The McCook tribune. (McCook, Neb.) 1886-1936, March 16, 1900, Image 5
ij tnt ; ? ? $ ? # .0. Of.t By REV. CHARLES M. SHELDON , # 0 Author of "In His Steps : What Would Jesus DoP" "Malcom Kirk , " "Bobert , Hardy's Seven Days , " Etc. $ # 1800 , by The Advance Publishing Co. tiie lire 'of CfirTsT , Tu"e lIT3 Mbrti aoun- dantly. "The houses down there are of the cheapest description. The people who come out of them are far from well dressed. The streets and alleys are dirty and ill smelling , and no one cares to promenade for pleasure up and down the sidewalks In that neigh borhood. It is not a safe place to go ' to at' night The most frequent dis turbances come from that part of the town. All the hard characters find ref uge there. And let me say that 1 am not now speaking of the working pee ple. They are almost without excep tion law abiding. But in every town like ours the floating population of vice and crime seeks naturally that part of , } a town where the poorest * houses are , and the most saloons , and the greatest darkness , both physical and moral. "If there is a part of this town which needs lifting up and cleaning and heal ing and inspiring by the presence of the church of Christ , it is right there where there is no church. The people on B street and for six or eight blocks each side know the gospel. They have large numbers of books and papers anil much Christian literature. They have been taught the Bible truths ; they are familiar with them. Of what value is it , then , to continue to support on this short street , so near together , seven churches , of as many different denomi nations , which have for their members the respectable , moral people of the town ? I do not mean to say that the well to do , respectable people do not need the- influence of the church and the preaching of the gospel. But they can get these privileges without such a fearful waste of material and power. If we had only three or four churches on this street they would be enough. We are wasting our Christianity with the present arrangement We are giv ing the rich and the educated and well to do people seven times as much church as we are giving the poor , the ignorant and the struggling workers in the tenement district There is no question , there can be no question , that all this is wrong. It is opposed to ev ery principle that Christ advocated. And in the face of these plain facts , which no one can dispute , there is a duty before these churches on this street which cannot be evaded without denying the very purpose of a church. It is that duty which I am now going to urge upon this Calvary church. "It has been said by some of the /ministers and members of the churches that we might combine in an effort and build a large and commodious mission in the tenement district * But that , to my mind , would not settle the problem at all as it should be settled. It is an easy and a lazy thing for church mem bers to put their hands in their pock ets and say to a few other church members : 'Wo will help build a mis sion if you will run it after it is up. We will attend our church up town here while the mission is worked for the poor people down there. ' That is not w.hat will meet the needs of the situa tion. What that part of Milton needs Is the zhurch of Christ in its mem bers the whole church on the largest possible scale. What I am now going to propose , therefore , is something which I believe Christ would advocate , if not in the exact manner I shall ex plain , at least in the same spirit" Philip paused a moment and looked over the congregation earnestly. The expectation of the people was roused almost to the point of a sensation as he went on : "I have consulted competent authori ties , and they say that our church building here could be moved from its present foundation without serious damage to the structure. A part of it would have to be torn down to assist the moving , but it could easily besre- placed. The expense would not be more than we could readily meet. We are out of debt , and the property is free from incumbrance. What I pro pose , therefore , is a very simple thing that we move our church edifice down into the heart of the tenement district , where we can buy a suitable lot for a comparatively small sum , and at once begin the work of a Christian church in the very neighborhood where such work is most needed. "There are certain objections to this ' plan. 1 think they can be met by the exercise of the Christ spirit of sacrifice and love. A great many members will not be able to go that distance to at tend service any more than the people there at present can well come up here. But there are six churches left on B street What is to hinder any Chris- 1 tian member of Calvary church from working and fellowshiping with those churches if lie cannot put in his service in the tenement district ? None of these churches is crowded. They will wel come the advent of more members. But the main strength of the plan which 1 propose lies in the fact that if it be done it will be a live illustration of the eagerness of the church to reach and save men. The very sight of our church moying down off from this street to the lower part of the town will be an object lesson to the people , nnd the church will at once begin to . Once established mean something to them. lished there , we can work from It as a center. The distance ought to be no discouragement to any healthy person. There is not a young woman in this / > lnirr > b who. Is Irt.rlu * habit-oL dorjrJncr "who tlbCs iiof ufakT ? twice as many steps during an evening dancing party as would be necessary to take her to the tenement district and back again. Sure ly any Christian church member is as willing to endure fatigue and sacrifice nnd to give as mucli time to help make men and women better as he Is to have a good time himself. Think for a mo ment what this move which 1 propose would mean to the life of this town and to our Christian growth. At pres ent we go to church. We listen to a good choir , we go home again , we have a pleasant Sunday school , we are all comfortable and well clothed here , we enjoy our services , we are not disturb ed by the sight of disagreeable or un congenial people. "But is that Christianity ? Where do the service and the self denial and the working for men's souls come in ? Ah. my dear brothers and sisters , what is tills-church really doing for the salva tion of menin this place ? Is it Chris tianity to have a comfortable church and go to it once or twice a week to enjoy nice music and listen to preach ing , and then go home to a good din ner , and that is about all ? What have we sacrificed ? What have we denied ourselves ? What have we done to show the poor or the sinful that we care anything for their souls or that Christianity is anything but a comfort able , select religion for those who can afford the good things of the world ? What has the church in Milton done to make the workingman here feel that it is an institution that throbs with the brotherhood of man ? But suppose we actually move our church down there and then go there ourselves weekdays nnd Sundays to work for the uplift of immortal beings. Shall we not then have the satisfaction of knowing that we are at least trying to do something more than enjoy our church all by ourselves ? Shall we not be able to hope that we have nt least attempted to obey the spirit of our sacrificing Lord , who commanded his disciples to go and disciple the nations ? It seems to me that the plan is a Christian plan. If the churches in this neighborhood were not so numerous , if the circum stances were different , it might not be wise or necessary to do what 1 pro pose. But as the facts are , I solemnly believe that this church has nn oppor tunity before it to show Milton and the other churches and the world that it is willing to do an unusual thing , that it has within it the spirit of complete will ingness to reach and lift up mankind in the way that will do it best and most speedily. If individuals are command ed to sacrifice and endure for Christ's sake and the kingdom's , I do not know why organizations should not do the same. And in this instance something on a large scale , something that repre sents large sacrifice , something that will convince the people of the love of man for man. is the only thing that will strike deep enough into the prob lem of the tenement district in Milton to begin to solve it in any satisfactory or Christian way. "I do not expect the church to act on my plan without due deliberation. I have arrived at my own conclusions after a careful going over the entire ground. And in the sight of all the need nnd degradation of the people and in the light of nil that Christ has made clenr to be our duty as his dis ciples it seems to me there is but one path open to us. If we neglect to fol low him ns he beckons us , I believe we shnll neglect the one opportunity of Calvary church to put itself in the position of the church of the crucified Lamb of God , who did not please him self , who came to minister to others , who would certnlnly npprove of nny steps his church on earth in this nge might honestly make to rench men and love them and become to them the helper ar/1 savior and life giver which the gre.i * Head of the church truly in tended we should be. I leave this plan which I have proposed before you for your Christian thought and prayer. And may the Holy Spirit guide us all into nil the truth. Amen. " If rhilip had deliberately planned to create n sensation , he could not have done anything more radical to bring it about If he had stood on the platform and fired n gun into the audience , it would not have startled the members of Calvary church more than this calm proposal to them that they move their building n mile away from its aristocratic surroundings. Nothing that lie had said in his previ ous sermons had provoked such a spir it of opposition. This time the church was roused. Feelings of astonishment , indignation aud alarm agitated the members of Calvary church. Some of them gathered about Philip nt the close of the service. "It will not be possible to do this thing you propose , Brother Strong , " snid one of the dencons , n lending mem ber nnd n mnn who had defended Phil ip once or twice against public criti cism. "Why not ? " asked Philip simply. He wns exhausted with his effort that morning , but felt that n crisis of some sort 'had tJeeu "precipitated by liis mes sage , nnd so he welcomed this show of Interest which his sermon had aroused. "The church will not ngree to such a thing. " "A number of them favor such a step , " replied Philip , who had talked nvor the matter fully with many in the cfitu'cZ "A majority will vote against it. " "Yes , an overwhelming majority , " said one mnn. "I know a good many who would not be "able to go that dis tance to attend church , mid they cer- tninly would , not Join any other church on the street I know , for one. 1 wouldn't. " "Not if you thought Christ's kingdom in this town would be advanced by It ? " asked Philip , turning to this mnn with a directness that was almost bluntness. "I don't see that that would be n test of my Christianity. " "That is not the question. " said one of the trustees , who had the reputation of being a very shrewd business man. "The question is concerning the fensi- bility of moving this property a mile into the poorest part of the town nnd then maintaining it there. In my opin ion it cannot be done. The expenses of the orgnuization en > t be kept up. We should lose some ir best finan- cinl supporters. & . jng's spirit and purpose sprin | a good mo- tive , no doubt , but vie ; fem n busi- ness point of view t ircli in that locality would not be ! success. To my mind it would be' ' jery unwise thing to do. It would jractically de- stroy our organiznti6n-jpre | nnd not really establish anything there. " "I do not believe < we can fell until we try , " said Philip. " 1 certninly do not wish the church to destroy itself fool ishly , but I do feel thnt we ought to do something very positive nnd very Inrge to define our altitude ns saviors in this community. And moving the house , ns 1 propose , has the ndvnntage of be- in a definite , practicnl step In the di rection of n Christlike use of our pow ers as n church. " There was more talk of the same sort , but it was plainly felt by Philip that the plan he had proposed was dis tasteful to the greater pnrt of the church , and if the mntter came to a vote it would be defented. He talked the plan over with his trustees , as he had nlrendy done before he spoke in public. Four of them were decided in their objection to the plnn. Only one fully sustnined Philip. During the week he succeeded in finding out thnt from his membership of 500 less than 40 persons were willing to stnnd by him in so rndicnl a movement. And yet the more Philip studied the prob lem of the town the more he was per suaded that the only way for the church to make"any impression on the tenement district was to put itself di rectly in touch with the neighborhood. To accomplish thnt necessity Philip wns not stubborn. He wns ready to ndopt nny plan that would actually do something , but he grew more eager ev ery day that he spent in the study of the town to have the church feel its opportunity nud mnke Christ a reality to those most in need of him. It was nt this time thnt Philip wns surprised one evening by a call from one of the workingmen who had been present and heard his sermon on mov ing the church into the tenement dis trict. "I came to see you pnrticulnrly. Mr. Strong , nbout getting you to come down to our hnll some evening next week nnd give us a talk on some sub ject connected with the signs of the times. " "I'll come if you think I can do any good in that way. " replied Philip , hesi tating a little. "I believe you can. The men nre be ginning to take to you. and while they "It will not be possible to do lids thing won't come up to church they will turn out to hear you down there. " "All right. When do you want mete to come ? " "Say next Tuesday. You know where the hall is ? " Philip nodded. He had been by it in his walks through that pnrt of Milton. The spokesmnn for the workmen ex pressed his thanks and arose to go , but Philip asked him to stny a few mo ments. He wanted to know at first hand what the man's representative fellows would do if the church should at any time decide to act after Philip's plnn. "Well , to tell the truth , Mr. Strong , I don't believe very ninny of them would join nny church. " "Thnt is not the question. Would they feel the church any more there than where it is now ? " "Yes , 1 honestly think they would. They would come out to henr you. " "Well , thnt would be something , to be sure , " replied Philip , smiling. "But as to the wisdom of the plnn how does it strike you on the whole ? " " 1 would like to see it done. I don't believe 1 shall , though. " "Why ? " "Your church won't ngree to it" "Mnybe they will in time. " " 1 hope they will. And let me tell you , Mr. Strong , even If you succeeded In getting your church nnd people to come into the tenement district you would find plenty of people there who wouldn't go to hear you. " " 1 suppose thnt is so. But , oh , that we might do something ! " Philip clasp ed his hands over his knee nnd gazed earnestly at the man opposite. The ulumed-lhu-iraze almost asear- ONLY S5.0O. Made of highly polished hard wood , beautifully inlaid around sound hole , pearl position marks , full bound on edge with celluloid. All complete with instruction book and extra set of strings , ful ly warranted for one year , only 85.00. A complete line of strings and trimmings always on hand. Mail orders promptly filled. THE BEE HIVE McCook , Neb. Children often inherit feeble digestive pow er'and colic of a more or less severe charactei results , when food is taken which is at al ! difficult to digest. White's Cream Vermifuge acts as a general and permanent tonic. Price , 25 cents. A. McMillen. 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It is the formula of a physician of the highest standing , who devoted his whole life to the study of the dis tinct ailments peculiar to our moth ers , wives and daughters. It is made of soothing , healing , strengthening herbs and vegetables , which have been provided by a kindly Nature to cure irregularity in the menses , Leu- corrhcea. Falling of the Womb. Nerv ousness. Headache and Backache. In fairness to herself and to Brad" field's Female Regulator , every suffering woman ought to give it a trial. A large $ r bottle will do a wonderful amount of good. Sold by druggists. Send for a nicely illustrated free book on the subject. The Bradfleld Regulator Co. , Atlanta , Ga. do sia Cure Digests what you eat. It artificially digests the food and aids Nature in strengthening and recon structing the exhausted digestive or gans. It is the latest discovered digest- ant and tonic. ! No other preparation can approach it in efficiency. 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