Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

THE FIRST HUNDRED THOUSAND

61

Ctesiphon, about twenty-five miles below to take its part in the first line of attack in a Bagdad, then driven back by an overwhelm- great war. The picture is painted with humor ing Turkish army, in part outflanked, and and sympathy and understanding. It is a finally shut in by the Turks in Kut-el-Amara. picture which deserves more than a careful over a hundred miles south of Bagdad. study by any American citizen who is interThere it has remained for several months, ested in the problem of National defense. while a large British relief force has again The independent American who won't take and again tried in vain to succor it. Now, orders from anybody, who considers even his supplies exhausted, General Town- self-discipline an insult to his free-born inherishend has been forced to surrender with- tance, can peruse with profit the following out condition and to hand over five million account of the change in the mental attitude dollars in money to the Turks. The story of the recruits in Kitchener's army as the in this bare outline shows on its face that the progress of their training continued : campaign was doomed from its inception, At home we are persons of some consequence, and doomed simply because, in the expressive with very definite notions about the dignity of slang of the day, Great Britain had no idea labor. We have employers who tremble at our of what it was “up against." The army of

frown; we have trades union officials who are the relief expedition, it has been intimated, at constant pains to impress upon us our own is itself in a dangerous situation. Bagdad

omnipotence in the industrial world in which we may fall, but if it falls it will fall, not to Eng

live. We have at our beck and call a Radical

M.P., who, in return for our vote and suffrage, land, but to the Russian forces advancing

informs us that we are the backbone of the south from Erzerum and west from Persia.

nation, and that we must on no account permit This may have an important influence over

ourselves to be trampled upon by the effete and the relations of England and Russia as to tyrannical upper classes. Finally, we are ScotsConstantinople and Asia Minor in the final men, with all a Scotsman s curious reserve and settlement after the war.

contempt for social airs and graces. The loss of men, material, and money thus But in the army we appear to be nobody. incurred by England is in such a vast war neg

We are expected to stand stiffly at attention ligible, but the loss of prestige is more serious.

when addressed by an officer, even to call him The lesson will be a sharp admonition to Eng. ployer had been a stranger. ... The N.C.O.'s

“sir ”—an honor to which our previous emland that political bickering, military red tape,

are almost as bad. If you answer a sergeant and action without foresight must give way to

as you would a foreman, you are impertinent; harmony, sound leadership, and prevision, so if you argue with him, as all good Scotsinen that the valor of the fighting men may not be must, you are insubordinate; if you endeavor nullified by lack of sagacity in their leaders. to drive a collective bargain with him, you are

mutinous; and you are reminded that upon
active service mutiny is punishable by death.

It is all very unusual and upsetting.
THE FIRST HUNDRED
THOUSAND 1

But military discipline and the hard facts

of experience began to break through this Terence Mulvaney would like "The First crust of civilian habit and misunderstanding. Hundred Thousand.” As a veteran of much After a time Ian Hay writes : fighting and a connoisseur of the failings of many recruits he would find in Ian Hay's living begin to weave their spell. Incredulous

Presently fresh air, hard training, and clean description of the training of the first hun

at first, we find ourselves slowly recognizing the dred thousand of Kitchener's volunteers fact that it is possible to treat an officer deferenough food for a library of comment. If entially or carry out an order smartly without Terence is still living, we hope that Mr. losing one's self-respect as a man and a tradesKipling has already brought to his profes- unionist. ... sional attention this record of the improvised

We are getting less individualistic, too. We troops who are carrying the standards of

are beginning to think more of our regiment Great Britain in the war.

and less of ourselves. At first this loyalty takes

the form of criticising other regiments because Ian Hay's book is an intimate picture of

their marching is slovenly or their accouterthe struggle to turn a crowd of untrained,

ments dirty or-most significant sign of allunorganized civilians into a coherent unit, able

their discipline is bad. We are especially 1 The First Hundred Thousånd. By lan Hay. Houghton

critical of our own Eighth Battalion, which is Mifflin Company, Boston. $1.50.

fully three weeks younger than we are, and is not in the first hundred thousand at all. In nificance, and his strictures were occasioned their presence we are war-worn veterans. We

by sectarian rather than by racial prejudice. express it as our opinion that the officers of

We recommend « The First Hundred some of these battalions must be a poor lot.

Thousand" to students of Scotch, students From this it suddenly comes home to us that our officers are a good lot, and we find our.

of war, students of peace, and to students of selves taking a queer pride in our company

good reading. If it comes into the hands of commander's homely strictures and severe sen

any one not included in this list, we recomtences the morning after pay night. Here is mend that it be read, anyhow, even if no another step in the quickening life of the regi- specific excuse can be found for its perusal. ment. Esprit de corps is raising its head, class prejudice and dour "independence" notwithstanding

WHAT JESUS CHRIST This attitude of mind is not gained except at the cost of hard knocks and weary com

THOUGHT OF HIMSELF mands. There are those whose infractions Coming to my table the other morning, I of the military law lead them into serious found laid upon it a letter from a correspondtrouble. There are those whose ignorance ent asking me, “In what way can the divinity is a high stumbling-block on the road to the of Christ be proven ?" and at the same time making of a soldier, and there are those who, also a little book by Anson Phelps Stokes like “Wee Pe'er,” have hearts too big and entitled “What Jesus Christ Thought of courage too great for the strength that is Himself,” 1 which seems to me to answer the in their bodies. Ian Hay's story of Wee inquiry of my correspondent. Not, indeed, , Pe'er is too long to retell, but it will be found exactly. It is not an argument to prove the to deserve many re-readings. The tragedy traditional theory of Christ's divinity. It of Wee Pe'er and the story of the triumph refuses to define, or even to consider, the of discipline and order belong to the later metaphysical relations of the Son to the chapters of the book. In these chapters, as Father in a theological Trinity. Its author in the earlier record of the first elementary concedes that some conservatives will think drills, there are many incidents made mem- his conclusions unorthodox and not consistent orable by the Scotch dialect which Ian Hay with Nicene theology. I am much more uses so tellingly. There is the incident of concerned myself to reach conclusions conthe corporal who began (but did not com- sistent with common sense and the teachings plete) an explanation in the midst of a drill of Jesus Christ and his immediate Apostles; as to the reason why he had not passed an and that this little book does so successfully order more clearly :

that I make no apology for reporting its I was sittin' doon tae ma dinner on Sabbath, substance and its conclusions here. sir, when my front teeth met upon a small piece Jesus Christ lived a thoroughly human life; bone that was stickit in

he grew not only in stature but in wisdom. There is Private Mucklewame, who, when He was not only hungry, thirsty, weary, but asked to describe a scout, replied, “ They he was sensitive, and at times sad, lonely, gang oot in a procession on Setterday efter- perplexed, sorely tempted. He was connoons, sirr, in short breeks.”

scious of the limitations of his power and the There is Private McSlattery, whose knowl- limitations of his knowledge. Offices in the edge of geography is, to say the least, some- kingdom of God he said it was not his to what limited. It was Private McSlattery who, give ; knowledge of the time of his second feeling that he was being kept back from the coming he said that he did not possess. In war for no good and sufficient reason, voiced matters outside of the sphere of the soul's the following complaint after he had been kept positive religious life and experience his on parade for two hours in a northeast wind information was based on that of his place for the edification of certain spectacled dig. and time. He constantly recognized the nitaries from the Far East :

source of his wisdom and of his power to be “ This regiment,” he announced, " is no' not in himself but in his Father : “ The for the front at all. We're jist tae bide here Father hath sent me ;” “My doctrine is not for tae be inspeckit by Chinese Ministers mine, but his that sent me ;” “ As the Father and other heathen bodies !"

said unto me, so I speak ;'' “No man can As Ian Hay explains, for Private McSlattery

! What Jesus Christ Thought of Himself. By Anson the word Minister could have only one sig. Phelps Stokes. The Macmillan Company, New York. $1. 1916

WHAT JESUS CHRIST THOUGHT OF HIMSELF

63

It

come unto me, except the Father which hath heaven. To Jesus the human and the divine sent me draw him." To his Father he are not essentially unlike, but kindred, and God appeals in every crisis of his life. " It is not is first of all one." The historical Jesus was merely to a better self' within that he not in his own mind equivalent to, or an indirects his appeals, but to the eternal God. tegral and essential part of, the Godhead. ... ... In communion with God alone does It does not seem possible, without restricting complete peace and assurance come to his the idea of Deity, to call him, as he walked soul. . ... Take communion with God out on earth, God, and we cannot believe that he of his life and there might be left us an ethical would have himself liked to be so called.” ideal, but surely there would be no religion, The power he possessed was divine. no redeeming power. Jesus Christ lived a came from God. The spirit which entered human life, deriving his being and drawing his soul was the Eternal Spirit. Prophet he his inspiration from a divine source." was indeed, but something infinitely greater

With this consciousness of human limita- too—revealer and revelation of the love of tion and human dependence there is equally God. He not merely preached it and proclearly revealed another, but certainly not claimed it, but he manifested it, through his inconsistent or antagonistic, consciousness. own life of perfect righteousness and service.

He was conscious of fulfilling the Old And “it is this realization in one man of Testament; conscious of speaking with an God's purpose for all men, rather than any authority transcending that of the revered difference of essence or potentiality between traditions of his time ; conscious of a right to Jesus and his brethren, that makes him, as far set aside directly ancient forms and ceremo- as we know, the only perfect Son of the one nies, such as fastings and washings, and, Father.” “ God is trying to incarnate himself indirectly, by a liberal interpretation, observ- in every one of us, and it is to be hoped that ances as sacred as those of the Sabbath day ; some day we may all realize our latent divinity, conscious of filling to the full the ancient as did Jesus of Nazareth, and be in a measure hopes of Israel of a coming Messiah who Christs-perfect men in love and faith. . . . would bring in the kingdom of God-a con- If ever that day comes, the uniqueness of sciousness affirmed in his first recorded ser. Jesus Christ will stand out the more promimon in Nazareth, and reiterated under the nently, as without him it would have been solemn sanction of an oath in the trial for his impossible to reach his level.” This uniquelife before the Sanhedrin.

ness of Jesus Christ, this manifestation of In this spiritual consciousness of Jesus God in Jesus of Nazareth," is not necessarily Christ as it is recorded in the fragmentary dependent upon any theory as to his birth. biographies which we possess there are two The believer in the Virgin Birth and the becharacteristics which are absolutely unique in liever in the natural birth of Jesus may both spiritual biography. In his utterances there

In his utterances there place their faith in the same Incarnation.' are no expressions of repentance and no Dr. Stokes has rendered a real and imporexpressions of aspiration. In them there is tant service to the Christian Church, and no parallel to Paul's, “ The good that I would especially to young and thoughtful men and I do not ; but the evil which I would not, that women, by this statement of spiritual faith in I do ;” no parallel to the Psalmist's, “ As the the terms of a rational philosophy. We agree hart panteth after the water brooks, so with him that it is not in accord with the tradipanteth my soul after thee, O God.” Jesus tional theology of the past ; and it is in accord looks back upon his life's past without regret ; with the Nicene Creed only as the Nicene he looks forward to his life's future without Creed is regarded as an emotional, not a philoeagerness. His spiritual experience is not sophical expression, as the utterance not of an that of a seeker after God; it is that of one opinion but of a profound reverence. But who has found God and is at rest in him. whether it is in accord with creeds ancient

The secret of this combined self-conscious or modern, theologies old or new, is not imness in Jesus Christ—this consciousness of portant if it is in accord with the teachings the human and of the divine-Dr. Stokes of Jesus concerning himself and the teachfinds in the teaching of the first chapter of ings of the Apostles concerning him. the Bible, that God created man in his own It did not come within the purpose of Dr. image; that it was God's spirit breathed into Stokes to consider the apostolic teachings, man that made him a living soul, and gave him and it would make this article altogether too the capacity of communion with his father in long if I were to attempt an interpretation,

we

are

or even a full report, of those teachings. It one with him and the Father. In him dwells must suffice to say here that there is scarcely all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and we any title which the Apostles give Jesus which are directed to pray that, being rooted and they do not also give in a modified form to grounded in love, we also may be filled with his disciples. He is the Son of God, and all the fullness of God.

sons of God. He sits upon the It is one thing to say that Jesus Christ was throne and reigns, and we reign with him. like other men. It is quite another thing to He is the Light of the World, and we are to say that other men may become like Jesus be lights in the world. He is the Good Christ. No interpretation of the character, Shepherd, and we are appointed to shepherd life, and mission of Jesus Christ conforms to the sheep intrusted to us. He is the temple either his teaching concerning himself or the in which God dwells, and every Christian is a teaching of the Apostles concerning him and temple in which God dwells. He is clothed his disciples which does not recognize the with divine power, and we are bid to be truth that God's ideal for his children is that clothed with the whole armor of God. He explicitly affirmed by Christ's beloved disciis holy, and we are called to be holy as he is ple, “ As he is, so are we in this world.” holy. He forgives sins, and we are told that The way to learn whether the life and whosesoever sins we forgive, they shall be character of Jesus are divine or not is by an forgiven. He is one with the Father, and endeavor to live that life and to attain that he prays for his disciples that they may be character.

LYMAN ABBOTT.

[ocr errors]

THE OLD WAY OF

OF DEALING WITH

CRIMINALS N 1821 Sydney Smith thus described the the design that in the year 1818 there were average county jail of England :

committed to the jails of the United Kingdom “ There are, in every county in Eng- more than one hundred and seven thousand land, large public schools, maintained at the persons, a number supposed to be greater expense of the county, for the encourage- than that of all the commitments in the other ment of profligacy and vice, and for provid- kingdoms of Europe put together. ing a proper succession of house-breakers, The county jails in America were someprofligates, and thieves. They are schools, times worse and rarely better. Mr. John too, conducted without the smallest degree Bach McMaster thus describes a jail in Conof partiality or favor, there being no man necticut as it existed fifty years after peace (however mean his birth or obscure his with Great Britain had been declared : situation) who may not easily procure ad- “For more than fifty years after the peace mission to them. The moment any young there was in Connecticut an underground person evinces the slightest propensity for prison which surpassed in horrors the Black these pursuits he is provided with food, Hole of Calcutta. This den, known as the clothing, and lodging, and put to his studies Newgate Prison, was in an old worked-out under the most accomplished thieves and copper mine in the hills near Granby. The cutthroats the county can supply. There is only entrance to it was by means of a ladder not, to be sure, a formal arrangement of down a shaft which led to the caverns underlectures, after the manner of our universities; ground. There, in little pens of wood, from but the petty larcenous stripling, being left thirty to one hundred culprits were immured, destitute of every species of employment and their feet made fast to iron bars and their locked up with accomplished villains as idle necks chained to beams in the roof. The as himself, listens to their pleasant narrative darkness was intense, the caves reeked with of successful crimes, and pants for the hour filth, vermin abounded ; water trickled from of freedom that he may begin the same bold the roof and oozed from the sides of the cavand interesting career.”

erns; huge masses of earth were perpetually This is a perfectly true picture of the falling off. In the dampness and the filth prison establishments of many counties in the clothing of the prisoners grew moldy England, and was true, till very lately, of almost and rotted away, and their limbs became stiff all; and the effects so completely answered · with rheumatism. The Newgate Prison was

1916

THE OLD WAY OF DEALING WITH CRIMINALS

65

perhaps the worst in the country, yet in every county were jails such as would now be thought unfit places of habitation for the vilest and most loathsome of beasts. . .

" Into such pits and dungeons all classes of offenders of both sexes were indiscriminately thrust. It is therefore not at all surprising that they became seminaries of every conceivable form of vice, and centers of the most disgusting diseases. Prostitutes plied their calling openly in the presence of men and women of decent station and guilty of no crime but an inability to pay their debts. Men confined as witnesses were compelled to mingle with the forger besmeared with the filth of the pillory and the fornicator streaming with blood from the whipping-post, while here and there among the throng were culprits whose ears had just been cropped, or whose arms, fresh from the branding-iron, emitted the stench of scorched flesh. The entire system of punishment was such as cannot be contemplated without mingled feelings of pity and disgust."

In 1884 General Brinkerhoff described the American jail as it existed then, and as, it must be added, it exists to-day in many parts of the country :

" To establish a school of crime requires (1) teachers skilled in the theory and practice of crime ; (2) pupils with inclination, opportunity, and leisure to learn ; (3) a place of meeting together. All these requirements are provided and paid for by the public in the erection, organization, and equipment of county jails and city prisons. With less than half a dozen exceptions, all the jails and city prisons in the United States are schools of this kind, and it is difficult to conceive how a more efficient system for the education of criminals could be devised. . . . Every observant jailer knows with what devilish skill the professors of this school ply their vocation. Hour after hour they beguile the weariness of enforced confinement with marvelous tales of successful crime, and the methods by which escape has been accomplished. If attention fails, games of chance, interspersed with obscene jokes and ribald songs. serve to amuse and while away the time. In this way the usual atmosphere of a jail is made so foul that the stamina of a saint is scarce strong enough to resist. Let a prisoner attempt to be decent, and to resist the contaminating influences brought to bear upon him, especially in a large jail, and he will find that, so far as personal comfort is

concerned, he might as well be in a den of wild beasts."

Thomas Mott Osborne in his volume ** Within Prison Walls ” gives an account of his experience in one of the punishment cells of Auburn Prison :

" The jail is admirably situated for the purpose of performing the operation of breaking a man's spirit; for it has on one side the death chamber and on the other the prison dynamo with its ceaseless grinding, night and day. It is a vaulted stone dungeon about fifty feet long and twenty wide. It is absolutely bare except for one wooden bench along the north end, a locker where the jail clothes are kept, and eight cells arranged in a row along the east wall and backing on the wall of the death chamber. The eight cells are of solid sheet iron-floor, sides, back, and roof. They are studded with rivets projecting about a quarter of an inch. At the time that Warden Rattigan came into office there was no other floor ; inmates slept on the bare iron-and the rivets! The cells are about four and a half feet wide, eight feet deep, and nine feet high. There is a feeble attempt at ventilation-a small hole in the roof of the cell ; which hole communicates with an iron pipe. Where the pipe goes is of no conse: quence, for it does not ventilate. Practically, there is no air in the cell except what percolates in through the extra heavily grated door.

" In none too pleasant a frame of mind toward prison officialdom, I enter my iron cage. It is the first one of the eight and is absolutely empty of everything except a papier-mâché bucket. There is no seat, no bed, no mattress or bedding, no place to wash, no water to wash with, nothing-except the bucket....

* A convict trusty who now appears within the radius of the electric light hands me a round tin can, and the grated door is banged to and locked. I take my seat upon the floor and await developments.

“Soon the trusty hands me, through an extra large slot in the door, a roll of pieces of newspaper, evidently intended for possible toilet purposes. There soon follows a slice of bread, and then there is poked through the slot the end of a long tin funnel which holds a precise measure of water. I hold my tin can to the end of the funnel and receive a gill-neither more nor less than exactly one gill—which is to last me through the night. I never appreciated before what a small quantity is measured by a gill. The water

« AnteriorContinuar »