THE LABOUR CHURCH.
[TO TER EDITOR OP THE "SPHOTATOE:1
thank you very much for your publication in tile- Spectator of April 21st of Miss March-Phillipps's valuable-
communication on the Labour Church, and for your friendly- criticism of our movement. Condemned, through- want of a robust constitution, to work almost entirely in the back- ground, I am the more dependent upon others to. spread a knowledge of what we are doing. The chief value of what- Miss March-Phillipps has written lies in her pathetic picture- of the hunger in the hearts of the people for a gospel which is rarely preached to them. To me, who knew the circum- stances so well, the situation is more than pathetic. Here is a golden harvest ripe for the reaping, and no reapers. We- want in our work the help of the educated young men and women in whom the New Life of our age is welling up, with- out having yet found a suitable channel to flow in In the- development of the Labour Church many of them, will find their opportunity. The possibilities of this movement are well-nigh infinite. I am convinced that, in the world's reli-
gious development, we stand at the commencement of an era, as full of promise as that of early Christianity. Who is ready to serve the cause of God and the People ?- You have- already published our principles. Standing alone, they neces-
sarily seem somewhat bald and inadequate. Perhaps the real significance of our movement will be better explained. by the following extract from the preface to the Labour Church. Hymn-book :—
" The Labour Church is an organised effort to develop the re- ligious life inherent in the Labour Movement, and to give to that Movement a higher Inspiration and a sturdier Independence in the great work of personal and social regeneration that lies before it. It appeals especially to those who have abandoned the Tradi- tional, Religion of the day without having found satisfaction in abandoning Religion altogether. The Message of the Labour Church is that without obedience to God's Laws there can be no Liberty. The Gospel of the Labour Church is that God is in the Labour Movement, working through it for the further emancipa- tion of man from the tyranny, both of his own half-developed nature, and of those social conditions which are .opposed to his
development. The Call of the Labour Church is to men everywhere to become God's fellow-workers' in the Era of Re- construction on which we have entered."
Through the labour movement a new national life is-possible.- But through this same movement a. new religious life is- possible also,—both individual and national. The question is, Will this vast possibility be realised P When I think of the small effect produced by the religious teachings of such great- men as Lamennais and Mazzini, I sometimes lose heart. But a new age brings new opportunities. The time for organisa- tion has come, with its advantages and its dangers. The-
Labour Church is an effort to organise a religious-life and a. religious message in the heart of the most living movement of
our time, and so to influence and develop the religious life of the whole nation. I shall be glad to send some of our publica- tions to those who desire to learn more of the Labour °laurel'. —I am, Sir, &c.,