[Christian Work and Evangelist.]

Mayor Gaynor talked very frankly the other night at a dinner of the Congregational Club of New York. He wonders how much good the ministers are really doing. They expect the mayor to shut up the saloons, close the gambling-houses, and stop every vice and social evil within twenty-four hours, and they criticize him if he does not do it. But, he says, they have been preaching thousands of years to get the Ten Commandments obeyed, and they have not succeeded very well yet. "How far," said the mayor, "does your influence extend? Do you reach out among the people? You can preach intellectual discourses, but how far does your influence in the community extend? Do you reach out among the unfortunate and the lowly and those who want to be lifted up? Or are your churches so finely decorated and cushioned and carpeted that a poor man will stand at the door and be afraid to go in? Does the great heart of Jesus throb in you—the one who took all the lowly by the hand and said, Come unto me and I will help you? You must answer that question for yourselves. When I go to the churches, one quarter filled, in this city, and look at the fine pews and carpets and cushions and the absence of anybody who has on his hand the signs of toil, I wonder whether all this is a failure after all. We meet in our little coteries and think we are very good, but is the spirit of Jesus among us? In the last analysis of everything we have to answer that question. How much good are you doing? Are we growing in spirituality and virtue, or not?"

January 27, 1912

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