"A TERRIFIC TASK." TiaitFE thousand Leicester men—most of them demobilised sailors and soldiers —flocked to the Do Montfort Hall. Leicester, on Monday evening for the uien's meeting in connection with the Church Congress. When I arrived at the great hall shortly before eight o'clock, a steady stream of men poured in. Al- ready the gallery was crowded, and there were very few vacant chairs on the floor of the hall. Precisely at eight the Pre- sident of the Congress came on to* the platform, accompanied by the Archbishop of Canterbury, who seemed surprised to see such a large audience; the Bishop of London, smiling as usual; Bishop Gore, wearing an old-fashioned clerical cloak and a thick "muffler"; Bishop Taylor Smith; Chaplain General to the Forces, in khaki; the Rev. W. Thomson Elliott, Rural Dea, to whom the Congress has meant hard work; the Rev. F. B. Mac- nutt, secretary of the Subjects Council; General Lord Home, the famous com- mander, who is not afraid to witness for the Faith and the Rev. G. A. Studdert- Kennedy, known throughout the British Army as Woodbine Willy." After a hymn had been sung and prayers said, the Rural Dean, the Bishop of Peterborough, "got to business" in characteristic style. After welcoming the Archbishop of Canterbury as an unex- pected visitor, the Bishop expressed his pleasure at being able to welcome so large a number of demobilised men. I am sure," he said, they will agree with me that there is nothing too great that their country can do for them for the services they have rendered." He wel- comed them because they were precisely the men we wanted to build the new Britain. We have a great hope that all these gallant men will continue to put themselves at their country's dis- posal to help us to produce a land which, as the Prime Minister expressed it, shall be fit for heroes to live in.' But we shall never get a land fit for heroes unless we are heroes ourselves." Pass- ing on, the Bishop pointed out that we have a terrific task not only to bring about peace between nations, but to keep peace between the classes at home. Wo must create a new industrial fellow- ship. It is an absolute paramount neces- sity if Britain is to regain her place and maintain her commercial position. We must find a way of dissipating that hor- rible cloud of suspicion" that hangs like, a cloud of poison gas in our dealings be- tween workers and employers. Not by Whistling. "This new world," declared Dr. Woods, is not going to come by whist- ling for it. t is only going to come by work and prayer." This new world can only be created by the Creator Himself —the Lord God. It is the -call of God that we shall be fell -w-workers with Him. This," proceeded the Bishop, "is a great and sacred day for Leicester. It was on October 13, 1915, that the 4th and 5th Battalions of the Leicester Regi- ment smashed the Hohenzollem Redoubt. So terrific was the fight that onl.y^ one officer out of the whole lot was not killed or wounded, and many hundreds of Leicester men laid down their lives. The Bishop asked us to stand in honour of the gallant men who fell. The silence was intense, and the dramatic incident will long be remembered by those present. The Bishop of London came next. He was in fine form, and received a splendid welcome. I thought," he said in his own inimitable way, "you might have done without the old war-horse of pre- war days, and I think you might have given me my bag of oats and let me rest." Big Strapping Bishop. One reason why I accepted the invi- tatio-n was your big, strapping Bishop. We are great friends, and I like a big- fellow like that to lead me.- Emphasising the contention that victory had been given us by God, the Bishop related a story of a well-known commander, who declaring after the forcing of the Hinden- burg Line, "It is all of God, padre." The Bishop said he told this story to General Smuts, who said emphatically, Of course it was God," and President Wilson declared, Bishop, if I didn't believe in God I should go mad." When thanking the Prime Minister for arranging for the anniversary day of Prayer to plead for victory, Mr. Lloyd George replied, We could do nothing else." Dealing with the present outlook, the Bishop said he was much more frightened to-day about Britain than he was dur- ing the war. The beautiful unity of the war seemed to be passing. If they were going to build a new and better England, they must have the old. war spirit of unity and determination- "If we are going to have those continual fights between capital and labour, trade is going to leave the country." We must not go back to the life before the war. We must be determined to have equality of opportunity for every child born in the land. We are determined to have de- cent homes for everybody. If he were asked how the problems of the future were to be solvedt he would answer in two words, Try Christianity." As Chesterton had said, "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. it had been tried and found difficult and given up." A Hard Hitting Address. General Lord Home, in a hard-hitting address, s,aid before and during the war it was continually said that the people, purged by the sufferings of the war, must build up a. better Empire. Yet he looked round to see abroad the world in a turmoil; at home they were all upside down. It was rather sad to him to think that eleven months after they rejoiced over peace things we're going on—well, as they were going on. He did not think it was impossible to mend this con- dition, because directly this country got into bad trouble the native charaeter- hties of the Englishman came to the front and faced the job, determined to put it right. The nation was sound at heart, but he did not think it realised that the emergency had really arisen. The Bishop of London said Try Chris- tianity. He said Do your duty, and if you want to know bow to do your duty try Christianity." The Rev. G. A. Studdert Kennedy gripped the meeting with his wonderful humour and colloquial language. He knows how to reach the heart i He asked why they who had smashed the German Army in five years could not build a million houses in six months. In the war they gave up their freedom for a time in order to have it per- manently. The two great things that bound them toother were the will to win and iron discipline. They were left with one thing only, the will to win, because everybody was clamouring for personal liberty. If. they did what they had set out to do under these conditions, they would have performed a miracle, in the blaze of which the one they had per- formed would sink into insignificance. They must educate man until he ceased I to be a conscript earning wages and be- came a willing partner in the concern. Dealing with the question of Christianity, he said it was no good fighting the Devil g L on their own any more than trying to fight the Kaiser. They had got to get into battalions to fight him. That was why it was important to join a Church. Christian i-d-eals m Christian ethics could not save men from sin they must have a passion for the Christ, then they would find that He gave them the power to resist temptation. At the request of the President, 'the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke briefly and referred to the wonderful trust God had given us in these tTelli-lendolis days in the story of the world. Nothing 'ike these days held ever been known in. the history' of the world, and it behoved each one of them. to ask,, What sort of a man am I as one of those lo whom this trust is given." After the singing of another hymn we left the hall feeling that the Church Con- gress had now actually begun.
FIFTY-FOURTH CHURCH CONGRESS. THE CHURCH IN THE NEW AGE. GREAT CONGRESS AT LEICESTER. « From Our Representative LEICESTER, Sunday, BEHOLD, saith He that sitteth upon the throne, I will make all things new." This, I believe, is going to be the key- note of the Church Congress at Leicester, which I venture to predict will be one of the few outstanding Congresses. The number .attending may not be so large as on other occasions, but we have in the Bishop of Peterborough a President who is in every way admirably equipped to give the Church a lead as the dawn of a new era ushers in a day of glorious hope and tremendous possibility. Then the subject .of the Congress— "The Church in the New Age"—is in itself an inspiration and an evidence of that new spirit of darirg and. adventure which is beginning to .permeate the old Church of England. One cannot help feeling that we are on the eve of great events, and wonderful as the study of the Church's past is, the best is yet to be." At any rate, if the new age it going to be worth while, the Church must buy up her opportunities while it is day. Such were some of the thoughts that dominated my mind on Sunday morairg When I saw the crowds streaming in all directiOlJS to the various churches, where [ special services were to be held on the eve of the Congress. I made my way to the ancient church of St. Martin's, which in due time will he the Cathedral! Church of the new diocese of Leicester. The Rev. F. B. Macnutt, for'rnerfly of Sllrbiton, is now Vicar. The service was remarkable for its reverence and hearti- ness. The Church's Need. As was fitting, the Bishop of Peter- borough was the preacher. It is impossi- We for me to give an adequate summary j of his retaarkable sermon. His the work of the Holy Spirit-is ah in- dieaiion that the Bishop puts first things first. There is no more urgent need to-day than that the Church should understand and appropriate the gifts of the Spirit. Basing his sermon on the words, As the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts ii. 4); Dr. Woods referred to the objects of the "Congress as outlined in the Con- ii i-tut.,oii. Thei,e, is," he said, par-j ticular point in this year's meeting. hVir now, if ever, some platfoilm should be found where the Church can utter her message. Now, if ever, theare should be an opportunity for resuming the Church's family gathering, when men of different schools of thought afteet together and realise afresh their fellowship. Now, if over, we need an occasion when the burn- ing questions of our polity and adminis- tra.tion can be threshed out in the wis- dom, as we hope it will be, of many minds. But when all is said as to the objects in view, there remains the supreme reason. We believe that the Church is animated hy. the Holy Spirit, a Spirit creative, Divine, inspiring. It is our reverent aixl humble hope that this Congress may prove a. vantage ground for the movement of that Holy Spirit. Every problem' which will be discussed calls for His guidance. Every enterprise calls for f His inspiration." b. First Recorded Effect. F It is significant," continued the Bishop, that the first recorded effect of the Holy Spirit's presence in the Church is utterance." In later days, when the i: Church had become part and parcel of Ihe polity of Europe, men thought of the Holy Spirit mainly as the source of in- tellectual power and judicial action." It is deploraible to think how little the Spirit's influence has been, as a fact, aamitted in Church Councils and how frequently they have 'become entangled in envy, hatred and malice-and all un- eharitableness." Utterances inspired r' by the Holy Ghost are not vague vapour- ingB of religious fervour. He inspires the intellect and touches the for one supreme object—to enable the Society of Christ to bring its message home with power to the world. Witness of the Church- After recalling great leaders of the fchureh who were obviously vehicles of the Spirit, the Bishop pointed out that it was the Society of Christ which first taught the nation how to govern its affairs in Council assembled. "It was the men of Christ's fellowship who all through those far-off days were alive to the things-of the intellect, who kept burn- ing the torch oi learning and initiated in our country that system of education which now the State has taken under its wing. Look where you will in our Eng- lish life, you see the marks of -the men who wrote and spoke as the Spirit gave them utterance. Look, for instance^ at" our care of the sick the whole hospital system originated in the Church. Look at our relief of the poor. Look at these feelings of humanity which underlie the movement which is commody cabled social reform. Every ore of them can be traced to the common mind which found its inspira,tion in the Gospel of Christ and was gradually formed by the impact of lives and utterances controlled by the Spirit. But the witness of the Church of E-t-gilaud was far from being confined to the nation, for she had tried to do her part in bribing God's Word to the njations of the world." Great Modern Movements. When we talk of the inspiration of the Spirit, we must never forget it<s pur- pose. It is to make the whole Church more effective as an agent in Christian- ising the life of this country of onis H -d of the world at large. It may be thought that the Spirit has not given utterance through many men in recent times. Yet to those who have ears to hear His voice has been clear a; d dis- tinct as it was of old. 'Whereas in oMen days He spoke mainly through in- dividuals, now He speaks as often as not through movements. Who can dcufot that to Him we owe the enormous accretions of knowledge which came to us in the nineteenth century. Who can doubt that His accents may be discovered, in all that is true and worthy in the great demo- cratic movement of the last fifty years. Who but He was the Inspirer of all that longing for better relationships between njations which was behind so much of the wotfk of the. Paris Conference and which found its vent perhaps most clearly in the pronouncements of the President of the United States of America," We are faced with a great opportunity for increasing the efficiency of our beloved Mother Church. The oonneetion of Britain, the of Leicester, with the Divine Society has been age-long in- deed. Our minds go hack to that iitife wattle building outside the gates of this city on the site of our present St. OM aT- garet's, where a Bishop of F eicesfetr ruled his flock in the name of Christ ai d sought to extend the Kingdolm 1,200 years ago as we seek to extend it to-day.. OUT Mother will do her work just "in so far as she responds to the movement of the Spirit just in so far as in speech .and action He is in full control." OTHER SUNDAY SERVICED, Practically every church in and around Leicester -had special preachers. At St. Peter's, where the Rev. W. Thompôon Elliott is doing a remarkable work, the Headmaster of Rugby (Dr. David) preached in the morning, while Provot Lethbridge, of St. Mary's, Glasgow, a d formerly Vicar of St. Peter's, was the preacher in the evening. I was parti- cularly struck with the number of you g men and women at St. Peter's at all the services. At the eight o'clock celebration there must have been nearliy 200 com- municants, and I am told that the average at the Sunday morning ce'eibna- tions there are three each Sunday—is over 200. This for a town like Leicester is truly a. cheering record. In the even- ing the congregation numbered 1,200, and many were turned away. At St. George's Church in the morning the preacher was the Bishop of St. An- drew's, and in the evening the Rev. R. J. Oampbell, D.D., preached a helpful ser- mon from th words, "Thou art careful and troubled about many things. But one thing is needful." The Bishop's younger brother, the Rev. E. S. Woods, Vicar of Holy Trinity, Cambridge, preached a forceful sermon at Holy Trinity, Leicester, in the morning, on the parable of the leaven. Too lovg had the Church been content with the roile of stretcher-bearer, carrying the am- bulance; now it must go ever the top." In times past they had said nothing about material and physical condiliors of ammy hundreds of thousands of p-eopie which required to be altered; hence- forward they must speak out boldly against all manner of abuse. Secondly, there lay upon the Church the task of bringing home to men and women-the idea of -a God, and imaking it operate on all r their liv.
PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS CLARION CALL 10 THE CHURCH, Tuesday. The Bishop gave us one of the most notable Presidential Addiesse's which have been heard at a. Church Congress for many years. Dr. Woods took aoout forty minutes to read it, and he was applauded again and again. We meet to-uay," said the Bi>jLop, "in icirciuiimtancies winch for the Coiigress are unique. lruiii its first meeting in Camoridge in 1861 until 1913 the Congress never lapsed. Since the memoraole gathering at Southampton, no meeting has been held. Six years have gone oy, the most momentous six years in the history of our British race. A decisive chapter of history has been written down since 1913. This lends a striking significance to the fact that. the theme of the last Congress was the Kingdom of God. For the events that have happened since would seem to announce its failure. At Southampton the speakers at every meet- ing proclaimed the Kingdom, but before year had passed the streets of tne town were ringing with the tramp of •armed men, aid the famous Water wws crowded with, 1 "ships on which they hastened to the fray. In the course of his inaugural address on that occasion the Bishop of Winchester spoke as follows: Can we claim—in a time when the very pillars of the house are shaken, when the fundamental things are challenged,, when problems of an un- precedented range are broached—that the Kingdom of God in Christ supplies at once the stimulus and the control which combine to make the vital stability, the stable movement of true and ordered progress ? Can we see how the Church, the Kingdom's poor pur- blind, faltering trustee, can do some- thing rn this great enterprise, and with all her faults, something which no other power or creed or movement can do? We-take up the story where Southamp- ton left it. In those day it may have sounded unpractical—even academic—to assert that" in the Kingdom of God alone can be found the solution of all our problems. But now we know it. During these last five years it has been iri-esistibly proved. Not all the science of the nineteenth century, not all thfc educational progress of the age, could avert the disaster. Science can be the handmaid of destruction; education. however technically perfect, can be prostituted to a false ideal. It may be urged, indeed, that in this common failure religion must be included. i The Kingdom Has Not Failed. II Yet it is not on religion, but on the want of it, that the blame must be laid. It is not the Kingdom of God that has failed, but the men and women who. though professing allegiance to its ideals, never believed that they were practical, and declined the sacrifice by which alone they could be reached. We now see that they are so practical that, apart from them, the days of civilisation are numbered. As someone predicted in the early days of the war, the choice before us now is between Hell and Utopia. Southampton proclaimed the Kingdom of God. The war unveiled the hideousness of a civilisation not based upon its principles. -The future peremptorily demands it if the world is to be saved. We exist as a Church to establish it. How can we bring it about ? The new age is opening; what contribution is to be expected from the Society of Christ ? Wo New Experience. I would remind you, in the first place, that to be confronted with a new age is no new experience for the Church. 1'rom the earliest times it has been the prerogative of the people of God to be always looking for a better world, for they alone have the right to expect one. Behold, I make all things new repre- sents the perennial contidence of those in its ranks who were alive to the signs of the times. Reconstruction was the normal and congenial task of the society whose business it was to be always re- calling men to the true foundations of life, bidding them scrap unworthy struc- tures and build again 0:1 better lines. There have been certain epochs when, amid great upheavals in politics or reli- gion, a new volume of history was opened. Once more the Society of Christ, still divided, is facing a chang- ing world. Is it to be merely a passive spectator of this world process, or is it boldly to come forward as a creator and provide the moulds in which the new age is to take its shape ? There have been moments in the history of the Church of England when she has been content with the role of spectator. Such a one, for instance, was that period- one hundred years ago and more-which is usually known as the industrial revo- lution. I. venture to call your atten- tion to this with some emphasis, because we are now suffering from the effects of the Church's inaction at that time. The entire industrial life of the country was in the melting-pot. A Church alive and alert to the opportunity would have so preached the gospel of co-operation and comradeship that the partners in all the ships would have realised their fellow- ship and would have organised their in- dustry on that principle. Instead of that, moral considerations were practi- cally excluded from the process. Instead of one great industrial comradeship oi Britons, the workers^-whether of brain or hand, assembled in two opposing camps-one labelled Capital and the other Labour. And the driving force of the whole, instead of being the sense of fellowship in the common welfare, was found in a bitter and soulless competi- tion. In other words, at a moment when the spiritual might have taken its proper place in our industrial life, it » rejected in favour of the materia," and for that rejection we are paying the price to-day. The opportunity found the Church wholly pre-occupied with the redemption of the individual as con- trasted with the community. We have learned our message more ade- quately since then, and now another such opportunity is ours. This time it is on a world-wide scale. Never has the Church been faced with a task so colossal or an opportunity so superb. And despite much that must cause anxiety, the encouragements are great. There is in all parts of the world a grow ing allegiance to the Christian ideal oi fellowship which in comparatively recent times would have been written down as merely fantastic and visionary. Increa-singly men are confessing that the root of our problems is spiritual. It is a new spirit that is wanted. The asser- tion af this obvious fact is so frequent as to be almost monotonous. Reservoir of Service. And when you scrutinise not merely humanity in general but humans in particular in the light of the last fivfe years, you are aware of a reservoir oi service and sacrifice which only waits to be captured for the Kingdom of God. By a great consensus of testimony human nature as revealed in the war is better, not worse, than we thought it. Nor are the encouragements limited to these great group sentiments to which I have referred. Already they are finding definite expression. The machinery of I fellowship is already in some measure constructed. The League of Nations is in being. This fact is in itself- a revolu. 1 tion. Prophets and kinas have desired