“What true Christian can think of the feebleness of organized religion in the face of the world’s great need, through these terrible years, without a sense of bitter shame! “

Maidenhead had not yet joined the ecumenical movement, with only a few turning out to a special prayer meeting.

THE WAR ANNIVERSARY.

The attendances at both services on August 4th were very cheering, and a spirit of gratitude to God and confidence for the future was evident.

But what happened to the “United” meeting on the previous evening? There were no more than about 60 present in all, representing the four Free Churches! Say 15 from each. In many towns, all the Churches, Free and Established, joined together for once to thank God and His mercies to us as a nation. In Maidenhead we did not get further than the reading of a formal resolution by the Mayor under the open sky, and the singing of the National Anthem. It appears as though we have a very long way to go yet before any kind of Christian unity is possible. What true Christian can think of the feebleness of organized religion in the face of the world’s great need, through these terrible years, without a sense of bitter shame! In the midst of the storm, when so much would have been gained by the calm inspiring voice of a united Church, we stand in sections, glancing suspiciously at each other, while the nation looks on with curled lip. Who does not feel the shame, the deep curse of it? If it be not mended, a world in earnest will pass the Churches by.

For, be sure, it is due to shallowness of spiritual life, not to depth. The unity, for which so many are now seeking, will not come, and ought not to come, by any Church throwing its principles upon the dust-heap, and embracing creeds that it cannot with a whole heart believe; it can only come by all the Churches, representing many different points of view, agreeing that in comparison nothing matters, neither creed nor form of worship, compared with sincere love to Christ, and loyalty to His Kingdom. And, as the preacher said in our pulpit on August 4th, “I dare to say, on behalf of this Church, that we call all men brethren who call Jesus, Lord, and will work with them in any good cause, and kneel with them in prayer and common worship. We will not be less broad than the Apostle who said “Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.”

Maidenhead Congregational magazine, September 1918 (D/N33/12/1/5)

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