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and no man knew. Thou findest pleasure in us, and so regardest each of us as if Thou hadst him alone to care for.” There are many who, while acceding to what has just been said, are discouraged by the seeming unreality of the spiritual world, by the transcendent greatness of the universal Mind, and turn away as though such a God were too high for them, His abstractness and loftiness removing Him from warm and living contact with the soul. The idea of the Divine companionship does not find them; they cannot realize it. Now, speaking broadly, man needs the help of a mediatorial spirit whom he recognizes to be perfectly loving and perfectly good. Through the contemplation of such a personality a sense of the unutterable reality of the Divine nature is born. For God's most majestic revelations shine forth in a soul consecrated to the ideal, expending itself in creative acts of self-sacrifice, possessed by the pure spirit of love. Now such a mediator is enshrined in the heart of the Christian religion. In Christ is
portrayed as nowhere else, all that the The Contemporary Review.
heart of man can conceive as most worthy of God. It is by fixing the attention on the historical image of Christ, by letting it work freely on heart and imagination that we gain the conviction of a living and dynamic Love at the center of the universe. We feel instinctively that no real catastrophe can overtake us in a world where He is present, that He can hear us when we pray, and that this thought is a more powerful defense and a more urgent incentive than all the pronouncements of the logical understanding. Not by struggling and straining after an experience which baffles the most ardent pursuit, but by surrender to the mystic spell which Christ's personality forever exercises on the receptive spirit, do we enter into the secret of blessedness, the sense of fellowship with Him who, from one point of view, is our ideal Self, and yet from another, is greater than any self. He is the ever living Presence that brings serenity and peace amid life's tragic sorrows and disillusionments, and transfigures the last despairs of guilt and shame with the hope of reconciliation and victory. Samuel McComb.
THE WINDICATION OF DFIVER THOMAS TOMKINS.
Number 53896271 Driver Thomas Tomkins was, according to all report, the worst man in the entire British Army. So, at least, thought his Number One. Such, with even greater intensity, was the opinion of the Sergeant-major; and the verdict of the sergeants' mess found an echo in the breast of every man Jack in the battery.
After nine months in France he was still without a pal. The reasons for his comrades' dislike were various as their natures. A few appeared to consider the fact that he was a con
script was sufficient to render him taboo. Many, themselves none too squeamish, regarded with an aversion almost amounting to horror his lavish obscenity. It must be admitted, too, that their objection was not without foundation, for none could remember a single occasion on which he had delivered himself of two words untinctured with expletives. But by far the greater number were of the type that judges a man by his actions rather than his words. “If 'e'd only be'ave decent, I'd easy put up with 'is talk,” remarked
Driver Weeks one day to his friend was Sergeant Jenkins' acid retort. Jerry Wild. The latter fully agreed. “'E takes no notice o' words, and you
“ 'E ain't got no notion o' self- can't knock no sense into 'im. I'm respect," continued Weeks. "I never about at my wits' end what to do. seen 'im wash 'isself prop'ly, and 'is This very blessed mornin', when Mr. chin's always like a bloomin' packet o' Ellis went round the tents, an' comes needles. An' can't 'e just swing the to my sub., 'e finds there, wrapped up lead?”
in the brailin', a pair o' spurs I never "Aye," chimed in Bill Waters, seen the likes of. There warn't no "did yer see 'im on groomin' this steel visible, only rust, an' I'll bet it mornin'? 'E did nowt but look up were an eighth of an inch thick. An' at old Jimmy Pollard yonder.” And 'is bandolier-_" Here his wrath he indicated an observation balloon boiled over and choked further utterup aloft with a contemptuous jerk of ance for a minute. Then he proceeded the thumb.
with his plaint. "H'm,” exclaimed Jerry, "no doubt "I'm tired of bein'strafed for 'is 'e is a fool. 'E might at least 'ave shortcomin's, and the orficers don't pretended to work, eh, Bill?”
seem to understand the job you've got. Waters grinned sheepishly. "Well, It's 'Sergeant Jenkins this' and 'Sers’long as the orficer don't notice, geant Jenkins that. I'm fed up with what's the odds? I say, 'e don't arf the whole blamed business. If Mr. think somethin' of 'imself, that new Duckworth 'ad only let 'em put 'im orficer, don't 'e?"
in the trough t'other day, 'twould 'ave But Weeks was not thus to be done 'im a sight o' good. 'Stead o' diverted. "Funny, ain't it,” he said that, 'e interferes. But there! they "but some'ow, though 'e don't do never understands.' much groomin', 'e seems to care for "H'm," said the Sergeant-major, 'is 'orses in a way."
"I reckon he ought to be a ChristmasHere the wheezy notes of a trumpet pudding maker: one job a year, and that had evidently known better days fifty-two weeks to do it in. Maybe broke in upon their talk.
he might do something as an Easter"Fall-in,” said Waters. And so egg decorator. But he's no good in they turned in to afternoon stables, the Army." which (let us hope) prevented any “Wonder what 'e really was in further conversation for the next civvy life? 'E's down as a hawker, hour or so.
but strikes me 'e was a rose-maker for The Sergeant-major waxed eloquent Alexandra Day." With which cutting that evening upon the same theme. sarcasm Sergeant Jenkins relapsed
"I don't know what's the matter into silence and betook him to a with him," he exclaimed, for at least cigarette. the thousandth time. “Can't get any- Indeed Driver Tomkins was nothing out of him, nor smarten up his torious. His harness was the dirtiest. ideas nohow. I'm dead sick of putting in the brigade, and he himself the him on fatigues. He's never been most disreputable individual that could really tidy on main parade. This have been found in the whole of the morning it was that he hadn't shaved, British Expeditionary Force. Titanic and said he hadn't any stuff to clean efforts to impart to him some slight his buttons. I can't do nothing with knowledge of the benefits of cleanliness him!”
met with only a temporary result. "I'd like to find the beggar as could,” Within a few days further exhortation
was sure to be required. It was this eternal missionary work as the apostle of hygiene that chiefly embittered the hapless Sergeant Jenkins. Albeit of Celtic extraction, he was of all men most patient, but even to the endurance of a Number One in the Royal Regiment of Artillery there are limits, and the long-suffering of Job would have been wasted on Driver Thomas Tomkins. In short, Tomkins was a blot on the earth—a disgrace to the badge he wore; at least, so he had more than once been informed. The catalogue of his crimes occupied two whole sheets and the beginning of a third. The C.O. found him utterly intractable; his section commander loathed the sight of him; he was absolutely detested by his Number One, and the men who should have been his chums frequently recorded their impressions of him in no uncertain manner. Amid this general concurrence there was but one dissentient voice. Lieutenant Duckworth, the left section commander, was one of those unpractical people called idealists, and as such refused to believe that even so hardened a sinner as Tomkins was altogether depraved. In his opinion the man had been spoiled by tactless handling. He once suggested this to his chum Coghill, to whose section the recalcitrant belonged. Coghill laughed him to scorn. But the days passed and the weeks, yet still no gleam of grace appeared.
The Major opened a long official envelope. “Operation orders!” he said, and then, “Let's see, isn't it your turn for F.O.O., Duckworth?’”
“Right—you will report at Headquarters tomorrow for final instructions. We needn't bother about signalers for the present, but what
about runners? Whom shall we say?” “If you don't mind, sir, I should like to call for volunteers. I always prefer them in such cases.” Now that same evening what should happen but that the Sergeant-major should find Driver Tomkins in the act of stealing hay? Caught redhanded, the man pleaded insufficient food for his horses, but this the irate warrant officer regarded as an idle excuse. Tomkins was placed under open arrest, and left to ponder over the injustice of all present-day systems, for on this occasion the excuse happened to be genuine. Next morning, on main parade, Driver Tomkins appeared without his box respirator or his spurs. He had forgotten them, it seemed. This was too much for Sergeant Jenkins, who straightway proceeded to pour out the vials of his wrath. “Forget, forget! - Can't yer find nothin' different to say, only that? You're always forgettin'. When the 'ell are yer ever goin' to remember, always gettin' the subsection into
trouble? You're a disgrace to the Royal Regiment, that's what you are.”
The arrival of Mr. Coghill checked further comment. But the man next to Tomkins, glancing at him, chanced to observe a strange expression upon his countenance. So unusual an occurrence chained his attention, until the Sergeant-major, perceiving him, exclaimed sharply, “Eyes front there, Driver Willis.”
Why had this Number One's last remark stirred Tomkins? He had often heard the same thing before, but then it had never rankled. Now the words aroused a defiant challenge within him, and Driver Willis thought he heard him mutter, “I’ll show 'em.”
Before the parade was dismissed, Mr. Duckworth came forward and
asked for volunteers to accompany him as runners on his expedition. To the general surprise, Driver Tomkins stepped out immediately. The men stared; the Sergeant-major gaped astonishment. Mr. Coghill too seemed not a little taken aback.
At office hour Driver Tomkins was brought before the C.O. After hearing the accusation and the prisoner's defense, the Major glanced keenly at him for a moment before speaking.
"Driver Tomkins," he said, "you are a hard case. I hear you have volunteered to go as a runner with Mr. Duckworth. I shall let the matter stand over for a few days, and if you behave well you may be given another chance."
Forth flashed the barrage with one great roar from the muzzles of a thousand guns. Very lights and distress signals from the enemy trenches lit up the dawn in all directions. The infantry were beginning to go over.
Lieutenant Duckworth too was up and doing. He was to reach Hill 47 and there establish his observing station, and his party was soon on the move. They ran the gauntlet of the Boche barrage with only one casualty. The hill was reached in safety, the lines laid out, and the Lieutenant threw himself down and pulled out his glasses.
Presently he started. "My God!” he cried, "they are coming back.”
He turned to the telephonist, but his instructions were never received, for at that instant a stray shell burst almost on top of them. Driver Tomkins was thrown violently to the ground, and half buried in dirt. For a minute or two he lay half-stunned, then slowly and painfully rose. Blood was trickling from his right shoulder, and his left arm hung helpless.
He looked around. There lay Mr. Duckworth, literally blown to pieces.
The little group of signalers were all dead and horribly mutilated. One runner, his lungs pierced, was coughing up blood, a ghastly sight; while of the other nothing remained beyond a few scraps of blood-stained clothing.
He turned to assist his wounded comrade, but at that moment the man, with a stifled groan, fell back dead. . A moment later he was aware of a stream of running men, khaki-clad, some with fixed bayonets, others unarmed and wounded. One of these latter, badly hit, sank down beside him.
"Oh, my God, my God!" he wailed. “What happened?” cried Tomkins.
"He got us with his machine-guns," gasped the man with a groan. “Oh, my God!" and then he fainted.
Tomkins turned to flee. He had gone several yards when suddenly he came to a dead stop. Sergeant Jenkins' angry face had risen before his mental vision. For a long moment he hesitated. They couldn't blame him when everyone else was retiring. Besides, he was wounded, and even to him life was sweet.
He turned again. More figures in khaki streamed into view over the crest. A dogged look crept into his eyes.
“After all, they're my mates," he muttered. "A disgrace to the regiment!" then viciously, between his clenched teeth, "I'll show 'em.”
Back he went to the telephone. The explosion had blown away a piece of the wire, and it was some seconds before he could find the loose ends. Then he moved the box a short distance, until he could hook them together. In his state it was impossible to tie them. Then he pressed the buzzer key, and put the receiver to his ear.
A voice at the other end answered his call.
"Our men are retreating, sir. voice), "poor old Tomkins won't They've come back over Hill 47.” never get strafed again." "Is that you, Duckworth?"
"No," said Bill Waters. “He seemed "Mr. Duckworth is killed, sir. awful bad, but he did care for 'is I'm one of his runners.”
'orses." "Where is the enemy?”
“Aye, there's good in the worst of Tomkins glanced over his shoulder. us,” added Jerry Wild. "I only wish
“They're just coming up the other I could shake 'ands with 'im side, sir, a few hundred yards off.” now."
Tomkins' work was done. In less “Well, Jenkins," said the Sergeantthan a minute orders were going major, "we've lost the most troublethrough to the different artillery some man in the battery. But I'm groups to meet this sudden change in not sure I'm glad. Anyway, I wish it the tactical situation. Meanwhile he had been a Blighty." turned to the wounded infantryman. “He died game," said Sergeant
A few minutes later a long gray Jenkins, “and that wipes out a lot, line of German infantry appeared over I suppose. 'E might have been some the ridge. Then time shrapnel began good after all.” to burst among them.
The news was the chief topic of
conversation in the officers' mess that They found him there next day night. riddled with bullets from the shells "It's extraordinary!" said the Major. his message had brought in time to stop "After all his bad record here, the the enemy attack. He was still bend- Royal Regiment need not be ashamed ing over the wounded infantryman. of him. Had he lived, I should have
The news caused a great stir in the put him in for a decoration. I'm sure battery.
he deserved one." "Well,” exclaimed Driver Weeks "Poor old Duckworth was right (and there was a strange gulp in his after all,” said Coghill musingly. The Outlook.
THE TEMPER OF IRELAND.
By an Irish SOLDIER. At Holyhead one discovers a sig. Empire than he cares for England, and nificant difference between the Eng- that the Irishman cares more for lishman and the Irishman. As the Ireland than he cares for the British traveler attempts to pass across the Empire. This distribution of loyalty gangway from the pier to the mail- is not affected by the Englishman's boat an official asks him to state what singular ignorance of his Empire's his nationality is. The Englishman history or the Irishman's ignorance of almost invariably answers “British"; anything outside Ireland. Every Irishthe Irishman always answers "Irish." man is familiar with the name of Now and then, but at long intervals, Gladstone, because Gladstone's life an Englishman may be heard to reply affected Ireland; but many English"English"; an Irishman is never heard men know nothing whatever of Parto reply "British.” The significance nell, although Parnell's life affected of these replies is, surely, that the England. If the reader will remember Englishman cares more for the British that the Irishman insists on his nation