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our hearts. If these officers are any indication of the 'stuff' in the United States army, their success is assured and our ultimate victory certain.
As to the British army, it is of course very, very weary; but its spirit is still undaunted, and it will carry on to the end, until all are dead, if need be. But the agony is long drawn-out, and the cry goes up, 'How long, O Lord, how long?'",
This confirms what we had long believed about our American officers. No finer body of men exists in the world. We shall never forget the impression stamped upon our souls as we watched the army from Camp Upton marching along Fifth Avenue in a spring snow-storm. Here and there we recognized officers whom we had known at college, many of them prominent in athletic contests in the older days. But now there was a new enthusiasm in their eyes, a new determination in their weatherbeaten faces and their firmly set lips. The old pleasure-seeking days were over; a stern task was laid upon them and they meant to see it through.
Searchings of Heart About Establishment in England
HE same chaplain writes in his letter about the state of religion in England as revealed by war conditions. He is evidently of the same mind as the chaplains who wrote "The Church in the Furnace," that something must be done, and be done soon, to make religion more of a reality to the people of England. The following passage may seem somewhat pessimistic, but it contains elements of great hopefulness:
"Of one thing I am quite sure: the war does not make men more Christian. The Church of England is passing through a difficult time. . . . The chaplains at the Front, myself included, are becoming more and more rebellious against a State-governed Church. It is a strange thing to have our Bishops appointed by a Baptist lawyer, who has in the past expressed himself in violent terms against the Church of England. We are becoming more and more convinced of the necessity of the disestablishment of the Church. We are banding ourselves together into a group
of keen reformers, having been brought face to face with the almost total difference on the part of the vast majority of Englishmen to the Church or her message. Something must be done to stir out of their apathy lethargic country clergy and be-palaced Bishops, who think more of their State position than of the souls who are in their care. We have visions of a new crusade, of getting a sufficient number of priests to bind themselves under laws of poverty, chastity, and obedience; and to go forth to evangelize England once again. We want a St. Francis to lead us. Something must be done if the appalling indifference to the Church and her sacraments is to be broken down. Three hundred years of Protestantism have produced this failure. We must try something else. The Gospel and the simple teaching of the Catholic faith can never fail,-at least that is my experience at the Front. There is nothing that so appeals to men as the simple teaching, for instance, about Penance. The many men I have now prepared for Confirmation have with only very few exceptions been only too glad to avail themselves of the opportunity of the sacrament of Penance. It has made the whole difference to them."
From a Y. M. C. A. Worker at the Front
AN interesting glimpse into the experience of an American
priest who is working as a Y. M. C. A. secretary with our troops at the Front is supplied by the following extract from one of his letters:
"The opportunities are great here at the Two men were baptized the other day, and two men are coming regularly for instruction in the spiritual life. I am waiting now for three men who are coming in this evening for confession; and every evening is filled with talks in my room with one man or another on spiritual and religious topics, some of the most interesting being with a very intelligent and cultivated Roman Catholic who comes in to discuss matters with me and magazine articles. The Church papers I get are quite widely circulated in that way, especially The American Church Monthly, which a number of the men find very interesting."
We quote this, not merely on account of the flattering mention of this magazine for which we may surely be pardoned a slight feeling of satisfaction, but also to remind our readers that religious reading is welcomed by our soldiers at the Front, and that therefore it would be well to send them our church periodicals when we can. Probably at no time in their lives have they been so ready to read books and periodical literature dealing seriously with religious and spiritual matters.
The Experiment of Faith. Rt. Rev. Chas. Fiske, D.D., LL.D. Fleming H. Revell Co., 1918.
The sub-title of Bishop Fiske's latest book, is "A Plea for Reality in Religion," which is an apt and concise definition of its content. Obedience to revealed truth and a whole-hearted acceptance of the whole doctrine of God as revealed in Christ form the subject matter which is treated in the author's characteristic, straightforward way. Like its immediate predecessor, Back to Christ, Bishop Fiske has caught the right note of appeal to the "average layman," but this little book has a certain very evident value beyond that. It might with great profit be included in a list of the ten best books on workable religion (of which at least three would be by the Rev. Walter Carey) produced within the past five years or so, and resented to a newly ordained clergyman to saturate himself with on his Summer vacation before beginning serious work in the Autumn.
Bishop Fiske seems capable of turning out a great deal of useful work in a short time, a faculty which has characterized several other notable busy Bishops, of whom, Mandell Creighton probably heads the list.
The book is very well made and of handy size. There is a sustained note of fresh joyousness running through it for the lack of which many otherwise excellent similar books have failed. It is to be hoped that the book will have a wide sale among the laity of all Christian creeds.
H. S. W.