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a book of battles, its simple words find new interpretation in the awful exegesis of events. Many a Psalm for the day might have been written for the day; the leaping up of fires through the crust of the earth makes them luminous. As we enter the depths, those strange songs follow us. Doubt, elation, anger, and even hate are there perfectly expressed. To-day, as of old, the people imagine a vain thing; the earth trembles; the honor of God is threatened. The Apocalypse, too, has a new force, color, and beauty, as we regard it in the light of burning cities. Its pictures are like the work of some mighty artist on a vast, cloudy canvas, dipping his brush in earthquake and eclipse and the shadows of the bottomless pit. Once more we see the Four Horses riding over the earth. The challenge of the Book of Job is taken up again; Jeremiah is justified in his sorrow; and the Suffering Servant of God is a living figure in this new crucifixion of humanity.
And the Gospels! Never has there been so complete a vindication of the ethics of Jesus. If, the Facts now say, you take the anti-Christ point of view, this is what it means. Repent, or the Kingdom of Hell will swallow you up! Thus the Galilean triumphs, in the terror of denying his words, no less than in the blessing of obeying them: 'Thou hast the words of eternal life.'
March 31. — Easter Day! Dr. Rendel Harris tells how, in the musty pages of the Journal of a learned society, he came upon a revealing fact. It was there recorded that, on a morning in May, 1797, which broke calmly after a stormy night, it was possible to see from the cliffs of Folkestone even the color of the cottages on the French mainland. In the spiritual world, also, there is the record of such a day of clear tranquillity, when the fierce night of the Passion had passed, and the day of the Resurrection dawned white and serene. On
that Day, and until the Ascension, — when the Great Adventurer was welcomed home, — the Unseen World was known to be near, homelike, and real.
To-day is the anniversary of that Day of Divine Lucidity, when men — plain, ordinary men like ourselves — saw through the shadows into the life of things. Softly, benignly, the Day of Eternal Life dawns upon a world red with war and billowed with the graves of those who seem doubly dead, because they died so young. Never did this blessed day shine with deeper meaning; never was its great Arch of Promise so thronged with hurrying feet. Blessed Day! When its bells have fallen into silence, and its lilies have' faded into dust, pray God there may live in our hearts the promise that, after the winter of war, there shall be a springtime of peace and good-will!
When one thinks of the number of the fallen, and the heartache that follows the evening sun around the world, it is not strange that many seek communication, as well as communion, with the dead — longing to see even in a filmy vapor the outlines of forms familiar and dear. The pathos of it is heartbreaking! Even when one is sure that such use of what are called psychical faculties is a retrogression, — since genius is the only medium through which, so far, Heaven has made any spiritual revelation to mankind, — it is none the less hard to rebuke it.
Some think Spiritualism may become a new religion, with Sir Oliver Lodge as its prophet and Sir Conan Doyle as its evangelist. No matter; it has done good, and in a way too easily overlooked. Nearly all of us grew up with a definite picture in our minds of a city with streets of gold and gates of pearl; but that picture has faded. Time and criticism have emptied it of actuality. Since then, the walls of the universe have been pushed back into infinity, and the old scenery of faith has grown dim. Admit that its imagery was crude; it did help the imagination, upon which both faith and hope lean more heavily than we are aware. Now that the old picture has vanished, the unseen world is for many only a bare, blank infinity, soundless and colorless. These new seekers after truth have at least helped to humanize it once more, touching it with light and color and laughter; and that is a real service, both to faith and to the affections. Meanwhile, not a few are making discoveries in another and better way, as witness this letter:—
Dear Minister, —
Early in the war I lost my husband, and I was mad with grief. I had the children to bring up and no one to help me, so I just raged against God for taking my husband from my side and yet calling Himself good. Someone told me that God could be to me all that my husband was and more. And so I got into the way of defying God in my heart. 'Now and here,' I used to say, 'this is what I want and God can't give it to me.' After a while I came, somehow, to feel that God liked the honesty of it; liked this downright telling Him all my needs, though I had no belief that He could help me. One day I had gone into the garden to gather some flowers, and suddenly I knew that my husband was there with me — just himself, only braver and stronger than he had ever been. I do not know how I knew; but I knew. There was no need of a medium, for I had found God myself, and, finding Him, I had found my husband too.
Aprit 15. — No spring drive is equal to the drive of spring itself, when April comes marching down the world. Kew Garden is like a bit of paradise, and neither war nor woe can mar its glory. How the English love flowers! Even in the slums of London—which are among the most dismal and God-forsaken spots on earth — one sees in the windows tiny pots of flowers, adding a touch of color to the drab and dingy scene. At the front, in dugouts, one finds old
tin cans full of flowers, gathered from no one knows where. Each English home is walled in for privacy, — unlike our American way, — and each has its own garden of flowers, like a little Eden. One of the first things an Englishman shows his guest is the garden, where the family spend much of their time in summer. April sends everybody digging in the garden.
And such bird-song! The day begins with a concert, and there is an anthem or a solo at any hour. They sing as if the heart of the world were a mystic, unfathomable joy; and even a pessimist like Thomas Hardy wondered what secret the 'Darkling Thrush' knew that he did not know; and, further, what right he had to sing in such a world as this. After listening to the birds, one cannot despair of man, seeing Nature at the task of endlessly renewing her life. His war, his statecraft, his science, may be follies or sins; but his life is only budding even yet, and the flower is yet to be. So one feels in April, with a lilac beneath the window.
April 20. — Housekeeping in England, for an American woman, is a trying enough experience at any time; but it is doubly so in war-time when food and fuel conditions are so bad. Until the rationing went into effect, it was a problem to get anything to eat, as the shops would not take new customers. Even now the bread tastes as if it had been made out of sawdust; and butter being almost an unknown quality, the margarine, like the sins of the King, in Hamlet, smells to heaven. Shopping is an adventure. Literally one has to deal, not only with 'the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick-maker,' but with the fish-market, the greengrocer, the dry grocer, — everything at a different place, — so it takes time and heroic patience, and even then one often comes home empty-handed. As a last resort, we fall back on eggs and peanuts, — monkey-nuts, the English call them, — to both of which I take off my hat. It is impossible for one person to keep an English house clean — it is so illarranged, and cluttered up with bric-abrac. There are none of the American appliances for Ml vingkbor—no brooms; and the housemaid must get down on her knees, with a dustpan and handbrush, to sweep the room. There is enough brass in the house to keep one able-bodied person busy polishing it. Arnold Bennett has more than one passage of concentrated indignation about the time and energy spent in polishing brass in English houses. It is almost a profession. One compensation is the soft-voiced, well-trained English servants, and often even they are either thievish or sluttish.
April 25. — Twice I have heard Bernard Shaw lecture recently, and have not yet recovered from the shock and surprise of meeting him. My idea of Shaw was a man alert, aggressive, selfcentred, vastly conceited, craving publicity, laying claim to an omniscience that would astonish most deities. That is to say, a literary acrobat, standing on his head to attract attention, or walking the tight-rope in the top of the tent. But that Shaw is a myth, a legend, a pose. The real Shaw is no such man. Instead, he is physically finicky, almost old-maidish, not only shy and embarrassed off the platform, but awkward, blushing like a schoolgirl when you meet him. He is gentle, modest, generous, full of quick wisdom, but suggesting lavender, and China tea served in dainty old-world cups. The most garrulous man in Europe before the war, he was smitten dumb by the insanity of it, having no word of comfort or command. Unlike Romain Holland, he could not even frame a bitter condemnation of it. So, after one or two feeble protests, he went back into his drawing-room, pulled the blinds down,
and drank China tea out of his dainty cups, leaving the world to stew in its own juice. Who can describe the fineness, the fatuousness, the futility of him! Whether prophet or harlequin, he has shot his bolt and missed the mark. Of course, the artist will live on in his work — most vividly, perhaps, in his sham-shattering wit.
April 30. — Few Americans realize what the Throne and the Royal Family mean in the life of the British people. Our idea of the King is colored by our republican preconceptions, to say nothing of our prejudices — not knowing that England is in many ways more democratic than America. The other day, in the City Temple, an American minister spoke of the King as 'an animated flag,' little dreaming of the thing of which he is a symbol and the profound affection in which he is held. There is something spiritual in this devotion to the King, something mystical, and the Empire would hardly hold together without it. The Royal Family is really an exaltation of the Home, which is ever the centre of British patriotism. Never, in their true hours, do the English people brag of Britain as a worldpower, actual or potential. It is always the home and the hearth, — now to be defended, — and nowhere is the home more sacred and tender. Of every Briton we may say, as Bunyan said of Greatheart: 'But that which put glory of grace into all that he did was that he did it for pure love of his Country.' This sentiment finds incarnation in the Royal Family, in whom the Home rises above party and is untouched by the gusts of passion.
'Their gracious Majesties' is a phrase which exactly describes the reigning King and Queen, though neither can be said to possess, in the same measure, that mysterious quality so difficult to define which, in King Edward and Queen Alexandra, appealed so strongly to the popular imagination. Gentle-hearted, if not actually shy, one feels that the formalism and ceremony of the Court appeal less to the King than to the Queen, whose stateliness sometimes leaves an impression of aloofness. Something of the same shyness one detects in the modest, manly, happy-hearted Prince of Wales, whose personality is so captivating alike in its simplicity and its sincerity. At a time when thrones are falling, the British King moves freely among his people, everywhere honored and beloved — and all who know the worth of this Empire to civilization rejoice and give thanks.
May 19. — Dr. Jowett began his ministry at Westminster Chapel today, — the anniversary of Pentecost, — welcomed by a hideous air-raid. Somehow, while Dr. Jowett always kindles my imagination, he never gives me that sense of reality which is the greatest thing in preaching. One enjoys his musical voice, his exquisite elocution, his mastery of the art of illustration, and his fastidious style; but the substance of his sermons is incredibly thin. Of course, this is due, in large part, to the theory of popular preaching on which he works. His method is to take a single idea — large or small — and turn it over and over, like a gem, revealing all its facets, on the ground that one idea is all that the average audience is equal to. Of this method Dr. Jowett is a consummate master, and it is a joy to see him make use of it, though at times it leads to a tedious repetition of the text. Often, too, he seems to be laboring under the handicap of a brilliant novelist, who must needs make up in scenery what is lacking in plot.
Since his return to London he has been less given to filigree rhetoric, and he has struck almost for the first time a social note, to the extent, at any rate, of touching upon public affairs — al
though no one would claim that Dr. Jowett has a social message, in the real meaning of that phrase. No, his forte is personal religious experience of a mild evangelical type; and to a convinced Christian audience of that tradition and training he has a ministry of edification and comfort. But for the typical man of modern mind, caught in the currents and alive to the agitations of our day, Dr. Jowett has no message. However, we must not expect everything from any one servant of God, and the painter is needed as well as the prophet.
June 2. — Spent a lovely day yesterday at Selborne, a town tucked away among the chalk-hills of Hampshire. There, well-nigh two hundred years ago, Gilbert White watched the Hangar grow green in May and orange and scarlet in October, and learned to be wise. One can almost see him in the atmosphere and setting of his life, — an old-bachelor parson, his face marked by the smallpox, as so many were in that day, — walking over the hills, which he called 'majestic mountains,' a student and lover of nature. He was a man who knew his own mind, worked his* little plot of earth free from the delusions of grandeur, and publi»hed his classic book, The Natural History of Selborne, in the year of the fall of the Bastille. Because of this coincidence of dates, it has been said that White was more concerned with the course of events in a martin's nest than with the crash of empires. No doubt; but it may be that the laws of the universe through which empires fall are best known by a man who has such quietness of soul that a brooding mother-bird will not fly away when he visits her. White asked the universe one question, and waited to hear the answer: Take away fear, and what follows? The answer is: Peace, even the peace without which a man cannot learn that when 'redstarts shake their tails, they move them horizontally.' It was a day to refresh the soul.
June 10.— Attended a Ministerial Fraternal to-day, and greatly enjoyed the freedom and frankness of the discussion. A conservative in England would be a radical in America, so far are they in advance of us. Evidently our English brethren have gotten over the theological mumps, measles, and whooping-cough. For one thing, they have accepted the results of the critical study of the Bible, without losing any of the warmth and glow of evangelical faith, — uniting liberal thought with orthodoxy of the heart, — as we in America have not succeeded in doing. All confessed that the atmosphere of their work has changed; that the fingers of their sermons grope blindly amid the hidden keys of the modern mind, seeking the great new words of comfort and light. It was agreed that a timid, halting, patched-up restatement of faith will not do: there must be a radical reinterpretation, if we are to speak to the new time, which thinks in new terms. On social questions, too, the discussion was trenchant, at times even startling. There was real searching of hearts, drawing us together in a final candor, and driving us back to the permanent fountains of power. The spirit of the meeting was most fraternal, and I, for one, felt that fellowship is both creative and revealing.
June 25. — American troops are pouring into England, and the invasion is a revelation to the English people. Nothing could surpass the kindness and hospitality with which they open their hearts and homes to their kinsmen from the great West. They are at once courteous and critical, torn between feelings of joy, sorrow, and a kind of gentle jealousy — at thought of their own fine fellows who went away and did not come back. They have seen many kinds of Americans, among them VOL. it8—No. s
the tourist, the globe-trotter, the unspeakable fop, and the newly rich who spread their vulgarity all over Europe; but now they are discovering the real American, — the manly, modest, intelligent lad from the college, the store, the farm, — and they like him. He is good to look at, wholesome, hearty, straightforward, serious but not solemn, and he has the air of one on an errand. On the surface the British Tommy affects to take the war as a huge joke, but our men take it in dead earnest. 'Why, your men are mystics; they are crusaders,' said an English journalist to me recently; and I confess they do have that bearing — for such they really are. Last night, in a coffee-house on the Strand, I asked the Cockney proprietor if he had seen many American boys and what he thought of them. Something like this is what I heard: —
'Yerce, and I like what I've seen of 'em. No swank about 'em, y' know — officers an' men, just like pals together. Talks to yeh mately-like — know what I mean? — man to man sort o' thing. Nice, likable chaps, I alwis finds 'em. Bit of a change after all these damn foreigners. I get on with 'em top-'ole. And eat? Fair clean me out. Funny the way they looks at London, though. Mad about it, y' know. I bin in London yers an' yers, and it don't worry me. Wants to know where that bloke put 'is cloak down in the mud for some Queen, and 'ow many generals is buried in Westminster Abbey. 'Ow should I know? I live in Camden Town. I got a business t' attend to. Likable boys, though. 'Ere's to 'em!'
July 4. — Went to the American Army and Navy baseball game, taking as my guests a Member of Parliament and a City Temple friend. Never has there been such a ball game since time began. The King pitched the first ball, and did it right well, too. The papers say he has been practising for days.