Works in the Bulletin 1909
HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS

In our great central churches last Sunday evening there were, all told, making a rough estimate, 2000 people. In the city streets at the same time there were, roughly, 50,000 going to and coming from places of amusement. More evangelical work and preaching were wanted. Midday meetings could be held at the great centres of employment. The Presbyterian Church should set apart a man and at least 300 a year to commence this great work. Five to ten thousand men could be spoken to every week. - Rev. J.S. Buntine, of Melbourne.

But a scant 2000 folk, no more,
   Sitting solemn-faced within the pews,
While the parsons preach and outward pour,
   In divers tones, their own peculiar views.
            Folk of sobriety,
               "Proddies" and "Pats,"
            Breathing their piety
               Into their hats;
            Glowing with holiness,
               Stern and austere;
            Kneeling in lowliness,
               Meek and sincere.
                        Only 2000.

Gaily 50,000 folk or so Travel to and fro in tram and train; Godless Jeremiah, Jim and Joe, Giddy Gerty, Gwendoline and Jane. Bent on frivolity, Eager for fun, Sinful in jollity Off for a run. Taking a peach along Out for the day, Walking the beach along, Godless but gay. Full 50,000.
What's three hundred pounds a year to him Of Scotchbyterian mould and visage stern, Who'll go each dinner-time, with purpose grim, And teach those folk what they refuse to learn? Is it o'er muckle to Gi'e to a mon, One that will buckle to Preaching upon Creeds ev'ry dinner-time, Praying with zest, Giving each sinner time Texts to digest? Merely 300?
About 10,000 working men, or less, With dinner pail and pasty at their lunch, All list'ning to a clergyman's address, And solemnly reflecting as they munch. With due propriety Blinking their eyes, Swallowing piety With their hot pies; Glad that they will have their Church with their bun. And they can still have their Sunday for fun. Nearly 10,000.
'Tis now 2000 years ago, or near, Since parsons 'gan to roam this troubled earth; The sects increase and multiply each year (Which moves the pagan to loud, godless mirth). Yet do they battle on Fighting the Deevil, Still do they rattle on Girding at evil; Preaching humility, Pleading with tears - Is it futility? Wait a few years. 'Tis but 2000.

"Den"
The Bulletin, 2 December 1909, p10

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002