History witnesses that in so far as professed Christians have been inhospitable to merited rebuke, indisposed to consider the manifest inadequacy of view for which they stand, in so far thought has not honored the Christ-ideal and their influence for good has been diminished. Those who look over the religious press today, however, will have noted the very frequent appearance of articles in which the frankest recognition is given to the value of criticism and rebuke. The unworthiness of any profession of faith which has been found to have no vital efficiency is constantly being declared, and the responsibility of the church for prevailing religious indifference correspondingly conceded. (See the excerpt from the pen of the Rev. Richard Roberts in the exchange columns of this issue.)

While the criticism of today is less sarcastic than was that of Voltaire less rabid than that of Shelley, it is a thousand times more plentiful, and distinctly more pronounced at the hands of the commoner, than ever before, and this in large part because of the tensity of the economic struggle now going on in all the world, and the claims of those who demand a more equitable division of the profits of labor, that many of the chief enemies of their cause are found in the church's influential pews. Certain it is that the healing of the body politic, the securing for every man of a fair chance as the only worthy and consistent aim of a Christian brotherhood, is being insisted upon as never before. The world's demand of professed Christians, that they be just, unselfish, and brother-loving, is growing more exacting, and to this fact Christian people are waking up; they are facing the issue and perceiving that self-complacency is wholly unbecoming, and that the only way to escape just criticism is to live above it.

May 13, 1911

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