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Title: Religion and the War
Author: Various
Language: English
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The present volume is the second work published by the Yale University
Press on the James Wesley Cooper Memorial Publication Fund. This
Foundation was established March 30, 1918, by a gift to Yale
University from Mrs. Ellen H. Cooper in memory of her husband, Rev.
James Wesley Cooper, D.D., who was born in New Haven, Connecticut,
October 6, 1842, and died in New York City, March 16, 1916. Dr. Cooper
was a member of the Class of 1865, Yale College, and for twenty-five
years pastor of the South Congregational Church of New Britain,
Connecticut. For thirty years he was a corporate member of the
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions and from 1885
until the time of his death was a Fellow of Yale University, serving
on the Corporation as one of the Successors of the Original Trustees.

  Not in dumb resignation,
    We lift our hands on high;
  Not like the nerveless fatalist,
    Content to do and die.
  Our faith springs like the eagle's,
    That soars to meet the sun,
  And cries exulting unto Thee,
    "O Lord, Thy will be done."

  When tyrant feet are trampling
    Upon the common weal,
  Thou dost not bid us bend and writhe
    Beneath the iron heel;
  In Thy name we assert our right
    By sword, or tongue, or pen,
  And e'en the headsman's axe may flash
    Thy message unto men.

  Thy will,--it bids the weak be strong;
    It bids the strong be just:
  No lip to fawn, no hand to beg,
    No brow to seek the dust.
  Wherever man oppresses man
    Beneath the liberal sun,
  O Lord, be there, Thine arm made bare,
    Thy righteous will be done.

      --JOHN HAY.


Religious interests are quite as much involved in the world war as
social and political interests. The moral and spiritual issues are
tremendous, and the problems that arise concerning "the mighty hopes
that make us men,"--hopes that relate to the Kingdom of God on
earth,--are such as not only to perplex our most earnest faith, but
also to challenge our most consecrated purpose. It is the sincere hope
of those who have contributed to this volume that it may prove helpful
in the solution of some of these problems.

  E. H. S.

  Yale University,
    August 21, 1918



    I. Moral and Spiritual Forces in the War                  11
         Charles Reynolds Brown, D.D., LL.D., Dean of
         the School of Religion and Pastor of the University

   II. God and History                                        22
         Douglas Clyde Macintosh, Ph.D., Professor of

  III. The Christian Hope in Times of War                     33
         Frank Chamberlin Porter, Ph.D., Professor of
         Biblical Theology

   IV. Non-Resistance: Christian or Pagan?                    59
         Benjamin Wisner Bacon, D.D., Litt.D., LL.D.,
         Professor of New Testament Criticism and

    V. The Ministry and the War                               82
         Henry Hallam Tweedy, M.A., Professor of Practical

   VI. The Effect of the War upon Religious Education        105
         Luther Allan Weigle, Ph.D., D.D., Professor of
         Christian Nurture

  VII. Foreign Missions and the War, Today and Tomorrow      122
         Harlan P. Beach, D.D., F.R.G.S., Professor of the
         Theory and Practice of Missions

 VIII. The War and Social Work                               141
         William Bacon Bailey, Ph.D., Professor of
         Practical Philanthropy

   IX. The War and Church Unity                              151
         Williston Walker, Ph.D., D.D., Professor of
         Ecclesiastical History

    X. The Religious Basis of World Re-Organization          161
         E. Hershey Sneath, Ph.D., LL.D., Professor of
         the Philosophy of Religion and Religious Education




In one of our more thoughtful magazines we were favored last February
with an article entitled, "Peter Sat by the Fire Warming Himself." It
was a bitter, undiscriminating arraignment of the ministers and
churches of the United States for their alleged lack of intelligent,
sympathetic interest in the war. It was written by an Englishman who
for several years has been vacillating between the ministry and
secular journalism, but is now the pastor of a small church in
northern New York. The vigor of his literary style in trenchant
criticism was matched by an equally vigorous disregard for many of the
plain facts in the case. His tone, however, was loud and confident, so
that the article secured for itself a wide reading.

"What became of the spiritual leaders of America during those
thirty-two months when Europe and parts of Asia were passing through
Gehenna?" the writer of this article asked in scornful fashion. And
then after listing the enormities of the mad military caste which
heads up at Potsdam, he asked the clergymen of the United States, "Why
were you so scrupulously neutral, so benignly dumb?" His main
contention was to the effect that the religious leaders of this
country had been altogether negligent of their duty in the present
world struggle, and that the churches were small potatoes and few in a

It has been regarded as very good form in certain quarters to cast
aspersion upon the ministers of the Gospel. When the war came men
began to ask, sometimes with a sneer, and sometimes with a look of
pain, "Why did not Christianity prevent the war?" It never seemed to
occur to anyone to ask, "Why did not Science prevent the war?" No one
supposed that Science would or could. It was the most scientific
nation on earth which brought on the war.

It never occurred to anyone to ask, "Why did not Big Business, or the
Newspapers, or the Universities prevent the war?" No one supposed that
commerce or the press or education could avert such disasters. These
useful forms of social energy are not strong enough. They do not go
deep enough in their hold upon the lives of men to curb those forces
of evil which let loose upon the world this frightful war. It was a
magnificent tribute which men paid to the might of spiritual forces
when they asked, sometimes wistfully, and sometimes scornfully, "Why
did not Christianity prevent the war?"

The terrible events of the last four years have taught the world a few
lessons which it will not soon forget. They have shown us the utter
impotence of certain forces in which some shortsighted people were
inclined to put their whole trust: The little toy gods of the
Amorites--Evolution, with a capital E, not as the designation of a
method which all intelligent people recognize, but as a kind of
home-made deity operating on its own behalf! The Zeitgeist, the Spirit
of the Age, all in capitals! The "Cosmic Urge," whatever that
pretentious phrase may mean in the mouths of those who use it in
grandiloquent fashion! The "Stream of Progress," the idea that there
are certain resident forces in the physical order itself which make
inevitably for human well-being and advance quite apart from any
thought of God!

All these have shown themselves no more able to safeguard the welfare
of society than so many stone images. They broke down utterly in the
presence of those forces of evil which now menace the very fabric of
civilization. The forces of self-interest unhallowed and undirected by
any finer forms of spiritual energy have covered a whole continent
with grief and pain. They have written a most impressive commentary
upon that word of the ancient prophet, "The wicked shall be turned
into hell, and all the nations that forget God." Men are saying on all
sides that unless hope is to be found in religion, in the action of
the spirit of the Living God upon the lives of men, then hope there is
none. What other guarantee have we that the greed and the lust, the
hatred and the ambition of wrong-hearted men may not again wreck the
hopes of the race!

But still that question presses for an answer--Why did not these
spiritual forces for which Christianity stands prevent the war? I have
my own idea about that. It was because we did not have enough of
Christianity on hand in those fateful summer days of 1914, and what we
had was not always of the right sort. In certain countries the
churches had been emphasizing the personal and private virtues of
sobriety, chastity, kindliness and the like; they had been preparing
the souls of men for residence in a blessed Hereafter. But they had
not given adequate attention to the organized life of men in political
and economic relations. They had not sufficiently exalted the
weightier matters of justice, mercy and truth in the social organism.
These things they ought to have done, and not to have left the other

The founder of our faith in the first public address he gave there in
the synagogue at Nazareth struck the social note clearly and firmly.
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he hath anointed me to
preach good tidings to the poor. He hath sent me to bind up the
broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, to set at
liberty them that are bruised, and to proclaim"--in all the high
places of the organized life of the race--"the acceptable year of the

This was the platform on which he stood. This indicated the spirit and
method of his mission. Organized and corporate righteousness was to be
an essential element in the Gospel of the Son of God. The leaders of
our Christian faith should have been voicing that same demand for
social righteousness all the way from Berlin to Bagdad, and from
London to the uttermost parts of the earth. The only Christianity
which can avert similar disaster in the future is that Christianity
which, like the Apostles of old, goes everywhere, preaching and
practising the Gospel of the Kingdom, the sway and rule of the Divine
Spirit in all the affairs of men.

It was highly significant, however, that the one nation in Europe
which had gone farthest toward an atheistic materialism, toward a
philosophy of force, a complete reliance upon physical efficiency and
mental cleverness quite apart from any moral considerations, toward a
flat indifference to all those manifestations of the religious spirit
which are found in public worship, in missionary effort, and in the
cultivation of a humble, devout spirit--it was the nation which had
gone farthest in that direction which did more than any other nation
to bring on the war.

And, conversely, it was that nation which had gone farther than any
other nation in Europe toward making the religion of Jesus Christ a
power for good in public and in private life which did more than any
other single nation in those fateful July days to avert the war, and
when war came it was that same nation which did more than any other
nation to resist the encroachments of lawlessness and crime as we have
seen them in Belgium and in northern France. We have had abundant
reason to thank God for the Christianity there was in the lives of
such men as Herbert H. Asquith, Arthur J. Balfour, and David Lloyd
George, and in the lives of the brave men and women who have nobly
sustained them in their righteous contention. We could only have
wished that the world had been possessed of a hundred times as much of
that sort of Christianity; that would have prevented the war.

And when war came these spiritual forces still had something to say
for themselves. Christianity had been pressing home upon the hearts of
men those more vital principles until nine-tenths of all the earth was
ashamed of the war. Not a single nation was willing to stand up and
accept responsibility for bringing it on--not even Germany. That
military caste in Potsdam has tried by all manner of intellectual
shuffling to save its face by seeking to make it appear to its own
people that the war was one of self-defense thrust upon them by
unscrupulous enemies. The claim was so absurd that the whole world
laughed it to scorn, even before the striking revelations were made by
Prince Lichnowsky, the German ambassador at London in the summer of
1914. The effort did, however, serve to make plain the fact that the
German Government has not entirely lost the power of being ashamed of

One hundred years ago it was not so. The Napoleonic wars dragged out
their weary length for twenty-two sad years, but it never occurred to
Napoleon or to France to apologize for those wars which were, for the
most part, frankly wars of aggression and conquest. War was taken as a
matter of course. It was costly, irrational, inhuman, then as it is
now, but it did not have arrayed against it the moral sense of the
race as that moral sense has come to be arrayed against this method of
settling international difficulties in this twentieth century. In
these days war is looked upon by all right-minded nations as the
devil's own business, only to be accepted by right-minded nations as a
last dire necessity when thrust upon them by governments which scruple
not at either honor or right. It is something for the spiritual forces
of earth to have accomplished that.

Moreover, when the war came never before in all its history had the
world seen so much done in the way of humane service. It has been done
to relieve the pain of wounded soldiers and to meet the necessities of
those helpless people whose homes have been destroyed by the ravages
of war. It has all been done in the name of the Red Cross--the name is
significant, as is the spirit behind it. It is the flowering out, not
of Buddhism or Mohammedanism, not of some fancy brand of atheism or
some philosophy of force--men do not gather grapes of thorns nor figs
from thistles. It is the flowering out of the religion of him who died
for men upon a cross.

The people of this country alone came forward and in a single week by
voluntary contributions gave one hundred millions of dollars for this
humane service. Then within less than a year the same people
contributed a further fund of one hundred and seventy millions of
dollars for the relief of wounded soldiers and for the relief of
stricken people in Belgium and Poland, in Serbia and Armenia, whose
names we do not know, whose languages we cannot speak, but whose
sufferings we have made our own in warmest sympathy. It was the
response of a nation to the words of its Master--"I was hungry and ye
fed me. I was naked and ye clothed me. I was sick and in prison and ye
visited me. I was a stranger and ye took me in." It is something for
the spiritual forces to have thus enthroned the spirit of humane
service in the hearts of men.

More than that, never before in military history has so much been done
to safeguard the moral welfare of the young men who have been called
to the colors. The officers of our own army and of those armies with
whom we are allied have by personal example and by public utterance
struck a clear, firm note for sobriety and clean living, which cannot
be matched in the history of any other war.

The Young Men's Christian Association by its work for the soldiers has
leaped at a bound into a place of national and international
significance. And the Young Men's Christian Association is simply the
Christian church functioning in a particular way. Its honored head,
John R. Mott, was converted in and is now a member of the Methodist
Episcopal Church. Its secretaries and other workers are drawn, all of
them, from the membership of our churches. And the money which makes
possible its world-wide activities is given mainly by the people of
the churches. The people of this country were asked for thirty-five
millions of dollars, and in a single week they oversubscribed the
request, giving fifty millions of dollars to carry on this fine form
of Christian effort. It was the act of a nation saying to the young
men under arms, "Fight your good fight but keep your faith, and finish
your course with honor, that there may be laid up for every man of you
a crown of rejoicing."

And more than that, the spiritual forces at work in this broad land
have kept the motives of our country high and fine. We have not
entered into this war with any selfish desire for conquest--as God
knows our hearts, we do not covet an acre of territory belonging to
any other power on earth. We have not entered this war with any sordid
desire for material gain. We were already becoming disgracefully rich
in the manufacture of munitions and in furnishing supplies to the
belligerent nations. If they could have fought it through without our
help, it would have been money in our purse to have stayed out--as it
is, it will cost us no one can say how many billions of dollars. We
have not entered this war in any spirit of touchiness because our
national honor has been offended--it has been offended most
grievously, but we are too strong and too sane to plunge a whole
country into war for that.

We are not undertaking to punish Germany, greatly as we believe the
present government of Germany needs punishing. We remember who it was
who said, "Vengeance is mine. I will repay, saith the Lord," and we
are content to leave the matter of penalty in his powerful hands. We
are not undertaking to dictate to the German people what sort of
government they should have. We are willing they should have any sort
of government they like, so long as they keep it for home consumption.
We believe here that all governments derive their just powers from the
consent of the governed. We confess to a frank preference for the
methods of democracy, and we could wish no happier lot for any land
than to live under the reign of the common people. We like to remember
that in the year of our Lord 1815, Great Britain and her Allies put a
certain island on the map--they put the island of St. Helena on the
map by banishing to that island the disturber of the peace of Europe.
And if in the year of our Lord 1919 the United States and her Allies
should in similar fashion put some other island on the map by
banishing to that island the present disturber of the peace of Europe,
nine-tenths of all the human race would rise up and thank God.

We entered upon this war because we were not willing to stand by and
allow other nations to be crippled and broken in the resistance they
were offering to lawlessness and crime, and in the defense they were
making for those principles of justice and freedom which are the glory
of our own national history. And so we have come forward to do our
part and to fill up that which is lacking in the sacrifices which
other nations have been making for the sake of principle.

As I move about among my fellow citizens, north, south, east and west,
these are the questions which I find engaging their minds: Is might to
be allowed to usurp the place of right, or are we here to see to it
that in the long run right is the only might? Is international good
faith only an empty phrase, or is it a magnificent reality in the
moral world to be upheld at any cost? Is that body of usages and
agreements slowly built up by centuries of effort, which constitutes
our international law, to be trampled under foot by any nation for the
sake of some immediate advantage, or is it meant to be obeyed? Is the
whole world to be permanently at the mercy of any military caste which
may undertake to impose its will upon the rest of mankind by the
practice of frightfulness, or is there possible some such World League
of Nations as shall have both the mind and the power to keep the peace
and good order of the world?

These are moral questions. They are religious questions, where there
is a will of God to be ascertained and realized. And because our
people have vision for the full recognition of the place spiritual
forces have in the making of history, this struggle enlists the
complete moral support of the nation.

It was the moral idealism of the war which brought Great Britain and
all her distant colonies promptly into line the moment the moral
quality of the German Government stood revealed in all its hideousness
by its outrage upon Belgium. It was the moral passion of Britain which
enabled her to raise by voluntary enlistment an army of more than five
millions of men.

It was the moral idealism of the war which brought all sections of our
own country strongly to the support of the President when the fact was
made plain that it was a fight for the right of free peoples to live
and move and have their being in honor. It was the moral idealism of
the war which brought the choicest youth of our land, the sons of good
fortune and the sons of toil, the young men of the colleges and the
young men less privileged, to stand shoulder to shoulder in this
struggle for righteousness. We have seen it on the Campus here at
Yale, as other men have seen it in all the colleges and universities
of the land. The spirit of our youth has been nobly expressed in those
lines on "The Spires of Oxford":

  I saw the spires of Oxford
  As I was passing by,
  The gray spires of Oxford
  Against the pearl-gray sky;
  My heart was with the Oxford men
  Who went abroad to die.

  The years go fast in Oxford,
  The golden years and gay.
  The hoary colleges look down
  On careless boys at play;
  But when the bugles sounded war
  They put their games away.

  They left the peaceful river,
  The cricket field, the quad,
  The shaven lawns of Oxford
  To seek a bloody sod;
  They gave their merry youth away
  For country and for God.

  God rest you happy, gentlemen,
  Who laid your good lives down,
  Who took the khaki and the gun
  Instead of cap and gown.
  God bring you to a fairer place
  Than even Oxford town.

It was a great Christian statesman, it was William Ewart Gladstone,
prime minister of Great Britain, who said more than thirty years ago,
"The greatest triumph of the twentieth century will be the
enthronement of the idea of public right as the governing idea in the
affairs of Europe." We are here this day to assist with the last ounce
of our strength and with the full might of our moral purpose in the
enthronement and the coronation of that idea of public right as the
governing idea in the affairs of the whole world.

The moral values which are at stake in all this national and
international action have been made so clear in the fierce red light
which has beat upon the world that the very conscience of the country
has put on khaki. The moral sense of the whole nation has become
militant. The brave men and women of this land are working and
fighting for human betterment with their eyes upon that social order
which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God. And because we
feel that our cause is just, we feel in our arms and in our hearts,
each man of us, the strength of ten.

May we not believe that this country, strong and brave, generous and
hopeful, is called of God to be in its own way a Messianic nation in
whose mighty unfolding life all the nations of the earth may be
blessed? Hear these words of an ancient prophet and make them your
own! "What people has God so nigh unto them as the Lord our God is in
all things that we call upon Him for? Has God assayed to take him a
nation from the midst of another nation by signs, by wonders and by
war, as the Lord hath done for you? Did ever a people hear the Voice
of God speaking out of the midst of the fire as thou hast heard? What
nation has statutes and judgments so righteous as the law which I set
before you this day? Keep therefore and do them, for this is your
wisdom and your understanding among the nations."

It is for this country to keep its motives high and fine, to set its
affections upon those principles of action which are above the dead
level of self-interest, and to so bear itself in the service of the
higher civilization that in its purposes and methods all the nations
of the earth may be blessed.

  O beautiful my country, ours once more,
  What were our lives without thee,
  What all our lives to save thee!
  We reek not what we give thee,
  We will not dare to doubt thee,
  But ask whatever else and we will dare.




Most urgent among the religious problems of the day is the question as
to the relation of God to the events of current history. As was to be
expected, many erroneous notions are prevalent concerning divine
providence and the present war. Some of these errors are owing to
intellectual confusion; others, however, impress one as due to an
almost wilful perversion of the impulses of religious faith. In any
case, most conspicuous among the erroneous doctrines of the day with
reference to divine providence is that voiced by the German Emperor,
in speaking of the Teutonic triumph over disorganized Russia. His
words are reported as follows: "The complete victory fills me with
gratitude. It permits us to live again one of those great moments in
which we can reverently admire God's hand in history. What turn events
have taken is by the disposition of God." One could scarcely be blamed
for inferring that the Kaiser imagines, or affects to believe, that
the Almighty has entered into a favored-nation treaty of some sort
with Germany. But even this would seem to fall short of what is
claimed. We quote further from the same theological authority. "The
year 1917 with its great battles has proved," he asserts, with almost
incredible simple-mindedness, "that the German people has in the Lord
of Creation above an unconditional and avowed ally on whom it can
absolutely rely." This curious reversion to religious tribalism in the
case of the German Emperor is not without its parallel in the belief
of his subjects. Assiduously taught, as they have been, that they are
fighting a justified defensive war, and praying, as they have been,
for victory over their enemies, their conviction has come to be,
pretty generally, what a German-American in the early days of the war
expressed in these words, "If Germany doesn't win this war, there is
no God!" Well, in view of what the world knows as to the causation and
the conduct of this war on the part of Germany, the only answer so
preposterous a doctrine deserves is that given by ex-President Taft,
"Germany has mistaken the devil for God!"

But the Germans are not the only ones who are cherishing mistaken
notions as to the providence of God in human affairs. We and our
Allies reject the idea of a national God, and any notion of the "Lord
of Creation" being our "unconditional ally." The morally perfect God
is too just and impartial to have any favorites among the nations,
whether Jewish, or German, or British, or American. Might does not
make right, we know; and no more is might an infallible index to God's
will. God is not necessarily "on the side of the heaviest battalions."
On the contrary, the true God, as the God of righteousness, must be,
we feel sure, on the side of right and justice, whichever side that
may be. Being confident, therefore, of the justice of our cause, we
feel that we have the best of reasons for believing that we are
fighting on the side of God, as well as for the true well-being of

So far, good; but many among us proceed to put two and two together
and find that they make five. If we are on the side of human rights
and the will of God, and if God is sufficient for our religious needs,
is it not clear that we may be absolutely certain of winning the war,
whatever temporary reverses may have to be encountered? Moreover,
especially since we have had our days of prayer for victory, are we
not entitled to sing,

  Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just,
  And this be our motto, "In God is our trust"?

Indeed, so satisfied are we with the logic of our position that
multitudes of us would agree with the sentiment expressed by a
British-American in the early days of the war, "If Germany wins this
war, there is no God."

But there are reasons for doubting the correctness of this view. Right
makes God's will, surely enough; but is it certain that the side whose
cause is just will win the war, simply because it is the side of right
and of God? Ultimately, we may be sure, right must prevail, for wrong
is not the sort of thing that can permanently succeed; it contains
within itself the germs of its own ultimate destruction. But nothing
in history can be surer than that this ultimate judgment upon evil
does not necessarily involve the defeat of all unjustified military
undertakings. The side with the greater moral justification has not
always won its battles, nor even its wars. It is not enough to have
justice on our side; we must use our might on the side of right. Right
has to be worked for, and sometimes it has to be fought for. That is
the kind of world that--not unfortunately for our development,
probably--we are living in. And the fighting is no sham battle. Its
issue is not predetermined. It is being decided while the fighting is
going on.

Moreover, with reference to prayer as a military factor, it is only
fair to note that in the present war many sincere and believing
prayers for victory have been offered on both sides. It is not
intended to deny that religion of a certain sort is an important
military factor; sincere and believing prayer for a cause that is
regarded as sacred and just undoubtedly helps morale, both in the army
and throughout the nation. But it is a factor which in this war has
operated on both sides. Man has the capacity for misusing not only
physical, but even spiritual forces. But, on the other hand, when
prayer and religious faith encourage an easy-going attitude, and are
thus made to some extent a substitute for effort, such prayer and
faith cannot but prove a serious military hindrance, no matter how
just the cause may be that they are designed to support. They may even
conceivably make enough of a difference on the wrong side to lead to
the defeat of righteousness.

These notions as to God's providence in war, which we have criticized
as manifestly mistaken and dangerously misleading, are symptomatic of
confused and muddy thinking on the whole subject of the providence of
God in human history. How does God secure his adequate providential
control of the course of history? One theory is that he has secured it
by having absolutely predetermined from the beginning all events of
nature and history, so that all process is the simple unfolding of
what has been eternally decreed. There are the strongest ethical and
religious reasons for refusing to accept this unproved and unprovable
dogma. On the one hand, it would mean that man's consciousness of free
agency and moral responsibility would have to be regarded as quite
illusory, since what has been decided and made inevitable before man's
life began cannot have been originated by man himself. On the other
hand, this predestination doctrine would mean that God should be
regarded as the real and responsible cause of all evil, including what
we call human sin. No such God would be moral enough to be trustworthy
or deserving of human adoration.

Another theory as to how God secures his adequate providential control
of the course of events is that it is by various sorts of arbitrary or
unconditioned interventions in external nature, as well as in human
life, in order to realize the ends he may desire to accomplish from
time to time. It has often been suggested, for instance, that a
miracle of this sort took place at the Marne, preventing the German
entry into Paris. But this theory is open to the objection that it
raises three unanswerable questions. In the first place, how can we be
sure that such interventions have taken place, particularly in the
external world? How do you suppose it will ever be established
sufficiently for confident rational belief, that only by special
miracle were the German armies turned back from Paris in 1914? In the
second place, if such special miraculous interventions do take place
for the sake of preventing evil, why do they not take place oftener,
especially in these times of unprecedented disaster to human life? A
miracle like that of the Marne, such as would have turned the Turks
back from the helpless Armenians, would have been much appreciated.
But, for a third question, if such miracles were to take place as
often as this theory of providence would seem to call for, what would
become of the order of nature, and how could man learn what to expect,
or how to adjust himself to his environment?

As against these theories of absolute predetermination and arbitrary
intervention, we may point out that God secures his adequate
providential control of the course of history in two principal ways,
viz., by _enough_ predetermination of events to give man a
dependable universe to live in and learn from, and by _enough_
intervention to admit of a response to man's need of the religious
experience of salvation, that is, of being inwardly or spiritually
prepared to meet in the right way and with triumphant spirit the very
worst that the future may bring. The predetermined order of the laws
of nature and mind exhibits the _general providence_ of God. By
means of this order, or in the light of consequences, God is teaching
man both science and morality, that is, how to adapt means to the
realization of ends, and what ideals and principles of action must be
employed if the most desirable results are to be obtained. The
"intervention enough" of which we spoke--if indeed it is to be called
intervention--or, in other words, the response of the divine Reality
to the right religious attitude on the part of man, is an exhibition
of the _special providence_ of God. When one has found the right
relation to God and gained access to the divine power for the inner
life, one is virtually prepared for whatever can happen to him. But,
as we have indicated, his preparedness is primarily inner, spiritual.
He is in a position to meet danger with moral courage, to gain the
victory over temptation; to make the most of opportunities for
service; to endure hardship, pain and privation, as a good soldier,
with patience and cheerfulness; to face death--his own or that of
others--and whatever there may be after death, with faith and

There are two possible ways, then, in which God may exercise his
providence in the events of human history. There is his shorter and
preferred method, and his longer and more roundabout method. If the
individuals concerned come into the right relation to God, there is
the best possible guarantee that they will be made ready for all there
may be for them to do and to experience, and thus conditions will be
most favorable for the speedy realization of the will of God. But if
this shorter, preferred method cannot be employed, because men fail to
rise to the occasion as they might if they would rightly relate
themselves to God, the divine providence will still be exercised,
although necessarily in the less desirable, more roundabout way. God
will let man choose the wrong way, through thoughtlessness or
wilfulness, and then let him take the bitter consequences of failure,
that he may finally learn to guard against similar mistakes and faults
in the future.

Let us now return to the more particular question of the relation of
the providence of God to the present war. Before discussing again the
question with which we started, viz., as to the final outcome of the
conflict, we may deal with some other aspects of the problem. In the
light of what has been said of the two possible methods of divine
providence, it may be denied that the war was providentially caused by
God in order to curb other evils, such as softness and idleness, or
the selfish pursuit of wealth and pleasure, or drunkenness and vice,
or thoughtlessness and irreligion. It is true enough that in the face
of war conditions some of these evils have been decreased, and the
martial qualities of self-sacrificing courage and fortitude have been
stimulated. But it is notoriously true that the advent of war
introduces a host of evils, in some cases necessarily, in others
almost as inevitably. Drunkenness tends to increase greatly, unless
stern measures are taken for its repression. Vice, with the resulting
transmissible diseases, ordinarily becomes much more prevalent.
Hatred, cruelty, and even the most fiendish brutality are given ample
opportunity to develop, and in many instances they become relatively
fixed attitudes and attributes of character. So far from the
biologically fittest tending to survive, under modern war conditions
these are the very ones who, for the most part and to the incalculable
detriment of the future of the race, are killed off, even granting
that of those who are "fit" enough to get to the front, the weakest
are those who have the poorest chance of survival. And finally, when
the stress of war conditions becomes acute, innumerable enterprises
for social betterment are constrained to be given up, at least for the
time being. In view, then, of all this, not to dwell upon the
unspeakable suffering, physical and mental, on the part not only of
combatants, but of noncombatants as well, and considering the merely
problematical nature of the good to which the crisis involved in a
state of war may prove a stimulus, it must be regarded as incredible
that a God good enough and wise enough to be worthy of absolute
dependence and worship could have ordered so stupendous a catastrophe
as a possible means of human salvation. Neither is it reasonable to
suppose that God is prolonging the war, in order that some social
evils, such as drunkenness, may be eradicated before victory is
finally secured. This might, perhaps, be the outcome, if the war were
greatly prolonged; but it could not be at all certain beforehand that
any such improvement would be permanent enough to offset the evils
involved in the continuation of the war. We cannot suppose anyone who
was wise enough and good enough to be God would be so far below our
best human standards as to will either the existence or the
continuation of the war as a whole, with all its attendant evils, in
order that final good might abound. Any God who might be thought of as
doing so would be a false God; his condemnation would be just.

Understanding, then, that in so far as human hatred, selfishness and
stupidity have been factors in leading to the war, it has been
originated, not by the will or in the providence of God, but against
his will and providence; understanding also that in so far as it has
been prolonged by human inefficiency or stupidity, or by the
efficiency of evil wills, or of wills in the service of wrong, its
continuation has not been in accordance with but in opposition to his
will and providence, let us turn to the more positive aspect of the
divine providence in connection with the war. It may be said to begin
with, that in so far as going into this war has been correctly judged
by any party to it to be the necessary alternative to national
perfidy, or ignoble servitude, or any other evil greater than those
involved in passing through the ordeal of war, and in so far as the
task has been accepted as a solemn duty and entered upon in brave and
self-sacrificing spirit, the act of going to war is to be regarded as
in accord with the will of God. Indeed, if we may regard the divine
spirit as immanent where we find the divine qualities present in human
life, we may go further and say that such righteous participation in
the war is the work of God within the soul of man, fighting against
the forces of evil. Moreover, in so far as the war is prolonged by the
fortitude of men of good intentions and their fidelity to a just
cause, the war may similarly be said to be prolonged in accord with
the will and even by the work of God in and through the good will and
work of men.

But of providence in relation to the war as a whole, it can only be
said that man's evil choice has compelled God to use the long,
roundabout method. It is the second best method, although the best
possible under the circumstances. The sinful choices of men and
nations were not, of course, divinely predetermined. What has been
divinely predetermined, we may well believe, is the law-abiding order
of nature and of individual and social mind, according to which the
disasters and sufferings incidental to war are the inevitable
consequences of certain forms of individual and corporate wrong doing.
In this roundabout way certain reforms may be providentially forced
upon the nations by the war. The evil consequences of certain former
evils tend to be more acutely felt under the strain and stress of
severe and prolonged warfare. Let us suppose that in order to win the
war we and our Allies may yet find it necessary to take drastic steps
to eradicate drunkenness with its attendant evils, or even to prohibit
the waste of food-stuffs and fuel involved in the manufacture of
alcoholic beverages. This would not mean that the war had been
divinely caused in order to realize this end, but only that it was and
always is the divine will that man should learn the lessons of the law
of consequences, which lessons are in some instances more readily
learned in time of war.

But what God is teaching most directly through the law of consequences
in connection with the war is the necessity of correcting certain
immoral international relations. He is teaching the nations through
bitter experience how imperative are international righteousness and
some practicable and adequately democratic scheme of world-government.

But we must not close our eyes to the possibility that through our
failure to do our part, God may be forced to take the long, sad,
roundabout way of exercising his providence in connection with the
end, as he had to in the beginning of the war. What we must wake up to
is this, that _in spite of the justice of our cause, in spite of its
being the cause of humanity and in essential accord with the will of
God, and in spite of our days of prayer and our optimistic religious
faith_, GERMANY MAY WIN THIS WAR! If our consciousness of
being right and our religious optimism make us so complacent that we
shall fail to exert our utmost strength on behalf of our righteous
cause, they may be the very factors that will turn the tide of war
against us. We have resources enough for the winning of victory. If we
fail it will be a moral failure. If we fail to rise to the moral
demands of this great occasion, God may have to let us fail to win the
war and then learn what we can from the bitter consequences of this
failure. We and future generations may have to learn through tragic
experience how imperative it is that right be not left to enforce
itself, but that we devote our full might to the cause of right, and
that before it is too late.

At the time of writing these words--in the early days of May,
1918--it seems not yet too late, however critical the situation,
for the winning of victory for the cause of liberty and justice.
But the surest way of providing for success would be for all who
recognize the right so to surrender themselves to the will of God
for self-sacrificing service, and so to depend upon the indwelling
power of God for inner preparedness for whatever may have to be
faced and whatever may have to be done, that their whole might may
be made use of in this warfare for the right. Our primary need is
_morale_--morale in the government, morale in the shipyards,
morale in the munitions factories, morale among all our people in
their business and home life, as well as fighting spirit in our
army and navy abroad. Enough religion of the right sort may make
enough difference in morale to make all the difference between
defeat and victory as the outcome of this war. And if in this way
victory for the right should come as a result of religion, it would
be not only a crowning example of the short and preferred method of
divine providence; it would be, literally speaking, victory by the
Grace of God.

In any case, the situation for the Western Allies is such that neither
faith without works nor works without faith can accomplish what waits
to be done. There must be, if we would win, faith and works together.

Before leaving this topic of God and history, a word may be said on
the question of what, on this interpretation of providence, we may
expect to be the final outcome of this war for the future of the race.
Will the result be more harm than good, or more good than harm? It is
very certain that the war will need to be the occasion of an immense
amount of good to balance up to the race the evils that have been
involved in it thus far and that will be involved in its prolongation.
Much possible evil will be avoided if the immoral Prussian
militaristic ideal is finally crushed. Moreover, there will be the
tendency for humanity to learn, at least temporarily and as an
intellectual conviction, the undesirability of war and of the
conditions that make for war. But attention and moral effort will be
necessary to retain this lesson with sufficient impressiveness, and to
put it into effect, and the best power of thought will be needed to
determine just how this putting it into effect may be most fully and
lastingly secured. There seems real danger that the human race on
earth will be permanently poorer and worse off, spiritually and
socially as well as biologically and economically, as a result of this
nearest approach to racial suicide. Undoubtedly it will be so, if the
nations fail to learn and to put into effect the lesson of the
necessity of international righteousness and a just and efficient
system of world-government.

It is perhaps still possible for the race to learn enough from this
period of strife and carnage for the resultant good to out-balance the
total evil. But even then no one would have the right to credit the
war with having been the means of greater good than _could_ have
been accomplished without it. All its moral evil at any rate will be
regrettable forever. And the only possible way of guaranteeing
beforehand greater good than evil as an outcome of the war, even
supposing the side of justice and liberty to be victorious, will be
for individuals and groups so to relate themselves to truth, to right
and to God that flagrantly immoral international relations will become
practically impossible. The only safety of the race lies in an
essentially Christian international morality, and the only adequate
guarantee of this is an essentially Christian personal religion. The
only failure of essential Christianity of which the war may fairly be
regarded as evidence was its failure to be given an adequate trial;
which means, of course, not a failure of Christianity as an ethical or
as a religious system, but a failure of the human will to be
adequately Christian.




Of Paul's three things that abide, hope is the one of which we are now
most conscious of our need. Never before in our experience has hope
been so much the center of our inner life and the heart of our
religion. Our mood alternates between hope and depression, hope and
fear; and we look to our religion to make hope strong, and turn to our
sacred book to seek secure grounds and satisfying expressions for our
hope. We hope for the winning of the war. We hope for the safety and
the home-coming of those we love. We hope for a new world-order
organized to make war impossible, inspired by a spirit of coöperation
and good will between classes and between nations. We hope as never
before for an assured and abundant life after death. We put these
hopes in some relation to each other, weighing one against another,
subordinating one to another. And when we seek their right
relationship and look for their ultimate grounds, we ask what
Christianity has to say and to do about them. What is Christian in
these hopes that are filling the mind and heart of the world? The
importance of this question is very great. The future of the world
depends on the truth and the strength of the hopes that now inspire
and direct men's purposes and efforts. The future of the Christian
religion turns in no small measure on its ability now to keep the hope
of mankind high and pure, free from self-seeking and from material
interests, and true to the ultimate reality of things, and to give
this hope confidence and prevailing strength.

Christians are not at one over the question what, as Christians, they
have a right to hope for. Most evidently is this the case between us
and our enemy. We differ in things hoped for; and it is perhaps not
too much to say that the truth of our hope and the strength of our
hope constitute and measure our spiritual equipment for the winning of
the war. The Germans are fighting for their hope of national expansion
and domination, for their dream of a new world empire of the chosen
and fit people of God. We cannot question the strength of this hope of
theirs, and its powerful influence toward bringing itself to
realization. We and our Allies are resisting these nationalistic and
arrogant hopes, and are appealing to the contrary hope of an inclusive
human brotherhood, in which good will shall prevail between nations,
and hence right and peace. The hope that is truer, more in accordance
with the nature of things, the nature of man, the will of God, and the
hope that is most deeply felt and most loyally served, with most
conviction and most sacrifice, will prevail in the end. That is the
hope that will come true. Ours is inevitably a religious hope, for it
is universal in range, big as the world, and needs not only every
power of ours but the Power not ourselves to bring it about. It is for
every one who holds it intensely, in a real sense, a hope in God and a
hope for God. But is it certain that it is also a Christian hope, a
hope in Christ and a hope for Christ?

There are, not only between us and our enemy, but among ourselves,
radical differences as to what a Christian should hope for in the
present world crisis. There are those who search the Scriptures for
predictions of the Kaiser and his overthrow, and see in the
anti-Christian philosophy and in the anti-Christian arrogance and
cruelty of his militaristic state, a sign that the end of this evil
world-age is near, and that Christ will come quickly and set up his
reign on earth. And there are those to whom such literalism in the use
of Scripture and such externality in the hope for Christ's coming are
intellectually impossible and untrue, and religiously harmful. To them
the meaning of the Bible is to be found in the tendency and spirit of
its teachings, and their hope is for the presence and rule of the
spirit of Christ and the dominance of his principles in the common
life of humanity. This involves a radical difference in the hope of
Christians for a new world, a new human society, and in the ways in
which this hope will affect their motives and efforts. There are also
deep-going differences in regard to the hope for a life after death.
That many are looking eagerly for material, "scientific" proof through
physical communications from the dead, while many, on the other hand,
are feeling that immortality belongs to the race and not to the
individual, and that the sacrifice of the young and the strong finds
its only and sufficient end and justification in the new humanity they
die to create, indicates that Christ has not yet brought life and
immortality to clear light for humanity. Such differences are not to
be desired. If Christianity is to be the religion of the present eager
and pressing hopes of mankind and give these hopes elevation, truth,
and victorious endurance and enthusiasm, Christians should be clear
and united in the contents and character of their hope.

Among these hopes of mankind there can be no doubt which one has the
first place in the minds of the intellectual leaders and the actual
rulers of the allied nations. Never before has a truly prophetic note
been so clearly sounded by leading men of affairs, and by the press
and the leaders of public opinion, as well as by the poets and
preachers to whom prophecy naturally belongs. From all sides we have
expressions of a hope which four years ago was judged to be the dream
of impractical idealists, the hope for a new order of human life, in
which good will and mutual coöperation shall take the place of
suspicion and competitive struggle. We need not be blind to whatever
motives of self-interest may have entered into the action of this or
that one of our Allies in undertaking the war. The outstanding fact
remains that while the German Government appeals to the self-assertion
of the German State and seeks its aggrandizement through force at the
expense of its neighbors, the allied governments appeal to national
self-sacrifice for the sake of international redemption. It is to this
appeal on behalf of the rights, the freedom, the happiness of mankind,
that our soldiers respond; for humanity, not for national gain, that
our peoples are prepared to give and to suffer. This hope takes
concrete form in the word Democracy, and in the idea of a League or
Federation of free, democratic nations, bound together for the defense
of human rights, for coöperation in all that concerns human welfare
and progress, and the repression of every attack upon the peace of the
world. So viewed the war becomes definitely a war to end war, and as
such it is engaged in and supported by peace-loving peoples, against
the nation that glorifies war and would perpetuate it.

Is this great hope Christian? Is Christianity the religion which a
hope so high and so difficult needs if it is to keep its height amid
the many influences that tend to lower it, and if it is to prove
possible and become actual in spite of powerful forces that work
against it? It is not self-evident that Christianity will prove equal
to this which is clearly the greatest task that the present imposes
upon it. There are many who doubt its adequacy; many who see that it
has brought division and warfare, and think it unfitted to create
unity; many who see that it has withdrawn from the world, and think it
unadapted to provide the moral principles and spiritual energies of
the new social and political world-order. It is for us who believe in
the sufficiency of Christ to prove that he alone provides those
religious and moral principles and forces without which no democracy,
still less any federation of democracies, can stand.

The ideal of human brotherhood which the war has revealed as the
deepest desire and faith of men and has put before us as a goal that
we must now set out to reach is of course old in its beginnings, and
for a generation it has been taking ever stronger hold on the minds of
men. Prophetic utterances of this ideal could be quoted in abundance.
A striking example is a saying of Alexander Dumas in 1893: "I believe
our world is about to begin to realize the words 'Love one another,'
without, however, being concerned whether a man or a God uttered
them.... Mankind, which does nothing moderately, is about to be seized
with a frenzy, a madness, of love." And Tolstoy's comment on this at
the time of the Russian revolution, in 1905: "I believe that this
thought, however strange the expression, 'seized with a frenzy of
love,' may seem, is perfectly true and is felt more or less clearly by
all men of our day. A time must come when love, which forms the
fundamental essence of the soul, will take the place natural to it in
the life of mankind, and will become the chief basis of the relations
between man and man. That time is coming; it is at hand."

The world war seems like a violent contradiction of the truth of such
prophecies. It seems for the time to have made love inadequate as a
summing up of morals and religion. We almost feel that the Sermon on
the Mount must be kept in reserve for other times. The war has made
love itself a hope. We renounce it for a time that we may resist a
power that threatens to destroy it altogether and put selfishness and
cruelty on the throne of the world. But the war has not in fact
disproved the faith that God is love and that love is the supreme law
and power among men. It has made mankind more conscious of its ideal
of community and fellowship, and seems to be carrying us faster toward
the realization of human brotherhood than peace and prosperity were
doing. The greatest and most widely approved sentences of President
Wilson's war papers are those that give expression to "what the
thinking peoples of the world desire, with their longing hope for
justice and for social freedom and opportunity." On the anniversary of
our entering the war, Gilbert Murray declared that England needed our
help in battle, but even more in upholding their true faith.
"Americans instinctively believe ... in freedom, peace, democracy,
arbitration, and international good will.... When the war is over
there will be a world to rebuild, and the only principles on which to
rebuild it are these principles." Germany denies the truth of these
principles, but in doing so it denies human nature and derives from
physical nature a state-ethics of struggle and the survival of the
strong. It denies the prophet of Galilee, and looks for its example to
Rome. Sometimes it has seemed as if the German denial of humanity and
affirmation of material and brute force were in danger of justifying
itself by the only test they admit, that of physical success. Where
can we look for help toward a living faith in liberty and brotherhood
over against the powerful demonstration we are offered of faith in
material force and in the progress of nations through aggression and
tyranny? We must look no doubt first of all to our own souls and
oppose to the faith in physical and animal nature a faith in human
nature and in the truth of its best instincts and ideals; and then to
those who know best and most worthily express the human soul and the
reality of its spiritual possessions. Not from the Bible alone, and
not only from Christ are such reassuring testimonies to be gained; and
we are not renouncing the unique value of the Christian religion when
we find that the faith and hope which it teaches are the faith and the
hope of the universal heart of man.

The poet laureate of England made his special contribution to his
nation's needs in time of war in the anthology, "The Spirit of Man."
"Our country," he says, "is called of God to stand for the truth of
man's hope." "Truly it is the hope of man's great desire, the desire
for brotherhood and universal peace to men of good will, that is at
stake in this struggle." From the miseries and slaughter and hate of
war, "we can turn," he says, "to seek comfort only in the quiet
confidence of our souls; and we look instinctively to the seers and
poets of mankind, whose sayings are the oracles and prophecies of
loveliness and loving kindness." They help us gain the conviction our
time most needs, "that spirituality is the basis and foundation of
human life," that "man is a spiritual being, and the proper work of
his mind is to interpret the world according to his higher nature, and
to conquer the material aspects of the world so as to bring them into
submission to the spirit."

But the Bible also is a witness to just these convictions and contains
prophecies of just such hopes. Bridges includes very few citations
from the Bible, chiefly because it is so well known, but also because
"this familiarity implies deep-rooted associations, which would be
likely to distort the context." Alas, for these associations, for the
interpretations that confuse and the prejudices that blind the readers
of the greatest literature of spirituality and of hope which the world
contains. In spite of this, the Bible will be looked to by multitudes
for guidance and support in those hopes on which the future turns,
while the poet's fine work will be prized by few. It is only too
possible to fail to find in the Bible its testimony to that "hope of
man's great desire of brotherhood and peace" which constitutes the
most living religion of our time; and this failure will mean loss to
the hope itself of its most powerful support, and loss to the
Christian religion of contact and sympathy with the most urgent
spiritual need and aspiration of men today.

The Bible does contain various and contradictory hopes, and can
encourage expectations that are not in accordance with the best
conscience of our age, nor with our knowledge of the way in which
human progress is achieved. But there is nothing more instructive than
the relation of these different hopes to each other as the historian
understands them and there is nothing more worthy and inspiring than
the language in which the most spiritual and the most universal of
these hopes are expressed.

The original hope of the religion of Israel was that involved in the
unique and exclusive relation between the nation Israel and Yahweh,
its God. It was the hope of Israel's prosperity and power through the
certain favor of Yahweh, and his intervening help in times of danger,
most of all his help in the nation's wars. These were "the Wars of
Yahweh." Both the strength and the defect of the Old Testament
religion lie in this fundamental faith, the peculiarity and
exclusiveness of the relation between Israel and its God. It inspired
its early victories and created the kingdom of David. It sustained the
nation amid calamities and enabled it to maintain itself when other
small nations disappeared before the great world empires, and while
these also came and passed. It was a natural and not unreasonable
faith for its time, so long as Yahweh was only Israel's national God,
even though he was believed to be better and stronger than the gods of
other nations and destined to triumph over them; but when Israel's God
was believed to be the one and only God of all the world the doctrine
of Israel as his peculiar people must either lead to false claims and
have bad effects upon temper and conduct, or else be reinterpreted and
radically changed. Nothing can be more instructive as to the nature of
religious hope than to follow out two main lines of development by
which an adjustment was attempted between this primitive nationalism
and the later, larger thought of God and the world.

The great prophets before the exile, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Jeremiah,
and after exile Deutero-Isaiah, were those through whom the faith was
attained that Yahweh is the one and only God; and the modification of
the national exclusiveness of Israel which they made was in the
direction of its complete subordination to ethical and spiritual
ideals. The one God of all was the God of righteousness, and of Israel
only on the condition and for the end of righteousness. But an ethical
in place of a national relation to God meant, if it was carried
through consistently, a universal relation of God to all men as
individuals, instead of a peculiar relation to one favored nation.
Consistency was not reached, yet glimpses, sometimes clear momentary
visions, of this individual, universal, ethical religion are to be
found in the great prophets; and in them the Old Testament religion
reaches its height. It is the prophetic denial of national claims and
hopes, not the older and always prevalent assertion of them, that
constitutes the reality and truth of the Old Testament hope. It is
hope for Yahweh and his righteousness, not for Israel and its glory.
It finds its highest expression in such predictions as Isaiah's
promise of security to the humble and believing; and Jeremiah's
expectation of the time when no special revelation will make known the
will of God to a chosen few, but when everyone will have his own
inward knowledge of God; and Ezekiel's belief that the new inward
nature which every man requires if he is to do that will of God which
he knows, will be achieved not only by his own free moral choice
(18:31), but also by the divine spirit, the transforming presence and
power of God (36:26, 27); and in Deutero-Isaiah's interpretation of
the peculiar relation of Israel to the one God of all the world as
that of Yahweh's Servant, his prophet to all nations, who brings light
to the heathen and deliverance from bondage, and who effects this
ministry even through his own shame and suffering for others' sins.

But there was a second still later way of adjusting the original
nationalism of Israel's faith and hope to monotheism and the
conception of a unity in nature and history; and this proved easier
and more popular than the other. In late prophecy and apocalypse the
hope of Israel's national and worldly prosperity and power takes on an
unearthly character. Instead of righteousness and spirituality as in
the earlier prophets, transcendence and heavenliness interpret or
displace the primitive hope. The heavenly region to which apocalyptic
prophecy transferred Israel's hope was a refinement of the physical,
but it was still essentially physical, a region whose riches could be
as sensibly enjoyed and as selfishly desired as the palace and throne
of an earthly kingdom. The heavenly powers by which this hope was to
be realized were divine, yet they were essentially material forces.
The prophetic hopes at their highest rest on human nature at its
highest, on the conscience and reason of man recognized as the will
and thought of God. But the apocalyptic hope, though it strains
language to magnify the contrast between its two worlds, the earthly
and the heavenly, the present and the future, does not succeed in
making them really different. Supernaturalism always fails to find the
real difference between man and God and so the way in which the
difference is to be overcome. This supernaturalism of the apocalypse
is seen also in the ways in which the hope is revealed. The seer
interprets in literal or artful ways the language of prophetic
scriptures regarded as divine oracles, or he is translated in ecstasy
to heaven and shown the secrets of the upper world and the future. The
coming of this new heavenly world men may pray for, and the time of
its coming they may seek to discover from sacred writings and
traditions and from the signs of the times, but only divine powers can
bring this evil world to an end, and only from heaven where they
already are can descend, in heaven's own time and way, the scenery and
the actors in the last great drama of history. There is in this hope
no strong ethical appeal, no prevailing sense that in the inward
region of the heart and in its instincts and desires and wills, God's
presence is to be found and his work for man experienced. Moreover
this hope for a new heavenly world means no hope for the present
world. It is evil and must grow more evil until God intervenes to
destroy it and brings down from heaven the realm of good. To renounce
the world and withdraw from it is the course of wisdom and holiness.
As a way of adjusting Israel's national hope to monotheism it is not
comparable with the prophetic way of ethics and inwardness. It is
still Israel, or the true Israel, that is to inherit the world to
come; and at its coming the world empire must first of all be
overthrown, for the new kingdom, heavenly and supernatural though it
is, is enough like the kingdom of Greece or of Rome to require its
fall and to take its place. The apocalyptic hope is the end of Old
Testament prophecy, but not its height. It was no doubt in some sense
fitted for its times, hard times, always, when the evils of life
seemed irremediable. It knew the need of divine help, and it
encouraged endurance and fidelity even to death. But it was not
grounded in the nature of men, and it was mistaken in its conception
of the nature of the world. It never quite escapes this inherent
falseness and confusion in its fundamental assumptions.

It cannot be hard to pass judgment on the relative value of these
three main hopes of the Old Testament. The primitive hope for God's
special favor to his own peculiar people who are destined to have
dominion over all others would have seemed, before the war, safely
outgrown by humanity. If the world still needed a demonstration of the
danger and falsity of any nation's belief in its peculiar excellence
and in its exclusive right and destiny to rule, and the intolerable
morals and preposterous religion that finally result from such claims,
the aggressors in the present war have supplied it, and the rest of
the world is united in the resolve that no further demonstration of
this hope be undertaken. The early histories of the Old Testament and
parts of its laws, its psalms and even its prophecies, contain
expressions of just this belief in a peculiar people, for whom God
made the world, and to whom the right belongs, secured by the divine
favor and promise, to rule over all other nations. Some of the
inferences and consequences of this faith that now shock the world,
something of the hatred and the cruelty toward foreign peoples, the
exaltation of vengeance, the arrogance and the inhumanity, find
unreserved expression in this literature. But the meaning of the Old
Testament is to be found in the denial and overcoming of this doctrine
and of its results.

In regard to the two ways in which this denial and correction were
chiefly undertaken, there can be no question where the greater value
and truth are to be found. The prophet's criticism of the national
hope and reinterpretation of it as the hope for righteousness really
struck at the heart of the materialism and selfishness of the
popular national hope, its false pride and its denial of trust and
of good will toward mankind. But the apocalyptic modification of the
older hope, though it fitted it for a wider view of the world and of
history and a deeper experience of the power of evil, did not
correct those moral and spiritual faults which were inherent in the
older hope. There is no generosity, no faith in human nature, no
sense of the present prevailing rule of God and power of good, no
thought of the "secret of inwardness" and "the method of
self-renouncement," in the religion of the apocalypse. The righteous
kernel of Judaism, the holy few who feared the Lord, expected an
invasion of divine forces on their behalf, the destruction of their
oppressors and their own elevation to angel-like natures and
God-like authority and blessedness. It could hardly be expected that
they would exhibit Isaiah's virtue of humility, or Jeremiah's of
inwardness and satisfaction in the communion of the soul with God,
or Deutero-Isaiah's impulse to turn their present lowliness to
greatness by ministry to those who persecuted them and even by death
for others' transgressions. The greatest of the apocalypses are no
doubt the canonical ones, Daniel and Revelation; and they are great
in their confidence in the divine government of the world, and in
its final vindication, and in their assertion of the martyr virtues.
But they do not believe in man, and in God in man, though their
belief in a God above is heroic. They do not hope for the world, or
find God in the world; nor do they feel that they are in any sense
responsible for the evil of the world and for its salvation from
evil. Righteousness and blessedness belong only to heaven, and can
come only from heaven to earth, and only by an act of God which will
bring the present world to a sudden end. The faults of materialism
and of self-interest which belong to the naïve nationalism of
Israel's beginnings are still present in the conscious and
sophisticated other-worldliness of the apocalyptic hopes, and reveal
the inner untruth of a supernaturalism which reckons in terms of
place and time, and looks above and ahead instead of about and
within for the Kingdom of God.

The post-canonical apocalypses of Judaism fall within the period
beginning with the attempt of Antiochus IV to make the Jews Greeks,
and the successful resistance of the Maccabees and their establishment
of an independent Jewish kingdom, and ending with the Jewish-Roman
wars, the destruction of Jerusalem and the suppression by Hadrian of
the final Messianic, political uprising under Bar Cochba; that is,
from 108 B. C. to 135 A. D. It is of the highest importance to note
that Christianity took its rise in the midst of this period, and that
the apocalyptic hopes which these events encouraged and which in turn
partly shaped the events, formed the immediate environment and
inheritance of the new religion. The question as to the nature of the
hope of the New Testament becomes therefore largely the question of
the place which Jewish apocalyptical expectations had in the new
religion and in the mind of its founder.

There are three elements in the hope of the New Testament which are
found in the later Jewish apocalypses, but not in the Old Testament:
1. The coming of the Son of Man as judge of men and angels at the last
day, which is always thought to be near at hand. 2. The reign on earth
of Messiah and his saints, the living and the risen dead, for a
certain period, during which they will overcome all the powers of
evil. 3. The immortality of the spirit, the transformation of the
righteous into angelic natures, fitting them to be companions of
heavenly beings in the final consummation. For our understanding of
these hopes and for our decision as to their truth and value it is
necessary to look at them as they arise in Jewish writings and not
only in their appearance in the New Testament.

The Son of Man appears first in Daniel, but there he is not an
individual, but the symbol of a nation, "the people of the saints of
the Most High"; and the vision pictures Israel as coming on a cloud,
not from heaven, but to God, to receive from him authority to rule
over the world. It is first in a part of the Book of Enoch, the
"Parables," chapters 37-71, dating probably from the reign of Herod,
that Daniel's "Son of Man" becomes an individual. It is important to
understand the religion of this writer in order to appreciate the
significance of this heavenly Messiah. His religion consists in faith
in the reality of a spiritual world which is destined to displace the
present world and to be the blessed abode of the righteous. God is
"the Lord of Spirits," and the voice of Isaiah's seraphim becomes,
"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Spirits: he filleth the earth with
spirits." The sin of the kings and mighty of the earth is that they
deny the Lord of Spirits and the hidden dwelling places of the
righteous. This is a religion of faith in heaven and its God and its
angelic inhabitants, and in the destiny of the righteous soon to share
its beauty and blessedness. Among those whom Enoch sees there, one is
above all significant for man. He has the appearance of a man, with a
face of graciousness and beauty, like an angel's. He is described as
the Son of Man to whom righteousness and wisdom belong. He has existed
from before the creation, and has been revealed to the righteous.
Faith in him and hope for his coming have sustained the righteous in
times of trouble, and by faith in him and in the Lord of Spirits and
the heavenly dwelling places, they "have hated and despised the world
of unrighteousness and have hated all its works and ways." Here is a
religion of pure other-worldliness. The calling of this heavenly Son
of Man is to be the judge of the world at the last day. He will then
"sit on the throne of his glory," will "choose the righteous and holy"
from among the risen dead, will condemn and send away to destruction
the kings and mighty of the earth, who because of their unbelief in
the unseen world have been proud and worldly and unjust. The righteous
will dwell in the new heaven and earth, with the Lord of Spirits over
them and the Son of Man as their companion, having been clothed with
garments of glory and immortal life. The likeness between this
religion and the apocalyptic type of New Testament Christianity is
striking. But it is not Christian because it is without Jesus himself.
This Son of Man has not already come and lived among men. The
righteous have not learned of him that God is in this world as well as
in the other, that he is a God of human beings, even the lowliest, and
of birds and grass, of rain and growth. They have not learned that
good is already stronger than evil; least of all do they know the
greatest thing, that love is supreme, and that not by hating the world
and its ways but by the ministry of love is the new world to be
brought in. The religion of Enoch presents in pure and simple form, in
pre-Christian Judaism, just that religion of dualism and pessimism, of
despair of the present and the renunciation of effort to better the
world, of strained expectation of divine intervention, which
sometimes, and even now in some quarters, claims to be the only true
Christianity. It is, in fact, Christianity with Christ left out.

The second element which the apocalypses add to the hope of the Old
Testament and which the New Testament Apocalypse adopts, is the
conception of a millennial earthly kingdom. This appears in probably
an earlier part of Enoch, chapters 91-104. In a short Apocalypse of
Weeks, after seven weeks of world-history up to the writer's present,
an eighth week is predicted, in which the righteous shall wield the
sword against their oppressors and establish the Messianic kingdom;
then a ninth week in which the preaching of judgment to come will
convert all men to righteousness; finally, a tenth week of final
judgment against all angelic powers of evil, ending with a new heaven
and an eternity of blessedness.

It is not only the fact that here and elsewhere these two hopes are
proved to be Jewish, not Christian, in origin, that influences our
judgment on them when they reappear in the New Testament; it is also
the understanding of them which their Jewish form makes possible. They
are two forms of adjusting the old national and earthly hope of Israel
to a new, more universal and transcendent form of faith and hope. In
the religion of the "Parables" of Enoch the transcendent practically
transforms and displaces the earthly. In the millennial scheme, the
heavenly follows the earthly in time. Resurrection enables some of the
dead to have part in the earthly, while translation into angel-like,
immortal natures fits men for the final heavenly life. The
understanding of the origin and purpose of these hopes makes it
unnatural and irrational to regard them as literal disclosures of the
unseen world and of future events.

The third hope which Judaism added to what its sacred scriptures
contained was the hope for immortality of the spirit. It happens that
this also appears earliest in Judaism in the Book of Enoch (especially
chapters 102-104). Enoch solemnly assures his readers that he has seen
it written in heavenly books that joy and glory are prepared for the
spirits of those who have died in righteousness. This is not a
resurrection of the body to enable one to have a share in the earthly
kingdom, but a transformation which fits men for the realm of spirits.

When we turn in the light of the older hopes to the New Testament and
ask what are the hopes that belong properly to Christianity, and how
are they related to the present hopes of the world, we meet the
problem presented by the importance of properly apocalyptical
expectations in the first Christian community. The case is something
like that which meets us in the Old Testament, and we have here no
less than there to distinguish and to choose. The hope of the early
Christian community was no doubt first of all for the physical coming
of Christ and the establishment of his kingdom; but there developed
also within the New Testament period two movements away from this, one
in an ethical and spiritual direction, and the other toward emphasis
on the individual life after death. The first of these is more
characteristic of the New Testament religion than the other. It is the
tendency of Paul to emphasize the present inward experience of Christ,
and the transforming power of his spirit more than the hope of his
coming, though he receives this from primitive Christianity and does
not doubt its literal and early fulfilment. It is, I believe, beyond
question that Paul's Christian hope is chiefly, as Royce has argued,
the hope for a new humanity created by the spirit of Christ, which is
the spirit of love. This is in a measure already experienced. Christ
dwells in the Christian and makes him a center and source of love. His
spirit breaks down barriers and ends divisions. Unity and peace are
its effects. Through this one, present spirit of Christ each man
becomes a distinct but essential member of the new body; and Paul's
greatest hope is for the completion of this unification of man in
mutual helpfulness and brotherhood. Paul attests also the other
tendency away from the outward future coming of Christ to the hope for
a life with Christ and like Christ's after death. This eternal life
with Christ is also experienced by Paul as in some real sense present.
The indwelling spirit of Christ is already transforming the Christian
into his own immortal nature. In the Johannine writings these two
tendencies of hope away from the apocalyptic toward the spiritual go
still further. The Christ in whom the Christian now abides creates a
distinctive unity among his disciples, a love one to another which the
world has not known; and at the same time the experience of this
present Christ is already the possession of eternal life. According to
this which we might call the prophetic in distinction from the
apocalyptic hope of the New Testament the new world of human unity in
love and coöperation is to be brought about not only by the present
spirit of Christ, but also by the moral choice and endeavor of man. It
is through human love that the divine love works, and the rule of God
is present so far as men overcome evil and create good. And even the
immortal life is not solely a hope in God, but is to be attained by
each soul here and now through its choice of the will of God and in
the degree of its moral oneness with God.

That which most concerns us is no doubt the question which of these
hopes, the eschatological or the ethical and inward, was held and
taught by Christ. My own conviction is that the new and distinct hope,
the spiritual, belongs to him and proceeds from him, and not the
familiar Jewish apocalyptic. Two opinions stand in the way of this
judgment; two opposite types of literalism in Biblical interpretation.
Dogmatic literalism accepts scripture throughout, and refuses to
distinguish between higher and lower, between truth and error, in what
is written. In regard to hope, this view leads to great stress on
prediction and fulfilment. The assumption is that the Biblical
predictions that have not been fulfilled will come to pass in the
future. This is precisely a fundamental assumption of the apocalypse.
It is solely upon this conception of scripture that many devout
Christians rest their expectations of the outward coming of Christ and
his thousand-year reign on earth, just as the same idea of Biblical
predictions leads orthodox Jews to expect that Jerusalem will be the
capital and Israel the ruling nation of the world. This literalism
stands in the way of the world's present acceptance of Christianity as
the religion of its highest hopes.

But there is a like danger in the opposite literalism of the
historian. We have already seen how the history of Jewish hopes makes
the literal acceptance of similar New Testament hopes unnatural if not
impossible. The literalism of the historian is, of course, to us true
and immediately helpful in liberating us from bondage to the letter of
an ancient book. It leaves us free to apply our own reason and
conscience and experience to the interpretation of our own life and
times. It turns us back upon our own souls, upon our faith, our
desire, our will, to unveil and shape the future. But the historian is
in danger of doing less than justice to the ethical and spiritual
contents of the hopes of the Bible because of his very love of truth
and willingness to sacrifice his wishes to it. The unpardonable sin to
him is the modernizing of an ancient writing because of reverence for
it, and the effort to find in it what he likes rather than things
outgrown and unwelcome. This conscientious fear, I cannot but believe,
has resulted in a one-sided interpretation of the New Testament,
especially the teachings of Jesus and of Paul, as essentially
apocalyptic in contents and spirit, and a hesitation to recognize the
essentially inward, rational and ethical quality, the prophetic
character of the New Testament as a whole, and to make due allowance
for the ease and naturalness with which the current apocalyptic ideas
of early Jewish Christians could persist and be applied to Jesus and
attributed to him.

This problem over which New Testament scholars are divided into two
groups or tendencies is of course much too complicated to discuss
here. But it is necessary at least to point out that there is a danger
in the historian's anxiety to be without prejudice, and to view the
past as past. The greatness of great men and great books is to be
found in the eternal meaning, not in the mere form, of what they say.
Historians no less than other men have the right and duty to ask in
what direction an ancient teacher is looking, toward what goal the
movement of his mind is tending, what final effects he produced, what
therefore he would think and say if he lived in our time. We are told
that it is unhistorical to seek in the New Testament for "the modern
liberal Christ"; but it is not unhistorical to look for the human
beneath the Jewish, the eternal and universal within the temporary and
limited. The mind of Christ, his manner and mood, his quality, his
spirit, is not less a historical reality than his literal words. This
is of course true also of Paul, and, in his measure, of every man.

There can be no doubt that like the great prophets before him Jesus
was chiefly a critic and corrector of the hopes of his time. He did
not approve the national hopes that had been kindled by the Maccabean
kingdom and were soon to issue in the suicidal revolt against Rome.
Whether Jesus expected the speedy coming of the Son of Man and the end
of the world, and whether he identified himself with this transcendent
Messiah-Judge, are questions made difficult, not by our wishes, but by
the nature of the evidence. My own inclination is, at this point, to
attribute more to the influence of Jewish expectations on the gospel
traditions than to Jesus' own words. What seems to me certain is that
the bearing of the teaching of Jesus was in the direction of the
spiritual hopes of Paul and John rather than the apocalyptic hopes
which they still held in common with the first disciples.

It is the fundamental principle of the apocalyptic hope that God made
not one world but two (II Esdras 7:50). This world must end and
the other world must come if evil is to end and good prevail. But
Jesus believed that this world is already God's world, and that in it
good is already stronger than evil. The Kingdom of God is indeed still
to come, but it is already within. It is already upon us when by the
spirit of God evil is cast out. It has been said that it was the
Greeks who believed in one world in contrast to the Jews who believed
in two; and that Poseidonius, the Platonic Stoic, an oriental, of the
century before Christ, wrote to make men at home in the universe. But
it is surely not a mistake to say that Jesus felt at home in the world
and meant to make others at home. This is precisely the meaning of the
word Father, of which Paul testifies that Jesus' use was to a Jew new,
and that it meant freedom from mental bondage and fear. Poseidonius
made men feel at home in the universe by denying the existence of
evil, which is of course one way of making one world out of two; Jesus
by affirming the reality of a goodness in God and in man capable of
conquering evil. That God is Father, the Father of all men, even, and
especially, of sinners, is not the basis of an apocalyptic hope. Jesus
did not chiefly foretell the end of the world through the catastrophic
intervention of God or of the Son of Man. He did chiefly teach that
the power not ourselves is fatherly, that it is human, that we can
trust our own souls at their best to teach us the nature of God, that
our highest human values are the ultimate realities of the universe.
Jesus found that the chief fears and hopes of men were concerned with
bodily welfare and possessions and with power over others. Mammon and
dominion were the false gods men worshipped. Wealth and power seem now
the objects of the hope and the religious devotion of the Central
Powers. Jesus declared that it is the heathen who are anxious about
food and raiment. It is the heathen who lord it over their fellow men.
Not so was it to be among his disciples. Since the Father knows our
needs and wills to give good things, since the outer world belongs to
him and since the things of the soul are of the greater value, we men
are free to put first things first, to seek God's Kingdom and
righteousness. And since God's rule consists in love and in doing
good, without reserve or regard for deserts or for returns, the only
real rulership among men also must be the renunciation of rulership
for the sake of ministry. Not to be masters over others, not to be
strong by making others weak, but to serve and to give is the divine
plan, the real nature of things. This is not what the war lords learn
from physical and animal nature as to the way to success and primacy,
but it is true to that human nature to which they do violence. The
Christian hope is therefore not for material possessions nor for
authority and power; it is that spiritual realities shall vindicate
and make effectual their preëminence, and shall master matter and all
outward things for their own ends; and that unselfish love shall
measure greatness among men and shall destroy hatred and fear and
create a human family.

If this, according to Christ, is the Christian hope, then Christianity
is certainly the religion for the present hope of the world. The hope
of a league of free nations, of a federated world in which democracy
is safe, is clearly seen by those who see best what it involves and
what obstacles stand in its way to be first of all the hope for a new
spirit among men, a new inward temper, a new will; it is also seen to
be something universal in its range. Not again one league against
another, but a league that at least aims at being inclusive of
humanity. Spirituality and universality, inwardness and good-will,
belong to the hope that is now inspiring the nations; and these are
just the marks of the religion of Christ; they are what Matthew Arnold
called the method of inwardness and the secret of self-renouncement,
controlled by the mildness and sweet reasonableness of Christ;
reverence for the soul, meaning both the preëminent worth of every
individual and the primacy in each of the things of the soul; and
among these the chief greatness and God-likeness of love. However one
attempts to sum up the religion of Jesus it is sure to mean in the end
the same two things which the world now sees to be its great needs and
the ground and heart of its hope.

It would be tragic indeed if Christianity should lose its supreme
opportunity by failing to lead and inspire this newly emerging and
Christ-like hope of men. It can fail if it confuses itself in the
details of Biblical predictions, if it becomes involved in apocalyptic
fancies. It can fail if in reaction against these and under the
influence of an equally literalistic criticism men turn from the Bible
altogether as a book of the past.

The men of our time are shaping the hope of a united and friendly
human family of free peoples, united not only against war but for all
kinds of mutual help and coöperative progress; and the Bible, the
prophets of the Old Testament, Jesus and Paul in the New, are the
chief creative sources of just such hopes. These hopes must have
religion beneath them if they are to endure and be realized in spite
of their powerful foes, the fears and hatreds which materialism and
selfishness create. And Christianity is the only religion which has
the quality and the right to meet this need.

The Christian hope is also the hope of immortality; and just now the
reality and power of this hope are put to the test. Paul, who knew how
far Judaism had gone toward faith in the eternal life of the spirit,
testifies that it was only as a Christian and because of Christ that
this hope had become to him a certainty, almost a present experience.
The nature of God as Christ knew him, and the nature of man's sonship
to God, carry immortality with them as an inward and immediate
assurance. God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. Here
again the Christian religion has an opportunity and an obligation in
times of war. Men are seeking assurance of life to come for those who
have given their lives for human right and liberty. It is not to be
desired that this pressing religious need of our day should turn to
physical evidences, to messages from the dead through abnormal
experiences and dubious agencies. The Christian faith in immortality
is to be experienced as faith in the God who loves as a father, and
who gives as love must give his best to his children. If God is love,
then our love does not deceive us. If God is spirit, then our spirits
are from God and will return to him. If the soul, the person, is of
supreme worth and reality, then it will not be involved in the body's
destruction, nor lost as a drop in the ocean or as a breath in the
wind, either in the divine being from whom it came, or in the human
race, "the beloved community," to which its service is given.

It is perhaps in the relation to each other of the hope for a new
human brotherhood and the hope for the life of the soul with God, that
the distinction and preëminence of the religion of Jesus come most
clearly to light. He feels no need of sacrificing one to the other,
but holds his hope for this world and the oneness of men in love side
by side with the hope for the other world. He does call upon
individuals to give their lives in ministry to others, but in the
losing of life he declares that life is gained. Paradoxes express his
faith and insight, and the nature of love in God and in man brings
with it the key to the solution of the paradox.

The Christian hopes for a new human brotherhood on earth and for the
immortality of the individual are involved, and their principles
given, in the simple and profound sayings of Jesus, and no other
testimony as to their nature and certainty can be compared with his.
To no other words is the response of our own spirits so instant and
sure. Blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the pure
in heart: theirs is the kingdom of heaven; they shall see God. Love
your enemies, that ye may be sons of your Father. Ye shall be perfect
as your heavenly Father is perfect. Lay not up for yourselves
treasures upon earth. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Be not anxious
for your life what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, nor yet for
your body what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than food and the
body than raiment? Behold the birds of the heaven ... Are not ye of
much more value than they? Your Father knoweth that ye have need of
all these things. But seek ye his kingdom and righteousness. Be not
afraid of them that kill the body. The very hairs of your head are all
numbered. Fear not therefore. If ye being evil know how to give good
gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father give good
things to them that ask him. All things whatsoever ye would that men
should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them. Not every one that
saith unto me, Lord ... but he that doeth the will of my Father.
Freely ye have received, freely give. It is more blessed to give than
to receive. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth
his life for my sake shall find it. I thank thee, Father ... that thou
hast hid these things from the wise ... and revealed them unto babes.
Except ye turn and become as little children ye shall in no wise enter
into the kingdom of heaven. Forbid them not ... for to such belongeth
the kingdom of heaven. What shall a man be profited if he shall gain
the whole world and forfeit his life? It is hard for the rich man to
enter into the kingdom of God. Keep yourselves from all covetousness:
for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which
he possesseth. The rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, ... but
whosoever would be great among you shall be your minister; and
whosoever would be first among you shall be your servant. Render unto
Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's and unto God the things that are
God's. Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these my
brethren ye did it unto me. Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou
wilt. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Here is the Christian hope; here its grounds and motives; here rather
than in apocalyptic foretellings of the coming of the Son of Man and
the near end of the world. Here is an anthology of testimonies to the
faith which a world at war to end war most needs, that man is a
spiritual being and that his proper work is "to interpret the world
according to his higher nature," and to bring the material aspects of
the world into subjection to the spirit. Other "oracles and prophecies
of loveliness and loving-kindness" in the Bible and in the world's
literature have their abiding worth, but no other of "the seers and
poets of mankind" reach humanity so widely and none so deeply.

Certain marks and tests of the Christian hope come clearly into view
in these characteristic sayings of Jesus. It is a hope not imposed
upon the mind by the outward authority of a book or even of Christ
himself, but one that appeals to conscience. Our spirit answers to it,
and our answer is not only the consent of the mind but the disclosure
of character and the choice of the will. It is a hope for which we
cannot merely wait, for we are ourselves challenged to bring it to
realization. The Christian hope is fundamentally inward, and is always
in part already experienced. Paul and John knew the mind of Christ in
this striking quality of it better than later generations. The spirit
of God is already a love that creates unity and fellowship among men;
and it is already the presence and power of divine and eternal life.
The Christian hope unites the community and the individual, and
contains the clue to the mystery that now obscures our minds. We know
that the ruthless sacrifice of individuals for the abstract idol
called the State is a denial of Christ's reverence for the human
personality. But we know also that the devotion of the soldier's life
to the cause of human liberty and right, to the destruction of the
idol of nationality and the creation of the ideal brotherhood of man,
is in accordance with that giving of life for many which Jesus taught,
and is that loss which is the true finding of life. The Christian hope
is too inward and too secure to depend on outward success. The
doctrine of physical force is judged by physical success, but not the
doctrine of love. Yet though superior to outward fortune, the hope of
Christ is certain of ultimate vindication, because it is hope in God.
It is a hope according to Christ, and for Christ's coming as the
ruling spirit in the life of humanity. But if it is a hope for Christ,
if it is Christ's hope for the coming Kingdom of God, it is a hope for
radical change, and for the sacrifice of our prejudices and customs,
our personal wishes and our material advantage.

The hope for a new world-order which is the most significant spiritual
event of our age, requires religion if it is to maintain itself and
work powerfully for its own realization. For it is the hope for a
purified human nature as well as for a changed human organization.
Christianity is the chief source of this hope, and is summoned to
prove itself equal to the task of keeping the hope high and giving it
inward energy and resource. But it will require boldness of faith and
the spirit of sacrifice, a sense of the excellence and worth of
spiritual things, and willingness to trust our own souls and the souls
of our fellow men, to trust ourselves to the instincts and ways of a
Christ-like love, if the Christian hope is to prove able to create a
new world.




All forms of peace propaganda are at present justly and properly
repressed by the Government as a war measure. This has served in some
degree to silence the voice of the pacifist, but manifestly it cannot
serve to quiet the disturbed feeling in the minds of many Christians,
that to engage in war under any conditions is to come short of the
idealism of Jesus. Forcible measures produce the reverse effect, if

Non-resistance, under some circumstances and conditions if not under
all, is a duty which Jesus undeniably taught. Moreover, his conduct
was fully in accord with his principles; otherwise his following could
not have maintained their unparalleled loyalty to him. The manifest
inconsistency between these non-resistance sayings (taken by
themselves) and the method advocated and used by our Government in
defence of democracy and righteousness remains ever present. The grave
extent of its inroads upon the national morale may be judged by the
circulation attained by a typical pacifistic book, whose principal
basis of argument is nothing else than these non-resistance sayings,
and which if it does not attempt to square them in all cases with the
conduct of Jesus, but rather accords to Buddha, Confucius, and Lao-tse
the merit of greater consistency, nevertheless owes all its real
effect to the fact that its author speaks as a well-known and
authorized exponent of Christian teaching, and leaves in his readers'
minds the conviction not of the alleged inconsistency, but of an
absolute and unqualified doctrine of non-resistance as supported by
both the teaching and the conduct of Jesus.

The single year 1915-1916 witnessed the appearance of no less than
five successive editions of the book entitled "New Wars for Old," by
Rev. John Haynes Holmes, and its propaganda of absolute and
unconditional non-resistance was certainly not without effect in the
military cantonments, if not among the public at large where its
influence is less easy to trace. Recently the Government itself has
given public and official warning against this type of pacifistic
propaganda; and there is only too much reason to believe that (quite
without the intention or knowledge of its authors) those eminent
pacifists, the Potsdam conspirators, have made large financial
contributions to its success.

"New Wars for Old" may be taken as representative. It is the best
example of its type. It seems to be the most effective. At all events,
it gives concrete and tangible form to that interpretation of the
teaching of Jesus which we regard as misleading and dangerous; it may
therefore well form our starting-point toward the attainment of
another interpretation, truer at once to historical fact and to the
ethical sense of the religious-minded. Recognizing the need for
meeting present conditions of the public mind by other than merely
repressive measures we may frankly face the question raised in Dr.
Holmes' book, whether the doctrine of absolute and unqualified
non-resistance, traced by him to more than one revered teacher of
pre-Christian paganism, is indeed identical with that of Jesus; or
whether, with Israel's Messianic hope, some new factor enters in, to
differentiate the Biblical ideal.

Isaiah and Jesus are for this champion of pacifism--and doubtless for
others--the two supreme "exemplars of non-resistance," and the
eloquence with which his thesis is maintained might well win an assent
which would not be granted were account taken of his authority to
pronounce upon questions of historical criticism. However, few
Americans, competent to form a moral judgment of their own, will hold
in light esteem the authority of Isaiah and Jesus. We therefore accept
the exemplars at the risk of seeing our native hue of resolution all
sicklied o'er with this pale cast of thought. But is their teaching
justly and fairly interpreted? That is the question to which we now
address ourselves.


"'RESIST not evil,' means never resist, never oppose
violence." Such is the motto, quoted from Tolstoy, with which our
propagandist heads his pages. As he cites no other scholar, critic,
or interpreter of the Sermon on the Mount, in support of this
declaration of the meaning, the inference is perhaps allowable that
the reader is expected to endow Tolstoy with a credit for scientific
attainments in the difficult field of historical criticism and
interpretation equally great with that which all men gladly accord to
his noble disposition and sincere humanity. Whether authority as
convincing can be cited for the contention that Buddha and Lao-tse
taught the same doctrine of absolute non-resistance we are not
competent to say. It seems at least to be beautifully expressed in the
saying quoted from Buddha:

  With mercy and forbearance shalt thou disarm every foe. For want of
  fuel the fire expires: mercy and forbearance bring violence to

What Christian will deny the Christ-likeness of this teaching? What
reader of the Old Testament will not hasten to add with Paul from
Jewish "wisdom":

  If thine enemy hunger feed him, if he thirst give him drink; for by
  so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.[1]

If, indeed, the duty in question be that of _forbearance_, all
great religious teachers, whether of Christian or pre-Christian times,
will be at one. "Hymns of hate" are unknown to the ritual of any
religion, unless it be the ultra-modern of Prussian militarism. One
must go to Nietzsche before attaining to the gospel that it is
virtuous to have a giant's strength and use it like a giant. Teachers
such as Buddha and Lao-tse may well have added to the well-nigh
universal religious tenet of mercy, forgiveness, forbearance, the
further doctrine of consistent, unqualified non-resistance. We accept
it for the obvious reason that their systems of thought, which are
philosophies rather than religions, contain (so far as the present
writer is aware) no principle of active, but only of passive
obligation. The chief end of man is for them not to achieve, in loyal
service to the Creator's ideal, but to abstain and refrain, to put the
brakes on life, and to teach others to do the like. According to the
author of "New Wars for Old," Buddha and Lao-tse lived up to their
gospel of non-resistance. Contrariwise, "The Nazarene had his
inconsistent moments like the rest of us," and showed it at this
point. Our propagandist is too honest to palter with the quibble of
Adin Ballou, who in his "Christian Non-Resistance" argues that Jesus
in cleansing the temple may have driven the money-changers from the
courtyard, but that there is no evidence that he struck any one of
them. With such apologetic special pleading he has no patience,
preferring to give the act of Jesus its full weight in the following
straightforward words:

  What we have here is a well-authenticated violation of the principle
  of non-resistance--and why not accept it as such? The episode is
  chiefly remarkable in the life of the Nazarene, not for anything
  which it teaches in itself, but for its inconsistency with the rest
  of his career. Never at any other time, so far as we know, did he
  precipitate riot or himself assault his enemies. But this time he
  did--this time he failed to live up to the inordinately exacting
  demands of his own gospel of brotherhood. Nor is the circumstance at
  all difficult to understand! Jesus came to Jerusalem tired, worn,
  hunted. He knew that he walked straight into the arms of his
  enemies, and undoubtedly therefore straight to his own death. Weary,
  desperate, confused, he came to the temple to pray--and here, right
  before the altars of his God, were the money-changers--here in the
  sacred places, the type and symbol of that commercialized religion
  which he most abhorred, and which he knew was certain in the end to
  destroy him. What wonder that a mighty flood of anger surged up in
  his soul, and for the moment overwhelmed him.

In short, the weary Jesus was so irritated by the unexpected (?) sight
of the traders, that he threw to the winds not only his principles,
but the dictates of the most ordinary prudence, giving his enemies not
only their desired opportunity, but provoking the issue at just the
point where he himself had been betrayed into the violation of his own
teaching. Verily, great is the insight of the modern psychologist. To
the observer of the phenomena of petulance an incident like the
cleansing of the temple is "easy to understand." The scientific
imagination required is easily attained. One acquires it by observing
the irritability of tired children. How needless, then, to inform
oneself as to the historical conditions which made this great symbolic
act of the Galilean prophet full of meaning to every patriot Jew that
witnessed it. How needless to raise the question why every one of our
four evangelists should report the act and give it the prominence they
do. For our evangelists record it reluctantly, minimizing its
political significance and its insurrectionary flavor. They naturally
disliked to give color of justice to Pilate's judicial murder, and to
Jewish denunciations of the new religion as a rebellion against
established authority.

Let us then take as our point of departure this admitted
"inconsistency." It is not historical interpretation, but the
subjective variety sometimes self-designated "psychological" which
finds it "easy" to set aside the representation of the oldest and most
reliable of our sources, that Jesus was _not_ "weary, desperate,
confused," and was not in the least taken unawares, when he drove the
traders from the temple; but that he planned his _coup de main_
with careful deliberation. The evening _before_, says Mark, "he
entered the temple and looked round upon all things." Jesus was not
unaware of the conditions he would find, for they were an abuse as
notorious as hateful to every right-minded Israelite. This even the
Talmud attests. He was not a hunted fugitive seeking asylum at the
altar. On the contrary; for weeks past he had set his face steadfastly
to go to Jerusalem and there lift up the standard of the Son of David.
The initiative was his. He had planned a new campaign for his ideal,
the Kingdom of God, a campaign no longer of mere teaching but of
action, and he was now carrying it to the very seat of hostile power.
Long since, probably before he left Galilee, he had planned this very
act, a challenge to the corrupt priestly control of his Father's
house, an act as full of meaning and as deliberate as Luther's nailing
of his theses to the church doors of Wittenberg.

And when the blow had been struck Jesus stood courageously by it. He
met the inevitable demand of the hierocracy, "By what authority doest
thou these things?" with a counter demand. Whence had the Baptist
authority to inaugurate his prophetic reform, making ready for Jehovah
a purified people prepared for his coming? The Sanhedrin evaded this
counter demand, and answered only (as Jesus had foreseen they would)
by secret denunciation of him to Pilate. But Pilate understood the
case. We have the Roman governor's official interpretation of its
significance in a certain superscription written aloft in Hebrew and
Greek and Latin on the gibbet of an insurrectionist. This, too, Jesus
seems to have foreseen.

All this was not a mere "episode." It was the culminating effort and
crisis of Jesus' career, and richly rewards a just understanding. We
are told that it was "inconsistent with the rest of Jesus' career."
His mission, we infer, was to be a rabbi. His attempt at active
leadership in achieving the Kingdom he preached was an unfortunate
aberration. He should not have tried to be "the Christ," and thereby
incurred a needless martyrdom. The cross is still a stumblingblock.

Strange that the evangelists who omit so much, who would have so
strong a motive for omitting this particular "inconsistency" no less
for their Master's good name than for the safety of the Church,
should one and all record it. The disposition to minimize everything
savoring of political action on Jesus' part is very marked in all
our evangelists, for obvious reasons. To the evidences of this
belong, for example, Mark's denial, and the fourth evangelist's
explanation, of the saying about destroying the temple, together
with the latter's description of the whip "of small cords" as Jesus'
only weapon in the purging of the temple.[2] Are we then to admit
the "inconsistency"--not casual and incidental, as conceived in this
pacifistic interpretation, but deliberate and flagrant? Or may we
perhaps now raise the question whether the "inconsistency" is not
rather chargeable to the interpreter's account?

The interpretation with which we are dealing makes the teaching of
Jesus regarding the use of force identical with the non-resistance
doctrine of Buddha and Lao-tse. On the other hand, it very justly
relates it to that of the great prophet of the Davidic kingdom of
righteousness and peace, Isaiah, the son of Amoz. From the point of
view of the historical critic the relation of Jesus' teaching to that
of Isaiah is absolutely sound. But the effect of this relation is
fatal to its identification with the non-resistance doctrine of Buddha
and Lao-tse.

Apart from the circumstances which for the time being made
non-resistance, or rather mere passive resistance, the policy of true
statesmanship alike against Assyrian and against Roman domination,
Isaiah and Jesus stood together upon the most fundamental point of
all, unqualified, unlimited loyalty to the God of Righteousness and to
his sovereignty upon earth. Their pacifism differs from that of
Lao-tse and of Buddha in the important respect of having a pronounced
theistic basis. Buddha and Lao-tse can preach consistently a doctrine
of absolute non-resistance because their systems are destitute of the
social ideal of Israel's religion, and indeed ignore the very
existence of a "Power not ourselves that makes for Righteousness."
Contrariwise with the great prophets of the Kingdom of God. Whether of
the Christian or pre-Christian dispensation, so far as they advocate
non-resistance it cannot be unlimited, _because their religious aim
is not merely individual but social_.

The non-resistance of Isaiah and of Jesus is not self-centered but
God-centered. It is bound to consider what is expedient for others,
for the weak and dependent, as well as for the individual, and for the
present time. It seeks the welfare of the world and of generations to
come. It is always subsidiary to the paramount interest of the Kingdom
of God.

Just because it regards non-resistance not as an end in itself but
only as one of the divinest means to an end, Biblical pacifism can
hold before men's eyes the moving figure of the martyred Servant, dumb
as the lamb in the shearer's hands, while it can in the same breath
commend the men of violence that take the Kingdom of Heaven by force.
Christian or pre-Christian, it rests upon the foundation of utter,
absolute loyalty to a world-wide Republic of God, a cosmic sovereignty
of righteousness, and having this social aim for its religious ideal
it can and does nourish to the highest pitch of devotion the heroic
virtues of patriotism, of service and of sacrifice. The summons to the
standard (not men's but God's) is ever the same. The weapon may be the
sword or the cross, as the times require. Under mere self-centered
philosophies such as those of Buddha and Lao-tse the contrary is true.
Notoriously, where these control patriotism and all its heroic virtues
tend to dwindle, approaching often the verge of extinction.

The pacifism (not non-resistance) of Isaiah hardly requires
elucidation. Two or three very familiar quotations will suffice. There
is, for example, the prophet's vision of a universal peace based on
international law. This vision of the world's willing acceptance of
the sovereignty of Jehovah's justice Isaiah shares with his
contemporary, Micah, both prophets seeming to choose it as a text from
some forgotten earlier pacifist.

  It shall come to pass in the latter days
  That the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be
    established at the head of mountains,
  And shall be exalted above the hills,
  And all nations shall flow unto it.

  And many peoples shall go and say, Come, let us
    go up to the mountain of Jehovah,
  To the house of the God of Jacob,
  And he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk
    in his paths.
  For out of Zion shall go forth law, and the word of
    Jehovah from Jerusalem.

  And he shall judge between the nations, and will
    be arbiter for many peoples;
  And they shall beat their swords into plow-shares,
    and their spears into pruning-hooks.
  Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
  Neither shall they learn war any more.

Manifestly the ideal of an international tribunal as the basis of a
League of Peace is not so novel as some modern statesmanship seems to

But the consistent, thoroughgoing advocate of non-resistance rejects
even the coercion of magisterial and police constraint. To Russian
idealism restraint of the individual as well as the national criminal
is tainted with the same poison of violence. Since Isaiah is the
exemplar of non-resistance he should be permitted again to speak for
himself. His words seem to have a singular applicability to the land
which is now testing to the limit the theory of Proudhon, the
individualist of individualists, the gospel of anarchism:

  For behold the Lord, Jehovah of Hosts, doth take away from
    Jerusalem and from Judah stay and staff,
  The whole stay of bread and the whole stay of water,
  The mighty man, and the man of war;
  The judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder;
  The captain of fifty and the honorable man and the counsellor ...
  And I will give children to be their princes,
  And with childishness shall they rule over them,
  And the people shall be oppressed every one by another, and
    every one by his neighbor:
  The child shall be arrogant against the old man, and the base
    against the honorable.

But Isaiah, too, expects deliverance from these miseries of foreign
servitude and domestic anarchy. He looks for the dawn of a just and
lasting peace; only the means of its attainment seem strange for an
"exemplar of non-resistance."

  The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light;
  They that dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them
    hath the light shined.
  Thou hast multiplied the nation and increased their joy,
  They joy before thee according to the rejoicing at harvest-time,
  As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
  For the yoke of (Israel's) burden, and the rod laid to his shoulder,
  The staff of his oppressor, thou hast broken as in the day of

  For all the armor of the armed man in the tumult
  And the garments rolled in blood shall be for burning, for fuel
    of fire.
  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given,
  And the government shall be upon his shoulder:
  And his name shall be called: Wonderful-counsellor;
  The-Mighty-God-the-Everlasting (my)-Father;
  The Prince of Peace.

  Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be
    no end.
  Upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom,
  To establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with
    righteousness from henceforth even forever.
  The zeal of Jehovah of Hosts will perform this.

Even with the devout restraint of the closing line it must be admitted
that these verses have a somewhat martial ring.

Doubtless the pacifist will emphasize the line, "The zeal of Jehovah
of Hosts will perform this," taking here the view of the Pharisees,
who in contrast with the fanatical nationalism of the Zealots opposed
the aggressive militarism of the later Maccabees with a doctrine of
quietism. Their cry was, "Leave all to God." Against the Zealot they
appealed to the proverb: "They that take the sword shall perish by the
sword," from which the inference is plain that if the aim be never to
lose one's life one should never take weapons. But perhaps Isaiah the
"non-resistant" is entitled to one more chance to prove himself not a
Pharisee, even when he expects "the zeal of Jehovah of Hosts" to win
the victory of peace. Fortunately he tells us _how_ he expects
the zeal of Jehovah to operate, in the doom he pronounces upon
"drunkard" Samaria, the city whose luxuriant mountain-top was crowned
with mingled towers and olive groves, like the fading wreaths upon the
heads of drunken revellers. In contrast to Samaria's fate Isaiah has
this promise for the temple-crowned hill of Zion, shadowed under its
altar smoke:

  In that day will Jehovah of Hosts become a crown of glory
  And a diadem of beauty unto the residue of his people,
  _A spirit of justice to him that sitteth in judgment,
  And a spirit of strength to them that turn back the battle at the


It should hardly be necessary to explain that Jesus in deliberately
giving up the career of purely non-political preacher, teacher, and
healer, to assume the career of _Christ_ and Son of David, fully
conscious as he was of all the dangers it implied, was neither
ignorant of the Isaian ideal, nor out of sympathy with it. When he
rode into Jerusalem accepting the acclamation: "Blessed be the kingdom
that cometh, the kingdom of our father David," he was not betraying
the national hope; he was lifting it toward ultimate realization at
the cost of Calvary.

It is true that he avoided suicidal collision with Roman authority on
the one side, as prudently as he forestalled the sweeping off of his
following into the insane fanaticism of the Zealot nationalists on the
other. The prophet's method of a symbolic purifying of the temple was
exactly suited to this purpose. In the temple Roman authority
explicitly renounced control. The policing of this combined fortress,
sanctuary, and treasure house was left, even to the power of life and
death, in the hands of the Sadducean hierocracy. It was administered
by a numerous and efficient Levite police commanded by a "captain of
the temple." On the other hand, Sadducean control was notoriously and
infamously corrupt. The abuses by which (with their connivance) money
was extorted from the worshippers made it so hateful that a worthy
reformer might be sure of popular support strong enough to cow "the
hissing brood of Annas" into an interval of "fear of the people." And
the reform might even be accomplished without unchaining the red
fool-fury of the Zealot mob, if it was seen to be the work of a
prophet, by authority "from heaven" and not "of men," consistent, even
if regarded as a messianic act, with the course of one who had come
"meek and lowly and having salvation, riding upon an ass, and on a
colt the foal of an ass."

It is of vital importance to a historical appreciation of Jesus' sense
of his mission to realize fully and adequately what he meant by this
one public overt act of his career; for by it he signalized to all
Israel assembled at the Passover his purpose to achieve a national
deliverance such as the feast commemorated. From it every loyal
Israelite might infer that the hope of "the kingdom of David" was now
about to be realized. Jesus thus entered deliberately upon the stormy
and dangerous seas of messianistic agitation, as a claimant to
leadership in the achievement of the national hope.

To herald such a reform as Jesus proposed, reviving the national
ideal, the purification of the temple was a symbolic act worthy of the
greatest of prophets. It was exactly fitted to raise and define the
issues at stake. It would convey just the right impression to the
multitude, whose attention could be reached by this time-honored
method, and by this method alone. It was also free from the worst
dangers of messianistic agitation. It would avoid on the one hand the
Scylla of needless collision with Roman authority, and on the other
the Charybdis of Zealot turbulence. The calm and fearless "authority
from heaven" with which it was effected overawed resistance, so that
even while asserted _by force_ it attained its result with the
shedding of no other blood than the Messenger's own.

To show the exact meaning to contemporary Jewish minds of this act of
the Prophet of Nazareth we must recall not merely the Isaian ideal of
the "Davidic" reign as a universal kingdom of righteousness and peace
based on divine law going forth from Zion, but also the later
apocalyptic hopes. We must remember that all expectation in Jesus'
time was focussed on the prophecies of Malachi, which made the
purified temple the scene of Jehovah's visitation of his people, after
they should have been brought to a "great repentance" by the coming of
Elias. A rabbinic parable of the period will give us the point of
view. It is an answer to the reproach so bitterly resented by Isaiah,
"Israel is a wife forsaken," and is based on Malachi 1:6-14, and
3:1-12 interpreting the designation "Tent of Witness" applied to the
tabernacle in Exodus 38:21:

  A king was angry with his wife and forsook her. The neighbors
  declared, "He will not return" (cf. Isa. 49:14). Then the king sent
  word to her (Mal. 1:10 ff): "Cleanse my palace, and on such and
  such a day I will return to thee." He came and was reconciled to
  her. Therefore is the sanctuary called the Tent of "Witness"--a
  witness to the Gentiles that God is no longer wroth.[4]

Jesus' act was the assertion of authority "from heaven" to make
Jehovah's will supreme upon earth, beginning at his own sanctuary. It
was effected by direct appeal to the conscience of the masses, which
to the extent of their understanding responded overwhelmingly. Jesus
did not expect his act to be more than "a witness to the peoples." But
on the other hand, for the time being at least, he sacrificed no life
save his own. One close parallel could be cited from modern times if
the demonstration could be freed from its unfortunate association with
really fanatical revolt and real intention to provoke a servile
insurrection. In keeping his demonstration in the temple free from
entangling alliance with Zealot nationalism, Jesus showed a moderation
and foresight which were unfortunately lacking to the demonstration of
John Brown at Harpers Ferry; otherwise the two have many points of
affinity. It was while the governor of Virginia was still hesitating
to sign the death warrant of the champion of negro emancipation, long
before his martyr spirit marched on before great armies of liberation,
that Ralph Waldo Emerson, once himself a non-resistant pacifist, wrote
in his journal:

  If John Brown shall suffer, he will make the gallows glorious like
  the cross.


That Jesus intended to raise the standard of David by his public act
at the Passover is certain. His pacifism was of the type of Micah's
and Isaiah's. That he meant the act to convey a religious sense
differentiating it from the merely political ideal of the Zealots is
also certain. His doctrine of reliance on spiritual methods in the
pursuit of the God-given aim exalts forbearance _as a means_ in
terms not less noble than the foremost champions of non-resistance. We
may question whether he actually counted upon his own only too
probable fate of crucifixion at Roman hands as destined to serve the
precise end which it actually has subserved in human history. Those
who see it with the wisdom of retrospect know that it has furnished to
all devotees of Israel's ideal of the Kingdom of God, in all races,
unto all successive generations, a rallying point and a symbol of
final victory. But Jesus was looking forward with the eye of faith,
not backward with the eye of knowledge. He believed that even through
death God would give victory to those who sacrificed life and all to
his kingdom's cause, and that it would be given ere their generation
had passed into oblivion. How much further than this his prophetic
insight into the ways of God with men extended is a question which
will be variously answered in accordance with varying views of his
personality. It need be no matter of surprise, however, to any
discerning mind, that the fourth evangelist should also look backward
at the significance of the cross, interpreting it in the light of its
actual results. The fourth evangelist is the successor of Paul at
Ephesus. Like Paul he naturally emphasizes its effect in
"reconciliation," a twofold atonement, "breaking down the enmity"
between man and God, and also that between man and man; and the great
barrier of Paul's experience was that erected by the Mosaic law
between Jew and Gentile. By the cross, says Paul to the Ephesians,
Christ who is "our peace"[5]

  made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition, having
  abolished in his flesh the enmity; even the law of commandments
  contained in ordinances, that he might create in himself of the
  twain one new man, so making peace; and might reconcile them both in
  one body unto God through the cross, having slain the enmity

No wonder Paul thinks of God as "the God of peace," the gospel as "the
gospel of peace" and Christ as "our peace" proclaimed to the nations
near and far.

That is the pacifism of Christianity. No wonder Paul's great successor
at Ephesus compares this healing and reconciling cross to the token of
forgiveness and faith which Moses lifted up in the wilderness, and
repeatedly presents as its divinely appointed aim the "gathering into
one the children of God that are scattered abroad" (John 11:51-52).

The fourth evangelist devotes the closing section of his story of the
public ministry to this great question, Why Jesus came forward as the
Christ? The scene he chooses is Jerusalem at the Feast of Dedication,
that festival which commemorated the death and resurrection of the
Maccabean martyrs who had given their lives for the national ideal.
The story begins with the Jews' demand of Jesus that he "tell them
plainly" whether he is the Christ. It ends with the mystical utterance
of the high priest:

  that Jesus should die for the nation, and not for that nation only,
  but that he might gather together into one the children of God which
  are scattered abroad.

To show what alternative lay before him we are told of a delegation of
Greeks who wait upon Jesus, apparently to invite him to "go to the
Gentiles and teach them," but who receive as their answer, after a
momentary soul-conflict paralleling the scene of Gethsemane, that
Jesus "must be lifted up," and thus through his martyr death "will
draw all men unto him." The central scene of the raising of Lazarus is
of course directed to the resurrection theme appropriate to this
feast, the theme of the Christ who as Messenger of God brings life and
immortality to light. But the whole section rests back on an opening
parable, that of the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the
sheep (John 10:11-18). Our concern is with this parable; for it is
not an invention of the fourth evangelist, but an authentic comparison
of Jesus attested by the preceding evangelists,[6] and merely
developed in the later interpretative gospel along the lines of the
original prophecy,[7] and with special reference to the cross as a
token of unity in estranged and warring humanity evoked by loyalty to
a common higher ideal.

In the parable of the Good Shepherd, as elsewhere, the fourth
evangelist shows that his view of the tragedy of Calvary is determined
by its actual result. The function of the Shepherd is to gather a
flock now scattered, and which includes "other sheep that are not of
this fold." The aim is "that there may be one flock; one Shepherd," an
aim suggested by Paul. But primarily the parable is simply an
adaptation of Ezekiel's famous indictment of the hireling shepherds of
Israel, who had first exploited Jehovah's flock, and then abandoned it
to the ravening of wild beasts. Because of this, the prophet declares,
Jehovah himself will seek out the scattered and bleeding remnant and
will set up over them a worthy shepherd, the son of David.

The special application made by the fourth evangelist is to the
gathering of a flock already scattered, bleeding, and torn of beasts,
because of the faithlessness of hireling shepherds. Such was in truth
the task imposed by the conditions of the time. Such was in the
experience of Paul and his generation the actual effect of the cross.
But primarily and in Jesus' mind it was simply the token of the last
supreme measure of devotion which he, and all who would follow him,
must be prepared to pay in loyalty to the Kingdom of God. Its
comparison is purely and simply a contrast between two types of
leadership. On the one side is he who lays down his life in defence of
the helpless, be it in conflict, as when David the shepherd lad with
sling and stone rescued his sheep "out of the paw of the lion and the
bear," or be it in search for the lost lamb upon the mountainside. On
the other side is he who "when he seeth the wolf coming leaveth the
sheep and fleeth." The special need of the time, that which appealed
to Jesus as the supreme need of those to whom he was sent, was his
people's need of a standard and leadership, rescue of the scattered
and lost.

  When he saw the multitude he had compassion on them because they
  were distressed and scattered as sheep that have no shepherd.

He gave them the needed rallying point, a sign in which afterward they
should conquer. He also gave them the needed leadership. The former
was the need of the first age of the Church. The second need is ours;
for defence of the flock is as much a shepherd's task as seeking out
the lost. They who abandon it in the face of wolfish attack need
expect no approval from the Son of David.


There is a certain magnificence of logical consistency in the
non-resistance doctrine of the pacifist who chooses the Empire of
China (!) as the example of its perfect work in the field of
international relations.[8] With the blessed example of the Celestial
Kingdom before us we are asked:

  What did it avail Belgium to marshal her armies and hold her forts
  against the irresistible advance of the German legions?[9]

The question has an extraordinary resemblance to that addressed by the
Kaiser to King Albert in _Punch's_ famous cartoon: "Don't you see
that Belgium has lost everything?" And Albert's answer is taken from
Christ's own lips: "She has not lost her soul." The Celestial Empire
on the other hand seems to this champion of the pacifism of Lao-tse to
have practically realized the blessings of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Peacefully non-resistant under the corrupt domination of its Manchu
conquerors it had attained the climax of earthly felicity. It had a
name to live, and was dead.

  The Chinese and the Quakers, each in their own way, are finished
  products. What they are is all they ever can be. Which means from
  the standpoint of national idealism, that non-resistance is the
  "saving element."[10]

This eulogy of China, however, was written before the new Republic of
China, stirring the long dormant instincts of Chinese patriotism, had
roused to new hopes and visions of world achievement the body that had
become as one dead, insomuch that the more part said, He is dead. But
non-resistant pacifism is ever rich in paradox. Today China herself,
so long inert, blessed for so many centuries with all the felicity of
submission, has thrown off the Manchu yoke of domination. And in the
first surge of new-found strength she declares war against Attila and
his Huns, and in the declaration itself avows that she is "fighting to
establish peace." To such inconsistency does non-resistance seem fated
as soon as life triumphs over death, as soon as the Christian gospel
of a world kingdom of righteousness and peace triumphs over Buddha's
pessimistic obliteration of desire and hope together in the gray
_nirvana_ of extinction. "Eternal life" through death-defying
loyalty to a divine ideal begins at last to seem preferable, even in
China, to mere indefinite "survival."

Not Quakerdom itself seems able to maintain consistency with its
non-resistant ideals. Alas,

  they were abandoned by those who could not and would not see the
  connection between these principles and the uninterrupted peace
  which had long blessed the Pennsylvania colony.

Becoming itself directly responsible for the order and security
hitherto guaranteed by the sovereign British power the Quaker
commonwealth followed the example of its neighbor states and girt on
the sword.[11] For this, doubtless, we may hold the influx of alien
immigrants more responsible than the genuine followers of Fox and
Penn. But it must at least be admitted that Quaker leaven showed
little power to work, so far as the doctrine and policy of
non-resistance are concerned.

Inconsistencies such as these on the part of the greatest modern
exemplars of non-resistance are saddening to its champions, but there
remains ever a more ethereal realm, where philosophy can build without
fear of the stern realities of life, the limbo of utopias.


Jesus, too, they tell us, though greatest of all non-resistants, was
also "inconsistent." Was he, then, inconsistent with himself? Or was
his pacifism the active pacifism of those who give their lives for
just and lasting peace, the peace that is real and not mere
devastation, not destruction and tyranny miscalled _Kultur_; not
might triumphant over right and unashamed; but a peace that endures
because justice and right have been enthroned?

Jesus closed his public teaching with the doctrine that all religion,
all duty to God and man, is summed up in the two commandments:
Unreserved, unqualified, unfaltering devotion to the One God of
Righteousness and Truth; unselfish devotion to the common weal of man.
One who in obedience to this law of love took up the succession of
Moses, David and the prophets, raising the standard of God's real
sovereignty on earth, and paying to it the last full measure of his
own devotion, has not deserved the accusation of inconsistency. Jesus
was sublimely consistent. That interpretation of his words which
refuses the witness of his heroic deeds to their true meaning is
guilty of the inconsistency.

It is true, as Tolstoy finely says, that Jesus' noble depiction in the
Sermon on the Mount of the forbearance of God as the standard of the
higher righteousness means that we should "never do anything
_contrary to the law of love_." But by what right does the great
Russian pacifist (or any other who claims for his theory the authority
of Jesus) omit from that law of love its "first and great
commandment"? How can we ignore the demand of supreme and unqualified
devotion to the God of Righteousness, whose kingdom of righteous peace
Jesus gave his life to establish, and limit our obedience to
acquiescence in the demands of men, be they righteous or the reverse?
The second commandment of the Law of Love is dependent on the first,
and in separation from it will assuredly be misconstrued. Equal love
of neighbor can be no requirement of _religion_, save as it
depends on the prior obligation of supreme devotion to a common
Father, whose forbearing, forgiving love extends equally to all.
Imitation of that Father's goodness and forbearance, overcoming the
evil of the world with good, is the one teaching, the comprehensive,
unifying principle, of the Sermon on the Mount. But the God whose
goodness this great discourse sets up as the standard of the
righteousness of all "sons and daughters of the Highest" is not a
_non-resistant_ God. It is the just and merciful God depicted in
those Scriptures wherein Jesus read his beneficent will and purpose
for the world.

It is not enough for the Christian merely "to do nothing contrary to
the law of love"; he must actively toil and suffer in its service,
fighting to the death. His personal enemy he may and must forgive.
Enemies have thus been won to the kingdom. The enemy of the weak and
defenceless brother he must resist. The enemy of God's kingdom he must
fight to the death. It is true that this foe of God is no human or
visible foe. Our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; it is
against the principalities and powers of darkness in the heavenly
places. But we do not beat the air. This power of darkness finds
incarnation in human form at least as readily as the Power of light.
He fights with real and concrete weapons, and this reality is the
ultimate test. For the foe who thus incarnates the evil power the
Christian has no hatred as brother-man; only as agent of the evil
power. The hatred ceases when the man renounces the evil allegiance.
Hence the paradox of love that may necessitate a blow. Self-deception
is here all too easy, but absolutely selfless devotion may be trusted
even here not to substitute its own cause for God's.

The very paragraph from which the non-resistants draw their doctrine
has this conclusion:

  Wherefore seek ye _first_ the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
  and all these (outward blessings) shall be added unto you.

It is because Jesus sought _first_ the kingdom, which means
righteousness, peace and good will among men, sovereignty of right
over might, overthrow of the powers of darkness which claim as their
own the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, that he could
teach as the best means to its attainment forbearance and
loving-kindness to the limit. For a limit there is--the _divine_
limit of the welfare of all. Loyalty to this ideal led Jesus to crown
his sublime teaching with action sublimer still. When the scenes of
his earlier ministry were closed, he left the quiet paths of teacher
and healer in Galilee to tread the martyr's road, and to set up in his
own cross an ensign to rally the scattered and bleeding flock of God.
Because he sought "first the kingdom of God" Jesus held back his
disciples from the bloody and disastrous path of Zealot fanaticism,
and bade Peter return his futile sword to its sheath. For the same
reason and no other he depicted to his disciples the Good Shepherd
laying down his life in defence of the flock, and poured scorn upon
the hireling who "when he seeth the wolf coming, leaveth the sheep and
fleeth." It is for the same reason and no other that he also warned
them of days to come when it should be the duty of the disciple
unprovided with a sword to "sell his garment and buy one," days when
only he that endured unto the end, fighting to the death against the
powers of darkness, should be saved.

Jesus teaches _unlimited_ non-resistance where only personal and
selfish interests are at stake; but resistance unto blood for the sake
of the Kingdom of God and his righteousness. In this he _is_
inconsistent with non-resistant pacifism that can see no difference
between this doctrine and that of Buddha or Lao-tse. Jesus even
reverses that Bolshevist pacifism that to save its own skin throws to
the Turkish-Teuton wolves the bleeding remnant of the earliest
historic flock of Christ. He approves rather shepherds that give their
lives fighting in defence of their helpless charge. He _is_
inconsistent with the theories and philosophies of non-resistance; but
he is consistent, sublimely consistent, with his own gospel of the
sovereignty of God.

The rule of truly Christian pacifism is not hard to understand when we
approach it from the standpoint of those who after the precept and
example of Jesus seek _first_ the Kingdom of God. Men of this
type are ready like "all the saints who nobly fought of old" to lose
their lives in this high cause, that they may save them unto life
eternal. For individuals and for nations the rule is the same: "In
thine own cause strike never, not even in self-defence; in God's cause
strike when he bids thee strike and cease not, come victory or death."
There is, no doubt, an easy self-delusion, prone to identify its own
cause with God's. But against this blasphemous egotism human history
henceforth will ever set up the abhorrent warning of a certain
imperial attitudinizer whom we do not need to name. There is a time
for forbearance, patience, longsuffering, up to the limit of the
forbearance of that God who seeks only the good of all, and who seeks
it in wisdom and justice as well as in forbearance. The time is _up
to that limit_, and not beyond it. If the enemy can be won, win
him. Turn the other cheek, surrender tunic along with cloak. But
forbearance is not meant to play into the hands of the evil power.
There is also a time when it only gluts the ravenous maw of inhuman,
soulless tyranny, a time when incarnate evil sits in the very temple
of God, setting itself forth as God, a time when the law of violence
is openly avowed and exalted above the law of mercy and right, a time
of the beast and the false prophet, threatening to turn civilization
back again to the age of Lamech and Tubal-cain. That is a time to
remember also the commandment, "Let him that hath no sword sell his
cloak and buy one," and the promise: "He that overcometh, I will give
to him to sit down with me on my throne, as I also overcame, and sat
down with my Father on his throne."

[1] Rom. 12:20, citing Prov. 25:21-22.

[2] See below as to the fourth evangelist's explanation of Jesus'
claim to be the Davidic Shepherd of Israel only in the sense of
uniting the scattered flock of God.

[3] The citations are all from the unquestioned writings of the First
Isaiah, Isa. 2:2-4; 3:1-5; 9:2-7 and 28:1-6. The rendering is made
independently from the Hebrew.

[4] Mal. 3:1-4; 4:1-6.

[5] Paul is elaborating Isa. 57:19.

[6] Mk. 6:34; 14:27 and parallels.

[7] Ezek. 34.

[8] "New Wars for Old," pp. 252-258.

[9] _Ibid._ p. 223.

[10] _Ibid._ p. 258.

[11] "New Wars for Old," p. 241.




When the greatest crime in all history was perpetrated and the
world-war began, it was natural and necessary that the ministry of all
lands should buckle on the Christian armor and take its place in the
fighting ranks. Thousands volunteered as chaplains and Y. M. C. A.
workers. Thousands more--two thousand at one time in Canada
alone--equally eager to don the khaki and endure their share of the
hardships, waited impatiently until a door could be opened for them to
go. In the training camps and in the trenches, in hut and in hospital,
these men found new parishes and pulpits, ministering in a multitude
of ways, and finding opportunities for Christ-like service in the
soldier's every need. They did more than preach sermons, hold Bible
classes, and act as spiritual comforters and advisers. To them, as to
Donald Hankey's "beloved captain," no task was too petty or too
menial, no lowly service beneath them, if it lightened the burdens or
added to the comfort and efficiency of the fighters. At all times and
everywhere, in all ways and by all means, they strove to represent the
Master, who cared for bodies as well as for souls, for the resting
times and food and tired feet as well as for the thoughts and motives
and ambitions of his disciples. They were the ambassadors of the
Prince of Peace and the army's public friends.

All this was only what might have been expected. The arresting fact
was to find these prophets of peace, with comparatively few
exceptions, proclaiming the righteousness of our participation in the
war. In 1915 when the _Continent_, of Chicago, sent out a
questionnaire among the Presbyterian ministers of the country, an
overwhelming majority declared themselves in favor of preparedness. A
vote in Brooklyn, embracing ministers in something like twenty
denominations, showed one hundred and fifty-one in favor of
preparedness, while six qualified their approval and only fourteen
were opposed. These are indications of the trend of thought among the
ministers of America; and though they may not give direct and
unimpeachable evidence of how these men would have viewed the entrance
of the United States into the European _débâcle_, it would seem
to be a legitimate inference that their attitude would be the same.
When a nation, patient and forbearing until her enemies scoffed and
her friends grieved, found herself compelled to defend her
unquestioned rights against lawless and brutal pirates, minds which
approved of preparedness for war would naturally, almost inevitably,
approve of war. Nor was it our rights only. We entered the struggle
not through pride or greed or hatred, but as the champion of
international law, righteousness, liberty, democracy, and a world
peace that shall be abiding and just for all.

To the few pacifists among the clergy all this seems quite
unnecessary. Why should not America walk in the footsteps of Jesus,
set her face steadfastly toward her Jerusalem, and for the world's
salvation suffer Germany and Austria and Turkey to drive the spikes
through her hands? Why not permit the Central Powers to seize and
possess our country, even though they dealt with those of us, who
could not and would not submit to the ethics of Nietzsche and the
diplomacy of Bernhardi and the rule of von Hindenburg, as they treated
the fathers and mothers and little children of Armenia and Belgium and
Poland? "Resist not evil!" The cure of Christ's time is the cure of
our time! The age of Judas and of Pilate, of the scribes and brutal
Roman soldiers, has never passed.

This is not the place to attempt to settle the dispute between the
champions of peace at any price and those of a war which, rightly or
wrongly, they regard as righteous and unavoidable. It certainly will
never be decided by calling all pacifists cowards and slackers, and
all defenders of the course pursued by President Wilson, the son of a
clergyman, exponents of Prussian militarism. The plain fact is that
there is no path open to us which presents no moral difficulties. It
is not a choice between absolute right and absolute wrong, but between
the preponderance of right and the preponderance of wrong. As some one
has phrased it, "War is a moral enterprise, if it redeems a state from
a condition worse than war"; and that--so it seemed to thousands of
ethical and religious teachers--was the situation in America. To have
watched the violation of Belgium, the massacre of Armenia, the
destruction of England, France and Italy, the absorption of Russia,
and ultimately the forging of the chains of our own servitude, without
striking a blow to protect the world against the unspeakable barbarism
of a megalomaniac would have been ethical madness. Granting the
culprit's sanity, it would have been a kind of religious paranoia not
to bring the international butcher and brigand to terms. The man who
stands by, while a thug robs his neighbor's house and murders the wife
and children, practically coöperates with the criminal. If he is a
saint, he is a saintly Raffles. Though he never strike a blow, he
bears the mark of Cain. Leaders like the Rev. Charles A. Eaton, D.D.,
of the Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City, have ventured
to characterize our participation in the struggle as "our Christian
duty." Many even of our Quakers vigorously champion it. Mr. John L.
Carver, the head of the Friends' School in New York and Brooklyn,
writes: "First and last, let us have no compromise or suggestion of
compromise as to the justice of the American cause--no admixture of
false pacifism in relation to one of the few absolutely just and
unavoidable wars that the world has ever seen, unmarred by fanaticism,
mistaken hatred, or lust of gain. Let us permit no confusion of ideas
between old time wars of aggression or revenge, and this present war
of unselfish sacrifice to save humanity from the reign of the beast."
With this it is safe to say the great majority of Christians, lay and
clerical, heartily agree. War is always bad; but there are situations
when to decline to give battle, permitting the foe to work his immoral
will, is not only still more terrible in its cost but more awful in
its moral degradation. To kill is always an evil; but it is less of an
evil, both for society and for the evil doer, than to permit a band of
deluded assassins to run amuck in the ranks of civilization and to
practice their marksmanship on the gentlest of women and the noblest
of men. Almost to a man the leaders of thought in the allied
countries, with unwilling minds and breaking hearts, have reached this
decision. Rightly or wrongly, it is the answer which has come to their
agonized petition, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"

But there is a still more striking fact. Not only are our ministers
like Sir George Adam Smith in khaki and Dr. Henry Van Dyke in the
uniform of the navy, toiling as spiritual specialists for our soldiers
and sailors. Not only are teachers like Principal Forsyth and
ex-President Taft proclaiming our moral duty and legal right to
participate in the greatest and most terrible of wars. After careful
deliberation an ever-increasing number of ministers, especially among
those of draft age, both in the pastorate and in the seminary, have
given up their distinctive work, donned the uniform of the soldier,
and sailed for the trenches of France. To some minds this seems
incredible folly, a species of ministerial madness. War is so tigerish
in its ruthlessness, so demoniacal in its treatment of ethical
principles, so un-Christian in matter and in method, that it appears
impossible to characterize any participation as righteous. It is, no
doubt, the minister's duty to play the role of Good Samaritan when,
with nations as his victims, the modern Hun repeats the parable. But
can he still bear the title of minister if he joins the police force
and attempts, even at the cost of killing the robbers, to clean up the
Jericho road?

The answer of these men has been an enthusiastic affirmative. To them
their clerical exemption was something more than what Dean Shailer
Mathews called it, "an insult or a challenge." No doubt there were
good reasons why certain trained specialists, and themselves among
them, should be set to work with tools other than bayonets. The
physician, the engineer, the munitions expert, the ship-builder and
the chaplain will all have their part in the triumph. Mr. Hoover, Mr.
Schwab and the Archbishop of York will do more in their present
positions than they could behind a machine gun or in an aeroplane.
They, and millions of men and women in lowly stations, can fight at
home for peace and for freedom; and when the burden is heaviest and
the strain almost unendurable, call cheerily, as Harry Lauder did to
the Scotch Highlander: "No, man, I'm no tired! If you can die fighting
for me, I can die working for you!"

But this patent plea did not satisfy some militant ministers. Their
religion as well as their patriotism carried them beyond Dean Mathews'
interpretation of the phrase. Grant that their exemption is an insult
if it "implies that ministers are not as ready to serve their country
as any other citizens, that they are slackers, or that they are so
effeminate that they would not make good soldiers; that if they go
about their work with no increase of labor or of sacrifice, making an
excuse out of their holy calling, they accept their exemption as an
insult to their calling." Grant that, if this is not true, it comes to
them as a great challenge to do and to dare as much in their spiritual
work as the soldier does in his, toiling to the limit of costly
sacrifice, possibly to overwork and to death. They are quite ready to
burn out, and that quickly, when the age demands the heat and light of
their lives. But there was still in their hearts a service
unexpressed, an intense desire ungratified. One hears the call in the
following letter from a minister, who is now a lieutenant with a
Canadian regiment in France:

"I expect to go to the front in Europe in the near future," he
wrote to the editor of the _Outlook_. "For six years I was a
Presbyterian minister, although a Canadian, in the Presbyterian
Church of the United States. When the cause of liberty and the
ideals of democracy were at stake, I could not withstand the
'call'--not so much of my country as of civilization--any longer. I
resigned my charge and came to Nova Scotia, my boyhood home. It
seems strange, but true nevertheless, that today I am a happy man.
I hate war and know something about it--I served through the South
African War and saw its results--but there are things worse than
war. I am going, as I find many of my comrades going, not because
we hate the German people, but because we believe that Prussian
militarism would be an intolerable system for the world to live

"Is this a psychological and moral paradox?" comments the editor. "We
think not. Every man who really grasps the meaning of the words
righteousness, justice and peace, and their true relations, will
understand the state of mind of this Canadian clergyman." It is the
decision of one who loves and honors the calling of the ministry, and
yet feels that in this crisis there is a place where he, whatever may
be true of his fellows, is more greatly needed. It is the confession
of faith on the part of a Christian who knows war and hates it, and
yet is happy to make it because he loves peace, and believes, rightly
or wrongly, that if the world is to possess it in our time, it must be
won with the sword. It is the deed of a brother of all men who
declines to be limited by his cloth, who cannot preach to the soldier
without drinking the soldier's cup and being baptized with his baptism
of mud and of blood. It is the spirit of a true Christian preacher,
who cannot urge Christian laymen to "go over the top" unless at least
some Christian ministers go with them. It is the jubilant response to
the call of the heroic, the comradeship which knows no secular and no
sacred, and which covets the most intimate fellowship in the life and
sufferings of brave men.

The same attitude is being increasingly taken by the peace-loving
Friends. "The young Quaker of the present day," writes one of them,
"is so true to his inheritance--that of being allowed to act as his
conscience dictates--that there are already many in the service, and
that, too, with the fervent coöperation of their Quaker parents....
When one of these young Friends--now a trusted officer in the American
infantry, who enlisted before war was declared by our Government--was
challenged by a Quaker friend, he promptly replied: 'I am showing my
regard for my Quaker ancestry and training in the fact that I cannot
and will not allow war to stalk upon the earth unchecked. Only by
meeting the Devil face to face can we hope to crush him.'"

Sir George Adam Smith in an American address stated that in Scotland
90 per cent of the ministers' sons of military age entered the army
before conscription. Would it be strange if some fathers decided to go
with them? He also said that of the sixty thousand Catholic priests
engaged in war work in France, twenty-five thousand are fighting in
the ranks. Some Chinese missionaries are serving behind the lines as
officers of detachments of Chinese artisans and laborers. Other
missionaries, however, and sons of missionaries are reported to have
gone directly into military service. Our country's Roll of Honor
contains the names of men like Captain Jewett Williams, an Episcopal
rector and the son-in-law of Dr. David J. Barrows, Chancellor of the
University of Georgia, who declined a chaplaincy, trained at Fort
Oglethorpe, and was killed in action. Of recent graduates and members
of the Yale School of Religion, forty-four are now in khaki. Of these
nineteen are chaplains and Y. M. C. A. workers, while eighteen are in
the regular army, one each in the British and Canadian armies, two in
the Ambulance Corps, one in aviation and one in the navy. Already the
School Roll of Honor bears one name, that of a young Englishman of
rare promise, who died in the hospital from wounds received on the
battlefields of France.

These men are following in the footsteps of ministers of other
generations. Yale's records show that there is scarcely a campaign of
note, or an important battle in American history, in which her sons
among the clergy did not share the hardships and dangers of the
soldier's lot. Besides the more than one hundred and thirty who served
as chaplains, in the thick of the fight as well as in camp and
hospital, are those who fought shoulder to shoulder with their
parishioners. When the news of the approach of the enemy reached
Thomas Brockway (1768) during service, he dismissed his congregation,
shouldered his long gun, and marched away. Of John Cleaveland (1745)
it is said that he preached all the men of his parish into the army
and then went himself. They helped to take Louisburg in the campaign
against Cape Breton Island. They marched in the Crown Point
Expedition, fought at Ticonderoga, and shared with Wolfe the hardships
of the campaign against Quebec. The record of the Revolutionary days
is a stirring one. Edmund Foster (1778) joined the Minute Men on the
sounding of the alarm in Lexington. Ebenezer Mosely (1763) enlisted in
Israel Putnam's regiment, and with Joseph Badger (1785), who served
with General Arnold in Canada, fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
They were in the ranks at Germantown and at Monmouth. Samuel Eells
(1765) was elected the captain of a company formed among his
parishioners to aid General Washington, who was then retreating
through New Jersey. Elisha Scott Williams (1775) crossed the Delaware
in the boat with Washington, and is so depicted in Trumbull's
painting. He also fought at the battles of White Plains, Trenton and
Princeton, and shared with William Stone (1785) and Benjamin Wooster
(1790) the hardships and sufferings at Valley Forge. Levi Lankton
(1777) was present at Burgoyne's surrender.

In the Civil War this record is repeated. The ministers of Yale
fought at Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg,
Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania and Cold
Harbor. They rode with Sheridan's cavalry in the Army of the Potomac;
they marched with General Sherman to the sea. Several, like Erastus
Blakeslee (1863), well known for his services to the work of the
Sunday school, rose to the rank of general. Moses Smith (1852)
entered in 1865 with the first troops into Richmond, while Samuel W.
Eaton (1842), after fighting in some of the hardest battles, was
present at Appomattox Court House on the surrender of General Lee.

In all this there is no thought of glorifying war, or of haloing the
head of the minister who lays down his Bible to take up his bayonet.
Quite the contrary. These fighting chaplains condemned war and hated
it. They never proclaimed that organized slaughter was a sane method
of settling international disputes or ethical questions. They would
have marched to their own Calvaries gladly if this would have saved
them from the horror of the task of the soldier and at the same time
helped to bring in the Kingdom of God. But to their minds there was a
time when a Christian ought to put up his sword, and another when his
duty was to buy one. Devilishness is not usually overcome by allowing
the Devil to have his way. If the powers of evil attempt by force to
overthrow righteousness, righteousness may well by force oppose and
thwart them; not that it may escape martyrdom, or vent its anger, but
with the clear purpose of rescuing the evil doer from his devastating
delusion, and of saving the most precious treasures of civilization
from the axe of a vandalism, which can and ought to be restrained. The
thought finds a crude but characteristic expression in Kipling's poem
of Mulholland, the coarse sailor, who, in fulfilment of the vow made
during a storm on the cattle-ship, goes back to preach religion to the
brutal and unsympathetic crew:

  I didn't want to do it, for I knew what I should get,
  An' I wanted to preach religion, handsome an' out of the wet;
  But the Word of the Lord were lain on me, and I done what I was set.

  I have been smit and bruised, as warned would be the case,
  An' turned my cheek to the smiter, exactly as Scripture says;
  But following that, I knocked him down an' led him up to grace.

  An' we have preaching on Sundays whenever the sea is calm,
  An' I use no knife nor pistol, an' I never take no harm;
  For the Lord abideth back of me to guide my fighting arm.

It is devoutly to be wished that it was never necessary for the
preacher to use knife or pistol; but at present apparently there is no
other means by which the smiter may be knocked down.

This teaching is what might be called, in Dr. Van Dyke's phrase,
"Fighting for Peace." It is the kind of militant pacifism which Paul
hints at. "If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace
with all men." Sometimes it is not possible. It is neither wise nor
saintly to attempt to negotiate with a tiger. It would be something
worse than folly to allow the I. W. W. to dictate the economic policy
of our country, or to suffer philosophical and practical anarchism to
work its will with the law and order of the world. War as mere war
deserves all the vitriolic epithets which have been heaped upon it. It
is the scourge of scourges, the father of piracy and of murder, the
mother of havoc, desolation and woe. It stands clearly revealed as "a
monstrous crime, man's crowning imbecility and folly." But when
through war the attempt is made to tear down law, overthrow justice
and shackle the world's liberty, shall not war be met by war in order
to preserve these priceless possessions, and perchance end all wars by
rendering its mad champions powerless? No minister can be called
Christian who does not hate war. But most of them hate still more the
sinking of the Lusitania, the rape of Belgium, the massacre of the
peaceful people of Armenia. They cannot with clear conscience sit
still and watch the fulfilment of the plot of "the Potsdam gang"
without striking a blow. Peace proposals from the successful marauders
sound to them too much like Dr. Van Dyke's imaginary conversation
between an outraged householder and his triumphant pacifistic burglar.
It is not a question of Christ or Cæsar. There is something of the
Sermon on the Mount in pacifist and militarist alike. But in the
choice our ministers in the army have registered their vote for what
seems to be by far the lesser of two evils. They with their fellows
have chosen to tread the new Via Sacra, as the road is now called
which made the salvation of Verdun possible; and today they stand
facing the forces of autocracy, greed and military oppression,
uttering that great battle cry which broke from the heart of France,
"They shall not pass!"

Whatever the verdict of history upon this decision of brave men in the
ministry, certain effects of the war upon them and upon their work are
sure. These again are both good and evil. On the debit side of the
ledger will be the loss of many in whose future service lay much of
the hope and strength of the church. A large proportion of the best
men, who were looking forward to the ministry, are in the training
camps and trenches. Some may now be diverted to other callings; some
will never come back. Their vacant places in the ranks will be
saddening and for a time crippling. Great tasks which might have been
done must needs be left undone. New Elishas will wear the prophet's
mantle; but the memory of many a vanished face will waken the old cry
upon their lips: "My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and the
horsemen thereof!" If the church does not begrudge them, it will mourn
them among its multitude of sons who

      laid the world away; poured out the red,
  Sweet wine of youth: gave up the years to be
  Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene
  That men call age; and those who would have been
  Their sons they gave--their immortality.

A second regrettable result in the minds of some will be the
discrediting of the ministry. There have been too many un-Christian
utterances from the pulpits of all lands, though we are naturally
especially sensitive to those "made in Germany"; too many petty,
superstitious prayers addressed to tribal deities as little like the
God of Jesus as Moloch and Mars; too reckless dealing with "high
literary explosives" on the part of preachers possessing neither the
wisdom of Solomon nor the restraint of Paul; too flamboyantly
patriotic utterances from orators who apparently forgot their
obligations as citizens of heaven and makers of a new world. So far as
the writer knows, there have been no blasphemies from the pulpits of
the Allies equal to the saying of Pastor W. Lehmann: "The German soul
is God's soul; it shall and will rule over mankind"; or that still
more brutal and unblushing pronouncement of Pastor D. Baumgarten:
"Whoever cannot prevail upon himself to approve from the bottom of his
heart the sinking of the 'Lusitania,' whoever cannot conquer his sense
of the gigantic cruelty to unnumbered innocent victims, and give
himself up to the honest delight at the victorious exploit of German
defensive power--him we judge to be no true German." But if none have
descended to these depths of theological blindness and ethical
madness, there has been a certain kinship with the spirit of the
imprecatory psalms, used as convenient and refreshing outlets for
pent-up tempers, together with more or less pagan treatment of ethical
and religious questions, camouflaged with felicitous phrases, which
lulled the listener with the assurance that the preacher was quoting
from the Litany. All this has not redounded to the respect of the
thoughtful for the pulpit, or for the leadership of men supposed to be
specialists in the rules of right and teachers of the counsels of a
fatherly God.

Furthermore, while the mass of Christian unity and coöperation has
been unprecedented, there have been here and there expressions of
denominational rivalries. It is not an inspiring spectacle when a
few--and fortunately only a few--bigoted denominationalists are seen
storming certain camps, not because the religious welfare of the
soldiers is not being amply cared for, but because the accredited
purveyor of their ecclesiastical shibboleth is not teaching his patois
and peddling his wares. Neither our best laymen nor our wisest
religious leaders have either patience or sympathy with modern
denominational Pharisees. They recognize temperamental, psychological
and national differences among fellow Christians, and are content that
Quaker and High Churchman, shouting Methodist and dignified Scotch
Presbyterian, Salvation Army lassie and devout Romanist should choose
their own liturgy and polity, and go to heaven each in his own way.
But to their minds, in everyday life usually and in camp life always,
sectarian squabbling and doctrinal hair-splitting are merely rocks of
stumbling and stones of offense; and whenever they witness, especially
in war time, such wrangling in the porch of the sanctuary, they
discount the utterances and even the calling of the minister, and,
instead of entering the edifice and joining in the service, pass by on
the other side.

Still more damning will be the accusation, made even by loyal sons
of the church's own household, that not only has the ministry failed
to prevent war, but that it neglected to mass its forces and measure
its might in the great task. To reply to the charge in its
undiscriminating, blunderbuss form is easy. Many ministers gave up
their lives to the cause, notably in the various forms of the peace
movement. Others proclaimed and urged a cure, which the laity
declined to put into operation and the governments ignored. The
prevention of war should have been the work of the educator, the
lawyer, the scientist, the promoters of commerce and the prophets of
international socialism as well as of the minister. If he is
blameworthy, so are they. Men who love to sit in the seat of the
scornful and jeer at Christianity should enlarge the scope of their
humor. If, as G. K. Chesterton puts it, "Christianity has not been
tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried,"
it is equally true that the ministry has not been trusted and found
incompetent; it has been the herald of an unwelcome message and
ignored. No one class in the community could work the miracle of a
world-peace; it could be wrought only through the faith and works of
all. To attribute to the ministers the failure to achieve it is in
part fair; some of them are guilty. As Dean Hodges said of the
much-discussed article, "Peter Sat by the Fire Warming Himself," the
charges are richly deserved by those by whom they are deserved. In
part, however, it is manifestly unfair; multitudes honestly tried.
In part it is one of the greatest compliments ever paid them; for it
suggests their power, acknowledges their leadership, and honors
their task as the constructive statesmen of the world. No one ever
before hinted that the clergy ought to have stopped the wars of
Charlemagne or of Napoleon. During the Civil War neither the
conflict nor the cause was laid at the minister's door. But in our
day many clamor for priests after the order of Joshua as well as of
Moses, men at the head of great bodies of Christian soldiers, who
shall participate vigorously in domestic politics and international
relations, until they actually bring in the reign of righteousness
and of love and truth among men. As ministers we accept the
compliment while we confess our sins and shortcomings. The burthen
of having done the things we ought not to have done and of having
left undone the things which we ought to have done is one that we
carry shamefacedly but not exclusively. It is shared by all mankind.

But if the war kills some and discredits others, the credit page in
the ledger looms large. The experiences and tasks of the present can
hardly fail to make the manliest among us still more virile and
vigorous. They will purge the leaders in every profession of all
softness and sentimentalism, and lift them above a great danger in
peace times, that of living a

  ghastly, smooth life, dead at heart.

No sane and unprejudiced mind, possessing first-hand knowledge of the
ministry, accepts as a representative of the profession the clergyman
of the stage comedy and the popular novel. He may be a "sport," in the
biological sense; but it would be equally easy to find as ludicrous
and despicable examples in law, medicine or business. So far as the
average, normal type is concerned, this popular clerical clown is a
wretched caricature, possessing humor because endowed with the
exaggeration and distortion of a political cartoon. But removing all
such weaklings from the discussion, and granting that there are no
more lax fellows, lolling through life, in the ministry than in any
other profession, there is, as Donald Hankey points out, a certain
directness and sternness in camp and military life which is singularly
invigorating and even Christ-like. It stiffens a man's back to
shoulder heavy burdens, trains the eye to face steadily and without
flinching disagreeable and terrifying duties. It tenses muscles with
great and glorious resolves. It girds up the loins for a race the
issues of which are life and death, throttles any idea of sneaking
sinuously through the world avoiding large and costly obligations, and
at the end of the day's labor demands visible and tangible results. If
any minister was in danger of becoming what Horace Greeley called "a
pretty man," or what Holmes described as "a wailing poitrinaire," his
experience as chaplain and as soldier will effectually cure him. We
should have more prophets after the order of Amos as well as of Hosea
when the men who have been under fire come home.

Such men will increasingly merit and possess the respect of laymen and
of soldiers. Their lives have been knit together in the fellowship of
suffering. Their bodies are inured to the same hardships, their faces
lined with the same grim marks of dangers laughed at and of conquered
pain. In the democracy of the trenches the sons of the Pilgrims and
the immigrant sons of the slums have come to know and to understand
one another. The pagan, illiterate dock-hand has fought shoulder to
shoulder with the teacher of religion, trained in the first
universities of our own and other lands. When such laymen attend plays
like "The Hypocrites" or read novels like "The Pastor's Wife," they
will never be persuaded that the clerical cartoons represent reality.
Each will recall days in the dugouts and nights in the hospitals, when
they came to know a different type of minister, a "beloved captain,"
who marched through the mire with song and laughter, and crept with
them through the darkness and shadow of death in No Man's Land. An
almost irresistible attraction will draw them to the churches of such
ministers. To their leadership they will be inclined to render
obedience; to their messages they will listen with respect. No
scoffing jests at the minister will be allowed to go by them
unchallenged. For the first time in their lives they have been brought
into touch with the preachers of religion, and their hearts have
burned within them while they talked with these disciples of Jesus by
the way.

Furthermore, they will seek them out in the intercourse of ordinary
fellowship. For the ministers have shown themselves friendly,
approachable--no wan ascetics, no unhuman monks or superstitious
other-worldlings, but jolly good fellows in camp life, sane and
wholesome counsellors in times of perplexity, comforters in the hours
of sorrow, efficient and tireless fellow workers; in brief, the best
type of men among men. With such a minister there will be no social
uneasiness, no camouflaged conversation during a pastoral visit or
upon his entrance into the club. When he opens the front door, the
father will not be so apt to call, "Mother, the dominie has come to
see you!" It will be no longer the pastor who wishes to meet and to
know the male parishioner; the male parishioner will be equally eager
to meet and to know the pastor. One soldier phrased the difference in
this way: "Well, sir, I like our services out here, and the church is
all right; but our parson at home, sir--! You couldn't go to church or
have anything to do with him!" All this will come to the minister as a
reward for having realized the picture as painted by an English
chaplain. "I like to think of the parish priest as fulfilling the
Shakespearean stage direction--'Scene: a public place. Enter First
Citizen';--for his ministry should mostly be spent neither in church
nor in the homes of the faithful, but in public places; and he should
be the First Citizen of his parish, sufficiently well known to all to
be absolutely at home with each.... And so the word 'parson' will
revert to its old proud meaning of 'persona,' and the priest will take
in his parish a position analogous to that of the best chaplains in
the army." That is the gift which true ministers have always coveted.
Many have already won it, turning from the fascination of their
studies "to waste time wisely in the market-place, gossiping like
Socrates with all comers." After the war many more will possess it,
having gladly paid the price.

To the spiritual practitioner, moreover, will have come increased
skill in that most difficult of all arts, personal work. He will have
had daily hospital training in ministering to the souls of men. He
will speak their language, even their lingo, rather than what is to
multitudes the unintelligible patois of the seminary Canaan. He will
know not only his own theories but their difficulties and experiences
in regard to a belief in immortality and the practice of prayer. Like
Jesus at the well, he will have learned the method and value of
gaining a point of contact in teaching. Formerly it was easy to
discourse from the pulpit concerning the being and nature of God and
to champion theories of the atonement. The prophet of the regiment
will have learned what is far more difficult and more necessary--to
persuade a man to follow the teaching and to practice the friendship
of Jesus. That is his task, and he will have become efficient in its
accomplishment--so to bring modern prodigals to themselves that they
loathe the far country, and arise, and go home to their Father's

Another gain will be that of a deeper appreciation of denominational
coöperation and an enlarged scope for the practice of it. Sectarian
rivalries and ecclesiastical trivialities vanish in the trenches.
Man-made walls between Christian brethren are crumbling. Petty
partisanship becomes first ridiculous and then wicked in the light of
the universal church's ambition. "We need a standard so universal,"
writes H. G. Wells, "that the plate-layer may say to the barrister or
the duchess, or the Red Indian to the Limehouse sailor, or the Anzac
soldier to the Sinn Feiner or the Chinaman, 'What are we two doing for
it?' And to fill the place of that 'It' no other idea is great enough
or commanding enough, but only the world Kingdom of God." The same
buildings are now serving congregations of Jews, Protestants and
Romanists. Instant calls come when rabbis, priests, rectors, and
representatives of every hue in the rainbow of Protestantism minister
to men of other creeds and of no creed. Partisan politics in the field
of pure religion are seen to be essentially irreligious; and chaplains
of every ilk and kirk are working together like "Bill" and "Alf," two
cockney soldiers, one of whom had lost a right arm and the other a
left. They always sat side by side at the C. C. S. concerts "so as we
can have a clap," as "Alf" put it. "Bill puts 'is 'and out, an' I
smacks it with mine." Such men cannot come home and take part in the
heresy trials and ecclesiastical hecklings of men whom at heart they
recognize as Christian brethren. It is perfectly safe to prophesy that
there will be more of church unity, and possibly more of uniformity,
so far as this is desirable, when these apostles of hundreds of
churches come home from the war.

With this enlarged coöperation will come also an enlarged ambition.
The pastor who has been plodding along the familiar ways of an
uninspiring parish will never be content to suffer his people to
travel in the old ruts or to countenance out-worn and inefficient
methods. That way, he now knows, lies ministerial melancholia and the
present situation, something far worse than Lear's madness. His task,
and that of his people, is nothing less than to transform their
portion of the world into heaven. Singing and praying about it are
good and necessary; but in the words of the old negro spiritual, it is
perfectly patent that "Eberybody talks 'bout heaben ain't a-gwine
dah," and the work of the church is to see to it that they go. Some of
the strongest and most venturesome among the clergy, unwilling to turn
back to the safe life after the thrill of the trenches, will seek
adventure in pioneer work in our own land and abroad. Home missions
will come as a challenge to men inured to danger and hardship. Foreign
missions will have a new and poignant meaning for all the world. We
knew before that the bubonic plague in Calcutta was a menace to San
Francisco; we know now that the cult of militarism in a single group
in Germany can crucify mankind. No chaplain will ever settle down into
a parish as if it were a "pent-up Utica." No cultivation of individual
piety will atone for the failure to Christianize society, leaven
industry with the principles of Jesus, and convert from its
Machiavellian heathendom and Bismarckian brutality the diplomacy of
the old-time state. Nothing less than the ambition to take the world
and its kingdoms for Christ can ever satisfy his soldiers; not, like
the Central Powers, in order that they may be enslaved and exploited,
but that they may know the fullness of joy and of freedom, and possess
the true riches of that divine life which is life indeed.

Almost of necessity the experience at the front will simplify and
vitalize the minister's message. For many all discussion of the future
of unbaptized infants, and premillenialism, and the verbal inspiration
of the Pentateuch had long ago lost interest. In the minds of others,
matters regarded by some earnest Christians as of vital importance,
like the Virgin Birth and the physical resurrection of Jesus, had
ceased to function. To them Jesus would still be the unique Son of
God, the divine Saviour of the world, whatever the method of his human
generation; and he would still be alive, their unseen friend and
present helper, whether or not his body had remained in the tomb.
Belief or disbelief in such articles of faith would never transform a
demon into a saint or a saint into a demon. Even to those accepting
them, they had no visible effect upon character or upon the course of
ordinary daily life. No soldiers ever asked about such scholastic
problems as they faced going over the top on the morrow. In the
hospital they never mentioned them, as they lay lonely and fearful on
their beds of pain. But they did ask, or long to ask, had shyness not
prevented them, about the treasures for which the heart hungers and to
which religion alone holds the key.

"Dear Sir," wrote a wounded soldier to the chaplain of his battalion;
"I often used to wish that you would talk seriously and privately to
me about religion, though I never dared to ask you, and I must admit
that I seemed to be very antagonistic when you did start." "I wish
you'd tell me what you think about it, padre," said another. "Is there
anything really afterwards?... I'd like you to tell me as man to man
what you really think about it. Do we go on living afterwards in any
sort of way or--!" He struck a match to light a cigarette. A gust of
wind, which carried a gust of snow round our legs, blew the match out
again. I daresay it was that which suggested his next words: "Or do we
just go out? I know the creed," he went on. "... But that's not what I
want. I want to know what you really believe yourself, as a man, you

Is there a God, and can we actually lead men to experience him and to
grow like him? Is there any power in Jesus to save a brute and a
drunkard, a selfish worldling and a contented prig, not from a hell of
fire after death from which he is snatched by some theological
transaction, but from his degradation and meanness in the present,
until he is fit to be a husband and a father, a patriot and a friend?
Are the fruits of the Christian spirit "love, joy, peace,
longsuffering, goodness, meekness, faithfulness, and self-control,"
the qualities of character which alone can make heaven anywhere, and
without which a potential Paradise would be transformed into an actual
hell? Are the wages of sin death, or does the good man simply lose a
deal of fun and prove himself to be a foolish prig and superstitious
other-worlding? Does death end all, or are there many mansions in the
Father's house? Such are the great questions; and to them Christianity
has very definite answers, capable of being tried out in experience.
In the past much of so-called religion has seemed to thoughtful minds
remote from the facts of life, unreal, a bit queer if not abnormal. If
the flames of war are purging it from such unrealities and
abnormalities, the facts which lie at the heart of the world's faith
are being saved, yet so as by fire. The Christianity of the camp is no
pious sentimentalism, no sweet dream or unvirile worship of a "gentle
Jesus." It is a living, indubitable experience, full of strength and
of joy. Men are fighting to the death a thought and a purpose in the
German armies which Prince Lichnowsky, their own ambassador to the
British Court, characterized as "perfidy and the sin against the Holy
Ghost"; and in that fight they hunger and thirst for the power of a
religion of the Spirit, which--however the battle of bodies and of
brute force may be decided--in God's good time is bound to win the

The last effect of the war upon the work and message of the minister
will be to furnish it with a new dynamic. As he returns from the
battle with sin in the trenches, he will find in the same battle at
home William James' "moral equivalent for war." The call to arms has
revealed the fact, seen in the success of the Student Volunteer
Movement, that the church has not sufficiently appealed to men's
latent heroism. The ordinary individual has revealed an enthusiastic
readiness for high adventure and an almost limitless capacity for
self-sacrifice, qualities upon which the work and preaching of the
average parish made practically negligible demands. There was a
contrast as noticeable as it was lamentable between the pompous
phrases of certain militant hymns, sung chiefly by the choir, and the
lack of ethical passion and aggressive righteousness on the part of
the pews. There was too little doing of brave deeds and too much
flabby irresolution and orthodox laziness. Christianity seemed to act
as a narcotic rather than a stimulant. Any preacher might say to any
congregation with perfect safety, "Ye have not yet resisted unto
blood, striving against sin."

For the chaplain fresh from the front all this will be changed. Not
only will he be the flaming apostle of a new enthusiasm; his church
will have been saved from the old lethargy and lukewarmness of
Laodicea, the minds of his people purged from the _dolce far
niente_ pietism, which dreamed sweet dreams while the wreckers of
the world prepared for war. For today religion stands revealed as the
greatest of all adventures. Christianity is history's crowning
crusade. The greed, the brutality, the imbecile and devilish
lawlessness, which have revelled in an orgy of spiritual vandalism,
are not peculiar to war. They have long been with us, in city and in
country, in the slums and on the avenue, among peoples supposed to be
civilized and enjoying the blessings of an era of prosperity and of
peace. It was an amazed world, rudely roused from its comfortable
slumbers, which found these forces organized for battle; it will be a
bloody and dishevelled but determined and aggressive world that, when
our men have laid aside their khaki, will strive to hold them in the
ranks of an equally fearless and fighting army, which will never
retreat from its trenches until these enemies of the world's peace and
happiness are driven from the field. Men who hated dirt and
discomfort, blood and vermin, have endured and laughed at them for the
sake of their cause and their country. When the call comes to carry on
the same fight in the homeland, such heroic souls will scarcely
decline to sacrifice something of their peace and comfort, or to
attack the forces entrenched in saloon and dive and political cave of
Adullam, because in the struggle they may be shorn of delights and
dollars, know the shame and agony of temporary defeat, and as victors
find themselves with mire upon their garments and blood upon their
hands. "Never was there a religion more combative than Christianity,"
wrote Bernhardi. That is false as the apostle of carnage meant it; but
it is true to the disciple of Jesus, who has heard Paul's summons to
don the full panoply of the Christian armor, and who so loves the Lord
as to hate evil with the just but terrible wrath of the Lamb. Here is
a new dynamic, an irresistible appeal, which should and must be
utilized by the minister. If the Christian Church is an army with the
greatest of fights on its hands, there will be a place for the
soldier. With the church service of the religious slacker he may be
pardoned if he declines to have anything to do.

T. R. Glover in "The Jesus of History" has said that the Christian
conquered because he out-lived and out-thought and out-died the pagan.
It is beginning to dawn upon the ministry that we must out-fight him,
if he is to be conquered in our day. The clergy have seen their
opportunity pictured in the words with which John Masefield in
"Gallipoli" has told the story of the final attack upon Suvla Bay.
"There was the storm," he writes, "there was the crisis, the one
picked hour, to which this death and agony ... had led. Then was the
hour for the casting off of self, and a setting aside of every pain
and longing and sweet affection, a giving up of all that makes a man
to the something which makes a race, and a going forth to death
resolvedly to help out their brothers high above in the shell bursts
and the blazing gorse." The thousands who are responding to that call
are the priests of today and the prophets of tomorrow. They can cry to
us, with their fellow soldiers, living and dead, in the words of
Lawrence Binyon:

  O you that still have rain and sun,
    Kisses of children and of wife,
  And the good earth to tread upon,
    And the mere sweetness that is life,
  Forget not us who gave all these
  For something dearer, and for you!
  Think in what cause we crossed the seas!
  Remember, he who fails the challenge
  Fails us, too.

  Now in the hour that shows the strong--
    The soul no evil powers affray--
  Drive straight against embattled Wrong:
    Faith knows but one, the hardest, way.
  Endure; the end is worth the throw.
  Give, give; and dare, and again dare!
  On, to the Wrong's great overthrow!
  We are with you, of you; we the pain and
  Victory share.




The term "religious education" stands for two ideas that are
ultimately one: for the inclusion of religion in our educational
program, and for the use of educational methods in the propagation of
religion from generation to generation.

Over seventy years ago, Horace Bushnell pointed out the folly of
reliance upon the revival method of dealing with the children of
Christian homes, and urged the educational method of Christian
nurture. He did more than any other one man to determine the present
trend in religious education. Yet his work was prophetic; it took
fifty years more of "ostrich nurture," as he called it, to reveal to
Christian people generally the full truth of his position.

The past twenty years, however, have witnessed a great movement among
the Protestant churches of America toward clearer aims and better
methods in religious education. A situation had developed that bid
fair to let religion drop out of the education of American children.
Changed social, economic and industrial conditions had transferred to
the school many of the educational functions once fulfilled by the
home, and had wrought a change in the forms of family religion. The
public schools had become increasingly secular in aim, in control, and
in material taught. The development of science and philosophy in
independence of religion had made it possible for college students to
get the idea that religion is not a significant part of the life and
culture of the time. The Sunday school, indeed, was at work, teaching
children of God and his will. But its curriculum was ungraded, its
teachers untrained, and its instruction limited to one period of half
an hour in each week.

Roughly speaking, the beginning of the present century may be taken as
the date when the Christian people of America began to awake to the
danger involved in this situation. As early as the late eighties,
President W. R. Harper, then Woolsey Professor of Biblical Literature
at Yale, had organized the American Institute of Sacred Literature,
and had begun to publish a graded series of Inductive Studies in the
Bible. In 1900, under his leadership, the University of Chicago
published the first of its present series of Constructive Studies,
which provides text-books for a graded curriculum of religious
education. In 1903, the Religious Education Association was organized,
its membership drawn from the whole of the United States and Canada,
and its purpose declared to be threefold: "To inspire the educational
forces of our country with the religious ideal; to inspire the
religious forces of our country with the educational ideal; and to
keep before the public mind the ideal of religious education, and the
sense of its need and value." In 1908, the International Sunday School
Association authorized its Lesson Committee to construct and issue a
graded series of Sunday school lessons in addition to the uniform
series which it had issued year after year since 1872. In 1910 the
Sunday School Council of Evangelical Denominations was organized, a
mark of the more definite assumption by the several denominations of
responsibility for the educational work of their Sunday schools and
for the training of teachers. In 1912, the Council of Church Boards of
Education came into being, which has devoted its energies thus far
mainly to coöperative effort in behalf of Christian colleges and for
the religious welfare of college and university students generally.

These are but a few outstanding factors in a movement greater far than
any single organization or group of organizations. There has been an
awakening of the spirit of education in religion. Sunday schools the
country over have been graded, and here and there week-day schools of
religion have been begun; problems of curriculum, method and
organization have been studied and graded curricula devised; classes
and schools for the training of teachers have been organized; and
attempts of various sorts have been made to correlate public and
religious education. Churches in general have come to see that they
have an educational as well as a religious function in the community,
and that there is a sense in which they share with the public school a
common task. The public school can teach the "three R's," the
sciences, arts and vocations; the church must teach religion. Both are
needed if the education of our children is to be complete. Many
churches are employing paid teachers of religion and directors of
religious education. Courses in religious education have been
organized and professorships of religious education established in
colleges and theological seminaries. "The Educational Ideal in the
Christian Ministry" was the subject of the Lyman Beecher Lectures on
Preaching, in the Yale School of Religion, a few years ago. The young
men who are entering the Christian ministry in these days are being
trained, not simply to preach and to care for a parish, but to teach
and to direct the educational work of a church.

The immediate effect of the war has been to retard this movement in
some degree. Preoccupation with the war itself and with more
immediately pressing needs, has made more difficult the work of the
churches in this as in other respects. Churches that had planned new
buildings for their schools are postponing their erection till the war
is over. Training classes for teachers are harder to keep up.
Ministers are going into war service; and those who stay at home are
doing double work or more. Churches, like business houses and
factories, have found their organizations broken by the departure of
members of military age. Many of their best teachers and leaders have
gone to war; and it is not easy, in these days of urgency and stress,
to discover others to take their places.

It is probable, however, that a deeper effect of the war will be to
intensify our sense of the importance of religious education and to
clarify the church's educational program, in point both of content and
method. This conviction rests upon these fundamental facts: that the
world is achieving democracy; that it believes in and relies upon
education; that it is experiencing what may prove to be a renewal of

Education, democracy, religion--these three, we have long professed
and more or less fully believed, belong together. The full life of
each of the three is bound up in that of the other two.

Education without religion is incomplete and abortive; it falls short
of that life more abundant which is education's goal. Religion without
education lacks intelligence and power, and condemns itself to what
Horace Bushnell called conquest from without, as contrasted with
growth from within.

Democracy without education cannot long hold together or be saved from
mediocrity and caprice. Education without democracy perpetuates caste
divisions, or else breeds discontent and class hatred.

Democracy without religion is doomed to fail; and religion without
democracy cannot realize the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of

These, I say, are familiar convictions. They are natural to
Protestantism; they have entered into the very making of America. Yet
just these old convictions are gaining a new force and a deeper
meaning in and through the experiences of these years of war. The
struggle for democracy is not only leading us to a new comprehension
of the meaning of democracy itself; it is helping us to understand
better both education and religion.

It does not lie within the limits of this paper to canvass the wider
and deeper meaning of democracy which is opening before us. The
messages and addresses of President Wilson have interpreted that
meaning not simply to America but to the world. No one yet knows the
full promise of life after the war, when Pan-Germanism shall have been
not only balked but destroyed. The democracy for which we fight to
make the world safe will be a chastened, changed, completer democracy.
It will be a democracy between nations as well as within nations, for
the doctrine of the irresponsible, beyond-moral sovereignty of the
state must return to the perdition whence it came. It will be a
democracy applied more fully to the whole of life, social, economic
and industrial as well as political. It will be a democracy of
completer citizenship, that gives place to women as to men. It will be
a democracy of duties as well as of rights.

The world is acquiring a new conscience. Just as the nineteenth
century made slavery abhorrent to the moral sense of men in general,
the twentieth century will likely be looked back to as the time when
the world's conscience decided that the exploitation of man by man is
wrong. The general moral sense of men has not been over-tender on this
point hitherto. They have checkmated the exploiter if they could, as
they did checkmate Napoleon, but they have not always, or even
usually, looked upon him as a wrong doer. It required Germany's
attempts at conquest and subjugation to wake the world to the absolute
wrong of that monstrous thing--that one man should use another as a
mere means to his own pleasure or aggrandizement, or that one people
should so determine the destiny of another people.

Here lies the supreme moral issue of the war. Shall the world, which
has become a neighborhood, organize itself into a great community of
mutual respect, good will and brotherhood, or shall its structure be
that of restless orders of exploiters and exploited? It is
over-familiar; yet, lest we forget, hear some random verses from
various Pan-Germanist scriptures: "Not to live and let live, but to
live and direct the lives of others, that is power." "To compel men to
a state of right, to put them under the yoke of right by force, is not
only the right but the sacred duty of every man who has the knowledge
and the power." "The German race is called to bind the earth under its
control, to exploit the natural resources and the physical powers of
man, to use the passive races in subordinate capacity for the
development of its _Kultur_." "Life is essentially appropriation,
injury, conquest of the strange and weak, suppression, severity,
obtrusion of its own forms, incorporation at the least, and in its
mildest form exploitation."

Contrast with this the words of Jesus: "Ye know that they who are
accounted to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great
ones exercise authority over them. But it is not so among you: but
whosoever would become great among you, shall be your minister; and
whosoever would be first among you, shall be servant of all." The
present struggle is not merely between democracy and autocracy as
rival systems of government. It is a struggle between opposed
philosophies of life. Nietzsche was more consistent than the Kaiser
who has followed him, for Nietzsche did not claim to be a Christian.
He frankly proposed a "transvaluation of values" which would do away
with the religion of Jesus as fit only for slaves. That proposed
transvaluation of values the Kaiser is trying to bring about, however
piously he may lie about it or claim God's partnership in his

Prophecies are always hazardous; never more so than now. The outlook
for religion has been discussed both by puzzled pacifists and by
facile forecasters of the fulfilment of their own wishes. One may
perhaps question whether there will be any _one_ trend of the
churches in the immediate future. Yet this is clear: that the
interests of democracy and the interests of true religion are
ultimately one. We may confidently expect the churches of tomorrow to
realize this more fully, not simply in the ideals they preach, but in
the temper and quality of their own life. _One effect of the war
upon religious education, undoubtedly, will be to make it more
democratic in aim, content and method._

Education in general will become more democratic. The experiences of
these years are helping us to understand education and to estimate its
values. Our eyes are being opened to the diametrical difference
between democratic and undemocratic education. We have come to see
that the latter may be as great a menace to the world as the former is
a vital resource.

The time was, not long ago, when Germany was deemed the school-master
of the world. German efficiency and German obedience to authority were
seen to be the products of German teachers and German schools. In
methods of teaching and in school organization, as well as in ideals
of scholarship, the world sought to follow Germany. If here and there
one objected that German education seemed to sacrifice the individual
to the system and to beget an obedience too implicit, we felt that it
was only because the Germans are such docile, pious, family folk, and
we rather chided ourselves for our rougher ways and for that self-will
that made us unholily thankful that we had been born in a freer land.

But now the character of German education stands revealed. We are no
longer as hopeful as we once were of the possible success of an appeal
to the German people over the heads of their military masters. They
seem on the whole to like the kind of government they have, and to
want to be exploited by Prussia. They are perilously near to what Mr.
H. G. Wells has given as his definition of damnation--satisfaction
with existing things when existing things are bad. They are
experiencing what Mr. Edmond Holmes has called the Nemesis of

And it is their system of education that has brought about this
result. If the German people are damned to satisfaction with
irresponsible autocracy and fatuous docility, their schools have
damned them. For a century, German education has been at work to breed
the present world-menace. The German schools have made the German
people what they are. They have sought to develop habits of mind
rather than free intelligence; they have valued efficiency in a given
task above initiative and power to think for oneself. They have set
children in vocational grooves and molded them to pattern. They have
educated the few to exert authority, and have trained the many to
obey. They have nurtured the young upon hatred of other peoples; and,
much as the Jews of old awaited the Messiah, they have lived and
labored in expectation of "The Day." They have exalted Vaterland into
a religion, and have degraded God into a German tutelary deity. The
German schools have welded the German people into a compact,
efficient, military machine. The desires of the State are their
desires; the Kaiser's will is their will.

We have been following false gods, therefore, in so far as we have
sought to shape our schools upon German models. "The German teacher
_teaches_," wrote one of our great educators some years ago, in
criticism of our American way of giving to children text-book
assignments which they are expected to study for themselves; yet the
text-book method, fumblingly as we have so often used it, gives better
training in initiative and intelligence than the German teacher's
dictation methods. Professor Charles H. Judd has recently pointed out
the confusion and waste of time brought about by the fact that our
eight-year elementary school was modeled upon the German Volksschule,
which is a school for the lower classes, and not intended to lead on
to higher education. Our purpose, on the contrary, is to maintain for
every American child an open ladder through elementary school,
secondary school and college to the university; and to that purpose a
six-year period of elementary education is much better adapted--a plan
which many of our school systems have adopted within the last decade.
We need better vocational education in this country and better systems
of vocational guidance; but we are becoming clear that these must not
be of the German sort, that compel a choice before the teens.

Education in a democracy must be education for democracy; and
education for democracy must itself be democratic in content and
method. Such education practices and aims at intelligence rather than
habit of mind. It trains its pupils to think and choose for
themselves. It prizes initiative above conformity, responsibility
above mere efficiency, social good will above unthinking obedience.

Such education is more difficult, of course, than education of the
undemocratic type. We shall at times be tempted to fall back into the
ways of the German schools in some respect or other, because they
represent the line of least resistance in education. Specious
arguments will be presented in favor of these ways by shortsighted
"practical" men. Education of the German type is more efficient, they
will say; it is more direct and practical; it brings more immediate
results. It is more patriotic, moreover, they will insist; it better
serves the ends of authority; it makes people more prosperous and
contented, each in his appointed niche. But such arguments, we may
well hope, will no longer win the uncritical assent that they have
sometimes found. German education may be more efficient in the
fulfilment of its end than American education--but what an end it has
sought and reached! In the moment of our temptation to undemocratic
short cuts in education, we shall henceforth look to the Germany of
yesterday and today, and shall be strengthened to resist. Her ways are
not our ways. Her schools cannot be ours. Education must mean to
America something quite different from what it has meant to Germany.

The contrast between democratic and undemocratic types of education is
as great with respect to religion as with respect to the rest of life.
Germany has been most careful to maintain religion as a subject of
instruction in her schools. But the content of this instruction in
religion has been intellectualistic and formal. It has pressed upon
German children a body of historical facts, moral precepts and
theological dogmas; but it has not begotten the freedom of inward
spiritual initiative. State-controlled, it has bent religion to state
uses, and has in time begotten a generation who can believe in the
"good old German God."

Religious education in America has been and will be more democratic.
Horace Bushnell used to say that the aim of all education is the
emancipation of the child. We teach and train our children in order
that they may in due time be set free from paternal discipline. We
fail in the religious education of our children if our teaching does
not result in their final emancipation from a religion of mere
authority and convention and their growth into a religion of the
spirit. We aim, not simply to win their assent to a given body of
beliefs or to attach them to the church as a saving institution, but
to help them to become men and women who can think and choose for
themselves. The Protestant principle of the universal priesthood of
believers involves democracy in religion. And just as democracy can
look forward only to failure unless it can educate its citizens,
Protestantism will fail unless it can educate men and women fit to
stand on their own feet before God, able to understand his will and
ready to enter intelligently and effectively into the common human
enterprises of Christian living.

_A second effect of the war, closely related to this, is that
religious education will concern itself more directly with life, and
will put less emphasis upon dogma, especially upon those refinements
of creed which have operated divisively in the life of the Christian
Church._ Its method will be more vital, and less intellectualistic.
Instead of proceeding upon the assumption that true belief comes first
and that right life is the expression of prior belief, it will
recognize that adequate insight and true belief are more often the
result of right life and action. "If any man willeth to do his will,
he shall know of the teaching." If this be true of adults, it is even
more true of children. Our plans of religious education will first
seek to influence the life, and will deal with beliefs as an
explanation of life's purposes and motives and an interpretation of
its realities and values.

If they will realize this primacy of life, the Christian churches
stand in the presence of a great opportunity. The experiences of these
years have shown us how much more of Christian living there is in the
world than bears the label. Religion is being tested, stripped of sham
and embroidery, and reduced to reality. And there are being revealed
breadths and depths of real religion that we had not understood. There
is a vast amount of inarticulate religion actually moving the lives of
men which the churches may lift to the level of intelligent and
articulate belief if they will but approach it with understanding and
a willingness to be taught as well as to teach.

In Jesus' story of the last judgment, there is surprise all around.
Both those on the right hand and those on the left stand fully
revealed to themselves for the first time, it seems. "Lord, when saw
we thee ..." they cry on both sides. This war has constituted such a
judgment day. A great moral issue has stood out, sharp, clean-cut and
clear. It has set men on the right hand and on the left. It brooks no
moral hyphenates; it permits no half-allegiance, either to country or
to God. Beneath all pretense and profession, it lays bare the real
man. It reveals the hidden qualities of nations. There have been many
surprises. It has shown far more of evil in the world that we had
deemed possible; but it has shown, too, far more of goodness and
courage and true religion than we had thought was there.

Evil is here--real, powerful, poignant, and more unutterably bad than
the farthest stretch of imagination had hitherto conceived that evil
could be. Since the world began it was never so full of pain and
suffering in body and mind, of needless death and of mothers brave but
broken-hearted. And most of this is the result of supreme moral evil,
the work of a power deliberately seeking world-domination and
exploitation of the rest of mankind, even though it involve the
extermination of other peoples, determined to use any methods that bid
fair to bring about this result, and organizing deceit and lust and
murder as the instruments of _Schrecklichkeit_.

But goodness is here too--strong, calm, cheerful, brave, self-devoting
goodness. These years of war have revealed to us the supreme power of
the human spirit to endure pain, to resist evil, and to count all else
naught for sake of the right in which it believes and the good upon
which its heart is set.

This goodness does not always call itself Christian, be it granted,
or even know itself to be such. A chaplain in the English army
writes: "There is in the army a very large amount of true religion.
It is not, certainly, what people before the war were accustomed to
call religion, but perhaps it may be nearer the real thing. It is
startling, no doubt, and humiliating to find out how very little hold
traditional Christianity has upon men.... So far as I am able to
estimate, we are faced now with this situation, _a Christian
life_ combined with _a pagan creed_. For while men's conduct
and their outlook are to a large extent unconsciously Christian,
their creed (or what they think to be their creed) most emphatically
is not.... Nevertheless I feel that out here one is very near to the
spirit of Christ. There is a general wholesomeness of outlook, a
sense of justice, honor and sincerity, a readiness to take what comes
and _carry on_, a power of endurance genuinely sublime, a
light-heartedness and cheeriness (nearly always, I believe, put on
for the sake of other people), a generosity and comradeship which are
obviously Christ-like."[1]

There is strength and goodness at home, too. We had become accustomed
in late years to hear it said that the churches were losing their hold
upon the people of America. Whether or not that be true, the war has
begun to reveal to America, as it has to our Allies, the depth and
power of the real moral and spiritual life beneath the surface.
Granted that we are witnessing no widespread evangelistic stirrings,
no indications of a great revival. It seems probable, indeed, that the
itinerant evangelists who had lately become the fashion among us, have
passed the heyday of their power. Neither are the "prophetic" folk who
misunderstand their Bibles so persistently and look so confidently for
the second coming of the Lord, winning an assent at all commensurate
with their effort. But there is a vast amount of quiet, sensible,
devoted Christian living in America. There is more of genuine religion
among us than we had realized. That religion, for the most part
inarticulate, and hardly knowing itself to be Christian, is finding
expression in action. The spirit in which America entered the war; the
high moral aims which President Wilson, interpreter yet leader of his
people, has set before the world; the quiet, matter-of-fact and
matter-of-duty way in which the principle of selective service was
accepted and carried out as democracy's method of mobilizing its
power; the coöperation and the giving; the uncomplaining solemn pride
of homes that have already made the supreme sacrifice--these are but
the first evidences in America of a moral virility, a real religion,
which, we may confidently hope, will strengthen us, with our Allies,
not only to carry on to victory, but to resist the victor's

Will this deep, elemental, common religion of America come to
understand itself, and to recognize its fundamentally Christian
character? The answer to that question lies with the churches. And
there are clear indications that many of them, at least, will not fail
to realize and meet their opportunity.

Not that we shall do without dogmas. Religion cannot maintain itself
as mere ethics. It is a way of living; but a way of living that
justifies itself by a way of believing about God and duty and
immortality. The point is, that in the natural order of growth life
has a certain priority to belief, action to full understanding. And
that certainly is the order of growth involved in the present

As the churches share in the expanding and deepening common life and
bring their beliefs to bear upon it, in interpretation of its ultimate
motives and hopes, there will be growth on both sides. Men elementally
Christian in action will come to know what they believe; and on the
other hand the churches themselves will discern more clearly which of
their customs and beliefs are relevant to the real issues of life and
function in essential ways. Our creeds will become simpler, but more
vital. And that will make possible a closer unity of the churches. One
may well question both the possibility and the desirability of a
complete obliteration of denominational lines. We may always have and
need denominational loyalty just as we shall always have and need
patriotism. But denominational loyalties can be incorporated into a
higher loyalty to the inclusive fellowship of Christ's Church as a
whole, just as national loyalties, we now see, can and must be
incorporated into a higher loyalty to humanity which will be given
expression and body in a world-wide League of Nations.

_We may expect religious education after the war, again, to be more
fully Christian in its conception of God as well as in its view of

Jesus, so far as we know, never used the word "democracy." Yet just
such a democratic world-community as we are now beginning in a
practical way to understand and strive for, he taught and lived and
died for. Christianity's ultimate ideal is no longer a mere ideal. It
has become an actual political and social program and possibility.

"The brotherhood of mankind must no longer be a fair but empty
phrase," wrote President Wilson to Russia; "it must be given a
structure of force and reality. The nations must realize their common
life and effect a workable partnership to secure that life against the
aggressions of autocratic and self-pleasing power." The world's choice
is between "Utopia or hell," is Mr. Wells' striking phrase, which he
expounds in a remarkable article in _The New Republic_ on "The
League of Nations." "Existing states," he says, "have become
impossible as absolutely independent sovereignties. The new conditions
bring them so close together and give them such extravagant powers of
mutual injury that they must either sink national pride and dynastic
ambitions in subordination to the common welfare of mankind or else
utterly shatter one another. It becomes more and more plainly a choice
between the League of free nations and famished men looting in search
of non-existent food amidst the burning ruins of our world. In the end
I believe the common sense of mankind will prefer a revision of its
ideas of nationality and imperialism to the latter alternative."

Mr. Wells is right. The proposal to establish a league of nations
presents itself in our day as a matter of plain common sense. Yet if
there is one lesson written with perfect clearness on the pages of
history, it is that common sense alone cannot save the world from the
tragedies of error, self-will and sin, and that common sense motived
by self-interest will in the end defeat itself. In his Lyman Beecher
Lectures on Preaching, Dr. Henry Sloane Coffin has called our
attention to the remarkable prophecy of the present world war made by
Frederick W. Robertson in a sermon preached at Brighton on January 11,
1852, addressed to a generation that glorified commerce as the
guarantor of world unity and sought to establish morality upon a basis
of enlightened self-interest. The passage cannot be quoted too often,
nor too firmly impressed upon the minds of the present generation, for
there were those among us who, even up until the invasion of Belgium,
kept protesting that there could be no war in a world so bound
together by economic and commercial ties, and there are those now who
find in such interests the only durable basis for world
reconstruction. "Brethren," said Robertson, "that which is built on
selfishness cannot stand. The system of personal interest must be
shriveled to atoms. Therefore, we who have observed the ways of God in
the past are waiting in quiet but awful expectation until He shall
confound this system as He has confounded those which have gone
before, and it may be effected by convulsions more terrible and bloody
than the world has yet seen. While men are talking of peace and of the
great progress of civilization, there is heard in the distance the
noise of arms, gathering rank on rank, east and west, north and south,
and there come rolling toward us the crushing thunders of universal
war.... There is but one other system to be tried, and that is the
cross of Christ--the system that is not to be built upon selfishness
nor upon blood, not upon personal interest, but upon love."

If Wells has stated the world's alternative, Robertson has shown the
way of final and permanent right decision. To common sense must be
added love. The brotherhood of man must be established upon a common
acknowledgment of the Fatherhood of God. The world community can
ultimately be motived by nothing less than the life within the hearts
of men of the God whom they come to know through Jesus Christ.

This means both that the world must become more religious, and that
religion must become more fully Christian. We can no longer believe in
any God less great or less good than the God whom Jesus Christ
reveals. However much it may be tempted to the lower view from time to
time, we may reasonably expect that henceforth the world is done with
belief in a mere tribal or national God. The supreme and inmost bond
of the world community can be nothing other and nothing less than the
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who regards all men as his children
and who steadfastly seeks, with them and through them, the good of

Religious education after the war will be more democratic, more
immediately concerned with life, more fully Christian. In so
interpreting the present situation, we have had in mind especially the
more or less formal religious education in the church and the church
school. The same tendencies will influence the more informal and
indirect religious education of children in the family. We have
reason, indeed, to hope for a strengthening of family ties and a
renewal of family religion. The sacrifices of these days are rendering
relationships very precious that in a more careless, unthinking time
we had accepted as a matter of course. And it is entirely possible
that victory may wait until in America, as in England and France,
there are few families that do not live in closer fellowship with the
unseen world because their sons are there. The gradual disintegration
of family life which the past half century has witnessed was but
incidental to a rapid change in social, economic and industrial
conditions. There is reason to expect that the family will so adjust
its life to these conditions as to maintain its character as a social
group, wherein genuine democracy and true religion may be propagated
from generation to generation by that sharing of interests,
occupations and affections which is the most potent and vital of all
educational methods. That it should so adjust itself and so fulfill
its primary educational function, should be a matter of the utmost
concern to both Church and State, for it is hard to conceive how
either the Christian religion or a democratic society could maintain
itself without the aid of the family.

[1] "The Church in the Furnace," pp. 53-54.




It might seem to the uninformed reader that foreign missions and war
have nothing in common; for "what communion hath light with
darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial?" Fuller
knowledge of the varied work of missions and of its many helpful
contributions to African, Asiatic and Oceanic peoples would remove
this misapprehension. Professor Coolidge, of Harvard, suggests some
important points of contact between missions and the less developed
races, particularly of the enterprise as carried on today in
contrast with its earlier objectives.[1] How the races of mission
fields that have been thus affected are contributing to the war at
home and in the trenches, Dr. Arthur J. Brown has described most
vividly in a paragraph upon the cosmopolitan composition of the
allied forces at the front.[2] Missionary periodical files abound in
references to the war's inroads upon missionary enterprises, and to
the important mediating work of missions. A great volume of
testimony would show that while missionaries still regard the
upbuilding of the mind and the saving of souls as fundamentally
desirable, the enterprise affects every phase of the personal and
community life of the peoples to which it ministers.

Statistics of the missionary situation at the beginning of the war
reveal the extent and scope of present-day foreign missions. In the
latest full collection of such statistics,[3] one finds a series of
tables devoted to "General and Evangelistic" data, to "Educational"
activities of missions, and to "Medical and Philanthropic" enterprises
conducted by missionaries. It is impracticable to present the totals
of the seventy-two columns, suggestive of the many subordinate
activities of missions; a few items will indicate the more important
contacts established between the Protestant churches of Christendom
and the fifty fields which their missions have touched in many helpful
ways. In these mission countries 351 Protestant societies had as their
foreign staff 24,039 missionaries, including 13,719 women workers and
wives. Stationed at 4,094 towns and villages, they directed the
activities of a native staff of 109,099 and of 26,210 churches, the
communicant membership of which was 2,408,900, with 1,423,314 others
under religious instruction. In their elementary schools were
1,699,775 pupils, while in secondary schools were 218,207, and in the
colleges and universities 15,636 students were enrolled. In
theological and Bible training institutions 10,588 were preparing for
the Christian leadership of the churches. Their industrial schools had
an enrolment of 10,125, and their normal students numbered 7,504.
Mission hospitals and dispensaries were presided over by 1,589
physicians and trained nurses, aided by a native staff of 2,336. In
the year reported, 3,107,755 individuals were treated, in single
visits or during prolonged residence in hospitals. Orphanages numbered
245, with 9,736 inmates, and 39 leper homes sheltered 1,880
unfortunate outcasts. Such an exhibit, incomplete as it is, will
indicate the manifold tendrils which have bound Christian missionaries
to the hearts of the nations; and if Roman Catholic statistics for
this date were available,[4] the importance of missions as a steadying
and reconstructive force at present and in post-bellum readjustments
would be even more manifest.

In discussing the war as affecting missions, only a few outstanding
facts can be mentioned. Practically all of the mission world has taken
sides in the tremendous conflict, most of these nations declaring for
the Allies. Many of them have generously contributed the means and man
force to hasten the day of peace. In 1917 nearly half a million from
India were enlisted, of whom 285,200 were combatants and the rest were
employed behind the lines in multifarious tasks. As a result of the
recent conference at Delhi, it is hoped that another half million may
be secured this year,[5] thus giving that Empire the numerical
precedence among Britain's dominions. From North China alone some
135,000 laborers are serving the British forces in varied ways. "They
come, also, from Morocco, Algeria, Tunis and the jungles of Senegal;
from Madagascar and Tahiti, and several hundred thousand from French
Indo-China and China proper. Black, yellow and white, East and West,
educated and ignorant, progressive and backward, are laboring side by
side."[6] So important is it that these polyglot assistants and
warriors should be cared for in a Christian way that many missionaries
have been called away from their distant fields to a manifold ministry
to their adopted countrymen behind the trenches. Many of these
recruits are Christian volunteers, especially so in the Indian

The effects of this European Armageddon upon the mission fields
themselves has been less harmful than had been expected and more
advantageous than was anticipated. German missions have been affected
most among the Protestants, and among Roman Catholics France has been
the chief sufferer. In the latter country there is no exemption for
either Protestant or Catholic ministers of military age.
Missions-Direktor Axenfeld of Berlin, in a recent publication,[7]
states that German Protestant work in Africa has been practically
disrupted, in India crippled by enforced withdrawals, in smaller
British colonies similarly weakened by the expulsions, and permitted
to go on with restrictions in other parts of Asia and North America.
According to later information, about 400 German Protestant
missionaries and missionary candidates are in military service, 68 are
in hospitals, 120 are prisoners of war in various countries, and about
1,000 missionaries are still working in various fields. Referring to
the _Zeitschrift für Missionswissenschaft_, in the files for 1915
and 1916, one learns that 3,000 Catholic missionaries are estimated to
have been called to the colors, and that in 1916 there were 2,336
serving in the army. French Protestant missions, with a much smaller
force abroad, have suffered in similar proportion; so that in French
and German mission fields the personnel has been greatly reduced,
limited, or has been obliterated entirely. British missions have
likewise sent to the colors many of their best men from the field and
the candidate list, while a number have been transferred from field
service to work among their constituency in Mesopotamian and French
camps. Relatively few native Christian leaders have enlisted.

The Christian communities in mission lands have suffered in various
ways through the war. The removal of supervising missionaries in
part--almost wholly in the case of German societies--has left many
flocks without their chief shepherds. Great as has been this loss, it
has wrought a greater benefit in churches whose native leaders thus
have been brought to the front and have proved to their congregations
that the church was so far indigenous as to survive the withdrawal of
missionaries. To help their pastors, the people have undertaken
responsibilities which without this necessity would not have been
borne, thus developing unsuspected gifts and engendering hope for the
future. During the war, evangelistic campaigns, largely participated
in by the native church, have been carried on in a number of countries
and with marked success.

Participation in the great conflict by the Christians and
non-Christians of mission lands has had mixed results. On the one
hand, any delusion as to the civilization and attitudes of so-called
Christian countries has been dissipated by the undreamed of savagery
and international hatred which they have seen. This has led to
opposition to missionaries on the fields, especially in Persia and in
Morocco, where a Moslem said to Dr. Kerr: "Why don't you turn your
attention to Christians? With all our faults, we have some religion
left, but the Christians have none." On the other hand, it has
revealed to the peoples so aiding their European rulers their real
values to them. This has given to Indians especially a renewed
determination to secure from England _quid pro quo_ in the form
of greater political liberty and social privileges. While this has
been especially emphasized by Moslems and Indians, it has affected the
Christians with so great a spirit of nationalism that the recent
All-India Christian Council sent a deputation to the Viceroy
requesting the Government to recognize the 3,876,203 Christians of the
1911 census as a community deserving political representation in the
Imperial Legislative Council. The increasing demand of all Indians for
greater freedom led Parliament to send out a Commission to investigate
the situation; and while their report at time of writing has not been
published in full, the people of that Empire are assured of many
alleviations of existing disabilities. The independent Powers of the
Far East also will be benefited in many ways through their coöperation
in the war. A greatly feared backset to the cause of missions in
China, through the exposure to fierce temptations and from the harsh
treatment unavoidable in war of its labor contingent in France, has
been met in part by sending to those camps many successful
missionaries from North China, as well as a delegation of Christian
Chinese studying in American institutions. In Mesopotamia, also,
similar work undertaken by Indian missionaries will do much to lessen
the ill effects of the war.

Another resultant of the unprecedented conflict comes from the ethical
and religious reactions occasioned by seas of Christian blood. An old
convert in India pathetically asked his pastor if the great fire in
the West were still burning, and a South Sea islander stood bewildered
and shaken when he learned that the war was primarily between
Christian nations. Keen Japanese were at first ready to declare
Christianity a failure because of this stupendous crime of
Christendom; but their maturer thought and the increasing barbarity in
German initiative has convinced them that instead of its proving the
bankruptcy of Christianity, to quote Secretary Oldham, "the War has
shown the bankruptcy of a society which has refused to accept and
apply the principles of Christianity in social, national and
international affairs. As has been well said, 'Christianity has not
been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and never
tried.'"[8] So contrary is it to Christian teachings that for a time
the churches in one district in China set apart a day each week for
special prayer that this demoniacal evil might be divinely conquered.

But it is more than a problem of Christianity. The Moslem world has
been fighting against itself. The Jihad, declared by the
Sheikh-ul-Islam and the Sultan of Turkey most solemnly in November,
1915, failed to call to arms a body of fifty millions of fanatical
Mohammedans, as had been fervently hoped would be the case. "There was
no shock, since there was no sympathetic response. Protests were made
by the Moslems of Turkey, while the eighty millions under British
control proclaimed their unshaken loyalty; and from Persia, Morocco,
Egypt, India, Russia, Algeria and other Moslem countries, Turkey was
taken severely to task for forming an alliance with two Christian
Powers in a conflict with other Christian nations.... Mohammedans are
in despair especially since, as a last fatal blow, the Arabs have
arisen in open rebellion against Turkey, seizing the sacred places of
Islam, and repudiating the right to the office of caliph or of the
sultan of Turkey."[9] Similarly an Arabic periodical published in
Zanzibar says: "The pillars of the East are tottering, its thrones are
being destroyed, its power is being shattered and its supremacy is
being obliterated. The Moslem world is divided against itself."[10]

But what have been the effects of this war upon the home base of
missions? The financial drafts made by the governments and voluntary
organizations of warring nations upon their peoples and the increased
cost of everything have affected the treasuries of some of the smaller
societies unfavorably. For the most part, however, the mission boards
have not only met their expenses but in many cases receipts have been
larger than ever before. The contributions thus given have called
attention to missions as being both worthy and indispensable elements
in the world situation, and hence necessitating their support. Perhaps
this is felt most generally among friends of British missions.

Man power causes the societies greater difficulty. Practically the
entire German force has been sent from India, or else interned, and to
fill their places has made new demands upon other nationalities. The
depleted ranks of French societies have not been filled. Great Britain
needs all her men for the trenches and has been sorely pressed in
trying to supply the foreign fields with the workers absolutely
required. Even the United States, since her entry into the war, is
experiencing difficulty in keeping missionary candidates from going to
the front in Europe instead of re-enforcing the thin Asiatic and
African battle lines. Hope for improvement in this recruiting is
slight, since the call to arms has laid strongest hold upon college
and university men. Thus in 1915, out of 52,000 students in German
universities, 41,000 were under arms; in France all students except
those physically unfit were called out; in Great Britain and Ireland
about 50 per cent of the male students were in the army or navy, in
Canada 40 per cent, and in Australia 30 per cent.[11] In the United
States volunteering and the draft have emptied the colleges and
universities of practically all the choicest men of twenty-one and
upward. If this continues long, an interim must ensue before another
college generation furnishes a sufficient number of missionary
candidates. Yet it may be expected that the present devotion to a
cause that ends so commonly in death or lifelong crippling will end
forever the old excuse urged against missionary enlistment, that the
service is a hard one and often fatal, in certain unhealthful
countries. Men will join the colors of the Prince of Peace and of Life
even more willingly than they now march under the banners of
destruction and death in the hope of establishing once more justice,
righteousness and lasting freedom in the earth.

A happy effect of the present stress is found in the growing
_rapprochement_ between the missions of a given national group,
and to a less extent between those of different nations. This is due
to the necessity for coöperation in order to make a reduced force
serve for the needs of an increasing work. In a few cases already a
desire to economize resources has led to readjustment of fields; in
others to a temporary filling of vacant places by missionaries of a
different denomination or nationality. The home constituencies are
thus being taught the beautiful lesson of the trenches as related to
true brotherhood and essential Christianity. Perhaps one of the best
discussions of this war as affecting the international and
interconfessional relationships of missions is that of Dr. J.
Schmidlin, a Roman Catholic professor of theology in the University of
Münster, found in _The Constructive Quarterly_ for December,
1915, from which we quote two sentences: "Thus that which has served
to separate missionaries who were comrades in belief and
confession--national solidarity and love of country--has also united
and reconciled children of the same country who were separated in
their belief. Surmounting all barriers of dogma and church polity, men
have learned to love and cherish one another, yes, even to recognize
that in spite of all that separates us there is much also that binds
us together."

Turning now from the effect of the war upon missions, a few paragraphs
may be devoted to considering post-bellum reconstruction in mission
lands. The Germans, even more than the Allies, are diligently studying
the many problems and possibilities of changes necessitated by the
readjustments that must surely come. The economic waste of the past
four years is almost inconceivably great; and to restore this waste
puts upon every nation an amount of production vastly greater than any
known in the past. Raw material, freedom of the seas that the
manufacturing countries may buy from every land and carry back for
sale and distribution the manufactured products, a new enlistment of
labor in countries where climate and primitive living make work
irksome and unnecessary, an uplift in desires and ideals that new
markets may be created, increasing intelligence and friendliness so
that coöperation may be willing and profitable--these are some of the
essentials of progress after the war.

In earlier cognate discussions, men like Captain Mahan have emphasized
the importance of eastward and westward movements in the temperate
zone, while others of Benjamin Kidd's school have insisted no less
strongly upon the importance of the Tropics and the consequent north
and south line of industrial life. A score of years ago nearly,
Professor Reinsch, in his "World Politics," startled many American
readers by his insistence upon the importance of the undeveloped and
unoccupied tropical regions of the globe, mainly in South America and
Africa. Even more insistently Kidd's "Control of the Tropics" had, two
years before, magnified the same zone, but more particularly the
densely peopled tracts with their varied possibilities of production
and exploitation. In a recent article by J. A. R. Marriott, M.P.,
entitled "Welt-Politik," General Smuts of Africa is thus quoted:
"Formerly we did not fully appreciate the Tropics as in the economy of
civilization. It is only quite recently that people have come to
realize that without an abundance of raw material which the Tropics
alone can supply, the highly developed industries of today would be
impossible. Vegetable and mineral oils, cotton, sisal, rubber, jute
and similar products in vast quantities are essential for the
industrial world."[12]

Another aspect of tropical Africa is brought out in an article by Herr
Emil Zimmerman, writing in the _Europäische Staats und Wirtschaft
Zeitung_ of June 23, 1917: "If the Great War makes Central Africa
German, fifty years hence 500,000 and more Germans can be living there
by the side of 50,000,000 blacks. Then there may be an army of
1,000,000 men in German Africa, and the colony will have its own war
navy, like Brazil. An England that is strong in Africa dominates the
situation in Southern Europe and does not heed us. But from Central
Africa we shall dominate the English connections with South Africa,
India and Australia, and we shall force English policy to reckon with
us."[13] And again Dr. Solf, the German Secretary for Colonies, has
lately proposed a simple solution of Africa's industrial future. "In
redividing Africa those nations which have proved most humane toward
the natives must be favored. Germany has always considered that to
colonize meant doing mission work. That is why in the present War the
natives of our colonies stick to us. England's colonial history, on
the other hand, is nothing but a list of dark crimes."[14] The
principle enunciated in the first sentence of this statement is as
important and true as the later ones are incorrect, if the present
writer's inquiries and observations in British and German East Africa
in 1912 are indicative of the facts in the case.

The political problems of the countries here considered are quite as
important and perplexing as is their economic status. Three theories
of control have been tried: (1) That of plantations or possessions,
worked for the possessor's profit with little regard for the governed;
(2) the policy of vigorous expansion by the whites themselves, despite
the perils of tropical environments; and (3) permitting the natives to
work out their own development independently, with or without white
oversight. Of these the third is the only one favored by the ethics
and political sagacity of enlightened nations today. But this demands
the consent and good will of the governed, and how may these
essentials be secured?

India is the most important, politically considered, of all tropical
lands. And that Empire's relation to England the eminent Indian ruler,
Sir Herbert Edwardes, declared in an address delivered at Liverpool in
1860, should be that of a stewardship in Christian hands, a
designation echoed in Kidd's general phrase, "a trust of
civilization," and John H. Harris's "trusteeship vs. possession." How
shall this trust be fulfilled? Certainly one must consider the
question of India's poet laureate, Sir Rabindranath Tagore, "Is the
instinct of the West right where she builds her national welfare
behind the barricade of a universal distrust of humanity?"[15] Such
distrust is not removed by the Indian educational scheme alone, or
with the addition of civilization. "If we pursue the _ignis
fatuus_ of secular education in a pagan land, destitute of other
light," quoting Sir Herbert again, "then we English will lose India
without those Indians gaining any future."[16] In a similar vein Sir
Alfred Lyall testified: "The wildest, as well as the shallowest notion
of all, seems to me that universally prevalent belief that education,
civilization and increased material prosperity will reconcile the
people of India eventually to our rule."[17]

A partial solution of India's political problems is found in the
deputation to that Empire in accordance with Mr. Montagu's speech in
the House of Commons of August 30, 1917, in the course of which he
said: "The policy of His Majesty's Government, with which the
Government of India is in complete accord, is that of the increasing
association of Indians in every branch of the administration, and the
gradual development of self-governing institutions, with a view to the
progressive realization of responsible government in India as an
integral part of the Indian Empire."[18] The favorable outcome of the
deputation's visit has been mentioned already.

Religious problems and readjustments will also be part of the
aftermath of the war. At least six millions of Jews, who rightly or
wrongly are the objects of the Christian missionary propaganda, have
been released from disabilities in Europe, and new careers and
educational opportunities will lie before that remarkable race.
"Jewish influence in the life of the world, already great in
proportion to the size of the community, will gain a fresh accession
of strength. Religiously the emancipation may be expected to result,
as it has done in other countries, in a decay of Jewish orthodoxy, of
which the Jews of the Ghetto have been the main support. While the
weakening of the forces of conservatism will open new doors of
opportunity to the Christian Church, there is on the other hand the
grave danger that many Jews may drift into irreligion and cast the
weight of their natural ability and energy on the side of
materialism."[19] Mr. Balfour's letter to Lord Rothschild of November
2, 1917, stated that the British Government viewed with favor the
establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.
In the case of missions to Moslem lands, if the Allies are victorious,
the work in Turkey will be greatly simplified. Whether this will be
the case in Africa depends upon whether the dominant Powers permit
missionary organizations to act with greater freedom than they have
been granted in the past in North Africa and in certain British
possessions. In any case Islam will present strong claims and serious
problems for consideration by missionary organizations.

Is the foreign missionary enterprise willing and competent to aid in
the reconstruction soon to come in mission lands? Here are a few
typical and representative replies to this important question.

Representing in a semi-official way the missionary societies of the
United States and Canada, Dr. Robert E. Speer writes thus: "Foreign
Missions are the direct antithesis of the world conditions which men
most deplore and the purest expression of the principles which
underlie the world order for which men are longing. Foreign Missions
represent international friendship and good will. The missionary goes
out to help and serve. He bridges the gulf between his own nation and
the nation to which he goes. He is not seeking to exploit, or to take
advantage, or to make gain. He is seeking only to befriend and aid.
And his aim and spirit are internationally unifying. The missionaries
succeed in surmounting all the hindrances of nationality and language
in binding different peoples together in good will. Furthermore, they
are demonstrating the possibility of the existence of a strong
nationalistic spirit side by side with human brotherhood and
international unity. They are seeking to develop in each nation a
national church embodying and inspiring and consecrating to God the
genius and destiny of each nation. But they are doing this because
these are the elements of a yet larger unity, the unity of mankind.
The first is not contradictory to the second; it is essential to it,
as the perfection of the State requires the perfection of the family
unit, and the family demands and does not exclude the richest
individualism. It is out of her perfect ministry to the life of each
nation that the Church is to be prepared to minister to the life of
all humanity and to achieve its unity."[20]

As editor of _The International Review of Missions_ and secretary
of the Edinburgh Continuation Committee, Mr. J. H. Oldham states his
views of the world-functions of missions: "Missions are the antithesis
of war. They have created between different peoples relations, not of
competition, but of coöperation. With all their shortcomings they are
an embodiment of the idea that the stronger and more advanced nations
exist to uplift the weaker and more backward. They are a vital
expression of the principle on which the new society must rest.... The
gospel of love must embody itself in act no less manifestly than
selfishness and brutality have expressed themselves in the terrible
scenes that the world has witnessed. The non-Christian races fear, not
without cause, that the object of western peoples is to exploit them.
Missions must convince them that the Church exists to help and serve
them, and the desire to serve them must be made evident in ways that
they can understand. The task of Missions thus grows broader and
larger than we at first conceived."[21]

And such statements are not the claims of interested propagandists
merely,--officials employed by missionary organizations, and hence
liable to overrate the character and importance of missions to the
nations. Few men have traversed the world as extensively and
observantly as Sir Harry Johnston, and probably no one equals him in
his varied administrative and anthropological services to Africa. In
his Introduction to the Cambridge University Maitland Prize Essay for
1915, he says: "Although the writer ... is so heterodox a professor of
Christianity, practical experience in Africa, Asia and America has
brought home to him ever and again during the last thirty-four years
the splendid work which has been and is being accomplished by all
types of Christian missionary amongst the Black, Brown and Yellow
peoples of non-Caucasian race, and amid those Mediterranean or Asiatic
Caucasians whose skins may be a little duskier than ours, but whose
far-back ancestry was the same, whose minds and bodies are of our
type, but whose mentality has been dwarfed and diverted from the
amazing development of the European by false faiths,--false in their
interpretation of Cosmos, false to the best human ideals in daily

On a later page he upholds with the author "the work of Christian
missionaries in general and lays down the rule that our relations with
the backward peoples of the world should be carried on consonantly
with the principles of Christian ethics--pity, patience,
fair-mindedness, protection and instruction; with a view not to making
them the carefully guarded serfs of the White race, but to enable them
some day to be entirely self-dependent, and yet interdependent with us
on universal human coöperation in world management."

And once more this British administrator asserts: "The value of the
Christian missionary is that he serves no government. He is not the
agent of any selfish State, or self-seeking community. He does not
even follow very closely the narrow-minded limitations of the Church
or the sect that has sent him on his mission. He is the servant of an
Ideal, which he identifies with God; and this ideal is in its essence
not distinguishable from essential Christianity; which is at one and
the same time essential common sense, real liberty, a real seeking
after progress and betterment. He preaches chastity and temperance,
the obeying of such laws as are made by the community; but consonantly
with all constitutional and peaceful efforts, he urges the bringing of
man-made laws more and more into conformity with Christian

As representing nations of ancient culture coming under the helpful
influences of Christian missions, perhaps no one will command a more
attentive hearing than Marquis Okuma, ex-premier of Japan and one of
the world's foremost statesmen. From a summary of his address,
delivered at the semi-centennial of Protestant missions in that
Empire, we excerpt the following: "The coming of missionaries to Japan
was the means of linking this country to the Anglo-Saxon spirit to
which the heart of Japan has always responded. The success of
Christian work in Japan can be measured by the extent to which it has
been able to infuse the Anglo-Saxon and the Christian spirit into the
nation. It has been a means of putting into these fifty years an
advance equivalent to that of a hundred years. Japan has a history of
2,500 years, and 1,500 years ago had advanced in civilization and
domestic arts, but never took wide views, nor entered upon wide work.
Only by the coming of the West in its missionary representatives, and
by the spread of the Gospel, did the nation enter upon world-wide
thoughts and world-wide work. This is a great result of the Christian
spirit. To be sure Japan had her religions, and Buddhism prospered
greatly; but this prosperity was largely through political means. Now
this creed [Buddhism] has been practically rejected by the better
classes who, being spiritually thirsty, have nothing to drink."[23]

These representative testimonies suggest both the fitness and the
willingness of Christian missions to participate in the coming
international readjustments necessitated by the war. Such an
enterprise supplies what the war-weary world so greatly needs--the
_élan vital et créatur_, to borrow Bergson's fine phrase. And the
missionary leaders are alert and at their task. On April 4, 1918, Drs.
John R. Mott and Charles R. Watson, representing the missionary boards
of the United States and Canada, met with the Standing Committee of
Missionary Societies in Great Britain and Ireland, when it was
resolved to form an international "Emergency Committee of Coöperating
Missions." Already the British committee had been consulted by the
Government concerning certain important matters affecting the mission
fields and their problems arising from the war. Such questions are
becoming increasingly numerous, and their solution demands an intimate
knowledge of missions and of the spirit and aspirations of African and
Asiatic races. America is likewise needing such a body of experts to
supplement government investigations. This country has a slight
preponderance in representation on the Emergency Committee; and in the
chairman, Dr. John R. Mott, the foremost Protestant leader of the
world, and a man of such diplomatic gifts that President Wilson twice
vainly called him to the position of minister to China,--though he
accepted appointment upon commissions to deal with Mexico and Russia
later,--the committee has a missionary statesman who is equal to the
important trusts that will be committed to its consideration. To serve
as the eyes, ears and hands of this important post-bellum council, the
two largest fields, India and China, have each an energetic
Continuation Committee of the Edinburgh Conference of 1910,
established as the result of Dr. Mott's visits and conferences in
1912-1913. The Foreign Missions Conference of North America, and
especially its Board of Reference and Counsel, are in annual and _ad
interim_ consultation as questions arise from time to time.

President King quotes these words from Lloyd George's address to a
labor delegation: "Don't always be thinking of getting back where we
were before the War. Get a really new world. I firmly believe that
what is known as the after-the-War settlement will direct the
destinies of all classes for generations to come. I believe the
settlement after the War will succeed in proportion to its audacity.
The readier we are to cut away from the past, the better we are likely
to succeed. Think out new ways, new methods, of dealing with old

Another horizon of the same idealistic character opens before the eyes
of our own President, the seer to the nations in this epoch-making
time. In an address delivered on October 5, 1916, President Wilson
proclaims the new day to the United States: "America up to the present
time has been, as if by deliberate choice, confined and provincial,
and it will be impossible for her to remain confined and provincial.
Henceforth she belongs to the world and must act as part of the world,
and all the attitudes of America will henceforth be altered." And
again three weeks later he adds: "America was established in order to
indicate, at any rate in one government, the fundamental rights of
man. America must hereafter be ready as a member of the family of
nations to exert her whole force, moral and physical, to the assertion
of those rights throughout the round world." Here is a sentence from
his greetings to France on Bastille Day, 1918: "The War is being
fought to save ourselves from intolerable things; but it is also being
fought to save mankind." And as a final word from President Wilson,
taken from his discussion of the new international morality: "My
urgent advice to you would be, not always to think first of America,
but always, also, to think first of humanity. You do not love
humanity, if you seek to divide humanity into jealous camps. Humanity
can be welded together only by love, by sympathy, by justice, not by
jealousy and hatred." While none of these utterances refer
specifically to missions, yet surely Dr. W. I. Hull is correct in
interpreting President Wilson's relation to races of the mission
fields in these words: "Instead of exploiting backward peoples, he
would apply the maxim of _noblesse oblige_, and would summon all
nations to mutual aid in their ascent of 'the world's great altar
stairs' up to the law and order, peace and justice, which constitute
the true sunshine of God."[25]

The "really new world" of Britain's Premier will not be dominated by
Machiavelli, the motto of whose sixteenth and seventeenth century
monarchs was "_L'état c'est moi!_" even though Treitschke ranked him
second only to Aristotle as a political philosopher.[26] The present
cataclysm of woes does not prove Professor Cramb's contention that
"Corsica has conquered Galilee"; nor has Nietzsche thrust the "pale
Galilean" from his throne. That semi-insane philosopher's _Uebermenschen_
must fall before Sir John Macdonnell's "_Super-Nationalism_" as set
forth in the March, 1918, issue of the _Contemporary Review_. And the
President's world-echoed phrase, "world-democracy," is uttered only
with the corrective in mind that was sounded forth a score of years
ago by England's Colonial Secretary, Joseph Chamberlain, "Think
imperially." It is only by the establishment of an _Imperium in
imperio_ through obedience to what the Duke of Wellington called the
Christian's Marching Orders, the Great Commission, that the new reign
of the Prince of Peace can become possible. If the blood-soaked
"savagery of civilization on the march to save the world from the
civilization of savagery" is the dolorous duty of the present hour,
there is solace in the thought that Golgotha was but the prelude to
the Resurrection and Ascension. The Ascent of Mankind in all its
nations and peoples and kindreds and tongues is at hand. To hasten
this universal uplift and aid the World Powers as they seek to
inaugurate the New Order, no agency is likely to aid more than foreign
missions among the peoples reached by that enterprise. And the new
Imperial Thinking and Acts are simply those of the seven-fold
Commission of the Saviour of the World, "Behold, pray, go, heal,
preach, teach, baptize, all nations," the conquering Labarum of an
onward-moving Church.

[1] A. C. Coolidge, "The United States as a World Power," p. 329.

[2] F. Lynch, "President Wilson and the Moral Aims of the War," New
York, 1918, pp. 50-51.

[3] Beach and St. John, "World Statistics of Christian Missions,"
1916, pp. 59-61.

[4] For the year 1913, see P. K. Streit, "Atlas Hierarchieus,"
summarized in "World Statistics of Christian Missions," pp. 103-104.

[5] London _Times_, May 16, 1918.

[6] Personal letter from an investigator in France, May 29, 1918.

[7] "Das Kriegserlebnis der deutschen Mission in Lichte der Heiligen
Schrift" as quoted in _The Missionary Review of the World_ for June,
1918, pp. 423-424.

[8] J. H. Oldham, "The World and the Gospel," p. 200.

[9] J. L. Barton in _Missionary Ammunition, Number One_, 1916, p. 19.

[10] _Missionary Review of the World_, January, 1917, p. 4.

[11] _International Review of Missions_, April, 1916, p. 183.

[12] _Nineteenth Century and After_, April, 1918, pp. 675-676.

[13] Reported in the London _Times_, November 9, 1917.

[14] _Nineteenth Century and After_, April, 1918, p. 681.

[15] R. Tagore, "Nationalism," p. 101.

[16] Quoted in W. Archer's "India and Its Future," pp. 307-308.

[17] M. Durand, "Life of Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall," p. 89.

[18] _International Review of Missions_, January, 1918, p. 23.

[19] _Ibid._, p. 53.

[20] _Missionary Ammunition, Number One_, 1916, pp. 12-13.

[21] _International Review of Missions_, October, 1914, pp. 632-633.

[22] A. J. Macdonald, "Trade, Politics and Christianity in Africa and
the East," xii, xv, xviii.

[23] _Japan Daily Mail_, October 9, 1909.

[24] F. Lynch, "President Wilson and the Moral Aims of the War," p.

[25] F. Lynch, "President Wilson and the Moral Aims of the War," p.

[26] H. von Treitschke, "Politik," p. 3.




Although the duration of this world-war, and the part which we may be
called upon to play in it, makes the destruction in wealth and human
life in this country uncertain, and although we cannot tell so far in
advance what will be the probable extent of social reconstruction to
follow, still the war has progressed far enough, and its effects upon
this country are sufficiently apparent, to enable us to forecast more
or less indefinitely certain changes which are likely to follow its

With regard to the future of social service, three facts are apparent:

First, the people of our country are contributing money as never
before to social work. We have for a long time realized that there was
a reservoir in this country upon which we had drawn but little, but
few realized the extent of this surplus. At times of great distress
both here and abroad, our sympathy had been expressed by generous
contributions. We had annually contributed large sums for the support
of various philanthropies in this country, but as a nation we never
realized how much we could give until the test came. One drive is
hardly completed before another comes. We are surprised as a nation
and as individuals at the amounts we can repeatedly give and still
continue to meet our ordinary expenditures. This giving is getting to
be almost a habit with us and when the war is over, although we may be
helping to carry a huge national debt, I believe that our deserving
charities will be supported more adequately than before the war.

Second, we are getting more trained volunteer workers. One of the
principal problems of charitable organizations engaged in case work
has been to secure a sufficient number of capable volunteers who would
keep their interest in the work and be regular in their attendance.
The past few months have seen an increase in this volunteer service
which a year ago we should never have deemed possible. The Home
Service Section of the American Red Cross has enlisted the service as
visitors of thousands of our men and women who are anxious to do what
they can to preserve the homes from which some member has been called
to the colors. In a large number of cities this service has been
placed under the supervision of paid workers who had been connected
with charity organization societies and who brought with them the
experience of years in directing and training volunteer friendly
visitors. They recognized the advantage of classroom instruction for
these visitors, even if necessity compelled that it be extremely
limited. Accordingly training schools for these volunteers have been
started in many places in this country and the attendance has been
surprisingly large and regular. These volunteers are no longer timidly
inquiring whether there is some opportunity for friendly visiting in
the homes; they are demanding that some opportunity be given them.
After the war this vast army of workers with limited training will
demand work of a similar nature and the problem of finding
satisfactory volunteers should be solved for many years to come.

Third, the war is raising the standard of care in charitable work.
Most of these volunteers are visiting in soldiers' families. The
allowance from the Government, the State and the Red Cross makes
possible a good standard of living. While our soldiers are at the
front they do not need to fear that the standard to which the family
had been accustomed will be allowed to fall. At the close of
hostilities these volunteers, accustomed to this standard, will demand
that the same standard apply to the out-door relief given by
charitable societies. The result will be a considerable rise in the
standard of care. Professional social workers are not talking so much
as they did about "cases." They are talking more about "families."
This is the express desire of those who are directing the Home Service
Section of the Red Cross. It is felt that in this way a more personal
note may be brought into family rehabilitation in the future. It would
appear, therefore, that the future should find our charities more
adequately financed, better supplied with trained volunteers, and
inspired to a higher standard of work.

The habit of saving is likely to become much more firmly established
among our people. We may never be so thrifty as the French nation, but
we are progressing in that direction. Subscriptions to the Third
Liberty Loan were received from seventeen millions of our people. In
many of our public schools the purchase of thrift stamps by the
scholars has been almost universal. It is probable that a very large
proportion of those who are now purchasing liberty bonds never owned a
bond of any description before. The habit formed in this way will
continue in many cases. A banker a short time ago prophesied that upon
the conclusion of this war the savings banks would receive far larger
deposits than had ever been the case before. This habit of saving and
the ownership of bonds will not fail to have its influence upon the
rank and file of our people. At the close of the war we shall have our
troubles with those who will advance repudiation or some scheme by
which the burden of our national debt may be shifted and the necessity
for saving miraculously avoided in some way. But the common sense of
our people will assert itself and we shall realize that the only way
by which we can replace this capital is by spending less than we earn.
The plain word "thrift" seems likely to come into its own again.

Up to the present time social work has appeared to many persons to be
a fad. Some have felt that people with too little to do have spent
their time in interfering with the affairs of people who had too much
to do. The charge has been made that social service was only a
temporary phenomenon which would soon disappear. But the war has
taught us a lesson. The military authorities were among the first to
recognize the need of proper recreation for the troops, and the demand
for workers in the cantonments and at the front has been too great to
be met. We see now that the need for recreation is a real need. It
seems likely that commercialized recreation and amusement is likely to
play a smaller part hereafter, and that the community is going to
demand a share in this enterprise in the future. Assembly halls,
playgrounds, and similar provisions for the public will be required.

We have never had a caste system in this country and aristocracy based
upon birth has been unknown. It is probable that nowhere in the world
during the past two centuries has it been easier for a man to improve
his financial and social standing by his own efforts than in this
country. Land ownership has been widely distributed, we have had a
large middle class and men have been constantly changing from the
group of employees to that of employers. But notwithstanding these
factors, there has been a growth of class feeling in this country.
Employers have been mistrusted by employees. The growth of large
fortunes has given rise to envy and bitterness in many quarters. Many
have felt that ignorance was the principal cause for this growing
antipathy. Employer and employee no longer met upon a common footing.
Many attempts have been made to bridge this chasm. Settlement houses
have been erected in order that individuals who would not be likely to
meet in the usual course of business or social intercourse might here
become acquainted and learn one another's viewpoint. The industrial
service movement has been an attempt to link the interests of employer
and employee together. But these movements have only scratched the
surface. The distinctions based on difference have persisted. It has
remained for the war to bring the members of these opposing groups
together. Camp and trench life know no class distinction. Rich and
poor, educated and illiterate, rub elbows and share common life. It is
no uncommon sight to find four men with three different mother tongues
sharing a tent together. The effect of this close companionship, this
sharing of dangers in common, cannot help but breed a companionship
which will do much to bring together men of different birth, breeding
and social station.

Another effect of this war has been to lessen sectarian and religious
differences. Protestant, Roman Catholic and Jewish organizations are
working side by side in our military camps. The contributions to the
work of the Knights of Columbus and of the Y. M. C. A. have come from
the community as a whole. Men of different faiths have served as
members of the same teams in these drives. The lessons learned in this
way are not likely to be forgotten and the great charities to survive
this war will probably draw their support from a wider public
regardless of sectarian affiliation.

We often heard at the beginning of this conflict that it was a rich
man's war; that this country had been drawn into it through the
machinations of wealthy men who wished to make more wealth through
army contracts. This charge has been pretty thoroughly disproven, and
now little is heard of it. The rich have proved their patriotism as
conclusively as any class in this country. They have contributed
generously to our war charities, have submitted to unprecedented
taxation with very little grumbling, have bought Liberty Bonds
generously, and have seen their sons volunteer for military service
with commendable pride. Many of our most efficient executives have
contributed their time to the service of the Government. In fact, one
of the most interesting and inspiring features of this war has been
the service rendered by our men and women of wealth and social

The war is also likely to change the extent and direction of the
social movements in this country. In the early days most of the
charitable work in this country was directed to the amelioration of
the condition of some particular group of unfortunates. A group of
their compatriots in this country would form a society for the
assistance of Scotch widows. No study was made of the causes of this
unfortunate situation. The widows were there and their helpless
condition called for aid. There was no attempt to reduce the number of
widows by safeguarding the lives of their husbands. In this assistance
there was much duplication as the number of these societies increased.
Then came the attempt to eliminate this waste by the formation of
societies to coördinate these charitable activities in our cities.
Although the idea of constructive work entered the minds of these
pioneers, the contributors were interested chiefly in the relief of

It soon became evident that this want was the result of certain
well-defined causes. Sickness, unemployment, intemperance and child
labor were recognized as the causes of misery and the extent of these
causes was studied by societies which worked for their removal. These
activities soon brought the realization that many of these causes were
social rather than individual. Sickness is sometimes caused by
individual excesses, but it is also caused by unhealthful occupations
and life in miserable tenements. We had held property rights as
sacred, but when greed brought a train of social evils we directed our
attention to regulation. It may be meritorious to help a widow whose
husband has been killed at a machine, but it is equally meritorious to
safeguard the machine that it may cease to be the cause of widowhood
in the future. It is good philanthropy to assist those afflicted with
tuberculosis, but it is better to remove the disease-breeding "lung
blocks" from our communities.

This brought the realization that these are community problems which
must be met by community action. The state legislatures were appealed
to with ever increasing success, but Federal action was difficult to
obtain. The war has made us impatient with half-measures. The exigency
demanded immediate and drastic action. Things have been done to obtain
efficiency which we would have considered impossible five years ago.
The rights of private property have had to give way before community
need. We have begun to deal on a larger scale with ultimate causes and
less with the relief of apparent effects. This movement may receive a
temporary setback at the close of the war, but as a community we have
learned what is possible and this lesson will not be lost.

Certain social reforms are being hastened by the war. We have long
felt that certain practices were harmful or wasteful, but in our
easy-going manner had kept putting the matter off in the hope that the
evil would cure itself. The necessity of waging successful war has
compelled the immediate elimination of this waste. Take one or two
instances only.

For a long time we have been more or less familiar with the financial,
physical and spiritual waste resulting from the consumption of
intoxicants in this country. We have been interested in this problem
for a half century and various attempts have been made to eliminate
the most serious evils connected with excessive drinking without
interfering with a moderate use of alcohol. Our half-hearted attempts
were not very successful and finally, after we had experienced a coal
shortage, and had accepted wheatless and meatless days, the country at
last made up its mind that intoxicants must go and the liquor traffic
in this country appears to be doomed. It might have come sooner or
later in any case, but the war has hastened the day.

For a long time penologists have realized that it was poor economy to
shut prisoners into dark and dismal cells, giving them but scant
exercise with little or no employment and then to expect them, at the
expiration of their terms, to be returned ready to take their proper
places in society. We have realized that out-door labor on farms was
one of the best things for this class because in this way the
prisoners could be built up in health and be made more or less
self-supporting while serving their terms. But we had the jails on
hand and it was perhaps the easiest plan to lock the prisoners in
their cells with the assurance that they could be found when wanted.
The demand for farm labor has finally forced our jails and
penitentiaries to give up the labor so sorely needed on the farms. It
is probable that during the coming summer a million acres of land in
this country will be tilled by those undergoing sentence.

We had recognized for years the ravages of venereal disease upon our
manhood and womanhood, and a national society and a large number of
state societies had been organized to combat the evil. But when the
figures began to be published showing the incidence of these diseases
among our troops the public awoke to the seriousness of the situation.
The Federal Government has taken steps to remove diseased women from
the neighborhood of the army cantonments and naval bases. The
Government is footing the bills for the treatment of these women in
state institutions, where such exist, and is providing suitable
facilities for their care in the states where no such opportunity for
treatment existed. After the war the lesson we have learned in this
way is not likely to be forgotten. Another lesson we have learned from
the war has been that a considerable proportion of our young men are
physically below par. Poor care of the teeth and body, improper or
insufficient food, lack of proper exercise, unhygienic methods of
living, and various forms of excesses have produced a generation of
young men many of whom are physically unfit for active military
service. The importance of this fact has now been driven home, and
although much had been said and written upon this subject in recent
years, it will have added emphasis in the future.

We have always had a democratic form of government, and have in a way
considered this country an asylum for the oppressed of all nations.
For several years previous to the outbreak of the war in Europe, we
had been receiving into this country immigrants at the rate of about a
million a year. We had gradually increased the number of restrictions
until most of the undesirable types were excluded. We had made the
process of naturalization comparatively easy and had left it to the
individual immigrant to decide whether or not he would become a
citizen. We had recognized the desirability of Americanizing these
immigrants as soon as possible, but had proceeded about the
proposition in a more or less half-hearted way. The Y. M. C. A.,
through its industrial department, and through the industrial service
work in connection with the colleges, had done considerable to teach
English and civics to the non-English-speaking foreigners. Several
other organizations, some of them national in scope, had interested
themselves in this problem, but our country seemed slow to appreciate
the necessity of making true Americans from these various racial
groups at the earliest possible moment. The war has brought home to us
the fact that we have alien enemies in our midst and from this time we
may expect to make a much more thoroughgoing attempt to Americanize
these groups. The National Council of Defense is investigating this
question at present and we may with confidence look to a
well-considered plan of campaign from this body.

The very fact that we were receiving from the Old World annually a
gift of a million foreign-born, most of whom were in the active ages,
has led us to think that the supply of labor for this country was
assured. We were receiving from Europe all of the natural increase
from a population half as large as our own. The ships that brought
these hopeful workers to this country took back many who had been
maimed in our industries. We had paid too little attention to this
problem since the source of this supply of cheap labor seemed
inexhaustible. Upon the declaration of hostilities in Europe, the
stream of labor to this country suddenly ceased and it is a serious
question whether it will ever again reach its former proportion. Most
of the European countries are going to be so drained of their young
men that a large emigration from them is not to be expected for a long
time to come. The demands for raw material and finished products from
certain of the European countries has increased tremendously and a
shortage of labor in this country has been the result. Concerns have
bid against one another to secure sufficient labor and for the first
time in years we have a condition in which the demand for labor of all
kinds exceeds the supply. With the impossibility of securing this
needed labor from abroad, we have realized the necessity of conserving
the supply in this country. Every effort must be made to reduce the
toll from accident and injury and to decrease the amount of sickness
in the country. We may expect an increase in compensation insurance
and in health insurance among the states. This summer we are having a
campaign to save the lives of a hundred thousand children. This
movement for the conservation of life would undoubtedly have come in
time but has been hastened by the war. Thousands of our young men will
be returned to us from overseas more or less crippled and steps are
already being taken to give them expert training to fit them for some
useful occupation. It is only a step to provide the same sort of
training for those who are maimed in our industries.

No matter what may be the waste in life and property resulting from
such a conflict, if the people of this country can preserve in their
purity the ideals with which they have entered upon this crusade,
social workers may face the future with confidence.




The great war has been conspicuously one of alliances. For its
successful accomplishment coöperation and individual subordination
have been manifested in military, political and economic fields in
heretofore unexampled fulness. Liberties, the result of long
struggles, and deeply cherished, have been laid aside, for the time,
that larger efficiency may be accomplished. Individual opinions
strongly held have been subordinated to a common purpose. The time has
witnessed a reappreciation of values in many realms. Much that in days
of peace has seemed of importance, has appeared in the fierce light of
war of relatively minor significance. A change of perspective has been
the consequence. Has this result, so apparent in most realms of
activity and of ordinary life, been manifest in the realm of religion?
Are the same forces at work there also? An answer to these questions
cannot as yet be fully formulated; but it is at least possible to
indicate certain influences which are at work.

The entry of the United States into the world-war has been in a degree
unexampled in the history of this country a response to the appeal of
righteousness. No action in which the nation has ever engaged has been
so unselfish. We have taken our part in the struggle without hate, and
with full consciousness of the prospective cost in life and treasure,
that certain principles of justice may prevail, and that despotism,
brutality and falsehood may not dominate the civilized world. We look
for no indemnities, no annexations, and no pecuniary rewards. The
American people has never more fully exhibited that idealism which, in
spite of frequent misapprehension by those unacquainted with the real
national spirit, is its fundamental characteristic. The consonance of
this attitude with some primary teachings of religion is apparent.
Self-sacrifice that the weak may be helped, that wrong may be
resisted, and that a truer and juster order may be established among
the nations, are aims that are closely akin to those of the Christian
faith in its aspect of love to one's neighbor. Nor is it without
evidential value to the essentially religious quality of American life
that no enterprise has ever so united the people, and that Americans,
whether so by long inheritance or immigrants who have more recently
caught the national spirit, have never before been so at one in a
common endeavor. Nothing less noble, less idealistic, less in a true
sense religious could so have fused them into one.

The war, furthermore, has been a revelation of the fundamental
purposefulness of the rising generation. The years immediately
antecedent to the struggle saw not a little shaking of older heads
over what were called the irresponsibility and pleasure-seeking of our
young people. The call to arms has shown them as patriotic, as
whole-hearted in devotion, as sacrificial as ever their elders were.
They need bow in reverence to none who have gone before them. The
cheerfulness with which a selective draft has been accepted, and in
thousands of cases anticipated, has shown the readiness of youthful
response to high appeal. This demonstration of the soundness, the
earnestness and the unselfishness of those who are soon to be the
leaders of the national life is full of religious encouragement.

Equally heartening has been the cheerful and effective answer of the
responsible population of America to limitations in food and drink
that the needs of the Allies should be met and the national resources
conserved. Doubtless other nations in the world-struggle have made
larger sacrifices and endured far severer privations; but the
impressive quality of what America has done is that it has been so
largely self-imposed, a voluntary sacrifice, in which suggestion
rather than compulsion has been the task of its leaders. Strikingly
impressive, also, has been the outpouring of wealth and effort to
relieve human suffering through the Red Cross and kindred agencies,
not only for the alleviation of the miseries of our own sons, but of
the martyred population of Belgium, of France, of Poland and of Syria.
No village has been too small, no community too remote or too rural,
to have a share in this altruistic endeavor. Its spirit is in a true
sense that of religion. More openly and professedly religious has been
the marvelous work of the Young Men's Christian Association and of the
Knights of Columbus. No previous war has seen anything comparable in
extent of effort or scope of plan. The aim, and to a great extent the
accomplishment, has been to cast Christian sympathy and brotherly
helpfulness around the soldier and sailor in every camp at home and
abroad, in the trenches, the hospitals, the battleships, the
transports, and in the cities where his furlough is spent and his
ideals so easily forgotten. These agencies have not labored for our
own sons alone, but for those of France and Italy also. Even more
impressive than the vast sums of money contributed from all over the
United States for this cause have been the numbers and the quality of
the men and women who have given themselves freely and in Christian
consecration to this service. The Young Men's Christian Association
and the Knights of Columbus have been in truth the right arm of
American Christianity stretched out to shelter, to hearten and to aid.
They have been the agents of the churches in their ministry. Without
them the contribution of organized American Christianity would have
been relatively ineffective. Through them that Christianity has
exhibited itself in practical and achieving power as never before.

The outstanding feature of these conspicuous manifestations of
American religious life is that they have been absolutely undogmatic.
Their type of Christianity has been broadly inclusive of what may be
called universally accepted doctrine. Chaplains from most various
denominational antecedents have labored together in a spirit of
Christian comradeship, bearing only the sign of the cross. The
workers, ministerial and lay, recruited by the Young Men's Christian
Association have been drawn from all shades of American Evangelicalism
and have wrought not only harmoniously one with another, but with the
Knights of Columbus and with the representatives of Jewish faith. In
common efforts to reach common needs, differences which loomed large
at home have been laid aside. The requirements and experiences of our
soldiers and sailors have been elemental, and these agencies have
sought to meet them with a simple, earnest, uncontroversial
Gospel,--the common denominator, if it may so be called, of our
American Christianity. They have presented God, sin, salvation, faith
in Christ, purity of life, brotherly helpfulness; and to this
presentation the young manhood of our armies and navies has been quick
to respond. These young men have cared little as to the particular
denominational label which these messengers may have worn at home.
Spoken with manliness, sincerity and sympathy, the message has won
their hearts.

These experiences have inevitably raised the question more
insistently, which had already before the war been sounded
increasingly loudly in our home churches, whether the divided state of
American Christianity is to continue. It has long been deplored. Can
it not be in a measure abated? A disposition to believe that it can is
increasingly evident. The enlarging support given to the Federal
Council of the Churches of Christ since the beginning of the war is
significant of a growing conviction that at least a larger federal
coöperation is not merely desirable but feasible. The much-divided
Lutheran body has taken steps which promise its union in one fold. The
last General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the United States
has empowered a committee to issue a call for a Council to meet before
the close of the present year by which practical action may be
initiated looking towards the organic union of all American
Evangelical Christianity. The Protestant Episcopal Church of the
United States still urges its ambitious and remote plan of a World
Conference on Faith and Order, aiming at a general reunion of
Christendom; though in this case the war seems to have delayed rather
than furthered the project. In the local field, the scarcity of fuel
during the recent winter led to hundreds of instances of temporary
combinations of congregations representative of different
denominations throughout the northern portion of the United States.
Not only has no evil been the consequence, but better acquaintance and
larger Christian sympathy have resulted. In some places, as in New
Brunswick, N. J., these temporary unions have led to efforts to make
these combinations permanent. It is evident that the possibility of a
larger unity is being discussed as never before, and in a spirit which
more than at any previous time tends to emphasize the great truths in
which Christians are agreed and to minimize their differences.

Will anything permanently effective come out of this widely diffused
desire? Shall we be satisfied with the remarkable exhibitions of
Christian coöperation in our army and navy, shall we entertain a pious
wish that something similar may be achieved at home, and will the end
of the war find us, nevertheless, in our present divided state? The
answer will depend on the sacrificial willingness of our American
Christianity. Is it ready to pay the cost? That is a far-reaching
question any answer to which is at present impossible, for the
difficulties in the path of a larger union are enormous. Such a
greater unity can be achieved only as several barriers of great
strength are overthrown.

One such barrier is the inertia of local organizations. Few American
communities are not confessedly overchurched, as far as the Protestant
population is concerned. The spectacle of eight or ten relatively
feeble churches ministering to needs which two or three larger bodies
could much more effectively meet is one exhibited in hundreds of
communities. Yet effective consolidation is opposed by serious
obstacles. Long custom, ancient disputes, denominational loyalties,
keep these relatively feeble bodies asunder. These prejudices are hard
to overcome. "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain," is a feeling
not peculiar to Samaria. Much of this local loyalty is not without its
commendable qualities. It is bound up with traditions of parental
piety, of devotion to a particular house of worship and to a
congregation of believers in which one has grown up in the Christian
life. These feelings are very real. Yet it is only as the advantages
of a larger local unity become evident that our churches can rise to a
greater consolidation and more effectively meet the local situation.
Only the larger good can drive out the lesser goods.

A further barrier, and one of no inconsiderable magnitude, which
renders local union difficult is that our local churches are parts of
large organic wholes for the advancement of the Kingdom of God at home
and abroad. By their gifts, their sons and daughters and their
prayers, the missionary societies are supported, by which the
outreaching work of the Kingdom of Christ is carried forward. These
societies are now denominational. If two local churches are to become
one, where will their joint contributions go? One has aided one group
of missionary societies hitherto, the other another. Shall the new
union divide its gifts? If it does, will they be as extensive or the
interest as great as formerly? These are practical questions for the
missionary societies. The only final solution of such a situation
would seem to be an extensive consolidation of the missionary
societies themselves, so that they might become more representative of
American Christianity, at least of American Evangelical Christianity,
as a whole, rather than simply the organs of particular denominations.

A third barrier of difficulty barring the pathway of local
consolidation is that of ministerial and ecclesiastical
responsibility. Each of the various denominations now has its definite
method of entrance on its ministry, and of responsibility for the
character and standing of those in its pastorates. Each holds itself
bound to aid its feebler churches in their pecuniary necessities. If a
new congregation results from the union of two or more existing bodies
representative of different denominations, where is the test of
ministerial fitness, and the guarantee of continued ministerial
standing to be found, and who is to aid such a church if financially
feeble? These are the problems which are often raised by the so-called
"community church." Of course these difficulties are often met by the
united organization attaching itself to the denomination originally
represented by one of its component parts; but this solution, though
effective, makes so large demands on Christian self-denial as often to
be impracticable in the present still comparatively feebly developed
desire for unity.

A still further barrier to unity, both on the local field and on the
larger national scale, is the fact, often overlooked, that the
separations of American Christianity are really due quite as much to
differences of taste as to divergencies of doctrines or of polity.
There is an Episcopal, a Presbyterian or a Methodist way of doing
things that really differentiates these great families of believers
quite as fully as their more generally acknowledged divergencies. They
view the Christian life, they look upon worship, they express their
deeper feelings, in unlike ways. The variety is not so much a
diversity of belief as a contrast of temperaments. Being so, it is not
susceptible to argument, or to adjustment by conventions or creedal
agreements. It is to be met, if met at all, by the increasing spirit
of democracy, which the war has done so much to foster. In proportion
as the fundamental Christian democracy of America becomes a real
consciousness these temperamental unlikenesses will tend to be
subordinated to a larger unity of spirit. They will continue. Men are
not all made in the same mould. But, it may be believed that they may
be overcome by a growing recognition of unity in variety.

Moreover, in spite of an increasing longing that the multitudinous
subdivisions of American Christianity be merged in a larger whole,
much tenacious holding of peculiar denominational tenets will have to
be overcome. The simplicity of the great truths which Christians hold
in common will need to be more fully realized. Most American
Evangelical denominations are now willing freely to admit that the
essential verities of Christianity are held by their associated
communions, and that a true Christian life is possible in each of
them. The evident working of the spirit of God makes a denial
impossible. But while each denomination is thus willing to recognize a
real, if grudgingly admitted, sisterhood as the share of the others,
each regards its peculiarities of belief or practice as of extreme
importance, if not to the being, at least to the well-being of the
church, so that effective inter-communion seems impossible. An
interesting illustration of this spirit has recently been shown in a
discussion involving a communion which professes, one cannot doubt
with sincerity, a desire for a reunion of Christendom. A proposition
was made to it by a number of representatives of other communions,
urging that the unity of American Christianity be illustrated by joint
ordinations of chaplains for service with the army and navy. That
proposal, which involved no question of ministerial status in the home
churches, was declined by its highest authorities. It is not
conceivable that those who thus refused it believed that chaplains
went forth to their arduous task in the name of Christ from other
communions without the blessing of God; but such differences of
apprehension as may still coexist with obedience to the one Master are
evidently yet deemed too great to permit mutual Christian
authorization for service. Doubtless many similar instances could be
found, but as long as they characterize American Christianity at all
they reveal the persistence of a spirit which exalts denominational
peculiarities above the full recognition of common Christian

These barriers have been thus frankly stated because they are very
real, and while the impulse toward Christian unity now flows in
increasing strength from the experiences of the great war, the
movement in that direction must acquire far greater momentum before
its work can be accomplished. Christian unity was never so fully
before the thought of the American churches as now. Never were so many
sincerely desirous of it. Never was its need so obvious as in these
days when the church faces the tremendous problem of the
reconstruction on a Christian basis of a shattered social order. It is
a task which demands all the forces of an undivided Christianity. Yet
desirable as the goal of unity is, it will never be reached save
through the strenuous coöperant effort of all who long for it. That
effort must be greater than any heretofore made. It must be patient
and persistent and in full faith that the Master's prayer for his
disciples demands their utmost endeavor.

Three steps are certainly needful for effective progress towards a
larger unity:

There must be a clearer recognition of the things in the Christian
faith which are of vital significance. The really great truths must be
seen in their proper perspective. The simplicity of the Gospel must be
increasingly recognized. We have too often elevated relatively
subordinate convictions to an equality with the fundamentals of the
faith. In this clearer perception of proportions the experiences of
the religious work of the war is greatly aiding. We are seeing that in
the Christian life we need not so many things as much.

No less necessary is it that a spirit ready to sacrifice the
important, but relatively subordinate, be developed. No denomination
is called upon to sacrifice alone. If unity is to be achieved, each
must feel a willingness to subordinate that which though precious by
custom or antiquity or cherished possession is yet divisive.

Even more imperative is it that American religious bodies know each
other better. Existing side by side, laboring in the same communities,
it is amazing how little real comprehension of each other's spiritual
life now exists. In mutual acquaintance by common association,
wherever such intercourse can be brought about, lies the corrective of
much present misunderstanding that separates us. All that aids a
common acquaintance is an aid to ultimate unity.

The consideration just mentioned makes it probable that the most
promising present step is in the direction of federal coöperation.
Religious bodies that are far from willing to sink their present
differences may yet work in harmony, and by working together increase
that mutual understanding and thereby confidence in each other's
Christian spirit which is so essential a preliminary to unity. That is
what makes the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ and similar
movements eminently worthy of support. They are not ends in
themselves. They are means of utmost significance to a larger end.

The war is showing a vision of our need and of the goal of our effort.
That the road to a larger and more effective unity of the religious
forces of America is full of difficulties is no reason why a Christian
man should hesitate to tread it. It is as true now as when the Master
said it, that "with God all things are possible."




When we reflect upon the situation of the race today, with the leading
nations in the throes of a war of unparalleled dimensions and
destructiveness, we are appalled at the impotency of those forces that
heretofore have tended toward world-organization. Time was when
international treaties and laws seemed to have at least a semblance of
inhibiting sanctity, but in recent years they are regarded in certain
quarters as mere "scraps of paper," and the supposed "rights" of
nations are treated with scorn and contempt. The black flag of piracy,
hitherto regarded as the symbol of international outlawry, floats on
the high seas, and the assassination of neutrals and noncombatants is
regarded by some as a national virtue. For centuries humane
considerations obtained with reference to prisoners of war and to
partially conquered nations. Now, certain nations have substituted for
such humanitarianism, outrage, brutality and enforced slavery. In
short, international pact and law seem to have broken down. Their
restraints have yielded to the unbridled force of national greed and
lust for power.

Again, in the past, the moral imperatives, independent of political
treaties and laws, have exercised a wholesome constraining and
restraining influence on the relations of different peoples, and have
made for fraternal world-organization. Man is constitutionally a moral
being, and is, to a certain extent, governed by sentiments of justice
and benevolence. These moral elements of our nature have led us to
have regard for man as man, rather than for men as members of
particular nations and races. Hence, in our interaction there has been
a tendency to recognize and respect what we have been wont to call
human rights as growing out of the essential constitution of
personality. The same tendency has characterized our attitude toward
men organized under political government. But alas! these fundamental
moral claims are now flagrantly violated. The morally right has, with
some nations, degenerated into the right of might.

Again, in the past, art has made for the unification of the race. The
æsthetic consciousness is on the side of harmony. It hates chaos and
loves order. It functions in the social and political spheres and
tends toward unity rather than anarchy--toward peace rather than war.
"Art binds together and unites the members of the nation; nay, all the
members of a sphere of civilization; all those who have the same faith
and the same ideals. Opinions and interests differ and produce
discord; art presents in sensuous symbols the ideals which are
cherished by all, and so arouses the feeling that all are, in the last
analysis, of the same mind, that all recognize and adore the same
ultimate and highest things."[2] When we deal with the ideal we are
dealing with the universal. Thus art transcends both individualism and
nationalism. It contributes toward international good will. But how
ineffective it has proven along these lines during the last few tragic
years. One of the first great outrages of the war was the wanton
bombardment of the beautiful Rheims cathedral. The world protested
against this iconoclasm, but it continued. Vandalism and robbing
nations of their art treasures are features of _Kultur_; so the
breach between nations widens despite the supposed unifying power of
art. The nation of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Mendelssohn and Wagner
grips with mailed fist the throat of the nation of Michelangelo,
Titian, Da Vinci, Correggio and Raphael, and tries to strangle the
nation of David, Delacroix and Millet. The nation of Lessing, Goethe
and Schiller schools its children in a gospel of hate toward the
nation of Shakespeare and Milton and a long line of glorious poets
from Chaucer to Browning. The refining and organizing influences of
art have given way to the brutal instincts of malevolence and greed,
and a lofty idealism that bound the nations together in a golden chain
of beauty finds the precious chain rudely broken. Art, like the other
binding forces, has apparently failed in its work of unification.

Another force that has been operative in world-organization is
religion, and especially the Christian religion. With its proclamation
of the universal fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man; with the
law of love as its law of social interaction; with its "Go ye into all
the world and preach my gospel"--a gospel of universal membership in a
kingdom of supreme values--in which every member is on a moral
equality with his neighbor--the Christian religion has been promotive
of a spirit of good will among men, and of harmony among the nations.
But what is the case today? A nominally Christian nation joins bloody
hands with a traditionally murderous nation of Mohammedan faith in
wholesale assassination of one of the most ancient Christian peoples,
and attempts to incite the Moslem world to warfare against nations of
Christian faith, merely to enhance her own selfish interests.
Furthermore, in the present crisis we find Christian nation arrayed
against Christian nation: Protestant against Protestant; Catholic
against Catholic; Protestant and Catholic united against Protestant
and Catholic. Peoples in whose ears for centuries have rung the glad
tidings of "peace on earth, good will toward men" are today gripping
one another in mortal combat. The star of the East that, according to
the story, guided the Wise Men to the manger of the Prince of Peace
seems to have lost its radiance and directing power. Never since the
star is said to have shone were men apparently farther from beating
their swords into plow-shares and their spears into pruning hooks. The
unifying power of him whose life illustrated even better than his
parable of the Good Samaritan the highest law of human relationship is
not in evidence today. Where is the power of that cross, the vision of
which carried with it still another vision of a world attracted to,
and unified by, the power of self-sacrificing love--"And I, if I be
lifted up, will draw all men unto me"? Is the power of sacrificial
love drawing the hearts of men and of nations together in the
fellowship of Jesus Christ? Are not the dominant forces operating
today centrifugal rather than centripetal? It is not the skeptic, or
cynic, or pessimist, who asks these questions. They are the questions
of thousands of earnest men and women who face the supreme crisis of
human history. They bring home to us the fact that religion, even in
its highest form, like international law, like morality, like art,
however promotive of human brotherhood it has been, has failed in this
most crucial test to prevent the dreadful work of the destructive
forces of mankind. This is a fact that the sincere believer in
religion must face whether he wants to or not.

In view of the failure of all of these more or less harmonizing and
synthesizing forces to prevent such a gigantic war, what are we to say
about world-organization after the conflict? Nations must live and
sustain relations to one another. They must establish some _modus
vivendi_, and it must be founded on justice. The necessity of
righteousness and good will in international relations has been made
more apparent than ever by this most tragic conflict. And the question
arises: What organized forces are to establish such righteousness and
good will among the nations? We must depend upon the very same forces
that have been operative in the past; that is, upon international law,
morality, art and religion, but they must be made more effective. How
this may be done in the case of religion it is the aim of this paper
to try to explain.

In the first place, if religion is to become powerfully effective in
this direction, it must take a really ethical view of God. He must be
regarded as essentially moral in his constitution; as ruling in
absolute righteousness, and a being whose ultimate aim with reference
to men and the world is the realization of a new heaven and a new
earth wherein righteousness is to dwell. Much as believers in religion
have said on this subject, the conceptions of many as expressed in
belief and conduct have contradicted their words. When the nation of
Martin Luther, including not merely the docile masses, but the
spiritually enslaved clergy and servile university professors,[3]
among whom may be numbered such religious leaders as Harnack, can
accept and pray for the success of the war program of a ruler who
regards himself to be the vicegerent of the Almighty, coöperating with
him in a scientifically organized movement for the triumph of the most
diabolical forces the human race has ever witnessed--approving the
vices of hell as though they were the virtues of heaven--this
nominally Christian nation is either guilty of awful blasphemy or it
has lost its vision of an ethical God. Such a conception of the Deity
proves divisive rather than unifying. It recognizes merely a partisan
tribal Deity who coöperates with a people to realize its own ends,
however unworthy and debasing those ends may be. Its influence is
promotive of national selfishness, and makes against a brotherhood of
nations. Professor Leuba speaks of the utilitarian ends for which men
believe in God--making him hardly more than a meat purveyor;[4] but
the German conception of God is much crasser than this.[5] "_Gott
mit uns_" is a God that is asked and believed to coöperate in the
most damnable atrocities the human mind ever conceived in order to
further low national aims.

Now, there is an important psychology here that we must reckon with.
Professor Stratton, in his work on "The Psychology of the Religious
Life," calls attention to the fact that religion breeds conflict, it
gives birth to opposites or antitheses, and he devotes nearly the
entire volume to a consideration of these conflicts. In one of his
most interesting chapters[6] he points out the fact that religion is
productive of both breadth and narrowness of sympathy, of both social
and anti-social feelings, of both egoism and altruism. He illustrates
this in pointing out the exclusiveness of some religions, such as that
of the Jews, and of the catholicity of others, such as Buddhism and
Christianity. He points out, also, the jealousy and intolerance of the
monotheistic religions, such as Judaism, Christianity and
Mohammedanism, as compared with polytheistic religions, like Buddhism.
The former, like Elijah, are very jealous for their Lord, and such
jealousy breeds narrowness and intolerance. It breeds exclusiveness,
strife and often persecution. Now most of the conflict between
narrowness and breadth of sympathy to which religion gives rise is due
to wrong conceptions of the ethical nature of God. This manifests
itself in many ways. God is conceived as a God of one people, rather
than of others; or of one people particularly and peculiarly, and of
other peoples merely generally; or a God choosing and rewarding the
elect and damning the non-elect; or a God favoring only one mode of
salvation peculiar to a certain people or sect, and hostile to all
others; or a God of one revelation rather than of another. In short,
God is a God of favoritism instead of the impartial God and father of
all mankind. Such a God is not a God of justice, much less of love.
Such a conception is productive of division, rather than of unity in
the race. It begets strife, rather than harmony. Witness the religious
wars that history records. Witness, for example, the history of the
conflict between Mohammedanism and Christianity; between Protestantism
and Catholicism. As a rule, religion is so involved in the life of a
people that it becomes an integral part of their nationalism.
Historians call attention to the fact that the monotheism of the Jews
was largely the outgrowth of reflection upon their own history as a
people. They saw in this history a Divinity that had shaped their
ends, however roughhewn they may have been. They regarded themselves a
"peculiar" people, specially chosen of God. For more than a century a
similar belief prevailed in America. Our wonderful history led people
to believe that we are a favored nation. God's providential government
reveals a partiality for America when compared with other nations.
With such conceptions of a partial God, it is but a short step to
making use of God for national ends, and, as illustrated in the case
of the German nation today, only another step to conceiving God's
willingness to coöperate in realizing ends which, in the judgment of
the world, as expressed in international law, as well as in its own
unwritten verdict, are regarded as unrighteous. Until the God of the
race supersedes in actual belief and practice the God of nationalism;
until the God and father of all mankind displaces in our belief the
God of sect or of one religion rather than of another; until the God
of absolute and universal righteousness takes the place in our minds
and hearts of the God of partiality and favoritism, which is the God
of injustice; men and nations will not be bound together in one great
and glorious fraternity. The root idea of religion is the idea of God,
and as is our idea of God, so will our religious life be. If it is the
idea of an unrighteous Deity, our individual, national and
international life will be unrighteous. A fundamental necessity in the
determination of the religious basis of world-organization is an
ethical conception of God.

In the second place, in our religious efforts at world-organization we
must entertain and put in practice a far more ethical conception of
man than we have in the past. The inalienable rights of personality
must be recognized and their sanctity remain inviolable. That
valuation which Christianity places on man as man must be seriously
reckoned with in our reconstructive efforts after the war. Or, as Kant
states it, every man must be regarded as an end in himself. He must
not be used merely as a means to an end. The significance of this is,
that there is an essential moral equality among men. On it all
political relations, whether national or international, must be based.
This means, first, that within each nation a true form of government,
under whatsoever name it may be known, must be democratic. "It must
derive its authority and power from the consent of the governed."
Autocracy is opposed to moral and political equality. It treats its
subjects as tools or instruments. It builds governments of force that
ignore the moral and political claims of their own people, reducing
them to a docility in which they are little more than "dumb driven
cattle." Thus subjugated, they are schooled from childhood in a creed
of jealousy and hatred of other nations. They can be hurled in masses
"into the jaws of Death" in an unrighteous war of conquest. Autocracy
is upheld by militarism, and militarism means strife. On the other
hand, militarism is upheld by autocracy. It first robs the people of
its own nation of their rights and then proceeds to plunder other
nations. It is essentially anti-social in character, and it is so
because it is anti-moral. It overlooks the moral equality of men. The
religion of the future must set its face like flint against this
immoral view of man. It must emphasize the autonomy of the human
spirit--the essential value of a soul that can determine its own
conduct in the light of ideals of worth. Once it does this, democracy
will assert itself in government, and autocracy, responsible for so
many of the wars that have afflicted the race, will be abolished.

In the next place, this essential moral equality of men, when
recognized, means that their mutual relations will become more
ethically articulate, and the law of social interaction will be at
least the law of justice, and in a measure the law of love,--"Thou
shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,"--which being interpreted means,
that just as one is under obligations to labor for the realization of
the highest good in one's own person, so he is under obligations to
work for the realization of the highest good in the person of others.
And this highest law of human relationship must be recognized, not
merely as obligatory upon individuals in their relations to other
individuals, but also upon nations in their mutual relations. Morality
is transcendental in its character. It overleaps the bounds of
individualism. It knows not men merely, nor nations merely, nor groups
of nations merely;--it knows the race. It knows man, rather than men.
It is difficult for us to realize this. Just as it was hard for
primitive tribes to realize any obligations to other tribes, so today,
notwithstanding centuries of so-called civilization, somehow or other
an international morality fails to have the binding force either of
personal, community, or national morality. The righteousness that
exalts a people seems largely to be a righteousness within its own
borders. Egoism in a nation is just as blameworthy as egoism in an
individual. In the vast group of nations, no nation liveth unto itself
alone, if it is to live according to the moral law of benevolence, or
according to the Christian law of love. The religion of the future
must, in its practical belief, emphasize this fact far more than it
has in the past. Nations are simply larger human units, and the moral
law in its obligations applies just as truly to their interrelations
as it does to those of individuals. Its demands are no more Utopian in
the former case than in the latter. It can at least serve as an ideal
or guide to conduct. As in the case of individuals, so in the case of
nations, each has its rights, and in their mutual relations the moral
law or the law of love requires the recognition of the rights or just
claims of each. As President Wilson said in his memorable message to
Congress on April 2, 1917: "We are at the beginning of an age in which
it will be insisted that the same standards of conduct and of
responsibility for wrong done shall be observed among nations and
their governments that are observed among individuals of civilized
states." And again: "It is clear that nations must in the future be
governed by the same high code of honor that we demand of
individuals." Of course the cynical political philosopher and
"practical" stateman will regard this as "unpractical idealism." But
the ethics of the Nazarene will prove far more effective in promoting
a satisfactory _modus vivendi_ among the nations than the revived
Machiavellianism of modern Germany, or the ethics of a Nietzsche, a
Treitschke, and a Bernhardi. We see the inevitable outcome of the
latter in the most ghastly war of all history. There never will be
peace on such a brutally egoistic basis as that laid down in the
political philosophy of these writers so prized by many Germans. The
doctrines of the superman with their contempt for the weak, and of war
as a "biological necessity," so dear to Junkerdom, are confessedly the
affirmation that "might makes right." If peace be attainable and
preservable on such a basis, and the lion and the lamb are to lie down
together, it will only be as the lamb lies inside of the lion. Some
lamb-like pacifists and "conscientious objectors" to war may be
content with such a place of residence; but physically and morally
red-blooded and self-respecting men and nations not only prefer, but
feel it a moral obligation to maintain the individual and national
self against an unscrupulous and barbarous aggressor and destroyer.
They feel so, too, in obedience to the Christian command, "Thou shalt
love thy neighbor as thyself"--a command that not only includes self
as the object of moral regard, but that makes it the norm according to
which we are to determine our duty to others. Men and nations do feel
morally responsible for their own preservation and development, and
will, as a rule, defend the essential conditions of these against
unjustifiable attack. Hence, as long as nations exist, war will remain
a possibility. The only way to avert it is through mutual respect for
fundamental rights. Both the law of benevolence and the Christian law
of love demand this. Indeed, they demand more! They call for a
manifestation or fuller expression of good will and fraternal regard
both in feeling and in conduct.

Now, in the work of establishing a real brotherhood among individuals
and among nations, religion has the advantage over mere morality, for
it can avail itself of the power of the religious sanctions in trying
to realize the kingdom of righteousness. But, on the other hand, a
subtle danger lurks in religion which it may be well to point out
here, and which must be guarded against in our future efforts at
community, national and world-organization, for it tends to
subordinate the ethical element in religion, and often degenerates
into an anti-social program. According to the sanest views of the
psychology of religion, the whole mind as intellect, sensibility and
will functions in the religious consciousness. Because of this, there
is a possibility of developing a wrong sense of values in the
religious life. There has been a notable tendency in human history to
stress the intellectual element in religion. This has resulted in a
large body of doctrine which frequently assumes extraordinary
significance. The main thing, then, is to give intellectual assent to
dogma and creed. Orthodoxy of belief rather than orthodoxy of life
becomes the primary thing. The ethical element in religion is
subordinated to intellectual belief. And how divisive and anti-social,
rather than unifying, dogma has been, and how deadening to real moral
endeavor! This constitutes a long and very tragic chapter in the
history of Christianity, as well as of other religions.

Again, there has been another marked tendency in the history of
religion and that is the substitution of the religion of feeling for
the religion of will. Pietism and sentimentalism have supplanted in a
large measure the ethical. Such religion is dominantly non-social, if
not, indeed, anti-social in its character. It does not make for
brotherhood. The pietistic monk shuts himself in a monastery and tries
to work out his soul's salvation with fear and trembling, rather than
to work it out by aiding his neighbor or society to work out theirs.
Buddhism and Christianity have been most unfortunate victims of this
substitution of solitude for solidarity. Dean Brown once said to the
writer that there is a great deal of pietism that is utterly wanting
in ethical quality, and that is true. It is a kind of selfish
subjectivism devoid of any real moral character. It is self-centered
and non-social. It represents the minimum of true religion. Where in
such pietism do we find the universality of obligation involved in the
ethical law of benevolence or in the Christian law of love? Such
religion does not bear the marks of a really socialized gospel. It has
developed a wrong sense of values.

Again, there is in practically all religions a large element of
symbolism--the religious life expressing itself in worship--in rites
and ceremony. And this carries with it a dangerous tendency in
evaluation. It often substitutes ritual and ceremonial for what is the
real essence of religion--namely, righteousness. The great Hebrew
prophets contended strongly against this misinterpretation of
religion. With them it represented an erroneous estimate of the
essentials of religion. Indeed, it threatened its very life--the heart
of which in their conception is righteousness in God and man. Isaiah
represents Jehovah as being weary of sacrifice, incense and other
forms of worship--regarding them as an abomination, and calling upon
the people to live a life of righteousness: "Wash you, make you clean;
put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do
evil; learn to do well; seek justice, relieve the oppressed."[7] Hosea
exclaims: "I desired mercy, and not sacrifice."[8] Micah, inveighing
against burnt offerings, says: "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is
good, and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to
love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"[9] And Jesus, all
through the Sermon on the Mount and in the parables, in the most
positive manner represents righteous living as the very core of

All of these elements--the intellectual, the pietistic, the æsthetic
or symbolical--have a rightful place in the religious life, but they
are all subordinate, and exceedingly subordinate, to the one great
dominating element, the moral. And it is because of a failure to
adequately recognize and practise this element that so many supposedly
Christian nations are today in deadly conflict. All of them persist in
their theological beliefs; all of them persist in pietistic communion;
all of them persist in rite and ceremony; but some of them at least
fail even to approximate the exemplification of the fundamental
ethical requirements of their faith. Their theology, their pietism,
their worship,--their religion,--have not been moralized; and unless
we are willing to make, both in belief and practice, the religious
basis of world-organization truly ethical, we will fail as lamentably
in the future as we have in the past.

Finally, how is such a religious program to be carried forward? The
answer is, by systematic religious education. Such an educational
procedure involves beginning at the beginning, and that is, with the
child. Here, again, we meet with a melancholy failure in the
development of a true sense of values. Despite the progress that
modern religious educational effort has made, there is still a
widespread lack of genuine appreciation of the importance of childhood
for moral and religious instruction. The premium is still placed on
the adult. We have but to examine the average church program to be
convinced of this. In a large number of churches we have three Sunday
services--two of which are devoted to adults and one to children. In
the average church the week-day services are largely services for
adults. Our sermons, our hymns, our prayers, many of our week-day
meetings cover chiefly the interests of grown-ups: and the lamentable
condition of home religious education painfully fails to make up this
deficiency in what Dr. Horace Bushnell called Christian nurture.
Indeed, under a false conception of conversion, and a false
apprehension of the spiritual birthright of children in most
Protestant quarters, the child, as the late Professor George P. Fisher
once remarked to the writer, is regarded as an alien to the
Commonwealth of Israel. Instead of being born into the church and
treated as a member of the household of faith, he must serve his
probation as a heathen, and await the dawn of adolescence when he will
have developed sufficient maturity of mind to interpret and give
intellectual assent to a creed. The absurdity and tragedy of it all
are manifest when we take into consideration the ethical character of
religion, and the fact that childhood is preëminently the period for
establishing the individual in habits of virtue. There may be some
exaggeration in Dr. G. Stanley Hall's affirmation, that the moral and
spiritual destiny of the average person is determined in the first ten
years of his life; but, to anyone who has studied the psychology of
moral and spiritual development, it is evident that Hall is dealing
with far more than a half-truth. The receptivity and plasticity of the
child make it possible for those to whom his most vital interests are
committed to really save him or damn him. And, as we establish
children in right thinking and right living, so we establish the
community, the state, the nation, and ultimately the nations in their
reciprocal relations. In more ways than one is Wordsworth's statement
true, "The child is father to the man." It is preëminently true in the
moral and religious sphere. The Kingdom of God and his righteousness
will never make the progress on earth that they should make until the
scales really fall from our eyes, and we gain a true vision of our
duty to the child in establishing him in personal and community
righteousness, and thus pave the way for the application of the law of
righteousness in the state and among the nations of the earth.

In still another way, to one who is convinced of the supremacy of
moral and spiritual worths and of the ethical aim of all true
religion, is the lamentable failure to develop a true sense of values
manifest. Professor Pratt calls attention in his "Psychology of
Religious Belief" to what he regards to be a fact, that in the average
American community, "we find our friends and neighbors, of all degrees
of education and intellectual ability, almost to a man accepting God
as one of the best recognized realities of their world and as simply
not to be questioned."[10] That statement is in the main true. In
other words, we are a religious people. And yet, notwithstanding this
fact, so far as thoroughgoing, systematic religious education is
concerned, when compared with the time and efforts devoted to
education along other lines, and its quality, it suffers painfully. In
nearly all of the states, five days a week, of at least four or five
hours each, are given to what we call secular education, as against
one day per week, of one hour each, to religious instruction and
worship. In secular education we have, on the whole, a trained body of
teachers. In religious education we are dependent largely on amateurs.
In most places religion is not allowed a voice in our schools, so far
as _systematic_ training is concerned, and in comparatively few
communities has a systematic course of moral training even been
introduced. What does all this mean? Does it not mean that we err
tremendously in our sense of values? If there is any doubt concerning
this, reflect for a moment on the possibility of organizing a
community on a basis of the vices instead of the virtues. Try to found
a community on sensuality, falsehood, dishonesty, injustice, hate and
murder, and see how far you will succeed. Society could not exist on
such a basis. Were the German people to put into practice among
themselves the vices and crimes they have committed against other
peoples, their existence as a nation would be exceedingly short-lived.
The vices are anti-social in their character. The virtues are social:
they make for unity, for organization. And what is true of communities
is true of states and nations--not only in their internal relations
but in their relations to other nations. The virtues make for national
and international organization. Now, religion deals with these
sovereign values, and yet, comparatively speaking, we--a religious
people--relegate them to the background in our educational schemes. We
will never succeed in world-organization until we genuinely appreciate
the unifying power of the virtues, the harmonizing and binding force
of righteousness, and systematically train a generation from childhood
in a knowledge and an appreciation of their supreme worth, and try to
mould their wills in conformity to their requirements.

But, as Herbert Spencer wisely remarks, we have not an ideal
environment in which to work out our ideals. And that is eminently
true in this case; therefore, wisdom dictates that we try to do our
work with reference to the conditions of the actual environment in
which we are placed. If, for apparently good reasons, it be not
expedient under present conditions to introduce systematic religious
education into the public schools, it is possible for us to make
provision in some other way for religion to have its rightful place in
the general training of our children. This would require a religious
school organization, with a curriculum that interprets religion as
ethical in its aim. It would require a scientifically graded moral
scheme with its corresponding religious sanctions; also the creation
of a literature to meet these demands. It would require, at least,
three sessions a week. It should be separate from the Sunday school,
where, with present conditions, sectarianism still enters into
education, and yet it should be supplementary to it. It would call for
a specially trained teaching force; and for skilled professional
supervision. All this ought to be done; it can be done; and it must be
done. We must do it in the interests of the individual, of the family,
of the community, of the state, of the nation, and of the brotherhood
of nations. It is a thoroughly practicable scheme. The literature
exists already; colleges, schools of religion, and theological
seminaries can easily become training schools for the preparation of
religious teachers. The only difficulty in the way, which is, indeed,
a serious one, but by no means insuperable, is the time-schedule of
the children. In my own judgment, if a real effort were made by the
churches of any community, a plan could be formulated in relation to
the public schools whereby the children would become available for
such religious instruction. If the community is a religious one, it
has a right to, and must insist upon, having the children a fair share
of the time for such purposes. If the moral and spiritual values are
the supreme values of society, then it is in the interests of society
itself that these values should receive proper recognition in formal
education for citizenship. The real trouble is, that the churches are
not really in earnest concerning this important matter. It has taken
an awful social cataclysm to make us realize that nations, like
families and communities, can hang together on no other basis than the
cardinal virtues, and that something more than a mere formal
recognition of these virtues is required for world-organization. Men
and nations must be disciplined in them, and the way to do this is to
begin in childhood. If the schooling of a nation in a gospel of
national egoism and hate be largely responsible for the present war,
with the brutal indifference of the German people to moral
considerations in provoking it and to humane methods of waging it, why
is it not possible to school the nations in those things that make for
good will and world-organization? To doubt it is to doubt the might of

In conclusion, my plea is, that, in our efforts at world
re-organization, so far as religion is concerned, we adequately reckon
with its ethical character. Let us take, first, an ethical view of
God--that he is a righteous being, that he deals justly with all men
and all nations, that he cannot be used by any individual or nation
for unrighteous ends, that he is the father of us all, and that he
coöperates with men in their efforts to bring in the reign of
righteousness upon earth. And, secondly, let us take a more ethical
view of man; recognizing the worth and inalienable rights of
personality; that no man may be used merely as a means, but must be
regarded as an end in himself; and thus, whatever may be the outward
form of government, it must in essence be democratic, rather than
autocratic; that the law of interaction among nations must be the same
as the law among individuals--the law of benevolence or the law of
love. Let us develop a true sense of values in religion that will
place emphasis on the voluntaristic or ethical element rather than on
either the intellectual, pietistic and symbolical or æsthetic.
Finally, let us try to realize this program by thorough, systematic
religious education in which we shall emphasize the interests of the
child rather than the interests of the adult; by giving an ethical
interpretation to the curriculum; by organizing a trained body of
teachers; and by insisting that a fair amount of the child's time and
effort shall be devoted to education in the supreme values of society.
If we act on this program, if we make this really the religious basis
of world re-organization, we will make long strides toward the dawn of
a better day, when nations shall seek war no more; and the kingdoms of
this world shall become the kingdoms of our righteous God and his
Christ, whose gospel and life teach the universal fatherhood of God
and the universal brotherhood of man.

[1] Address delivered at the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the National
Religious Education Association, New York, March 5, 1918. Republished
with modifications by courtesy of _Religious Education_.

[2] Paulsen, "A System of Ethics," trans., p. 559.

[3] On the servility of German university professors consult David
Jayne Hill, _Harper's Magazine_, July, 1918, pp. 30-33.

[4] _Monist_, XI, p. 571.

[5] See, for example, the views of Pastors W. Lehmann ("About the
German God"); H. Francke ("War Sermons"); J. Rump ("War Devotions and
Memorial Services for the Fallen"); K. König ("Six War Sermons"); also
Tolzien and others in "Patriotic Evangelical War Lectures."

[6] Pt. I, ch. II.

[7] Isaiah 2:10.

[8] Hosea 6:6.

[9] Micah 6:8.

[10] Page 231.

Transcriber's Note:

Italics are enclosed in _underscores_. Hyphenated words have been
standardized. On page 67, "stablished" changed to "established"; on
page 167, "sancity" changed to "sanctity". Illustration on title page
is variant of Yale University crest.

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