Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

6 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

- National Simultaneous Mission.


National Simultaneous Mission. The National Simultaneous Mission which B now absorbing all the thought and energy of the Free Churches of England is, perhaps, tbe most remarkable, certainly not the le.-ist creditable movement that has been initiated and organised in the name of th Christian Church in any country and in any age. It i3 no exaggeration to say that England is now being stirred by a religious spirit, as it is stirred at the time of a general election by the political spirit, only more deeply and, let us, hope more perman- ently and pi ofitably. A few words, therefore, to explain this movemenr, which may be destined to mark a new epoch in the life and morals of the people, will be read "with interest, The aim of the Mission is at once both sacred and simple-it is to go out in the name of religion to t1 y and save the unconverted people of England, The salvation it offers is not merely social but spiritual, and its blessings are not to be material but moral. While many modern missioners have been content either with denouncing the hypocrisy and general inconsistency of professing Christians, or with preaching a soothing and comfortable doctrine to such as now believe, this move- ment, on the other hand, will aim at nothing save getting at the people who nevei frequent any place of worship. In other words, the object is neither to curse nor coddle the saints, but to collar and caress- the dinner." That a movement of this kind is very urgently needed admits of no doubt by any one who believes that the Gospel is the power of God to save men," for accord ing to the latest statistics, out of a population of over 40,000,000, there are less than 6,000,000 believers in England of all persuasions, including Nonconformist, An- glican, and Roman. After allowing for children too young to be described as believers, it is evident that the overwhelming majority of adult England are either hostile or indifferent to the claims of Christianity. In some districts the spiritual darkness Ü very great, as two instances will suffice to demonstrate. Figures presented by the Federation of Sheffield show that that town has a population of 350,000, of whom 250,000 never frequent any place of worship. Figures presented by the Temperance Council of Wigan are of still more serious import. During one hour one Sunday last October no less than 25,021 persons visited the 315 public houses in the neighbourhood, while a census of the attendance at the 6 churches within the same area* showed tha only 10,954 persons were found at the place:, of worship, and that of these only 3,228 were men, the rest being women and children. The total population of Wigan, it may be said, is about 62,000. The statistics regarding London, Liverpool, &c., show even a still worse state of things. And this is a symptom of a very seriour- state of morality. Indifference to religion begets impurity, intemperance, injustice, and plays havoc with the manhood of Britain, and causes untold misery. Of course, it is not maintained that the condi- tion of England could not be woi se, nor that it has not been worse many times before, nor that there have been no good Christian men and women in our day. England in these latter days has given to the race some of the noblest Christians the world has evet received. It can be said with confidence that Gordon the soldier, Gladstone the statesman, Tennyson the poet, Kelvin the scientist, Spicer, the merchant, Booth the preacher, Victoria, the Queen, and a host of others adorn the roll :0£ Christianity. Still, the masses and classes as a whole seem to live in utter indifference to true religion, that indeed they do in practice, if not in theory, worship the gods of war, drink, wealth, &c. It is strictly true that at the beginning of the Twentieth Century England is Christian more in name than in reality. Hence, if it be true that the soul of improvement is the improvement of the soul, then it is clear that patriotism as well as piety, love of our own nation as well as love of God, should move every Christian Englishman not merely to wish Godspeed to this noble enterprise, but also to do all that lies in human power to help it on. The originator of this great movement of winning a million souls at the very be- ginning of the century is the gifted Thomas Larv, secretary of the Free Church Federa- tion. Mr Law, who has always insisted that the leading feature in the work of the Federa- tion should be evangglistic, proposed some four years ago that all the Councils in London should make a united attempt to reach the unsaved millions of the mighty Metropolis. The project then seemed too vast and too impracticable, and was dropped. Mr Law, however, though defeated, was not dismayed nor daunted. He raised the question a second time, and propounded a far more daring scheme, proposing now that all the denominations in England and Wales should join hands and have at one and the same time a mission that would stir England from centre to circumference, and from the highest to the very lowest social circle in the land. The proposal, instead of being rejected, was received with great favour. The plans and proposals put forward by Mi Law were so comprehensive and complete that lie is now justly regarded, from the organising standpoint, as an ecclesiastical Kitchener. An outline of the plan of campaign can be given in a few words. There are three divisions of the cam- paign—the Metropolitan, the Provincial, and the Rural. The campaign has been opened in London, and will last for about ten days. Meetings will be held about three times daily in the principal halls and chapels in London. It has been arranged that Dr Parker shall preach at the Guildhall in the presence of the Lord Mayor, and that in itself, shows the significence of the move- ment, as it is not on record that a religiou service has ever been held there before. When the campaign in London is closed, the missiouers will move to the large provincial I towns, and continue operations for another ten days, after which the third and final stage will be reached, when the villages will be attacked. Thus, the whole of England will be made to feel the force of the attack. Roughly speaking, there will be three weapom to be wielded n this spiritual warfare, preaching, praying, and visiting. As tl ert are not many evangelists in the country it it- clear tliei: ranks must be supplemented from outside, and it is one of the features of thit- campaign that all sorts and conditions of preacheis are going to engage in the work. Thus D." Faiibairn, Bairatt, Forsyth, Clifford, Rorto.i, Revs Ake 1, Gauge, Davies, Jones, Gibbon, etc., will work with John McNeill :i tid Gipsy Smith and W. R. Lane. Preaching is to he preceded and followed hJ prayei, deed, prayer meetings have beel; held for months in London and else vhe: e Beside. t,l,e-e, inhere will be systematic visita- tion of a houses by large bands of voluntary I lay woiknis, who will do immense service ii H getting ti, people to come. There is to bt nothing th > .-ensational type in connectio: ■ with t aiovo nent. Nor has it anything ■ sectari. n Fiu ther, no attempt will be mailt || to iiitt-i. money out of it. Still, there wiL B be some ungual features. All sorts of meet- fl ing- he 'Id in connection with tIll 8 mi-. io> ot Oi. v the usual afternoon con- g ferenct: d evening meetings, but fllS0 ncon-Br day IM '>'O' business Mel. diawi ig-ioointa. meetings for the wealthy, dinner hour ser- vices in workshops and shipyards, early morning services for milkmen and market-H men, midnight services for tram and onmibusH men, and rescue meetings for the fallen. Children's services will also be held, and it is hoped that a rich harvest will be reaped among them. Whatever will be the result it will do immense service by giving Christian zn people an opportunity to consecrete them- selves to the work as trey never have before. It will deepen the spiritual life of the churches, and it has the possibilities of re-awaking and remaking Britain, and there ore, should have sympathy, and support of 11 who have the highest welfare of their Pellowroen at heai-t.-Coma.