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BY ANDREW TEN EYCK
THIS query is made of a rural cause he was a great preacher and said ual to-day. My neighbor comes over
church because the question has things I understood, and helped me in into the orchard this afternoon, and we 1 been asked by its pastor. I sus. ' my life. I go now when I can hear men both marvel about a bursting applepect that it might be made with equal like that."
blossom, and talk in a little while of the propriety concerning an urban church, Another tells me he goes to church resurrection. My friend the station for the anxieties of thoughtful pastors but seldom because it doesn't take hold agent tells me he would like to hear a and parishioners in city and country of him as it used to.
preacher who would use words like those alike find "Smith not coming to church," One says he would like to go, but has Christ used. “He talked of hungering, and are querying why.
no way of getting there, some three thirsting, the salt losing its savor, of Recently I was in a community of miles, unless he walks. My mother tells candles, moth, and rust, of fowls, reaptwo thousand people in Maryland. of her mother, in the early days of the ing, lilies and grass, fruit, mustard There were six churches there-Episco- nineteenth century, walking nine miles seeds, vineyards, fishermen, of carpenpal, Methodist Episcopal, Protestant to attend church.
try, foxes, birds, swine, and went to eat Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Catho- The ex-soldier who the pastor says with the customs officer, Matthew, and lic. Not one of these churches had a is a spiritual disappointment because in the folks outside of the fold. He got self-supporting-sized congregation, I was the matter of church-going he does not into the life of the common folks. Why told. I asked one church officer how show the high spiritual development he can't the ministers do that to-day? Then they paid their minister. “Oh," said he was said to have reached in the war by we would understand.” "the bank pays him, and then, when the the complacency into which he has sunk Does the Sunday paper take the place notes come due, the bank gets after us in the midst of the humdrum of affairs of the Sunday service? Why don't they and we have a fair or entertainment to tells a story something like this:
come to church? I ask it not that I can raise the money."
"Spiritual development I wonder answer it, but because I believe someI live in a rural community that is well, the war was broadening. We got thing is wrong, and because I believe somewhat better off than this rural vil- used to hearing a Catholic service at one there is in most people a real latent lage, for the church, or rather its pastor, end of the field and a Protestant at the spiritual sense that is hungering for has a constituency for burial rites and other. Catholic and Protestant service satisfaction. Does my friend the sta. marriage ceremonies of about 1,000, was read alike over the dead, sometimes tion agent state a reason, and do my though the roster of membership is in ignorance of the belief of the dead. comrades say something most soldiers around 300. One night recently a But war had a brutalizing aspect. We feel? rather cheap musical play was given in were in a profession, and in a crisis Meredith Nicholson, in the "Atlantic" this church to an audience that taxed where only the strongest could hope to in 1912, wrote, "Should Smith go to its capacity. Some were turned away. survive. We thought much, overmuch Church?” These years and the war have In the sermon on Sunday, to a large perhaps, of our stomachs in the army, done little to change the situation connumber of vacant pews, the pastor right of mess, of sleep as we had once known cerning which he wrote. All I wish to fully asked why people will crowd to it in terms of beds and bed-covers. We say here is that most people have a entertainments and avoid Sunday ser- were so constantly overworked and over- spiritual nature; more people would go vice. The pointed remarks of this pas. drilled that our chief desire was to to church if they found satisfaction for tor have gone the rounds in this com escape. In a way, I guess we got to that nature in the service. For myself, munity, and in casual contact with the fearing death less because it didn't I have found that satisfaction in the thought stirred up I find the frank ex- make much difference whether we met Church, and out of the Church in places pression of why people do not come to it or not. It couldn't be much worse. I least expected. church.
We felt that way. And being amongst One such experience came to me at The station agent tells me the story of fellows whom you would roll up under two o'clock one morning in France. We his spiritual life from a boy; of how he the blankets with one night and plant were breaking camp in the open on a was once punished for being tardy for like trees in the ground the next sort beautiful hillside sloping to a river. service, and dates his apathy from that of made it human for things to happen The mist was hanging in a perceptible incident. The rest of his story is as that way; sort of walking the valley cloud just over us, and above was the follows:
without fear, I guess. So, you see, the clear starlit sky. I stood sentry where "On Christmas morning following my thing the Church taught us to fear we I could see the picture. Reveille punishment my father awakened my don't now, and it isn't very near to us.” sounded, and in fifteen minutes, as by brother, who had come from a distance, So it is among a few types of non- one touch of an electric button, but by and myself to attend church. I didn't church-goers in this community.
six hundred hands, as many candles go. My brother went. The next day he If plays were given instead of ser- were lit before as many dog-tents. The left to go back to his work and asked mons, would the pews be filled? The mist became rays of purple light, and my father for the price of the ticket to people attend this real and perhaps it was as though some magic superreturn. Suspecting he had a return typical rural church, but not as many touch had created sacred atmosphere for ticket, I planned to discover the fraud, as should. Men talk under the sheds one's thought. Breaking camp for and when I did my brother said, 'Don't of crops, automobile tires, shingling whither we knew not, one's thoughts tell father.' But afterward, when I got barns, taxes, politics; women speak in were of the unknown. I scribbled on a into some disagreement with my father, the vestibules of forthcoming suppers piece of paper and tucked it into the I told him, and asked him if it were not and the latest gossip; but not of the ser rear of a leather photograph case I true that he did not like me as well as vice. These people go to entertainments always carried. It reads: my brother because I didn't go to in the church, and when they leave "In the constant presence of death church and my brother did. He said every one has some notion about the one reaches spiritual development that
Then I told him of my brother's play. They talk about it. Is the church he could never otherwise attain, for the esty in the matter of the ticket service less real than the plays, or do visualization of the dissolution of the W years after this I used to go people react differently toward it?
flesh throws dependence on the indisa Baptist minister preach be- I do not believe people are less spirit soluble spirit. Perhaps this is the
spiritual glory of war. It is too bad has seemed as though there weren't some spiritual stirrings as a soldier, and that most of humanity passes away any; but I believe they have never been also to assure him there was not, in without knowing it. I think I have as real and as near the surface. Per my army life at least, very much of the talked and walked with God in the last haps this experience will reveal in the high spirituality said of it. We seemed few minutes. It was so very real, very way we react to it what kind of men we to live, from reveille to taps, pretty human. I know I won't mind the hurt are fundamentally because of the way much for the belly's sake, unconscious if it comes and I don't go back. I'll be we react to these ever-changing new of spiritual changes within. with friends in a little while. There daily experiences. I guess that is the Perhaps the Church needs the testings isn't much hero stuff connected with one satisfaction we will get out of of some great, rapid, soul-searching exthis over here. It is unattractive, brutal this."
perience. Perhaps it needs to lift us work, but I guess it is the biggest thing My scribblings ended there. I am out of the clay that is sticking to our in the world now. It does not mean so thankful I have carried them back my feet and holding us to the humdrum much loss of individuality for the sake self. It was one of the experiences I affairs of life. I merely want to say of a common good, but actual realization had amongst mud, mess, and army that the common feelings most of us of self through sacrifice for an ideal. doldrums.
have contain the embryo of the spiritual Ideals are intangible, and for days it I speak of it to assure my pastor of that yearns for nurture, for growth.
II-A LITTLE CLINIC ON THE STATUS OF CHURCH-GOING
7 BY HOWARD A. BRIDGMAN
REV. DR. GEORGE A. GORDON
Photo by J. E. Purdy & Co.
DEAN E. S. ROUSMANIERE
TVTHY do people go to church?
But they don't. Haven't you W read Dr. Jeremiah Croaker's lamentations in a recent number of the “Transcontinental Magazine" over the empty pews in city sanctuaries and the unoccupied horse-sheds behind the village meeting-house that are no longer tenanted by vehicles drawn by horses or propelled by gasoline? Don't you realize that all the great preachers are dead and that the theological seminaries are no good and that an army of highsalaried overhead officials are simply trying to galvanize the churches into a semblance of life by instituting artificial drives and campaigns, and that nobody goes anywhere except to dances and the movies?
Yes, we've read that article, and others like it. They are due to appear about once in five years with almost clocklike regularity and for at least ten days to furnish material for sapient comment on the part of the secular and religious press and for animated discussions at the ecclesiastical gatherings. But while the articles are being written and compliments and maledictions are being showered upon the authors something else is happening. And what is that? Oh, just a steady procession of men, women, and children Sunday after Sunday starting from hundreds of thousands of all kinds of liomes in all parts of America and ending at the portals of churches of all sizes, shapes, and denominational affiliations.
Let us come at once to particulars. Let me take a cross-section of one of our larger cities and put it under the magnifying-glass for the purpose of observation. From one city we can learn, or at least infer, what is happening in the matter of church-going from coast to coast. Boston is as good a city as any in the country for our ecclesiastical clinic. Perhaps it is better than some, for Boston, Puritan city though it be by tradition, is not conspicuously orthodox to-day or nearly so devoted to churchgoing as, say, Toronto or Los Angeles. Boston has always been a seed-bed for religious fads. The faithful-whatever their peculiar faith-tend toward flock
REV. DR. A. 2. CONRAD
as much at home on the platform as in
At Park Street Church, only a stone's
century, still stands for the old Gospel, Paul Thompson
PARK STREET CHURCH pounds, and embodies it the persuasive ing by themselves in the glory of their note is louder than the dogmatic. Park fulfilling even in a structure not built perfect independence. This drift multi. Street, like Tremont Temple, draws its with that in view the functions of a plies the small groups and makes great audiences to a notable extent from central ecclesiastical establishment in against unity and large unified demon- the neighboring hotels and boarding which the corporate life of the diocese strations of the church-going habit. houses, though in the case of both the finds ample and beneficent expression.
Nevertheless it is in Boston that we regular attendants include many who But it is not chiefly because St. Paul's sind to-day certain phenomena that swarm from cities and towns all over has a ranking superior to that of other rather disturb us when we jauntily de- Greater Boston.
churches that people flock thither Sunclare that nobody goes to church; at Just a few steps farther down days and week-days, but because Dean least they should lead us to postpone Tremont Street on any Sunday morning E. S. Rousmaniere has made it a rethe final obsequies, in honor of a good or evening you will find another con- ligious power house where influence is old custom received from the fathers, gregation in size well on toward the not measured by its contribution to the until we have candidly sought, not to thousand mark and often passing it. strengthening of the Episcopal Church pass a snap judgment based on a few St. Paul's—the St. Paul's of an earlier in Massachusetts, but by its constant scattered and misleading data, but to day, when rectors like Vinton and impact upon the life of the city and of get an all-round view of the situation. Courtney were in their prime has be- the region. Dean Rousmaniere is a
I have this current season attended come during the last ten years the Low Churchman and cuts ecclesiastical service in five different Boston churches Cathedral church of the diocese, nobly corners whenever he pleases. He is not any one of which is a sufficient proof
afraid to offer extemporaneous prayers, of the fact that people do go to church,
or to give out a Gospel song, or to connotwithstanding the assertions of maga
dense the Scripture lessons of the zine writers and arm-chair critics.
morning into one reading. NevertheWhat is more to the point, people have
less the service has a distinctively been going to these churches in great
ritualistic quality and conforms in the numbers year after year, decade after
main to the canons and rubrics of the decade, and will doubtless continue to
Church. But, forms and ceremonies do go long after the weeping Jeremiahs
not smother the life of the spirit. That have made their last contributions to
is fed almost continuously at St. Paul's the "Transcontinental Magazine" and
through week-day classes in personal the "Monday Afternoon Gazette." These
religion, prayer circles, and noon-day five churches are Tremont Temple (Bap
preaching services. St. Paul's is a tist), Park Street Church (Congrega
pioneer in the use of certain cultural tional), St. Paul's Cathedral (Episco
methods; it has a friendly feeling palian), Old South Church (Congrega
toward those who believe that Christional), and the Christian Science
tianity can heal diseases, or at least Church. They represent four different
greatly reduce their area and intensity. communions, but their denominational
To put it tersely, St. Paul's specialty is differences are less noticeable even than
religion. the variations in type.
At the Old South Church, on Copley Tremont Temple is a good representa
Square, is to be seen every Sunday a tive of the modern religious organiza
congregation more fully representative tion which caters to the crowd. A gen
of the brains, wealth, and culture of the eration ago that observant evangelist
city than any other congregation, TrinDwight L. Moody called Tremont Tem
ity and Emmanuel excepted. Judges of ple, because of its location, the best
the Supreme Court, prominent lawyers, preaching station in America. Its min
physicians, merchants, a host of teachisters have usually been popular orators,
ers, and just now the Governor of the
Mary Baker Eddy assemble just to hear
all are trying to defend and propagate
Thus much with regard to the mate is positive and relates itself to that (C) Underwood
rial of our clinic. Now what are the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MOTHER CHURCH
which is deepest and best in every conclusions? Only two at this time. worshiper.
One inference is that people go to And the moral of their particular Commonwealth, listen, week by week, to church in Boston and elsewhere where aspect of the whole matter is this: If Dr. George A. Gordon, still, as for many other people go in considerable numbers you are going to open the doors of a years, the leader of the New England and for a period of considerable length. church on a Sunday and invite pecple to pulpit. Ushering is no easy task at the A crowd draws a crowd. And the moral enter, you must have something very Old South, since the spaces directly be thereof is this: Locate your churches definite, positive, and satisfying to offer neath the pulpit and the gallery stairs where they will be easily accessible. Do them. And year in and year out have often to be requisitioned in the not multiply edifices beyond a certain nothing draws like religion. interests of late comers. The service of point. Locate a few at strategic points Not long ago a belated man made the worship, while by no means severe, and make them large enough to hold at rounds of at least three of the five shows little in the way of the elabora- least a thousand people. Then get your churches just characterized, only to ind tion wrought out by some other churches crowd moving toward them.
every seat taken. Not caring to stand of the Congregational persuasion. Ap But how? There is the rub. One for an hour, he started for his home. parently people go to Old South because thing is true of all the five churches On the way he noticed several people they want to hear Dr. Gordon, to be whose types of service have been briefly ascending a stairway. He followed them invigorated by his broad, rugged faith, described. They all provide something into a small upper room, where he found to be buoyed up by his optimism, to be real and deep-going for those who fre- a score of persons setting forth the rearefreshed by his unfailing good humor, quent them. The individual accent is sons why people do not go to church. to be enlightened concerning the great different. The theology or the philos. Had he ventured to tell them of his mysteries of life and death.
ophy which reigns in this or that one evening's experience they would have No such motive operates in the case of the five might be tabooed or at least still clung to their misconceptions. For of the thousands who attend the mag. severely criticised by others in the some people are never convinced and nificent temple where the followers of group. Nevertheless the religion which some discussions go on forever.
FEWER, AND BETTER, MEN
BY KINGSLEY MOSES
ON HERE is a yarn about the Pennsyl- tions of the day, or even hour, dictate. last year were operating with 25 per
vania State Police-probably true Loyalty, esprit de corps, pride in the cent less men this year, or, to give the
to the effect that a single organization to which they belong, is a exact figures, plants which employed trooper was despatched to a turbulent quality most desirable of cultivation 1,737,717 workers on April 1, 1920, were mining town to quell a riot.
among the workers. And it goes with using but 1,303,792 workers a year later. "Did they send only one trooper?" ex out saying that the man who holds his Total pay-rolls had dropped in the same claimed the town's mayor, aghast and job precariously from day to day can period from $52,286,463 to $36,726,380. panic-stricken.
have but little interest in his steward. Of the industries suffering most heavily "You only got one riot, haven't you?" ship.
were rubber manufactories with a drop was the bland answer.
During all the period of depression of of 64 per cent, building with a falling And after all, who wouldn't rather the last eight months no more sugges- off of 60 per cent, the automobile indushave 'one trooper of that magnificent tive feature has been brought to light try 55.2 per cent, and iron and steel proconstabulary than a squad of ill-drilled than the increase, in many instances, of ducers 41.5 per cent. irregulars.
average pay per man, despite the wide. Yet, notwithstanding this heavy fallVery much the same thing applies in spread condition of unemployment and ing away in industrial activities, certain business. Slowly, painfully slowly in the universal general reduction of pay sections, notably the Federal Reserve some cases, it seems, large employers of per employee averaging 6.4 per cent districts of Dallas and San Francisco. labor are beginning to appreciate the over the whole country.
showed an actual increase in wages per folly and extravagance of hiring reck On May 14 the Associated Press re- man; while in the New York district. lessly and firing wantonly as the condi. ported that plants employing 1,700,000 despite a decrease in employments