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ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS.
Vol. XCIV.— JANUARY, 1898. — No. I.
The estimated expenses of the American Board for 1897-98 are $650,000. This will involve an average expenditure of Receipts and
about $54,000 per month. Expenditures. The regular donations for the month of November amounted to
$18,732.71 The legacies amounted to
15,406.39 Total .
$34,139.10 This is nearly $20,000 less than the average expenses per month. For the first three months of the financial year the donations amounted to
$68,948.06 The legacies amounted to
41,183.68 Total of donations and legacies
$110,131.74 This is nearly $61,000 less than the amount needed to cover the expenses of this period. It is sufficient simply to state these facts in order to show our readers and all friends of the Board what a serious problem is before us.
Aside from the above there was received for the debt in November $2,606.28, and within the three months $12,896.81, pledged as additional to regular gifts. For special objects there were received in November $1,388.99, and in the three months $5,348.42. These gifts are, of course, applied according to the directions of the donors, and they in no wise help in meeting the regular appropriations of the Board.
It gives us great pleasure to announce that there is in preparation for the press a collection of the missionary addresses made by Rev. Dr. Storrs, during
the ten years of his presidency of the American Board. Dr. Storrs' Addresses.
We are sure that this announcement will be welcomed with delight by both ministers and laymen, and by all who love and revere the author, and by all friends of missions. As soon as revised, the addresses will be put to press, and we hope before long to announce the publication of the volume.
Our new volume, “In Lands Afar,” is receiving most cordial notice from religious papers of all denominations, which speak of it as a most attractive book
for the home, the Sunday-school, or the missionary library. The In Lands Afar.
Morning Star expresses itself surprised that such an elegant profusely illustrated volume can be furnished at so low a price.
MEMORIAL FROM THE PRUDENTIAL COMMITTEE AND EXECU
TIVE OFFICERS OF THE AMERICAN BOARD TO THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES.
At the beginning of the year, and in order to invite the largest plans on the part of the churches, the Prudential Committee and the officers of the American Board feel constrained to call direct attention to the most difficult and crucial action of all the year, namely, the making of the appropriations to the missions. After full deliberation of the Committee, including the President and Vice-president, whose special counsel was sought, it was voted to make the appropriations on the same basis as last year.
The Committee had already asked of each of the missions the most economical statement of actual necessities in order to do the work intrusted to them. The appro priations as voted compel a continued reduction in the salaries of the missionaries, save those supported by the Woman's Boards, by ten per cent in sixteen of the missions, by five per cent in two, while in two reduction is impossible because of distressing conditions. The Turkish missions are included in this for the first time.
The appropriations to the native agencies, churches, pastors, evangelists, and schools is cut forty-five per cent, on the average, below the needs of the missions. This falls heavily upon the most permanent and fruit-bearing part of the work. With such facts, no one will claim that the Committee could have made the appropriations smaller.
Even these appropriations raise an exigency which is most urgent in its message to the churches of the land. The Board must receive, from some source, at least $110,000 more than last year. And why so much more? Because there was not enough received last year to meet the expenses into $45,000. Because the Otis and Swett legacies, which gave us last year $43,000, are now exhausted. Because we have a present indebtedness of about $22,000.
We are anxious that the Christians in all our churches shall be made to know the gravity of the situation. It has been a simple question whether to cut the missions still more bitterly, or trust the Congregational churches yet more implicitly. The former we do not know how to accomplish, without voting destruction, and hence we have trusted the churches, which do not ask us to create ruins on the mission fields. In thus acting have we misplaced our confidence ?
The great trust laid upon us by the will of the churches compels the entreaty, which we here present, to let the troubled cry of our missions reach every church and every Christian heart in this time of unique privilege.
This brief memorial we place before the constituency of the Board, at the beginning of the year, respectfully, urgently, and hopefully. We have a deep sense of the present duty and a profound faith in the ability of the churches, by wise and prompt action, to prevent the need of an appeal at the end of the year. In behalf of the Prudential Committee,
EDWIN B. WEBB, Chairman.
C. H. DANIELS, Clerk. FRANK H. WIGGIN, Treasurer.
Congregational House, Boston, December 1, 1897.
The public has been amused, if not particularly interested, by a widely blazoned announcement that Rev. George H. Hepworth, D.D., with another
attaché of the New York Herald, a paper long recognized as The New York Herald's Representa- an eager defender of Turkish institutions and policy, has tives in Turkey.
gone to Turkey, on the invitation of the Sultan, to examine into the alleged atrocities of the past two years, to find out who is responsible for what has occurred, and to set right the opinion of the world in regard to these matters. The assumption underlying all this is that the facts are not known, that the reports of French, British, German, and other ambassadors and consuls are of no account, and that the testimony of such men as J. Rendel Harris, of Cambridge, England, of Dean Ramsay, of Prof. Lepsius, of Germany, not to name a score of others, are not to be relied upon. In one of his first letters Dr. Hepworth says that “if we succeed in accomplishing the journey we shall be the only two men representing journalism who have ever made the trip from Trebizond to Alexandretta.” Dr. Hepworth must have intended to say that they would be the only representatives of the press under such convoy, for he must have been aware that newspaper correspondents have crossed that region again and again. How much this convoy will aid him in learning and reporting the truth, the public will judge. Dr. Hepworth frankly states who they are : "Our little company consists of Sivry Bey, one of the secretaries of the Sultan; Khahlid Bey, who is commissioned to make a report to his majesty on the condition of the country through which we pass, through an aid-de-camp of the Sultan, Col. Tewfik Bey, and Lieutenant-Colonel Rashdi Bey; then Mr. Sidney Whitman and myself.” How much, under such an environment, can be learned of facts and events occurring two years ago, the witnesses of which in such large numbers were so disposed of that they cannot testify before any earthly tribunal, those who understand the Orient will know beforehand.
DR. HEPWORTH's second letter from Trebizond, dated November 12, furnishes a striking illustration of the character of the information he is likely to get amid An Extraordinary such surroundings. His friends have led him at the outset into
Misstatement. a manifest and gross blunder. He begins by reporting an interview with “a prominent individual” at Trebizond (his name or nationality not stated) who was asked whether the fault for the massacre at Trebizond was with the Turks or with the Armenians. The gentleman replied, “Well! let me tell you the story and you shall judge for yourself. You remember the Ottoman Bank episode at Constantinople?" Dr. Hepworth replied, “Perfectly.” “News flies fast," continued the gentleman, “and what occurred there became known here. Two or three days afterward, I forget which, Bahri Pasha was walking along the main street of Trebizond when a couple of young men, evidently members of the revolutionary committee, fired upon him, their purpose being assassination. They attempted to duplicate the movement which was begun in Constantinople. After firing these fellows fled and found a hiding place." The gentleman then affirms that it was the wrath of the populace at these Armenian would-be assassins that roused the populace to commence the massacre, in which he admits 500 persons were killed. After this statement of “the prominent individual,” Dr. Hepworth says, “ This was all valuable testimony, from the lips of a man who had a thorough acquaintance with all the nationalities which are congregated in this cosmopolitan city.” How valuable this testimony is, and how thorough the acquaintance shown with the facts, will be understood when it is remembered that what is here presented as the cause of the outbreak at Trebizond happened ten months after that outbreak. “The Ottoman Bank episode at Constantinople” occurred August 26, 1896, while the Trebizond massacre occurred October 8, 1895. Dr. Hepworth has been imposed upon by a statement which is as absurd as it would be to say that the uprising of the South in 1861 was caused by the battle of Gettysburg.
We have already called attention to the growth of the “Tenth Legion," originating among the Societies of Christian Endeavor, which consists simply of the The Tenth Legion
enrollment of those who have promised to give not less than and The Quiet Hour. one tenth of their income to God. Many thousands have entered into this covenant and others are joining weekly. In connection with this we mention also another enrollment, also originating in Christian Endeavor circles, comprising those who, with the thought that more time should be given to communion with God, unite in observing “The Quiet Hour," or a period of not less than fifteen minutes daily, preferably in the early morning, with the object of coming by prayer and meditation into direct converse with God and spiritual things. These two leagues touch the two sides of the Christian life, its hidden springs and its outward activities. Prayer and consecration of property, to a degree beyond what is common at present, will certainly effect a revolution in the church and in the world. Should the movement contemplated by these two leagues be universal, the kingdom of God would come with a rapidity hitherto unknown.
OUR Almanac for 1898 is pronounced by all who have seen it to be superior to any of its predecessors. Our friends of other missionary boards, as well as in The American Board our own denomination, recognize the fact that it is unsurpassed
Almanac. in attractiveness of appearance, and that the amount of information it contains renders it an invaluable handbook. A secretary of another board writes of it: “It is one of the necessaries of life.” We wish it might find the place it should have in every Congregational family in the United States. At ten cents a copy it is the cheapest and most attractive almanac published. See an advertisement on another page, and send to C. E. Swett, Congregational House, for copies.
It is distressing to learn that the plague is still spreading in various parts of India. Rev. Henry Fairbank, of Wadale, reports that during the last week in The Plague in October there were 138 cases and 102 deaths reported at Sholapur,
India. while at Poona there were from fifty to sixty deaths daily. From fear of the plague the people have fled from Sirur, while at Ahmednagar there are a few cases every day. The disease flourishes in the cooler weather of India, and its progress will probably continue until April or May. In this continued experience of trouble our brethren in the Marathi Mission should be tenderly remembered in the prayers of Christians.
A PRESBYTERIAN pastor in New Jersey gives in the Church at Home and Abroad his experience in building up his own congregation. Coming to the How to Build up church a dozen years ago he found its congregation small and
a Church. the finances demoralized, with an annual deficit in the accounts. The condition of the church was also low spiritually. The first thing done with a view to promote the prosperity of the church was to establish the monthly concert. Within a few weeks a call was made for an annual gift for foreign missions, and the sum of $500 was named as the amount expected. Many demurred and deemed the pressure unwise and the church quite too poor to be thus drained. But with much effort the amount was raised, and the pastor joyfully reports the result of thus keeping foreign missions at the front: “In consequence, as I believe, we have never run behind in current expenses. The church has doubled in membership and efficiency, we have beautified our audience room and erected a magnificent chapel, and are contributing seven times as much for benevolent purposes as formerly. I am more than ever convinced that the best receipt, under God, for true church prosperity is to maintain an intelligent, constant, and enthusiastic interest in foreign missions."
A LEAFLET containing a program for Missionary Concerts for 1898 is in course of preparation, and will be sent to all pastors by the first of January. The conA Program for Mis- cert for January falls within the Week of Prayer, and the
sionary Concerts. appropriate topic for that service is “ The Holy Spirit in Relation to Missions." This was the topic for thought and prayer which was suggested in the original institution of the Week of Prayer. “ That God would now pour out his Spirit upon all flesh so that all the ends of the earth might see his salvation " was the profound theme suggested by the Presbytery of Lodiana when they proposed this observance. A study of the Scriptures and a study of the history of missions in reference to the relation of the Holy Spirit to this work, with special prayer for the outpouring of this Spirit, will be most suitable for the January Missionary Concert.
“ARE you playing with us, or is there really some hope of our having a school?” This was the point-blank question put to Rev. Mr. Sanders, of Aintab, by the Playing or in representatives of a community whose request for a school he had
Earnest? been obliged to defer from time to time because there were no funds. He turns the question over to the churches of America, adding the statement that if the appropriations are the same as last year (which he has since learned to be substantially the case), and no help comes from other sources, they will “ have to begin to close the churches in earnest.”
THE Evangelical Alliance sends, as usual, a list of topics for the Week of Prayer which are as follows: For Monday, Confession and Thanksgiving ;
Tuesday, The Church Universal ; Wednesday, Nations and The Week of Prayer.
their Rulers ; Thursday, Families and Schools; Friday, Foreign Missions ; Saturday, Home Missions. The Alliance offers to send full programs gratis to any church that will take a collection for its work during the Week of Prayer. Application should be made at its office, Fourth Avenue and Twenty-second Street, New York City.