CHURCH CONGRESS. THE CIVIC RECEPTION. The Congress proper was opened on Tuesday morning, and Leicester folk Were alive to the fact that this was to be a great week for their city. The early Kiorning threatened to be wet and cold, hut presently the sun broke through the clouds, and by the time the members of Church Congress assembled at the Town Hall for the civic reception, we ^ere assured of a. fine d.av. The Mayor, Alderman W. J. Lovell, tn welcoming the Congress to Leicester, Inferred to some of the. historic associa- tiops of the city and neighbourhood. The Bishop of Peterborough, in Chunking the Mayor, said this was the f *.lrst Church Congress to be able to salute j. Bicester as a city, and the Congress offered its warm congratulations on attaining to that honour. Few towns lad a truer claim to it. If a city meant a. Bishop, then Leicester was entitled to that description no less than 1,300 years ago. If then the Bishop preceded the £ ty, now the city had preceded the ?oishop, and he hoped that before long Bishop would be forthcoming. The -^ayor deserved the heartfelt gratitude °* the Congress for the way in which, at a time of difficulty, he expressed his Yeadiness to welcome the Congress. Free Churchmen aad Unity. T The Rev. E. Elliot, Secretary of the Bicester Free Church Council, extended Welcome on behalf of that body to the Church Congress. They all felt how I crIhcalwas the hour. The ravages that I ^ar had made could not be easily 1 Life was turbulent and, I the industrial and econo- | 2ilc situation was never more grave. ley Vvrgre convinced that the only spirit deal with these difficulties was the JPmt of Christ. They trusted that from Church Congress some word would go forth that would have a great effect |1 the life of the -whole nation. They ftad seen what community of thought aud action achieved for a national cause, and in. relation to moral and political questions and in the union of the lurches the report of the Committee I1 aith. and Order had already pointed e way. The last thing to be desired land action achieved for a national cause, t and in, relation to moral and political questions and in the union of the lurches the report of the Committee I1 aith. and Order had already pointed e way. The last thing to be desired t'i that any of them should surrender ?^eir convictions or sacrifice their prin- Clples, but they could at least bury their Prejudices. A local joint committee on question of union had been sitting a consideraMe time, and one of the striking demonstrations of com- munity ever witnessed in the Midlands the srreat Missionary Convention ?j.e*d in. Leicester two years ago. p?! c^sterx had ever been a strong Free j, UT'r'h centre, but they. wexe'projid of j e English Church and thrilled by her anes and cathedrals, her divines and Preachers, and her workers. n Mr. G. C. Turner, of the Free Church tuncil, joined in the welcome, and said fro Eliot's words represented the opinion not only of the Council but of •^??y faithful Free Churchmaxi in their f'.st- The problems they were up Against to-da.y were, apart from Christ, aj'gely insoluble, but the things impos- 9 to man were possible to God. John Wesley said, You have nothing to do ufc to save souls. If they did that e,V would have a real true and vital Union. l
KINGSWAY, HALL. # ?NEXT Sunday afternoon, October 19, the ishop of Birmingham will deliver an ad- l'e.ss at Ivingsway Hall on "The Religion i j the Fumre." The time of the meeting 1. 3.30 p.m., and no doubt the Bishop will ave something of much interest to say on important topic.
t-i* hoped to hold the Conference of the tKm ,? Liberty Fellowship, which was post- r pi, i owing to the railway strike, in the S to' y *^0Uiie' Westminster, from November.
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A REGENERATED WORLD. NEED FOR PENITENCF4 AT the Church Congress service at Holy Trinity Church, Leicester, on Tues- day, the Bishop of Durham preached the sermon. Taking as his theme Pre-requisites to a Regenerated World," the Bishop said It is the Lord who speaks, the Son to the Father, the great High Priest of our covenant. He is soon to pass into the heavens, but now for once He is uttering upon earth, in the immediate hearing of His human followers and friends, His thought about them and His prayer for them, that they might know for ever what He would be as their Advocate at the. right hand of the majesty on high. For them, for the apostolic group, He has just been asking great things, great in the sphere of the life of the Spirit; for them, not for the world, so He has said explicitly. For the mighty graces He has claimed for them are things of which the world, as the world, that is to say the vast complex of unregenerated human life, is non-receptive. The world must cease to be itself, it must come to peni- tence and godly fear, it must kneel and worship in the outer sanctuary, before an initiation can be morally possible into the secret place of the Most High, into the spiritual vision of the Almighty, the knowledge of the Father and the Son, the sanctity of surrender, the fellowship with the Redeemer in His joy. But all the while the Lord is not for a moment forgetting the world. The world was to see Him so as the ultimate Power, Good- ness, Love, incarnated in our nature, the very Son, sent by the Father to rescue and to bless His beloved wanderer, man. The High Priestly Prayer. The sacred intimation from the Lord's lips, uttered in the High Priestly Prayer> has been laid upon my heart as a message directly to the point of our Congress here to-day. In the long decades of its existence the Congress has often found itself in the presence of problems raised by critical events, by great historical hopes or fears. This woefully shaken world has spent already most of a year, since the actual cessation of the main conflict, in its troubled and staggering walk over a new field of history. Most grave of all the phenomena, and most humiliating to us, is the issue of the Christendom of England, the nation's organized religious life, from this stern five years, with all too little sign of a new power of faith, and love, and sacri- ficial service, and reverent joy in God. Many a heart did certainly forecast such graces and their force with a great hope when the awful voices of the war first seemed, prophet-like, to call men, and to call Churches, to draw together in very deed, to turn away from secondary y strifes, away from the substitution of anything whatever for the Christ Him- self, incarnate, sacrificed, risen, loving, reigning, coming, as the secret and centre of union for life, for witness, for the winning of the world to God. True, the ecclesiastical air has resounded with discussions and programmes. But these things have little to do with the wind of Pentecost and with its fire. To men who like me have lived a long life in the Christian ministry and have been ob- servers all the while of the spiritual con- ditions around them, it is one of the heaviest shadows on the scene that while one period after another in our memory might justly be described as a day of the right hand of God, an epoch full of the poweps of the ,world to come, the present time is altogether otherwise. Lives of Faith. God forbid that I should even seem to forget or to undervalue the lives of faith and love which I know of, and the un- counted lives like them beyond my narrow range of sight, nor the ministries of patient labour and true light found in our own and in other Churches. But notwithstanding all such reverent recol- lections it is a fact of open certainty that our Christendom issues from the war, after all its soul-searching and soul- shaking lessons, and despite the devoted efforts for revival made in the course of it, not with a clearly lifted level of com- mon Christian life, not with an influence on the ^world manifestly stronger, not with a great revival of converting power through the living delivery of the giv- ing message of the Christ. I look back on fifty-two years of ordained service, as deacon, presbyter, and bishop, with a growing wonder that my Lord does, as I dare to believe He does, forgive and love His servant still. But I speak now as pleadingly, as urgently, as I do humbly, to my dear and" honoured brethren of the holy ministry. And I call upon them, each and all, of every order, of every age, of every school, to pray, and watch, and live, untiringly, for a great revival and regeneration of us the clergy. If that means, as it does in the truth of things, a Church whose creed, conduct, and work are hallowed and vivified by the un- hindered powers of the eternal Spirit, then infallibly with no long delay the world will take knowledge, the common human soul will awake to the confession, that indeed the Father has sent the Son of His love to be the Saviour and the King of man.
AIDS FOR PREACHERS. BY CANON J. H. B. MASTERMAN. NINETEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY. I.-The Mystery of Godliness Great is the mystery of godliness. 1 Tim. iii. 16. A" MYSTERY" is a secret known only to the initiated. So St. Paul often uses the word for the Christian revelation, which can only be known from within (1 Coir. iv. 1; Eph. iii. 4; Col. i. 27). The word came to be used for the sacra- ments, in which the outward and visible sign revealed its spiritual meaning only to the faithful. In the text there seems to be the beginning of this special signi- ficance. For the mystery of godli- ness consists in the relation of the visible and. invisible orders as expressed in the incarnation. It is generally thought that the verses that follow a.re a fragment of an early Christian hymn, which was nrobablv sung- antinhonallv. 1. A twofold life. The word Gcd is not in the original; the fragment begins with "Who." Jesus Christ was revealed in the world of material things as the Son of God; land i.e., vindicated las sinless, in the spiritual world as Son of Man (cp. 1 St. Peter iii. 18). He lived in both worlds; in Him God was revealed on earth, and in Him man is justified i* heaven. 2. A, twofold manifestation. He "appeared to angels (1 .St. Peter i. 12), for the incarnation was the lifting up of humanity into fellowship with God and with tall the company of heaven (Heb. xii. 22); yet He w.,is preached among the nations" as the saviour of men, the "elder brother" of all man- kind, in Whom all nations are one. 3. A twofold triumph. His kingdom on earth grows from age to age as men believe on Him; His kingdom in heaven welcomed the triumph of His Ascension (Psalm xxiv. 7). The mystery of god- liness lies in this twofold character of the Christian revelation. The out- ward and visibie side—" manifest in the flesh, -preached among the nations, bo- lieved on in the world.can be recog- nised by all men; but the inward and spiritual side— justified in the spirit, appeared to angels, received up into glory "—is known only to the faith that is "the evidence of things unseen" (Heb. xi. 1). The incarnation is at once a historical fact and a transcendental truth. It belongs at once to time and to eternity. II.-Seeirg Jesus. He sought to see Jesus who He was."— ST LUKE, xix., 3. The request "We should see Jesus" (St. John xii. 21) is the unspoken desire of every earnest heart. And how often it is still true that men cannot see Him for the press." The crowd of com- mentators, apologists, interpreters hide the Sacred Figure from the eyes of men. Has not the Church sometimes hidden Him, so that men of little stature could not see Him ? Do not our sermons sometimes hide Him, so that our hearers go away feeling that they have seen many things, but have not seen Him? Yet it is He whom men want to see. Never was there a deeper desire than to- day for the revelation of the authentic Jesus, the friend of the needy and the sinful. Men like Zacchseus stand out- side our cllUTches, but deep down in their hearts there is the desire to see J esus. Notice three things about Z-acel-ioeus. 1. He was in earnest—not easily! daunted by obstacles. The man who is easily discouraged does not gain what he seeks. It is still true that "the vio- lent man taketh it by force." In the previous chapter St. Luke tells of another man who had to fight his way through discouragements (St. Luke xviii. 39). It is through courage and effort that our spiritual powers grdw (Gen. xxxiii. 26). 2. He was not iafriaid of appearing ridiculous. The fear of ridicule keeps many men away from Christ-it is one of the devil's most effective weapons. Zaccheeus peeping out of the leaves of the sycamore tree must have been a grotesque spectacle, but Jesus checked any tendency to ridicule with His word of sympathy and welcome. 3. He re- ceived more than he asked for. It is always so when we ask anything of God. Like the woman with an issue of blood, Zaochaeus thought to steal in privilege as Jesus passed by; he gained a priceless honour that transformed his life. For no manciln see Jesus and remain the same man as he was before. Before lie saw Jesus, Jesus had seen him, and had compassion on him, and claimed him as His fox ever (cp. St. John i. 48). He knew that behind mere curiosity there lay a deeper half-conscious sense of need, and the man who came to see remained to serve. THE LESSONS.—Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity Morning, Jer. xxxvi.; 1 Thess. iv. Evening; Ezek. ii. or xiii. to 17; Luke xiv. to 25.
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