Recent Evangelistic Movements In Great Britain And On The Continent -- By: Samuel Ives Curtiss

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 041:162 (Apr 1884)
Article: Recent Evangelistic Movements In Great Britain And On The Continent
Author: Samuel Ives Curtiss


Recent Evangelistic Movements In Great Britain And On The Continent1

Samuel Ives Curtiss

This is an age of great cities. London, Paris, Berlin, and Vienna are growing in population and magnificence every year. And there are a score of other cities on the continent that are opening their gates for the thronging multitudes. For weal or woe the masses are deserting the country and pressing to the cities, until, as has been estimated, from a fifth to a seventh of the population of some countries live in cities. As the battle centres where the enemy is most thickly gathered, we shall find that the recent evangelistic movements have been especially confined to cities and large towns.

These movements have sprung from certain needs. London, Paris, Berlin are each situated at the foot of slumbering volcanoes. To the ordinary eye all is calm and peaceful; and but for an occasional wreath of smoke around the summits of the heights that overhang them, there would be no suspicion of those molten streams that are liable to leap forth at any moment, carrying ruin and death in their train. The moral tendency in these cities, so far as the ordinary and historical agencies of Christianity is concerned, is, I am constrained to believe, downward. In London, Paris, and

Berlin this tendency is manifested, to a greater or less degree, in social, political, and religious life. If good morals, political safety, and religious life are not gaining ground in the centres of population, under the ordinary means which are used for the elevation and Christianization of society, then we must examine our methods, and see whether we are governed by the right spirit.

Let us look at the religious condition of England, France, and Germany. I think we must admit that England stands at the very summit of the Christian nations. The missions and charities2 of London are magnificent; but there is a very dark background. If we turn to one of the most moral cities in Great Britain, Edinburgh, we shall find that out of a population of two hundred and twenty-eight thousand there are forty thousand3 who are supposed never to attend church, and that under the most favorable circumstances less than half are found in the churches.4 Or if we take the statistics of cities and towns we shall find that only about twenty-nine per cent are in attendance upon church.5 It is an accepted fact that the working-classes are deserting the churches,You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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