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Religious

Religious image
Parent Issue
Day
10
Month
August
Year
1882
Copyright
Public Domain
OCR Text

Perhap3 there ia no country in the world where there is so much traveling as in the United States. There aro very few fixed family seats ani no entailed property. Our people go from place to place seekingto improve their fortune. Men rush from the country to the cities to find positions. People in the cities fail, and go to the country. It is a wide land. There are diverse attractions in different places, and there is a great West to be íilled up. Even in our cities the people are ïnigratory. Change of fashions and fortunes move high and low from one part of a city to the other. This state of affairs produces a trouble in churches. Of a large majority of pastors, it may probably be said of each, that he does not know every member of lus own flock. Men move off, providing for everything hut their church membership. They pay up all their debts, inform their business correspondents of their new residence, teil the postmaster where to forward their letters, write to the pubüshersto change their newspaper address; but take not the least palas to inform the pastor, orany oflicer of the clnirüb.that they have removed. Such a coiuje is botli unmaunerly and immoral. No Chi istian man has a rlght to devolve upon his pastor and tlie officers of iiisi church any anxieVy on account oi' his unexplained absence. Sometinies after months. or perhaps years. of absenco, such a panshioner fluds himself in such a couditionihat a church letter wöuld bc serviceable to him. ïhcn he writ'is back to the pastor. What does he expect the pastor todo? The applicant may have been living a lite of sin in the distant town, during the years of absence from his church. How can the pastor know 'i But if there has been notbing elae in the applicant'8 conduct to forfeit church membership, his very behavior to the clmrch he left, render3 him unworthy of a letter. When i member has been so unfaithful to one church, can a pastor recothmend him to an other Y In point of sacredness among his voluntar; associations, next to tliat of his relation tohis wife, isa man's ïelation to his church. If he walk off from his church without one word of explanation, we need not be rmich surprised if weflnd him next deserting his wife. There is one class of wanderera to whom special attention should be called; namely, thoso who take their church letters upon leaving home and do notdeposit them in some chureh at their new residence. They are careful to go well recommended from the home parish. They cannot teil how much Bervice a church letter may do them in their new place of residence. Bat. plunging hito business, they postpone from time to time the sottlement of their church letters until the letters themselves become too oíd for uso or the person in whose favor they were written becomes careleas, and per'naps, enter on couraes of sin. We have heard it estimateel that there are now in New York, from other places, having unpresented letters, persons enough to constitute two churches, each with a membership as iarge as any one now esistme. Think of all these unorganized üoops! Who eau discover some cure for this evil ? How can we reachthe eyes and ears of these negligent Christians? How can we make them f eel that they ought, in justice, to write to their pastora at least every three months until they have determined with whomto cast in their Iota in their eow homes? Our exporience in the pastorate has discovered to us the fact that, through th9 carelessness many members have been lost to the church, and not a few have fallen away trom religión and rnorality. "VVill not each pastor insist, not in general terms, but specifically, that all letters shall be taken to some church, and insist that the sheep who go frotn liia fold shall early report to him inlo what fold he hasentered? And let all sheep remember that, though tho dis tan ce between the folds may be short, it is a transit of peril, increasing the opportunities of the wolf and the danger of the sheep.

Article

Subjects
Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat