« السابقةمتابعة »
the men were laymen, and it would be no misnomer to apply the adjective "leading" to them. An extraordinary proportion of the religious leadership of America could have been found in the Congress sessions in Carnegie Hall.
The attendance was 1338, representing thirtyseven states. Ten Canadian communities were registered, as well as eight foreign countries.
The common concomitants of conventions, such as badges and buttons and noisy effervescing enthusiasm, were totally lacking. This gathering was on a different plane. The men revealed by their very attitude toward the platform an unwonted seriousness and determination. They were ready for the strongest utterances of the strongest men. The most unexpected deliverances did not faze them. That it is the business of the Church to face fearlessly all the new problems of our complex day, and to grapple with them to a solution was a note that sounded throughout. Withal, the delegates were splendidly loyal to the old church. They spoke as churchmen, and they postulated the Church as the agency and the force that is to do the work which the twentieth century demands.
In somewhat spectacular evidence of the faith of leaders in the Church and her sufficiency, the Committee of Ninety-seven of the Men and Religion Forward Movement formally ended its own existence at this Congress. There is to-day no such thing as the Men and Religion Forward Movement, spelled in capital let
ters. The organization has bequeathed a program of definite work to the demoninational Brotherhoods, which these are taking up. It has done the same for the local congregation. There was a manifest stirring to self-examination of existing organizations, and a questioning as to their real efficiency. To have imposed the sense of emergency upon the general agencies of all the churches was itself a considerable achievement. An agreement has been made for an annual conference of the officials of the Brotherhoods, of the International Sunday School Association, of the Laymen's Movement, of the International Young Men's Christian Association, etc. The word went out from these bodies that, so far as in them lies, they will carry into practice the lessons of the Men and Religion Forward Movement.
The Commission Reports presented to the Congress, surveyed the themes of Social Service, Evangelism, Christian Unity, Publicity, Missions, Boys' Work, and Rural Church, and afford a new body of expert literature for pastors and laymen in their work. The report on Christian Unity was called the most advanced document on this theme that has as yet been issued by any responsible body.
To name the speakers at the Congress would be impracticable in this space. Perhaps the profoundest impression was made by Miss Jane Addams, of Chicago, in her statement of the social evil as a task for the Church.
The figures of the Men and Religion campaigns presented at the Congress indicated that nearly ten thousand addresses had been delivered by the workers to about a million and a half men in more than seven thousand meetings. Aside from the central campaign cities, numbering seventy, there were more than one thousand auxiliary cities. More than seven thousand men and boys had accepted Christ as Saviour.
The team experts conducted institutes in connection with the Congress and there were two exhibit halls, showing some of their findings. The note which they have sounded throughout the campaign, that the Church should do service as well as hold services, was not lacking at the Congress. This national meeting will be remembered as marking the entrance of American churches into a new era of comprehensive Christian service.
ADDRESS OF WELCOME
JAMES G. CANNON Chairman, Committee of Ninety-seven On behalf of the Committee of Ninety-seven, we present our greetings and welcome you to the city of New York. We believe you could hold this Christian Conservation Congress in no better place. You men are no mere idealists and dreamers who have lost touch and sympathy with life in speculating on the world to come; but, inspired by a sublime faith in the future life, you are putting your faith and your ideals to work now and here. The Christian forces must eventually meet and solve every vexed problem of the great cities, and we take peculiar pleasure in inviting you to consider the progress we are making in this metropolis of North America.
We are all students of applied religion, that is, of Christianity applied to the vital problems of to-day, and in New York we find every one of these problems, in various stages of solution. Do you seek to apply Christianity to the problems of city government? New York has a municipal experience of two hundred and fifty years, and here, in the face of incredible obstacles, confronted with the stupendous task of fusing the most cosmopolitan population of the world in the melting pot of liberty and order,
we have made a truly remarkable approach toward good government. Woefully deficient as we are in some respects, we have, nevertheless, achieved many things and some of our municipal departments are well worth your study.
Are you chiefly concerned in Christian ethics as applied to commerce and trade? Here then, the problem is being worked out in a city visited by more ships than any other port of the world, carrying a foreign and domestic commerce mightier than any other international market. Much as we have yet to learn and to attain, hundreds of our business men are daily endeavoring to bring to the varying demands of this vast business, with its peculiar temptations, the principles of their religion.
Is the application of Christianity to industrial relations your special study? New York is a vast workshop, over ten per cent of all the manufacturing of our country being done here. Is your particular ambition as Christian men to do something to uplift and reform social conditions? Then you may find, in the work which our churches and missions and charities and social settlements are doing in the slums and tenement house districts, a great clinic in scientific methods of bringing Christian ideals and Christian sympathy and help to
help to the down-trodden of the earth. These have sought our city as the pursued and stricken of old fled to the City of Refuge.
Is your special Christian work that of educa