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which they attended, a resolution was offered, and nearly passed, to the effect that not one of them would darken the doors of the City Temple during my ministry. My visitors told it with shame, confessing that they, too, had been prejudiced against me as an American. It recalled how, thirty years ago, when Dr. John Hall was called to the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York, he received a letter from an American friend saying, 'You will find a prejudice against you in the minds of some of the smaller men here. It is natural that they should feel slighted by a call being given to you, a foreigner, which to some extent will be strengthened by the prejudice against Irishmen in particular.' Evidently human nature is much the same on both sides of the sea; but that was long ago, and our two countries were not then allies in the great war. I do not recall that in recent years any British minister working in America of whom there are many, but not half enough — has had to face such a feeling.
July 18. — Joined the Bishop of London at luncheon with the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House, and he was much interested in the ministry of my colleague, Miss Maude Royden. The two grave questions in his mind seemed to be, first, does she actually stand in the pulpit where I stand when I preach? second, does she wear a hat? If I had to wear the gaiters of the Bishop of London, I should be concerned, not about Miss Royden's hat, but about what she is doing with the brains under her hat. Like John Wesley, she may remain all her days in the Anglican fold, but she will be there only in her private capacity, and her influence will be centrifugal. The Bishop, moreover, though his foresight is not abnormal, ought to suspect the existence of the forces gathering about the greatest woman preacher of our generation outside his jurisdiction.
Had he been wise, instead of leaving her to consort with feminists, intellectuals, and social revolutionaries outside the church, he would have set her the task of bringing them inside. As it is, the little dark woman in the big white pulpit is a note of interrogation to the future of the Church of England, and the sign of its failure to meet a great movement; but the Bishop can see nothing but her hat!
Frail of figure, slight unspeakably, with a limp in her gait, as a speaker Miss Royden is singularly effective in her simplicity and directness. There is no shrillness in her eloquence, no impression of strain. In style conversational rather than oratorical, she speaks with the inevitable ease of long practice. Some of her epigrams are unforgettable in their quick-sighted summing up of situations; as when she said recently in the Royal Albert Hall: "The Church of England is the Conservative Party at prayer.' She is an authority on all matters pertaining to woman and child, holding much the same position in England that Miss Jane Addams has long held in America. Untrained in theology, which some hold to be an advantage, — she deals with the old issues of faith as an educated, spiritually minded woman in sensitive contact with life, albeit casting aside the 'muffled Christianity' that Wells once described as the religion of the well-to-do classes. Not the least important part of her work is what I call her 'clinic'; her service as guide, confidant, and friend to hundreds of women, and as confessor to not a few. Here she does what no man may ever hope to do, doubly so at a time when England is a world of women who are entering upon a life new, strange, and difficult. As she remains a loyal Anglican, at least we are giving an example of that Christian unity of which we hear so much and see so little.
July 20.-How childish people can be, especially Britishers and Americans when they begin to compare the merits and demerits of their respective lands. Each contrasts what is best in his country with what is worst in the other, and both proceed upon the idea that difference is inferiority. It would be amusing, if it were not so stupid. One sees so much of it, now that our troops are beginning to arrive in small detachments, and it is so important that contacts should be happy. As it is, Americans and Englishmen look at each other askance, like distant cousins who have a dim memory that they once played and fought together, and are not sure that they are going to be friends. Both are thin-skinned, but their skins are thick, and thin in different spots, and it takes time and tact to learn the spots. Each says the wrong thing at the right time. Our men are puzzled at the reticence of the English, mistaking it for snobbishness or indifference. The English are irritated at the roars of laughter that our boys emit when they see the diminutive 'goods' trains and locomotives, and speak of England as if they were afraid to turn around lest they fall into the sea. Among the early arrivals were a few, more talkative than wise, who said that, England having failed, it was 'up to America to do the trick.' They were only a few, but they did harm. Alas, all of us will be wiser before the war is over. If only we can keep our senses, especially our sense of humor. But there is the rub, since neither understands the jokes of the other, regarding them as insults. Americans and Scotchmen understand each other quickly and completely, no doubt because their humor is more alike. We shall see what we shall see.
This friction and criticism actually extend to preaching. The other day I heard an American preach in the morning, a Scotchman in the afternoon, and
an Englishman in the evening. It was most interesting, and the differences of accent and emphasis were very striking. The American was topical and oratorical, the Scotchman expository and analytical, the Englishman polished and persuasive. After the evening service a dear old Scotchman confided to me that no Englishman had ever preached a real sermon in his life, and that the sermon to which we had just listened would be resented by a village congregation in Scotland. On my objecting that there are great preachers in England, he insisted that 'an Englishman either reads an essay, or he talks nonsense; and neither of these is preaching.' As a rule, a good English sermon is, if not an essay, at least of the essay type; but the Scotchman exaggerated. When I made bold to ask him what he thought of American preaching, with a twinkle in his eye he quoted the words of Herbert: 'Do not grudge
To pick treasures out of an earthen pot. The worst speaks something good: if all want sense,
God takes a text, and preacheth patience.' Not wishing to tempt providence, I did not press the matter; but we did agree, diplomatically, that neither type of preaching is what it ought to be. The people are not astonished at the teaching, as of old, nor do the rulers tremble with rage.
July 24.- Had a delightful chat over a chop with Sir Gilbert Parker, and a good 'row' about Henry James. When I called James's renunciation of his American for British citizenship an apostasy, my host was 'wicked' enough to describe it as an apotheosis. It was in vain that I argued that James was not a true cosmopolitan, else he would have been at home anywhere, even in his own country. The talk then turned to the bad manners of the two countries, ours being chiefly diplomatic, theirs literary. Indeed, if one takes the trouble
to read what Englishmen have written about America, from the days long from the days long gone when they used to venture across the Atlantic to enlighten us with lectures in words of one syllable, to the days of Dickens, and how Britishers have gone sniffing their way through America, finding everything wrong because un-English,—it is a wonder there has not been war every five years. This attitude of supercilious and thinly veiled contempt has continued until it has hardened into a habit. Nor could we recall any books written in America in ridicule of England. Meanwhile, our diplomatic atrocities have been outrageous. Such antics and attitudes, we agreed, would make friendship impossible between individuals, and they demand an improvement in manners, as well as in morals, on both sides. In the midst of the question whether Watts Dunton saved Swinburne or extinguished him, there was an air-raid warning and so we reached no conclusion.
July 27.-Received the following letter from a City Temple boy in the trenches:
SOMEWHERE IN HELL, July 16.
The luck is all on your side; you still believe in things. Good for you. It is topping, if one can do it. But war is such a devil's nursery. I got knocked over, but I am up and at it again. I'm tough. They started toughening me the first day. instructor was an ex-pug, just the man to develop one's innate chivalry. They hung out the bunting and gave me a big send-off, when we came out here to scatter the Hun's guts. Forgive me writing so. I know you will forgive me, but who will forgive God? Not I not I! This war makes me hate God. I don't know whether He is the God of battles and enjoys the show, as He is said to have done long ago. If so, there are smoking holocausts enough to please Him in No Man's Land. But, anyway, He let it happen! Omnipotent! and He let it hap
pen! Omniscient! Knew it in advance, and let it happen! I hate Him. You are kinder to me than God has been. Good-bye.
The religious reactions of men under the pressure and horror of war are often terrifying. The general rule-to which, of course, there are many exceptions both ways is that those who go in pious, with a kind of traditional piety, come out hard and indifferent, and sometimes militantly skeptical; while those who were careless emerge deeply serious religious, but hardly Christian, with a primitive pantheism mixed with fatalism. Many, to be sure, are confirmed in a mood such as haunts the stories of Conrad, in which the good and bad alike sink into a 'vast indifference,' or the mood of Hardy, in whom pessimism is mitigated by pity. Others fall back upon the 'hard, unyielding despair' of Russell, and their heroism fills me with awe. Huxley, I know, thought the great Force that rules the universe a force to be fought, and he was ready to fight it. It may be magnificent, but it is not war. The odds are so uneven, the fight so futile. And still others have learned, at last, the meaning of the Cross.
(In the interval between these two entries, I went along the war-front, as a guest of the British Government; and after spending some time speaking to the troops, returned to America. I discovered an amazing America, the like of which no one had ever seen, or even imagined, before. Everywhere one heard the sound of marching, marching, marching; and I, who had just seen what they were marching into, watched it all with an infinite ache in my heart. Hardly less terrifying was the blend of alarm, anger, hate, knight-errantry, hysteria, idealism, cynicism, moralistic fervor and plain bafflement, which made up the war-mood of America. One felt the altruism and inhumanity, the sincerity and sheer brutishness lurking under all our law and order, long sleeked over by prosperity and ease, until we were scarcely aware of it. From
New York to Iowa, from Texas to Boston I went to and fro, telling our people what the war was like; after which I returned to England.)
October 24. Joined a group of Free Church ministers at a private breakfast given by the Prime Minister at No. 10 Downing Street. It was the most extraordinary function I have ever attended, as much for its guests as for its host. Mr. Lloyd George spoke to us for more than an hour, and we saw him at close quarters in the intimacy of a selfrevelation most disarming. What a way he has of saying, by the lifting of an eyebrow, by the shrug of the shoulders, by a gesture in a pause, volumes more than his words tell. He feels that his Free Church brethren are estranged, and he wished to explain matters and set himself right. His address was very adroit, but one felt a suggestion of cunning even in his candor, despite a winning smile. He talked like a man in a cage, telling how he was unable to do many things he would like to do. As he spoke, one realized the enormous difficulties of a man in his place, - the pull and tug of diverse interests, his incredible burdens, and the vast issues with which he must deal. No wonder time has powdered his hair almost white, and cut deep lines in his face. Behind him hung a full-length painting of Pitt, and I thought of the two together, each leading his country in an hour of supreme crisis. I thought him worthy of such company, though hardly in the Gladstone tradition, — a man of ideas rather than of principles, with more of the mysterious force of genius than either Pitt or Peel, but lacking something of the eternal fascination of Disraeli. Such men are usually regarded as half-charlatan and halfprophet, and the Prime Minister does not escape that estimate.
At the close of the address there was a disposition to heckle the Prime Min
ister, during which he learned that Nonconformity had been estranged to some extent and he also learned why. One of the urgent questions before the country is an actual choice between Bread and Beer, and the Government has been unable, apparently, to decide. The food-hogging brewery interests seem to be sovereign, and the Prime Minister is tied too willingly, perhaps. When asked why, unlike President Wilson, he avoids the use of the word God in his addresses, I thought his reply neat. It is done deliberately, he said, lest he seem to come into competition with the blasphemous mouthings of the German Emperor. His final plea was that, as Britain must bear the brunt of the war until America is ready, as Russia bore it until Britain was ready, she must muster all her courage, her patience, and her moral fortitude.
As I left the house, a group of lynxeyed, sleuth-like press-men- good fellows, all-waylaid and assailed me for some hint of the meaning of such a gathering; but I was dumb. They were disappointed, saying that ‘after a minister has had breakfast with the Prime Minister he ought to be a well-primed minister'; but as I declined to be pumped, they let me go. When the supply of truth is not equal to the demand, the temptation is to manufacture, and speculations in the afternoon papers as to the significance of the breakfast were amazing. It was called 'A Parson's Peace,' in which the Prime Minister had called a prayer-meeting to patch up a peace with the enemy - which is about as near as some journals ever arrive at the truth.
November 6. Under cover of a dense fog a dirty apron which Mother Nature flung over us to hide us from the air-raiders I went down last night into Essex, to preach in a village chapel for a brother who is discouraged in his
work. I found the chapel hidden away on a back street, telling of a time when these little altars of faith and liberty dared not show themselves on the main street of a town. It was named Bethesda, bringing to mind the words of Disraeli, in Sybil, where he speaks of 'little plain buildings of pale brick, with names painted on them of Zion, Bethel, Bethesda; names of a distant land, and the language of a persecuted and ancient race; yet such is the mysterious power of their divine quality, breathing conIsolation in the nineteenth century to the harassed forms and harrowed souls of a Saxon peasantry.' Nor is that all. They have been the permanent fountains of religious life on this island; and, in any grand reunion of the Church hereafter to be realized, their faith, their patience, their heroic tenacity to principle must be conserved, else something precious will perish. Tribute is paid to the folk of the Mayflower for their daring of adventure in facing an unknown continent for the right to worship; but no less heroic were the men who remained in the homeland, fighting, suffering, and waiting for the freedom of faith and the liberty of prayer.
November 10. So, at last, it is decided that we are to be rationed as to bread, sugar, and fats of all kinds, and everybody must have a coupon. It is a democratic arrangement, since all will share equally as long as the supply lasts. Unfortunately the Truth has been rationed for a long time, and no coupons are to be had. It is a war fought in the dark by a people fed on lies. One recalls the line in the Iliad, which might have been written this morning: 'We mortals hear only the news, and know nothing at all.' No one wishes to publish information which would be of aid to the enemy; but that obvious precaution is made the convenient cover of every kind of stupidity and inefficiency.
Propaganda is the most terrible weapon so far developed by the war. It is worse than poison gas. If the wind is in the right direction, gas may kill a few and injure others; but the possibilities of manipulating the public mind, by withholding or discoloring the facts, are appalling. One is so helpless in face of it. No one can think intelligently without. knowing the facts; and if the facts are controlled by interested men, the very idea of democracy is destroyed and becomes a farce. This, and the prostitution of parliamentary government in every democratic land, are the two dangers of a political kind most to be dreaded.
November 17.- Dean Inge, of St. Paul's, is one of the greatest minds on this island, and an effective preacher if one forgets the manner and attends to the matter of his discourse. An aristocrat by temper, he is a pessimist in philosophy and a Christian mystic in faith what a combination! If not actually a pessimist, he is at least a Cassandra, and we need one such prophet, if no more, in every generation. No wonder he won the title of 'the gloomy Dean.' Without wasting a word, in a style as incisive as his thought, clear, keen-cutting, he sets forth the truth as he sees it, careless as to whether it is received or not. There is no unction in his preaching; no pathos. It is cold intellect, with never a touch of tenderness. Nor is he the first gloomy Dean of St. Paul's. There was Donne, a mighty preacher in his day, though known now chiefly as a poet, whom Walton described as 'enticing others by a sacred art and courtship to amend their lives.' Yet surely the theology of Donne was terrifying rather than enticing. There is very little of the poet in Dean Inge, and none of the dismal theology of Donne, who was haunted equally by the terrors of hell and by the horrors of physical decay in death.