Religious Items

The Evangelist

Among its religious notes, the Boston Transcript publishes the following concerning young people's societies in the churches: "There is a general recognition of the fact that young people's societies in the churches have passed their high-water mark. More advanced religious leaders are beginning to ask, What next? Claims of these society officials are as buoyant as ever, except in the case of the Baptist Young People's Union and the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. These two recognize changed conditions; the others make claims of progress, and give figures of growth which apparently substantiate the same. Almost all organizations are changing their convention dates from annual to biennial, and giving every reason except the true one, which is that crowds can no longer be commanded every year.

"Young people's movements in the churches were waves which swept over all religious bodies, the Roman Catholic and Jew included, and like all waves, they pass by. Nobody among the leaders denies that they accomplish great good. Nobody denies either that some form of young people's activity will continue. The situation at the moment is that the old organizations are, without exception, waning, some perhaps more than others, and leaders in the religious world are watching out for something to take their places, or for a development to do the work they set out, with so much of flourish, to do."

The Universalist Leader has the following: "That will be a great and notable day, a real day of the Lord, when more people are busy with their own affairs than with other people's affairs. When the rule shall be for people to take so good care of themselves, as to their health, their wealth, and their duties, that no one else will be justified in interference; when that government will truly be best that governs least; when the whole tribe of meddlers, from those who are merely busybodies in other men's matters to those that insist on impressing their knowledge and virtue on an unwilling world, shall find their occupation gone; when, in short, a hint shall be taken from solar harmony, and it is perceived that each body in the social as in the stellar realm, does then most effectually contribute to the harmony of the whole when it keeps to its own path and revolves regularly in its own orbit—then no one will have to go out of business, all will still be employed and needed, because each will have found business enough in minding his own business."

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May 16, 1901

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