On Zion's Watchtowers

It was late afternoon of the eleventh of November. The news of the signing of the armistice had been spread abroad, and plans had been made for an afternoon and evening of celebration in the little city near which our army unit was situated. After passes had been issued to practically all the men that they might take part in the great parade and peace demonstration, such permission at the last moment was rescinded, and it was further ordered that no celebration of any kind, by the men themselves, would be permitted within the confines of the camp. It might be here stated that a visit to the city at any rate had been a much coveted and long looked for pleasure, the men having for several weeks been held in quarters under a rigid quarantine. In addition to this it was just beginning to be fully realized that so far as the members of our newly forming division were concerned, there would be no France for them. Here was a testing time indeed!

These incidents afforded an opportunity to witness the splendid morale of our Army. For even through these several seemingly great disappointments, there was not the slightest evidence of disobedience, nor was there any manifestation whatever among our men to indicate that anything unusual had taken place, that this day was marking one of the most important milestones in all history affecting the progress and welfare of mankind. There was, indeed, a calmness and quiet which seemed particularly impressive on this glorious autumn afternoon. Even the deserted drill field, illumined by the glow of a wondrously beautiful sunset, seemed to betoken the final accomplishment of noble endeavor and a glad promise. Only the musical peal of a distant bugle broke the stillness, but what a message it brought as its echoes resounded over the surrounding hills. Could it be heralding a fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy? Could it really be that the grosser forms of warfare were no more, and that the nations of earth were ready to "beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks"?

Riding through the camp streets at this hour, many of the men could be seen wending their way to and fro, some returning to their tents from their evening repast, others having as a destination the hospitable Y. M. C. A. huts, while many were leisurely strolling toward the "civic center," where were located the library, several huts, and the camp theater. Passing these places of recreation and amusement, incident to its rounds about the camp, the Christian Science War Relief car a few moments later reached its own destination—the Christian Science War Relief building, a rustic bungalow beside a beautiful little lake. Here a great back log in an old-fashioned fireplace was lending its cheery light with added comfort to the guests. Only a small number of men were to be found in this cozy little building,—some reading, some writing, and others rsting on the comfortable cot and lounge that had been so thoughtfully provided by the committee. Still others were sitting in quiet meditation in those rare luxuries of an army camp—rocking-chairs.

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Heaven's Formidable Favors
April 5, 1919

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