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worldlings which has inspired the flow- Has not the Church done its part? er of this nation to offer themselves for Countless men high in the Church have service overseas, but it has been the rushed to service. The service flags in churches and the clergy, with the rem- our churches proclaim the militant nant of devoted laity who are an honor quality of our Christian manhood. I to themselves and our race, who have have seen a bishop in the uniform of the built the foundations of justice, pa- Red Cross, and he has been in France, triotism, righteousness, and truth into But who really represents the the fabric of rising manhood. The Church to-day in France? The elderly church boys went to war, at the call. lady in the next pew will say that it is It was not our Christian young man- being represented by the spiritual servhood that was lashed into the war with ice of the Y.M.C.A., and the zealous the draft. Better than a thousand in- roller of bandages will think of the Red vectives has been the steady untiring Cross as expressive of the compassion teaching of the clergy.
of the Church. But, thank God, the And do we say that the moral leader- Church has another representative in ship of the church and its healing lead- France to-day. The complete representership have been turned over to lay or- ative of the American Church in France ganizations, the Y.M.C.A. and the Red is the United States Army overseas. Yes, Cross? Bless my soul! Is a layman a an army, with its cannon and rifles pagan? an unconverted heathen? a and machine guns and its instruments mercenary? Are laymen so much raw of destruction. The Church militant, material, whose Christian excellence is sent, morally equipped, strengthened crowned only when they are ordained? and encouraged, approved and blessed, Are we committed to some monarchical by the Church at home. The army to theory of the Church, which is repre- day is the Church in action, transformsented only when its entitled officers ing the will of the Church into deeds, conduct affairs? Is not every Chris- expressing the moral judgment of the tian layman, in the Y.M.C.A. or the Church in smashing blows. Its worRed Cross, demonstrating the spirit- ship has its vigil in the trenches, and its ual supremacy of the leadership of the fasts and feasts; its prayers are in acts, Church?
and its choir is the crash of cannon and The Church does not consist of the the thrilling ripple of machine guns, clergy alone. Clergy and people are swelling into a tornado of persuasive the spiritual entity called the Church. appeal to a nation to remember the I know that we are afflicted with the truth, "The soul (or nation) that sinplague of 168 denominations. Were neth, it shall die. Our army is preachit not so, however, and were we one ing the sermon of the American Church great body, and were the whole relig- to Germany. ious and healing functions of war A priest or parson may think himself created by our fiat, could we more ef- better equipped to serve in the noble fectively conduct our responsibility ranks of our Y.M.C.A. or Red Cross, than by creating these agencies of the but the priest or parson who goes Y.M.C.A. and the Red Cross, in which across to-day is fortified by his ordinaevery willing worker could express his tion and its vows, by all the moral sancChristian manhood and satisfy his de- tions of his calling, in his possible sire for service of God and man, wheth- choice of going into the trenches with er or not he was part of our hypothet- his rifle in his hand. If the army of the ical one Church?
Stars and Stripes is not the army of
the Church of God; if the army bent gle-handed, and it would have made upon destroying the fiendish rule of him more popular, but it would not criminal conspiracy against mankind have helped to raise the second loan. is not the army of the Church whose And the clergy and the Church of teachings and labors for years have our nation spoke, and spoke with powformed the judgments and character er. Hot, flaying, excoriating, scarifyof those who fight, then indeed the ing words of righteous indignation and world is chaos and God is dead.
anger have been poured forth from our Has the Church spoken in words as pulpits. Rousing and enkindling apwell as deeds? Do you think, Mr. peals have started the people from their Odell, that if the Church as a whole had stunned complacency. I have heard opposed war, or had sat by the fire many of them. Even before the United warming itself, the nation could have States declared war the words were ut. put an army overseas without draft
tered. Like a widely distributed rainriots? No. From the beginning the fall they did not make a local flood but Church has been patriotic and loyal. they fed wide areas and brought forth It would not embarrass the govern- enormous crops. The Red Cross and ment, if it could have done so, by say- the Y.M.C.A. were the immediate reing that this is a holy war, and we will sult, but the Church in France, in the take charge of it. Merely to state the trenches, was their ultimate aim. case is to show how futile is such an at- The clergy spoke and spoke plainly. titude. Before even the government, I wish it were possible for Mr. Odell to with its vast responsibility for the con- have every war sermon preached by the sequences of its acts, and with the bur- clergy, with the date of its delivery. den of ‘carrying on' when its decision There was a deluge. No one man, no was taken before even the govern
matter how eloquent, could have proment could see its path plain, the duced the smallest fraction of the reChurch prepared the national mind sult that the thousands of clergy profor the inevitable decision of the gov- duced in interpreting the deeper issues ernment. While neutral in act, the of the war. Even the government de Church was not neutral in thought and clined the services of the most militant judgment. Neutrality in thought was figure in America, in favor of a wide immoral. No power on earth could spread military effort that would emhave silenced the thousands of voices brace the rising tide of the modern that arose from Christian pulpits. Pe- crusading spirit. ter shook himself from his reflections Have conventions spoken! Here is a and made the halls ring with his words. resolution of one ecclesiastical gather
It would have been more melodra- ing, which passed with a shout:matic to have had one commanding figure, like another Peter of the Cru- Resolved, That this Convention of the sades, command the national atten
Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese tion and point the moral issues involved
of Ohio declares its conviction that the in the lid blowing off Hell through the
United States has entered into the War line of least resistance at Berlin, but it
under the compulsion of every motive of was more effective to have a hundred patriotism and humanity. On the one side
were the forces that seek to impose upon thousand spokesmen prepare the na
the whole world the will of a false, cruel, tion for the task. It would have been detestable autocracy; on the other side were spectacular for John D. Rockefeller to the forces of democracy, fighting for our have floated the first Liberty Loan sin- own liberty not less than theirs. It is our
conviction that, had we remained neutral, Church must and will set its face we should have been contemptible even in against the moral iniquity, the utterly our own eyes, as a people too selfish and
unpardonable desertion of its cause, of cowardly to bear our part with the demo concluding a peace based on any other cratic peoples of Europe who have fought consideration than the complete masso long, and so gloriously, and at such vast cost, for everything that is dear to us as a
tery and dissipation of every evil organfree nation.
ization or movement of government
which has shown itself to be the cruel The Church has many problems. It and heartless foe of humanity. Better is honeycombed with individualism that every man in America should go and imperiled by divisions. It must to the plains and farms to wrest again work out its own salvation. But when it his living from the soil, as our forefathcomes to issues of right and wrong, the ers did, better that every woman should Church takes its place with right. The turn again to spinning-wheel and churn, Church in our land stands, as Peter better that every vestige of our matestood of old, — first, to let conscience rial civilization should be swept away, speak and to struggle against the in- than that we should compromise this stincts of peaceful habits, and then it issue between righteousness and evil. goes, sword in hand, committed to a Now is the time for the Church to struggle, to war — a war of no compro awaken to its new peril of bankruptcy mise or artful evasion of a decision, but and demolition, unless it begins at once a war to victory.
to speak, as it has spoken for war, for To-day the duty of the Church is the complete and final and overwhelmslowly getting a different emphasis. ing victory for righteousness, which Standing as Peter stood, debating with alone will save mankind from a moral conscience the value of peace, the decay more fatal than death.
THE CROSS AT NEUVE CHAPELLE
BY THOMAS TIPLADY
The war on the Western Front has it has become inextricably mixed up been fought in a Roman Catholic coun- with the war. When we think of the try, where crucifixes are erected at all great struggle, the vision of the cross the chief cross-roads to remind us that, rises before us; and when we see the in every moment of doubt as to the way cross,, we think of the processions of of life, and on whichever road we fin- wounded men who have been broken ally decide to walk, whether rough or to save the world. Whenever we have smooth, we shall need the Saviour and laid a martyred soldier to rest, we have his redeeming love. We have seen a placed over him, as the comment on his cross so often when on the march, or death, a simple white cross which bears when passing down some trench, that his name. We never paint any tribute on it. None is needed, for nothing else history and standing out against the could speak so eloquently as a cross background of all human life, is a Cross a white cross. White is the sacred color on which died the Son of God. It has in the army of to-day, and the cross is made the hill of Calvary stand out the sacred form. In after years there above all other hills in history. Hanwill never be any doubt as to where the nibal, Cæsar, Napoleon — these may line of liberty ran that held back the stand at the foot of the hill, as did the flood and force of German tyranny. Roman soldiers, but they are made to From the English Channel to Switzer- look mean and insignificant as the land it is marked for all time by the Cross rises above them, showing forth crosses on the
of the British and the figure of the Son of Man. French soldiers. Whatever may be our Against the sky-line of human hisviews about the erection of crucifixes tory the Cross stands clearly, and all by the wayside and at the cross-roads, else is in shadow. The wayside crosses no one can deny that they have had an at the front and the flashes of roaring immense influence for good on our men guns may not have taught our soldiers during the war in France.
uch history, but they have taught The experience of many a gallant them the central fact of history; and all soldier is expressed in the following else will have to accommodate itself to Belgian poem:
that, or be disbelieved. The Cross of
Christ is the centre of the picture for I came to a halt at the bend of the road; I reached for my ration, and loosened my load;
evermore, and the grouping of all other I came to a halt at the bend of the road.
figures must be about it.
To the soldiers it can never again be O weary the way, Lord, forsaken of Thee,
made a detail in some other picture. My spirit is faint — lone, comfortless me;
Seen also in the light of their personal O weary the way, Lord, forsaken of Thee.
experience, it has taught them that, as And the Lord answered, Son, be thy heart lifted a cross lies at the basis of the world's up;
life and shows bare at every crisis of I drank, as thou drinkest, of agony's cup;
national and international life, so at And the Lord answered, Son, be thy heart lifted
the root of all individual life is a cross. up.
They have been taught to look for it at For thee that I loved, I went down to the grave, every parting of the ways. Suffering to Pay thou the like forfeit thy Country to save; redeem others and make others happy For thee that I loved, I went down to the grave.
will now be seen as the true aim of life, Then I cried, 'I am Thine, Lord; yea, unto this
and not the grasping of personal pleaslast.'
ure or profit. They have stood where And I strapped on my knapsack, and onward 1
high explosive shells thresh out the passed.
corn from the chaff — the true from Then I cried, 'I am Thine, Lord; yea, unto this last.'
the false. They have seen facts in a
light that exposes things stark and Fulfilled is the sacrifice. Lord, is it well? bare; and the cant talked by skeptical Be it said — for the dear sake of country he fell.
armchair philosophers will move them Fulfilled is the sacrifice. Lord, is it well?
as little as the chittering of sparrows on The Cross has interpreted life to the the housetops. soldier, and has provided him with the For three, long years our front-line only acceptable philosophy of the war. trenches have run through what was It has taught boys just entering upon once a village called Neuve Chapelle life's experience that, out-topping all There is nothing left of it now. But there is something there which is tre- have seen his pale face by the silver mendously impressive. It is a crucifix. rays of the moon as she has sailed her It stands out above everything, for the course through the heavens. In the land is quite flat around it. The cross gloom of a stormy night they have is immediately behind our firing-trench, seen the dark outline, and caught a and within two or three hundred yards passing glimpse of Christ's effigy by of the German front trench. The figure the flare of the star-shells. What must of Christ is looking across the waste of have been the thoughts of the sentries No-Man's Land. Under his right arm in the listening posts as all night long and under his left are British soldiers they have gazed at the cross; or of the holding the line. Two 'dud' shells lie officers as they have passed down the at the foot; one is even touching the trench to see that all was well; or of wood; but though hundreds of shells some private sleeping in the trench must have swept by it, and millions of and, being awakened by the cold, takmachine gun bullets, it remains un- ing a few steps to restore blood-cir
damaged. Trenches form a labyrinth culation? Deep thoughts, I imagine, all round it. When our men awake and much too deep for words of theirs or 'stand to’at dawn, the first sight they mine. see is the cross; and when at night they And when the battle of Neuve Chalie down in the side of the trench, or pelle was raging and the wounded, turn into their dug-outs, their last whose blood was turning red the grass, sight is the cross. It stands clear in the looked up at Him, what thoughts must noonday sun; and in the moonlight it have been theirs then? Did they not takes on a solemn grandeur.
feel that He was their big Brother and I first saw it on a November after- remember that blood had flowed from noon when the sun was sinking under Him as from them; that pain had heavy banks of cloud, and it bent my racked Him as it racked them; and mind back to the scene as it must have that He thought of his mother and of been on the first Good Friday, when Nazareth as they thought of their mothe sun died with its dying Lord, and ther and the little cottage they were darkness crept up the hill of Calvary never to see again? When their throats and covered Him with its funeral pall became parched and their lips swollen to hide his dying agonies from the cu- with thirst, did they not remember rious eyes of unbelieving men. I had how He, too, had cried for water; and, had tea in a dug-out, and it was dark above all, did they not call to mind when I left. Machine-guns were sweep- the fact that He might have saved ing No-Man's Land to brush back ene- Himself, as they might, if He had mies who might be creeping toward us cared more for his own happiness than through the long grass; and the air was for the world's? As their spirits passed filled with a million clear, cracking out through the wounds in their bodies, sounds. Star-shells rose and fell, and would they not ask Him to rememtheir brilliant lights lit up the silent ber them as their now homeless souls form on the cross.
knocked at the gate of his Kingdom? For three years, night and day, He had stood by them all through the Christ has been standing there in the long and bloody battle while hurrimidst of our soldiers, with arms out- canes of shells swept over and around stretched in blessing. They have Him. looked up at Him through the clear I do not wonder that the men at the starlight of a frosty night; and they front flock to the Lord's Supper to