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I am Kept


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Table of Contents

Foreword; Original Publishers' Notice; Prefatory Letter from the Bishop of Durham; Introduction; Diary Extracts - working in a Bank; From Letters while Training - Billeted at Windsor; From Letters from France - on the Battle-field; News from the Front; Memories of Charlie; Abbreviations used; References to people; References to authors; Scripture References

About the Author

Charles Harold Mawson, known as "Charlie", was born in Bradford in 1898, the eldest son of the evangelist, author and editor of Scripture Truth, John Thomas Mawson (1871-1943). His younger sister, later Mrs Alice Chambers (1900-1995), was well-known as a speaker at Christian women's meetings and author of several books. The family settled in Whitley Bay, Northumberland, and as a young man he took up employment in a bank. On October 25, 1916, he was called up for military service in the 2nd Life Guards, and was assigned to the Household Battalion. The extracts from his diary and letters clearly show he shared his father's evangelistic fervour and the family talent for writing. Posted to Windsor for infantry training, he spent his spare time there engaged in Christian service. But God had other plans for him. After seven and a half months at Windsor, the Battalion was posted to "France" (actually Belgium) and less than four months later he was killed by shell fire at Poelcappelle on October 12th, 1917, during the early stages of the first battle of Passchendaele. He was 19 years and 8 months old. The extracts from his diary and letters home form a fitting memorial, for on reading them, the Bishop of Durham could write, with feeling, "I bless God for this splendid young life, filled and used, first in peace, then in the fiery crucible of soldier-life, not by any vague 'new thought', nor worship of mere manhood, but by the old and unchangeable Gospel of the Grace of God in Christ" [Handley Moule, (May, 1918)]


To-day, in London, on a quiet Sunday afternoon, I have at last read "I am Kept" from end to end. As I closed the book, I found myself speaking aloud, though alone, a heartfelt thanksgiving. To me, in these tremendous days, when not only death and grief are so thick around us, in the great conflict for mercy, liberty and truth, but when it is almost as if "all things" were "coming to an end", and the very Gospel seems widely forgotten, it is inspiring and cheering in a wonderful way to read Charlie Mawson's diary and letters. I bless God for this splendid young life, filled and used, first in peace, then in the fiery crucible of soldier-life, not by any vague "new thought", nor worship of mere manhood, but by the old and unchangeable Gospel of the Grace of God in Christ. I bless my Lord for the message brought to me by this young believer, who, like Hedley Vicars long ago, "burnt his boats", let himself be "a marked man" (while never forgetting that the "marked man" must be the bright, unselfish, simple-hearted comrade), and found the reality of the promised "keeping power" alike in Bank, Billet, and Battle-field, and so left a radiant track of light behind him. Charlie Mawson is indeed not dead. He lives with his Lord above, and he lives as His Witness here in these bright pages. You have done well to produce the beautiful booklet, with the portrait, eloquent of purest and bravest happiness, for its frontispiece. God give it wide circulation, and follow it with blessing to every reader. [Prefatory letter from the Bishop of Durham, Handley Carr Glyn Moule (1841-1920), May 12th, 1918]

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