The Lost Chord
Heroism is the “lost chord”; the missing note of present-day Christianity!
Every true soldier is a hero! A soldier without heroism is a Chocolate Soldier! Who has not been stirred to scorn and mirth at the very thought of a Chocolate Soldier! In peace true soldiers are captive lions, fretting in their cages. War gives them their liberty and sends them, like boys bounding out of school, to obtain their heart’s desire—or perish in the attempt. Battle is the soldier’s vital breath! Peace turns him into a stooping asthmatic. War makes him a whole man again, and gives him the heart, strength, and vigor of a hero.
Every true Christian is a soldier—of Christ—a hero “par excellence”! Braver than the bravest—scorning the soft seductions of peace and her oft-repeated warnings against hardship, disease, danger, and death, whom he counts among his bosom friends.
The otherwise Christian is a Chocolate Christian! Dissolving in water and melting at the smell of fire. “Sweeties” they are! Bonbons, lollipops! Living their lives on a glass dish or in a cardboard box, each clad in his soft clothing, a little frilled white paper to preserve his dear little delicate constitution.
Here are some portraits of Chocolate Soldiers taken by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
“He… said, I go, sir: and went not” (Matthew 21:30); he said he would go to the heathen, but stuck fast to Christendom instead.
“They say, and do not” (Matthew 23:3)—they tell others to go, and yet do not go themselves. “Never,” said General Gordon to a corporal, as he himself jumped upon the parapet of a trench before Sevastopol to fix a gabion which the corporal had ordered a private to fix, and wouldn’t fix himself—“Never tell another man to do what you are afraid to do yourself.”
To the Chocolate Christian the very thought of war brings a violent attack of ague, while the call to battle always finds him with the palsy. “I really cannot move,” he says. “I only wish I could. But I can sing, and here are some of my favorite lines:
“I must be carried to the skies
On a flowery bed of ease,
Let others fight to win the prize,
Or sail through bloody seas.”
“Mark time, Christian heroes,
Never go to war;
Stop and mind the babies
Playing on the floor.
Wash and dress and feed them
Forty times a week,
Till they’re roly poly—
Puddings so to speak.
“Round and round the nursery
Let us ambulate
Sugar and spice and all that’s nice
Must be on our slate.”