« ElőzőTovább »
THE GENERAL BOARD OF MISSIONS, METHODIST CHURCH.
Dr. Gaetz, Rev. Dr. Ryckman, Rev. T. O. Buchanan, Mr. James Shannon.
Rev. A. L. Russell, B.D., Mr. Andrew Venning, Rev. Dr. Scott.
BUILDERS OF EMPIRE. The General Conference of 1902 will long be remembered as the missionary conference. It initiated the great forward movement in the North-West rendered imperative if we would meet the calls of Providence to minister to the incoming thousands of settlers in that strategic portion of our great Dominion. The General Conference was followed by the meeting of the General Board of Missions at Brandon, Man., to which was assigned the duty of carrying out the policy inaugurated by the General Conference. No more important session of that committee was ever held, not even that which inaugurated our foreign missions in Japan or in China. The committee was thoroughly representative of the far-sundered sections of our Church from the Atlantic to the Pacific. They did their work well, they provided for the personnel of the new missionary superintendents of New Ontario, the North-West, and British Columbia, and planned the details of the forward movement. What is now needed is a hearty response all along the line. God by His providence has spoken to our Church as plainly as He did to Moses of old, “Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.” It remains now to listen to that divine mandate, to enter the open doors of opportunity on golden hinges turning, to go up and possess the good land, for we be well able. The pressing need is to complete the emergency fund of fifty thousand dollars asked for by our representatives in the General Conference. Not quite half of this has yet been raised, and the emergency is upon us. Our readers will be glad to see the excellent portraits of the members of the General Board of Missions presented in the accompanying half-tone engraving.
odism as decreasing in evangelistic fervour. Those who fear that she has forgotten her work of soul-winning will be encouraged by the figures for the past four years. From the table of probationers it is estimated that fully 1,500,000 converts have been added to the Church during the Twentieth Century Fund campaign. To be sure, one cannot calculate exactly the number of converts from the list of probationers, but it should at least be an indication of the minimum number. With the exception of the years 1894-1898, the annual accessions on probation to the Methodist Episcopal Church have been greater during the past three years than during any others of the entire hundred and twenty-nine years of her history.
WISE ABOVE WHAT IS WRITTEN. Learned men are not always wise. In the January number of the Bibliotheca Sacra, the oldest theological quarterly in America, now in its seventy-third year, is a striking article by the Rev. Dr. Howland on the creation of Eve. He argues that the first human beings called Adam and Eve must have been brother and sister, twins at that, and united like the Siamese twins Chang and Eng, by an enoiform cartilage. There are records, he says, of six or seven such couples. Being so joined at birth they might have been broken asunder by accident or by the rude intention of their ani. mal parents. These twins were the first to receive the Breath of Life, or a spiritual existence. At least three such united couples have been separated by surgical operations, two of them successfully. Eve somehow mysteriously disappeared and Adam did not meet her for years, till he had become a man. When she came near him, he is supposed to narrate to his children subsequently, he noticed a bone sticking out of her side which corresponds with a hollow on his side, and he said, “ She is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh." When the children ask if it didn't
hurt very much to take out a rib, he replies : “ No, I didn't know about it. The Lord must have made me fall into a very deep sleep.” This is not a fairy tale or legend or story of folk-lore, but the argument of a grave and rev
STILL A SOUL-SAVING FORCE. Methodism is still a soul-saving organization. In the congratulatory period following the announcement of the $20,000,000 thank-offering of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the question has often been asked, “ What about the 2,000,000 converts ?”. There seems to be a general disposition in the present day to look upon Meth
erend divine in this year of grace, 1903.
don't think that Dr. Howland's explanation clears up any difficulty. It rather starts many more.
cal work in Dindigul and Madura, when it exceeded 51,000, more than 22,000 of which were new cases. To each of these thousands, and the thousands more of accompanying friends, the Gospel was daily preached, and a leaflet, which served also as a dispensary ticket, was given, containing the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and a brief statement of saving truth.
THE WESLEYAN ROLL OF HONOUR. With a portion of their famous Mil. lion Guinea Fund, the British Wesleyans are to erect monumental building, in which will be preserved a unique roll of honour, constituting such a mass of signatures as, probably, the world has never seen. Any subscriber could put down his own name or that of some departed loved one.
Ex-cannibals of New Guinea have inscribed their names, Red Indians of the backwoods, reclaimed Matabeles of Mashonaland, and the one-time eaters of human flesh of Fiji.” It will stand eight feet high with its 22,000 pages, bearing the autographs of nearly 1,000,000 persons.
CHRISTIAN UNITY IN JAPAN. The unification of the Christian Church in Japan is making far more rapid strides than in the homeland. Some years ago
seven Presbyterian bodies working in that land were united in one, and are now labouring in harmony. Since then the four missions of the Episcopal Church have united. The Baptist and Lutheran Churches have done likewise. But until recently the six Methodist missions, while most friendly in their relations, have worked in entire independence of each other. Each supported its own academic and theological school, where fewer schools would have sufficed. The loss in money and men is evident. Recently a plan for union has been agreed upon by these missions and is now awaiting the sanction of the home boards. It is to be hoped that before long these bodies will be united in The Methodist Church of Japan.”
A BRAKE ON PROGRESS. The Mosely Commission, in its comparison of the lives of American and British workmen, has brought to light many interesting phases of the subject. Mr. Mosely, who appointed this Commission, is a philanthropist, and amassed his fortune dealing in Kimberley diamonds. Realizing how Eng. land is feeling the competition with the United States, he appointed twenty. three secretaries of the leading trade unions of England to make a tour of inspection through the great American manufactories. One of the most striking differences they observed was in regard to the consumption of liquor. The British workman consumes just twice as much liquor as the American. £58,500,000 more is spent annually on beer alone by them than by the much more numerous American workmen. In England practically little work is accomplished on Monday. The men are recovering from the effects of the holiday, and are often late even on Tuesday. In the United States this is an unheard-of condition of things.
Several large employers were very pronounced in their opinion that beer was bad to work on, having a sedative rather than a stimulating influence. Some one put it forcefully, by say. ing: “ British workmen put a brake on their progress with their beer."
INFLUENCE OF MEDICAL MISSIONS.
Some idea of the enormous influence of medical missions may be gleaned from the account of the life of Rev. Edward Chester, M.D., who gave fortythree years' service in India. In addition to his other manifold labours he was put in charge of the Madura hospital and dispensary. The attend ance steadily advanced from 3,100 the year before he took charge, till the last year of his oversight of the medi
THE BRITISH AND FOREIGN
BIBLE SOCIETY, The British and Foreign Bible Society's alliance with foreign missions, it is said, was never more inti. mate and indispensable. Its Egyptian agency last year supplied nearly thirty different missionary societies, British and American, Swedish, Dutch and German-with the Scriptures which they required. This society is now making preparations for the observance of its centenary on a scale worthy of its world-wide labours and aims. A Centenary Fund of 250,000 guineas is to be attempted in
NATURALIZATION THROUGH THE GOSPEL.
The work of the Home Missionary Society in Massachusetts takes a decidedly foreign tinge when one realizes that one-fifth of the population of that State consists of Armenians, Finns, French, Germans, Greeks, Italians, Norwegians, Poles, Swedes, and Syrians. Nothing will
tend more abundantly to make these immi. grants helpful citizens than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. With the increasing immigration to our North-West we have much the same problem confronting us to knit the hearts of many peoples into one people, living the lives of sober, industrious, godly citizens, under the banner of the Cross.
Ambassador. Mr. Choate gave most inspiring address on the life of this St. Paul of American Methodism -a man who was educator, orator, churchman, and patriot. Walking ninety miles to college, he began his course with the sum of $3.25 in his pocket. In spite of his difficulties, he not only worked his way to the presidency of Asbury University, then an obscure school, but in nine years he made of it the powerful institution known as De Pauw University. He was also the staunch friend and adviser of Abraham Lincoln during the four years of the Civil War, and it is hard to say how much of Lincoln's courage was due to the inspiration received from this great man.
One of the great dangers that lie across the path of China, the gravity of which is daily increasing, is the attitude of the Roman Church as the political agent of French ambition. “France abroad is the Roman Catholic Church," said one of her statesmen in a burst of frankness. It is quite manifest of late years that spiritually the Church of Rome is losing her hold in China. Though the Romanist missionaries were on the field centuries before the Protestants, their converts are not now equal in number to those of Protestantism.
THE INDIAN QUESTION. D. H. Şanford, of Bridgeport, Okla., for eight years a missionary among the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Indians, believes the United States Indian service to be one of the most pernicious, debauching, and degrading systems conceivable. He says it would be better if the Indians were allowed to manage their own affairs and lease their own lands. He believes they should be citizens instead of being kept in reservations as dependent paupers. The writer has perfect faith in the Indian's capacity for civilization and citizenship. It is this seeing the possibility of the development of others that is the life of the Christian Church. Our Divine Master saw the jewel in its wrapping of clod. And we, His followers, have not partaken deeply of the divine nature till we can see divinity in every man and nation.
Mr. Sanford is not alone in his opinion on the Indian question.
Robert Arthington, the millionaire, of Leeds, England, who died recently, leaves a fortune of over $5,000,000, nine-tenths of which are bequeathed for missionary purposes. The be. quest is to be under the control of committees from the membership of the Baptist Missionary Society and the London Missionary Society. Mr. Arthington's desire seems to have been to provide every tribe of mankind with copies of the Gospels of Luke and John and the Acts of the Apostles.
BISHOP SIMPSON MEMORIAL WINDOW.
At the late Ecumenical Conference, held in London, much dissatisfaction was expressed concerning the memorial window of Bishop Matthew Simpson.
Bishop Vincent took the matter in hand. Subscriptions were raised, and a new and very handsome window was recently unveiled by Hon. Joseph H. Choate, the American
The Wesleyan General Missionary Committee at its recent annual gathering found great ground for rejoicing in the fact that all debts were paid and there was a substantial increase in their income. The outlook was so encouraging that the committee felt at liberty to enlarge by $135,000 the appropriations for the year to come. Last year was the best ever known for giving to foreign missions, the amount nearly reaching the half-million mark ($478,236), and was larger by $51,440 than the sum contributed the year before.
“The Poetry of Robert Browning."
By Stopford A. Brooke, M.A.
$1.50 net. Robert Browning has at last come into his kingdom. He had, as Stopford Brooke remarks, to wait a long time for wide recognition, but it has come at last. No recent author is so widely quoted, or is the subject of such profound study and of so many books of comment and elucidation. The latest and best of these is that under review. It treats the entire cycle of Browning literature in a lucid and luminous manner, with critical insight and illuminating skill. Perhaps a great poet should not need such elucidation, but say what one will, as Mr. Brooke remarks, Browning is obscure. Hence the need of books like this which enable one to understand the many recondite allusions and the subtle intellectual difficulties of this great writer.
Our critic compares the two great poets of the last century, Browning and Tennyson, points out their distinctive features and marked contrasts. Browning's treatment of nature, and especially of human life, is admirably set forth. He is especially the poet of art and music. No one has ever so interpreted their meaning. That strange riddle, “Sordello," is the subject of two instructive chapters.
In one respect we beg to differ from this accomplished critic. He maintains that Browning did not possess dramatic genius. He may not have had the technical skill to construct an acting drama, but no author was ever more dramatic in his treatment of the many themes which he discusses. They embrace all time, from Lilith, the first wife of Adam, down to Mr. Sludge, the medium, and almost all Occidental and Oriental lands; he projects himself even into the man-beast, Caliban. Every one is dramatically conceived and expressed.
Next to Shakespeare, deem Robert Browning the greatest dramatic writer in the English language. His collected writings are little less in bulk than Shakespeare's, exceeding,
we think, those of any other English poet, and being, we judge, fully twice as great as Tennyson's.
Browning is not always easy reading, but we know no poet who will better repay the study demanded for the comprehension of his works. The difficulties of that task have been greatly exaggerated. “The Ring and the Book" is the longest poem in the language-twice as long as Milton's " Paradise Lost,” yet we venture to say that it has fewer obscure lines. It is a marvellous “tour de force." The same story is told ten times over from different points of view. One would imagine it would become in. sufferably tedious; instead of this the interest increases with each telling, and leaves us filled with admiration for the genius of the writer who can so thoroughly identify himself with so many different narrators.
A distinguished Presbyterian minister, to whom we recommended the study of Browning, declares that to him it was a revelation, as next to the Bible he found no book so helpful in the preparation of his sermons. Browning's Biblical poems—those on Saul, on Cleon, on St. John, and especially the wonderful study of Lazarus—are wonderful interpretations of character. Ruskin declares that in no other piece of modern English prose or verse is there so much told of the Renaissance spirit as in “The Bishop orders his tomb in St. Praxed's." “In thirty lines," he adds. "he compresses the substance of thirty pages of the Stones of Venice.' Browning's facility of rhyme is extraordinary. In one poem of forty lines
introduces thirty-five distinct rhymes.
As an illustration of the condensed force of his method, note the following lines:
“ Would a man ’scape the rod ?”
Rabbi Ben Karshook saith, “ See that he turn to God
The day before his death.
Ay, could a man inquire,
When it shall come?” I say. The Rabbi's eye shoots fire
“ Then let him turn to-day!”
Some of the finest chapters in this book are on Browning's treatment of