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sent the form of mature piety; but need only have the qualities of utility, benevolence, morality, and a general helpfulness which looks toward a sane and mature piety.

What can we do, what shall we do, while waiting for the possibility of such an organization?

1. Try to persuade your young people's society to organize on this comprehensive basis. Point out the failure to include all young people in church, and especially to save to the Bible school and church. the young men and women slipping away. Exalt to due and proper

place all forms of Christian activity.


If you cannot persuade the young people so to organize, as to include freely all who will do something for Christ, without requiring the prayer-meeting test, then organize your Bible school classes, each class by itself, around some form of service, which they may voluntarily choose to enter upon. Here, I believe, is one way of preserving the interest of young people in the Bible school, and of retaining the scholars at that age, when they are wont to give up the school.

There is also a group of social reasons why the organized class is the best way to organize the young people in the school and church. Nowhere in the church have the young people associated themselves in a group so much, or so nearly wholly, because of social affinities, as in the average Bible school class. They begin as a class in the wholly democratic spirit of little children, and are advanced in a body to the intermediate department, but differentiation soon begins. Some drop out, some seek other classes, new scholars, generally social comrades, are brought in, and the changes of evolution continue until it is soon apparent that the average Bible school class is the most homogeneous and actually acceptable company, socially, around the church. What differences have been incapable of elimination have been minimized by constant association; and in youth the class represents, as nearly as possible under religious auspices, the ideal of good-fellowship, a "gang" if it be boys, a "set" if it be girls. The social hunger aids, therefore; and if this social unit be made a religious unit, a service unit, by organization for a religious purpose, another serious element of continuity in religious life is added.

The longer I regard the matter, the less sure I am that, for all the needs of opportunity to convert truth-impression into action-expression, the organized classes are not better than any single organization of young people, however comprehensive may be its plan and outlook. Only experience can tell. The idea is, in general, new. Time would reveal; but some experience has given assurance that it is so.

Two classes of objection arise naturally: First as to the multiplicity of organizations. Such would be the case only when there was no inspiring Christian life to keep the many organizations in action; that there is a multiplicity of services, and each idea needs a body after its kind. We need, for the full opportunity of developing each and all, the searching emphasis upon each individual, which only many small organizations can effect.


The second objection likely to arise is that such a plan institutes and perpetuates cliques among the young people. Let it be admitted at once. It does. But I raise the question, Why not cultivate the clique?" How more effectively reach and hold the individuals? Is not this the idea of the Y. M. C. A. in their boys' departments and men's movements? They have recognized that, in all life, boys group themselves, according to social affinities, into what are called "gangs," and that if they are effectually to win the individual boy, they must carry the "gang" with them. Their advantage is that they recognize no denominational group, but can take and work with the boys in the group to which their social affinities have joined them. The Young Women's Associations already recognize and work on the same principle among young women.

Now, why not in the church, young people's society, and Bible school, cultivate the clique? The cliques are there, anyhow. No one, who has ever sought social unity in church or school, has been able to escape the knowledge of this; and the social unity of either has always been found wellnigh impossible, save in very small churches, which are, to all intents, simply a group of those socially affiliated.

What young people's societies must do for young people, then, is, give largest opportunity for action-expression of truth impression, or the rationale of Bible-study is lost, and rational young people will give it up.

The best way to grant this is by an organized effort that will both suggest and make ways for action-expression.

The present young people's societies are organized too narrowly to give this opportunity.

It is needful to reorganize them on a more comprehensive basis, inclusive of all forms of Christian activity.





The title of the paper is, in my opinion, as misleading as the plan suggested is impracticable and unworkable in the average church. To be really comprehensive, it should provide for the needs of the average, not of the exceptional, church. Instead of a more comprehensive basis for the union of young people in their societies, it outlines a plan which, if it could be used at all, could be used only by the small minority of churches that have a large membership and a multiplicity of organizations. Instead of simplifying the machinery, it makes it more complex. All it pleads for is secured now in our societies wherever there is competent local leadership, and without that no plan will succeed.

By its system of committee and department work, the young people's society meets the needs of the average church, and is doing an infinite variety of helpful Christian service. It also has the added advantage over the plan suggested in the paper, that, instead of one little group of young people having a monopoly of one kind of service, all the members have an equal opportunity for training along special lines, and also for development as all-round Christian workers. Provision is also made in the present plan of work by which the exceptional churches with large numbers of young people can organize their society into two or more sections, thus making a place for the training and development of every young person in the congregation.

Furthermore, the Christian Endeavor method already provides a simple plan for federating clubs, classes, and organizations of various kinds, doing specific work in the local church, by which the members become affiliated members of the broader, more definitely religious, and more comprehensive organization, the Society of Christian Endeavor. The executive committee, which consists of the officers, chairmen of committees, and superintendents of departments, furnishes a cabinet through which the pastor can suggest and direct every line of work.

In its reference to the junior societies and the prayer-meetings, the paper, in my opinion, utterly misstates the real condition of things. It misrepresents thousands of the most devoted and intelligent workers in our churches, who are freely giving their time to training the boys and girls in our junior societies in perfectly natural and normal ways to love and work for Christ and the church. Junior societies do not meet at night, neither do they encourage the giving of unreal religious experien

ces. I have attended hundreds of junior meetings and conferred with thousands of superintendents, and have never yet seen the "pathetic and harmful exhibitions" referred to in the paper. But I have seen companies of eager little ones repeating their Bible verses, singing their beautiful songs, listening to the old, old story of Christ's love for the children, planning for their missionary or temperance meeting, making scrap-books for the hospitals, packing boxes for the missionaries, and carrying sunshine and cheer and flowers and fruit to the sick and infirm. Why should it be considered such an unnatural thing for a Christian to take part in a prayer-meeting? Why should the prayer-meeting be reserved for the gifted few who think they can speak "to edification ?" It is that idea that has nearly killed our prayer-meetings and relegated to the minister the expression of religious truth. We do not apply that rule in our family life. Why should we in the church family? Not even modern pedagogy has applied that rule in our schools, for still every scholar, gifted or ungifted, is required to "take part "' in the classroom.

Our young people's prayer-meetings and junior societies are not places where unreal experiences are related or expected. But they are places where the mature and the immature, the experienced and the inexperienced, can in appropriate ways express themselves as members in the family of God and scholars in the school of Christ. If the character of the meetings prevents the natural expression of religious truth, let us change their character.

When the day of Pentecost was fully come, every man heard the message in his own language. They need to hear it to-day in the language of the mechanic and the merchant, the clerk and the cash-girl, the shipper and the stenographer, the servant and the mistress, the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated.

But, having said this for the prayer-meeting, and much more could be said, I affirm that the present young people's society is a training-school for every form of Christian service, with this advantage over the plan suggested in the paper, that it has a heart at the center, keeping the hands and feet and brain supplied with rich red blood. I could weary you and fill the volume of proceedings with reports of actual work done and service rendered along every line of missionary, educational, social, and philanthropic work by our young people's societies. They stand for expression by both life and lip. Not either, but both.

Here is an outline of the varied forms of service in which Christian Endeavor Societies are engaged and for which they will receive special recognition at the Baltimore convention.

I. (a) Recognition for societies that for six months have had seventyfive per cent of their active members present and participating in the meetings.

(b) For societies in which five or more of their members have joined the church.

(c) For societies that have fifty per cent. of their members "Comrades of the Quiet Hour."

II. (a) For conspicuously good committee-work along any line. (b) For forming and sustaining junior and intermediate societies by junior committees of the young people's society.

(c) For forming affiliated groups of young people along missionary, literary, musical lines, boys' clubs, etc.

III. For societies that have made special efforts along lines of religious education, that have taken one or more courses in the correspondence school, formed Christian Endeavor correspondence school class, mission-study class, a class for the study of the Bible, of church history and doctrine, or other effort of this sort.

IV. For societies that show the best record of beneficence, that have given the largest sums per capita for missions, or that have the most members belonging to the Tenth Legion, or that have been successful in some other definite plan of systematic and proportionate giving.

V. For societies that report conspicuously good work for the welfare of their community, social or political reforms, temperance work, and other lines of good citizenship, education, and public spirit, town and village improvement in beautifying public and private property, etc.

If these things are not done in any certain society, it is not because the opportunity is wanting, but because the society lacks the leadership or ability to grasp it. What is needed is more power, not another machine. Sometimes objection is made to the wording of the pledge. Then write a better one. Sometimes additions are needed to the constitution. Make them; the opportunity is yours; use it.

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