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The Salvation Army.
From both officers and soldiers, hearty and glowing expressions came for the workers of the Salvation army, their unselfishness, bravery and modest, quiet efficiency, especially at critical moments under fire. In this connection, it is gratifying to note that some of the warmest expressions I heard from commanding generals were their appreciation of the work of the Salvation army. The Army Chaplains. Those who may have feared that in the number and extent of organiza tions and movements for the moral care of the army the chaplain would lose something of his prestige and op portunity, need do so no longer. Our chaplains are finding their place, are doing us credit and stand infinitely higher in the army than ever before. Their influence is constantly increas ing. Doubtless this is due to several causes: the deep interest, the fine vision and the high appreciation of General Pershing; the effective organi zation of the Headquarters Board of Chaplains; the attitude of Secretary Carter of the Y. M. C. A.; but still more to the general quality of the men who have volunteered for this high service. Relations With the Y. M. C. A. At the headquarters of the Y. M. C. A. the npirit seems to be all that could be asked, and the same is true at the chaplain headquarters. The orders issued by Mr. Carter appear to have accorded every appropriate primacy to the chaplains. On the whole, the chaplains and Y. M. C. A. workers are working in hearty co-operation, the extent and effectiveness of which is largely deter mined by the personalities of those concerned. Many ministers of the Y. M. C. A. are performing the duties of chaplains where none have yet been assigned. Especial Needs of the Chaplain. The first of these is adequate equip ment. The second is that of trans / portation facilities. Very often the unit to which the chaplain is assigned is widely dispersed, part at the front and part towards the rear, and oc casionally his unit is divided more widely by being billeted In different places. At other times his men may be in the field hospitals at a consider able distance. Not only the chaplains themselves, but their generals, urge strongly the need of cars for the chap lains. They are now obliged to walk many miles, losing much time, unless they can borrow transportation. This difficulty will, of course, be lessened somewhat when the full number of chaplains are available. Inadequack of Number. This is a serious difficulty. Many regiments are without adequate ser vice, many localized units are entirely without chaplains and many hospitals unsupplled. Many soldiers have hard ly seen or heard of a chaplain. Organization. The organization at general head quarters is in fine order, with three unusually strong men in Chaplains Brent, Doherty and Moody. Nearly every division now has its divisional chaplain In charge. A school is in operation at headquarters. Insignia and Rank. There Is division of preference and judgment in the use of insignia. Some chaplains still wjear the insignia of rank and others have adopted, either by preference or in compliance, the simple use of the cross. I Judge that the majority of the chaplains prefer both insignia. There Is, however, no division of ? opinion as to the proposed measure for a chaplain's corps with standing as to rank and pay on an equality with the medical corps. On this the interested generals and chaplains, both at headquarters and in the field, are practically unanimous and posi tive. Chaplain Brent prepared and re quested me to convey the following: "To the War Time Commission of the Churches: "The opportunity of the chaplain in the American Expeditionary Forces is unprecedented in military history. The best manhood of America is his to guide, inspire and mould. It has been a common complaint in parochial life that men do not form a promi nent element in the average congre gation. No such complaint can be made in the army. Again our sol diers are in a temper of mind to wel come greedily the truth of God from the hearts of true men. They are at the most receptive moment of their lives. They are quick to detect and spurn unreality and sham. They are in search of and responsive to what is real. "The religious to-morrow of America lies latent in the soldiers of to-day, and it is the responsibility of the chaplain to shape it so that the kingdom of God will enter into American life with power. Already there is springing up among the chap lains a Bongo or brotherhood result ing from personal fellowship. It does not mean the breaking down of per sonal convictions but rather the giving of due respect to the honest con victions of others. Mutual underv standing is the first step towards unity. "The chaplain comes with two com missions ? that of the Church which provides him with power from on high; that from tho nation which in dicates his sphere of duty. He is simply a minister of God working in military conditions. He is always and everywhere the spiritual general of the army and his insignia perpetually proclaims it. "If the chaplain of the American Expeditionary Forces works In the up lands of opportunity, he also works in a furnace of temptations and difficul ties. The strain will be constant and, in both front line and back areas, terrific. Facilities for movement will be restricted owing to the insufficient transportation of the army. Problems of moral and spiritual character will thicken dally. Endurance will be tested to the limit. Only strong men reinforced by an Almighty God can meet the demands of the emergency. "We, upon whom has fallen the responsibility of organizing and direct ing the religious leaders of the American Expeditionary Forces, are wholly dependent on the churches of America for the character and the number of those who come to us. We beg of you to think only of one thing ? the choicest manhood of our nation is in France or headed towards France under the domination of the spirit of self-sacrifice. The strongest and best men in the ministry are not too good to serve them. It would be a crime to send weaklings or Incompetents to so sublime and so difficult a task. Give us your best and give them properly. "(Signed) C. H. Brent, "Senior Chaplain G. H. Q., "A. E. F." 19 August, 1918. As I left general headquarters Gen eral Pershing handed me an appre ciative and stirring message to the American churches, which set forth the splendid ideals which he holds up before the American army in France, and I left him with a feeling of confi dence and hope. OPENING OF A Y. M. O. A. HUT FOR AMERICAN TROOPS IN FRANCE. More than six hundred buildings in France are now in use by the Ameri can Y. M. C. A. secretaries in their work of ministry to American sol diers and sailors. These buildings in clude cafes, hotels, dug-outs, tents and ruins, as well as the hundreds of buildings especially constructed for this work. The buildings are crowd ed, frequently almost to suffocation, by the American troops whenever their official duties permit their at tendance. Mr. Francis B. Sayre, son in-law of President Wilson, who for a number of months was one of the overseas Red Triangle secretaries, gives this description of one of these huts: "The hut usually contains a 'oanteen-room,' a large lecture hall, and a number of smaller rooms for classes and group meetings. The can teen-room, a large lounging place, fit ted up with board benches and tables, decorated with gay bunting or bright pictures of home life, or possibly with wall-paintings done by some soldier decorator, is usually thronged with troops at every hour of the day when soldiers can be found off duty; for it is generally the only place in camp where soldiers can gather for recrea tional or social purposes. At one end, by the canteen counter, lined up to get their hot coffee, their buns, crack ers, sweet chocolate, sandwiches, or the like, are crowds of soldiers; others are sitting at the tables, writ ing letters home on the stationery fur nished them; still others are at the other end of the room, gathered around the piano or victrola, playing the tunes they used to play at home, many are reading the home newspa pers and magazines which are given out at the counter, or selecting books from the library, or matching their wits in friendly games of checkers. In another part of the hut is a large lecture-room with a stage at one end; here are given in the evenings educa tional lectures, soldier minstrel shows, musical entertainments, cinema shows, patriotic addresses and religious talks; and here, too, are generally held the Sunday religious services and meetings. Scarcely an evening goes by that does not see these halls packed to the doors. I have seen them so crowded, on the occasion of some stirring religious talk, that af ter the benches were all filled and the standing-room taken, soldiers kept crowding in through tlio win dows to sit on the floor of the plat form, and others remained standing outside to listen to the speaker through the windows. Surging in and out of the thirty huts in one of these base camps there pass daily actually sixty thousand men of every race and creed; every night between ten and fifteen thousand men are listening to educational lectures and entertain ments; on two nights every week a like number are crowding to hear re ligious talks." Boys and Girls Earn valuable premiums working a few minutes after school. No fake ? send name and address, but no money. DAVIS & CO., P. O. Box 1776 Richmond, Va. "GOD'S SERVICE STAR" Is the title of a beautiful, helpful, vocatlona 1 service to be used at Christmas or other time in the Church and Sunday School It is based on the beautiful little story by Mildred Welch. It appeals for the enlistment of life in God's service. It will be furnished in sufficient quantities for use in any of the churches or Sunday Schools of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, free of cost. Order a sample outfit now. Free. The General Assembly said (at Birmingham) "That the Sabbath nearest to Christmas of each year be set apart to be observed by our Sunday Schools in the in terest of Christian Education and Ministerial Relief." (At Durant): "That so far as practicable our Committee's arrangement of the Christmas program be used in our Sabbath Schools." 122 South Fourth Avenue, HENRY H. SWEETS, Secretary Louisville, Ky.