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tented is to keep him pickled in beer. fun, - but his rich humanity and roAny suggestion of abolishing the traffic bust common sense are things for which is, therefore, regarded as an invitation to give thanks. He is a prophet of norto anarchy, and dire predictions are mal human nature, and his uproarious made. Almost anywhere in London faith in God is a tonic in days like these. one sees a dozen baby-carts at the door If Dickens was the greatest American of a public house, while the mothers ever born in England, some of us feel are inside guzzling beer. Never before that Chesterton is the best thing Enghave I seen drunken mothers trying to land has given us since Dickens. One push baby-carts! Surely England has loves him for his strength, his sanity, an enemy behind the lines!
and his divine joyousness. The Holy January 12. — Had a delicious tilt Spirit, said Hermas, is a hilarious spirit! with Chesterton, who apparently re- January 17. - Dr. John Hutton, of gards the Dogma of Beer as an article of Glasgow, preached in the City Temple Christian faith. Every time I meet him to-day, his theme being 'The TempI think of The Man Who Was Thursday tation,' that is, the one temptation that - a story in which he has drawn a includes all others — the spirit of cyniportrait of himself. He is not only cism that haunts all high moods. Artenormously fat, but tall to boot;a moun- fully, subtly it seeks to lower, somehow, tain of a man. His head, seen from be the lights of the soul, to slay ideals, to hind, looks larger than any human head betray and deliver us to base-mindedhas a right to be. He is the soul of good- ness. Such preaching! He searches like fellowship, and as the wine in his glass a surgeon and heals like a physician. goes down, one may witness an exhibi- Seldom, if ever, have I had anyone walk tion worth going miles to see. He leads right into my heart with a lighted canwords into the arena, first in single file, dle in his hand, as he did, and look into then four abreast, then in regiments; the dark corners. For years I had known and the feats they perform are hair- him as a master of the inner life, whethraising. If he talks in paradoxes, it is er dealing with the Bible At Close Quarfor the same reason that more solemn ters, or with those friends and aiders persons talk in platitudes — he cannot of faith, like Browning; and there are help it.
passages in The Winds of God that echo · From the Gospel of Beer, the talk like great music. As a guide to those turned to Wells and his new theology, who are walking in the middle years of and it was good to hear Chesterton life, where bafflements of faith are many laugh about a God unfinished and still and moral pitfalls are deep, there is no in the making. His epigram hit it off to one like Hutton; no one near him. But, a dot. “The Christ of Wells is tidy; the rich as his books are, his preaching is real Christ is titanic. We agreed that more wonderful than his writing. While the portraiture of Jesus by Wells is in his sermon has the finish of a literary bad drawing, being too much like Wells
essay, it is delivered with the enthusihimself; but we remembered other por- asm of an evangelist. The whole man traits by the same hand, - Kipps, Polly, goes into it, uniting humor, pathos, and the rest, very ordinary men unction, with a certain wildness of made extraordinary and individual and abandon, as of one possessed, which is alluring by the magic of genius. the note of truly great preaching. In
One may call Chesterton many names, my humble judgment he is the greatest - an irrationalist, a reactionary ideal- preacher in Britain. ist, a humorist teaching serious truth in January 23. — Just returned from a
journey into the Midlands. At Man- ence that, when Chamberlain was acchester I preached on Sunday in the cused in the House of Commons of Cavendish Street Chapel, where Joseph representing Dr. Dale, he retorted, in Parker ministered before going to the praise of the great preacher, that he had City Temple, and lectured on 'Lin- no mean constituency. The last man cc in and the War' the following eve- named was J. H. Shorthouse, the author ning. No man ever had a more cordial of John Inglesant, one of my favorite reception in any city. As a preface to books. If the name was recognized at my lecture I paid a tribute to the Man- all, there was no sign of it. chester Guardian as one of the great in- January 27. – Have been on anstitutions of this island, and expressed other short tour, preaching to the men gratitude for its sympathetic and in- in the camps, including one of the telligent understanding of America and khaki colleges of the Canadian army at her President, in the difficult days of Whitley. Twice, when the men were our neutrality. The American Consul, given a choice between a sermon and a in seconding a vote of thanks, told an lecture, they voted to have a sermon. interesting fact found in the files of his And what they want is a straight talk, office. A group of Manchester citizens, hot from the heart, about the truths knowing the admiration of Lincoln for that make us men; no 'set sermon with John Bright,
a Manchester man, a stunt text,' as one of them explained. had a bust of the Quaker statesman When I asked what he meant, he said: made, and it was ready to be sent when 'Such texts as “Put on the whole arthe news of the assassination came. mor of God,” or “Fight the good fight,” They cabled Mrs. Lincoln, asking what or “Quit you like men"; they are doing they should do. She told them to send that now. But they are being undone it to Washington; and it is now in the the while by a terrible shattering of White House.
faith, and in many a moral trenchAs a fact, I did not see Birmingham fight. at all, because a heavy fog hung over it No end of nonsense has been talked when I arrived and had not lifted when about the men in the armies, as if putI left. I could hardly see my audience ting on khaki made a man a saint. No, when I rose to speak, and felt half- they are men like ourselves, - our boys, choked all through the lecture. As it was with the passions and temptations my first visit to Birmingham, I began of the rest of us. As one of them put by recalling the great men with whom the city was associated in my mind. Our Padre, 'e says I'm a sinner, The first was Joseph Chamberlain. No And John Bull says I'm a saint; sooner had I uttered the name than And they're both of 'em bound to be liars,
For I'm neither of them, I ain't. there were hisses and cries, ‘No, no!
I'm a man, and a man's a mixture, John Bright!' I had forgotten that Right down from his very birth; Bright ever sat for a Birmingham dis- For part of 'im comes from 'eaven, trict. The next name was that of John And part of 'im comes from earth. Henry, Cardinal Newman. It was re- And upon this basis - being a man myceived at first with silence, then with a self, and therefore a mixture - I talked few groans. But when I mentioned the to them, without mincing words, about name of Dr. Dale, there was loud ap- the fight for faith and the desperate plause; for he was not only a mighty struggles of the moral life. Never can preacher, but a great political influence I forget those eager, earnest, upturned in the city. Then I reminded my audi- faces, – bronzed by war and weather
many of which were soon to be torn came upon the tomb of Izaak Walton, by shot and shell. The difference in and I confess I stood beside it with preaching to men who have seen little mingled feelings of reverence and gratiof war, and to those who have been in tude. Behind the tomb is a noble winit for two years or more, is very great. dow, not more than fifty years old, into I should know the difference if blind- which the fishing scenes of the New Tesfolded. The latter are as hard as nails. tament are woven with good effect Only now and then does the preacher an appropriate memorial to the gentlest know the thrill of having dug under, or and wisest fisherman who has lived broken through, the wall of adamant among us since Jesus lodged with the in which they shelter that shy and lone fishermen by the sea. ly thing they dare not lose.
The afternoon service in the ancient February 18. — The American camp temple touched me deeply, as if those at Winchester. Preached four times who conducted it were awed by the yesterday in a large moving-picture presence of Eternity, and were carrytheatre, - packed to the doors, – ing for a brief time the Torch of Faith, and to-day I am as limp as a rag. It changing but eternal; a faith natural to was a great experience, talking to such humanity, and affirmed and expressed vast companies of my own countrymen by the ordered beauty around them. - tall, upstanding, wholesome fellows Such a building is a symbol of that in from all over the Union, among them man which refuses to be subdued, either the survivors of the Tuscania, tor- by the brute forces of life or by the anpedoed off the coast of Ireland. They archy in his own heart; an emblem of are in the best of spirits, having lost that eternal resolve to love rather than everything except their courage, as one hate, to hope rather than despair. of them said; every one with a cold, and March 6. — Returning from Edinall togged out in every kind of garb – burgh, I broke my journey at the anfor those who did not lose their cloth- cient city of York, where the kindest of ing had it ruined by the sea-water. welcomes awaited me. Looking out of
Spent to-day in Winchester, a city my hotel window, I saw a music-shop of magnificent memories, about which founded in 1768 - older than the clusters more of history and of legend American Republic. Preached at three than about any city on this island, ex- o'clock at the Monkgate Methodist cept London. It is the city of Arthur Chapel; at five held an institute for minand the Round Table. Here the Saxon isters; and at seven lectured on Lincoln Chronicles were written; here King Al- to a huge audience, Mr. Roundtree, fred lies buried. It is the very birth- Member of Parliament, presiding. The place of our civilization. The College Lord Mayor presented me with a resoand the St. Cross Hospital have about lution of welcome, in which the most them the air of the Middle Ages. But cordial good-will was expressed for the the Cathedral is the gem of the scene, people of America. having the most beautiful nave I have Earlier in the day I was taken to variever seen. Less a cemetery than the Ab- ous places of historic interest, including, bey, even an amateur architect can trace of course, the beautiful old gray Minthe old Norman style, shading into the ster. Also to the grave of John Woolearly English, and then into the later man, the Quaker, a brief biography of English styles, showing the evolution of whom I had once written. I knew he the building while enshrining the his- died while on a mission to England, but tory of a race. In the south transept I I had forgotten that he was buried in York. Reverently we stood by the finding a way out of one tight corner grave of that simple man, - daringly
daringly into another, following a zigzag course. radical, but divinely gentle, — who was An enigmatic and elusive personality, the incarnation of the spirit of Christ, ruled by intuitions rather than by and whose life of love and service, of principles, — if he never leaves me with pity and prayer, made him a kind of sad a sense of sincerity, he at least gives me St. Francis of the new world. York is a a conservative thrill. Despite his critics stronghold of the Society of Friends the record of his actual achievements is the noblest body of organized mysti- colossal, and I know of no other percism on earth. Aye, the war is making sonality in this kingdom that could take men either skeptics or mystics, and wis- his place. Like Roosevelt, he knows dom lies, methinks, with the mystics how to dramatize what he does, making whose faith is symbolized in the beauti- himself the hero of the story; and it is ful Listening Angel I saw the other day so skillfully done that few see that the in the Southwell Cathedral.
hero is also the showman. March 12. The Prime Minister March 25. — At the Thursday-noon spoke to the Free Church Council in service on the 21st, we had news that a the City Temple to-day, and it was an great battle had begun, but we little astonishing performance, as much for dreamed what turn it would take. Inits wizardry of eloquence as for its stead of the long-expected Allied admoral camouflage. For weeks he has vance, it was a gigantic enemy drive, been under a barrage of criticism, as he which seems to be sweeping everything always is when things do not go right; before it. Wave after wave of the enemy and the audience was manifestly un- hosts beat upon the Allied lines, until sympathetic, if not hostile. As no one they first bent and then broke; the knew what would happen, it was ar- British and French armies
be ranged that he should enter the pulpit dered and the Channel ports captured. during the singing of a hymn.
All internal dissension is hushed in the As soon as he rose to speak, — his presence of the common danger, and stout body balanced on tiny, dwarf- one sees once more the real quality of like legs, – the hecklers began a ma- the British character, its quiet courage chine-gun fire of questions, and it looked shining most brightly when the sky is as if we were in for a war of wits. The lowering. English heckler is a joy. He does not London is tongued-tied; people look deal in slang phrases, but aims his dart at each other and understand. If there straight at the target. In ten minutes is any panic, it is among the politicians, the Prime Minister had his audience not among the people. Resolute, allstanding and throwing up their hats. suffering, unconquerably cheery, men It was pure magic. I felt the force of it. brace themselves to face the worst But after it was over and I had time to it is magnificent! There was no room think it through, I found that he had for the people in the City Temple yessaid almost nothing. On the question of terday; the call to prayer comes not Bread or Beer he turned a clever rhe half so imperatively from the pulpit as torical trick, and nothing else. The from the human heart in its intolerable Evening Star says that the Prime Min- anxiety and sorrow. These are days ister is not a statesman at all, but a when men gather up their final reasons stuntsman; and one is half inclined to for holding on in the battle of life, seekagree with it. Certainly his genius justing the ultimate solace of the Eternal. now seems to consist in his agility in What days to read the Bible! Itself
a book of battles, its simple words find that Day, and until the Ascension, new interpretation in the awful exegesis when the Great Adventurer was welof events. Many a Psalm for the day comed home, the Unseen World was might have been written for the day; known to be near, homelike, and real. . the leaping up of fires through the crust To-day is the anniversary of that Day of the earth makes them luminous. As of Divine Lucidity, when men — plain, we enter the depths, those strange songs ordinary men like ourselves follow us. Doubt, elation, anger, and through the shadows into the life of even hate are there perfectly expressed. things. Softly, benignly, the Day of To-day, as of old, the people imagine Eternal Life dawns upon a world red a vain thing; the earth trembles; the with war and billowed with the graves honor of God is threatened. The of those who seem doubly dead, because Apocalypse, too, has a new force, color, they died so young. Never did this and beauty, as we regard it in the light blessed day shine with deeper meaning; of burning cities. Its pictures are like never was its great Arch of Promise so the work of some mighty artist on a thronged with hurrying feet. Blessed vast, cloudy canvas, dipping his brush Day! When its bells have fallen into in earthquake and eclipse and the shad- silence, and its lilies havé faded into ows of the bottomless pit. Once more dust, pray God there may live in our we see the Four Horses riding over the hearts the promise that, after the winearth. The challenge of the Book of Job ter of war, there shall be a springtime of is taken up again; Jeremiah is justified peace and good-will! in his sorrow; and the Suffering Servant When one thinks of the number of of God is a living figure in this new cru- the fallen, and the heartache that folcifixion of humanity.
lows the evening sun around the world, And the Gospels! Never has there it is not strange that many seek combeen so complete a vindication of the munication, as well as communion, with ethics of Jesus. If, the Facts now say, the dead longing to see even in a you take the anti-Christ point of view, filmy vapor the outlines of forms familthis is what it means. Repent, or the iar and dear. The pathos of it is heartKingdom of Hell will swallow you up! breaking! Even when one is sure that Thus the Galilean triumphs, in the ter- such use of what are called psychical ror of denying his words, no less than in faculties is a retrogression, — since genthe blessing of obeying them: "Thou ius is the only medium through which, hast the words of eternal life.'
so far, Heaven has made any spiritual March 31. — Easter Day! Dr. Ren- revelation to mankind, - it is none del Harris tells how, in the musty pages the less hard to rebuke it. of the Journal of a learned society, he Some think Spiritualism may become came upon a revealing fact. It was there a new religion, with Sir Oliver Lodge as recorded that, on a morning in May, its prophet and Sir Conan Doyle as its 1797, which broke calmly after a stormy evangelist. No matter; it has done night, it was possible to see from the good, and in a way too easily overlookcliffs of Folkestone even the color of ed. Nearly all of us grew up with a the cottages on the French mainland.
definite picture in our minds of a city In the spiritual world, also, there is the with streets of gold and gates of pearl; record of such a day of clear tranquil- but that picture has faded. Time and lity, when the fierce night of the Passion criticism have emptied it of actuality. had passed, and the day of the Resur- Since then, the walls of the universe rection dawned white and serene. On have been pushed back into infinity,