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Title: With Our Soldiers in France
Author: Eddy, Sherwood, 1871-1963
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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WITH OUR SOLDIERS IN FRANCE

by

SHERWOOD EDDY

Author of "Suffering and the War," "The Students of Asia," etc.



[Frontispiece: The American Y.M.C.A. Headquarters in Paris.]



Association Press
New York: 124 East 28Th Street
1917
Copyright, 1917, by
The International Committee of
Young Men's Christian Association



To M. H. E.

AND THE REAL HEROES OF THE WAR

THE MOTHERS WHO HAVE GIVEN THEIR SONS

AND THE WIVES WHO HAVE GIVEN THEIR HUSBANDS



CONTENTS

CHAPTER

       FOREWORD

    I. AT THE FRONT
   II. WITH GENERAL PERSHING'S FORCE IN FRANCE
  III. A DAY IN THE "BULL RING"
   IV. WITH THE BRITISH ARMY
    V. LIFE IN A BASE CAMP
   VI. THE CAMP OF THE PRODIGALS
  VII. RELIGION AT THE FRONT
 VIII. THE WORLD AT WAR



ILLUSTRATIONS

The American Y.M.C.A. Headquarters in Paris . . . . . . _Frontispiece_

The "Eagle Hut" in London

Harry Lauder Singing at a Y.M.C.A. Meeting.  The officer
  seated at the extreme right is Captain "Peg"

Wholesome and Entertaining,
  Home Refreshments in London

Three Thousand Soldiers in the Crowded Hut



FOREWORD

The world is at war.  Already more than a score of nations,
representing a population of over a thousand millions, or two-thirds of
the entire human race, are engaged in a life-and-death struggle on the
bloody battlefields of Europe, Asia, and Africa.  No man can stand in
the mouth of that volcano on a battle front, or meet the trains pouring
in with their weary freight of wounded after a battle, or stand by the
operating tables and the long rows of cots in the hospitals, or share
in sympathy the hardship and suffering of the men who are fighting for
us, and remain unmoved.  The man must be dead of soul to whom the war
does not present a mighty moral challenge.  It arraigns our past manner
of life and our very civilization.  It gives us a new angle of
observation, a new point of view, a new test of values.  It furnishes a
possible moral judgment by which we can weigh our life in the balance
and see where we have been found wanting.

These brief sketches are only fragmentary and have of necessity been
hastily written.  The writer has been asked to state his impression of
the work among the men in France.  He did not go there to write but to
work.  He has tried simply to state what he saw and to leave the reader
to draw his own conclusions.  A mere statement of the grim facts at the
front, if they are not sugar-coated or glossed over, may not be
pleasant reading, but it is unfair to those at home that they should
not know the hard truth of the reality of things as they are.

Before the war broke out, it was the writer's privilege to make an
extended tour for work among students in Russia, Turkey, Bulgaria,
Serbia, and Greece, and to visit Germany.  Since the declaration of
war, he has visited France, Italy, and Egypt, and has observed the
effect of the war throughout Asia, in tours extending over nearly the
whole of China and India.  Last year he was in the British camps among
the soldiers of England, Scotland, and Wales.  Since America declared
war he has been working with the various divisions of the British and
American armies in France, from the great base camps, where hundreds of
thousands of men are in training, up to the front with the men in the
trenches.

For the sake of those who will follow with deep interest the boys who
are already in France, or who will shortly be there, brief accounts are
given of the various phases of a soldier's life in the base camps, the
training school of the "Bull Ring," at the front, and in the hospitals.



CHAPTER I

AT THE FRONT

In the midst of our work at a base camp, there came a sudden call to go
"up the line" to the great battle front.  Leaving the railway, we took
a motor and pressed on over the solidly paved roads of France, which
are now pulsing arteries of traffic, crowded with trains of motor
transports pouring in their steady stream of supplies for the men and
munitions for the guns.  Now we turn out for the rumbling tank-like
caterpillars, which slowly creep forward, drawing the big guns up to
the front; then we pass a light field-battery.  Next comes a battalion
of Tommies swinging down the road, loaded like Christmas trees with
their cumbrous kits, sweating, singing, whistling, as they march by
with dogged cheer toward the trenches.

We have crossed the Somme with its memories of blood, on across
northern France, and now we have passed the Belgian frontier and are in
the historic fields of Flanders, where the creaking windmills are still
grinding the peasants' corn, and the little church spires stand guard
over the sleeping villages.  A turn of the road brings us close within
sound of the guns, which by night are heard far across France and along
the coasts of England.  Soon we enter villages, which lie within range
of the enemy's "heavies," with their shattered window glass, torn
roofs, ruined houses, tottering churches, and deep shell holes in the
streets.  Now we are in the danger zone and have to put on our
shrapnel-proof steel helmets, and box respirators, to be ready for a
possible attack of poison gas.

Another turn in the road, and the great battle field rises in grim
reality before us.  Far to the left stands the terrible Ypres salient,
so long swept by the tide of war, and away to the right are the blasted
woods of "Plug Street."  Right before us rises the historic ridge of
Messines, won at such cost during the summer.  We are standing now at
the foot of the low ridge where the British trenches were so long held
under the merciless fire of the enemy.  From here to the top of the
ridge the ground has been fought over, inch by inch and foot by foot.
It is blasted and blackened, deep seamed by shot and shell.  The trees
stand on the bare ridge, stiff and stark, charred and leafless, like
lonely sentinels of the dead.  The ground, without a blade of grass
left, is torn and tossed as by earthquake and volcano.  Trenches have
been blown into shapeless heaps of debris.  Deep shell holes and mine
craters mark the advance of death.  Small villages are left without one
stone or brick upon another, mere formless heaps, ground almost to
dust.  Deserted in wild confusion, half buried in the churned mud, on
every hand are heaps of unused ammunition, bombs, gas shells, and
infernal machines wrecked or hurriedly left in the enemy's flight.


Here on June 7th, at three o'clock in the morning, following the heavy
bombardment which had been going on for days, the great attack began.
In one division alone the heavy guns had fired 46,000 shells and the
field artillery 180,000 more.  The sound of the firing was heard across
France, throughout Belgium and Holland, and over the Surrey downs of
England, 130 miles away.

The Messines ridge is a long, low hill, only about 300 feet in height,
but it commands the countryside for miles around, and had become the
heavily fortified barrier to bar the Allied advance between Ypres and
Armentiers.  Since December, 1914, the Germans had seamed the western
slopes with trenches, a network of tunnels and of concrete redoubts.
Behind the ridge lay the German batteries.  For months this ridge had
been mined and countermined by both sides, until the English had placed
500 tons of high explosive, that is approximately 1,000,000 pounds of
amminol, beneath nineteen strategic points which were to be taken.  At
the foot of the ridge, along a front of nine miles, the British had
concentrated their batteries, heavy guns, and vast supplies of
ammunition.  Day and night for a week before the battle began, the
German positions had been shelled.  At times the hurricane of fire died
down, but it never ceased.  By day and by night the German trenches
were raided and explored.  A large fleet of tanks was ready for the
advance.  Hundreds of aviators cleared the air and dropped bombs upon
the enemy, assailing his ammunition dumps, aerodromes, and bases of
supplies.  The battle had to be fought simultaneously by all the forces
on the land, in the air, and in the mines underground.  All the horrors
of the cyclone and the earthquake were harnessed for the conflict.

In the early morning, a short, deathly silence followed the week's
terrific bombardment.  At 2:50 a. m. the ground opened from beneath, as
nineteen great mines were exploded one by one, and fountains of fire
and earth like huge volcanoes leaped into the air.  Hill 60, which had
dealt such deadly damage to the British, was rent asunder and
collapsed.  It was probably the greatest explosion man ever heard on
earth up to that time.  Then the guns began anew to prepare for the
attack and a carefully planned barrage dropped just in front of the
English battalions as they advanced.  As the men came forward, the
barrage was lifted step by step and dropped just ahead of them, to
pulverize the enemy and protect the British troops.  By five o'clock
Messines itself was captured by the fearless Australians.  There was a
most desperate struggle just here where we were standing at Wytschaete.
All morning the battle raged along this line, but by midday it was in
the hands of the dashing Irish division.  Seven thousand prisoners were
taken, while the British casualties, owing to the effective protection
of their terrific barrage, were far less than the German and only
one-fifth of what they had calculated as necessary to take this
strategic position.


We make our way up to the crest of the Messines ridge where we can look
back on the conquered territory and forward to the new lines.  The
great guns are in action all about us.  They are again wearing down the
enemy in preparation for the next advance.  For the moment we feel only
the grand and awful throb of vast titanic forces in terrible conflict.
Day and night, in the air, on the earth, and beneath it, the war is
slowly or swiftly being waged.  The fire of battle smolders or leaps
into flames or vast explosions, but never goes out.

Above us the very air is full of conflict.  Hanging several hundred
feet high are half a dozen huge fixed kite-balloons, with their
occupants busily observing, sketching, mapping, or reporting the
enemy's movements.  Each of these is a target for the attacking
aeroplanes and the occupants must be ready, at a moment's notice, to
leap into a parachute when they are shot down.  High above these
balloons a score of British planes are darting about or dashing over
the enemy's lines, acting as the eyes of the huge guns hidden away
behind us.  We are looking at one far up seemingly soaring in peace
like a graceful bird poised in the air, when suddenly we see it
surrounded by a dozen little white patches of smoke which show that it
has come within range of the enemy's anti-aircraft guns and the clouds
of shrapnel are bursting about it.  Most of them break wide of the mark
and it sails on unscathed over the enemy's lines.  Just above us is
hanging a German _taube_, obviously watching us and the automobile
which we had left below in the road, while the British huge
anti-aircraft guns near by are feeling for it, shot after shot.

We duck into our little Y M C A dugout, just under the crest of the
ridge.  It is an old, deserted German pit for deadly gas shells, which
even now are lying about uncomfortably near, in heaps still unexploded.
Here the men going to and from the trenches, come in for hot tea or
coffee and refreshments night and day.  A significant sign forbids more
than thirty men to congregate at once in this exposed spot, as
sometimes these Y M C A dugouts are blown to atoms by a shell.  The one
down below in "Plug Street" has been blown to bits, and the man in the
one just up the line has been under such fire for several days that he
will have to abandon his dugout.

Just in front of us over the ridge is the first line of the present
British front.  There is no time to build trenches now or to dig
themselves in.  They just hold the broken line of unconnected shell
holes, or swarm in the great craters which are held by rapid fire
machine guns.  The men go out by night to relieve those who have been
holding the ground during the previous day.  It is harder for the
enemy's artillery to locate and destroy men scattered in these
irregular holes and craters than if they were in a clear line of
trenches.  The British front faces down the slope toward the bristling
German lines, dotted with hidden snipers and studded with sputtering
machine guns.  As the evening falls the batteries behind and all about
us open fire.  Flash after flash of spurting flame leaps out from the
great guns.  Boom upon boom, deep voiced and varied, follows from the
many calibred guns in the darkness, till the night is lurid and the
ground beneath us quivers with the earthquake of bombardment.

High above we hear the piercing shriek of the shells speeding to their
fatal mark, and below the crash of the exploding shells of the enemy,
which toss the earth in dark waves into the air in the black surf of
war.  Gun after gun now joins the great chorus, swelling and falling in
a hideous symphony of discordant sounds.  The whole horizon is lit up
and aflame.  The sky quivers and reflects the flash of the great guns,
as with the constant vibration of heat lightning.  Flares and Verey
lights of greenish yellow and white turn the night into ghastly day,
and like the lurid flames of an inferno light up the battlefield, while
the rifles crackle in the glare.  Here a parachute-light like a great
star hangs suspended almost motionless above us, lighting up the whole
battlefield, and now a burning farmhouse or exploding ammunition dump
illuminates the sky as from some vast subterranean furnace flung open
upon the heavens.  All the long sullen night the earth is rocked by
slow intermittent rumbling, till with the silent dawn the birds wake
and the war-giants sink for a few hours in troubled sleep.  Then the
new day breaks and the war-planes climb in the clear morning air to
begin the battle afresh.

But let us turn from the hard-won ground of Messines to some of the men
who fought over it and survived.  Here is a young American, Fred R----,
a graduate of Johns Hopkins, who fought in this battle with the
Canadians, and who told us in his own words the story of those brief
hours.


"Our opening barrage lasted about twenty minutes, but in that short
time some two million shells were dropped on the enemy from about nine
thousand of our guns.  We could hear no distinct reports, just one
steady roar of continuous explosion.  The ground shook beneath us and
fragments from the trenches and dugouts caved in about us from the
shock.  The air was oppressive and you felt difficulty in breathing, as
if you were in a vacuum.

"About three o'clock in the morning the order came to 'Stand to!' and
shortly after the word rang out 'Up and over!  Over the top boys, and
the best of luck!'  With one foot on the fire step we climbed out of
the deep trench and with our rifles we started forward at a walk,
behind our advancing barrage.  I was tense now and all of a tremble.
At a time like this every man is driven to his deepest thoughts.  It is
not fear exactly, but apprehension and dread of the unknown.

"As we started forward, one young boy fell at my side.  I heard him
call, 'O, Mother!' as he fell.  Another cried, 'O, God!' and sank down
on the other side.  Then my partner, a boy of eighteen, fell, both legs
blown away above the knee.  I bound up his wounds and carried him on my
back to the nearest dressing station.  'Fred,' he said, 'would you mind
kissing me just once?  So long!' and with that he was gone.  Then I got
mad and began to see red.  In the first trench I ran amuck and with
rifle, bayonet, and bombs I suppose I accounted for twenty men in the
hour that followed.

"I've been gassed three times, twice with the old gas and once with the
new, and I've had my share.  Would I like to go home now?  Say, I'd
rather be a lamp-post at the foot of Michigan Boulevard in Chicago than
the whole electric light system in all the rest of the universe!"


We turned from this young American to Sapper W---- of Western Canada,
who had just been through the same battle underground, and asked him to
tell us his own story.


"Well, sir, long before the battle we were digging under Hill Number
60.  A chance shell exploded on the surface above us and buried us all
underground.  Three of us were killed and the other two left alive.  I
had one man across my chest and another across my legs, one dead and
the other wounded.  We could not move hand or foot.  We were buried in
there for seven hours and they finally dug us out unconscious.

"Then we started another sap to lay a mine.  My pal was listening, with
an iron rod driven in the ground and two copper wires leading from it
to a head piece, such as a wireless operator uses, so that we could
hear the approach of the enemy's sappers, who were countermining
against us.  My pal asked me to come and listen.  But I had hardly got
the headpiece on when I said, 'O Lord, they're on us!' and before I
could get the thing off my ears the end of our sap fell through and the
Germans were at us.  There was only room to use revolvers and bayonets
in that dark hole and the Germans seemed to get nervous and could not
shoot straight in the panic.  We lost only one of our men, but we
killed seven and took the rest of the twenty prisoners.  Then, before
they found out what had happened, we crawled through to the German end
of the tunnel and blew up their sap.

"You say was I a Christian?  Not me!  I was wild and going to the
devil.  But one night I was wounded and lay in a deserted shell hole,
shot through the thigh, and unable to move for fifteen hours.  I was
feeling for a cigarette in my pocket to ease the pain a bit, but all I
could find was a little pocket testament which someone had given me,
but which I had never read.  I managed to get it out and, thinking it
might be my last hour, and that I might never be found, I started to
read to try and forget my wound.  I read the twenty-seventh chapter of
Matthew, and sir, that little book changed my life.  I have read a
chapter every day since then.  I was picked up by the infantry and
carried to a hospital.  One night when I could not sleep for the pain,
the nurse asked me if she could do anything for me, and I asked her to
read the Bible to me.  She said she had never read it in her life, and
I said it was about time she began, if that was so.  After she read it,
she said it helped her too.  Yes, I say my prayers on my knees in the
tent now.  Another boy has joined me this week; and the language in the
tent is getting better.  I'm off to the front tomorrow to take my turn
again.  But I'm no longer alone up there in the trenches.  It's
different now."


We have heard the story of one in the infantry and of a sapper
underground.  Here is the experience of a young Canadian student from
McGill University in the artillery:


"The past weeks have been ten thousand hells.  It is nothing but death,
noise, blood, and mud.  There are only two of our sergeants left now
and we have to keep up our spirits.  You often feel as if your brain
would burst.  I couldn't begin to describe the inferno human beings
pass through every day.  'Happy' was shot to pieces with a shell a few
nights ago while in bed, both arms and one leg off.  I carried him for
over four hours to the nearest dressing station and then stayed and
watched him die.  He never whimpered.  Though in terrible agony, he
died game, as he always was.  That is about the hardest knock I have
ever had in my life.  He is only one of my many friends that have gone.
Believe me, war is Hell."


Here is the account of a simple Australian boy in the front trench:


"Fritz had a machine gun to nearly every ten yards.  I don't know what
became of my friends Hugh and Bill.  They were just beside me, but when
I looked around both were gone.  A shell landed just at the side of me,
and I think Hugh and Bill were blown to pieces.  I got my wound in the
chest and the fragment came out through my back.  I thought my last day
had come.  I dropped into a hole, and no sooner had I got in, than Mack
got it through the face.  He was able to go back, but I was simply
helpless, as my legs refused to move.  Anyhow, I pulled the shovel off
my back and dug a little ridge in the side of the trench.  No sooner
had I done this than Fritz started to bombard.  One shell fell in the
hole in which I was, but exploded in the opposite direction.  Then
another came and landed just above my head, but it failed to go off.
Had it gone off I never would have been here now.  I had prayed hard to
my God to deliver me from my enemies and when those things happened I
felt my prayer was heard and that I was going to come through.  I was
there in that hole all day and the next night before anyone came near
me.  At last one of the 19th Battalion chaps came along and went for a
stretcher for me."


Such are the varying impressions which a battle makes upon various men.
It is no romance, but a grim reality of life and death.  Far into the
night we lie awake and ask ourselves, what is the meaning of it all?

At first on the field of battle one thrills at the sound of mighty and
unearthly forces loosed, but in the din we suddenly realize that boys
are dying all about us, and that these guns bear swift death and
mangling to suffering men.  Between us and the enemy are just a few
deep shell holes and a thin red line of flesh and blood, as a human
rampart, formed of men who hold their lives in their hands, ready to
make the great sacrifice.  Behind us are the hidden guns and the
support trenches in the narrow strip of hard-won territory.  Behind
these are the moving columns on the long roads, the pulsing arteries of
traffic, and the moving troop trains on the rails.  Behind these in
turn are the plying ships, the millions of toiling workers, and the
suffering hearts of the nations in arms.  Whole nations--yes, almost
the whole of humanity--are organized for war and dragged into deadly
conflict as by some devil's behest, instead of being organized for
brotherhood and the building of a better world.  Oh, not for this
devil's work were men made.  Surely mankind must come to its own in
these birth pangs of a new era.  Never, never again must a whole
humanity of the free-born sons of God be dragged into the hell of war
to sate the pride or pomp of kings, or to glut the ambition of scheming
secret groups who have taught men that they are created as obedient
slaves.

Far behind us, marking the slow advance up this ridge of death, are the
sheltered cemeteries of white crosses that tell the price that has
already been paid.  There are five thousand crowded graves in yonder
acre alone.  Great is the price, awful in its solid weight of agony.
This is no longer a war between two peoples, but between two
principles; it is as much to free the German people as to protect
ourselves.  It is not for this narrow strip of hard-won soil, but for
every foot of a world that from henceforth must be free.  The men who
are fighting on grounds of moral principle would rather pay any price
than lie at ease under the false shadow of militarism, materialism, and
grasping greed.  These men are fighting, and many of them know that
they are fighting, for a new world.  Not only military oppression, but
industrial oppression, must go.  Not only German militarism, and
Russian autocracy, and Turkish cruelty must be done away; but American
materialism must be purged in the fiery furnace of this war.  Its
purposes will reach far beyond our ken, and though man's sin alone has
caused the war, its issues are in the hands of God.  The whole war has
been a demonstration of the result of leaving God out of His world.
The world with God left out leaves war; and life with God left out
leaves hell.

There must be a turning to God in our own national life.  We speak of
the menace of German militarism, but what is militarism but armed and
aggressive materialism, the deeper principle which lies behind it?  And
what is materialism but organized selfishness?  Materialism and
selfishness are the dangers of our own land as well as of Germany.  And
the war is a call to set our own house in order.

America can no longer live to herself alone.  She is fighting for the
freedom of humanity.  Here on the very field of battle, at the
throbbing heart of the conflict, we ask ourselves, What is the real
issue of the war?  What are they fighting for?

Away there in Austria a young crown prince, Francis Ferdinand, was
murdered.  It was the spark which set off the powder mine of Europe.
But not for him are they fighting.  Behind him stood the two contending
forces of the growing nationalism of Serbia and the expanding
commercialism of Austria.  These two forces clashed in conflict, but
not for them are they fighting.  Behind these stood two greater powers,
those of pan-Germanism and pan-Slavism, a growing Germany and a rising
Russia, which like a vast glacier for a thousand years had sought the
open sea.  The ambitions of these two powers clashed in conflict at
Constantinople and elsewhere.  But not for them are they fighting.

On the western front there were two deeper principles in conflict,
those of autocracy and democracy, the question whether one man and a
sinister, hidden group of plotting militarists could drag the whole
world into war and crush its liberties and its laws beneath the iron
heel of despotism, or whether man as man should stand erect in his
God-given right of freedom and work out his own destiny in friendly
brotherhood.

But behind even the great conflict between autocracy and democracy lay
a yet deeper issue.  In the last analysis the final question in human
life is between a material and a spiritual interpretation of the
universe, whether might makes right and the strong are to rule, or
whether right makes might and the moral order is supreme.  There is a
material and a spiritual side of life.  On this side is the brute
struggle for life; on that, the struggle for the life of others; on the
one hand, the fight for the survival of the fittest, and on the other,
the fight to make men fit to survive.  On the left hand is selfishness
and on the right service; on the one side are the red battlefields of
the enemy, and on the other is a cross red in sacrifice of a life laid
down in the serving and saving of men.  There is a final issue in the
world between passion and principle, between wrong and right, between
darkness and light, between mammon and God, between self and Christ.

This ultimate issue must be faced by individuals and by nations.  It is
the challenge which confronts men in this war.  Seventy years ago a
crushed Europe faced the issue in the prophetic words of Mazzini,
written in the hour of darkness and defeat:


"Our victory is certain; I declare it with the profoundest conviction,
here in exile, and precisely when monarchical reaction appears most
insolently secure.  What matters the triumph of an hour?  What matters
it that by concentrating all your means of action, availing yourselves
of every artifice, turning to your account those prejudices and
jealousies of race which yet for a while endure, and spreading
distrust, egotism, and corruption, you have repulsed our forces and
restored the former order of things?  Can you restore men's faith in
it, or think you can long maintain it by brute force alone, now that
all faith in it is extinct?  Threatened and undermined on every side,
can you hold all Europe forever in a stage of siege?" [1]


Pasteur sees the same issue looming even in his day and states it in
burning words at the close of his life:


"Two contrary laws seem to be wrestling with each other nowadays, the
one a law of blood and of death, ever seeking new means of destruction
and forcing nations to be constantly ready for the battlefield; the
other a law of peace, work, and health, ever evolving new means of
delivering man from the scourges which beset him.  The first seeks
violent conquests, the other the relief of humanity.  The latter places
one human life above any victory, while the former would sacrifice
hundreds and thousands of lives to the ambition of one.  Which of these
two laws will ultimately prevail God only knows.  We will have tried,
by obeying the laws of humanity, to extend the frontiers of Life." [2]

Lincoln faced the same issue in the midst of the war weariness of our
own great conflict with words which come back to the nation now with a
prophetic call:


"The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it
can never forget what they did here.  It is for us the living, rather,
to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here
have thus far so nobly advanced.  It is rather for us to be here
dedicated to the great task remaining before us--that from these
honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they
gave the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve
that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation, under
God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the
people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."


[1] Life and Writings of Mazzini, vol. v, pp. 269-271.

[2] Life of Pasteur, p. 271.



CHAPTER II

WITH GENERAL PERSHING'S FORCE IN FRANCE

We are in the midst of an American army encampment in a French village.
For miles away over the rolling country the golden harvests of France
are ripening in the sun, broken by patches of green field, forest, and
stream.  The reapers are gathering in the grain.  Only old men, women,
and children are left to do the work, for the sons of France are away
at the battle front.  The countryside is more beautiful than the finest
parts of New York or Pennsylvania.  In almost every valley sleeps a
little French hamlet, with its red tiled roofs and its neat stone
cottages, clustered about the village church tower.  It is a picture of
calm and peace and plenty under the summer sun.  But the sound of
distant guns on the neighboring drill grounds, a bugle call down the
village street, the sight of the broad cowboy hats and the khaki
uniforms of the American soldiers, arouse us to the realization of a
world at war and the fact that our boys are here, fighting for the soil
of France and the world's freedom.

We are in a typical French farming village of a thousand people, and
here a thousand American soldiers are quartered.  A sergeant and a
score of men are in each shed or stable or barn loft.  The Americans
are stationed in a long string of villages down this railway line.
Indeed it is hard to tell for the moment whether we are in France or in
the States.  Here are Uncle Sam's uniforms, brown army tents, and new
wooden barracks.  The roads are filled with American trucks, wagons,
motors, and whizzing motorcycles, American mules, ammunition wagons,
machine guns, provisions, and supplies, and American sentinels down
every street.

These are the men of the First Division, scattered along behind the
French lines, being drilled as rapidly as possible to take their place
in the trenches for the relief of the hard-pressed French.  The nucleus
is made up of the men of the old army, who have seen service in Cuba,
Porto Rico, the Philippines, Texas, or along the Mexican border.  And
with them are young boys of nineteen, twenty, or twenty-one, with clear
faces, fresh from their homes, chiefly from the Middle West--from
Illinois to Texas.

The first thing that strikes us as we look at these men is their superb
kit and outfit.  From the broad cowboy hat, the neat uniform close
fitting at the waist, down to their American shoes; from the saddles,
bits, and bridles to the nose bags of the horses; from the guns,
motors, and trucks down to the last shoe lace, the equipment is
incomparably the best and most expensive of all that we have seen at
the front.  The boys themselves are live, clean, strong, and
intelligent fellows, probably the best raw material of any of the
fighting forces in Europe.  The officers tell us that the American
troops are natural marksmen and there are no better riflemen in the war
zone.  The frequency of the sharpshooters' medals, among both the
officers and the men, shows that many of them already excel in musketry.

The second impression that strikes us is the crudeness of the new men,
and the lack of finish in their drill, as compared with the veteran
troops of Britain and France.  The progress they have made, however, in
the past few weeks under their experienced American officers of the
regular army has been truly remarkable.

The next impression we receive is the enormous moral danger to which
these men are exposed in this far-away foreign land.  During the whole
war it is the Overseas Forces, the men farthest from home influences,
who have no hope of leave or furlough, who are far removed from all
good women and the steadying influence of their own reputations, that
have fared the worst in the war.  The Americans not only share this
danger with the Colonials and other Overseas Forces, but they have an
additional danger in their high pay.  Here are enlisted men who tell us
that they are paid from $35 to $90 a month, from the lowest private to
the best paid sergeants.  When you remember that the Russian private is
allowed only one cent a day, that the Belgian soldier receives only
four cents a day, the French private five cents, the German six cents,
and the English soldier twenty-five cents a day, most of which has to
go for supplementary food to make up for the scantiness of the rations
supplied, you realize what it means for the American soldier to be paid
from one to three dollars a day, in addition to clothing, expenses, and
the best rations of any army in Europe.[1]

Some of these men tell us that they have just received from two to
three months' back pay in cash.  Here they are with several hundred
francs in their hands, buried in a French village, with absolutely no
attraction or amusement save drink and immorality.  In this little
village the only prosperous trade in evidence is that in wines and
liquors.  The only large wholesale house is the center of the liquor
trade and the only freight piled up on the platform of the station
consists of wines and champagnes, pouring in to meet the demand of the
American soldiers.  There are a score of drinking places in this little
hamlet.  Our boys are unaccustomed to the simple and moderate drinking
of the French peasants, and they are plunged into these _estaminets_
with their pockets full of money.  Others under the influence of drink
have torn up the money or tossed it recklessly away.  Prices have
doubled and trebled in the village in a few weeks, and the peasants
have come to the conclusion that every American soldier must be a
millionaire; as the boys have sometimes told them that the pile of
notes, which represents several mouths' pay, is the amount they receive
every month.  Compare this with the $1.80 a month, in addition to a
small allowance for his family, which the French private gets, and you
will readily see how this false impression is formed.

Temptation and solicitation in Europe have been in almost exact
proportion to the pay that the soldier receives.  The harpies flock
around the men who have the most money.  As our American boys are the
best paid, and perhaps the most generous and open-hearted and reckless
of all the troops, they have proved an easy mark in Paris and the port
cities.  As soon as they were paid several months' back salary, some of
them took "French leave," went on a spree, and did not come back until
they were penniless.  The officers, fully alive to the danger, are now
doing their utmost to cope with the situation; they are seeking to
reduce the cash payments to the men and are endeavoring to persuade
them to send more of their money home.  Court martial and strict
punishment have been imposed for drunkenness, in the effort to grapple
with this evil.

Will the friends of our American boys away in France try to realize
just the situation that confronts them?  Imagine a thousand healthy,
happy, reckless, irrepressible American youths put down in a French
village, without a single place of amusement but a drinking hall, and
no social life save such as they can find with the French girls
standing in the doorways and on the street corners.  Think of all these
men shut up, month after month, through the long winter, with nothing
to do to occupy their evenings.  Then you will begin to realize the
seriousness of the situation which the Young Men's Christian
Association is trying to meet.

Here on the village green stands a big tent, with the sign "The
American Y M C A," and the red triangle, which is already placed upon
more than seven hundred British, French, and American Association
centers in France.  Inside the tent, as the evening falls, scores of
boys are sitting at the tables, writing their letters home on note
paper provided for them.  Here are men playing checkers, dominoes, and
other games.  Other groups are standing around the folding billiard
tables.  A hundred men have taken out books from the circulating
library, while others are scanning the home papers and the latest news
from the front.

Our secretaries have been on the ground for a week, working daily from
five o'clock in the morning until midnight.  They have unpacked their
goods and are doing a driving trade over the counter, to the value of
some $200 a day.  In certain cases goods are sold at a loss, as it is
very hard indeed to get supplies under present war conditions.  The
steamer "Kansan" was torpedoed, and sank with the whole first shipment
of supplies and equipment for the Y M C A huts in France.

Outside a baseball game is exciting rivalry between two companies;
while near the door of the tent a ring is formed and the men are
cheering pair after pair as they put on the boxing gloves and with good
humor are learning to take some rather heavy slugging.  Poor boys, they
will have to stand much worse punishment than this before the winter is
over.  Just beside the present tent there is being rushed into position
a big Y M C A hut which will accommodate temporarily a thousand men,
before it is taken to pieces and shipped to some new center.  The
Association has ordered from Paris a number of permanent pine huts, 60
by 120 feet, which will accommodate 2,000 soldiers each, and keep them
warm and well occupied during the long cold winter evenings that are to
come.  On the railway siding at the moment are nine temporary huts,
packed in sections for immediate construction, and a score of permanent
buildings have been ordered to be erected as fast as the locations for
the camps are selected by the military authorities.  Indeed, the aim is
to have them on the ground and ready before the boys arrive and take
the first plunge in the wrong direction.

What is the life that our boys are living here at the front?  Let us go
through a day with the battalion quartered in this village.  At five
o'clock in the morning the first bugle sounds.  The boys are quickly on
their feet, dressing, washing, getting ready for the day's drill.  In
half an hour they are tucking away a generous breakfast provided by
Uncle Sam, of hot bacon, fried potatoes and coffee, good home made
bread, and as much of it as a man can eat.  They get meat twice a day,
and we have found no soldiers in Europe who receive rations that
compare with the food that our boys receive.

By 6:40 a. m. the men have reached the drill ground on the open fields
above the village and are ready to begin the eight or nine hours of
hard work and exercise that is before them.  Half of each day is spent
with the French troops, learning more quickly with an object lesson
before them, and the remaining half day is spent in training by
themselves.  The French squad goes through the drill or movement; then
the American battalion, after watching them, is put through the same
practice.  They are trained in bayonet work and charges, in musketry
and machine gun practice, in the handling of grenades, and the throwing
of bombs.  There is evidence of speeding up and an apparent pressure to
get them quickly into shape, in order to take their place in the
trenches before the winter sets in.  A few weeks at the front with the
French troops will soon give them experience, and after a winter in the
trenches, the men of these first divisions will doubtless form the
nucleus for a large American army, and provide the drill masters
quickly to train the men for the spring offensive.

On the day we were there, after a hard morning's drill, the Colonel
assembled three battalions and put them through the first regimental
formation and the first regimental review since landing in France.  The
men of the First, Second, and Third battalions marched by, and one
could quickly contrast the disciplined movements of the veterans or old
soldiers with the crude drill of the new recruits, some of whom could
not keep step or smoothly execute the movements.

At the noon hour, after the men had taken their midday meal and had
rested for a few minutes, the Colonel asked us if we would address the
troops.  Some two thousand men were marched in close formation around
the large military wagon on which we were to stand.  The mules were
unhitched and the men seated themselves on the grass, while the band
played several pieces.  A great hunger of heart possesses any man with
half a soul as he looks into the faces of these boys, beset by fierce
temptations and facing a terrible winter in the trenches.  At the
beginning we reminded them of the words of Lord Kitchener to his troops
before they left for France: "You are ordered abroad as a soldier. . .
Remember that the honor of the Army depends upon your individual
conduct. . .  Your duty cannot be done unless your health is sound.  So
keep constantly on your guard against any excesses.  In this new
experience you may find temptations both in wine and women.  You must
entirely resist both temptations, . . . treating all women with perfect
courtesy." [2]  Kitchener's words furnish a text for the two-fold
danger which confronts these men.  Here for an unhurried hour, with the
generous backing of the officers, we plead with the men on military,
medical, and moral grounds, for the sake of their own homes and
families, for the sake of conscience and country, on the grounds of
duty both to God and to man, to hold to the high ideals and the best
traditions of the homeland.  Here, with no church save the great dome
of God's blue heaven above us, seated on the green grass, under the
warm summer sun, we have the priceless privilege of trying to safeguard
the life of these men in the grave danger of wartime.

We were encouraged alike by the splendid support of the officers and
the warm-hearted and eager response of the men as they broke into
prolonged applause.  The General in command attended one meeting and
pledged us his support for our whole program for the men.  He had
already cooperated with us most generously on the Canal Zone, in the
Philippines, and in Mexico.  Three colonels presided at three
successive meetings, and gave the work their strong moral support.
Three bands were furnished in two days.  The official backing of the
authorities placed the stamp of approval on the whole moral effort for
the welfare of the men.  In no other army in Europe that we have seen
have the officers taken such a keen interest in the highest welfare of
the troops, or offered such constant and efficient cooperation with
every effort to surround the men with the best moral influences.

After the meeting, the regimental parade and the strenuous physical
drill of the morning, the Colonel called for a short break, and the men
gathered to learn some popular songs.  Major Roosevelt assembled his
battalion, and Archie Roosevelt enthusiastically led the men in singing
Julia Ward Howe's "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and the modern soldier
songs of the war.

After nine hours of hard drill, the men swung cheerfully down the
hillside into the village street.  Now they have lined up, and with
ravenous appetites are waiting for the evening meal.  We are almost as
hungry as they, and are glad to share the meal with them.  Here on the
table are huge piles of good home-made bread.  It is almost the first
white bread we have seen after months of brown war bread in England and
France.  Here are heaping plates of good pork and beans, tinned salmon,
plenty of fried potatoes, and piping hot coffee.  This is followed by a
delicious pudding, as good as the men would have had in their own
homes.  Well fed, well clothed, well equipped, sleeping under Uncle
Sam's warm blankets, on comfortable "Gold Medal" cots, our boys are
well cared for.

In another village, at the close of the day, the Colonel commanding two
battalions of the infantry called the men together in the open square
of the market place, and after a band concert invited us to address the
troops on the moral issues of the war.  The next day almost the same
program was repeated, and at noon in an open field on a grassy hillside
the Major of another battalion marched out his men for a similar
lecture.  Every commanding officer seemed eager to arrange for
meetings, to summon the men, and to back up the messages given to them.
Not only have General Pershing, General Sibert, and the Colonels
commanding the various regiments, met us half way in every plan for the
welfare of the troops; but they have taken the initiative in insisting
that every provision should be made for the physical, mental, and moral
occupation and safeguarding of the men.

Probably more men are led astray in the war zone when they go on leave
than at any other time, in reaction from the deadly monotony of camp
life, or the inferno of the trenches.  London and Paris are the chief
centers of danger.  In London, just before sailing for the States, we
visited the finely equipped American "Eagle" Hut in the Strand.  It
would be difficult to devise a more homelike or attractive place for
soldiers.  In addition to sleeping accommodations for several hundred
men, the lounge and recreation rooms, the big fireplaces and
comfortable chairs suggested the equipment of an up-to-date club, in
marked contrast to the surroundings of a cheerless soldiers' barracks.

[Illustration: The "Eagle Hut" in London.]

In Paris, in addition to the permanent headquarters at 31 Avenue
Montaigne, we are hoping to provide hotels and hostels and guides for
supervised parties to see the chief points of interest, and to plan
such healthy occupation for the soldiers that the evils of the city may
be counteracted.  Better still we are planning resorts in the French
Alps, where summer and winter sports, athletics, mountain climbing, and
physical and mental recreation will obviate altogether the necessity of
leave to Paris for many of the soldiers of the United States and
Canada.  In the first resort we are arranging for special rates and
moderate charges at the hotels and have the pledge of the civil
authorities to keep the place wholesome and absolutely to prevent the
incoming of camp followers.  The Association is planning to take over
the best hotel, which can be made into an attractive social center for
the entire camp.  A score of American and as many Canadian ladies will
help to provide social recreation and amusement for the men, which will
prove a greater attraction than the dangerous leave in Paris.

A glance at one or two typical meetings held in various camps will show
how we are trying to help our boys face the pressing problems of a
soldier's life.

We enter a large hut filled with a thousand soldiers.  Here are many
men who have been driven toward God and who are face to face with the
great realities of life, death, and the future as never before in their
lives, eager for any message which may help them.  But here are several
hundred others who have fallen victims to evil habits and who are
determined you shall not force religion down their throats.  How are we
to capture the attention of this mass of men and hold them?  Will they
bolt or stand fire?  The time has come to begin the meeting and we
plunge in.  "Come on, boys, let's have a sing-song; gather round the
piano and let's sing some of the old camp songs."  Out come the little
camp song books, and we start in on a few favorite choruses.  A dozen
voices call for "John Brown's Body," "Tennessee," "Kentucky Home," "A
Long, Long Trail," etc.  Soon we have several hundred men seated around
the piano and the chorus gathers in volume.  Now we call for local
talent.  A boy with blue eyes and a clear tenor voice sings of home.  A
red-headed humorist climbs on the table; and at his impersonations, his
acting, and comic songs, the crowd shouts with glee.

Our heart sinks within us as we look over this sea of faces and wonder
how we are going to hold this crowd that this man seems to have in the
hollow of his hand.  Somehow these men must be gripped and held to the
last.  "Boys, what was the greatest battle of the war?" we ask.  "Was
it the brave stand of little Belgium at Liege?  Was it the splendid
retreat of the little British army from Mons?  Was it the battle of the
Marne, when the French and British struck their first offensive blow?
Was it the great stand at Ypres, or the defense of Verdun, or the drive
on the Somme?  What is _your_ hardest battle?  Is it not within, in the
fight with passion?  Now is the time to challenge every sin that
weakens a man or the nation.  How about drink?  Is it a friend or foe?
How about gambling?  How about impurity?"  Here we mass our guns on the
greatest danger of the war.  In five minutes the room is quiet, in ten
minutes we have the ear of every man in the hut, the last man has
stopped talking, and now the battle is on.  They are gripped on the
moral question; how can we get them to the religious issue?  These men
have the root of religion in their souls, but they do not know it.
They believe in strength, in purity, in generosity.  We show that they
are often falling before temptation, but the very things that they most
admire are all found in their fulness in Jesus Christ.

Now we make use of a simple illustration.  We hold up a gold coin
hidden in our hand and offer it as a gift.  "Who will take me at my
word and ask for this gift?"  At last a man rises in the back of the
hall, there is a little scene, and then a burst of applause as he
receives it and goes to his seat.  "Now why didn't _you_ come?  Some of
you didn't believe me, some were ashamed to come up before everybody
and ask for it, some were just waiting; and so all lost your chance.
Once again I offer a gift.  Here is something more valuable than all
the gold on earth--heaven to be had for the asking; the free gift of
God is eternal life.  Why don't you come?  For the same three reasons.
Some of you don't believe, some are afraid to show their colors, some
are just waiting.  You will soon start for the front to take your place
in the trenches.  Are you ready for life or death?  What will you do
with Jesus Christ?"

We have had them forty minutes now and many a man is listening as for
his life.  We hold up the pledge card of the war roll.  "How many of
you are willing to take your stand against drink, gambling, and
impurity, to break away from sin, and to sign the war roll, which says:
'I pledge my allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour and
King, by God's help to fight His battles and bring victory to His
Kingdom'?  Who will take his stand for Christ and sign tonight?"  Here
and there all over the house men begin to rise.  A hundred come forward
to get cards and sign them.  Then every head is bowed and in the
stillness we pray for these boys; for they are mere lads, with ruddy
checks, fresh from the farm or the city.

Now the meeting breaks up and we move down into the crowd.  Men come up
and ask for private talks, some to confess their sins and others to
request prayer.  Here is a boy who is friendless and homeless and in
need; the next man has just lost his wife, his home, and his money, but
here in the war he has been driven to prayer and has found God.  He has
lost everything, but he tells us with a brave smile that he has gained
all, and now wishes to prepare for the ministry to preach the Gospel.
Next is a young atheist, an illegitimate child, a circus actor, who has
now found God and wants to know how to relate his life to Christ.  The
next man is a jockey, who in the midst of his sins enlisted in order
that he might die for others and try to atone for his past life.

Later, we were holding evangelistic meetings among the boys of another
regiment.  One Sunday evening we were in a big hut where the meeting
was about to begin.  Many of the men were writing to the old folks at
home.  Captain "Peg" of Canada, who was with us to lead the singing,
stepped on the platform and announced a hymn.  Immediately several
hundred men flocked to the seats and began singing the Christian hymns
they knew at home.  Eyes lit up and faces were aglow as they sang
"Nearer, My God, to Thee," "Lead, Kindly Light," and "Fight the Good
Fight."  Gradually the numbers increased until a thousand men were
singing.  Then we began the address.  Here were open-hearted boys some
of whom had gone down before the temptations of the port cities and who
now have to face the dangers of a camp in France.  We began on moral
themes.  Within half an hour it seemed as if the better nature of every
man was with us.  The Christian ideals of home, of the Church, and of
their own best selves surged up again, until we had seated and standing
nearly twelve hundred men, many of whom were ready to make the fight
for purity with the help of Jesus Christ.  One can never forget that
closing hymn as the men rose to sing "God Be With You Till We Meet
Again."  We saw tear-stained faces before us as nearly the whole
company joined in the song "Tell Mother I'll Be There."

Here was one poor fellow who felt he could not sign the decision card.
He sent up this little note: "I am the worst man in the tent--a man who
robbed his old father of his life's savings.  How can I hope to be any
good again without any prospect of ever being able to repay this
money?"  But before he left he had accepted God's forgiveness, and the
dawn of a new eternity breaks upon his happy face.  There was another
man, the worst character in the regiment.  Finally, touched by the
secretary's kindness, he had read his little pocket Testament in
prison, had yielded his life to Christ, and was now witnessing among
the soldiers in the camp.  Another, broken down, came up to say he had
wronged a girl at home, and to ask if there was any hope for him.  The
last man, Bob A----, serving at present with a British regiment, tells
us he was a Christian in Cleveland, Ohio, before the war.  He lay all
last night drunk in the fields, but, convicted of his profligate life,
he repented and turned back again to God.  There was another boy who
stopped to tell us that ever since a previous meeting he had knelt in
prayer every night before all the men.

At the close of the meeting another man stepped up and handed in a
letter, saying: "Thank you for that message tonight, sir.  I will be
true to the little girl I left at home.  Here is a letter I had just
written to a bad woman.  God helping me I will not go.  I have signed
the War Roll tonight and I am going to be true to it."  Hundreds of men
filed past and shook hands in gratitude.

We were facing an average of some five hundred men every night in the
week and a thousand or more on Sunday.  One humble private who had been
a pilot out at sea, handed us a poem which he had just written, the
last lines of which are typical of the verses many of the men are
writing these days:

  "And if I fall, Lord, take an erring mortal
    Into those realms of peace and joy above;
  And, by-and-by, at Thy fair mansion's portal,
    Let me find there the little girl I love."


In all our meetings our aim has been to enable men to find themselves
by coming into a personal and vital relation with God as Father,
through Jesus Christ.  Our purpose is to evangelize, but not to
proselytize.  We aim to make each man more loyal to his own church.
During the three years of the war, we have never known of a man
changing his church or being asked to do so.  Our aim is not to change
any man's ecclesiastical position, but to make him a truer and stronger
man in the church where he is.  The great outstanding issue in war time
is not between creed and creed, between sect and sect, but between God
and mammon, between right and wrong, purity and impurity.  We have no
contention concerning the questions that divide us; we are fighting for
the great fundamentals upon which we are all united, for God and moral
manhood.


[1] According to the War Bulletin of the National Geographic Society,
issued in Washington in September 1917, a first class American private
drawing $26.60 a month receives more than a Russian colonel or a German
or Austrian lieutenant.  An American lieutenant receives more than a
British lieutenant colonel, a French colonel, or a Russian general.

[2] See Appendix IV.



CHAPTER III

A DAY IN THE "BULL RING"

Just before going into the trenches the British, French, and American
troops take a final course for a few weeks in a training school, where
the expert drill masters put them through a rigorous discipline, and
the finishing touches are given to each regiment.  At the moment of
writing our American boys are going through such a course, "somewhere
in France."  The men commonly call this training school, or specially
prepared final drill ground, the "Bull Ring."  It is a thrilling
spectacle to see many thousands of men across a vast plain going
through the various maneuvers of actual warfare as it is practiced
today at the front.  Perhaps a brief description of such a drill ground
may be of interest to those who are following the fortunes of our
soldiers.

At six the bugle sounds and the whole camp is astir.  Outside there is
the clatter of feet as the men fall in after a hasty breakfast.  The
shrapnel-proof steel helmets are donned, the heavy seventy-pound kits
and rifles are swung to the broad backs, the band strikes up "Pack Up
Your Troubles," and our battalion is on the march for the "Bull Ring."

First comes the ceremonial parade.  A whole brigade swings into line
and must prove that it can move as one man, as a perfect machine,
without flaw or friction.  One master mind directs every motion, and at
the word of command thousands of feet are moving in exact time,
wheeling, marching, maneuvering with a precision that proves the long
months of patient practice.  This finish of discipline and perfection
of unity have their part to play in the winning of the battle raging at
this moment up the line.

Next the men must pass through the deadly gas chambers, to be ready to
meet the attack of the enemy fully prepared.  More fatal than the
prussic acid which the Prussian has occasionally employed, is the
deadly mixture of chlorine and phosgene, which has been most commonly
used.  In a gentle favoring wind it is put over invisible in the
darkness, and if it catches the foe unprepared, can kill from ten to
fifteen miles behind the lines.  The mixture is squirted as a liquid
from metal generators.  It quickly forms a dense greenish yellow cloud
of poison vapor, which floats away in the darkness.  Its success must
depend on the element of surprise, taking the enemy unprepared and
choking him, awake or asleep, in the first few moments before the
horns, gongs, and whistles send the alarm for miles behind the trenches.

Recently a new so-called "mustard gas" has been used by the enemy with
deadly effect, owing to the fact that it is both invisible and
odorless.  It is sent over in exploding shells, and sinks in a heavy
invisible vapor about the sleeping men, creeping into their dugouts and
trenches or enveloping them around the guns or in the shell holes.  The
effects do not manifest themselves for several hours.  With stinging
pain the man's eyes begin to close, and for a time he may go almost
blind.  He is then taken violently sick.  The surface of the lungs and
the entire body, especially where it is moist with perspiration, is
burned.  The skin may blister and come off.  Many cases have proved
fatal and many more suffer cruelly for weeks in hospital.  With the men
we attended a lecture on the nature of the various gases used by the
enemy and the proper methods of meeting them.  The lecture throughout
was unconsciously couched almost in theological language.  The
instructor first disposed of what he called superstitious "heresies"
concerning the gas, in order to prevent the men from having panic and
"getting the wind up."  There is a foolish rumor which says, "One
breath and you are ruptured for life, or you fall dead the next
morning," etc., etc., but he warns the men of its deadly nature and
tells them they are to be saved from its fatal effects by knowing the
truth.

The instructor explains that if they take four deep breaths it will
prove fatal: "One breath and you catch the first spasm, two and you are
mad, three and you are unconscious, four and you are dead.  If you keep
your presence of mind and hold your breath you will have six seconds to
get on your gas helmet or respirator."  The attack, remember, is a
surprise in the dark; brain-splitting gas shells are dropping on all
sides, and it is hard to keep cool and hold one's breath in the moment
of sudden surprise and panic.  We are told that there are fifteen
mistakes which are easily possible in getting on this complicated
helmet, or if there is one big blunder in the sudden surprise the man
is done for.

Before going through the death chamber, helmets are inspected, to see
that they are sound and unpunctured, and the men are drilled in the
open to practice putting them on quickly.  Suddenly the warning whistle
of an imaginary gas attack sounds.  One backward fling of the head and
the steel helmet falls off, for there is no time to lift it off.  A
dive into the bag carried on the chest and the respirator is grasped
and with one skilful swoop it is drawn over the face.  Your nose is
pinched shut by a clamp, your teeth grip the rubber mouthpiece, and,
like a diver, you must now get your one safe stream of pure air through
the respirator.  You draw in the air from a tube which rises from a tin
of chemical on your chest.  Then you can breathe in the dense, deadly,
greenish chlorine vapor, for as it passes through the respirator filled
with chemicals, it is absorbed, neutralized, oxidized, and purified
into a stream of pure air.  All about you may be choking fumes of death
which would kill you in four seconds, yet you will be completely
immune, breathing a purified atmosphere.

The soldiers are now marched up to this chamber of horrors to walk
through the poison gas.  Many have "the wind up" (i. e., they are
afraid inside, but are ashamed to show it).  Reliance on the guide, the
expert who has been through it all, and the sense of companionship, the
stronger ones unconsciously strengthening the weak, have a steadying
effect upon all the men.  The soldiers have had four hours' drill to
prepare them, but the "padre" and I, who are now permitted to go
through, have had but four minutes.  I am trying to remember a number
of things all at once.  Above all I must keep cool and assure myself
that there is no danger if only I trust and obey what the expert has
said.  I fling on the helmet and we start into the death chamber, but
suddenly a string is loose--will the respirator work?  There seems to
be something the matter with my nosepiece which should be clamped shut.
I would like to ask the instructor just one question to make sure, but
I can no more talk than a diver beneath the sea.  It is too late, we
are moving, I can only hope and trust the helmet will hold.  We have
left the sunlight and are in a long dark covered chamber, like a
trench, groping forward, and looking at a distant point of light
through the dim goggles.  We are alone in these deadly fumes, the
instructor is not here, there is a tense silence, and all about us is
the poison of death.  Oh, what was that fourth point that I was to
remember?  Why has the guide turned back?  I thought we were to go out
at the further end, where last week the poor fellow fell who lifted his
helmet a moment too soon after he got out and caught one whiff which
sent him to the hospital, but instead we seem to be turning around and
going back.  But there is no time for explanations or questions now; we
just plod on through the darkness and soon we are out in the sunlight
again--safe!--in God's pure air.  Oh, why did man ever want to pollute
it and poison his brother with these deadly fumes of hell!

As a special favor, the instructor allows us, without a mask, to take
one swift look into the fumes as we hold our breath.  That yellow green
chlorine will corrode the lungs and fill them with pus and blood.  The
phosgene is much more deadly and will strike the man down with sudden
failure of the heart.

We were also sent through a chamber of the invisible "tear gas,"
without a mask.  The object of this is to take away the fear of the gas
from the men.  This particular gas has no effect upon the lungs, but
sends a stinging pain through the eyes, so that one weeps blindly for
some minutes and could not possibly see to shoot or to defend himself.

We are now ready to return to another lecture with more understanding.
No wonder these tired boys under the heavy, hot steel helmets, which
absorb the heat of the scorching sun, are listening with all their
ears, yet one or two fall asleep for very weariness and may again be
caught napping by the enemy's poison gas up the line.  The instructor
is in dead earnest, for the life of every man during the coming
conflict may depend upon his message.  His words are still in my ears,
for they were strangely like a sermon:

"Men, I am going to tell you the truth about this deadly gas and you
must believe it, for your life will depend upon it.  It can kill and no
doubt about it.  But for every poison of the enemy there's an antidote
and we have found it.  Your helmet is perfect and you simply must
believe in it, you must trust to it.  We have made full provision for
your safety.  If you go under it will be your own fault from one of
four causes--unbelief, disobedience, carelessness, or fear.  If you
carelessly go without your helmet it means death.  During an attack,
after putting on the respirator, just stand and wait.  There is nothing
you can do for yourself except to keep your helmet on.  Your skill,
your strength are nothing.  Now if you are caught in an attack unawares
remember if you're still alive at all, there's hope.  Don't lose
courage.  If your confidence goes, you lose ninety per cent of your
defense, for the sole hope of the enemy in gas is surprise and panic.
If you are gassed, don't move.  Keep still, keep warm, don't worry, and
wait.  To move or try to save yourself will be fatal.

"The enemy will put over three or four waves with a break between.  The
gas may come for some hours.  To remove your helmet before the attack
is over will be fatal.  Within a quarter of an hour after the gas has
ceased, the charge of the enemy will come and you must never let him
get past your barbed wired entanglements.  After exposure to gas, all
food, water, and wells are poisonous.  The heavy gas must be expelled
from the trenches by fans before the charge comes.  Only remember, you
must believe what I say, keep your helmet on in time of danger and you
are perfectly safe."

There is a vast difference between the warning and the preparatory
exposure to the gas by your guide and the deadly surprise of the enemy.
The former is a trial to prepare you, the latter is an effort to
destroy you.  The whole experience was so obviously parallel to the
deadly moral dangers which surround the soldier in war time that it
needs no comment.  The one and only safety in the time of temptation is
to put on the whole armor of God, especially the "helmet of salvation,"
then to trust and obey and stand fast.

The writer has just come from a ward in the hospital filled with
patients suffering from the new gas which the enemy has lately put
over.  It is, as we have said, invisible and odorless, so the men
receive no warning, and consequently do not put on their masks.  They
do not know that they are being gassed until hours afterwards, when
they find they are burned from head to foot.  Here are twenty men lying
in this tent, suffering from this new torture.  This first boy, with a
wan smile that goes right to your heart, can only whisper from his
burnt-out lungs and cannot tell us his story.  The next man was taken
with vomiting five hours after the gas shells exploded.  Seven of his
fourteen companions sleeping in the dugout were killed outright, the
others were gassed.  He does not know where they are.  He lay
unconscious for several days, and now his eyes and skin are burned as
though he had passed through a fire.  The next boy is badly burned in
his eyes and chest.  Half the men of his battery were killed by gas
while asleep at night.  On the next cot is a boy who has been suffering
for seventeen days; the burns on his body have been improving, his
lungs also are better, but he is still blind and fears he may lose his
sight.  He asks me to write a letter for him to his mother.  "Only," he
says, "don't tell her about my eyes."  Together we make up a cheerful
letter, and the boy rests back on his cot to pray for his returning
eyesight.  The next two beds are empty.  Both the men died in the
night, falling an easy prey to pneumonia in their weakened condition.
The next boy is from the infantry.  Out of his squad nine were killed
by the explosion of the shell, eight wounded, and the rest badly
burned.  The neck, chest, arms, and legs of this boy are burned and
blistered.  The deadly gas fumes have burned right through his clothing.

Such is the effect of this new and latest triumph of modern science,
which will shatter the hopes and happiness of thousands of homes.

After passing through the gas chambers, we visited the bombing section
of the training school.  Here each man has to throw one or more live
bombs and receive his final coaching.  The bomb is about the size of a
lemon, and is made to break into small fragments.  It contains enough
of the high explosive to kill a whole group of men.  The boy advances
and grasps the bomb; he draws out the pin and holds down the lever.
Once this is released, it explodes in just five seconds.  The man
heaves his bomb over a parapet at a dummy dressed in German uniform.
The whistle blows and we all duck.  There is a terrific explosion like
a small cannon and you hear the pieces whizzing through the air.  Every
man is holding in his hand and wielding a terrible power.  Wrongly
used, it is death to himself and his comrades.  The other day a boy's
hand was moist with perspiration and the bomb slipped, killing the
group.  Another prematurely exploded as it was being thrown, carrying
away the man's own hand and killing the instructor.  So it is a
dangerous business.  During the morning there were only four "duds," or
bombs that would not go off.

After the bombing section, we pass with the men to the trenches.
Bayonets are drawn and rifles loaded.  After firing several rounds,
comes the command, "Advance."  At a bound they are "over the top" and
off, heads down; they run very slowly and keep together.  A breathless
man who outruns his comrades is useless and is soon killed by the
enemy.  The drill sergeant shouts to the men "Keep together, keep
together, men, one man can't take a trench," and my friend the "padre"
notes his words to tell to his congregation when he goes home, where
the minister can't do all the work.  When they are near the enemy's
trench, the final word "Charge" is shouted, the whole line leaps
forward with a wild yell, and the bayonets are driven into the stuffed
sacks which are suspended as dummies to serve in the place of men.

For miles across the great plain the "Bull Ring" is alive with men.
Here in one section they are doing physical drill and learning to go
over all kinds of obstacles--trenches, fences, barbed wire, shell
holes, and ditches.  There they are practicing musketry and advancing
under cover.  In one place the artillery is in full swing, and in
another you hear the sputter of the machine guns.  In one section they
are taught to dig trenches and in another to take them.

Before a great advance where a system of trenches is to be taken, a
"rehearsal" often takes place.  From a height of thousands of feet
above the lines the aircraft with powerful telescopic cameras
photograph every foot of the battlefield covered by the enemy's lines.
These photographs are developed and studied and diagrams drawn from
them of the enemy's system of trenches.  These diagrams are reproduced
far behind the front in elaborately prepared earthwork and trenches
which are an exact replica of the enemy's lines.  The divisions which
are to take part in the attack are sent back to rehearse their exact
duties at just the point corresponding to that which they will have to
take.  Each officer knows every nook and crevice, each bay and angle of
the trenches he will have to capture.  When all is ready the men are
placed in their exact positions and they execute in reality what they
have rehearsed in theory behind the lines.  The lesson of preparedness
and organization is studied and mastered with infinite care.



CHAPTER IV

WITH THE BRITISH ARMY

I

In sheltered America we cannot realize what war means, but when we
entered the warring countries of Europe, in an instant we were in a
different atmosphere.  We landed in England upon a darkened coast, we
entered a darkened train, where every blind was drawn lest it furnish a
guide to London for invading Zeppelins or aeroplanes.  We passed
through gloomy towns and villages, where not a single light was showing
from a window, where every street lamp and railway station was darkened
or hidden.  Automobiles with a dim spark of light groped through the
black streets of the metropolis.

In London we saw a great Zeppelin brought down in flames.  It was a
sight never to be forgotten.  At half-past two in the morning we were
awakened by the roar of the anti-aircraft guns in and around the city.
After traveling all night from Germany, one Zeppelin had arrived over
London and a whole fleet of them was scattered over the coasts and
counties of England.

We sprang to the window and found the sky swept by a score of
searchlights with their great shafts of piercing light, shooting from
the dark depths of the city high into the sky, where they all converged
on a single bright object that hung nine thousand feet above us.  Long,
and shining like silver with its flashing aluminum, the Zeppelin seemed
held as if blinded by the fierce light.  Bombs were dropping from it
and explosions followed in rapid succession in the city beneath.

It was a battle to the death, high in the air with all London looking
on.  The guns were in full play and the shell and shrapnel were
bursting all about the Zeppelin.  Sometimes you could trace the whole
trajectory of a projectile, as a spark of light swept through the sky
toward the Zeppelin and then burst to the right or left, above or below
it.  Most of the shots seemed to go wide of the mark.  More than a
score of aeroplanes had been sent up to attack it, with one plane to
guide the rest and signal to the guns below by wireless or lights.  The
battle finally developed into a duel to the death between the machine
guns of the Zeppelin and Lieutenant Robinson of the Flying Corps, who
was up for two hours in his aeroplane after the enemy--one man fighting
for a city of five millions.  He attacked from below and bombs were
thrown at his plane; then he attacked from the side as he circled about
the monster, but he was driven off by their machine guns.  At last,
mounting high in the sky, he attacked from above.  The guide-plane
flashed down the signal for the guns to cease firing and give him a
chance.

For a few moments all was silent; the battle seemed to be over.  The
great airship, which had swung sharply to the left, was triumphantly
leaving for home.  Then it was that Robinson dropped his incendiary
bomb.  Suddenly there was an explosion.  A flame of burning gas leaped
into the sky.  London was lit up for ten miles round-about.  Our room
was instantly as bright as though a searchlight had flashed into the
window.  Far above us was the Zeppelin in flames.  Now it began to
sink--first it was in a blaze of white light, then its outline turned
to a dull red, finally it crumpled to a glowing cinder, sank from
sight, and fell crashing to the earth.  Then all was dark again.  Death
had fallen suddenly upon the men in the Zeppelin and upon some in the
sleeping city below.

As we drove through London we passed the draper's shop, near St. Paul's
Cathedral, where George Williams and a group of twelve young men met in
a little upper room on June 6, 1844, to organize the first Young Men's
Christian  Association.  A dozen young men with little wealth,
influence, or education might not seem a very formidable force, but
twelve men have upset the world and changed the course of history
before now.  They had only thirteen shillings, or $3.25, in the
treasury, and were too poor even to print and send out a circular
announcing their little organization.  But George Williams brought his
fist down on the table, with the confident words, "If this movement is
of God, the money will come."

It has come.  The twelve men have been multiplied now to a million and
a half, scattered in forty lands.  Girded with new strength and with
the dauntless optimism of youth, the movement has risen up to minister
not only to the millions of British and American soldiers and munition
workers, but also to the men in the camps, hospitals, or prisons in
most of the nations now at war.  The thirteen shillings have been
multiplied until now the permanent Y M C A buildings are worth over a
hundred million dollars.  An average of two new huts or centers have
been erected and opened by the British or American Associations every
day since war was declared; while two permanent buildings in brick or
stone rise each week in some part of the world.

Wars are the birth-pangs of new eras.  A new day dawned for the Young
Men's Christian Association with the present war.  At midnight on
August 4, 1914, the British Association as it had been for seventy
years was buried and forgotten, and a new movement arose on the ruins
of the old.  Ninety per cent of its former workers left to join the
colors, but a new army of over thirty thousand men and women was
mustered and trained within its huts for the service of the British
soldiers.  The Y M C A had suddenly to "think imperially," and to
minister to a world at war.

Seventy years ago George Williams was the man of the hour, but a leader
of the British war work of the Y M C A was found in the present crisis
in the person of Mr. A. K. Yapp, General Secretary of the National
Council of Great Britain, who has recently been knighted by virtue of
his distinguished service for the nation.  He had spent Sunday, August
second, in deep searching of heart and had caught a vision of what the
war would mean, and the opportunity that would be presented to an
organization that was interdenominational, international, readily
mobile, and adaptable enough instantly to meet a great national crisis.

Within a fortnight the British army and the whole British navy were
mobilized for war.  During that time the Y M C A was represented in
four-fifths of the camps of the territorial forces and 250 centers were
opened.  In six months 500 centers were occupied; at the end of the
first year there were 1,000, and after two years of the war 1,500 such
centers were in full swing.  The area of operations includes the
British Isles, Egypt, the Dardanelles, Malta, the Mediterranean ports,
India, Mesopotamia, East and South Africa, Canada, Australia, and out
to the last limits of Britain's far flung battle line.

The Y M C A has a strong homing instinct, aiming to provide "a home
away from home."  In the dugouts behind the trenches, in the deserts of
Egypt, or in the jungles of Africa, it has been forced to make a home
in every kind of shelter.  It was significant that its first three
successive dwelling places seventy years ago were a little bedroom, a
coffee house, and a room in a tavern.  During the present war, one may
see Associations in actual operation along the fighting line in France,
in a cowshed, a pigsty, a stable, a hop-house, dugouts under the earth;
in battered and ruined buildings in Flanders; in tents in the Sahara
and on the ancient Peninsula of Mt. Sinai; at the bases of the big
battle fleets; in the rest houses of the flying corps; on the Bourse in
Cairo; in hotels taken over in Switzerland and France, and in the great
Crystal Palace of London.  In four centers it has used and transformed
a brewery, a saloon, a theater, and a museum.  Its dwellings stretch
away from the tents of "Caesar's Camp," where the Roman Julius lauded
in 55 B. C., on the southern shores of Britain, to the far north, in
the new naval institute at Invergordon, erected for the sailors of the
Grand Fleet at a cost of more than $20,000.  They range from the
battered dugouts at the front in France to the Shakespeare hut in
London, costing more than $30,000.  They stretch from the rest huts of
the great metropolis, with sleeping and feeding accommodations for some
ten thousand men a day during the dangerous period of leave in London,
away to the hut in "Plug Street" Woods, recently blown to atoms by a
shell, where the secretary escaped by a few seconds and returned to
find literally nothing left save the rims of his spectacles and two
coins melted and fused together by the terrific heat of the explosion.
Several of the secretaries and workers have been killed by shell fire,
or in transit by torpedoes from submarines, while other Association men
have received the Victoria Cross for heroism in action.

Let us visit a typical hut to grasp the significance of its work, in
order that we may realize what is going on in the fifteen hundred
similar centers.  We are on the great Salisbury Plain, in the midst of
thirty miles square of weltering mud during the long winter months.  To
realize what a hut means to the men in such a place, we must understand
the unnatural situation created by the conditions of war.  Here are
multitudes of men far from home, shut out from the society of all good
women, taken away from their church and its surroundings, weary and wet
with marching and drilling, often lonely and dejected, in an atmosphere
of profanity and obscenity in the cheerless barrack rooms, and tempted
by the animal passions which are always loosed in war-time.  The men
need all the help we can give them now, and need it desperately.

Now can you measure just what a big warm hut means to these men as a
home, far away from home?  The red triangle at the entrance gleams
across the whole camp and stands for the three things the soldier most
needs.

It stands, in the first place, as a pledge for supplying the _physical
need_ of these hungry, lonely, and fiercely tempted men.  A dry
shelter, a warm fire, a cheerfully lighted room, the bursts of song,
and the hum of conversation make the men forget the wind and rain and
mud outside.  Supper and a hot cup of coffee satisfy their hunger.  On
the notice-board is the announcement of the outdoor sports, football
tournaments, and the games, where the thirty thousand men of the
division will compete in open contest on the coming Saturday, under the
direction of the Y M C A.  Whatever the soldier needs for his physical
life, whether it is to eat or to sleep, a bed in London, a cool drink
in the thirsty desert, or hot coffee in the trenches, it is furnished
for him by the Association.

The hut also provides for the soldier's _intellectual_ and social
needs.  The piano and the phonograph, the billiard tables, draughts and
chess boards, tables for games, library, and reading room keep him
busy; and the concerts, stimulating lectures, moving pictures,
educational classes, and debating societies provide him with
recreational and mental employment.

The far deeper _moral and spiritual needs_ of the soldier are also met.
As the evening draws to a close, one sees the secretary in his military
uniform stand up on the table; hats are off and heads are bowed at the
call for evening prayers, which are held here every night.  On Sunday
the parade services of the different denominations take place in turn
in the Association hut.  Weekly voluntary religious meetings are also
held.  At one end of the building is the "quiet room," where groups of
Christian soldiers can meet for Bible classes or for prayer.  At
regular intervals evangelistic meetings are held.  On our last night at
this hut, on a Sunday evening, twelve hundred men gathered to listen to
the Christian message.

Of the three bars of the triangle, it is this which stands at the top,
which unites the other two and which is the dominating factor of the
whole.  And yet nowhere is religion forced down the throats of the men.
Rather it is the aim to make it the unconscious atmosphere of the whole
hut.  It is a striking fact, to which every soldier will testify, that
while the language of the barrack room and beer canteen is often
reeking with the profane and the obscene, the whole tone of the
Association hut is entirely different.  As one soldier says: "You don't
realize the enormous difference of atmosphere between this and any
other place where soldiers congregate.  A man simply does not talk bad
language and filth here; he learns to control himself."  Thus the
threefold work of the Association stands for the whole man and for the
whole manhood of the nation.

In many ways the Y M C A hut seeks to meet the soldier's every need.

1. It is his _club_, where he meets his comrades and in the freedom and
friendship of the place forgets the irksome drill, the endless
restraints, and the stern discipline of military life.

2. As we have already seen, it is his _home_, the place where he writes
his letters and keeps in touch with his family and distant friends.
Nearly twenty million pieces of stationery are sent out free for the
soldiers each month from the London central office, and the sign of the
red triangle on the letter head brings weekly joy and cheer to the
broken circle in the distant home.  It is here that the lad is helped
to "keep the home fires burning" in his heart and to hold true to those
high ideals.  One little girl when visiting the Crystal Palace, upon
seeing the sign of the red triangle, said: "My daddy always makes that
mark on his letters when he writes to us at home."

3. It is his _church_, for out on the desert, or in the jungle, or at
the front, there is usually no other church building for religious
services.  The following is taken from a typical Sunday program in one
of the huts: "6:30 a. m., Roman Catholic Mass; 7:30 Nonconformist
service; 9:00 Anglican service; 2-3 p. m., Bible class; 6:4:5-8 United
Song Service."  Thus each denomination is allowed to have its own
service in its own way on Sunday morning, while the evening meeting is
interdenominational and open to all.

In one place where the young Hebrews were being sadly neglected and
were falling away from their former moral standards, the secretary
arranged with the Jewish rabbi to have a weekly service in the Y M C A
tent for his men.  It has been held ever since.  The Jews of the
neighboring city were so grateful that they started a campaign to raise
a fund of $10,000 for Y M C A huts.  The Rev. Michael Adler, the head
Jewish rabbi with the forces in France, has time and again expressed
his cordial appreciation of the help rendered to the men of his faith.
The doors of the Association will always remain open for men of all
creeds.  As wide as the needs of men, as broad as democracy, as unified
as humanity, and as tolerant as its Lord and Master, the movement will
ever aim to be.

4. The Association hut is the soldier's _school_.  Here his classes are
held.  A program taken at random from a single hut will show the scope
of a week's work: "Bible classes; religious services; lecture on The
Town Where We Are; lecture on South America; lantern lecture on Russia;
debating society; impromptu speeches; history class."

5. The Association hut is also his place of _rest_, and the shop where
he buys his supplies.  Here he can procure almost anything he needs
that is decent, and read anything that is wholesome.  Usually this hut
is the only clean place of recreation in the camp, and without it he is
left to choose between the cheerless tent and the beer canteen.

6. The Y M C A is the center of his _recreation_, and his entertainment
bureau.  Under the leadership of Miss Lena Ashwell and scores of
others, concerts and entertainment parties have been organized and have
toured continuously in France, Great Britain, Egypt, and the more
distant camps.  The six artists of each party are received with
tremendous enthusiasm and become the fast friends of Tommy Atkins.  One
writes: "Last time the party came here the press of men waiting on the
verandah to go into the second performance was so great that our brand
new verandah collapsed with the sound of a bomb explosion!  Luckily the
mass was so tightly packed that they fell through in a solid heap; no
one was hurt, and all were able to enjoy the concert thoroughly."

7. It is the soldier's _bank_, and his _postoffice_.  We were in one
hut alone where more than fifteen thousand dollars were on deposit in
the savings bank.  The sale of stamps in this hut amounts to fifteen
hundred dollars a month, and of postal orders for the remittance of
money home to more than four thousand dollars.  Every week an average
of 28,000 letters are written and posted in this one room, while
thousands more are received and handed to the men.

8. The Association is the soldier's _friend_ and tourist guide, while
he is visiting London, Paris, or the other great cities.  In some
places one table is set apart where a chaplain or secretary is always
on duty to help the soldiers make their wills, find out their trains to
London, answer their questions, or give them the friendly help they
need.

The Y M C A stands by the soldier to the last and even after he falls.
After the boy has fought his last fight and lies wounded or crippled or
dying in the hospital in France, it meets his parents and relatives and
provides for their entire stay in the country.  Each relative of the
wounded proceeding to France receives printed instructions from the War
Office that the Y M C A will meet all the boats and provide
transportation and accommodations for all who need it while at the
front.  Our friend, Mr. Geddes, broke down as he tried to tell us how
he and his wife had been met on the lonely shores of France by the Y M
C A secretary and motored quickly to the bedside of their dying son,
only to find that they were just too late.  The funeral was arranged,
even to the providing of flowers.  The last ministry was performed for
the young man away from home and for the loved ones left behind, under
the triangle that will forevermore be red.

Thus the Association is at once the soldier's club, his home, his
church, his school, his place of rest, his entertainment bureau, his
bank and postoffice, his tourist guide, and the friend that stands by
him and his bereaved parents at the last.  Fifteen hundred just such
huts and centers stretch away from Scotland to East Africa, from France
to Mesopotamia, from Egypt to India.  Could any other single
organization have met all these needs of the men under arms, mobilized
so quickly, united all denominations, entered all lands, and embraced
all forms of work secular and religious?

We conducted meetings for several months throughout the camps in the
British Isles.  At our last parade service with the brigade out in the
open field there were several thousand seated on the grass, with their
eight bands drawn up in front.  In every service the battle was on
between good and evil, between God and mammon, between sacrifice and
sin.

One night we visited the sailors' training camp.  It was a great
meeting, with two thousand of the sailor boys crowded in a big theater.
The concert was going on when we arrived and the jeers and yells of the
crowd drowned some of the voices of the performers; it was evident that
we were going to have a hard time to hold the audience.  Captain "Peg"
stepped to the stage and soon had them singing, "We'll Never Let the
Old Flag Fall."  Roars of applause followed and they clamored for more.
Out in the glare of the footlights and looking into that sea of faces,
we began to fight for that audience.  There were two thousand tempted
men whom we should never see again.  In five minutes the whole theater
was hushed--you could hear a pin drop.  After half an hour the meeting
was interrupted by the noise of the band outside.  Surely the men will
bolt and leave the meeting.  We said to them: "Boys, there is the band.
Let everybody go now who wants to go!  We are going on.  Every man that
wants to make the fight for character, the fight for purity with the
help of Jesus Christ, stay with us here."  There was a shout from the
audience, and not a man left the theater.  The band thundered on, but
the crowd was with us now, and the hopes of hundreds of hearts for the
things that are eternal surged to the surface.  Several hundred men
signed the War Roll, pledging their allegiance to the Lord Jesus
Christ.  One sailor boy came up to thank us, saying that he had all but
fallen the week before; and simply for the lack of a sixpence he had
been saved from sin.  With God's help he would now live for Christ.
Another came up who had been drinking heavily and had quarreled with
his wife.  He did not have the price of a postage stamp to write to
her.  He wanted to know how he could be saved from drink.  Man after
man came forward, hungry for human help and longing for a better life.

[Illustration: Harry Lauder Singing at a Y. M. C. A. Meeting.  The
Officer seated at the extreme right is Captain "Peg."]

On another occasion we were with the army of Australian and New Zealand
troops, as they were marching by the King at their last review before
going to the front.  Fortunately, we had secured standing room near the
King's side, where we could watch every smile and action as he saluted
each passing battalion, and we could even hear him speak a kind word
now and then to some officer.  There were generals to the right of us
and to the left of us, colonels, majors, captains, officers of every
rank, and prominent civilians; but the greatest man on that field was
the soldier himself.  With what a swing those clean-cut young
Australian boys marched past; every man was a volunteer and part of
that great first army of over four millions of men who came forward for
the defense of the Empire without conscription.

Hundreds were playing in the massed bands, as the long file of men
marched by.  But time and again the firm columns seemed to fade before
us, and we could not see them for tears, as we realized that many of
these brave boys were going forward to die for us.  Above, a great
aeroplane was looping the loop and warplanes were darting to and fro.

Away on the horizon stood the great boulders of Stonehenge, erected
long before the time of the Saxons, the Britons, or even the ancient
Druids, by the sun-worshippers, who offered their human sacrifices on
the ancient altar there nearly forty centuries before.  We looked at
those stones, where through a mistaken conception of God and an
inadequate conception of man, human sacrifices were offered long ago.
Suddenly we heard the crack of the rifles of a body of troops at
practice, moving forward in open line of battle.  Today, through a
mistaken conception of God and a low conception of man, over 5,000,000
of men have already been killed, offered in human sacrifice; while many
millions in lands devastated are homeless, starving, or ruined in body
or soul--these are part of the offering, forced upon humanity by a
godless materialism, while a divided Christian Church stands by
impotent.


II

Let us now visit Egypt where we shall witness very different scenes.
Away on the distant horizon are the two triangular points, which grow
as we approach into the outlines of the great pyramids.  Beyond are the
fifty-eight centers which have risen along the banks of the Nile, in
the metropolis of Cairo, and in the harbors of Port Said and
Alexandria, and which line the Suez Canal and dot the desert even out
into the peninsula of Mt. Sinai.  The sun is setting as we climb the
great pyramid, which stands a silent witness to forty centuries of
history which have ebbed and flowed at its base, but surely no stranger
sight has it ever seen than these armed camps about it, engaged in this
titanic struggle of the world.  Away to the south towards far Khartoum,
like a green ribbon in the yellow desert, stretches the irrigated basin
of the Nile.  Beyond it is the bottomless burning sand of the Sahara.

Here on the site of Napoleon's ancient battlefield is the largest
concentration camp in Egypt.  The white tents of the Australasians
shelter a population as numerous as many a city, with three Association
buildings for the men.  From out the great pyramid there is a constant
stream of soldiers passing to and fro.  And there under the shadow of
the Sphinx are two more Y M C A huts.  Jessop, the former secretary at
Washington, has been in charge here, with a large staff of secretaries
from Australia and New Zealand.  General Sir Archibald Murray, in
command of the Egyptian Expeditionary Forces, says: "First of all, the
men must have mess huts; then we want the Y M C A."

Cairo is the throbbing center of Egypt's life, where vice does not lurk
in secret, but flaunts itself in open effrontery.  Our secretaries have
been at work there in the long lines of men that stand outside the
places of vice, handing them Testaments and urging them to come away.
The Y M C A has taken over a large amusement center in the Ezbekieh
Gardens in the very heart of Cairo; and in spite of the public saloon
nearby, with its attraction of music and wine, from two hundred to two
thousand men are constantly thronging the Association rooms.  The
attractive equipment of a garden, an open-air theater, a skating rink,
baths, supper counters, and a meeting place, but most of all the
personal touch of the two earnest secretaries, make the whole work
effective.  The Association has also rented the spacious Bourse, where
it houses several hundred men who are in the city on short leave, while
its lobby is used for concerts and entertainments.  During the last
action five of the Y M C A huts on the Canal Zone were under fire.  But
there is no day passes but that the men under canvas in this hot land
of Egypt are under fire from temptations more deadly than Turkish
bullets.

Leaving Egypt, we passed over the hot and stifling Red Sea, across the
Indian Ocean, toward the sunny plains of India.  Away from the snowy
ridge of the Himalayas, down across the bare plains of the north and
the rice fields and cocoa-nut palms of the tropic south, India lies
like a vast continent, embracing one-fifth of the human race.  It was
held before the war by some 75,000 British and twice as many Indian
troops.  The numbers are completely altered now.  Almost the whole
regular force, both Indian and British, are away  fighting in
Mesopotamia, East Africa, France, and Egypt, while a new territorial
force of Kitchener's army of London clerks and English civilians has
taken its place.

One hundred and fifty secretaries in India were ready upon the outbreak
of the war.  All across India the Y M C A has opened huts, buildings,
or tents for the territorial and other forces.[1]  A writer in the
Journal of the Royal Sussex Regiment, at Bangalore, said: "Somehow the
very letters, Y M C A have gathered to themselves an implication of
comfort, pleasure, and welcome; we instinctively feel among friends."

We visited one night the great tent generously given by the Viceroy for
the work of the territorials in Delhi.  General Sir Percy Lake took the
chair and the men gathered in the large marquee for the meeting.
Sherwood Day, of Yale, had been in charge of this work during the
winter, providing a home for the men of the territorials in this
ancient Indian capital.  A series of lectures by leading Indians served
to interpret Indian life and thought to these soldiers, who were seeing
at once the needs and greatness of the Indian Empire at first hand,
while leading Indian Christians of the type of Mr. K. T. Paul, Dr.
Datta, and Bishop Azariah told them the fascinating story of Indian
missions and the history of Christianity in Asia.  A new sense of race
brotherhood is taking the place of the old antagonism and prejudice,
and Indian secretaries stationed with English Tommies have become
exceedingly popular with them.

From India as a base, the Association has gone forward with the
advancing columns into Mesopotamia and East Africa.  As we cross the
Persian Gulf and follow the winding courses of the Tigris and the
Euphrates up into the heart of Mesopotamia, we find a group of
Princeton men and some sixty secretaries stationed here with the
troops, under Leonard Dixon of Canada.  The men affectionately call him
the "padre"; anyone who has ever boxed with Dixon and felt the force of
his right, knows that he is a man who has both drive and "punch."  The
troops in Mesopotamia have been fighting often under terrible
conditions, marching through ooze and slime, drinking the yellow
unfiltered water, decimated by the attacks both of sickness and of the
enemy.  In summer the alkali dust lies four inches deep on the floors
of their tents, and the thermometer stands at 120 degrees in the sultry
shade.  Dixon racked his brain to provide recreation and helpful
entertainment for these hard fighting men.  A bioscope, competitive
concerts, a Christmas tree, a New Year's treat, football and hockey
tournaments, and entertainments of various kinds have been improvised
to make the men forget the awful hardship of the march and of the
battle.  On Sunday the writing tables are full from dawn till dark and
tons of stationery have been used to keep these men in touch with their
distant homes.

The secretaries have been kept busy handling the big convoys of wounded
as they come down the rivers in the boats from the fighting at the
front.  One colonel got up from his sick bed to give his testimony
unasked as to what the work of the Association had meant to these
wounded men.  He said that it was not only the big kettles of hot
coffee and the caldrons of soup which the secretaries brought aboard
the boats, not only the warm blankets, beef tea, and other comforts
which had helped the men so much, but the fact that when those men
entered that barge with its weight of human suffering and misery, it
seemed that the touch of Another hand unseen was resting on the hot
brow and feverish pulse of those wounded soldiers.

Bovia McLain, an American secretary, gives us a glimpse of a night on a
hospital barge, with a cold wind and rain-storm sweeping down the
river.  The canvas tarpaulin began to leak like a sieve and most of the
wounded were cold and drenched to the skin.  Soon the men were lying
not only under wet blankets, but actually in two or three inches of
water on the undrained decks.  They were packed in like sardines,
without pillows or comforts.  "The whole thing was ghastly and
terrible.  Men wanted to change their position or have a broken limb
slightly moved, and a dozen other wants seemed to demand attention all
at once.  At times I felt the strain so that it seemed to me I could
not control myself longer, but must break down and weep, it was so
appalling."  After the men had been made comfortable, the workers were
ready in the morning with supplies of chocolate and tobacco and other
luxuries.  It is no wonder that up at the front when the secretary
invites the men to remain for evening prayers sometimes nearly the
whole battalion stays, and one can understand the new interpretation
given by some soldiers to the letters Y. M. C. A.--"You Make
Christianity Attractive."

When the war broke out the Association was ready to enter Africa also.
With the first contingent of 60,000 South African troops a number of Y
M C A secretaries were sent.  They erected large marquees in local
training camps, and there prepared the way for the even greater
opportunity which was to follow in the East African campaign under the
Northern Army.  The military authorities cabled the Association
headquarters at Calcutta, offering to hand over the army canteens of
East Africa to the Y M C A and to cut out liquor if the Association
would take them over and be responsible for the welfare work among the
troops, looking after their physical, social, and moral needs.
Instantly, Mr. E. C. Carter, the National Secretary of India, cabled
back accepting the offer.

The first score of men were sent over to open up nineteen centers with
the advancing column in the jungles of Africa.  The 20,000 troops were
then occupying Swakopmund, a desolate little town surrounded by a sea
of burning sand.  There were no trees, not a blade of grass, nor even
the song of a solitary bird to relieve the monotony.  The men called it
"the land of sin, sand, sorrow, and sore eyes."  Soon, however, the
large hall of the Faber Hotel was procured, with accommodations for a
thousand men.  It became the social center of the whole camp.  So
popular was the place that the men fairly fought and struggled to get
into the building.  Every night at 7:30 the war telegrams were read,
and as it was the only way to hear the news from the front, each tent
appointed one man to be at the Y M C A at that hour.  On the occasion
of the opening of the work, one man wrote home: "Two great events have
happened today--the Y M C A has commenced and I have had a bath."  The
story will never be written as to what the Association meant in the
hearts of those men who laid down their lives fighting in East Africa.
On the cross at the head of every grave in one section of the dark
continent is the sentence: "Tell England, ye that pass by, that we who
lie here, rest content."  Thus, from Cairo in the north, from
Swakopmund in the east, clear to Cape Town in the south, the red
triangle has followed the army to its last outposts.  Space will not
permit us to describe the huts which have been opened at Salonica, the
twelve centers at Malta, and others dotted along the ports of the
Mediterranean.


III

A new development has now been undertaken by the Association among the
thousands in the munition works in Great Britain.  With the whole
nation organized for war, there are millions of workers busily engaged
on ten and twelve hour shifts, turning out that steady stream of
munitions which must ever flow up to the guns at the front, to supply
the army fighting there.  Here are men and women without the excitement
and the adventure of the front, toiling all day under a strain, far
removed from home, congested in unattractive surroundings, and it is of
the utmost importance that these workers be kept healthful and happy.

We motored down one afternoon to see the work that is going on in the
great arsenal at Woolwich.  Outside, where a year ago were orchards and
pastures, are long rows of permanent buildings which have sprung up on
every side.  To meet this situation the Y M C A has within recent
months erected more than a hundred huts in the different munition
centers, which can provide meals for thousands of tired workers.  These
huts have already placed the Association in touch with half a million
workers.  In the first hut we visited, three thousand of them were
seated at meals in two relays, while two thousand soldiers were
accommodated in the hut during the afternoon and evening.  A platform
at one end had been put up for musical concerts and entertainments.
The price of meals varies from twelve to twenty-five cents.  Lady Henry
Grosvenor and other leaders have marshalled a force of fifteen hundred
voluntary workers in this group of huts.

So appreciative has the government been of this new development, that
in addition to providing their own government welfare workers to look
after the women and girls, they are permitting the munitions
manufacturers to build new Y M C A huts at government expense for the
accommodation of the men.  We passed down long rows of dormitories,
erected almost in a night, where thousands of weary workers were
sleeping during the day, preparing for their night shift.  It was
almost a sad sight to see whole huts filled with hundreds of boys from
fourteen to sixteen years of age, all sound asleep at midday.  The
secretaries look after these boys in their rest and play and provide
healthful surroundings, a clean moral atmosphere, and attractive
religious influences.

The Young Women's Christian Association has entered the open door for
work among the women.  In one place where a young girl from the country
had been led astray by the temptations of this new and monotonous life
and had committed suicide, the Young Women's Christian Association has
erected a large hut to provide for the moral welfare of thousands of
other girls faced by the same temptations.  Oh, the dreary drudgery
that faces these tired women!

  "Rattle and clatter and clank and whirr,
  And thousands of wheels a-spinning--
  Oh, it's dreary work and it's weary work,
  But none of us all will fail or shirk;
  Not women's work--that should make, not mar,
  But the Devil drives when the world's at war;
  And it's long and long the day is."

The Y W C A has adopted the sign of the blue triangle, to distinguish
it from the red triangle of the Y M C A.  The huts bore the touch of
deft women's hands in the decorations, flowers, and signs of cheer and
comfort which the ladies have provided for these hard worked girls.
Before the huts were erected some girls had to sleep in the streets all
night in the unsanitary communities about the works.

Both the government authorities and the Association workers have seen a
large open door for social service among these millions of munition
workers.  For the work here is permanent.  These great buildings will
remain as manufacturing centers of some kind after the war.  The huts
will still be occupied.  Already a new and growing body of legislation
is being introduced to improve the conditions of the toilers of old
England.

It is little wonder that the whole nation has responded to this work so
boldly undertaken on such a large scale.  From the first gifts have
been pouring in unsolicited.  His Majesty the King, patron of the Young
Men's Christian Association in Britain, has inspected many of the
buildings, and sent in his contribution, with the following note: "His
Majesty congratulates the Association on the successful results of its
War work, which has done everything conducive to the comfort and
well-being of the armies, supplying the special and peculiar needs of
men drawn from countries so different and so distant.  It has worked in
a practical, economical, and unostentatious manner, with consummate
knowledge of those with whom it has to deal.  At the same time the
Association, by its spirit of discipline, has earned the respect and
approbation of the Military Authorities."

The Queen Mother donated the Alexandra Hut in London, which makes
provision for the accommodation of soldiers on leave in the city.  She
was seen recently serving tea behind the counter in the Association hut
to the happy Tommies who had come back strained and tired from the
front to "Blighty" once more.  The Princess Victoria has been most
tireless in opening Y M C A huts, and has given unsparingly of her time
and effort for the men.

No one has been more appreciative than the military authorities
themselves.  Lord Roberts, four days before his death, wrote expressing
his appreciation of the work being accomplished.  His secretary adds:
"He hears on all sides nothing but praise for what the Y M C A is doing
at the camps."  Lord Kitchener, who had inspected the huts of the
Association in England, France, and Egypt, wrote: "From the first the Y
M C A gained my confidence, and now I find they have earned my
admiration and gratitude."  Mr. Asquith, when Prime Minister, after
visiting the Association huts and attending the religious meetings
said: "The Y M C A is the greatest thing in Europe."  Lloyd George, the
present Premier, said recently: "I congratulate the Y M C A.  Wherever
I go I hear nothing but good of the work they are doing throughout the
country, and we owe them a very deep debt of gratitude."


[1] In addition to the existing work at Bangalore, Maymyo, and Poona,
Association privileges have been provided for soldiers in Lahore,
Delhi, Multan, Forozepore, Jhansi, Lucknow, Mhow, Trimulgherry,
Jubbulpore, Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Ahmednagar, Rangoon, Dalhousie,
Naini Tal, Karachi, Allahabad, and Jutogh.



CHAPTER V

LIFE IN A BASE CAMP

The man who inaugurated Y M C A army work in France was Joseph Callan.
In 1903 he became a secretary of the International Committee in
Allahabad, North India, and later in Colombo.  Ten years ago in
Bangalore he began his wonderful work for soldiers, which, in time, was
to set the pace and furnish the standard for the Association work of
the present war.

When the British troops were out in camp, Callan opened his big Y M C A
tent and beat the army canteen in open competition, so that at the end
of the maneuvers the contractors had to haul back much of the liquor
unsold.  While the canteen was being drained of men, Callan was running
a full show almost every evening.  He had powerful arc lights placed
over the athletic field, and night after night tournaments were played
off, company against company, regiment against regiment, until the
closing hour of the canteen had passed.  Lectures, moving pictures, and
concerts were followed by straight religious meetings, with lasting
results.  The cooperation of the Bishop, clergy, and chaplains, helped
to relate permanently these results to the Church.

As soon as the commanding officers saw the value of this work, they
began to cooperate and insisted upon its being carried on in every
camp.  In the great maneuvers at Dacca, Callan was invited to Bengal to
run the institutional work for the troops at the expense of the
government, which he did with striking results.  Each success made the
work known to a widening circle of officers and men.

When the war broke out, Callan and Carter approached the Viceroy and
Commander-in-Chief to ask if they could serve the Indian Army as it was
to start as an expeditionary force to France.  Since the Mutiny of
1857, with its religious superstition and prejudice about the greased
cartridges, etc., no Christian work had been permitted in the Indian
Army.  Finally, however, permission was given to the Association to
begin work with the troops before embarkation.  Upon arrival in Bombay,
our secretaries called upon the Commanding Officer, who had wired to
the General at Headquarters to know what he could do to hold his
discontented troops together in the flooded and crowded quarters about
the docks.  The general had just wired, "Consult the Y M C A and ask
them to send for their army department."  He had known of Callan's work
at Bangalore, Dacca, and other centers, and believed it would supply
just the missing link with the dissatisfied men.  When our secretaries
called, the Colonel had just received the telegram and was prepared to
give them a chance to see what they could do for the troops.

Within twenty-four hours a work was organized which kept the sepoys
occupied for all their leisure time.  Football and hockey and outdoor
athletics, excursions down the harbor, sea bathing, lectures, and
entertainments were soon in full swing.  This was the first work of the
kind ever done for the Indian Army.  So instantly and obviously
invaluable did it become that the Commanding Officer insisted that the
secretaries should accompany the troops on the long and much dreaded
trip to France, which was a bold and untried venture for Indian
soldiers.

It was a historic event when that great fleet of some seventy-five
ships, the largest assembled since the Spanish Armada, freighted with
about 25,000 troops bound for France, East Africa, and Persia, weighed
anchor, and sailed out of Bombay harbor with the first twelve Y M C A
secretaries on board.  Arrived in France, permission was finally
obtained from the Commander-in-Chief to land and begin work on French
soil.

Here the moral problem made the work of the Association a crying
necessity.  Soon there were some 25,000 Indian troops concentrated
around Marseilles.  These men could neither safely be let out of bounds
nor kept contented within bounds.  A cordon of troops around the camp
could not keep vice out.  The Y M C A was needed as a counter
attraction.  Upon an outbreak of drinking and immorality on the part of
a group of Sikh soldiers, the whole garrison was called out to witness
these men stripped and flogged in exemplary punishment.  The Sikhs felt
this to be such a public disgrace that they asked for the use of the Y
M C A hut in which to hold a council meeting.  They finally decided to
ask one of the secretaries to address the whole body of Sikhs on the
subject of intemperance and impurity, for the Association was already
tacitly recognized by all as the dominant moral force in the camp.

One of the Indian secretaries, Mr. Roy, addressed the soldiers at their
own request for an hour and a half, and a remarkable scene of
repentance was witnessed.  Men arose on all hands, confessing their
sins in respect to these two special failings and requested that
penalties be imposed upon them by their own priest in accordance with
the custom of their religion, as a punishment for the past and as a
guarantee for the future.  For nearly two hours the men filed by their
priest receiving penalties.  Later on they held a service of their own
in the Y M C A hut on Christmas day and took up a large collection of
copper coins as a thank-offering to the Association.  They felt that it
had been their one friend in a strange land.

It should be clearly understood, however, that of necessity, in the
very nature of the case, the Government of India imposed upon the
secretaries the strict obligation of silence regarding the propagation
of Christianity.  They entered the work on the understanding that the
men could live out the spirit of Christ and express it in silent
ministry under the motive of Christian love.

It was striking to see how much real Christianity could be packed into
_life_ when speech was forbidden.  The pent-up prayer and love and
sympathy of the workers was forced into the single channel of silent
service.  It reminded one of those thirty years in our Lord's life, in
simple secular toil, which could only minister to the needs of men over
a carpenter's bench.

It is no small task to undertake to occupy all the leisure time of
25,000 men far from home, shut up in irksome camps, easily aroused by
rumor or superstition.  The numbers increased until there were finally
some 50,000 men to be cared for.  Athletic fields were secured and
games were started.  Football and hockey were more played by the
Indians than by the British troops.  Badminton and volley ball, races
and track events, were also useful.  Indoor games, the gramophone,
cinemas and concerts, and especially Indian dramas, were popular in the
evening.  Lectures on geography, history, and moral subjects were well
attended, and French classes were of practical benefit.

An incalculable service has also been rendered in writing letters for
the great mass of ignorant soldiers to their families in the far-off
Indian villages, miles away from a railway.  Illiteracy, superstition,
and false rumors existed at both ends of the line.  Here is a man who
has had no word from home since he left a year or more ago.  He hears a
baseless rumor or heeds some inborn fear that his child is sick, or his
wife unfaithful, or that he has been cheated out of his property.
Hundreds of homesick men whose whole lives have been bound up in the
family circle pour in upon the secretaries, begging that they will
write letters home for them.  Here you may see six or eight secretaries
writing for hours each day, as fast as the men can dictate their
messages and tell their stories.

Then there arose the problem of how to keep these men in touch with
their households in isolated and illiterate villages in India.  Mr.
Hume, one of the secretaries in Lahore, devised a far-reaching plan
whereby every letter was forwarded through missionaries or Christian
workers or officials to the distant home of the soldier.  The whole
community gathers to hear the news from the Indian regiment on the
other side of the world, and a shout goes up from the village street
when they learn that their brave Sepoy is not dead, as rumor had
whispered.  A message is sent back in eager gratitude from the wife,
children, and neighbors, and from the united heart of the little
village to the distant soldier and his fighting comrades.  The Red
Triangle has spanned the gulf from the winter cold and the dreary
trenches in France to the little village on the plains of sunny India,
and the grateful hearts at both ends somehow dimly know that all this
silent ministry is in the name of the White Comrade who is the Friend
of man.

Here in France the hut must stand as the friendly home that gathers up
all the best traditions of Indian life.  It takes the place of the
banyan tree in the heat of the day, the village well, and the meeting
place for the men in the cool of the evening.  Even beyond all hopes it
has proved a potent factor for unity, harmony, and peace in a time of
unrest.  It draws the British officers and the Indian men closer
together, and the Indian secretaries have served time and again as the
mediators between the two, who could so easily have misunderstood each
other.  It provides a common meeting place between the caste-ridden and
divided Indians themselves, who had no other ground of unity.

Here are men of different languages and races and traditions, from the
Gurkhas, the brave little hill men, to the stalwart Pathans, who come
as fighting men from far beyond the borders of India for the sheer joy
of battle.  The chances for supposed loot in the fabled wealth of the
West and the accumulation of merit by slaying the "unbelievers" of the
enemy, prove an added attraction to men born and bred in border
warfare.  Here also are men of three separate creeds, who have often
fought with one another over the issues of their faiths--the big
bearded Sikhs, with a soldier's religion, the warlike Mohammedans, who
fight according to their Koran, and the caste-ridden Hindus.

As you walk among the tents the smoke of the fires hangs heavy over the
camp; there is the familiar sound of the bubbling rice pots, the smell
of pungent curry, the babel of many oriental tongues, and you seem to
be back in the very heart of India itself.  We gather with the reverent
Sikhs for their religious worship.  They meet morning and evening for
their prayer service, and turn out almost in a body for the weekly
Sunday meeting.  The service consists principally of singing and the
reading of their sacred scripture, the Granth.  Seated on the ground,
the men show deep reverence, and seem to have a sense of the presence
of God in their midst.  Their religion has a real restraining influence
and there is at present little immorality amongst them.

A little further on in the camp one comes upon an improvised Mohammedan
mosque.  Five times a day a devout soldier calls the faithful to
prayer, and on Friday about three-fourths of them come out to their
voluntary service.  The Hindus, on the other hand, dependent upon
ceremonial rites, without their temple or priest and with no organized
public worship, have not a religion which holds them in such a vital
grip in this distant land.

As you pass down the camp, the band is playing for the draft that is
marching off to take its place in the trenches.  The last good-bys are
being said and little groups are round the secretaries.  The stalwart
Sikhs are wringing their hands or kneeling down to wipe the dust from
their shoes, or thanking them with tears of gratitude.  They are great
child-like men, simple of heart, affectionate, but lonely and homesick
in a distant land.  Here is a man who was once a hard drinker, living
an immoral life, but today he is keeping straight.  Here is another who
has resolved to go back to India to lead a different life.  There were
tears in the eyes of the secretaries themselves as they came back after
bidding good-by to the draft, and there was compensation after long
months of service in the gratitude of the men and in that inner voice
which says, "I was a stranger and ye took me in."

After Callan had launched the work among the Indian troops, he was
called upon to open up the work at a large British base camp behind the
lines in France.  Here, beside the vast drill ground where Napoleon
used to marshal his troops, is a white city of tents, and between
100,000 and 200,000 men are always encamped there for training.

Life in the trenches for the moment drives men to God, but the life in
a base camp is one of fierce and insidious temptation.  To hold the men
in the face of such temptations, Callan has erected his buildings in
the thirty principal centers of this base.  Here is a typical hut
before us, built of plain pine boards, 120 feet long and 60 feet broad.
It accommodates from 2,000 to 3,000 men a day and is used by
three-fourths of the men in the camp, by practically all, in fact,
except those who are confined to their hospital beds.  These thirty
huts will be filled all winter with an average of 60,000 men a day.
Each night at least 15,000 men will be gathered in meetings, lectures,
and healthy entertainments.  Twice each week there are 12,000 men in
attendance at religious meetings, and not a week passes without
hundreds of decisions being made for the Christian life.  In the course
of the year a million men will pass through these camps, or one-sixth
of the manhood of the nation now marshalled under arms.  These are the
men who are to be made or marred by life in the army, and who will go
back to build the new empire in the great era of reconstruction that is
to follow the war.

[Illustrations: Wholesome and Entertaining; Home Refreshments in
London.]

To minister to these 60,000 men who daily crowd these thirty huts,
there are 167 workers sent over from England, 100 of them men and 67 of
them women.  The latter are nearly all self-supporting and not only
receive no salary but pay all their own expenses.  The self-sacrificing
toil of these helpers, who form part of a vast army of 30,000 heroic
women who are voluntarily serving without compensation in the
Associations of England and France, is beyond all praise.  Their very
presence in the camps is the greatest single moral factor for the
creation of that indefinable atmosphere which pervades every hut.  Even
rude and coarse men never think of swearing or speaking an indecent
word within these walls.  Nor do they forget to be grateful for the
tireless service of these women, who stand for hours day and night
serving them and providing for their physical necessities.  The women
workers are under the direction of Lady Rodney, who has had four sons
fighting at the front, one of whom has already fallen in action.  The
men have been thrilled and moved to the depths as Lady Rodney has
addressed them on "What Are We Fighting For?" and by her message to the
men from the women at home.  Several hundred of the choicest women of
America will be needed for service among our own troops.  They should
be women who can stand for the whole principle of the red triangle.
They must be ready for tireless and exhausting physical service, able
to work with others without friction, prepared to meet the social needs
of the men and to give a sympathetic hearing to the tales that will be
poured into their ears, but above all they must be able to give a
definite Christian message to men fiercely tempted and beset by doubts
and difficulties.  The soldier cannot live by bread alone, nor by the
tea and coffee of a Y M C A counter; he needs God, and the friendship
of good women, and the spirit of home which they carry with them.

The hundred men who are working in these thirty British huts are worthy
of note.  A score of them are clergymen, who have resigned their
churches for the period of the war.  Many others are well-known
ministers, laymen, or professors who have come over for a period of
several months of service.  The list of the men who have been serving
here contains many distinguished names.  There is Professor Burkett,
the New Testament scholar of Cambridge, in charge of one of the huts;
Professor Bateson, the great biologist of Cambridge, who has been
lecturing on his subject, and who was swept off his feet by the
response which he received from the troops.  He stated that he was able
to learn more from these men than in months of research in his
laboratory, where he had been shut up for most of his life.  Professor
Holland Rose, also of Cambridge, has been lecturing to the troops on
European history, interpreting the war to the soldier.  Professor Oman,
of the same university, has been dealing in his lectures with the
historical problems of the war.  Rev. E. A. Burroughs, of Oxford, has
been giving religious lectures.  Principal D. S. Cairns, of Aberdeen,
has had crowded meetings night after night for his apologetic lectures,
and the questions raised in the open discussions would make one think
he was in a theological seminary.  Principal Kitchie, of Nottingham,
has been lecturing on European history and the Balkan situation.
Bishop Knight is giving his time seven days a week to looking after the
spiritual and ecclesiastical needs of the men, as many seek
confirmation and partake of the Holy Communion before going up to the
front.  Here are Scotch ministers, Anglican clergymen, and laymen,
working side by side in a great ministry of service.

A series of missionary lectures has helped to give the men a new world
view of Christianity.  It has lifted the simple villager, and the man
who has never known anything save the narrow ruts of his own
denomination, above the petty interests and divisions of his former
life to face world problems and the wide extension of the Kingdom of
God.  Four lecturers have followed each other to present a great world
view to the men in these thirty huts: Butcher of New Guinea showed the
effect of the impact of the Gospel upon primitive native races;
Farquhar of India showed the power of Christianity over the great
ethnic religions of India; Lord Wm. Gascoyne Cecil came next on the
transformation of China, and was followed by Dennis of Madagascar and
Dr. Datta, a living witness of the power of Christianity in the great
Indian empire.  John McNeill and Gipsy Smith, the well-known
evangelists, have spoken to thousands and have brought the challenge of
the Christian Gospel to the men, calling upon them for decisions and a
change of life in harmony with the teachings of Christ.

Here are some of the finest spirits of England, some of its
intellectual and spiritual leaders, brought into daily contact with the
manhood of the nation in this formative period and epoch-making crisis.
Before us hangs the program for the week.  It looks like the schedule
of classes and lectures for some great university.  It is drawn up in
seven columns for the seven days of the week, and includes a score of
centers, with an average of three events for each hut per day.  It
would cover several closely printed pages.  Here are some of the events
scheduled for a single night:

Hut No. 1, lecture on "The Meaning of Christianity," by Mr. A. D. Mann;
choir rehearsal; devotional meeting.  No. 2, Rev. Butcher of New
Guinea, lecture on "The Failure of Civilization"; French class; Clean
Talk League.  No. 3, lecture by Lord Wm. Cecil on China; French class;
hobby class.  No. 4, cavalry band orchestra; Communion Service; evening
prayers.  No. 5, Lena Ashwell Concert Party from London.  No. 6, Rev.
N. H. M. Aitken, Bible lecture and discussion; orchestral band.  No. 7,
concert party; general hospital show.  No. 8, lecture on Napoleon by
Mr. Perkins; Mrs. Luard's concert party.  No. 9, concert given by the
men of the auxiliary park camp; draughts tournament.  No. 10, religious
discussion class; Lord Wm. Cecil; service conducted by Chaplain Berry.
No. 11, Professor Thos. Welsh's Bible class; mid-week rally.  No. 12,
fretwork and carpentry class; games; letter writing.  No. 13, mid-week
service; Bible class; letter writing.  No. 14, cinema show; indoor
games.  No. 15, lantern lecture on "India in the Trenches."  No. 16,
ladies' concert party; Hindi and Urdu classes; letter writing; games.
All of this covers only the program for half of the huts on a single
night!

Principal Fraser, of Ceylon and Uganda, but equally conversant with
present-day problems in Britain, has been conducting a weekly
parliament in different camps on the great questions of reconstruction
after the war.  For here are men away from home, lifted above the toil
and narrow drudgery of their former cramped lives, and they have
learned to think.

There is evidence of wide industrial and social unrest.  The men are
conscious not only of world wrongs which threaten their country from
without, but of wrongs within as well, and they are going to demand
that these wrongs shall be righted.  A deep tide of feeling runs
through the audience, as these men, blunt of speech but clear of brain,
openly and frankly discuss the future, and they hang eagerly upon the
words of Principal Fraser as he guides their thought to higher ideals
for the period of reconstruction that is to follow.

One night they are discussing the present social order, and what is
wrong with it; they are dealing with bad housing, employment, low
wages, the cleavage between the rich and the poor, industrial
oppression, and social injustice.  The next night they consider the
dangers of demobilization.  What will be the effect upon hundreds of
thousands of women workers?  Here are more than five million soldiers
in the army, and a large number of men and women, boys and girls,
working on government orders.  What steps must be taken to minimize the
dislocation of industry and to prevent unemployment?  On the night
following, they discuss the question of industrial reorganization.
They resolve that "the time has come, as the only means of averting
social disaster, to grant a constitution to the factory, and quite
frankly to recognize and insist that the conditions of employment are
not matters to be settled by the employer alone, any more than by the
workmen alone, but in joint conference between them; and not even for
each establishment alone, but subject to the National Common Rules
arrived at for the whole industry by the organized employers and
employed, in consultation with the representatives of the community as
a whole."

At the next parliament they discuss the future of education in England.
What should be its aim, how far should it be technical, and how far
should it aim at the development of personality?  Should the
school-leaving age be raised to fifteen, or half-time education be
given up to the age of eighteen?  One night in the parliament they
discuss the problem of drink and the war; on another night, gambling;
and on another, the social evil.  The men who attend the lectures and
parliaments of these camps will almost get a liberal education during
the three years.

We have spoken of the vast work going on in the thirty huts conducted
by 167 workers in this single base camp.  Let us now pass into a
typical center and observe the work a little more in detail.  For our
first illustration, let us take the Y M C A hut in the Convalescent
Camp.  We select this because it is the model of the new huts for the
American army which are now being constructed.  It is a moving sight
simply to step inside its doors.  Here are two parallel structures of
simple pine boards, each 120 by 30 feet.  They may be used separately,
in eight different departments, including the lecture hall which will
seat 500, or with the partitions raised they may be thrown into one
large audience hall, holding 1,200 men.

A glance at the crowd within, or at the great city of white tents
without, shows that even this building is utterly inadequate for this
convalescent camp holding 4,000 men.  It is a center for a dozen
surrounding hospitals, each containing from 1,000 to 4,000 patients.
As the men are cured in these hospitals they are sent up to the
Convalescent Camp to be made fit to return to the trenches.  It is
worth remembering that every one of these 4,000 patients is a wounded
man, all of whom have seen service and suffering.

Let us enter first of all the large social hall.  Several hundred men
are seated at the tables, playing games or chatting over a cup of tea.
At one end is the counter, where three women and five men take their
turn serving during the day and evening.  Two or three thousand of
these men will pour in every day this winter.  They will stand in a
long queue filing by the counter for more than two hours.  Here are
large urns, each holding ten gallons of tea.  Cup after cup is rapidly
pushed across the counter without turning off the tap; as 160 men are
served in ten minutes, and there is no stop save to place a fresh urn
full of tea.  As fast as the workers can move, not only hot tea and
coffee, but bread and biscuits, cake and chocolate, tobacco, matches,
candles, soap, bachelor buttons are furnished, and every other need of
the soldier is supplied.  The aim is to meet his every demand, so that
he will not have to go into the city to places of temptation and evil
resorts.

While these men are being served or are seated in the social room,
meetings and lectures are conducted at the same time on the other side
of the partition in the audience hall, which is occupied several times
a day, and is used for social purposes between the meetings.  We now
pass into the lounge, which is filled with men, busy at their games.
Next is the Quiet Room, where no talking or writing is allowed.  Men
come into this room for quiet meetings or private prayer, and here
small group prayer meetings and Bible classes are held.

Just outside the hut is a wide wooden platform which accommodates
several hundred men.  There nearly a dozen different games are in full
swing, all at the same time.  Each one is designed to help the patient
recover his health.  Here are badminton, tennis, volley ball, indoor
baseball, quoits, deck billiards, bagatelle, ping-pong, and other
games.  The front of this platform forms a grandstand for the cricket
field beyond.

Here for three nights we conducted meetings, with five or six hundred
men in attendance.  More than a hundred men signed the decision cards
each night, and when asked it was found that one-third of them had made
the decision for the first time, about one-third of them were
back-sliders who had been living as Christians before the war but who
had gone down before temptation, while the remaining third had been
maintaining a consistent Christian life during the war.

In a second after-meeting in the Quiet Room one night, men from almost
every quarter of the globe spoke and gave testimony.  Here was one poor
fellow who had come over after several years in the States.  He had had
delirium tremens three times, and showed the effects of it on his face.
He had formerly been the center of the foul talk and vulgar language of
his tent.  He had now come straight out for Christ and had boldly
witnessed for Him before the men.  The second boy, the son of a
prominent officer in South Africa, arose under deep emotion.  He had
been living a wild and reckless life and was known as the "Red Light
King."  After his conversion, he went out and brought in another
comrade who openly decided for Christ.  There were boys from Canada,
Australia, and England who followed, many of them with tragedies in
their past lives.

It is impossible to calculate the vast influences for good that have
been flowing from this hut to the thousands of men who pass through it.
The aim of the young Scotch minister who is the leader has been to make
it for all the men "a home away from home."  The life in the army, with
its irksome toil, daily drill, cold and wet and mud, the horror of
battle and the pain of wounds, is all for the moment forgotten as the
men enter the place.

We tell the leader that we are taking this building as the model for
our new American camps.  He says: "Large as this hut is, it is not
large enough or good enough for the men.  Daily we have need for better
equipment.  This hut as it stands will serve from two thousand to three
thousand men in a day, but nothing is too good for these boys who are
coming here to suffer and die in this faraway land.  You will send your
sons over from America to spend this cold winter on the bleak plains of
France in open bell tents.  They will be fed on canned goods and corned
beef, and they will be housed in the most unattractive towns of France,
where there is absolutely no interest or diversion apart from drink and
women.  You can hardly realize what it means to sit down in a homelike
place, to get a hot cup of tea served on a white tablecloth.  This is
the only home these boys will see in France, and they will either come
here or go to the red light resorts.  I wish I could tell the men of
America what their boys will face here, what they will suffer, what
temptations will assail them.  The best equipment you can give them is
not good enough, for the people at home little realize to what a life
their boys are coming, and what hardships will face them here in
France."



CHAPTER VI

THE CAMP OF THE PRODIGALS

We are in a natural amphitheater of the forest, near a big base
hospital, about seventy miles behind the lines in France.  Always in
the stillness of the woods, even at this distance, one can hear the
intermittent boom of the big guns at the front, and the air is vibrant
on this summer evening.  Beyond the wood lies the old drill ground of
Napoleon, which is used today as a field for final training for the
reenforcements for the front line.

In this wide open space in the woods at sundown the patients of the
hospital in their blue uniforms are gathering for the meeting.  It is a
picturesque sight to see about eight hundred of them seated on the
grass, while an orchestra composed of their own men is playing before
the opening of the meeting.  Who are these men before us?  They are not
the wounded who have fallen on the field of honor, but the sick, and,
quite frankly, they all have venereal disease.  The war has dragged
this moral menace so into the light of day that the times of prudish
silence and of fatal ignorance should have passed for all who are truly
concerned for the welfare of the soldier and who want to know his
actual conditions.  We shall, therefore, in this chapter call a spade a
spade.

The eight hundred men gathered here are a small part of some thousands
of similar cases in France.  The _London Daily Mail_ of April 25th,
1917, referring to the report of the military authorities to the House
of Commons, stated that there had been some two hundred thousand cases
of venereal disease in the British Army in France alone.  This does not
include England or the men on the other fronts.  The British Army is
not worse than others.  Professor Finger, at a meeting of the Medical
Society in Vienna early in the war, estimated that over 700,000, or
some ten per cent of the Austrian troops, had contracted venereal
disease.  More ominous still is the fact that in almost every place yet
investigated the majority of the men were confessedly living in
immorality amid the temptations of the base camps in France.

As we visit the hospitals in France, we are saddened by the fact that
for one of the two venereal diseases no cure has yet been found, that a
large proportion of these cases suffer a relapse, and that over seventy
per cent will develop complications.  As one Commanding Medical Officer
said, "There is enough venereal disease in these military camps now to
curse Europe for three generations to come."

One young major said: "Every day I am losing my boys.  I've lost more
men through these forces of immorality than through the enemy's shot
and shell."  The recent report of the Royal Commission shows the grave
menace of the disease to Britain, where twenty per cent of the urban
population has been infected.  Flexner's terrible indictment in his
"Prostitution in Europe" proves how particularly dangerous and
pernicious is the system of inspection and regulation which legalizes
and standardizes vice as a "necessary evil" and spreads disease through
the false sense of security which it vainly promises.  Even if the
inspection and regulation of vice were physically perfectly successful,
it might still lead to national degeneration, but instead of being a
success it has proved, especially in France, a miserable failure.  We
cannot place all the blame upon local conditions, for the presence of
an army in a foreign land in wartime creates its own danger.

Among the men in the venereal hospitals of France are musicians,
artists, teachers, educated and refined boys from some of the best
homes, and in another camp we find several hundred officers and several
members of the nobility.  What was the cause of their downfall?  A
questionnaire replied to by several hundred of them revealed the fact
that six per cent attributed their downfall to curiosity, ten per cent
to ignorance, claiming that they had never been adequately warned by
the medical authorities, thirteen per cent to loss of home influences
and lack of leave, thirty-three per cent to drink and the loss of
self-control due to intoxication, while the largest number of all, or
thirty-eight per cent, attributed it to uncontrolled passion when they
were unconverted or had no higher power in their lives to enable them
to withstand temptation.  But perhaps the chief cause of the spread of
immorality is the unnatural conditions under which the men are
compelled to live in a foreign land in war time.

Donald Hankey, the brilliant young author of "A Student in Arms," who
fell at the front, speaks thus of the moral problem in the soldier's
life:


"Let us be frank about this.  What a doctor might call the 'appetites'
and a padre the 'lusts' of the body, hold dominion over the average
man, whether civilian or soldier, unless they are counteracted by a
stronger power.  The only men who are pure are those who are absorbed
in some pursuit, or possessed by a great love; be it the love of clean,
wholesome life which is religion, or the love of a noble man which is
hero-worship, or the love of a true woman.  These are the four powers
which are stronger than 'the flesh'--the zest of a quest, religion,
hero-worship, and the love of a good woman.  If a man is not possessed
by one of these he will be immoral. . . .  Fifteen months ago I was a
private quartered in a camp near A----. . . .  The tent was damp,
gloomy, and cold.  The Y M C A tent and the Canteen tent were crowded.
One wandered off to the town. . . .  And if a fellow ran up against 'a
bit of skirt' he was generally just in the mood to follow it wherever
it might lead.  The moral of this is, double your subscriptions to the
Y M C A, Church huts, soldiers' clubs, or whatever organization you
fancy!  You will be helping to combat vice in the only sensible way."


We agree with Donald Hankey that the appetites hold dominion over the
average man, whether civilian or soldier.  We do not wish to make any
sweeping generalizations or accusations.  We have no means of knowing
how many men are immoral in peace time, as we have in war time.  We
only know that conditions of ordinary times are intensified,
aggravated, and multiplied; and they are revealed in war time as never
before, and thrown upon the screen of the public gaze.  The writer also
desires to guard against any possible impression that the British army
is worse than our own or any other.  It is too early to know what
record our men will make, but we find it difficult to believe that they
could have maintained a higher standard if placed in equal numbers in
the same circumstances.

But to return to our meeting.  Every one of these eight hundred men in
this audience has a history.  Tired or hardened or haggard faces are
relaxed as they join in singing the hymns on this Sunday evening,
"Nearer, My God, to Thee," "Lead, Kindly Light," "Tell Me the Old, Old
Story," and "Where is my Wandering Boy Tonight?"  There is a tragedy in
every heart, and each man has experienced the bitterness of sin and
bears its scars branded in his body.  Look into the faces of some of
these men.  Here in front, this very first one, is an American cowboy
from Texas, Frank B----.  As a "broncho-buster" he became the star
rider in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and was finally adopted as his
son.  At the age of fifteen he started to go wrong in New Orleans.  At
an early age he joined the American army, and later, at the outbreak of
the war, he served in the Flying Corps of the British army.  Here he
broke a leg and was smashed up in action.  After that he joined an
infantry division.  In one of the meetings this week he accepted
Christ.  He has since been standing firm and goes out tomorrow to begin
a new life.  Near him is a young theological student with a sad look on
his face, who has learned here in bitterness the deepest lesson of his
life.  Next to him is a heartbroken married man with a wife and
children at home.

After the crowd has assembled, we speak to them of Christ as the Maker
of Men.  We tell them of the transformation of others like themselves,
of Augustine, Francis of Assisi, Loyola and the saints of old, of John
B. Gough, Jerry McAuley, Hadley, and the men of Water Street whom God
raised out of the depths, and of men right in their midst who have come
out for Christ in the meetings this week.  After speaking for an hour,
we go into the Y M C A for an after-meeting.

We had a wonderful time with them here one Saturday night.  Five
hundred of them crowded the hall and listened for an hour as we spoke
on the good news of the free offer of life.  When the invitation was
given, over two hundred stayed to the after-meeting as desiring to
follow Christ.  After we had spoken one of the men came forward and
asked if he could say a word.  He had been an earnest Christian before
the war, and as he began to speak of his fall and of his trusting wife
and children at home, the poor fellow broke down in utter wretchedness.
It seemed to strike a responsive chord in the hearts of the married men
all over the room.  Many a one buried his head in his hands and wept
bitterly.  A second after-meeting was held and God seemed to be moving
in the heart of every man present.  Man after man rose to tell of his
fall, or of his repentance, or of his new acceptance of Christ.  The
feeling was deep but controlled.  It was one of the saddest and yet one
of the gladdest meetings I have ever attended.  One minister present
said he had seen nothing like it all through the Welsh revival.

During their stay in this hospital great changes have taken place in
many of these men.  Here is Dan, a young chauffeur, a strong-willed,
self-sufficient young fellow who thought he needed no help and no
religion.  He has a Christian wife at home to whom he has been untrue,
for the temptations of the war swept him off his feet like a flood.  In
the meetings this week he turned to Christ and has been working right
and left bringing in others ever since.  Beside him is a poor fellow
whom he has just brought to the meetings.  He went on leave to England,
only to find his three children deserted by his wife, who had run away,
untrue to him.  At last he found her, and brought her home.  On his
return to the army, he finds that now he has to bear here in the
hospital the vicarious result of her fall.  He came to me as a
non-Christian struggling with the problem of forgiveness.  Could he
forgive her all this and his broken home?  At last in Christ he found
the power to forgive and took up his heavy cross.  He knelt at the
altar of the little chapel and yielded up his life to God.  Tomorrow he
leaves the hospital to begin a new life.

Here is a young Australian who was untrue to his wife.  When we first
saw him he was hardened by sin.  That night he yielded to Christ.  The
next Sunday we knelt beside him at the Lord's Supper.  He was a new
man; his very face was changed.  He said, "I have read of miracles in
the past, but there was never a greater miracle than the change which
has taken place in my heart and life.  I am a new man.  I can look any
one in the face today!"

Beside him at that communion table knelt a young gunner, "Joe," of the
Royal Field Artillery.  He was a strong, red-cheeked six-footer,
winsome and good to look upon, the most popular man in his battery.
Away from home among bad companions he was swept off his feet and fell.
He has found Christ here among the prodigals in a far country.  Before
leaving he came up to bid us good-by, saying, "I'm going out to warn
other men and to witness for Christ to the end of my days."

Here is M----, a young sergeant, who came up after the meeting, with
tears in his eyes.  "Sir," he said, "I was never drunk but once in my
life, when my pals were home on leave, and that once, under the
influence of drink, I fell.  Here I am in the hospital, yet I am
engaged to a little girl at home who is as white as snow.  What is my
duty in the matter?"  He has accepted Christ and is a changed man.

Oh, it is a wonderful sight to see men transformed by this inward moral
miracle, wrought by the touch of the living God.  Here in the very
center of this venereal camp stands the Y M C A, endeavoring to meet
their every need, and even here the red triangle shines with the hope
of a new manhood for body, mind, and spirit.  Every day at the hour of
opening there is a scurry of feet as the men rush in to the one center
in the whole camp where they can congregate.  Martin Harvey has just
been here to cheer them up, and they were enthusiastic over a fine
lecture and recital last night on Chopin.  The Colonel in command takes
particular pride in the Y M C A for his men, and states that crime
among them has been reduced ninety per cent since it started.

But even greater than the privilege which the Association has in
ministering to the fallen, is its work of prevention in the other
camps.  Just up the road is a swearing old major in command of a unit
which has always had the worst record for immorality and disease of any
camp on the plain.  He finally came in and demanded a Y M C A hut for
his men.  A few weeks later he came to the Association headquarters and
said, in punctuated language which could not be printed, "For a year
and a half my camp has led all the rest as the worst in venereal
disease, with some twenty-five fresh cases every week.  The first week
after the Y M C A was opened we had only ten cases, the next week six,
the third week only two, and it has not risen above that since.  Your
Association is the ---- best cure for this evil."

Nothing less than reaching the whole man can meet this gigantic
problem.  You must take physical precautions and build up a strong,
clean, athletic body.  Better than all repressive rules and
regulations, you must provide healthy and happy occupation for the
minds of the men.  But beyond the reach of medical and military
restrictions you have got to grip and strengthen their spiritual and
moral nature.  Otherwise, in the artificial and unnatural conditions
consequent upon a vast concentration of men in a foreign land, away
from all home influences, and in the poisonous atmosphere of a land of
"regulated" immorality, where the government still regards it as a
"necessary evil," you must see your men fall in ranks before the
machine guns of commercialized vice, controlled by the vested
interests, or fall a prey to the harpies who walk the streets.  In the
face of all this we must lay bold claim to the whole of manhood for God
and for the high ends for which it was created.

The writer recently walked through a French street of licensed vice,
where strong young fellows were tossing away their birthright for a
mess of pottage.  He passed on the main street of the city two young
Americans from a medical unit who were reeling along in the possession
of two harpies.  They were shouting to all the passers by, trying to
hold up the carriages, and widely advertising their uniform and their
nation.  We recognize the difficulty of maintaining a high moral
standard in a foreign land in war time, but we believe it can be done.
A plan has recently been suggested by the Association for dealing with
this menace.

First of all, it is proposed to conduct a campaign of education on the
highest moral grounds by a select group of lecturers, capable of
presenting wisely the danger of immorality from both the medical and
moral standpoints.  This will involve the preparation of lectures,
charts, lantern slides, films, and everything needed for the effective
presentation both to the ear and eye.  It is hoped that these lecturers
will be able to instruct chaplains, Y M C A secretaries, and all who
are responsible for the moral leadership of the troops, in order that
they may be better able to cope with the situation.  It is proposed
that these lecturers conduct meetings for three days in each center,
with a parade lecture for each battalion and voluntary meetings in the
evening, which will include addresses on hygiene, lantern lectures, and
moral talks.  Healthy literature will be prepared and distributed to
the men, and similar campaigns will be conducted in the camps in the
United States and on shipboard before the troops reach France.

Second, a positive program for the occupation and amusement of the men
will be provided.  Athletic sports, games, tournaments, track meets,
and other events will offer adequate physical facilities.  Amusements,
entertainments, concerts, classes, and lectures will be arranged for
the mental occupation of the men.  Meetings, personal interviews, and
services will be planned to keep before them the moral and spiritual
challenge and the call for clean living.  Special campaigns will be
carried on in all Y M C A huts from time to time.

Third, we would favor strict regulations and penalties to cope with
immorality.  We are glad that the selection of camp sites for the
American troops in France is being made at places as far removed from
the temptations of the cities as possible, where the men will be kept
under closer supervision than could be done if the troops were located
near large centers of population.  Other means are being provided which
cannot here be mentioned.

In the fourth place, we favor adequate medical provisions, coupled with
the highest moral restraints.  We will take our stand against any
league with vice, against any recognition of immorality as a "necessary
evil."  We will stand against all notices, lectures, or medical talks
such as are given in some quarters, which practically serve as an
invitation or solicitation to immorality.  We would oppose any
provision on the part of the authorities to provide in advance for
immorality, to standardize it, accept it, and attempt to render it
safe, and we would oppose any mention of it which tends to advertise
and increase the evil.  We would strenuously oppose the running of
supervised houses of prostitution by our own military authorities, as
was done by some of them on the Mexican border.  Conceivably a system
of inspected government houses and of prophylactic measures might be
devised which would eliminate disease altogether, and yet demoralize
the young manhood of our nation by a cynical scientific materialism
such as we are fighting against in the powers that dragged the world
into this war.  We are more opposed to immorality than to disease,
which is its penalty.  We fear not only the impairment of the physical
fitness of the men as a fighting force, but much more the menace of the
moral degradation of the manhood of the nation, under the unnatural
conditions of wartime.

We believe that the hearty cooperation of the medical and moral
agencies and of the military and voluntary forces which have to do with
the men, can greatly reduce both immorality and disease.  We feel sure,
moreover, that the solid backing of public opinion in America will
support every effort to surround our camps with a zone of safety and to
keep the men clean and strong in the multiplied dangers of a foreign
land, as well as in the military camps of our own country.  It is
reassuring to know that our military authorities abroad have taken a
strong stand and that in no army in Europe are drunkenness and the
contraction of venereal disease more instantly court-martialled or more
severely punished.



CHAPTER VII

RELIGION AT THE FRONT

The war, like a great searchlight thrown across our individual and
national lives, has revealed men and nations to themselves.  It has shown
us the nation's manhood suddenly stripped of the conventionalities, the
restraints, and the outward respectability of civil life, subjected to
the trial and testing of a prodigious strain.  It has shown us the real
stuff of which men are made.  It is like the X-ray photographs now
constantly used in all the military hospitals, and placed in the windows
of the operating rooms, to guide the surgeon in discovering the hidden
pieces of shrapnel or shattered bones which must be removed in order to
save the patient.

The war has been a great revelation of things both good and bad.  In the
light of this terrible conflict, we may well ask what it shows us of the
present virtues and vices of the men, and of our past failure or success
in dealing with them, and to what future course of action it should
summon us?  In other words, what lessons has the war to teach us?  Large
numbers of young clergymen and laymen of the churches of England and
Scotland have gone to the war zone with the men as chaplains, Y M C A
workers, or in the army itself, and have learned to know men as they
never knew them before.  We would covet this opportunity for every young
minister or Christian worker in America.  Mr. Moody once stated that the
Civil War was his university.  It was there he learned to understand the
human heart and to know and win men.

During the summer of 1917 a questionnaire was sent out to representative
religious workers throughout the armies in France and Great Britain by a
committee under the chairmanship of the Bishop of Winchester and
Professor D. S. Cairns, with Mr. E. C. Carter of the Y M C A, and the
Rev. Tissington Tatlow of the Student Christian Movement, as secretaries.
Although the results and findings of this committee are not yet
published, the writer has before him the reports of numbers of workers in
France.  In the base camp where he was last working, the questions were
taken up by more than a hundred of the workers and discussed in
conferences with groups of the soldiers and officers of the various
regiments.  These were summarized in findings and the reports were
compared with the returns made from other centers.  The writer has had
the privilege of talking with hundreds of the soldiers regarding their
own religious lives and difficulties.  In this chapter he will try to
form a composite photograph of all these impressions and to state
impartially the results of his own experience and those of others.

We shall confine ourselves to three outstanding questions: I. What are
the moral standards and actions of the men in war time?  II. What is
their attitude to religion and what is their religious life at the front?
III. What is their attitude to the churches, and what lessons may the
Church learn from the men at the front?

The questionnaire has been answered mainly by men of the British army,
but the writer could observe no radical difference between the British
and American forces as regards their religious life.  As in other things
connected with the war, we in America may learn much from the experience
of Britain and other nations.


I

_What are the moral standards and actions of the men in war time_?  At
the very beginning, we must recognize the difficulty and danger of
generalizations.  No two men in the army are precisely alike.  All
sweeping generalizations are likely to be misleading.  Regiments differ
from one another and workers receive differing impressions of the front.
Most of all we must distinguish between the different classes in the army.

It has been repeatedly affirmed that not more than 20 per cent of the men
now under arms among the British troops were connected with the churches
in any vital way before the war, or were regular in attendance at their
services.  Of this minority perhaps a half--those who were weak or
nominal Christians before the war or have lost the higher standards of
peace time or have hidden whatever religion they may have had--would not
now be classed as definitely Christian men.  But the remaining half, or
one-tenth of the total number in the army, would probably be out-and-out
Christians, strengthened by the severe discipline of the war and living
under distinctly Christian standards.

At the other or lower extreme, there are perhaps one-tenth who are
so-called "rotters," the men who set the evil standards of the camp and
whose conduct is almost altogether selfish and materialistic.  Between
these two extremes are the great majority, or four-fifths, whom it is so
difficult to classify.  It is our conviction that these men "are not
saved, but are salvable."

What are the moral standards of this majority?  They are not definitely
Christian.  Rather, they have a military, material standard of the type
of a somewhat primitive social group.  Their expressions unconsciously
reveal their judgments.  Their constant demand of one another is "to play
the game," that is, to play fair and to do one's part in order to win the
game for the good of all.  Anything which harms, hinders, or endangers
another, which brings suffering to one's fellows or defeat to one's side,
is not playing the game.  They condemn unmanly actions which bring
defeat, and praise the practical and virile virtues.  As one chaplain
writes: "I believe nearly all live partly by faith in a good God.  I have
never found men afraid to die, even though they were afraid before
battle.  As to the standards by which they live, I should say they are
the sanctions of group morality.  They have very lax ideas about
drunkenness and sexual irregularity, but they have very strict ideas
about the sacredness of social obligations within the groups to which
they belong.  I would mention sheer fear of public opinion as one of the
great weaknesses of the men.  They would rather be in the fashion than be
right.  And most of them have been hardened--though not necessarily in a
bad sense."

As we ask ourselves what are the virtues which the majority admire in
others and practice themselves to a greater or lesser degree, we would
say that they are chiefly five:

1. _Courage_ or bravery, the first virtue of the ancients and always at a
natural premium in war time, is admired by all.  In countless instances
in the camps or on the battlefield this rises to heroism or
self-sacrifice.  Cowardice is scathingly condemned, and the man who
starts to run away on the battlefield is unhesitatingly shot down by his
comrades to preserve the morale of the fighting body.

2. _Brotherliness_, or comradeship, shows itself in unselfish service and
cooperation with others.

3. _Generosity_ and tender-heartedness show themselves in the men's
willingness to help a comrade, to share their last rations, and to insist
that others be attended to on the battlefield before themselves when they
lie wounded.  These are among the most beautiful virtues which the war
has revealed.

4. _Straightforwardness_ and genuine honesty are demanded; and all cant,
hypocrisy, double dealing, shirking, and unreality are scathingly
condemned.

5. _Persistent cheerfulness_ in the midst of monotony, drudgery,
suffering, danger, or death, is admired and maintained by the majority.
This is not incompatible with the "grousing" or grumbling which the
Englishman regards as his prerogative.  This good cheer shows itself in
the inveterate singing and whistling of the men on the march.[1]

Commenting upon the virtues of the soldiers, especially the wounded, a
hospital nurse writes: "I was struck by the amount of real goodness among
the men--their generosity, kindness, chivalry, patience, and
self-sacrifice.  The sins which they dislike are those sins of the spirit
which Christ denounced most bitterly--hypocrisy, pride, meanness.  They
love giving, they bear pain patiently, they honor true womanhood, they
reverence goodness."

Probably no one in the present war has given a better description of the
unconscious virtues of the soldiers than has Donald Hankey, in his
chapter on "The Religion of the Inarticulate," fragments of which we here
quote:

"We never got a chance to sit down and think things out.  Praying was
almost an impossibility. . . .  Above all, we were not going to turn
religious at the last minute because we were afraid. . . .  The soldier,
and in this case the soldier means the workingman, does not in the least
connect the things that he really believes in with Christianity. . . .
Here were men who believed absolutely in the Christian virtues of
unselfishness, generosity, charity, and humility, without ever connecting
them in their minds with Christ; and at the same time what they did
associate with Christianity was just on a par with the formalism and smug
self-righteousness which Christ spent His whole life in trying to
destroy. . . .  The men really had deep-seated beliefs in goodness. . . .
They never connected the goodness in which they believed with the God in
Whom the chaplains said they ought to believe. . . .  They have a dim
sort of idea that He is misrepresented by Christianity. . . .  If the
chaplain wants to be understood and to win their sympathy he must begin
by showing them that Christianity is the explanation and the
justification and the triumph of all that they do now really believe in.
He must start by making their religion articulate in a way which they
will recognize."

As we turn from the virtues to the vices or moral weaknesses of the
soldier in war time, we find that they also fall chiefly under five
headings:

1. _Impurity_ must certainly take the first place.  Investigation seemed
to show that the majority of these men were immoral in peace time, but
the war has intensified this evil.  This would be accounted for to a
large extent by the unnatural conditions under which the men are forced
to live, and the policy of the military authorities, who are often
concerned merely with the fighting fitness of the men, rather than with
the moral issues.  However this may be, in nearly every camp or battalion
or regiment or body of men questioned, whether among officers or men, the
majority were confessedly living in immorality.  This in itself is a
staggering fact.  It could be supported here by numerous statements or
authorities and by much evidence.

2.  _Obscene and profane language_ is sweeping like an epidemic through
the camps.  It is infectious, and the worst men, who are the loudest
talkers, tend to set the standard, so that evil is rapidly and
unconsciously propagated until the very atmosphere becomes saturated.  It
is some comfort to know that frequently words are used unthinkingly and
without a full realization of their original meaning.  It is also
comforting to be assured that there is not much deliberate telling of
obscene stories.  As one man puts it, "There are few essentially rotten
minds."  When, however, the name of our Lord is used not only profanely,
but dragged into the most obscene and horrible connections, unheard of in
peace times, no possible excuse can be offered and the habit cannot but
prove deadening and baneful in its influence.  Men who never before
thought of swearing find themselves driven to strong language and to
reckless, heightened, or intensified expression in the trying and
persistent strain of war time.

3. _Drunkenness_ has always proved the danger of the soldier.  The
discipline of the army has lessened this evil within the camps.
Certainly it is being sternly suppressed and severely punished by the
authorities among the newly arrived American troops.  The rum which is
given to the soldiers of the British army before a charge, or in the
extreme cold of the trenches, has taught some men to drink who had not
contracted the habit before.  It is also a fact that the drink bill of
England has increased during the war.  Lloyd George said: "We are
fighting against Germany, Austria, and Drink; but the greatest of these
three deadly foes is Drink."  The drink trade of England is maintained on
the one hand by the powerful vested interests and the respectable
moderate drinkers at the top of society, who are not willing to sacrifice
their selfish comfort for the weaker brother, and on the other hand by
the demand of the laboring classes who will have their beer, and whom the
government does not dare oppose in the present crisis.  Drink has been a
curse to Britain during the war.

4. _Gambling_ is a danger to the soldier.  It is strictly forbidden in
most of its forms by the military authorities.  The game of "House" is
tolerated as a mild form of gambling, where the men play for hours for
very small stakes in order to kill time.  The game of "Crown and Anchor"
is also popular.

5. _A lack of moral courage_, of independence, and of individual
initiative are particular evils of the present.  All the men have to act
together.  They are taught to obey under rigid discipline.  Individual
initiative is crushed or left undeveloped.  The sense of personal
responsibility and of personal ownership is often weakened.  This lack of
the sense of private property may partly account for the pilfering which
goes on.  The men find it exceedingly difficult to take an open stand on
moral or religious questions before their comrades.  A soldier will
ordinarily hide his religion and is afraid to be seen praying or doing
anything that makes him peculiar, although the most immoral and obscene
man is not ashamed of his actions.

A lieutenant of the Royal Irish Rifles says: "Taken singly they are
afraid to face public opposition, anxious to avoid bother and exertion,
slack, and easily overcome by temptations.  There is a fairly general
chaotic unrest, but little or no serious thought.  There is a greater
tolerance towards vice.  Many more men practice sexual vice than before
and most refuse to condemn it.  It might be said that the men are more
open to religion, but less religious.  They are also more open on the
question of sacrifice, the need for living or dying for others."

An army chaplain who himself served in the ranks writes of the soldier:
"He lives an animal life in which the thinking is done for him.  Indeed
his relative comfort depends upon the extent to which he can abstain from
thinking.  In France the number who take drink increases greatly.  It is
wicked, damnably wicked that our lads through ignorance should be allowed
to slip into sins which in themselves are deadly, but which also open the
door to deadlier sins. . . .  There are many indications that when the
Army returns there will be a great social upheaval.  Men feel that they
are out to fight Prussianism, but they are becoming growingly conscious
of Prussianism in our own national life.  They are very conscious of it
in military life."

If we were to sum up our impressions we would be compelled to say that
there has been an increase of immorality, drinking, and bad language
during the period of the war.


II

Let us now ask, _What is the attitude of the men to religion, and what
are the characteristics of their religious life in war time_?  The war
seems to have intensified all the tendencies of peace time.  It makes a
man a greater sinner or a greater saint.  He is either driven to God or
away from Him.  It would be impossible for any single human mind
adequately to sum up the good and evil of war, and strike a balance
between the two.  Most Christians cannot believe that war is in itself
good.  To those who have seen its hideous reality it is unquestionably a
dire evil.  Even the best results of war might have been better attained
by other means.  The good is often revealed rather than caused by it.  A
moral equivalent for war might have been found.  Certainly no Christian
could defend war save as a last resort, forced upon a nation in defense
of its life or for the lives of others, when all more rational or
judicial methods had failed.

Among the obvious _evil results of war_ we would be compelled to name at
least ten: The wanton destruction of human life; the maiming and
suffering inflicted upon the wounded; the breaking up of homes and the
terrible suffering caused to women and children; the loss of wealth and
property, with the subsequent hardship for the poor which it entails, and
the destruction of art, architecture, and the higher material
accomplishments of civilization; the outbreak of immorality and
drunkenness, which always accompanies war; the hardening of the finer
sensibilities of men through the cruelty and barbarity of modern warfare;
the increase of hatred and suspicion; the dividing of humanity and the
destruction of its sense of unity, brotherhood, and cooperation; the
breakdown of international law and respect for law and order; and the
loss of reverence for human life and the sense of its priceless value.

An equal number of possible _good effects_ may be mentioned which war may
at times call out: The development of courage and heroism; the call to
sacrifice in the sinking of selfish individual interests for the sake of
a cause; the discipline of obedience and the development of corporate
action; the bringing of men out of selfish and careless lives to the
facing of the great realities of God, life, death, and immortality; the
awful object lesson of the results of sin, both personal and national,
and the teaching of the terrible lesson that "the wages of sin is death";
the widening of men's horizons, the breaking of old molds, ruts, and
restrictions and the opening of men's minds to new ideas; the chastening
and mellowing influence of suffering, with its possible development of
sympathy, tenderness, and unselfishness; the deepening of the sense of
brotherhood within a single nation with the sinking of the false or
artificial social distinctions of peace time; the strengthening of
religious unity by the stripping off of nonessentials and the laying bare
of the great simple fundamentals; and the new contact with the practical
ministry of religion in hours of deepest need in camps, in hospitals, and
on the battlefields, with the resultant strengthening hold on the great
verities of the love of God, the cross of Christ, and the service of men.

It will depend upon the individual and his theories of life how he will
strike the balance between these two sides of the good and evil of war.
While the good effects of a war are seen more clearly after it is over,
certainly during the war the vast majority of men at the front would
almost unanimously agree that the preponderating influence and effect for
the time being is evil.

At the beginning of the war in 1914 there was talk of a religious revival
in the various countries.  The churches for a time were filled.  The
opening of the war drove men to God.  With the passing months, which have
now dragged into years, many of the high ideals have gradually been
lowered or lost.  Men are certainly ready to listen to a living message
and are probably more open than ever before in their lives to religious
influences, because of their desperate need.  They are between the nether
and upper millstones of sin and death.  On the one hand they meet the
pressure of terrible temptations, and on the other they have to face the
awful fact of death, unready and unprepared.  But although the men are
open to a religious message and to the Christian challenge presented by
one who has a real message, it could hardly be maintained by anyone that
there is a revival of religion at the front today.  Rather the opposite
is true.

A friend of the present writer, a chaplain in charge of the religious
work in one of the five armies at the front, well says:


"On the whole, I venture to say, there is not a great revival of the
Christian religion at the front.  Deep in their hearts is a great trust
and faith in God.  It is an inarticulate faith expressed in deeds.  The
top levels, as it were, of their consciousness, are much filled with
grumbling and foul language and physical occupations; but beneath lie
deep spiritual springs, whence issue their cheerfulness, stubbornness,
patience, generosity, humility, and willingness to suffer and to die.
There is religion about; only, very often it is not the Christian
religion.  Rather it is natural religion.  It is the expression of a
craving for security.  Literally it is a looking for salvation."


It may be asked, To what extent are the men thinking of religion and
discussing its problems?  One friend of the writer, a young Anglican
chaplain, says: "The men are not thinking at all.  They are 'carrying
on.'  They spend hours in playing a game like House because it requires
no thought."  However, it would probably be fairer to say that at times
all of them think about religion, although they do not talk very much
about it.  It is not, however, consistent thought leading to action.
Rather they have moments of deep impressions, vague longings, intuitions,
and hunger of heart.  But the minute anyone starts a discussion or begins
to attack religion, men show that they have been thinking, or that they
have ideas of their own in private.

Most of them believe in God, although they do not know Him in a personal
way.  They believe in religion, but have not made it vital and dominant
in their lives.  They have a vague sense or intuition that there is a God
and that He is a good God, round about and above them.  He is looked
upon, however, not as One whom they are to seek first, but rather as a
last resort; not as a present Father and constant Friend, but as One to
whom they can turn in time of need.  They have a vague feeling of
unworthiness, although no clear sense of sin.  Yet they also have an
inarticulate belief or intuition that they have tried, however brokenly
or unsuccessfully, to live up to such light as they had or to some
standard of their own.  They feel that somehow, though they have often
failed, at bottom they are not so very bad, and that God is very, very
good.  Their vague feeling would probably find its most accurate
expression in Faber's hymn, "There's a wideness in God's mercy, like the
wideness of the sea."

They revere God from afar off and in one compartment of their being, but
they have never opened their lives to Him.  They have a reverence for Him
in the face of death, in the hour of need, and in the great crises of
life.  Most of them like to sing the Christian hymns on Sunday evening
and have thoughts of home and of loved ones that are sacred.  They do not
feel that they have come into close personal relations with God, but
neither do they consciously feel that they are out of relation with Him.
They do not think they are altogether right with Him, but neither do they
feel in the bottom of their hearts that they are wholly wrong with Him.
The vast majority of them in the hour of death do not feel that they have
either consciously accepted or rejected Him.  They have not loved
darkness rather than light, nor have they wholly chosen the light and
rejected the darkness.

It will depend upon the individual how he classifies these men.  Some
will believe that the great love of the Good Shepherd, who laid down His
life for the sheep, will somehow in the end not be thwarted in His
seeking to save the lost.  Not only will men differ in their judgment,
but it is exceedingly difficult to pass judgment upon an individual
soldier.  He seems to be a different man under different circumstances.
In the temptations at the base camp, he would perhaps appear to be
utterly irreligious and profane.  He can hardly be recognized as the same
man as he prays in the hour of battle, or as he lies wounded, chastened,
and sobered, in the hospital.  Which situation reveals the true man?

Before us as we write lies the photograph of a young sergeant.  Before
the war he was an atheist, an illegitimate child, a member of the
criminal class.  But in the trenches he found God.  Blown up by a mine,
for sixteen days he lost the power of speech and of memory.  He returned
from the front with a deep sense of God, but with no personal, vital
relationship to Christ.  He eagerly welcomed the first real message that
went straight to his heart, and the personal word of loving sympathy
which led him to relate his deep experience of the trenches to the
presence of the living Christ.  All this man needed was someone to
interpret to him his own experience, and bring him into the relationship
with God which his own heart craved and longed for.

Beside this photograph is the card of a strong-willed, self-righteous
young Pharisee, who had no use for religion in peace time, but who was
driven to God by his awful conflict with sin in this war.  Next comes the
card of a young man who formerly had lived a proper conventional life
without bad habits.  The war taught him to drink and he finally became a
drunkard, but in his extremity he found Christ as a personal Saviour.
Next comes the card of a man who had been in a public house for
thirty-two years--twenty-seven years as a bar tender and five years as a
saloon keeper.  He said, "I have sent men to hell with drink.  I have
seen women who would sell the clothes off the backs of their children or
pawn their husband's clothing to get drink."  Yet this man has been
brought to God during the war.  Many a man has found God on the field of
battle, or like the thief has turned to him in the hour of death.[2]

[Illustration: Three Thousand Soldiers in the Crowboro Hut.]

One young soldier thus describes his experience which is typical of many
another: There had been a charge, a hopeless affair from the start.  He
lay in the long grass between the lines, unable to move, and with an
unceasing throbbing pain in his left leg and arm.  A whizz-bang had
caught him in both places.  He just lay there, feeling strangely
peaceful.  Above him he could see the stars.  All this bloodshed--what
was the good of it?  He suddenly felt terribly small and lonely, and he
was so very, very weak.  "God!" he whispered softly.  "God everywhere!"
Then into his tired brain came a new phrase--"Underneath are the
everlasting arms."  He sighed contentedly, as a tired child.  They
fetched him in at last.  He will never again be sound of limb; but there
is in his memory and in his heart that which may make him a staunch
fighter in other fields.  He has learned a new way of prayer, and the
courage that is born of faith well-founded.

The idea has been widely preached by many British chaplains that death in
battle saves.  This may be good Mohammedanism, but it is surely not the
Christian message that is given to Christ's ministers to preach.  The
verse most often quoted in support of this theory is: "Greater love hath
no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." But such
a passage cannot be taken out of its context either in Christ's teaching
or in the man's own life.  Our Lord had said that we were to love even as
He loved, that is, out of a pure and surrendered heart to lay down our
life for our friends; and He added, "Ye are my friends if ye do the
things which I command you."  It is going far beyond the province of the
Christian minister to offer any hope other than that which is offered by
our Lord Himself.  It is not death or a bullet or battle that saves.
Christ only saves, and there is no other name given under heaven.  This
offer is made to all men and at all times.

But although one may not preach so dangerous and misleading a doctrine,
it is nevertheless possible to realize that many a man is unconsciously
more of a Christian than he knows, and that in the last day he may say
with surprise: "When saw I Thee an hungered and fed Thee?"

We may turn to "A Student in Arms" for his interpretation of the feeling
of the common soldier in this crisis:


"Then at last we 'got out.'  We were confronted with dearth, danger, and
death. . . .  They, who had formerly been our despair, were now our
glory.  Their spirits effervesced.  Their wit sparkled.  Hunger and
thirst could not depress them.  Rain could not damp them.  Cold could not
chill them.  Every hardship became a joke. . . .  Never was such a
triumph of spirit over matter. . . .  If it was another fellow that was
hit, it was an occasion for tenderness and grief.  But if one of them was
hit, O Death, where is thy sting?  O Grave, where is thy victory? . . .
Life?  They did not value life!  They had never been able to make much of
a fist of it.  But if they lived amiss they died gloriously, with a smile
for the pain and the dread of it.  What else had they been born for?  It
was their chance.  With a gay heart they gave their greatest gift, and
with a smile to think that after all they had anything to give which was
of value.  One by one Death challenged them.  One by one they smiled in
his grim visage, and refused to be dismayed.  They had been lost, but
they had found the path that led them home; and when at last they laid
their lives at the feet of the Good Shepherd, what could they do but
smile?"


It has been well said that there is much natural religion in the
trenches, but that much of this religion is not Christian.  What is the
attitude of the men to Christ Himself?  Most of them associate Him with
all that is highest and noblest in life.  They link Him with God in their
thought, and with themselves in their time of deepest need.  Although His
name with that of God is sometimes taken on their lips in profanity,
there is often a deep reverence for Him.  Thousands have seen the cross
of Christ standing among the ruins in the villages of Belgium and
Northern France, when all about seems to be battered and wrecked.  The
old skeptical theories and captious criticisms of pre-war days are little
heard during this awful time.  Generally speaking, the facts of the
gospel narrative are not disputed.  They believe in Christ as the
revelation of God.  They have no difficulty with the doctrine of the
divinity of Christ and do not doubt that He is a living reality and has
power to save.  Their only difficulty is with their own sin.  They do not
know how to break from it or are unwilling to give it up.

The great need of the hour is for interpretation.  On the one hand, men
have had in their hours of great need a deep experience of God which they
do not understand; yet on the other hand, they are gripped by the power
of temptation which alone they cannot overcome.  They admire the virtues
of courage, generosity, and purity, but for the most part they see no
connection between these and the presentation of Christ in the lives and
words of those about them who profess to be Christians.  What is needed
is personally to relate the man to the God and Father of Jesus Christ,
with Whom he has been brought face to face at the battle front.  There is
urgent and imperative need of the giving of that message, both in public
presentation and in the channels of personal friendship.

One chaplain says of the men: "I am sure the soldier has got religion: I
am sure he has got Christianity; but he does not know he has got
Christianity.  I am convinced that of the hundreds of men who go into
action the majority come out affected towards good rather than coarsened.
They come out realizing that there are times when they cannot get on
without God; they are not frightened of Him, they flee to Him with their
simple cries for strength."

While another, a student who laid down his life at the front, makes this
valuable suggestion as to the presentation of Christ: "When I was talking
to them at these services, I always used to try to make them feel that
Christ was the fulfilment of all the best things that they admired, that
He was their natural hero.  I would tell them some story of heroism and
meanness contrasted, of courage and cowardice, of noble forgiveness and
vile cruelty, and so get them on the side of the angels.  Then I would
try and spring it upon them that Christ was the Lord of the heroes and
the brave men and the noble men, and that He was fighting against all
that was mean and cruel and cowardly, and that it was up to them to take
their stand by His side if they wanted to make the world a little better
instead of a little worse."


III

The third question discussed with the men was, _What is the attitude of
the soldier to the churches, and what lesson has the Church to learn from
the present war_?  Let it be said at the very outset that the writer
speaks as a member of the Church and in deep sympathy with it.  As the
divinely constituted organization which stands for the highest human
ideals, and for the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth, we all
are, or ought to be, members of the Church.  "With charity for all and
with malice toward none," we see no ground for self-complacence on the
part of any branch of the Church, and no part of it which deserves
sweeping condemnation from the rest.  Doubtless it will seem to many that
it is unwise to confess our faults, but the men at the front are not
silent, however much we may desire to be.  We would do well to face the
facts which this war is forcing upon our attention, however much we may
dislike the searching glare of the present conflict.  Obviously something
is wrong.  Had the Church fulfilled her divine mission, the present war
between so-called "Christian" nations would have been impossible.

As was stated in the preceding chapter, according to the opinion of the
majority, less than 20 per cent or one-fifth of the men are vitally
related to any of the Christian communions.  A series of conferences held
with individuals and carefully selected groups of men and officers
brought out by a general consensus of opinion the following points as
representing the attitude of the men toward the churches:

1. _Indifference to the Church_.  As one typical young sergeant, a member
of the student movement, puts it: "The men simply have no time for it.
They do not care for the Church because it did not care for them."  There
is a general feeling that the churches do not understand them or
sympathize with the social and industrial disabilities of the men.  They
feel that the ideals of life for which the Church stands are dull, dim,
and altogether unnatural; its standard of comfort and complacent
respectability makes no appeal to them and they have no part or lot in
it.  They feel that this respectability of the Church is quite in keeping
with flagrant selfishness in social and industrial relationships, that
the Church is largely in the possession of the privileged classes, who
monopolize it, and who have neither sought nor welcomed them within its
doors.

As one representative chaplain in a most influential position in France
says: "There is the plain fact that the great mass of men are out with
the Christian Church, and do not look to it as being in any vital
relation to life as they know it, either in peace or war.  There is the
deeper and sadder fact that to a very large proportion of them God
Himself means little or nothing, or means something that is very
unchristian.  Where there is a living presentation of religion men are
responsive--extraordinarily so.  Put it how you will, men must be
summoned to a new thought, a new outlook on life, a new attitude towards
the unseen and eternal."

2. An attitude of _separation and alienation_ from the Church.  For the
most part the men are largely ignorant of what the Church really is, and
for this the churches are largely responsible.  They believe that its
message and presentation of truth are often too feminine and impractical
and that its fellowship is too cold and exclusive.  They do not
understand the vocabulary and tone adopted frequently by preachers in
speaking of religious things, and they feel that the churches are almost
complete strangers to the real facts of life with which they have to deal.

It is true that the practical work of the churches in their helpful
ministry through the various organizations working in the camps has
brought many of the men into vital contact with religion for the first
time.  But the war has revealed the lack of the churches' hold upon the
men in pre-war times.

3. _Criticism of its worldliness_.  The men have an unuttered belief in
God, and they reverence Jesus Christ as the friend and brother and
comrade of man, as the embodiment of the highest ideal they can conceive.
But they feel that somehow the churches do not adequately represent
Christ, that they have become merely the adjunct of the State to second
its schemes and aims.  Many feel that the Church has lowered its colors
in the present war, that in some countries it has been little more than a
recruiting station for enlistment and that its message cannot be
reconciled with the Sermon on the Mount.

One sergeant thus states his convictions: "Perhaps it would be well if we
out here could get up a committee of inquiry on 'Civilians and Religion'
and arrive at some decision as to what is the matter with you at home.
Are we to return home where the spiritual fires have been kept burning
brightly, or to the blackened ashes of those great ideals of the early
days of August, 1914, which have burned themselves out?  Are we to return
to a country in which, in spite of all the community of suffering and
sorrow, the Christian churches have still their differences simmering
instead of being regiments in one common Army?"

Another soldier writes: "What could not the churches do for the world if
they could only connect the symbols Christ gave us with the knowledge
that is within the hearts of men?  There must be more known about
suffering and sacrifice now in the hearts of men than at any past time.
I thought once, on the Somme, that the two races facing each other in
such agony were as the two thieves on their crosses reviling each other,
and that somewhere between us, if we could but see Him, was Christ on His
Cross."

4. The men are _bewildered and repelled by the Church's divisions_.
There is a widespread feeling among them that there is something wrong
here, that instead of representing Christ or losing themselves in the
wide interests of His Kingdom, instead of concern for the winning of the
world and humanity as a whole, the aims of many of the churches are
petty, narrow, exclusive, and sectarian.  There is a feeling among the
men that far too many Christians are working for themselves or for their
own particular branch of the Church, or are, as one of them puts it, "out
for their own show."

In the last hospital we visited, the young American Episcopal chaplain
working with one of our own units asked the writer to accompany him one
morning to help him in cheering up the patients, giving them Testaments,
meeting their needs, and answering their doubts and difficulties.  While
we were proceeding through one of the wards, the Nonconformist chaplain
came by.  The writer was speaking to a poor boy who was dying.  The
chaplain seemed shocked and surprised that we were speaking to one of his
patients without his permission.  The young Episcopal chaplain explained
that he felt sure that the chaplain would not mind if we tried to help
the men.  Although he followed him out of the ward and tried his best to
make his peace with him, the chaplain reported the matter, and we were
prevented from doing personal Christian work in neighboring hospitals.

The Roman Catholic chaplain in the next hospital, a most consecrated and
earnest man, has managed to get a military rule passed that no services
can be held in any ward of the hospital unless every Roman Catholic
patient is bodily carried out.  This has successfully prevented the
holding of any Christian services whatsoever, Catholic or Protestant.
Throughout the entire war we have never known of a single instance of any
man trying to proselytize or to divert a soldier from allegiance to his
own church.  We have known of men leaving the churches altogether during
the war, but not one instance of a man's changing his church or being
asked to do so.  Yet the jealousy and suspicion of the bare possibility
of men's doing so has blocked and excluded much genuine Christian work.

To give another instance--a personal friend of the writer, a young
Anglican clergyman, a widely known college principal, was serving in one
of the huts of a Convalescent Camp.  He had made the acquaintance of the
patients in some twelve wards and was going the rounds every morning
telling the war news, giving oranges to the fevered, and cheering up the
depressed.  The Commandant came with apologies and told him that although
he was doing the best Christian work in the hospital it must be
discontinued, as the chaplain objected.  Our friend, who was a clergyman
of the same communion as the chaplain, called upon him and asked if he
had any objection to the distribution of fruit.  He replied that if our
friend did this it would give an unfair advantage to his work as his
particular organization would get the credit, and that he, as the
chaplain, must "push his own show."  To continue in the words of our
friend: "Then I asked him if I could send the fruit through the lady
workers or the hut orderlies, or the 'Tommies' who were friends of the
wounded.  But he refused all.  So I asked him if he would distribute them
if I gave them.  This he agreed to, and I have sent them to him since
then.  But he is too busy."  The oranges were not distributed, and our
friend concludes: "I am out against the whole principle on which he acts.
I don't think he is much to be blamed.  He is one of the best; a keen,
hard-working, pleasant man, zealous for his 'own show,' and in its
interests doing much for the men.  And in his principle of action he is
not an exception, but a common type of the Anglican _padre_ as I have met
them in many lands.  They are trained and encouraged to 'push their own
show.'  But this keenness on one's 'own show' rather than on men, is the
very essence of the sin of schism, and the very root of Pharisaism.  Now,
as a rule, all the sects stand for their 'own show' first, and men know
it.  I am ashamed to be a parson today.  Men were not made for any
Church, but the Church for them."  Here again, which of us is without
sin, and who can throw the first stone at his brother, or at other
branches of the sadly divided Church of Christ?

Facing the vast common need in war time with four thousand wounded
patients, whom no one chaplain could visit, the whole story is obviously
pathetic and sad.  The writer also recalls visiting a Y M C A hut of
another nationality, where the secretary was so obviously "out for his
own show," and had become so engrossed in the counter of his dry canteen
and his work as a money-changer, that he had forgotten all the higher
interests of the men, and the high purpose for which he was there.  He
had become a mere secularized machine, a kind of automatic cash register,
mistaking in his work the means for the end.  He was just as much "out
for his own show" as the three mentioned above, and it was an infinitely
smaller "show."

Here we have four instances of men, each conscientious, well meaning, and
earnest; each zealous for his own work and his own organization; yet each
earning the pity or contempt of the great body of men outside the
churches today who are out of sympathy with sectarian zeal.  The saddest
religious spectacle the writer ever witnessed was in the Church of the
Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, where five chapels divide that sacred spot
where our Lord is supposed to have been crucified, occupied by five
bodies, each claiming to be _the_ church.  The blood of their fellow
Christians has been shed by the followers of these churches on this very
spot, and it is a humiliating sight to see them kept apart even to this
day by the Turkish bayonet alone.  How many of us are working for "our
own show," rather than for the Kingdom of God?

The war work of the Y M C A in America, in England, in France, and
elsewhere has been made possible only by churchmen sacrificing their
individual interests and losing themselves in service for the Kingdom.
The Association represents the churches at work on behalf of the
suffering men in the war zone.  If it should claim the credit for itself
as though it were a wholly independent organization, rather than the
united work of the churches which have sunk their own differences to make
possible this common work, this would be only a manifestation of the same
spirit and more inexcusable.  But such a claim it could never truly make.
As a matter of fact, this united work has proved how truly Christians of
various bodies can get together on a great practical issue.  If, as at
present, all can unite in a great lay organization, what may not the
churches themselves do in the future?

Should we not in this war repent, in bitterness and deep humiliation, for
our unhappy divisions and each resolve that he will work for nothing less
than the whole Kingdom of God, and that no member of that Kingdom, even
one of these least, shall be excluded from the love and fellowship which
make us one in Him?  One of the chaplains in France who has himself been
in the ranks says: "I feel that in the past churches have been more
anxious to get men into the Kingdom of the Church than into the Kingdom
of God, with the result that very many are Pillars of the Church who are
not near to the Kingdom.  Out of the two battalions which I have known as
a private soldier, I should say that not more than five per cent were
vitally related to any of the Christian communions.  It is useless making
plans for the time when the boys come home, unless the Church rediscovers
her Lord and Master.  The Spirit-filled Church is more necessary than any
modifications of organization."

Is not the whole war a call to deep humiliation to the Church of Christ
and should we not all stand convicted of sin before it?  So far as our
saving the world is concerned and our bringing in the Kingdom of love and
peace, which Christ came to establish, does not the war write in flaming
judgment against us, "Thou art weighed in the balances and found
wanting"?  Are we not all, like the Pharisees of old, too ready to throw
the first stone at someone else who we may think caused the war, instead
of admitting our own guilt?

As Arnold Freeman, in his lectures at Sheffield University, says:


"We persuade one another that it was the Kaiser, through his lust for
self-glorification, who made this war.  Would it be possible for one man
to transform all Europe into a slaughter-house unless that same
Kaiser-spirit found its response in human nature in every corner of this
continent?  It is the 'Kaiser' in each one of us that makes wars
possible.  It is because we have in every nation, and in every class,
multitudes of men and women who neglect the service of their
fellow-creatures in a desire for self-indulgence and self-aggrandizement,
that this catastrophe has fallen upon us all.  It is a case of
devil-possession, and our only hope is to exorcise ourselves of the evil
spirit.  Our avowed intention is to cast out 'Kaiserism' in Germany by
brute force.  We must be no less resolute to cast it out of this country."


The Bishop of Carlisle has well said that if we were really Christians
this war would not have happened.  If the defense of its citizens is the
work of the State, and the redemption of the world is the task of the
Church, no one can deny that the State has done its work far better than
the Church.  In the face of this, the most pathetic spectacle that the
Christian world ever witnessed, must we not wring our hands with shame
and cry, "Why could we not cast it out?"  The divisions, the impotence,
the worldliness, the coldness, the sin and failure of the Church stand
revealed in the lurid light of this war.

What a self-righteous spirit the war has bred in many of us, and what a
hatred of our enemies!  One has but to read the secular and religious
press on both sides of the present conflict to see our sin writ large
before us.  Since we have such a keen vision for the mote in our
brother's eye and such an eager perception of every flaw in our enemy, we
can recognize this spirit most readily if we look for it first in
Germany, but in doing so let us clearly recognize that every quotation
can be paralleled by the press both secular and religious on our own side
of the conflict.  In all fairness let us state that a large proportion of
the sermons which have been preached in the churches of Germany, England,
and America have had a recognition of the sins of their own people.  But
there have been many preachers on both sides who have praised their own
nation to the skies with Pharisaic self-righteousness, and have seen the
enemy only with the distorted eyes of prejudice and hate.

It will not be necessary to quote here the notorious "Hymn of Hate," by
Ernst Lissauer, which was distributed by the Crown Prince of Bavaria to
his army.  Rather let us quote from some of the sermons and poems of
German pastors and the religious press.  In a collection of poems
published by a German pastor, Konsistorialrat Dietrich Vorwerk, there
occurred the following paraphrase of the Lord's Prayer: "Though the
warrior's bread be scanty, do Thou work daily death and tenfold woe unto
the enemy.  Forgive in merciful long-suffering each bullet and each blow
which misses its mark!  Lead us not into the temptation of letting our
wrath be too tame in carrying out Thy divine judgment!  Deliver us and
our Ally from the infernal Enemy and his servants on earth.  Thine is the
kingdom, the German land; may we, by aid of Thy steel-clad hand, achieve
the power and the glory."  Fortunately, this was deleted in the later
editions of this book.

The published sermons of Pastor H. Francke are also typical:


"As Jesus was treated, so also have the German people been treated.  From
the East the Russian threatens us.  Injustice and bloody deeds of
violence are his life-element, agreements and constitutions, solemnly
sworn to, have no significance for him; he is stained with blood from top
to toe.  Germany is precisely--who would venture to deny it?--the
representative of the highest morality, of the purest humanity, of the
most chastened Christianity.  They envy us our freedom, our power to do
our work in peace.  To heal the world by the German nature is to become a
blessing to the people of the earth.  Wherever the German spirit obtains
supremacy, there freedom prevails.  Here we come upon the old intimate
kinship between the essence of Christianity and of Germanism.  Because of
their close spiritual relationship, therefore, Christianity must find its
fairest flower in the German mind.  Therefore we have a right to say:
'Our German Christianity--the most perfect, the most pure.'  Thus the
Germans are the very nearest to the Lord.  Is He the God of those others?
No, they serve at best Satan, the father of lies."


The Rev. J. Rump writes in the same strain:


"Against us stands the world's greatest sham of a nation, the 'English
cousin,' the Judas among the nations, who betrays Germanism for thirty
pieces of silver.  Against us stands sensual France, the harlot amongst
the peoples.  Against us stands Russia, inwardly rotten, mouldering,
masking its disease under outbursts of brutality.  Germany shall be the
Israel of the future.  The Germans are guiltless, and from all sides
testimonies are flowing in as to the noble manner in which our troops
conduct the war.  We fight--thanks and praise be to God--for the cause of
Jesus within mankind.  Verily the Bible is our book.  It was given and
assigned to us, which proclaims to mankind salvation or
disaster--according as we will it." [3]


Such quotations could be multiplied not only from German war sermons, but
from some that have been preached in England and America as well.[4]  The
Archbishop of Canterbury says: "I get letters in which I am urged to see
to it that we insist upon 'reprisals, swift, bloody and unrelenting.  Let
gutters run with German blood.  Let us smash to pulp the German old men,
women and children,' and so on." [5]

Here is Henri de Regnier's song of hate from France:

  "I swear to cherish in my heart this hate
    Till my last heart-throb wanes;
  So may the sacred venom of my blood
    Mingle and charge my veins!

  May there pass never from my darkened brow
    The furrows hate has worn!
  May they plough deeper in my flesh, to mark
    The outrage I have borne!

  By towns in flames, by my fair fields laid waste,
    By hostages undone,
  By cries of murdered women and of babes,
    By each dead warrior son, . . .

  I take my oath of hatred and of wrath
    Before God, and before
  The holy waters of the Marne and Aisne,
    Still ruddy with French gore;

  And fix my eyes upon immortal Rheims,
    Burning from nave to porch,
  Lest I forget, lest I forget who lit
    The sacrilegious torch!"


A poem recently written by an "Unbeliever" represents all the churches,
Catholic and Protestant, Lutheran and Reformed, of the enemy and of the
Allies, at last united in one message, which furnishes the recurring
refrain of the poem, "In Jesus' Name go forth and slay."

With two-thirds of the world, representing more than twenty nations,
already dragged into the widening vortex of the present war; with more
than five millions of the finest youth of Europe already slaughtered on
the battlefield, with twenty millions who have already been wounded,
nearly forty millions under arms, and whole nations organized for war and
the manufacture of munitions; with the flood tide of impurity and
immorality which war has brought in its train; with the barbarism and
cruelty, poison gas, flaming oil, and organized destruction used at
present on the battlefields of Europe, is it not time for the Church to
set her own house in order, to humble herself with shame in the very dust
for her criminal impotence and worldliness and sin, and to return to her
crucified Lord and Master?  Is it not time that we seek a new vision of
His face, to renew our consecration before Him, and to seek a vital and
life-giving message first for ourselves and then for the world about us?
Not for "our country right or wrong," not for a Pharisaic
self-righteousness, but for Christ and His suffering world, for a whole
Kingdom, and a whole Church, must we reconsecrate ourselves.

As Fosdick says, "The issue was drawn: _Christianity would be a failure
if it did not stop slavery_.  And from the day that this issue was drawn,
the result was assured.  It was not Christianity that failed, it was
slavery. . . .  This, too, is a climactic day in history.  For so long
time the Gospel and war have lived together in ignoble amity!  If at last
disharmony between the spirit of Jesus and the spirit of war is becoming
evident, then a great hope has dawned for the race. . . .  The main issue
is clear.  _Christianity will indeed have failed if it does not stop
war_." [6]

Is it not time that we turn to God in humiliation and prayer for an
outpouring of His spirit and a deeply needed revival of religion?  In the
words of Admiral Sir David Beatty, the Commander of the British Fleet,
"England still remains to be taken out of her stupor of self-satisfaction
and complacency and until she be stirred out of this condition, until
religious revival takes place at home, just so long will the war
continue."

If at the call of nationalism the manhood of the nation has poured forth
in boundless heroism and self-sacrifice, at the call of Christ cannot His
Church rise again to its high vocation?  If half of the zeal and passion,
half of the outpouring of life and treasure, of organization and
efficiency, that the State has put into this war could be thrown into the
cause of the Kingdom and of the eternal verities, the world would soon be
won.  If Christians would but follow Christ, war, as an unbelievably
brutal and barbarous anachronism, like its former savage contemporaries
of slavery, the burning of witches, and the torture of the Inquisition,
would be forever done away.  The message with which our Lord challenges
the whole Church today is that with which He began His ministry when He
faced His apostate nation, "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand."


[1] The songs of the men which are most popular in war time bear evidence
of this unconscious virtue.  They fall into three classes.  There are the
songs of cheer so popular in the camps today: "Pack Up Your Troubles in
Your Own Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile," "Are We Down-hearted, No,"
"Though Your Heart May Ache Awhile Never Mind," etc.  Then there are the
songs of home: "Keep the Home Fires Burning," "Tipperary," "Take Me Back
to Dear Old Blighty," "Put Me on the Train to London Town," "Back Home in
Tennessee," "In My Old Kentucky Home," "There's a Long, Long Trail
Awinding," "Give Me Your Smile," "If You Were the Only Girl in The
World," "Mother McCrae," etc.  Then there are the songs of nationality;
The "Marseillaise," "John Brown's Body," "When Irish Eyes are Smiling,"
"Come Back to Erin," "Annie Laurie," etc.

[2] See Appendix III for a typical expression of a soldier's new
experience of religion at the front.

[3] Quoted in "Hurrah and Hallelujah," pp. 116-119.

[4] It is interesting to note in this connection some words of Immanuel
Kant.  See Appendix I.

[5] _London Times_, June 22, 1917.

[6] "The Challenge of the Present Crisis," Association Press.



CHAPTER VIII

THE WORLD AT WAR

Let us try to grasp the colossal facts of the present war.  Since the
beginning of the conflict there has been a daily attrition of more than
25,000 in killed, wounded, or prisoners every twenty-four hours.  At
the opening of the fourth year of the war the number killed was over
5,000,000.  This does not include those who have perished in the
devastated nations.  Not less than 6,000,000 men are now in the
military prisons of Europe, some of whom have undergone great
suffering, both physical and mental.  More than 6,000,000 lie wounded
today in the military hospitals, not to speak of several times that
number who have been patched up and sent back into the line to face
death again, or have been rejected as unfit for further service, often
left crippled or maimed, blinded, or deformed for life.

Mere numbers or statistics cannot measure the sacrifice and suffering
of these lives.  If we could know the infinite value of the unit of
personality, or compute the preciousness and potentiality of a single
life destroyed, we might then hope to multiply it by the million.  If
human scales could weigh the sorrow of a widow's heart, could compute
the anguish of a mother's loss, could prophesy the deprivation of an
orphan's lot, or know the good which might have been done by even one
man who has now been killed, we would then be in a position to begin to
estimate the casualty list.

There are today nearly 40,000,000 men with the colors.  If we add to
these the 5,000,000 already killed, the 6,000,000 prisoners and the
large number discharged as unfit for further service, we have a total
of far more than 50,000,000 who have been with the colors in the first
three years of the war.  We can better realize the significance of this
statement if we remember that in no previous war have more than
3,000,000 men faced each other in conflict.  According to Gibbon,
Rome's great standing army was not over 400,000 men.  Napoleon's grand
army did not exceed 700,000, and in the Battle of Waterloo less than
200,000 men were engaged.  In the American Civil War less than
3,000,000, and in the Russo-Japanese War only 2,500,000 men were
employed.  Indeed, if we sum up the twenty greatest wars of the last
one hundred and twenty-five years, from the Napoleonic Wars to the
present time, less than 20,000,000 men were engaged, while in this war
nearly twice that number are now under arms.  Britain alone has
enrolled over 5,000,000 for the army, with 1,000,000 more from the
overseas dominions, and about 500,000 for the navy.  Germany has called
some 12,000,000 and Russia more than 12,000,000 to the colors.

By the end of 1917 nearly 6,000,000 men will have been killed.  Less
than 5,500,000 were killed in the twenty greatest wars of the last
century and a quarter, all combined.  In the Battle of Gettysburg only
3,000 were killed.  England's casualty list during a vigorous offensive
averages over 3,000 every day.  In the first ten days alone of the
battle of the Somme, the British lost 200,000 in killed or wounded.
France as a whole has lost even more heavily, while Germany's casualty
list during the great battles of the Somme and in Flanders has averaged
200,000 a month.  When our own relatives are at the front, and our own
boys are in the line, we realize what these statistics mean.  In
Germany alone the number of men killed now totals far over 1,000,000.
Think of the many millions of mothers and wives in the nations of
Europe scanning that crowded page of the newspaper, with several
thousand names on the casualty list every day, each looking to see if
her boy's name is there.

During that fateful day of July 1st when the great drive on the Somme
began, when the English along a front of twenty-five miles and the
French on a front of ten miles leaped out of the trenches and sprang
forward in that terrible charge, men were mowed down like ripened
grain.  Regiments on both sides were cut to pieces.  The writer's
brother-in-law, a young colonel, went in with 1,100 men of his
battalion--only 130 came out.  Only one officer was unscathed and he
has since been killed.  The young colonel was shot within an inch of
the heart and fell into a shellhole.  Two of his men fell dead on top
of him.  There he lay under a terrible fire for sixteen hours, and
finally at midnight gained strength to struggle from under the two
bodies that lay upon him, and crawled on his hands and knees for over a
mile back to the nearest dressing station.  In the first year of the
war he lost nearly half his men with trench foot, the men's feet being
frost-bitten or frozen in the muddy trenches.  In the second year he
was wounded in seven places by shrapnel, and later, after recovery, was
almost killed.  He has now again returned to the service.

Another red-cheeked boy told the writer that his battalion had gone in
with 960 men and had come out with only eighty.  In another battalion
all the officers were killed or wounded and the remaining handful was
left with a lance-corporal in command: the colonel, the majors,
captains, lieutenants, sergeants, and corporals had all been killed or
wounded.  At Bradford the writer was told that their favorite sons in
the "Bradford Pals" had to be sacrificed, and every man that went into
action in this battalion was either killed or wounded within a few
hours.  An unusual proportion of British officers have fallen.  The
university students and the flower of the land who have gone into the
officers' training corps have oftentimes been among the first to fall.

Let us now turn from the numbers of killed, wounded, and prisoners and
estimate if we can the cost of the conflict.  The present war, more
than any in previous history, has been a warfare of attrition, that is,
by the killing and maiming of men and the destruction of resources to
attempt to wear out the enemy.

Already the cost of the war has mounted to over $130,000,000 a day, or
more than $100,000 every minute of the twelve hours that the sun shines
upon us.  Contrast, for instance, the total cost, the lives lost, and
the numbers of men called to the colors in the twenty principal wars
during the last century and a quarter, from the Napoleonic Wars of
1793, with the figures for the present war to August 4, 1917, at the
end of the third year of the conflict.[1]

                  Twenty previous wars        Present War
  Total cost           $26,123,546,240    $75,000,000,000
  Total killed               6,498,097          5,000,000
  Called to the colors      18,562,200         40,000,000


We have said that the cost of the war has now risen to the almost
unbelievable total of over $130,000,000 a day.[2]  That is more than
the total cost of the whole war between Russia and Turkey in 1828.  In
a single great day in the battles on the Somme, or in Belgium, the
British have used as much ammunition as they were able to manufacture
in the entire first ten months of the war in 1914.

Even before the end of 1915 the five great powers had more than doubled
their national debts.  When will these debts be paid?  Great Britain,
the wealthiest of the nations of Europe, after one hundred years of
peace still owes much of the debt incurred in the American Revolution
and all of the debt incurred in the Napoleonic Wars.  The whole cost of
the American Civil War was only $5,000,000,000, and of the Napoleonic
Wars $6,000,000,000, while this war will cost over six times the amount
of either during this single year.

Great Britain's war debt at the end of the third year has reached the
enormous total of more than $20,000,000,000, or twenty times the
national debt of the United States at the beginning of the war, yet
even this does not begin to exhaust her resources.  At the close of the
Napoleonic Wars Great Britain's debt was one-third of her national
resources.  She can almost double her present enormous war debt before
utilizing a third of her wealth.

We have not in this calculation reckoned on the economic value of the
lives destroyed.  That would average about $3,000 for each man.  Five
million men killed means an economic loss to the countries concerned of
$15,000,000,000.  But the economic value of the lives destroyed
represents only a small fraction of their potentiality--socially,
morally, and spiritually.  No human brain can calculate, no heart can
fathom the cost or loss of this terrible conflict.

The cost of less than one month of the present war would equal that of
the entire Franco-Prussian War of 1870.  Another month would pay for
the whole Russo-Japanese War; twelve days would pay for the Boer War,
while the cost for three days would dig the Panama Canal.  At the
beginning of 1918 the war debts of the warring countries will exceed
$90,000,000,000, or more than one-fifth the wealth of all the warring
nations of Europe.  The daily cost of the war is equal to half the
earning power of these European nations, and the interest on their war
debts will be equal to one-half their budgets as they stood at the
beginning of the war.  The wealth of more than twenty nations is being
rapidly drained, and the world's financial reserves are being consumed
in this vicious and sinful struggle which an autocratic militarism has
forced upon the world.

Although late in entering the war, America's expenditure has been out
of all proportion to that of any other nation.  Upon arrival in this
country the writer finds the statement in our press that the nation
will have spent or sanctioned before the end of 1917, the enormous
total of $19,000,000,000.  That is more than twenty per cent of the
entire cost of the war to date for all the European nations.  That sum
is as great as Germany spent on land and sea for the conduct of the
first three years of the war.  It represents more than twice our total
wealth in 1850, and one-twelfth of our present national wealth of
$328,000,000,000.

In order to estimate further the cost and realize the suffering of the
war, let us turn for a moment to the nations devastated in Europe.  In
Belgium and Northern France 9,500,000 were being fed by the Commission
for Relief in Belgium until Germany forbade it.  Of 7,000,000
inhabitants of Belgium, 3,000,000 were early left destitute by the war
and were drawing daily one meal consisting of the equivalent of three
thick slices of bread and a pint of soup.  Mr. F. C. Wolcott writes:


"I have seen thousands of people lined up in snow or rain, soaked and
chilly, waiting for bread and soup.  I have returned to the
distributing stations at the end of the day and have found men, women,
and children sometimes still standing in line, but later compelled to
go back to their pitiful homes, cold, wet, and miserable.  It was not
until eighteen weary hours afterward that they got the meal they
missed.  The need will continue to be great for many months after peace
is declared.  Factories have been stripped of their machinery.  There
is a complete stagnation of industry.  It will take months to
rehabilitate these industries and to start the wheels again."


In Serbia more than 4,000,000 people were deprived of their living by
the war.  In Poland the suffering has been more terrible than in either
Belgium or Serbia.  The population fleeing behind the retreating
Russians were not able to keep up because of the women and children,
the aged and the sick.  They were overtaken by the German army and left
in the charred remains of their burned dwellings.  Some 200 cities and
15,000 towns and villages were destroyed in Poland.  Already 2,000,000
have died of starvation there.  In some districts all the children
under six years of age have perished.

Armenia has suffered relatively more than any of the other nations.
Mr. Henry Morgenthau, the American Ambassador to Turkey, said: "One
million of these people have either been massacred or deported and
unless succor reaches them shortly, those remaining will be lost."  In
all history there is no record more sad than that of the persecution
and extermination of the Armenians.  University professors educated in
the United States have had their hair and nails torn out by the roots
and have been slowly tortured to death.  Women and girls were outraged
and brutally killed.  Little children perished of hunger.  It is said
that probably 1,000,000 of the 2,000,000 Armenians in Turkey have been
slain, or have been driven into the country to starve, or have been
forced to accept Islam.

The American Committee for Armenian and Syrian Relief reports:


"Men in the army were the first to be brutally put to death.  These and
civilians, after being subjected to horrible tortures, were shot.  Even
priests were made victims of brutal murder.  Women, children, the sick
and aged, were forced at a moment's notice to start on foot on a
journey of exile.  Mothers, torn from their children, were compelled to
leave the little ones behind.  Women giving birth to children on the
road were forbidden to delay, but, under the whiplash, were made to
continue their march until they dropped from exhaustion to die.  A
United States Consul reported that he saw helpless people brained with
clubs, while children were killed by beating their brains out against
the rocks.  Other children were thrown into rivers and those who could
swim were shot down as they struggled in the water.  Crimes that have
been, and are being, practiced upon Armenian women are too cruel and
horrible for words.  The mutilated corpses of hundreds bear testimony
to this inhuman reign." [3]

Who was responsible for these outrages, and how long will the world
permit them to continue?

Whichever way we turn, whether we survey the number of killed, wounded,
or prisoners, the cost of the conflict, or the suffering of the
devastated nations, we realize that _the war means sacrifice_.  It is
difficult for us at home in America to appreciate the spirit in which
the men in this great struggle in Europe are fighting, and the
sacrifices they are making.  In all these months in many lands, the
writer has not heard from the lips of a single soldier who had actually
seen service at the front, words of hatred or of boasting.  Quietly and
often with sadness most of these men are going forward to face death.

Here is a letter from a young officer who fell on that fatal first day
of July on the Somme.


"I never felt more confident or cheerful in my life before, and would
not miss the attack for anything on earth.  Every officer and man is
more happy and cheerful than I have ever seen them.  My idea in writing
this letter is in case I am one of the 'costs' and get killed.  I have
been looking at the stars, and thinking what an immense distance they
are away.  What an insignificant thing the loss of, say, forty years of
life is compared with them!  It seems scarcely worth talking about.
Well, good-bye, you darlings.  Try not to worry about it, and remember
that we shall meet again really quite soon.  This letter is going to be
posted if . . ."


A friend of the writer, a young chaplain whom he met recently at the
front, went out to find his brother's mangled body on the battlefield.
The boy who fell was the son of the Bishop of Winchester, and one of
the finest spirits in Oxford.  Canon Scott Holland writes:


"The attack had failed.  There was never any hope of its succeeding,
for the machine guns of the Germans were still in full play, with their
fire unimpaired.  The body had to lie where it had fallen.  Only, his
brother could not endure to let it lie unhonoured.  He found some
shattered Somersets, who begged him to go no further.  But he heard a
voice within him bidding him risk it, and the call of the blood drove
him on.  Creeping out of the far end of the trench, as dusk fell, he
crawled through the grass on hands and knees, in spite of shells and
snipers, dropping flat on the ground as the flares shot up from the
German trenches.  At last he found what he sought.  He could stroke
with his hand the fair young head that he knew so well; he could feel
for the pocket-book and prayer-book, the badge and the whistle.  He
could breathe a prayer of benediction and then crawl back on his
perilous way in the night."


The writer has just come from visiting a group of a dozen British and
American military hospitals in one French town, with from one to four
thousand patients in each, where at this moment the trains are arriving
in almost a steady stream, bearing the wounded from the front in the
great drive in Flanders.  He has stood by the operating tables and
passed down those long, unending rows of cots.  Some of these tragic
hospital wards are filled with men, every one of whom is blinded for
life by poison gas or shrapnel.  They, like all the other wounded, are
brave and cheerful, but it will take great courage to maintain this
cheer, groping a long lifetime in the dark.  One man counted 151 trains
of twenty cars each, or 3,000 carriages, filled with German wounded
passing back in a steady stream through Belgium.  Behind all the active
fronts these train loads of wounded are daily bearing their burden of
suffering humanity.  The cities and towns of Europe are filled with
limping or crippled or wounded men today.

Opposite the writer at the ship's table sat a young man with the lower
part of his face carried away.  His chin and jaw were gone, yet he must
live on for a lifetime deformed.  Another young fellow had spent seven
long weary months in training.  The moment his regiment reached the
front it was ordered immediately into action.  He sprang to the top of
the trench, but never got over it.  He fell back wounded.  Within three
days he was back in England again, but with only one leg.  Seven months
of training, five minutes in action, then crippled for life!  The
writer saw one young fellow whose face was left contorted by shrapnel,
which had carried away one eye and the bridge of his nose.  He was a
quiet, earnest Christian.  He said, "Of course, they cannot send me
back again into the line or compel me to go with only one eye, but I am
going just the same.  I am going to give all that I have left to the
country and the cause." [4]

Hear that young soldier of France, Alfred Casalis, a brilliant student
of philosophy and theology, a Student Volunteer for the African mission
field, as he writes home to his father and mother at the age of
nineteen: "I volunteered of course.  I know with an unalterable
knowledge and with an unconquerable confidence that the foundation of
my faith is unshakeable, it rests upon the Rock.  I shall fight with a
good conscience and without fear (I hope), certainly without hate.  I
feel myself filled with an illimitable hope.  You can have no idea of
the peace in which I live.  On the march I sing inwardly.  I listen to
the music that is slumbering inside me.  The Master's call is always
ringing loudly in my ears.  I am not afraid of death.  I have made the
sacrifice of my life.  I know that to die is to begin to live."  And
the last sentence of the unfinished letter written before the charge in
which he fell, "The attack cannot but succeed.  There will be some
wounded, some killed, but we shall _go forward_ and far--"  In the
other pocket of his coat, at the end of his will were the words, "'I
have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the
faith.'  And I would that all my friends, all those who are every
moment with me, and whose hearts beat with mine, should repeat the word
of our hope, 'Because I live, ye shall live also.'" [5]

Professor Gilbert Murray, of Oxford, writes thus of the sacrifice of
the men for us: "As for me personally, there is one thought that is
always with me--the thought that other men are dying for me, better
men, younger, with more hope in their lives, many of whom I have taught
and loved.  The orthodox Christian will be familiar with the thought of
One who loved you dying for you.  I would like to say that now I seem
to be familiar with the feeling that something innocent, something
great, something that loved me, is dying, and is dying daily for me.
That is the sort of community we now are--a community in which one man
dies for his brother."

Yes, these boys are making the great sacrifice for us.  With 5,000,000
who have already been killed, with 10,000,000 of our own sons enrolled.
as subject to their call to the colors when needed, with hundreds of
American army camps at home and in France already crowded with men,
what sacrifice can we make for them?  How can we surround their lives
with the best influences of home, that they may come back to us even
better men than when they went away?

We have seen the terrible ordeal to which they will be subjected at the
front, the temptations to which they are exposed in France, in the
training schools, and the base camps; we have seen something of the
havoc which demoralizing forces have already wrought in other armies in
the camps of the prodigals, and we have seen the deadly dangers and
perils, both physical and moral, which the soldier must face.  We have
spoken of the enormous sums voted to carry on a great war of
destruction.  Is there not a yet more urgent need that we should supply
the great constructive forces for fortifying the physical and moral
manhood of our nation?  Two organizations have been recognized by our
own and the other allied governments in the war zone--the one bearing
the symbol of _the red cross_ for the wounded, and the other _the red
triangle_ for the fighting men.

The nation has already generously responded to the needs of the wounded
even before the first battle was fought, giving more in one week than
any other nation in a year for the same purpose.  And not a dollar too
much has been given for this great cause.  But we shall soon have
several millions of fighting men under arms.  What are we to do for
these men?  We have already seen that they present a threefold need.
There is the physical need of these millions who will soon be training,
fighting, and suffering.  Only the men at the front know what it really
is.  There are the mental and social requirements of men who must have
recreation, healthy amusement and occupation.  There is also the moral
and spiritual need of men who will face the greatest temptations of
their lives, when they will be farthest from the help of home and
friends, while old standards seem to be submerged or swept away "for
the period of the war."

We have already seen that the building that bears the red triangle of
the Y M C A at the front is at once the soldier's club, his home, his
church where his own denomination holds its services, his school, his
place of rest, his recreation center, his bank and postoffice where he
writes his letters, his friend in need that stands by him at the last
and meets his relatives who are called to his bedside in the hospital.
If there is anything which safeguards the physical, social, and moral
health of the men who are dying for us, can we do less than provide it
for them?  While billions are being spent for destruction, must we not
at least invest an infinitesimal fraction of one per cent of our
expenditure, in construction, in that which is the greatest asset of
any nation--its moral manhood?  Can we not provide a home away from
home for our own sons and the other boys with them whose parents may be
too poor to do so?

Here is a unique contribution which America can also make to her hard
pressed allies who have been exhausted by three terrible years of
fighting.  Britain has already set us a wonderful example and will not
need our help.  But there is France to which we owe so much and whose
war weary soldiers sorely need just such centers for recreation and
rebuilding.  General Petain, the Commander in Chief, and the French
authorities have asked for the help of our Movement in their camps.
General Pershing, after surveying the field, has declared that the
greatest service which America can _immediately_ render France, even
before our own men can reach the trenches in large numbers, is to
extend the welfare work of the Y M C A to the entire French Army.  Can
we do less than this for the nation that gave all that Washington asked
in our own hour of crisis?  Then there is Italy, with all her deep need
and great possibilities.  What can we do to minister to the wants of
her great army?

But let us turn to Russia, which represents the deepest need of
all--the nation which has undergone the greatest suffering, both within
and without its borders, of any of the belligerents.  Think of its vast
area, greater than all North America, or one seventh of the land area
of the entire globe.  Think of its population, almost twice our own,
and more than one tenth of the entire world.  Think of these people,
who have the greatest capacity for suffering of any nation on earth,
suddenly released, like their own prisoners, with steps unsteady and
eyes unaccustomed to the blinding light of freedom.  Think of what such
a movement of hope and cheer and re-creation may mean to troops hard
pressed or demoralized, facing another winter in the trenches.

Add to all these the suffering prisoners of war, and we have over
24,000,000 men who deeply need the ministry of this Movement, and need
it now.  Here are millions who have already suffered or who are going
forward ready to make the great sacrifice for us.  What sacrifice shall
we make for them?


[1] See World Almanac 1916, p. 488.

[2] The cost of the war has been calculated by various writers on both
sides of the Atlantic.  Mr. Wm. Rossiter writes on "The Statistical
Side of the Economic Costs of the War," in the _American Economic
Review_ for March, 1916.  Mr. Edmund Crammond's paper in _The Journal
of the Royal Statistical Society_, Sir George Paish in the various
issues of the _London Statist_, and others, have given careful
estimates of the direct cost of the war to nations and individuals.
During the first and cheapest year, according to Mr. Rossiter, the
total cost of the war, not including the economic value of the lives
lost, rose to forty billion dollars.  That is equal to all the national
debts of the world.

[3] See Appendix II on "The Treatment of Armenians," by Viscount Bryce.

[4] Publishers' Note: The whole problem of the meaning of suffering and
its relation to the present war, especially for those who have suffered
bereavement, is dealt with by the author in his book, "Suffering and
the War."

[5] "For France and the Faith," Letters of Alfred Eugène Casalis,
Association Press.



APPENDIX I


EXTRACTS FROM "ETERNAL PEACE"

BY

IMMANUEL KANT

"No conclusion of peace shall be held to be valid as such when it has
been made with the secret reservation of the material for a future war.
No State having an existence by itself--whether it be small or
large--shall be acquired by another State through inheritance,
exchange, purchase, or donation.  A State is not to be regarded as
property or patrimony, like the soil on which it may be settled.
Standing armies shall be entirely abolished in the course of time.  For
they threaten other States incessantly with war by their appearing to
be always equipped to enter upon it.  No State shall intermeddle by
force with the constitution or government of another State.

"No State at war with another shall adopt such modes of hostility as
would necessarily render mutual confidence impossible in a future
peace--such as the employment of assassins or poisoners, the violation
of a capitulation, the instigation of treason, and such like.  These
are dishonorable stratagems.  For there must be some trust in the habit
and disposition even of an enemy in war.

"The civil constitution in every State shall be republican.  The law of
nations shall be founded on a federation of free States.  People or
nations regarded as States may be judged like individual men.  If it is
a duty to realize a state of public law, and if at the same time there
is a well-grounded hope of its being realized--although it may be only
by approximation to it that advances ad infinitum--then perpetual peace
is a fact that is destined historically to follow the falsely so-called
treaties of peace which have been but cessations of hostilities.
Perpetual peace is, therefore, no empty idea, but a practical thing
which, through its gradual solution, is coming always nearer its final
realization; and it may well be hoped that progress toward it will be
made at more rapid rates of advance in the times to come." [1]


[1] English Edition--Pages 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 76, 81, 127.



APPENDIX II


EXTRACTS FROM "THE TREATMENT OF ARMENIANS"

BY

VISCOUNT BRYCE

From Four Members of the German Missions Staff in Turkey to the
Imperial German Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Berlin: "Out of 2,000 to
3,000 peasant women from the Armenian Plateau who were brought here in
good health, only forty or fifty skeletons are left.  The prettier ones
are the victims of their gaolers' lust; the plain ones succumb to
blows, hunger, and thirst.  Every day more than a hundred corpses are
carried out of Aleppo.  All this happened under the eyes of high
Turkish officials.  The German scutcheon is in danger of being smirched
for ever in the memory of the Near Eastern peoples."

Events in Armenia, published in the _Sonnenaufgang_, and in the
_Allgemeine Missions-Zeitschrift_, November, 1915: "Twelve hundred of
the most prominent Armenians and other Christians were arrested; 674 of
them were embarked on thirteen Tigris barges, the prisoners were
stripped of all their money and then of their clothes; after that they
were thrown into the river.  Five or six priests were stripped naked
one day, smeared with tar, and dragged through the streets.  For a
whole month corpses were observed floating down the River Euphrates,
hideously mutilated.  The prisons at Biredjik are filled regularly
every day and emptied every night--into the Euphrates." . . .

From a German eye-witness: "In Moush there are 25,000 Armenians; in the
neighborhood there are 300 villages, each containing about 500 houses.
In all these not a single male Armenian is now to be seen, and hardly a
woman.  Every officer boasted of the number he had personally
massacred.  In Harpout the people have had to endure terrible tortures.
They have had their eyebrows plucked out, their breasts cut off, their
nails torn off.  Their torturers hew off their feet or else hammer
nails into them just as they do in shoeing horses.  When they die, the
soldiers cry: 'Now let your Christ help you.'"

Memorandum forwarded by a foreign resident at H.: "On the 1st of June,
3,000 people (mostly women, girls, and children) left H. accompanied by
seventy policemen.  The policemen many times violated the women openly.
Another convoy of exiles joined the party, 18,000 in all.  The journey
began, and on the way the pretty girls were carried off one by one,
while the stragglers from the convoy were invariably killed.  On the
fortieth day the convoy came in sight of the Euphrates.  Here they saw
the bodies of more than 200 men floating in the river.  Here the Kurds
took from them everything they had, so that for five days the whole
convoy marched completely naked under the scorching sun.  For another
five days they did not have a morsel of bread, nor even a drop of
water.  They were scorched to death by thirst.  Hundreds upon hundreds
fell dead on the way, their tongues were turned to charcoal, and when,
at the end of five days, they reached a fountain, the whole convoy
naturally rushed towards it.  But here the policemen barred the way and
forbade them to take a single drop of water.  At another place where
there were wells, some women threw themselves into them, as there was
no rope or pail to draw up the water.  These women were drowned, the
dead bodies still remaining there stinking in the water, and yet the
rest of the people later drank from that well.  On the sixty-fourth
day, they gathered together all the men and sick women and children and
burned and killed them all.  On the seventieth day, when they reached
Aleppo, there were left 150 women and children altogether out of the
whole convoy of 18,000."



APPENDIX III


LINES WRITTEN BY A SOLDIER IN THE

ENGLISH ARMY ABOUT MARCH, 1916.


  _Christ in Flanders_

  "We had forgotten You or very nearly,
  You did not seem to touch us very nearly.
    Of course we thought about You now and then
  Especially in any time of trouble,
  We know that You were good in time of trouble
    But we are very ordinary men.

  And there were always other things to think of,
  There's lots of things a man has got to think of,
    His work, his home, his pleasure and his wife
  And so we only thought of You on Sunday;
  Sometimes perhaps not even on a Sunday
    Because there's always lots to fill one's life.

  And all the while, in street or lane or byway
  In country lane in city street or byway
    You walked among us, and we did not see.
  Your feet were bleeding, as You walked our pavements
  How did we miss Your foot-prints on our pavements;
    Can there be other folk as blind as we?

  Now we remember over here in Flanders
  (It isn't strange to think of You in Flanders)
    This hideous warfare seems to make things clear,
  We never thought about You much in England
  But now that we are far away from England
    We have no doubts--we know that You are here.

  You helped us pass the jest along the trenches
  Where, in cold blood, we waited in the trenches,
    You touched its ribaldry and made it fine.
  You stood beside us in our pain and weakness.
  We're glad to think You understand our weakness.
    Somehow it seems to help us not to whine.

  We think about You kneeling in the Garden
  Ah!  God, the agony of that dread Garden;
    We know you prayed for us upon the Cross.
  If anything could make us glad to bear it
  'Twould be the knowledge, that You willed to bear it
    Pain, death, the uttermost of human loss.

  Tho' we forgot You, You will not forget us.
  We feel so sure that You will not forget us.
    But stay with us until this dream is past--
  And so we ask for courage, strength, and pardon,
  Especially I think, we ask for pardon,
    And that You'll stand beside us to the last."



APPENDIX IV


LETTER FROM LORD KITCHENER TO HIS MEN

"You are ordered abroad as a soldier of the King to help our French
comrades against the invasion of a common enemy.  You have to perform a
task which will need your courage, your energy, your patience.
Remember that the honor of the British Army depends upon your
individual conduct.  It will be your duty not only to set an example of
discipline and perfect steadiness under fire, but also to maintain the
most friendly relations with those whom you are helping in this
struggle.  The operations in which you are engaged will, for the most
part, take place in a friendly country, and you can do your own country
no better service than in showing yourself, in France and Belgium, in
the true character of a British soldier.

Be invariably courteous, considerate, and kind.  Never do anything
likely to injure or destroy property, and always look upon looting as a
disgraceful act.  You are sure to meet with a welcome and to be
trusted; and your conduct must justify that welcome and that trust.
Your duty cannot be done unless your health is sound.  So keep
constantly on your guard against any excesses.  In this new experience
you may find temptations both in wine and women.  You must entirely
resist both temptations, and while treating all women with perfect
courtesy, you should avoid any intimacy.

Do your duty bravely.

Fear God.

Honor the King."


Kitchener,
  Field-Marshal.





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