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suffered from numerous desertions. At last the entire group fell to their knees and began a weird, rhythmic prayer which consisted of the repetition of this sentence:
“Oh, Lord! Don't sink dis ship! Oh, Lord ! Don't sink dis ship !"
The volume of earnestness and the cadence rose and fell with the tossing of the vessel. Suddenly the transport leaped forward and upward on the crest of a high wave. For a moment it seemed suspended in the air, when another wave struck it furiously from in under. It was a vicious spank: the timbers groaned and creaked as if the ribs were being torn asunder, then came a violent spell of plunging, and we knew what it was to be caught in the "barbarous mishandling of the sea.” For a moment a fearful silence reigned, and black faces blanched on the verge of panic; then a big, sea-sick negro lying on one of the upper bunks gave vent to this pathetic petition. Three times over he moaned, rythmically:
“Oh, Lord! Sink dis ship! Oh, Lord! Sink dis ship! Oh, Lord! Sink dis ship and forgib de men what sent us out on dese troubled watahs !"
In spite of the grotesque humor of it all we cannot deny a certain element of reality in such a scene. I saw these same negroes take a man's full share in the beating back of the kultured assassins of Christian civilization.
The celebration of the Holy Communion within the army has deep significance for our present day and reveals the third unifying element in Christianity. It was observed in the open air by the side of a great cannon, in caves, dugouts, subterranean forts, army barracks, Y. M. C. A. buildings, K. of C. huts, hospitals, churches and cathedrals. One of the most inspiring services it was ever my privilege to attend was held in the Y. M. C. A. auditorium at Camp Dix, New Jersey. One hundred soldiers formed a chorus back of the communion table. Representatives of nine denominations conducted the service; sixteen army officers distributed the elements and eight hundred and twentyfive men partook of the sacrament. Similar services were held at many points in France. Upon one occasion a prominent Episcopal clergyman united with me in the celebration when one hundred and seventy-five men came forward and knelt about the improvised altar. At a delightful communion service arranged in a little French Protestant Church, by the pastor and the Y. M. C. A. secretary, I counted ninety-four commissioned officers and many privates who, together with the congregation, gathered within the chancel to receive the elements.
All of this bespeaks the vital character of the sacrament and the deep desire of men to find a common fellowship in their direct communion with Christ. But it was not always so. of the prominent English-speaking Protestant churches in Paris I counted one hundred and fiftysix soldiers and officers in attendance upon the
service. After a perfunctory invitation to remain for the communion had been given, and during the singing of a dismal, uninspiring hymn, all but six of these men left the building. One Sunday morning I attended the early Mass at one of the largest and most influential cathedrals in France. Ninetween American soldiers were present; seven of them left the cathedral, walked three blocks and attended a Mass being celebrated in a Y. M. C. A. hut by a Catholic chaplain, seven hundred and fifty men being present. Several army officers with strong religious tendencies have told me that upon their return to America, the icy formality of the communion service in the home church had proven unendurable. The disappointment was bitter; back of the symbolic elements, the preacher still droned a few unctuous generalities, while, beneath the blue stars turned to gold, an exorbitantly paid quartet sang, one at a time, two at a time, and then all together, as if peradventure God were sleeping and needed to be awakened, or at enmity with man and calling loudly for special placating. Instead of a simple love feast where, in direct communion with the Divine, friend holds fellowship with friend, and then goes forth to die, they found a performance. We have all read of the sergeant of the British Regulars who, seeing a number of gas patients die, after long hours of horrible agony, exclaimed:
“This sort of thing makes me want to suffer everything for everyone once and get it over!"
Such a man, who has seen with the eyes of God into the very heart of Calvary, will demand a most vital communion service.
In the midst of glorious self-sacrifice, it would be strange indeed if the law of the Cross had not received new interpretation. In Marseilles they are just finishing building the most beautiful cathedral in western Europe. There is a marvellous blending of strength and spirituality in the heavy marble columns and gracefully carved arches. The mosaic work is among the most exquisite in existence; one stands enraptured before its delicate tracery. The gold work upon the altar is surpassingly fine and very costly. As the glory and greatness of it all grew upon me, I turned with enthusiasm to my guide and asked:
“What artist wrought such wonderful interior work?"
“Why, do you not know ?”' was the surprised reply. “It was Godard, the great artist. He was still working upon his task when he left for the army. He was killed in action."
I have thought much upon this incident. Here was a great soul who had penetrated to the very center of Christianity. Of what value are great temples and golden altars and cherished creeds if the men who make them are not willing to go out into the world and live the life they symbolize, even to the giving of life itself. With wonderful clearness men in the army came to see the deeper meaning of the Cross and its central place in the religion of Jesus.
We have heard much of the doctrine of nonresistance, and some thoughtful people have found real difficulty in reconciling it with entrance into the world war. The following is a quotation from a book called "The New Opportunity of the Church” by Robert E. Speer: “The Cross represented the principle of atonement. Christ suffered that men might not suffer. He met the anguish of separation that man might be delivered from it.” “In my thinking," writes a thoughtful Christian lawyer, “I have felt that perhaps the most succinct statement in reply to the suggestion that it is inconsistent for those who are opposed to war as itself an evil, yet not only to submit to the war, but enthusiastically to support it, is to point out that a war to end war is no more anomalous than is the death of the Lord Jesus Christ to end death. The whole scheme, as I interpret it, of our Christian faith, implies that. The sending of the Son of God to earth was, in the purpose of the Father, to make Him a Saviour and Lord; to destroy the enemies of man, sin and death; in the accomplishment of that purpose, He who knew no sin was made sin for us, and He who was the conqueror of death died for us. If this war is really waged as a righteous war, it has in it all the elements, not of a crusade to recover an empty tomb, but of a sacrifice unto death to break the bonds of human enslavement." The average soldier has found little trouble in this connec