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of the newly organized Theological Semi- “The general opinion regarding the nary in Chicago, serving as president plan is good, so far as I have heard it until 1892, and as professor of systematic expressed.” theology until his death.
“The theory of offerings and unity for His early associates in the faculty at the whole church is correct." Chicago— Drs. Arnold, Pattison, Boise, Commendations like the foregoing Smith and Mitchell, had already pre- could be multiplied. ceded him. Dr. Northrup was a man of As to the working of the plan. Not a commanding presence, an earnest stu- year has elapsed since its adoption, and dent, an impressive platform speaker, and six months of this period has been the had great influence in the class room. time when contributing churches are the His students, scattered widely through fewest of any portion of the year. No the ranks of the denomination in various fair test, therefore, has been made. walks of life, but chiefly in the pastorate, Moreover, it takes time for the introducrecognize the forceful influence that he tion of a new and better method. But exerted upon them as teacher. He be- there is a growing tendency in this direclongs to that large class of men who have tion. As one says, however, “there is so wrought so grandly for the denomina- little co-ordination of the Young People's tional life in the past century, so many of Societies and Sunday schools with the whom have rested from their labors, churches that it is difficult to secure uniamong whom may be mentioned Francis formity. The Y. P. S. C. E. societies Wayland, H. B. Hackett, T. J. Conant, are generally very independent of the M. B. Anderson, E. G. Robinson, A. C. churches.” Kendrick, Ebenezer Dodge and Edward Another says: “It will take two or Bright.
three years before we can tell clearly how
the new plan will work.” THE NEW PLAN FOR SUNDAY A district secretary writes that the SCHOOLS AND YOUNG PEOPLE'S adoption of the plan is steadily growing SOCIETIES.
in his district. Nearly a year has elapsed since the A pastor writes that the plan works Home Mission Society decided to discon- admirably in his church, in which the tinue “Chapel Day” in our Sunday young people make a missionary offering schools for an offering for church edifice monthly, and the Sunday school has its. purposes, and to ask the schools in lieu missionary fund, and when the church thereof to make their offering to the makes its offering for home, missions both Society at the same time as that of the the Young People's Society and the Sunchurches. In other words, the plan is to day school also appropriate a portion of have unity of action in the church, in the their missionary funds to this object. Young People's Society and in the Sun- Each, however, keeps a record of its offerday school of every church, in their benefi- ings, and makes an annual report thereof. cence. How is this suggestion received, Furthermore, young people's societies and how does it work?
that have been induced to make large The following is what is said of the plan pledges for a specific purpose, almost to itself:
the exclusion of other objects, are coming “I am confident this is the right prin- to recognize the just claims of the whole ciple, and it ought to work.”
mission field upon them. A pastor of a “The plan has been well received." strong church in the State of New York
“The theory on which this plan is writes: “Our young people have been based is a good one."
giving all their receipts for mission work
in Africa, but this year they will fall into man can build up three or four churches line with the plan recommended by the quicker than three or four poor menCommission on Systematic Beneficence, Much of this work could be accom. and give for both home and foreign plished in the South Platte country if we missions.”
only had a district missionary.”
GROUPING WEAK CHURCHES We were greatly surprised and saddened
UNDER ONE PASTOR.. to learn of the unexpected death from It is manifestly impossible for every
pneumonia of Rev. John W. Crooks, Gen
eral Missionary for Colorado, at Monte small church of twenty, thirty, forty or Vista. January 7th, 1901. Brother Crooks fifty members to support its own pastor was a most indefatigable and self-sacrifice in a manner that will secure the services ing worker, and as it was only a few days of the right kind of a man for the field. before his death that letters from him Neither can a missionary society con
reached the Rooms telling of his labors on
the field, it seemed almost incredible that tinue indefinitely to make appropriations
he should so soon have passed away. The to such churches for this purpose. And Home Mission Society and the Colorado yet, often in these churches there are very convention are greatly indebted to his valuable members that should not be lost faithful and earnest efforts for the rapid to the denomination, while the churches Pro
es progress the work has made on his field
during the time he served as General iemselves are, as a rule, accomplishing Missionary; the work in New Mexico also an important work.
greatly prospered under his direction, What, then, should be done in such Some facts concerning his life will be found cases? The grouping of two, three or
in an article by Dr. Rairden in the Miseven four churches in proximity to each
sionary Department of the present numother, under one pastor, appears to be the only solution of their salvation and prog- The sad announcement of the death of ress. This, indeed, is not always an easy Rev. John W. Crooks had hardly reached task, where churches have been accus- us when tidings came that his wife was tomed to have their own pastor's entire also very sick with pneumonia, and now time and service. But it is common in we learn that she, too, has passed away.
leaving five young children in their desomany portions of the United States and
late home. Assuredly they will have the of Canada, where there are numerous
sympathy and prayers of all who read small, yet prosperous, churches. It is a these words. The friends in Colorado, method widely adopted in the missionary mindful of the self-sacrifice of Brother work of the Methodists, and accounts to Crooks and his wife, are taking a deep some extent for their growth in new mis- &
ic and helpful interest in their welfare. sion fields.
A few years ago a friend of the Society made In the mission fields of the Home Mis
a special contribution for the distribution of sion Society this method has been adopt- the scriptures in destitute portions of the ed to some extent, and we are glad to note country, which made it possible, for a time, that co-operating Western State conven- to furnish Bibles and Testaments free of all tions are pursuing this plan so far as prac
charges to our missionaries. This fund hav
ing been exhausted, missionaries are hereby ticable. Thus, Rev. C. W. Brinstad,
notified that the plan formerly in operation general missionary for Nebraska, says: will now be resumed. Requisitions made “I have been able to locate pastors with through the Home Mission Society, on its sixteen churches, while others will soon blanks, will be honored by the Publication be settled. Am giving considerable at
Society; but in the matter of shipping charges
and refunding of money received from sales tention to organizing self-supporting cir
of Bibles and Testaments, the missionary cuits among our weak churches, and plac- will communicate directly with the Publicaing strong men as pastors. One good tion Society.
The Pastor in His Relation to God, in God. In the study, this inner life of the pas
the Study and in the Closet. tor is to be nourished and strengthened. He BY O. A. WILLIAMS, D.D., MINNEAPOLIS, MINN.
cannot afford to neglect this. If he does, he
will fail in the outward activities. Some of In Christian work this is the most vital of all our most busy pastors have been men of the questions. If our relation to God is not right, deepest piety. They have been able to do so all else will be wrong. If we are not in sym- much for others, because they have been willpathy with Him, we cannot be with men, and ing and anxious that God should do so much all service that we shall render them will be for them. When the outer activity is the natperfunctory and slavish. The first care and ural outgrowth of the inner life, then there is anxiety of the preacher should, therefore, be indeed power. Rivers of water shall flow forth about his own inner life. Unless the fountain from that life that will prove a blessing and a · is pure, the streams that flow out of it cannot benediction to the world. be pure. Unless he lives in close and harmo- I shall never forget the impression that was nious union with God, his ministry cannot be made on my mind the first time I heard Mr. marked by spiritual power. There was a long Spurgeon preach. It is true that all the surperiod in the history of the Church when it was roundings were calculated to inspire a man to considered necessary for the religious teacher, his very best. The immense building, thronged in order to keep pure this inner life, to shut with attentive hearers; the congregational himself up in the cloister. He must withdraw singing, in which all joined, that made you from society, he must not be contaminated by think of the song of the harpers, which John intercourse with ungodly men; he must have described as the voice of many waters; the nothing to do with the affairs of the world out company of strong men who sat by his side on side. But with the great awakening of the the platform, like Aaron and Hur, to stay up Reformation, it came to be realized that this his hands. Add to this his own natural gifts. was a wrong view of the Christian life; that it He was blessed with a voice that was as clear was contrary to the spirit of Christianity, and as the blast of a trumpet, and as tender as the that seclusion from the world did not of itself most delicate instrument. But, as you sat in necessarily promote holiness. But in this busy the presence of this man of God, you forgot age we are in danger of going to the other ex- these surroundings, and you were impressed treme, and to judge of the value of Christian with the one thought that before you stood life solely by outward activity. The types of a man who had just come down from the Christian character which the churches of to mount of communion with God, and whose day demand are the bustling Marthas, rather face was still shining with the light of heaven. than the contemplative Marys. Perhaps this While we cannot have Mr. Spurgeon's gifts, can be accounted for, in part at least, by the we can have the graces which adorned his life. spirit of the age in which we live.
We can put ourselves in harmony and connecA Century of Energy.
tion with the same source of spiritual power During the century now drawing to a close, that m
that made his ministry a blessing to the world. the world seems to have awakened out of the
Tbe Pastor's Study. slumber of the ages. This century will go Let us now look at the pastor in his study. down into history as the century of energy, of The pastor, if it is a possible thing, should invention, of steam and of electricity, of tele- have a study. I realize that with some of our graphs and of telephones. We cannot in brethren, whose incomes are small and whose these days take time to find our friends and homes must be correspondingly small, this is talk to them face to face; but we must send impossible. Their reading, studying and our thoughts to them on the wings of the light- meditating must all be done in the family room. ning. Much of our Christian work is marked It may be a source of encouragement to them by the same spirit of intense activity. Judg- to know that some of the great preachers of ing from the teachings of sociologists and the the past, who left the impress of their lives on advocates of the institutional church, we are the age in which they lived, did their work still very deficient in this Christian activity; under similar circumstances. I remember of but we may well ask the question, What of the reading somewhere that Andrew Fuller inner life? Is this sufficiently nourished and thought out and wrote his great works in the fed to bear all this fruitage without exhaus- family room. But no one will question the tion? The tree must have roots, if it is to bear advantage of having a study where the pastor fruit to perfection. These roots must have can read, think and pray with more profit the living waters that flow from the throne of than he can anywhere else.
A Place of Seclusion.
of study. I know men of good natural ability 1. The study is for him the place of seclu- whose reading is altogether of the lighter kind, sion. I do not mean by this that no one but and they find it almost impossible to master himself is to be admitted into this room; that questions requiring thought and mental work. his wife and children, and members of his Their public efforts give evidences of being unchurch, are never to share with him in the help- prepared. They are likely to depend for effect ful influences that surround him here. But it upon an anecdote, an incident or a story. is to be to him a sort of sanctuary, a sacred There ought to be always ready at hand a book place, to which he can withdraw and be alone. of real merit, that will require time and thought It is evident that in the better class of Jewish to read and to assimilate, and that in some homes there was a place for retirement, for way or another can be turned into good acmeditation and prayer. Daniel had a chamber count in our work. Better still, if there is in his house at Babylon, whither he with some particular line of study to follow that drew to pray. Peter was on the housetop will make us stronger men, and better fitted praying, when he saw heaven open, and God for our high calling. We should never allow called him to the larger work of preaching the it to become a habit with us to appear in gospel to the Gentiles also. There were times public, in the pulpit, or elsewhere, half prewhen the Son of God withdrew from the mul- pared. The rule should be, to do our very best titude, from his followers, and even from the every time. We cannot always keep this rule. favored three, and spent whole nights alone The preparation for the pulpit and for other in prayer. When the final struggle came in public duties must necessarily be hurried some the garden, and his soul began to be sorrowful times, because other duties which we cannot and very heavy, He said, “Tarry ye here while neglect demand our time, such as visiting the I go yonder to pray.” Then taking the three sick and attending funerals, when there is with Him, He said to them also, “Tarry ye much sickness in the community. But the here, and watch,” while He went a little far- pastor will find that the people will understand ther, and fell on His face and prayed. Yes, and appreciate these circumstances, and symmy brethren, it is well for us sometimes to be pathize with him. They will overlook a lack alone with our own thoughts, and alone with of preparation at such a time as they will not God.
at others. An Intellectual Workshop.
A Place of Meditation. 2. The study is the place of research, of in- 3. The study is a place for meditation. I tense application, of the concentration of our make a distinction between study and thoughts. I do not mean by this that this is meditation. In study we search after the only place where we gather thoughts for truth; we ascertain whether a proposition our sermons. In fact, we should look at every is true or false. In meditation we accept thing with homiletic eyes, and listen to every certain statements, or propositions as true, thing with homiletic ears. When we do this, and we endeavor to apply them to ourselves, the mind will not be barren when we come to and to make them a part of ourselves. Study the study, but it will be a storeroom of illus- may be purely objective. Meditation may trations, of practical thoughts, that can be be purely subjective. We may study only casily classified, arranged and incorporated for others; we may meditate only for ourinto the sermon. But I mean to say that the selves. Our duties require us to be constudy is the place where we will make the best stantly thinking for others, to be providuse possible of our time in hard, solid mental ing spiritual food for the different members work. There is much temptation to spend of the flock. But there is great danger that the best hours of the day and the best portion while we do this for others, we should neglect of the week in desultory and aimless reading our own souls, and suffer spiritual dearth. We may find plenty of excuses for doing this. Moreover, we find it difficult amid the innumerWe must be well-versed in the living questions able calls of our busy lives to set apart any of the day, and we must be acquainted with time for calm, quiet meditation. But the the current literature of the times, and, there- growth and development of the spiritual nafore, the dailies and the weeklies, the magazine ture demands it, and the highest interests of and the new storybook, demand a large share those under our care demand it. We ought of our time. This lighter reading, however, to take time to read God's Word for our should be done as a matter of recreation rather own profit. We ought to take a passage than of solid work. It is a serious matter to of Scripture, ponder upon it, revolve it in form habits of careless and indifferent methods our minds, and ask ourselves what is there in it for me? We ought often to take some How we lament the unfruitfulness of our mingreat truth of the gospel, view it on all sides, istry! How we yearn in our inmost souls for and its relations to other truths, till it this power, not for selfish ends, that we might becomes a part of our own inner life. sway the multitude with our eloquence, and We shall then find that we have something of secure their applause, but rather, power for value to impart to others. It will not be a service, power for faithful witnessing, that men mental acceptance of truth; it will be, as the and women might feel the keen edge of the fathers used to say, an experimental knowl- truth, and be led to submission and trust in edge of it. We will then be able to appreciate Jesus and His finished work, for their salvawhat Paul said, “We believe, therefore, we tion! There is one place where we can go for speak." Did not the Psalmist have a relig- this power--into our closets. It is to come ious exercise of this sort in mind when he de- through the presence and the indwelling of the scribed the godly man as meditating, day and Holy Spirit. “And ye shall receive power night, in the law of God; when he exhorted us after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you.” to commune with our own hearts upon our The source of the power is not in us, but in beds, and when he gives us this testimony, God. We are the instruments through which “My soul shall be satisfied, as with marrow He works. Hence, the necessity of being in and fatness, and my mouth shall praise thee close touch with Him. The quiet and secluwith joyful lips when I remember thee upon sion of the closet will be helpful in bringing my bed, and meditate on thee in the night our souls into a state of tender and conscious watches."
nearness to God. A Place of Prayer.
Our battles, if they end in victory ,must be 4. The study is the place of prayer and fought in our closets. You remember the communion with God. It is the preacher's experience of Jacob, when he learned that his closet. A praverless ministry will be a fruit- brother, with the old grudge and hatred in his less ministry. The preacher may be eloquent, heart, was coming to meet him with a band of the sermon may give evidence of marked schol armed men. It was a critical night with arship; but, if it is not saturated with prayer,
Jacob. His heart is deeply anxious for himit is powerless. The risen Lord gave this
self and his family. What will he do? He promise to his disciples, “ And ve shall receive will give himself to prayer. He is left alone. power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon But you remember how the night was spent vou." We are not to forget the attitude of in wrestling with the man that appeared unto these early disciples while waiting for the en
him. His determination is expressed in the duement of power. They gathered in the up- words, “I will not let thee go except thou per room, and continued in prayer and suppli- bless me.” The victory was won. “Thy cation. The ministry of some men has been name be called no more Jacob, but Israel, for marked with great power. If the secret of it as a prince hast thou power with God and with was made known, we should discover that man, and hast prevailed.” On that night they were men who spent much time with God Esau's long pent-up wrath was changed into in the closet. It was after Moses had been for brotherly kindness. Peniel, the name which many days in communion with God upon the Jacob gave to this place, is an explanation of mount, that his face shone, so that it became how he regarded the incident: “I have seen necessary to cover it with a veil while he God face to face, and my life is preserved.” spoke to the people. Payson on his death-bed Zerah, an Ethiopian, came against Judah said, “ Prayer is the first thing, second thing, with an army of a thousand thousand. King and third thing necessary for the minister." It Asa knew how inadequate his army was is said of Luther that he spent three hours with this great host. But he conquered that daily in prayer, and those nightr words which mighty army on his knees. “Lord, it is noththrilled the heart of Christendom were the ing with thee to help whether with many or utterances of a soul thus glowing with the with them that have no power. Help us, O flames of devotion. Whitefield spent hours Lord our God, for we rest on thee, and in thy of each day on his knees with God's Word open name we go against this multitude. O Lord, before him, and it was from the audience thou art our God! Let not man prevail chamber of Heaven he went forth to speak against thee.” So the Lord smote the Ethithose marvelous words of power which stirred opians before Asa. the souls of the multitude. The Divine When the time came when Jesus as the Teacher, who spake as no other man had ever Saviour of the world must meet the powers of spoken, spent much time in secret prayer. darkness, there was a shrinking from the agony