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INTRODUCTION.

NOV 23 1908

Transfer from Cire. Dept. Muhlenberg Bramle

When it was first decided to hold a Columbian Exposition in 1893, and, so far as we know, before the World's Congress Auxiliary was thought of, the Evangelical Alliance for the United States contemplated holding a great conference in honor of the occasion, and especially in recognition of the fact that the progress of the past four hundred years and the prosperity of tie nation had sprung not simply from material resources of marvellous richness, but also from certain great ideas which lie at the foundation of modern, and especially of American, civilization.

The projecting of the World's Congress Auxiliary, and on so vast a scale, exemplifying so nobly its own motto, "Not matter, but mind; not things, but men,” materially modified the course of action which had been entertained by the Alliance. It was decided to accept the invitation to hold our conference under the auspices of the World's Congress Auxiliary, as one of the religious congresses, and to narrow the scope of our programme accordingly, in recognition of the wide field occupied by other congresses.

Following as it did many gatherings in the interest of reforms, which discussed the great problems of our times, and being the last of the religious congresses at which were presented the strength, resources, and peculiar adaptations of the various denominations, it naturaily became the especial province of our conference to serve as a sort of connecting link, and to show how the resources of the churches might be applied to the furtherance of needed reforms and to the solution of many of these great problems.

At the Washington Conference in 1887, thought centred in the perils which were seen to threaten the nation; at Boston, the

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needs of modern and of American civilization fixed attention ; at Chicago, little was said of perils and needs. These were assumed as if well recognized and understood. The great object was to point out the social mission of the church, and to present practical methods of Christian work by which the church might accomplish her social mission, and thus meet the great perils and needs of the times.

The subjects, however, which have always interested the Alliance were not omitted. The program was divided into four general subjects, as follows:

I. The Religious Condition of Protestant Christendom.
II. Christian Liberty.
III. Christian Union and Co-operation.
IV. The Church and Social Problems.

The discussions under the last general division occupy nearly a third of the first volume and the whole of the second.

The first volume contains the discussions of the General Conference; the second, those of the Section Conferences. The subjects of the latter are classified under Evangelistic, Reformatory, Educational, Social, and Miscellaneous.

Mr. William E. Dodge, the President of the Evangelical Alliance for the United States, presided over the sessions of the General Conference, and those of the Section Conferences were presided over by Rev. Joachim Elmendorf, D.D., Mr. R. R. McBurney, President W. De W. Hyde, D.D., Professor Graham Taylor, D.D., Mr. John Paton, Mr. Anthony Comstock, Rev. E. H. Byington, Rev. Willard Parsons, Mrs. Charles Henrotin, Mrs. E. W. Blatchford, and Mrs. Lucy Rider Meyer, M.D.

The various sessions were opened with devotional exercises, and a devotional meeting was held each day for a half-hour before the morning session.

The two hundred congresses that preceded this had not exhausted the genial hospitality of President Bonney and of the other officers of the World's Congress Auxiliary. They did everything in their power to promote the success of the conference, and could have been no more attentive if this had been the first congress, or indeed the only one.

The Alliance is indebted also to the hospitable citizens of Chicago who opened their houses for the entertainment of speakers.

CHRISTIAN ('NION AND CO-OPERATION.

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