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The need and practice of confession are sympathetically and forcibly dealt with, and abundant evidence from Holy Scripture and the Book of Common Prayer is brought to indicate the mind and teaching of the Church. Two aspects of the subject are considered with especial skill and force The Meaning of Forgiveness and The Unchecked Results of Sin. While distinguishing between the " penitential discipline of modern Rome" and the implication from Prayer Book phrases of our own position that confession is "an opportunity and a privilege." Mr. Whelpton makes it perfectly plain that he is not setting forth the "medicine " theory. He makes quite clear that the result of a thorough self-examination will almost inevitably be the discovery of sins needing absolution and griefs to be opened. This volume is an admirable book to put into the hands of people who need to have the subject brought simply and directly before them. Also the chapters, being brief and written in a way to compel attention, would make excellent instructions for a busy parish priest to read to his congregation.

J. W. S.

What Luther Taught. By Joseph Husslein and John C. Revielle. Associate Editors of America: The America Press. $.15.

With praiseworthy detachment from bias because Luther was the great antagonist of their own communion, the writers of this series of papers have gathered together and put in readable form what the ordinary man ought to know about Martin Luther. Today we do not care for bursts of literary encomium nor glittering generalities about protestant negations, but the facts and the words which will lead to a right estimate of Luther. Such material, with pertinent extracts from Luther's writings and abundant references, is at hand in this pamphlet. With a few, but very few, reservations on account of ambiguity of language, this low-priced volume may be recommended. The subjects dealt with are: Luther and Freedom of Thought; Luther and the State; Luther and Religion; Luther and Social Life; Luther and Education; Luther, Slaves and Peasants; Luther and Woman.

Modernist Studies in the Life of Jesus. By Ray Oakley Miller: Sherman French & Co. Boston, 1917.

This little book is neither so unorthodox nor so scholarly as its title would suggest. It has a certain sort of eloquence and there are people who would admire it. The present reviewer found its sugary and sentimental vagueness very trying.

C. C. E.

Monthly

A Magazine of comment, criticism and review dealing
with questions confronting the Anglican Communion
and more especially the Church in the United States

Volume II

JANUARY, 1918

Number 5

Some Spiritual Gains Arising Out
of the War

“W

HAT the war has done for me" is the subject for a symposium suggested by a consideration of innumerable instances of men and women who have reacted to the spiritual stimulus which the war has brought. Let it suffice by way of illustration to give three concrete examples of such reaction which have recently come under the personal observation of the writer of this article. Doubtless these are largely typical of what is now taking place in thousands of cases.

"I am ashamed of the selfish life I have been living and I welcome the opportunity which the war has brought of doing something to justify my existence." Such was the candid confession of a man of forty, made the other day in the course of a conversation with the writer. The speaker wore the uniform of a junior officer in the new national army and his manners and appearance bespoke a spirit of unwonted energy and self respect. This man had hitherto been living the life of a mere idler and dilettante. Possessed of an university education, of a high social position and of independent means, he had drifted if not exactly into dissipated habits at least into a life of pure self-indulgence and was on the high road to a career of general futility and ineffectiveness.

The second case is that of a young woman popularly known as a "society butterfly" who seemed to have no thought for anything except the gratification of her vanity and the eager quest for pleasure and excitement. Her pastor had long sought unsuccessfully to interest her in some department of parochial work. A few weeks ago this same young woman voluntarily sought him out and begged to be provided with some useful task. "I want something real to do" she said. "I want to feel that I have a share however humble in the extra responsibilities which the war has brought to the Parish." She is now an active worker in the Girls' Friendly Society and is consecrating her great social tact and personal charm to the cause.

The third instance has to do with a man of mature age, the head of a big corporation and intimately associated with a wide range of business interests which demand his close attention and leave him small leisure for recreation and none at all, as he formerly supposed, for outside calls upon his time and energies. That man is now giving two full days every week to a consideration of the industrial and social problems arising out of the war. The duties which he has voluntarily assumed require him to take a long railway journey to a distant city for the purpose of attending a weekly conference on matters which only remotely, if at all, concern his own business affairs. He receives of course no compensation for his services and desires none. He considers himself amply repaid by the consciousness that he is serving the public interests in a way that his large experience and trained business faculties render possible. In the period before the war this man had no time nor energy to spare for matters which did not directly concern his own business. He would always freely give his money to good objects, but hitherto could never be induced to give himself. Now he is learning through the war what self-sacrifice really means and it is safe to say that in future he will not continue to stand aloof from movements for the general good in which he may conceivably be useful.

It is a commonplace that times of national trial are often those when the spirit of a nation is reborn and the life of a whole community is lifted to higher levels. We see this conspicuously

in the case of France and perhaps not less in the case of England. Now in some degree and growing naturally out of similar conditions we are beginning to notice the evidence of a like spirit among our own people. Surely if slowly a nobler conception of life is permeating all classes of society. Thousands to-day are gaining larger visions of what their citizenship means. Many are growing ashamed of the selfishness and frivolity which have hitherto marked their attitude. They have come to realize as never before the shame of sloth and the pettiness of mere personal ambition. The call to devotion and selfsacrifice which the war brings is now finding an echo in many hearts which previously were concerned mainly with thoughts of their own personal comfort and security. There is an enlargement of sympathies, a fervent desire to be helpful to others. Many who never before thought of lifting a hand to aid worthy and charitable causes are now asking passionately to be told how they may be useful in the present great emergency. Out of the distress and anxiety which the war has brought a process of regeneration is taking place. Great sacrifices are being made gladly, the sense of national solidarity is being quickened by the common peril and there is a conspicuous absence of snobbery and pettiness. The selective draft places all upon the same level of service and there is hardly a family, rich or poor, which is not represented in the national army. Though the country has been in the war less than six months and our influence in a military sense has not yet begun to be actively exercised, no one who has watched the trend of events can have failed to note the chastened spirit of the American people. The war fever has been conspicuous by its absence. We are confident, as it is proper we should be, but in no sense boastful. Indeed the sobriety and lack of excitement which characterize these days is remarkable to those who recall the feverish agitation and popular clamor which marked the outset and progress of our little war with Spain some twenty years since. We are determined to defeat our enemies, but for the most part there is no hatred of them. We are fighting for a principle, for an ideal, and feel no inclination to indulge in

personal animosities. Americans will never sing a "hymn of hate."

Surely these manifestations are all good and their presence reveals a wonderful change in the national attitude. Half consciously a new sense of what is praiseworthy and good is being instilled into the body politic. We are reaching out, under the înfluence of our distress and anxiety for a nobler conception of life. Self sacrifice is appearing in a new light as a glorious manifestation of the godlike in man. We are learning the difficult lesson that service in behalf of others is the most beautiful thing in life, that those only are to be esteemed worthy who forget themselves in order that they may do and give most for a common cause. The ideal of Him who came "not to be ministered unto but to minister" is being set before us and illustrated by a thousand examples.

Unconscious though we may be of the fact, these manifestations are of the essence of true religion and surely betoken a revival of its spirit in the hearts of men. Seriousness is the first step in any movement toward the spiritual goal and seriousness is what we have attained. Humility and reverence are the conditions of drawing near to God as pride and frivolity are those which make approach to Him impossible.

Perhaps there is to be observed small evidence as yet of any great increase in the observance of religious rites and practices. Perhaps the attendance at the Sunday services of the Church is yet far from being satisfactory. It may well be that many of those who are unselfishly devoting themselves to the various philanthropic objects which war conditions have created have not yet felt the need of seeking the great source of spiritual inspiration and strength in the worship of the Church and at its altars. Nevertheless the ground is surely being prepared for a revival of true religion and the signs of such revival are not lacking. Our people are welcoming in greater numbers the opportunities offered on weekdays for special prayer and intercession. Churches that are open daily for private devotion note an increase in those thus using them. Congregations if not larger than formerly show a spirit of greater seriousness and

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