerate 
treatment of this matter on the jjart of the minister, for in 
many cases the tastes of the congregation have l)eeome so 
vitiated and their standards so debased that it will hv luird 
for them to i-eceive tlie truth. I>ut if the minister will 
begin Avith the ollicial membcis of his congregation, aud 
will seriously and kindly consider the whole subject willi 
them, pointing out the principles which must rule in nil 
Avorshi[), and the sacred and ])riestly character of those who 
lead in every act of worship, lie Avill generally be able to 
carry them Avitli him in his eff(jrts to reform this portion of 
the service. 

The choice of the hymns rests with the pastoi'. It is a 
mattci' of great importance. It is nol (o be assumed thai 
all the li\ inns in tin; best hynniai aie lit to be sung ; some of 
them exj)ress a mawkish si-nliment, and others a bad the- 
ology: the ministei" must not ask his ]»eoj)le to tell lies in 
their songs. It is a (piestion also w lietluT the old style ol 
didactic hymns should be used in jmblie worship. .\s a 
rule the hymns should be worshipful ; praise, adoration, 


aspiraUon, trust, contritit^n, supplication — are the proper 
voices of Christian song. Yet hymns of a meditative sort 
may sometimes be used, and there arc sj^irited work-songs 
and battle-songs of the Church which are fidl of lyrical fire, 
and readily lend themselves to the best ])ui'poses of congre- 
gational song. 

The hymnals now in use are, as a rule, far better than 
those of a former day ; most of the objectionable hynnis 
have been eliminated, and the tunes are, as a rule, dignilied 
and worshipful. But it must be admitted that many con- 
gregations of our American churches have become addicted 
to a style of hymnody which is an offence against good 
taste and good sense. Verbal jingles which are destitute 
of all poetic character, and which often express an effusive 
sentimentalism, are joined to melodic jingles which are 
equally destitute of musical meaning ; and the result is a 
series of combinations that tend to debilitate the mind and 
pervert the sensibilities of those who use them. Such com- 
binations do not long endure ; the prattle of the rhymes 
soon palls upon the sense, and the catchy melody becomes 
dull and stale, and a new batch is soon called for, to give 
place, in its turn, to something lighter and more worthless 
still. But it is with hymnody of tliis sort precisely as it is 
with flashy literature ; those who get a taste for it ar(> apt 
to think that anything of a higher order is stupid and uu- 
profitaljlc. The consequence is that when the hynnials 
which try to confine themselves to hynnis Mliicli are really 
poetic, and to music whic^h is not suital)le ior opera hovffe 
or a cafe ehantant, are introduced into the congregation, it 
is (liHicnlt to secure for them a gencial ;iii(l hearty accept- 
ance. There is much jiaticnt educational work to be done 
along this lino by ind'Higcnt pastors, in seeking to correct 
llic pcrvci-sidiis of liistr, and In elevates the staiidai'ds of 
jisahnody in llicii- conLi'icgatiDUs. The l)cst liynins. when 
they become familiar, will never grow stale or did, and llic 
best tunes an- those that can no more be anti(|uatfd than 
daisies or daily ])icad. 

'I'lic ))asl(ir slmiild Icnnw enough about music to be able 
to select tunes which his conofrecation can and will sintr. 

m.lMT AM) AI/l'AIl 141 

It is sometimes difiicult to find in the hymnal provided for 
him the h3'nni which he wants, adapted to a time which the 
congregation can use ; but such a combination justifies and 
will reward a careful search. The adaptation of the hymns 
to the sermon and the other parts of the service should al- 
ways be carefully considered. The hymns which are sung 
in the earlier portions of the service may be simply wor- 
shipful ; but if any hymn follows the sermon, it ouglit to 
be in closest harmony with the thought which has been 

As a rule our church hymnals are far too large. It is 
(piite impossiljle that a congregation should become famil- 
iar with twelve hundred or fifteen hundred hymns ; it is 
probable that the minister will use, out of such a book, not 
more than one hvuidred and fifty hymns. A carefully 
sifted collection of three or four huncb-ed hymns would be 
better for any church than the hymnological libraries which 
burden the hands and oppress the minds of most worshi[)- 
pers. In the use of such a small collection the congrega- 
tion is more apt to become thoroughly familiar with some 
of the best of the In-mns and tunes, so as to sing them with 
spirit and heartiness. The ideal church hymn-book is yet 
to appear. 

As to tlie tunes, that canon of judgment which tends to 
prevail among recent scliolarl}- writers upon psalmoth', to 
the effect that the church tune should always be a choral, 
in common time, and with a })lain and even movement, 
leads in the right direction, ])ut goes too far. Sncli an 
excess of conservatism would not be salutary. 'I'hc t-horal 
is a good form of church tune, and may be used in America 
nnicli more freely than it has yet been; but otlit-r rhylli- 
inical forms are admissible ; and it is indeed dcsiraltie that 
there should be a good degree of variety in llir iiiusieal 
service of the Lord's house. Suih a sjiiritcd niii\ ciin-iit as 
Lowell Mason's "Duke Street," such a Mowing melody as 
Mr. Bradbury's '' Woodworlli." such a ringing jtraisc-song 
as Giardini's " Italian ilyiiiii."'or even such an elaborate 
composition as the setting whirh Mr. Dykes has given, in 
"Lux lienigna," to Newman's immortal livmn, ma\ ho 


sung, under good leadership, with the greatest enjoyment, 
by the average congregation. 

The leadership of the congregation is, of course, the 
main thing. If this leadership is intelligent, reverent, 
and enthusiastic, the congregation can be made to render 
the best music in the best manner. How to secure such 
leadership in the service of song is the principal question. 

Not inthspensable, but highly important to the best 
rendering of sacred song, is that " king of musical instru- 
ments, the organ." "There are not wanting," says Van 
Oosterzee, "instances here and there of such harmonious 
congregational singing that the absence of the organ, in 
that case at least, is not felt ; while it is equally undeni- 
able that a defective, tasteless style of playing proves 
more of a hindi-ance than a help to edification. Yet in by 
far the larger number of 2:)laces the singing is of such a 
character that, in default of something better, a mediocre 
leading ■\\ith the organ is preferable to that which only 
improperly bears the name of church song. . . . The 
religious value of the organ in churcli depends mainly on 
the hand to which it is intrusted. This remark will not 
be without its value, if it only impresses on the liturgist 
his duty of using every endeavor to secure tliat the organ- 
ist to be chosen for this purpose is in the fullest sense of 
the word a Christian artist, who feels and understands 
what he is playing, and shows that he is penetrated with 
the desire to serve tlie Holy by means of the truly Beau- 
tiful. Sacred art must support the sacred Word, and 
place its great power entirely and exclusively at the 
service of the Most Higli ; while the artist feels liimself 
not only the ])riest of art, but also the servant of the con- 
gregation. Wlien the opposite is the case, tlie Puritan 
polemic against tlie organ is still to a great extent justi- 
fied. It is — what is too often forgotten — not neces- 
sary that tlic origan should always be luMid. and still 
less that it should always be heard equally loud, liathei- 
would now and then, with sullicient vocal strength of 
itself, a temporary silence of the instrument be desirable. 
When, however, the organ is heard in the rliureh, let 


it never give forth the note of false taste or of mere 
worldly art." ^ 

With the organist, or the choirmaster, or whoever is 
employed to conduct the musical part of the service, tlie 
minister should be in constiint co-operation; there sliould 
be, at the outset, a clear understanding that all parts of 
the worship are under the minister's direction, and tliat all 
must be made to harmonize. When it is understood that 
the ends of worship, rather than of art, are alwaj^s to be 
kept uppermost, many of the causes of contention among 
church musicians will be eliminated. Among artists jeal- 
ousies are natural, for the aesthetic judgment rules, and 
the fundamental question is one of pleasure. But among 
worshippers sttcli contentions at once appear to be gro- 
tesque. To strive for the privilege of prayer, or to 
dispute about the highest seats at the altar of sacrifice 
"would be so manifestly incongruous that the dullest minds 
Avould revolt from it. i\Iake the singers understand that 
they are there, not to exhibit their voices or to display the 
results of their musical training, but to Avoi-ship God, and 
they will be ashamed to quarrel. 

What the vocal leadership of the congregation shall l)e 
is a question of some seriousness. The perfection of con- 
gregational worship is perliaps attained in those English 
Dissenting chm-ches Avhere the organ is the sole leader of 
the voices, so far as can be seen by the casual visitor. :iiid 
where the whole congregation forms a great chorus, render- 
ing, with heartiness and precision, anthem and chant and 
hymn. In these chui'ches, however, a nucleus of traini^d 
voices is usually clustered aljout the organ, who form an 
invisible choir, and whose strong initiative carries (he 
congregation steadilv along. In one of these cliniclies we 
are told that the '* Ilallelujah Chorus," fioni ''Tiie Messiah" 
is sometimes sung with fine eiVect by the whole congrega- 
tion. In many of tliem, anthems of eonsiderable inlrieaey 
are rendered with no hesitation; voices all over theehureh 
are heard joining in tlieni. The use of llic iliant in these 
congregations is almost univeisal ; tlie ]iid|p|e li:i\e hi-en 
' Practical T/nolniii/, j). ;}7y. 


accustomed to it from their childhood, and the musical 
declamation is as natural to them as reading. 

In most of the English Congregational churches there is, 
however, a large choir in plain sight of the congregation, 
and the leadership of the church song is committed to them. 
In few cases do they undertake any performance of their 
own; the anthems and the chants as well as the hynnis 
are all sung by the congregation, the choir serving only as 
leaders of the song. This full, strong chorus, with such 
other members of the congregation as wish to attend, meets 
once a week for practice under the direction of the organ- 
ist. The ability to render the music of the church so accept- 
ably is in almost all cases the result of some painstaking 
effort. In one church in London the regular choir, of hfty 
or sixty members, is supported by a substitute choir of 
about the same number. To one person in each part is 
assigned the duty of filling up the ranks, at ever}^ service. 
If, at five minutes before the beginning of the service, the 
seats of the bass singers are not full, the gentleman in 
charge of that part makes an immediate levy upon the 
substitute bass singers already in the house, to fill the seats, 
and so with each of the other parts ; thus each part is 
always full of trained singers. Very little in the way of 
fine artistic effects is attempted by these English choirs, 
but they sing with great heartiness, and the congregation 
is admirably led. English organists are also, as a rule, 
expert leaders of congregational singing, and the congre- 
gation is made to feel the meaning of the words of the 
hymn and to respond to the sentiment expressed. 

In many of the state churches of England the vested 
choirs, with boys upon the upper parts, perform the high- 
est style of music in a very admirable manner. So large 
is the number of the English boys who thus receive a 
thorough training in sacred music that male singers of 
cultivation appear to be more numerous in tliat country 
than female singers. At one of the triennial ILindel 
festivals at the Sydenham Palace, when nearly four thou- 
sand singei-s were present, tlie basses and tenors (piite 
outnunilu'icMl the sopranos and altos. This may bo one 


reason why the men in any English congregation generally 
join in the song, while in an American congregation the 
reverse is the rule. The vested choirs, in the cathedrals, 
and in the larger churches are, however, left to perform 
most of the service. AVhat is called a choral service is 
not congregational worship ; we find that, in far greater 
perfection, in the Dissenting churches. 

In America, however, the choir is often permitted to 
have matters all its own way. In the majority of Ameri- 
can churches the choir is a quartette, and the congregation 
takes but little part in the singing. Even the hymns are 
sung by the people in the gallery, without much aid from 
the pews. Quartette choirs, as a rule, disapprove of con- 
gregational singing, and make it difficult, if not impossible, 
for the congregation to follow them in the hymns. And 
the hymns are rendered in a manner so unintelligent and 
perfunctory that no one cares to join in them. It would 
be far better if churches employing choirs of this character 
would abandon wholly the congregational hymns. 

The purpose of the quartette choir is, almost always, 
the artistic rendition of some highly elaborate and florid 
musical composition. It is rare that a performance of this 
natm'e awakens in any auditor a worshipful feeling. Pre- 
cisely the same emotions are excited as those Avhich are 
appealed to in the concert-room. Those who enjoy the 
performance will Ije seen nodding one to another, at its 
conclusion, as if to say: "Was not that a splendid exhil)i- 
tion?" To any reverential person such a perversion of 
the act of worship is little less than horrible. It is a 
grave question whether the musical service, in very many 
American cluu'ches, is not a savor of death unto death, 
rather than of life unto life. 

Tliis iinist not be understood as a condemnation of thc^ 
employment of single voices or any coml)iMations of voices 
in worship. It is (luitc ]»ossible that a song or a jirayer 
should be rendered in clnirdi ])y one or more persons with 
the true spirit of devotion, in such a maimer that the 
thought of the listeners sliould be lixed upon th(^ theme, 
and not upon the art of the performance. If many voices 



may worship God in song, so may a single voice. If the 
pastor may lead the worship in prayer, so may the singer. 
But in such case the singer must be a real worshipper. 
The art of the rendition must he hidden in the sincerity of 
the worship. 

These elementary truths are well-nigh forgotten in many 
of our fashionable churches. Music should be an aid to 
devotion ; but many of those who most keenly enjoy it in 
the concert-room or the drawing-room listen to the same 
thing in church with pain. 

The first thing to be desired in the church song is that 
the whole congregation should heartily participate in it. 
The full choral song admits of no efforts at display. The 
vanity of the individual is merged in the voice of the mul- 
titude. When all the people thus praise God in the sanc- 
tuary it is possil^le that each should join with some real 
uplifting of the heart. Yet even tliis service may be ren- 
dered with regard for beauty and fitness ; the congrega- 
tion may be tauglit to observe the sentiment of the hymn, 
and properly to express it. The people will learn, if they 
are taught, to sing with the spirit and witli tlie understand- 
ing also. The organ and the leading choir can easily sug- 
gest to the people tlie subdued and tender expression of 
the plaintive lines, and the accelerated time and accumu- 
lated power of the triumphant strains. Congregational 
singing must not be considered good when everybodj^ sings 
all the time with all his might; there must be evidence 
that the congregation is thinking of the words of the song 
and is touched witli their meaning. It is beautiful to see 
how a congregation will learn to follow sucli intelligent 
leadership, and will come, after a little, to make the words 
of the hymn their own. The spiritual value of this part 
of the service is thus indefinitely increased. 

The cliief use of the choir nnist be to h\'id tlie worsliip 
of the congregation. It sliould be diligently impressed 
upon the singers when they arc called into this service, 
that this is their main business. If they help the per»])le 
to praise CJod in song thev will do well; if they fail of 
that tliev are worse than useless, no matter how artistic 


may be their own pei-forniaiice. To this end the hymns 
must he studied and their meaning understood and felt by 
the singers in the gallery. The choir will sometimes sa}-, 
" Oh, that is ' Federal Street,' or ' Ilursley,' — surely we 
do not need to })ractise that old tune." But the question 
is not whether " that old tune " can be sung, it is Avhether the 
hymn now set to the tune can be intelligentl}^ and feelingly 
sung ; whether its meaning can be conveyed in the use of 
tliis old tune. The intelligent and reverential leadership 
of the congregation is the lirst business of the clioir. To 
this end they ought to be intelligent and reverential per- 
sons, and the spirit of their leader ought to be so full of 
intelligent reverence that the true nature of tlieir Avork 
sliould be constantly kept before them. 

The best kind of choir to lead a congregation is, mani- 
festly, a large chorus. There may be quartettes which can 
lead congregations, but they are not numerous. Tliere is 
difficulty, however, in maintaining large choruses, because 
members of the congregation who can sing are often, un- 
fortunately, slow to lend their services for the promotion 
of the good of the church. Those who can sing or play 
upon an instrument are apt to feel that if they render any 
lielp in public worship they must be paid for it. The 
prevalence of thio feeling shows how this whole dejiart- 
ment of church life has been secularized. When music 
touches the life of the church the standard suddenly falls. 
Those who possess some little musical ability or training 
arc wont to say tliat tlicy have paid nuich money for tlieir 
iniisi(;il education, and th;it therefore they ouglit to receive 
compensation for their services. But it is equally true 
that the people who teach in the Sunday-schools, and who 
speak in the prayer-meetings have paid nuieh money for 
the education which (pialilies them to assist so eHii-ientlv 
in the work of the church. In many of our congrega- 
tions there are many college graduates and ])rofessional 
people whose education has cost them iive times :is nnieh 
as that of the singers and the players on instruments, and 
who are yet rendering to the church, weekly, ni.inv hours 
of uncompensated laboi-. There seems to be no good rea- 


son wliy the musicians slionld make themselves exceptions 
to the rule of willing service, which binds all the members 
of the church together in unity. It is true, of course, that 
some musicians recognize this principle, and give to the 
churches to which they belong, a great deal of the most 
valuable assistance. But the failure on the part of many 
to comprehend the fact that musical gifts, like other gifts, 
are subject to the law of consecration, makes it diiificult, 
in many congregations, to gather the singers in chorus 

The maintenance of artistic standards of judgment upon 
the singing of choirs also strengthens the mercenary claim. 
If the service is really a performance for the delectation 
of an audience, perhaps the audience ought to pay the 
performers. If the service is recognized as having another 
and higher function, perhaps those who recognize their 
Clrristian obligation would be more willing to assist in it. 

The question whether the choir, however organized, 
should be expected to render any music of their own, apart 
from the leadership of the congregation, is answered in 
one way, as has been said, by most of the Nonconformist 
churches of England, and in another way by most of the 
Anglican churches, and by the great majority of Protestant 
clmrches in America. There is danger, no doubt, that 
choirs, and especially quartettes, if tliey are permitted to 
sing anthems or set pieces of their own, will embrace the 
opportunity to make a great display of their own musical 
powers, thus turning worsliip into mockery. lint, on the 
other hand, it is quite possible that the choir should be so 
instructed and led as that it shall keep steadily in view its 
true function as the leader of worship; and so that it shall 
render dignilied and inspiring music, not only witli pro- 
priety, but with excellent effect. Choruses like Costa's 
" The Lord is Good," or jNIendelssohn's " He Watching over 
Israel," f)r Sullivan's " O Taste and See," could not well 
be sung by tlie ordinary American congregation ; but they 
may be rendered by large choirs in such a way as to stir 
the hearts of the worshippers, and to kindle the flame of 
sacred h)vc. Smaller combinations of voices, or single 


voices may serve in the same ^Yay. It is not true that the 
singing of the congregation is the only kind of music to 
be tolerated in church ; the congregation may Avorship by 
silently joining in the prayer or the thanksgiving or the 
asj)iration to which their leaders give voice in song. The 
only thing to be insisted on is that the congregation shall 
be able to recognize this as worship, and to feel that it is 

If the choir is permitted to provide music of its OA\ai, 
the leader of the worship should see that the anthems or 
solos sung are of a character appropriate to public worship, 
^luch of the music printed for American choii-s is too florid 
and showy for the sanctuary. But it is possible to find 
dignilied and serious music for this purpose, and much 
care should be exercised in this selection. Especially 
should the minister take care that the service be not 
marred by the introduction of choir joieces which, however 
unobjectionable in themselves, are wholly out of harmony 
with the occasion. The most grotesquely inappropriate 
selections are often thrust into religious services by aml)i- 
tious choir-leaders. Not one in ten of these worthies 
exhibits the slightest sense of the fitness of things. lie 
is quite apt to sing a morning hymn at an evening service, 
or to introduce, just before the sermon, such words as 
these : — 

" Saviour, again to tliy dear name we raise 
With one accord our parting liynin of praise ; 
We rise to bless thee, ere our worship cease. 
And now departing, wait thy word of peace." 

Such a delicate suggestion to the mijiisler that the congre- 
gation has finished its business and is going home — that it 
has no use for his sermon — has been listeut'd to by the 
minister witli such e([u;numity as he could muster. ( >n the 
occasion of the celeliratioii of the hundreihh anniversary 
of a church whosi' life had l)een especially harmonious, and 
whose ministers, without exception, liad been well beloved 
and generously treate(l, tlu' selection by the clioir consisted 
of tlie followiiiLT words: "() .lerusalein, .Icrusalcni, tlioii 


that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent 
unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children 
together even as a hen gathereth her cliiekens under her 
wings, and ye would not. Plenceforth your house is left 
unto you desolate." The effect of such words upon intel- 
ligent and sensitive listeners may be imagined. 

There are choir-leaders whose taste and judgment can 
always be trusted. Happy is the pastor who has such a 
helper by his side. But it is his duty to guard against 
all such monstrous incongruities, and to see to it that 
the whole service of the Lord's house is appropriate and 

The question as to what is sometimes called " the en- 
richment of worship " is now discussed by non-liturgical 
churches. That the forms of worship in some of the Ee- 
formed churches, notably the Scotch and the Puritan 
churches, both English and American, have been some- 
what bare and meagre can scarcely be denied. The reac- 
tion against a sacramental ritualism swept away even the 
decencies of public worship. For a long time, in New 
England, even the reading of the Scriptures was under 
the ban ; that seemed, to these sturdy Protestants, a rag 
of popery. In the diary of the Rev. Stephen Williams of 
Longmeadow, i\Iass., under date of March 30, 1755, he 
writes : " This day I began to read the Scriptures publicly 
in the congregation. Wisli and pray it may be service- 
able and a means to promote Scripture knowledge among 
us." His biographer adds : " This was an innovation 
which Stephen Williams had some diihculty in sustain- 
ing," ^ ]Many of the old New England town liislories 
record disputes upon this su])ject. It is a curious fact 
that in their rebellion against the sacerdotal principle, 
which lies at the foundation of the system witli which 
they had broken, these reformers gave to their minister, 
under another form, a priestly character; for the public; 
worship was almost wholly committed to him, and tran- 
sacted l)y liiiu for them; tlicy took no part in it whatever 
^ J,uiii^mead(jw Cciitciiuial, ]>. 222. 

rULl'lT AM) AI.TAi: 1'>1 

beyond the singing of a psalm which he "lined out" to 
them. The present tendency is toward the restoration to 
the people of the privilege then voluntarily relinquished 
by them. .\s the Protestant church of to-day is seeking 
to become a working church, so, and for kindred reasons, 
it is seeking to Ije a worshipping church. It wishes to 
take a larger part, audibly and openly, in the service of 
the Lord's house. The changes in the order of worship 
introduced or advocated are mainly, if not wholly, changes 
in the direction of congregational worship. 

The question whether these additions to the accus- 
tomed order shall be made by the officiating clergyman, 
or ^^•hether the people of each communion, through their 
wisest and most devout representatives, should set forth 
some forms of praise and prayer for the guidance of their 
congregations, has been discussed in some of the ecclesi- 
astical assemblies. One of the most distinguished and 
broad-minded of the Congregational clergymen of New 
England, in an address before a church congress, said : — 

" Here I am constrained to say and confess that worship 
cannot do its whole good work as the vehicle of truth to 
the mind, except as it is formulated and prescribed by 
general authority, and is not left to the genius and piety 
of the officiating minister, according as he may liap[)cn to 
have the use of his genius or liis piety at the moment. 
As a minister in a non-liturgical comnuuiion I can say 
this more easily, })erhaps, than some other ministers could, 
and I do say it. There are extemporizing ministers whose 
study of woi'ship has been so complete, whose good sense 
is so good, and whose natural gifts are so great, that they 
accomplish a pretty complete liturgical sweep in their ser- 
vices; and when ministers do nt>t accomplish much of a 
sweep ever, as leaders of worship. l>ut bear ditwn h;ibilu- 
ally and oidy on a few facts and (Incirincs lying in-ar the 
heait of Christianity, Clod forbid I siiould (h-ny them 
access to God, and tlieir use as j)reachers of truth through 
the worsliip they couihicl. Unl, laking all things into 
ac(;ount, it si'ciMS to inc clcai- that in the one i-('S|»('ct of 
truth conveyed, conM'veil in its cutiri'tN, and convcyrd 


proportionately, a worship })rt'scribed, or .substantially pre- 
scribed, is not only vakial)le but indispensable. 1 contrib- 
ute that item towards the reunion of Christendom on the 
point of worship." ^ 

There would be much dissent from the proposition to 
formulate a uniform ritual for any of the non-liturgical 
churches. Even if considerable freedom were allowed in 
the use of it, the tendency to a monotonous and lifeless 
repetition would be regarded by many as far outweighing 
the gain that would be realized through a more complete 
and comprehensive presentation of the truths on which 
worship is founded. Christians of different temperament 
and different training will answer this question differently. 
Undoubtedly a prescribed ritual avoids much irreverence 
and many painfully arid performances ; but on the other 
hand it sacrihces a spontaneity and timeliness which, in the 
service of the preacher who has both the gift and the spirit 
of prayer, are often very inspiring. But if no such com- 
plete ritual is furnished, it is surely lawful to add some- 
thing to the barrenness of the old Purifcm ritual. 

The responsive reading of portions of the Scripture is 
now quite common in American churches, and when prop- 
erly conducted it is an excellent feature. The tirst re- 
quisite of success in this service is the selection of a 
suitable manual of responsive readings. Not all Scripture 
is suited to this use ; the historical, philosophical, and 
didactic portions lend themselves but awkwardly to such 
a service ; it is really only tlie poetry that ought to 
be treated in this way. A few of the New Testauient 
passages, like the Beatitudes, and the Proem of John's 
Gospel, and some portions of the epistles which ajiproxi- 
mate to lyrical form may l)e read rcsponsively, — tliougli 
even here the verses should be broken up into phrases 
that are antiphonal or cumulative. But for the most pai't 
it is the Psalms and the prophet i(- poi'iiis tliat are best 
suited to responsive reading. Tlicse should always be 
put for this j)Ui"p()se into tlu' rhytlimic I'drm (li;i( Ixdongs 

^ Address of Rov. N. J. Burton, 1).I)., ProrfeduKjs of l/ic Amrrimn Con- 
ijrcss of Churches, 1885, p. 02. 


to them. It is little less than absurd to adhere to the 
verse divisions in the responsive reading of the Psalms. 
The poetry is constructed for the very purpose of anti- 
phonal expression ; our verse divisions simply destroy its 
artistic form. The parallelisms of these okl lyrics, as we 
find them arranged in the revised version, are better 
adapted than anything else in literature to the responses 
of a congregation. 

The congregation should stand up to read; and the 
leader should read with distinct but rapid enunciation, suf- 
fering no long pauses between the responses. There is no 
room here for elocutionary effects ; anything of that sort is 
grotesque enough ; but the reading should be full of spirit 
and feeling, — and the responsory character of it should 
be so marked that it shall seem more like a chant than a 
reading. Any painful attempt of the congregation to 
speak in concert should be avoided; but on the other 
hand the helter-skelter reading of many congregations is 
not particularly inspiriting. If the parallelisms are used, 
and the leader sets the pace with a firm, rapid, steady 
tempo, the responses will naturally and almost ine vital )ly 
maintain a good measure of unity, and the rhythmic effect 
will be marked and beautiful. In some congregations tlie 
outpouring of the full heart in these reponsory voices of 
praise and hope and aspiration is more inspiring than 
any other portion of the service. 

The repetition of one of the ancient creeds — the 
Apostles' or the Nicene — by the congregation is also com- 
iiiiiii ;iiiil altogether suitable, while the people of most 
of our ciiurches have learned to join with tlie minister 
in tlic audible repetition of the Lord's Prayer. Whether 
the Decalogue should be employed liturgically is an open 
question; our Lord lias translated tliat law into a (hffer- 
ent language, and his rendering of it shouhl Ix' nearest 
to our thouglit. The Pcatitudes and the Lord's siniiinarv 
of tlu! Law miglit well take llic ]»lace, in our congregational 
worshij), of the Ten ( 'oiiiiiiainliiients. Some judicious so- 
l(M'tions might also be made; from the Anglican I^iok 
of Connnon Prayer; its (u-niTai Confession, many of 


its beautiful collects, and sometimes its majestic Litany 
might be introduced into the service of our non-liturgical 
churches. Language like this, which has been hallowed 
by centuries of use, into which many generations of pray- 
ing men have poured their hearts, possesses a value which 
no newly formed phrases could possibly contain. If the 
enrichment of the non-liturgical ritual is sought, it is 
in these sources that we shall be most likely to find it. 

It is well to remember that not all the reformers sought 
to banish from the sanctuary the hallowed forms of prayer 
and praise. There was really, at the beginning of the 
Reformation, a decided disposition to enlist the people, 
as they had not before been enlisted, in the public worship 
of the Lord's house. " The spirit of Protestantism," says 
Dr. Samuel M. Hopkins, " requires that the people shall 
take part in the public wT)rship of God, and thus make it 
'common worship.' The Komisli church, during the 
Middle Ages, resolved worsliip into a spectacle. The 
great cathedrals were built for a dramatic religion, in 
which the ])Cople could look on, while the priests went 
through with tlie service of the mass; down whose broad 
naves, chanting and cross-bearing processions could move, 
and through Avhose ogived arches the pealing tones of 
the organ could resound. Throughout the whole the 
people were only a body of spectators. This accorded 
entirely with tlie spirit and policy of the Romish church. 
Protestantism changed all that. It recognized the Chris- 
tian body as something more than a dumb and passive 
laity. It recognized them as a ' holy priesthood,' each 
called to offer spiritual sacrifices of prayer and praise 
to God. Tlie great reformers, therefore, all of tliem, pre- 
pared or ma<le use of liturgies for the use of the wor- 
sliippors. Thei'e was the Lord's Pray(^r and tlic Creed 
always to be I'ccited aloud by the jxMtph'. Tlici'c was the 
'genei'iil ((nircssion,' which every one joined in rej)eat- 
ing, making it Iiis own ])ersonal confession of sin. Tlicrc 
was tlu! reading of th(! Decalogue, to which tlie peo])le 
i'es]ioii(le(l, ' Loi-d. ]i;i\-e inerc\' Upon US, and incline oni- 
hearts to keep this hiw.' There was the resj)onsive read- 


ing of the Psalter, an exercise to which it might seem 
the most exaggerated Puritanism could make no objection. 
All these features appear in the Strasburg Liturgy of John 
Calvin, in the Saxon Liturgy drawn by Luther, in the 
Liturgy of the Palatinate prepared by Melanclithon and in 
all the other forms of prayer tliat were the product 
of the Reformation period." ^ The Lutheran Church 
still employs a considerable liturgy; so also does the 
Moravian. It is evident that a desire for the extension of 
congregational w'orship is making itself felt in many of the 
non-liturgical churches ; and this movement is, in realit}', 
very nearly the antithesis of the ritualistic tendenc}', which 
in effect confines the audible worshiji to the priest and 
the vested choir. 

With the introduction of responsive readings, chants, and 
creeds, it is evident that some reduction must needs be made 
in other parts of the service ; and it is probable that what 
is known in the Reformed churches as the " long prayer " 
might, in many cases, be usefully shortened. One cannot 
have too much of the spirit of prayer, and the habit of 
lingering long at the mercy seat must not be rudely cen- 
sured; Imt the physical and mental demands of the con- 
gregation must be considered, and it is doubtless true that 
this prayer does often become a weariness to the flesh. 
No rule as to length can l)e laid down ; but most of us 
have attended services in wliidi we have felt that a far 
more devotional frame would ha\c brcn maintained by the 
congregation if the h)ng prayei" had not Ih-cu half as long. 
Wliitefield cannot be suspected of uiidcrvaluing public 
prayer, and liis remark to a good minister, whose jiraycr 
had been unduly protracted, may well be remembcrt'd : 
"You prayed nu; into a goo(| tVaiiic, ami you prayed me 
out of it." 

One ciiiiclnncnt of the si'r\ic(' is suggested witli some 
dinideiiee. If the song of the reverent singer may lift 
our liearts to God, might not the simj>le and devout nail- 
ing of a sacred lyric sometimes liave a (le\otional \ alue? 
The reading would convey the words more perfectly than 

' Piorccilliiijs of tlic Aiiiirirdit Coinircss o/ Churches, lS8."i. ]i|i. 7.'), 7(i. 


the singing ordinarily does ; and the confession, the trust, 
the hope, the aspiration expressed in such beautiful words 
might help to kindle a worshipful feeling in tlie minds 
of listeners. There are many hymns of the highest liter- 
ary merit, and the deepest spiritual insight, which cannot 
well be sung ; might not a truly liturgical use be made of 
them ? There are many other excellent hymns which the 
hymnal of the worshipping congregation does not contain, 
and which might be employed in this way. If, just before 
the " long prayer," one or two of these sacred lyrics were 
reverently read, not with elocutionary effect, but as if it 
were a prayer, might this not be, in some cases, an inspir- 
ing introduction to the prayer about to follow ? Nor 
is it essential that these devotional excerpts should be 
expressed in lyrical form. Words that contain the 
heart of prayer, the spirit of devotion, may be found in 
sermons and in contemplative writings. A beautiful col- 
lection of such meditations has been added to tlie devo- 
tional literature of the church by the blind preacher of 
Edinburgh, the Kev. George Matheson, and there is many 
an anthology of devout and uplifting thoughts, from which 
selections might be made. These should alwa3-s bo very 
brief, and should be manifestly joined by vital bonds with 
the prayer which follows. It cannot be too strongly said 
that this part of the service must be as far as possible 
removed from everything that savors of the theatrical ; if 
it is not essentially worship it can have no place in the 

All this matter of the enrichment of public worship 
needs to be wisely and firmly handled. Changes which 
have no merit but novelty, and which are intended chiefly 
as baits to draw auditors should be rigidly excluded ; only 
tliose should l)e permitted whicli jjromise to assist in mak- 
ing the worshi]^ of the congregation more general, more 
hearty, and more intelligent. 

Tlie pastor, as the leader of tlie worship of tlu' congre- 
gation, must sometimes descend from the ]iul})it to the 
altar. I'^or even where nothinLT reseiiil)linL!- that iiiueli dis- 


puted piece of ecclesiastical furniture is visible in the 
sanctuary, there are still services whose nature is sacra- 
mental, which cannot fitl}" be performed in the preacher's 
desk. The administration of these sacraments is an 
essential part of the pastor's duty. 

Among the Protestant churches the only rites to which 
the sacramental character attaches are Baptism and the 
Lord's Supper. Respecting the nature of these sacra- 
ments, no extended discussion is here called for; we 
assume their practice, and simply seek to know how the 
pastor ought to regard and administer them. It is, how- 
ever, necessary to recall the conclusions of the third cha[)- 
ter of this treatise, and to remember that the Christian 
pastor, in Protestant churches, in the administration of 
these sacraments assumes no sacerdotal powers, and that 
the sacraments themselves are not supposed by him to 
possess any intrinsic or magical efficacy. They are not 
oiKra opcrata ; they are symbols of spiritual facts and 
relations, — beautiful symbols which may greatly aid in 
impressing upon our minds these spiritual facts and in 
leading us to enter joyfully into these spiritual relations. 

The history of Baptism, beginning with the Day of 
Pentecost and coming down through the first five centu- 
ries of the life of the Church is a striking illustration of 
the growth of ritualistic elements. What Matthew Ar- 
nold calls the invasion of AhcrglauU is here visibly set 
forth. "Originally administered in connection with im- 
mersion by the Apostles and tlieir fellow-laborers, we sec 
Holy Baptism in the ancient Church already indicated by 
names which testify of a high degree of appreciation, but 
at the same time lend [no ?] countenance to the supersti- 
tious view which we see beginning to make its ai)iH'aranec 
already in the second and third centuries. I {apt ism was 
very soon termed 'anointing, seal, ilhuninatinn, s;ilv;i- 
tion ; ' also 'the s])iritual gift, grace, the garb of inmu.r- 
tality.' In proportion as infant l)a])tism Ijecaine more 
general, <li»l also tin- notion gain gi-ound lli;it in li;tptisni 
one was eleansed from sin, whether ht-ri'ditary or actual, — 
a consideration whieli led not a few to delay the reception 


of baptism as long as possible. By preference was tlie 
sacred action administered by the bishop, yet also by 
presbyters and deacons, even, in case of necessity, by lay- 
men, — a course Avhich, among others, Tertullian and 
Jerome declared to be admissible, provided it was per- 
formed in a becoming manner." ^ 

In the third century baptism began to be assigned to 
special seasons and places; Easter and Pentecost were 
supposed to be more appropriate than other times ; and 
buildings were erected for this purpose. One by one the 
various ceremonial appendages of the rite were added : 
the eastward posture, the anointing, the consecration of 
the water, the laying aside of the old garments, the impo- 
sition of hands, the white vestments of tlie candidates, the 
burning tapers in their hands, the kiss of peace, the milk 
and honey, the sal sajnenticc, and finally the administration 
of the iirst communion. 

All this involves a theory of the nature of baptism which 
is still held in a large part of Christendom. It sup})oses a 
transaction of great and vital importance ; it connotes a 
belief that in the performance of the rite a spiritual change 
is wrought upon the recipient. The phraseology of some 
of the Protestant rituals expresses this belief, and the rite of 
Exorcism, which is part of the baptismal service, not only 
in the Roman Catholic church, but in some branches of 
the Lutheran church, possesses a significance which cannot 
be ignored. 

The discussion of these questions does not come within 
the scope of this treatise ; it is only necessary to admonish 
the i)astor that lie nnist know wliat baptism means to him, 
and that he must see to it that those who seek it for them- 
selves or for their children are instructed as to its mean- 
ing. The manner of administering tlic saci'anu'nt will be 
affected by the belief on which it rests. 

The I'rotestant pastors into whose hands this treatise 
will fall will disagree respecting the mode and the subjects 

1 Van Oostcrzoe's Prnrlirnl T/ieolo^i/, ]). 41 'J. Soo also Christian Inslitu- 
tlons, hv A. V. (r. Allen, in tlils-series, Stanley's V/trislian Institutions, .and 
Smith's C'l/rlopcdia of Christian Antifjnilics, Art. Baptism. 


of baptism. By some of them the rite is Ijelieved to be 
confined to adult believers, and to be administered to them 
upon the confession of their own faith in Christ. By others 
it is believed to be intended for children as well as for 
adults. In either case the administration ought to be 
performed in a reverent spirit, and with a dignified and 
simple ritual. Never should it be disfigured by rude haste 
or indecorous familiarities. A grave solemnity it always 
is ; and not only those who participate in it but all who 
witness it should be made to take this view of it. When 
baptism is administered by immei'sion, whether in the font 
or at the river-side, great care should be taken to make 
the rite impressive and beautiful. It is, in this observance, 
the ratification of the covenant of the soul with God ; 
and the nature of the transaction should be kept clearly 
in view. 

In Paedobaptist churches baptism by sprinkling is usu- 
ally administered to adults, in the churches, in connection 
with the solemn rite by which they are received into the 
fellowship of the church. It is fitting that the candidate 
should kneel wdien he receives baptism; Avomen should lay 
aside the covering of the head. 

The administration of the sacrament to children raises 
some questions respecting the significance of the rite, 
\\ liicli the pastor must settle before he can determine upon 
the form of the observance. By most of the lieformcrs the 
ba[)tism of children is regarded as the seal of the covenant 
made by God with believing parents. It is argued that 
the performance of this rite is the outward fulfilment, (m 
till" part of the parents, of their part of this coAcnant, and 
that, if lightly done, it establishes a claim on their part to 
the bestowment of the grace of (Jod uj)()ii their (hiidn'n. 
If such is the nature of the observance, the words in which 
the rite is luliniiiistered, and tlic jjiaycr l)y whidi it is fol- 
lowed will conform to this tiieory of it. If llic cliiuch is 
one of those which provides delinile forms and rubrics for 
the administration of l);i])tisiii. the jmstor has, indeed, no 
choice respecting the ])hrasi'ology which ]\v. will use: but 
if considerable liberty of liturgical expression is allowed, 


the pastor must have some clear idea of the nature of the 
ordinance, and must make the administration express the 
idea. The parents presenting the chikh-en slioukl them- 
selves be carefullj^ instructed respecting the meaning of 
the rite, and a brief addi'css to them, at the time of the 
administration, should put this meaning into a form to 
which they should be expected to signify their assent. 
If the doctrine of the covenant is adopted by the liturgist, 
let him express the covenant, in simple words, and call 
upon the parents to accept it for themselves and for their 

There are those, however, Ijy wliom this sacrament of 
baptism is not regarded as the seal of a covenant, but 
rather as a solemn declaration of the fatherhood and the 
redeeming love of God. This is the view so impressively 
set forth by Frederick W. Robertson, in his instructions 
to catechumens.^ Baptism is not, according to this \'w\y, 
a ceremony the observance of which entitles the parent 
to claim for the child the saving grace of God ; it is rather 
a solenm arfirmation, made by the church, and assented to 
by the parent, that the child belongs to God ; that God is 
his Father, Christ his Redeemer, and the II0I3' Spirit his 
Teacher and Inspirer. Baptism does not make him God's 
child, any more than coronation makes a prince a king. 
The prince was king the moment his father died ; corona- 
tion solemnly witnesses to a fact, but it does not create 
the fact. So baptism testifies to the truth that this child 
has a Father in heaven. Nothing whatever is done in 
baptism by which the child's claim upon God's grace, or 
the parent's claim in the child's behalf is cstablislu'd ; 
God's love and care are not conceived as conditioned upon 
the observance of an outward rite ; but the rite expresses 
the fatlicrly love of Ilim who said, "All souls are mine," 
and llio ro(hMMiiing grace of Tlim who said, "Of sueli is the 
kingdom of licavcii." It" siicli is llic view of llic iiatui'c 
of l)aj)tisni, the woi'ds in which it is a(hninistercd will ex- 
press tliis ihouglit. T]\Q jiarents will understand that 
tlu'y are joining in a solemn declaration lli;il this child 

1 /-//'• niid /.rill 1:1 of F. W. Robertson, vol. ii. ]>. ."JJl, scj. 

rLLl'lT AND AT.TAi: 161 

belongs to Goil ; that the beginning- of wisdom for him 
must therefore be to know God and trust and serve him ; 
and they shouhl be made to promise that they will teach 
the child, as soon as he can comprehend the meaning of 
tlie words, whose child he is and what are his duties to his 
Father in heaven. 

The question whether baptism should ever be adminis- 
tered to the children of parents who are not members of 
the church is answered, naturally, in different senses, by 
the holders of these differing: theories. I'hose who recrard 
baptism as the seal of a covenant made by believers with 
God can see no propriety in administering it to the chil- 
di-en of those who are not believers. By the assumption 
such parents can neither exercise the faith nor make the 
claim which gives the ordinance its validity. Dr. Van 
Oosterzee is inclined to make an exception ; he says that 
" no parents who are not yet members must be received at 
the font, save under the express promise that they will at 
once receive Christian instruction for themselves, in order 
that they may be in a position duly to instruct and set an 
example to their children." ^ But most pastors of Reformed 
churches in wliich the doctrine of the covenant is made 
the basis of infant baptism are inclined to say that the 
parents must [)ubliely accept the covenant for themselves 
before they are permitted to claim it for their children. 

If, however, the other theory is adopted, there seems to 
be no conclusive reason Mdiy the children of jxirents who 
are not believers should not be declared to be the children 
of God, for such they are. If the parents wish this declara- 
tion to be made, publicly, in God's house, concerning their 
children, it is not clear that they ought to be refused. 
Tliey ought, however, to be carefully instructed that this 
baptism makes no particle of change in the condition of 
their children ; that they are no more sure to go to heaven 
when they die after than before ba])tisiu; that, although 
they are God's chihhcn, tliey may, unless they are i»i(>i>erlv 
trained, grow uj) to l)e ])rodigal and rebellious eliiMreii, 
and may wan(K'r away into the far country and p^'iish 

' Practical T/iro'offi/, j). 422. 


there. And they should be required to listen carefully 
to the promise which tlie parents must make who present 
their children for baptism, — the promise that they will 
teach the children to know their Father in heaven and 
strive to lead them into his service. If they cannot con- 
scientiously make this promise, they ought not to offer 
their children in baptism. If they can and will make it, 
the privilege of dedicating their children to God should 
not be denied them. 

All this closely connects the ^Jarents with the rite of 
infant baptism, and assumes that the sacrament can have 
no validity unless they take part in it. The presentation 
of the child by sponsors involves the doctrine of sacra- 
mental efficacy. If regeneration is effected by baptism, it 
matters little who presents the child. Yet there was, no 
doubt, a reason underlying the institution of sponsors. 
The Church sought to enlarge the circle of those who 
sliould liold themselves responsible for the training of 
the child. Tlie parental responsibility was assumed ; 
the sponsors were called in to supplement the parental 
function : it was understood that in case of the death of 
the parents the godfathers and godmothers were to assume 
the spiritual care of the children. This obligation has 
come to rest lightly on most of those who now assume it ; 
yet there are conscientious souls to whom it is not desti- 
tute of meaning. 

The precise terms of the baptismal formula should be 
considered. Should it be, " I baptize thee in the name of 
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost," — or 
does the preposition " /;i/o " better express the real mean- 
ing of the ordinance ? The first form seems to assume on 
the part of the administrator some sacerdotal or ecclesias- 
tical autliority. lie is acting in tlie name and witli tlie 
power of (jlod. The other forui rather appears to com]X)rt 
with those views of the ministry to which this treatise 
adheres. The meaning is that baptism introduces the per- 
son receiving it into the name and family of God ; cere- 
monially confers on him the Christian name ; publicly 
recognizes him as bt'loiiLrinfr to the household of faith. 


"\"\''hetlier baptism should be privately administered or 
not is a question that often confronts the Christian minis- 
ter. No inflexible rule can be laid down ; but it is evident 
that, if the second theory of the rite is accepted, the public 
administration is far more appropriate. The declaration 
involved in the ordinance is made by the church ; the min- 
ister is only the mouth-piece of the church, and it is fitting 
tliat it should be made in the sanctuary and in the presence 
of the congregation. Moreover it is, as Ave shall see in a 
later chajiter, the formal initiation of the child into the 
fellowship of the church. " Infant baptism," says Dr. 
Cannon, '' recognizes that infant church-membership which 
is a great privilege ; its public administration, which con- 
nects it with the prayers of the church, for parents and their 
cliildren, shows that it is an invaluable privilege." ^ 

Th(! linal words of Dr. van Oosterzee upon this subject 
are full of the wisdom and gentleness of Christ : " Do not 
always baptize at the close, but at least now and then at 
the beginning of the service, while the attention is yet 
fresh. Where local services admit of it, the mothers with 
their little ones should enter only immediately before the 
solemnity, daring the reverent singing of the congregation. 
Care should be taken that all the material here necessary 
be in due order, and that the weak women be not kept 
too long standing. . . . Do not delay to speak a word of 
tenderness and love, when this is possible, in the families 
after the ])aptism, and be on your guard against all that 
may ever give rise to the impression that, in our estimation 
the whole matter is only a less significant appendix to the 
public service of the sanctuary. Accustom the congrega- 
tion, on the other hand, to think of l)aptism in immediate 
connection with the confession later to be made, and con- 
stantly seek, above all, for the congregati<m and youi'sclf, 
the baptism of the Holy (>li<»st. In lliis way tlic fruit of 
baptism will become from time lo lime moi'c abundant for 
family, congregation, and soci(!ty. und the b;i])tis( Ix' at tin; 
same time one who prepares tlu' ^\ay for the kingdom of 
heaven." 2 

1 I\tstoral ThiDloijji, p. 440. - Pntrtinil Thcoloijij, p. 4'.'.1. 


The administration of the Lord's Supper is also a sacred 
duty to which the pastor must give serious thought. Al- 
though among the Reformed churches generally neither this 
sacrament nor the other is supposed to call for the service 
of a priest, and although by many Protestants it is be- 
lieved that a layman may, with perfect propriet}-, adminis- 
ter the ordinance, when circumstances render it advisable, 
yet the careful and reverent performance of it is esteemed 
by all intelligent Christians to be a matter of great 

The practice of the Reformed churches differs greatly 
wdth respect to the frequency of this administration. The 
Scotch churches formerly observed the sacrament but twice 
a year ; the Dutch churches observe it four times a year ; 
most Presbyterian and Congregational churches in America 
six times a j'-ear ; some Protestant Episcopal churches cele- 
brate it monthly, and others weekly. The theories of the 
sacramentalists naturally require the frequent observance ; 
if the rite has efficacy in itself for the removal of sin and 
the conveyance of grace, it cannot be too often celebrated. 
But those who do not receive this theory nuist be governed 
by considerations of expediency in determining the times of 
its observance. The Scotch interval seems to be too long, 
but the added seriousness and importance wdth which it in- 
vests the Supper is a great gain. It is certain that increas- 
ing the frequency of observance does not proportionately 
enhance its value, and it is a question worth considering 
by the American churches, whether tlie quarterl}- observ- 
ance of the Dutch Avould not be better, on tlic whole, than 
the monthly or bi-monthly celebration. 

Most Protestant churches provide some service of prepa- 
ration for the Supj)er. Sometimes, as among the I>a])lists, 
it takes the form of a Covenant meeting in which the uieiii- 
bers participate, with confession and testimony and song 
and piayer. Among the Scotch Presbyterians, the prepa- 
ration for tlio Su|t])er is a great soleiiniily, oc'cujning sev- 
eral days. Witli fasting and prayci', witli iiuicli solciiiii 
instruction and meditation, tlic communicants apjiroacli llic 
table. I'resljyterians in America often devote eonsiderable 

tTJLPIT A^rt> ALTAll 165 

time to services of this nature. jManuals of instruction 
prepared for their ministry lay much emphasis upon this 
work of preparation. In the early part of the week pre- 
ceding the communion, the pastor is advised to call a 
meeting of the church for pra3-er. Toward the end of 
the week, generally on Friday afternoon or evening, a 
more formal service is held, at which a discourse, having 
distinct reference to the sacrament, is preached by the 

This " Preparatory Lecture," or Sermon, is common to 
many of the Reformed churches. The nature of this ad- 
dress will be suggested by the circumstances and the pres- 
ent condition of tlie church. The underl^-ing thought must 
be the Lord's gift of himself for us, — the revelation of his 
saving love in his great sacrifice. His identification of 
himself with men in his life and death, and our salvation 
tlu-ough our voluntary identification of ourselves with him, 
will be the central theme of all these services. Paul's words 
convey the thought which should be uppermost : " For the 
love of Christ constrainetli us ; because we thus judge, that 
one died for all, therefore all died ; and that he died for all 
tliat they which live should no longer live unto themselves, 
liut unto liiin who for their sakes died and rose again." ^ 
I Jut this thouglit admits of many practical applications to 
the existing ]if(> of the church itself; and it is often very 
serviceable anIuii llie members of the church are gathered 
for this prciiaiatory service, and few others are present, to 
consider delinitely what this principle of identihcation witli 
( 'In-ist involves with respect to the work in which the climch 
is engaged, and how they may l)est manifest their gratituiU' 
for liis great love, and show themselves t(t l)e identified with 
liiiii in thought and life. If tlic cliiinli is lo undertake any 
new service in belialf of the poor or the neglected, the 
proper place to consider i( is at the Ivord's table, and at tlie 
service of preparation foi it. 

In the Roman Catholic church, confession always ])re- 
ccdcs the I'hichaiist ; :ind the ]ir('pnra(ion is made in the 
convei'satiou between the jx'iiitent and the priest, and in 

1 a Cor. V. II, 1.-.. 


the discipline enjoined at the confessional. The Lntheran 
church also adheres to private confession, but considerably 
modifies the Roman Catholic practice. Dr. Harnack ad- 
mits that confession is not enjoined by the Scriptures, but 
maintains that it is of great practical value, — especially 
as a means of safeguarding the Lord's Supper.^ 

The manner of the administration differs in Protestant 
churches. Episcopalians and Methodists receive it kneel- 
ing at the altar ; in some churches large tables are sur- 
rounded with the communicants, and are cleared and filled 
afresh until all have partaken; and in many others the 
elements are distributed by the officers of the church to tlie 
communicants sitting in their pews. The form of the sac- 
rament is evidently not essential ; each of these methods 
has a fitness and beauty of its own which endears it to 
those who have become accustomed to it. 

In the Dutch churches it has long been the practice for 
the minister at the table to address a few questions to the 
communicants, reverently standing, to which they make 
audible response. Such a renewal of their confession of 
loyalty to the Lord seems highly appro2:»riate. After these 
questions there were formerly added, in some parts of 
Holland, the following beautiful words by the pastor: 
"Now, beloved, if we are faithful, and will be faithful 
with all our heart, although much weakness and sin still 
cleave to us, contrary to our desire, the Lord is faithful, 
Avho also will complete his work in us. lie will l)k'ss and 
strengthen us ; he M'ill lift up his countenance upon us 
and enligliten and sanctify us. He sliall ]irescrve our 
whole being, spirit, soul, and body, uiil)laiiiabk! unto his 
appearing. Amen." ^ 

The address at the Comnumiou service must not be 

1" Alior in dor Alisolurioii liandolt der Trilgor dcs Anits wodcr als /i/r/er, 
wie der roniisdic Kirclio lohrt, nocli als fraler, \\\c die Sclnveltzerisclioii be- 
liauptcn, sondcrn als mi'iustrr Dei, als Dieiier, "N'crwalter dos neuestostameiit- 
liclien Gnadcnamts. Dariun isf. Absolution wedcr ciii riclitorlicbos .ludirercn, 
noch oiii brudcrliilios licratlion ; soiidcrii es ist eiii Spciiden uiid speeiellcs 
Appliccrcri der Ciiiade an don ICinzolnen ini Xanien Gottcs." (Gcschichte und 
T/tcorir (hr Predifjl und der Seclsorge, p. 481.) 

2 Van Oosterzce, Practical T/ieolorji/, ]>. 420. 


extended ; a brief sermon, of not more than fifteen minutes 
in length, may be the best preparation ; but all the exer- 
cises should be so ordered that the service shall not be 
fatiguing. To append the Communion to a service of 
ordinary length is not wise. 

In most Protestant churches some form of invitation to 
the table is generally given. Sometimes all members of 
sister churches or of Evangelical churches, in good and 
regular standing, are invited ; sometimes the broader invi- 
tation is given to all disciples and followers of Jesus 
Christ. It is not to be supposed that any form of words 
will serve to bar from the table all unworthy persons ; and 
it may be wisest to throw upon the communicant himself 
the entire responsibility of receiving or refusing the 

The pastor will often find among his people some who 
hesitate to come to the table because of a conceived im- 
worthiness. That blunt translation of Paul's words in the 
Old ^^e^sion, that " he that eateth and drinketh unworthily 
eateth and tlrinketh damnation to himself," ^ has terrified 
many timid disciples. The pastor needs carefully to in- 
struct his people as to the force of that word " uuAvorthily," 
and that other word " damnation ; " and should make them 
Tuiderstand that those who most deeply feel their own 
unworthiness are those who are most welcome at Christ's 
tal)le, if only they come Avith contrite hearts and sincere 
desire to overcome tlie evil. 

The words of Paul just quoted have led, in some 
churches, to a careful guarding of the sacrament from 
unworthy communicants. In Holland the address pre- 
ceding comnmnion is called " feiu-ing the tables," from 
the fact that it is designed to A\arn away those who are 
unfit to participate. The need of sincerity and seriousness 
in this as in all other acts of worship is too evident to be 
insisted on ; and it is not unnatural that S(mu3 exceptional 
caution be enjoined on those who ap[)roach tlie Lord's 
ta])le; yet it may 1)e (pu^stioned whether too much emplia- 
sis has not l)een put on these admniiitioiis. A sujxTsti- 

1 Cur. xi. 2'.t. 


tioiis fear of " eating and diinking condemnation," if not 
damnation, keeps many Inimble and conscientious Chris- 
tians away from the table. Tlie feehng is prevalent that 
the rite is only for those whose sanctity is exceptional ; 
tliose who most need its comfort often either deprive 
themselves of the ordinance, or else draw near to the table 
with so much doubt and fear that its benefits are lessened, 
if not lost. All such stumbling-ljlocks the pastor miLst 
seek to remove. In his preparatory services and in his 
invitations to the Sn})per he must make it clear that the 
sacrament is not for the sinless, but for all needy souls 
who in true poverty of spirit are seeking to turn from 
their evil ways and to receive the forgiveness of their sins. 

Some churches require intending communicants to be 
provided with tickets of admission to the sacrament. The 
provision springs from the anxiety of the church to prevent 
unworthy communication ; it is not so much the profana- 
tion of the Supper that is dreaded as the injvny to the 
unworthy communicant. The impossibility of exercising, 
in such a case, any adequate judgment upon the characters 
of communicants might, however, lead the church authori- 
ties to question the wisdom of such a course. The most 
vigilant censorship Avill not shut out all the unworthy ; 
and it is at least an open question whether it is not better 
to require every disciple to judge himself. This seems, 
at any rate, to be the clear meaning of the apostolic 

One of the most solemn services of the altar to wliich 
the pastor is called is the reception of new members to the 
church. In some of the churches tlie rite of Confirmation 
is carefully defined ih rules an<l rubrics ; the minister's 
duty is i)recisely laid down. The instruction of tliose who 
are to be received into the communion of the cluirch is 
systematized and enjoined ; of tliis we shall liave more to 
say in a subsequent chapter. Even in these churches, 
however, unidi must Ih- left to the discretion of llie 
pastor; it will In- his duty ti) Iti'ing home i]\o ol)ligation 
of publicly confessing tlieir Lmd to the minds of many 

1 1 Cor. xi. 28, 29. 


Avlin have been consecrated to liis service in their infancy, 
and of nrany others who have not received sncli initiation 
into the divine society. 

In many of the Protestant churches the ritual of admis- 
sion is not elaborate, and the whole matter largely depends 
on the wisdom of the pastor. To him is chiefly committed 
the (j^uestion of the fitness of candidates ; even where there 
is a session or a consistory or a committee whose approval 
must be secured, the pastor's recommendations are gener- 
ally influential. 

If the form of admission includes the acceptance of a 
creed it is manifestly the dut}" of the pastor to see that 
the candidate understands the words to which he will give 
his assent. There should be no concealment or evasion 
here ; the intellectual dishonesty of repeating phrases 
A\liich do not express the convictions of the candidate 
should never be encouraged by the pastor. The wisdom 
of employing theological creeds in the formularies of ad- 
mission to the churcli may well be questioned; but if his 
church has establislied this condition, he can do nothing 
other than conform to it. 

Wlicre no such theological expressions are required of 
candidates there is still an important duty iov tlie pastor 
in bringing those who are without into the communion of 
the church. It is for him to set before them an open door, 
and to speak the invitation so graciously that they shall be 
constrained to come in. And the moment when he meets 
on the threshold of the church these discii)k's who have 
been won to confession through his ministry will be lo 
him and to them a moment of great seriousness. With 
great dignity, with entire simplicity, with deep tenderness 
of spiiit the service ouglit to be conducted. Tiie self- 
dedication of the candidates is a solemn act, and its sig- 
nificance ought to appear. But it is also a joyfnl and 
inspiring service to which they are devoting themselves, and 
the note of hope and exaltation must not be absent. Not 
onlv for the ciindidates, but for the members of the house- 
hold ol" I'aitli into wliidi they arc now entering, such a ser- 
vice ought to be memorable and niilifting. WlietluT or not 


it shall be so will depend very largely upon the spirit of 
the pastor. 

One other service of a liturgical character the pastor is 
often called to perform. Marriage is not, in the Protes- 
tant churches, a sacrament ; but it is a rite of great sacred- 
ness, and it is entirely fitting that it should be performed 
within the church. Wherever the covenant is conse- 
crated, however, its true character should not be lost 
sight of. The State provides for civil marriage by magis- 
trates ; the fact that so few persons avail themselves of 
this provision is proof that the sacredness of the act is still 
deeply impressed upon the consciousness of the dwellers 
in Christian lands. The great majority even of those who 
have no connection with the churches desire that the cere- 
mony of marriage should be performed by a minister of 
Cluist and blessed by prayer. It is a choice which the 
conduct of the officiating minister should abundantly con- 
firm. Let him see to it that the sacredness of the rite 
be manifest to those who have thus invoked his service.^ 
Let him make tlicm feel, if they never felt it before, that 
they are standing in the very presence of God, and speak- 
ing their vows directly to him ; that no act of their lives 
can ever require deeper humility or greater conscientious- 
ness. Not seldom young men and women unknown to 
liim will come to him with tlie authorization of the State 
in tlieir liands, but with a very inadequate conception in 
their minds of the importance of the business in which 
they solicit liis offices. It is a pitiful emergency Avhich 
he thus confronts ; it is not ordinarily advisable for liim 
to refuse to render the service whicli they request, nor is 
it judicious for him to offer remonstrance or exhortation. 
All that hv can do is to fill the simple rite so full of its 
tru(! moaning that some sens(! of its vital significance may 
dawn n[)on them, even in the inoincnls wliih^ f^icy are 
stantUng before liim. As he pronounces the solemn "words 

^ " Lc miliiHtrc doit bieti se ganlor d'arcomplir certains rites, tcls que 
lia])tGnie et lo inaria^o, (I'liiie uiaiiiere li'jji'ro ot trop coniniiino. Co. <\n\ 
est nil ncto journalier pour nous est toujours uu acte solenucl pour autres." 
(Vinet, Thi^olor/ie Pastorale, p. 211.) 


of the covenant, as he lifts up his voice in prayer, the truth 
may be borne into their minds that the vows which they 
are uttering must not be lightly spoken. 

In all cases the marriage service, as the Christian min- 
ister performs it, ought to be one of the most impressive 
and genuinely religious services in which he ever partici- 
pates ; the festivities with which it is apt to be surrounded 
should never be permitted to encroach upon its sacred 



In a previous chapter we have spoken of that priesthood 
of sympathy which the pastor exercises through his iclen- 
tificatioji with his people. It is evident that tlie fulfil- 
ment of this relation is made possible only by a general 
acquaintance with the community, and a more or less inti- 
mate friendship with the families and the individuals to 
whom he is called to minister. 

In the general social life of the neighborhood in which 
he lives the pastor ought to mingle as freely as he can. 
He will not be able to give nearly as much time to this 
part of his work as he would like to give ; for his study 
must not be neglected, and the administrative Avork, of 
which we have yet to speak, must be carefully attended 
to ; but he will understand the importance of knowing 
liis neighbors, and of being fully informed concerning the 
general interests of the commuiuty in which he lives. 
'J1iis is not to say that he will devote a very large part of 
his time to what is technically known as " society," though 
even into this, with due circumspection, he will find it to 
his account to enter. The fasliionable people arc his 
neighbors; some of them may be his parisliioncrs, and 
he needs to know them. Tlicii- fiivolitics and dissipations 
he need not countenance: but a liisl-liand ac(|uaintance 
with tlicm is indispcnsahlc. 'I'licsc ])C()])1(' arc not clean 
gone astray; inan\- of them entertain serious aims; sonic 
of tliem are full ol jjcneficent labors; not only tliat lie 
may do them good, but tliai he may eidist them in the 
wnvk of the kingdom it is important that lie sliould main- 
lain IVicndU' relations with theni. '• 'I'ake an illustra- 
tion,'" sa}s oJie wi'iter, ■' t Voiii the society of the second 


century. It is said of St. Ignatius that he longed to know 
more Christians, and to give them an interest in eacli 
other. This is a natural wa}- in Avhich we can contribute 
our share to the drawing-rooms of our parish. We can- 
not guide the conversation if we tried, and it would per- 
haps savor of presumption if Ave could ; but we can often 
throw a kindness into some sharp criticism that is going 
on ; we can go and talk with some one who seems shy or 
neglected ; we must not argue, but we may quietly give 
a practical reason for our faith when questions arise about 
it; if we cannot conquer people by the force of our intel- 
lect, we may win them by unaffected humility ; we need 
not assert ourselves, our views, or our cause, but we may 
commend them by their effect on our own character. And 
we shall often gain more than we give ; we shall Avear off 
the weariness of oiu- parish work, and we shall humanize 
our morning study ; we shall enlarge and enrich our own 
mind Ijy living in contact with those who see things fiom 
anc^ther view-point and from a different training." ^ 

But it is more important that the pastor should make 
himself thoroughly familiar with the industrial, the educa- 
tional, and the philanthropic circles, and that he should 
have a good acquaintance with the busy life of the com- 
munity. He will have much to do with the proper devel- 
f)pment of this life. I lis task, as we have seen already and 
shall liereafter more distinctly see, is the Christianization of 
all this manifold and multiform activity. But our thouglit 
at present concerns only his relation to the individuals of 
which these social groups are composed. I If needs to 
know something about tlic labor question; hut most he 
needs to know the men w lio are wrestling with this ques- 
tion. It is importaril to understand economic tlieorii's, 
but it is more ini])oit;mt to have some jxTsftiial ac(|iiaiiit- 
ance witli tlic huiii;iii beings to whom these theories :iri' 
matters of life and (h-ath. It is precisely so with all these 
social intei'ests. J^aeh has a theoretic side, and each has 
a hiiiiiim side; ;iii(l ilie minister needs to klmw wlmt he 
can of both. That his preaching will In; more iiitelli^cnt 

' I'hc Parish Prirst in Tnwii, |ip. .'10, .'57. 


and more liumane because of this knowledge is evident 
enough; but the point now before us is that he gains, by 
such a familiarity with every-day affairs, opportunities of 
friendship which M'ill greatly add to the fruitfulness of his 

The minister ought to be one of the best known men in 
liis neighborhood; the men of business, the professional 
men, the laboring men, the teachers, the pupils in the 
schools ought to recognize him in the streets and exchange 
with him a cordial greeting ; he ought to be the one man 
in all the vicinage to whom the heart of any one in need 
of a friend would instinctively turn. He is, by virtue of 
his calling, nay, rather, by reason of the life that is in him, 
the friend of all these people. The chief Pastor, when he 
was here, was the people's friend. Everybody seems to 
have known him ; nobody was afraid of him. Faber's 
verses describe what was true of his life in the flesh : — 

" O see how Jesus trusts himself 
Unto our childish love ! 
As though by his free ways with us 
Our earnestness to prove. 

" His sacred name a common word 
On earth he loves to hear : 
There is no majesty in him 

That love may not come near." 

He was the Friend of publicans and sinners, but he was 
not less truly the Friend of rich men, and of little children. 

It is the first business of the pastor to establish sucli 
relations as these between himself and all the people of 
his neigliborhood. It is not merely to the members of his 
own congregation tliat he will manifest tliis friendliness ; 
if the mind tliat was in Christ is in liim, no sucli exclusive 
affection will be possible to him. To do good to all men 
as he has opportunity will be the impulse of his love. 

Such free and familiar intercourse witli all classes of 
people has not always been expected of the Christian 
minister. Indeed, it has sometimes been supposed that 
a somewhat careful reserve was most bcrominrr in liim. 


" Tlie very question," says Van Oosterzee, '* Avhetlier the 
pastor ought to associate on terms of friendship with the 
members of his congregation, is by no means answered by 
all in the same sense. The Komish church permits this 
only within great limitations. J. IJ. Massilon, for instance, 
in his Discours sur la maniere clont les Ecclesiastiques doivent 
co/iicrser avec les jJ^^'sonnes chi module, would have the 
priest, as a rule, associate only with priests ; and cer- 
tainly it cannot be denied on the Protestant side that one 
may as greatly err in this respect by the too much as by 
the too little." ^ For priests, who recognize themselves as 
belonging to a separate caste, tliis may be a good rule ; 
but not for those who regard themselves as possessing no 
such dignity. Even the parish priests of France and 
Germany, the best among them, have but lightly regarded 
counsels of this kind, and have kept themselves in closest 
friendship with the people to whom they ministered. 

It is not by withdrawing from familiar intercourse with 
the people that the minister best preserves the sanctity of 
his character. The leaven must be mingled with the meal ; 
and the more thoroughly it is worked into it, the better 
the results will be. And this means, among other things, 
a close and familiar intercourse between those lives which 
have received the divine influence in its fulness and those 
which have not. The one task of the minister is to brinsf 
the active goodness which exists in the hearts and lives of 
his people into vital contact with the needs of the human 
beings round about them. It is by this personal and prac- 
tical friendshi[) of the members of the church with those 
who are witliont that the work of evangelization is to be 
carried on. Ami if the pastor wishes his people to do this 
work he must show them how to do it. Ilowtlie Chiistian 
minister, in this generation, ciin hold himself aloof from 
tlic [)Cople of his congregation and of his neighborhood, 
or how he can maintain a kind of social (Hstinelion iVoin 
them, does not clearly ai)peai". 

And yet it is very important that his intercourse with 
his neighbors be not of such a character as to uiiderniino 

^ Practical Theolo<ji/, \>. 543. 


his influence. He is not to assume any superiority over 
them, but on the other hand he must beware how he lowers 
his own standards of judgment or conduct in conformity to 
tlieirs. It may not be necessary for him constantly to 
rebuke the selfishness, the frivolit}', the sordidness, the un- 
charity which he encounters in his conversation with those 
whom he meets ; these people are his friends, and it is of 
the utmost importance that he should not forfeit their 
friendship ; but it is possible for him to set forth, affirma- 
tively, in his own conversation and conduct, such an ideal 
of character as shall awaken in them a desire for something 
better. When he is in the companj' of those who are too 
much given to frivolous amusement, he may lead the con- 
versation to more serious subjects — to the great opportu- 
nities for unselfish service ; when he hears a word of 
ungenerous criticism, he can reply to it with a charitable 
judgment ; when lie comes in contact with one who is being 
consumed with covetousness or ambition he may gently 
endeavor to turn his thought toward higher interests. One 
may be in the closest friendship with the selfish and the 
worldly and not be overborne by their selfishness and 
worldliness. One must be in close friendship with them 
in order to do them any good. " As thou didst send me 
into the world," said the Master, " even so have I sent 
them into the world." "They are not of the world, even as 
I am not of the world." " I pray not that thou shouldest 
take them from the world, but that thou sliouldcst keep 
them from the evil." ^ 

When the pastor has succeeded in establishing between 
himself and liis neighljors and parisliiom-rs such relations 
of friendship, great opportunities of ]iel))ful ministr\' will 
come to him. As friend ;iim1 (•ounscllor mikI guide of 
men, lieavy responsibilities will be laid upon him. Tliere 
will be no confessional in wliieli lie will sit as the mouth- 
piece of (lod, to heai' tlic wnnl of the penitent and j)i'o- 
nounce a])Solution, but if lie is the kind of iniin that he 
ought to be, a grciit many stories of doul)l ;ind iieri)lexity 
•iud sorrow '.iiid shame and despair are likely to bi' poui'ed 

^ Jiilin x\ ii. 


into liis ears. The cure of souls is liis high calling ; it 
invokes for him what tenderness, what dignity, what sym- 
pathetic insight, what sanity of judgment, what love for 
men, what faith in God! His own personality will deter- 
mine very largely the nature of the conlidence reposed 
in him. If he is weak and effusive and credulous, all 
sorts of sentimentalists will burden him with their tales 
of woe and entanoie him in their trillino- toils. There is 
peril on this side, and he must be on his guard. But if 
he is known to be a man of sober sense and firm character, 
the silly sort will not greatly affect him. lie will not, if 
he is as wise as Solomon was reputed to be, wholly escape 
such confidants, but they will not seriously trouble him. 

Above all things let him beware how he deals with 
domestic difficulties. To take sides in a quarrel between 
a husband and a wife is generally perilous business. It is 
a good rule to hear nothing from either except in the 
other's presence. In many cases — probably in the great 
majority of cases — the right word for the minister to the 
one who brings the complaint is a very firm and ener- 
getic injunction to go home, and never speak of it to any 
mortal, Ijut to settle the trouble without any outside inter- 
ference. A minister may often say in such a case, with 
all the authority and solemnity of the everlasting truth in 
his utterance : " You two nuist live together. You have 
covenanted to do so before the eternal God, and you must 
keep your covenant. Separation is not to be thought of. 
You took each other for Ijetter or Avorse, and you must not 
desert each other now. The problem for eacli of you is 
to win and compel the respect, the affection, of the other. 
Yi)n can do it if you try. You had better die than fail. 
Cio home and begin to-day." Such words as these have 
put an end, more than once, to discords that would have 
destroyed households and left children homeless. 

There is, ]i(i\\-e\-er, in every congregation, enough of 
real tiouMe to tax the iiiiiiisler's resources of sympathy 
and wisddiii. I low niueli there is, in every community, 
of anxit'ty and disaj)])oiiitmeiil and h(>ari-])ivaking sorrow 
that never comes to the surface, of which the gossiping 



world never knows anything at ail ! A great deal of this 
trouhle comes to the minister; he must always be tlie 
sharer of many burdens which are hidden from the public 
gaze. This is just as it ought to be; the pastor has as 
little reason to complain of it as the doctor has to com- 
plain of a multitude of patients. But it is apt to be the 
most exhaustive part of the pastor's work; the drafts 
made upon his nervous energy through the appeal to his 
sympathies are heavier than those which are due to his 
studies. Every pastor must be ready for a great deal of 
this kind of work, — work that will make no noise in the 
newspapers, and that will not greatly affect his clerical 
reputation, but that will have its reward in the day when 
he is received into the everlasting habitations. 

Pastoral work rather tends, in these days, to take this 
form, especially in the larger churches. There is less of 
what is known as pastoral visiting; but there is more of 
demand upon the pastor for counsel and help in all sorts 
of personal troubles. Tlie pastor offers less of personal ser- 
vice than once he did, but he is called on for more. This 
is partly because the sacerdotal character of the minister 
is fading out, and the brotherly character is more strongl}^ 
accentuated. Formerly the pastor was expected to go 
regularly to the homes of his parishioners, and there to 
enter into religious conversation with every member of 
the family, seeking to learn the secrets of the spiritual 
history of each one, and offering sucli admonition as 
seemed wise to him. Tlierc is less of this than once 
there was ; some wise men think that there is less of it 
now than there ought to be. Tlie change has i-esulted 
in part, no dou1)t, from an enlarged, perhaps an exagger- 
ated, sense of the sacredness of personality. Conscien- 
tious ministers often have scruples about thrusting their 
counsel u]ion those wlio give no sign of desiring it, and 
are more than doubtful about the utility of such a method 
of family visitation as was formerly practised. Some of 
us who were by no means indisposed, in our cliildliood, 
to religious conversation, under proper conditions, do yet 
vividly recall the repugnance with wliicli the ol'licial visit 


of the parson to the family was expected, and xlvc annoy- 
ance with which we replied to his inquisition. Dr. Will- 
cox is not far from the truth when lie says to young 
ministers: "In your labor with individuals, to draw them 
to Christ, see each of them ahvavs alone. It is a ffriev- 
ance to any one to ask him to throw open to a group of 
listeners his inmost life. Commonly he will decline. If 
he does 3()U will talk, not with, but onl}' at him. You 
will preach to him only the general counsel that never 
comes home to us." ^ It is not clear that this can be 
adopted as a universal rule; the pastor may know of 
fanuly circles into which he could safely introduce the 
most intimate conversation on religious themes. lUit it 
is ordinarily far wiser to respect the natural reticence 
which shrinks from the exposure of the secrets of the 
soul. And it is }n-ol)able that the pastor who went about 
among the homes of his people, questioning husbands and 
Mives, parents and children, brothers and sisters as he 
found them, in the family groups, would not be so apt 
to attract to himself the confidence of those who really 
need counsel as if he adopted a less aggressive method. 
Pastoral visitation, as we shall presently see, may still 
serve an excellent purpose ; but, as affording an oppor- 
tunity for serious conversation ujion tlie religious life, it 
does not hold the same place that once it held in the 
estimation of the wise pastor. 

For the personal ministry which we are now considering, 
other opportunities must be sought than those which are 
afforded by general pastoral visitation. Sometimes the 
iiKUi can be found in his ofllce or his i)lace of Inisiness; 
but care must be taken not to encroach upon time \\liicli 
is occupied with necessary duties. Sometimes a walk or 
a drive or a railway journey in company will 1)riiig the 
o])])ortuiiity : very often llic ])aslor"s study or his ]iarloi' 
at home will rtuiiisli the place for such an iiit(i\ icw. It 
is alwaAS far better, of ef)urse, that the conlidcncc shonhl 
be sought bv tlie jiarishioiier ; to o])cn tlic \\a\ foi- this 
and lead up to it is what tlic skilful pastor will seek to 

' T/ic I'lislor timiiht his I-lock, p. 41. 


do. Ijiit it may sometimes be wise for liim to invite such 
confitlences. He may have reason to believe that some 
friend of his in the congregation is in a state of mind in 
wliich a frank talk with his pastor would be welcome, 
though he would shrink from proposing it. A cordial 
invitation might Ijring him to the study or the parsonage. 
The wise and faithful pastor is always seeking for such 
opportunities of personal ministry to those who have 
learned to confide in his friendship. 

A confidential note will sometimes open the way for 
such a conversation. There may be circumstances in 
which the pastor could more easily and delicately invite 
the confidence in this Avay. To find the occasion for the 
first serious words is often difficult. But the pastor 
should be sure that he possesses the entire respect and 
confidence of tlie friend whom he thus addresses. It 
is always better, when possible, that the conmiunicalion 
should be face to face, as a man speaketh with his friend. 

The needs of the souls to whom the pastor seeks to 
minister are man}- and various. No two cases arc alike ; 
each is a separate study. But one may think of types 
which are always found in all our congregations. 

The pastor is too apt to find among the members of his 
churcli some who have ceased to take any active part in its 
work, and some who have even lost their interest in s])irit- 
ual things ; with such persons as these he should seek to 
establish friendship, that he may, if possible, lead them 
back to the ways of discipleship. The first thing is to win 
their confidence; then he may seek to learn the reasons of 
their lack of service. 

With some of these the chief dil'liculty will be found to 
be intellectual. They have become entangled in doubts, 
and cither are, or suppose themselves to be, disabled for 
Christian service. The i)roblem of dealing with the doubter 
is tluis brought home to the pastor. In these latter days 
it is a problem of hirge dinieusions. Tlic tremendous ad- 
vance of the ])hysi('al sciences, tlie rise of the ]tliil()sophy 
of evolution, the prevalence of tlie methods of historical 
criticism, have madi! n('(;essary a restatement of many of 


the doctrines of religion, and have swept the foundations 
from beneath the feet of multitudes who have not had time 
to adjust themselves to these rapid movements of mind. 

Many of these doubters, who have withdrawn from active 
work in the church, are not really half so widely se[)arated 
from their brethren as they suppose themselves to be. The 
things which they are inclined to den}^ are things which no 
one wishes them to affirm. The pastor finds, when he comes 
to close quarters with their difficulties, that the stumbling- 
blocks from which they have turned back are not really 
there, — that they were swept away long ago by the move- 
ments of Christian thought. One is often surprised to find 
how ignorant men are of what is going on around them, — 
how little aware they are of the progress of theological 
science. The wdse pastor is often able to give great relief 
to l)urdened minds by showing them that tlie difficulties 
wliich had troubled them do not exist. 

Real difficulties there are, however, and they nnist be 
met with the utmost candor. Not seldom it will be easy 
to show that they rest upon an unsound philosophy ; that 
wliat the doubters deny would lead, if they consistently 
maintained it, to intellectual chaos. And it is generally 
true that there are mysteries quite as profound in the sim- 
plest phenomena of life as any which theology presents. 
Tennj'son's lines are an adequate reply to many sceptical 
sugfi-estions : — 

" Flower in the crannied wall, 
I pluck you out of the crannies ; 
Hold you here, root and all, in my hand, 
Little flower — but if I could understand 
Wliat you are, root and all, and all in all, 
I should know whiiL (!od and man is." 

The pastor will often be tdjki to ])ut into the liaiids of the 
doubter some book that deals s])ecilieally and \\isely with 
his (lirticiilties. l"^iniili;iiity witli literature of lliis l<iiid is 
liiglih- inij)ortaut. and a jndieions usi' of it; for miieh of 
tliat wliieli is em[)loyed is eah'ulated to aggravate ratlier 
than til lelii've doubt. (\'rtain cdiMiscls of \)\-. \an ()i)S- 
tei/ee may w ell l)e ])ondered : — 


" The doubter may be led by means of the Scripture to 
Christ, but also by faith in Christ to the just estimate of 
the Scriptures ; and according to the apportionment of these 
times, the last-mentioned way appears preferable in the 
case of by far the greater number. From the viulta, there- 
fore, direct the attention to the nndtiom ; from the circum- 
ference of the circle to its unmovable centre. Learn to 
comprehend and explain each of the parts in the light of 
the whole ; the miracles of the prophets, from the idea 
of the theocracy; those of Jesus and the apostles, from 
the whole divine plan of salvation ; those of creation in 
connection with the idea of God. In the clearing up of 
historic difficulties for persons of intelligence, frankly 
surrender all that you cannot, with a good conscience, 
maintain; but point out at the same time (in connection 
with the details of the resurrection, e.g.) how many a de- 
tail less certain, or even for us irreconcilable with other 
statements, detracts nothing whatever from the great fact 
with which we have here exclusively to do. In the treat- 
ment of dogmatic questions, withdraw quickly (when 
there is a divergency,) from the province of ecclesiastical 
doctrine to that of the purer doctrine of Scripture, espe- 
cially of the New Testament, and show that, even though 
very considerable difficulties attach to the acknowledg- 
ment of the truth, its consistent rejection leads to much 
greater difficulties, nay, absurdities. Call attention to 
the limitation of the intellect with regard to the lioiv of 
invisible things, but at the same time to the validity of the 
grounds which compel us to believe in the that. Extol 
the power and glory of faith, even according to the tes- 
timony of not a few unbelievers tliemselvcs ; and point 
not less to tlie depths of denial and misery to which tlie 
patli of doubt must in the long run inevitably lead." ^ 

This whoh- siil)ject of the treatment of doubt belongs to 
Apologetics, rather than to Pastoral Theology; yet it is in 
this s])li('r(i that the pastor is called to apply wliat lie lias 
li;iiii«<I ill many departments of study; and a few simple 
piiiiciph's may be serviceable in this part of liis work. 

' Practical T/ico!oi/i/, pj). 070-571. 


1. Most of the intellectual difficulties Avliicli the pastor 
will encounter at the present day arise from the assump- 
tion of the antecedent improbability of the miraculous. 
Upon this it is well to say that while what is known as 
the miraculous may be supernatural, it is not anti-nat- 
ural. It may be the revelation of a power which works 
upon or within nature in a way that we do not understand ; 
it is not a violation of nature. 

2. To one who objects to any religion in Avliich the 
su})ernatural is implied, it may be useful to put the (ques- 
tion A\'hetlier he believes in a supernatural God, and 
whether if there be such a God it is possible for men to 
liave any relations with him. If religion consists in fel- 
lowshi[) and communion with a supernatural divinity, it is 
dil'licult to see how the element of the supernatural can be 
w liolly eliminated from it. 

■]. The proof of religion, so far as it is gained by or- 
dinary argumentation, must rest on probabilities ; demon- 
strative proofs are out of the question. Kespecting the 
existence of God or the fact of a future life there can be 
no mathematical certainty. A preponderance of evidence 
in support of the proposition may be shown — nothing 
more. But this is precisely the ground on which we rest 
all our judgments of practical affairs ; we risk oui- lives, 
our fortunes, our happiness upon such evidence. 

4. The Christian religion is given to us not for specula- 
tive, but for practical [)urposes. There is only one test, 
tliat is tlie test of life. It is not much less absurd to try 
to determine its truth by simply arguing about it than it 
would be to tiy to lind out whetlier a ])each was good 
without tasting it, or whether air would su[)j)ort life with- 
out breathing it. "If any man willeth to do liis will he 
shall know of the doctrine." ^ The hrst condition of intrl- 
ligent inquiry is readiness to ''do the truth." The man 
who wishes light upon the deoj) tilings of God nuist put 
liimsflf in the position in which light can come to him. 

This business of dealing with doubt is one of tlie most 
delicate and dil'licult to which the minister is ealled : it 

1 .lelm vii. 17. 


requires a large equipment of knowledge, but more than 
this it demands tact and sympathy and loving considera- 
tion. Doubtless there is much scepticism which is born 
of ignorance and conceit and headiness, — wliich vaunteth 
itself and is puffed up, and assumes that whatsoever things 
have been believed must be disputed, — that this is the 
beginning of wisdom. But even this distemper of mind is 
to be dealt with patiently ; false logic and arrogant as- 
sumptions must be mercilessly exposed, yet always with 
kindness. The most of those, however, who will jnako 
known to the minister their doubts are honest doubters, 
and a generous and patient treatment will lead them into 
the truth. Such doubters must be admonished not to bo 
afraid of their doubts, but to face them, and grapple with 
them fearlessly ; never to accept any sophistries for reason- 
ings ; and never to try to compel the mind to assent to a 
statement because it is safer or more comfortable to believe 
it. " Have it as a law," says Dr. Bushnell, " never to put 
force upon the mind, or try to make it believe ; because it 
spoils the mind's integrity, and when that is gone, what 
power of advance in the trutli is left? " ^ 

In short, it may be said that in liis treatment of the 
doubters in his congregation the pastor has a great op- 
portunity of extending his friendsliips. No greater service 
can be rendered to any man than an honest and manly 
effort to enable him to find the truth. And those who 
have found their wa}', under his guidance, out of the wil- 
derness of doubt into the green pastures and beside the 
still waters, are likely to cherish a deep and lasting affec- 
tion for the sliephcrd wlio has led them. 

The pastor will find among his parishicjucrs not a few 
\\]\n liave fallen out of the ways of active discipleshi[) l)e- 
cause the views of the Christian life with which they set 
out have not been veriiied in their ('Xjieiience. They 
entertained I'atlicr fanciful notions of \\liat it means to fol- 
low Christ. At tiie Ix'ginning of th(! way there was a cer- 
tain exhilaration and fervor of spirit Avhich on the dull 

^ Srrwniix <»> Lii'inij Sulijrrix. p. ISI. Tliis wlmlf .serniuii on "The Dis- 
solving of Doubts" is full of the ripest wisdom. 



levels of eveiy day duty it is hard to sustain ; and when 
that exalted mood was lost they thought their religious 
life was gone, and relapsed into careless and undevout 
wa}'s. It is needful to bring these wanderers back into 
the paths of service, and to show them that a religion of 
more sober color is quite as genuine and more serviceable. 
In the last generation and probably in the former genera- 
tions, cases of religious despair were very common. Men 
and women were not rare who had settled down upon the 
conviction that they were lost souls ; that for them there 
could be no future but a certain fearful looking-for of 
JLidginent. This state of mind was due in large measure 
to the fatalistic theories with wliich theology had been 
infested. A thoroughly conscientious person, working 
strenuously upon the problems of personal salvation, and 
failing to enter into those emotional experiences which he 
often hears reported, might easily come to feel that the 
reason of his failure was to be found in those inscrutable 
decrees by which heaven is sealed to all but the elect. 
When such an appalling conviction has been reached, it 
must hold tlie mind fast in its palsying grasp ; and the 
offers of the gospel forever sound like a dismal mockery. 
It is not many jx-ars since persons could be found in nearly 
everv conffrecfation who had sunk into chronic hoi)elessness 
through the operation of such causes. These things are 
better understood in oiir day; the ethical element in the- 
ology has supplanted mure force as a regulative principle ; 
and tlie belief that the Judge of all the earth will do right 
has quieted most of these despairing cries. IJut there are 
still occasional cases of religious melancholy which require 
to be wisely treated. In most of these cases, the trouble 
is physical, and the sufferer nnist be gently l)nt tinnly en- 
joined to lose no time in consulting a i)liysician. The \ms- 
tor may himself have had experiences of depression arising 
from puicly ithysical causi'S, and may be a])le lo I'onvince 
tlic victim of melaiK'liolia that lie knows whnf lie is saying. 
Tlic close relation of the ImxIn and tlir niiml. ;inil tlie lact 
tliiit mental suffering is often eansed by jdiysical nialacUes, 
nuist always be kept before the thought of him who is 


called to minister to minds diseased. The converse of all 
this is, however, just as true. Tliere are many physical 
ailments whose source is in a troubled conscience or a 
morljid fear. The pastor may often call to his aid the 
medical man in dissolving doubt and despair ; but, on the 
other hand, there are many sicknesses that the doctor with 
his drugs can never cure, but that would be quickly put 
to flight if the load of shame and remorse that are resting 
upon the heart could be removed. The utmost wisdom is 
needed in dealing with such cases ; the true priesthood of 
the pastor is here called into exercise. If by gentle ques- 
tioning he can draw forth the rankling secret, and con- 
vince the troubled soul, by his own forgivingness, that 
the Infinite Love is able to save to the uttermost all who 
trust in him, he may prove to be the bringer of health and 
peace. The cure of souls is a phrase Avith a deep and real 

The visitation of the sick is one of the constant labors 
of the Christian pastor. In any considerable congregation 
the weeks are few in which some service of this sort is not 
laid upon him ; and the duty is one which taxes heavily 
his wisdom and his strength. 

It is impossible to give directions concerning this minis- 
tration which will be applicable in all cases. The pastor 
of a village church of fifty families will be able to give far 
more time and thouglit to each fannly than the pastor of 
a city church with four or five hundred fanulics can 
possibly give. In the great congregations the limitations 
of pastoral service are obvious. Nevertheless the pastor 
will wish to see all meml)ers of his flock who arc seriously 
ill, and 111' will iiial-cc llie congregation understand that 
this is liis wish. Lc) liim tell them, frequently and 
enq)hati(ally, to send U>y him when they need him; to 
have no more hesitation in sending for him than in send- 
ing for the physician. Let him make liis people under- 
stand that the responsibility of calling him rests on them; 
that tliey must not expect liim to know by intuition mIio 
is sick ; that they must take pains to inform liim. Pai ish- 


ioners are sometimes unreasonable in this matter; it is 
difficult for them to understand that trouble wliicli so 
profoundly affects them should not be known to every- 
body; and in the distress and nervous disturbance which 
the sickness brings not only to the invalid but to those 
who are caring for him, it is easy to entertain unjust 
suspicions of pastoral neglect. The pastor must guard 
against this by establishing the rule that those who need 
him must send for him. Still, he need not refuse to go 
where he knows that there is trouble until he is sent for ; 
let him rather say to people : " I shall always try to visit 
you when I know that you need me ; but if I do not come 
you must assume that I do not know, and that it is your 
duty to let me know." 

Much discretion must be exercised in the visitation of 
the sick. In the first place the pastor should be careful 
to co-operate in every possible way with the attending 
physician, to whom belongs the chief responsibility, and 
whose orders should be scrupulously respected. The phy- 
sician will know whether the patient should be allowed 
to see any visitors ; and if this has been prohibited, no 
question should be raised. It is not often that a pastor, 
wlio has sho\vn good sense in his manner of visitation, 
will be forbidden the sick-room ; ordinai'ily his visit, if 
properl}^ timed, will aid the doctor; but there are times 
when even this must be disallowed. The pastor sliould 
be very careful about volunteering medical advice ; the 
cases are rare in which hv. should venture any suggestion 
whicli would have the effect to weaken the confidence of 
tlie patient or his friends in the physician in charge. 

In cases of serioiLS illness, the visit should ordinarily 1)0 
very brief. Laying aside outer garments that arc daiui) 
or cold the pastor should quietly enter the I'ooni, and 
ahv.ays with a smile and a cheei ful word. Nothing that 
savoi>i of olHcialism can be tol('rat(;d ; he is not tliere as 
a religious functionary, but as a friend, 'llic <as(' may be 
critical, l)ut it is not for him to manifest alarm or i-on- 
sternation cncu in the presence of Death. An nnwctnted 
solenniity is ne\er demanded in the sick chamber. If 


serious talk is necessary the tone of it should always he 
gentle and unflurried. 

^V few pleasant and sympathetic words with the patient, 
that will tend to calm his apprehensions and strengthen 
his courage are generally all that are needed. It is not 
wise, ordinarily, to attempt any keen inquisition into the 
patient's spiritual condition ; the simple counsel to put 
himself wliolly into the keeping of the Infinite Care-taker, 
and leave himself there, is generally the best that can be 
said. If he wishes to talk, — if he has questions to ask, 
anxieties to confess, — it may be wise to meet liis wdslies ; 
possibly some word of comfort and assurance will be 
spoken that "will be more efficacious than much medicine. 
But the conversation should not be protracted ; never let 
the patient weary himself in the interview. 

Whether prayer should be offered will dej^jend on cir- 
cumstances. It is far better that it should be asked for 
by the patient himself ; if the conversation opens the way 
for that, it will be well. But often the request is not 
made, more through diffidence or delicacy than unwilling- 
ness; in some cases even when the sufferer is secretly 
desiring it. The wise pastor can generally tell whether 
such a service would be accex)table or not, and will know 
when to propose it. In almost all cases it should be very 
brief. A few verses from the Bible, and a prayer not 
more than two or three minutes in length A\'ill generally 
be more useful than any lengthened exercise. 

''Wliat we say to the sick," says Dr. Andrew Intiiar, 
"should be ])rief; and when we pray willi tlie sick we 
sliould be slioi't in our prayers." ^ 

S()in(^ of the cliurches furnisli to the ])as(oi' a liluigieal 
foiMu for use in tlie sick-room, l)ut llif siiii|iler and less 
f(H'iual words that come from tlie heart of a sympathetic 
friend will generally 1)e more welconu; than a prescribed 
fiinii n\' |)i-ayer. 

"Any one desirous, as a maitei- of curiosity, to see a 
complete rubric on the visitation of the sicd;, should gi't 
hold of Dr. Stearne's Tractatns dc Visitatione Ivjinnorinii, 

1 (.inotfd ill r.laikic's Fi>r the Work <if the Mi'ntstri/, )). 201. 


as contained in the " Clergyman's Instructor." Tliere he 
will lind instructions, cut and dried, for all sorts of cases, 
including that of criminals sentenced to be hanged. In 
the coldest and driest manner, he will find topics sug- 
gested for conversation and prayer in such circumstances, 
as if tlic whole of a clergyman's duty were exhausted in 
saying the proper thing, and no consideration were to be 
given to the tone and spirit in which it is said. The 
visitation of the sick is of all duties that for which the 
S[)irit of formality is most unsuitable, and where the speak- 
ing must be most thoroughly from the heart to the heart. 
Yet a rubric like that to which we have referred might 
not be without its use in the way of suggestion, — it might 
show the minister how great a variety of cases he is called 
to deal with, and of what value it is for him to be pro- 
vided with manifold Scripture texts and references, sayings 
and anecdotes of suffering Christians, counsels and encour- 
agements of well tried value, in order that to every sick 
and sorrowing person he may be able to give his portion 
of meat in due season." ^ 

Whether the Lord's Supper should be administered at the 
sick bed is a question to which theological controversy has 
sometimes given point. " In itself," says Van Oosterzee, 
"an affirmative answer to lliis question a])pears reasonable, 
as also histoi'v speaks of blessed observances of the Suj)})er 
u]ioii llic l)cd of sickness and df dcutli (Schleiermacher, 
Adolph Alonod, and others). On tiie other hand, how- 
ever, it can hardly l^e denied that the desire for tlie Com- 
munion in the case supposed is sometimes connected with 
a not purely evangelical conception Avith regard to the 
sacramental efficacy and signilicaiice of the sacred emblems, 
and is to l)e but imperfectly harmonized with the view of 
the Holy Supper as a social meal. licsides, it is difficult 
to make a distinction liy virtue of which wo deny to some 
what could be granted witliont much licsitatioii to othci-s. 
No wonder that in the age of the JU'formalioii a lliillinger 
should deem separate communion undesirable; and that 
later it should be opposed by tlioso wlio in otlui- icsprcts 

^ Blaikic's For the Work of the Ministn/, [>. li.'.'.t. 


I'eadily acknowledged the beneticial psychological effect of 
the sacred action for sick persons. It might also so easily 
degenerate into a custom, observed even in the case of 
those but little concerned, and lead to the Romish custom 
of a viaticum. For all these reasons we would not will- 
ingly see ' private communion ' made the rule ; but only 
conceded as a rare exception, when the pastor is convinced 
on good grounds that it is desired without superstition, from 
a right motive. In particular, from those confined to the 
bed of sickness, who wdth sorrow have already been long 
deprived of the sacred emblems, and earnestly desire them, 
we need not continue arbitrarily to Avithhold them. In 
that case, however, a little liousehold congregation must be 
assembled round the bed of sickness, and the necessities 
of the i^oor remembered, while the pastor fulfils with 
dignity and simplicity the task of the liturgist." ^ 

The difhculties felt by the writer of this paragraph 
woidd not, probably, occur to many Protestant pastors in 
America. There is practically no danger wdiatever that 
the Lord's Supper w^ill be regarded superstitiously by our 
sick parishioners ; and there are few cases in which its 
administration is requested by sick persons from any other 
than proper motives. Often it is a great solace to the 
devout believer ; those wdio are drawdng nigh to death find 
their hopes strengthened by it; and it sometimes l)rings 
to the troubled spirit the peace that passeth knowledge. 
That tlie sacrament be administered at the sick bed in a 
dignified and appropriate manner is wortli some painstaking. 
A few of the sacred vessels should be taken from the church 
to tlic liouse ; the bread and wine should l)e properly pre- 
pared, and it will be well if one or more of the ofhcers of 
the church can assist the pastor in fhc administration. Jf 
all things connected with the ordinance can be done 
decently and in order, the effoi^t Uj)on the mind of the 
recipient is likely to be nion; salulary.- 

^ Prncl.icnJ Tlirolnrji/, ]>. ^KtS. 

2 " II est li'f^itimc et parfailcinoiit li'gal do donnpr la (•(•no anx inalados clioz 
eux ; tnais que ce soil aver solonnitc et qn'il y ait oinntniiiiion, c.'est-ii-dire, 
noil scnlcmont dos assistants inais dos porsonnes qui ))rcniiciit la cenc avcc la 
maladc." — Vinot, 'J'heiAofjle PaMonilt, ]>. 2I.'3. 


Whether the pastor shoiihl reveal their true condition 
to those who are drawing nigh to deatli is often a dil'licnlt 
question. In cases not a few the plu-siciau's orders to tlie 
contrary are explicit ; yet the pastor's responsibility in such 
a case may be equal to that of the physician. When the 
physician has distinctly declared that there is no hope of 
recovery, the right of the patient to know that fact would 
seem to be unquestionable. It may not be necessary that 
he should know it; it may be best that he should not; 
l)ut in many cases it is evidently wrong that it sliould be 
concealed from him. Respecting all this matter the pastor 
is precisely as able to judge as is the phj-sician ; and after 
consultation with the famil}^, he must take tlie responsi- 
])ility. There are many kinds of preparation which the 
dying man may wish to make for his departure ; that right 
should not be denied him. It is not, indeed, the salvation 
of the soul tliat chieily calls for such a disclosure ; for the 
repentance which can only be produced by the imminence 
of death is of little avail ; but there are few rational Iniman 
beings who would not feel deepl}' wronged if a truth of so 
much moment were concealed from them b}- those in whom 
they had reason to confide. 

AVliat is the duty of the pastor with respect to the visita- 
tion of those who are sick with infectious diseases? Plis 
obligation to his own household and his other parishioners 
must indeed be well considered; putting his own safety 
out of the question, he must not wantonly expose others. 
Yet there are other virtues besides caution. The Christian 
pastor must not be a coward. He must take all necessary 
])r('caulions on behalf of others; but lie nuist not l)e afraid 
to go where he is needed. The physician must go into all 
these dangers, why should the minister be less courageous? 
I)ideed, the ])hysiciau"s experience is proof jxisitive that lh(^ 
d;iU'j;er of infection is, in many cases, greatly exaggerated. 
'' When," says A'an Oostcrzee, *' in 1574, the (|uesti()n lieic 
pnt was exiiicssly deliberated at the Synod of Dort, the 
answer was given 'that they shonld go. bi-ing called, and 
even uncalled, insouuich as they know that tliere w ill be 
need of them.' With what right shall the physician ol' souls 


■withdraw from a task from wliicli even the unbelieving 
medical man does not too greatly shrink? 'Das Leben 
ist der Giiter litichstens nicht ' (Life is not the highest of 
possessions), in the words of Schiller ; and the propter vitam 
Vivendi perdere causas is certainly to be desired of no one 
less tlian of the true shepherd of the flock. Considering 
tlie brilliant example of believing courage and self-denial 
on the part of Catholic priests, the Protestant clergy must 
not remain too much behind. The risk incurred on that 
occasion finds its aljundant compensation in the gratitude 
of the flock, the approval of our own conscience, and the 
ever renewed experience that the Lord supports his ser- 
vants in this school of exercise also, and often manifestly 
preserves them. Of course, belief in his power and faith- 
fulness can release no one from the duty of taking those 
measures of precaution prescribed under such circumstances 
by experience and science." ^ 

No service more delicate or more difficult is required of 
the pastor than that which he is called to render in the 
biu'ial of the dead. The Anglican church and some of the 
other churches furnish a ritual to which the minister is 
expected to adhere ; the solemn and beautiful service of 
the English church leaves little to be desired in the way of 
a dignified ceremonial. But many American pastors have 
no such chart to guide them, and they lind themselves 
confronted with conditions and expectations which often 
tax their wisdom. 

Death knocks with e(|ual })unctuality at the doors of llic 
niicliurched and of the devout; and tliosc wlio never seek 
the churches, and who often rail at tliem, are ahvays in 
need, when death invades tlicir dwellings, of the services 
of a minister of the gosjx'l. To this call the Clnistian 
pastor will never turn a deaf car; whenever it is possible 
he will gladly bear to those in trouble the words of conso- 
lation. Jn many of tlie lural conimnnities a funeral ser- 
uum is ex|)ected; and tlie sui;oessful ''funeral preacher" 
is tlie one who can most strongly a]ij)eal to the feelings of 

1 Practical T/icoloi/y, p. 559. 


the mourners, and elicit the most extravagant demonstra- 
tions of sorrow. Against this tendency the wise pastor 
will quietly set his face. He must not too rudely disregard 
the feelings of the afHicted, but with gentleness and kind- 
ness he must seek to lead them into better ways. 

The funeral sermon may well be omitted, and the brief 
address wliieh takes its place should be full of the comfort 
of the gospel. The one central truth that God is love ; 
that even as we draw nearest to our own children and 
yearn over them most tenderly when they are in the deep- 
est trouble, so our heavenly Father is nearest to us in the 
day of our aflhction ; that while many things happen to us 
which we can never explain, nothing can ever happen to 
us that he will not overrule for our good, if we will but 
trust in him, — all this the minister must seek to make 
these mourners see and understand. All this is the most 
direct and certain inference from that doctrine of God 
A\hieh Jesus has taught us. If we have such a Father in 
heaven as our Lord sought to reveal to us, then there are 
no sorrows that cannot be comforted, and no wounds that 
cannot be healed. 

Either in the sermon, or in the '' remarks " which are 
substituted for it, some biographical sketch, more or less 
eulogistic, is generally expected of the minister. Tliis, 
too, is a custom wliich is best honored in the breach. The 
njjiiister jiiayiweU-Ji^fl^^Q it ^ fixed rule to esc hew all esti - 
mates of the character of the deceased. In many cases 
the attempt to do this is embarrassingln the extreme ; and 
often the minister, who relies for the materials of such a 
sketch upon the judgments of partial friends, finds after- 
wards that he has been whitening a sepulchre. The simjjle 
annals of tlie life, — the time and jtlace of birth, the family 
record, the date of death, may in all cases be simply stated 
from memoranda furnished l)y the family ; beyond tliis, 
])iogra[)hy does not need to go at the funeral service. 

Many wise pastors in these da}S are inelined to conlinc! 
themselves on these occasions to the reading of the Scrip- 
tures and ])rayer. It is bocomiiig more and more rommon 
for men and women of high cliaraeter and eminent station 



to give direction, before their death, that the burial service 
shall be limited to these exercises. It is greatly to be 
wished that all persons of sound mind would make the 
same request. 

It is, however, possible, to enlarge this simple ritual by 
reading appropriate selections, not only from the Scriptures 
of the Old and New Testaments, but also from the writ- 
ings of saints and prophets and psalmists of later times. 
In the book of Scripture selections which the pastor uses 
at funerals he may insert loose leaves whereon he has 
copied sentences and paragraphs gathered from many 
sources, which are full of the light and hope and comfort 
of the gospel. In the course of years this anthology of 
consolation may become copious and rich ; the pastor has 
become familiar with it ; he can tell by glancing over it 
which of these gracious words will be most appropriate in 
the case before him. Pastors who have followed this prac- 
tice for many years bear testimony to its usefulness. Such 
words of life as may thus be gathered together, the utter- 
ances of men and women of strongest faith, of deepest 
insight, are far better than any extemporaneous words 
that the preacher would be likely to bring forth. 

Tlie service must not, however, be protracted. Seldom 
should the whole exercise exceed half an hour. It is no 
time for lengtliened homilies and long-drawn-out petitions. 

At the grave the service should be brief and simple. 
The short committal service of the Anglican church, 
which is almost identical with that employed in the Ger- 
man Lutheran churches, is always a})propriate ; or a brief 
prayer may be uttei-ed, closing with the benediction. In 
winter it is well for the minister to admonish the men 
standing about the grave to remain covered during this 
service; that is not true respect for the (h-ad ^^■lli('ll endan- 
gers the health of the living. 

These times of afliiction fui-iiish the true jiastor a\ itli a 
precious o])]iortunity. His wise and sympathetic friend- 
ship at sueli a time will never be forgotten. lie often 
gains, in tliese days, an intliicnce tliat lie eould never 
otherwise have won : h-t liini use it judicious!}'. 


The pastor who has proved his friendship for his people 
will be welcome in their homes; and a most important part 
of liis pastoral service will be performed in the maintenance 
of a fruitful personal and social relation between his own 
family and the families of his flock. In many large 
churches the work of the study, the organization of the 
parish, and the multitudinous public engagements make 
it difficult for the pastor to find time for such pastoral 
work as he wishes to do. That great change, to which 
reference is made in the introductory chapter, which has 
passed upon tlie chiu-ch during the past twenty-five years 
— the change by which, in Dr. Parkhurst's happy phrase, 
the church is no longer the pastor's field, but the pastor's 
force — itself largely prevents the pastor from undertaking 
the amount of pastoral visitation which was common in 
former years. "Sometimes," saj'S a successful pastor, 
"general parish oversight, through the network of socie- 
ties and organizations that fall to the minister to manage, 
is supposed to take the place of visiting and personal 
contact with individuals ; but this does not meet the 
necessities of the case. Tliat general superintendency or 
presidency of the parish and pastoral care are not the same 
thing. The former has res})ect to the general life of the 
community and is busy with the mai-hinery, while the 
latter has to do with internal states, conditions, and ten- 
dencies. It is possible and not uncommon to do nmeh with 
tlie former while doing little with the latter. There are 
parislies where things are well organized, where there are 
all sorts of activities and societies, but wliere there is no 
proportionate apprehension of, and no proportionate i)ro- 
vision for, tlie real wants of indivifhial men and women. 
There may ])e a lively scene on tht- siu'facc, Imt not niiicli 
going on beneath it. It is not easy, in the rcstlcssiK'ss and 
cotn[)lexity of his public relations, foi- a minisler to give 
to this part of his ^\■ol•k its proper place. Tion ision ninst 
be made for this and the pastoi- nnist be helped. I)eniands 
upon his time and alteniiDii niulii|)l\. In |)i(ipiirlion to 
the im[)ortance ol his jtaiish, to his j)i'rsonal intlueiici', to 
his capacity for business, the calls for public and outside 


service are more frequent and urgent. There are meet- 
ings here, committees there, constitutions to he tbawn up, 
organizations to be kept running, records to be made ; but 
shall he be absorbed in presiding, organizing, managing? 
The danger is not new in our day. It showed itself in the 
early Church, and the apostles met it by division of labor, 
saying : ' It is not fit that we should forsake the word of 
God and serve tables; search out suitable men for this 
business, but we will continue steadfastly in prayer and in 
the ministry of the word.' As then, so now, much of the 
detail of general parish work can be better devolved on 
others, that the minister may be more free to ' teach pub- 
licly and from house to house,' ministering the word in its 
more spiritual application." ^ 

The question of finding time for the work of pastoral 
visitation is one that burdens the mind of many a faithful 
pastor. The need of thoroughly organizing his church for 
work, that the powers and capabilities of these disciples 
may be developed, and that his force may occup}^ and 
cultivate its field, is always pressing upon his conscience ; 
and the amount of administrative "work thus required of 
him, when added to the intellectual work which the pul- 
pit of this day demands, renders it simply impossible that 
he should find very much time for social calls. Even if 
the pastor has assistance, so that much of the detail of his 
adnnnistration can be devolved on others, the general 
superintendence of it, Avhich rests with him, is no slight 
care. In a church of fifty to a hundred families the pas- 
tor may easily become intimately acquainted with most of 
his people, but "when the number grows to three or four 
hundred families, the task, under existing conditions, be- 
comes formidable. 

One consideration must be borne in mind in estimating 
the necessity for this kind of work; the pastor of a work- 
ing church lias many oi)porlnnities of becoming well ac- 
quainted witii tliosc of his people who are at work. With 
them there are many conferences and consultations; he is 
with I hem every week, in tlie Sunday-schools, in the mis- 

' ]icv. Lc well VII Tintt, iu Parish Problems, p. 180. 


sions, in the Young People's Societies, in the Boys and 
Girls Guilds, in the Sewing Schools, — in all the active 
ministries which the church is carrying forward. It is 
not at all as once it w\as, w^hen the people's only chance of 
meeting their minister was w^hen they confronted him in 
the pe^^'s, at the Sunday services ; there is a fellowship of 
work M hieh brings pastor and people into frequent and 
close association. The need of calling upon the people 
in their homes to get acquainted with tliem is obviously 
not what once it w^as. This applies, of course, only to 
those members of the church wdio are at work ; but the 
ai)plic'ation should be distinctly brought before tlie minds 
of all the people. Let them be told, from time to time, 
that the fello"\vship of the church is largely a fellowship 
of work, and that if they wish to become well acquainted 
with their pastor or w-ith their fellow-members, the best 
way is to find some place in the active w^ork of the 

Nevertheless, when all is said, there remains a large 
opportunity and an urgent call for house to house visita- 
tion by the pastor. In some w\ay he ought to arrange 
the administrative w'ork of his parish so that he may find 
some time to see his people in their homes. In most large 
clmrches it will not be possible for tlie miiiisler to make 
liis round of pastoral calls more than once in a year; some- 
times even this will overtax him ; but as nuich as this he 
ouglit to strive for. 

What should be the nature of these pastoral calls ? 
Here, also, it is evident that changed conditions nnist 
considerably modify our practice. The late Dr. "William 
M. Taylor, of New York, in a recital of his early experi- 
ence, lu'ings before ns the ty])ical ])asloral visit of the for- 
mer days. ''I was first settled," he says, "• over a church 
of about oiK" hundred and eighty members, many of whoui 
residcij in the village in which the ])l;i((' ol \\(M>lii|i was 
situated, but a cousidci'able numbci-of whom wci'c I'aiiuci-s, 
scattered over an arc:i of about six nules in length by about 
two in breadth. I made my visits systematically, week by 
wi'ck. takiuLT the iiarisli in manageable districts. At lir>t 


I was accompanied on each occasion by an elder. It was 
expected that I should ask a few questions of the children, 
assemble the members of the household, give a formal ad- 
dress, and then conclude with prayer. The presence of 
the ' lay brother ' was a great embarrassment. I supposed 
that because he was with me I should have a new address 
in every house, and should have a prayer in every instance 
perfectly distinct from any which I had formerly offered. 
... So I went on from house to house, making a new 
address in each, until, when it was toward evening, and I 
had A\alked perhaps five or six miles and made ten or 
twelve addresses, 1 Avas more dead than alive. You can- 
not wonder that, in these circumstances, pastoral visitation 
became the hete noir of my life, and I positively hated it. 
Thus prosecuted it Avas simply and only drudger}', and, so 
far as I know, was not productive of any good result." ^ 

It is evident that visitation of this type is no longer 
called for in English-speaking parislies. And there is a 
question whether the call of the minister should be re- 
garded in any sense as a professional call. ]\Iost of the 
writers on pastoral care assume that it should have this 
character ; that it should be well understood that the min- 
ister, in seeking the homes of his people, is engaged in his 
professional duty. " The minister," says Dr. Blaikie, 
"has come for the purpose of promoting the spiritual and 
eternal welfare of the family, and therefore the sooner ho 
addresses himself to this errand the better. . . . It is often 
desirable for a minister, after a brief salutation and kindly 
iiKj^uiry after the welfare of the houscliold, to proceed at 
once, like vMjraham's servant at Padaii Aram, to tell his 
eri'aiid, to do wliat h(! has come to do. In speaking to tlie 
housi'hohl he may lind a jioint of de[)aiture ))y saying Avliy 
he has come, adverting to i\\v. exceeding solemnity of 
spiiitiial tilings and to the importance, not of a mere gen- 
eral, but of a sjiccial application of what is said from the 
])nlpit, so tliat no one may suffer the appeal to go past 
him, or think he does right Avhih; he fails personally to re- 
ceive the message of God. Something may be said appli- 

1 Tlic Miiiislrij of the Word, p. 272. 


cal3le to the circumstances of the different portions of the 
family, — the parents, the chikben, okler and younger, the 
servants, when there are such. Of the childi-en questions 
may be asked, and are probably expected to be asked ; but 
let this be done in the kindly manner of a friend, not in 
the stern tone of a taskmaster. Generally, too, it will be 
well to bear in mind that there is a tendency on the part 
of people to think of ministers as beings awfully solemn, 
with but little of human sympathy, — men to be dreaded 
as stern reprovers, instead of respected and loved as affec- 
tionate and sympathetic guides. In pastoral visitation, 
therefore, let there be shown a frankness, a cordiality, a 
humility of spirit, a winning brotherly kindness that shall 
dissipate such an impression and tend to gain the conli- 
dence of all." ^ But it is a serious question whether even 
so much of formality and professionalism as is here de- 
scribed would not, in the majority of cases, effectually 
counteract the best results of the pastor's call. Is not the 
primary object of this house-to-house visitation the es- 
tablishment of friendly personal relations between himself 
and the members of his flock, old and young ? Is it not, 
therefore, far better that the professional business of the 
pastor should be subordinated, in these calls, to the pur- 
pose of putting himself on terms of cordial intimacy Avith 
his people. Tlie minister who is always preaching, who 
never meets his parishioners without the word of admoni- 
tion and exhortation upon his lips, is not certain to know 
them very well, or to have the best influence over them. 
Such unljcnding professionalism forces them into ;ni un- 
natuial attitude toward him ; he never really knows them. 
Tliere is abundant justification, therefore, for the ])as- 
toral call, considered simply as the endeavor of the pastor 
to draw closer the bonds of personal friendship between 
liiiiisrlf and the families of liis congregation, greeting 
tliL'm thus, in their own homes, the circumstances of their 
lives are better known to him, he more perfectly individu- 
alizes them, and every visit gives liiin a larger laiow ledge 
of tlie manifold ])hases of human experienee. If there are 

' For thn Wnrk nf thr Mliustry, pp. 187, 188. 


cliildreii in the lioiiseliold, the pastor learns their names 
and fixes them in his memory. He finds tliem at tlieir 
lessons or their pastimes, and seeks to enter into their life, 
speaking a hearty word of approval of their conduct, when 
he knows that such a word is deserved. In these brief 
social calls the pastor may be able to let the people see 
that he is interested in all that concerns them ; that he 
has been thinking about them, and studying their welfare ; 
that he is rejoicing mth them in their prosperity, or bear- 
ing their burdens with them ; that his deej)est wish is to 
be a trusted and a useful friend. If all this is in his heart, 
thc}^ will be apt to find it out. The one thing needful for 
them to know is that he loves them and wants to do them 
good. The pastoral call that conveys this impression to 
their minds is a thoroughly successful call, even though 
there may have been no preaching nor even praying con- 
nected with it. 

And yet it must not be inferred that religious conversa- 
tion should be avoided. I'he door will always be open for 
that. The tone of the interview will be such as to make 
that seem natural and fitting. The spirit of the whole 
communication will be such as to invite questions or confi- 
dences of this nature. The pastor will ]je quick to seize 
any intimation or suggestion of a wish to speak of the 
higher themes, and Avill deftly lead the talk that '\^■ay if 
such a hint is dropped. The people will easily know that 
if he refrains his lips from pressing these things upon 
them, it is notljccause there is no interest in their spiritual 
welfare. If such is tlie posture of his mind, it is altogether 
likely that many opportunities for religious conversation 
will occur in connection with these social calls, and tliat 
th(! net spiritual result of the visitation will l)e far larger 
than if, by a perfunctory i)rofessionalism, tlie subject of 
religion were everywhere introduced by him. 

Many pastors are accustomed to make a systematic divi- 
sion of their jwrish, and to announce, each Sunday, tlie 
days on whicli the}- intend to visit certain streets. Some 
inconvenience may thus be occasional to ])a)-islii(mcrs, mIio 
may wish to 1)(' away from home on tlie day designated. 


hut the advantages of such a systein are considerable. It 
[fledges the pastor to a definite task, whicli he might other- 
wise neglect or defer ; and it gives those who wish to see 
him due notice of his coming that they may, if possible, be 
at home to receive him. "^loreover," says Dr. Taylor, 
" the public announcement had this incidental advantage, 
of whicli at first I had not thought, namely, that it stopped 
at once all grumbling on the part of the unvisited. They 
saw that I Avas steadily working week by week somewhere ; 
it became a matter of interest to them to watch my prog- 
ress, and they looked with a certain strange eagerness for 
the day when I should name the street in which the}' re- 
sided. I do not know that in the long run I actually did 
much more pastoral work than I was doing before ; but I 
accomplished it with more ease to myself and with far 
more'satisfaction to my people."^ 

The value to the minister of such contact as this with 
the people cannot be easily overstated. It keeps him in 
vital relations with the people to whom he is sent to min- 
ister ; it enables him more perfectly to get their point of 
view. Sometimes liis mind will be saddened by revela- 
tions of the shallowness and selfishness of those from wliom 
l)etter things might have been expected ; but more often 
he will l)e cheered and strengthened 1>v discoverirs of 
(idelity and heroism in the lives of commonplace i)(>oi)le. 
The tendency of most studious men to a certain subtilty 
and remoteness of discussion upon spiritual themes will 
l)e arrested by the study of the intellectual processes of 
the people in the pews, and the effect of this intercourse 
will be to give the preaching a greater hdmclinrss and 
directness of presentation. 

Here is a suggestion worth considering: '• I wonM make 
one excei)tion about the house-to-house visitation of the 
town parish priest. It is sometimes good to throw himself 
into one of his districts, pitch his camp tliere, and jH'rnn'ate 
it with his presence. For a month he bi-ings his whole 
induenee to bear upon it, hnth getting hold singly of evei'v 
iidiabitant and eollcct iii<f all toirether in cottiicfc oi' mis- 

1 'J'hr Miiiislri/ of'lln: H'on/, ]). 274. 


sionaiy meetings." ^ The kind of visitation here contem- 
plated is, however, that of the whole population, rather 
than that of the members of the congregation. But there 
may be advantages in concentrating, after tliis manner, the 
labors of the pastor among his own people. 

It is doubtless well, as things now are, in most of our 
city parishes, that the pastor should " lead about a wife " 
with him in making tliese pastoral calls. The men of the 
household are seldom at home in the da3'time, and not 
only for reasons of propriety, but also for the enhance- 
ment of the social value of tlie call, the minister may 
often wisely claim the companionship of his wife. Her 
tact and sympath}" will be a great help to him in many 

The testimony of leading pastors to the importance of 
this kind of work is worth remembering. Dr. William 
]\I. Tajdor, in speaking to the students of the New Haven 
Theological Seminary, said : " You will make a great mis- 
take if 3'ou undervalue the visitation of 3'our people. The 
pulpit is your throne, no doubt, but then a throne is 
stable as it rests on the affections of the people, and to get 
their affections you must visit them in their dwellings." ^ 
Dr. .John Hall, addressing a similar audience, said : " I'ains 
should be taken that nothing prevents your pastoral visits. 
It is very necessary for you to know the people in their 
hc)mes, and for the people to know you. Tlie little chil- 
(licn and the young people should know you. U'lie men 
shouhl know you. Do not begrudge the time thus s})ent. 
In freely conversing with humble peo})le you A\ill get 
side lights or particular testimony that will make you a 
stronger mnn and a better minister for many a day to 
come." •'^ I)i'. I'liincis Wayland, s])eaking on tliis subject 
to pastors, said: '' \\\ at last, it be said tliat all tliis is 
beneatli tlie dignity of our ])iof('ssion. and that \\i' cannot 
expect an educated man (o spend his time in visiting 
mechanics in thcii- shops, and in silting;- down w ith women 

1 The Parhh Pn'rst of the Town, p. 44. 
- 7'/(C Miuislrji of I he. Word, p. 185. 
^ Quutoil in Parish Problems, p. 185. 


engaged in their domestic labor to converse with them on 
the subject of religion, to this objection / have no reply 
to offer. Let the objector present his case in its full force 
to Ilim who on his journey to Galilee sat thus at the well 
and held a memorable conversation with a woman of 
Samaria." ^ " My heart does not upbraid me," said Dod- 
dridge, "witli having kept back anytliing that may be 
profitable to my people. But I fear I have not followed 
them sufficiently with domestic and personal exhorta- 
tions."- "Acquaint yourselves," said Matthew Ilenr}', 
" witli tlie state of j-our people's souls, — their tempta- 
tions, their infirmities. You will then know the better 
how to preach to tliem." "I am too backward," said 
John Rogers, of Dedham, " to private visiting of neigh- 
bors at their houses, which neglect is very injurious ; for 
from this cause their love to me cannot be as orreat as it 
would be, nor am I so well acquainted with their particu- 
lar states and cannot therefore speak so fitly to them as I 
might." 3 " The true portrait of a Christian pastor," says 
the Rev. Charles Bridges, " is that of a parent Avalking 
among his children, — maintaining indeed the authority 
and reverence, l)ut carefully securing along with it the 
lo\e and confidence that belongs to this endearing rela- 
tion. He is always to be found in his own house, or met 
w itli among the folds of his fiock, encouraging, warning, 
directing, instructing, — as a counsellor, ready to advise, 
as a friend to aid, sympatliize and console, — with the 
affection of a mother to lift up the Aveak, witli the long- 
suffering of a father to reprove, rebuke, and exliort. Such 
a one, like Bisliop Wilson in the Isle dl' Man, (^bcrliii in 
tli(! Ban dc la IJoclu', or the Apostolical Pasloi- of ilir 
Iligli Alps, — giadiuilly bears doxNii all oiiposition, I'calh- 
lives in the hearts ol" his p('oj)le, and will do more foi- 
their tenii)()ral and s])ii'ilnal welfare than men of the 
most spleiiiliil talents and connnanding elo(|nenee.' 

' (iiiolnl in P<irlsh ProhUmx, p. IS"). - Ortoii's A//,', p 124. 

^ (Runted ill Hridpos, The Chvistian Miiiistri/, p. 31.'), ;(. 
^ TIte C/in'slinn Ministry, ji. 322. 



Every churcli is organized. It is not an incoherent 
mass of human beings, it is an orderly association of 
Christian men and women. Organization, in the workl 
of mind, is the definition of functions. To organize a 
church is to make definite arrangements for various kinds 
of work, and to assign these to different individuals or 
groups who shall be responsible for their performance. 
Each of the oihcers of the church is charged with certain 
duties, and these duties pertain to certain definite depart- 
ments of church work. There is thus a division of labor, 
and intelligent co-operation among those whose efforts are 
directed to the same result. In the humblest church, 
with the simplest polity, some definition of functions is 
required. Tlirre must be a clerk to keep the list of mem- 
bers and the record of proceedings, and a treasurer to 
receive and disburse the funds, and a Sunday-school N 

superintendent, with his assistants, and generally deacons 
or leaders to take charge of ineetings and direct the work 
of the church. Some intelligent arrangement and sui)er- 
vision is necessary to the success of all social institutions. 

The cluircli has often a dual organization, one depart- 
ment devoted to temporal affairs, and another to spiritual 
activities. Man is a spirit, but he lias a l)ody with material 
needs which must lie i)rovided for: and the clnireh, like- 
wise, thougli it is a spiritual organization, has also a Ifiu- 
poral side, i'or which some orderly provision must be 
made. It lias been found necessary, in the free connnun- 
ions, to secure for tlie church a legal incor])oi'ation, that 
the body so incorporalcd may bold and adiniiiisler ])ro- 
perty, and receive and (lisbuisc I'iiikIs. In some cases tlic 
mendx'rs of the churcli are mcinbers of tliis corporal ion, 


and there is but one body, with two sets of functions ; in 
other eases all those contributing to the support of the 
church, whether communicants or not, are niembei"S of 
the corporation, with power to vote for trustees and to 
take part in all the financial work of the societ}^, but not 
to participate in the spiritual government of the church. 
The wisdom of this dual organization is often questioned ; 
but it possesses certain obvious advantages. "Every 
church," says Professor Austin Abbott, "has two very 
different kinds of business to attend to. Difference of 
opinion exists as to whether they may best be administered 
by the same persons, or by different sets of persons. In 
some denominations one organization attends to both ; in 
others there is a separate organization for each. Some 
persons think the pastor should have nothing to do with 
the finances ; others think it wrong to exclude him from 
them. Without desiring here to discuss the question, it 
is well to say that it appears to me that Providence, who 
is wiser than all our ingenuity, has so alloted the causes 
of opinion and the dispositions of men that there are, and 
for a long time to come are likely to be, many churches of 
each kind, some of the one form and some of the other, 
and some of a composite form, all engaged in the same 
oliject, but in different methods, and thus enlisting diverse 
gifts and aptitudes. Whether this be an advantage, as I 
suppose, or not, the fact exists ; and the reader who would 
understand parish business clearly should not fail to 
()l)serve the difference between the principles which govern 
the two classes respectively ; and even if liis church is a 
single organization, lie will l)e repaid for untieing the 
forms of or<i:anizati()n in wliieh these two elasst's of func- 
tions are separated." ^ 

If the clnu'ch lias a permanent al)i(liiig-]tla('t', it must 
possess land on which its edilicc; siiall stand, and the title 
of tliis land must be secured and lirM. Tlic building nnist 
be erected, and kept inn'j)air; fuel and lights arid Matn- 
nuist be furnished; it" it stands in a city it must l)ear 
assessments for the paving and maintenance of streets and 

1 Pitn'sh Prohlrms, jip. (V.i, 70. 


sewers ; the sexton who takes care of tlie buikling must 
be paid for Ms services ; the minister and perhaps other 
servants of the church wlio are spending their time in its 
service must receive some remuneration; it is necessary 
to collect the funds required for all these purposes and to 
disburse them in a just and business-like manner; the 
church, as an organization, is constantly entering into 
contracts which must be intelligently made and faithfully 
kept ; and this part of its work deserves the serious atten- 
tion of all its members. Tliere is room here for the exer- 
cise of some of the best Christian virtues. The churcli 
must provide things honest in the sight of all men ; its 
business must be done with sj^stem and promptness ; honor, 
fidelity, consideration for the rights of others must charac- 
terize all its transactions. 

The men who are chosen to have the care of the tempo- 
ralities must be men of the utmost probity. The affairs 
of tlie church should not be intrusted to men who are sus- 
pected of dishonesty or extortion in their own affairs. It 
is a great scandal to put the iinances of the churcli into the 
hands of men who do not possess the confidence of their 
nciglibors. They ouglit also to be men with iiigh stand- 
ards of Christian propriety ; men who can feel the special 
unfitness of sharp and shifty fmanciering in church admin- 
istration. They will be called on not merel}^ to disburse 
with care the funds collected, but also to collect the funds 
of the church : the methods of raising the revenues will be 
under their supervision; and tliis is a matter concerning 
which the church needs wise and high-minded leadership. 

Tliere is reason to fear that many cliurelies are greatly 
injured by the dubious methods employed in the raising 
of tlieii- i-evenues. "Ways and means (liat are positively 
unchristian aw. often resorted to; competition in its most 
offensive forms is sometimes em})loyed in the collection of 
cliunli funds. 'I'he animal sale of sittings in tlu' elinreli to 
the highest bidder is a ])raetice wliicli violates the funda- 
mental principles of Christian fiaternity. It offers place 
and distinction in tlie cliimh In Ihe longest purses; it says 
to the man with a gold ling and goodly apparel. " You may 


sit here, in the centre aisle, for you have the money to pay 
for the best ; " but to the poor man in vile raiment it says, 
"Stand out there in the vestibule, or sit here under the 
gallery; you must wait for your place till your betters 
have chosen their seats." The sale of privilege in the 
church for money is the essence of it ; how this differs in 
princi[)le from the simony against which the curse of the 
church has l)een pronounced from the apostolic days until 
now, it is difficult to explain. It is undoubtedly true that 
larger revenues can be raised by this method than by any 
other, for there are multitudes who Avill pay well for con- 
spicuous sittings and whose contributions Avould be small 
if they were compelled to take their chances with all the 
rest. But a church which resorts to such methods for 
raising money is not apt to receive the benedictions of 
Christ's poor. By the very terms of its life they are 
practically excluded ; self-respecting people do not wish 
to go where " the rich-man's aisle " and " the poor man's 
corner " are easily pointed out. 

The men who are chosen to manage the finances of the 
church should be those to whom considerations of tliis 
nature are intelligible, — men who are not onl}'- capable 
of skilfully conducting business affairs, but who are also 
capable of com[)reheiiding tlie principles on which the 
fellowship of the chureh is based. There is a loud call 
just now for Christianizing all business relations; there 
are those who believe that every department of human life 
must be brouglit under the Christian law. It is dinienlt 
to understand wliat our gospel nicaiis if it does not uieau 
all this. But it" the husiuess of the mart and thi; factory 
are to l)e Christiani/ed, the business of the church uuist 
fii'st be subdued to the obedience of the law of Clnist. It 
must l)e possil)le to raise tlu* revenues of the cluucli li\- 
methods whii-h do not in\i>l\c auy eoncessious to tlie piide 
of riches or any false distinctions among men. The one 
l)lace in the world where money can liny no ])ii\ileges 
should be tlie ])laoe whore men meet to W()rs]ii[) (ioil. To 
uianage the church linaiiccs witli this {']]<] in \ icw is tin- 
task of those to whom this duty is intrusted. It calls, 


therefore, for men of a lofty piu'pose and a genuine 

When tlie business of the church is conducted in this 
manner — reverently, conscientiously, and with a sincere 
desire that the mind of Christ shall rule in all the tempo- 
ralities of the church, the work of tliis department is no 
less genuine Christian work than is the conduct of the 
prayer meeting or the teaching of the Sunday-school. It 
is sometimes assumed that the business of the church is a 
profane occupation ; that whatever has to do with money 
must needs be of the earth, earthy; that the trustees and 
the treasurer, in their service of the church, are not, in 
any proper sense, " Christian workers." But everything 
depends on the spirit in which they do their work. They 
may, indeed, manage these affairs in such a way that their 
own selfishness shall be aggravated, and the life of the 
church demoralized; but they may also put so much of 
the spirit of Christ into the methods of church business 
that it shall be a means of grace to them and to the whole 
brotherhood. There can be no more fruitful Christian 
work than this. A church tliat organizes its financial 
affairs upon Christian principles, and puts them under 
Christian leadership is doing as effective missionary 
work as the church that plants missions or holds revival 

The assignment of the sittings in the churcli is ])art of 
the business that greatly needs to be Christianized. In 
some churches all sittings are absolutely free, and there is 
no need of any distribution. For many reasons this plan 
is to be preferred. To have no individual riglits or rescr- 
vatiojis in the Lord's liouse, but to o[)en the Avliole of it, 
each Sabbath day, to all who come, is the simplest of all 
arrangements. But there are many with whom the senti- 
ment of locality is strong; who like to sit week by week 
in the accustomed place, and to have their families with 
them ; and tlicre seems to be no violation of tlie principles 
of equality and fraternit}^ if temporary assignments of sit- 
tings are made to regular worsliij)pers. It is only neces- 
sary tliat the method of selection be something other tlian 



commercial competition, and that frequent redistributions 
take place, so that the most desirable places be not perma- 
nently monopolized. There appears no better way than a 
distribution of choices by lot at the beginning of each 
year; the name first drawn taking the first choice, and so 
on to the end of the list. Those who are last this year 
may be first next year ; and the favors are divided with- 
out partiality. When the poor widow who contributes but 
five cents a week to the revenues of the church has the 
same opportunity of securing the best seat in the middle 
aisle as the rich merchant who contributes ten dollais a 
week, the opprobrium of ecclesiastical finance is practi- 
cally wiped out. The point is to bring the rich merchant 
to accept this situation heartily ; to be quite willing to take 
his chance of a back seat under the gallery. And this is 
by no means a visionary proposition; churches can be 
found in wliich the Christian law governs even the dis- 
tril)ution of tlie pews. There are Christian disciples who 
decline to take advantage, in their church relations, of the 
power which their wealth would give them of securing for 
themselves privilege and honor ; who have learned to use 
neither their freedom nor their power as occasions of the 
flesh, but who know how by love to serve one another. 
And wlien tliis spirit takes possession of the church and 
rules in all its affairs, the Kingdom seems near at hand. 
No more effectual work of grace could be desired in many 
of our churches tlian would be signalized by the distrilju- 
tion of the sittings of the church on Christian principles. 
Such an exercise is nothing short of a means of grace to 
those who enter upon it in the right spirit; and a revival 
of religion, so called, no matter how fervid its manifesta- 
tions may be, is of small value unless it does result in 
infusing a larger measure of unselfishness and kind con- 
sideration into the social relations ol' ilic iiifiiil)ers of the 
church, and especially into the niaiuier and sjjirit of their 
association in the house of (iod. 

The organization of the chnich on its linaiicial side l)c- 
comes, therefor(>, a matter of dcc|) and genuine concern to 
the wise pastor. It is not a matter which he can neglect 



or ignore ; the spiritual life of the church is vitally affected 
by the working out of these problems. The church can- 
not afford to intrust these interests to men Avho are simply 
shrewd financiers, who will adopt in the transaction of 
church business the methods of the street and the mart. 
One large part of the mission of the church in this genera- 
tion is to show the world how business can be done on 
Christian principles. 

The records of the churcli must be kept with care ; the 
register of baptisms, admissions, dismissions, deaths, should 
be accurate ; the minutes of all transactions should be 
clear and full; and the history of the work of the church 
should be faithfully preserved. The officer who has the 
charge of this work bears different names in the different 
forms of polity, but his service is always important. 

In most of the larger Protestant churches the fact is 
now recognized that the work of the ministry cannot be 
adequately performed by a single man. The fact has long 
been known in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches; 
the discovery lias been tardily made by some of the other 
communions. The preparation of two sermons a week, 
Avith the wide reading and study which such a task im- 
plies, the visitation of the sick and the afflicted, the super- 
vision of all the departments of church work, the participa- 
tion in the social activities of the community, in all the 
multiform public enterprises of philanthropy and reform 
which demand no small share of his attention, — all this is 
more than any single man can do. Tliat ]iart of the cor- 
respondence of a pastor which grows out of liis pastoral 
relation, — which is official rather than personal, — is no 
small burden. The number of letters that come to the 
busy pastor of a prominent church asking advice, assist- 
ance, or sympathy is ahvays very large. Kiddles to solve, 
wounds to salve, axes to grind, the postman brings him 
every day. All these letters must l)e answered, and many 
precious hours of every week are thus consumed. The 
work of the faithful ])astor is constantly increasing. Ills 
pongregation is growing, its Avork is Avidening, iho organi- 
zations within the church are nudtiplying, calling upon 


hiin for more and more attention ; tlie longer he lives in 
the community, the more identified does he become with 
all its public and social life, and the heavier are the drafts 
upon him for service growing out of these relations. Add to 
this that tlie intellectual demand upon his pulpit is heavier 
every year, and the need of bringing a fresh, strong mes- 
sage to his people every Sunday increasingly urgent. It 
seems inevitable that the successful pastor's work should 
become more and more laborious and exacting ; the very 
sign of his success is the steady increase of his work. And 
the peculiarity of the case is that so little of this burden 
can be shifted to other shoulders. The successful merchant 
or manufacturer or railway manager can relieve himself 
of the larger pai't of liis cares ; his work can be so divided 
and systematized that he shall have only a general super- 
vision. Even the most successful professional man hands 
over to subordinates the laborious details of his business, 
and the great sculptor leaves most of the chiselling to 
skilled workmen. But the natiu-e of the pastor's work 
is such that the greater part of it must be done by liim 
alone. Nobody can give him the slightest help in the 
preparation of his sermons, and a large proportion of liis 
pastoral work is of a nature so personal that no one can 
perforin it for liini. In spite of all that can be done for 
his relief the faithful and successful pastor will find his 
work growing heavier year by year. 

Something can, however, be done to ligliten his burden. 
A competent and well-trained assistant may take from liis 
hands a great many of the small details of administration. 
Tlie care of the Sunday-school ; the supervision of the 
young people's societies, and the boj-s' and girls' guilds ; 
the preparation of children's concerts and praise services; 
the clerical work of writing notices and ofTicial letters, and 
attending to the necessary jtrinting, as well as considerable 
portions of the pastoral work, can be delegated to a cajiable 
assistant. The young man who has been fitted for this 
kind of work may be able to do iiiiich that the pastor him- 
self could not do; he can give much personal attention to 
the young men of the congregation ; he can develop in 


many ways the activities of the chiklren and the youth. 
In the larger Episcopal churches the pastor's assisfcmt has 
always been a recognized necessity, and partly for this 
reason the parochial work of the average Episcopal church 
is apt to be better organized and more vigorously prose- 
cuted than that of other Protestant churches. The other 
churches are, however, learning this wisdom. Any work 
which involves the division and co-ordination of force must 
have adequate superintendence ; it is bad economy to neg- 
lect the directing intelligence by which " the working in 
due measure of each several part " shall be secured. The 
first condition of this effective organization of the work of 
a large church is the employment of one or more assist- 
ants to whom the pastor may delegate such duties as they 
may be qualified to perform. 

There might be, in many cases, a wise division of labor 
along the line suggested by the early Puritan nomencla- 
ture. The English Congregational churches of the seven- 
teenth century were served by two ministers, one of whom 
was called tlie Pastor, and the other the Teacher. This 
division of functions was not very clearly made ; the Pas- 
tor was to " attend to exhortation," and the Teacher to 
"attend to doctrine." The maintenance of this distinction 
proved impracticable.^ But it might be wise in these days 
to commit to one man the responsibility for the pulpit 
work, and leave him free for this service, while intrusting 
to another the chief care of the pastoral administration. 
Neither of these would then be counted as the other's 
assistant; tliere would be no subordination, but each 
would liave a recognized and well defined oflice, and could 
devote his whole time to his special work. Tlie preacher, 
with none of the cares of parish business on his liauds, and 
none of the Imrdens of pastoral service on his mind, couhl 
give far more time and tliought to his pulpit work; and 
the pastor, witliout the millstone of Sunday preparation 
about liis neck, could give to the Sunday-scliool, and the 
mid-week service, and the young people's oi'ganizations, 

1 Ifis/ory oj'/hc. Congregational Churches in the United States, by Wllliston 
Walker, p. 220, 


and the missionary societies, and the church chanties his 
undivided attention, greatly increasing their efficiency. 
For this pastoral service the church would not be likely to 
choose a young man, but one of experience and of well- 
matured character. There are ministers who have unusual 
gifts for Avork of this nature, as there are others whose 
strength is in their pulpit work. If two with such com- 
plementary qualities could be brought together, the best 
provision would seem to be made for the service of the 

One or two questions suggest themselves, however, when 
such an arrangement is contemplated. The preacher who 
came into no living contact with the life of his parish 
would be a[)t to lack some of the elements of the best 
teacher. A mere book-man could not give the people 
what they need. It would be necessary, therefore, if such 
a division of labor were proposed, that the preacher should 
not be entirely withdrawn from association with the peo- 
ple. The care of tlie pastoral administration might be 
lifted from his shoulders, but he should keep himself in 
close touch A\ith the people themselves, understanding 
their problems, and sympathizing with them in their 

It is not improbable, also, that the people would crave 
the presence in their homes, in their times of sickness and 
trouble, of the man whose words in the pulpit had been 
tlieir comfort and inspiration. Whether a large-hearted 
preacher could easily free himself from the burtlens of 
pastoral service may be doubted. It must be admitted 
that the division of the minister's work upon this line pre- 
sents some serious difliculties. Nevertheless, it is probable 
that two men of fair common-sense and Christian temper 
could divide tlie work of the cliurcli between them upon 
a plan lik(! tliis, neitlici' being exclusively coiilinod to 
liis own Jifld, — tli(! pasloi' sonietinies ])re;ieliiii;_;-. and llie 
preacher, in the j)astor's absenei", assuming the pastoral 
care, — but each holding himself n'S])onsible i'or a dclinite 
l)art of the work of the church, and neither assuming the 
pre-eminence. 1>\' such a plan vacations could be arranged 


SO that the church shouhl never be left without a minister, 
and the work might go on without interruption from one 
year's end to anotlier. 

The pertinence of this discussion is seen when the ques- 
tion of the organization of the church is considered. For 
such varied and organized activities as most cliurches now 
propose, trained leadership is indispensable, more of such 
leadership than one man can furnish. In some way the 
executive force must be increased. The volunteer help 
of members of the church is not sufficient; most of the 
church officers are busy men, w^ho cannot give to the tasks of 
organization and leadership the time that they require. 

In most Protestant churches there are, however, officers 
who render valuable service. In Episcopal churches the 
wardens and vestrymen ; in IMethodist Episcopal churches 
the stewards and class leaders ; in Presbyterian churches 
the session, composed of the elders and deacons ; in Lu- 
theran churches the consistory; in the large group of 
churches congregationally governed the deacons and the 
prudential committee, assist in this work. They are not 
only ecclesiastical officers whose function it is to rule, but 
they are also, by virtue of their office, leaders in the organ- 
ized work of the church. The enterprising pastor often 
seeks to assign each of these official members to the over- 
sight of some department of the work. Even if he has 
an assistant to supervise the entire organization, it is well 
to have a department chief for each branch of the churcli 
work. Thus the pastor may wisely request one of his 
staff of helpers to take special interest in the Sunday- 
school work; another to look after the interests of the 
young people ; another to study the mid-week service with 
a view to suggestions of improvement ; another to give 
attention to the benevolent collections, and so forth. It is 
well if the various church officials, the ciders, Avardens, 
deacons, and the rest, can be made to feel that their prin- 
ci])al concei'n should lie not so much \\ith the govci'iimcnt 
of tlie church as witli its lal)oi's. 

Tliat the churcli is an organism can scarcely Ix' (lisjtutcd. 
Life never exists apart frcjm oiganization. Tf the churcli 


is alive something closely akin to Avhat we see in a living 
body must a|j2)eui' in the relation of its parts and members. 
This is the tiutli which is put with such marvellous power 
in Paul's epistles. But there is a distinction just here 
which we must learn to make. In a late essay are these 
words : — 

" As the work of the Spirit is organic in the individual, 
so is it in the Church. The Church is an organic unity. 
It so organizes its individual members that the Church 
becomes a co-operative society. The vision of the wheels 
in the lii-st chapter of the prophecy of Ezekiel may be 
taken as a vision of the Church, the wheels being the 
individual members carefully combined as a divine mech- 
anism, and intelligently directed by the living Spirit with- 
in. Not simply did the wheels move as he descended 
among them ; they moved together. The idea in the 
vision may be expressed in one word, as the co-operation 
of the wheels with each other, and with the living God, 
to whose power they were so completely submissive, and 
of which they were so perfectly executive. The reason 
for the oi-ganization of Christian activity thus stated is the 
divine constitution of Christian life, and of the Christian 
Church. We are under a spiritual constitution whose 
supreme aim is the organization of life." ^ 

It is here assumed that the church is both an organism 
and a mechanism. The conceptions are used interchange- 
ably. There is reason, doubtless, for this combination of 
the two ideas. It expresses a fundamental fact. J]ut if 
the ideas are combined it is well that they be clearly dis- 
criminated, and not amalgamated. Tlie clnuvh is an 
organism, and it is also, to some extent, a mecliauism ; Init 
the organic fact is deepest, and to this the mechanical 
process nuist always adjust itself. Its organization is due 
to the miconscions and spontaneous action of llic sj)iritual 
life within : its ini'cbanisni is the result of the application 
of human thought and volition to its processes of woik. 
IMechanism is the child of invention, of contrivance; 

1 Rpv. r;. IJ. l.cavilt, ill Disrussiuns (if ihr JiitcnUnominattonnl Coufjirx.t at 
Cincinnati , p. lil'.). 


organization is the fruit of that Spirit of Life who divid- 
eth to each one severally as he will. 

Now it is evident that we must have a certain amount of 
mechanism in our church work. There must be wheels, 
and wheels witliin wheels. The prophet saw this in his 
vision long ago ; that was a prediction which reached far 
into the future. The mind must work upon this problem, 
inventing processes, devising methods. The failui'e to use 
our minds in this way would result in fanaticism. There 
is great need of the use of all the wits we possess in meet- 
ing tlie difficulties that confront us, and in adjusting our 
forces to the work in hand. This is what we see in the 
manifold activities of the modern church. 

Yet there are those who greatly distrust this whole 
tendency. The multiplication of agencies and methods 
seems to them a dubious good. Faith in (iod is giving 
place, they say, to faith in machinery. Jn tlie perfection 
of methods the need of power is forgotten. 

Beyond controversy danger lies in this neighborhood. 
Yet tlie true wisdom co-ordinates these tendencies, always 
keeping the vital energies supreme, and maldng the mechan- 
ism sul)servient to life. The problem is to compreliend the 
adaptations which life produces and to shape our methods 
in accordance with these. Methods we must have ; they 
ought to be such methods as "the law of the s))irit of life 
in Clu'ist Jesus " would naturally evolve ; and they who 
have "tlic mind of the; s])irit " ought to l)e able to devise 
tlicm. 'I'he curse of all ecclesiasticisms has been llic 
swallowing up of life in what men call organization, w liicli 
is not truly organization, but mechanism. And tliis is the 
danger against which, in this day, we must be constantly 
on our guai'd. Yet we must not neglect to use tlie ne- 
cessary instrumentalities. No matter how numerous arc 
our wlicels, if tlu; Sjiii-it of tlie Living Creature is in 


TIk; church must be organized for tlie dcvclopiiu'iit of 
its own life, — that it "may grow U]» in ail things unto 
him which is tlic head, even ('hrist: fioin mIioiii all tlie 
body, fitly framed iiml knit togctlier through that which 


eveiy joint supplieth, according to the working in due 
measure of each several part, niaketh tlie increase of the 
body unto the building u]) of itself in love." ^ And 
it must be organized also for effective ministry to the 
needs of the community, — needs that are manifold and 
various and that require many forms of evangelistic and 
philanthropic activit}-. 

For a clear view of this problem of organization as it 
presents itself to a laborer in a wide and fruitful lield, 
the little book of Dean Gott, entitled The Parish Priest in 
Town may be usefully studied. The organization of an 
Anglican parish is here discussed with great particularity, 
and useful hints may be found for pastors in every church. 
As to the nature and extent of the work, his testimony 
is impressive : " The Parish Priest of the town has to 
lay tlie Hand of his Lord personally on every mm in his 
crowded, ever-changing streets. The minimum population 
of a town parish is fixed by the Ecclesiastical Commis- 
sioners at 4,000, but this gives only a shadow of the 
ditiiculty. I have many streets where no family remains 
a quarter of a year ; in these quarters the population is 
quadrupled for practical purposes, and the unsettled con- 
dition of these people produces a like character of the 
inner man. To fix the spiritual impression on so volatile 
a subject needs new resources, of which George Herbert 
never knew the want. To this ebbing and flowing effect 
of large wells of life in a town, you must add the lodging 
liouses where many hundreds s[)cnd a few weeks or nights, 
in some of whicli one thousand men remain a little while 
as straws in an eddy of the river. And you iirst begin 
to 'know what you have to do.' The first thonglit is that 
to 'do it' is a sheer iiii])ossiI)ili( y. The second tliought 
is that inspired coiij)let of St. Taul's, — 

' By myself I can do iiotliiiijT.' 
''riirr)u;^'li Christ I can do all things.' 

Tlie third thoiiglil is (hat li'adiiig genius of man — organi- 
zation. Was it not Professor .lardine who said, 'The high- 

1 Kph. iv. 10. 


est exertion of genius, — the uniting and concentrating 
effort ' ? Into this teeming multitude, ever coming and 
going, diffuse yourself that you may concentrate yourself 
through an army of church-workers, and unite them \^ ith 
your parishioners and yourself in Christ." ^ 

This leader of Christian work counsels the pastor to 
begin by gathering unofficially about him a few kindred 
souls, to whom this work of the church will be, as it was 
to the Master, meat and drink. A few such can be found 
in every parish; and to confer and commune with them 
respecting the work to be done, is the wise beginning. 
The greatness of the task, and its urgency; the desola- 
tion and danger of the multitudes that are scattered 
abroad, as sheep having no shepherd ; the call for 
faithful, heroic, self-denying service, — let the pastor and 
those that are with him lay the burden of all this on their 
hearts. It is not for him to make the work seem light 
to those whom he calls about him. " The self-sacrifice of 
this active Christianity is only an attraction, never a deter^ 
rent; you need not water it down or assure your would- 
be Church-worker that the task is easy and the difliculty 
slight. The only helpers this will give you will be a 
limp and sorry crew, like Falstaff's recruits. God's ordere 
to Gideon in the selection of his first army was an inspira- 
tion for all time : ' Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him 
return, and depart early.' Lay this to lieart as a principle 
of your work in this and other matters. True men and 
women love trouble ; they believe in difficulty, for it calls 
out their God-given qualities and pra3^s for tliem to the 
Almighty. In work they know that they increase their 
talents by use ; and in the armies of heaven as well as of 
earth, the post of danger is the post of honor." - 

Among the organizations named and deseriljcd l)y this 
parish leader are his Snndaji-schuoU which he divides into 
three departments : the Infants, the Middle School, and 
tlie Connnunicaiits, with each of which the pastor is 
(•h)sely identilicd; his District visitors, respecting whom 
he gives careful instiuclion, each of whom is to kecj) 

1 Thr Paiish Prirsl In Town, jij.. 38, 39. 2 HiJ. j,. 40. 


a strict roll of all her families, and to report to her curate- 
in-charge the names of any whom he ought to visit ; and 
all of whom are to meet once a month for prayer and 
consultation with the minister ; his Fenny Baiik^ — a 
department of his day-school and Sunday-school, officered 
by wise men and educating the young in honest thrift ; 
his Sinfjiiuj Class, to the care of which he can assign 
some who would not otherwise be church-workers ; liis 
Athletic Clichs, under the direction of sound-hearted young 
men, into which men and boys may be gathered for 
wholesome exercise ; his Girls^ Friendly Society, and his 
Yoicny Men's Friendly Society, and his Church of England 
Temperance Society. For the management of these various 
organizations, the services of many church-members will 
be required; and the task of the pastor is to get the 
right men and women for each of these places, and to 
keep them steadily and enthusiastically about their work. 
In addition to this he provides also for the opening of 
Mission Chapels in neglected districts and for outdoor 
preaching. It is a large conception of the work of the 
parish which is thus brouglit before us; and it is one, 
as we shall see, which underlies the activity of the church 
at the present day. 

The chapters whicli follow will bo devoted to tlio 
subsidiary organizations now existing in most working 
churches. These methods of work are now very numer- 
ous ; in the development of the life of the cliurch its 
functions have been highly specialized. Perhaps the 
differentiation of ecclesiastical tissue has gone quite as far 
as is wholesome ; we may be suffering, in some quarters, 
from a surfeit of societies. It is not likely that all of 
them will be mentioned in the pages which follow, but an 
effort will be made to bring under consideration those 
wliicli ai'o most iinpmtaMt. 



OxE of the most important departments of the modern 
church is the Sunday-school. In most of the excellent 
treatises on practical theology to which reference has been 
made in the preceding pages, the Sunday-school is virtu- 
ally an unknown quantity. The learned and admirable 
Van Oosterzee, in his monumental work, devotes barely 
half a page to the consideration of this institution. The 
later Scotch writers on pastoral theology dispose of the 
whole subject with a mere allusion. The Sunday-school 
does not seem to them to constitute any essential part of 
the Christian pastor's care. In the more recent year books 
of the churches of Scotland we find evidence that the Sun- 
day-school interest is receiving careful attention. The 
general assembly of the Kirk gives a large place in its 
business arrangements to the Sunday-school reports ; and 
the Free Church is not behind in its devotion to this cause. 
In many of the jjresbyteries, Sabbath-school unions have 
been formed to quicken and stimulate the interest of the 
church in the spiritual care of the young. Schools have 
in many cases been carefully graded, well-matured schemes 
of Sunday-school lessons have been prepared and pul)- 
lished, and many practical teachers of eminence are de- 
voting tlicir time and tliougbt to the development of this 
work. It is evident that tlie next volume of pastoral 
theology pul)lished in Scotland will need to lake account 
of tlie Sunday-school as one of the dc[iai-tm('ii(s of {'lniicli 

Henry Clay 'I'luniltiill. in liis lectures on the Suuday- 
seliool, traces this institution to the Jewish Synagogue, 


and follows its history through seventeen centuries of 
varying progress from the time of the rabbins to the time 
of Wesley. But the modern institution known by this 
name originated in Gloucester, England, in 1780. Robert 
Kaikes, the founder of the lirst Sunday-school, was not a 
clergyman, but an active man of business, the editor and 
proprietor of the " Gloucester Journal." Perhaps his phil- 
anthrojjic eiforts at prison reform had convinced liim of the 
need of beginning with the children. In the month of 
July, 1780, he gathered into the rooms of a private house 
in a manufacturing quarter of that city a number of the 
poorer children of the neighborhood for instruction in read- 
ing and in the elementary truths of religion. " The chil- 
dren were to go soon after ten in the morning, and stay 
till twelve. They were then to go home and stay till one, 
and after reading a lesson they were to be conducted to 
church. After church they were to be employed in re 
peating the catechism till half-past five, and then to be 
dismissed with the injunction to go home without making 
a noise, and by no means to play in the street." The 
teachers of this Sundaj'-school were four women, employed 
by Raikes and paid at the rate of a shilling a day. From 
this humble beginning has grown the modern Sunday- 
school work. 

"The school on Sunday," says Bishop Vincent, "by 
which little children of the neglected English populations 
were, one hundred years ago, taught lessons in spelling, 
reading, and religious truth, has come to be a great and 
powerful factor in our social and Christian life. A meas- 
ure of this success must be attributed to other ideas than 
those embraced by liobert Raikes and his co-workers. 
The scliool on Sunday in America at the present time is 
a very different institution fi-om that opened and sustained 
l)y the (floucester piinlcr in 1780. It is more compre- 
hensive, and contains cliiments not di-eamed of in tlie 
sclieinc (if Mr. IJaikcs. It retains the name and also the 
domestic; niissiniiarv icaturc of the Gloucester nii)\cincnt, 
but this feature is only a small pai't of th(> mofleni Anieri- 
canSuiulay -school. The tiny stream of laic, oul-of-church, 


liunianitai'iaii effort that trickled from the humble foun- 
tain in Gloucester soon joined the swollen and rushing 
flood that had broken loose from fountains of Christian 
and churchly philanthroj)j in Oxford, nearly half a cen- 
tury before Raikes and his assistants began their work. 
The latter effort was in behalf of neglected children. The 
Oxford brotherhood did also teach children in street and 
private dwelling, but they labored as well in behalf of 
men and women in hospitals, prisons, and wretched homes ; 
in behalf of tempted and doubting and godless young men 
in Oxford University ; in behalf of all classes and all ages 
everywhere ; and the key-note of all tlieir Avork was liible 
study and holy living. The Oxford idea was broader, 
more comprehensive, more radical, as it was earlier by 
nearly fifty years than the Gloucester idea. Both, how- 
ever, developed a form of social, hand-to-hand, church ef- 
fort, to the end that children, and youth, and adults of all 
grades of society might know the truth and live for God ; 
and thus both Oxford and Gloucester unite in the best 
Sunday-school thought of the present day. Those who 
study the institution have discovered earlier and similar 
endeavors in the same direction, and it is not difficult to 
trace all the essentials of the best modern Sunday-school 
work to apostolic and pre-Christian times. Whatever re- 
lations the Sunday-school may have sustained to the church 
in the days of Charles Borromeo in Italy, of Robert Raikes 
in England, of Francis Asbury or Isabella Graham in 
America, it is a most gratifjdiig fact tliat to-day it is, 
especially in America, duly recognized as, in some very sig- 
nificant sense, a part of the church. It is held in build- 
ings provided by the churcli ; sustained l)y funds collected, 
in one way or another, from the supporters of the church ; 
organized and officered under the supervision and subject 
to at least the veto of the church ; taiiglit by members of 
the church ; preached about, prayed for, and in many cases 
reviewed and catechised by the pastor of the church ; su])- 
plying from its ranks a large proportion of tlie new con- 
verts, ministoi's, and missionnrios of the clnircli ; building 
up by its patronage immense publishing interests, and con- 


ti'ibuting to the large benevolences which are controlled 
and directed by the chnrcli." ^ 

The Sunday-school was, at the beginning, an institution 
separate from the church, and until recently, it has been 
inclined in many places to maintain its independence of 
the church ; but in later years it has become evident that 
this separation could not continue. Nearly all the churches 
have adopted the Sunday-school as a constituent part of 
the church. The relation of the Sunday-school to the 
church is well set forth by Bishop Vincent in the passage 
following : — 

" There must be one and not two institutions, and that 
one institution must be the church. And the church must 
make her power — a power of grace rather than of govern- 
ment — felt in all that concerns the school. The pastor 
must be recognized as the highest ofHcer of the school, 
relieved indeed from the responsibility for details of admin- 
istration, Ijut present, as pastor, whenever possi]:>le ; sus- 
taining it, and identifjdng himself with it, and not merely 
patronizing it with an air of superiority and condescension. 
The superintendent and all other officers should perform 
their duties in the interest of the church, and no thouglit 
of rivalry, as between two institutions, should ever be al- 
lowed to enter the mind of a child in the school. The 
teacliers should be members of the church. They should, 
at tlie time of their appointment, be publicly installed or 
otlierwise officially recognized before the whole congrega- 
tion. They should be thoroughly trained in the doctrines 
and usages of the church tliey represent, and seek to pro- 
mote an acquaintance witli and loyalty to the church on 
the part of their pupils." ^ 

A few years ago many of the Sunday-schools in the 
cities of the Unit(Ml States licld two sessions, one at nine 
o'clock in the ^ll(ll•lli^'^^ aii<l the other at two o'clock in 
tlie afternoon. Oriiccrs, teachers, and scholars were tlie 
same at both sessions. The morning session was devoted 
mainly to the stud}' of the lesson; the afternoon (o nioi-e 
general exercises. This double session is now generally 
» Parish Problems, pp. 301, 362. - I hid. p. ,?f.j. 


abandoned. It Avonld be difficult to secure the attendance 
of the same school twice every Sunday, and experience 
has proved that it is far better to concentrate the effort 
of the school upon a single service. At what hour the 
session should be held is a question not easily answered. 
In some churches the morning hour is best; in others 
the school may fitl}' follow the forenoon service ; in others 
still a separate session in the afternoon is undoubtedly 
preferable. The morning session has its advantage in the 
freshness with which pupils and teachers come to the 
work ; one of its chief disadvantages is the difficulty 
of securing the attendance of adults. The parents of the 
children are busy in the early morning with household 
cares, and the young men are not given to early rising 
on Sunday morning. Many of the children are accus- 
tomed to go directly home after the Sunday-school session, 
and few children are seen in the morning service. 

When the school meets immediately after the morning 
service many of the adults can be induced to remain and 
take part in the Bible study. The children, also, are more 
apt to attend the morning service. 

The disadvantage of connecting the two services, whether 
the Sunday-school precede or follow the preaching service, 
is the weariness caused by the double session ; yet it is 
easy to overstate this disadvantage. A brief intermission 
may refresh those who pass from the one service to the 
other, and the two hours and a half of varied and spirited 
exercises are certaiidy much less fatiguing than tlic three 
hours' school session to which most of the children are 
daily accustomed. And it is greatly to l)c desired both 
that the adults should attend the Sunday-school, and that 
the children should be present at llic iiioriiiiig service 
of the church. It is to be feared that in miiiiy modern 
churches the attendance of children is rapidly diiiiiiiisliiiig. 
'I'lio numl)er of children visil)le in most American congre- 
gations is very small. The children are at Sunday-school 
in the morning, but they never attend any other religious 
service. The habit of churcli attendance is not formed; 
the time never comes when they are ready to begin ; as 


soon as they deem themselves too old to attend Sunday- 
school, they are wholly outside of all religious influence. 
Any adjustment of the Sunday-school session which would 
help to retain the children in the churcli is greatly to be 

For the Sunday-school itself it is probable that the 
afternoon hoiu- is most favoi'able. There is time enough, 
and the separation of the school from the other services 
lends to it dignity and importance. But, considering 
the interests of the church, and the future welfare of 
the children, it is probable that the best hour for the 
school is that which follows the morning service. 

The officers of the Sunday-school should be chosen 
by the church, although the privilege of nomination may 
well be left to the teachers of the school. Every Sunday- 
school needs one superintendent, from one to three 
assistant superintendents, a secretary, a treasurer, and a 
librarian. The superintendent ought to be a man of 
good organizing ability, Avith sound judgment and abun- 
dant enthusiasm. The most important part of his work 
is the selection of teachers, for the success of the school 
depends almost wholly upon the ability of these teachers 
to attract and hold tlie pupils committed to their care. 
Here will always be found the pivotal point of the Sunday- 
school work. Interesting geiKM'al exercises, spirited sing- 
ing, a good lil)rary are all attractive, but nothing will 
compensate for the lack of a tactfvd, resourceful, faithful 
teacher. There is no other work within the reach of tlie 
members of the church of more vital importance than 
this. To gather a little group of boys or girls and huM 
their attention, week by week, to the great thiiius n\' 
religion is a task whi(-h an angel might covet. No cullui'i! 
can be too line, no mental e(juipni<'nt too jx'ifcct for such 
a task, since it is only the l)est ('(biciitcd ininds wlm can 
make the jirofoundest truths simph' and interesting. It 
will b(! found that th(! Snnday-scliool teachers whose 
general kiiowleilge of the subjects tliev are teaeliing is 
already the broadest are those who will spend the most 
time, week by week, in the preparatit)n of their lessons. 


Because they are now so well informed they know the 
value and importance of fresh study. The teacher Avho 
knows the least is apt to be the one who feels the least 
need of diligent preparation to meet his class. 

The intellectual equipment of the teacher is not, how- 
ever, all that he needs. He is the instructor of these 
pupils, but he is also their pastor, the undershepherd by 
Avhom they are to be led into the green pastures and 
beside the still waters. The one thing needful is that 
he should win the love of these young people. It is well 
for him to remember that there is only one way to win 
love, — the way by which the divine Master won the 
hearts of his disciples : " We love him because he first 
loved us." No man or woman to whom a genuine affec- 
tion for boys and girls is not possible ought to under- 
take the work of a Sunday-scliool teacher. 7Vnd this 
affection must find constant expression in many practical 
ways. The teacher will know his pu})ils in their liomes, 
and will often have them in his own home ; he will keep 
a record of their birthdays and remember each with a 
kind note or some slight token of remembrance ; he will 
keep himself informed respecting their school work, their 
companions, their occupations out of school ; he will 
encourage them to confide in him, and suffer liim to be 
their counsellor and friend. Sucli a Sunday-school teacher 
supplements in a most effective way the work of the 
wise parent, and supplies in many cases the lack of 
parental wisdom. It scarcely needs to be said that he 
will take good care never to come between the parent 
and tlie child, 1)ut always to reinforce i)arental autliority, 
nnd emphasize th(; honor whii'h is the parent's due. 

There is never any diClic-ulty about uiaiiitaiuiiig tlic 
numl)ors and the interest of Sunday-scliools whose teachers 
are of this cliaracter. The classes of such teachers never 
dwindh:; ; if some ])U])ils are removed b}'' migration or death, 
tlieir places are (|uickly filled; })03's and girls are as sure 
to find teachers of this ({uality as bees are to find sweet 
clover. Tlie great task of the superintendent is there- 
fore to secure, for all his classes, teachers of this kind, — 


intelligent, studious, apt to teucli, and, above all, with 
a genius for friendsliip, and a power of binding young 
hearts to themselves with the cords of a lifelong affection. 
Such teachers are not so plenty as they might be ; it 
is to be feared that the superintendent will often be 
compelled to accept some who do not answer all these 
requirements. But it is well for him to know what 
he wants, and to liold steadily before the eyes of all 
his teachers this high ideal. If he knows how to kindle 
in their hearts the love wliich is the fultilling of all 
holy law, he possesses the one supreme qualification of 
the perfect superintendent. 

If he can sing well he possesses another. It is not 
essential that tlie superintendent should be a singer ; he 
may find some one who can perform this service for him ; 
but if the gift of musical leadership does belong to him 
he can make excellent use of it. The singing of the 
Sunday-school ought to be an inspiring and elevating 
exercise. To this end the words and the tunes sung must 
l)e poetiy and music, not sentimental doggerel and rhj-th- 
mieal ding-dong. The kind of trash which the children 
in many Sunday-schools are condemned to sing can have 
no wliolesome effect upon their minds or their hearts. 
The effusive silliness of the verses is often repulsive to 
the mind of an intelligent child, and the manner in wliidi 
words which represent great thoughts, and whicli should 
always be reverently uttered, are caught up, and tossed 
into the air, and pitched about in the shuttlecock and 
battledore movement of these fantastic Sunday-sclK)ol 
liymns, is enough to make fools laugli and the judicious 
grieve. Yet so long liave our Sunday-schools been fed 
on this kind of musical provender that it is dillicult to 
introduce anytliing of a higlier nature. 'I'lie boy wlio 
lias been reading penny-dreadfuls for a few years is not 
interested in good books. 

Still more diHicult is it to find leaders of Sunday-school 
nuisic who will try to teach the childien the more digni- 
TumI liyiniis. Vet \\]\ru a leader of inlclligcnce and 
enthusiasm lor good words and gofxl music takes uj) this 


task with a hearty gootl-will, the school will learn the 
nobler songs and will sing them with spirit. It is worth 
something to be able to teach two or three liundred boys 
and girls to sing Caswall's "When morning gilds the 
skies," to Barnby's beautiful setting, or Bonar's '^ Upward 
when the stars are burning," to Calkin's lovely melody, 
or Miss Procter's " The shadows of the evening hours," 
to Hiles's noble tune " St. Leonard." These words a 
child may be exhorted to heed and ponder and remember ; 
their beauty will steal into his heart, and abide there; 
and it will always be linked with music that can never 
grow stale or old. 

All the general services of the Sunday-school ought to 
be spirited and hearty, but they should also be dignified. 
Bishop Vincent rightly protests against calling them pre- 
liminary services : they are worship, he insists, and the 
spirit of worship ought to pervade them all. The singing, 
the responsive reading, the prayers in concert should be 
full of genuine praise and devotion. Nor should disorder 
or levity be tolerated by the superintendent during these 
services. It is sometimes supposed that inattention and 
irreverence are unavoidable concomitants of Sunday-school 
exercises ; that the same pupils who on the Aveek-days are 
quiet and decorous in the presence of their teachers, nuist 
be allowed on Sundays, in the house of God, to behave 
like heathen. It is not possible, it is sometimes said, to 
enforce upon children in the Sunday-schools the discipline 
of tlic day schools ; if they are disposed to be turbulent 
and disrespectful we must simply endure it. All this is 
a grave mistake. The one thing tliat sliould not l)e 
tolerated in a Sunday-school is disorder. X(ir is ihcrc ;my 
difficulty in the case. A superintendent a\ lio (Iciiiaiids it 
can secure it. There are mission scliools, drawn from the 
slums, in whicli llie childi-cn's behavior in the hour of 
worship leaves nothing to be dcsiicd : ;iii(I this has been 
secured witliout an}' approach to coercion, l)y siiii]ily en- 
forcing u])on tlic minds of the cliihlren the trutli tliat 
worsliip is a sacred thing, and that ii-revcrence is an al)()iiii- 
nalion. Chihlrcn can uiKh'istaiid this, and tlie iii<h'sl of 


them can be made to respect the sacred exercise. ]\lis- 
behavior in the Sunday-school is sometimes tolerated be- 
cause superintendents fear that by the enforcement of 
order they will drive children from tlie school. It is bet- 
ter, they say, that the children should come, even if they 
do misbehave ; they may get some good out of the ser- 
vice ; we must not drive tliem into the street. But this is 
sophistry. It is far better that the children should be in 
the street than that they should be behaving riotously in 
the Lord's house. The lesson of irreverence, of disrespect 
for sacred places and sacred services which many of them 
are learning in the Sunday-school, is one of the worst 
lessons they could learn. It is doubtful whether any in- 
fluence exerted upon them by rude companions outside 
could be more injurious than the formation of this liabit. 
A Sunday-school of one hundred mend)ers in which rever- 
ence and decorum are secured, is likely to do far more 
good than a Sunday-school of two hundred members in 
which the superintendent is constantly begging for silence, 
and in which the voice of prayer is heard with dilTiculty 
because of the whispering and tittering of the pupils. 

This is no plea for a stupid and formal Sunday-school 
service, — it ought to be as bright and cheery as a June 
day ; and when tlie conversational and teaching period 
arrives, there is plenty of room for the natural vivacity of 
children, which no wise teacher will try to repress. lint 
in the pul)lic worsliip of the school, and in all the exercises 
in which the superintendent is leading, reverence and 
respect should be insisted on. 

The usefulness of the Sunday-school may be greatly in- 
creas('(l by the pi'ovision of ])r()pci' roouis for its exercises. 
'1 lie iiiiportance of se[):ii'aling tlie |iiiiiiai\ depaitineiit liiHii 
the I'cst of the school has loug been rccogni/.ed ; the exer- 
cises ada[)ted to the yoiingcst children art' such as caunot 
well be carried forward in a idoni where (dasses are studv- 
iug the lesson together. Uut the modern Sunday-school 
building undertakes to give, so I'ar as possible, to ea(di 
class the same se(dusion ; ami the o|ipi)rtniiit\- of (he 
teacher is greatly eidarged ity this device. One teacher 


can more easily instruct a class of twenty or thirty pupils 
in a small class-room than a class of four or five when the 
groups are huddled together within the same enclosure. A 
great economy of teaching force is thus secured; and since 
the one difficult thing is the supply of proper teachers, this 
arrangement is highly sei'viceable to the interests of the 
school. The school should be brought together for the 
opening and closing exercises, but the classes may then be 
permitted to retire to their rooms for the study of the 
lesson. Maps, blackboards, diagrams, and the like can 
there be introduced in class work ; and if the teacher 
wishes to have a serious word with the class, or a few 
moments of prayer with them, the pupils are neither em- 
barrassed nor distracted by the observation of others. 

The question concerning the subjects to be taught in the 
Sunday-school has attracted much attention of late. There 
can be no doubt that the Bible must be the central, if not 
the sole subject of Sunday-school study. Various substi- 
tutes for it have been sought in the schools of some of the 
churches which claim to be progressive, but it is doubtful 
whether any of them have j)roved to be satisfactory. To 
one school belonging to an Ethical Society tlie I>i1)le was 
restored, after a period of banishment, and llic jiupils wei-e 
told that it had been brought back because it was, above 
all other books in the world, the book of conduct ; that the 
main interest of the book was in righteousness ; and that, 
therefore, although the standards of conduct followed by 
its characters were not always perfect, tlie study of it must 
be of the highest value to any man who wished to know 
how to live. 

There is not, liowever, much (|uesti()ii among nioiU'rn 
Prott'stant Christians as to the place which tlie I>il)lc 
should occui:)y in Sunday-school instruction. Wnt tlicre is 
some difference of opinion as to the way in wliicli the 
I>il)lo should 1)(' tauglit. A large ]iro]iortion of tlie I'^van- 
gelical Christians of the I'liited States and the United 
Kingdom have been studying, for many years, the Inter- 
national Seiies of Tjcssous, prepared hy a committee in 
which several deuoniiiiations are represented. By this 


scheme it is j:)roposed that the entire Bible shall be covered 
about once in seven years, Old Testament and New Testa- 
ment lessons alternating. In the preparation of lesson 
helps and commentaries much money has been invested, 
and a vast literature has been created ; the forms and 
appliances of intelligent study have been greatly multi- 
plied. The study of the same lesson in all the schools of 
a town or city gives an opportunity for union meetings 
of teachers, and strengthens, to some extent, the bonds of 
Christian fellowship. All these are gains, and it may be 
that the}^ are important enough to outweigh all the losses 
which tlie system involves. Of these the chief is the de- 
sultory and disconnected character of the course. The 
classes that go skipping back and forth from the Old Testa- 
ment to the New, and ranging up and down the centuries 
mth no sense of the historic continuity of tlie events 
with which they are dealing, are lial^le to find themselves 
in a state of intellectual confusion with respect to Bil)li- 
cal matters out of which it is not easy to extricate them. 
Teachers of general history in the high schools have great 
trouble in disentangling the ideas of Sunday-school pupils 
with respect to the events of Old Testament history. 
It is probable that the worthy gentlemen who prepare 
these courses are not altogether clear in their own minds 
as to the genetic relations of that history. Perhaps it is 
not possible, in the present condition of Biblical science, 
to arrange a satisfactory programme for the study of the 
history of Israel. In that case it would be better to aban- 
don the attempt to cover the entire Old Testament with 
this scheme of study, and be content with the selection of 
typical events and characters. 

Another serious objection to the International Lessons 
is in the fact that tlie school adopting tlicm is likely to b(> 
hindered from undertaking the gradation of its |ui])ils, iiml 
the prosecution of a systematic course of study, it would 
seem that the Sunday-school ought to offer to all those 
will) ;itlrn<l ni)on its instruction tlir cliance of accomplish- 
ing somh; (Iclinite thing. When a boy has been a membi'r 
of a Sunday-school fur ten or lifteen years, he ought to 


have something to show for it. He ought not to be 
compelled to say that he has been present Sunday after 
Sunday, going through the routine of Bible study, and 
receiving more or less of good impressions, but that he 
does not know what he has studied or wliat he has learned. 
He ought to have some reason for believing that he has 
been making progress ; that in this study, as in every 
other, he has been rising from the primary to the higher 
grades, — leaving the rudiments behind and going on 
toward perfection of knowledge. If every Sunday-school 
were graded in such a manner that each grade should be 
studying some definite part of the Bible, with the expec- 
tation of being advanced to the grade next higher when it 
had completed this study, an incentive which is now lack- 
ing would be offered to intelligent pupils. Thus the 
primary grade should be confined to the simplest record 
of the Life of Christ ; the first intermediate grade might 
complete the story of his life, getting a clear and connected 
notion of the order in which the events follow each other ; 
the second intermediate grade might take up his teachings, 
including his parables and his discourses ; the third might 
study the planting and training of the Apostolic Church ; 
the fourth, the epistles ; the fifth, some outline of Old 
Testament history and ])iogra[)hy, and the sixth the prophe- 
cies and the Psalms. 'JMiis arrangement is a mere sugges- 
tion ; objections to it could, no doubt, be pointed out, and a 
wiser course selected ; it is only given as an illustration 
of what might Ije attempted in the way of systematic study. 
Many pupils would, of course, do their work very imper- 
fectly ; but the faitliful tcaohci- wouhl try to secure tlie 
performance of it hy all the |iuiiils. niid those who have 
some intellectual seriousness would ha\e the satisfaction 
of knowing that they had accomplislicd it. It Mould not 
Ijc wise for the teachers to remain, as in the day schools, 
year after year in the same grades, receiving new pupils 
from time to time and sending them forward wlien the 
work was finished: it would be far better for the teacher 
to begin with the class in the first intermediate grade and 
go on with the class through the course; and the ques- 


tion of promotion should be largely left to tlie decision of 
the teacher. The personal friendship of teacher and pupil 
is of far more consequence tlian the character of the in- 
struction; and while something might be gained in the 
expertness of teaching by having the teachers remain, as 
in the day schools, in the same grade, far more Avould be 
lost in the way of personal influence. 

Such a scheme could be introduced only Avitli great dif- 
ficulty and at considerable expense by a single school ; for 
it would involve an elaborate arrangement of lessons, and 
much expense in the publication of them. But if a num- 
ber of schools should unite in the plan the literature could 
be printed without much difiiculty. A beginning has been 
made in this direction by one organization ; and inductive 
studies in the Life of Christ, the History of the Apostolic 
Church, and tlie Old Testament History have been pro- 
vided. But tlie studies need to be more carefully sul> 
divided, and a clear division established between different 
grades, with the lines of promotion open from the one 
grade to the otlier. 

Connected with the ordinary Sunday-school organization 
it would be well to have a Senior Department, into which 
young men and women should pass on completing the 
lower course, and which in its methods of instruction 
should have the same relation to the Sunday-school that 
the college has to the grammar school. One reason why 
tlie .young men and women so generally disappear from the 
Sunday-school as they approach maturity, is that the Sun- 
day-school is, traditionally and by the terms of our common 
speech concerning it, a cliihrs affair. That character has 
been fastened upon it, and it is imi)ossil)lo to change the 
impression. The attempt has been \\\m\v to counteract 
this idea by calling it ;i •• I'.ililc Schodl "; but tlie device 
has not been successful. Ii is tni(> that we have " IWblc 
Classes " connected with tlu- Sunday-schdol, l)iit tlicy aiT 
still ])art of the Sunday-school, and the badgi? »>t' jmcriHly 
somehow attaches to tlujm. The suggestion of I5ishop 
\'ineenl tlial a separate department be forme(l. to l)e called 
"The Assi'inblv" or '"The Institute," in which tlu' vouiiLf 


men and women should be grouped for work of a some- 
what different order from that of the Sunday-school is 
well worth considering. " The High School Department," 
might be an appropriate name. Into this, young people 
of sixteen years of age and over should be admitted on 
their completion of the work in the lower grades. " Lec- 
tures and outlines," says Bishop Vincent, " should take 
the place of mere drills ; individual statements by teach- 
ers and pupils, instead of simultaneous responses. A 
higher class of music may be rendered, doctrinal discussions 
conducted, responsive readings introduced, and the methods 
of the College rather than those of the primary or inter- 
mediate school should control the hour." ^ 

jMucli depends on a name, — the adoption of some such 
title as has been suggested would go far to disarm the dis- 
like of heady adolescence to the Sunday-school. It might 
not be necessary to separate this "Assembly," or "Insti- 
tute " from the rest of the school ; the young men and 
women might be willing to meet with the rest for some 
portion of the opening worship, if they could then go away 
into a room by themselves and prosecute their studies in 
their own way. 

Such a group of students should have its own organiza- 
tion, with ])residcnt, secretary, and executive committee ; 
it might hold social meetings from time to time ; it might 
undertake certain philanthropic or missionary enterprises. 
" Its existence being guaranteed," says Bishop Vincent, 
" it becomes the meeting point for the younger and older 
people of the church. It remains w itii lliem as an incen- 
tive. It gains a firm grip upon the young people, and 
prevents tlieir early escape from llie juvenile and too often 
[)uerile influences of the so-called Sunday-school."' - 

The need of some sucli device ns lliis to (heck the 
hegira of the young men and woincii I'nuii our Sunday- 
scliools and from our churches will iml be disputed l)y 
any intelligent pastor. Whetlicr this is tlie Ijest method 
that can be devised, we need not dispute; the sugges- 

' The Modern Siindnij School, p. 224, scj. 
2 Op. cit. 


tion will have served its purpose if it leads to something 

Bishop Vincent assumes that the Assembly thus consti- 
tuted will study the ordinary Sunday-school lesson. Here, 
however, it is impossible to follow him, for we have 
already provided for a graded school in which there is 
to be no uniform lesson. This Assembly should have 
wide range in its course of stud}-. It may take up the 
history of the church, following the Apostolic period; it 
may study the history of doctrine ; it may study Christian 
biography, Missions, reforms as promoted by the Gospel, 
any subject which is vitally related to the progress of the 
Kingdom of God, and wdiich the leader can make intelli- 
giljle and fruitful. Here doubtless we come upon the crux 
of tlie whole experiment. How to find your leader — this 
is the difficulty. Yet it ought not to be impossible to 
secure, in many congregations, a man or a woman to whom 
a task of this nature would not be impossible, — who could 
succeed in organizing and directing the work of an assem- 
bly of young people in such a way as to make it in the 
highest degree stimulating and profitable to all its mem- 
bers. It would be important that the co-operation of the 
members themselves should be enlisted; subjects should 
be assigned at every session for investigation and report 
at subsequent sessions ; and freedom of inquiry should be 

It has become evident to many careful observers that 
some important changes must be made in the Sunday- 
school administration, in order that the boys and girls, 
from the ages of fourteen or fifteen upward, may be kej)t 
in tlie school. The great majority of tliese drop out of it 
just at the time when they most need its invigorating and 
lestraining influences. Is not the failure of the school to 
ap[)eal to their higher intelligence and tli«ir self-respect 
res[)onsiljle for this, at least in part? \\'()uld not such an 
arrangement as liishop Vincent has outlined helj) to liolil 
many of them in the ])laces where sanctifying influences 
might reacli them, and to lead tlicuu in due season, into 
the active fellowship of the church? 


There is reason to fear that one cause of the somewhat 
diminished influence of the Sunday-school may be found 
in the uncertain handling of the Bible to Avhich recent crit- 
icism has given rise. The faith of many in the inerrancy 
of the Scriptures has been shaken ; they may know but 
little of what the critics have proven, but they know, in a 
general way, that the scholars of this generation do not 
use the language respecting the Sacred Book to which, 
from their childhood, they have been accustomed. And 
many of them have shrunk from informing themselves, 
feeling that the admission of such an inquiry to their o^^•n 
minds involves a kind of disloyalty. It is not too much 
to say that the majority of Sunday-school teachers are 
uncertain as to what they should say about the Bible. If 
their views are challenged they are likely to re-affirm with 
some lieat the old theories, because they know not wdiat 
else to affirm. Now it is manifest that teaching of this 
nature cannot be effective. The first thing that the teacher 
of the Bible needs to do is to get a clear notion of what 
tlie Bible is. And it should not be feared that tlie truth 
al)out the Bible is going to do any liarni. Tliat a con- 
siderable modification must be made in the theories of 
inspiration and revelation which were current fifty years 
ago is not to be denied; and the sooner Sunday-school 
teachers adjust themselves to the facts of tlie case, tlie 
better it will l)e for them and for all concerned. Tlie 
words of the jmstor of an English Congiegational church, 
uttered in a recent newspaper discussion, are words of 
wisdom : — 

"Are the teachers to go on repeating ideas which the 
progress of scientiiic research and r)il)lical criticism have 
I'cndered untenable. Ill' arc llicv to have tlicir instiuctioiis 
in the light of the new knowledge ac(]iiircd in our own 
generation? The foi-nicr course can only end in disaster 
to the faith of the chililrcii. The latter, as the honest and 
straightfoi'ward couisc, w ill h;i\c, I believe, only hapj»y re- 
sults. There are those wlxj wonhl banish (xcnesis fi'om the 
Sunday-school. But it is jnsi on subjects connected with 
the (Genesis records that the faith of young peo])le will be 


soonest and most sorely tried wlien they mingle with the 
world. It is iu Genesis also that some of the most beauti- 
ful, suggestive, and attractive stories for children are con- 
tained. Great will be the loss to the Sunday-school that 
displaces Genesis. Nor do I fear that any damage would 
be caused, I think rather great good would accrue, by a 
faithful and honest interpretation of these sublimely simple 
records. Let the teacher of boys from ten to fourteen 
years of age go over the lirst chapter of Genesis, and give 
side by side with it the geological story of Creation ; let 
him show that tlie earth has been made to tell its own 
story of how it was built up •, let him also show that Gene- 
sis has nuich to tell on the spiritual side of things of wliich 
the rocks say nothing, and I believe he will malce the old 
record live anew to his charges, and will })ut into their 
minds and hearts ideas by which infidelity will be rendered 
powerless. In the same way let tlie story of the Tempta- 
tion and the Fall be honestly interpreted. Let the chil- 
dren know that the serpent was not a literal serpent ; that 
the whole record is parabolic and full of intense interest, 
— a mirror, indeed, of every child's and of every man's 
experience when he falls into temptation. The treatment 
of these records in the light of modern knowledge would, 
I believe, imbue young minds with a deepened sense of 
the preciousness and never-fading interest of the Bible ; 
and the impressions received in the Sunday-school would 
not have to be revised in the presence of the sceptic, but 
would victoriously withstand liis assaults." 

Indeed it is evident that tlie Sunday-school is the very 
place where our children ought to be receiving instruction, 
not only out of the I^ible but concerning the Bible, which 
Avould e([uip them to resist the attacks of a blatant in fi- 
delity. Instead of this it is to ])e feared that the Sundiiy- 
seliool, in most cases, is giving them ideas about the Bible 
which cannot l)e defended, and is leaving them in an in- 
tellectual position in which thoy arc sure to find, whenever 
they are led to examine the whole question for themselves, 
that tliev have been either igiKtranth" or insinceri'ly dealt 
with. It is a grave responsibility whiili i\i>- Siinday-'<cliiii>l 


teacher takes, who sends his pupils out into the world with 
such a mental outfit as this. 

The Home Department of the Sunday-school is an in- 
stitution Avhich has proved its usefulness in some American 
churches. The plan involves the enlistment of those in- 
dividuals and families that are unable to attend the resular 
sessions of the Sunday-school in the systematic and con- 
secutive study of the Bible, in connection with the Sunday- 
school. A superintendent of the Home Department is 
appointed, several visitors are chosen, and the congregation 
is canvassed, soliciting the signatures of those who are 
willing to engage in this study, and leaving with them the 
lesson-helj)S for the month, witli blank reports on which 
they may credit themselves with the weekly study of the 
Sunday-school lesson. These reports are collected quarterly, 
and new supplies of the lesson helps are left by the visitors. 
Monthly meetings of the members of this department, for 
the review of the lesson, are also held at the residences of 
the members. Considerable interest in Bible study has 
been awakened by this method ; and it results not seldom 
in bringing recruits into the Bible classes connected with 
the Sunday-school. Those who have undertaken the study 
by themselves have often found the need of assistance, and 
they wish to avail themselves of the light which is alwaj^s 
tlirown upon the study by the conversations and discus- 
sions of a class. 

Here, again, much depends upon the services of a com- 
petent and faithful superintendent. One who has both tact 
and patience can succeed in securing the co-operation of 
many in this work. But without great thoroughness and 
perseverance the interest is not likely to be maintained. 



IMosT of tlie Roman Catholic and Episcopal churches 
provide for certain week-day services. In the cathedrals 
and in some of the larger churches morning and evening 
prayer is offered every day in the year, and the fasts and 
festival days of the Christian year are also observed. 
Worshippers have thus an opportunity of meeting in the 
sacred place at stated times during the week for prayer and 
praise. The attendance upon these week-day services is 
often very small ; but no one who has been in the habit of 
attending them can doubt that they are highly valued by 
the faithful few who avail themselves of the opportunity. 

Few Protestant churches, except those of the Episcopal 
communion, undertake to sustain daily public worship, but 
some kind of midweek service is maintained by most of the 
American churches called Evangelical. These services are 
sometimes drearily perfunctory, and sometimes sentimen- 
tally effusive, and there are those who counsel their aban- 
donment. Tliere is no necessity, however, tliat they should 
be formal and frigid ; and no necessity that they should be 
emotionally extravagant : it is the pastor's business to see 
tliat they are not. When they are what they ought to be, 
they serve an important purpose in the life of tlu; church. 
The type tn whicli they ought to conform is thai of a free 
and informal couference of tlic members uj)oii Ibc life of 
tlie Christian and the work of the chui'ch. Tjic demand is 
not supjtlicd by a lecture from the pastor; \\]\;\{ is wiintcd 
is that the people themselves sliouhl be trained to think 
:iii(l to express their thoughts on the great thcnu's of the 
s[)iritual life. It is well, also, to connect with these di'vo- 
tional meetings consultations about the various charitable 


enterprises of the clmrcli, so that prayer and stud}^ i^^fiy 
bear fruit in service, and so that work may be informed by 
study and consecrated by prayer. There is no need to 
search history for a warrant for such services ; it is i)ossible 
that notliing closely resembling- the best prayer-meeting of 
tlie present day can be found in the apostolic churches or 
in the church of the Middle Ages. It may well be that 
social conditions in the earlier days did not warrant this 
kind of conference. If existing social conditions warrant 
it and call for it, that is enough. It is to be hoped that we 
may learn to use many instrumentalities that the early 
Fathers never dreamed of. The life of the church may be 
left to develop the forms which are most serviceable. 

The early prayer-meetings in the Evangelical churches 
of America were simply meetings for prayer. The min- 
ister generally presided, and sometimes read and ex- 
pounded a portion of Scripture ; one or two hymns were 
sung, and then those laymen offered prayer, and those 
only, who were called on by the minister. Meetings 
substantially of this type have largely prevailed in the 
Presbyterian clnirch, and sometimes thc}^ have been full 
of the spirit of devotion. '• Of the praj-er-meeting proper," 
says Dr. Blaikie, " we have had more characteristic samples 
among us of late years in connection with tlie revival of 
religic^n. Such meetings are really for prayer ; many 
Christian friends take part and the prayers are like arrows 
from the bow of the mighty, jets of petition darting up 
to heaven. Intercession is a prominent and very blessed 
feature of such meetings, as it ought to be of all j)rayci- 
meetings. Intercession revives and expands the lieart, 
and tends to deepen the spirit out of wliidi it sin-ings. 
It is a favored congregatidii Ili;it cnii kcc]) up such a 
meeting, leaving to tlie uiinistcr llic (hity <>l siiiijily guid- 
ing the proceedings and drawing ont (lie gilts and graces 
(if his people."^ And yet there is probably much truth 
in llicse words from the same page of the same book : 
"' In ni;iny cases the true concejition of ;i |»r;iyer-meeting 
lias not been realized. The meeting so (ksciihed is gen- 

1 The Work of the Ministrif, p. lih). 


erally little else than a diluted edition of a pulpit service. 
It may be doubted whether the meeting, as it is often 
conducted, has in it the elements of permanent vigor. 
It is a kind of cross between the college lecture, the 
prayer-meeting proper and the pulpit service — without 
what is most valuable in any. It is better, if possible, 
to keep these separate and let each possess its character- 
istic features." ^ 

In the non-Episcopal churches of America at the present 
time, the " conference " has largely supplanted the prayer 
in these services. There is far more of speaking than of 
praying. In the Methodist churches, generally, this speak- 
ing takes the form of personal " testimony." The speaker 
undertakes to give some brief account of his own religious 
experience, — of the gains and losses, the victories and 
defeats of his personal life. Such a recital, if modestly 
and honestly made, by persons who are living serious 
lives, might often have great value ; but it is greatly to 
be feared that those whose lives are most serious are 
least inclined to give absolutely truthful reports of their 
own spiritual states ; and of that which is most intimate 
and most vital, it is hardly possible to tell the story. The 
danger is that " experience meetings " will degenerate into 
a recital of well-worn phrases which represent no real 
facts of the inner life. The mischief of such insincerity 
must be very great. When one who has scarcely thought 
of spiritual tilings during the week — his mind having 
been wholly a1)sor])ed in the pleasures and strifes of the 
woild — goes into the weekly meeting and fluently ex- 
presses his deep interest in tlie great things of the 
Kingdom, and testifies that he is making steady progress 
in the religious life, the injury to his own cliaractcr 
must 1)0 (leei), and the effect upon the minds of those 
who know him well, most unhappy. To this insincerity 
the cut-and-dried experience-meeting affords a strong 
temptation. Every one is expected to give some account 
of his OW71 s])iritual condition, and no one likes to give 
a discouraging report. It is too easy to assume a virtue 

1 IhliL, p. 210. 


whicla one does not possess, and to avow an interest wliicli 
is optative rather than actual. 

On the other hand, the speaking in many of the other 
prayer-meeting conferences hirgely takes the form of dis- 
cussion, sometimes of debate, and the pure intellectuality 
of the performance affords little nutriment to the spiritual 
affections. We find the speakers wrestling with subjects 
to which they have not given much attention, and on 
which they are not prepared to throw a great deal of 
light, and the net result of tlie conference is intellectual 
confusion rather than spiritual refreshment. How to 
escape cant and insincerity on the one side, and the dry 
bones of theological or philosophical argument on the 
other, is the problem of the conduct of the modern prayer- 

To begin with, it may be said that nothing is more 
to be desired than that the modern American praj'cr- 
meeting should recover something of the character which 
it has lost as a meeting for prayer. It is quite true that 
public prayer, like every kind of public utterance, may 
become insincere and formal ; and as such it is more 
abominable than any other kind of speech. On tlie other 
hand, it is the highest form of expression of which the 
human mind is capable ; and its exercise may well be 
cultivated in the assemblies of the saints. The sincere 
outpouring of an honest soul before God, in confession, 
supplication, intercession, communiou, should, in the very 
nature of the case, have more ii)S])iration in it for those 
wlio join in the prayer than any other p()ssil)h' communi- 
cation between human minds. Sucli an act of prayer 
brings man at once into fellowship with his Fatlier above 
him and witli liis l)rother by his side; it expresses the 
heart of both the great conunandments of tlic law. 

The utility and even the propriety of social ]»raycr arc 
often questioned. Wliat our Lord sa^'S in the sixth chap- 
ter of Matthew about the hypocrites who pray in the syna- 
gogues and on the corners of the streets is quoted in sn)i])ort 
of the position that we ouglit not to jn-ay in jmblic. lint 
wlien tliese Avords of liis are compared with liis other 


commands, and with liis own example, it becomes evident 
that it is not social prayer, but ostentatious praying that 
he is condemning. It is upon those Avho pray in the pub- 
lic places " that they may be seen of men " that he is visit- 
ing his censure. " They receive their reAvard," he says. 
They are seen of men. They get all that they are praying 
for. Their real prayer is not addressed to God in heaven 
but to men standing by. Its burden is : " Look at me. 
See how devoted I am. Listen to the sonorous solemnity 
of my tones and the Avell-feigned fervor of my utterances." 
And men do look and listen, and the hypocrite gets his 
reward. From such a horrible profanation of })rayer our 
Lord bids his disciples to flee. If you are tempted to any 
such display of yourself, then hasten to the inner chamber, 
and shut the door, and pray to your Father in secret. The 
spirit of humilit}^ rather than the spirit of ostentation is 
the spirit of prayer. You must keep yourself out of sight 
when you pray. If you cannot do that when you pray in 
public, do not pray in public. If you cannot pray in a 
social meeting without thinking all the while of the figure 
you are making, then by no means pray in a social meeting. 
But if }'ou can forget yourself in your identification with 
your fellows, if your sympathy with man and your fel- 
lowship Avith God, rather than your own egotism, can find 
expression in your prayers, then tlic act of social prayer 
is the highest act you can perform. When you have thus 
merged your own personality in the large benevolence 
of your wishes, you have, in effect, obe3-cd the comiiinud 
which bids you keep yourself out of siglit when you 

It is a singular niisconccptiou wliiili leads incii to (|ues- 
tion the propriety of social prayer. What are the words 
of the model that our Lord gives us iu tlic same coii\ci-sa- 
tioii ? " 0///- I-'ather wlii(di art in bcavcu." 'Idic wIioU; 
jiiayer is in the plural number. Its primai y usu must be 
social. It is not adapted to th(^ use ol ;isolitar\' worshijijtci'. 
One man alone can no nmre riglitly l>ray that ])raycr than 
one violin ahnic can play r>i'rt,lioven's Ninth Svni])lioin". 
As no man coukl be a Christian alone, or go to heaven 


alone, so no man can be always solitary in this greatest of 
all the exercises of human speech. There are uses, indeed, 
for private prayer, and times when we should literally 
enter into the inner chamber and shut the door ; but the 
highest form of prayer is social and not solitarj'. Even in 
the secret place we must perfectly identify ourselves with 
oiu" fellows, else there is no meaning in our petitions. The 
kind of prayer that isolates a man from his kind brings no 
blessing. There is absolutely no spiritual good that we 
ask for that can be ours to have and hold ; if Ave receive 
any gift it is that we may minister the same one to another 
as good stewards of the manifold gifts of God. And since 
this is so, it is manifest that when two or three are gath- 
ered together, and the social bond is clearly emphasized, 
we ought to find the spirit of true prayer more evidently 
present. " Our Father," we say, and the meaning of 
brotherhood becomes more clear; and as we try to put 
ourselves in one another's places, and to covet the best 
gifts for others as well as for ourselves, we are able to 
offer the fervent, energetic prayer of the loving soul, liy 
loving our brother whom we do see, we draw nigh to God 
whom we cannot see. If something of the true signifi- 
cance of social prayer could only be conveyed into tlie 
minds of the worshippers in our midweek assemblies, we 
might hope that they would spend more of their time in 
that direct speech with God wliich brings to all who enter 
into the meaning of it the largest spiritual gains. 

The fasliion of "sentence prayers," in Avhich, A\lule tlie 
whole congregation sits witli bowed heads, one after an- 
other lifts up a voluntary ojai'ulation, mentioning some 
one object of desire, has come into use in some of our 
prayer-meetings. It is ungracious to criticise any such 
practice, and doubtless it may sometimes be helpful to de- 
votion ; but the impression made by this exercise on many 
minds is not always pleasant. The fragmentary character 
of the petitions, and the lack of reflection tliat lliey are 
apt to reveal, often make themselves too evident. It is 
well, indeed, that the ])rayers sliould l)c generally l>rief, 
and that each petitioner should concentrate his desire upon 


some one thing wliieli seems to liini, at that moment, the 
one thing needful. And it is usually far Letter that the 
prayers should be voluntary than that they should be 
called fortli by the leader, so that no man shall pray un- 
less some desire is burning in his licart which he wishes to 
pour out before God. 

Of the speaking of the conference-meeting what shall 
be said? There are critics of this service who point out 
the fact that the speaking is often the reverse of edifying. 
They say that the time is apt to be monopolized by igno- 
rant, effusive, opinionated persons, who have no wisdom to 
impart and no inspiration to convey ; that they only suc- 
ceed in gratifying their own vanity or in confirming their 
own delusions, while they irritate and disgust the sensible 
people who listen to them. Or, in many cases, the service 
fails of its usefulness by the aridity of its exercises ; no- 
body has anything to say ; and after a series of long and 
dreary pauses, broken mainly by the vain exhortations of 
the leader who tries to stir up the saints to some utter- 
ance of the faith that is in them, the meeting comes to a 
close in a shamefaced way, and the brethren and sisters 
separate with thankfulness that one more midweek ser- 
vice is at an end. These complaints and criticisms are 
often too well founded. And there is })lausibility in the 
suggestion that only tliose persons should be expected 
to speak on religious sul)jccts who have qualilied them- 
selves to s[)eak intelligently, and who have something 
important to say. 

Yet there is another aspect of ihis question which must 
not be lost sight of. 'J'he use of expression in the develop- 
ment of the spiritual life must be well considered. Tlicre 
is meaning in the many connnands of the Master aiul his 
apostles which place such emphasis uj)nn tlic confession df 
tlie lips. It may l)e said tliat one docs not really know 
anything nniil lu; has clearly expressed il. 'Hie teacher 
requires tiie pupil to express wliat lie is tiying to learn, 
not for the teacher's infonnalion, but for llie eonliiinalioii 
of the scholar's own l^nowledge. Il is this |)i-iiici|il,' wliich 
is involved in ihc c-alls to testimony which disciples ;dwii\-s 


hear. To afford them an opportunity to speak of what 
they have seen and felt, and to give utterance to those 
conceptions of the Christian life which are shaping them- 
selves in their minds is the primary business of the mid- 
week conference. It seems to be, indeed, a natural thing 
for one who is enlisted in this discipleship, and is trying to 
learn by heart the word of his Master, to give expression to 
his thoughts and purposes. 

'■^ The evident fact is that a true inward experience, or 
discovery of God in the heart, is itself an impulse also of 
self-manifestation, as all love and gratitude are — wants to 
speak and declare itself, and will as naturally do it, when 
it is born, as a child will utter its first cry. And exactly 
this is what David means ; namely, that he had been obliged 
to speak, and was never able to shut up the fire burning in 
liis spirit, from the first moment when it was kindled. He 
speaks as one who could not find how to suppress the 
joy that filled his heart, but must needs break loose in a 
testimony for God. And so it is in all cases the instinct 
of a new heart, in its experience of God, to acknowledge 
him. No one ever thinks it a matter of delicac}^ or genu- 
ine modesty, to entirely su[)press any reasonable joy ; least 
of all, any fit testimony of gratitude toward a deliverer 
and for a deliverance. In such a case no one ever asks, 
what is the use ? where is the propriety ? for it is the 
simple instinct of his nature to speak, and he speaks. 

"Thus, if one of you had been rescued, in a sliipwreck 
on a foreign shore, by some common sailor who had risked 
his life to save you, and you should discover liim across 
the street in some great city, you would lusli to his side, 
seize his hand, and begin at once, w ith a choking utterance, 
to terstify your gratitude to him for so great a deliverance. 
Or, it" yoii slioiild pass restrainedly on, malting no sign, 
pretending to yourself tliat you miglit In; wanting in deli- 
cacy or modesty to jndjlisli your |iii\;ite feelings by any 
such eagei- acknowledgment of ynin' deliverer, or tliat you 
ought first to Ije more sure of the genuineness of your grati- 
tude, what opinion must w^e have, in such a case, of your 
heartlessness and falseness to natuiv? In the same simjde 


way, all ambition apart, all conceit of self forgot, all arti- 
ficial and mock modesty exclnded, it will be the instinct 
of every one that loves God to acknowledge him. He will 
say with our Psalmist, on another occasion, — " Come and 
hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he has 
done for my soul. Verily God hath heard me, he hath 
attended to the voice of my prayer." ^ 

While, therefore, the bald recital of peisonal spiritual 
experiences may not be the best exercise for a social re- 
ligious meeting, the themes of conversation ought to be 
such as shall connect themselves clearly and consciously 
with the religious experience of those who speak. Tlie 
main thing is to get from them a clear expression of truths 
which they have verified. The leader should be wise to 
encourage always this kind of utterance. Let every man 
remember the words of the Master : " We speak that we 
do know and testify that we have seen." Let those Avho 
speak be kindly admonished to kcc[) within their own 
knowledge ; to avoid speculations and hypotheses ; to bring 
forth the truths which they have either verified or are try- 
ing to verify. — truths which have been vitaliz.ed by ex- 
periment in their daily lives. It is not always necessary 
to give the process of verification ; what is wanted is tlic 
results. The men and women who are fighting the hard 
battles of life and working out its problems can often 
greatly aid one another by giving tlie clear issues of their 
serious thinking, while at the same linio they strengthen 
tlicir own hold on spiritual realities. And specific testimony 
to truths verified in the experience is a different thing from 
tiic general report of spiritual conditions and tendencies to 
whicli experience meetings ai-c mainly addicted. 

'V\n'. life of the Christian is the first great theme nl' tlie 
nndweek service ; the second, whicli is like unto it, is the 
work of the church. The service may frequently take on 
a v(MT practical character. The various enteri)rises in 
A\lii(h the church is engaged should often come before it 
for studv and consultation. Tliosi- wlio Ii;i\i' tlie iinnie- 
(Uatc charge of the work under consi(U'ration shouM he 

1 r>nsliiicirs Srniiiots /hr ihr New Lifr, Jip. T^l ."). 


present, and their report should be heard respecting the 
progress of the work, its difficulties and its hopeful feat- 
ures. The problem is to bring all these tasks to the altar, 
and let them feel the glow of its consecrating flame. It is 
not chiefly about methods that the meeting should be inter- 
ested, it is rather about the work in its larger relations, and 
the motives that should govern it and the spirit in which 
it should be pursued. The inquiry here is, what is God's 
part in this work, and how would he have us co-operate 
with him ? The machinery is a matter of importance, but 
the main question before these social meetings is the sup- 
ply of motive power. Thus the Sunday-school, the Parish 
Missions, the Young People's Organizations, the Mission- 
ary Societies, the Brotherhoods, all features of the organ- 
ized work of the church should occasionally be taken up 
for study and prayer at the midweek service. Such a cus- 
tom helps to clear the meeting of the charge of dealing 
wholly with abstractions and sentimentalisms, and brings 
prayer and work into closer relations. 

To the question who shall lead the midweek service the 
answer is, the pastor, unless there is a more skilful leader. 
If there is a capable assistant on whom many of the pas- 
toral duties devolve, this service would naturally come to 
him. The man who leads the meeting ought to be a well 
ec^uipped man, ready, prompt, resourceful, enthusiastic, 
with an abundance of tact and good-nature. He should 
also be one who knows the work of the churcli thorougldy, 
and knows tlie people ; else he may fail to guide the con- 
versation into safe channels. 

It is well that the subject of tlie meeting should be 
announced on the preceding Sunday ; and it may some- 
,times be advisable to have a series of related topics ar- 
ranged for several successive weeks and printed for the 
use of the members. To secure a prompt and coherent 
treatment of the theme under consideration, some pains 
may well be taken. Good prayer-meetings are not apt to 
grow spontaneously; they need planting and watering and 
diligent cultivation. The leader should study his theme 
and take some measures to fjet it before the minds of those 



who will be present. A careful analysis of the subject into 
sul>topics or questions mioht be made ; and a postal card 
or note, Avith one of these cpiestions clearly stated, might 
be sent early in tlie week to each of several persons who 
are likely to be in attendance. This brings a specific 
inquiry before the mind of each of these persons, and is 
likely to secure some consideration of the subject before 
the meetinsr. The leader need make no reference in the 
meeting to this distribution of questions, but his opening 
of the subject would naturally follow the outline he had 
made, and might leave these questions open for consider- 
ation. This would prevent the leader, also, from exhaust- 
ing the subject in his opening, — a vice to which leaders 
are addicted. The cliief business of the one who conducts 
such a service is to ask questions or throw out suggestions 
which others may seize and utilize. At the close of the 
meeting he may profitably gather up the ravelled ends and 
enforce the salient truths in a brief address. 

One advantage of this method of distrilmting the themes 
through the mails is that the church directory may be 
freely used, and those who are wont to be silent or who 
are haT)itually absent may thus from time to time be re- 
minded of the service and invited to participate in it. 

As to the mode of conducting the service a few sug- 
gestions may be quoted from Parish ProUcms : — 

" The meeting ought to be so free and so familiar that 
one sitting in his seat might ask a question or drop a re- 
mark with(jut rising. Sometimes a thought comes that 
could be expressed in a sentence. It seems hardly worth 
while to get up to say it; the uprising and downsitliug 
make it sound affectedly sententious. Yet it would be 
spoken very naturally by one sitting still, if that were the 
usual ])ractice, and might have a go()(l dral iiioir in it (lian 
many long s[)cech('s, 

"I remember a foi'incr parisliioiirr of niiiic, ;i iii;iii of 
exceeding dinidcnce, wlio n(!ver made a speech in liis life, 
in ])rayer-meeting oi- anywlieic else, but wliosi; daily life 
and convei'sation were bolli of llu in willi gi-aeo seasoned 
\vitli salt. AVe had a liaMt in our iuMver-meetiiig of 


talking pretty familiarly ; and. although he did not often 
speak, when he did he usually said something. One 
evening we had the parable of the great supper and the 
wedding garment, and the fact came out that the master 
of the feast furnished the guests with garment. "And 
is it not so with our Master? " asked somebody. " Does 
he not clothe us with the robe of his righteousness ? " 
" He does," I answered. " But we must put it on, must 
WQ not ? " asked my friend. Nine words ! but nothing 
was left to be said on that subject. 

" Now, if we can attain unto a measure of freedom in 
our prayer-meetings which shall admit of such pithy 
questions and observations, I am persuaded that their 
interest and value would be very greatly increased. Our 
Christian women might, in such a condition of things, 
open their mouths now and then, greatly to the profiting 
of the rest of us. One step in tliis direction is easily 
taken, and that is the repetition of texts of Scripture in 
the pauses of the meeting by old and young, male and 
female. The subject is known beforehand, and those who 
come should be requested to bring in their memory verses 
of Scripture which illustrate it, and recite them as they 
find room for them during the evening. Sometimes these 
well-chosen words will go home to the hearts of hearers 
with great power. Verses of hymns, or short and perti- 
nent extracts from the writings of good men, might be 
repeated in the same Avay with profit." ^ 

The singing is an important part of this social service. 
The hymns may be somewhat less dignified and stately 
than those of the church service, but tlie jingling doggerel 
which greatly ])revails in our American churclics is not to 
be encouraged. .AH lliat was said in the last chapter 
al)Out the Sunday- school nnisic is equally ap]ilital)U; to 
the mnsic in tliese meetings for social worshij). Tlie 
vulgarization of the tastes and the dt'})ravation of the 
sentiments of worsliippers tlirough the use of sensational 
and sentimental ])rayer-meeting hymns and tunes has been 
a gra\e injniy to religion in America. It is not necessar}- 

' J'liris/t I'niblcms, ]>]). 204-."). 


to submit to this infliction. Prayer-meeting hymnals can 
be found containing easy melodies and familiar hymns, 
which are at the same time good music and good poetr}'. 

It is well to have much singing in the social meeting, 
provided the singing can be at once musical and worship- 
ful. The praise, the confession, the aspiration, the hope, 
the desire wliich find voice in the hymns, may afford a 
beautiful expression of the devotional feeling which the 
prayer-meeting should call forth. The leader of the sing- 
ing ought to be one who can feel the meaning of the 
hymns he is singing, and can help those who sing wiih 
him to feel it also. The leader of the meeting ought to 
know the hymn-book so well that he can quickly call for 
the hynni which best expresses the thought or the feeling 
which is u})perniost at any moment. When any kindling 
word has Ijeen spoken or any fervent wish has found 
utterance in prayer, it will be a happy inspiration which 
calls upon the whole assembly to respond to it in the 
words of an appropriate song. In all this there should be 
no more formality than is necessary ; the hymn may be 
announced by its number only, and no prelude is needed. 
A single verse or two verses are often better than the 
whole hynni. 

The suppi-ession of long harangues and prolix prayers 
is a problem for the pastor. Many social meetings are 
made wearisome by those to whom the gift of continuance 
has been unduly vouchsafed. Those who have not had 
large experience in public speech are often unaware of the 
ra[)idity with which time passes while they are standing 
ui> to speak. The ordinary man to whom thi'ce or five 
minutes is assigned for speech on any subject is apt (o 
use uj) most of it in getting ready to begin. ]\\ kiiullv 
aflnioiiition the pastor can usually guard agiiiiist this 
fault; if there be any who are so obtuse tliat they offend 
in ihis way without iH'ing aw aic of it, a fiaiil< and fiimdlv 
wold from him in privati^ w ill usually correct tlu' i-nor. 

Some of our l)risk ]»iayer-nu'eting conductors establisli 
a three-minute rule, and introduce a call-bell to admonish 
the speaker that his time lias cxjiired ; Init such nietliods 


savor too much of the auction-room. It is better to as- 
sume that the proprieties of the occasion will be observed 
by Christian brethren who meet for social worship. 
" Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty," and 
if there is also love and consideration and courtesy, the 
spirit of the assembly is likely to prevent those who fre- 
quent it from imposing upon its patience. 

A question box is sometimes introduced, with great 
profit, into the midweek service. Difficulties and problems 
of the Christian life which are burdening the minds of 
members of the church are thus brought to light, and 
cleared up, stumbling-blocks are taken out of the way and 
trouljled souls are comforted. The pastor thus gains some 
valuable knowledge of the mental processes of some of 
his parishioners, and is guided somewhat in his public 
teaching. The questions should, however, be collected a 
week before they are answered, that the pastor may have 
time to prepare judicious answers. And the right of re- 
jecting any questions which do not seem to him suitable 
for public discussion should be clearly reserved by him. 

It is well to make this midweek service a social oppor- 
tunity for the members of the church. Its devotional 
cliaracter will not be marred by using it for the promotion 
of acquaintance and fellowship. Sometimes the pastor 
may announce that he will be present in the room assigned 
to the service, or in an adjoining room, for a quarter of an 
hour or half an hour before the meeting, to receive any 
who may wish to speak with him, and he may also en- 
courage all those wlio attend the meeting to tarry after its 
close for fraternal greetings. Such a kindly interchange 
of words of goodwill may do much to strengthen the 
bond of brotherhood. 



The minister is commonl}- supposed to be the pastor of 
the chui'ch ; the head of a body, lesser or greater, of com- 
municants ; the shepherd of a flock which o^athei'S in a 
certain sheepfold. The members of his church, the fam- 
ilies also, to some extent, to which these membere belong, 
the individuals and families which have sittings in his 
church and arc considered as bclongfinof to his conereo-a- 
tion, the children of his Sunday-school — all these are 
su})posed to be under his care. Here is a small select 
community for which he considers himself responsible. Is 
tliis the extent of his responsibility? Is his shepherding 
well done when these are all housed and fed? 

Such is apt to be the habitual feeling of the minister. 
He has no such theory of his function, but it is easy for 
him to settle down upon some such assumption. Our 
postulates are generally implicit. It is well for us to have 
an understanding with ourselves at the outset which will 
prevent the su.rreptitious entrance of any notion of this 
order. The minister needs first of all to know whose 
servant he is ; the pastor ought to have clear ideas about 
the number of his flock and the extent of their pasturage. 

That corporate community with whicli avc have been 
dealing, the local congregation, is generally quite iiu-liued 
to take a narrow view of the i)astor's resjionsibilitics. lie 
is thrir minister, the ]XH)]>le say. They have liiicd Iiini, 
and tliey exj)Oct him to devote his time and strength to 
tlieni. If there are any individuals or households williin 
reach who can be brought witliin tlieir fold, that, of eonise, 
is his business, but here his obligation ends. There is 
complaint of ministei-s, sometimes, on the part of their 


congregations, because they do too much " outside work." 
The church seems to think that it has a fair monopoly of 
all the minister's production. 

That the pastor owes to the people who have committed 
themselves to his care faitliful instruction and patient 
edification cannot be gainsaid. He is to minister to the 
church in holy things, Ijringing to them out of his treasure 
things new and old. But there is a little liigher concei> 
tion of the work of the minister than that wliicli regards 
him as a hired man whose duty is wholly owed to the 
people who pay him his wage. He is, to begin v/ith, the 
minister of Christ ; he must regard himself as sent to all 
those to whom Christ would be ministering if he were 
dwelling in that community. And he may sometimes 
recall those words of the Good Shepherd, "Other sheep I 
have which are not of this fold ; them also must I bring, 
and they shall hear my voice." ^ Nor can he well forget 
those other tender words, " I was not sent but unto the 
lost sheep of the house of Israel." '^ He is, indeed, the min- 
ister of this particular church ; but if the church is Christ's 
church there can be nothing exclusive in its ministry, 
Tlie church is Christ's representative ; and the servant 
whom it employs is employed to do Christ's Avork. Tliat 
the church should ever conceive of itself as a close corpor- 
ation, organized to promote the welfare and happiness of 
its own members, is an indication of the melancholy truth 
that tlic church itself often needs to Ijc christianized. 
" The clnircli is, in a word," says Mr. Herbert Stead, " the 
body of Christ. The redemptive and mediatorial purpose 
incarnate in him is incorporated in it. He came expressly 
to establish and extend the kingdom. Tlic cliurch lives 
expressly for the same end. As thou didst send me into 
the world, even so sent I them into the world ; and the 
same voice has said. The Son of Man came to seek and to 
save that which is lost. Ilic later record runs. 'I'lic 
Father hath sent the Son to bo the Saviour rtf the wmld. 
This, then, is the avowed vocation of the chuicli. Ilciv ;ill 
the characteristics we have noticed an^ focusscd. Ulie 

1 John. X. If). - Matt. xv. 24. 


chiu'cli is the organized Saviour. It is God's implement 
for overtly and directly bringing over the world into the 
realm of saving health. It is to search for the lost. It is 
to save them. It is to make them whole. It is to inte- 
grate humanity."' ^ 

All this is of the rudiments, but there is reason to fear 
that it is not well understood. How long must we wait 
for the church to be christianized? If we could conceive 
the church to be in the truest sense Christian, then it, like 
its Master, must say, " I came not to be ministered unto, 
but to minister, and to give my life as a ivansom for many."'^ 
And it is a large part of the pastor's duty to bring the 
church into the realization of its high calling as a repre- 
sentative of Christ, as the body of which he is the head, 
thinking his thoughts after him, filled with his spirit, and 
doing his work. When the church so conceives of its 
function, its feeling about its minister will undergo a 
cliange. The people will still say " He is our minister ; " 
but they will not mean l^y that, ours to care exclusively 
for our organization or for our households, but ours to help 
us in our proper M'oi-k of doing good to all men as we 
have opportunity. How many churches there are which 
still have need to learn the primary lesson of the kingdom, 
lliat to look out and not in, and to lend a liand, is as truly 
the law of the corporate life of the church as it is the 
law of the spiritual life of an individual ! And how great 
would be the gains of some of our churches if they could 
only see that the church which is always finding its ow n 
life l)y tliat act loses it; while the clmicli wliidi loses lis 
lif(! for Christ's sake finds it. 

Every pastor finds liimsclf, tlicn. in tlic niidsl df a com- 
nninity, in whieli are considerable numbers of j)eopK' who 
are not comiected witli his congregation, wov witli any 
other Christian congregation. Tlie outside lu-atlieii. llir 
neglccters. tlie non-churcli-going classes — these are round 
about him ; and, whatever may be the expectations of his 
cliurcli. he has certainly some relation (o these peoplr. and 
some obligation concerning them, lie may safely assume 

^ Faith and Crilicisin, p. 332. - .Mark x. 45. 


that all the people within reach of his church, who are not 
under anyhody else's pastoral care, are under his pastoral 
care — so long at any rate as they have not made it mani- 
fest to him in any way that they do not wdsli to be cared for 
by him. This may, in some cases, seem to put a tremen- 
dous burden upon him ; doubtless it will ; but no pastor 
will be willing to admit that there are any human beings 
within the reach of his church for whom no representative 
of Christ deems himself responsible. 

If there are other churches and pastors in the vicinity, 
some part of the responsibility for these unchurched mul- 
titudes imdoubtedly belongs to them, and the pastor will 
be wise if he shall persuade them to share it with him. 
If they will divide the district w^ith him, setting off to him 
a certain territory, his burden will be lightened. 

His first duty to the parish thus put under his special 
care is to get acquainted with it. The problem of " reach- 
ing the masses," as it is called, now confronts him. That 
phrase is one which always has an unpleasant sound ; it 
should always be confined within quotation marks. It is 
to be hoped that the wise pastor wall never try to " reach 
the masses." One reason of church neglect is that men 
have been thought of and talked of too much as " masses." 
They are inclined to resent that phraseolog}' and all that 
it implies. 1'hey are not to be blamed. Most of us know 
that we are not " masses " and we do not wish to be con- 
sidered as such. Every human being greatly prefers to be 
regarded as a person, with a name and an individuality of 
his own. If the men, women, and children dwelling in tlie 
territory for which the pastor has now become responsible, 
shall present themselves before his thought as individuals, 
rather than as "masses," lie will be nuu;h more likely to 
" reach " them. 

He is likely to over-estimate, somewliat, the extent of tlie 
absolute neglect within his ])arisli. 'J'he great majority of 
the faiuilios in the worst districts of our American cities, 
will (laiin to l)e connected witli some church. Three 
Christian ministers of different denominations, canvassed 
together very carefully a large district in an American 

PAi'JSH ]:vanc;elization 2o7 

city, inhabited by the lower middle, and well-to-do work- 
ing classes, and only about twelve per cent, of that popu- 
lation would confess that they were outside the churches. 
It is probable that less than twenty-five per cent, of the 
population of any city east of the Mississippi would make 
that admission. This shows, if it is true, that the aliena- 
tion of the multitudes from the churches is not so hopeless 
as it is often supposed to be. For even if the relation of 
many of these people to the churches is very slight indeed, 
the fact that they are inclined to claim such relation indi- 
cates that there is in their hearts no inveterate hostility to 
tlie churches. 

That the relation of many of these people to the churches 
is very slight indeed, the minister will soon discover. Many 
of tliem are connected only through their children, who 
attend some mission Sunda^'-school. Even those working 
men whose complaint of the church is most bitter, are 
thus, very commonly, connected with the churches. The 
children of these men are apt to be found in Sunday- 
school ; the mother, probably, does not feel quite willing 
to be wholly separated from the offices and influences of 
the church. People of whom he has never heard are often 
reported to a city pastor as saying tliat they attend his 
church ; he need not always on this account accuse him- 
self of pastoral neglect ; probably these are people who 
once in a while come in to an evening service; mIio like 
his clmrch better than any other, and would call on liim if 
there were a funeral in the family. The number of these 
semi-attached persons is very large — much larger, prob- 
ably, than the numljer of tliose who announce themselves 
as non-church-goers. And the great majority of them ma}' 
be regarded as practically outside the churches — as lost 
shcej) of the house of Israel. 

The minister's firet problem is to get acquainted wiili 
this unchurched contingent. I>y this is not meant tliat he 
must personally visit all these fainilies ; though that, if 
lie can lind time to do it, would l>e most productive labor. 
There is notliing which Christian ministers need more 
than just sucii intimate, personal acquaintance with the 



people who do not come to church. Tlie minister ought 
to be able to see life from their point of view ; to learn, 
by actual contact with tlieir minds, Avhat are their mental 
habits and tendencies. If, however, the church is doing- 
the work which it ought to do in this field, the minister 
will have all that he can do to care for those who are thus 
brought in ; and the work of visitation and invitation 
should, in large churches, be assumed by the church. It 
is the minister's task to see that the work is done. Nor 
can it well be delegated to city missionaries and paid 
visitors. The real significance of the work is lost when it 
is thus performed by proxy. It must always be essentially 
a labor of love, and love-making is not well done by 
proxy. It is only when a genuine Christian friendship 
is expressed in such a call that it can be other than 

The minister ought to see to it then that the non-church- 
goers in the vicinity of his church — those for whom he 
has become responsible — have the Christian greetings of 
the church extended to them from time to time. It is not 
necessary to persecute them with attentions, and those 
who continue to decline the invitation sliould be passed 
by ; it is only necessary that all the people of the vicinage 
should be kept aware of the fact that a Christian chui'ch 
is there, that it has not forgotten them, and that it wishes 
to share its best gifts with them. 

For many reasons it is vastly better that this work of 
visitation should be done by the co-operation of all the 
churches in the neighborhood; as it was recently done, 
for example, by the churches of the east end of Pittsburg. 
There liave been many such examples. Then the visitors 
of each church, instead of seeking to gather into its own 
fold all those in its territory who liave no clnirdi liomo, 
liiid out tlie denominational preference of each family 
culled upon, and gain its consent to report its name to the 
pastor of tlie nearest church of that donomiiiatioii. Tlic 
effect of such a co-operative Avork is good in every way; it 
is a demonstration of Christian unity wortli more tlian 
weeks of lalk in union incctiuLrs : iiiul it is nnudi luoi-o 


effective, because the denominational preferences of these 
outsiders count for much ; and the family is more likely 
to accept the invitation of the minister with which it is 
thus put in communication than that of the church of 
Avhicli it has no knowledge, or against which it may have 
some prejudice. 

It has been assumed tliat these people may be and 
ought to be brought into the churches. But this assump- 
tion will be challenged. It is impossible, it will be said, 
to prevail upon them to come into tlie churches ; they 
will not come to us ; we must go to them. Other agencies 
outside the church must be provided for the evangelization 
of these people. We must go down among them and 
plant mission churches, mission schools, homes, refuges, 
and all such saving agencies. These people are afraid of 
our churches. The churches are, in fact, too fine for 
tliem. They would not feel at home worshipping with us, 
nor we with them. The social stratification is a fact, and 
it is foolish to tr}' to evade it. You must adjust yourself 
to the situation. 

All til is is urged by the people who have sold their 
down-town churches and gone up to worship on the aven- 
ues, urged with the emphasis of conviction. Some of us 
have listened well but we are not yet convinced. To say 
that we do not feel the force of this reasoning would be 
inaccurate. We feel it as keenly as we feel the force of 
the east wind in .\])ii]. We feel the weiglit of it as we 
feel the weight of a muggy atmosphere in the dog-days. 
Hut we cannot aver that our faith is strengthened or our 
hope invigorated by it. It is not necessarj' to speak dis- 
respectfully about mission schools, or mission i-lnuclics. 
Many good people are engaged in siidi (iittijiriscs, ;iml it 
woidd b(! highly unchaiit;ibl(! to ccnsnre them. Uut llieie 
are vigorons clnu'clKis which have never yet fonnd it wise 
to propose the establishment of what arc connnoiily know n 
as missions. These churches arc engag(>(l in planting 
Christian institutions; but they arc not missions, in name 
ov in Tact. They are founding Sunday-schools in suitable 
localities, but these are not mission Snndav-schools ; care 


lias been taken to avoid calling them by that name or 
giving- them that character ; the expectation is that they 
Avill become chnrches. 

In the fu'st place, these chnrches do not go into the 
heart of any degraded district to find a site for their 
Christian enterprises. It seems to them wiser to select 
a place near the border of snch a district, at a mediating 
point between the more fortunate and the less fortunate 
classes. If the church is to do this work of mediation, it 
is important that its purpose should be distinctly signal- 
ized by the selection of its site. If it goes np on the 
avenue and purchases a very expensive location, that is a 
distinct advertisement of the kind of church it intends to 
be. It will be perfectly true of the church which stands 
on this ground, that the people in the tenement houses 
will not feel at home in it. If, on the other hand, a site 
is chosen in the midst of the squalor and filth of some 
poverty-stricken district, everybody knows that this can 
only be a mission ; that self-support is not looked for ; 
that it is a purely gratuitous ministration on the part of 
certain rich Christians to the spiritual needs of this neg- 
lected neighborhood; and if there are any thoroughly 
self-respecting poor people in that precinct, they Avill be 
inclined to keep away from it. 

A chapel l)uilt on the edge of such a district, but just 
outside it, appeals quite as strongly to the poorest people 
in it as if it stood in th(; midst of them, perhaps more 
strongly. They would willingly walk a few squares 
further for the sake of worshipping in a more decent place. 
Very few of them expect to remain in this squalor; they 
do not regard it as their natural habitat, and tliey arc more 
iliaii willing to be reminded once a week that their inter- 
ests do not ;ill centre here. If the chapel can draw the 
people out ol' the slums a few times every Avcek, into 
cleaner neighliorhood ;nul better air, it will do them a 
good service. They will go back to that dirt every time 
a little moi'o unwillingly. And there is no serious difli- 
culty in iiidining the people of these districts to come to 
llic cliurclifs wliicli stand near them bnl not in tlicm. I( 


is usually a inattL-r of a few furlongs or even rods ; the 
S(|ualid areas are generally in surprisingly close neighbor- 
hood to the abodes of comfort. 

Wlien the chapel or church is thus located, when it 
stands as the mediator between the rich and the poor, 
reaching one hand to the people who dwell in the respect- 
able residence streets, and the other toward those who hive 
in the tenement houses, its character and work are at once 
determined. It must not be a " mission " ; tlie eleemosynary 
features of its work cannot be thrust into the foreground ; 
it must be a people's church, a church for all sorts and 
conditions of men, where the rich and poor meet together, 
confessing the Lord who is the Maker of them all. It 
hopes to draw into its fellowship enough of the dwellers 
in the respectable streets to give it the needful financial 
strength, and enough of trained intelligence to give it wise 
guidance, and enough of the surrounding poverty and need 
to "'ive it a jjood field for work within its own congreq-ation, 
or at any rate within those circles which will open directly 
out of its own congregation. This plan has been kept 
distinctly in mind ])y some churches, in their evangelistic 
work, and experience has justified it. The Sunday-schools 
thus started have become churches ; they are not licli man's 
cliurclies, and can never be; they arc people's churches; 
and that is the only kind of church which has any right to 
exist. All classes come together in them and learn in 
them the lessons of mutual respect and of self-respect. 
l*()or people who are not paupers liave exactly the same 
rights in them as their more fortunate neighboi-s enjoy ; 
tlie i)Oorest prefer to Ijelong to churches, meml)ershii) in 
which is not a badge of mendicancy. 

It may be said that there are areas of jjoverty in some of 
our cities so large tliat it woidd be ho[)eless to try to draw 
the people away from them; that churches and (liai)c'ls 
must bi' cstablislied in tlii'iii : and tliat tlicse nuist needs 
h;iv(^ the (liaiacter, if not the nainc of missions. The 
geogra]ihic;il stat-ement iiiav be true, but (he? ecclesiastical 
infenmce does not foll(»\v. It is not necessary that chapels 
or churches thus located should be missions. They may 


be colonies. It is possible for members of Christian 
churches to be actuated by motives not less Christian than 
those which have inspired the founders of the college and 
university settlements. It is possible for Cliristians of 
wealth and education to care enough for the welfare of 
the people of the neglected districts to be willing to go 
and live among them. Of course, this would mean that 
the sanitary conditions of th.ose districts would be sharply 
looked after, for it would not l)e right for the well-to-do 
Christians to take their families into tlieso precincts unless 
they were made habitable ; and thus their very advent 
would bring saving health to their new neighbors. 

The churches thus formed by colonies in the neglected 
districts would differ widely from what are now kmiwn as 
mission churches. The edifices would doubtless be plain, 
but they would be tasteful and comfortable ; the minister 
would be a man of intelligence ; the services would be de- 
corous and orderly. But the important feature would be 
the footing of neighborliness upon which the worshij)pers 
and the workers would stand together. The leaders in this 
enterprise, the teachers in this Sunday-school, would not 
be hired men and women sent down here to perform a 
certain work of charity ; nor would they be occasional 
visitants, letting themselves down, as it were, once or 
twice a week, out of some higlicr realm of social life, to 
minister to the poor, whose coming was felt to 1)0 an act of 
condescension ; they would be neighbors and acquaintan- 
ces, whom the ])oor i)eople met every day upnn tlie 
street, and with wliom they were identified in many other 
things besides the religious services. The social contact 
of tliese classes witli eacli other couhl not but be of great 
benefit to both of them. Gentleness and refinement wouhl 
1)0 taught in the only way in wliich tliey can l)e tanglil ; 
and respect foi' labor and s\in])athv loi' the laboi'er Mould 
become something nimv tlian a scntiiiicnl. ^\'llat o[)]»or- 
tunities, too, of genuine chaiity would come daily to these 
Christians, thiongh their close ac(|uaintance with their 
needy bretliren ! And how beautifully would the bonds 
of social peace be woven by such organizations as these ! 


If there had Ijeeii as many as twenty such churches, 
phmted by Christian colonies, in the poorer wards of 
New York, how different would Ije the social conditions 
of that great city ! One su(.;h colony would be a far better 
safeguard against anarchy than one hundred policemen. 

This, then, is the shape which we could wish to see our 
Christian work taking in the cities. No one ought to 
speak disrespectfully of missions ; but they seem to be an 
impotent device. It is clear that they cannot meet the 
demand. Their work, at best, is sketchy and superficial ; 
they "heal the hurt of the daughter of my people " very 

A few yeai-s ago the present writer walked through 
some of the worst parts of East London, in company with 
an alderman of the London County Council, who is also pas- 
tor of a Congregational church in one of the working-class 
districts of the metropolis. This pastor was thoroughly 
informed respecting the social and religious conditions of 
the great city, and his comments on wliat appeared were 
full of instruction. In the course of the walk we came 
upon a mission chapel, planted by another Congregational 
chuich. in one of the worst corners of that section. " See,'' 
siiid the pastor, " here is Doctor Blank's mission. Can 
you not perceive, by the very look of it, that it has very 
little relation to the life of these people ? One does not 
wish to say a word against such a work as this ; these 
I)eople are trying to do good here ; but the sum of what 
tliey accomjilish is infinitesimal. They come down liere 
once or twice a week ; they are here for an hour or two at 
a time; they sing and preach and pray; tlicir services 
make a little emotional rip])le in ilic li\(s of these people, 
and tlien tliey go away. Sonu; thoughts of ii l)ett('r life, 
some wishes for strengtli and pniity an; awakened in the 
liearts of those whf) hear, but liow ran smli feelile impulses 
struggle into life in such an environment? Voii might as 
well plant a violet between these curbstones. The girls 
in that Sumlav-school sleep, most of them, in apailments. 
whi'n^ from half a dozen to a dozen ])eoi)le are huildled 
promiscuously together, male and female, married and un- 


maniecl. They know nothing about privacy ; modesty is 
an unknown word and an impossible conception. How 
can you teach such people in Sunday-school how to be 
good? How much can an agency like this do to lessen 
or purify the deep and dismal flood of vulgarity and 
brutality and vice and crime which sweeps forever 
through these streets ? " The pastor must not be held 
responsible for all the language of this report, but this 
is the substance of what he said. As we walked on, 
we soon came to another building, in the same neighbor- 
hood, of which much is known, and concerning which no 
such doubtful verdict could be spoken. That was Toynbee 
Hall, the first of the university settlements. Toynbee 
Hall may not be an ideal institution ; doubtless its meth- 
ods might be in many ways improved ; but this must be 
said of it, that it has made a perceptible change in the 
face of the neighborhood in which it stands. There are a 
great many homes in that neighborhood which are cleaner 
and happier because of it ; the gracious and kindly com- 
panionship of Mr. and Mrs. Barnett and the young gentle- 
men who live here with them, has done a great deal to 
sweeten the atmosphere of Whitechapel. 

There are quite a number of colonies like this in other 
parts of Ivondon, and in several of our American cities, 
whose influence upon the vicinage has been quite percepti- 
ble. But these college settlements are lacking, after all, 
in the finest and strongest influence. Thc}^ arc mainly 
composed of young men or women, who live all together in 
one house, and who are manifestly only sojourners in the 
neighl)orhood ; they are here to stay for a little while, but 
not to live. Tlieir life is club life, and not family liCe. 
It is far closer to the life of the neighborhood tlian that of 
the workers in the average mission, but the relation of 
these individuals to tlie people round about them is felt 
to be but temporary. Besides, these are young people, 
with but limited experience of life, and there is much in 
the daily history of many of tliese families ijito wliich they 
cannot enter. AVe know liow lieartily and heroically they 
have thrown themselves into the work, especially the 


young women ; but there are many things which au ex- 
perienced matron coukl do for these mothers and these 
children which a young girl could not undertake. And a 
group of families, living in such a neighborhood, would 
affect the life of the neighborhood in many ways far more 
directly and beneficently than the best regulated club 
could possibly do. 

All this will seem quixotic and chimerical to many. 
They will not be able to conceive of the possibility of such 
devotion. " How," they will ask, " could you expect in- 
telligent and cultivated families to exile themselves, 
socially, after this manner ? It is all very well for young 
and unmarried people to go away and live in such places 
for a few months or years, but to ask families to tiike up 
their residence there is a very different thing. Could you 
expect well-bred fathers and mothers to deprive their chil- 
dren as well as themselves of the advantages of refmed 
society ? " 

To all tliis it may be answered that it is, indeed, diffi- 
cult to say just how much you can expect in the Avay of 
sacrifice of good Christians in these days ; yet it does not 
appear that this is, after all, sucli a very heroic adven- 
ture. It is no more than we expect of every missionary 
wlio goes to Calcutta or Hong-kong ; indeed most of these 
foreign missionaries would be glad if their exile was no 
more absolute, and the discomforts and dangers of their 
lives Avere no greater than a residence in the Eleventli 
Ward of New York or tlie North End of Boston would 
require f)f tliem. These colonists in the destitute districts 
of our .Vmerican cities would not, in fact Ijc, Avholly cut 
off from intercourse with tlieir fellow men ; they could 
easily keep themselves in touch with all that was really 
li('l])fid in the life of the city. 1 1 tin- colony consisled of 
a (lo/jii f)r twenty families of iIh' class sup])()se(l, tlu'v 
woulil liavc among themselves some excellent society. 
Doubtless their life woulil be far simpler lliau if they 
lived on the; avenues ; would that be, to intelligent fathers 
ami mothei's, a real objection '/ W'ouM not release fiom 
the i^xtravatrances and artiticialilies of citv life be a ■'■ri'at 


gain to tliein and to their children ? Suppose that these 
families were compelled, by such a cliange of their en- 
vironment, to live a little more within themselves — to 
get a little better acquainted with one another, — would 
that be an unmitigated misfortune ? On the whole, there 
is some reason to sa}^ that, looking at the matter from the 
view-point of the family's highest good, the sacrifices in- 
volved in such an enterprise are not without their 

At any rate, it is not easy to discover any other ade- 
quate solution of the problem of city evangelization than 
this plan of colonization, or something which involves the 
same principle. These neglected districts are what they 
are to-day because the churches have deserted them. That 
was a great crime — treachery to Christ and his gospel. 
There is only one way to atone for it. The people who 
have abandoned these districts must go back and occupy 
them. If this involves some sacrifice, we must not won- 
der ; but we need not be so faithless as to think that none 
can be found to make the sacrifice. We may trust that 
there is enough of Christly love and consecrated purpose 
in the church to do this work, if the thought of the people 
can only be turned toward it. 

These suggestions as to the extension of tlic A\-ork of tlie 
church to the districts for whose evangelization it liolds 
itself responsible are offered with some conlidence. It is 
true that they involve a considerable revision of current 
habits of thought and current evangelistic methods, l)ut 
this may be the first requisite of successful evangelism. 
The full and frank recognition of the clear implications of 
the Christian law is not readily yielded. The cliurcli lias 
been trying, too long, to apply the Sermon on the Mount 
in a narrow and partial way to the prol)lems before it. It 
lias not been willing to go after tlie lost slieep into (lie 
wilderness; it lias preferred to send delegates. It lias a 
great deal to Icai'ii of Die very rudiments of its high 

AVithout resorting cither to coloiii/atioii or (lie jilanling 
of Christian inslitutioiis which shall be self-sustainiiifr 


ratlu'i- than eleemosynary, the chnrcli may often do niiu-li 
ANilhin its own gates for tlie evangelization of its neighbor- 
hood. JNIany ehurehes attended mainly by the well-to-do 
classes are in close proximity to districts inhabited by the 
very poor. It is true that the stampede of the churches 
from these districts Avhere poverty and sorrow and spirit- 
ual need abound has, of late years, presented to the angels 
a melancholy spectacle ; but there are still many churches 
whose location would enable them to enter in an effective 
way upon the work of evangelization. There is a large 
population within easy reach of them in the alleys and the 
upper stories of the business blocks. These people can be 
brought into the churches if they are wanted there. Some 
effort will be needed, no doubt, to convince them that they 
are wanted, but not more than would be needed to estalj- 
lish and maintain a separate building for their use. Says 
Hishop llurst : 

"The drift of llic city churches is always toward the 
cleaner, less packed, and less commercial paits of the city. 
All through this century the attraction in New York has 
l)een northward. When the strong church moves away, a 
weak one is left belund. It seems to need but little care. 
A scanty allowance is left for it. So nuich is needed for 
the new church elsewhere, and il must be so line, that the 
old flmrcli soon becomes a mere skeleton. Little the 
l)iM)|)lc iliiiik that for the power to build the new the 
obligatiiiii is due to the old! 

"Jn KoiiiL! it is never thought of, lliat, beeause St. 
Peter's lias to be reached by a bridge, and to reach the 
bridge on(! must go through dark and lilthy streets, there- 
fore St. Peter's must not Ik; thought of as a sanctuary. 
The mere fact that it is St. Peter's makes it an attraction. 
In Vienna, St. Stephen's is in the midst of darker and more 
rejiellent streets; y<'t it is never urged against it thai 
it is t(i() far down town, ;inil nol in tlir West i'"n<l. In 
Perlin and in I'aris the same iiile ajiplies. St. Paul's in 
LondoTi. is sunounded still, as centuries ago. bv small 
slidps. wliili- the city stages and cabs run ainuiid it,;ind 
make a ]k riiclual din on every side. \ vi people go \'nn\i 


palace and noble residence far away to get to that beauti- 
ful temple. St. Margaret's and AV^estminster are by no 
means in the midst of tine residences. Yet all these places 
are visited by the people of every class. Why should we 
cry that the churches must follow the people ? " ^ 

The assumption that poor people cannot be enticed into 
a comfortable and pleasant place of public worship is one 
that needs to be challenged. It is to be feared that the 
unwillingness is largely imputed to them by those who 
in their hearts -would rather not have them come. That 
is a strange sight, which is frequently seen in England, 
of ministers and evangelists standing on the front steps 
of churches and preaching to a little group of wayfarers 
gathered about them in the street. Wliy are these listen- 
ers afraid or disinclined to cross the threshold? If bar- 
riers are there whicli they cannot cross, is it not the first 
business of the church to tear them down ? 

The whole enterprise of street preaching, as carried on 
by organized bands of Christian church-members, appears 
to be a sad confession of failure on the part of the church. 
So far as these services are intended to bring people into 
the churches tliey may have some value ; but the impres- 
sion which they make upon the casual listener does not 
usually convey this as the primary intention. They are 
rather an attempt to reach with the Gospel those between 
whom and the churches there is a great gulf fixed. It is 
possible that some hearts are touched by these street 
sermons, Ijut how superficial and fleeting are their influ- 
ence ! What these poor people need above everything 
else is frituidship — the kind of frii'iulship which tlie 
clnirch, in the ideal of its Founder, undertakes to provide. 
It is not truth, it is not even Gospel truth, ever so patheti- 
cally uttered, it is love that is the fullilliiig of tlie Liw. 
What these ])eoi)le want is love, and sucli social relations 
■\\\[]\ tlieir Christian neiglibors as shall allow tlie exj)ression 
of this love. To be preaclicd to is not the thing they are 
liungry for, but to be known and cared for. And tlicre- 
fore tlic clmrcli wliich stniitls near to a neigliboiliood where 

^ NdlidiKil P(flh(iu<l Ojijinrliiiiilics, p. 107. 


numbers of sacli people live lias a great opportunit}-. Its 
work cannot be done by sending bands of its young people 
about to stand on the corners of the streets and speak and 
sing to those who are passing, but rather by sending its 
best and its bravest out two by two into the streets and 
the highways, the attics and the cellars to constrain them 
to come into its own sanctuary, and by providing such a 
welcome for them that when they do come in they shall 
feel themselves to be among friends. Doubtless special 
services of one kind or another will need to be arranged 
for them; and many new measures adopted for their 
instruction and edification ; the church will need to exer- 
cise all its invention upon this problem of manifesting its 
fello\^'ship to tliose whom Christ reckons as " the least of 
these [his] brethren." 

The families thus gathered into tlie Sunday-school or 
the church need careful shepherding, and it is far better 
that it should be done by members of the church, in an 
unofficial way, than by paid visitors. The pastor may 
^\■isely assign to each of the women of the church who 
will undertake the care, two or three of these families as 
her special charge. She should be instructed to call on 
them not as a committee or a delegate, but as a Christian 
friend, desirous of making tlieir acquaintance and of enter- 
ing into relations of Cliristian friendship with them. She 
must not go as an almoner of charit>-, searching out their 
penury and offering assistance ; tliat, in most cases, is tlic 
very thing to be avoided. When she l)ec()mes tlic Lady 
Bountiful, and they the pensioners ui)oii her l)()unt\\ the 
relation is apt to be vitiated. She must rather serk to 
[•reserve between herself and tliem the friendshi]) Avhich 
rests on mutual respect. If relief is needed she liad brlh r 
S(>e tliat it reaches them througli some otber clianiu'l. If 
slic can Ijecome a trusted friend, giving tliem at all times 
counsel and sympathy, aiding tlicni in siciiriiin^ rniploy- 
ment and in helping themselves, winning llicir ((inlidi'iu-e, 
and stimulating their self-respect and indeitcndcnce, the 
S'-rvice that she will i-cndcr tlicm will be one of tlic liigli- 
est value. Work of this kind is j)roposed by the cliaritv 


organization societies, and much good work of this kind 
is, undoubtedly, done by them : but it is above all things 
important that the Christian churches should count it 
their chief work — a work of which no other organization 
can possibly relieve them. 





Ix our study of tlie constitution of the chnrcli we have 
foHud that it is, primarily, a social organization, and that 
the bond which holds it together must be the mutual love 
of its members. The fundamental law of the church as a 
social organization is well expressed by the apostle l*aul 
in these words: " IS'ow we that are strong ought to bear 
the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 
Let each one of us please his neighbor for that whicli is 
good, unto edifying. For Christ also pleased not liim- 
self. . . . Wherefore receive ye one another, even as 
Clirist also received you, to the glory of God.^ 

This is the paraphrase and the amplification of the new 
commandment of Christ — " that ye love one another as 
I liave loved you."^ If the doctrine of justification by 
faith is, theologically, articulus stantis vel cadcntis ccclcsicc, 
it is no less true that of Christian society the only sure 
foundation is Christ's law of brotherhood. Wlicn this 
law is disregarded or set at nought in the practical ANork- 
ing of the body, it ceases to be a Christian churcli. It 
may be a school of sound tlieology ; it maybe a jjopular 
]iroa('hing place; it may be a place of polite resort; but 
it is not any longer a cliurch ot Chi'ist. 

If Paul's statement is true, the church relation implies 
acf[uaintaiice and friendsliip on the part of the members of 
the church. "Wherefore receive ye "iiic iniolhci- as Christ 
also received you, to tlic glory of (Jod.'"^ This wdrd 
"receive" means miicli. rndoubtedly its couiiotation is 
social. It signilies more than merely sUiiidiiig up before the 
coiiiniuiiioii tabhi when new membei"S are admitted ; more 

' IJoin. XV. 1, 2. .'t. & 7. - tFidiii xv. 12. ■■ luiiii xv. 7. 


than sitting together once a week, beneath the same church 
roof ; more than having a speaking acquaintance with 
members of the church. The primary sense of the word 
here translated " receive," is to take another by the hand and 
draw him toward yourself ; and the definitions of the word 
are these : " To take to one's company, intercourse, house ; 
to receive to cmeself ; to admit to one's society and fellow- 
ship ; to receive and treat with kindness." ^ This, then, is 
the duty which Paul commands the Roman Christians to 
practise toward one another. In the church he expects 
that there will be friendship and social intercourse among 
the members ; the church is to be a genuine sodality. 
Various social organizations exist at the present day, some 
open, others secret, whose members are bound together by 
vows of fellowship and fraternity. But none of these 
contemplate a closer fellowship, a more hearty fraternity 
than Cluist designed to be the bond of union amonir the 
members of his church. This view of the relationship of 
church members may seem to some extravagant and vi- 
sionary. Be this as it may, it is the view which Christ 
and all his apostles held and enforced by precept and by 
practice ; it is the only view to wliich any countenance is 
given in the New Testament. 

It may be said that this implies a sort of communistic or 
agrarian equality and that this is contrary to the teachings 
of Christianity. It is true that the New Testament docs not 
teach state socialism, as tliat term is commonly understood, 
nor does it encourage communism. Even the first cliapters 
of the Acts of the Apostles, if rightly interpreted, do not 
sanction the abolition of private property, and the establisli- 
ment of communistic societies. The family is exalted in 
the New Testament ; Christianity glorifies and establislies 
the family; the preservation of the family as a social unit 
requires the accumulation of private property ; and tlie 
existence of private property involves disparity of con- 
ditions. If industry and traffic are free to all, there will 
be incqurlily in men's estates. The inequality in men's 
temporal conditions results largely from differences in 

1 RobiiisDii's (ircrk Lrriron of the New Testament. 


their natural powers and capacities. Christianity does not 
change these natural capacities, and does not, of course, 
change the results that flow from them. It does not make 
all men alike either in gifts or in possessions. The Chris- 
tian morality assumes that there will be rich and poor, 
strong and weak, coarse and fine, fast and slow, all living 
together in the same society; it does not undertake to 
abolish such distinctions, but only to establish a law by 
wliich all these sorts of people shall form one harmonious 
societ}'. The good maestro does not desire to have the 
instruments of the orchestia all violins or French horns ; 
neither does lie wisli to have them all play the same part ; 
the silver bugle, and the brass ophicleide, and the wooden 
bassoon ; the stringed instruments and the reed instru- 
ments, and the instruments of percussion, — he wants 
them all, as many kinds of voices as he can get ; and then 
he will divide up among them as manj^ melodies as can 
be made to harmonize. What is essential is tliat all the 
instruments shall be in tune, and that they shall be played 
in time, and with a distinct appreciation on the part of 
each musician of tlie part which he is called to deliver, 
as well as of the complete harmony of which his part is one 
harmonious strain. So in the Christian society Christ 
wants all varieties of condition and of capacity, so that the 
whole body, " fitly framed and knit together through that 
wliieh every joint supplieth, according to the working in 
due measure of each several part, maketh the increase of 
the body unto the building up of itself in love." ^ 

Tlie churcli is to be an organism, not a mass of inde- 
pendent atoms. The members of the churcli have the 
same relation to each other that the parts of an organized 
body liavo to each other, a vital rehition, a formative 
relation. Take the parts of the tree, leaves, baric, l)i anches, 
roots — \vh('iic(! do tlicy derive the lih; by which they live? 
From tlie sun, the air, the soil. But it is not true that 
each individual leaf, branch, roolh-t, seeks its own nonrish- 
luent — sujjplies itself with life froui suusliine an<l soil iind 
atinos[)liere — and permits the rest ol" the tree to piuvitle 

1 Kpli. iv. IG. 


for itself. The roots, drawing up from the earth its moist- 
ture and its life-giving juices, partake of the nourishment 
they thus draw from the soil, and at the same time conve}' 
it through the woody veins of the trunk and the branches 
to all parts of the tree ; the leaves drinking in the sun- 
shine, send its vitalizing currents back along the same 
channels to the roots again ; so that every leaf, and every 
branch, and every cell of tissue, and every rootlet under- 
ground is busy in ministering to the health and growth of 
every other part of the organism ; all are working together 
for the upbuilding of the body in love. The roots under- 
ground may be soiled and scraggy, without form or come- 
liness, but tliey have an equal part in the work of vegeta- 
tion ; and they are not forgotten or neglected by the gay 
leaves overhead; for draughts of nectar that the golden 
sunshine brews are sent to them every hour to cheer them 
in their lowly toil. A partnership of life, a vital unity, 
binds all parts of the tree together. 

The relation which the members of the church sustain 
to each other is like unto this. The members of the chui'ch 
are not only united by an individual faith to Christ the 
living head, from whom all their life flows ; but they are 
united to each other in a living fellowship, and as every 
man has received the gift, they are to minister of the same 
one to another as good stewards of the manifold grace of 

Love is the essence of Christianity. Not love for those 
nearest us, for our family, or our social circle, Ijut love for 
all who are made in God's image. My nciglibor may lx> 
coarse, hard-hearted, stii]ii<l. but lie is a cliild oi" God, and 
therefore my brother, and 1 nnist love him, and do him 
good as I have opportunity. And this love must l^e some- 
thing more than a vapory sentiment ; it must be a practical 
power issuing from my life and reaching his life, " As I 
have loved you, so ought ye to love one another," ^ said the 
Master. If the cherishing of ]n\ing sentiments had been 
all that was necessary, he might have remained on his 
throne among the angels; he needed not to take on him- 

1 .luliii XV. 12. 


self the form of a servant. To love our neighbor as Christ 
loved us, means more than to feel kindly toward him ; it 
means that we should take pains, and make sacrifices to do 
him good. It is not possible, of course, that we should 
manifest in this practical Avay our Christian love for all 
the individuals in the world, or even to all within the 
community in which we live. But, in order that we may 
})c fully exercised in loving our neighbors, the Christian 
church has been organized. 

Into this chm-cli, the local church, all sorts and condi- 
tions of people ought to be gathered. Each local clmrch 
should Ije, so far as it is possible, an epitome of the univer- 
sal church. And that, in its Founder's conception, is not 
a theoretical or a sentimental, but a practical and real 
brotherhood, — in Avhich the rich and the poor meet to- 
gether, learning how, in all their relations with one another, 
to put the Golden Rule into constant practice. 

It is necessary to the perfection of individual character 
that there should be in the church not only diversities of 
gifts, but diversities of culture and diversities of condition, 
and that thus we should be practised in our relations to all 
kinds of people. We need to know how to bear ourselves 
discreetly, lovingly, helpfully, not only toward those of our 
own station in life, but toward those higher than ourselves 
and those lower. A Christian who only knows how to live 
in fellowsliip with one grade or caste in society is like a 
gardener whose sole recommendation consists in the ability 
to raise Japan lilies, or like a woman wlio thiidvs she is 
fitted to be a housewife because she knows liow to make 
dainties for the table and parlor decorations. The garde- 
Jier who is fitted for his calling must have knowledge; of 
the habits and needs of all sorts of plants ; ;uid the sl<il- 
I'ul lioiisewife must be practiced in otlicr I)r;iiicli('s of licr 
art than those which rehite wholly lo luxury and ornament. 
So lh(; Cliristian must liave intimate knowh'dgcof all kinds 
of people; of their ways of thinking and li\ing; amjile 
acquaintance witli all dc] )arlnicnts of Christian houscliold 
work. What we should all desiderate as Chi'istians is large- 
ness of S3'mpathy ; breadth of view: [)ower to enter into 


the experiences of all our fellows, and to bear their burdens 
upon our feeling. Our Master was equally at home in the 
hovels of the poor and in the palaces of rich Pharisees. So 
shall we be if we are like him. 

It is by this close relation of personal friendship, and by 
this alone, that the Christian ('liurch can be built up and 
the principles of the Gospel be made to prevail. The 
religion of Christ cannot be propagated in any other wa}-. 
It is only by the contact of mind with mind, of heart watli 
heart, of life with life, that its virtues and graces are repro- 
duced and multiplied. 

The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a w^oman 
hid in three measures of meal till the whole was leavened. 
But in order that the whole may be leavened, the whole 
must be brought together in one compact body. From one 
life to another the sacred influences of love must flow, and 
it is only wdien men are brought near enougli together so 
that their lives touch each other that the influence can be 

Courtesy, for example, is one of the Christian graces. It 
is a fruit which the religion of Christ will always bear when 
it gets its growth in the human soul. But there are many 
Christians in whom this grace is not yet perfectly devel- 
oped. This is the part of their character which needs 
culture. How are they ever to gain this culture if tliey are 
excluded from polite society? The spirit of God does 
develop this grace, but only under favorable conditions, 
Tlie sunshine wakes to life the germ that is in the seed ; 
but it w^ill not make it grow through an as[)halt pavement. 
And it Avill be dilTficult for those who were born and bred 
in rude society to acquire the graces of true courtesy if 
they are shut out from the circles in whicli courtesy is the 
law — if all tlieir associations are with the uncivil. Tliey 
never can become refined except by association with men 
and women who are refined. If tliose who lead gentle lives 
liold themselves aloof from those who lead rude lives, tlien; 
can l)e little growth of relinemcnt in society. I>ut when 
all classes of people are brought together in the chiin lu 
the expectation is that the pi-inci[iles of the thviue life will 


l)c cominmiicated from one to another ; that the gentleness 
and the nnsellishness and the grace which find expression 
in ideal Christian lives, will pervade the Avliole society and 
prevail at length over the roughness and barbarism of the 
woods. This expectation is always realized when Chris- 
tians recognize the duty of using theu' social influence and 
their social opportunities unselfishly; of consecrating to 
God not only their money and their talents, but their social 

What is true of courtesy is true of every other high 
quality. Knowledge is a Christian grace that will scarcely 
be communicated in any other way. Many of our neigh- 
bors are ignorant and dull-witted. Those who are intelli- 
gent and cultivated, by their loving and helpful intercourse 
with them, may not only impart to them much information, 
but, what is better, the contact of their minds with minds 
better trained will quicken and awaken their intelligence, 
and inspire them with a desire to know. So with patience ; 
so with charitableness of judgment ; so with self-denying 
beneficence. They are all best learned from the lives of 
those who practise them ; and it is hardly possible to learn 
them in any other way. 

Here, then, are the two main reasons why the members 
of 11 le same church should establish and maintain close and 
friendly social relations — first, because each individual 
needs, for the perfection of his Christian character, to learn 
to rule himself by tlie law of love in his intercourse willi 
all kinds of people, those above him and tliose below him ; 
and secondly, because it is only by the loving contact of 
nnnd with mind and heart with heart tliat the Christian 
virtues can be reproduced and propagated. 

Such associations as these are, no doubt, rei)ulsi\'(' to the 
feelings of refined and cultured persons. 'JMii-y do not like 
to meet and mingle with su(,'h people, even if they arc llicir 
('hi'istian brethren. Their persons arc uiicoiitli : llicir 
dress offends the taste; their manners are awkwaid and 
constrained; their views are nari'ow ; their ti'inix'rs are 
ofU'ii sullen ; it is lianl lo get at tlicni. to t-stablisli any 
points of synipatliN- or niulerstanding with ihcin. It seems 


luud and disagreeable, no doubt. But the disciples of the 
Nazarene should bear in mind that it is enough for them to 
be as their Master. We know that if he were here in the 
flesh, he would gladly receive us to his society ; would 
walk witli us and talk with us ; Avould sit dt)wn witli us in 
our homes ; would admit us to the closest friendship. Yet 
we are not so vain as not to be aware that such association 
with us would offend his tastes — let us speak re verentl}-. 
For we must not forget tliat his perceptions of beauty of 
conduct and cliaracter are far keener than ours ; and tliat 
it pains him more than it can pain us to witness such un- 
gainliness of soul and body as that from which we are wont 
to shrink. He could not have been the Saviour of the world 
if he had suffered himself to be governed by his a3sthetic 
feelings, instead of his benevolent feelings. If we would 
be disciples of his we must take up this cross and follow 

But would it not be very diflicult, it may be asked, to 
j5ut tins principle of the text into practice? It would be 
difhcult. It is commonly difficult to do right. It is dilli- 
cult for some to speak the truth ; it is difficult for others 
to judge their neiglibors charitably ; it is diflicult for others 
to he honest, and for otliers to consecrate their propert}^ 
to Christ ; but the fact that a duty is difficult hardly ex- 
cuses us from its performance. The more arduous tlie 
work the o-reater the reward for doino- it. 

But would not this make a complete overturning in all 
our social customs? Possibly: but may it not be that 
society needs a complete overturning? Tlie law of what 
is called society is, for the greater part, the law of self- 
pleasing. Not benevolence, but taste, is the arbiter of its 
affairs. Tlic ([uestion is not in social circles and social as- 
seml)li('s, I low can I do tlie most good — how can I confer 
the most happiness? but rather, How can I gratify my 
own tastes most thorougldy ? As our civilization advances, 
tliis becomes more and more tlie ]iriiiciph; on which society 
in some of its circles is organized. And this is not Clnis- 
tianity; it is heathenism; it is paganism; a refincfl a in I 
elegant variety, no doubt, but still paganism; and the 


religion of tlic meek and lowly Nazarene has no more 
powerful foe. Nothing needs christianizing more than 
what is called, b}' a polite enphemism, Christian society. 
The thorough application of the Christian law to the social 
intercourse of neighbors, of members of the same church, 
would woik a marvellous transformation. 

We sometimes hear it said that the christianization of 
the church is a visionary enterprise. In great ecclesiasti- 
cal assemblies the suggestion that party spirit be laid 
aside, and that, instead of trying to overpower one an- 
other, the representatives of the churches seek to please 
one another, and to prefer one another in honor, is received 
with a signiticant silence. And the proposition to introduce 
the Cluistian law of social intercourse into the church is 
likely to be viewed in many quarters as an impracticable 
innovation. Yet, so long as we call ourselves Christians, 
and accept the man of Nazareth as our Master, we ought, 
manifestly, to recognize the duty of making some attempts 
in this direction. Any church which will throw itself 
heartily into the enterprise of realizing the life of Christ 
in its fellowship will find that it is an easy and delightful 
tiling to do. The dithculty of which we have spoken is 
mainly the difliculty of overcoming the disinclination — 
of making the attempt. Like many other services from 
Avliich Ave shrink, tlie thorough performance of it brings 
an abundant reward. That whicli is drudgery in the an- 
ticipation often becomes a deliglit when we do it with all 
our hearts. 

if the social life of the Church is to be christianized, it 
is needful not only that the Christian sj)irit dwell in the 
hearts (jf the jjastor and the membere, but that methods 
and opportunities be provided for the manifestation of it. 
Much could be doni; freely and spontaneouvsly by the 
members in their intercoui"se with one anotliei-, and tliis 
will be the ])est fruit of the Christian spiiit. I'^or such 
manifestations of Christian kindness and neighboiliness 
no rule can be given; those mIio ])ra{'tise them are a law 
unto themselves, lint while i( is true, on the one liiind, 
that the spirit will make forms fur itself, it is e(|nally 


true, on the other hand, that the provision of beautiful 
and appropriate forms gives the spirit freer utterance. It 
is part of our work to " make channels for the streams of 
love." And the Christian cliurch ouQ-ht to be so organized 
that its members should have ample opportunities of be- 
coming acquainted with one another, and of manifesting 
the unity of the spirit. 

It is true, however, that the best fellowship of tlie ideal 
church Avill be the fellowship of work. Those who are 
engaged in the various activities of the church are inevi- 
tably brought into close relations. It will be well for the 
pastor always to keep this fact before the people. Let 
him say, very often, from the pulpit ; " This is a working 
church ; we are trying to carry on a number of kinds of 
religious and charitable work ; and those of you who wish 
to extend your acquaintance will do well to enlist in some 
of these enterprises." In truth the friendships that are 
formed among those who are partners in a common labor 
and sharers of an unselfish purpose, are worth far more 
than those whose only motive is social enjoyment. Fellow- 
soldiers or fellow-workers in the hospital are united by a 
stronger bond than that which joins members of the samo 
social club. And because the i)astor knows that this is 
true his first and strongest effort will be put forth to l)ring 
as many as he can of the members of his church into the 
fellowship of Christian labor. Those who are taking an 
active part in the Sunday-school, in the mid-week service, 
in the sewing-school, in the charilable visitation, in the 
guilds and brotherhoods, will liiid in th( ii' work a comrade- 
ship that will go far to satisfy their social needs. In order 
tliat this may be, however, the social side of all tliese de- 
partments of labor should be developed, and those a\ ho an- 
co-operating in tliem sliould cultivate the l)ond of brother- 
hood. In their consultations about their mutual work and 
in all their association, they should seek to be helpers of 
one another, and sharers of one another's burdens and joys. 
If there are any among tliem that arc timid and unpractised 
in social intercourse, s[)('(ial kindness should be shown to 
them. (!hristian disciples w lio aie thus engaged together 


ill the labors of the clnircli iiia}^ often be quite as service- 
able to those with whom they work as to those for A\hom 
they work. 

But, in addition to the fellowship of AAork, the church 
should make opportunities for fellowship in social pleas- 
ures. " Let each one of us please his neighbor, for that 
which is good, unto edifying." ^ One important Avay of 
doing good to our neighbors is by giving them social 
pleasure, and this is a method which every Christian church 
should learn and practise. 

It is highly important, to begin with, that methods should 
be devised of promoting acquaintance among church mem- 
bers. In small churches this task is not difficult ; there 
are many churches in which it is not impossible for every 
member to know every other. But in large churches in 
the cities, where the membership is scattered over a wide 
territory and where the social engagements are many, this 
problem becomes somewhat difficult. It is never solved 
with entire satisfaction to the faithful pastor, but a warm 
heart and a resolute purpose can accomplish much. There 
are many churches in which it seems almost a physical 
impossibility that acquaintance should be universal ; but 
it is possible to provide that no household and no indi- 
vidual shall be left friendless ; that every one shall have 
ample opportunities of Christian fellowship. If no one 
can know all his brethren, each one may know many, and 
may find in the social life which the church provides the 
supply of his highest wants. 

Those church members who reside in the same neighbor- 
Iiood ought to be able to maintain some neighl)orly relations. 
To this end pains should Ix; taken to inform those who live 
in any given neighbor] lood when a family living in their 
vicinity is added to tlie congregation. In some churclics 
il is customary, when individuals oi- honsi'hohls are received 
into the ehurch, to name the jilace of their residence, tliat 
those wlio live nearest them may be able to diseharge tlicir 
neighborly obligations. Il is well for the pastoi* t<» liav(> a 
sn[)[)ly of eanls printed in blank, on whieli he may inseribe 

' K'llll. NV. 2. 


the name and residence of every new nieml)er, inclosing 
them to those who can most convenient!}^ call, and inviting 
them to manifest to the new-comers the fellowship of the 

For many reasons it is better that the people themselves 
should do this work than that it should be done by the 
pastor. The pastor's call is perfunctory. He goes be- 
cause it is his duty to go. It is well if he has the grace 
to conceal this disagreeable fact; but many of those on 
whom he calls must be aware that it is an official service, 
and does not possess any social significance. A friendly 
call from one of the members of the church living in the 
neighborhood might wear a different look. It Avould 
almost uniformly be accepted as an act of friendship; it 
would manifest the fellowship of the church more clearly 
than a call from the pastor. 

It is desirable that the social ties which bind meml)crs 
to the church be as strong as those which bind them to 
their pastor. Tliose who join the church, and not the 
pastor, should be received by the church at least as 
heartily as by the pastor. Pastors come and go, but the 
church abides ; and it is of the utmost importance that the 
attachment of each member be fastened upon the church, 
and not merely upon its minister. ^ 

There are, doubtless, congregations in which such a 
recognition of the fraternal relations of members would 
not be possible ; in which the members would resent the 
suggestion that they owe any courtesies to one ant>ther 
because they belong to the same church and live in the 
same neighborhood; in which the barriers of social reserve 
are far too liigh and sti'ong to admit of any genuine brother- 
hood; but these churches greatly need to consider the 
charter of llieii- existence and their right to bear tlic name 
of Christ. 

In churches which I'ecogni/.e a IVatenial I'elatioii among 
tlieir meiiibeis, :iii(l desire to promote and strengthen it, a 
eoiiNciiieiit device is the division of tlie parish into a nuiii- 
l)er ol well-delined geogra|)hical districts, each of wliicli 

' /'iirisli /'rohlcms, p. ^.I.'l. 


slioiild be placed in charge of a pastoral committee, con- 
sisting perhaps of one gentleman and three ladies. The 
directory of the church should be printed, with the boun- 
daries of each district distinctly defined, and the names 
and residences of families and individuals residing within 
the district brought together. The members of the con- 
gregation can thus see at a glance who their neighbors are, 
and where they live ; and they can, if they desire, show 
themselves neighborly to those wdthin their reach. The 
pastoral committee should visit every family in its district 
at least once a year, and should report to the pastor any 
changes of residence in the district, and any removals from 
it, with the names of new-comers witldn their territory 
who are attending the church. 

Such a division of the parish into geographical districts, 
with a pastoral committee in charge of each, is a con- 
venient arrangement for many purposes. It is necessary 
to canvass the parish from time to time for various objects ; 
this machinery provides a way whereby every family can 
be expeditiously and surely reached. In some churches 
the benevolent collections are thus taken with but little 
labor. Cottage meetings and neighborhood sociables may 
also be held occasionally in the several districts under the 
direction of the pastoral committees. 

The chief value of the geographical division is, how- 
ever, the aid which it affords in the cidtivation of church 
fellowship by grouping the members of the congregation. 
By means of such a S3''stem, it is possiljle for those l)elong- 
iiig to the same church to fulfil their fraternal obligations 
to one anotlier, and t(» foster that sentiment and s[)iiit of 
brotherhood on wliicli llic uscfnlncss of the clnirch so 
largely depen<ls.' 

In the city churches it is often (liflicnlt to make the 
acquaintance of those who have become regular atlendanls 
upon tlie Sunday services. In such ehni'ciies it is well to 
appoint a welcome connnittee, whose duty it shall be to 
watrh for such regulai" eoniers, to expi'ess lo llieni (lie 
liospilality of tlie elinrclu to olitain tlieir names and 

1 /'<(//.s7i Pinl.lcms, ;>. L'.-i."*. 


addresses, and, if they arc willing, to present them to the 
pastor. Another simple device is to place in the pews 
occasionally plain cards on which any persons who know 
that they are not known, and who wish to be considered as 
members of the congregation, shonld be desired to write 
their names, with their places of residence, dropping the 
cards into the collection baskets. The pastor is thus 
directed to the homes of strangers wdio desire his acquaint- 
ance, and he may bring them to the notice of the pastoral 

It is important, however, that frequ.ent meetings for 
the promotion of acquaintance be held in the social rooms 
of the church itself — meetings to which the whole congre- 
gation should be invited. To this end it is necessary that 
the chiu'ch should be provided with social rooms, apart- 
ments adapted to social intercourse. The parlors of the 
church are an essential part of its outfit for Christian work, 
and the social meetings held in them, with which no 
religious exercises are connected, are to be reckoned as a 
means of grace. 

These church sociables have frequently been luadc the 
subject of caustic comment, and there is no doubt but that 
serious abuses have been connected with them ; neverthe- 
less they should serve an important purpose in the develop- 
ment of the social life of the church. In some cases they 
have been almost wholly devoted to diversions of some 
nature ; long programmes of musical and elocutionary per- 
formance, and various amusements are provided; thus the 
entire evening is occupied and very little opportunity is 
gi\('ii for the promotion of acquaintance. The primary 
object of tlie church sociable is not, how(!ver, recreation, 
Init social)ility, and its exercises should be so ordered as 
to give anq)le time for conversation. A little music or a 
brief I'ccitalinn or iwo to enliven the occasion may be 
allowed, Imt this ])iirt oC the exercise shoidd not Ik^ pro- 
tracted. Some light refreshmeiils iii;iy be served, but tliis 
also should be a subordinnlc fc;itiiic, ;nid the entertain- 
ment should always lie |il;iiii niid iiic\]icnsi\-c. It is bettci" 
tliiit it should l)c gi';ituitously sci\-c(l. Tlic pur[»osc of the 


sociable can oiil}- be to afford an opportunity for free and 
friendly conversation among" members of the same congre- 
gation. They have come together to recognize the bond 
that miites them, and to receive one another even as Christ 
also has received them to the glory of God. Here they 
are neither rich nor poor, learned nor ignorant; they are 
l)rethren in Christ Jesus. It is not the place for friends 
and cronies to gather into congenial groups ; it is the place 
to remember the solemn covenant of mutual help and 
sympathy which was uttered or implied when they entered 
into the fellowship of the church. 

^luch depends on the spirit of the pastor. If he is a 
man of genuine friendliness, and if he is fully possessed 
with the truth that the church must be a brotherhood, his 
enthusiasm is likely to be contagious and the spirit of 
good-will and cordiality will prevail in these social assem- 
blies. When the leaders of the congregation, the men and 
women of wealth and social standing take up this purpose 
heartily and devote themselves to seeking out those whom 
they do not know, and those who are likely to be neglected, 
manifesting to them a true Christian courtesy, the effect 
u[)on the life of the church is often very salutary. There 
iirc churches in which the prosperous and the cultured 
members have learned to use their power and prestige in 
such a way as to draw the membership into the most 
fraternal relations. No spectacle can be more grateful to 
the faithful ])astor than that which he sometimes witnesses 
in these social meetings, when with no sign of patronage 
or condescension on the one hand, or of syco})hancy on 
the other, the rich and the poor meet together as Christian 
brrtliron. It is doubtful whether any service which the 
(lunch roof shelters has a deeper significance than this, 
or helps nujre effectually to bring to earth the kingdom of 

Tlie kind of social assembly which we have been con- 
sidering is intended for the whole congregation. I'.iil 
thei'e seems to l)e a ))l;u'(> for a meeting, jiai'llv religious 
and ])artly social, to whieh none but conununieauts in the 
cluuvh shall be invited, and which shall be whollv devoti'd 


to strengthening the tie tliat hinds the heUevers into one 
houseliold of faitli and one hrotherliood of love. Asscni 
hlies of this description, sometimes called fellowship meet- 
ings, are held in some chnrches. They may well he called 
on the ]Monday evening following every communion, that 
there may he opportunity for the memhers of the church 
to meet any who may have been received into the church 
on the preceding day. It is often the case that memhers 
thus received have no early opportunity of making the 
acquaintance of those with whom they enter into covenant; 
and the solemn words that are spoken by both parties to 
this covenant appear to be nothing better than mockery, 
unless some way is provided by which the friendship thus 
promised may have a chance to begin its life in a mutual 
acquaintance. In some churches the pastor, on behalf of 
the church, extends to the candidates the right liand of 
fellowship ; but it is well if the members are permitted to 
express their greetings in their own way. 

If it be found inexpedient to devote a whole evening to 
this purpose, it may he practicable to give to it half of the 
liour of the mid-week service in the week following the 
Sacrament. But if the church can be brought to consider 
the matter, it will not grudge a whole evening, once in 
two months, for the cementing of its own unit}-; for the 
more perfect realization of that communion of saints which 
its creed so clearly affirms, but which its practice so 
imperfectly illustrates. 

The conduct of this meeting should be altogether 
informal. It will be well to spend a little time in song 
and prayer at the beginning ; and if tlierc are members of 
the church who can be trusted to speak jndicif)usly and 
heartily and l)iiclly ol the friendships A\'lii(li the churcli 
fosters and consecrates, of the benclits and joys of Cln-is- 
tian fraternit}', a few words from them may be helpful and 

^rhcn an oj)|)ortunity should he offered for conversation. 
This inteiT'oui'se of the fcllowshi]) meeting Avill natuiall)' 
lie soiiiewliat less liilarioiis lh;in that of the sociable; the 
voices will he keyed to a lower oiteh; the talk will be in 


a gentler strain; but it onglit to be cordial and unreserved. 
No introductions should be required or tolerated; people 
who have said to each other what all these have said before 
the connnunion-table do not require the formality of an 
introduction. Let every one speak first to those whom he 
does not know, if any such there be, and then to those 
with whom he is least intimately acquainted; let him 
reserve his intercourse with familiar friends for other occa- 
sions. The themes of conversation cannot be prescribed ; 
but the natural drift of the talk in such a meeting would 
be, it would seem, toward the more serious topics ; toward 
the life and the work which the church is seeking to pro- 
mote. After half an hour spent in these familiar greet- 
ings and communings, the assembly may again be called 
to order, and A\ith a few words of prayer and song, may 
be dismissed. 

Such a meeting will be of no profit — it will be postively 
mischievous — unless there be in the church a genuine and 
hearty fellowship which seeks expression. To call together 
people who really care very little for one another, who do 
not prize the friendships into which the church introduces 
them, Avho are liaughty or supercilious or indifferent toward 
their fellow-members in the church, and to turn them loose 
upon one another in the fashion here suggested, would 
result in nothing but injury. Doul)tless there are such in 
all our churches. Perhaps thci'c are many churches in 
which the number of these is so large that no such method 
as this could l)e profitably introduced. But it is certainly 
true of most of our churches that there is no lack of a 
real friendsliip; the oidy faihu'(! is in a [tropcr exprcssinn 
of the brotiiei'ly interest and good-will that are in the 
hearts of the multitude. How (iften a better actpiaintaiice 
shows us tender sympathy and self-denying generosity 
where we had thought were nothing but iiidifTerence and 
exclusiveness! The great majority of our i('])u(able neigh- 
bors are far kinder than we; thiiilc tliciii: tin- lack wliich 
we de])lore is not in the feeling so nnuh as in its expres- 
sion. In the church, more than anywhere else, this is 
true. Our modern life, in our eities and larger towns, is 


SO intense that the opportunities are few for the cultiva- 
tion of friendships beyond a very narrow circle. And if 
some simple ways can be devised in which the people of 
the churches can be brought together and encouraged to 
express their sympathies and their good wishes, great 
benefits will result — to those who give as well as to those 
who receive these overtures of kindness. 

It is well to have a short fellowship meeting at the end 
of every mid-week service. The people should be encour- 
aged to tarry for ten minutes or so after the close of this 
service, for handshaking and the interchange of friendly 
words. The more opportunities of this sort they enjoy, 
the less likely are they to indulge in bickerings and 
jealousies. One of the deepest needs of our large churches 
is a more perfect union. It is needed to consolidate the 
church for work ; it is needed to develop and express those 
Christian sentiments of good-will which are the only 
enduring cement of society in these turbulent and ominous 
times. Assemblies of this nature, which arc intended to 
bring all the members of the church, rich and poor, old 
and young, together on an equal footing, and to cultivate 
and manifest a genuine Christian brotherhood, have an 
influence that reaches far beyond the confmes of the 

1 Parish Problems, p. 269-271. 



The place of woman in the modern Church is not that 
wliich she occupied in the Apostolic Church or in any of 
the centuries preceding the Keformation. It is equally 
true that the place of woman in the state, in the com- 
munity, and even in the family, is unlike that to which 
she was confined in the days of Paul the Apostle. From 
a position of subjection she has passed to one of social 
equality. The natural laws are not repealed, and the 
relation of woman to man will always be what nature has 
ordained that it shall be ; but the race has come to under- 
stand that differences of function and endowment amonsf 
human beings do not necessarily signify superiority or 
inferiority, and that, since we must all stand before the 
judgment seat of God, there ought to be no lordship or 
vassalage among us. In the days when brute force was 
the arbiter of all disputes, the position of woman in society 
was necessarily that of an inferior; but as spiritual values 
have asserted themselves, the ground of this subordination 
has disappeared. That the emancipation and elevation of 
woman are chiefly due to Christianity cannot be gainsaid. 
It would be strange indeed it' the Cliurcli of Cln'ist sliould 
deny to woman the honor ol wliicli Iiis gosiicl lias niadc 
her Avorthy. For \\\u\t else has she been lifted up and 
dignified if not that she should occupy that social position 
for which she has been fitted? 

If, therefore, the entire relation of woman to the society 
in which she lives is different now fioni what it was in (he 
time of Paul, we need not l)e surprised to lind Ik r relation 
to the Chui'eh corres])o]idingly changed. I'auTs injunc- 
tions to wmiieii to refiaiii tKnii ]iid)lic s])eecli and to main- 
tain a strict reserve in imblie places were wholly jiistiiied 



by the social conditions then prevailing, lie simplj^ for- 
l)ade women to put themselves in an equivocal attitude 
before the community — to adopt a line of conduct which 
A\ould have brought scandal upon the Church. It would 
have been indecorous for a woman to appear in a public 
assembly with an unveiled face; Paul disallowed this as 
expressly as he condemned public teaching, and for the 
same reason. The social conditions have changed; it is 
no longer proof of a lack of modesty if a woman shows her 
face or opens her lips in a public assembly, and therefore 
the admonitions of Paul are no longer pertinent. There 
seems to be no longer any good reason why women may 
not do any kind of work in the Church that they are fitted 
to do. The time has come of which the apostle's words 
were only a prediction: "There can be neither Jew nor 
Greek, there can Ije neither bond nor free, there can be 
neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ 
Jesus." ^ Whether women will, in any considerable num- 
bers, undertake the work of the regular ministry may be 
doubted. In those communions which have opened the 
pastoral office to them they do not seem to be eager to 
assume it. But the fields of labor that are opened to them 
in connection with the work of the local church are wide 
and fruitful. Their influence in its councils everywhere 
is pervasive and commanding. Tliey compose about two- 
thirds of the membership of our American Protestant 
churches and a far larger proportion of the active laborers 
in these churches. There is no longer any need to claim 
for woman a place of influence and power in the Christian 

'i'he prudential maxims of the A])f>stle Paul, cautioning 
woiiu'u against bringing scandal upon the Chui'cli l)y a 
violent (Irpaituiv from social customs, are not, however, 
the only liiblical references to Avoman in connection with 
the work of the Church. In the Jewish dis])ensatiou 
prophetesses were recognized, and among the Christians 
the active service of women is often mentioned Avith 

1 Cial. iii. 28. 

^vo-MA^■'s woi;k ix the ohurch 201 

"Our Lord fuuiul among women tlie ardent and 
faithful disciples, and the most efficient in ministering to 
His wants. The Son of God, in l)ecoming Incarnate, was 
born of a woman. Thus was conferred upon womanhood 
the highest honor and a transcendent glory. She whom 
all men should call blessed, — she who Avas so highly 
favored, is properly the type of what woman in Christ 
should seek to become. No privilege could be greater 
than to belong to that sex, upon which the mother of our 
Lord conferred such distinction. Observe the confidence 
our Lord reposed in women and the fidelit}^ of their minis- 
trations. The names of the Marys and others are as 
imperishable as those of the Apostles. As often remarked, 
holy women were ' last at the Cross and first at the sepul- 
cln-e ' on Easter morning. Holy women w^ere part of the 
Chureli A\hich waited for the promise of the Father, the 
coming of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. ^ The gifts of 
the Spirit descended upon women, and not upon men only. 
They equally shared in the Church's Baptism and Eucha- 
ristic Feast. They were ministered unto, and themselves 
fulfilled a ministry. It was the wddows of the Hellenic 
portion of the church at Jerusalem that gave occasion to 
the appointment of the Seven Deacons.^ And that there 
were deaconesses in the Apostolic Church is scarcely more 
doubtful than that there were deacons. St. Paul says, 
writing to the Romans, ' I commend unto you Phebe, our 
sister, w^hicli is a servant (Greek, a deaconess) of the 
church which is at Cenchrea.' ^ She was evidently a per- 
son of much consideration. St. Paul recommends her at 
greater length than any others : ' that ye receive her in the 
Lord as l)ecometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatso- 
ever business she hath need of you, for she liath Ixmmi a 
succourer of many and of me also.' In SI. Paul's liist 
Epistle to Timothy ' a literal translation of the Cireek would 
seem to show, and in this agree the best aucient and 
modern iuterpretei'S — that wlicic \\(' read <if the wives of 
deacons, the meaning is really ft'iiiale (ieaeoiis. ' l^\cii so 

1 Acts i. U. - Acis vi. 1. 

^ l\oiii. \vi. 1. '1 'I'iiii. iii. II. 


must the women deaconesses be grave, not slanderers, 
sober, faithful in all things.'"^ 

Precisely what were the ollicial functions of these women 
named by Paul is not so clear. His counsels against the 
public teaching of women are not inconsistent Avith the 
supposition that women may have been employed by the 
Church in the quiet ministries of charity. But in addition 
to those who may have been officially related to the 
Church, (piite a number of others are mentioned about 
whom no such suggestion is made, and whose efficient 
service in the work of the Church is recorded with liigh 
approval. Dorcas was a woman well beloved in the com- 
munity where she lived, "for the good works and alms 
deeds that she did; " ^ Priscilla,^ the wife of Aquila, seems 
to have had equal part with her husband in training for 
his ministry the eloquent Apollos, ranking thus among 
the earliest of the instructors in divinity; there was a 
Mary* in Rome, who as Paul testifies, bestowed much 
labor on him ; " Tryphena and Tryphosa who labor in the 
Lord," and "the beloved Persis avIio labored much in the 
Lord,"^ are also gratefully remembered by him; Euodias 
and Syntyche, who appear to have been zealous workers, 
receive a message from him, and there is also a general 
reference, in the letter to the Philippians, to " those women 
who labored with me in tlie gospel."^ Nor should it be 
forgotten tliat tlie first Christian church in Europe was 
gathered by a wonuiii who opcni'd licr lionse (after the 
T.oid had opened her heart) to Paul and his com])anions 
on tlicir lirst visit to Pliilippi." None of these appear to 
have been deaconesses or official women; but they were 
bcai-ing their part, evidently an important part, in the work 
of the Church. In spite of the unfavorable social condi- 
tions, the Church found (Mnployment for its (l(\oiit woiiini. 
It w<mld api)ear from Paul's testimony that the luioriicinl 
women — those whose service was voluntary — had (|iiil(' 

' The Ut. Hov. Juliii F. SiKUildinj^ in Tlif />rsl Mode nf Workinrj <t I'misli, 
J). 187-189. 

2 Acts ix. 26. " Acts xviii. 24-27. ■• Rom. xvi. f>. 

<* Rom. xvi. 10. '■ I'liil. iv. 2, ;?. " Art.s xvi. ll-l.'). 

woman's \\()i;iv in the chukch 293 

as imich to do with the life of tlie Apostolic Church as 
tliose who were supposed to have belonged to an order of 
the ministry. 

In the post-Apostolic Churcli the existence of an oi'der 
of deaconesses is unquestioned. The names of many of 
them are mentioned by the early fathers, and their duties 
are defined in the primitive legislation. They assisted 
the deacons in ministrations to the poor, and acted as 
ushers for their own sex in public assemblies. Women 
and gills who were candidates for baptism were instructed 
by them in the baptismal answers, and robed by them in 
white for the solemn sacrament. The ayajjae^ or love- 
feasts, were also provided by the deaconesses. In the 
times of persecution it was part of their duty to visit the 
women prisoners, and to show hospitality to fugitives of 
their own sex. At first the}^ were ordained to office pre- 
ciscl}' as men were ordained, b}^ prayer and the laying on 
of hands ; Ijut later, the tactual imposition was reserved 
for the male clergy, and the deaconesses were conse- 
crated by prayer alone. Up to the fourth century, only 
those could tluis be set apart who were either maidens, or 
widows who had been married but once, and they must be 
at least sixty years of age ; after the council of Chalcedon 
tlie age was fixed at forty. This order of Churcli servants 
lingered in the Latin Church through the sixth century, 
and in tlic Greek until the twelfth. The name is still 
given in the Roman Church to the women in monasteries 
wlio have the care of the altar. 

Although the order of deaconesses has disaiijuMrcd 
from llic Clnirch of Rome, the Avork to wliidi llic naiiic 
Avas once given has had a beautiful dcvclopuuMit. The 
order known in France as the "Daughters of ("haiity,"' 
and in most English-speaking countries as the "(hay 
Sisters"' or the "Sisters of Charity," but wlitise ollieial 
designation is "The Daughters of Christian !jove." is one 
of the most notable and illustrious fruits of llie (liiisti.m 
spii-it in modern times. 'Hie oi'der was fouiidiil in Tarls 
ill It'll" by St. X'ineent de I'aiil and Madame Louise 
Moiillae le (iras. It liegaii with a lilllegruuji of lifteeii 


women wlio were associated for the purpose of visiting 
and caring for the sick. Originally they seem to have 
been connected with a parish, and many of them were 
married women; but the work rapidly spread to other 
parishes and cities, and the need of some organization 
of the work became apparent. The good woman who was 
St. Vincent's coadjutor in the beginning was left a widow 
in 1625, and she at once signified her purpose of devoting 
her life to this work. Her duty to her family held her 
back, however, from undertaking the care of contagious 
cases, and the founder discovered that none but unmarried 
women or childless widows could render the service re- 
quired. In 1633 the order was established by the Arch- 
bishop of Paris ; and in 1668 it was officiall}' acknowledged 
and endorsed by Pope Clement IX. The rule of the order 
has not been changed from the ])eginning; there seems to 
be no provision for amending it, nor has there appeared 
any serious need of amendment. The vows are not per- 
petual; a five-years' probation is required l)ef()re the vow 
can be taken, but it is annually renewed. The constitu- 
tion a})points a superior for every congregation, to be 
elected triennially by the members: she may l)e re-elected 
once, but no oftener. She is aided in the administration 
by an assistant, a treasurer, and a dispensiere or steward. 
The superior of the congregation is under the authority of 
the superior general of the order; the sisters of the con- 
gregation are pledged to obey their superior. Their rule 
requires them to rise daily at four o'clock; to pray twice a 
day; to live al)stemiously ; never to take wine exccjjt 
when tliey are ill; never to refuse to nui^se the sick, even 
in tli(^ most loathsome and dangerous cases; never to 
stand in awe of death; always to remember that in nurs- 
ing the sick they are nursing Clirist, whose servants 
they are. They arc to liave no intimacies or special friend- 
ships; one sister is not allowed to kiss another, except 
as a sign of rcr-onciliation, and the manner of tliis rite is 
prescriljed. 'I'hev are warned against feeling greater in- 
terest in one j)atient than in anotlier: their service nnist 
1)(', like the sunshine and the I'ain of licaven, an (Mpial 

m'oman's wrmic Tx the church 295 

bounty to the agreea])k' and llic disagreeable, the just and 
the unjust. 

Before the death of St. Vincent the order whicli he 
founded had spread through many hinds; it now numbers 
many thousands; the messengers whom it has sent forth 
are found in every city in Christendom, and on every 
battlefiekl ; and wherever the dark wings of the })estilence 
are spread, there are they, ministering in Christ's name. 
Before the spectacle which they present, ancient bigotry 
and religious rancor often stand duml:) or open their 
mouths with praise and blessing; it is a hopeless blind- 
ness of soul which refuses to recognize the mind of Christ 
in the work of the Sisters of Charity. 

In some of the Protestant churches serious attempts 
have been made to revive the ancient order of deaconesses, 
which, in the growth of monasticism, disappeared from the 
life of the Church. Speaking of the Episcopal churches. 
Bishop Spaulding says: 

" The attempted restoration of this Order in the reformed 
Catholic Church is more than justified. Indeed, this is 
the imperative duty of every branch of the Church which 
claims the Bible as intei'preted b}- the Church in the past 
ages as its rule of faith and practice. And the success 
of every effort in this direction is only what might be 
expected. The inference cannot be set aside, that it is 
tlie will of Christ that His Church sliould be served by 
the ministry of Deaconesses or Sisters, as well as of 
Deacons and other Orders. And now that the Avork 
whicli the Church is called to do is pressed upon us, and 
we are wnrldng up to a sense of its magnitude and of the 
need of iinnf labDvei's, and the faithful are everywhere 
searching for the best instrumentalities and methods, by 
the study of Holy Scripture and the exam])le of tlie primi- 
tive ages of Faith and of most successful labor, there can 
hardly l)e a doubt that we sliall soon have tlic i)riinitive 
Diaconate revived and restored among us ; wc shall have 
Deaconesses under this or some othci- name, as that of 
Sisters, suecossfully laboring in every Parish, in the schools 
of the Church, and in hospitals, homes and asylums, for 


all classes of the afflicted. We shall have teaching Dea- 
conesses or Sisters for our Parish schools, which will by 
and by be seen to be necessary, not for a salary, but with 
the assurance of the Church's support and care through 
life. We shall have Deaconesses or Sisters regularly 
employed in winning to Christ both men and women, 
and imparting primary instruction and ministering to the 
sick and needy under the care and maintenance of the 
Church. The sanction given to this office and work of 
women in the Church of England, and by the General 
Convention of the American Church, is one of the most 
hopeful of the signs of the times. It gives us hope that 
tlie thorough working out of a principle of the Gospel so 
generally recognized, cannot be long delayed." ^ 

The canons of the Protestant Episcopal church in the 
United States now make full provision for the employment 
of deaconesses. Any bishop of the church is authorized 
to appoint to the office unmarried women of devout char- 
acter and proved fitness. The candidate must be at least 
twenty-five years of age and must present to the bishop 
testimonials showing that she has spent at least two years 
in preparation for the work, and that she possesses such 
cliaracteristics as would fit lier for the service contem- 
plated. The duty of a deaconess, in the words of tlie 
canon, is " to assist the minister in the care of the poor 
and the sick, the religious training of the young and 
others, and the work of moral reformation." It is also 
provided that no woman shall accept work in a diocese 
witliout the ^vritten permission of tlie bishop, nor in a 
parish without like authority from the rector. The vows 
of these deaconesses are not perjx'tual ; they may at any 
time resign the office to the bishop of the dioci'se ; but 
tliey may not resume th(! office thus laid down, unless, in 
the judgment of the bishop receiving the resignation, 
" there be weighty cause for such reappointment." 'J1u! 
canon also provides that no Avoman shall exercise this 
office until she has lieen set apart by an approj)riatc reli- 
L/ious servi(M' — the fnim of wliicli is left In the (lisci'ction 


1 The JJtsl Mod, uf W'orkinij a Parish, yy. I'Jl, \'^^l. 

woman's wokk in TiiK (iirucH 297 

of tlio l)isli()p. Ill some dioceses the solemnity is similar 
to tliat of the early Cliureh, involving not onh' prayer ])nt 
the laying on of hantls. These deaconesses serve as assist- 
ants in parishes, as teachers of kindergartens, as Bible 
readers, as workers in missions and hospitals, and as visit- 
ors and nurses among the poor and the sick. In some of 
tlie larger parishes several are emploj-ed, and the revival 
of this ancient order of servants of the Church is meeting 
with much favor. 

The Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States 
has also entered this field and is cultivating it with much 
enthusiasm. The AVoman's Home ^Missionary Society of 
this church has under its care eighteen " homes," in differ- 
ent parts of the country, to which more than one hundred 
trained deaconesses are attached ; and there are three or 
four such homes, under independent boards of manage- 
ment, emplo}dng a considerable number of women. The 
principal training school is at Washington. It Avould 
appear that the chief work of the deaconesses in this cluirch 
is that generally known as city mission work. The head 
of the training school thus describes it : 

" Take the work of the deaconess ; wliat is her employ- 
ment ? Slie visits from house to house where the masses 
are, by whom the churcli so sadly and so wrongly is I'c- 
garded as a social club, wliicli has no interest in them nor 
to tliom. Slic opens industrial schools for the ignorant 
and ]i('l])less ones for whom the word home has no associa- 
tions and who liave never experien(;ed tlie joy and blessed- 
ness of the family. She gathers the children of the 
foreigners into kindergartens, where, along the avenues of 
tlu^ eye, the ear, the touch, mercy and grace shall find 
tlieir way to the heart and mind. She enters the dwellings 
of the poor and sick where suffering is unmitigatecl l)y 
the soft hand of love. She comforts and befriends the 
victims of the vices and sins of men. Slie consoles and 
counsels the deserted and bereaved. She searches out tlie 
"widow and orphan and aids tliem with her sjnipathy and 
charity. Slie brightens with her presence the cots of the 
hosjiital wards and directs the a^vluiiis for tln' oijilian and 


the aged. She sootlies the last lioiirs of the dying with 
helpful messages from the Holy Word." 

It would appear from the reports that most of the 
deaconess homes connected Avith this church are of the 
nature of settlements or city mission stations, and that the 
deaconesses having their headquarters in these homes are 
engaged, somewhat independently, in the prosecution of 
such evangelistic and philanthropic work as is described 
above. There are occasional references to co-operation 
with pastors, but for the most part it is the "Deaconess 
Home " and not the church which is regarded as the centre 
of the woik. 

In some of the other American Protestant churches the 
name of deaconess is given to women whose service among 
their own sex corresponds to that of the Congregational 
deacons ; they are members of the church, chosen to have 
a certain oversight of its charitable work ; the care of the 
poor and the sick is committed to them, but they have 
received no special training for the work, nor do they de- 
vote their lives to it. The meaning of the term as thus 
employed is set forth by a Congregational pastor in the 
following paragraphs : 

" No Avorkers in a church can do more to increase its 
usefulness than a band of properly qualified deaconesses. 
Shall they be elected as other officers? or shall they be 
selected by the pastor as his esj^ecial helpers in pastoral 
work ? The writer of this paper prefers tlie latter method. 
The pastor selects such a number and such persons as tlie 
circumstances of the church make expedient. The whole 
parish is divided into districts. Each district has a dea- 
coness wliose duty it is to keep watch over all the persons 
in that district. If any need the pastor she infoims liim ; 
if any are lial)le to be neglected, she asks others to call 
and extend friendly courtesies ; if any are poor, and need 
assistance, they are reported to the pro])er officers ; if any 
strangers come into her district, she takes care that they 
are invited to attend clnncli. Tliese are what may be 
called the social and temporal duties of the deaconesses. 
Tlieii follnw tlie sjiiritiial duties. Tliev hee]) watch ovci' all 

woman's wokk in the church 209 

tlieir district, and if any need especial care tliey g"0 to tlieni, 
and either liclp tlieni or direct them to the proper ones to 
give help. They visit young converts ; they fcdk with the 
unconverted, they look after the sick, and if need be pray 
with them ; they act for the pastor in all possiljle ways. 
They have a monthly or weekly meeting with the pastor, 
at which the results of their calling and various observa- 
tions are reported, and they give to him usually the most 
reliable information he obfciins concerning the condition 
of the parish. Where the proper women are secured for 
this work, no people in the parish are likely to be neg- 
lected. All are called upon, and the pastor is kept in- 
formed as he could not be if dependent on his own 
resources alone. 

"The women chosen for this service should never he of 
the 'goody goody' kind, and seldom past middle age. 
They should be selected for their social position and social 
gifts, as well as for their spirituality. Sociability, social 
position, intelligence, and spirituality are essential to the 
successful deaconess. These qualifications are far more 
likely to be secured when the pastor carefully chooses his 
lielpers tlian when tliey are selected by vote of the 
churcli."" ' 

Tlie Church of Scotland lias undertaken to restore the 
order of deaconesses. In the re[)ort for 1895 of the Com- 
mittee on Christian Life and Work is the following 
statement : 

"Our Church, following the Scri[)tures and the example 
of the early Christians, has found a name and i)lace in her 
laidcs for women of culture and reiinement who wish to 
devote their Avholc time and skill to the service of the Lord 
Jesus Christ in His Church. Having this ideal, the order 
of the Diaconate is one that is ctertain to attrat;t to itself 
many ardent and sympathetic natures ^\■]\^^ are longing to 
give them.selves entirely to work among the needy and 
troubled and suffering, and uho are not ])revcntc'd from 
doing so by family tics and duties or by ((Ihcr circum- 
stances. W'c know how the jiooi- ;iutl Iricudlcss in llicir 

1 'I'lic luv. A. 11. l!i;i(lfni-,l ill /',nlsli I'lohl. ms, i.p. 2S.'i, liXC. 


distress turn luitiirally to the parish clmrcli aiicl iiiinister as 
their home and connsellor; and in the more crowded 
centres of popidation, and even in rural districts, where 
the conditions under wliich the out-workers and farm- 
workers toil are unfavorable to virtue, it is of immense 
consequence to have the help of a thoroughly trained and 
well-educated and devoted Christian lady." ^ 

Some of the women thus set apart for service are at 
work in foreign mission fields, some in connection with 
city missions, but the most of them are in the employ of 
large city churches, working under the direction of the 
church session. A Deaconess House has been established, 
in which a thorough training is given to those who wish 
to devote their lives to this work. A recent report of the 
Deaconess Superintendent thus sets forth the purpose of 
the institution : 

"The object of the Home is twofold: 1st, that of receiv- 
ing women, who, coming to it with pure and holy motives, 
are able to make Cliristian work the chief object of their 
life. These, after fullilling the condition laid down by 
the Assembly, — namely, that of having been trained for 
two years in the Home (or of having been known as active 
workers elsewhere for seven years), may, if they desire it, 
be set apart as Deaconesses. If they remain in the i Ionic, 
they will then be expected to go to any part of ScotUvnd 
where they may be required, and to work there undo" tlie 
niiiiislt-r and kirk-session of the parish. Some may ^isli 
to ])e Deaconesses living not in the Institution, l)ut in 
their own homes, and tliesr a\ ill he set apart })y tlie kirk- 
session of their own parislies with consent of their ])res- 
bytery. 2d, that of receiving as residents for instruction 
and training in ^al•i(lns methods of Christian work ladies 
avIk), Avliile tlicy do not wish to l)e Deaconesses, desire 
to be competent Christian workers. Experience indeccl 
teaches at home, l)nt it is often with many blunders and 
much loss of tinu! and usefubicss, whereas if methods 
w])ich liave been tried and ])i(tved are learncih tliey can be 
carried away and ;ida[)ted in the smaller ]);n1ienlars to 
hieal requirements. " ^ 

1 I'agc 577. - Year- Book for la'JU, p. 34. 

woman's WOIIK IX THE CHrJtCH 301 

The instruction in this institution inehides classes in 
Scriptural knowledge and tlie art of teaching, courses of 
I>ible readings by neighboring ministers, lectures on mis- 
sions to the heathen, on the qualifications of church work- 
ers, on sick-room cookery and the care of the sick, on 
literature for chiu'cli workers, on the district visitor as an 
evangelist, and various similar lines of training. 

The deaconesses thus prepared are set a^art by a solemn 
service, prescribed by the General Assembly. A sermon 
is preached on the occasion and the following questions are 
proposed to the candidate : 

"1. — Do you desire to be set apart as a Deaconess, and as 
such to serve the Lord Jesus Christ in the Church, wliich 
is His body ? 

" Ans. — I do. 

" 2. — Do you promise, as a Deaconess of the Church of 
Scotland, to work in connection with that Church, subject 
to its courts, and in particular to the Kirk-Session of the 
parisli in whicli 3'ou are to work ? 

'^ Ans. — I do. 

" 3. — Do you humbly engage, in the strength and grace 
of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Lord and Master, faithfidl}-- 
and piayerfuUy to thscharge tlie duties of this oflice ? 

"Ans. — I do."i 

After silent prayer by the congregation, and a consecrat- 
ing prayer by the minister, the candidate is dechired to be 
a deaconess of the Church of Scotland. It will Ijc seen 
that the Church esteems the restoration of this ancient 
order of the ministry as no light thing, and invests it with 
dignity and honor. 

The close connection of these Scotch deaconesses with 
the work of the local churcli is emi)hasize(l in all tlu-ir 
training. They are not independent laborers, nor is there 
any organization to which they belong which prosecutes 
its work upon lines of its own choosing ; they are strictly 
subordinate to the ecclesiastical authorities. They are to 
be helpers of the church, sharers in its niiiiistiy. messengers 
of its goodwill. They aw, to fmiiisli a clianuel of com- 

' Jilt Place (illd J'cirrr «;/" WhiikIii, p. 1 I. 


mimicatiou between the church and the needy poor to 
whom it is sent with help and consohition. In this respect 
their work is probably wiser and more effective than that 
of certain orders in tliis country whose relation to the 
clun^ch is Imt slight, whose ministry is not known in the 
community as representing the church, and whose service 
has little if any tendency to draw the poor into the fellow- 
ship of the church. 

The effective beginning of this modern movement toward 
the enlistment of women as official servants of the church 
may be traced to a little town on the banks of the Rhine, 
where, in 183G, Pastor Fliedner, of the Lutheran Church, 
oj)ened his little parish hospital and called for help in min- 
istering- to the sick. This was the first trainino- school for 
nurses in modern times. A picture in the little gate-house 
of the parsonage-garden where Fliedner began liis ^^■ork 
bears the inscription : " The kingdom of heaven is like to 
a grain of mustard-seed." The Scripture has been aljun- 
dantly fulfilled. The grain of mustard seed has not merely 
become a tree, it has multiplied to many trees ; the birds of 
the air on many shores are lodging in the branches thereof. 

When Pastor Fliedner assumed charge of the little 
parish of Kaiserswerth in 1822, destitution had overtaken 
the community through the failure of a velvet manufactory 
in which nearly all his small flock had earned their liveli- 
hood. His people were starving, and he was compelled to 
go forth into Holland and England to collect funds for 
their relief. His observations in those countries quickened 
his philanthropic impulses, and he came home with a i)ur- 
pose to do something for the relief of his fellow-meii. Tlie 
first call came from the Prison Society of Diissehlorf, six 
miles distant, in a proposition to provide an asylum foi- 
discharged female prisoners, where they could be sheltered 
and trained for usefulness. It was a great undertaking 
for a parish with such narrow means, but tlie brave pastor, 
whose wife most heartily supported liim, opened a summer- 
liouse in his garden, and bade the prisoners welcome. 
Sliortly niter, a house was liired for the asylum, and tlie 
summei-liousc was used for a knitting-school for poor 

woman's \voi:k in the chuecii 303 

children, wliieli soon took on some of the characteristics of 
a kindergarten. It was a curious combination of phihm- 
thropies, but resolute hearts were in tlie work and it greatly 
prospered. Many prisoners were reformed and little 
children were made happy and wise under the tuition of 
the faithful pastor and his Avife. 

And now another human need appealed to them. There 
were many sick, and a hospital was demanded. One house 
only in Kaiserswerth was available for such a purpose ; its 
price, in American money, was sixteen hundred dollars ; 
the penniless pastor bought it, and before tlie year was 
gone paid for it also. Two friends, single women, volun- 
teered to be the nurses in this hospital : Oct. 13, 1836, the 
maidens took possession of the house ; they had for furni- 
ture a table, a few chairs with half-broken baclcs, a small 
set of crippled knives and forks, and a heterogeneous collec- 
tion of rickety bedsteads. Thus, " with great gladness and 
thanksgiving," began the Deaconess House at Kaiserswerth. 
To-day the little hamlet is one of the centres of the philan- 
thropic work of the world. Besides the principal hospital, 
now containing two hundred and twenty beds, there is a 
hospital for disabled deaconesses, a Magdalen home, a large 
kindergarten, a training-school for teachers, an orphanage, 
a holida}'- house for retired deaconesses, an old ladies' home, 
and a great many shops and buildings in which the indus- 
trial work of the mission is carried on. Tliis is the seed- 
plot. But how wide has been the planting. To all jjarts 
of the world the work has sj)r('ad. Fliedner was called to 
other countries to establish l)ranches of liis hospital train- 
ing-schools, and the women wb(t liave been fitted for ser- 
vice in Kaiserswerth have found their way into many 

With two of liis deaconesses, Fliedner came early to a 
Gernum church in Pliiladelphia. Others liave followed, 
and Kaiserswerth now has six branch training-schools in 
tlic Lutheran churclies of tlic l'ui(ed St;ilcs. in .lerusa- 
Icni, in C'onstanlinople, in Alexandria, Beiiul, Smyrna 
and many othei- ]ilaces the indefatigable founder built 
hospitals, boai-ding scliooN and or[)lianagcs. Since Kaisers- 


Avertli was instituted, ten thousand four hundred deacon- 
esses have been ordained in the German Protestant Churcli, 
and they are found to-day at work in three thoiisand 
six hundred and forty different places. 

The course in the training school at Kaiserswerth covers 
three years. There are two classes — one for nurses, the 
other for teachers. In certain rudiments of service all are 
trained. Every one must know how to do general house- 
work — to cook, to wash and iron, to sew, — for these 
homely services may be required of any deaconess. After 
these primary lessons the course divides, and those Avho 
are to become nurses are specially trained in the hospital 
while the teaching sisters receive the instruction that tits 
them for their work. All these sisters also are set apart 
to their work by a solemn service of consecration. ^ 

1 Tlio form of consecraliou as used at Dresden is as follows : 


" Nacli der Ansprache legeu die Eiuzusegneiideu ihr Gelubuiss iu die 
Hand des Geistlichen ab. 

" P. Kniet nieder uud bittet uin den Segen. — Die iMuzuseguenden beteu : 
' Gott sei uus guiidig und barniherzig, und gebe uns seiuen guttlichen Segon ! 
Er lasse iiber uns sein Antlitz leuchten, dass wir auf Erdcn crkeunen seine 
Wege. Es segnc uns Gott, unser Gott, uud geb uns seinen Frieden. Amen.' 

"P. Es segue ench der dreieinige Gott, Gott der Vater, Sohu, und hciliger 

" Schw. Amen. 

" P. Friede sei mit Schw. N. N. 

" Schw. Friede sei mit ihr. 

" P. Er sonde ihr Hilfe vom neiligtlmm. 

"Schw. Und sttirkc sie aus Zion. 

"P. Der Hcrr unser Gott sei ihr freumllich und fiirdre das Werk ihre 
IliLnde bei uns. 

" Schw. Ja, das Werk ilire Iliiude wollc er furdern. 

" P. Amen ! In Jesu Namen. 

"Schw. Amen. 

" Ilierauf giebt der Geistlielie jedcr der Sciiwestern cinen Gedenks]iriu]i und 
betet iiber ilinon : Ewiger Gott, Vater unsers Hcrr Jesu Christi, (hi Scln"p|ifer 
des Mamies und des AVeibcs, der du Jlirjam und Debora und Hanna und 
Hulda mit dem heiligcu Geiste crfiillt uud es nidit versciimaht liast, dcinen 
oingobornen Soliu von oiucm W'eibc geboreu werdeu zu lassen ; der du audi 
ill der Iliitte des Zeugnisscs und im Tempcl Wilchteriiincu deincr heiligcu 
I'fcirtin erwiihlen hast; siehe doch nun auf diesc Milgde, <lic (dir) zuin 
Dieiist vcrordnct werdou, uiul gicb iliueu deinen werthcn heiligen (Jeist, 
uud roinigc sio vcm aller Hedcckung des Flcisches und Geistes, auf sic 
wiirdiirlich vollstreckeii das ibiicii aiifgetragiic Werk zu ileiner Elirc und zmii 


The Kaiserswerth deaconesses are assiofncd to their 
work by the parent institution ; they are always under 
marching orders, and they receive no remuneration from 
those who employ them. Hospitals which accept their 
services as nurses pay the " mother-house " at Kaisers- 
werth, or the branch house from which they go forth, a 
small annual sum ; the dressmaking department furnishes 
each deaconess with the simple garments needful, and a 
small yearly allowance for pocket money. Food and 
shelter are furnished them in the hospital or the parish 
where the work is done. When they are disabled a home 
awaits them in the parent institution. 

The vow of the Kaiserswerth deaconess is not perpetual ; 
a probation of from six months to three years is required 
of each one, and during this period she is constantly 
admonished that unless she is assured of her calling it is 
Ijetter for her to withdraw. When, at length, the pledge 
of service is m.ade, it amounts to no more than this, that 
she will be obedient to the rules of the association while 
she remains in it, and will suffer no entangling alliances 
to hinder her in her work. The deaconesses are not shut 
off from intercourse with their kindred ; considerable 
liberty of action is left them. Of course no vow of celi- 
bacy is required or permitted. A sister cannot maiTy and 
remain in the sisteihood. But she is at liberty to leave 
the community at any time, and a subsequent marriage is 
no reproach. The vow signifies only this, that while the 
sister is a member of the community she must live aceoixl- 
ing to its rules. 

This recent development of tlic trained activities of 
women in the ('hristian Chiu'cli possesses great signili- 
cance. As will lie seen, it has largely taken })lace outside 
the local congregation. So far as the work of nursing tlie 
sick is concerned, preparation for it must, of eouise, bo 
made in connection witli liospitals ; and it is in tlie hos- 

Lolic (Icinos riiristus, mil wcIcIkmii dir VAwc, mid Aiil)Clmi/^ mil licili/^om 
Gcist von I-\vi;;k(Mt zu Ewigkeit. Ainoii. Vatcr I'liscr, etc. 

" I'. Scliliissvutiim. 

" Schw. Anion I " — Quoted in fJililiotlirca Sdcia, ^\>l. xxviii., p. .'I. 



pitals that most of the charitaljlo nursing must be done. 
The work of teaching, and visiting the poor and church- 
less might, liowever, be hirgely done in connection with 
the local congregation. It is only as the work of the 
deaconess is turned in this direction that it comes strictly 
within the view of this treatise. What the deaconess is 
trained to do in pastoi'al work — as a helper and leader in 
the Christian service of the congregation — chiefly con- 
cerns us. It is evident that the " Lehrschwestern " of the 
Kaiserswerth Institution are prepared for such service. 
The evident purpose is that they shall bring to the pastors 
to whom they report, a reinforcement of strength and skill 
by which the church will be enabled to do its work more 
efficiently. It is not only by what they themselves will 
do, but by what they will stir up other members of the 
church to do that the church will be profited. They will 
assist in opening communication between the church and 
the needy and the neglected round about it, and will 
strengthen its hold upon their confidence and affection. 
Such, as we have seen, is the design of those who arc 
foremost in promoting the training of deaconesses in the 
Church of Scotland, and in the Protestant Episcopal 
Church of the United States. The assistance thus fur- 
nished to the local church in the prosecution of its proper 
mission may be of great value. 

In cases where the aim seems to Ijc to cstal)lish religious 
or philanthropic centres separate from the churches, to do 
the work which it is assumed the churches cannot do, 
there is some reason for liesitation in our commendation 
of it. If deaconess homes are calculated to supersede tlic 
(;hurches, or to afford the churches an excuse for neglect- 
ing the work wliich properly belongs to them, tlieir utility 
Avill be doul)trii]. The church ought to be the centre of 
all evangelical and charitable operations : and tlie multi- 
plication of agencies Avhicli intercept its lines of influence 
is to be regretted. The deaconess home ought to be in 
every case closely connected with some church: it ought 
to be evident to the Avlioh' conununity tliat its gracious 
iiiihiciiccs pi-()cc('(l (lirccllv from Ihc chui-cli : and its 

•svoman's m^oek in the church 307 

gospel invitations .should draw men into the fellowship o! 
the church. It is to be hoped that as the movements for 
the establishment of this agency, now largely tentative, 
are better matured, the connection between the work of 
the deaconesses and tlie Avork of the parishes ^^■ill be closer 
and more vital. 

In most American Protestant churches the work of the 
women is well organized. In many churches will be 
found an association, variously named, whose function is 
partly social and partly financial. Its work consists in 
promoting tlie fellowship of tlie clmrcli and in increasing 
its necessary funds. 

Much can be done l)y the Asomcn of tlic church to 
strengthen the bonds of fellowship. Indeed it may be 
said tliat most of what is done for the promotion of better 
acquaintance and tlie development of fraternal feeling 
must be done by them. They have not only the leisure 
for this work but the tact and the experience which fit 
them for it. If the women of any congregation are so 
minded they may establish a condition of things which 
will make the pastor's work easy and dcliglitful. If every 
new family finds a cordial welcome and a prompt intro- 
duction to congenial friends ; if social opportunities are 
so arranged and improved that those wlio ought to know 
one another are ])rought together pleasantly and fre- 
quently, a social atmosphere will be created which will be 
favorable to the growth and fruitfulness of the churcli. 
On the "Women's Society of the clnircli tlic responsil)ility 
for this work mainly rests. 

The financial operations of these societies have alhactcd 
criticism. The various metliorls eni])h)ye(l by them in 
raising funds are often censured as niKbgnilied and dis- 
graceful. 'V\\r sii]i])ers, the festivals, the bazaars and sak's 
t(i wliicli tliey resort are often stigmatized as nnwdilliy 
drvices for tlie ])rocurement of the necessary revennes of 
the ( liiucli. It is not iniprobalth^ that indecorous cdnchK't 
iiia\- SdUictiincs ni;ii' lliese festivities: tlie s;nn(> niii_;iit lie 
said (if pia ver-niecl iiiL;s. Il tlie stale joke d tlie iii'ws- 
pa[H'rs were well tninidcd. -that llie cliaii^cs made on 

308 crimsTiAx pastor and working church 

these occasions are exorbitant, — tliat would be good 
ground for censure. But the truth is that the good 
women usually err in the other direction, giving their 
customers more in return for their money than they could 
oljtain elsewhere. The charge that they interfere with 
trade hj selling goods below the market price might more 
easily be proven against them. 

It may l)e said that any such commercial expedient to 
raise the funds for tho support of the church is to be con- 
demned, since the amount necessary ought to be freely 
contril)uted. That this is the ideal method will not be 
disputed; but our ideals are not easily realized, and the 
friendly enterprises of the women's societies often afford 
a substantial assistance to those who have the charge of 
l)uiIdinQf or furnishiii"' churches and of maintaining wor- 
ship in them. It is, indeed, often possible for good women 
to give of their handiwork more value than they could 
give in current funds ; and the provision for turning these 
offerings into money seems to involve no essential impro- 
priety. In the olden time, we are told, "all the women 
that were wise-hearted did spin with their hands, and 
])rought that which they had spun, })oth of blue, and of 
purple, and of scarlet, and of line linen. And all the 
women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goat's 
hair. And the rulers 1)rought onyx stones, and stones to 
be set, for the epliod, and for the breastplate; and spices 
and oil Cor the light, and for the anointing oil, and for the 
sweet incense. The children of Israel ))rought a willing 
offering luito the Lord, ever}' man and woman, whose 
lieart made them willing to bring of all manner of work, 
which the Lord had commanded to be made l)y the hand 
of ]\b)ses."" ^ It is not clear that the contributions of liandi- 
work to a modern chui'cli Ijazaar differ essentially from tliis 
ancient donation. 

It may sometimes be true that enterprises of this nature 

give rise to jealousies and ill-tempers among the ])arti('i- 

pants; any close association of human beings is liable to 

result in this way. lint, on the other hand, it is quite 

1 Kx. XXXV. 2:1-20. 

wo^fan's work in Till-: church 309 

possible that the association for such purposes shouki he a 
means of grace to those who engage in it. There is no 
better pkice to learn to behave unscllishl}' and generously, 
to consider one another, to prefer one another in honor. 
Churches do sometimes make great gains of Christian char- 
acter in the loving co-operation of these enterprises. 

The social advantages of these events are also consider- 
able. They bring together those who would not otherwise 
meet; they enlist all tlie women of the church in a com- 
mon enterprise; and if care be taken to make each one 
feel that her assistance is valued, the tie that binds the 
members to the church and to one another may be greatly 

In most churches a Women's Missionary Society will 
be found, sometimes both a foreign and a home missionary 
society; and many churches, in addition to these, have 
room for a Young ^Vomen's Missionary Society, and a 
Children's Band. Of these missionary organizations we 
shall speak in a subsequent chapter: they are mentioned 
here in order that attention may be called to the multiplic- 
ity of women's societies within the church, and to tlie 
need of co-ordinating them. This is the task which has 
been undertaken l)y the Women's Guild of the Church of 
Scotland. This (xuild is a national organization, but its 
purpose is to develop and also to unify the work of the 
women in the local parishes. It aims to establish a Brancli 
Guild in every congregation, and this is not an additional 
society, but a consolidation of all the societies. Each of 
tlie different organizations for woman's work is regarded' 
as a section of this Guild; and (nio of tlie aims of its 
promoters is to enlist every woman of the churcli in the 
work of one or more of these sections. In the rejmrts 
which tlie liranch Guilds make to the National (Juild, 
fourteen different sections arc specilicd, as follows: Visiting 
the sick and poor; hospitality to the lowly; cnlcrtaiiniu'iit 
for the people; mothers' meeting workers; workers at 
home for missions; members of Dorcas society; fellow- 
workers' union; mothers' union; Sabbath-school teach- 
ing; magazine and tract ilistiiltuting; chnnh imisic; 


temperance society; Bible class; collectors. Each of 
these sections, it would seem, should be under the care of 
some capable leader or committee; the work of the Guild 
should be to get every woman or girl in the church to 
choose some one or more of these kinds of work and report 
to the leader of the section. All these sections constitute 
the Branch Guild, and the workers meet together from time 
to time, to exchange experiences and to report progress. 
The rules for the members of the Guild are as folhn\s : 

" The members of this Guild are united together with 
the view of deepening and strengthening their own religious 
life and of promoting good works ; and they resolve — 

" 1. To give service to the Lord Jesus Christ as workers 
in his Church, or as receiving guidance and instruction 
Avith a view to work in future. 

" 2. To meet together at such times as may be agreed 

"3. To read a portion of Scripture and pray in pri\;ilc 
every day, and to go to church as regularly as possible. 

" 4. In private prayer to pray often for the furtherance 
and success of the work undertaken by the Church of 
Christ, especially by the Church of Scotland. 

"5. To pray for other members of the Guild on Sunday 
morning, and on that day also to pray for a blessing on 
all the good works done in this parish, on tlio parish min- 
ister, and on all the workers."'^ 

The little Handbook from wliich these rules are copied 
gives also under the title " What is the Woman's Guild ? " 
a clear statement of the purposes of the organization : 

"1. It is not a Young Woman's Guild. It is thcrcfoiv, 
even in this respect, not parallel with the Girls' Friendly 
Society and the Young Women's Christian Association. 
It is an attcm[)t to band together all the Avomcn in a con- 
gregation, so that they may be helpful to (^nch olhcr. It 
j)roposcs to make all workers acquainted \\itli cacli other, 
and with each other's woi'k, and thi'ough this accpiaintanco, 
and the sym])athy resulting from it, to strengthen their 
lunids ;iiiil increase their ])o\\'er lo woik'. 
1 Ilanilbdok, ]>. 4. 

woman's WOKK IX THE CHURCH 311 

"2. It is a union within the Churcli. The Christian 
Church has lost much by so many of its members going 
outside of it for companionship in work, and for Christian 
fellowship. This scheme by no means proposes that mem- 
bers of the Church of Scotland shall not be members of 
their non-ecclesiastical societies, but it reminds them that 
they have a primary duty witliin their own church. The 
Guild can reach, and ought to reach, every adherent of 
every congregation, so that, for example, domestic ser- 
vants and young women in shops, if they be sitters in a 
church, shall have associates, advisers, and guides of their 
own sex in the congregation to which they belong. Tliis 
is a part of the ' communion ' to wliich all are solenmly 
pledged at the Lord's table. As it is through working 
together that people come to know each other Ijest, the 
Guild is — 

"3. A Union of Workers. It has been found that poor 
and rich rejoice when it is put in their power to do some- 
thing; and rich and poor can be allied in working for mis- 
sions in connection with the congregation, or in some of 
the many branches of congregational activity. A union 
for work in Christ's cause ought surely to be a part of 
congregational life. 

" 4. It is a union whose members may do good to others. 
The ultimate question is not ' What will the Guild do for 
me?' but 'What will the Guild enable me to do for 
otlicrs? ' 

'•Therefore we may sum up by saying, — 

"1. A branch of the Woman's Guihl in any parish or 
congregation ought to be a union of all women, old and 
young, who are engaged in the service of Christ in con- 
nection with the Church, or who desire to give lielp to any 
practical Christian woik in the j)aiish, as well as all who 
are receiving Christian teaching, and looking forward to 
Christian service. 

"2. ICach member shoidd take part in at least one of 
tlie sections of the paiish woi'k, — as for example, the 
Dorcas Society, the Tract I)istribiit((is. the Mission ^\'orl<- 
Party, the Sabbath-school Teaelurs, IJie ('lioir; and those 


sections should be entered on one roll of the Guild. One 
great object of the Guild is to make every worker acquainted 
with all that the others are doing, so that joint meetings, 
at which the work is reported on and encouraged, may be 
attended by all. At those meetings all who are interested 
in the work are welcome ; and they soon choose the work 
with which they specially desire to be connected. Those 
who are but beginning, or who wish to begin, and those 
lately come as strangers, are also welcomed ; for thus they 
put themselves under good influences. "^ 

Of these Branch Guilds there were reported, in the year 
1895, no less than 337, with a membership of 24,924, and 
a sum of o£4,372 had been raised by these branches for 
church purposes during that year. It is clear that tlie 
ancient Church of Scotland has here discovered a most 
valuable agency. For the development and co-ordination 
of the activities of its women, the Guild furnishes an 
admirable plan. Its suggestion may well be adopted by 
many other Protestant churches. The scheme would need 
to be modified to suit the conditions of some of our 
American churches, but the method is clearly applicable 
everywhere. It is not essential that a national or denomi- 
national organization for this purpose should be formed: 
eacli congregation could unite its own agencies after this 
manner without connecting itself with other congregations 
similar]}' organized. The union of the Branch Guilds in a 
national or denominational association would, no doubt, 
add something of enthusiasm to the movement; but on tlie 
other hand it would call for another annual convention; 
and in Amciica the plague of the conventions is becoming 
nearly as formidaljle as the plague of the frogs was in 
ancient Egypt. If, indeed, the numerous denominational 
societies of women could be consolidated in one AVoman's 
(Juild for eacli denomination, so that one animal meeting 
miglit serve tlie purposes of all, that would be a con- 
summation on wliich many devout wislies couhl well 1)e 
expended. '11 ic Fiee Church of Scotland and the United 
Presbyterian Cliurcli have also large guilds. 

i JlmuUiook, p. 1-3. 



It is barely half a century since the young people of our 
American Protestant churches first began to be organized 
for Christian work. Nineteen centuries ago the promise 
was recalled of a day when the Spirit should be poured 
from on high upon the whole Church, and when the young 
men should see visions ^ — presumably visions of work to 
be done, for these are the visions Avhicli the Spirit most 
often vouchsafes. The apostle John, in his old age, ^-rote 
to young men because they were strong ; ^ his purpose must 
have been to enlist their strength in the service of the 
Cliurch. By those who reflected tliat the apostolic band 
were probably all young men, it might have been conjec- 
tured that what has been termed "the young-man-power " 
could be used with great effect in the work of the Church. 
But this hint was tardily taken by most of the organized 
ecclesiasticisms, and but little provision was made for the 
co-operation of the young men and women in Christian 

In Germany, after the Napoleonic A\ars, when the people 
in the bitterness of their poverty began to turn to God, 
and wlien that great deepening of spiritual experience took 
place out of which have grown so many of the best fruits 
of modern German civilization, there S2)rang up in mau}^ 
parishes Christlichc J i'l nfjliiigsvcrcinc — Christian Young 
Men's Associations. These were generally groups of 
young men, belonging to some jjarisli, wlio came together 
for prayi-r, for Bible study, and for niulnal lu'l[) in the 
C'hristian life. Doubtless we may liml in tlicsc associa- 
tions some reverberations of J^'ichte's ('jMicli-iiiaking Ixiok, 

1 Acts ii. 17. - 1 .Tolm ii. 14. 


Tlie Way to the Blessed Life. These German Vereine were 
not, however, widely influential ; the enlistment of the 
young in Christian activity was barely begun in them. 

In 1844 the first Young Men's Christian Association 
was organized in London by George Williams, lately 
knighted by the Queen in recognition of this great service 
to religion. The association from the beginning was 
undenominational; the young men met first for prayer 
and Bible study; soon the reading room, the iibrarj', and 
courses of popular lectures became a necessity, and the 
Young Glen's Christian Association developed into a sanc- 
tified club, offering an inexpensive and safe resort to the 
homeless, and providing social opportunities for the young 
men who were united in Christian work. The gj-nmasium, 
the amusement room, the bowling alley, the swinnning 
bath, and many appliances for physical culture are now 
generally furnished to members. Educational classes in 
great variety are also offered at merely nominal cost; 
courses of lectures are provided for the winter evenings 
and employment bureaux assist the workless to find occu- 
pation. The strictly religious work of the association has 
been less emphasized of late than the social and educational 
features ; but special religious services for young men are 
held every week ; Bible classes are taught, and groups of 
young men go forth from the association rooms to perform 
evangelistic and charitable work in the community. 

The development of this arm of the churcli has been 
phenomenal; between five and six thousand associations 
now exist, distrilnited over the known world. 

The Young Women's Christian Associations liave liad 
a later and much less extensive development; tliey under- 
take to perfoini for young women a service similar to that 
which the other associations perform for young men. 

lioth these institutions, however, do tlieir work outside 
the lines of the local congregation. 'I'liey depend ujimi 
the churches for their snpjxjrt, and they are, to some 
extent, feeders of tlie churches; but they are not under 
])arisli control, and no organization connected witli thciii 
takes any part in jiai-isli work. Tlicy funiisli ;i splendid 


illustration of what can be accomplished by the conse- 
crated energies of young men and women ; but they do not 
help to solve the problem of the local church, save as they 
perform some portion of the work which the church would 
otherwise be required to undertake. If, for example, a 
well-equipped building of the Young ]\Ien\s Christian 
Association stands in close proximity to some down-town 
church, it is manifest that this church may be released 
from undertaking the kind of work for the young men of 
the neighborhood which might, in the absence of the asso- 
ciation, be expected of it. The reading room, the educa- 
tional classes, the pleasant Sunday afternoon service, are 
all furnished by the association, and it would be poor 
economy and worse comity for the church to duplicate 
them. To some extent, therefore, these associations do 
relieve those churches which are their neighbors from their 
responsibilities. In another way, also, the life of the 
parish is affected by the existence of these institutions. 
The work of the Young iNIen's Christian Association must 
be done by the young men M^ho are members of the 
churches; and the pastor will regard this as one of the 
fields in which his force is emploj'cd, and will gladly sur- 
render such of his young men as may be needed to this 
important work. It is one of the cases in which the 
Church, for Christ's sake, loses its life that it may keep it 
unto life eternal. 

But there are other organizations of young people which 
are vitally connected with the local congregation and do 
tlie chief part of their work within it, and for its l)ruelit. 
For the past thirty years in America organizations of the 
young people have existed in uiany churches, the pui-jxise 
of which was the cultivation of the religious lite of llicir 
members and the improvement of their minds, as well as 
the provision of wholesome social recreation lor tlimi. 
But II great impetus was given to the movement \\li('n, in 
1S81, a young Congregational jiastor of Poitland, Maine, 
called liis young men and women together and submitted 
to them the crtnstitution of ;i Yonng I'eo]ile\s Society of 
Christian l'jidr;i\ or. This cdiistit nt ion. sulislaniialh' as 


then submitted, has been adopted by more than twenty- 
five thousand societies in all parts of tlie world, represent- 
ing at least thirty different denominations, and including 
more than two and a half million members. To this must 
be added the Epworth League of the Methodist Episcopal 
Churches, with eighteen thousand chapters and nearly a 
million members, and the Baptist Young People's Union, 
with a large membership. These last-named organizations 
are offshoots of the Society of Christian Endeavor. Such 
a growth, in sixteen years, is perhaps unparalleled in the 
annals of evangelical Christianit3\ 

The young people, after long obscurity, have thus sud- 
denly blazed forth like the lightning from one end of the 
heaven to the other ; they are very much in evidence ; the 
air resounds with their marching cries, and the streets are 
gay with their badges and banners. Yet this is not a 
centralized organization. There is a " United Society of 
Christian Endeavor," consisting of one trustee from each of 
several religious denominations, but it is only a bureau 
of information. There is no central authority or board 
of control. The great Christian Endeavor conventions 
attempt no legislation; they are simply religious meetings. 
Every local society is independent; its membership is 
drawn from its own congregation, and it is subject to the 
control of the authorities of that congregation. In the 
words of its founder: "The Socict}^ of Christian Endeavor 
is a purely religious organization, tliough there may be 
social features, literary features, and musical features con- 
nected with it. In fact, the society is meant to do any- 
thing that the Church wishes to have it do. The scope of 
its energies is almost limitless. It may relieve the desti- 
tute, visit the sick, furnish flowers for the pulpit, replenish 
the missionary treasuries, build up the Sunday-school, 
awaken an interest in tlie temperance cause, preacli a 
White Cross crusade. The inspiration for all these mani- 
fold forms of service comes from the weekly jirayer-ineet- 
ing, whicli is always a vital matter in a Cliiistian I'hideavor 
Society. TIic prayer-meeting pledge, wliilc no luiiformity 
of language is insisted u[)oii, binds tlic }(»uiig disciple to 


ilaily private devotions, to loyal support of his own tlnircli, 
and to attendance and participation in the weekly prayer- 
meeting, unless i:)revented by a reason which he can con- 
scientiously give to his Master. This^ perhaps, is the most 
vital and important thing in the society. It has rejuve- 
nated and revived the young people's prayer-meeting in 
all parts of the world and has poured new life into the 
other services of the Church. The monthly consecration 
meeting, at which the roll is called and the meniLers 
answer to their names, is also a very serious and important 
meeting, and shows who are faithful to their covenant 

As an illustration of the breadth of tlie field occupied Ijy 
this society, the following paragraph may be cited: "One 
society kept the church alive for months while its pastor 
was sick ; another has given two hundred dollars a year to 
foreign missions, and supports a girl in Syria; another has 
sent two foreign missionaries ; another has two young men 
studying for the ministry; another lias sent two mission- 
aries to Africa; another is educating a Japanese girl; 
another has organized thirteen other Christian Endeavor 
Societies in eighteen months ; another, in Bombay, supports 
twelve missionary enterprises in that cit}^; another, in 
Mexico, has fourteen members studying for the ministr}' ; 
another sent one hundred and fourteen sacks of flour to 
the Russians ; another lias built a new church and helped 
erect a school for colored girls; another has bouglit a 
liorse for a home missionary; anotliersent meml)ers to sing 
and pray at the poorhouse every week ; another supports 
three native preacliers in (Hiina, J:ij);in, and India; iinollier 
is running five .Sal)bath-sch()()ls, and lias starved a .sahjoii- 
keeper to death; another reports tliirty conversions in oni' 
year; anotlier is fighting race-track gaml)ling; aiudhcr 
sends fifty periodicals a week to missionaries in tlic West; 
another lias five young wonicii employed as city mission- 
aries; another has established two bi-anch Sunday-schools: 
another runs a ' fresh-air' home." ' 

'lliis may seem tn indicate llial the soi'ii't}' tiavi-ls far 

' Tiinvijihs (if the Cross, p. .'ii;'.!. 


beyond the boundaries of the parish, l)ut if it docs so, it is 
only because the field of the Cliurch is the world, and the 
society is helping the Cliurch to occupy its field. And it 
ought to be strongly affirmed that in the conception of 
those who have had most to do with the leadership of the 
movement, the entire subordination of the local society to 
the church with which it is connected has always been 
kept in view. The pastor and the church ollicers are 
ex officio members of the society, and their counsel and 
approval must be sought in any work undertaken by the 
society. It is not improbable that these groups of young 
people sometimes become rash and headstrong, and that 
they occasionally manifest some lack of respect for the 
authorities of the chui'ch, and some disposition to carry on 
their work without much regard for the wishes of the 
older members; but when this spirit takes possession of 
them they are departing from the counsels of their leaders 
and from the spirit and the letter of their own constitution. 

The impulse which has been given to the religious 
activity of the young people of the churches by this organi- 
zation is one of the notable events of recent history. It 
is not too much to say that the rise of the Society of 
Christian Endeavor has made even skeptics see that it is 
hazardous to count Christianity among the spent forces of 
modern civilization. Certainly there is no lack of youth- 
ful vigor and consecrated purpose in the Church of Cln-ist 
to-day. There is power liere witli which a prodigious 
amount of work can be done if it is only wisely directed. 
It is a great thing to have made this truth clear to the 
apprehension of believers and unbelievers. In the da^s 
wlien men are talking about the decadence of faith, liere 
is a demonstration of religious enthusiasm scarcely ])aral- 
leled since the Crusad(>s. 

All tliat is needed is that this enthusiasm l)e husliandcd 
and ]-ightly guided. Tliese young peoj^jlc know ilicir 
jiowcr; they must be shown how to use it. T\\q jiroblcni 
now is to find for them tlie riglit things to do, — things 
Avhich they can do: and to let tliem see that they are pro- 
ducing results, iiitlieilo they ha\(^ lacked dennite ])ni'- 


poses. Some of the societies, as wc have seen, have foiuul 
work to do, and have rejoiced in the tilings accomplished : 
but with many of them success has consisted in holding 
meetings, in getting a large number to take part in the 
meetings, in increasing the number of members and in 
holding enthusiastic conventions. And it must be admitted 
that a strong tendency to the spectacular has been devel- 
oped. There are many members of these societies to 
whom the holding of a great convention seems the greatest 
thing in the world. The fact that meetings and conven- 
tions are only devices for the generation of power, and 
that they are worse than useless unless the power there 
generated is employed in producing some useful changes 
in the lives of men and in the social order, is a fact not 
so fully impressed as it ought to be upon the minds of 
many of these zealous young disciples. It is evident that 
those who have the movement in charge have felt the 
force of these considerations, and that they have been 
casting al)out thom for methods of utilizing the force they 
have evoked. This will be theii" most dillicult problem. 

The suggestion has been heard that the moral power of 
the Endeavor movement be turned toward the work of 
nnniieipal rofV»rm. Here is a great field, and the young 
peopU- iiiiglit cultivate it with excellent results, if their 
efforts could l)e Avell directed. Hut it is plain that they 
onght not to undertake any political campaigning; and 
that any efforts of theirs in the direction of law enforce- 
ment would be injudicious. AVhat they can do is to pre- 
[)are themselves by thorough study of miuiicipal problems 
to act intelligently when the leadership siiall fall into their 
hands. The older young men might join the (iood (iov- 
ernment Clu])s and the ^Municipal Leagues, and tlie socie- 
ties might form themselves into associations t'<ii' thi; 
investigation of civic problems and civic conditions. To 
study, patiently and thoroughly, the methods of doing the 
[)ublie Inisiness; to make themselves thoi-onghlv familial' 
witli tlie detiiils of the administi'iitioii of the inuniciiialitv 
in wliieli lliey live; to cultivate the habit of eaiftHl judi- 
cial e.xaniinatiun into such affairs, so that tlu'\' iniL;iil be 


conscious of having a well-formed opinion upon public 
questions — this would be a most useful exercise for these 
young men and Avomen. The one thing needful in all our 
communities is sound and strong public opinion ; and the 
presence in the connnunity of a large body of intelligent 
young men and women who had taken pains to obtain 
accurate information upon municipal questions would 
powerfully tend to create such a public opinion. j\Iany 
persons might object to their meddling with municipal 
government; but nobody can object to their learning all 
they can about the existing methods of government, and 
telling what they know, provided they always talk 

There is also a vast work of political education to be 
done for the foreign-born populations of the American cities. 
It is a mistake to regard all these people as vicious and 
depraved; many of them are capable of unselfish action, 
but most of them are wofully ignorant of the first prin- 
ciples of civil government, and all of them are in danger 
of being led astray by demagogues. To the tender 
mercies of the most unscrupulous politicians Americans 
are in the habit of consigning them ; if they vote unwisely 
who can blame them? The presence in all our popula- 
tions of a vast mass of such ignorant voters imposes a 
heavy responsi1)ility on all good citizens. In some way 
these people must l)e reached and instructed. The politi- 
cal education of these multitudes is a duty only less 
pressing than their spiritual evangelization. And it can 
be done only by going among them, and establishing friendly 
relations with them and winning their confidence. It will 
require a vast amount of hand-to-hand work in the slums 
of the cities. The Good Government (^lubs are organized 
to do this very work, and the Good Government ('lubs 
ought to get from the young men of the Christian Endeavor 
societies large reinforcements of trustworthy and steadfast 

The ciilistmeiil of tli(> I-'^iideavor soricties in mission 
work, at home and alu'oad, is a proposition wliicli involves 
fewer dinicultics. There is no reason why these young 


people, under the direction of their pastors and the officers 
of their churches, shoukl not do efficient work in estab- 
hshing- and maintaining Sunday-schools, and sewing- 
schools, and kindergartens, and coffee-houses, and all 
manner of instrumentalities for the enliglitenment and 
evangelization of the needy of their own community. If 
their hearts are on lire with the purpose to serve, they will 
find leaders and counsellors. And there is ample room 
for all their energy in the great mission enterprises by 
which the Clnu'ch seeks to carry tlie gospel to the far-off 
lands. .Vll that is needed to kindle the missionary enthu- 
siasm of these young people to a white heat is to acquaint 
them with the facts. Let them see what the work is and 
what the encouragements are and they will give to the 
cause a full measure of devotion. 

To these wide fields outside the paiishes to which they 
belong their thoughts may well be directed; but after all 
there is much work waiting for them within the precincts 
of these parishes of which they should not be suffered to 
lose sight. In the Sunday-schools, the i\lid-week Services, 
the Boys' Brigades, the Girls' Guilds, the Flower Com- 
mittees, the singing services, the missionary and charitable 
work of the church, there is a great deal of work to be 
done, and the young people of the Endeavor societies 
ought to be made to feel that it is for them a point of 
honor to see to it that no vacancy be permitted to exist in 
any of these forms of service. The commission of tlie 
risen Lord required the disciples to preach liis gospel 
among all nations, hcginninrj from Jemsalcm.^ This is 
where we must always begin — at liome. The clnnch 
Avliose home work is thoroughly done can send out a more 
efficient band of laborers to the fields outside. 

The day will come — perhaps it lias already risen — when 
the interest of these young peo])le will be more surely 
maintained by getting them employed in some di'linite 
work, and making them sec that they are sueceeding in 
it, than by some of the methods now ehieny ri'lied on. 
The ])ledg(> is not amiss; the Ihiiig which it jiroiiiises is 

^ Luke wiv. 17. 


not unreasonable, and no faitliful young disciple needs to 
shrink from making the promise ; but the official surveil- 
lance of the members, to see whether or not they are keep- 
ing the pledge, and to call them to account if they do not 
keep it, is of doubtful wisdom. The kind of fidelity 
which is produced by this device will not prove to be tlie 
highest. The motive to which these methods appeal is far 
from being the noblest. The society would better depend 
for its success upon the enthusiasm for some good work 
which it can inspire in its members, than upon the disci- 
pline which it can exercise over them. It is failing, to- 
day, to secure the co-operation of a large number of the 
best and strongest young people in our churches, — of 
those whose intelligence and conscientiousness it greatly 
needs, — because it insists on these mild forms of cen- 

Doubtless, if these methods prove to l)e unwise, they 
Avill, in time, be modified. And there is every reason to 
hope that this great movement of the young people will 
go forward with increasing power, and that all the 
churches of all the lands will be vitalized by its influence. 
The subject is one which the wise pastor needs to study 
carefull}', that he may know how to keep alive this gener- 
ous enthusiasm, and how to direct it so that it shall 
accomplish for the church and through the church the 
greatest amount of good. 

In the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United 
States the impulse to consecrated activity has taken form 
in the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. The society is now 
about tliirteen years of age, and it rci)orts about fourteen 
hundred chapters, representing as many local ])arislips. 
The purpose of the Brotherhood is set fortli in its consti- 
tution : 

"The sole object of the Urothei'hood of St. Andicw is 
the spread of Christ's Kingdom among young men, and to 
this end every man desiring to become a meinl)er thereof 
nnist })U'dge liiniself to ol)ey the rules of the IJjotlierliood 
so long as he shall be a member, 'i'hese rules are two: 
Tlic rule of Prayer and the rule of Service. Tlie rule of 


Prayer is to pray daily for the spread of Christ's Kingdom 
among- young men and for God's blessing upon the labors 
of the Brotherhood. The rule of Service is to make an 
earnest effort each week to bring at least one young man 
within hearing of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as set forth 
in the services of the church and in young men's Bible 
classes. Any organization of young men, in any parish, 
mission, or educational institution of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church, effected under this name, and with the 
approval of the rector or minister in charge, for this object, 
and whose members so pledge themselves, is entitled to 
become a Chapter of the Brotherhood, and, as such, to 
representation in its conventions unless such approval be 
withdrawn. No man shall be an active member of a 
Chapter who is not baptized, and no member shall be 
elected presiding officer or delegate to the convention who 
is not also a communicant of the Protestant Episcopal 

Tliis Brotherhood has already taken a large place in 
the life of the Episcopal Church in America. Its conven- 
tions bring together a large number 'of vigorous young 
men, and these meetings have been full of fervor and 
resolute purpose. We hnd here the same spirit that ani- 
mates the legions of Christian Endeavor, and although 
the numl)ers are comparatively small, the intelligence and 
force of the assemblies are of a high order. It is remark- 
able, indeed, to witness the large variety of characters in 
these conventions. A recent newspaper report gives a 
grapliic picture of the constituency of one of them: 

" The convention included men engaged in almost every 
honest occupation. Some of tliem (;ould have designed a 
house and drawn plans for it; others could have l)uilL it, 
painted it, or I'liinished it. There wcic nuii in every 
line of skilh'd labor needed to l)uil(l a railroatl — track, 
bridges, rolling-stock, and all ; and others who eould have 
manned and managed the i-oad, from Itrakeman to jwesideiit. 
There were men who as lawyers could try casi'S, and otliei-s 
who as judges eould decide tlu'm. There were men w ho 
eould edit a jiaper or write a book; several I'eporters; 


others who could set the type, feed the press, make the 
paper stock, or turn patterns for the machinery. There 
were enough farmers to make quite a village ; teachers and 
students enough to start several schools and colleges; 
doctors enough for a hospital ; and as many clergymen as 
there are in the diocese of Virginia. Some of the men 
could design a piece of clotli, others could weave it, and 
others could make the gai-ment. There were men who 
could survey a field and others who could plough it. 
There were men who could build ships and men who could 
sail them; men who could build engines and men who 
could run them; men who could manage a business, keep 
the books, buy goods or sell them; men who spend most 
of their time on the road as salesmen, and men who sit in 
offices and keep the travellers busy. There were coach- 
men, telegraphers, artists, postmen, plumbei"s, mill-workers, 
barbers, blacksmiths, miners, scientists and merchants in 
almost every line of business. They all stood together as 
citizens of one Kingdom." 

One striking feature of these conventions is the " Quiet 
Day " with which they begin. The delegates assemble at 
their place of meeting the day before the business of the 
convention is opened, and spend the whole day together, 
for the greater part in silence, — receiving together the 
Communion in the morning; reading tlio Bibk^ and devo- 
tional books; joining in the Litany; but devoting most of 
the time to meditation and silent prayer. "Just before 
the close," says one, "we were asked to repeat or read 
aloud any texts peculiarly dear to each one or especially 
aj)j)licable to the day. IIow quickly they came, those 
])lessed words, so full of joy, encouragement and hope! 
The men's voices, as they read, now from one ])art of the 
churcli, now from anotlicr, indicated liow dccj) wore the 
impressions tlu^ c|uiet comnuuiion of the day liad made. 
Tt chisod, outwardly, \vi{]\ evening prayer at lialf-past 
foiii'. Imt wlio can tell when it really closed?" 

li, as seems evident, the spirit of the St. Andrew's 
Brotherhood finds expression in services of this natui'o, we 
niav rradilv credit the statement of a leadin'jf journal of 


tiie Church, that it is "by fur the most important of all 
the voluntary agencies organized to serve the Church and 
to extend the Kingdom." It will be seen that this 
Brotherhood, like the Society of Christian Endeavor, 
proposes to devote all its energies to the work of strenr^th- 
ening the local church. It puts its forces under the 
leadership of the rector of the church, and seeks to co- 
operate with him. Its first and most constant aim is to 
bring young men under the influence of the Cliurch. It 
is a recruiting agency, sending out its trained helpers to do 
the work of gospel ministration for the church to which 
they belong. It seeks to express the hospitality of the 
church to all who approach its threshold; it undertakes 
mission services, under the rector's guidance, but its main 
business is bringing people to church. To make the 
acquaintance of young men who are not church-goers, to 
gain their confidence, and then to give them a cordial invi- 
tation to attend public worship — this is the simple service 
in which these Brothers of St. Andrew are most frequently 
engaged. The first work of St. Andrew the Apostle (John 
i. 40-42) is tliat to which they give their best energies. 
How effective such service may be, when a large body of 
manly young men heartily engage in it, many pastors of 
this church have had occasion to learn. 

The St. Andrew's Brotherhood is conflned in its mem- 
bership to the Protestant Episcopal Church; but its s})irit 
is not sectarian, and one of the three prayers printed on 
the membcrshi}) card is a ]iraycr for tlie unity of the 

There is a similar society — the Brotherhood of Andrew 
and Pliilip, — whicli is interdenominational, and chapters 
of which are foiiml in various Protestant churches in 

In some of tlicsc churches Young Men's L(>agues have 
been formed witli the special design of improving the 
Sunday evening services. Co-operating with the pastor, 
they arrange for the enlargement of llif clioii", tlic ))n|)a- 
ration of good nnisic, and the printing ;in(I distiibnt ion 
of the order of service, with liynuis and irsitonsive lead- 


ings; and they constitute themselves a committee of invi- 
tation to bring into tlie house of worship those who Avould 
not otlierwise attend. In these and many other ways tlie 
newly awakened zeal of the Christian young men of 
America finds expression in the life of the churches. 

On the other side of the ocean one of the significant 
movements for the development of the religious life of the 
young appears in the Guilds Avhich have been formed in 
several of the Protestant churches. Of these the Chuich 
of Scotland presents one of the most perfect examples, and 
a somewhat careful account of this organization will be 
instructive. It is a national organization, conterminous 
with the Church of Scotland, and under the charge of the 
General Assembly's Committee on Christian Life and 
Work. In the language of its official manifesto, "the 
Guild aims at having in every parish a luiion of young 
men, either in the form of a society or a Bible class, which 
will be a centre toward which young men may be attracted, 
and which will exert a healthy Christian influence upon 
all who connect themselves with it. It desires to have all 
these different societies united into one large Union or 
Guild, through the existence of which individual societies 
may be strengthened, new societies formed, combined 
efforts made for the welfare of young men, and a system 
of communication provided whereby mend)ers leaving one 
district for another may be introduced into another asso- 
ciation simihir to tliat whicli they liave left.'' 

Great lil)erty is therefore left to the local organization. 
Any congregation may associate its young men l»y any 
method which it prefers ; any local organization which has 
for its object " to serve the Jc^siis Christ by promot- 
ing the s[)iritual and intcllcctinil life of Noiiiig men, and 
by encouraging tlicni to iiiidci'takc works of Christian 
usefulness,'' may be rcprcse'ntcd in the National (Juild. 
The Parent Society furnishes to each Branch wliich w islics 
to be afniiate<b a schedule for the return of particuku'S 
respecting its name and form and tlio kind of woi-k it is 
doing. The local Branches aic stip])osed. also, to ])e 
divided into sevci'al sections, caidi of which is cni'-afTed in 


some kind of work, and tlie return provides for the speci- 
fication of the number enlisted in the work of each section, 
naming, in the example now in view, the Fellowship 
Section, the Literary Section, the Bible Class Section, the 
Sabbath School Association Section, the Psalmody Section, 
the White Cross Section, the Athletic Section, the Tem- 
perance Section. This return is to be signed by the 
Secretary of the Branch and countersigned by the parish 
minister, who thus becomes responsible for the accuracy of 
the return. Tlie tabulated returns show a wide variety of 
Christian work among the young men of the Scottish 

There is an annual meeting of the National Guild, in 
which each Branch Guild may be represented ; and local 
Couutils liave also been organized, in which neighboring 
Guilds come together for mutual assistance and encourage- 
ment. The Central Connnittee of Management and llefer- 
ence is constituted in part by the Assembly's Committee 
on Christian Life and Work, in part by the representatives 
of the local Councils, and in part by election at the annual 
meeting. The Guild has now been in existence for sixteen 
years, and it reports 670 Branches, representing every 
Presbytery, with a total membership of about 25,000. So 
far as it is possible to judge from the representations on 
paper, this is an admirable scheme for developing the 
interest of the young men of the congregations and unit- 
ing them in active Christian work. It will be seen that 
this Society, like the Christian Endeavor Society and the 
St. Andrew's Brotherhood, concentrates its interest upon 
the local congregation. The Young Men's Guild of the 
Church of Scotland is su[)porling one Foreign Mission in 
Iii<li;i: with this exception its energies are devoted to 
strengthening tlie work of tlu; liouic <']unrli('s. The mcin- 
bei-s meet and consult in llic iialioiial union and in the 
provincial councils chiefly as to the nicthods wliicli they 
may employ in making l)i-oa(l('r and nunc finitlnl (he work 
of the in(li\i(liial ilniiclics to wliiili they hclimg. Tiu> 
Branch Guild thus becomes in every parisli an organized 
pastor's assistant; it ought to be possible for him to use it 


with great effect in prosecuting the entire work of which 
he has the oversight. 

A system of Daily Bible Readings is also prepared and 
furnished to all members, by which they are encouraged 
and aided in the regular private reading of the Bible and 
in intercessory prayer for one another, and an almanac, 
combining with these Bible Readings a goodly number of 
well-chosen devotional excerpts for each month, in prose 
and verse, is furnished for threepence. 

One of the most interesting features connected with this 
work is a series of prize examinations and essay competi- 
tions, in which the Young Men's Guild and the Women's 
Guild unite. These examinations are conducted in two 
departments, one of Biblical Study and one of Literature; 
and text books are provided for the preliminary studies. 
In each of the departments the examinations are arranged 
under three grades ; the highest candidate in the highest 
grade receives a gold medal with a money prize of ^5; in 
the second grade a silver medal with a money prize of the 
same value ; in the first grade a bronze medal with a money 
prize of £3. Those who stand second and third in the 
three grades receive prizes of a little less value. 

In each of these grades the subject for Biblical study 

prescribed for 1895 included nine chapters in the Acts of 

the Apostles, beginning with the eighth; and portions of 

one of three books, The Old Testament and its Contents^ 

Landmarks of Church History, and a handbook on Our 

Lord's Tcacliiiu). The questions set for the examination 

of that year in all the grades of each department are printed 

in the Report of the Committee on Christian Life and 

Work, witli the comments of the examiners. In tlic 

examinations last reported, which were held at 87 different 

centres, 508 candidates competed, of whom 238 were 

young men and 325 young women ; of lliose 512 took the 

"liiblical examination and 51 the Literary examination. 

I'rizcs wore awarded to 08 contestants and certificates to 

314. The names of all who obtained testimonials of any 

sort are printed in the report. Tlic cnirieney ('f Ibis 

method of stimulating the study of the Bible and of good 

literature must l)e evident. 


In tlie Free Cliurch of Scotland, the Committee on the 
Welfare of the "i'outh has been carrying- on for a still 
longer period this system of instruction, and examinations 
are held in several hundreds of centres, while the number 
of registered candidates for examination runs up into the 
thousands. The subjects of examination, as named in a 
late report, have been the Lives of St. Paul, David, 
Moses, and Solomon ; the Books of Zechariah, Kings, St. 
^Nlark, St. Luke, and the Acts of the Apostles; the Taber- 
nacle; the Story of the New Testament; the Confession 
of Faith; the Larger, Shorter, Constitutional and Free 
Church Catechisms; Scottish Church History; the Sacra- 
ments; Horce Paulince ; Whately's Evidences^ and the 
Pilgrim^ s Fror/rcss. "Nothing," said the Committee, "had 
been more encouraging than the assurances received from 
many parents that they never saw so much enthusiasm in 
their homes as this scheme had awakened over Bible and 
ecclesiastical studies." It is doubtful whether any meas- 
ures for the Christian education of the youth have ever 
been undertaken by any American church, which are 
worthy to be compared with those which have been suc- 
cessfully [)rosecuted l)y the two great Presbyterian tliurches 
of Scotland. 

Not only in the Fiee Church of Scotland, but also in 
others of the Kelormed churches of Great Britain, the 
Guilds have come to be an imjjortant factcn- of the life of 
the Church. Tims the movement among the yoniig people 
of America, Avhich has so largely taken an undenomina- 
tional form, has gone forward on tlie other side of the sea 
mainly under denominational guidance. The Society of 
Christian Endeavor lias, however, a considerable member- 
ship in England. 

The Methodist Ei)wr)rth l^eagueand the ^'oung I'eople's 
Baptist Union of America more closely rcsciid)le the Scot- 
tish Guilds. Till' oi'gani/ation of the latter is more com- 
pact and the guidance is more jiosilive and authoritative; 
but the strong inlluence in hi'lialf of Christian unity wliich 
the Endeavor Society exerts, is necessarily wanting. The 
Scottish Guilds aie not. however, hostile to interdeiiomi- 


national fellowship, and the ninth article of the Constitu- 
tion of the Church of .Scotland Guild provides that "while 
the Union proposes primarily to foster the life of the 
young men of the Church of Scotland, it shall, in all cases, 
be open to those belonging to other churches ; and when- 
ever, from special circumstances, an undenominational 
association is found to be more desirable, it may be put in 
correspondence with the Church of Scotland Union." 

Reference was made in the early part of the chapter to 
certain beginnings of organized Christian work among 
young men in Germany. Of recent years, this work has 
been greatly developed. At the present time about a 
thousand " Unions " of Christian young men exist in 
Germany. They are not called "Christian Associations," 
nor do they follow altogether the lines of work taken up 
by the organizations which bear tliis name, but they are 
probably well adapted to the conditions of the young men 
of Germany. The organization of such a Union is gen- 
erally undertaken by the pastor of the church, and he is 
apt to be its leader and presiding officer. Sometimes two 
or three evenings of each week are given to the work, and 
a meml)ership fee of from six to twelve cents a month is 
required. The under limit of age is generally eighteen. 
Intellectual, social, and religious culture are the ol)jects 
wliich these young men set before themselves. Bible 
stud}- with tlie pastor as teacher is common ; meetings for 
the discussion of religious questions are often held. Tlie 
provision of suitable rooms in which homeless young men 
may si)end their Sundays and their leisure is one of their 
enterprises. Organized work among soldiers, and [nis- 
oners, and certain classes of working men is undcrlakcii by 
most of tliese Unions. 

An organization of young men as (h'acons (»i' l)i-othors, 
corresponding, to some extent, with i\)o Kaiscrswertli 
work among women, has also been formed in Germany. 
" ['rollicr Honscs " have Ix'cn establislicd in many towns 
and cities, tlie inmates of wliich are enlisted in cliarilable 
and Christian woik. 'I'lie candidate for admission to one 
of these homes must be between twenty and t lii it v years 


of age, in sound health, unmarried, and not intending 
marriage. A thorough course of training is prescribed, 
which usually occupies three years. Agriculture, horti- 
culture, the management of cattle and various kinds of 
handicraft are taught. Vocal music is made a leading 
feature of the instruction. No vow is assumed ; continu- 
ance in the work is entirely voluntar}-. Tlii^ work of these 
" Brothers " is done among the poor children who are 
gathered into schools and houses of refuge; in Orphan 
Houses, and hospitals for the sick and the unfortunate ; in 
houses of correction, in prisons, and especially in those 
Arbeitercolonien, or temporary homes which the German 
govcrinuent })rovides for the unemployed. Nearly thirty 
institutions of this character are now enumerated, the 
heads of which, in nearly all cases, are pastors. A Con- 
ference of these Brother Houses and Seminaries meets 
statedly for discussion and comparison of experiences.^ 

1 Christian Life in Germaiii/, by E. E. Williams, pj). 252-259. 



The Sunday-school is the instrumentality employed by 
the modern Protestant church for the training of its chil- 
dren. 'J.lioug'h originally intended for the ragged urchins 
of the streets, it has been gradually transformed into an 
agency which the church employs for the instruction of 
the young who belong to its own comnninion. jMission 
schools still perpetuate the type of Robert Raikes, but 
when we speak of Sunday-schools in jVmerica we usually 
think of tlie children of our own families, gathered on 
Sunday morning or Sunday afternoon in the sanctuaries 
wlicre their fathers and mothers worship, to be taught the 
rudiments of religious truth and to be guided into the way 
of life. When the Sunday-school is what it ought to be, 
it may seem that no other agency for this purpose should 
be needed by the church. The multiplication of organiza- 
tions which practically cover the same ground ought to be 
avoided. Tn view of the multiform activities of the modern 
cliurch, the need of organization is evident enough, but 
tliere may easily be too much of a good thing; and of 
notliing is this more probably true than of the tendency to 
organization. Many societies are organized to deutli, 
Tliere are so many wheels within Avlieels, and there is such 
a complicated machinery that power enough to keep it all 
iiin\ lug is not easily generated. 

JL is at least an open question whether some of the 
organizations which have taken up the Avork belonging 
t(t the Sunday-scliool arc not supertbious. 'Hic Young 
People's S()cietit;s, now so powerful a factor in the life of 
the Churcli, liave sought to extend their methods to the 
cliililrcn ; and w(> have .hniior ICndcavor Societies and 


Junior Epworth Leagues, and Boys' Branches in the Young 
Men's Christian Associations, and Boys' Departments in 
the Great Brotherlioods, and various sucli associations of 
children ^\•ithin the Chui'cii. Doubtless much faithful work 
is done in these departments and no little good accom- 
plished ; but might it not be better, on the whole, if this 
ANork were concentrated upon the Sunday-school, in 
increasing its efficiency, and in developing the different 
lines of its work ? Can we conceive of a better or more 
lasting influence upon boys and girls than that which is 
exerted by the faithful Sunday-school teacher? Is there 
any better kind of association than that which naturally 
grows out of a well-shepherded Sunday-school class ? The 
boys and girls under lifteen years of age are not old 
enough to be employed in any evangelistic work ; and the 
wisdom of calling on them for public utterance is greatly 
to be questioned. Instruction they need, and free conver- 
sation with judicious friends on the themes of religion 
should not be denied them; Init services of public speech 
hi which they are expected to have the chief part are of 
doul)tful usefulness. Besides, these boys and girls ought 
to spend most of their time at home ; and the number of 
outside; engagements for them should be sparingly in- 
creased. They are busy with their school duties, and 
their out-door sports ought not to ])e curtailed ; too many 
social obligations are not good for them. With the deep- 
est gratitude to those who seek the welfare of our boys 
and girls through these junior societies, we may fairly 
question whether there is not danger in carrying work of 
this kind too far. 

Another consideration lends weight to lliose already 
suggested. There ought to be a closer bond in most of 
our churclies between the pastor and the eliildreii, and 
therefore the pastor ought to have fre(]uent and regular 
opportunities of meeting them for pur|)(»se.s of instruelion. 
The Jmiior Societies cannot do the j)astor's work. 'I'hev 
ought not, therefore, to bdce the time which the jiastor 
could more profitably use. If the childrm's time is apt to 
be crowdeil, it is bettei" that the honis uhiili tlie\- niav 


profitably give to eliuich instruction, outside the Sunday- 
school, should be occupied by the pastor. That many 
pastors do not seek this op[)ortunity, and have never valued 
it, is true ; nevertheless, the obligation rests on all pastors, 
and careful reflection upon what is involved in it would 
be salutary- for most of them. 

In some of the Protestant churches the " Children's 
Hour " has become an institution. In this exercise the 
pastor meets the chikben regularly — sometimes once a 
week, immediately after the dismissal of the Friday after- 
noon session of the public school, — and leads them in acts 
of i:)ublic worship, giving them some incidental instruction. 
The nature of this service has, however, generally been 
emotional and hortatory rather than didactic ; the children 
have been entertained by lively songs and interesting 
stories more than they have been instructed. Such a 
meeting, w^hicli keeps the pastor in touch with the children, 
may be very useful ; but it does not quite answer the 
demand that the pastor shall be, in a special sense, the 
teacher of the children committed to his care. The Great 
Teacher, in his last commission to the chief of the apostles, 
laid it upon liim, as the test of his affection and loyalty, 
that he should feed the lambs of the flock. ^ 'J'lie himbs 
were mentioned before the sheep. Tlic true sliepherd's 
first care must be for the lambs. He must not only help 
to fold them, he must feed them. Is not this duty sadly 
neglected by most Protestant pastors in tliis day of grace? 
Some of us, whose best days are past, must look back with 
keen regret upon the years beliind us, because we have so 
imperfectly kept this part of our charge. It is true that 
the single pastor of a large Protestant church finds him- 
self lieavily bui-dened. To prepare two weekly seiiiioiis, 
and arrange for the mid-week service ; to supervise all the 
organ i/,ations wliich liis ])ai-isli coiiipi'isos ; to visit the sick 
and the strangers; to rcsjioiid to the imiiicrons calls for 
cliaiitable and pMlilic service, is inore than any man can 
do; but woidd it not ]iav(> been better for some of us if 
we had sacrificed some of these otiiei' interests — oi' de- 

J Juliii xxi. 15. 


voted to tlicni a smaller })(»rii()U of oiu' liine and care — in 
order that we mio-bt have found more hours for the 
children of our churches ? 

The canons of the Protestant Episcopal Chunh in the 
United States require that the rector shall meet the children 
of his parish at least once a month for catechetical instruc- 
tion ; Ijut the pastois of most of our Protestant churches 
are under no such rule, and it is probable that the large pro- 
portion of them have no regular methods of meeting and 
teachino- the children. But it must be acknowledgfed that 
the difficulties in the way of performing this duty are many 
and serious. Not to speak of the preoccupation of the 
pastor with other interests and labors, the disinclination 
of the children to attend such services, and the unwilling- 
ness of the parents to co-operate with the pastor in securing 
their attendance must also be taken into the account. 
Many a faithful pastor wlio has desired to gather the cliil- 
dren of his church about him for instruction, and who lias 
besought the parents to aid him in tliis endeavor, has been 
disheartened to (iiid that Init a handful out of tlie wliolc 
num])er responded to his call. It must be admitted tliat 
comparatively few parents have any adequate sense of the 
importance to their children of such instruction, and so 
long as this is the case, the opportunity of the pastor will be 
greatly limited. In this fact there is, liowever, all the more 
reason why he should throw himself into tlie enterprise wiili 
all the strengtli he possesses, that the indifference of the 
parents may be overcome, and the sentiment of the home 
made more favoraljle to the undertaking. 

The work of catechizing the chihlren is no novell\ in 
tlie Christian Churcli. From the earliest ^'cars the candi- 
dates for baptism were prepared l)y careful instruction, and 
the ollice of tin- eatechist was i'eeogni/,t'(l as one of gicat 

"We accordingly see j)artic,nlar ('atecliisis make llieir 
a]»pearan('e so early as the second half of the second eeii- 
tnry, while the Jfisac catcc/tioiiriion/m becomes conslantly 
more and nioie sliai ply separated from the M ixsa fidclium. 
Proiii the (Unisiitutionrs ApostoliC(H\ comiiosed in great 


part (luring the second half of the thuxl century, we become 
acquainted with the main substance of that instruction, as 
well as the earliest precepts concerning its duration and 
conduct. While the duration of the catechumenate varied 
in different lands, we see, from the time of the third cen- 
tury, the catechumens themselves divided into three dif- 
ferent classes. The first, that of the hearers (Audientes), 
who in the public service might onl}^ attend the reading of 
the Scripture and the preaching of the word. The second, 
that of the kneeling ones (Genu flectentes), who might in 
this posture attend at the prayers wliich were offered on 
their behalf. Finally, that of the candidates for baptism 
(Competentes), who were already waiting to receive that 
baptism for which they were now adjudged fit. In the 
instruction of these classes a regular ascent was observed, 
by virtue of which much remained concealed from the 
beginners, which was communicated to those farther ad- 
vanced. Only when the disciplina arcani was unveiled 
for them, was also that which is necessary communicated 
to them with regard to the Creeds, the Lord's Prayer, the 
Church Prayers of believers, and the Sacraments : not in 
writing, but in order that they might preserve them u})on 
the tables of their hearts." ^ 

It is true that many of these catechumens were adulf 
persons, converts to Christianity, who needed to be in- 
structed before they Avere received into the cluirch ; but 
the same instruction was required by baptized children and 
young persons \\hen they were prepared for church mem- 
be rslii p. 

"A glance into an ancient catechumenium, or sacred 
schoolroom, will sliow the nature and aptness and power of 
the system proposed. Baptized children, and candidates 
for baptism, young or old, if oM enough to be instructed, 
compose tlie audience. The instructor corresponds to our 
Sabbath-school superintendent, or Bible-class teacher. 
Sometimes, however, he is wliat tlie ancient Church styled 
a deacon, presbyter, or even Ijishop. Possibly the class is 
special, being made up of rustic women and girls of low 

1 Vail Oostcr/.ce, Prartiral T/iei>lor/i/, ]>. 4.")4. 


intelligence, wlien the teacher is a deaconess. The topics 
are the simplest in a course of sacred instruction, var\ing' 
and progressive with the attainments of the class. Cle- 
mens llomanus, possibly contemporary with the apostles, 
in an apocryphal, though very early epistle, is represented 
as comparing the Church to a ship. In it he says, the 
bishop is the pilot, the presbyters are the mariners, the 
deacons are the chief oarsmen, and the catechists are those 
who give information about the voyage, take fare, and 
admit passengers. So they prepare the catechumens to 
make the voyage of life successfully. Such a catechist was 
the great Origen at Alexandria, when only eighteen years 
of age." ^ 

The practice of catechetical instruction, not only for 
adult converts but also for children, declined after the 
early centuries. The sacramental theories overbore the 
catechesis. The minister was a priest and the communica- 
tion of the sacramental grace largely displaced the necessity 
for the more laborious w^ork of teaching and training. 
Through all the pre-Reformation period, although there 
were many strenuous calls for the restoration of this ser- 
vice, but little ^Yas done. But the dawn of the Reforma- 
ti(jn witnessed a great revival of tlie w'ork of the catechist. 
All the great Reformers recognized its importance ; the 
two catechisms of Luther, the Genevan catechism, the 
Heidelljerg catechism, the catechism of Zuiich, and tlie 
Anglican catechism, are landmarks of the Ivcformation. 
The Longer and Shorter catechisms of tlie Westminster 
Assembly, came later. In this activity of teacliing i)ro- 
duced by the Reformation the Roman Catholic churcii also 
shared; Erasmus made a great preparation for it in Ids 
Exposition of the Decalogue and tlie Lord's I'layer; and 
the catechisms of Canisius and Hellarmine, and later, those 
of Malines and of Trent, fuinishcd material which that 
(Imicli has used with all diligence in the subsequent i-en- 
tuiies. At the present time the Udelity ;ind llioronghiiess 
with which Roman Catholic chihhcii an; taught by tlii'ir 
pastors the doctrines of their Chnnli utterly put to shame 

^ The (JliHirh (titd Her Chililn u, h\ Williaiii Unrrous, p. .^LM. 


the negligence of the descendants of the Reformers. It 
can no longer be said that sacramentalisni paralyzes the 
teaching power of that Church, lioman Catholic children, 
as a rule, are far better instructed with respect to the doc- 
trines of their chiu'ch than most Protestant children are ; 
tliey know what they believe, and they know why they 
believe it ; they can give a reason for the faith that is in them. 
It is time that the Reformed Churches, whose system rests 
on instruction, had taken up the weapons which have been 
thrown away, and had returned to that work of training 
the young, witliout which all their splendid machinery of 
parochial and missionary organization will produce little 
else but noise. 

There are special reasons also, growing out of the intel- 
lectual conditions of this time, why pastors should take 
this charge upon them. It is a time of transition in theo- 
logical opinion ; the great philosophical conceptions which 
underlie the theory of evolution enter into all our theologi- 
cal thinking and modify many of the statements of doctrine 
with which we have become familiar. Perhaps one reason 
why the careful instruction of the young has been omitted 
is tliat the ancient catechisms no longer represent the best 
thought of the church, and the pastor is not able to see how 
he can adjust his teaching to these formularies. Doubtless 
his task will be made mucli heavier by this circumstance. 
But there never was a time when tlie children of our 
churches so much needed the instruction of tlicir pastors. 
Comparatively few of the laity are competent to guide the 
children througli the rapids and the shallows of modern 
thouglit. It may even be necessary for the pastor to con- 
fess, on many points, his own ignorance. r>nt tliere is 
certiiinly still remaining a body of elementaiy tnillis which 
can be clearly and cogently taught : and it is tlio pastor's 
task to select those whicli are vital and fnndiimcntal, and 
to fasten tliem in the minds of the childii ii ol his charge. 

The fundamental presupposition of the catechetical 
teaching is well stnted in the woi'ds i)\' V:\u Onsterzce: 
"In every Ininiun Ix-ing there is present in piinciplc a 
Jiatui'al '"il't f(ir the formation ol' ;i ( 'In istian-reHLrious 


character. This <jift, however, needs callmg' forth, devel- 
oping, and guidance, if he is to be trained to become, in 
harmony with that for which he was designed, a subject of 
the kinofdom of God." ^ How far the work of instriicting- 
tlie young may have been obstructed by the prevalence of 
a theoh)gy which denied this presupposition it woukl be 
interesting to inquire. " Till about a hundred years ago,'' 
says Bishop Huntington, " theology and the pulpit in the 
Eastern States insisted aloud that mankind are accursed 
absolutely, universally, totally, by reason of the first trans- 
gression. That was believed. I heard it pi'caclied through 
all my chiklliood with learning, logic, and as much picto- 
rial luridness as the preacher's imagination could supply." 
To one with such a belief about human nature, what mo- 
tive could there be to undertake tlie work of Christian 
instruction ? A theory of this kind is as fatal to all effort 
toward the training of the character of children as is the 
baldest sacramentalism. It is not to be disputed that 
those holding such theories have done good work in train- 
ing children, luit this was because their piety set at nought 
their lofric. 

" A natural gift for the formation of a Christian charac- 
ter," but a gift to be called forth, developed, guided ; this 
is what Ave see in every child that comes to us for instruc- 
tion. Tliere is already something of Christ in the nature 
of tlie cliild. If all things w'cre created through Him, and 
in Him find tlieir rationale, then He must surely be re- 
vealed in the heart of a little cliild. The Christ who is 
immanent in the Avhole of creation is not absent from the 
lives of little ( liildivn. The Christ there enshrined may 
be obscured b}' many inherited tendencies to evil ; it is 
for us to discover the divine lineaments and by CJod's 
grace cause that to become clear which now is dim. 

"What, however, nuist be least of all overlooked is this, 
that, contem[)liiled in the light of the (Josj)i'l, this icligions 
constitution is, after all, a Cliristi;in constitution : one, in 
other woi'ds, endowed with a natural allinity for the things 
of the kingdom of ]iea\in. And so it must be ; for the 

' Piaclicdl Theoloiji/, |>. 4r)7. 


image of God, after wliicli man was created, is primarily 
no other than he, who is himself the radiance of God's 
glory, the final aim in the whole natural and moral crea- 
tion, the great centre, in a word, of the whole divine plan 
of the world. This is the profound significance of the 
doctrine of the Logos Spcrmaticos, either hinted at or more 
distinctly uttered by Justin Martyr and the Alexandrine 
School ; this the truth of the anima naturalitcr Christiana, 
pleaded by TertuUian with so much warmth. The being 
man is in its profoundest depths only the basis for becom- 
ing Christian : he who becomes not this, becomes not man 
in the noblest sense of the word, and can much less remain 
so ; for the higher capacity dies out, and he sinks back to the 
level of stone, or plant, or animal, which has been trained, 
but in no degree humanized, because only the liomo Chris- 
tianus may be called the true homo. It is folly to seek 
the man beyond the Christian, or in principle to place the 
man above the Christian ; because this very Christianity, 
of definitely divine origin, is at the same time the acme 
of manhood. 

" Nothing can thus be of greater importance or of more 
glorious nature than to lead a soul to Christ, that is, to 
the final aim of its life. Such special guidance is, how- 
ever, actually necessary for every one ; for it is otherwise 
in the kingdom of nature from what it is in the kingdom 
of grace. Tlie sunflower of itself finds the smi, but tlie 
conducting of the soul to Christ is something more than an 
unconscious and unchosen process of nature. The im- 
planted power is nowhere brought to maturity witliout 
exercise and training; least of all in tlie liighest domain 
of life. No isolated human being can, witliout tlie in- 
fluence of others, attain the main end of life even in things 
temporal; iiiid if man is — it may here safely be further 
Ijresupposed — cojistituted not merely for occupying a 
place in the liouseliold, in the state, in society, but also in 
tlie kingdom of heaven, never \\\\\ he be numbered among 
the citizens of the kingdom of God, so long as lie has not 
found a pedagogue to Christ." ^ 

^ ^'an Oostcrzcp, Practical T/iro!ofii/, p, 4G8. 


Such is the rationale of the great work to which the pastor 
is called when he gathers the children of his church ahout 
him and seeks to lead them into the true and living way. 
The place to which he invites them should be a cheerful 
place, and all the surroundings should l)e as attractive as 
they can be made. The pastor should have two or tlu'ee 
judicious helpers, to take the names of those present, to 
distribute singing books and leaflets, to see that the class 
is compactl}' seated, and that none straggle away into the 
corners of tlu' room, and to assist in the singing. 

Let him endeavor, in his manner, to preserve the happy 
medium between a cold formalit}^ and an effusive famil- 
iarity. The children should not be frozen, but on the other 
hand they ought never to lose sight of the truth that they 
are in a sacred place on serious business. 

As to the basis of the instruction it is not easy to give 
advice. The question is settled for Anglicans whose cate- 
chism is prescribed by canonical law, and for Presbyteri- 
ans, to -wliom tlie "Westminster Shorter Catechism is the 
standard, and for Lutherans, and for the Reformed Church, 
and perhaps for the Methodist Episcopal church as well. 
Whether these church catechisms are adequate for the 
present purpose of the pastor who wishes to impart to his 
children the elementary truths of the Gospel of Christ each 
must determine for himself. It is at least doubtful 
whether some of them can ever be used with success in 
the instruction of young children. Other sim])k' manuals 
of catechetical instruction may be found; but it may be 
well for the pastor, if tlie discipline of liis cluirch will pt-r- 
mit him to do so, to select his own line of teacliing and 
prepare with care liis own outlines. Statements of trutli 
wliii^h lie has made his own by study and ])i-ay<'r, he will 
l)e al)le to conmuinicate m<ire readily tliaii llmse wliidi lie 
has learned l)y rote. 

A sinq)le beginning can be made w illi llie iiord's I'raxei-, 
lli(> Apostles' Creed, the IJoatitndes, and the First Cha]>(er 
of tlie (iospel of John. l>ut some defmile and conipic- 
hensive condensation of l')i]»li<';d liistoi'v will need (o fol- 
low; and the preparation of this will call forth the best 


judgment of the pastor. An example of such a course may 
be found in Bishop Dupanloup's lectures on The Ministry 
of Catechising. ^ Some moditication would need to be 
made in two or three of his topics, to adapt the course to 
the uses of a Protestant teacher; but for the most part it 
will be found to answer his purpose remarkably well. 

If the pastor is to continue this work, year after year, 
it is evident that his teaching must provide for the 
advancement of his pupils; and it will be necessarj" to 
separate them into classes. Perhaps the course should not 
continue more than two or three years ; when pupils have 
passed through it they should be released from attendance, 
and some appropriate public service in the church itself 
should signalize their accomplishment of this part of their 
Christian education. 

How often these classes should meet is a question that 
each pastor should settle for himself. It would be better 
that the lessons should be given only during a portion of 
the year, — perhaps through the autunni and the winter. 
If the lessons could be as frequent as once a week, the 
interest would be more easily maintained ; l)ut three classes 
a week would tax the pastor's strength, and it might be 
difficult to secure the attendance of the pupils. Witli 
respect to all these details the pastor must judge for him- 
self; only let him not be afraid to make large demands 
both upon himself and upon his pupils. If he shall con- 
stantly assume that it is a great and important business, 
for which lesser interests must give way, many diniculties 
will disappear. 

Any pastor who contemplates this task would do well to 
make himself familiar with the volume of Bishop Dupanlouj) 
on TJie Ministry of Catechising, to wliicli reference has 
already been made. Allowance will need to be made for 
theological divergencies. Many of the things emphasized 
in this instruction will seem trivial to a Protestant pastor, 
Imt the spirit of the book is of the highest. The impor- 
tance of the work will l>e boiiie in u])on the mind of the 
candid reader and most of the |iiaetieal suggestions as to 
1 Page 284, scr/. 


the conduct of it will commend themselves to his judg- 
ment. 'Jliis good and great prelate, who in his earlier life 
was the Catechist of the Church of the ^Madeleine in Paris, 
declared that no work of his life had been so delightful or 
so fruitful as this work with the children. His office as 
the chikben's pastor was more significant and more influ- 
ential than his office as the Bishop of Orleans. " Si vous 
me permettrez ici, messieurs, un souvenir personnel, je vous 
dirai, en toute simplicity), c'est aux catdchismes que je dois 
tout. Pour moi, ah! que les enfants qui out 6t6 mon 
premier amour et le premier devouemeut de ma vie en 
soient aussi le dernier. "^ Bishop Dupanloup delights to 
recall his great predecessors in the work of teaching the 
young; he reminds us that some of the most famous men 
of the C'liunli have devoted themselves to this service; he 
tells us how Gerson, the great Chancellor of the Univer- 
sity of Paris, gave the ripest years of his life to the cate- 
chisms for children in the Church of St. Paul at Lyons, 
"and such was his respect for them, and his confidence in 
the innocence of their age and the power of their prayers, 
that, feeling his last hour to be near, he desired to have 
them all around him, on his death-bed, and asked them to 
commend to God ' His poor servant, Jean Gerson; ' " how 
the great Archbishop Bellarmine of Capua " went into the 
diiferent parishes and himself held the catechism for the 
children in the presence of the Curds;" how Ignatius 
Loyola began the labor of his life as the General of his 
order by conducting the catechism in Rome; how Francis 
Xavier, and Francois de Sales, and Vincent de Paul and 
many othere of the most renowned and beloved of lionian 
Catholic teachers and prelates had l)een distinguished for 
their success as teachei's of chihlivii. 

Jiishoj) I)upaidou[) lays great stress at tiie beginning on 
the truth that the work of the catechist is not instruction 
merely, that it is education; not simply the impartation of 
well-ordered knowledge, but above all tlu^ tiaining of 
character, rnstruction must indeed be ciicl'ul aii<l precise 
and tlioi'ough. And this, lie insists, will ic(|iiire iiiiieh 

' S(.'0 J /ic Miiiistii/ <•/' C(itccliisiii;i, I'mok I., 1 )isriiiirsc X. 


labor on the part of the catechist. His chapter on this 
subject is exceedingly suggestive : — 

" It is impossible to give a good Catechetical Instruction 
without having prepared it with the greatest care. For 
my own part, gentlemen, it would be infinitely easier for 
me to preach a sermon or a 'prune without preparation. A 
good Catechetical Instruction demands of the most skil- 
ful, four, five, or six hours of preparation. I have some- 
times had two or three days of continuous work, sometimes 
a whole week, in preparation for certain very difficult or 
very special Instructions. 

"I shall perhaps astonish you, gentlemen, when I tell 
you that I wrote out all the Catechetical Instructions, not 
only those which I gave myself, but also those of my col- 
leagues ; I have them still, written by my own hand, each 
of fifteen or twenty pages, — and that for four 3'ears : all the 
Instructions on dogma, on morals, then those on the 
Sacraments, and on Sacrifice. 

"I wrote out also all my Homilies, all the little sermons 
which I used at the Catechism. I ought to add that I did 
not say them, nor know them, by heart, except sometimes 
the Homilies and sermons on the festivals. I do not pre- 
tend, gentlemen, to set mj-self as a model. I only tell yow 
simply what I did. But what I do maintain is, that if an 
Instruction is not properly prepared, it runs a great risk 
of being vague, wordy, and wearisome."^ 

The Bishop means that he did not use his manuscri})t in 
the class, nor did he commit it to memory, but tluit he 
wrote out the lesson, so that every point might be perfectly 
clear in his own mind, and then made himself so familiar 
Avitli it tliat he could speak promptly and clearly on every 
point. Other admonitions of his are pertinent: 

"I may add that brevity is a])ove all necessary in tlic 
Instructions given to cliildrcn, for, as Fendlon says, ' tlioir 
mind is like a vase with a veiy small opening, Mliicli can 
only be filled di'op by drop. If the Instruction is to be of 
use to them, they nnist be told a very few things at a time. 
'Believe nic,' said S. Francois de Sales to the Bishop of 

' The Mimstrij nf Cfttri'li'iaiitfj, \\\). 144, 145. 


Belley, ' I tell you tliis from experience, from long expe- 
rience: the more you say, the less they will retain; the 
less you say, the more they will profit ; by dint of burden- 
ing your hearers' memor}^ you break it down, just as 
lamps are extinguished if we put too nuich oil in them, 
or as plants are suffocated if we water them too much. 
Indifferent preachers are acceptable, j)rovided they are 
short, and excellent ones are a burden if they are too 
long. ' We may say the same of Catechists ; and for this 
reason the Council of Trent, in the decree which binds all 
pastors to instruct the people, recommends brevity and 
also simplicity of language: Cum hrevitate ct facilitate 

"In the first place the Instruction ought to be well 
divided. This is the important point, gentlemen, if you 
would be short, be clear, be interesting, and be sound. 
You should begin by recapitulating clearly and briefly the 
subject and the divisions of the last Instruction. Then 
give out, with the same clearness, and very slowly, the 
subject of the new Instruction ; then point out very dis- 
tinctly the divisions into two, three, or four heads, gen- 
erally in the form of questions; for instance, you are 
giving an Instruction on grace, you can give the children 
these five questions : 

"(1) Can any one be converted and obtain his salvation 
without grace ? 

"(2) Has every one sufficient grace to convert him and 
to enable him to ol>tain salvation? 

"(;}) With grace, is it easy to be converted and to 
obtain salvation? 

" (4) Can any one resist grace ? 

"(5) Is it a very grievous thing to resist grace? 

"(^)uestions presented in this way are very much easier 
caught l)y the cliildren, going straight to llicir understand- 
ing, than if put in an abstract form; such as, ' In ilie lii-st 
place, we will sj)eah of the necessity of grace, iVc ; in tlic 
second, of the sullicicncy of grace,' c^-c. iJut in wlialrver 
form you put i(, tlic division must Ix' sinijilc and dear, 
and given out so slowlv that the cliihbcn niav lu- al)]e to 


write it out correctly, as from dictation. Otlierwi>se you 
put these young intellects to the torture; the}^ wish to 
follow you and they cannot; soon they no longer know 
where they are, they understand nothing that is said to 
them, and in despair they will sometimes even shed tears, 
I remember once that one of my colleagues had forgotten 
to give out the division of his Instruction; the children, 
who were taking notes, were so disheartened that I saw one 
of them dissolved in tears. I immediately let the Catechist 
know ; he gave out his division, and as they came to under- 
stand, their faces lighted up again with joy. 

"The Instruction must be perfectly clear both as to 
groundwork and in every detail. You will allow me to 
remind you, gentlemen, of the precept of Quintilian, 
' Non lit intelligere possit, sed ne omnino non intelligere non 
jjossit, curandum. ' ^ It is not only necessary that the 
child understands, but that it shall not be possible for him 
not to understand. There are three very efficacious ways 
of doing this : 

"1. Things nuist be told simply; as they are, not 
labored nor exaggerated; one does sometimes exaggerate 
with cliildren, but it is wrong, it oidy troubles them and 
puts a strain on their minds. 

"II. Things must be said in their most natural, most 
suitable order, nothing brusque or forced, nothing contra- 
dictory; above all, avoid the confusion of digressive 
phrases or parentheses. Nearly all young Catechists are 
apt to fall into this fault. 

"III. The greater numl)er ;iic unloituiiatcly l;i\isli in 
useless words; they do not know how to cut sliort a sen- 
tence, or how to abridge it, and hence we have lengtlii- 
ness, redundance, and confused expressions. "- 

From all this it Avill be evident that tliis master cate- 
chist does not undei'value the imijortance of clear and 
(Icliiiitc instruction. IJut, aftci- all, tlu^ emphasis of his 
leetnres rests on (he s[)iritual more than on the intellectual 
ivsults. 'J'he ehihlreii are to be skilt'iilly taught, but only 
tliat they niay be I'oi'nied ai'lei' the mind of Chiist and tilled 
' (^uiiit. lit), vii. c. ii. '^ Pages 1 lO, 1 t7. 


with his spirit. And the one supreme qualification of the 
catechist is a genuine affection for tlio children, lie 
love them, and they must know il. 

" But, }0u will perhaps ask me how to make them feel 
this ? Ah, gentlemen, this is something which cannot he 
defined. I can only tell you simply this, that \\lien 1 was 
a Catechist I made it to be felt. How? 1 know not. 
But we felt it oui-selves, we loved these young souls for 
God's sake, we tried to love God in them; and God 
deigned to bless this devotion of our hearts. 

" But it is not a question of myself here. One word of 
S. Augustine says it all, and with sovereign authority: 
*" Ama, et fac qnod vis.' Love, love! and all which you 
believe impossible will be easy to you. S. Augustine 
says again: ' Da amantem et sentit quod dico.' In the 
work of souls the heart and love are the spirit and tlie 
life: '' Spiritus et vita. Da amantem, da sitientem, da esu- 
rientcm.'' Love the precious souls of these children! Be 
hungry and thirsty for their happiness, for their eternal 
beauty, for their salvation. Then you will understand all 
things, and you will make all things to l)e understood; 
for it is the Divine Unction which is love, which teaches 
everything: ' Unctio docet omnia." "' ^ 

Here, beyond all conlioversy, is the sovereign qualifica- 
tion of the good shcplierd of the children. And this 
whole treatise is surcharged with this })ure passion. Let 
the Protestant pastor sit at the feet of this Catholic bislnip 
and learn from him to estimate the debt of love that he 
owes to the children of his congregation, liishop Dnpaiildiip 
makes much of the idea that the Catechism, l)y wliicli lie 
means not the book but the act of catechizing or the chiss 
at work, must have the essential cliaracteristics of a 
family. " In a family," lie says, ''no doul)t ehildicn are 
taught, Init still more they ai'C advised, they are exhorted, 
they are encoui-aged, they -mv l)lanied, (hey are rewarded, 
they are loved, ami they are mad(> to lf)ve gooduess. Aiul 
all this comes froiu the spirit of tlir faniiln: that is to sav, 
oil the one liaiid iiulliority and dc\(it ion, \\ilh e\-ei\- shade 
1 I'af^o.s ni, II. 


and every form of tenderness and zeal; and on the other 
respect, docility and confidence with every shade also of 
filial love and gratitude." ^ Something like this is what 
Catechisms and Catechists ought to be; and when this 
spirit pervades all the communications between the pastor 
and the children, great results are sure to follow. The 
good Bishop records the fact that at his meetings with the 
children in the Madeleine, large numbers of their jjarcnts 
came with them, so that galleries had to be added to the 
chapel for their accommodation. Thus the hearts of the 
parents were turned to the children and the hearts of 
the children to the parents by the faithful ministry of the 
pastor of the church. To strengthen the family bond, 
now, in so many households, sorely strained by the world- 
liness of parents and recklessness of children, no better 
measure could be devised than the faithful instruction of 
the children of the church by their pastor in the truths of 
the Christian religion. 

One feature of this exercise of Catechist Dupanloup in 
the Madeleine we should find it extremely dillicult to 
reproduce in many of the American Protestant churches. 
He tells us that during the time of his service in that 
church, Paris was filled with refugees, patricians and 
plebeians, from all countries, all of whom were wont to 
gather in his chapel, — " poor children, rich and even roj-al 
children; children who, coming to the Catechism, came 
out of the most miserable quarters of Paris or from the 
most Inilliant dwellings of the rich; children, moreover, 
whose parents belonged to all the most contrary shades of 
political parties which then divided France ; well — all 
had but one lieart and one soul ; all these differences, all 
these divisions, disappeared; all these children, gathered 
together in the Chapel of St. ITyacinthe, filled witli tlie 
same thoughts and the same desires, sharing in the same 
instructions, the same fetes^ preparing together for the 
same great action." Of royalties lu; mentions the young 
(jjiiecn of Poi-tugal, wlio came with her mf)tlier-in-law, the 
I'jinpress (»l" l>ra/.il ; lur niyal Highness tin' I'liiiccss 

J l'a''c 58. 


Clementine; the pious Queen ^hivie Amelic and lier 
worthy daughter, tlie Queen of the Belgians; and with 
these, boys of high degree wlio have since become sucli 
distinguished men as General Foy, M. de Villele, M. 
Casimir-Perier, and M. de Polignac. The kind of equality 
which such a case connotes is not easily secured in all the 
Protestant churches of democratic commonwealths, 

jNIuch is made in these Roman Catholic " Catechisms " 
of the devotional exercises, especially of the singing. The 
choir is present, to lead the children in hymns adapted to 
the service. The length of the sitting will astonish most 
Protestant pastors. Not less than two hours, this Cate- 
cliist testifies, should be given to the lesson. It is not 
probable that such a burden as this would be borne by the 
children of American Protestants. Nor is it clear that so 
much time could be usefully given to the exercise. One 
hour would be ample for ordinary lessons. Would that 
the kindling enthusiasm of this great prelate for the Avork 
of training the young might be caught by many pastors in 
all Ijranclies of the Christian church I We may differ Avith 
him widely with respect to many of the doctrines taught, 
but in his tender love for children and liis burning desire 
t(^ lead them early into tlie ways of life, he is a bright 
example to us all. 

One, at least, of the Protestant churches, that Avhit-h 
bears tlie name of the Great Reformer, maintains, with 
increasing vigor, the catechetical practice. The Smaller 
Catechism written by Luther himself is still universally 
employed in the instruction of cliildren; the Lutliei'ans are 
divided into many schools, and the conflicts of oi)inion 
among them are intense; but in this they all agree; 
Luther's Catechism forms tlie grouudwork of instruction 
in all tlieir synods. And tlie thorougli teaching of all the 
baptized cliildren is rigidly insist('<l «»n. As a rule, it may 
be said that no one is confirmed in tlic l.utliciau (iiurch 
until he has given evidence of careful instnutioii in the 
doctrines of the ('atechism. It is supposed tliat eliildieu 
ought to j)ass tliiougli a course of weekl\- lessons, covering 
at least two years. 


It is true tluit not all this work is done by the pastors 
of the churches. Many of the Lutheran churches, in 
America as well as in Europe, support parochial day- 
schools, and in these the catechism or the Bible history is 
a daily exercise. Many Lutheran children are thus under 
daily religious instru(;tion for several years. The teacher 
in such a school must be a qualified catechist. The 
opportunities enjoj'cd by Lutheran children for full relig- 
ious instruction are thus unexampled among American 
Protestants ; the Church of England day-schools undertake 
a similar work. But this drill in the day-school, under 
the hired schoolmaster is, after all, a very different thing 
from that pastoral care of the children of which Ave have 
been speaking. An excellent thing it is, no doubt; but 
it does not answer the highest purpose. The children 
instructed in these congregational schools are not brought 
into intimate relations with the pastor until just before 
the time of confirmation, when he always meets them for 
a brief course of instruction, which amounts to a review of 
the work they have done in the day-school. Even this is 
more than most of our Protestant pastors can boast of; 
Init it is not the kind of relation described by Bishop 

Many of the Lutheran churches in America, however, 
maintain no parochial schools, and in these the full labor 
of catechetical instruction falls on the pastor. And no 
small labor it is. For a period of at least two years he 
meets the children of his charge as often as once a week, 
and often twice a week, requiring them to memorize the 
words of the catechism, and taking infinite pains to explain 
to them its meaning. A very large percentage of the 
children of the congregation attend punctually upon this 
instruction; it is a cardinal point of the LutluM'an disci- 
pline. Some small children, who live at too gieat a dis- 
tance from llic cliurcli, receive? insliiiction at home, and 
others, whose occupations are such that they cannot 
attend the pastor's (lass, are sometimes excused: but it is 
a point tliat tlic pastor does not readilv yield: ;iiid the 
sentiment in Lutliciaii raniilies is vcr}' strong in favor of 


the maintenance of the catechetical instruction. A vast 
amount of hibor is thus entailed upon the pastor, but it is 
labor which, if rightly performed, bears abundant fruit. 
That it may be done in a manner so dry and perfunctory 
that it shall be a burden to both teacher and taught is 
evident enough ; but if the love to which the good liishop 
Dupanloup ascribes such power be the heart of it all, the 
pastor's opportunity of forming the minds and shaping 
the characters of the children is one that an angel might 

We are told that a conviction of the value of catechetics 
has recently been strengthening in the minds of Lutheran 
Christians, and that the practice was never so univei"sal or 
so enthusiasticall}' pursued as it is to-day. A few years 
ago there was a disposition in some synods to relax this 
demand, and to rely more upon the revivalistic methods ; 
but that tendency seems to have spent its force, and the 
Church, in all its branches, has returned with new ardor to 
the work of teaching and training the children, putting its 
chief reliance upon this method of propagating the gospel. 
So strong is the faith of the Lutherans in the efficacy of 
this method, that even their city mission work takes this 
form. If a new church enterprise is to be started in a 
city, the missionary generally begins l)y opening a scliool 
and teaching the children. 

It is a notable fact that the growth of tlic Lutheran 
church in America, during the last decade, was more rapid 
than that of any other Christian body — the percentage of 
growth was larger. That this is due in part to the lai'ge 
German and Scandinavian immigration is undoubtedly 
true; but it is also due, in large measure, as iiitelligciil 
Lutherans believe, to the revived interest in the woik ol' 
catechetical instruction of the young. 

It must not l)e inferred that there :\Vi' no Piolcslaiit 
pastors in other denominations wlioaiv aware of llic iiiij)or- 
tance of this duty. Here and there, in all the ehurehes, 
are those who give much thought and labor to the children 
of their charge. In his little book on 77ir Wnrlin<j 
Church, the Kev. Charles V. Thwing, sj)eaking of the 


tendency of boys and girls between the ages of ten and 
sixteen to drop away from the churches, thus testifies : — 

" I write out of my own experience when I say that a 
special class should be formed of those young Christians, 
and that special instruction and guidance should be given 
them. This instruction and guidance should be connnitted 
to one most able to give it. This one may be the pastor 
or it may not be. If it is not he, he should discover some 
other person qualified to perform this duty. I think I may 
say he will usually find that it is wise to intrust this labor 
to other hands ; and yet these other hands he may think it 
well specially to train for this important service. This 
instruction should consist of a systematic presentation of 
the great truths of Christ. It should be systematic, tak- 
ing up in order the central doctrines and themes of the 
Bible. It should be, it must be, to secure favorable 
results, attractive, — attractive in the person of the teacher 
and attractive in its methods. It should be thorough ; for 
children will receive and appreciate, be it properly illus- 
trated. Christian teaching far more profound than is com- 
monly credited to them. Such a class should meet on 
some weck-da3% after the exercises of the public school, 
and should be held each week for certain periods of each 

" With the methods and the results of such teaching, I 
am already somewhat acquainted. Year by year I have 
seen a class of boys and girls grow from a membership of 
forty to a membership of three hundred. 1 have seen 
these boys and girls listening intently to the j^resentation 
of the historic facts and truths of the Bible. I have seen 
this class made so attractive that scores of children would 
rw?i from the public school-room in order to lose no moment 
of the short hour. I have seen this interest aroused and 
maintained l)y the power of a strong and living personaHty 
rather tlian l)y extraneous aids. J know this teaching to 
be systematic and tlioi'ongh. I have seen examination 
pap(>rs in writing of tliesc boys and girls that were a 
wonder in tlieir revelation of the appreciation of the nature 
and duties of tlie Christian life. I have been made glad in 

Tin: I'AsTou AND Tin-: ciiildukn 353 

rceoiving many of those tliiis trained into the membership 
t)f the Church, und have daily i-ejoiced in beholding the 
good confessions they witnessed at home and school/'^ 

The opinion here incidentally expressed that the pastor 
might better entrust this work to some one else may well 
be reconsidered. It is doubtful whether the pastor can 
afford to surrender this opportunity. If he is not fitted 
for this work, he ought to lose no time in seeking the 
necessary qualifications. The knowledge which this work 
will give him of the thoughts of the children, the friend- 
ships which it will enable him to form with the boys and 
girls of his flock, are worth more to him as a pastor than 
almost any other experience of his life. Not the least 
valuable result of such a service is its effect upon the char- 
acter of the pastor himself. The call to sincerity, sim- 
plicity and fidelity which these young lives continually 
address to him is one that he must hear. lie cannot feed 
these lambs unless he abides in the love of the Good 

One American pastor has provided for the children of 
his charge an association which he describes as the Church 
Porch. Its design as he describes it, "is not sim^jly to 
convey instruction, but to bring the children into an 
organization which has no more completeness in itself than 
has the porch of an ecclesiastical building. It is a passage- 
way into a larger and completer relationship." And he 
thus outlines its method : — • 

"In the one direction it will be connected with the 
family; in the other, with the church — a link between the 
two. It will have as its honorary oOicers the pastor and 
deacons of the church; as its executive, young men and 
women of such an agi; as to have suflicient ripeness of 
judgment to know how to act with wisdom and discretion. 
The adult Christian fellowship of the church w\\\ Ix' at the 
back of it, encouraging the attendance of their cliildren 
upon its meetings, regularly and conscientiously, foi- to 
develop character is ontMjf the great aiuis. Tlie Cliui-ch 
Porch will [)r(i\ idc soiue siinple M'oi'ds, which are u\ the 

' T/w Woikiii'j C/iiircli, ].]). 11-17. 




nature of a confession of discipleship to the great Head of 
the Churcli. It will so conduct its meetings as that the 
youngest may take some part. It will so organize itself 
as that the members shall have nnitual care one of another. 
It will provide meetings for social interconise as well as 
for devotional, thus recognizing the good of all innocent 
recreation. It will i)rovide for the daily home reading by 
its members of wisely selected Scriptures. It will have 
some such graduation in membership as shall allow the 
more developed to assume responsibilit}-, and put them- 
selves one step nearer to full membership of the Christian 
church. Of course, organization is not everything, nor 
the principal thing. We cannot do much without it, but 
the most ideally perfect organization in the world must 
depend for its reputation upon those who use it. It will 
be urged as an objection by some who have had little or 
no experience in these matters, that it is requiring too 
much to ask a child to sign such a simple pledge as this : 
' Trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ for strength, I purpose 
to tr}' to do whatever He would like to have me do. I will 
pray to Mim, and read the Bible everyday, and henceforth 
I will try to be His disci})le.' Analyze it, and what do 
we find? Nothing at all inconsistent with that which is 
possible to tlie youngest discii)le. A child can ' ti'ust ; ' a 
child can ' try; ' a child can ' pray; ' a child can ' read the 
Bi])lo ; ' a child can be a ' disciple ' — a learner. It is that 
from its constitution. Children like to l)e members of 
societies, and they are generally more faithful to their 
duties than are adults. Tliey grow into right thoughts 
ami light feelings, just as their seniDis i]o, bv right 
deeds/' 1 

'llu' ])astor's work of instruction and ]ieisonal inllucnce 
miglit !)(' carried on in connection with such an oiganiza- 
tion of tlie cliildrcn. I)Ut the organization must not take 
the ])lace of lli;i( woik. Tlic pastor should be jealous of 
anything which stands in I lie -way of that intimate asso- 
ciation witli Ills childicii wliicli the work of systematic 
inst met idii iiiiplies and re([nires. 

1 Ui'V. Koiu'ii 'riumias, in /'mis/i Prohlmis, ]>]). 21. T, 214. 


Most Amcriciiii chiuclies now observe the second Sun- 
day in June as Children's Day. On that day the Sunday- 
schools are gathered in the place of public worship made 
beautiful with flowers, and the exercises are ordered for 
the benefit of the children. Songs and recitations in Avhich 
they participate, and an appropriate sermon or address by 
the pastor make the service of special interest to the 
youngest of the flock. In churches which practise infant 
baptism, the little ones are often presented on Children's 
Sunday; and it is the custom of some pastors to give to 
each l)ai)lized child, on the festival -wliich follows his 
twelfth birthday, a liible, in the name of the church, thus 
remindino- him that the church has not forgfotten the con- 
secrating rite and still holds him in its fellowship. 

In the churches in which this rite is observed, the 
status of the baptized children is often a subject of iuquirv. 
The theological and ecclesiastical questions here involved 
do not come within the purview of this essay; but it is, 
nevertheless, important that the pastor and the church 
should have some theory about the relation of these children 
to the church; the kind of pastoral care exercised over 
them will be determined, to a considerable extent, by this 
tlieory. There seems to be no other reasonaljle view of 
tlie case than to regard these children ns membere of the 
churcli, — not yet enjoying all its riglits and privileges, 
l)ut members still, and entitled to the care and love of the 
whole liousehold of faith. The children of a family are 
not less trul}' meml)ers of the family tlian are the adults; 
and tlicir souse of proprietorship in all the iK'loiigiiigs of 
till' home is ;ilways keen. It should not be ollicrwisc in 
the church; and tlie administralioii of its services should 
be such as to cultivate in the children this sense of idcn- 
tilication with its life. The time will conic when they 
will come foi-ward and assume for themselves the respon- 
sibilities of membership: but before that ^]i\^\ iind whiU; 
they lire receiving prepariilion for the active labors of the 
chnrcli, the recognition of the fact that the\' are not aliens 
and strangers, but fellow-citi/ens with the saints and of 
the household of love, ought to lie kejit cleaily before their 


Whether any portion of the Sunday morning service 
should he specially devoted to the children is a question of 
some importance. Some American pastors address a short 
sermon — five or six minutes in length — to the children 
in the congregation. Others decline to interject this 
exercise into the services, on the ground that their unity 
is impaired, and their best effect lost, when a portion of 
the congregation is singled out for separate instruction. 
It is a matter concerning which every man has a right to 
he fully persuaded in his own mind. Some pastors may 
succeed with the method and others may fail. It should 
he remembered, however, that when no special words are 
addressed to the children, there will often be, in an ordi- 
nary discourse, portions, longer or shorter, which even 
young children will perfectly understand. Every pastor 
who watches the effect of his teachings upon the children 
will often find them grasping with perfect intelligence 
many statements that were not intended for them. If 
the truth is made simple and clear, as it always ought to 
be, some good part of every sermon will find its way into 
the minds of the children of six or seven years of age. 
The al)ility of children to understand such matters is gen- 
erally under-estimated. 

Even, therefore, though there may be no special address 
to the children, there are many reasons why they should 
be present, from their earliest years, in the morning ser- 
vice. The absence from the great majority of the Ameri- 
can churches of the children of the congregation is becoming 
an alarming fact. It is often assumed that the Sunday- 
school is the children's service, and that attendance upon 
that should release them from the public Avorship of the 
sanctuary. Children would in this way rarely form the 
luihit of church-going in their later yeais. Tlic time 
never comes when they are willing to begin. They have 
no taste for such employments. They prefer to spend the 
Sunday as tlicy have always done, reading or riding or 
visiting. Habit, in matters of tliis nature, is nearly every- 
thing; and it" the luibit of clmrcli-going is ever formed it 
must lie foi-incd in cliildlidod. iVnd tlie plea, generally 


heard, that the children cannot understand the service 
and are not profited by it, nmst not Ije allowed. The 
Scripture readings are, for the most part, perfectly intelli- 
gible to them ; the hymns and the prayer's are not beyond 
their comprehension; and much of the service will often 
be level to their understanding. This is a matter concern- 
ing which the wise pastor must bear faithful testimony. 
He must not quietly suffer the children of his church to 
fall away from its fellowship. He must convince their 
parents that the public worship of the Lord's house is for 
the young as well as for the old, and that if the one or the 
other must be foregone, the children had far better be 
taken from the Sunday-school and Ijrought into the 

The close of this chapter appears to l)e the appropriate 
place to refer to an organization which is attracting nnich 
attention on both sides of the sea at the present time, and 
which is known as the Boys' Brigade. It had its origin 
in (xlasgow, Scotland, where the first company was oi'gan- 
ized in 1883, by a gentleman active in Christian Avork, 
who was a member of the Lanark Rifles. Like Robert 
Raikes, Mr. Smith began with ragged boys in the street, 
but his scheme proved popular among the boys of the 
church, and the movement soon spread to other churches. 
Companies were fomied in great numbers and men of 
standing and influence soon were found among the enthu- 
siastic promoters of the enterprise. The late Professor 
Heniy Drummond was one of its leaders. It is said that 
more than fifty thousand boys are now organized in iitti ni 
Inindred com])anies, in the United Kingdom, the IJniti'd 
States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and other ])arts 
of the world. From the Manual of the American branch 
of the organization the following exi)lanation is taken: 

" iJriefl}' slated, it is a w(til(l-wi(U' movciiK'nt among 
young men and l)oys lor {]ic adxancciuciit of ihe kingdom of 
Christ. The Biigadc consists of local (•omj)ani('s of twi'lve 
to forty youth, iMitwccn the ages of ^'2 and 21 yeai-s, the 
only condition of nicmbci-slii]) being attmdanci' at some 
local Sunday-sehool jiid subscription to the following 


pledge : ' I promise and pledge, that I will not use tobacco 
nor intoxicating liquors in an}^ form ; that I will not use 
profane, vulgar nor indecent language; that I will obey 
faithfully all the company rules, and that I will, at all 
times, set an example of good conduct to my comrades and 
other boys.' 

"The company must be attached to some Christian 
organization which will supervise its civil and religious 
affairs. The distinctive feature of the movement is that 
all meetings of the company are conducted under military 
regulations and discipline. The required meetings are: 
1. Some weekly religious exercise; either a I>ible drill, 
prayer-meeting or Sunday school. 2. A weekly military 
drill, conducted strictly according to infantry tactics of 
the United States Army. 

"The military features have been found to possess 
surprising attractions for boys who would otherwise drift 
away from church fellowship. They also furnish excellent 
physical training and have many advantages which need 
only to be tested to be proved. Bear in mind, however, 
that they are but a means to an end: that is to promote 
habits of obedience, reverence, discipline, self-respect, and 
all that tends toward a true Christian manliness." 

In the third article of the constitution, relating to 
agencies, it is provided that religious exercises shall be 
employed "as a means of rendering the boys familiar mIHi 
the Bible, and acquainted with its truths;" that i)atriotic 
studies shall l)e introduced, by which loyalty and good 
citizenship shall be inculcated; tliat provision shall lie 
made for such pliysical-culture exercises as may be ada])tcd 
to the age of the memlu'rs, and calculated to develop a 
perfect body and a pcii'cct manhood; and tliat military 
organization and drill shall lie used as a means of securing 
the interest of the members, l)audiug them togx'ther in the 
woik of tlie llrigiide and iironioling such lial)its as it is 
designed to torni. Strict obedience aiul discipline are 
always to l)e enforced. ( )ne of tlie lules i-equires that 
eveiy member shall attend Sunday-scliool at least once 
every Sabbath. Tlie (/om])any Council consists of the 


pastor and tlie three rankini;- coininissioned officers and 
tliree members appointed ainmally by the Christian organi- 
zation with Avliich the company is connected. The entire 
power of governing the company is entrusted to this 
Council, which admits and discharges members, appoints 
officers, enacts by-hiws and controls the company's funds. 
It is thus evident that the purpose is to put every com- 
pany of the Boys' Brigade under the care of the church to 
which it belongs and under the immediate supervision of 
the pastor. The commanding officers of these companies 
are always men — usually young men. It is clear, at a 
glance, that everything will depend on the tact and char- 
acter of these commanding officers. If the right man can 
be found for captain, such a company may become a stiT)ng 
influence for good over the lives of the boys belonging 
to it. 

The military drill and discipline is, in itself, an excel- 
lent regimen for Ijoys. The physical benefits are consider- 
able: the carriage of the Ijoys who have been for some 
time under the drill is almost always perceptibly improved ; 
they stand erect and step more firmly and manifest an 
increase of physical vigor. The moral gains of the drill 
and the discipline are also important. The habits of obe- 
dience and subordination which are thus formed become, 
to some good degree, automatic. Boys obey their parents 
and their teachers more promptly: it becomes evident to 
them that obedience is manly. The organization alsi) 
inculcates and even enforces respect for religion; the 
]irimary and indispensable condition of membership in tlie 
Brigade is mendjcrship in that Sunday-school troni wiiiiii 
the boy is often so strongly inclined to slip away. 'I'o bi; 
associated with a military organization of l)oys who are all 
members of the Sunday-school pnts lli;it institution at once 
\\\n)n a different footing in all his thoughts about it. The 
Biblieal study and the religious exercises with which the 
meetings of the company nuist always begin, are a constant 
witness to him of the importance of an interest which the 
hoy between twelve and twenty is tdo much inclined to 
undervalue. And tin; pledge to avoid (he use of tobacco 


and intoxicating liquor, and to keep bis lips clean from 
profanity and indecency, is one in the keeping of which 
there is safety and honor. 

All these gains are manifest. Over against them we 
must set a possible injury to which some good men and 
women are inclined to attribute great importance. It is 
said that the organization fosters the military spirit; that 
it will fill the hearts of the boys with the passions of war ; 
that it is not the right kind of a regimen for disciples of 
the Prince of Peace. In the days when all good men are 
seeking to exterminate from human hearts tlie love of 
carnage and to lead the nations onward in the paths of 
peace, it is not good, say these critics, to set our Christian 
children to learn the arts of war. 

To all this the reply of those who are most active in 
promoting the organization is that the Boys' Brigades are 
practically having no such eifect; that the drill is really 
no more than a good gymnastic exercise ; that so much is 
made of the Christian features of the organization that the 
sentiments and passions of warfare find no place in the 
boys' hearts. Tlie ideas which prevail are thus set forth 
in the Manual : — 

"It is consistently military and for two reasons. First, 
for the purpose of system and thorough organization. 
Second, if boys are taught military tactics at all it is worth 
while to teach them correctly and completely. But mark 
this and forever remember, that the Boys' Brigade is 
above all for spiritual conquest; its object is to advance 
Christ's kingdom among boys. It will not inid iimst not 
])e done witli the sword. But just as the boy Josus 
learned to ply the luimmer and saw and chisel of his 
father's craft, and thus was tiaincd in reverence, obe- 
dience and s('lf-res])ect, so may our l)oys thrcMigh mibtary 
drill and Ilibli' drill and ])atrioti(' study learn liabits of 
self-restraint; learn that victories over self are those that 
shine in everlasting records; learn that to fight for Jesus 
means to fight for the poor and the weak and disabled: 
l(;ini lliat the reveille for which they must prepare is that 
which will sound on the resurrection morn, when slionlder 


to slioiikler youth and old age shall inarch to their eternal 

On the whole there is good reason to ho[)e that the 
dangers against which the protest is lifted up are not 
serious, and that the organization will prove to be a strong 
agency for training in Christian manliness the boys of 



The relation of the church to the work of missions — 
to the christianization not merely of its own parish and 
of its own community, but of the whole world — is a 
subject concerning which most churches need admonition. 
The development in this generation of the working church 
has somewhat withdrawn the attention of many zealous 
Christians from the field of the world. The work at 
home is so manifold and so urgent that tliey find neither 
time nor resources for enterprises at a distance. Never- 
theless, the very note of Christianity is unive]"salit3\ Tlie 
Christian law was not, in terms, a new commandment 
when Christ gave it utterance ; the identical phrases are 
in the Mosaic legislation ; what lie did was to give a new 
definition to the word "neighbor." The Jew believed that 
he ought to love his neighbor as himself : the obscuration 
of his ethics was revealed in the law^^er's question, "Who, 
then, is my neighbor?" Christ's answer was tlie parable 
of the Good Samaritan, which teaches us that our neighljor 
may be one of another nationality, another color, one 
joined to us by no ties of race or kinsliip, one dwelling on 
a distant shore and speaking ;iii iinkiiown tongue. My 
neighbor is any human being whom 1 may reach and help. 
The ethnic morality is superseded by the law of universal 
love. And it is essential to the devi'lojiment of the Chris- 
tian life in the individual that this love shall have its 
constant op[)ortunity. Works of love that call foilh good- 
will and helj)fulness toward all sorts and conditions ot 
men in every ]»ai't of the Avorld th(! (dement in 
whieli ('hristianil\- lives and has ils being. The attempt 
to .shut it in, to elect or maintain limitations beyond which 


its impulse shall not travel is fatal to its existence. It is 
no more true that there are geographical boundaries which 
love does not cross, than it is true that there are physical 
limitations to space which thought cannot pass beyond. 
The country of goodwill has no frontiers. 

Since this is the nature of Christian love, it is plain 
that the missionary impulse must alwa3'S exist where the 
spirit of Christ abides ; and that a church of Jesus Clu'ist 
which has no interests beyond its own immediate precinct 
is a moral anomaly. True is it that the needs ^\■hit•h are 
nearest most strongly appeal to us, and that the benevo- 
lence which spends all its energies upon those on the 
other side of the sea, and has no sympathy for those on 
the other side of the street is a spurious variety. Begin- 
ning at Jerusalem, the apostles preached the good tidings 
in man}- lands. But the charity which begins at home 
and sta3'S there is no less defective than that which travels 
abroad and neglects its nearest neighbors. 

The Christian churches, in all the vital parts of Chris- 
tendom, are profoundly interested, in these days, not only 
in their neighbors who live in the next ward, but in their 
neicrlibors who live on the other side of the woild. We 
know a great deal and care a great deal about people who 
have very little knowledge of us. The people of Afrit-a, 
of Armenia, of China, of India, are the objects of our dis- 
interested regard. We are not always thinking of how we 
may estaljlish relations of trallic willi them and makt; their 
industries serve our interests; wc; are often Ihinlciiig of 
what we can do to enlarge and l)righlcn their lixcs. Jt is 
not that we believe that they are all doomed to endless woe 
unless they hear our gospel; our fail li in (iod is stronger 
than this. Nor is it that we regard tlicir beliefs as wholly 
false and pernicious ; we recognize in many of them gri'at 
elements of universal trntli. I^il wc can see thai while 
some of them maybe able In inipiirt In us much that may 
profit us, the substance of the tiiiili as it is in .Fcsus is 
something far better than any <•! them Ii;is yet attained 
unto ; and because this truth is ours, and liiey need il, wc 
cannot rest until wi- have shared it with them. We know 


that the Gospel of Christ, with all that it implies, would 
wonderfully brighten the lives of any people that would 
receive it. We know that it would greatly alleviate luiman 
suffering. How vast and overshadowing are the woes of 
the lands unvisited by the messengers of the blessed Christ 
it is diiiicult to realize. China is b}' some persons supposed 
to be a highly civilized nation, and it is urged that China 
needs none of our religion ; but any one who will acquaint 
himself with the condition of medical science in that coun- 
try, and learn how many suffer and die from remediable 
maladies, may be willing to admit that the disciples of him 
who healed the sick and cleansed the lepers and opened 
the eyes of the blind could do much to lighten the woes 
and to lengthen the lives of these helpless people. This, 
indeed, is what Christian missionaries are actually doing 
in every part of the world to-day, not by miracle, but bj' 
the intervention of an intelligence consecrated to the ser- 
vice of mankind. One missionary in China treated more 
than fifty-three thousand patients, and organized agencies 
by which at least one million received scientific medical 
care. When we think of the sightless eyes tliat have been 
opened, of the millions that have been delivered from pain 
and misery, of the blessed relief given by anaesthetics to 
those in agony, of the lives that have been lengthened and 
the hearts that have been comforted by tliese services of 
love, we shall feel that the work of Christian missions 
must have a deep significance to every one who wislies well 
to his fellow men. Add to this what has been done to 
lift women in all the pagan lands from their degradation, 
and to point out the way of their deliverance from the 
thraldom of the dark generations, and we shall see that 
the enterprise of C'hristian missions, considered meiely 
from a ])hilanlhr()pi{' ])()int of view, is ciitillcd to serious 

It would be strange, therefore, if i1h' Cliiistinu love 
^\lliehis pouring itself out in such a wealth ol' j»liihintliro})ie 
sc^rvice, should overlook these great opportunities of minis- 
tering to the wauls and sorrows of men in other lands. 
For it is not diflicult In sec lliat the source of many of these 


physical ills must be sought in the darkened minds of the 
people, and that the Light of the World is the only sovereign 
remedy. The enterprise of Christian missions has often 
been rested on a base too narrow to support it and has been 
commended by arguments which contradicted its message, 
but it is a sure and divine impulse that finds expression 
tlu'ough it, and one can hardly conceive that with the en- 
larging conceptions of the Gospel of the Son of God, there 
should be in the hearts of his disciples any diminution of 
love for their brethren in other lands who need the light 
and hope wliich are their precious heritage. " Freely ye 
received, freely give," ^ is a maxim not likely to lose its 
force as the centuries pass. 

It is a great part of the pastor's work to organize the 
missionary zeal and activity- of his congregation. He needs 
to be intelligent respecting this work, to have a rational 
theory about it ; to comprehend the fact that it is an essen- 
tial element in the life of his church ; to be able to deal 
effectually with the stock objections of the caviller ; to 
have the power of enlisting all classes in his congregation 
in this great enterprise. For one thing, he must be able to 
recognize what a modern writer has called the recent vast 
political expansion of Christendom.^ Within the lifetime 
of many now living, by far the greater ])art of the known 
world has passed under the power of nations nominally 
Christian. Africa, not long ago, was no man's land ; the 
present generation has seen its territory parcelled out 
among the great Christian powers. Out of 11,514,500 
square miles, only onc-tentli remains unappropriated ; out 
of a ])()puhition of 130,000,000, all but 20,000,000, art' liv- 
ing iiinlcr tlic sway of some European government, 'i'uikcy 
claims the overlordsliii) f)f about 8,000,000 of Ihest', Ijut 
Kiiglaiid is the real rult'r of most of tin- African tcri'itory 
tlial Turkey claims. ICven in Asia lialf llu- land and one- 
third of the people are under tlit; ruh^ of Christian powcis. 
" P^verywherc, in every continent, you sliall (ind ('hrislcn- 
dimi in sn<li niarvellons asecndcncy tliat it is not onl\ donii- 

' Miitt. X. 8. 

- Muilern ^fissiotl.t in the East, liy K. A. Liiwrcmo, ji. 3()7. 


nating, but swiftly and siu'ely assimilating every country 
and every people under the sun, with the solitary exception 
of Cliina. At a rough estimate, we may say that Chrislen- 
dom includes within its dominion about two-thirds of the 
land of the earth and 800,000,000 of the 1,500,000,000 of its 
population." ^ 

The industrial expansion of Cln-istcndom, as the same 
writer shows us, is not less marvellous. More and more 
the markets of the world are filled with the machinery and 
the wares produced by Christian nations : the industries 
of Europe and America are pushing their conquests in every 
quarter of the globe. The science of the Western world 
is also steadily prevailing against the superstition of the 
East ; where light is, darkness cannot be. 

It is this tremendous advance of the j)hysieal and intel- 
lectual forces of Christendom which makes the problem of 
Christian missions so urgent. It is a time for Christian 
statesmanship. A certain supremacy has already been 
won for nominal Christianit}-. Tlie immense vigor of the 
Christian civilization compared with the civilizations that 
have been produced by other faiths, is thus demonstrated. 
But the triumph is full of peril. The vast multitudes 
which have been brought under Christian rule need to know 
something more of the power of Christ than the soldier or 
the civil servant or the trader is likely to teacli them. A 
Christianity which is merely official or nominal may easily 
become a snare to them. The form of Cln-istianity witli- 
out the power thereof bewilders and burdens tliem. The 
very fact of the political supremacy of Christendom creates, 
therefore, an oliligation weightier and more imperiitivc^ tli;ni 
the Church has ever before been called to Ix'ar. AVitli 
these tremendous considerations every pastor ougl it to Ix' 
familiar. The work of Chiistiati missions is not done: 
it is liardly begun. 'I'lic |)liascs wliicli tlie work will 
assume, the enthusiasms which it will ai'ouso, we may 
l>artly conjecture. Doubtless we are likely to need a laige 
revision of ideas and methods : but the f)ne fact to be kept 
in vi(^w is that the jxtlitieal ami industrial and intellectual 

1 Moi/nn ^fis.'!i,■,ls ill lite Juisl, ]>. .'iOO. 


expansion of Christendom must be the forerunners of a 
spiritual expansion not less significant. First that whii'h 
is natural ; afterward that which is spiritual. The foun- 
dations of the New Jerusalem are laid; the Church is 
called to complete the superstructure. The Christian 
[)astor of to-day must learn how to bring home to the 
hearts of his people the signihcance of the movements now 
going forward in all the earth. It is his task to make 
them see tliat the time in Avhich they are living is one of 
mighty signiiicance ; that the business of Christian missions 
is connected in the most vital manner mth the political and 
social changes which are taking place ; and that the sub- 
ject is one concerning which they cannot afford to be 
ignorant. The enlargement of the knowledge of the 
Church is the one thing needful. j\Ien are not likel}^ to 
take a deep interest in subjects of which they kno\\' little 
or nothing. And this subject of missions in other lands is 
one of which the majority of church members will have no 
knowledge unless considerable pains be taken to give 
them information. The needs of their own neighborhood 
are before their eyes every day ; the conditions of their 
own country they have some knowledge of ; but the suffer- 
ings and miseries of their neighbors on the other side of 
the world they do not see, nor are they aware of the work 
that has been done in these fields and of the promising 
nature of the beginnings that liave been made. 'J'o sj)read 
this information, to arrest and hold the attention of the 
church to the subject of missions is the first thing to do. 
Some stated meeting, held as often as once a moiilli, sliould 
furnish this information in such a form that the pcojih' 
w^ill eagerly receive it. It is not l)est to call it a "• niunihly 
concert ;" that name is seriously discrcilitcd. Nor sliouhl 
it ever be eon(ined to work in foreign lands. \\\i\ W e\ery 
(Iiill'ch could ha\c a iiKiiithK' liieelilig al wliirli (he |>l'og- 
iTss (if the king(h)m in the whoh' worhl shouhl he reported, 
lakiii;^- ii]» tlie salient events of eiiii'eiit I'eligious history 
at home and ahioaiK jioinliiig out tlie hopeful and (hs- 
i-ouraging featuii's; the gains and hisst'S ; the liehls where 
tht' struLTule is fiercest and the reinforcements most needed. 

308 ciruisTiAx tastor and working chui^ch 

and making it plain that the battle is one all along the 
line, it would appear that this meeting might Le made one 
of great interest and power. '* If I heard," said President 
Edwards, " the least liint of anything that happened, in 
any part of the world, having a favorable aspect on the 
interests of Christ's kingdom, my sonl eagerly catched at 
it." That is but the normal feeling of every genuine 
Christian disciple. How can any man kee]3 praying daily 
for scores of years, " Thy kingdom come," and not be alive 
to signs of its coming ? The preparation for such a meet- 
ing as is here suggested would require, on the part of 
somebody, much work, at least at the outset. The field of 
the world should be divided, and the different portions 
assigned to competent persons, each of whom should be on 
the outlook for the epochal movements going on within 
his territory. After this educational process has been 
vigorously carried forward for a year or two, there ma}^ be 
need of forming organizations for the more effective pro- 
motion of missionary interests. But the organization may 
well be deferred until the interest has been created. 

Is it well to divide the missionary interests of the con- 
gregation along the line of sex ? Such seems at present 
to be the tendency. At any rate, we have women's 
missionary organizations everywhere ; whether there are 
societies of this nature exclusively for men may be ques- 
tioned. It seems to be suj)posed that men can obtain all 
the information and impulse that they m ill need in the 
general meeting of the church. 

The women's missionary societies in the churches, are, 
of course, intended to be auxiliary to the AVoman's iMission 
JJoard of the denomination to Avhich the church belongs. 
These Women's Boards have been organized, within the 
last generation, in nearly all the national chnrclies of 
iVmerica; and the oiliccrs of the missionary societies have 
given the movement imicli cnconragement. The Mission 
Boards and Societies, liaving been originally composed of 
men, and women having no repi'esentation in them, it Wiis 
natural that the women, as they came to l;ike a larger part 
in the life of tlie clmrcli, should wish to have ortjanizatious 


of their own whose operations they might eontroL Tlie 
Women's Boards came into existence as the expression of 
the grooving consciousness of influence and power on the 
part of the women of the churches. Tlie fact that a dual 
organization of the missionary forces provided two collect- 
ing agencies for the same cause, and made sure of two 
collections in a year instead of one was calculated to 
commend the scheme to the officers of the Missionary 
Societies. If Women's Boards exist, tlie Avomen of the 
congregations must be separately organized for tlie purpose 
of sustaining them. The scheme has its advantages, and 
doubtless much missionary zeal has been evoked, and much 
administrative efficiency developed in its operation. But 
tliere are mifavorable indications. The fact that in every 
church there is a Woman's Missionary Society, and no 
Man's ^Missionary Society makes upon the wayfaring man 
and the average boy the impression that missions are the 
special interest of women ; that men are connected with 
them mainl}^ through their wives. That this impression 
has gro\\n very rapidl}^ during the past twenty-five years 
can scarcely be doubted. And while the amount of money 
raised by the Women's Boards has been considerable, it 
may be questioned whether the aggregate amount has not 
been diminislied b}' this process. It would be interesting 
to know how many men decline or neglect to make con- 
tributions to the work of missions, on llie plea tliat tlicir 
wives have already contributed, through the Woniairs 
Society- W'licii it comes to lliis, the collections are apt to 
fall off, for tlie wife, with cash resources that are generall}' 
limited, will not be al)le to rej)rpsent the family so liberally 
in the collection as the husl)aii(l could do. And it may 
also be questioned whether oiu; effect of the separate 
organization for women has not been greatly to reduce the 
interest of the Cliuivli al large in the general chnich jneet- 
ings for missions. On the whole, tlierefoi'e, it is nut clear 
that the separation of the sexes in the Avoik of niissinns is 
workingwell. And there are those who strongly believe that 
it would be far better to consolidate the Mission r.oaids 
giving the women a representation in the dllicial iiuiiibcr- 



ship of the Church Board, — pemiitthig tliem to hold a 
certain number of secretaryships and other offices, — and 
uniting instead of dividing the sexes in the work of 
evangelizing the world. There are those who think that 
a serious loss of moral power results from this separation ; 
that neither the Men's Boards nor the Women's Boards 
are so well managed as a consolidated Board would be ; 
and that the missionary interest in the local church woukl 
be far stronger and more productive if the men and women 
were working together, and there were one treasury instead 
of two. 

When the organization of mission work in the local 
church is contemplated tliis question must be met. It is 
not often wise violently to oppose existing methods of 
administration ; and it may seem best to maintain for the 
time a separate missionary society for women ; but it is 
certainly important that the co-operation of the sexes in 
the work carried on by the congregation should in some 
way be secured. 

With respect to the methods of disseminating informa- 
tion and awaking interest, there is need of the constant 
exercise of invention on the part of the pastor and those 
associated with him in the work. No method should l)e 
worked after it has lost its efficiency ; new forms of pres- 
entation, new ways of combining the forces of the church 
must be devised every year. Life is always taking (ni 
new forms. " The usual prayer-meeting," " the usual 
missionary meeting," are phrases which nnist not Itc 
heard too often from tlie pulpit. Let the people learn to 
expect something unusual — something fi-esli and vital. 

Should the annual presentation of llu' \arious iiiissioii- 
ury societies to the congregation be made by the re})resen- 
tatives of those societies wh(m that is possi])le, oi- b}' the 
pastor of the cluirch ? No universal rule can l)e given. 
Probal^ly it is better, in most cases, to combine the two 
methods. The representative of the society ])ossesscs a 
certain skill in marshalling the facts which is not Avholly 
offset l)y the prejudice against him in the minds of liis 
hearers, growing out of their knowledge lliat he is a 


special pleader. He lua}- very often speak move convinc- 
ingly than the pastor conld do, and his service is not to 
])e niiiforinl}- refused. The occasional visit to the congre- 
gation of those who are in constant communication with 
tlie liehl, and wlio are faniiUar Avith all its needs, is im- 
doubtedly desirable. On the other hand, the pastor can 
often present these causes far more effectively tlian any 
ofhcial representative could do. He knows his own con- 
gregation, and can judge what kind of information they 
need, and what manner of appeal will be most effective. 
He has no professional or personal interest in any of these 
causes : his representations will not be discredited by any 
such suspicion. If the people have the confidence in him 
that tliey ought to have, his word will go farther with 
them than the Avord of any stranger could go. And, more 
than all, if he studies the subject carefully, his treatment 
M'ill be sure to have a freshness and vitality that the 
appeal of the professional advocate is apt to lack. It is 
dillicult for any man to speak daily on a single theme and 
preserve the appearance of s[)ontaneity and the accent of 
conviction. It will l)e found that those churclies, as a 
rule, are the largest contriljutors to missionary causes, in 
which the pastois frequently, if not uniformly, present 
the causes to their congregations. 

"With respect to the development of the spirit and ha])it 
of benevolence in the congi'egation, nnich might be said. 
Tlie pastor will need to give to the subject no little careful 
study. It is a hard lesson for the average Anglo-Saxon 
of this generation to learn that it is more blessed to give 
than to receive, but this of all trutlis is the one he needs 
to lay to heart. Tlie pastor must endeavor to make it 
plain to his people that it is of the nature of all genuine 
Christian experience that giving and receiving are correla- 
tives ; that each is the condition of the otlici-; that uo 
Christian can live without giving, any moic than he can 
live without receiving. AN'licn this is said, the word give 
nuist b(! used in a large and comprehensive meaning. The 
Clnistian is a giver in many ways, on many sides, thidngh 
Hiaiij- channids of gracious ministi-y. It is nut al\\a\s that 


his giving takes the foi-m of material aid, though this is 
an expression that it must often take in a woiid where 
there are so many hungry mouths, and so many fireless 
hearths, and so many naked and shivering limbs. The 
first if not the deepest needs of our fellow-men are bodily 
needs ; and these must often be supplied before we can 
bestow any higher gift upon them. A great part of the 
ministry of Christ was directed to the physical wants of 
men, and none of us is likely to give more wisely than he 
gave. Besides, and this is the truth which the faithful 
pastor must not fail to enforce, it is an essential condition 
of profitable giving, so far as the giver is concerned, that 
he should bestow that which he highly values. The use- 
fulness of the ffift ousrht to be as sxreat to the one who 
imparls it as to the one who receives it, though in a differ- 
ent way ; and tins cannot be unless the giver parts with 
something that he prizes. A man Avhose main interest is 
iji material things can hardly be said to be a giver at all 
unless he gives money, or that which costs money. For 
him, at any rate, this exercise is indispensable. His spirit- 
ual life will shrivel if he deny to love this outlet. Ko 
matter how constant or how fervent may be his prayers, 
no matter how diligent may be his endeavors to do good 
in (Hher ways, if the man whose energies are devoted to 
the accumulation of wealth does not give money or money's 
worth freely his spiritual life will soon be a withered and 
blasted thing. The pastor must not tell his people that it 
is a sin for a Cliristian to have money or to desire money, 
or to bend his powers to the acquisition of money; but he 
must Avarn them that the Christian wliose heart is set on 
getting must train himself to be a liberal donor also or lie 
will lose his soul. What he freely receives lie must freely 
give or liis gain will l)e his ruin. 

And yet the pastor must not fail to rcuiiud his jx'oph^ 
that money wrongfully ol)taiued can never be sauctitied by 
giving jiarl of it away. The consecrated jiurjiosc nuist 
govern the winning as well as the bestowing of Aveallh. 
Money that has been gained in extortion, in grinding the 
face of the poor, by the unmerciful treatment of rivals in 


trade, by corrupting ol'licers of the government, is not the 
Lord's money and the Lord wants none of it : the Chris- 
tian pastor must beware how he soils his liands with tlie 
rewards of iniquity. The church might better ch)se its 
doors and the missionary societies call home their evange- 
lists, tlian that the testimony of the church against iniquity 
should be withheld. There are those in many of our 
modern churches who ought to hear the prophet's bitter 
words : " Your new moons and your appointed feasts my 
soul hateth : they are a trouble to me ; I am weary to bear 
them. And when ye spread forth your hands I will hide 
mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers I 
will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, 
make you clean ; put away the evil of 3-our doings from 
before mine eyes; cease to do evil: learn to do well; seek 
judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, 
plead for the widow." ^ It is not these who should be 
admonished that they can only save their souls by being 
generous with their money; something more radical than 
liljerality is required of them. But those who have striven 
to avoid dishonesty and extortion in the acquisition of 
their fortunes, are often absorbed in the mere eagerness of 
the })ursuit, and their hearts are hardened and their 
standards lowered by the greed of acquisition. It is to 
these that such admonitions as were referred to should be 
addressed. It is they who need to cultivate the grace of 
giving that the injurious effects of their daily habits may 
1)0 counteracted. 

And it is not the rich and pros})crous alone, not alone 
those whose hearts are set on great accumulalions wlio 
need tliis kind of disci])]ine; those whose gains are small, 
and who are not ambitious of great ilnancial success will 
find it useful for them to impart that which it is liaid for 
(hem to get and not easy for them to spare. The benelit 
that comes from making pecuniary saerilices \\>y worthy 
o])jectS is a benelit that the poorest liieilll)eis ol the rhureh 
cannot afford to forgo. Tliose who can gi\(' but little 
often resolve to give nothing, and thus they themselves 

1 Isa. i. 1 »-17. 


are heavy losers. They are willing to do good, so far as 
they can, in other ways; bnt they excuse themselves 
from charitable offerings. Everything else hut tiieir pos- 
sessions and gains they consecrate to the Lord: these are 
so small, they say, that they are hardly worth consecrat- 
ing. So there is one corner of their lives in which selfish- 
ness is intrenched and the result is a defective character. 
The pastor must seek to make all his people feel that 
none of them can be so poor as not to need, for his own 
soul's sake, to be on all sides of his nature and out of 
every one of his resources, a charitable giver. 

In developing the charitable gifts of the church, two 
facts are to Ije borne in mind. The first is that, in most 
congregations, much the largest part of the offering ought 
to come from a comparatively small number. Tlie ine- 
qualities of condition arc such in most of our churches 
that the few are abundantly able to give much more than 
tlie many can give. If the benevolent gifts of the church 
are what they ought to be, there must be a few large 
contributions. A man whose income is twenty thousand 
dollars a year ought to give more than ten times as much 
as the man who has but two thousand; his surplus, above 
all that could be regarded as the necessaries of life, is 
vastly greater. Accordingly all plans for the raising f»f 
money which propose to find a certain number of persons 
in the church, each of whom shall give the same amount, 
are likely to be impracticable l)ecause of their injustice. 
Sometimes it is said: "Are there not one hundred mem- 
bers who will give five dollars apiece?" To ^\'llicll, in 
many cases, the reply should be made: "If lliis money is 
to he raised, according to the gospel rule, which rcMpiires 
every one to give as lie lias prospered, it would probaldy 
rc(|uire sonn; such division as this: tliat one shall give one 
liuiidicd dollars, and two fifty each, and three twenty-rue 
each, and ten ten each, and seventy-five one dollar each.'' 
The application of this princi])le, tliat those whose suiplus 
is large should expect to contribute imirh viorr, in 2>^y> por- 
tion to their incomes^ than those whose surplus is small, 
should be faithfully made by the Chiistinu ]);istor. 


Tlie other fact is that everybody ought to give some- 
thing. The diligent, persistent effort to secure from every 
member of the church, rich or poor, okl or 3'oung, male or 
female, some offering for every cause is the pastor's clear 
obligation, jNIost of our Protestant churches fail in this 
respect. A very large proportion of the members of the 
church hold themselves excused from contributing either 
t(j the current expenses of the church, or to its missionary 
funds. Even when a church is to be built, the proportion 
of the names of the membership found on the subscription 
list is apt to be very small. Against this tendency an 
organized and patient effort should be directed. Those 
who can give but little ought not to be permitted to lose 
the reward of the giver. It is essential to their growth in 
grace that they exercise themselves in this grace also. 
And the aggregate of these small oft'erings Avould be con- 
siderable. We want, for all our charities, larger gifts 
from those Avho are able to give liberall}^, but we want 
also the small gifts which might be bestowed by those who 
are now giving nothing. Many an enterprise now languish- 
ing would find its resources abundant if these gifts could 
l)e secured. The mites of the million would furnish to 
our benevolent operations a motive power which we can- 
not afford to lose. Consider how great are the resources 
of the lioman Catholic Church, drawn very largely from 
tlie wages of day laborers and servant-maids. These rills, 
if we can combine them, will cause the stream of our 
charities to flow with an ample flood. 

These considerations will enable us to deal with tlie 
question of systematic and proportionate giving. That 
the pastor should seek to guide his peo[)le towards some 
intelligent and systematic use of their income, in the way 
of l)enevolcnt contributions, is reasonable. (Jiving is an 
important part of Christian service, and it ought to be 
done thoughtfully, — not from erratic impulse, l)ut from 
sol)cr reason. Tliat the giver should carefully consider 
Iiow Iiu'^c ;i |iorlion of his incoinc lie can sd apart for gifts 
to missionary and charitable purjioscs, and that he should 
endeavor sacredly to devote to these ]»urposes tlie money 


thus set apart, is good doctrine Avliicli the pastor may 
wisely enforce. But the giving should he proportionate 
to ability and not according to any fixed percentage. The 
doctrine of the tithe is not applicable to Christian giving. 
There are those who ought not to give so much as a tenth 
of their income to such purposes ; and there are those who 
ought, perhaps, to give nine-tenths of it. Insistence upon 
the tithe is apt to obscure the Christian principle : " Everj- 
man according to his several ability." The Jewisli rule is 
not the Christian rule, and should not be appealed to in 
Christian instruction. 

The methods of gathering these offerings of the church 
greatly vary. In some congregations the plate or basket 
collections for each cause are relied on, notice of the col- 
lection being given on the previous Sunday. In such 
cases only a portion of the congregation is offered tlie 
opportunity of contributing, for a large percentage of the 
members will be absent on any given Sunday. In some 
churches collections for benevolent purposes are taken 
every Sunday, and either a certain number of Sundays are 
set apart to each object, or else the entire amount collected 
is divided periodically, according to some ratio agreed 
upon, among the several objects to which tlie church con- 
tributes. This plan is practicable in the churches which 
do not need to take collections for their own current 
expenses. It would, doubtless, be far better if the entire 
revenues of the church could be ])rovi(lcd by other means, 
so that the cliurch collections might be wliolly given to 
the purposes of benevolence. 

]>y some churclies the attempt is made to secure, at the 
l)eginning of the year, pledges to each of the causes to be 
presented to the church. The pledge card is returned to 
tlie clerk of tlu; church, who keeps an account with each 
member pledging, and a du])li('ate is retained by the iiiciii- 
ber to keep him in mind ot' his pKiniisc. In some churclies, 
the parish is geographically divided into districts, and 
collectors are sent to eveiy parishioner's house to receive 
the ofrci'ings of llic inmates. In some churclies the mails 
arc used to remind the members of the coming offering. 


In an i-nvelope, uddressed to each person or each family, 
are enclosed a smaller envelope and any leaflet or other 
literature illustrating the object for which the offering is 
taken. A printed note from the pastor should also be 
enclosed, making further explanation and requesting that 
the gift be enclosed in the small envelope, sealed, and 
brought or sent to the church on the next Sunday. This 
metliod renders it tolerably sure that every one will have 
an opportunity of making an offering. 

Ever}^ church must determine for itself what method 
it will employ in gathering its benevolent offerings, but 
the subject is one that should not be too lightly disposed 
of. ]\Iuch depends on the adoption of the best method, 
and the best is not likely to be the easiest. The chiu'ch 
ought to be willing to take pains and trouble in putting 
the opportunity of giving before every one of its members. 
And the pastor should feel that it rests with him to secure 
the adoption of plans l)y which this work will bo done, 
and to fill the whole enterprise with his own courage and 



A QUESTION which must deeply iiffect the welfare and 
even the character of the local church respects the method 
on which it will chiefly rely for the increase of its mem- 
bership. Two principal methods may be said to be in use 
among Protestant churches — that of catechetical instruc- 
tion, of which the Lutheran Church gives us perhaps the 
strongest example, and that of revivalism, on which several 
other churches mainly depend. Both methods have been 
traced back to the beginnings of Christianity and even to 
the ancient Judaism. No less an authority than Matthew 
Arnold tells us that we may read in the Old Testament of 
a great "religious revival in Hebrew religion, under 
Samson and Samuel, and how by degrees Judaism grew in 
spirituality, and the age of ecstasy and the Witch of 
Endor gave place to the prophets of the eighth century, 
conscious of a real inner call." 

So, too, under Hezekiah, and under Josiah, and in the 
time of Ezra, religious movements occurred which are 
described by the same writer as religious revivals. ^ It \y\\\ 
be observed, however, that these were events which occiincd 
at long intervals. There appears to be no provision in the 
Jleljrew sclieine of religion for a revival every winter. 
When by the invasion of luxuiy, or formality, or lieathen- 
ism, the lioart of the Churcli had grown cold, and its altars 
^vcre neglected and its rites corrujjted, tliere sometimes 
cduw. to the people an iiilliiciicc lliat aroused tliein from 
their degenei'acy and led tliem liack to Ihcii- alh^Li^iaiicc to 
th(! Cod of their fathers. It miglit Ik; some national dis- 
aster, it might be the voice of a prophet or tlie decree of 
a godly king that awakened them; but llic i'c\i\;il, in all 

' hJec God and The Bilk, k\v.\\<. iv., sec. iii. 


these cases, consisted in the recognition by the whole 
|)0(»[)le that they had departed from the service of the 
living God, and that the}^ ought to forsake their idolatries 
and return to Him. It was iiot an effort, on the part of 
the Church, to increase its membership, by calling in those 
who were without its pale; it was a reformation of the 
Church itself. 

The remarkable event which took place at Jerusalem on 
the day of Pentecost is often called a revival, l^ut tliis 
was the result of the enforcement by the word of the 
apostles and the spirit of God, upon the minds of a great 
multitude of people, of the truth that Jesus of Nazareth, 
whom they had crucitied, was the ]\Iessiah for whom they 
hatl so long been waiting. Most of these men and women 
had known Jesus and had l)een inclined to believe on him 
and follow him. His blameless life and his marvellous 
teachings had appealed to tlieir reason and their affection: 
probably they liad been in the multitude that led him in 
triumph into Jerusalem from the Blount of Olives, shouting, 
" Hosanna, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the 
Lord!" This enthusiasm of theirs was sincere enough; 
like the two disciples that were walking to Emmaus, they 
were trusting that it was he who should redeem Israel. 
But when Jesus suffered himself to be apprehended by 
the Sanhedrin, and, when, unresistingl}-, he was led away 
from Pilate to be crucified, their faith in liim was g(me; 
he could be nothing but an impostor. The testimony of 
the apostles at Pentecost, uncontradicted by the authorities, 
that lie hud risen from the dead and ascended into lieaven, 
— with the full revelation of the fact that his was a spiritual 
and not a temporal kingdom, — threw a new light upon 
his character; and with l)itter contrition tlie luullitude 
accepted as their Lord aud King liiui wlioui upon the 
cross, in their unspiritual lilimlucss, lliry li;iil (Icnicd nnd 

liul the j)sychoh)gical cxpcliriicc of these lliousaiids on 
llie day of I'entccost nnist have lieeu allo-illier dilTereiil 
from that of those wlu) are aj>pealed (o in a inoderu i(\i\al 
meetiu!/. These were not irreligious men; (lie iccord 


tlistinctly says that they were "devout men." They were 
not men who had rejected a King whom they knew to be 
divine, because of a moral unwillingness on their part to 
submit their lives to his gentle reign. They liad turned 
away from him sadly, and no doubt resentfully, because 
he did not fill their conception of Messiahship. He had 
not proved to be the kind of Deliverer for whom they had 
been taught to look. It was necessary that their intel- 
lectual conception of the Christ should be transformed. 
This was what happened at Pentecost. The fact of the 
resurrection convinced them that Jesus of Nazareth was 
the Messiah. Probably no fact less significant would have 
changed their minds. When they were once assured that 
this Jesus was their long-expected Deliverer, they were 
Avilling at once to be baptized into his name. 

This is not the condition of the multitude that listens 
to the revivalist's appeals in a Christian church of the 
nineteenth century. There is no uncertainty in their 
minds respecting the character of Christ; most of them 
believe all that the preacher believes concerning him ; they 
refuse to accept Christ as Lord because they do not wish 
to follow him in the ways of consecrated service. The 
revival which brought the three thousand at Jerusalem to 
acknowledge Jesus Christ as the true jNIessiah involved a 
very different intellectual and spiritual process from tliat 
which is described as conversion in modern evangelical 
cliurches. It is not, therefore, legitimate to argue fiom 
Pentecost to a modern revival of religion. The two 
events are not of tlie same nature. And it is doubtful 
whether any close analogies can l)e found in IJiblical liis- 
tory for that which is l)est known, in modern Christen- 
dom, as a revival. 

Tliis is not, liowcvcr, decisive as against tlie modern 
revival. The Chui-ch lias developed many new methods ; 
life will create its own forms; the anxiety of the apologists 
to trace all good institutions back to apostolic or patri- 
archal models is quite su})erflu()us. The modern revival 
may not have been known to Ilezekiah or Ezra, to Peter 
or Paul, and may still be a very good thing. The ques- 


tioii is not whether it is okl, but whether it is good. And, 
to x^it the case more precisely, the real question is whether 
the Church should mainly depend for its growth upon 
revival methods, or upon the method of instruction and 
nurture. In his treatise on Christian Nurture Dr. Bushnell 
thus states the case : — 

'' There are two principal modes by which the kingdom 
of God among men may be, and is to be extended. One 
is by the process of conversion, and the other by that of 
family propagation; one by gaining over to tlie side of 
faith and piety, the other by the populating force of faith 
and piety tliemselves. The former is the grand idea that 
has taken possession of the churches of our times, — they 
are going to convert the world. They have taken hold of 
the promise, wdiich so many of the prophets have given 
out, of a time when the reign of Christ shall be universal, 
extending to all nations and peoples ; and the expectation 
is that, by preaching Christ to all the nations, they will 
finally convert them and bring them over into the gospel 
fold. Meantime very much less, or almost nothing, is 
made of the other method, viz., that of Cliristian popu- 
lation. Indeed, as we are now looking at religion, or 
religious character and experience, we can hardly find a 
place for any such thought as a possible reproduction thus 
of parental character and grace in children. They must 
come in by choice, on their own account; tlicy must be 
converted over from an outside life that lias grown to 
maturity in sin. Arc thoy not individuals? and how are 
they to be initiated into any good l)y inlieritance and before 
choice? It is as if they were all so nuiiiy Melchisedocs in 
their religious nature, only not righteous at all, — without 
father, without mother, without descent. Descent brings 
them nothing. liorn ol" faith, and l)()Somed in it, and 
nurtured by it, still there is yet to Im- no I'aitli begotten in 
thein. nor so much as a cnntngion even of faith to be 
cau^lil ill llicir ,L;;ir!ncnts. \\'li;il 1 pi'opose, at thr present 
time, is to restore, if i)ossible, a juster impression of this 
great suljject; to show that conversion over to the Chuich 
is not the only way of increase; that (iod ordains a law of 


l^opulution in it as truly as lie does in an earthly kingdom, 
or colony, and by this increase from within, quite as much 
as by conversion from Avithout, designs to give it, finally, 
the complete dominion promised. "^ 

In the book from which these words are taken, this 
great teacher sought to turn the thought of the Church 
away from her almost exclusive trust in revivalistic 
methods, which, as it seemed to him, were greatly weaken- 
ing her life, toward the less demonstrative ways of Chris- 
tian education, not only in the Church, but also and more 
especially in the home. The fact was pointed out that the 
Church, in many of its branches, had come to rely, almost 
wholly, on the revival system, for the replenishment of its 
membership and the invigoration of its life. Additions 
to its numbers, except as the fruit of revivals, there were, 
in these denominations, almost none: between these peri- 
odic awakenings the stream of its activities flowed slug- 
gishly: the converting grace was onl}' looked for in the 
revival season. Uliis complete reliance u})()n revivalism 
had led to the practical abandonment of the quieter 
methods. Children were trained for Christian discipleship 
neitlier in the Church nor in the home, nor was it expected 
that they would be quietly led into the ways of Christian 
service : they were to be swept into the Church on some 
flood of excitement in the time of a revival. The manner 
in Avhich the conduct of Christian parents is affected by 
this expectation is described by Dr. Bushnell: — 

" They Ijelieve in what are called revivals of religion, 
and have a great opinion of them as l)eing, in a very 
special sense, tlie converting times of the gospel. They 
l)ring uj) tlieir (■hil(b'('ii, therefore, not for cnDvcrsion 
exactly, l)ut, what is less dogmatic and formal, for the 
converting times. An<l this they think is even more 
evangelical and s|iiiitnal Ix'cansr it is more practical; 
though, in (act, nuuh looser, and connected conunonly 
with even greater defections In mi pai'ental duty and lidel- 
ity. To bring u]> a family for revivals of religion reqnires, 
alas! about the smallest possible amount of consistency 

1 Christian Nurture, pp. 195-197. 


and Cliiistiaii assiduit}'. Xo matter what opiiiiuii ma}- be 
] leld of such times, or of their inherent value and propriety 
as pertaining to the genuine economy of the gospel, any 
one can see that Christian parents may very easily roll oft" 
a great part of their responsibilities, and comfort them- 
selves in utter vanity and worldliness of life, by just hold- 
ing it ..s a principal hope for their children, that they are 
to be finally taken up and rescued from sin by revivals of 
religion. As it costs much to be steadily and uniformly 
spiritual, how agreeable the hope that gales of the Spirit 
will come to make amends for their conscious defections! 
If they do not maintain the unworldly and heavenly spirit, 
so as to make it the element of life in their house, God 
A\ill some time have his day of power in the connnunity, 
and they piously hope that their children will then be con- 
verted to Christ. So they fall into a key of expectation 
that permits, for the present, modes of life and conduct 
which they cannot quite approve. Tliey go after the 
world with an eagerness which they expect by and by to 
clieck, or possiljly, for the time, to repent of. The family 
prayers grow cold and formal, and are often intermitted. 
The tempers are earthly, coarse, violent. Discipline is 
ministered in anger, not in love. The children are lec- 
tured, scolded, scorched by fiery words. The plans are all 
for money, show, position, not for the more sacred and 
higher interests ot character. The conversation is unchaii- 
tal)le, harsh, malignant, an effusion of spleen, a tirade, a 
taking down of supposed worth and character by low 
imputations and carping criticisms. In this kind of ele- 
ment the children are to have their growth and nurture, 
1)ut the parents j)iously hope that tliere will sonic time be 
a revival of religion, and tliat so God will mercifully make 
u]) what they conceive to be only the natural innrniity <•!' 
their lives. Finally the hoped-for day arrives, and theiv 
begins to be a remarkable and strange piety in the honsc. 
The father chokes almost in his ])rayer, showin'_r llial lie 
really prays with a meaning: T]|{> mollicr, conscions that 
tilings have not been going righlly willi the .•liildicn, and 
seeing many rrigiitrnl signs of their crrtain ruin at liand. 


warns tliciii, even weeping, of the impending dangers by 
which she is so greatly distressed on their account; add- 
ing also bitter confessions of fault in herself. The chil- 
dren stare, of course, not knowing what strange thing has 
come ! They cannot be unaffected ; perhaps they seem to 
be converted, perhaps not. In many cases it makes little 
difference which ; for if all this new piety in the house is 
to burn out in a few days, and the old regimen of worldli- 
ness and sin to return, it will be wonderful if they are not 
converted back again to be only just as neglectful, in the 
matter of Christian living, as they were brought up to be. 
Any scheme of nurture that brings up children thus for 
revivals of religion is a virtual abuse and cruelty. And it 
is none the less cruel that some pious-looking pretexts are 
cunningly blended with it. Instead of that steady, forma- 
tive, new- creating power that ought to be exerted by holi- 
ness in the house, it looks to campaigns of force that really 
dispense with holiness, and it results that all the best ends 
of Christian nurture are practically lost."^ 

It must be admitted that this picture is quite too real- 
istic; and that, under the prevalence of the revival system, 
the normal methods of Christian nurture have been sadly 
neglected, both in the Church and in the home. The 
eft'ect, both upon the Church and upon the home, of this 
too exclusive reliance upon the revival system, has un- 
doul)tedly been disastrous. The life of many of tlie 
churches has thus come to be a constant succession of 
floods and droughts, of chills and fever. Between stagna- 
tion and excitement they are all the while vibrating. 
Sometimes tliey are on the heights of religious faith and 
fervor; oftener they are in the depths of discouragement 
and fruitlcssness. The influence affecting them appears 
to 1k' malarial. The periodicity of lieats and rigors is not 
a sign of licaltli. 

Yet this is the state of things for wliicli, in many 
churches, systematic provision is made. It seems to be 
expected that the churcli will either be on the heights or 
in the depths. There is a certain time of year when it is 

1 Pages 77-79. 


on tlie pinnacle of emotional excitement, — when its assem- 
l)lie.s are scenes of the most boisterous enthusiasm; Avhen 
the cries and shouts and passionate appeals of its wor- 
shippers evince a perfervid zeal; and there are other times 

— much more extended and continuous, it must be admitted 

— w hen tlie flame of holy love burns low in the candle- 
stick ; when there is only a small attendance upon public 
A\orship ; when the earnestness of prayer and exhortation 
a[)pears to be simulated or forced rather than spontaneous, 
— -pumped up, as it were, out of a dry well; and when the 
most frequent word of the prayer-room is a word of cen- 
sure or complaint because of the coldness of the times. 
These reactions are part of the history of a good many 
Christian churches, — indeed they may be said to consti- 
tute their history. It is easy to see that the one of these 
conditions is the natural consequence of the other. It is 
no more strange nor unaccountable than sleep folloA\'ing 
nmscular exhaustion, or low tide following high tide. 
Just as long as men live in bodies and in their present 
environment so long will abnormal excitement on any sub- 
ject be followed by unwonted indifference to that subject ; 
and excessive exertion on behalf of it give place to undue 
nejilect. The law of stimulants is well known. When 
any organism is whipped up to unnatural activit}-, it Mill 
inevital)ly flag wlien the goad ceases to be applied. This 
law liolds good of a religious society as well as of a 
human body. 

When the drunkard is in llic depression following liis 
d('l)auch, he is not apt to seek the right remedy. If lie 
wouhl cf)ntent liimself with nonrisliing and stimuhiting 
food and soothing potions ly ^\hi(•h he might gradually 
regain steadiness of nerve and strength of body, it would 
be well with him. But this he does not choose to do. 
To regain the safi' levels of sobriety and he;dlli is not 
what occurs to liim ; he wants to go l)iud< tn those giddy 
heights of inehiiated hilai'ity from which he plunged into 
this ah\ss. lie will rctiiiii to his cups. 'I'hal is his 
notion of the proper reuied\' lor his disiuid condilioii. 
And there is something very like unto this in the expi li- 


ence of some of our churches. During the long period 
when the church is in the depths, and the air of the 
prayer-meeting is full of jeremiades, and the mourners are 
going about the streets, there is not much thought of try- 
ino' to rise to a condition of moderate activity, a condition 
that can be sustained; of taking a pace that can be held, 
and holding it; the only thought is of climbing to the 
heights again, — of getting another start in that break-neck 
gait which nuist end in collapse and prostration. 

So long as the churches of this country are subject to 
malarial influences of this kind, their usefulness will be 
limited. It is highly desirable that a conception of the 
religious life which is much less hysterical and emotional 
should prevail in many sections of the Church. 

Doubtless, these churches may often feel that their life 
is far less vigorous and fruitful than it ought to be. If 
they are not in the depths, they know that the}' are far 
below the level of earnest fidelity and consecrated zeal on 
which they ought to be living. How to get out of their 
present low condition into a safer and healthier and hap- 
pier one is a prol)leni that often confronts them. They 
ought not be content to stay where they are; if their faith 
is feeble and their life is low and their gains are few, they 
ought to bestir themselves: but how shall they esca])('. 
and whither? A man who awakes in the morning and 
finds the mercury in his house down to freezing point, 
does not wish to live in this temperature; he cannot. But 
what shall he do to raise it? lie might set the house on 
fire: that would accomplish the result, but it might not be 
the best way. Another way would l)e to build good fii-cs 
in the fire-places and keep them burning steadily. Prob- 
ably that would make the house comfortable after a little. 
This metliod might not l)e so expeditions or so exciting 
as tlie other, but on the whole it would l»e more judicious. 
iVnd it would seeiu tliat there must be a lu'tter melliod of 
delivering a chureli from a C(^ndition of low temjx'ra- 
ture than l)y ajjplying to it the torcli of liigli-pressurc; 

But iKjt oidy is the life of (lie Cliureli unliealtliil}- affected 


by a too exclusive reliance upon tlie revivalistic methods, 
there is also, as has been suggested, a serious loss in the 
neglect of those quieter methods of nurture and training, 
out of Avhifh such important gains might come. That 
cha})ter of Dr. IjushnelFs from M^liich quotations have 
already been made is entitled " The (Jut-Populating 
Power of the Christian Stock." His argument is that if 
the Church simply Jiolds its own^ its growth will be rapid, 
even phenomenal. If the children of Christian families 
are kept in the Church and trained for efficient service, if 
the organic life of the Church is as vigorous as it ought to 
be, its own law of natural increase will speedily put it in 
possession of the world. 

" In this view it is to be expected, as the life of Chris- 
tian piety becomes more extended in the earth, and the 
spirit of God obtains a living power, in the successive 
generations, more and more complete, that finally the race 
itself will be so thoroughly regenerated as to have a genu- 
inely populating power in faith and godliness. By a kind 
of ante-natal and post-natal nurture combined, the new- 
Ijorn generations will be started into Christian piety, and 
the world itself over-populated and taken possession of 
by a truly sanctified stock. This I conceive to be the 
expectation of Christianity. Not that the bad heritage of 
depravity will cease, but that the second Adam will get 
into power with the first, and be entered seminally into 
tlie same great process of propagated life. And this ful- 
fils that primal desire of the world's Creator and Fatlier, 
of Avliicli the prophet speaks — ' That he might liave a 
godly seed.' "^ . 

It may be objected that ]»i('ty is ;i niattei- of iii(H\i(bial 
ciioice. Tlie answer is that the same is true of sin. 
"Many of us have no diflicnlty in saying that mankind arc 
hi 'III sinners. They may just as truly and prupcily be 
l>()i-n saints — it requires the self-active power to be just as 
far developed to commit sin as it does to choose oltedi- 
ence."- The organic tendency (o lioliness may be as j)osi- 
tive as the organic tcndenry to evil. An<l the Scri])tures 

^ C/irixtiim Nurlnie, ]i. tiO.'i. - ////</, p. 197. 


everywhere assume that this mighty force of heredity will 
be employed by the Church iu trausmitting the forces of 
righteousness. It is needful, indeed, that the Church and 
the Christian home shall be ready to take the children, 
thus predisposed to the acceptance of Christ, and give 
them a godly nurture, surrounding them Avith the influ- 
ences which shall cherish and not extinguish the o-ood 
tendencies which they have inherited, and lead them 
toward the voluntary choice- of Christ and his service. 
This expectation rests upon the doctrine of the Immanent 
Christ. " What higher ground of supernaturalism can be 
taken," demands this prophet, "than that which supposes 
a capacity in the Incarnate Word and sanctified Spirit to 
penetrate our fallen nature, at a point so deep as to cover 
the whole spread of tlie fall, and be a grace of life, travel- 
ling outward from the earliest, most latent germs of our 
human development."^ If the saving grace of God does 
enter thus into the very sources of our life, and is to be 
found working there to regenerate and sanctify, there is 
surely great hope for us, when we seek to work out our 
own salvation, and to guide the children conuiiittcd to 
our charge into tlie ways of life. The Church thus sanc- 
tified in its life and entering with intelligent purpose into 
the great plans of God for its redemption would becoinc 
"the great populating motherhood of the world. ""- 

The manner in which this may come to pass is outlined 
in a luminous passage of the volume under our considera- 
tion. In a regenerated society the tides of health and 
physical vigor will be stronger than elsewhere. The 
debilitating effects of vice and extravagance will be 
minimized, and the energies of life will be reinforced. 
Plivsical vigor will give the mastery of the i)hysical con- 
ditions of life, and "the wealth accruing is power in every 
direction, power in prodnetion, enteri)i'ist', edncation, 
colonization, iiillnence, and consequent popular increase/'-' 
Tntelleetnal development is the natui-al frnit of such con- 
ditions; for (lie great tlioiiglils of (iod wliicli llic ( 'liristiun 

1 Cliri.tlian Nnrttirr, p. 20.'j. 
2 /6;V/., p. 206. " Ihnl.,l>. 211. 


fiiith makes familiar not only purify the heart but stimu- 
late the reasoning- powers and give wings to the imagina- 
tion. Thns the great fact of the expansion of Christendom, 
to which reference was made in a former chapter, is seen 
to ])c the natural outcome of the principle of life which 
Christianity communicates. It is in the nature of the 
leaven to leaven the whole lump. " These great popula- 
tions of Christendom, wiiat are they doing but throwing 
out their colonies on every side, and populating themselves, 
if I may so speak, into the possession of all countries and 
climes? By this doom of increase, the stone that was cut 
out without liautls shows itself to be a very peculiar stone, 
namely, a growing stone, that is fast becoming a great 
mountain, and preparing, as the vision shows, to fill the 
wliolt' earth." ^ 

This does not mean that we have no evangelistic work 
to do ; it only means that we are not to luider-estimate the 
natural fruits of Christian nurture, and the gains that 
must come to us from simply recognizing the normal law 
of increase. In a high and true sense we may expect to 
see the principle of natural selection working to secure 
tlie triumpli of Christianity. That, in fact, is what we do 
see, in the marvellous progress of Christian civilization. 

If the significance of these great truths could only be 
ajjprehended Ijy the churches, it is probable that we should 
see some wonderful gains in the next century. If the 
churches were all to put their chief reliance on methods 
less dramatic and spectacular, Imt more in harmony with 
;ill tlio great economies of nature, there is reason to 
believe that such an accession of strength would come to 
tlu'ui as would make the promise of the speedy triumph of 
tlie kingdom far easier to believe. 

It will l)e said, however, that the revival system is so 
ihoroughly intrenched in the churches which have employed 
it that it will be next to impossible to sup[)lant it. More- 
over, it will l)e urged, it is even securing a sliong footing 
in some of the sacerdotal churches: the llii^h Anglicans 
an' resorting to "missions," and the Taulist l''athers among 

1 Clirlstiaii \iiitiiK , {). Iil3. 


the Roman Catholics undertake a service not dissimilar 
to that of the travelling evangelists of the Protestant 
churches. All these things show, it will he argued, that 
revival measures meet a recognized need of the Church, 
and that some provision must be made for work of this 
kind in connection with the churches. If the Church 
must cherish and nurture its own children, it has also a 
message for those who are without its pale. Its connnis- 
sion is " 6'o and preach!" Not only to those of its own 
household, but to those who are in the highways and hedges 
it is sent, with the good tidings. It nuist be not only a 
teaching but a converting Church. And in order that it 
may do this work efficiently, it must learn how to concen- 
trate its energies upon it, and to marshal in forces for its 

In all this is truth which must not be forgotten. The 
work that is done through what are known as revival 
measures is work that cannot be left undone. The two 
kinds of activity which we are considering must go on 
together. The question before us is really one of propor- 
tion. The converting agencies cannot be neglected; the 
question is whether they shall have the relative importance 
now often given to them, and whether the work of church 
and household nurture sliould not have the highest place. 
Is the church which makes the latter a secondary interest 
likely to preserve its spiritual health? The Anglican 
churches, which have long relied almost exclusively upon 
the intensive method, have lately been constrained to take 
up the work of the "missioner," and to organize a vigorous 
campaign of evangelization. They have felt the deficiency 
of tlieir inethod, and are seeking to su])ply it. Would 
not the same wisdom compel the churclies whicli liiive 
been resting Avholly on tlie revival system to revise their 
programme and devote themselves with equal zeal to the 
work of teacliing and training? 

The idea wliicli underlies revivalism is that of a certain 
fluctuation in the movements of spiritual iniluence. It is 
supposed tliat the converting grace of God is sometimes 
present in the conununity in far greater fulness than at 


other times; that he is sometimes ready and sometimes 
reluctant to aid us in our efforts to bring men to a knowl- 
edge of the truth. Concerning all this we hear many 
statements which evince crude notions of the divine s'ood- 
ness. It is necessary for the faithful pastor to disabuse 
the minds of his people of such quaint superstitions. Let 
him not hesitate to preach, with all positiveness, the doc- 
trine of the divine omnipresence. And let him make it 
clear that omnipresence is a spiritual fact not less than a 
physical fact. That God's power is everywhere in Nature 
men easily believe; but it is more difficult for some to 
comprehend that as a Spirit he is no less pervasive and 
constant in his operations. They would never think of 
praying that God would come to the scene of their daily 
labor and give cohesion to the particles of matter or 
chemical affinity to its atoms, or actinic force to the Tajs 
of the sun ; they would never be heard lamenting that the 
law of gravitation had ceased to operate in the city of 
their residence, or praying that the power of God, as 
manifested in gravitation, might be displayed in their 
neighborhood as Avonderfully as it had been displayed in 
other neighborhoods: yet they do often lament that the 
spiritual influences of God have departed, and pray that 
they may l)e restored. It might be supposed that no such 
conception could occupy the minds of Christian disciples, 
but it will be found that notions of this kind do prevail to 
a consideialjle extent. To remove this misconception is 
part of the duty of the Christian teacher. He must make 
it clear that no such literal separation of God's spirit from 
man can be conceived of. It can be no more true that his 
spirit is withdrawn from human lives, than that his ])()\vt'r 
is withdrawn from the natural systems by which our 
])odies are sustained. God is not less constant in his 
ministrations to the souls of men than to llicir Ixxlies. 
The doctrine i>f his oiiiiiijiresence is sadly mutihitcd wlicn 
we make it ap|il\' <uil\ to physical natui'o and cxcIikIc it 
from the s]»ii-itual wiuM. 

When, Ihcrcfori', we hc;ir the |)i(>]ili('( saying, "Si'i'lv yv 
the Loi'd whik; he may bi" fouixl, call ye upon him while 


he is near," ^ we must be ready at once to admit that tliese 
words are not to he taken as literal statements of his 
relation to us. Yet there is a truth of experience to which 
these words conform. Like many other words of Scripture 
and of common speech, they put the subjective for the 
objective. We speak of a room as cheerful, meaning that 
we are cheerful while we occuj^y it. We talk of a dizzy 
height, attributing to the place our sensations. And thus 
it often happens that, so far as our consciousness is con- 
cerned, God is nearer to us at some times than at other 

There may be various reasons for this. The environ- 
ment, the spiritual atmosphere, may be clearer at some 
times than at others. The hills of tlie distant horizon 
seem much nearer on one day than on another. Some- 
times clouds hide them from our sight: sometimes in the 
autumn liaze they are very dim; we can hardly tell 
whether they are mountains or clouds : sometimes in the 
clear air of a winter morning they appear to draw near: 
we can almost individualize the trees in the horizon line. 
It is undeniable that our personal experience of the divine 
presence is subject to variations not unlike these. There 
are hours and days when our sense of his existence and 
of our relation to him is comparatively dim and unreal : 
and there are hours and days when the thought of him 
impresses us, and Avhen all tilings remind us ol" liim. 
This is not because he is really nearer at one time lluiii 
at another, but because something in ourselves or in our 
surroundings renders communication with liim more 
direct at some times than at others. The oarlli is nearer 
to the; sun \\lien it is winter in the northern li('niis[)liere 
than when it is sununer, Init it seems farther oil', because 
tlie rays of the sun strike it obliquely in tlie winter and 
directly in the sunnner. And in like ni;iinier (here ;ire 
times when the plane ot our lives is turned away from tlie 
Sun of Jxighteousness, so that wc do not receive the direct 
rays (jf Ids liglil and love; and other times when our li\'es 
are turned toward him and onr atmospiiere is as Inll of his 

1 l.-.i. ]\ . c. 


inflneneo as is the air in June of the sun's life-giving 
1 tower. It is very important that we shoukl know that 
these vicissitudes in our experience are not due to any 
Utfuhiess of the Giver of all good: with him "there can 
he no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning." ^ 
JJut it is also reasonable that we should make the most of 
the flood-tides of our experience. If, in some hours or 
seasons, we are more conscious than at others of the 
presence of the divine influence in our lives, it is then 
that we should press into the audience chamber and make 
known to him our requests. 

Sometimes the social conditions are such that there is 
unusual readiness on the part of those not known as dis- 
ciples to consider the claims of (Jod upon their lives. It 
is not necessary to enter into any discussion of the causes 
which produce these social conditions. Doubtless they 
are nuich less recondite than they are sometimes supposed 
to Ijc. But no matter what may be the causes, the effects 
are notable, and they ought to be wisely used. The sun 
is no ]iearer in June than in December, but June and not 
January is harvest time. 

"Seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord "^ 
will come, therefore, to every faithful church. It will not 
be true of any church which sets before itself the true 
ideal of life and work that its activities will always move 
upon one dead level. While it goes about its work cheer- 
fully and patiently, seasons of unwonted interest and 
enjoyment will supervene; truth will l>e borne in upon 
the minds of disciples with unwonted ])ower; they Avill 
feel new delight in their devotions and new zeal in their 
labors: their hearts will burn within them as they joiiiiit y 
in the common paths of daily exj)erience and the (piiekeii- 
iiig influence of the divine Spirit will l)e felt in all their 
asseml)lies. Such times of icl'nshing do come to ;il! 
faithful companies of Cliristian laborers; tiiere are hours 
when the Kingdom of (iod seems to l)e very near to them. 
Such visitations ;is these, which occur to those who ;ire 
patiently doing their Masl(;r"s wdri<, (hiTer wi(h'ly i'roni llie 

' Jatncs i. 17. - Acis iii. ID. 


custoni-inado excitements into wliicli some disciples are 
wont periodically to lash themselves. "WHien they come 
we may well regard them as seasons for renewing onr 
vigilance and increasing onr diligence. TIow to use such 
seasons wisely, when they come, is one of the practical 
questions that test the judgment of the Christian minister. 
"The church," says a wise pastor, "should welcome these 
j)eriodic revival occasions when they come naturally, as 
affording it a special opportunity for its proper work. 
Sometimes, indeed, these occasions have been abused by 
ignorant and unwise leaders. Sometimes they have used 
exaggerated statements of doctrines or gross sensationalism 
to stampede men into the kingdom of heaven under a 
panic of fear or through the common impulse of the crowd. 
The result is an explosion of passional excitement rather 
than a genuine arousing of the religious nature. And the 
reaction that follows such a spurious work brings a deep 
distaste for religion and a greater unwillingness to listen 
to its appeals and engage in its duties. We need to be on 
our guard against any such misuse of the opportunity. " ^ 

As a rule it will be well, when such tides of religious 
feeling sweep through the congregation, to keep tlie ordi- 
nary activities of the church moving steadily forward, 
without any great change in methods. Some greater 
frequency of public services may be advisable, but even 
here moderation is wise. It is not good to permit the 
impression to obtain that this new earnestness is the effect 
of some special measures employed, or inseparable from 
them. It ought to be evident that the heightened relig- 
ious feeling can find ample expression in the ordinary 
services of the church, and in the common round of daily 
duties. In liis work on tlie ThvDrij of Piraehinf/, Professor 
Austin Plielps gives useful counsel on this subject: 

"The tendency of [)opular religious excitement to iikm Ind 
giowtlis is ])ro])(ii"ti(>ncd to tlie iiisignilicance (tf the execu- 
tive aclioii to wliicli it is dii'ectcd. Neither nalui'c nor 
grace in uoiinal action fosters ])rofound agitations of con- 
science about petty things. Make such things the centre 
1 Kev. C. II. Kichards, iu Parish Problems, pp. 312, 313. 


of intense convictions of conscience, and you inevitably 
create religious distortions. The prick of a needle in the 
spinal marrow may make a child a hunchback for life. So 
let an awakened conscience be penetrated deeply concern- 
ing action which is not significant of character, and its 
working becomes diseased. The penetration results in 
ulceration. Therefore it is always the aim of a wise 
preacher in a revival to guide the current, and, still more 
carefully, a torrent of quickened emotion, as soon as pos- 
sible into the even tenor of life's ordinary duties. The 
specialty of a revival of religion in itself is not a desirable 
thing. The sooner it ceases to be exceptional, and flows 
into life's common channel of interests, the better. Relig- 
ious excitement has no value any further than it can be 
utilized in the sanctifying of common life. All conver- 
sions, until they receive the test of real life, are of the 
nature of death-bed repentance in this respect, that they 
have not been subjected to the divinely appointed disci- 
pline of religious character. Hence it is seldom, if ever, 
wise to suspend for any long time the common routine of 
life, because of the presence of the Holy Ghost in regener- 
ating power. We can devise no better means of moral 
discipline. We dislocate the divine plan, if we displace 
that in the attempt to improve upon it."^ 

Professor Phelps calls attention also to the fact that the 
machinery of the revival, — the anxious seat, the iiupiir}' 
meeting, the rising for prayer, the public confession, the 
street singing, are apt to absorb the popular thought. Fen- 
til is reason it is highly important that special instrumen- 
talities of all sorts be sparingly employed. The tendency 
is strong to identify the s])iritual influences with the 
methods used in giving them effect. Tin; sat'ramentalism 
which attributes spiritual effects to physical i-auses is not 
(•(lutined to tlie sacerdotal systems. Precisely the sanie 
iliiiig \\i(Irl\- ]»reviiils in the churches which depend on the 
icviviil sNstciii. The us(^ of certiiin expe<lieiils cdines (o be 
regarded as iiidispeiisahU' lo the action nf ilie ei)ii\ citing 
grace of (iotl. Intelligent pastors have testilied llial the 

^ Tagu 553. 


piety of a candidate for membersliip in their cliurches was 
greatly discredited in the opinion of the church if he did 
not come in l)y way of tlie " anxious seat " or the " mourner's 
bencli." To go through these particular motions seems to 
many disciples almost the sine qua non of conversion. 
The outward act is in their minds as much an opus oijeratum 
as is the administration of the sacrament in the mind of a 
Roman Catholic. When things have come to this pass 
the abolition of the usage is the only way of safety. A 
distinguished American revivalist of a former generation, 
the Rev. Dr. Kirk, speaks thus of the evils which may 
spring from emphasizing mere methods : — 

"Inquirers easily substitute the mechanical act for the 
spiritual step that leads to the Saviour. I have known 
leaders to become so earnest in urging to this bodily 
exercise, that it seemed to me certain that some of those 
thus urged would lose sight of the spiritual objects which 
are the only real magnet to draw the life into new chan- 
nels, while their attention was engrossed with the outAA'ard. 
And when they 3-ield to this urgency there is some danger 
they may sul)stitute the outward act for the faith whicli 
saves, depending on the measure instead of Christ. The 
leader is often placed in a verj^ undesirable position. He 
has undertaken a public contest with tlie inquirers; and I 
have seen one become angry because he was foiled in it. 
This can be avoided, however, l)y simply making the 
offer, and not undertaking to urge the step. Tlie inquirer 
sometimes is hardened by his resistance to tlic minister; 
so that he more easily resists the Spirit of (iod. His 
success in the contest with (iod's servant einljohU'ns liim. 
The attention of the Churcli ])ecomes diverted from the 
mercy -seat, to watdi the success of this measuie, witli 
mixed emotions of true zeal, curiosity, and a j»arly 
spirit. " ' 

The first condition of healthy growth in a season of this 
kind is entire freedom fi-om all tliese nieelianieal devices. 
"Where tlie Spirit of the Lord i>. iliere is liberty." Ste- 
reotyped methods arc not the sign of liis pi'csence. His 

^ The Siijii rniiliiidl Ftictor in Jltrinils, ]> 109. 


manifestation will be as free and various as is the reve- 
lation of the spirit of beauty in the natural world. 

Whether the assistance of a professional evangelist 
should be called in is a question on which wise pastors 
differ. The fresh voice and the new way of presenting 
the truth are sometimes effectual: undoubtedly the evan- 
gelist may reach some whom the pastor has failed to 
influence. There are evangelists so sane and prudent 
tliat they might be safely trusted in any congregation. 
lUit, as a rule, it is better for the pastor to keep the work 
in his own hands. Tlie different methods of presentation 
nniy be helpful to some, but they will be distracting to 
others, and doctrinal dilliculties are often suggested b}' the 
homiletical divergence of the evangelist from the pastor. 
There are few evangelists who do not introduce more or 
less of revivalistic machinery; and the increase of this is 
always to be deprecated. The presence of the evangelist 
is itself something exceptional : the tendency will be strong 
to identify the unusual interest with him, and to imagine 
that when he departs the work is at an end. On the 
whole, therefore, the results are apt to be better if the 
pastor goes quietly forward with his work, making no 
more changes than he must in the ordinar}* appointments 
of the church, and turning the rising current of faith and 
love into the regular channels of church service. The 
only purpose of such a revival, so far as the church is 
concerned, is to replenish all its normal activities. 

In services which ai'c chiclly intended for the conver- 
sion of men, it is usually assumed tliat some method 
sliould b(; employed to secure the decision of those to 
wlioiii tlie invitation of the gospel is addressed, and to 
obtain the confessicm of their purj)Ose to begin the life of a 
disei[»le. Tlu; duty of some [jublic i'X])ression of this 
pur[)ose is often enforced by our Lord ami liis ajiosths: 
and it seems rational tliat sonu^ way should be devised of 
ascei'taiuing whether tliose who hear the api)cal of the 
])rea(li(i' are inclined to icspond to it. 'Iliere is sometimes 
a sinL;nlar lack of detiniteness and |Macticality in our 
evanu'elistic elToits: we lire into the Hock and make no 


effort to ascertain whether any shot has taken effect. In 
special evangelistic services an attempt is made to supply 
this deficiency. Sometimes those who are inclined to 
accept the gospel offer are asked to stand up in the con- 
gregation, or to raise their hands: sometimes they are 
invited to remain, after the public service, for conversa- 
tion with the minister: sometimes, as we have seen, they 
are called forward to kneel at the altar of the church. 
No. method can be prescribed for the accomplishment of 
this purpose, and it is not necessary that any of those 
ordinarily employed should be unqualifiedly condemned. 
The character of the congregation appealed to, and the 
usage of the church will largely determine the method. 
One or tAvo cautions are needful. The appeal should 
never be made in such a way as to embarrass those who 
for any reason may not wish to respond to it, or to put 
them in a false position. When a minister asks all who 
are already Christians to rise and remain standing, and 
then asks those who wisli to become Christians to rise with 
them, attention is sharply called to the few who remain 
sitting. They are put in the attitude of saying that they 
do not wish to become the disciples of Christ. This may 
not at all represent their real feeling. They simply do 
not wish to express their desire publicly; and they may 
have good reasons for this hesitation. Any method of 
calling for public expression which embarrasses those who 
do not answer to the call is always to be avoided. It is 
better to say, " If there are any who would like to make 
known their desire to be Christians, let them rise." 

Tlierc are always some who are touched l)y the ai)poal 
and inclined to commit themselves, but who shrink at the 
outset from any such public proclamation of their ])nrp()se 
as is involved in standing u}) in the congregation. Some 
zealous evangelists insist that such scruples should not he 
respected, and that those who cannot acce])t this imitation 
are not to be regarded as sincere in tlunr purpose. But 
he who does not quench tlic smoking flax is ready to 
recognize the most timid and halting resolution. And it 
is well, if such confessions are called for, to i)rovide some 


means l)y ^^'llicll every one who desires to do so may 
signify his wish to begin a better life. A simple device is 
the distriljution of plain cards to all memljcrs of the con- 
gregation. The cards may be handed to them as they 
come in. At the close of the service, the minister may 
ask all those who are present to write their names upon 
the cards : those who are alread}' members of tlie church 
to signify that fact by a cross under the name ; those w'ho 
are not, but wdio are willing to enter the w^ay of the dis- 
ciple, to write under the name the w^ord "Yes," — adding 
their address if they would like to receive a call from him. 
Upon the cards thus collected he may find the names of 
some who have accepted the gospel invitation and with 
whom he may put himself in communication. All this 
is done with the utmost decorum ; there is no invasion of 
any personality; there is no excitement; the choice is 
([uietly made and registered and the first step is taken in 
the Christian way. 

The pastor should also invite any who may wish to 
s})eak with him to tarry after the service: and he will do 
well to appoint an hour during the day when those who 
desire conversation with him may call upon him. 

Iles[)ecting all these matters of detail it must be said, 
however, that they must never be stereotyped, and that 
the pastor must exercise his own judgment freely in adapt- 
ing liis methods to the needs of his congregation. 

It has l)een assumed, in tliis discussion, that ''times of 
refresliing " Avonld come to the faithful church; and tliat 
it is the duty of the church to expect them, and be ready 
to make the most of them wlien they come, but not to 
attempt, l)y any artificial means, to work them u\). I)Ul 
may it not be well to devote certain ])ortions of every year 
to special services? Tlie Koman Catholic and vVngHcan 
cliiirclics ()l)serve the Lenten season in this maniier; there 
ail! then daily services in tlio clnwches, social engage- 
ments arc fewer than is usiiiil, and the interests of the 
ivligious life are made tlu; uppermost subject of thouglit. 
Is not this observance, on the wlioh'. a sahitary one? Is 
it not well to concentrate our tlioimlit and dcsiic. in this 


manner, upon the things that so deeply concern onr peace? 
Might not all the churches appropriately choose this 
season, or some portion of it, for daily service? There 
seems to be some tendency in this direction, and it may 
well be encouraged. A period favorable to special relig- 
ious services, says an experienced pastor, "is the Lenten 
season, when abstention from gayety and pleasure on the 
part of a large portion of the Christians would induce 
social quiet and thoughtfulness, which is peculiarly suited 
to the introduction of religious themes. The attention of 
men is more readily arrested then : there are fewer diver- 
sions to distract their thoughts when once turned to these 
momentous questions, and the sacred and touching events 
in the life of our Saviour which are associated with the 
observance of this season make it a particularly fitting and 
impressive time for evangelistic meetings. The veiy days 
speak of penitence, of consecration, and of grateful devo- 
tion to Christ."^ If such meetings should result in the 
deepening of the life of the church, conversions would 
surely be the fruit of them. 

^ IJev. Cliailcs H. Rii-lumls, in Parish Problems, ]>. 314. 



The adjective wliicli stands at the head of this chapter 
is neither apt nor convenient ; its significance does not 
appear ; bnt it lias been applied to a type of religious organ- 
ization which is becoming frequent, and there seems to be 
no other term to take its place. The church which is 
described as " institutional " is one which adds to the ordi- 
nary features of church life a number of appliances not 
commonly regarded as ecclesiastical, — such as gymnasia, 
reading rooms, amusement rooms, and class rooms for in- 
struction in science or literature or music or art or useful 
industries. The distinction is not easily applied, for many 
churches that do not claim the name have some such fea- 
tures in their woi'k : indeed there are few vigorous 
churches in the larger towns and cities which do not 
employ some of the methods indicated above. It is true, 
however, that quite a nund)er of churches in America have 
recently made extensive provision for the introduction of 
these methods ; and it is to those churches wliich put a 
strong emphasis upon instrumentalities of this nature that 
the term " institutif)nal '" is fainiliai-ly applied. " It relates," 
says one authority, " to that form of city mission work 
which adds certain ap])liances to the ordinary functions of 
the local church, that adapt the church work brtter to the 
youth ol" the neighborhood and the families of working men. 
The building is an evcrv-dny honsc. The work is social 
and educational, and helpful to the pool': it is cHvcrting, 
amusing, as well as keenly evangelistic. Its evening ser- 
vices are so manipulated as to reach tlie classes to which 
the church ministers. It is a church in which the versa- 



tility of the pastor and his associates, and their knack at 
catching the crowd connt for more than in staid family 
chnrches, where good preaching, systematic edification, and 
certain routine pastoral activities are most in demand." ^ 

It must be said, however, that sensational preaching is 
not a peculiarity of this type of church : churches which 
admit no novelties of method are quite as apt to resort to 
this. The pastors of the churches best known as " insti- 
tutional " in the United States are not, as a rule, sensa- 
tional preachers : most of them are as dignified and 
decorous in their pulpit work as any one could desire. 

A brief description of the kinds of work attempted by 
these churches will bring the matter clearly into view. 
The Berkeley Temple, of l^oston, under Congregational 
auspices, was one of the first churches to undertake Avhat 
is known as institutional work, and its methods are thus 
described : 

" It started out with the idea of evangelizing the non- 
church-going community, rather than merely edifying the 
habitual church-goer, and in place of the ordinary rou- 
tine of parochial visitation, and occasional special services 
to reach the impenitent, the pastoral force was to be first 
of all evangelistic in its methods of work. 

" The buikhng itself was made an open-door church, 
witli daily ministrations ; a business house, in spiritual 
business. The attention of non-churcli-going people was 
attracted at once by popular lectures and concerts. By a 
Dorcastry Superintendent, three liundred young women 
were gathered, for whom reading rooms Avere opened, and 
twenty evening classes. Young men's reading rooms, 
gymnasium, lyceum work, and evening classes were opened, 
a Boys' Brigade organized ; a sewing school and a kindci-- 
garten provided ; and thirty-seven gatherings, comprising 
fi(tm eight to twelve thousand people every week, have 
utilized the Berkeley Temple Iniilding. There is a relief 
de])artment for the poor, rescue work I'oi- fallen A\-oinen, 
and a tein))oranee guild of two huiulred reformed men. 

'•Jt is in its new en-\ironment one of the most highly 

^ 'J'riiniiji/is oft/ic Cross, \t. .Mo. 


organized and cflicieiit institutions ; fully armed at every 
point, and intensely alive spiritually. In seven years the 
church mem])t'rsliip has increased from three hundred to 
more than a thousand.*' ^ 

Students from neighboring theological seminaries have 
taken large part in the work of this church. With such 
assistance it has been found possible to establish an " In- 
stitute of Applied Christianity," with a well organized 
teaching force and a regular course of study. 

Grace Church, or The Temple, in Philadelphia, is a 
Baptist institution of far larger ambitions. This church, 
beginning in a small mission, in the outskirts of the city, 
has taken on one kind of work after another until its scope 
is now wider than that of any other similar organization. 
The membership of the church is now about twenty-five 
hundred, with regular congregations of from four to five 
thousand, of whom many hundreds are devoting much of 
their leisure time to charitable and evangelistic work. 
( )ne striking outcome of this work is a college thus de- 
scriljcd l)y the })astor : 

" Beginning with seven young men who wished to study 
for the ministry, these attracted others, and the new class 
still others. Teachers were added as the need developed. 
New studies were introduced, as demanded, until now a 
full College Corporation, chartered by the State and inde- 
pendent of the church, gives instruction directly and in- 
directly to about thirty-iive hundred students. The courses 
include a full college course, a college preparatory and 
business courses, a professional course, a School of Christian 
Jfcligion, a musical department, a sjjccial department in 
practical instruction connected \vitli mechanics, houseliohl 
science, and the useful arts. 'J'he new building just dedi- 
cated, together with the halls in different parts of the city of 
lMiilad('I])hia, have been so arranged as to take six thousand 
students at the opening of the fall term. Tlicsc students 
are from all classes of society, l)ut most largely t'loni llie 
working classes, who would have no ojiportuuily to secure 
such instruction unless permitted to study in their h\)HYc 

' Triumjihs of the Cross, pp. 530, 537. 


hours and to go for recitation at the hours most convenient 
for them, day or evening." ^ 

Another remarkable outgrowth of this work is the Hos- 
pital, located in a neighborhood where no provision had 
been made for the care of the sick. It began with four 
beds, and the number has increased to twenty-one, now 
housed with a dispensary in a building owned by the church. 
These beds are usually full the year round with accident 
cases ; sometimes the dispensary and the yard adjoining- 
are crowded with afflicted persons waiting for medical or 
surgical assistance. The church regards this part of its 
work as only just begun, and looks for a larger building 
and a work of medical visitation which shall cover the 
entire city. 

Of organizations connected with this church there are 
mentioned seven Christian Endeavor Societies, the Bo^^s' 
Brigade, the Young Women's Christian Association, the 
Yomig Men's Association, the Business INIen's Union, 
the Ladies' Aid Society, the College Athletic Associa- 
tion, the Great Chorus, the King's Daughters and King's 
Sons, the Gymnasium, the Sunday Schools, the Sanitarium, 
the Society for furnishing work for the homeless poor, the 
Home for Young Women, the Girls' Lamp and Lilies Bene- 
volent Society, the Young Men's Congress, and the Literary 
Societies. The seven reading rooms are said to be ovei-fnll 
in the evenings. There are four assistant pastors besides 
the dean of the college and the hospital cha})lain. Eighteen 
deacons divide among them the parochial charities. Tlic 
field covered by this single church of Jesus Christ is ex- 
ceeding broad. 

The Jersey City Tabernacle is located in a very unpiom- 
ising section of that city. Tlie licensed saloons in tlic 
vicinity inim1)cr about tliree hundred to the s(iuare mih', 
and there arc unnumbered groceries wlicrc liquor is sohl, 
and a full supply of houses of prostitution, pooling shojis 
and gambling j)Iac('s. On one side of the T;d)c'rna( Ic, in 
its immediate neighboihood, is the Canal I'.oal Uasin, with 
a shifting population of extremely low character; docks, 

^ Trittvijilis oflhe Cross, pp. 534, 333. 


freight yards and factories form the environment in other 

The first addition to the appliances of this church was a 
])owling alley : this proved so useful that the wisdom of 
pnniding wholesome amusements for the people of the 
vicinity was justihed. A People's Palace has been built 
adjoining the church, in which are billiard tables, a room 
for dramatic entertainments, a swimming tank, and a gym- 
nasium. More than a score of indoor games of various 
lands atti-act the boys, and there is a four-acre lot adjoining 
for out-door sports. There are lecture courses, popular 
entertainments, an employment bureau, a Chautauqua 
circle, a Christian Endeavor Society, and a cooking class 
and a dressmaking class for the girls. Six hundred boys 
are attached to the Tabernacle : there is a Boys' Brigade 
and a carpenters' shop.^ 

The churches tlms described are known as " institu- 
tional ; " otliers, bearing the same designation, and doing 
the same kind of work, are found in Cleveland, Detroit^ 
Milwaukee, and several other American cities. Other 
churches, not thus designated, are performing the same 
kind of work. The largest and richest Episcopal church in 
America, Trinity Parish, in New York, with eight chapels, 
a total membership of 6488 communicants, and 4377 pupils 
in its Sunday-schools, includes in its machinery of service 
relief societies, employment bureaux, industrial training 
schools, a number of societies for men, and clubs for all 
ages. Its educational equipment comprises ten day and 
night schools with 1043 scholars and 1357 pupils in tiic 
industrial schools. 

Grace Church in the same city, to which an ciKlowiiK'nt 
of S3o0,000 has been given by a benevolent parishioner, 
divides its work into twelve departments ; "• The; KcJigious 
Instruction of the Youncr, havinc: eleven hundred in llic 
Sunday-schools; Missions at Home and vXbioad ; Iinhis- 
trial Education, Avith six hundred pupils; Juduslrial 
ICm])l()yment ; The Care of the Sick and Needy ; Tiie Care 
ol' Little Children; The Visitation of Neighborhoods; 

^ The Triumphs of the Cross, p. 525. 


The Visitation of Prisoners ; The l*romotion of Temper- 
ance ; Fresh Air Work, benefiting eiglit thousand recipi- 
ents ; Libraries and Reading Rooms, and Friendly Societies 
and Bi'otherhoods. The work of tliese departments is 
divided between thirty-five organizations." 

St. Bartholomew's Church in New York has a Men's 
Club, with a membership of three hundred ; a Girls' Club, 
which assists young women to find employment, and whose 
membership, limited to five hundred, is always full, A\"itli 
candidates in Avaiting; and a Boys' Club, with a cadet 
corps, a drum and fife corps, a gynmastic class, and classes 
for tjqoewriting, mechanical drawing and bookkeeping. A 
tailor-shop in which women make over or repair old gar- 
ments, a cooking class for married women, a sewing school 
with five hinidred pupils, and several kindergartens are also 
included among the departments of church work. The St. 
Bartholomew clinic has treated more than six thousand sur- 
gical cases in a year and made more than three thousand 
medical visits, and a night dispensar}^ for eye, ear, nose and 
throat disorders has given free treatment to eighteen hun- 
dred patients. A novel institution connected Avith this 
church is the loan bureau, Avith a capital of 825,000, Avhich 
has aided during one year 768 families by small loans upon 
chattel mortgages. The loan is for one 3'ear, and is paid 
in monthly instalments. The purpose is to deliA^er those 
in distress from the poAver of the extortioner. The annual 
disbursements of this church are about .^200,000. 

St. George's Church, now far doAvn toAvn, Avith olSo 
connnunicants on its registr}' and 1124 fannlies of 5372 
individuals in its parish, has a parish house Avith a free 
library, a fine gymnasium, industrial schools for boys and 
'_;irls, a free trade-school, Avith five de])artments, a Men's 
Club, a Bo3-s' liattalion, an Emplo3-ment Socict}', an Ath- 
letic Club, Avith sections devoted to base ball, bicycling, 
croquet and tennis ; legal, medical relief, and sanitary 
l)ur(!aux, and an extensive kindergarten Avork. The sea- 
side cottage charity, and llu' poor relief are also ini[i(iii;int 

Tliese sketches of some of the more important Ameri- 


can cliurelies now devoting tlieir energies to tlii.s kind of 
work will serve to indicate the nature of the development 
M'hicli is now taking place in this field. The list might be 
greatly extended. In England, both in the national church 
and in the dissenting churches, methods of this nature are 
extensively employed. It is needless to say that the classi- 
cal treatises on pastoral theology do not contemplate the 
existence of such functions as these modern churches are 
exercising. Many things which churches in the cities are 
now attempting would have been thought, a few 3'eai"s ago, 
to be utterly beyond the ecclesiastical pale. Even now 
there are many M'ho sharply question the legitimacy of 
these methods, — maintaining that the line between the 
secular and the sacred should be clearly drawn, and that 
the church should confine itself to purely spiritual func- 
tions. The question which is raised b}^ this new departure 
ill cliurcli activities is one that demands careful con- 

It should be at once admitted, that if these new measures 
have the effect to diminish the spiritual power of the church, 
they are by that fact condemned. If libraries and gym- 
nasiums and liowling alleys and educational classes and 
men's and bo3-s' clubs are inconsistent with or hostile to 
spiritual life and activity they must not be encouraged. It 
is not, however, usually believed that these things are es- 
sentially opposed to spiritual culture: it is only contended 
that they are distinct from it, and cannot be usefully com- 
bined with it. The assumption is that they belong to a 
different de])artm(mt of life and should l)e ke])t se])arate 
from our religious activities. 'J'hat ("In-istian men should 
belong to an organization outside llu; <-hurch for tlic jiro- 
motion of studies or recreations, would be deemed entirely 
pi'oper : what is (piestioned is the incorporation of such 
interests in the life of the church. 'IMie effect of this, it is 
argued, can only be the "secularization" of tlic churcli, 
and the weakening of its religions inlliu iicc. 

The first answer to this ciiticism must be found in an 
a[)peal to the facts. Is it true that the religious life of tlu^ 
churcln's adopting these measures has bceu preeeiilibly 


weakened ? TJie testimony seems to be clear that such is 
not the case. The preaching of most of these pulpits is 
said to be exceptionally faithful in its presentation of 
spiritual truths ; the percentage of additions to these 
churches by conversion is far larger than is the average in 
the other churches of the country. It appears, therefore, 
that the proximity of the gymnasium and the amusement 
rooin to the prayer-meeting room has not reduced the 
attendance in the latter place, nor the interest of its 
services, but has rather augmented them. 

If these diversions were suffered to become substitutes 
for Christian activity their influence would be evil ; but 
if they are made tributary to the life of the spirit they may 
be beneficial. If it is possible for us, whether we eat or 
drink or whatever we do, to do all to the glory of God, it 
must be possible to use all Avholesoihe means of education 
and recreation in building up his kingdom. 

So far as the strictly philanthropic work of the institu- 
tional church is concerned, there would probably be little 
dispute about its legitimacy. The question arises respect- 
ing the educational and recreative features of the work. 
It is to these that the taint of secularity is supposed to 
attach. But it is evident that a church situated as is the 
Jersey City Tabernacle or St. George's Church in New 
York could hardly devise a wiser philanthropy than that 
which offers to young men and boys wholesome diver- 
sions in safe places. If recreation is a normal need of 
human beings, and if the church finds thousands of its 
neighbors going down to ruin before its eyes because there 
is no recreation within their reach tliat is not full of deadh' 
poison, the instincts of Christian love would jn-ompt the 
church to su])ply this normal need. To save a soul from 
deatli, even by means of a gymnasium or a bowling alley, 
is not a secular proceeding. Tlie cliurcli tliat is too dainty- 
fingered to use such means for the rescue of tlie youtli 
from tlie ways of destruction, has not learned how to 
be all tilings to ;dl men tliiit it iiiiiy by all means save 

But the ])hil(tso])hy of this movement goes deejier. It 


rests ii})on the truth that Christ lias redeemed tlie whole 
world, lluit it all belongs to him — its industries, its pleas- 
ures, its arts, its social institutions — and that it is the duty 
of the Church to claim it all for him and use it in his 
lionor. The conventional distinction between the sacred 
and the secular it abolishes. It places the emphasis not 
upon the form of the service, but upon the spirit in wliich it 
is administered. It sees many a religious rite performed 
in a temper which is too manifestly irreligious ; and it 
beholds the divineness of love displayed in homely tasks 
and simple pleasures. All work, all study, all social ser- 
x'lCQ, rightly performed, are sacred. If the ploughing of the 
wicked is sin, the ploughing of the righteous is holiness, and 
for the same reason. The sanctification of all life is the 
o-reat business of the Church ; and the demonstration that 
useful studies and wholesome pleasures are essentially relig- 
ious is one of the highest services that she can render to 
the present generation. 

In the presence of this conviction the common objections 
to the programme of the institutional churches are at once 
ruled out. It has been said concerning one of these 
churches : " The gynniasium has its place in this plan 
1 lecause physical health and strength are sacred possessions, 
gifts which God wishes and works to bestow on all his 
children. It is because this church aims to be a co-worker 
witli God that it furnishes the gymnasium. The recreation 
rooms and the clubs for outdoor sj^orts are furnished for 
the same reason, because in God's plan rest must alternate 
with work and recreation follow mental strain, 'i'liis is 
not a secular provision ; it is part of the divine order, and 
the cliurch recognizes and treats it as such." 

The pastor of one of these churches bears this testi- 
mony: ''Great fear has been expressed by timid souls, 
lest the adoi)tion of the bowling alley, the billiaid (able, 
the draiiiatic cnlertaiiinicnt, the gyinniisiniii, aiul the swini- 
niing t;inlc, should detract i'roiii the spiiihial, but experiences 
])rovcs that, on the contiiuy, all these legitimate sjiorls 
])re(lis])(»si! young jjcojile in favor of religiou aii<l hel|) 
mightily to build up the church. 


" The improvement in the manners and morals of the 
attendants is pleasing to contemplate. Boisterous beha\'- 
ior, profanity, betting, and all manner of ungentlemanly 
conduct are strictly prohibited, and this gentle constraint 
is not without its relining effect. Men who are compelled 
to be polite two or three hours every evening acquire a 
certain polish in the course of time, which is gratifying to 
themselves and their friends. This polishing process is 
one of the conspicuous peculiarities of our institution. 

"Blessed familiarities are formed between Christians 
and those not Christians, which under other circumstances 
would be impossible. You must know men before you can 
expect to lead them, and wlien you once gain their good- 
will it is astonishing how easily many of them can be led. 

" The congregation of the Tabernacle is peculiar for its 
proportion of young men. It is not an uncommon sight to 
see as many as three hundred young men present on 
Sabbath evenings in an audience of fourteen hundred. The 
young men's Bible class always impresses the stranger, 
and in the Sunday-school — contrary to the general rule — 
the male element predominates. Conversions are frequent, 
and almost all who come into the church come on con- 
fession of faith. 

" The present clerk of the church is a young man who 
seldom frequented God's liouse, but liis love for billiards 
and Ixjwliiig In-ought him into the outer coui't of our 
peculiar temple, and thence he naturally drifted into the 
holiest of all. Tln-oughout our entire institutiou tlie 
current makes strongly towards tlie C'ross, and ;d)o\e 
all else we place the regeneration of the individual l)y 
the power of God. This genial, bioad-gauge, conuuon- 
sensc religion is very attractive to young people, and 
if the Master were liere to-day we believe He would be 
in the van of the present 'forward movement' f)f His 
Church." 1 

Another [)aslor, after a comprehensive sketch of the 
work of his church, draws the ff)llowing conclusions : "It 
appears that the ehui-eh which honestly tries to adapt these 

1 Rev. J. L. Scii.Mrr. in 77/' '/'niiw/>/is of the Cross, pj). 522. :>2;i. 


seenlar means to a spiritual end accomplishes three tilings 
whieli add much to the solution of the vexed problem of 
c\ang-elizing the masses. First : It attracts to itself a large 
numl)er of people who, under ordinary conditions of our 
L-luucli life, would not be brought within the intluence of 
the gospel. This has invariably been the case whenever 
the experiment has been tried in this country. Secondly : 
It confers an actual blessing on the objects of its minis- 
tration, and so fulfils the law of Christ. Such a church 
puts its warm hand, atlirill with the heart^beats of the 
Saviour, into the hand of the distressed, the tempted, the 
fallen ; and leads them out into a large place. It may be 
said that this is the duty of the individual Christian, and 
so it is ; but it is also the duty of the church as a church. 
For, thirdly, in attending to this duty as an organization 
it will make that impression upon the comnumity without 
wliich it must inevitably become effete. It might often 
seem, to a superficial critic, that there was a larger outlay 
of time and energy in this kind of work than the results 
would justify. The mathematical Christian who is forever 
trying to solve the arithmetic of the Trinity, or i)resuming 
to demonstrate the results of church work in terms of the 
addition table or by the I'ule of three, might l)e disappointed 
with his figuring. The true value of such a work lies not 
in the material, or even in the spiritual help which may 
have been given to a few individuals : it lies rather in that 
indefinite yet potent influence, which like a subtle fragrance 
pervades the surrounding community, and counteracts the 
malaria of scorn and doiil)! wliich threatens the religious 
life of our times." ^ 

The only comment wliich tliese words call for is llm 
f|uery whether it is not an error to use the word scculai' in 
this connection. The maintenance of the distim-tioii im- 
plied is rather apt to vitiate, to some extent, the whole 
work. Just so far as thes(! new features of the elmrch life 
are treated as mere; ex|)e(lients or l)aits will their ellicieney 
be iiii|iaii-c(l. If they are not saci'ed in themselves let tlu^ 
church iiave nothing to do with them. If they aic le( her 
1 licv. C. A. l)i(kiiis(>i). ill Aiulovi r f,'iri<ir ViA. \ii. ]>]>. "Mt. :\~o 


not apologize for thein, but honor them. They are not 
merely means of getting people under religions influences, 
they are means of grace, every one of them — helps to a 
godly life — just as truly as is the prayer meeting itself. 
The essential thing is that those who are brought into these 
churches should understand that these things in which they 
take pleasure are the good things of God, and are j)rovided as 
such by his people ; that they ought to be received with 
thanksgiving ; that the sense of his presence should be with 
true disciples, not only when they are in the devotional meet- 
ing, but also in the recreation room. This clear recogni- 
tion of the essential sacredness of all honest work, of all 
wliolesome diversion, of all pure social enjoyment should 
vitalize and consecrate all the work of these churches. 

There is reason to liope that Avork of this nature will 
greatly increase in the near future. The fields are white 
for such harvesting. It would be well if in every large 
city we could have many churches employed in woi'k like 
this. As has been remarked in a former chapter, the 
Christian church which will devote itself unitedly and 
courageously to work like this, can accomplish far more 
than the average College Settlement. The Christian men 
and women of mature wisdom and ripened character \\lio 
form the membershi[) of the churches ouglit to be able to 
give to the ignorant and the needy more effective help than 
could be given by young volunteers, just out of college. 
If the church c(mld so organize its work as to bring its own 
membership into lielpful relations with the needy muliilude 
I'ouud alK)ut, it might look for large results. The great 
advantage of these methods is that they put the church into 
direct communication with tliose to whom it is sent Aviili 
its message. 

It is true, however, tliat work of the kind under con- 
sideration cannot be done l)y all churches. There arc 
many, in country districts, and in small villages, in which 
such methods would be impracticable. Not a few city 
churclies are in neigliborlioods wliere agencies of this nature 
are not called for. A cluircli, as has l)cen before lomarkcd, 
whicli has for its near neighbor a well-equipped Young 


Men's Christian Association, scarcely needs to open a gjni- 
nasiuni or a reading- room, or educational classes for young 
men. It might, perhaps, find a field of labor among young 

One of the difficulties in the way of the prosecution of 
sucli work is its expensiveness. Buildings, well adapted 
for all these various uses, are costly : if they are opened 
every day the expense of warming, lighting, and caring for 
them is considerable : and the staff of pastors and helpers 
must be much larger than in an ordinary church. And 
usually it will be true that the churches which are properly 
located for service of this kind have not many of the rich 
in their membership. One solution of this difficulty is 
found in the generous support b}^ churches in the more 
[prosperous districts of those which are properly located to 
undertake this work. In the Avords of a city pastor : 

" Some churches, because of their location and environ- 
ment, cannot directly reach many of this class, but this 
makes them no less responsible for the solution of our prob- 
lem. The very fact that they are thus situated implies 
that God has so prospered them as to make it incumbent 
upon them to maintain a double work, — that in their own 
lield, and some aggressive work among the masses else- 

" It is in this cooperation of the up-town and down-town 
churches that the ideal church of the future is to be real- 
ized ; and when it appears it will be an Institutional 
Church, that is, a clmrch with several pastore and other 
salaried workers, and man)^ well-organized departments of 
work. It is impossible for one man to discharge in a satis- 
factory manner the multiform duties of a city pastorate. 
There are differences of administration, and diversities of 
operation, and there shouhl l)e workers of differing gifts to 
carry them on. The aggregate salaiies need not nnieh 
exc;ei'd the, salary of tlie star preacher; and a church 
worked in tliis way, by men and women of even ordinary 
ability, AN'ill sliow results that will far exceed any which 
can eonie from u\vi\) brilliant preaching."'^ 

1 The Amlov<r licvicw, Vol. xii. p. .'tO^. 


The social influence of churclies of this nature can 
scarcely be computed. More than any other agency at 
work in the comnuniity they tend to break down the bar- 
riers which keep social classes apart, and to cultivate that 
goodwill which is the only adequate social bond. 



The rapid survey which we have taken of the varied 
activities of the working Church at the end of the nine- 
teenth centur}' makes it clear that in a church fully organ- 
ized enough work will be found to employ all the members. 
The too frequent conception of the church as a safe refuge 
into Avhich weary wayfarers turn for rest and refreshment, 
docs not harmonize with the view of its functions wliich 
we have entertained. That the Church may be a haven 
of rest for troubled souls is not to be disputed, but the 
rest will be gained in other ways than those in which men 
are wont to seek it. " Not as the world giveth " does our 
Master give his peace. His own rest and refreshment 
were found in his ministry of love. While his disciples 
were gone away into the city to buy food, and he sat, 
weary, by the Avell at Sj-char, his fatigue was forgotten in 
his faithful service of the needs of a sinful soul. " I have 
meat to eat that ye know not of," ^ he said to liis wonder- 
ing disciples, as they returned and pressed him to partake 
of the needed food. And the fundamental truth respect- 
ing liis service is that it reverses, in many respects, the 
connuon conception of welfare. The laws of the sjjiritual 
realm are, in their primary statement, antithetical to those 
(if the ])hysical realm, though there is a higlier unit}- in 
whicli Ixith cohere. Of the things of the spirit it is 
alwavs true tli;it the mon^ one gives away tin' iiihit (tiic 
has left. 'J'jie economic pi-inciples which govern iiiatci'ial 
exchanges are utterly inappbcalde t(» the s|)iri(nal rchitions 
of inrii. And the same thing is true of tlie conceptions ol 
lal)or and rest as applied to the Cliristian service. 'I'lie 

1 John iv. .1::^. 


time may come when the disciples of Christ will rest from 
their laljors, but in this world the law is that they shall 
rest in their labors. What is the word of the Master 
himself to the weary and heavy laden ? " Take my yolcc 
upon you^ and learn of me, and ye shall find rest unto your 
souls." 1 

It is this conception of the essential nature of the Chris- 
tian life which is beginning to find expression in the 
organized activities of the Christian Church. The idea is 
still very imperfectly comprehended by the great multi- 
tude of communicants: the notion still prevails, both 
within and without the Church, that it is mainly an 
Ark of Safety rather than an army of occupation. Four 
persons out of every five of those who are invited into the 
Church fellowship will be heard answering, for substance, 
"What will it proiit me? " The idea that men come into 
the Churcli simply and solely to secure some benefit for 
themselves is almost universal. It is a great reproach 
against the Church of Jesus Christ that such an impression 
should still prevail. "Come thou with us and Ave will 
do thee good"^ is not the invitation upon which the 
Church should put the chief emphasis. The followers of 
Him who came not to be ministered unto but to minister, 
must not reverse the order of his kingdom in their mes- 
sage to the world. It is enough for the disciple that he 
be as his Master. Not to be saved, but to serve, is tlie 
high calling of God in Christ Jesus. The sneer of the 
on-lookers when Jesus hung upon the cross embodied 
the profoundest truth of his gospel: ""He saved others, 
liimself he cannot save." '^ It was because he did not save 
himself that he was able to save others. 

After this great truth the Churcli, in those latter days, 
seems to l)e dul)iously reaching loi'th. The meaning of its 
mission in tlio world is dimly borne into its tlionght. It 
begins to get some glim[)ses of the kind of work that it is 
called to do, as the body of Christ, — as his rei)resentative 
ill tlic world. 

It is not, indeed, a new concciition that the Church is 

1 Miitt. xi. 2'.t. - Num. x. 29. ^ jfatt. xxvii. 42. 

ENLISTING Till-: ml:.mi5i:usiiii' 417 

called to minister in Christ's name, and to give its life for 
men; but this conception has generally been coupled, 
avowedl}' or tacitly, with the theory that the Church, 
thus cfiinmissioned, is the clergy. That such is the func- 
tion of all those who are entrusted with the official ministry 
of the gospel has always been understood. Their first 
business, as all men know, is not to save themselves, but 
to save others. But those theories of the Church which 
separate the clergy from the laity have resulted in prac- 
tically surrendering to the clergy this highest form of 
service. The high calling of the clergy is to save others ; 
that of the laity is to be saved. Such is the steady impli- 
cation of sacerdotalism. And although the Reformed 
Churches have repudiated the sacerdotal theories, they 
have by no means rid themselves of all their implications. 
Tlio notion that the people are in the Church to be taught 
and fed and strengthened and comforted and inspired and 
led to heaN'en, and that the minister is among them to do 
this work for them, has been the prevailing notion, to 
which all the treatises on pastoral theology are clear wit- 
nesses. It is probable that the very name of pastor, 
^\-hich those at the furthest remove from sacerdotalism have 
usually bestowed upon their ministers, has suggested limi- 
tations which do not belong to the ministerial relation. 
.Vll analogies fail at some points; and the minister must 
1h! something other than a shepherd, and the members of 
the Church something more than sheep. This is the mis- 
conception which we constantly encounter, in all our 
dealings with the people of our churches. What is more 
connnon than to see the people in the pews on a Sunday 
morning, apparently settling themselves in an attitude 
wholly passive and negative to await the oi)eiation of the 
minister u[)on their minds. It is much as if they were 
folding their arms and saying: "lie is going to try to do 
us a little good; let us see how liis enterprise Mill prosju'r. 
If he succeeds, he will be only an unprotitable servant: if 
lie fails, we shall have good reason to lin<l fault." This 
is har<lly a caricature of the mood in which many congic- 
gations weekly present themselves before the puljtit. Vo 


drive all these misconceptions from the minds of his people 
is one of the first duties of the Christian minister. Line 
upon line, precept upon precept, let him instruct them 
that the call to service is addressed not only to the man in 
the pulpit, but to all the men and women in the pews; 
that it is the whole Church and not merely its office-bearers 
who are to be witnesses for Christ and laborers too'ether 
with him ; that the duty of ministering to those who are 
without rests upon the 'laity as well as upon the clergy ; 
that the injunction to do good to all men as we have 
opportunity, and especially to those of the household of 
faith, ^ is addressed by the apostle to the people, and not 
to their pastors. And it will be the minister's constant 
endeavor to secure from each member of his flock, even 
the feeblest, some co-operation in the work to which the 
Church is called. 

The extent and the urgency of this work he ought to 
keep before their minds. The relation of the church to 
the community in which it stands; i^s function as teacher, 
inspirer, healer, light-bearer, leader of the people ; its duty 
to do for the people round about, rich and poor, liigli and 
low, believing and unbelieving, the work that Christ would 
be doing if he were there, is the truth which he must con- 
stantly urge upon the consciences of his people. The pos- 
sibility and the duty of some active participation in this 
work by every one that has named the )i;iiiu' of ('lii'ist — 
by the children of the fold, even, and by the in\alids at 
home — must he faithfully enforced. 

We are sometimes inclined to say that it would be 
better for all our churches if the}' could be sifted, as 
Gideon's army was sifted; if the faint-hearted and tlic 
ease-loving and tlie Avorldly-minded could all be sent to 
the rear, and only tlie l)rave and tlie faitliful were left in 
the ranks. IjhI this is tlie eouiisel of iniw isdoiii. 'I'liese 
timid and indifferent people in tlic church are wortli sav- 
ing; and the only way to save them is to set them to 
woik. Even if tlie service wliich they inidcrtake is but 
slight, it will Ite good for them to feel that they are ideii- 

' (ial. \i. 10. 


tifii'd with the life of the church, and have a right to 
count themselves not merely as passengers but as helpers. 

In order to secure this co-operation of all, the first thing 
to be done is to keep the members of the church Avell 
informed respecting the work in hand. The pulpit 
announcements from Sunday to Sunday will conve}' much 
of this information; but it is not judicious to devote much 
of the time of the morning service to the discussion of the 
details of these various enterprises: and it is therefore 
desirable that some means of communication be establislied 
Ijetween the members of the congregation by which all the 
news of the church Avork can be conveyed to all. A 
printed calendar of services and engagements for the week, 
with the standing list of the officers and the working 
organizations of the church, distributed at the doors of 
the church at every service, answers this purpose. Such 
a calendar may be sufficiently large to admit, every week, 
brief notes about the various enterprises, and reminders of 
the obligation of the members to support them. In a city 
church where the membersliip is scattered, and the dilFi- 
culty of maintaining social intercourse among the members 
is serious, such a method of communication is valuable. 
Some churclies maintain a monthly jjcriodical, somewhat 
more pretentious, in which the work of the churcli is 
rei)orted and discussed. If judiciously edited, such a 
newspaper may ])e a great aid to the pastor. If, however, 
the labor of editing it is wholly thrown upon him, tlie 
burden, in many cases, will be too heavy. 

The mid-week service, as has already l)een suggested, 
may l)e utilized in reporting the progress of the work of 
the cliiircli. A definite schedule might be arranged, I)\- 
w liich hricf reports from one or two dcpai-tments should ]>('■ 
secured at each weekly meeting. Or it might be preferred 
that an occasional mid-week service should be wholly 
set ajiart for the healing of such re])or(s from ;ill dcpart- 
iiifuls. The idea that the cliiiicli is a woikiug liod\-, en- 
gaged in dclinite enter])riscs, and interested in the progress 
of these entiT])rises, would thus he steadily kept in view. 

The annual nieetinir of the eliurcli should he lai^>clv 


devoted to reports from all departments of the clnirch. 
It should be made the duty of the head of each of these 
departments to prepare and present a clear and condensed 
account of the work done during the year in his depart- 
ment, with intelligent criticisms and suggestions. Fol- 
lowing these reports of the heads of departments should he 
the pastor's report, covering the whole field, pointing out 
the encouraging and the discouraging features of the 
work, emphasizing the points that need to be especially 
considered, and making any suggestions that may seem 
wise to him respecting enlargements or modifications of 
method. These reports should in all cases be written; 
after the meeting they should be recorded in a book kept 
for the purpose, so that a complete history of the work of 
the cliurch should be written from year to year. 

The meeting at which the work of the year is thus com- 
prehensively reviewed should be treated by the pastor and 
the officers of the church as the most important meeting 
of the year. Notice of it should be given two or three 
weeks beforehand, and the members should bo admonished 
to arrange their l)usiness so that they may be in attendance. 
It should be made very clear by the pastor that their 
presence at this meeting is expected of all who are not 
sick or necessarily absent from the city; that no social 
engagement and no business engagement should be per- 
mitted to take precedence of this, and that the ordlnaiy 
excuses for absence will not be accepted. 

In churches congregationally governed, the duty of all 
tlie meml)ers to attend the annual meeting, and take part 
in the choice of the leaders of the work for the coming year 
is obvious enough. Even in these churches, liowever, 
this business is ajjt to be left to a few. l>ut avIumi tlic 
annual meeting is made the great event ol th(^ church 
year, and tlie Mork of tlie year is clearly presented in brief 
and well-digested re[)orls, it takes on a new signilicaiice, 
and the ajjpeal to tlie members to attend and pailici[)ate 
is more likely to be heeded. 

Tlien; is no reason liowever, why eliurehes under an 
e[»iscopal or a presbylerian government should not lia\c 


such annual assemblies of tlie whole membership to hear 
the recital of Avhat has been done during the year, and to 
listen to the proposals A\liieh may be made by the proper 
of'licers of new work for the coming year. If the church 
is a working body, it would seem to be highly important 
that an annual review of what has been accomplished 
should in some way be brought to the attention of every 
hk'hiIkt of the church. With nothing short of this 
should the pastor be for one moment content. The 
presence of a small minority of the members at this impor- 
tant meeting should be to him an intolerable neglect, and 
he should set himself, with all good-natured determination, 
to overcome it. Once a year, if no oftener, the fact that 
the church is a working body ought to be brought home 
to the com})rehension of ever}" member thereof. 

It is sometimes assumed that the printing, in a church 
year-book, of the reports of all the departments of the 
churcli, for distribution among the members, will answer 
the same purpose. But this is hardly sufficient. The 
printed report can be easily laid aside ; there is reason to 
fear that not half the members receiving it would read it; 
and the reading, in any case, would not have the same 
effect upon the mind that would be produced by the oral 
presentation, in the assem1)k'd congregation, of these 
recitals of faithful service. 

Nor is the plan adopted by some churches of providing 
an annual supper for the members, in connection with 
which these matters shall be considered, in all respects 
advisable. The festivities Avould interfere, to a consider- 
able extent, with the business; and it is not well to give 
the impression that this meeting is in any sense a festivity. 
It is a business meeting; and those Avho attend it should 
be expected to give (heir minds striclly to business. To 
;dlure them with the |ii-oiiiist' of a good (inn- :iiid soiiir- 
thiiig to eat is to touch the wrong clioid. This iiu'ctiiig 
means service and sacrilice. if it means anything; and we 
do not well when we assume that there are many mendu'i-s 
of our churches who can never be enlisted in anything 
that hivolves service and sacrilice. 


By such measures as have been suggested, tlie work of 
the church may be ke]:)t before the minds of its members. 
This is the first consideration. Those who come into its 
communion must be constantly advised and reminded of 
the fact that it is a working body; that it is seeking to 
follow him who said, " My Father worketh hitherto, and I 
work."^ In this very matter many churches fail. A 
considerable numljer of their members are at work, but 
there are also large numbers who are doing nothing, and 
no means are taken to Ijring the work of the church directly 
before the minds of those who are living in idleness. 

But it is not enough that information should be freely 
afforded to all the members. Vigorous measures should 
be taken to enlist every one of them in some department of 
the work. The problem of the unemployed is quite as 
serious in the church as it is in society. The number of 
those church members who, from one year's end to another, 
never lift a finger in any effort to promote the enterprises 
in which the church is engaged, is, in most cliurches, far 
too large. We must not, indeed, assume that those 
church members who are never known to take part in the 
organized activities of the churches to which they belong, 
are all fruitless Christians. Some of them may be bringing 
forth good fruit in tlieir homes, and in their business 
relations, and in their daily association with their fellow- 
men. The inspiration which they receive in the pul)lic 
services of the church may greatly influence their con- 
duct. But it would seem to be true that even tliese, if 
they were a little more conscientious, would feel iliat tlu', 
owed some service to the church whose covenant ihey have 
taken upon themselves, — that they nnist not be wholly 
negligent of the ()]i|i(iituiiilics of associated woi'k wliich 
the churcli oHits thciu. ^Viid every pastor should set it 
before liim as tlie end of liis leadership, to get every mem- 
ber of his cliurch definitely and consciously plcdL;'c<l to 
some kind of service in connection \\ith the woik of (he 
organization. Tliere is work enough to do; the lidds are 
wliite for the harvest ; and the ]ii-ohlein is to assign eveiy 
one his woik. 

1 Joliu V. 17. 


111 every cliuicli a goodly number of the members are 
now emplo3'ed. They are teaching in the Sunday-schools, 
or working in the Women's Aid Societies, or the Mis- 
sionary Societies, or the Young People's Associations, or 
the Guilds, or the Brotherhoods ; many individuals are 
engaged in several different departments of work. To 
reach those not thus employed is the business in hand. It 
can only be done by systematic and patient effort. 

It is quite probable that there are many persons in the 
communion who would not feel competent to undertake 
any kind of work now organized. If so, some new depart- 
ments must at once be formed. It is possible, surely, to 
I)rovide some kind of work in which every one may be a 

There ought, for example, to be a very large force of 
visitors of the poor in every considerable city cliurch ; and 
an}' one should be invited to take part in this visitation 
A\'lio would be willing to take the oversight of a single 
})oor family. 

There should be a large committee on fellowship also; 
and those who would consent to make a few calls upon 
new members of the church livinsj in their neii^hborliood 
should 1)0 assigned to this committee. 

The committee on church and Sunday-school attendance 
should be larger still; scores or even hundreds of the 
meml)ers of a large church could belong to it; all those 
who would engage to invite to church or Sunday-school 
those having no church home might be members of this 
committee. There might be committees on flowers and 
decorations, and committees on visiting and reading to 
the sick and tlic aged; and collecting conniiilU'i-s for tlie 
church offerings; and many others which the circum- 
stances of each congregation would readily suggest. Now 
lit the pastor set to work to assign every one of his mcm- 
bcis, by their own consent, to some one of these \;irinus 
(lei)artnients of work, ('ards maybe prepared, on which 
tliese de|)artments aiv named, and these may be |ilaeed in 
the liands of all the meml>ei-s, with the re(|nest that each 
one mark those kinds of serviei' in which he is w illiiiLT to 


engage, and return the card, with his signature, to the 
pastor. The names thus gathered in may be given to the 
leader in charge of each department, who shoukl be 
responsible for putting himself in communication with his 
volunteers and assigning to them their special tasks. 

This will do for a beginning; but it will need to be 
followed up. Many will fail to respond ; they should be 
visited and kindly pressed into undertaking something in 
the way of definite Christian service. "No unemployed 
members "' should be the motto of every church. By 
diligence, by patience, by persistence, the expectation 
should be established that every person coming into the 
church should find, at once, some post of service. Every 
candidate presenting ' himself for admission to the churcli 
sliould be requested to assign himself, at once, to some 
department of the work of the church. 

To bring about such a state of things in some churcli cs 
would seem to be a herculean undertaking. So large is 
the number of those to whom church-members! lip lias 
never brought a suggestion of responsibility or actual 
service, and to whom it has always seemed that they were 
fulfilling all righteousness, if they folded their hands, and 
absorbed what they could, and found fault with those who 
bore the burden and heat of the day, that the attempt 
to enlist the whole membership of every church in some 
kind of Christian service may even appear to many a 
quixotic proposition. But it will be far better to aim at 
this than at any lower mark. The admission ought never 
to be made that any person can belong to a church Avitli- 
out liaving some active part in its labor. Hiat a })U])il 
should be admitted to a school without any delinite undei- 
standing that he should become actively interested in its 
studies, or that a soldier should Ik; enlisted in an army 
witlioul being retpiired to ])t'rrorm any service, woukl 
seem an iri-ational proceeding; is it any less anomalous 
that men and women should be received into the membei- 
ship of a Chiistian church and permitted to live and die in 
its communion without becoming res])onsible for any por- 
tion of the work which that church is organized to per- 


form? The clear and emphatic statement of this principle, 
from time to time, will carry conviction to the minds of 
those M'ho hear it. It is so manifestly true that they can- 
not deny it. And when, without passion or accusation, it 
is lirmly insisted on as the only rational theory of church 
membership, most of the members of the church will 
accept the situation and seek to be counted as having some 
, part in the work. A thorough-going policy of this nature 
will commend itself to the reason of every intelligent 
person ; it is more reasonable and more feasible than the 
policy which expects all the work of the church to be 
done by one-third or one-half of the membership, while 
the rest are permitted to be merel}^ nominal or honorary 
members. Doubtless we often fail in our church work 
because we do not ask enough of our church-members. 
But it must not be forgotten that when we ask service of 
all, we must provide forms of service in A\-hich all can 
engage. ^Vll cannot talk in the prayer-meeting or teach 
in the Sunday-school; but some simple kinds of work can 
1)0 devised in which the humblest and the youngest and 
the busiest can take part. 

The leaders who have the charge of the several depart- 
ments thus organized, should be expected to have frequent 
meetings of those enlisted under them, that progress may 
be reported and counsel and encouragement given to the 
workers. A roll of all engaged in each department 
should be kept and called at every meeting. The visitors 
of the poor, for example, should meet frequently, to 
exchange experiences and make return to the committee 
in cliarge of the work done. The large committee on 
church attendance should be l)rouglit together occasionally, 
and each member of th(^ committee should be exp(>('(ed to 
repoi-t in person or by lettei' how many invitations he liad 
gixcn iiiid \\ilh what success. The committe(> on iVllnw - 
sjiip should meet to exchange information about removals, 
and to h'arn what their leader or the ])astor may have to 
tell them resjx'eting new eomei's. It will lie useless to 
provide these dilTen'Ut de])artnieuts of Moik, luiless those 
wlu) are assigned to them arc made to feel that something 


definite is being done in every one of tlieni, and thtit the 
work which they do will be recognized. The responsibility 
of the head of every department for keeping his forces 
together and securing some contribution of help from every 
one of them should be insisted on. No such })lan can be 
made to work unless the pastor can succeed in iinding 
men and women for these positions who will take time 
and trouble in securing the co-operation of those who have 
enlisted under them. It is at this point, no doubt, that 
the chief difficulty will be encountered. Not a few of 
those to whom this leadership is entrusted will be found 
careless and neglectful. Much of the work will be indif- 
ferently done. Perfection is never quite attainable in this 
world. But it is worth while to aim at securing the 
co-operation of the whole membersliip in the work of the 
church, even though the aim may not be completely 
realized. It is the onl}- ideal upon v/hich any pastor can 
wisely fix his thought. To keep the proposition clearly 
before the minds of his people, that, as every one has 
received the gifts of grace, even so they must minister the 
same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold 
gifts of God, would be, to some thoughtless and irrespon- 
sible souls, a most wholesome dispensation of saving 

The amount of unused })ower in most of oui' cliuivlies is 
not often estimated by those who are responsible for the 
care of them. The neglect exists, and avc fall into the 
way of condoning it, and do not take pains to find out 
how serious it is. One investigation, made a few years 
ago by a pastor in Ohio, sliowed that of thirty churches 
investigated, only alxmi half tlie meml)ei"s were present in 
the church on a pleasant Sunday morning, and only about 
twenty-two per cent, at the mid-week service. Here are 
his reflections : — 

" It is a sad conunent on the s])ii'itual life (if oui' churclics 
that out of thirty thousand members only six thousand 
sliould be present at the prayer-mceliiig mi a given week, 
and twenty-four tliousand absent. Is there no waste of 
that power which resides in numbers'.'' If there weie foui' 


times as many present, the service would do good to four 
times as many, and vastly more than four times as much 
good could be done, because the meeting would be vastly 
better. If a given number of Christians do a certain 
amount of good, manifestly twice as many of the same 
sort Avould accomplish twice as much. But this is not all. 
The Word says that ' one shall chase a thousand and two 
put ' — not two thousand, but — ' ten thousand to flight. ' ^ 
There is a cumulative power in numbers greater than the 
numerical increase. Two hundred Christians ought to be 
aljle to accomplish far more than tAvice as much as one 
liuiidred, and will if they properly co-operate. If half of 
our church-membership does nothing, far more than half 
of the possible power is lost. If four out of live do 
nothing, possibly ninety-nine one-hundredths of the power 
is wasted. The secret of the fact that possible power 
increases more rapidly than numbers lies in organization, 
the value of which in Christian work the churches and 
denominations are barely beginning to learn. "^ 

1 Dcut. xxxii. 30. 

^ Kev. Josiah Strong, D. D., in Purish Problems, p. ."348. 



The unity of Christendom is a problem to whicli the 
great ecclesiasticisms have lately been addressing" them- 
selves "with unnsual seriousness and insistence. It seems 
to be felt, on all sides, that something must be done about 
it. Discussion of the various propositions for organic 
unity, from that of the Vatican to that of the Congrega- 
tional Council, is quite aside from the purpose of the 
present treatise. Yet no working church can study its 
responsibilities and prepare to take its place in the lield of 
the world and its part in the service of the kingdom, with- 
out being confronted, at once, with serious difficulties that 
grow out of this lack of unity. Indeed, it is the devcdop- 
ment of the working church which has forced this problem 
upon the attention of ChristeiKltun. So long as each local 
church was content with sheltering and shepherding such 
as were born within its fold, or came of their own accord 
into it, this question was largely in abeyance. But as 
soon as it was discovered that there were lai-ge regions 
lying unevangclized, and that the churches nuist go out 
with llicir g()Sj)el into these waste places, the evils of 
schism l)fgan to manifest themselves. In almost eveiy 
city in the laud tlu; collisions and confusions arising from 
this soui'ce are shamt'l'iil, and tlic \\as((' t<[' resources thus 
entailed is little less tliaii (riiniiia]. Any cliiircli sending 
out its \isil()rs iiilo a neglected distriel. lo in\ile the 
eliildren into its Suiiday-sehool, is a])l lo lind tliiit a neigh- 
bor elnn'ch has been over the groinid just before it; and 
the children, thus solicited, manifest a lively interest in 
finding out which of the Sunday-schools is offering the 
largest inducements. Multitudes of these children arc 


thus continually drawn away from one school to another 
by Avhat they regard as superior attractions; there is no 
stability in their church relations, and small possil)ility of 
making any permanent impression on tlieir characters. 

When any church, after carefully studying the neglected 
districts of its own city, plants a chapel in some promising 
Held, it may conlidently expect that before the paint is 
dr\- upon the walls of the new building, another, like unto 
it, will be rising on the next square, to contest with it the 
occupancy of its field, and to divide with it a constituency 
which is not large enough to support one enterprise. If 
this competitor is backed by large revenues, and aggres- 
sive workers, it is possible that it may absorb the attend- 
ance, and leave the original occupant of the field to 
struggle and starve and finally perish. Such things are 
constantly occurring. The principle of the survival of 
the strongest is allowed free play among church organiza- 
tions in the cities. Mr. Fiske says that civilization largely 
consists in setting metes and bounds to this force of 
natural selection; in replacing the animal competitions by 
sympathy and consideration and good-will. He calls this 
"castino- off the brute inheritance." This stage of civili- 
zation has not yet overtaken our contending ecclesiasticisms. 

" Dragons of lliu priino 
Tliat tare each other in llicir slinie " 

were not more ready to devour each otlicr than are the 
Christian cliurches, so called, planted for sectarian jnn- 
poscs, in the growing districts of American cities. It is a 
striking illustiation of the adage that corjiorations have no 
souls. Tlic ini]>ci-sonal society which we call a churdi 
does not considci- itscll' l)ound by the law of Ionc in its 
relations to similar bodies round about it. There aic 
casuists who maintain that it cannot l)e; that any social 
organization, as sueli, must look out foi- its own interests, 
with no regard lor liif interests of its neigldxtrs. The 
ethical soundness of this ])roj)osition may Mcll be ques- 
tioned. 'Hn'ough the acceptance of some such doctrine, 
the strife of ehisses iilnl nil the woes tlint tlii'.Mteii the 

430 niKlSTIAX rARTOE AND WORKINd ciirKrii 

social order have crept into our inodcni world. It is, 
however, the principle which is tacitly assumed by most 
of the sectarian propagandists. Led by such a maxim, 
those w'lio are zealous for denominational aggrandizement 
fling themselves into competitions w'hicli must result in 
great w^aste of energy and in the destruction of vast amounts 
of capital. It would be uncharitable to say that the delib- 
erate intent of those who engage in these competitions 
is to destroy one another's propert}^; probably they often 
silence the voice of conscience with the plea that the 
growth of the neighborhood will soon develop support for 
all the competing churches ; but in four cases out of five 
this expectation would be proved, by any serious investi- 
gation, to have slight foundations; and the fact Avould 
i:)lainly appear that the multiplication of churches in the 
neighborhood must mean the death of some of them, and 
the annihilation of the capital invested in them. Such a 
contingency cannot be remote from the thought of any 
intelligent person carefully considering the situation. If 
it is recognized by any of these zealous sectarians, they 
are at least fain to hope that tlieii' enterj)rise will survive 
in the struggle. None of them would think of ai)plying 
tlie torch of the incendiary to the edifices erected by their 
"sister" churches; but they adopt a policy w^hich will 
quite as effectually, if a little less suddenly, wipe out the 
value of their neighbor's property. 

The mere question of material economy is, tlicrcfore, 
a serious one. No man knoAvs how many hundred tliou- 
sand dollars wortli of buildings have l)een rendered worth- 
less by these sectarian cnmjjt'titions ; and even wlien tlie 
edifu'cs hav(! not been ;iI);iiiil<>mMl, the ciioniious over- 
sup])ly of cliurch acconnnodalion, in the coiiijx'titive 
nciglihorlioods, signilics llie un])rofitable iiivcstiiu'iit ol 
large iiiiinuiils of ciniilal, t'loiii wliidi no adcijUiitc I'ctuni 
will (Ml- ((iiiit', mul wiiicli should lia\e been productivi-ly 
(■iii|il(i\((l clscwhcrr ill aiding the progress of the kingdom 
dl' lic;i\cii. 

Siicli arc tlic conditions wliicli every working elniich 
must t'acc wlicii it sets forth, at the coiiiniaiid of its Lord, 


to occupy tliu licltl into which, in the exercise of its best 
wisdom, it believes itself to be sent. It is a situation 
^\•llich no bod}- of sincere believers, to whom the welfare 
of Christ's kingdom is dearer than the prosperity of any 
sect, can contemplate without a sinking of the heart. 
Was this any part of the calamity which our Lord foresaw 
when he said, ''A jnan's foes shall be they of his own 
household?"'^ Can anything l)e more melancholy than 
this fratricidal strife of men who sing so l)lithely, in tlu'ir 
union meetings, — 

'• We are not divided, 
All one body we : 
One in hope and doctrine. 
One in charity ! " 

For the waste of the Lord's money to which we have 
alluded is not the only loss involved. The whole message 
of the Church is enfeebled and perverted. The pushing 
rivalry, so patent to all observers, impresses those to whom 
the invitations are spoken with the egoism of the whole 
proceeding. It becomes too evident that these eager can- 
vassers are working to save the Church, more than to 
make the Church the saviour of men. "The competition 
of churches," says one, "which is so mournfully connnon, 
almost universal, is sufficient evidence to the world that 
the churches are selfish; that they seek attendants in 
exactly the same spiiit that a business house seeks cus- 
tomers. And, of course, men wlio care nothing for the 
Cliurch cannot be induced to attend for the sake of the 
Church. AVI ion we really convince men that we seek not 
theirs but iln-m, and that avc seek them for their own 
sakes, not oni's, we sliali li;i\c far ninir inllufncc wiili 

What sliall the chnrcii i\i) when it linds itself lace to 
face with these conditions? It ought to seek, by t\eiy 
means in its power, to secure some kind of unch'istaiiding 
or agreement A\ilh tlie ehurclies i-ound about, by wliicli 
comi)etition shall be as far as j)ossil)le suj)i)resse(]. and llic 
principle of co-operation substituted therefoi-. In the day 

' .M.itt. X. .•>G. 


wlieii the wastefulness of a wholly selfish competition is 
fully recognized by political economists, and when it has 
become evident, even in the material world, that it is 
better to unite than to contend, it would seem that the pos- 
sibility of securing some kind of co-operative arrangement 
among Cliristian churches ought not to be despaired of. 

As a beginning, it might be well to propose a convention 
of all the churches of the town or nuniicipality, for the 
sole purpose of studying together their common field of 
labor. ^V friendly conference of this nature, even if it 
were pledged beforehand to pass no votes and take no 
action, might prove to be useful. It would necessarily 
emphasize the fact that the field was common to the 
churches thus conferring ; the obligations of comity would 
be suggested and emphasized by the existence of the con- 
ference. Some churches, doubtless, would be reluctant 
to enter into it for this very reason; for there are still 
some who are shy of any proposition that looks toward 
unity — some, because they are so fully convinced that 
theirs is the only possible form of church order, and others, 
because they think that the existing " cut-throat competi- 
tion " of the sects is the best regimen for the kingdom of 
heaven. But it sliould not be difficult to answer those 
objections and bring the various churches together, by 
their representatives, to consider the condition of the field 
which they are occupying together — to learn what their 
neighl)ors are doing, and what is left undone ; to investi- 
gate the hindrances to the progress of tlie kingdom; to 
secure careful reports upon the state of the most neglected 
neighborhoods; to study the relation of the churches to 
the working people and the unchurched classes generally ; 
to look into the condition of the foreign-born populations: 
to find out Avhether or not tlie laws and ordinances of Uic 
town or city are enforced by the i)roi)er autliorities, and 
if not, why not; to learn what is being done for the poor 
1)}' ])ul)lic and voluntary agencies, and whetlier and to 
what extent this woi'k of outdoor relief is tending to the 
pauperization of the recipients; and to consider any othci- 
matter of this nature which may be of interest to the 


Cliristian people of the community. The purpose of this 
conference would thus he purely educational. Work of 
this kind is hy no means superfluous. Clear information 
respecting the social and religious conditions of the com- 
nuuiities in which they are at work is one of the things 
most needed hy all working churches. Far too often they 
keep working away, year after year, with little knowledge 
of what needs to he done, or of what others are doing. 
An intelligent survey of the entire field for which they 
are jointly and severally responsible, would he full of 
instruction for them. 

Such a conference, in which each church should be 
represented hy its pastor and two or three delegates, calls 
for no elaborate organization. A well-chosen Business 
Connnittee of three or five members furnishes all the 
machinery needed. The duty of this committee should be 
to decide upon the topic for each meeting, to secure the 
opening paper or address, which should be limited to half 
an hour, and to engage one of the churches for the meet- 
ing. The pastor of the church in which the meeting is 
held should be the chairman of the meeting. The paper 
of the evening should be open for discussion, in speeches 
of limited length, and should be prepared with a view to 
its publication in the local newspapers. Careful studies, 
not too long, of the religious or social conditions of the 
community, are availaljle "news," which any enterprising 
journal would gladly print. The conference would thus 
assist in enlightening the whole community respecting its 
own social needs, and could be an effective means of 
creating an intelligent and wholesome public opinion. 

There is good reason to believe that a few meetings of 
tliis nature would convince the churclies taking part in 
them that they ought to devise some method of practical 
co-oper;ition. Such an association as this would be likely 
to deepen, in the hearts of all sincere disciples, the feeliug 
of their conuiion interests and aims, aud would strengthen 
the craving for fellowshij) in work which must spring in 
tlie heart of all who have learned of Christ. Evidence of 
wasted resources and conflicting labors nuist needs appear 



ill aljundance to those engaged in such studies; and 
douljtless large tracts of heathenism, practically initouched 
by all these striving bands of sectaries, would be brought 
to light. The need of a more comprehensive and a 
more rational policy of evangelization would be strongly 

The first question respecting the active co-operation of 
the Christian churches of the local community in their 
common work would have respect to the basis of such 
organization. What churches shall be invited or admitted ? 
What shall . be the doctrinal foundation of such an effort ? 
To some persons this is a paramount consideration. Tliey 
are not willing to unite in Christian work of an}- kind 
\vith those whose beliefs are unsound. The Roman Catholic 
church, in its strenuous testimony to the unity of the 
church, and its unflinching assertion that there can be no 
unity which is not based upon acceptance of the supreme 
authority of the Bishop of Rome, refuses, as a matter of 
course, to take part in any association by which the recog- 
nition of other Christian bodies as churches is even im- 
plied. Many high Anglicans, with a different standard 
of regularity, adopt a similar practical rule. Some of 
the Reformed bodies have hitherto held so strongly to 
the vital importance of certain tenets of orthodoxy that 
they could not co-operate with any who did not hold these 
doctrines. Various attempts have been made to find a 
doctrinal basis on which Christians of different names, 
residing in the same neighborhood, might unite in Chris- 
tian work. The creed of the Evangelical Alliance was 
long supposed to be a statement broad enough for all prac- 
tical purposes. This creed contained the doctrine of the 
Trinity and wliat aie known among the Reformed cliurches 
as tlie doctrines of grace, including the expiatory atone- 
ment, and the need of regeneration; it assorted also the 
everlasting i)unisliment of those dying in impenitence. liy 
this creed, many of those who "profess and call themselves 
Christians '' were excluded from fellowshi]) in Christian 
work ; and Mhile a goodly number of the <lenominations 
were able to ranu'c themselves under the bainier of the 


Evangelical Alliance, its definitions of doctrine served to 
di\ide rather than to unite the followers of Christ. The 
Apostles' Creed has often been jiroposed as a basis of 
fellowship for local organizations, but even this proves to 
be a stumljling-block to some whose co-operation is greatly 
to be desired. 

These unsuccessful endeavors after unity have raised 
the question whether, in the local community, any dog- 
matic basis is essential to the co-operation of Christians. 
Doubtless when the great denominations negotiate respect- 
ing organic union, it is necessary that they should come 
to some definite understanding about doctrines. But when 
neighboring churches come together to consider the work 
lying at their doors, and to agree upon some plan by 
which this work may be carried forward without waste or 
friction, is it really important that a doctrinal platform 
should be agreed upon before they set to work ? May they 
not "receive one another," as servants of the same Master, 
and agree to waive doctrinal differences ? 

There is, however, one important afifirmation, A\liif'h 
Christian churches, engaged in avowedly religious work, 
should always utter and maintain. They are Christian 
churches ; and the very principle of their organization is 
loyalty to Jesus Christ. No co-operation of Christian 
churches is to be desired, in which this principle is disal- 
lowed. Christian churches may unite, for various social 
and ethical purposes, with organizations that are not Cliris- 
tian; but when, as churches, they meet to form a union 
of churches, the organic idea of the Christian church 
cannot be ignored. All organizations taking part in such 
a unicm must be those that "hold to the Head." Accept- 
ance of tlie lordship and loadcrshi}) of Jesus Christ is the 
only Itoiid of union between Christian liclievers; but this 
and tliis alone is essential to useful Christian fellowsliip. 
'Hiose who can answer tlie Master's question, "Whom 
say ye that I am?" as Peter answered it, "Thou art the 
Christ, the Son of the ]i\ing (iod,"" may surc]\- Ix' recog- 
nized as ('hristians. Further in(|uiry into the ])hiloso]ihi- 
cal distinctions which they are in the liabit of making 


respecting the essentials of divinity and hnmanity may be 
forgone. His own apostles were by no means clear 
respecting the essential nature of our Lord, while they 
companied with him in the flesh; such as those whom he 
chose to be always with him here, and for whom he praj^ed 
that they might be with him forever, are not to be set 
aside by us as unworthy of our fellowship. Loyalty to 
him, the acceptance of him as Master, a true discipleship 
— this is the only condition on Avhich we need to insist 
when we come together as Christian neighbors to form 
plans for the better prosecution of our connnon work. 

Doubtless the first thing to be done by such an organi- 
zation of the churches would be to divide the held among 
themselves, so that each church should have some definite 
territory for whose evangelization it should be held respon- 
sible. These districts should be assigned with consider- 
able care, so that each church would find opportunity of 
work among the poor and the neglected. To assign to 
each church a district contiguous to its own edifice would 
not be wise, for some of the churches are located in neigh- 
borhoods where there are few of the necessitous and 
unchurched, and other churches have almost no other kind 
of neighbors. The aim should be to distribute the work 
as fairly as possible, considering the ability of the several 

Nor should any church be given exclusive charge, for 
evangelistic purposes, of the territory thus cnti'usicd to it. 
For within this territory, wherever it might 1)0, \\oiild bo 
found many families connected witli other churclics, and 
tlie I'iglit of these cliurches to care for their own mciiibei'S 
cduld not 1)0 dis})Uted. The duty of the occn[)yiiig clinrcli 
would be to find, by a careful canvass, those families in 
tlie distiict wliich had no connection with any church, 
and to be responsible foi' the care of tliem. jNIaiiy families 
W(mld 1)0 foimd, in such a canvass, which had formerly 
boon communicants in some chnrcli, Imt, for some reason, 
had lost connection willi i(. 'I'lic visitors should bo 
instructed to send the names of such f;imi1ios to tlie pastor 
of the nearest church of the dcnomiiuiLtou to wliich the 


wanderers -were formerly attached. Others, though never 
conmuiiiicants, -woukl liavo decided preferences among- the 
churches, and the aim should ])e to pnt these also into 
eonnnunicaiion Mitii the churches which the}^ prefer. 
Those having neither relationships nor preferences else- 
whvre shonld be cordially welcomed to the services of the 
church giving the invitation. 

When the canvass of the district is made in this spirit 
and with these purposes, the people receiving the invita- 
tion will get a new impression of the meaning of Christian 
evangelization. It will be evident that the visiting church 
is not working exclusively for its own aggrandizement; 
that it considers the interests of the kingdom of heaven 
as paramount, and the interests of its own organization as 
secondary. " When the invitation is given in the name of 
all the churches," says Dr. Strong, "it is manifest that 
they are co-operating instead of competing, and tlie invi- 
tation which is seen to be unselfish is much more effec- 
tive. Such oneness of spirit and effort has an influence 
which tlirice the effort without co-operation cannot have; 
not sim})ly because organization always economizes force, 
but l)ecausc such oneness is the convincing evidence of 
the divine origin and character of the Christian religion 
wliich tlie world lacks. Christ prayed that his followers 
might l)e one, that the vjorlcl miyht know that the Father 
sent him.'''' 

The churches thus co-operating should have regular 
meetings at which each church should report the results 
of its canvass, and for this purpose uniform blaid>:s should 
lie provided for the visitors, showing the number of 
families called u|)i)ii by each one, llie huuiImt ;iltiMi(Hiig 
otlier churches, the number attending no cliuich, the 
numlu-r galiiered into llic iii\ iting chun-li and its Sunday- 
school, and the names ;ni(l iidihcsscs of the faiiiibcs rc|iorted 
to tlie pastors of other cluwehes. These re|)orls should 
be summarized and I'epoi'ted to the union, and the retui-ns, 
when couipihMh wduM furnish a coniph'te reUgious census 
of the town or city. 

The attempt is sometimes made to form an alHance ot 


all the churches, and perform this work of visitation by 
means of a general committee or superintendent represent- 
ing all, who shall subdivide the whole field and assign the 
visitoi-s, selecting them from all the churches. But it is 
doubtful whether this plan would be generally found prac- 
ticable. It is better to assign to each church a delinite 
territory for its care, providing it with the blanks for its 
report to the union, indicating, in a general way, the 
method by which its work should be done, and leaving it 
free to work out its problem with its own resources. It 
should also be understood that the responsibility of initiat- 
ing any new religious enterprise — Sunday -school or chapel 
service — in the district thus assigned should belong to the 
church having the care of it; and that no other church 
should enter the district for such a purpose without con- 
sultation A\'ith the church in charge. Upon this principle 
of comity much stress should be laid. In the meetings of 
the union the scandalous and disastrous results of multi- 
plying organizations for purely sectarian purposes should 
often be held up to reprobation, and the need of adhering 
to some such rule of good-neighborhood should be empha- 
sized. If some consultation with other churches and 
some consideration of the interests of the kingdom must 
precede the attempt of any sect to establish a ncAV enter- 
prise, many grievous offences against prudence and charity 
would be avoided. Most of the organizations that have 
been thrust into fields where they were not needed were 
the fruit of a heedless sectarian impulse; if their projec- 
tors had been called to justify tliem before the bar of 
reason, they would have ])een put to shame. 

The church receiving the cliarge of such a district 
should be expected to canvass it frequently, certainly as 
often as once a year. Necessitous families will be fonnd 
which ought to be visited very frequently; these, how- 
ever, should be ])laced under the care of the visitors of (he 
poor. Families which aw known to be in attendance wynm 
other chnrchcs need not be called upon a second time; 
those wanderers rejjorted to other jjustors should be seen 
again, to make sure that they have liecn pi-operly folded; 

CO-OPERATION ^\ rni other churches 439 

and tliost' w hu still reniaiu uii.slK'plici'dL'il should he kindly 
entreated, until they make it evident that the friendly 
overtures of the visitors arc no longer Avelcome.^ 

By measures of co-operation of some such character the 
churches of most towns and cities could make sure that 
no classes and no districts were neglected, hut that the 
invitations of the gospel had heen carried to the whole 
community. There would he difficult}-, no douht, in 
adapting a plan like this to such a metropolis as London, 
or even to a city like Glasgow or New York or Chicago. 
In cities of one or two hundred thousand people the plan 
might he adopted, and more easily in lesser communities. 
It would, however, he practicahle in the great cities to 
select certain large disti-icts or sections, and group the 
churches -within them for this co-operative work. This 
geographical division of a great city should include locali- 
ties inhahited hy the less fortunate as well as the more 
fortunate classes, and should not be so large that the 
workers could not conveniently meet and co-operate. A 
plan like this was recently adopted at the East End of 
Pittsburgh, Pa., with the best results. The churches of 
that vicinity were brought into the most cordial fraternal 
relations, the life of all of them was greatly enriched and 
stimulated, and the effect of this co-operation ui)on the 
community at large was manifest. 

It is clear that churches thus associated may find other 
AV'ork in which they can unite besides the visitation of 
the unchurched. Their joint study of their common held 
will reveal to them a great number of interests which need 
their care, and in which they may usefully co-operate. 
Here, however, there will be need of great wisdom and 
moderation. Christian people arc by no means of one 
mind respecting the things that ought to be done. W'licu 
])rictical measures are pr()[)()sed, great dillerenccs of oi)inion 
immediately appear. IJespccting the evils arising fi-oiu the 
use of intoxicating li(|Uors, for example, there is not nnicli 
dirfciciicc (if opinion; and the wisli to do sonu'thiiig for 
the removal of thesL; evils would be practically unanimous. 

' S.'c ("liap. ix. 


13ut when the wnjs and means were considered, the unanim- 
ity would vanish, Tlie sectarianism of the advocates of 
temperance is not less virulent than the ecclesiastical 
variety. Some would be inclined to insist upon measures 
which others would deem quixotic; it is not unusual for 
zealous partisans of one method to denounce those who 
favor other methods as foes of the cause and " friends of 
the rum interest," The existence of great differences of 
opinion must be clearly and frankl}^ recognized at the out- 
set, and the question must be raised whether any line 
of policy can be found in which all caii heartily co-operate. 
Here is a great opportunity for these Christians to take a 
few lessons in tolerance and sweet reasonableness. It is 
quite worth while to learn that although it is impossible 
for two to walk together all the Avay except they be agreed, 
it is still often possible for those who have different ends 
in view to go together a good part of the way. "If in 
anything," says Paul, "ye are otherwise minded, even this 
shall God reveal unto you: only, whereunto we have 
already attained, by that same rule let us walk."^ "Let 
us go together as far as we can," must be the motto of 
these co-ojierating churches. It must be understood at 
the outset that there will be many practical matters in 
which they cannot co-operate ; the problem is to find the 
things in which they can heartily work together. And, 
in this bitterly controverted field of temperance, there "\\ill 
be some useful things which these churches can unite 
to do. 

It is probable, for example, that they could unite to 
provide safe places of resort and refreshment, to counter- 
act the attractions of the drinking-places. Recent caicl'ul 
investigations sliow the great need of some such provision. 
A. good part of the patronage of the saloons and puldic- 
houscs is due to the desire for society and for a comfort- 
able place to sit and cliat niul road the evening newspaper, 
Sucli i)laces of resort, witli ikhic Imt "temperance drinks," 
are provided in great nuinbcis in r.ritisli cities, but in 
America there are few of tlicni. It is jjrobable that the 
1 riiil. iii. 15. If.. 


opening of such places in our American cities would prove 
an effective temperance measure. The}- should never be 
offered as charities, and it Avould be a mistake to connect 
with them any kind of religious exercises; they ought to 
he simply and frankly places of decent resort for every- 
1 )ody ; and they ought to be managed in such a way as to 
1)0 self-supporting. The relation of the associated churches 
to such an enterprise would be simply that of promoter 
and patron; through a competent committee, they might 
secure the formation of a company which would undertake 
the business, and they could lend to it their moral support. 
'J'hat the united churches of any town or city could, by 
their hearty advocac}-, set such an enterprise on foot is 
scarcely to be doubted; and it would appear that until 
something of the kind is done, they ought not to be too 
severe in their censure of those who resort to the only 
warm and bright places they can find to spend their winter 
evenings in, nor to those who furnish such places for the 
comfort and entertainment of their fellow-men. Much of 
^hat passes for zealous temperance sentiment, Avhen 
viewed from the standpoint of the man in the street, savors 
quite too much of the spirit of the dog in the manger. 
Our appeal to the hal)itu(3 of the saloon A\ill be much 
more cogent wlien we have furnished him with something 
better to take its place; and our ])olitical agitation for the 
closing of the saloon will be greatly strengthened by th;^ 
same provision. 

'^riie associated churches could also, in all ])rol)abilitv, 
unite in the demand for tlie closing of the drinking-places 
on Sunday. That the open saloon is far more injui-ious to 
the community on Sunday tlian on any otlier day of the 
week is matter of demonstration. W'licn the saloons are 
o[)en, tlu^ arrests on Sunday and Sunday night arc uioi-c 
numerous than on otlicr days; tlic cost to the comniniiit\- 
of the maintenance of the jk'ucc on tliis (l,i\- nf rest is 
heavier than on other days, and llic Iuss to ihr luinilics of 

Itread-winners of tlu^ means of liNclili I, w iili (Iirir cou- 

se<|nent ])auj)cri/ation, is far nioic serious on Sunda\ than 
on any other day. It is, tlieivfore, thc^ simple right of 


the coniiiiuuity, for its own protection, to insist npon the 
closing of the drinking-places on the day of rest; and the 
churches, resting their demand on no theological assump- 
tions, but simpl}^ on the general welfare, which they are 
interested in promoting, may join in enforcing this demand. 
A steady and resolute insistence upon a principle so clear, 
in which all the Christian churches of the community 
united, could not fail to have groat influence in forming 
the public opinion by which this policy would be made 

In another testimony, of the greatest value, these asso- 
ciated churches may be able to unite. That is the testi- 
mony to the sacredness of law. The stability of all free 
governments rests upon the obedience of the people, and 
especially of the magistrates, to the laws enacted for their 
government. Liberty is the child of law ; where there is 
no restraint of human passion, and no rational establisli- 
ment of social order, there is no freedom for any ; the only 
rule is the power of the strongest. That the laws which 
undertake to secure the liberties of men are entitled to the 
respect of all is, therefore, the fundamental principle of 
civilized society. Even though they may be imperfect, it 
is better to bear with their imperfection until they can be 
lawfully amended, than to ignore and disobey them. 

The notion that every citizen may judge for himself 
wluit laws are beneficent, and may set aside those whicli 
are displeasing to himself, braving the censure and retii- 
bution of the constituted authorities, is a most pernicious 
and abominable conceit; albeit we find it, now and then, 
advocated in newspapers, and avowed in public speeches. 
Still less is it to be conceded that a ]iublic officer, sworn, 
in the very terms of his oalli of olhce, to support and 
administer the hnvs, should pick and choose among these 
laws, selecting those which he will enforce, and tacitly 
permitting those which are displeasing to himself to be 
dishonored. That some such policy as this has become 
traditional in some American municipalities there is reason 
to fear. 

VVhat can be done to check the spread of this political 


leprosy? It would seem that the Christian churches of 
every conimunit}-, whose dut}- it is to enforce the funda- 
mental principles of morality, might unite in a resolute 
demand for ol)edience to the Liws of the land, especially 
on the part of those who have sworn to honor and admin- 
ister them. When they see the laws openly disobeyed, 
and those who are charged with the duty of enforcing 
them plainly conniving at the disobedience, and even 
enriching themselves by corruptly granting immunity to 
the law-breakers, it is their duty to raise their united 
voices in condemnation of the shameful infidelity. It is 
not their duty to organize volunteer detective or prosecut- 
ing agencies for the performance of the work thus neglected 
ly the officials, but it is their dut}^, as the witnesses for 
righteousness, to condemn, in no ambiguous terms, the 
most grievous unrighteousness existing among them. 
The function of the old prophets must belong to somebody 
in this generation, and to whom has it descended, if not 
to the teachers of religion? Doubtless the obligation to 
declare the truth respecting all these matters which con- 
cern the existence of society rests on the occupant of every 
l)ulpit; but the united voice of all the churches, clearly 
and strongly testifying upon such an issue, would exert 
an inlluence stronger than that of the single and separate 
pulpits. Such a testimony, faithfully spoken, again and 
again, must produce a wholesome change in public opininn 
with respect to this crying evil. It is a testimony which 
no man can gainsay. 'J'he reason of it is self-evident to 
all will) liave reflected upon the nature of civil society. 
And the associated churches, by sim})ly declaring the 
whole counsel of God with respect to this great interest of 
law. would perform for the eommunity a service of Ihc 
highest value. 

To the churches of []\v coiniuuiiity thus associated, and 
seeking for ol)jccts to which they might devote their 
united energies, other opportunities of co-o])er:ilion Ihiin 
those mentioned would undoubicdly a|i|ic;ir. 'I'o one of 
th(! most iin[)ortant of these we shall <levote the conclud- 
ing cha[)ter. The determination to attempt nothing in 


which they could not heartily unite — to be content with 
undertaking only such labors as they could hope to cany 
through with entire success — would result in a conscious- 
ness of power which would greatly add to the hopefulness 
and courage of every member of the organization. And 
doubtless the word of the Master would be fulfilled to his 
Church thus united: "Because thou hast been faithful in 
a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; 
enter tliou into the joy of thy Lord." 

It is even possible that churches thus seriously endeav- 
oring to find common ground on which they could stand, 
and objects in which they could combine their efforts, 
would come to realize their essential unity. It might, by 
and by, be evident that here was truly but one Church ; 
that the associated congregations of any town or city really 
constituted the Church of that town or city; that there 
could be but one Church of Jesus Christ in any commun- 
ity, and that, in their common loyaity to him, and their 
consistent endeavors to work together with him and for 
him, the unity of the Church had been realized. It is 
here, if anywhere, that Christian unity will be achieved. 
Neighboring congregations of believers, whose principle of 
organization is simple loyalty to Jesus Christ, may grow 
togetlier. It is possil)le that such associations should come 
into such ch)se and hel])ful relations that their union 
Mould mean iii()r(! to tlicni tlian any denominational l)ond 
could mean; and that they would linall}' stand together as 
one Church, together contending foi- tlie faitli once deliv- 
ered to the saints, and lifting U]» a nnitcd front against. 
the i)Owers t)f evil. Notliing seems to lie wanting to this 
l)ut tlu! recognition of the importance o|' cd-opevation, and 
the willingness to co-operate. There do not ap])t'ar to l)e 
any theoretical obstacles to some moasnre of eo-operalioii. 
Roman (allmlies may be willing to slaiid with ns on 
some ])latl'oi'nis, and to recogni/.i' the fact that they are 
our brethi'en. I'^lvei'v overture IVonithal diivctidii shonld 
be cordially welcome( I : it imisl lie thai in certain matters 
they will be willing to unite with ns. In the j)rei"aee to 
his Ucfurmed l\(stu/\ so devout an lOvangelical and so 


sturdy a Protostaiit as Richard Baxter thus sets forth his 
own feeling respecting the co-operation of Christians of 
different beliefs : — 

" The thing 1 desire is this : (1) That we might all 
consider how far we may hold communion together even 
in the same congregations, notwithstanding our different 
opinions; and to agree not to withdraw when it may 
})ossibly be avoided. (2) But when it cannot, that yet 
we may consult how far we may hold communion in dis- 
tinct congregations ; and to avoid that no further than is 
of mere necessity. And (3), and principally, to consult and 
agree upon certain rules for the management of our differ- 
ences in such manner as may be least to the disadvantage 
of the common Christian truths which are acknowledged by 
us all. Thus far would I seek peace with Arminians, 
iVntinomians, Anabaptists, or any that hold the founda- 
tion. Yea, and in the two last I would not refuse to con- 
sult an accommodation with moderate Papists themselves, 
if their principles were not against such consultations and 
accommodations; and I should judge it a course whuli 
God will better approve of, than to proceed by carnal con- 
trivances to undermine their adversaries, or by cruel nuir- 
ders to root them out, which are their ordinary courses. 
I remember that godly, orthodox, peaceable man. Bishop 
Usshcr (lately deceased), tells us in his sermon at Wansted, 
for the unity of the Church, that he made a motion to the 
Papist priests in Ireland ; that because it was ignorance of 
the common [)rincii)les that was likely to l)e the undoing 
of the connnou people more than the holding of the i)oiuts 
which M'c differ in, therefore both parties should agree to 
teach tlicHi some catechism containing those common 
pi'iuciplcs (if religion wliicli ar(^ acknowledged l)y us all. 
liut jealousies and carnal counsels would not allow them 
to hearken to tlic uiotion."" 

Such jealousies and canial counsels have, indet-d, for 
long centuries, l)een building l)ai'i'iers l)etweeii the disciples 
of a eomiiioii i^onl; but the day niiisl come wjicii these 
obsti'ucttions will be swept away, and wlieii the (leterniina- 
tioii to study the things that make for unity will be 


stronger tlian the selfish passions that foster schism. And 
this, let us repeat, is likely to come to pass as the result 
of the efforts of local churches to come to an understand- 
ing respecting the work lying before them in their several 
communities. Therefore it is a matter which directly and 
vitally concerns the pastor of the local church, and those 
who are laboring with liim. It is in the administration of 
these local churches that the practical solution of this 
problem will be found. 

The principle which underlies the whole matter is the 
principle which is revolutionizing modern sociology and 
economics, — the conception of society as an organism. If 
this is true of all society it is even more vitally true of 
Christian society. If it illustrates the relations of the 
members of cliurches to the churches, it illustrates also the 
relation of groups of Christians to the Cliristian conunun- 
ity. " Many members but one body " is as true of the 
Church of Jesus Christ in any town or city as it is of the 
individual members of any given church. These separated 
congregations are not normally separate, and cannot be if 
the life of Christ is in them. They are members one of 
another. There can be no fulness or perfection of life 
in any of them unless each is ministering to all and all are 
ministering to each. The churches of any one denomina- 
tion may be like the fingers of one hand ; but that hand 
draws its life-blood from the body of Christ and must be 
the servant of the body. The independency of the local 
church is a doctrine Avhich must not be too strongly 
asserted. Indeed, even those to whom it is a cardinal 
principle make liaste to declare that it nnist never be dis- 
sociated from the other principle, equally fundamental, of 
tlic fellowship of the churches. If a certain measui'o of 
autonomy be granted to eacli congregation, it is only that 
the freedom tluis conceded may be used in a loving co- 
operation with all Avho follow the same Master. And tins 
principle of the fellowship of the churclies is one to which 
no denominational limits can l)e set. It is not merely the 
churches of the same denomination which arc mcml)ors 
one of another. It is not their acceptance of