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spread of skepticism and irreligion in a rapidly increasing and mixed population, partly foreign and partly native, may become an urgent motive to instruct the children everywhere in the principles of Christianity and its morality. The discovery that the public schools do not and cannot give adequate religious instruction may become a motive to supplement secular by Christian teaching during the week. The Church, it must be admitted, has not usually anticipated conditions and opportunities, but has been aroused to its work by the force of relentless circumstance.
In any event, if no new agency arises, much more zeal and wisdom must be put into the work of church and Sunday-school and home, if the next generation is to be Christian. A great responsibility rests upon the Church in America. She can no longer, and, in fact, never could, lay that responsibility upon the State and its schools. The proper function of the State is exhausted when only a moiety of religious education has been provided. The State can do its proper work, untrammeled and unopposed, when the Church takes up in earnest her own duty, and the Church will enter with more fidelity, completeness, and success upon her responsible task when she ceases to expect what she has no right to expect from the State.
THE RELIEF OF THE “SUBMERGED TENTH." OUR readers who may not have seen “ In Darkest England and the Way Out”lare already apprised of General Booth's plan of relief through the sketch by Mr. Woods in the November (1890) number of the “Review.” The plan, in a word, is a vast scheme of colonization, including a city, a farm, and an over-sea colony. As stated by General Booth: —
“The scheme, in its entirety, may aptly be compared to a great machine, foundationed in the lowest slums and purlieus of our great towns and cities, drawing up into its embrace the depraved and destitute of all classes: receiving thieves, harlots, paupers, drunkards, prodigals, all alike, on the simple condition of their being willing to work and to conform to discipline. Drawing up these poor outcasts, reforming them, and creating in them habits of industry, honesty, and truth ; teaching them methods by which alike the bread that perishes and that which endures to everlasting life can be won. Forwarding them from the city to the country, and there continuing the process of regeneration, and then pouring them forth on to the virgin soils that await their coming in other lands, keeping hold of them with a strong government, and yet making them free men and women ; and so laying the foundations, perchance, of another empire to swell to vast proportions in later times. Why not ?"
Two questions naturally arise in regard to the working of a scheme of such proportions, and upon such material. First, Will it succeed? And second, If successful, will it effect permanent relief?
1 In Darkest England and the Way Out, by General Booth. Pp. 285. With Appendix. Funk & Wagnalls. New York. 1890.
We have little doubt of the reasonable success of the scheme. Financially, its success is already practically assured, at least for its inauguration, and we have no question as to the moral results which it will be able to show after it is once in operation. We base our opinion entirely upon the working principle of the organization which supports the scheme. The Salvation Army is the one organization within the church which has shown the passion of love for the outcast and the abandoned. Love in the church at large for this class has not risen to the heat of passion. Individuals only in the various communions have shown the intenser and more sacrificing forms of compassion and mercy. With the Salvation Army, love for the fallen and debased is cultivated as an all-pervading enthusiasm. But love, even as a passion, is not the sole or the chief secret of its success among those whom it has rescued. The decisive question which the Salvation Army asks about any one whom it would rescue is not, is he susceptible to love, but is he susceptible to discipline. Will he obey ? General Booth has had the genius to discover the religious use of authority in the rescue and recovery of the morally weakened, depraved, and despairing classes. What Ignatius Loyola made the working principle of Jesuitism, that General Booth has made the working principle of the Salvation Army. “The salvationist is taught to obey as is the soldier on the field of battle. No one is bound to remain in the army a day longer than he pleases. While he remains he is bound by the conditions of the service. The first condition of the service is implicit, unquestioning obedience.”
It is this principle of obedience which guarantees the success which may be hoped for in the plan of over-sea colonization. Without it the scheme would be doomed to failure at the start. Mere colonization out of such material as General Booth proposes to use always has been and always must be a failure. A writer in the November number of the “ Contemporary," reviewing the mistakes in so many experiments in colonization, lays it down as a rule that “the physically and morally unfit and incapable are unsuitable for any scheme of colonization.” And in a footnote, having just learned of General Booth’s plan, he adds, “ All is possible with God, but I stand by what I have said." The possibilities of God can become actualities only through some system which will transform “the morally unfit and incapable” into proper material for emigration. Such a system is that unique scheme of religious discipline which guards, commands, trains, exercises, and trusts the individual who submits himself to it. One marked feature of this system of discipline is that it knows when to change from the responsibility of obedience to the responsibility of command. So that in one way or another the restraints and incentives of the vast organization are continually at work upon the rescued and converted man. He is a part of a great army from the moment of his enlistment, at first trained to obey, then trained to command. A scheme of colonization organized upon this principle, and car.
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ried out through this discipline, does not seem unreasonable or impracticable. We think that General Booth has the right to say in view of his principle, and in view of what it has accomplished, “ With ten thousand officers, trained to obey, and trained equally to command, I do not feel that the organization even of the disorganized, sweated, hopeless, drink-sodden denizens of darkest England is impossible.”
But if the scheme is reasonably successful in the way of immediate relief, will it be able to effect permanent relief? We confess that the outlook at this point is by no means hopeful. The whole movement is of the nature of a relief rather than of a remedy. When we characterize it as a movement, we say more for it than can be said of any existing method of relief. It sets the mass with which it deals in motion. It starts a current in the stagnant pools of vice and misery. But can it drain what General Booth calls this “quagmire of human sludge”? Will not the inflow be greater than any probable outflow? Or, to change the figure, we speak of the pauperized and degraded masses as the “ residuum.” But the residuum is something made by the whole mass to which it is related. The residuum does not make itself. Who will arrest the process which gives this constant and terrible result? Here is a question which reaches beyond the ordinary or the extraordinary philanthropist. Charity, be it ever so generous, or persistent, or inventive, can never solve the problem of pauperism. The task belongs to the statesman and the economist. And the heroic effort of General Booth is a reminder to them of their duty. Colonization, on the scale which he proposes, takes the place, for the time being, of disease and death, in disposing of the “ submerged tenth.” That is all. It does not cancel this fixed percentage. Let the work be done ever so thoroughly, it is not done once for all. The “ submerged tenth” remains, only it is composed of new individuals.
General Booth shows his wisdom in attempting nothing more than the immediate relief of the particular “submerged tenth ” which is now crying for help, leaving to others, if they can find it, the solution of the whole desperate problem. His words on this matter are very clear as to his duty, and very suggestive to others of their duty :
“Here at our shelters last night were a thousand hungry, workless people. I want to know what to do with them. Here is John Jones, a stout, stalwart laborer in rags, who has not had one square meal for a month, who has been hunting for work that will enable him to keep body and sonl together, and hunting in vain. There he is in his hungry raggedness, asking for work that he may live, and not die of sheer starvation in the wealthiest city in the world. What is to be done with John Jones ?
“ The individualist tells me that the free play of the natural law governing the struggle for existence will result in the survival of the fittest, and that in the course of a few ages, more or less, a much nobler type will be evolved. But meanwhile, what is to become of John Jones ?
“ The socialist tells me that the great social revolution is looming large in the horizon. It may be so, but in the mean time here is John Jones growing more impatient than ever, because hungrier, who wonders if he is to wait for a diuner until the social revolution has arrived. What are we to do with John Jones?
“That is the question. And to the solution of that question none of the Utopians help me much. When the sky falls we shall catch larks. No doubt. But in the mean time. It is the mean time — that is the only time in which we have to work. It is in the mean time that the people must be fed, that this life work must be done or left forever undone. Nothing that I have to propose in this book, or that I propose to do by my scheme, will in the least prevent the coming of any of the Utopias. I leave the limitless infinite of the future to the Utopians. They may build them as they please. As for me, it is indispensable that whatever I do is founded ou existing fact, and provides a present help for the actual need.”
DO THE COUNTRY CHURCHES WANT AN EDUCATED MINISTRY ?
That the great majority of country churches would like to have educated ministers is evident enough from the letters received from these sources prescribing the qualifications of a minister. Whether they are willing to take the steps necessary to insure the continuance of an educated ministry is an open question, but one which now confronts them in a very practical way. Dr. Dunning has shown in his article on The Reorganization of Congregational Churches (" Andover Review,” November, 1890) that the supply of trained ministers for the Congregational churches of the country is very far short of the demand. Twenty-seven per cent. of these churches are vacant. For the supply of the remainder the seminaries of the denomination furnish about one third, another third is drawn from the ministry of other denominations, and is of mixed quality, and the other third is made up of those who have had no special preparation for the ministry. As an extreme illustration of the present tendency, the case of the Michigan Congregational churches is cited, from which it appears that during the last year, of twenty-six ministers received into the fellowship of these churches, “not one had received a college or seminary training."
We speak of the supply of educated ministers as the concern of the country churches, because the city churches can easily provide for themselves, not because they pay a larger salary, but because they offer a larger work. It is enough to dismiss the cant saying, “ The larger the salary, the louder the call,” with the reply that if a given number of small country churches should find themselves able to pay precisely the same salary with an equal number of town or city churches, the latter fields would be chosen because of their greater opportunities for work. The determining question with every earnest minister is the question of work. Salary, social considerations, educational advantages, and the like may be fairly considered, outside the missionary service, but they must be, and we believe they are, of secondary account in the choice of a field. It is at the point of opportunity for the broadest and most effective service that the average country church suffers. Let any strong, energetic, enthusiastic minister of a small parish magnify his office as he will, let him develop his church to its fullest capacity, let him concern himself in the educational and economic affairs of the town, let him enlarge his influence by writing or public address, yet he knows that he can do twice, three times, four times as much as he is doing, and with far less strain because with far more enthusiasm. And with that knowledge he cannot long remain content to work so far below his capacity. But work below capacity must be the condition of the majority of trained ministers, if they accept small country parishes and remain in them. These are the statistics which Dr. Dunning quotes, making this fact evident: four thousand, two hundred and eighty-three Presbyterian churches have less than one hundred members each, and of these, two thousand, seven hundred and twenty-four have less than fifty each. While in the Congregational churches, dividing the entire membership, four hundred and twenty-two thousand, four hundred and forty-five, by the number of churches, four thousand, six hundred and eighty-nine, we have an average of less than one hundred meinbers to a church, which, of course, means that a very large proportion must fall below that number.
And yet it is the smaller country churches which, because of their smallness and frequent isolation, need the better men of the ministry. They need inspiration, the outpouring of some strong, courageous, generous life into their reduced and discouraged lives. They need development, the awakening of all latent power under the training of a leader of insight and faith. They need adjustment, contact with all the forces in the community to which the church is properly related, and fellowship of a vital sort with the churches with which they are in nominal connection.
How can these advantages be gained ? What can the country churches do to secure the benefit of a trained ministry?
Dr. Dunning proposes two changes, which must be brought about together to work effectively: first, new orders in the ministry, and second, a new arrangement of the parishes. By new orders in the ministry is meant the creation of an order of pastors' assistants or helpers, who may not require complete preparation for the ministry, and the adoption of the order of deaconesses, by which the special talents of women may be responsibly employed in the service of the church. The necessity for this change appears in the fact that volunteer effort is not sufficient for the extension of the church in the community. It is not, except in individual cases, a steady, persistent, aggressive working force. By a new arran yement of the parishes, we assume, though we are not quite clear, that a new organic arrangement is meant. We should certainly advise, not a grouping of churches within a convenient distance, each retaining its own organization, but an organic union, the different churches merg