The Evening Star SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 1914.
lx is scarcely necessary to remind tho public that to-day is HosThß Red pital Saturday—tho day rf Cross. opportunity to do practical good without bitter sacrifice. Since the black day o'er Calvary there has been only one sign to appeal to the best that is in mankind—tho sign ot the Cross. That it is a Bed Cross that appeals to-day to the heart, to the imagination, and to the pocket conveys a deeper significance to us all. Never before in the fretted history of war has the Bed Cross been so prominent and so appealing in civilisation as it is at the moment in many far-off lands where death is hurtling through snow and sunshine, over slush and burning desert sands, over bleak swamps and wide grey seas, in hot jungles and cool, fair gardens, and in progressive, crowded cities aud pleasant country places. And while the imagination may and must, bo drawn to the stirring, appalling scenes of war, it is tho duty of all to remember that here, amidst a great peace that cannot bo too deeply appreciated, thero is going forward all the time a quiet but stem warfare against sickness and disease; that behind blinded windows and in coo] room; removed from the clamorous activities of healthy men and women there are many patient sufferers who would he glad of an opportunity to join the fortunate folks moving within sight of dowers and ilag=, and to give freely to the Hospital Saturday fund. It is a great privilege to-day to be free of sickness and war, and surelv the citizens of Dunedin will, as in tho past, demonstrate in practical form their gratitude, and add at least another £I,OOO to tho splendid record of tho Hospital Sat urday Association, whose purpose is completely unselfish service to those who suffer in silence. Their work has been a stimulating feature of civic activity and generosity. Since 1905 the sum of £3,783 has been collected by tho association, tho annual collections being-1905 £7OO. 1906 £843, 1907 £ 720, 1908 1,194, 1909 £llOs 1910 £1.574, 1911 £1,023, 1912 £944, 1913 £875. To-day the association’s task, which is accepted cheerfully, must be more difficult than usual, owing to tho number of abnormal calls upon a generous people, but against thoso appeals should bo set in honest clearness and complete measure tho comparatively grout advantages wo all enjoy in these troublous times, and tho greater need of cheerful, practical sacrifice. The association and their army of collectors who have been in the ‘‘field” since 7 o’clock this morning are to be commended and supported for tho thoroughness of their organisation ta-day, their patience and enthusiasm, and the special attractiveness of their methods of collecting money for a groat cause. Who can withstand the appealing combination of roses and the Red Cross? We appeal to every citizen to note the objects of tho association this year, and to support them freely, cheerful, and with Dunedin's proverbial liberality.
It was recently suggested in our hearing that if the opponents Bihlo-In-Schoolsof the Bible in State Tactics. Schools League really thought it worth while to inaugurate an active campaign with a view to making plain tho disastrous results to our present educational system that would follow the adoption of tho league's policy, they could not do better than circulate broadcast a verbatim report of tho discussion thereon in tho Presbyterian Assembly. To many, though not* to all of ns, it would come as a revelation. It wna all that such a debate in such an Assembly should not bo. Hence it would emphasise and illustrate much of what has been said in opposition to tho league's demands. On the whole, howtver, it is, perhaps, the wiser course to allow the league to dig their own grave. And this they arc daily doing. Wo have from time to time directed attention to tho moro glaring of tho examples of misdirected zeal that have been brought under our notice, and our experience of these has led us not to be surprised at any of the methods that tho more extrema section of the party do not hesitate to adopt. It is not, therefore, in tho nature of news to learn that a four-page pamphlet, overflowing with irrelovancies and inaccuracies, has been printed and is being handed to electors by obliging young women at tho entrance to Mr Statham’s places of meeting. Why Mr Stathara only it is‘somewhat difficult to understand. There is not a pin point of difference on the question of the league’s platform and their demand for a referendum between Mr Statham and his opponent. Yet it is he alone who is referred to in terms that are not dis tinguished for their refinement, courtesy, or accuracy. Mr Statliam, tho electors arc told, asks their vote, but refuses them a vote on .this burning question, though nearly every Reform candidate favors ths referendum. Wo do not know what is meant by nearly every Reform candidate, unless it bo that Mr Statham is in a hopeless minority, in which case we arc afraid that the statement, like the premature announcement of Mark Twain s j death, la greatly exaggerated. Not all tho terrors that 150,000 pledged votes might reasonably be supposed to inspire in the heart of tho average candidate have succeeded in whipping into line a majority of candidates for the league’s own combined issue rciereuduin. Not all tho Dickies and Hewitsons and Cameron", are within the folds of the Presbyterian Church; they are to be i.,uud even among candidates for parliamentary honors. There are some prizes that become valueless when their, price is known, and tho league have yet, apparently, to learn that tho pledge to support the overthrow of our present eminently just and righteous system of primary education is too high a price oven for tho honor of being and sharing the alleged emoluments of a member of Parliament. What the league are seeking is not the introduction ot tnc Bible but or the priest into the State schools, of men whoso spiritual fitness’' to teach anythin;- at all pertaining to tho Christian religion was so painfully in evidence at tho Presbyterian Assembly last week. It is not true to assert, as tho pamphlet before ns asserts, that tho Bible is either ” boycotted or banned from our common State schools.” The Bible is taught regularly every week in most .State schools in this district, and could bo taught in all were tho professing Christian ministers to exert themselves. It is, too, a wanton misuse of terms to say that the Bible has been either “shut out” or “flung out, or that tho children of this country aro “ robbed.”
Incidentally, wo would remark tnafc it is neither Christian nor gentlemanly to refer to “ a man like Bishop Cleary,” ao though our justly-esteemed ami exceptionally gifted one-time journalistic colleague wore infinitely beneath the social and moral elevation of the writer of this amazing specimen of Bible-in-State school literature. And what can be said of a statement such as the following : Unless he is a very ill-informed man he must know that the. Bible, is read in our 6 Cat a Ili(/h Schools , and wc hear nothing of anv difficulty in the matter. The children of the so-called middle and upper classes have the Bible in theii schools, but the children of the masses have been robbed of their Bible. Is it possible to pack more misstatements into as few linos, or to state them in more reprehensible terms ? Since when were our State High Schools the schools of the “so-called middle and upper classes”? And who are these classes? Me have heard foolish people refer to them, but wo have yet to barn that those distinctions exist. And who are these “robbed” masse*? If our opinion is worth anything, wo should say they are the boys and girls who crowd the High Schools and pass in ever larger numbers into the University, thence to become our teachers, lawyers, doctors, and ministers. “Bobbed of their Bible,” forsooth! Why, it is because they have followed their Bible aud road their Bible, free from church and priestly influence, that they are, by God’s help, tho men and women whom we see and have around us to-day. If tho league have no worthier pabulum than this to offer their followers they might at least cultivate tho virtue of silence and “epeuk no slander—no, nor listen to it. ’
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The Evening Star SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 1914., Evening Star, Issue 15662, 28 November 1914