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doing the obvious, by the grace of God. Of course there are the ordinary expenses which are met in the ordinary way common to all parishes (but still not independent of the grace of God). There are the pledges, and there are the guild dues, which no matter how small, are always religiously collected. The people are taught the Christian virtue of alms-giving even when they are the recipients of alms, and they respond splendidly. But this income could not provide money for a third of the work. The rank and file of our people are poor. A few are moderately rich. Now the rector is devoted to God's poor, but unlike some zealous parsons, he does not emphasize his love for the poor by contempt for the rich. It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven, but like Saint Vincent de Paul, the rector has a genius for showing the rich man the glorious fun of trying. He remembers that the rich have souls also. Just as the poor are taught the virtue of almsgiving, so the rich are led to see the responsibilities of stewardship. Yet the rector does not beg from our rich parishioners nor from other parsons' rich parishioners who are interested in Saint Hilary's. He simply goes ahead on the principle that this is God's work, and some way will be provided. People find out how eager he is to establish an old ladies' home or a vacation cottage or that he wants to send a tubercular boy to the country. These rich people believe in the rector; they too come to see that it is God's work, and they exercise their stewardship accordingly. And since they see it as God's work their interest does not end in signing checks. They quite naturally and humbly want to be "in on the thing" and help the rector. And just as he does not have to emphasize his love for the poor by preaching against the rich, so he does not have to maintain his authority by refusing every suggestion of the laity. The result of this is a harmonious group, led by the rector, who plan out various schemes for our people's welfare. This group has now become permanent, and has resolved itself into a conference which meets every Monday morning to plan our work for the week. The members of the conference do not indeed furnish all the money. I think they
talk about Saint Hilary's among their friends, with the effect of making them friends of Saint Hilary's.
The financial basis of our work is faith in God. These people not only plan, but they pray, collectively and individually. And thus we know that if it is God's work it will get done somehow.
The basis of all our parish life is faith in God. That is why the Church's work has not swamped the Church's worship, as so often happens. We make it quite fundamental in our teaching that it isn't fair to have faith in God merely for what you can get out of Him. Faith in God means for our people, living for God. They have actually grasped that somehow. Now if you live for God you have got to express yourself toward God in some fashion. And it so happens that God has lovingly, like a true Father, taken into account all sides of our nature. He has suggested and fostered and allowed to develop a mode of expressing faith in Him which meets with a response from "all men everywhere," from philosopher, poet, and peasant. Here is what I mean. I went the other day to see one of our men who was dying of consumption. The room was mean and dirty; it smelled of disease and medicine. The distracted mother was justified in fussing about the dirty rags which answered for bedclothes. While I was there the man died. There was nothing beautiful about this death. It was squalid, mean, nauseating. Even the grief of the mother was marred by the sordid worry of how she was to get on when Jimmy was gone. Before he died I had talked with him, and anointed him; and I confess to wondering how in the world the blessed oil and the hackneyed words about faith in God could be more than a cruel mockery in such a case. And yet, his last conscious words were to ask that I offer the Holy Sacrifice for him in the morning. Hideously gasping for breath, in a room unfit for an animal, his mind was on heavenly things. Heaven was opening before him, but his vision was of the only bit of Heaven he ever knew in this sad, grinding world; his vision was of the Christ over our bright Altar at St. Hilary's, of the lights, and the incense, the scarlet and the silk, of the silver bell, and his "white and ruddy Saviour" lifted up to draw all men unto
Him. Jimmy would go now. He must leave his place before our Altar, but it will be quite easy to sing the same dear hymns "with angels and archangels and with all the company of Heaven."
That is the faith of our people. They honestly reckon that "the suffering of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed." And these simple souls are so much wiser than the children of light when they let themselves go in a frank and free enjoyment of the little glimpses of that glory which Holy Church allows us here below. In the antechamber of Heaven they have learned to make themselves at home. Not once or twice on Sunday only, but three or four times a week, they are in and about the church. The transition from the pool-table or the dancing class to the Altar, is merely a matter of opening a door, so that the sanctuary of God becomes as a room in their home. Often the smell of coffee and incense mingles in the hallways. The Church of God is not less holy because familiar, but more holy because the dear God is in truth the Father of our big family, and His House is our Home.
The obvious question of how it is done still remains unanswered; unless indeed you will accept the answer that God does it. The clergy, the workers, and the people simply take the Church's well worn Bible and Prayer Book, and equally well worn traditions at their face value. Probably our use of these things would at times shock the intellectuals and the liturgical experts. But in the old familiar things of our gay and solemn religion, in a happy combination of faith in God, in Sacraments, and in common sense, we somehow find such pedagogy and psychology and sociology as will help us over all the problems that confront us. Almighty God seems to know His sciences very well. Yet because He is not so much a theorist as a Father, He makes the best possible Rector for the great parish of all mankind.
Charles David Fairman.
The Pastoral Neglect of the Immigrant
A Call to Action
E have left undone those things which we ought to have done." To confess thus is hypocrisy unless we immediately try to do them, unless we proceed to change our neglect to action. Contrition and Confession are of no avail without Amendment. Our American Church sadly admits failure to care for the immigrant, and then officially and generally does practically nothing. Why? Two reasons are the strangeness of the problem and hide-bound conservatism. Thank God the Church is beginning to realize the opportunity, but we are disgracefully and harmfully tardy.
Almost unthinkable numbers of peoples of various races from over the seas, of alien birth, language, and predispositions, have come to our free Republic, have settled here, and will continue to come. The State is studiously attempting to train them for American citizenship. Social settlements and the like are accomplishing much. Protestant denominations are working most seriously on the problem. The Roman Church is striving strenuously to keep hold of its own. The Russian Church in America is doing the most thorough work of all. Our own American Church has done and is doing either nothing at all or at the most making isolated and sporadic experiments. Our official Board of Missions, whence the initiative might have been expected - and they have been sufficiently urged by Bishops and others have failed to act. General Convention adopted a policy and centralized a work on Religious Education and on Social Service. These two somewhat indefinite categories are obviously the everyday familiar work of priest and parish, and yet we needed specialized study and expert advice. But here is a definite task, laid upon us by God, because of a vast and complex migration, a kind of work the like of which is without precedent in Church history. The solution of this problem can be found and provided for only by careful study, by truly scientific methods, by complete correlation of knowl
edge and experience, by definite and wide-spread policies. The time for haphazard experiments should be over.
The Baptists, the Methodists, the Congregationalists and other denominations are going about the matter in a whole-hearted way. The meagerness of their results is not because of lack of zeal or expenditure of time, money and men, but only because of the meagerness of their Christianity. We have what the majority of immigrants look upon as essential to the Christian Church: the full Faith, the definite authority, the sacramental reality. To certain races we are the natural and only hope for religious nurture. The excellent results of even our haphazard methods show clearly what we could do, if only we went about it whole-heartedly.
Take for example the Congregational work. Their central Home Mission Board has its studiously planned and well equipped Immigration Department. This has its special national superintendents for Slavic, Danish-Norwegian, Swedish, Polish, and other sub-departments; a hard working port chaplaincy; colleges and schools for immigrants; publications and periodicals in various languages; and above all a little army of ministers and trained lay-workers of various nationalities, established in mission stations all over the country. Each of these missions is manned by a "native" minister, so to speak, ministering to his own race in its own language, Greek, Russian, Bulgarian, Armenian, Swede, Finn, German, Swiss, Italian, French, Slovak, Bohemian, Portuguese, Welsh, Persian, Turkish, and others. An attractive pamphlet, one of their many publications on this work, contains on each page two pictures of these ministers, one of each nationality above mentioned and others, and beside each picture a little signed letter in the script of each language. These "native" ministers preach in twenty-three different foreign languages. A great deal of money is spent on this work.
This and the other denominations doing their utmost in their partial way for the saving of souls are like the Good Samaritan; and we are like the Priest and the Levite. Forgive me, if to emphasize the point I carry the Parable a little further and change it to suit.