Графични страници
PDF файл
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

71 South Carolina.

72 Virginia
33 Washington
74 Delaware.
75 Holston..
76 Tennessee.
77 Texas..
78 West Texas.
By Minor Sub-Minimum Standard for Miss. 10 cts., Ch. Ex. and F. A. each 2 cts., Tr., S.-S., and Ea, each ct., Bible 1 ct. Total, 164 cts.

79 Arkansas..
80 Blue Ridge
81 Florida......
82 Little Rock,
83 North Carolina,
81 Alabama .......
85 Central Alabama..
86 Central Tennessee.
87 East Tennessee....
89 Georgia
89 Savannah



47 North Nebraska.. 48 North Ohio.

49 North-West.....

50 North-west lowa........
52 North-west Norwegian..
61 North-west Indiana.....
53 North-west Swedish...

51 Ohio..


55 Oregon
56 Pittsburg...
57 Rock River: Gera
58 Saint Louis German.
59 South-east Indiana
60 Southern California
61 Southern German.
62 Southern Illinois...
63 Upper

65 West Virginia.
66 West Wisconsin
67 Wisconsin.

64 Weserc Lowa.....:



Ba- రారా 149

68 Lexington. 69 Louisiana 70 Mississippi..

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

అలాంట: 00: ఎలు

Here we find in the Missionary Columns, out of the sixtyseven Conferences tried by the standard of forty cents, there are thirteen Conferences having over 50 per cent. of standard collections. They include every one of the nine Conferences of the foreign-born brethren and four others, and they rank as follows: (1) Southern German, 96 per cent. ; (2) East German, 83; (3) N. W. Swedish, 76; (4) N. W. Norwegian, 76; (5) Chicago German, 72; (6) Central German, 71 ; (7) Colorado, 67; (8) West German, 65; (9) St. Louis German, 63; (10) Rock River, 61; (11) Central Illinois, 59; (12) N. W. German, 59; (13) Central Ohio, 57 per cent.

In the Church Extension columns there appear nine Conferences that have, over 50 per cent. of collections, as high as eight cents per member. Six of these are of the foreign-born, five German and the N. W. Swedish. The Colorado, Columbia River, and N. W. Iowa are the other three.

In the Tract Society columns, the only Conference in the sixty-seven that has more than 50 per cent. of collections, as high as two cents per member, is the East German; while ten of them have not over 2 per cent. of the number of collections, amounting to so much as two cents per member.

In the columns of the Sunday-School Union, the East German Conference is the only one again that has over 50 per cent. of collections, amounting to so much as two cents per member, among the sixty-seven.

In the columns of the Freedmen's Aid Society there is not one of these Conferences having 50 per cent. of collections, amounting to so much as seven cents per member. The highest is the Rock River, 48 per cent., and the next to it is the Central Illinois with 28 per cent.

At the other extreme, we find nineteen of these Conferences do not exceed 2 per cent. of collections up to this standard.

The Educational columns have so much money reported in them that was raised for local institutions of learning, and not for the Board of Education or auxiliary societies, as to affect considerably a comparison like the preceding. This important Board needs reconstruction. It is capable of great improvement in respect to its methods, efficiency, and harmony with the other benevolences of the Church.

In the columns of the American Bible Society, the Rock River Conference is the only one that has so much as 50 per cent. of collections, amounting to so much as four cents per member.

Let it be kept in mind that the standard by which these collections are tested is about half high enough for a fair average for the Conferences respectively, while we note that in the whole Church in the United States 25 per cent. of the Missionary collections are standard ; 16 per cent. of the Church Extension; 11 per cent. of the Tract; 14 per cent. of the Sunday-School ; 9 per cent. of the Freedmen's Aid; 33 per cent. of the Educational, and 10 per cent. of the Bible collections are standard.



These figures certainly have an unfavorable look on their surface; and there is no relief except to such minds as could find it in less favorable appearances under the surface of the figures of other Churches of high respectability.

Some have thought the lesson they teach so humiliating that it is not wise to publish them, lest they depress too much the spirit of the Church, and damage its reputation before the religious public and the world. But is it not better to look the worst faults squarely in the face and study the case till we are fully impressed with the magnitude of the undertaking, and then to gird ourselves to remedy the evils? If the present generation of the ministers and members of the Methodist Episcopal Church are not able or disposed to place themselves in their true position in this matter, then are they unworthy of the generations gone before, whose name and work and honors they have inherited. Is not a deep sense of the need of a reformation one of the most potent causes tending to bring it about?

The figures previously published, on which these are a fair improvement, have been widely commented on, not always in a friendly spirit, and often to make out a case that could not stand in the light of other facts shown in the article from which they were taken.

Religious papers of various denominations, and others claiming to be undenominational, while imperfectly concealing their affinities, have rung the changes on these figures with an air that implied a consciousness of greatly superior faithfulness among themselves. And yet, in almost every case, if a comparison were made with equivalent conditions, the result would turn in favor of the Church now disparaged. Our superficial investigator, and sometimes supercilious writer, sees the figures, discards concomitant facts, turns to comparative tables such as are found in Dr. Dorchester's book, and furnishes his readers with very erroneous conclusions and misleading comments. In this case the large and liberal givers were eliminated, and also other classes of givers, for the purpose of bringing to the proper attention those who needed instruction and exhortation to attend to a neglected duty.

If we take the Presbyterian Church, certainly a good representative of the Evangelical constellation, we find at first sight that our Church is giving one fourth as much per member as theirs. But if we proceed a little further, and take a score of tlie largest contributing churches and add them to a score of the largest individual offerings, we shall find the effect on the average is enormous, while the same thing in the Methodist Episcopal Church would affect the general average but little. The Presbyterian Church has thirty charges unequaled by our highest, and has been still more greatly blessed beyond our own with princely givers to these benevolences.

The true way to get at the facts is to take all gifts of churches and of individuals, such as have no counterparts with us, add them together, and deduct the amount. Then match the per centage of the different classes of givers of equal ability, or place side by side churches of equal financial strength, then it will be seen that a larger per centage of Methodist tlfan Presbyterian churches are in the lead; and if in the lower three fourths of the membership a coinparison could be made, member with member of equal ability, the Methodists would appear in the more favorable light. This is because Methodism has been more dependent on the gifts of the middle and lower classes, and has made more effort, and by the peculiarity of organization has been able to make more successful effort, to obtain contributions from them. The Presbyterian Church has 44 per cent. of blanks in the reports of collections corresponding to these under consideration, against 23 per

cent. in ours. Their higher grade churches have fewer blanks than ours, so that in the lower nine tentbs of the churches twenty per cent. of which are without pastors, their blanks are nearly twice as numerous as ours.

The Reformed, (Dutch,) another highly respectable Church, standing near the Presbyterian in Dr. Dorchester's tables, has been examined, and is found to report nearly three times our per centage of churches giving nothing, though almost the entire Church corresponds to our older northern Conferences, with nothing equivalent to our new work in the South and Far West where the greater per centages of blanks occur. If the contributing churches had been tabulated as ours have been, and equally fair rules of analysis and classification applied, the per centage of non-contributing members would exceed ours. A few of the smaller Methodist bodies exceed us because their methods are better, though in some cases their ability is less, and here and there one of the smaller denominations, better circumstanced than we are, may exceed us; but, taking the evangelical Churches as a whole, and we are considerably above the average of them in what is done by the lower nine tenths of the membership.

The true attitude of most of our critics is not that of complacent censors, but of inquirers, with fallen countenance and bated breath, asking, “What, then, must be the number of our members who are giving nothing toward the world's conversion ?”

The true lesson of these figures teaches to ask, How many millions of Church members in good and regular standing in their respective Churches, outside of the Methodist Episcopal Church, are giving nothing and, What shall each Church do in its own way to rally its entire forces and develop its latent power for this work ?

Emphatic as is the language of those disturbing figures, the article from which they are taken shows by facts as emphatic that they are neither the result of inability nor indisposition; they come about by defectiveness of method. Our people have done as well as they have been taught and asked to do when the manner and spirit of the asking is taken into the account.

A striking example of the readiness of our people to respond to a benevolence like these, when presented in a fairly effective way, is found in the case of the success of the Woman's Foreign

Forty-eight of the 89 churches that each stand highest in their respective Conferences report blanks, the 48 aggregate 107 blanks.

[ocr errors]
« ПредишнаНапред »