Newspaper Page Text
Inday, June 30, 1918.
DAILY ARDMOREITE PAGE NINE THE RELIGIOUS RAMBLER By WILLIAM T. ELUS Paris A stranger looks in' vain for the evidences of a great religious awakening in France, such as was reported and universally comment ed upon in the early stages of the war. Then it was said that "France has found her soul"; and the phrase was used as meaning that France was experiencine a relieious re vival. Stories were told of crowd- ed churches that had long been neg- lected. of athiests formally repu diating their unfaith, of an entire nation turning from cynicism and j infidelity in new reverence to the I church of its fathers. And those V stories were true, and certain phases of the mood they represented per t sist to the present moment. ' But there is no "revival" here ' The spiritual exaltation of those i first soul-awakeniner davs of the '; war. when the struggle was seen ) primarily in the large and in the ab ' stract. as between the spirit of i darkness and the spirit of light, has '! passed away. Now it is complical ed by dreary months and years of individual experiences ot the weight and woe of war. Much of the y bouyancy and ebullient confidence k of those early months has given way to dogged resolution and .en durance. France's spirit is by no means broken; now, however, she is simolv seeing the thing through. Her purpose has been heightened ,'" by these months of bitter realiza ;$ tion of the character of the enemy; and her hold upon the spiritual '( ideals involved m the war is strong er er than evev. But she has lost much , of her ardor for the religious aspect ; J of the struggle. i France is not today thronging her I churches. A host of persons go , regularly to the stated occasions of I worship, and there may be found a I few reverent visitors to the princi V pal city churches at almost any ,4 hour of the day, but the people as I a whole have not taken on the J church-going habit. When the '4 kaiser's shell from the long-range gun on Good Friday killed and wounded a ereat company of per- sons its power was enhanced by 'I the fact that it hit the one church in Paris most famous for its music. A That accounts also for the large ;f proportion of foreigners among the v dead and injured. 1 have been in more than one historic church in France where the big gun could not - reap any considerable toll of wor shippers'. There are church-goers, I repeat, but the nation is not church-going. What War Does to Spirits. War wears away the keener edge of sensibilities. It is beyond the caoacitv of the human spirit to maintain the tension which nations it is one of the finest expressions of American interest in her brave ally. The kindred work that is be ing done for the French women munition workers bv the Youn Women's Christian Association comes in the same category. Both accord with the deepest spirit of the French people at the moment France's Religious Future. Among the military and political leaders, and in intellectual centers like Paris, one hears talk of a French national church after the war, without any relationship with Rome. It is unquestionably the be lief of many, or most, French people that the Vatican has followed a pro German course. Whether this is true or not is in no wise under dis cussion in this article. I can only record the outspoken belief of the French as 1 was able to ascertain it. My finding coincides with that of an American official of the Knights of Columbus with whom I discussed the matter. He, too, had found the French talking of a na tional church, to be set up after the war. This, everybody is care ful to explain, will be a Catholic church. There is no inclination to secede to Protestantism. But it will be a distinctively French insti tution, owing no allegiance outside of France, except to God. When one goes among the devout peasants, especially of the south of France, he is led seriously to doubt the practicability of such a step. It would be an even more violent wrench than the separation of Church and State, a few years ago. Nothing is likely to carry in the government that would promote disunion, for the war has welded the entire nation into a new unity. Besides, the conduct of the French priests on the battlefields has evok ed the admiration of everybody, and has earned a new kindliness for the church that may even out-weigh impatience with the vatican in its course with respect to the war. So chastening is the great fur nace of affliction into which this nation has been plunged that there is small room left for bitterness of any sort, except against the ruthless foe. A great spirit of kindliness en folds the people. There is no intol erance of Protestantism, which, since the days of Huguenots, has been a small body here. In fact, it is noticeable that the Reformed bodies have won a fresh sympathy from all their neighbors. They have gone in for the war, and for the development of a spirit of pa triotism, in a manner calculated to evoke praise. High ministers of state have not hesitated to attend Protestant services, when some- as Frenchmen outranks all their religious divisions. Sand Bags in Notre Dame. All classes of French share the feeling of horror and indignation at the Huns' deliberate despoiliation of historic churches. These ancient cathedrals, which have fallen un der the German guns, are a na tional possession. They belong alike to Catholic and Protestant, Jew and infidel. Something of the same spirit animates the people with re spect to the works of art which have come under the enemy's fire. One must personally see this sort of thing to appreciate it. Thus when I went to Notre Dame one day I found that I had to go through a tunnel of sand ba?s o. get into the building.' lhe mag nificent doorways are protected from the enemy as though they were a rampart. Of course, the purpose is to save, if possible, the priceless carvings and statuary. indows, too. are shielded in the same wav. 1 he historic stained glass of the great Notre Dame win dows was being toilsomely removed to a place of safety when I was in the building.. Similar precautions have been taken with other works of art. Naturally, one does not find many worshippers in a church under these conditions. It all savors too much of war, and not of peace and spir itualitythough the first impact of battle did undoubtedly set the springs of spiritual life to gushing, like water from a smitten rock. There is a clear message to Amer ica in the religious depression that prevails in Europe. She, too, may come to the same stage unless the persons responsible for the leader ship of the churches can keep the fires of devotion fed by fuel that the war will not diminish. When cas ualties are as common as the re curring days, and the soul of the nation is numbed with the horror and grief of it all, and the petty de privations and denials of war-time have bitten into the spirits of the people then will come the testing ot the reality ot the religious mood of America. A flag by he pulpit, and a roll of honor on the wall will not suffice to draw the people to church, or to vitalize their sense ot dependence upon things unseen. FIRST LINE TRENCHES. display at the outset of hostilities, thing of a national character was I..-.. Tronn onH P.ritain have ine since eot beyond the flag-wav iXg, demonstration stage of patri otism in which America still finds herself, so they also are past the oeriod of acute self-examination ana spiritual exhileration which attend ed the first comprehension ot tne Mntiallv relieious character of the goals' for which they arc fight ing. America may as well reckon at once with the fact that the mood of exaltation which attends the in ausuration of the war will not last I will be foMowed by a period of resolute determination, and steady "carrying on-' which is really nobler. Prevision, doubtless, could maintain certain of the more tangtibe relig ious aspects , the first stage of the great experience. It may be an open question wheth er the new rpirit of France is not finer than the first stage of re ligious righteousness, and for indi vidual ministry, is certainly stronger in France today than it was four years ago. This chastened nation, with the fine qualities which all the world honors, his, in deeper mean ing than was at first meant, "found her soul," She has undergone a Gethsemane experience, but out of it is coming a nobler n."ftion. Ministry to the Men. There is an added incentive In these nations which have been long est in the war to carry on greatly. They have given hostage to their best to battle. There is scarcely a home in France that has not its grave to cherish. One sees over here shop windows devoted entirely to mourning goods. There is abroad in the land the feeling that "these dead shall not have died in vain." As a patrician lady in Paris said to me one day, "Of course we mut continue to fight until a complete victory is won: otherwise I would have given my two sons in vain." As everyone else that I have been on the battlefronts. I find in France a growing expression of religion in terms of ministry to the soldier;. This passion for service is all ab sorbing. Soldiers have right of war in all things. Their comfort comer, first. To serve ihem, and the refugees from the battle zone, is a first expression of the French spirit. The military leaders and the people have taken with enthusiasm Lto the work of the American l . M. C. A. among the French troops. This is called he Foyer de Soldat. and is entirely analagous to the As sociation's service of the American V troops. The money and mo?t of u Naturally, this is not a Protei ant activity, although conducted by the V. M. C. A. Jn fact, it is aard to discover any interest over iere in the questions of religions eparatentss. The Foyer de Soldat ministry to the men; it is there- ore fundamentally religious; and atoot. Apparently, the common identity of the people of this land Preferable to Marine Corps Lieu tenant as Compared With Po sitions Farther to Rear. Boston Transcript: What advan tages the first line trenches may have, as against positions farther to the rear, become evident from this letter written by a lieutenant in the marine corps, under date of April 4, "At present," he explains, "I am just behind the lines, in reserve, which means' that our men dig ditches all day long every day, Sun days included. About two days ago I took ray platoon out to dig some of the above mentioned ditches, our guns were making an awful row sending Fritz some messages, when it suddenly seemed to me as if Fritz was strafing us; I was not certain, but as a precaution I put the pla toon in a trench. I then went to ask a Frenchman what went on. Just about as I got up to him I saw him dive for a nearby hole, leaving his horse in the middle of the road. You can bet that I fell on my turn my about as fast as anybody ever did, and the next moment the horse dropped dead almost on fop of me. "In the meantime shells were bursting all around me. I lay there, wondering it I would have any luck, and I did. didn't get even scratched. It is the most hopeless feeling you fctcan imagine nothing you can do about it you can hear them whiz about a couple of seconds before they burst, which adds to your men tal agony. They say you get used to it, but in my opinion the man who says it is a liar, out and out. In the space of one hour I under went the same thing exactly three times; each time 1 was equally scared, although the second time I managed to get in a trench; the last time 1 was in a wood, ran behind a big tree, and remember in my haste that I tried to figure which side would be the safest. Again I guessed right, for shrapnel hit the tree where 1 was not. They got a few men out of it, but none of mine, thank God. After that, the front line trenches for me. There, at least, you have some sort of shelter, and can argue with Fritz, but as they got me the other day there is noth ing you can do about it." A postscript to the lientenant's letter shows that his wish for a re turn to the immediate front was quite early granted. "Got your let ter last night, he remarks, "lust about as I was going up to 'take over,' which means, when translat ed, just before we went up to the lines where 1 am this minute, tvpe writer and all. As I wrote you the other day, 1 much prefer this to what they call 'rest billets.' where you dont' get any rest at all, noth ing but shells and work. I am darn comfortable, comparatively speak ing. 1 have a bed, a chair, a table. and a stove; and the dugout is high enough for me to stand up straight in, the first one that 1 have found that way. This time instead of be ing in a trench, we live like cave dwellers in the side of a cliff, which makes it nice in tyj ways. It is comparatively dry, and then Fritz positively cannot get me when I am in quarters, as we are in what they call dead ground, that is, where his big guns cannot hit. He sends hate over us all day long and we can laugh at him nice feeling!' A More Easy Way Out. Washington Star: "Did you eve' break a promise?" "I try not to do anything so vio lent," replied Senator Sorghum. "I a promise has to be disposed of 1 don't break it. I let it fade away.' 1 1 You're careful not to let your power plant run down. But how about your physical constitution? Do you give it the same thoughtful attention? The human body is but an intricate piece of delicate machinery and demands to be kept in perfect condition for high efficiency. Nature soon resents neglect and imposition and does not hesitate to warn, by unmistakable symptoms, of her purpose to revolt. You cease to have a relish for your meals and even what little you do eat weighs like lead on your' stomach. Your nerves are discordant, "all to pieces''; the least thing out of the ordinary over-excites you and causes your heart to flutter. Again, at times, you have that awful "gone" feeling, becoming thoroughly exhausted upon the slightest effort Your inclination and desire to do and to accomplish things has left you because you lack not only the spirit to go ahead, but the strength of mind and body as well to execute your ideas and plans. Still, in all, not really sick enough to go to bed, but just "fagged out," "all in," "dog tired" as it were. Notwithstanding, these are the formidable harbingers of the impending crisis com plete break-down, and Nature's insistent demand for better treatment. Neglect spells disaster! It's easy to repair provided, the repairing is done in tUM. Don't wait I Commence today to take LYKOI. mU to ri(iaal lika pictMr ab.i.. SW iw m t I IUF all MX luliii rvt Urn The Great General Tonic ?? ,4 ". try mHrai to twl m4 Wahfcf raw af T J!? I "I 4 iriM wrk2c arte. aa4. mm- Oatiio m ta mat: Vnlibra n a trsrrml mIc an fymmatinr. "tTKO" ia aa tan kardl wmhm tfcat yaa ara akja y Sala Manafactaawa LYKO MEDICINE COMPANY. New York and KuitM City.M Going Out of Town For Week-End or a Visit? LET US SHOW YOU OUR LINE OF CONVENIENT, HANDY AND NEEDED ARTICLES FOR THOSE WHO ' TRAVEL BY EITHER RAIL OR AUTOMOBILE. There is a shortage of water most everywhere. Ardmore Is not the only town so affected. Good, pure and wholesome drink ing water is a positive necessity for your good health. On your Summer trip, be it either by train or car, let us sug gest that you take along an "Icy-Hot" Water Bottle Get good water at convenient places, keep it cool and sani tary in one of these bottles and take no chances on the water you drink. This is most advisable when there are children along. We Also Have The Egyptian Water Bags " Nothing comes in more handy to hang on the side of your car. Get water from any well, spring or stream, hang where the wind will strike it, and you will be surprised how cold the water will get, and this even in the hot sunshine. These bags are sani tary. They are made to open up and turn wrong side out for air ing. This should be done every few days. Have You Seen Our Handy Camp Combination This is a tent and cot combined. Fits on the running board of your car and takes up practically no room. Complete with everything you need to start a camp. If you go by automobile this Summer, just carry one of these along and the S. R. 0. sign at hotels along the route will not worry you. Just start your own hotel overnight at some con venient place. Camp Cooking Stoves That Bum Gasoline Here is another thing that every motorist should carry on trips. You may not worry about the limited rations of restaurants, hotels and lunch counters. Cook for yourself on the banks of some clear stream. 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