Page:War and the Christian Faith.pdf/35

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CHRISTIAN FAITH

31

in tags so old and worn and accustomed that we have long ceased to consider them as having any meaning in particular, much less an exact and literal and often most astounding meaning. They have become phrases as devoid of significance as "Bless me!" in the West, and "Hail, Protector of the Poor: with you be peace!" in the East. They have become mere phrases, empty, formal conventions of speech. Yet I shall never forget how a friend of mine said to me eighteen years ago: "I was walking up Rosebery Avenue this morning towards Sadlers Wells, when I suddenly realised that the old phrase about 'walking on air' was not a metaphor, but literally true. The pavement was actually resilient; the treading on it was a physical delight, as the motion of a sailing boat is a delight to a good sailor. But," he added, "that's tellings."