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Title: Christianity and Problems of To-day: Lectures Delivered Before Lake Forest College on the Foundation of the Late William Bross
Author: Taylor, Robert Bruce, More, Paul Elmer, Kent, Charles Foster, Finley, John H. (John Huston), Jenks, Jeremiah Whipple
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Christianity and Problems of To-day: Lectures Delivered Before Lake Forest College on the Foundation of the Late William Bross" ***

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    Rev. Marcus Dods, D.D.

    J. Arthur Thomson, M.A.

    Frederick J. Bliss, Ph.D.

    Josiah Royce

  THE WILL TO FREEDOM, or the Gospel of
  Nietsche and the Gospel of Christ
    Rev. John Neville Figgis, D.D.

    H. W. Wright, Ph.D.

    John P. Peters, Ph.D., Sc.D., D.D.

    By Various Authors


    James Orr, D.D.

    Rev. Thomas James Thorburn, D.D.




  NEW YORK ... 1922


  Printed in the United States of America

  Published September, 1922

  [Illustration: Scribner Press Seal]

               LAKE FOREST COLLEGE
               HERBERT McCOMB MOORE
                 AS PRESIDENT OF



  FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION                              1

  JESUS' SOCIAL PLAN                                        27

  PERSONAL RELIGION AND PUBLIC MORALS                       47

  RELIGION AND SOCIAL DISCONTENT                            75

    PROBLEMS                                               107




There are many Hebrew legends which have gathered about that early
figure on the dim edge of history, Enoch, the son of Jared,--not
the Enoch, son of Cain (after whom the latter named the city that
he builded in the land of Nod), but the Enoch of whom the Biblical
record is simply that he lived so many years, "walked with God and
was not, for God took him." According to one of these legends he was
the first great teacher, inventor, and scientist of the race and the
first to attempt to pass on, in a systematic way, from generation to
generation, the wisdoms of human experience and divine revelation.
For, having been forewarned that the earth would be destroyed once by
fire and once by water, he erected two pillars (that came to be known
as "Enoch's Pillars") on which he caused to be inscribed "all such
learning as had been delivered unto or invented by mankind." "Thus,"
the legend adds, "it was that all knowledge and learning were not
lost, for one of these pillars remained after the flood."

Here have we the primordial illustration of that subjective mystery
of the mind's desire which is ever pushing out beyond the verge
of the known, and which is not content until it has tried to tell
the next generation what it has learned, and has found expression
objectively in such institutions as this and in such systems of
education as to-day cover great portions of the earth.

There is a subsidiary legend about this primal teacher, inventor
of sewing, and scientist (whose first text-book was one of these
pillars) that has further pertinency. It is said of this patriarch,
who did not die (and who may thus be said to personify the generic
ideal teacher, in that his influence persists as if he were living),
that he visited heaven once before his final translation, in order
that he might be prepared to teach his fellow men upon his return
to earth. (This would seem to impart a theological training, such
as your new president has had--at any rate, instruction in sacred
things.) He was lifted to the abode of the archangels, who, it is
said, not only arrange and study the revolutions of the stars, the
changes of the moon, and the revolutions of the sun, "but also
arrange teachings and instruction and sweet speaking and singing of
all kinds of glorious praise." What better or more enchanting picture
of an ideal institution for the preparation of teachers, established
from the foundation of the earth! A curriculum in which science is
interspersed with sweet speaking and singing by archangels! "Bring
first," said the Lord, "the books from the store place and give
a reed to Enoch and interpret the books to him." And so it was
that this first university, with an archangel for its president,
instructed its first earth pupil. For thirty days and thirty nights
did the archangel instruct intensively (the legend has it, "his lips
never ceased speaking") while Enoch wrote down "all the things about
heaven and earth, angels and men and all that it is suitable to be
instructed in."

And when the course of instruction was ended and Enoch had filled
three hundred thirty-six note-books (this sounds very like a modern
university lecture course), the Lord said: "Go thou with them upon
the earth.... Give them the works written out by thee and they shall
read them and shall distribute works to their children's children and
from generation to generation and from nation to nation."

"From generation to generation and from nation to nation." Here was
the command given to the first schoolmaster. So Enoch went back to
earth and began wide-spread education--even kings and princes coming
with multitude to be instructed, as a result of which "Peace reigned
over the whole world for two hundred and forty-three years." His
pedagogical influence extended over the whole of the little Biblical
earth in its physical scope, and all that was known of angels and men
(that is, the "supernal and temporal") was embraced in his curriculum.

I have evoked this golden legend (for it should be included among the
golden legends of the race), a legend which is not as familiar as the
stories that have come down from the mythological days of Greece and
Rome, and I have copied it to illuminate, as with a golden letter,
my page, in the story of the inauguration of this new Enochian

We have an intimation in this legend of the rich curriculum that
should be presented for the training of those who are to incarnate
the best that the race has aspired to and striven for in one
generation (and there is nothing more important than their broad,
thorough training) and to carry on those supreme gifts to the next
generation. A recent report of the Carnegie Foundation says, in its
summary of a survey of the professional preparation of teachers, that
if "training of any sort can provide men and women who are equipped
and willing to serve youth as youth should be served, their service
is pre-eminent"--and it is "altogether a more difficult service than
any other to render well."

I remember to this day my feelings as a college student at Knox, when
the president of the college, Doctor Newton Bateman, whom Abraham
Lincoln called his "little friend, the big schoolmaster" of Illinois,
spoke in chapel of the qualities and knowledges which a teacher
should possess. They were so far beyond what I, an awkward farm boy,
could hope to attain as to give me a sense of guilt that I had ever
attempted to teach even a district school, and to confirm me in my
purpose to enter another field of work. But as I look back now, I
realize that the "little friend" of Lincoln out here on the prairies
was but saying what educational surveys and foundation studies are
setting forth in ponderous volumes. And long, long back of my prairie
schoolmaster, another was saying in the so-called Eternal City words
that should be written in flaming letters on the walls of every
legislative hall and every banquet-room. Indeed, I am not sure that
we need others than these on our Enochian pillars, if only they were
heeded by the nation:

    For not alone they are useful to the State who defend the
    accused, bring forth candidates for office and cast their
    vote for peace or war, but they who encourage the youth
    [the teacher was ranked with the senator] who in so great
    a scarcity of good teachers instruct the minds of men in
    virtue [there was a great scarcity of good teachers then
    as now, but who knows what the eternal influence of some
    unknown teachers of to-day may be, for the greatest of world
    teachers was then going, as the record has it, "among the
    villages of Galilee, teaching"] and hold them back from
    running after wealth and luxury [for so it was in the first
    century, as in this] and teach what is meant by honesty,
    patience, bravery, justice, contempt of death and how much
    freely given good there is in a good conscience.

How difficult it is to prescribe the training for this high office of
incarnation and instruction is best intimated in the answer which the
president of a Missouri normal school gave when asked the question as
to how teachers can be best taught: "This is a question which only
angels can answer." But we do, indeed, need educational archangels
(as the legend of Enoch intimated) as the teachers of our teachers.
And there are many of us who have reason to thank the Lord that here,
in this valley, even, in some of its little prairie colleges, there
were and are such archangels who revealed things about heaven as well
as earth, and angels as well as men. One of them, who was my teacher,
is to be the next speaker.

But my thought is rather of the _transmission_ to the new generation,
as a whole, of what--to paraphrase George Edward Woodberry--has been
built out of the mystery of thought and passion of the past, as
generation after generation has knelt, fought, faded, and given the
best "that anywhere comes to be" to the souls of Enochian urge to
carry on, "letting all else fall into oblivion."

As the most primitive and picturesque visualization of the curriculum
of this bequest of the race mind of one generation to the next, the
pillars of Enoch stood on the verge of history against the Eastern
sky of our civilization's dawn. They have crumbled, or they lie
buried in sands that have hidden their wisdoms. The excavator's spade
could uncover no more interesting record than that which would tell
us what this great teacher thought should be saved from flood and
fire out of the experience of the race.

I have tried to imagine what was written there. It must have been a
very meagre list to have all been written in the large letters or
symbols of primitive speech on a single column. But the earth was
then young to human eyes. (It has since grown so aged as to have
its years counted by the thousands of millions.) And man was but
come upon it, or so he then thought. When I was a college student, I
supposed that he came in the year 4004 B.C., but now we are informed
that he has been here hundreds of thousands of years. Even so, in
those days he was still living in what I have called the perinikian
age; that is, in the age when he had conquered only the near, an
age when the angels even were very near the earth and walked with
man. The ideal being in that period was a creature with wings. I once
turned to my Greek lexicon to discover how many _far_ words there
were in that perinikian period, whose world the Greeks had somewhat
extended, and I found sixty-seven columns of "peri" (near) words and
only about five, as I recall, of the "tele" (far) words, for the
earth was only that which was within reach of the naked eye, the
unaided voice. It was without the far-travelling printed word.

Out upon the shores of Phoenicia, in the days of the war, I imagined
Cadmus, the legendary father of letters, who is reputed to have
borne the alphabet to the Western world out of the Orient, as not
entirely certain that he had blessed humanity with this last means
of far conquest, in this our day of higher mobility and greater
transmissibility of ideas. I seemed to hear him say:

       "When I witness all the ravage
          Of my alphabetic lore,
        See the neolithic savage
          Waging culture-loving war,
        Using logarithmic tables
          To direct his hellish fire
        Preaching philosophic fables
          To excuse his mad desire;
        See pure science turned to choking,
          Shooting, drowning humankind;
        Hear a litany, invoking
          Hate in God's benignant mind;
        See the forest trees transmuted
          Into lettered pulp, while man
        With a brain deep-convoluted
          Takes the place of primal Pan,
        And instead of finding pleasure
          In a simple life, with song,
        Spends his planetary leisure
          Reading of a world gone wrong--
        Seeing, hearing this, I've wondered
          'Mid this murder, greed and fret,
        Whether I had sinned or blundered
          Giving man the alphabet."

But when one becomes reflectively conscious of what the world's
literature has added to the few sentences upon Enoch's pillars,
beginning with the Book of Books, the one book that man cannot be
without, one has a reassuring answer for Cadmus. Indeed, I found
it myself in the Christian literature that was collected in a city
just north of Tyre and Sidon, awaiting the end of the war, for its
scattering throughout all that region on whose edge the pillars once
stood (as I have seen the columns of old Heliopolis, the city once
_so_ beloved of the sun that he hastened over the eastern hills to
spend his cloudless days about it, and lingered upon the Lebanon
Mountains as long as possible in the summer afternoon, reluctant to
leave the sight of it).

There has recently been published by a Princeton professor of biology
an essay which would seem to intimate that great progress has not
been made since those pillars were set up somewhere beyond the
Euphrates; for his contention is that human evolution has reached
its end; that for at least ten thousand years there has been no
notable progress in the evolution of the human body, and that there
has been no progress in the intellectual capacity of a man in the
last two or three thousand years--that all we can do now is to lift
the mass to the height of the most perfect individual. I cannot
assent to this, for I see man upon his way from God to God, while
summing the race that's been, _ever_ giving glimpses of a diviner
grace than has evolved (or will, if we accept the teaching of the
biologic mind that sees his evolution at an end)--than has evolved,
_but_ will, for soul is bound to mould such body as its needs require
to bear it toward the goal it seeks; else why were clay uplifted to
this height if it can never reach the higher height, the image it
would make of God in man?

But whether the biologist be right or I, we agree that it is the
constant obligation of the living generation to try to lift mankind
toward whatever highest height the individual has reached or can
reach--and it is not a local, a parochial, a provincial, or even a
national obligation, but a world obligation, in this tele-victorian
age--from generation to generation, from nation to nation. As
Mr. Wells has put it, it is a dream not alone of "individuals
educated," but of a world educated for the sake of all mankind.

But long before Mr. H. G. Wells put before the world the suggestion
of a fundamental world curriculum (it was even before the Great War
had made the need more manifest), it came to me that the curricula
of the elementary schools of the nations of the earth should be
analyzed to discover just what each nation was attempting to teach
its children through formal education, and then that the residuum,
after the purely local matter was eliminated, should be synthesized
into a single body of knowledge ("delivered to or invented by
mankind"), which should embrace what the race as a whole seemingly
thought it most vitally important to transmit out of its experience
to those who were to follow.

Once that were had, we should then call upon the greatest minds of
the earth--the Enochs of to-day--to confer as to what this minimum
for every child should be; for mere mental inertia, pride, prejudice,
the force of habit and such causes have prevented that curriculum
from keeping up with the accumulation of fundamental truth as it has
been brought into the luminous circle of the knowledge of some, at
any rate, of the race, from the encircling darkness.

These pillars must stand in the clear sight of all the children of
the earth, so that every child and youth may have advantage of all
these race lessons and come to know them by heart (_i.e._, in their
hearts), if there is to be progress toward a goal, which, if it were
not beyond our present reach, would be a mean one, and if it were
not ultimately attainable, would be Tantalian, for it is the law of
progress that one generation shall stand on the shoulders of the one
that went before.

When the captive king, Croesus, was asked by the victorious king,
Cyrus, why he went to war, he answered that he had been directed to
do so by the oracle, and he then volunteered the remark: "For no man
in his senses would prefer war to peace; since in peace the sons bury
their fathers, whereas in war the fathers bury their sons." This is a
biologic law, and it conditions intellectual and spiritual progress
as well. The sons must bury their fathers not only by outliving them
but by _outdoing_ them.

This is so obvious that I should apologize for repeating it more
than two thousand years after it was recorded (by Herodotus, as I
recall), except for the fact that the world has not heeded it. As
a distinguished university president said a few nights ago in my
hearing, the world needs a "bath in the obvious." While I should not
characterize the perusal of H. G. Wells's _Outline of History_ as
taking this sort of an ablution (so far as some of his conclusions
are concerned), I think that he was justified in giving more space
to this remark of Croesus and the incidental circumstances of its
relation than he gave to certain whole periods of national or race
existence. It is the caption that should be written at the top of our
world Enochian pillars.

And I should write below it that utterance of President Fisher, of
England's Board of Education, made in the midst of the war, when the
days were darkest:

  "Education is the eternal debt which Maturity owes to Youth."

And beneath that I should put, I think, the lines of Gilbert Murray,
whom I saw the same day, taken from the lips of Hecuba:

                    "God, to Thee
        I lift my praise, seeing the silent road
        That bringeth justice ere the end be trod
        To all that breathes and dies."

What should be written in detail below these captions, I should
let a great international committee recommend--a committee with
planetary consciousness which could let each people continue the
excellence that has "grown habitual to its being," and yet include
such instruction in the excellence of others as to abate the hatreds
that now divide the men of the earth, even as they were divided by
their misunderstandings in that early post-Noachian period when Eber,
the son of Shelah, named his boy Peleg, "because in his day the earth
was divided," and the children could no longer read the lessons upon
Enoch's pillars.

I travelled the entire length of this line during the war, from the
edge of the desert on the farther edge of which Enoch's pillars
stood to the North Sea. From the Mount of Olives I heard and saw the
beginnings of the battle of Armageddon--not an allegorical battle,
but the literal battle, for when I made my way to Headquarters down
on the plain of Sharon, General Allenby, coming out of his map-room,
said: "I have just had word that my cavalry are at Armageddon. The
battle of Armageddon is on." And a few nights after I walked through
the broken entanglements of wire across that plain, past the Mount,
as the dawn came, where our Lord is said by some to have delivered
what we call the Sermon on the Mount, on to Nazareth, the little city
which a Denver paper referred to familiarly as "Christ's home town."
And I thought the thousand years of peace referred to in the Book of
Revelation had come.

But I have since travelled over a great part of that way--the
long, long way, let us not forget, by which we have come out of
captivity--and I found that, while the barbed-wire entanglements
have been cleared from most of the fields and the trenches had been
filled, the entanglements, suspicion and hate, were still keeping
nations apart, even without guns and bombs and poisonous gas.

I was the first American to make the journey across Asia Minor after
the Armistice. Starting from the vicinity of the Tower of Babel,
which stood amid "the whole earth of one language and one speech,"
and which sought to reach the heaven until the builders were suddenly
unable to understand one another's speech and were dispersed,
gibbering and gesticulating and quarrelling, over the earth--starting
from the neighborhood of that Scriptural memory, I travelled for days
through homeless misery and physical want and mental hate, which I
felt were but the sequelæ of the world disease, and would soon pass.
But conditions are, if anything, worse than when I passed that way.
It is only the mercy and ennobling philanthropy of Americans that are
preventing the extermination or degradation of a race.

But I have more lately travelled over nearer sections of that long
way back to the cradle of the race and of Christian civilization.
Within the year I have walked, or ridden by ship or train or
airplane, all the way from the west coast of Ireland to the then
closed door of Russia and along its then impenetrable western wall
down to Hungary and back. Alas! the separating, the estranging
hatreds are still there.

Barriers and entanglements, visible and invisible, were upon every
border all the way across Europe. Unspeakable inconveniences, often
hardships, had to be endured by the ordinary traveller in these zones
of suspicion and antipathy and hate, till I came to think of the
countries they separated as the "United Hates of Europe."

What I wish to bring out of this all is not our local obligations,
our interstate and intranational obligations, but our world
obligations, which we share with others--the obligations to see that
all the children of the earth have a chance to escape from those
hatreds into the best things of the race as a whole.

In my mid-European travels I came one day to the country where
Copernicus had developed the new theory of the universe. There I had
an experience which lifted my thought into the broader view which
ignored barriers and entanglements. It was a journey in an airplane
that rose high above boundaries and connected Warsaw with Prague and
Strasbourg and Paris. It was the morning of Pentecost Day that I made
the journey--the day which celebrates the coming together of people
from many nations and their understanding one another and being
understood because of the cloven tongues that descended upon them.
As we flew over the prairies of Poland that beautiful, clear spring
Sunday morning, I could see the shadow of the plane as of a cloven
tongue flying beneath us from village to village, and even over the
disputed territory of Upper Silesia. This was the symbolic prophecy
of the new sort of understanding, the unifying fabric woven by such
shuttles that must by their woof replace the separating entanglement
of suspicion and hatred if Europe, and so the world, is to survive
something worse than fire or flood.[1]

Before I began the airplane journey from Warsaw I went to take
my last look at the statue of Copernicus, whose conception of a
heliocentric universe is the capital event in modern thought. At the
foot of the Vosges Mountains, which I crossed a day or two later into
France, there is the little village of St. Dié, where, in a book on
the Ptolemaic System, the name America was first put on the printed
page, and on a world map. America was baptized into the Ptolemaic
cosmos, but its inhabitants (after the aborigines) dwelt from the
first in a Copernican universe, wanderers in an infinity of space,
"with a shuddering sense of physical immensity."

Europe could not readily forget the geography of its infancy and
childhood and maturity, but America began its God-fearing settlement
with an astronomy of infinite distances, with a cosmography in which
it was itself infinitesimal, and with a geography partaking of the
sky, as well as of the sea and land.

With this Copernican consciousness of the universe, America should be
the least provincial, and Americans the most "universe-minded" of all
the inhabitants of the earth.

Isolate we have indeed been as a people, but not provincially nor
narrowly nor proudly isolate. We kept out of the partisan Ptolemaic
concerns of Europe, but when the freedom of mankind was threatened,
America's policies leaped to the world horizon of her interest in
humanity. Our America has had from the first a cosmic view, a concern
for all mankind. "All men" are included in its national creed. It
is only those who would narrow our horizon of sympathy and bring
a Ptolemaic sky over our heads again that it has in its doctrine

So it is not by accident, I think, that we have put the stars in
the field of our flag. They are cosmic symbols gathered from the
immeasurable universe, not from pieces of earth and stretches of
water, which together make up what we are accustomed to call,
whatever our origin, "our native land"--a people of clearly
defined national personality, but of planetary consciousness and
of interdependent destinies.

But in this land of Copernicus, where "the capital event of modern
thought" occurred, I found that only two million eight hundred
thousand children of school age out of four million six hundred
thousand had any schooling whatever. It was hoped by the minister
of education that by 1928, if only the fear of a new partition of
Poland could be removed and credits found, they might make some most
elemental provision for the rest--_and this only because so many of
the young men of Poland had perished in the World War that the coming
generation would be a smaller one_. I could present statistics of
like import for other European states. They would all support my
thesis, that since we have had a World War for freedom, we should
have a world plan for giving the children who have suffered in this
divided earth (the millions of "Pelegs") an elemental chance to enjoy
that freeing of the soul which is, with the unity of mankind, the
ideal end of the state.

A plan which I proposed some time ago, and which I have now taken
courage of the support in modified form by men of large financial
and organizing experience to defend, is that the Allied debts be
made a permanent trust fund, to be administered for the education of
the children of all peoples, so far as they can be so applied. The
proposal has been characterized as "good business," not to demand
the full payment of these debts with interest of that which we
loaned, but spent largely at home, and after we entered the war.
The fundamental thought on which I should base the proposal is that
the world, as a whole, owes something to the children who have no
fair chance in it because of what those upon whom they are naturally
dependent have sacrificed for the good of the world as a whole.

My original proposal was that the principal should be cancelled as it
was so spent, but Judge Lovett, president of the Union Pacific, has
proposed merely the application of the interest at a moderate rate
annually to this purpose if and when it can be paid, though he has
given it a broader scope--putting education last--the care of widows,
orphans, and crippled first--but ultimately it should all be devoted
to education.

A ten-billion dollar war debt converted (as a thanksgiving offering
for deliverance from something worse than the world knows even at its
worst to-day) into a perpetual trust fund for the children of the
world, especially for those who have come "trailing clouds of glory"
into a part of the world where they haven't a chance to come into the
heritage of their generation.

Five hundred million dollars a year (an incredible number of Austrian
crowns, Russian roubles, or Polish marks (if indeed the interest
could be paid at the rate of five per cent)) which would give an
elementary-school training to ten million children each year--as many
children as are born each year into the world. And this interest
could be paid if armaments were unnecessary.

Ten million children a year taught the best that has been "delivered
unto or invented by mankind" (as listed in the world curriculum)
and led in their tuition toward the conscious unity of the
race--planetary consciousness!

Has a more stirring opportunity ever been offered to any people than
is ours in the refunding of the great war debt, in such a way as
to make it a blessing to the next generation instead of a crushing
burden to the tax-paying generation that now goes bent with its
burdens across Europe? If we were to demand our pound of flesh we
should deserve the future fate of those in the "Inferno" who went
eternally about weighed with cloaks of lead that were covered by a
veneer of gold.

Some of the principal might be used to buy books in which these
millions of children might enter into the common possession of the
race (perhaps in a common language), free of scorn of other nations,
and so never know the hatreds which estranged their fathers; and
some might be spent for the syndicated material of which Mr. Wells
speaks--the knowledges of those things which would help them to find
their particular place in the cosmos.

Again, a part of the principal might be spent (and cancelled as a
debt when so spent) in building schoolhouses where none can otherwise
be built for a generation or two. These would be modern Enochian
pillars--for what is a schoolhouse, after all, essentially but the
very thing that Enoch caused to be erected--at any rate, when the
teacher is in the schoolhouse furnished with the knowledge of the
race mind?

Even so, there would be enough left to provide for millions of
planetary pupils in perpetuity.

It would be the greatest foundation ever established upon earth for
the salvation of civilization.

Many years ago, when as a young college president in this valley
I was speaking at a real-estate dinner in Chicago, I recalled how
an ancient city was saved by the fact that it had so many score
thousand children who could not tell their right hand from their
left hand--and also much cattle. Innocent children and cattle saved
Nineveh for a time, but not permanently. If the prophet Jonah were
alive to-day he would know that the doom he preached finally came
upon the city. He sleeps (or so the tradition is) in a village but
six or eight miles from Bethlehem, that might have seen the star if
it had been awake on the night when it came and stood over the place
where the young child was. He would know if he, himself, were awake
that it is only children who have learned the lessons of the race who
have the power of world salvation--children who have also learned by
heart the lessons of the two great commandments.

Years ago I was ploughing corn on a hot June day on an Illinois
prairie when I heard a sound in the air above me, which one unused to
the country might have thought the thrumming of a choir celestial.
But with a farm boy's instinct I divined that it was a swarm of bees,
even before I saw the little cloud moving over the field toward the
woods two or three miles away. I did what any farm boy would have
done if he could leave his team. I followed the swarm, throwing up
dust and clods of earth, and making all possible noise, with the
result that I brought the swarm down upon the branch of a tree at the
edge of the field. Then at evening I got a hive, lured them into it,
and then carried them home, where they made honey for the season.

So if we follow these ideals, which may seem at first but some
millennial rhetoric, and bring them down to earth, we may find a
way to sweeten the bitter bread of millions of children in other
lands--and yet have enough and to spare for our own, in spite of the
reports which I have been hearing to-day from those same corn-fields,
whose bountiful crops the farmers cannot sell, though others are

But let us take courage of the way we have already come, since Enoch
reared his pillars in the pre-Noachian days. The children of Israel
were required to keep each year the feast of the tabernacles, during
the seven days of which they were commanded to leave their homes and
go out and live in booths or tents, not for a holiday, but that they
might be kept mindful of the fact that their fathers came out of
captivity. I have often thought that it would have a very wholesome
effect if all the world could keep such a feast, and this would
be its proclamation, as I have drafted it, though not in the usual

        "This shall ye do, O men of earth,
         Ye who've forgotten your far birth,
         Your forebears of the slanting skull,
         Barbaric, brutal, sluggard, dull,
         (Of whom no portraits hang to boast
         The ancient lineage of the host)--
         Ye who've forgot the time when they
         Were redolent of primal clay,
         Or lived in wattled hut, or cave,
         But, turned to dust or drowned by wave,
         Have left no traces on Time's shores
         Save mounds of shells at their cave doors
         And lithic knives and spears and darts
         And savage passions in our hearts;
         This shall ye do: seven days each year
         Ye shall forsake what ye hold dear;
         From fields of tamed fruits and flowers,
         From love-lit homes and sky-built towers,
         From palaces and tenements
         Ye shall go forth and dwell in tents,
         In tents, and booths of bough-made roofs,
         Where ye may hear the flying hoofs
         Of beasts long gone, the cries of those
         Who were your fathers' forest foes,
         Or see their shadows riding fast
         Along the edges of the past;
         All this, that ye may keep in mind
         The nomad way by which mankind
         Has come from his captivity,
         Walking dry-shod the earth-wide sea,
         Riding the air, consulting stars,
         Driving great caravans of cars,
         Building the furnace, bridge and spire
         Of earth-control and heav'n desire,
         Rising in journey from the clod
         Into the glory of a god.

         This shall ye do, O men of earth,
         That ye may know the crownéd worth
         Of what ye are--and hope renew,
         Seeing the road from dawn to you!
         Then turning toward the pillared cloud
         Ahead, or pillared fire, endowed
         With prescience of a promised goal
         See still a highway for the soul."

And along the way at intervals stand the Enochian schools, colleges,
and universities, giving instruction in the best that the human
race has learned "from generation to generation and from nation to




Jesus of Nazareth was so many-sided that each man and each age have
found in him the qualities in which they are most interested. He
has with truth been characterized as prophet, poet, philosopher,
physician, and saviour of men. In the eyes of his contemporaries
he was pre-eminently the teacher of the masses, the healer of the
sick, and the friend of sinners. The ascetic Middle Ages saw in him
only the man of sorrows, and pictured him as sad and anæmic. To the
Protestant reformers and the Puritans he was the supreme protestant
against the sins of mankind. The discerning thinkers of our present
social age are beginning to recognize in him the great social
psychologist, who not only analyzed the ills of society but also
provided for them a potent cure.

The majority of men, however, fail to appreciate Jesus' social
teachings, because they think of him as far removed from the complex
social programme presented by our highly developed civilization; but
the enlightened historian well knows that between the first century
in which Jesus lived and our own there are many startlingly close
analogies. In Jesus' day the old racial and national bonds had been
largely destroyed and many ancient traditions and customs had been
rudely shattered or else cast aside. Men were sharply divided into
classes separated by clashing interests. Industrial slavery held
great masses of men in a bondage that was both physical and moral.
Herded together in congested districts of the great cities that had
suddenly sprung into existence, they lived a life that was in many
respects worse than that of the beast. Lax divorce laws and looser
marital relations had undermined the integrity of the home. A great
wave of social immorality was destroying the physical and spiritual
health of the individual and of society.

At the same time mankind was beginning to feel its unity and to work
out its problems in universal terms. The yearning for brotherhood
and for vital bonds that would bind each man to his fellows was
strong. Consciously or unconsciously men everywhere were seeking for
a satisfying philosophy of life that would afford them peace and
happiness in this life and a definite hope of even greater joy in the
realm beyond. They were also longing for a social organization that
would give them freedom and an opportunity for each to live his life
to the full. Dissatisfaction with the outworn social programmes of
the past was expressed on every side. The expectancy of a dawn of a
new day was almost universal.

Practically every type of social programme known to us to-day was
found in that old Roman world. Rome, in name still a republic, was
in reality an imperial monarchy, ruled absolutely by the will of
one man. It was a typical representative of the ancient autocratic
idea of government. The old Hebrew commonwealth, like the city
states of Greece, was only a memory of the past, but it stood for
the democratic ideal--the rule of the people, by the people, for
the people--in which the ultimate authority was vested in a popular
assembly. Subject to the rule of Rome, the later Jewish hierarchical
form of government still survived in Jerusalem as a representative
of that peculiar type of social organization in which religious
and temporal authority are blended. The rule of the rabble, to be
instituted by violence and revolution and maintained by force, found
its protagonists in those bloody, relentless Bolshevists of the first
century, the Zealots. They only waited the leader and the opportunity
to fly at the throats of their Roman masters and to make a mad
attempt to overthrow all existing forms of government. On the ruins
of society they wished to set up a Jewish state that would rule the
rest of mankind with a rod of iron.

Down along the rocky banks of the brook Kedron, less than fifteen
miles from Jerusalem, lived the Essene brotherhoods. They represented
the purest type of communistic socialism. All property was held in
common. The results of the labor of each went into the common store.
All shared alike their possessions. It was also a nobler communism
than we know to-day, for its chief aim was not the division of the
products of human enterprise, but the lofty and unselfish ideals of
serving and uplifting humanity.

The learned scribes and Pharisees were dreaming of a far different
type of world state: one that was to be suddenly and miraculously
established. Jerusalem was to be its capital and a Jewish Messiah its
head. The faithful martyrs who had died for their religion were to
be reincarnated to share its glories. The heathen nations were to be
subdued and the rule of Israel's God was to be recognized throughout
the whole earth.

Only a few humble students of the prophets and psalmists were quietly
working and hoping for a society in which justice, good-will, and
mutual helpfulness were to be the compelling bonds and the will of
God the guiding authority. Autocracy and democracy, hierarchy and
anarchy, communistic socialism and nationalistic theocracy each found
enthusiastic devoted supporters in that vast laboratory of social
experimentation in which Jesus lived. Every type of social programme
that we know to-day was there represented.

Did he have a social plan, and was it adapted to the needs of the
twentieth as well as to those of the first Christian century? The
records of Jesus' work are so fragmentary that they have given to
most readers the impression that he was simply an itinerant preacher
and teacher without definite plan and method. Paul is ordinarily
regarded as the great organizer who gave Christianity its corporate
form. A more careful study of the facts, however, reveals a clearly
defined aim and a systematic, comprehensive plan underlying all of
Jesus' work.

It is important to remember that for more than three-fourths of his
life Jesus was an active business man and, therefore, in close touch
with the economic and social life of his age. He was a son of Joseph,
the _technôn_, that is, the constructor or builder. It is probable
that the early death of Joseph left Jesus, the eldest son, in charge
of this family firm of builders. The names of four other sons are
given. This added responsibility would mean that Jesus was not only a
manual laborer himself but was also accustomed to directing the work
of others. The conclusion that he was a master builder, who knew the
importance of a definite plan and method and of carefully counting
the cost, is confirmed by many of his teachings. "Who of you, if he
wishes to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the costs
to see whether he has money to complete it? Or what king, on going to
war with another king, does not first sit down and deliberate whether
with ten thousand men he can withstand the one who is coming against
him with twenty thousand?"

No one laid greater stress on foresight than did Jesus. At every
point he reveals familiarity with system, method, and organization.
In this respect he is more like the modern Occidental than the
Orientals of his day. His detailed directions to his disciples, when
he sent them out two by two to extend the bounds of his work, are
models of business efficiency. "Take nothing but a staff," which
makes long journeys on foot comparatively easy. "Take no extra
baggage," which impedes progress. "Do not stop to greet any one on
the road," for the elaborate Oriental greetings often consumed hours
of precious time. Commanded to take no food, they were dependent upon
that Oriental hospitality which opened wide the door and the heart of
those whom the disciples were to reach and to help. "Stop only at the
homes where you receive a hearty welcome," for there only can you do
efficient work. "Be content with the entertainment provided, and do
not go from house to house," for in this way will you avoid wasteful
distraction. "Go out two by two," for this is the best unit in doing
effective work (as our modern drives have amply demonstrated).
Directness, economy, and practical efficiency characterize each
of these commands. The principles underlying them are everywhere
accepted as standard in the scientific business world of to-day.

Jesus, as portrayed in the earliest records, was not an impractical
dreamer nor a wan ascetic, as ordinarily pictured in art and in
popular imagination, but a practical man of affairs with definite
plans and systematic methods of carrying them into execution.

The evidence that Jesus has a definite social plan is cumulative and
convincing. From the beginning of his public appearance his thought
and activities were shaped by it. It is the background of that
dramatic story of the temptation, which comes straight from the lips
of Jesus himself. Though its language is highly figurative, the story
throws a flood of light upon Jesus' purpose. The first temptation
suggests the vigor with which he rejected the natural inclination to
yield to the instinctive desire for ease and self-indulgence and
to use his divine powers for his own happiness rather than that of
society. The second and third temptations deal with the methods to
be used in carrying out his far-flung social programme. Should he
use sensational devices and by some miraculous act, such as throwing
himself down from the temple heights, gratify the popular demand for
divine credentials? Or should he realize his plan by compromise?

The breadth of his social outlook is clearly disclosed by this third
temptation; from the first his plan included "all the kingdoms of
the world and their glory." The tempting thought came to him that
these could easily be brought under his benign sway, if he would but
set aside his lofty ideals, if he would but be silent regarding the
crimes of the ruling powers, if he would but give up his exalted
conception of the rule of God and fulfil the current national
expectations that were beating strong in the hearts of the multitudes
that thronged about him. As the event proved, they were eager to hail
him as the popular Messiah. His temptation to bow down to Satan is
vividly illustrated in the dramatic scene where Peter professes his
faith in Jesus as the Messiah, and then tries to dissuade him from
going up into Jerusalem to face shame and probable death. "Away with
you, Satan," is Jesus' vehement exclamation, "for you are thinking
the thoughts of man, not of God!" This striking incident makes it
very clear that in the mind of Jesus there was a definite, practical
plan, far different from that which obsessed his race and in the end
lured them on to their ruin in the tragic years of 69 and 70. So
eager was he to see its early adoption, not only by his race but by
all nations, that short cuts and even compromises were to him very
real temptations. But his social plan was so clearly defined that the
specious doctrine that the end justifies the means could not swerve
him. He had no desire to build a social structure that would rise and
fall like the thousands that have been reared before and since--what
Henry Adams describes as "the perpetual building up of an authority
by force and the perpetual appeal to force to overthrow it."

Jesus' words to Peter, "On this rock I found my community," indicated
that he was seeking to build a structure that would endure, because
it was built on the solid rock of reality and in accordance with the
divine purpose. For this reason he keenly appreciated the importance
of building on the right foundations and with the right material.
The major part of his time and energy was devoted to preparing these
materials. Hence his intense interest in the saving and remaking of
men and women. Peter, the rock, was typical of the social citizens
that he was seeking to develop and out of which he planned to build
his new society.

Like Zoroaster, Confucius, and Gautama Buddha, Jesus was not content
with presenting merely an abstract social programme. He was eager to
incarnate it in flesh and blood, so that men could see it with their
eyes and participate in it. With all the enthusiasm and energy of his
kinetic personality, he went about laying the foundations for the
new society. This aim alone explains why at first he left Galilee,
went down into Judea, and allied himself with that courageous herald
of the new social order, John the Baptist. When the opposition of the
Jewish leaders and the cruel relentlessness of Herod Antipas closed
the doors of Jerusalem and Judea to Jesus he returned to Galilee
but not to Nazareth. He chose instead, as the scene of his future
work, the great Jewish metropolis of Capernaum. Its choice as the
centre of his public activity is exceedingly significant. Jesus was
by birth and training a peasant. He always felt most at home among
the tree-clad hills. City life had none of the attractions for him
that it had for Paul, the cosmopolitan. Going to a great city was
for Jesus a daring adventure. He went to Capernaum because it was
the largest centre of Jewish population in northern Palestine. As
the present ruins indicate, it extended for four or five miles along
the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee, from the point where the
Jordan enters the lake on the north to the borders of the plain of
Genneseret to the northwest. Across the Jordan was Bethsaida, and a
few miles to the north, at the head of a rocky gorge, was Chorazin,
another of the many populous suburbs of the greater Capernaum.

In this huge metropolis were crowded "the lost sheep of the house of
Israel" whom Jesus came to seek and to save. Jesus went down into the
sickness and crime-infected slums of Capernaum to transform them and
to make them the homes of happy, co-operating men and women. In that
large, typical suburban centre he aimed to establish the fraternal
community that was to be the corner-stone of the new social order
that he hoped would ultimately include "all the nations of the world."

He also chose the greater Capernaum because it was the focal
centre from which the great international highways radiated in all
directions. Past its western suburbs ran the main caravan road from
Egypt and Philistia to Damascus and Babylonia. Other roads ran
southward to Jericho and Jerusalem. Another great highway ran past
it from Arabia northwestward across the plain of Genneseret to Tyre
and Sidon, and then on to Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, and Rome. It is
evident that Jesus, not Paul, initiated early Christianity's broad
policy of establishing fraternal communities in the great strategic
centres, and from there extending their influence to the smaller
cities and towns, and thence to the surrounding country districts.
This was clearly a part of his social plan, and the spread of these
Christian communities to Jericho, Damascus, Cæsarea, and Antioch
within the first decade after his death confirmed its practical

In Capernaum Jesus found all types of men, women, and children. Here
were presented superlative needs and superlative possibilities. Here
every phase of the social problem was in evidence. Here were the
rich and poor, learned and ignorant, honest and dishonest, happy and
unhappy, reputable citizens and outcasts, the well and the sick.
With each of these classes Jesus came into intimate contact. From
every rank he drew the followers who became members of the fraternal
community that he was seeking to found. A social plan that succeeded
in the greater Capernaum had world-wide possibilities. That great
metropolis, with its population of perhaps a quarter of a million,
was a fitting laboratory for the world's greatest social psychologist.

Into this great field Jesus threw himself with untiring zeal and
enthusiasm. His final words, as he left it to escape the treachery
of the Pharisees and of Herod Antipas, indicate clearly that he had
hoped to transform this huge city into one great fraternal community:
"Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For had the marvellous
deeds that have been performed in you been done in Tyre and Sidon,
they would have repented in sackcloth and ashes; I tell you it will
be better for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.
Will you, Capernaum, be exalted to the sky? No, you will go down to
destruction. For had the marvellous deeds performed in you been done
in Sodom, it would have remained standing until this day."

To-day the site of the greater Capernaum is an uninhabited ruin. A
dread silence has settled down upon it. Yet no student of history
can for a moment doubt the implication of Jesus' pathetic words.
Capernaum might to-day and through the intervening centuries and
for all time have been "exalted to the sky" had its citizens in
the first Christian century responded to their great opportunity.
Then and there the problems common to all human society might have
been solved. There the whole world might have beheld the glorious
vision of a vast city in which sin and sickness and suffering had
been banished, and love and loyalty and zeal to serve the common
cause bound all together into one great fraternal community. There
the students of all nations and ages might have studied in concrete
form the principles and laws that lie at the foundation of a perfect
society. Within even the limits of the first century the Capernaum
plan might have been transplanted and developed in all the great
cities of the earth.

From the moment that Jesus entered Capernaum he went to work to
gather about him and train a band of helpers that would effect the
great transformation. He did not make the mistake of many later
social creators of trusting merely to external organization. He began
by remaking men and by training individual citizens. He personally
selected each of his helpers and first freed their bodies from
disease, their minds from error and prejudice, and their hearts
from hate and jealousy. In turn he filled their minds with a broad,
practical philosophy of life and their hearts with faith and love
and the desire to co-operate. After he had trained them by careful
teaching and thorough apprenticeship, he sent them forth under his
direction to become fishers of men--that is, to attract and train
definite men and women, so that they also might be prepared to become
worthy citizens in the fraternal community.

The plan was as simple as it was practical. It was in perfect accord
with all the laws, natural, social, and psychological, that later
scientific study has disclosed. That it met at once with partial
success is an established historic fact, for of the five hundred
disciples to whom Paul refers in 1 Corinthians 15:6, probably the
great majority, if not all, belonged to the Capernaum community.
But it is equally clear that Jesus' success at Capernaum was not
commensurate with his hopes and that his relative failure was
due to that which the Infinite has made a basic principle in the
universe--the freedom of the human will. The convincing common
sense, the radiant sympathy and love, and the attractive social plan
of the Master Teacher were not able to conquer the fixed habits
and prejudices and hatreds of a majority of the inhabitants of the
greater Capernaum. The wooden orthodoxy and the narrow jealousy of
the Pharisees led them to block and undermine, rather than support
his work. The opposition of these acknowledged religious leaders
confused the minds of the people. How electrical and far-reaching
would Jesus' great social experiment have been, had it met with the
immediate success he craved, only the imagination can picture. That
from Capernaum might have gone forth mighty influences that would
have quickly transformed human society as a whole is not beyond
the realm of practical possibility, for the world was closely knit
together in the first Christian century and nothing is more potent
in society than practical demonstration. Even as it was, the social
leaven that Jesus placed in greater Capernaum spread with remarkable
rapidity, so that before the close of the first Christian century
fraternal communities were found not only in Damascus, Cæsarea, and
Antioch, but in all the great cities and even the remote provinces of
the Roman Empire.

The strength of Jesus' social plan lay in its simplicity. Society in
the first century, as at present, had become hopelessly complex. The
individual was but a spoke in the wheel of things. He was so enmeshed
in a rigid social organization that he had few opportunities for
spontaneous self-expression. Jesus quietly set aside all this complex
social machinery and substituted a simple neighborhood organization,
so simple that its members were unconscious of any organization at
all. The warm, fraternal spirit of the fraternal community, which was
simply an extension of the high ideals and traditions of the Jewish
home, provided the atmosphere that every man, and especially "the
lost," the millions of detached men, women, and children in the old
Roman Empire, were craving. In these Christian communities they found
friendship and good-will. If they were needy, here they were sure
of help. If they were sad, they found sympathy and comfort. If they
stumbled and fell, they were tenderly lifted up, given counsel, and
guided in the way of life.

Here the deepest yearnings of their hearts were satisfied, for they
were taught to listen to the inward voice. The Master himself set
the example of devoting many hours in his crowded ministry to prayer
and meditation. Under his guidance they learned to enter the inner
chamber of their souls, and there to gain peace, joy, and inspiration
from communion with him who reveals himself to all who seek him in
sincerity and truth.

The fraternal community enabled each member to gratify his higher
desire for self-expression. Jesus also had the marvellous power
of arousing these desires. The needs and work of the community
gave each member, however great or however humble be his gifts,
abundant opportunity to use them. The humblest could enjoy the
proud consciousness of serving the community, even if it be only in
serving the food at the common meal. Those who possessed the gifts of
teaching or preaching or healing had ample opportunity to use them in
a social environment that was receptive and appreciative. If the task
be outside and attended with danger, those who served were always
sure of warm support and sympathy within the community.

Mark tells us that the life of the fraternal community that Jesus
founded at Capernaum was characterized by a joyousness that aroused
the harsh criticisms of the captious Pharisees. They complained that,
unlike John the Baptist, Jesus never taught his followers to fast.
The Master acknowledged the charge, and likened their lives together
to one continuous wedding-feast. When we recall that a wedding-feast
was the one event in the ancient East that brought joy and recreation
and amusement to all members of the community, we begin to gain
a true conception of the charm of that community life which Jesus
developed, and to understand why it appealed to young and old alike.
Here recreation and religion were perfectly blended. Here every man
found physical, mental, and spiritual life, and that in abundant
measure. Had not the Pharisees, as Jesus said, persistently blocked
the door, the masses would undoubtedly have sought admission to the
fraternal community in great numbers, for we are told that the common
people heard him gladly.

Jesus was not content merely to open wide the door to all who were
seeking fellowship and inspiration to fuller living. From the first
he began to train his disciples that they might go forth on a mission
of healing, preaching, and teaching. His social plan included an
aggressive, organized missionary propaganda. He not only himself
sought the lost, but also trained and taught his followers to do the
same. This fact explains not only the tremendous drawing, but also
the kinetic power of early Christianity.

To-day every individual is consciously or unconsciously longing for a
fraternal community in which he can find sympathy, good-will, and an
opportunity to serve his fellow-men. Capital and industry are groping
for a common basis of justice and co-operation, where they can forget
their present destructive feuds and hatreds and join in conserving
their mutual interests and in discharging their obligations to
society. All the nations of the earth are eager to perfect an
agreement which will eliminate the horrible wastage of hate and war
and enable them to dwell together as one great family. The Christian
Church is also seeking a way in which it may adequately meet the
crying needs of the individual and of society.

Is it not possible that Jesus' social plan is the true and only way
so to adjust the individual to his environment that he will find that
which he is seeking? Is it not possible that Jesus' plan provides the
only practical way to eliminate the disastrous hatreds and wastage
of modern industry, and to bring capital and labor into effective
co-operation? Is it not possible that his idea of the fraternal
community is the only satisfactory solution of our international
problems? Is it not true that his simple social plan represents the
historic commission of the Christian Church, and that the Church's
present divisions and most of its complex machinery are only
impedimenta? Is it not possible that a whole-hearted effort to carry
through his social plan in this plastic twentieth century might unite
not only his nominal followers, but also the many who are not now
reckoned as members of his fold? Upon the answers that the leaders
of this generation make to these fundamental questions depends
the future of our civilization. To the leaders in our Christian
institutions of learning we look to-day for affirmative answers.




The last quarter of a century has seen a vast change in the general
attitude toward organized religion. To some extent that change has
had its points of pause and punctuation; we could tell where one
paragraph ended and another began. In thought, a Robertson Smith
or a Briggs case marked a period. The real range of a theological
debate can never be measured by the resolution of an ecclesiastical
assembly. Its main repercussion is upon the crowd, which becomes
gradually conscious of the significance of the issue. The great
change has come, however, almost without observation, and it may be
said to have affected religion rather than theology. It has shown
itself in lessened church attendance, and in the challenging of the
right of the church to assume the monopoly of religious interest. The
reduction in the number of men seeking to find their life-work in the
Christian ministry is a grave feature; for the temper of the martyr
and the soldier is not dead among us and the call for sacrifice has
always in it a peculiar ring and compulsion. The Christian ministry
is a great and noble calling, in which a man, if he is to have any
happiness in his work, must deliberately put the world behind his
back. But that particular form of sacrifice is losing its urgency.
The war revealed, to those who were actively engaged in it, not
so much a changed condition as unpleasant actualities in the old
condition. It became wofully apparent that religious instruction had
not penetrated as deeply as the religious organizations had imagined.
One never knew whether to wonder most at men's ignorance of what
the Christian Church should have been teaching them, or at their
indifference to some matters which the peace standard of domestic
ethics regarded as vital, or at their continual and magnificent
gaiety of spirit, their glorious comradeship, their mastery of fear.
The war showed how little conventional religion stood for. It also
made it plain that the great words of the Gospel--joy, peace, love,
righteousness, sacrifice--were of the very heart of high conduct as
men understood high conduct, face to face with death, in those most
desperate conditions.

If one asks oneself what it is that has been going on beneath the
surface to bring about so profound a change in religious outlook, one
may say that it has been the challenging of the seat of authority in
religion. In organized religion there have been two main conceptions
of the seat of authority.

The Romanist and high-church view is that authority lies in the
Church, in its continuity of tradition and in its possession of
sacramental power. If men are to be left to their own devices there
will be anarchy in religion. But if they will but look back to the
very foundations of Christianity, they will find a body of truth
steadily handed down, and an efficacy communicated by the laying
on of episcopal hands, transmitted from one generation to another.
They will find a divinely guided history of councils and creeds
through which the deposit of truth has been safeguarded; and the
doubter may commit himself with certainty to this system, which
is the embodiment not only of divine truth but of human wisdom and
practical knowledge. A Scottish Presbyterian is not predisposed to
favor such a conception, but one has to admit its power. The majority
of mankind are neither able nor willing to examine a long course
of church history for themselves, and a strong, dogmatic assertion
and a definite historical position have a vast power with a certain
conservative and clinging and devotional type of mind. There are
many people who have not sufficient intellectual daring to wrestle
constantly with things for themselves. They want certainty. And
so Newman and Adelaide Procter and many other equally pure souls
have found rest in this obedience to authority. There is, however,
particularly in this new land, a different temper springing up. The
community spirit seeks inclusion rather than exclusion. It tries
to use different gifts without judging between them. It will not
nullify categories; it will simplify them. The question of apostolic
succession, except where men are still held to belief in it by
ecclesiastical authority, is ceasing to be an issue, just because
this practically minded world does not see any such monopoly of
spiritual power in one particular church. And, with regard to the
permanence of any creed, we are in an atmosphere which tends more
and more to utter its faith in the language of the day. A man may
be very near to his Lord and yet unable to discern his Lord in
the Athanasian Creed. The process is too long which requires that
the believer search back through all those centuries of tangled
historical stuff before he finds his Master. He does not need to be
either a prophet or the son of a prophet who declares confidently
that the sacramentarian, historically exclusive, miraculous, sanction
of religion is likely to become less and less powerful.

Is, then, the seat of authority for religion in the claims of Holy
Scripture? This has been the appeal of the Reformed churches. At
the Reformation, when the assertion was again made of the rights
of the human spirit to come directly into fellowship with Christ,
Scripture of necessity took a place of new importance. It was the
road of direct access to God. One can understand how, after being
bound in the chains of the Roman Catholic Church, men and women
found in Scripture the glorious liberty of the children of God. Is
it any wonder that they brooded over it until even the translations
themselves seemed to be the very breath of the Almighty? But the
earliest and greatest of the reformers had no such cast-iron view
of verbal inspiration as afterward came to prevail, in its turn
to become a tyranny just as exacting as the old. Both Luther and
Calvin knew far too much of religious history and of the Bible to
be led into any such unbending position. Luther, for instance, had
his pronounced views upon the Epistle of James, which he would
have excluded from the Canon. He was well aware of the doubt which
had prevailed as to the canonicity of the splendid Epistle to the
Hebrews. The preacher of to-day is not wise who neglects Calvin on
the Psalms and Calvin on Isaiah; but Calvin saw clearly that there
were Aramaic elements in the 139th Psalm, and that the ascription of
it to David was impossible. Gradually, however, what was really the
record of a revelation came to be regarded as the revelation itself.
It is not the New Testament which reveals God. It is Christ who
reveals God, and it is the New Testament which gives the story of the
incarnation of the Most High. In the post-Reformation days, however,
when the Reformation, as a mighty revival of personal religion, was
giving place to the time when men were trying to state in logical
and philosophical form those wonderful experiences which they had
lived through of the power of the Holy Spirit, the Bible came to
be used as though it were a collection of proof-texts. A creed is
obviously the product of the time when the first overwhelming flood
of enthusiasm has passed, and men have begun to reason about the
experiences through which they have lived. Thus, in the seventeenth
century the doctrinaire view of Scripture stiffened. There was no
attempt to understand the history underlying this great library of
sacred writings. So truculent a book as Esther was believed to be,
every word of it, the breathing of the Almighty, because it found
itself within the sacred boards, while so glorious a record as First
Maccabees was ranked with any other piece of secular history because
its date precluded its inclusion within the Canon. There was no
knowledge of the fact that the early narratives of Genesis had a
relationship to the Babylonian cosmogony; that, the Septuagint being
witness, there had been widely varying texts of the Book of Jeremiah;
that the Hebrew text of Hosea was in places in such confusion that
anything more than a conjectural translation was impossible. The
general and well-founded belief that Scripture was the Word of God
was stretched until it became a new legalism, until it covered
every word of the Authorized Version, and, in the minds of many,
every comma of the splendid translation. That was an inflexible, an
uncritical, an unscholarly position that was perilous. In the minds
of multitudes it linked the truth in Jesus with some conundrum about
Cain's wife. It put the great causes of religion at the mercy of the
negative and unbelieving critic. Many of us remember still the shock
it was to our faith when we found that Scripture was being examined
by the ordinary methods of critical and linguistic analysis; and yet
we now realize that it is through this liberty that our faith has
been re-established and set foursquare to all the winds that blow.

The present condition of things is that, while scholars have made
the adjustment in their own minds, the great majority of believing
people have not. That distinction between the revelation and the
record of it is a delicate and subtle thing compared with the direct
and unsophisticated view that every word within the boards that
contain Holy Scripture is absolutely inerrant, in the most literal
sense of the term. Piety and intellectual acumen do not always go
together. Those who know out of a long experience what Scripture has
been to them, in strengthening and comfort, are jealous with a godly
zeal when they think they see heedless hands laid upon the ark. And
so some good people have tried to beat back the tide by accusing
scholars of unbelief, and again and again the attempt has been made
to control the teaching in theological colleges in the interest of
a particular theory of inspiration. The result is that the teaching
of the pulpits has often become suspect by men poles apart in their
general view. Some, clinging to the old ways, have been looking for
heresy; others, feeling the new breath, have been wondering whether
the preacher was frank. There has thus been unsettlement of a most
profound character, and it is unsettlement upon a really first-class
issue. The Protestant world as a whole has yet to be brought to
understand that the believer's faith in his Lord is something that
will be affected in no way by a discussion of the question whether
the sun did actually stand still upon Gibeon. Such a faith rests on
something much more precious than the authority even of the written
Word; it rests on the witness of the spirit of the believer to the
revelation of God as he finds it in Christ.

If, on the one hand, this unsettlement has caused pessimism and
distress on the part of those who cannot see that a living faith is
bound to be a growing thing, an organism and not a crystal, it has
brought about a very different attitude on the part of many others,
who feel that certain obvious religious duties are incumbent upon
them, even if they may never be able to solve for themselves such
questions as modern scholarship has raised. The social and business
life of to-day has one fine feature, unfortunately quite dissociated
from the Christian Church, although created largely by Christian
people. Men, immersed in business and professional life, have yet
religion in their hearts; they know the need, for their own spiritual
health as well as for the good of the community, of guarding against
the tendency to selfishness and absorption in gain. And so we have
springing up everywhere Rotarian Clubs and Kiwanian Clubs and many
other organizations of similar kind, which foster a genial and kindly
rivalry in well-doing. Once a week men gather and refuse to admit
that they are growing old. They laugh and are happy. They are looking
around for some good thing to do. Is it an industrial training home
for boys, away among the mountains, in the best of surroundings, far
from the city streets; is it the installation of a new hot-water
apparatus in their city hospital--to take two instances known to
me of the activities of a Rotarian and a Kiwanian Club--they throw
themselves into the effort with zeal, and get, as surely they should
do, joy for themselves in the securing of joy for others. Behind
it there lies the feeling that whatever the uncertainties of faith
may be, there are certain duties incumbent upon all who love their
kind. It is better to be unselfish than selfish, better to be glad
than frowning, better to come out of your isolation and know your
neighbor and competitor than to retire into your shell and imagine
all kinds of evil about his persistent activities. Such a movement,
spreading with somewhat of the fire of a crusade, is just another
evidence of the working of the Holy Spirit, another proof that
religion is the most pronounced and permanent bent of the human mind.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty, and the Spirit
will always manifest himself in varying modes.

What we are faced with to-day is not the destruction of religion
but the change in its form and outlook. The permanent thing in the
Christian religion, the unique thing, is that it has been the attempt
to set forth Jesus of Nazareth. Everything else has been temporal,
but that has been permanent. As men look back over history they see
that many expressions of that loyalty have become antiquated, and
have, without any active hostility on the part of reformers, simply
ceased to be. The human mind has no longer regarded them as adequate.
The study of a doctrine such as the Atonement is the best of all
evidence for the fact. On so great a truth the greatest thinkers of
all times have exercised themselves, and the statements made of the
doctrine have been made in terms intelligible to the men of the age
in which they were made. Books which deal with the subject of the
Atonement are invariably stronger on their historical and critical
than on their constructive sides. It is easy to understand now
the defects of so great and permanent a book as Anselm's _Cur Deus
Homo_, or, leaping over many hundreds of years, to question the
adequacy of the statements of Robertson of Brighton, or of MacLeod
Campbell. Even the greatest writers, when they deal with eternal
truth, the Apostle Paul himself being witness, write in the language
of their time for the men of their time, and are influenced in their
statements by the ideas that are in the air in their time. The truth
itself is a matter of Christian experience, whether it be taught
by the old women of Bedford to John Bunyan, or by the thoroughly
equipped scholar of to-day to a student who has all his senses
exercised to receive the truth. But, while mediæval thought has few
greater names than that of Anselm, _Cur Deus Homo_ is now studied
exactly like Faraday's _Researches_, only as a matter of history.
Human thought has left Anselm behind.

To the trained thinker, of course, this position is the merest
commonplace. The wine of divine truth is ever new, and it has to be
put into new bottles. He does an infinite disservice to faith who
strives to tie it indefinitely to particular statements. The heresy
of yesterday may be the orthodoxy of to-day, and the orthodoxy of
to-day the exhausted formula of to-morrow. The men of this generation
read with amazement the attacks of the sixties on Darwin, attacks
so full of acerbity, so reckless in their bandying of evil charges
and in their ascription of anti-religious motives. And to-day, while
the biologist may still debate the particular issue, we know that
the conception of continuity and development has been of enormous
service in every range of thought. The first debates on the _Origin
of Species_ have given place to a general conception. Einstein,
in the same way, may influence profoundly not only physical but
theological and ethical problems.

And so those who to-day have faith in a living and personal Christ
must not lose courage, even if they do find the envelope in which
that faith was wrapped being torn asunder. This particular envelope
may have served its turn. We have this treasure in earthen vessels.
We may ask as a matter of intellectual curiosity as to the form in
which men expressed their belief some centuries ago, but the vital
thing for us is that to-day we shall have such a form as shall be
intelligible and arresting for us and our contemporaries. Wherever
the Spirit of Christ is quick there will always be the double process
in action, the challenging of old forms and the creation of new. The
speech in the process may vary from generation to generation, but
the process itself is a symptom of life. The desire for change is
no evidence of impiety; it may be the setting forth of the prophet.
The ages which are the ages of godlessness are those in which there
has been no challenging of the accepted thing. In social as in
religious life there are always multitudes whose motto is "Leave
well alone." The position is a complete begging of the question.
Is the situation really "well"? Many to-day in the Old Country sigh
for the industrial conditions of forty years ago, when labor was
subservient and cheap, and when taxation was low. At that time it
never seemed to occur to any one that there was something wrong
with a system in which one-third of the population of a great city
like Glasgow lived in houses of one room, where women went barefoot
throughout the winter months, where the question of the next meal
was an insistent one with tens of thousands. Because the system had
existed so long, the sufferers under it did not challenge it, while
those who profited by it had no sense of the anomaly of a situation
which worked comfortably for them. It was not that men were heartless
or unbelieving. They were tender in their affections and quick
with their charities. But the existence of this condition of great
wealth alongside of abject poverty and degradation was regarded
with the inevitableness of fate. It existed and therefore it was
accepted. It had the sanction of age and was not to be challenged.
The public conscience was not awake. There was no vision and the
people perished. The last seven years have wrought a mighty change.
Apart from any immediate economic issue there has been an alteration
in the general attitude toward the question of wages. A community
is not stable in its ordering nor is it genuinely prosperous if one
main element in its financing is the maintenance of vast industries
by labor so cheap as to be always upon the verge of destitution. The
economic considerations are not the only ones, nor indeed are they
the primary ones. A healthy and contented population is real wealth.
A generation ago our cities emptied their filth into the rivers and
lakes at their doors, and then used dredges to remove the sludge.
Now, under new methods, unclean products are purified by chemical or
bacteriological processes; the effluent is clean and innocuous, and
there is no need for dredging. A great deal of the social rescue work
and philanthropy of past years has been a beginning at the wrong end.
Drunkenness and an iron social system manufactured the criminal, the
wastrel, the lunatic, and we dealt with the waste product. Now we are
trying to keep our rivers clean.

A change of similar character, but even more rapid in its operation,
is taking place in our thoughts of religion. It is coming about
rather by the opening of the eyes than by any special process of
reasoning or by any definite challenging of old methods. We are
becoming not a little wearied of the tyranny of organization. We
are afflicted by "drives" of all sorts; by vast conceptions of "the
world for Christ in this generation," while the streams of Christian
thought are all the while running shallower and more shallow, with
less and less power to drive anything. In the States, as in Canada,
there have been great campaigns for funds which also tried to be
campaigns for spiritual results. It has been discovered to be an
easier thing to raise money than to quicken the spirit. Life remains
as materialistic and as worldly as before, and the temperature is
dropping as with the coming of an east wind on the Maine coast.
Theologically in both countries we are still inclined to fight for
a former condition of things which, as a matter of fact, has ceased
to have power. It is our burden, as it is our glory, to stand in
difficult days. We shall all the sooner come to grips with the real
issue if we understand that it is our business to set forth the
undying Christ as we know him, and not to resuscitate, if that were
possible, the forms and phrases and intellectualisms of an age that
is gone. Back to Christ is the necessity--not the Christ of the
Creeds compounded with the technical terms of Greek philosophy or
the juristic outlook of Roman law, but the Christ of the Gospels.
Any religious awakening which is going to move the common weal will
begin in a revival of personal religion. Public morals are what
personal religion makes them. The power-house is more vital than
the transmission-plant. Wherever one looks it is to find that great
public movements have had their origin in the hearts of consecrated
men and women. Religion does not suffer by changing its form; it will
founder if it be not ever related afresh to Jesus.

It may be taken for granted that an inquiring age like this will
never submit itself to an intellectual position which presents itself
merely on the ground of authority. The Reformation won the right to
think, and in this we shall not be less than our fathers. Whatever we
believe must be in harmony with our reason and our experience. This
does not mean that those who exercise this right to think are become
rationalists. We know ourselves everywhere to be surrounded by the
evidences of a divine purpose: for us the things which are not seen
are eternal. We find in the history of to-day--in the history of
those past seven tangled and tragic years--clear manifestations of
the hand of God. But we believe that in the interpretation of Jesus
personal experience must always have a major part. Our faith must be
something not merely personal to ourselves but of which we can give
some sort of account to others. Christ spoke no more incisive word
than this: "Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it
thee of me?"

There can be no question as to the dire need there is of such
an awakening by which men and women may once again be turned to
spiritual things. War is, under all conditions, and even when waged
for the purest of motives, an unmitigated evil. The saddest things
in war are not the deaths in action. Abnormal conditions, which bring
together millions of men in a cause in which the sense of personal
responsibility is merged in the sacrifice for a general purpose,
produce abnormal results. The old moorings are lifted. The old
restraints, so largely the result of environment and of local opinion
and knowledge, cease to operate. The sense of "mine" and "thine" is
loosened. Continence ceases to be a primal virtue. The idle become
yet more idle and the reckless yet more reckless. And if the results
upon the men who have seen service have been thus evil, the effects
on the stay-at-home community have been even more evil because less
gross. Money has been made in great quantity by those who have no
sense of the stewardship of wealth, and has been displayed with
an aggressiveness that only embitters the way of simple and modest
people. If the morals of men have deteriorated, women may well
consider whether their fashions of dress have not contributed largely
to the general demoralization. There were periods when lewdness
advertised itself by its garb and indecency wore a uniform. It is
not possible now to draw any large generalizations. The pungent
definition of the modern novel as the kind of book that no nice
girl would allow her mother to read may or may not be justified,
but a glance through the pages of the cheap American story magazine
will leave no one in uncertainty as to the kind of thing that is
apparently most marketable. Any one to-day who takes a grave view of
moral and religious conditions need not be afraid of being counted a
misanthrope. Public life will always reflect not inaccurately private
conditions. If ever there was a time when those who name the name of
Christ required to reflect the character of Christ it is now.

Suppose, then, we come to Jesus and ask ourselves what were the
characteristics of the life he lived and the faith he taught, should
we not set down some broad and simple issues which current religious
life might well be reminded of?

1. _The Joy That He Brought._

When our Lord came it was to a world which was shrouded with the idea
of demons and vindictive spiritual powers. That dark time between
the close of the Old Testament period and the beginning of the New
had been a forcing ground for all such thoughts. The powers of evil
were serried ranks over against the power of God, and in the hands
of those powers of evil Pilate and Herod were mere puppets. St. Paul,
for instance, speaks of the wisdom of God, and then he adds: "Which
none of the princes of this world knew, for had they known it, they
would not have crucified the Lord of Glory" (1 Cor. 2:8). "It was
not of Pontius Pilate and of Herod that Paul was speaking, but of
things far more awful and far more powerful--thrones, dominions,
principalities, and powers--as he calls them elsewhere the world
rulers of this darkness, and at their head is the prince of the power
of the air" (Glover, _Jesus in Experience_, page 1).

Not only on the side of the Jews was this terror of hidden and
revengeful and incalculable powers felt. The Greek-speaking world
had become permeated by Mithraism with its hierarchies of evil
potentates, and as a result men lived in gloom and in a temper
which made the propitiation of the unseen a main element in their
religion. This was swept away not so much by what Jesus said as by
what he was, and the New Testament, as the result, is the most joyous
of books. Our Lord revealed the Father; there was none between the
Father and himself. He was the Door; not only were there no other
doors, but there was no necessity for other doors. He came to give
life and more abundant life. He linked himself deliberately with
those Old Testament Messianic passages which declared that there was
liberty for those who were in bondage. He overstepped the inhibitions
and prohibitions of ecclesiasticism. He took the Jewish law, and,
reaching through the letter to the spirit, he tore off the accretions
which had overlain the original purifying and liberating purpose. He
declared the spiritual manhood of believers and invited those who
cast in their lot with him to take up their great inheritance.

It is in the setting forth of Christ that the New Testament is
self-evidencing. No theory as to its origin and descent is needed
to guarantee its inspiration. The evidence of experience goes to
show that the New Testament has power within itself. It is the
word of God because it effectively conveys the message of God. Its
glow, its simplicity, is due to this, that it was written by men
who had just come through an overwhelming religious experience, an
experience differing in kind but related in each case to the same
supreme Source. In the case of a great work of art we are able to
trace an origin and an evolution. The development may be rapid but
there is demonstrable sequence between the Byzantine art and Giotto,
between Giotto and the great Umbrians. In pure literature the master
does not arise like some volcano from the midst of a plain. He has
his predecessors in form, and his rivals differ only in degree.
But in the case of a religious movement, the first burst is the
most powerful, the first vision the most clear. Every effect must
have an adequate cause. What Cause was it which made of these plain
disciples literary and religious figures of incomparable power and
dignity? Who of mortals can have taught the writer of the Fourth
Gospel the interpretation that he has to hand on to us? The power
of the written Gospel is due to the unique power that was at work
in these men's hearts. After they were gone other Christian writers
arose, better equipped in scholarship, and men of true piety as well,
but they have left nothing that can be mentioned in the same breath
with those narratives of the life of Christ, with the torrent of the
Apostle Paul. Those who were nearest the source received most of the
light. No naturalistic explanation has ever done anything to solve
the riddle of those New Testament writings. An exercised Christian
experience carries the truth. Almost all of those to whom we owe the
New Testament died violent deaths, but their hearts were filled with
singing, and their tribulations were matters only of joy. Base the
inspiration of the Scriptures on their universal and ever youthful
experience, and nothing can move the authority of the Gospels. Rest
it on some theory of verbal inerrancy, and it is shaken by every
negative critic. The vital question with regard to the New Testament
is whether it does or does not reveal Jesus as God in the flesh.
If it does this, then every other question as to the mere harmony
of this account and that becomes almost irrelevant. We can admit
and must admit the human element. God works through personalities,
not through colorless nonentities. Every experienced Christian is a
separate instrument, giving forth a separate tone. And men rejoice in
the New Testament because other men two thousand years ago rejoiced,
and their gladness and release still sound true.

Those who grasp this thought enter into the glorious liberty of the
children of God. To-day all kinds of demons, even though they may not
call themselves such, are supposed to be holding the ground between
the truth-seeker and Jesus. It may be the general dread of life
which always sees the possibilities of doom in to-morrow; it may be
some carrying over into the spiritual sphere of an analogy from the
physical law of causation; it may be some visualizing of the past,
which makes reparation appear to be a prerequisite of any approach
to a new life. Alas, reparation is no longer possible for most of
the moral and spiritual failures, and in any case the kind of man
we have become is a much more important matter than the mistakes
which may come back to us on the selective wings of memory. And then
there are other fears which deal not so much with spiritual things
as with material and personal conditions. Not a few are haunted by
their own suspicious natures. No man is to them wholly spontaneous
or open-handed. The motive behind the generous or the brotherly thing
must be sought, and that motive is invariably found to be something
mean or selfish. How can there be any joy in the heart when there
is this suspicion of one's fellow? And others are dogged by their
anxieties about their own ill health. One's memories of the Riviera
are sufficient to induce one to view Christian Science with a kindly
eye. Those who have had the easiest of lives and endless leisure
in which to indulge their whims cannot use the gifts they have by
reason of the overstrain they would incur! As if life were worth
having on the terms of a constant hypochondria. And others again
are haunted by their fear for their own reputation. They have to
dress in a certain way, walk with a certain gait, live in a certain
type of house, spend money at a certain rate, choose their friends
among those who will be useful to them, speak the safe and colorless
theory when epigram is on their tongue and provocativeness in their
heart--all because they have to maintain a reputation. Yet, _He_
made himself of no reputation, and because He sought only to live in
dependence on his Father He had no fear, no divided mind, no anxiety,
only joy and peace in believing.

Is not the recovery of that joy something that the Christian Church
and the Christians within the church are crying out for. It is so
evidently one of the first-fruits of fellowship with Christ, and how
really rare a gift it is! St. Francis had it because, like the birds
he loved, he leaned only upon God. Some men in war, having given
themselves wholly to a cause that they believed to be of God, learned
the quiet of having the world behind them. We who are burdened about
so many things, so anxious to assume the right attitude, to maintain
the conventional opinion, to insure against every conceivable
misfortune of worldly estate, how can we know the joy of living free,
the release of casting the burden upon the great Burden-bearer? The
stoic taught the Roman to endure by denying the presence of pain.
His strength was in his passive receptivity. But Christ Himself felt
pain, dreaded pain, was distressed by pain in the house of His
friends; and, moved thus by the sombre and unkind things in life,
He yet had an undisturbed peace. If the church is to regain its hold
upon men, it must be composed of joyous Christians. Only then will
there be removed those misapprehensions which have made for such
multitudes the thought of religion the thought of gloom. Only thus
shall we be conquerors through Christ who loved us.

2. _The Faith Which He Possessed._

Although it is two years since its publication, Mr. Lytton Strachey's
_Eminent Victorians_ still leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
Mr. Strachey made it his business to destroy the halo around some
well-known and long-venerated heads. He spoke what he believed to
be the truth, not always in love, about Thomas Arnold and Florence
Nightingale and General Gordon and others. He suggested that Gordon
had been intemperate, and that some of his daring had been due to
this fact. To read the insinuation was to remember the day, nearly
forty years ago, when Gordon, at a few hours' notice, stepped out
of London and took his road for Khartoum and death and an immortal
name. The magic of the story is felt beyond the bounds of the British
Empire. A real hero is the possession of all mankind, and the thought
of this one solitary and God-possessed soldier setting out alone
by sheer personality to quench the rebellion that had spread over
half a continent will always make the blood of the lethargic and
the stay-at-home run a little faster. But that temper, if we could
only grasp it, is essentially the temper of religion, and it means
the possession of peace. The materialism of our day has overshot all
our conceptions of peace, and we identify peace with comfort and a
substantial bank balance and a fortification against the vicissitudes
of chance. No wonder that the venture and the happiness have gone out
of faith, which is the trust in the centuries as against the years,
in the unseen instead of in the seen. There is little to be gained
by society congratulating itself in its victory over alcohol if all
the time it judges all success by outward and obvious standards. As
things are, it is regarded almost as a crime not to have made money,
and the doom of the "unsuccessful" is not pity but reprobation. How
is it that, in a universe in which we believe that the fundamental
factors are spiritual, such a conception should have come to rule!
Simply because we have forgotten the rock from which we have been
hewn, and have made a God after our own image. "He granted their
request but sent leanness into their souls" (Ps. 106:15). We have
had our reward. Is it any wonder that church life is stagnant? Why
should it be otherwise if such conceptions virtually rule? Faith
is become a comfortable dogma instead of a living conviction. The
popular conception of faith implies no sacrifice. The faithful do not
live in any way which marks them off from the faithless. Generally
speaking, they pursue the same interests, follow out the same policy
of insuring against most of the inevitable risks of life. Godly and
ungodly alike, they meet the demand of charity, and are not wholly
unmindful of their duty to their neighbors. But that the Christian
Church should be composed of people who truly are casting their
burden upon the Lord is an unknown conception. Nor can they ever
think of themselves launching off like Gordon on a quest that was
inspired simply by belief in a command of God, as the realization
of a need, by faith in an ideal.

If the church of to-day is uninteresting and without appeal to
youth, the reason may very well be found in the lack of any thought
of a living faith. Our Lord depended absolutely upon the Father.
The Father's will was his will, and as the result quiet dwelt with
Christ. But his was no prudential service. Peace had its willing
price. "Peace be unto you ... and when he had thus spoken he showed
them his hands and his side" (John 20:19, 20).

Public life will rise no higher than its source in personal religion.
A quick sense of the brotherhood of man led to the antislavery
movement. The removal of the merely penal idea in punishment has
led to the new treatment of criminals. Every religious revival may
be traced by changes in public administration. A new grasp of the
meaning of faith, as the leading by God out into the wilderness,
will draw out of their pessimism and social ineptitude men and women
who loathe the publicity and mud-slinging of public life and have
hitherto stood apart from it. If, however, they come to it out of
an awakened conscience, they will step forth, not as unwilling
recruits, obeying the uninspiring call of mere duty, but as crusaders
to strive for the kingdom of God upon earth.

       *       *       *       *       *

The great aim of this and of every day is definite and in itself
simple--to make spiritual things real. Each man has to understand
his dependence upon a world which he cannot control, which was before
he was and will endure when he has gone, a world in which right
rules inevitably and finally, where the secrets of all hearts are
known. And then, having recognized with all its implications his
place in this kingdom of the spirit, he has to play his part through
the institutions of civilized life, the church, the state, the
municipality, in making this unseen life an actuality in the region
of things mundane. But first things come first. The social interest
does not create the clean heart. The power of Christ alone can do
that. The Salvation Army is a mighty factor in moral uplift but it
had its origin in Methodism and in the Christian experiences of a
godly man and of a still more God-inspired woman. Those churches are
not wrong or out of date which lay stress on the relationship of the
believer to his Lord. That, after all, is the fundamental thing, the
source out of which all wider and more impersonal movements flow.
Evangelical faith is not outgrown. It never can be outgrown. It
needs, it is true, constant restatement. The living phrases of one
generation become almost certainly the catchwords of the next. It
is not only the right but the duty of each generation of exercised
Christians to state its belief in its own way; and those who are
older must have faith in those who are young and allow them to tell
their story in their own words. It was a great friendship which
existed between D. L. Moody and Henry Drummond. The older man was
self-educated, brought up to a religious belief that was under attack
by scholars and scientists. The younger man was both a scholar and a
scientist, a setter forth of new views of things. But it was Drummond
who was chosen by Moody to follow up his work, to gather together the
results of the missions. For Moody, "the greatest of living humans,"
as Drummond called him, saw that they were both striving for the same
thing, actually saying it in different words. They both have had
their reward in the affection of countless men and women who think
of them as messengers of the new life. But an awakened soul is the
beginning of things. He who has been truly aroused to the life of God
will not be slack in the life of man.




A couple of years ago one of the most distinguished of our social
philosophers, Professor John Dewey, of Columbia University, was
invited to lecture at the Imperial University of Japan, and, having
delivered his message in Tokyo, proceeded to China, where he was
welcomed eagerly by the younger malcontents as an exponent of Western
ideas. The character of these ideas which our collegiate missioner
carried across the Pacific Ocean may be learned from the little
book since published by him under the title of _Reconstruction
in Philosophy_. His thesis, indeed, is simple almost to naïveté.
Hitherto, he avers, philosophy and religion have been nothing but
an attempt to "identify truth with authoritative dogma." And this
attempt has a double aspect, theoretical and practical. On the one
hand, mankind is prone to forget the evils of yesterday and to gloat
in memory over the good, so that by the combined force of memory and
imagination the past remains with us as a kind of idealized dream,
a lovely, impalpable curtain hanging between our vision and the hard
realities of the present. From such an iridescent dream has grown the
philosophical and religious belief in an immaterial world of ideas,
a glamorous make-believe under whose sway "we squirm," as Mr. Dewey
says in his pragmatic style, "dodge, evade, disguise, cover up, find
excuses and palliations--anything to render the mental scene less
uncongenial," and so to escape the actualities that confront us.
Buddha, Plato, Jesus, and the other great masters and doctors of the
life unseen were merely juggling with words and leading us nowhere;
the discipline of character proposed by them and their offers of
supernatural peace were a fraudulent perversion of the facts of human
experience. The only true knowledge is that which comes to the farmer
toiling at his crops, and to the carpenter laboring with his tools;
the real facts of life are those that we can see and smell and taste
and handle, and, so far as I can understand Mr. Dewey, such things

That is the theoretical aspect of the reconstruction of philosophy
proposed by our tender-hearted materialist; and the practical aspect
is like unto it. Existing forms of government, established order,
property, the church, institutions generally, draw their support
from the idealizing illusions of memory and imagination; they are in
truth the dead hand of the past clutching the throat of the living
present. Throughout all the ages preceding the advent of Mr. Dewey,
or by a gracious inclusion anterior to Francis Bacon, it has been
the task of philosophers and religious leaders to find reasons for
the existence of such institutions on ideal grounds, and to justify
those who profit from them at the expense of the masses. Religion
and philosophy have been simply the servile allies of the predatory
classes of society. The hope of the world is in the new gospel of
pragmatic materialism.

I trust I have not misrepresented Mr. Dewey's teaching. Indeed, with
an individual teacher I should have no quarrel, were he not in a
position of authority; but it is another matter when such doctrines
are spreading out from a lecture-room all over the country, and, as I
hear from Chinese friends, are persuading the young reformers of the
Far East that the only salvation for their people lies in adopting
the crudest materialism of Western civilization, and in emancipating
themselves from all that philosophy and religion hitherto have meant
to the Occident as well as to the Orient. At least here is a matter
to consider.

Now in one sense Mr. Dewey's theory of religion--I use this word
preferably, since the classical forms of philosophy which he would
reconstruct belonged essentially to the field of religion--in one
sense this theory is so far from being revolutionary that it has
been current almost from the inception of human thought. Plato knew
that the religious temper was naturally reverential of the past
and conservative in its influence. It was, indeed, for this reason
that he gave to religion and to a philosophy of the unseen world so
thorough a control over the polity of his state. Polybius, the Greek
historian of Rome, not only recognized this function of religion,
but went so far as to maintain that even the palpable fictions
of superstition should be upheld as a safeguard against political
anarchy. "Since the multitude," he argues, "is ever fickle and
capricious, full of lawless passions, and irrational and violent
resentments, there is no way left to keep them in order but the
terrors of future punishment, and all the pompous circumstance
that attends such kinds of fictions. On which account the ancients
acted, in my opinion, with great judgment and penetration, when they
contrived to bring in these notions of the gods and of a future state
into the popular belief." And on this basis Polybius goes on to show
how the power and permanence of Rome were connected with a national
morality grounded in irrational beliefs, whereas the inquisitive
rationalism of Greece was the cause of her ethical and political
decline. Livy's annals of Rome are inspired throughout by the same
idea, though without the tincture of scepticism that pervades the
philosophy of the Greek historian. The city on the Tiber, Livy
thought, grew mighty and conquered the world because of her faith in
the gods and in that mystical Fatum which presided over her destiny,
and kept her, through all the formal changes of her government, true
to her original _êthos_. "You will find," he writes, "all things
have prospered for those who follow the gods, while adversity dogs
those who spurn them--_invenietis omnia prospera evenisse sequentibus
deos, adversa spernentibus_." So, for Tacitus, religion was, as
he expresses it in his epigrammatic way, _instrumentum regni_.
Christianity, though it altered much, maintained this same view.
The greatest preacher of the ancient church, Chrysostom, was fond of
pointing to the connection of religious humility, mother of all the
virtues, with the principle of orderly subordination, on which, as
on the golden chain of divine law, depended the stability of society
and the happiness of the people.

But I must not fatigue you with examples. Passing on to the
eighteenth century, one finds the politico-religious thought of
England and France dominated by the Polybian notion that religion
was imposed more or less deliberately on the people by their masters
as an instrument of government, only with this important difference,
that in England the imposition was commonly regarded even by the
more radical deists and freethinkers as a salutary and necessary
fraud, whereas across the channel a more logical and less prudential
habit of speech led the bolder spirits at least to spurn the whole
fabric of traditional religion as an impediment to liberty and
progress. It was characteristic of the British mind, then as it has
always been, to stop short of final conclusions and to be tolerant
of a certain penumbra of illusion about the ultimate principles of
life, a trait which has resulted on the one hand in the national
willingness "to muddle through," and, on the other hand, in a deeper
sense of spiritual mysteries. Bolingbroke, atheist or deist, as
you choose to call him, would take the position frankly that the
truths of scepticism are for the enlightened few who, as Aristotle
said, have learned from philosophy to do voluntarily what other men
do under compulsion. Religion, to Bolingbroke and his class, was
simply an integral part of that marvellous fiction, the British
Constitution. "To make a government effectual to all the good
purposes of it," he says, "there must be a religion; this religion
must be national, and this national religion must be maintained in
reputation and reverence." And a little later in the century one of
the correspondents of that admirable and very British gentleman,
Sir William Pepys, condemns Gibbon for divulging to the public the
sort of scepticism which he might have enjoyed lawfully in his
closet. "I agree," avows our correspondent, "that no man should 'take
the bridle out of the mouth of that wild Beast Man' (as Bolingbroke
writes to Swift).... Tho' a man may be allowed to keep poisons in his
closet, he shall not be permitted to vend them as cordials." (Which,
so far as I know, is the first attempt recorded in history to evade,
prophetically, the Eighteenth Amendment of our own Constitution.)
Nothing is more characteristic of the ruling temper of England than
the fact that this same Gibbon, he who had expended his wit and his
vast erudition in "sapping a solemn creed with solemn sneer," in
his old age should have confessed admiration for Burke's chivalry,
even for his "superstition," and should have planned a dialogue of
the dead, wherein Lucian and Erasmus and Voltaire were to be heard
discussing the danger of shaking the ancient faith of the people in
religious institutions.

But the French mind could not rest in this severance of logic and
practice. To their more incisive and less humble way of thinking,
true was true and false was false, and to confound the boundaries
of truth and falsehood was only to pay homage to canting hypocrisy.
There was no distinction for them between an illusion and a plain
lie, nor would they rest satisfied with a suppression of truth as
known to individual reason, in order to leave room for a practical
faith as taught by public experience. So it happened that the
_philosophes_ as a body were not theoretical sceptics merely but
militant atheists. If, as La Mettrie believed, "the soul is an
empty word of which no one has any idea," if men are no more than
blind "moles creeping in the field of nature," then, o' God's name,
out with the truth of it; society can only profit from universal
knowledge of the facts. In like manner a Holbach will take up the
old theory of Polybius, but without the Polybian and the British
"reserve." "Experience," he says, "teaches us that sacred opinions
were the real source of the evils of human beings. Ignorance of
natural causes created gods for them. Imposture made these gods
terrible. This idea hindered the progress of reason." And again:
"An atheist ... is a man who destroys chimeras harmful to the human
race, in order to lead men back to nature, to experience, and to
reason, which has no need of recourse to ideal powers to explain
the operations of nature."

And the French view has prevailed, or threatens to prevail, as
courageous views inevitably tend to supplant timid views, however
true it may be that courage in such matters may sometimes be another
name for insensibility, not to say conceit. So Leslie Stephen,
writing of the eighteenth century in England, with a sneer that
contrives to combine the French boldness with the British reserve,
declares that "the church, in short, was excellent as a national
refrigerating machine; but no cultivated person could believe in
its doctrines." And at last Mr. Dewey, perhaps the most influential
teacher to-day in America, is renewing the old cry and persuading
our young men that religion is a fallacy of the reason devised
to maintain the more fortunate classes in their iniquitous claims,
and that progress and democracy are bound up with the materialistic
pragmatism that emanates from his own chair of reconstructed

Now, it will be clear from these illustrations, which might be
multiplied indefinitely, that the classic philosophy, the philosophy
of idealism properly so called, which underlies all religion, whether
Platonic or Christian, has been regarded by most thinking men from
ancient times to the present day as a conservative, or at least
as a regulative, force in society. But thinking men have differed
profoundly in their valuation of such a force. Those who hold this
philosophy to be true are naturally undivided in their opinion
that its social function is beneficial; but those sceptically and
materialistically inclined, to whom the spiritual world of Plato
and St. Augustine is merely an insubstantial fabric wrought out of
the discontent of mankind with the actualities of life, have been
divided in their attitude. By some this dream of the unseen, though
a deception, has been accepted as necessary for the ordered welfare
of society; the enlightened few might indulge their superiority of
doubt, but without the restraining content born of superstition the
turbulent desires of the masses would throw the world into anarchy
and barbarism and universal misery. That was the prevalent attitude
of ancient rationalism; and it is still common enough to-day among
those who have a condescending respect for the church as a useful
ally of the police court. To others, a rapidly growing number, it
seems that the spirit of content engendered by religion, if based
on a falsehood, must be detrimental to the progress of mankind.
Or perhaps their position might be expressed more accurately by
reversing the terms. They would not say that religious content is
false and therefore must be detrimental; but, rather, religious
content is inimical to progress and therefore must be false.

I am not here before you to-day to determine the truth or falsehood
of the ideal philosophy which supports religious institutions;
that is a question which for the present we may waive. We will not
discriminate between those who hold this philosophy to be true and
those who regard it as an illusion, but an illusion necessary for
the preservation of society. The line for us is drawn between those
who, for whatever reason, cling to a religious philosophy of the
unseen and those who denounce such a philosophy as a check to the
progress and prosperity of the race. And you will see at once that
the issue between these two classes has been sharpened for us of
the present day by the intrusion into sociology of a new theory of
existence--new at least in its scope and claims. I mean the great
and all-devouring doctrine of evolution.

Now the evolutionary philosophy, by which we have become accustomed,
rather prematurely perhaps, to test all problems of truth and
utility, has many aspects and follows various lines of argument. What
it means to the working scientist is one thing, and what it means to
the metaphysician may be quite another thing; but when it intrudes
into the field of sociology, and more specifically when it lays its
grasping hand upon that part of sociology which attempts to weigh
the value of religious belief, you will find it almost inevitably
taking the note so clearly defined in pages of Mr. Dewey's typical
book. Evolution is identified with progress, progress is measured
by increased power to satisfy physical wants, and the effort to
increase this power is conditioned on dissatisfaction with material
conditions. Oh, I know that many evolutionary sociologists will demur
against the reduction of their theories to a crudely materialistic
formula; but many of them will not, and I am sure the formula
does not misrepresent the real conclusions of their doctrine. It
comes down to this: Physical progress has its source in physical
discontent, and, by an extension of terms, social progress has its
source in social discontent; and any doctrine which dulls the edge
of this discontent is thereby an obstacle in the path of individual
and racial welfare. Discontent is motion and the striving for better
things, it is life; content is just stagnation and death. And here
lies the charge against religion. By drawing off the mind to the
contemplation of those so-called eternal things that are not visible
to the bodily eyes or palpable to these fleshly hands, by injecting
spiritual values into this present life and raising hopes of
other-worldly happiness, religion, together with the whole range of
illusory philosophy on which it is nurtured, throws the feelings of
physical discomfort out of the centre into the further margin of the
field of vision, into the penumbra, so to speak, of insignificance,
while it imposes a stillness of content upon the naturally restless
soul of man. In such a mood the past, out of which the oracles of
faith seem to sound by some miracle of memory, acquires a tender
sanctity, and the institutions of tradition are often invested with
a reverence and awe which easily flow into vested rights. If the
religious mood were really to prevail, they say, then society would
sink into the slothful decay described by old Mandeville in his
"Fable of the Bees," that terrible poem which the modern humanitarian
would abhor as a black parody of his doctrine, but which in good
sooth told the facts of a materialistic sociology once for all:

        All Arts and Crafts neglected lie;
        Content, the Bane of Industry,
        Makes 'em admire their homely Store,
        And neither seek nor covet more.

What shall be said of these contrasted views? I think first of all
we must say that the issue is confused by an ambiguity lurking in
the terms employed. And this is no new thing. It is, in fact, one of
the curiosities of our human warfare that the most bitter disputes
on the most fundamental questions often go round about in a circle
because the two parties to the dispute do not see that the same word
may be used in different senses. So it is certainly of content and
discontent; and a man's attitude may very well be determined by his
understanding or misunderstanding of the double meaning of these
words. Cardinal Newman, perhaps the keenest psychological analyst
of the past century, has insisted on this distinction in one of his

    To be out of conceit with our lot in life is no high
    feeling--it is discontent or ambition; but to be out of
    conceit with the ordinary way of _viewing_ our lot, with
    the ordinary thoughts and feelings of mankind is nothing
    but to be a Christian. This is the difference between
    worldly ambition and heavenly. It is a heavenly ambition
    which prompts us to soar above the vulgar and ordinary
    _motives_ and _tastes_ of the world, the while we abide _in_
    our calling; like our Saviour who, though the Son of God and
    partaking of His Father's fulness, yet all His youth long
    was obedient to His earthly parents, and learned a humble
    trade. But it is a sordid, narrow, miserable ambition to
    attempt to _leave_ our earthly lot; to be wearied or ashamed
    of what we are, to hanker after greatness of station, or
    novelty of life. However, the multitude of men go neither
    in the one way nor the other; they neither have the high
    ambition nor the low ambition.

If that sounds oversubtle, or if the preacher's assumptions seem
to beg the question, let us drop the pulpit jargon and look at
the distinction as it works out practically in the lives of two
highly useful members of society, the plumber and the college
president. Suppose a plumber is called into your house on a raw day
of January to tinker up a disordered pipe in the cellar. Probably
that plumber is discontented; indeed, I cannot imagine how a plumber
can be anything but discontented. Nevertheless, his discontent may
be either one of two very different sorts. He may be grumbling to
himself because he has to work at a cold and dirty job, while you
are enjoying your newspaper up-stairs over a warm and cosey fire.
In that case his discontent may take itself out in slighting his
task and wasting your time and lengthening his bill. These things
are said to happen. And he may even carry his discontent into a view
of the organization of society which expresses itself in very hardy
politics. But suppose now that his discontent takes another form.
Imagine him content with his lot as a plumber, even proud of it, but
dissatisfied with the common reproach of slackness and extortion,
ambitious to excel in his profession. I do not cite such a plumber
as a probability; but all things are possible in a Bross lecture. At
any rate, such a paragon would be worthy of succeeding to that famous
chair of the Harvard faculty once occupied by a gentleman whom the
trustees hired as the Plumber professor of Christianity, but whom
the undergraduates irreverently dubbed the Christian professor of

And so the other end of the scale, the college president. He too
is said sometimes to be discontented; and again his discontent may
assume either one of two forms. He may be ambitious of size and
_réclame_ for his institution, and may measure his dignity by the
number of students over whom he presides. His alumni are likely
to encourage him in this, and I have myself known the head of an
ancient university in the East who used to scan the catalogues of
the great Western institutions year by year with bitter jealousy and
heart-burning as their register of students gradually approached his
own, and then shot beyond it. Inevitably such discontent leads to a
lowering of standards, mitigated by the pious belief that that form
of education is noblest which is desired by, and accessible to, the
largest number of paying candidates. Thus a debasement of education
becomes identified in his mind with social service. But one can
imagine another kind of discontent, which should pursue just the
opposite course. Its standard would be qualitative, not quantitative,
and it would fear the temptation of size, not the murmurs of
ambitious alumni. It would look for its reward not in a swelling
registration or spreading houses or additional courses of study,
but to its success in attracting the better minds and the stronger
characters and in directing these in the narrow and tried paths. It
might even go so far--though this is confessedly a fairy-tale--as
to lay a rough, restraining hand on that most corrupting nurse of
materialism in our schools, professional athletics.

However it may be with the plumber and the college president, clearly
these words, content and discontent, are replete with ambiguity;
they are consequences rather than motives of conduct, and we cannot
safely argue upon them until we lave looked more closely into the
springs of action which control respectively the religious and the
natural life. And here I must beg you to indulge me in a bit of
pedantry. Our English speech, with all its practical efficiency, has
never developed a very precise ethical terminology, and so to get at
the distinction I have in mind I am going to ask you to consider two
rather outlandish-sounding Greek words which were much in use among
the early moralists of our era. One of them is _tapeinophrosynê_, the
other is _pleonexia_.

_Tapeinophrosynê_ is a compound word, meaning primarily lowness of
mind; it embraces the idea of humility and meekness, but neither
of these conveys its full significance. St. Paul uses it in the
Epistle to the Ephesians, where it is translated specifically
"lowliness," but its force really runs through the whole passage:
"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk
worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness
(_tapeinophrosynê_) and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one
another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the
bond of peace." Paul had in mind the saying of Christ recorded in
the Gospel of Matthew, where an equivalent phrase is rendered "lowly
in heart": "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your
souls." And the first of the Beatitudes contains the same idea in
slightly different language: "Blessed are the poor in spirit (_i.e._,
the lowly in heart), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." This,
then, is the virtue, or, rather, as Chrysostom calls it, the mother
of the virtues, which was upheld by the fathers, without exception
one might almost say, as the basis of Christian character and the
motive of religious living--_tapeinophrosynê_. And the result of
such a virtue, as it works itself out through character into content
and discontent, is readily seen. It lays the axe at the very root
of that restlessness, that uneasy ambition, that natural instinct
of jealousy, that covetousness forbidden in the Tenth Commandment.
It goes even further than that. You may have observed that the
blessing bestowed in Matthew on the "poor in spirit," in Luke is
directed simply to the "poor," or "beggars," as the word might be
translated. Now Luke, it is fair to say, introduced a disturbing
element into religion by his habit of giving this materialistic
turn to spiritual graces. But it remains true, nevertheless, that
this glorification--the word is scarcely too strong--of poverty, or
at least of the freedom from material possessions, as in itself a
state of blessedness, is a note not only of all the Gospels but of
most of the other great religious books that have moved the world.
Always Chrysostom, to refer again to the model Christian preacher,
connects humility with the twin virtue of charity. And charity, as
he commends it, is not so much an act of giving out of sympathy for
the sufferings of the needy and downtrodden--though this feeling
is not absent--as it is a voluntary act of surrendering our worldly
possessions in the belief that in themselves they may be a snare to
the spirit. For Chrysostom, in a very literal sense of the word,
it was more blessed to give than to receive. If religion suffered
discontent to abide in the heart of a man, it would not be because
he owned too few of this world's goods, or felt humiliated by his
relative rank in society, but because the world was too much with
him. For true content he should look to treasures laid up elsewhere
and to riches that the eye of the flesh could not count.

So much for the religious motive of humility. _Pleonexia_, the
driving force of the natural man, might be defined as its exact
opposite. Etymologically, as an ethical term, _pleonexia_ means
simply the reaching out to grasp ever more and more, whether this
impulse show itself in the grosser appetite for possessions, or
in the ambition to overtop others in rank and honors, or in that
universal craving which Hobbes regarded as the state of nature:
"A general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless
desire of power after power, that ceaseth only in death." To call
this the natural state of man might seem to involve a libel against
both nature and man, but by natural, as you see, is meant only the
condition of mankind if all those restraints were excluded which we
have defined as religious. And such a liberty has never lacked its
advocates as being not only the natural but the rational, even the
ideal rule of conduct. It would be easy to prove this by abundant
citations from modern writers; indeed, the name of Nietzsche leaps
to one's lips; but as I have already trespassed on your patience by
the introduction of Greek terms into my definitions, I will presume
further by going for my illustrations to the people who coined the
expression. In one of the dialogues of Plato, then, you may hear a
respectable citizen of Athens rebuking Socrates for his fantastic
notions of conduct, and arguing for what was really the popular code
of morality:

    The makers of laws are the many weak; and they make laws and
    distribute praises and censures with a view to themselves
    and to their own interests; and they terrify the mightier
    sort of men, and those who are able to get the better of
    them, in order that they may not get the better of them; and
    they say that dishonesty is shameful and unjust; meaning,
    when they speak of injustice, the desire to have more
    (_pleon echein_) than their neighbors, for knowing their own
    inferiority they are only too glad of equality.... I plainly
    assert that he who would truly live ought to allow his
    desires to wax to the uttermost, and not to chastise them;
    but when they have grown to their greatest he should have
    courage and intelligence to minister to them and to satisfy
    all his longings. And this I affirm to be natural justice
    and nobility. But the many cannot do so; and, therefore,
    they blame such persons, because they are ashamed of their
    own inability, which they desire to conceal, and hence they
    say that intemperance is base.

This is manifestly the Hobbian view of the natural state of man,
thought out long before Hobbes, not to mention the naturalists
of our own day. And it was not theory only, but practice. Turn
to Thucydides's _History of the Peloponnesian War_, which Hobbes
translated, and from which, though this is not generally known,
Hobbes borrowed the principles that stirred up the seventeenth
century as Nietzsche troubled the nineteenth. Read there the famous
debate between the envoys of Athens and the magistrates of Melos.
The Athenians are advising the Melians, whose racial affinity was
with Sparta, to submit their city to the empire of Athens; and to the
Melians' argument from justice they reply with cold-blooded candor:

    "We tell you this, that we are here now both to enlarge our
    own dominions and also to confer about the saving of your
    city...." "But will you not accept?" plead the Melians,
    "that we remain quiet, and be your friends (whereas before
    we were your enemies), and take part with neither." "No,"
    reply the Athenians, "for your enmity doth not so much hurt
    us as your friendship would be an argument of our weakness,
    and your hatred of our power, amongst those whom we bear
    rule over.... As for the favor of the gods, we expect
    to have it as well as you; for we neither do nor require
    anything contrary to what mankind hath decreed either
    concerning the worship of the gods or concerning themselves.
    For of the gods we think according to the common opinion;
    and of men that for certain, by necessity of nature, they
    will everywhere reign over such as they be too strong for.
    Neither did we make this law, nor are we the first that use
    it made, but as we found it, and shall leave it to posterity
    forever, so also we use it."

Such was the philosophy of the natural man in ancient Greece, and
such is the philosophy of the natural man to-day, however it may be
disguised and glossed over; it is based on the instinctive motive
of _pleonexia_, the "perpetual and restless desire of power after
power, that ceaseth only in death." I need not dwell on the kind
of discontent it begets in the soul, a discontent intrinsically
and totally opposite to that which accompanies the purely religious

But you will say that these principles of conduct and the feelings
that go with them are mere abstractions, fictions of the analytical
reason; no man is, or can be, purely religious as I have defined the
term, or purely naturalistic. And that is true, is in fact the point
at which I am aiming. On the one hand, no man can utterly uproot the
natural impulses out of his soul; and if a few men in a generation
approach anywhere near it, the saints and martyrs and lonely sages,
they are by their virtues cut off from the common life of mankind.
Were all men, or even a considerable proportion of men, at any
time to overcome the natural discontent that drives us on to seek
greater possessions and higher honors and more power, then, surely,
all ambition and invention would die, the wheels of progress would
slacken and stop, civilization would fail, and society would sink
back into barbarism, so far at least as we measure civilization and
barbarism by physical standards. Such would be the issue of "content,
the bane of industry."

On the other hand, it will be said, and by none more loudly than by
the champions of sentimental naturalism who belong to Mr. Dewey's
school, that the picture of the man controlled by the "perpetual and
restless desire of power," and by that alone, is a pure caricature
of human nature. Even a Napoleon, they will say, who might stand for
the model of such a monstrosity, yet had thought for the glory of
his land, and was a great reformer of laws and institutions. So, too,
the Athenian envoys in Thucydides, cynical as were their confessions
of the desire of power to rule their own people and all peoples,
nevertheless were compelled to mix some honey in their gall, and
tried to persuade the Melians that the hegemony of Athens would be
prudently exercised and would promote the well-being of her subject

Such an objection we readily grant. It is perfectly true that the
creature in whom the instinct of greed and the lust of power should
reign without modification or mitigation would be no man at all, but
a ravening beast of prey. Both the religious man and the natural
man, as I have portrayed them, are avowedly abstractions, at least
to the extent that no society could exist if composed of either type
in its purity. They are abstractions, but they are made such by
abstracting one of the two contrasted impulses that do reign together
in virtually every human breast, and by showing what would result
if one of these impulses were so allowed an unhampered sway over a
man's conduct. And now and then, in some rare individual, the one or
the other of these types has been realized almost in its purity, the
religious type in a St. Francis of Assisi, with his ideals of poverty
and chastity and obedience, the natural type, if not in a Napoleon
or an Alexander, yet in certain notorious criminals who have raged
through life with the ferocity of a starving wolf.

The truth we must recognize is that both these motives exist in the
human heart, and that the conduct of man, not as the saint would see
him in the cloister nor as the evolutionist would see him in the
jungle, but as we see him in the market-place and the theatre and
the courts and the home--that the conduct of man is a resultant from
these two contrary impulsions.

Now, it is fair to say that religion has always recognized the
legitimacy of another standard of life besides the one peculiarly
its own. It has seen clearly that the ideal of poverty and chastity
and obedience, which would uproot altogether the natural instincts,
is possible for very few men, and that the attempt to enforce such
a standard absolutely on society at large would result in a world
of hypocrisies, if it did not actually run counter to the command
of the Creator. So the Christian Church, even in its most ascetic
days, admitted that property and marriage and prestige were the
normal condition of life; and Buddhism drew up two distinct tables
of law, one for the religious state pure and simple, the other
for the mass of mankind who are engaged in practical affairs. But
both Christianity and Buddhism held that the natural instincts
were ruinous if left to themselves, and that they became salutary
instruments of welfare only when limited and softened and illuminated
by a law not of themselves.

On the contrary, it is of the very essence of naturalism that it
should admit no standard but its own. To a naturalist and materialist
of the true type all the ideal philosophy of the past, with the
religion which grows out of it, is a lying cheat of the imagination
and corresponds to nothing real in the nature of things; its peace
is a pitiful sham cherished by those who are too cowardly to face the
facts; its promise to mitigate the harsher passions of greed is only
a cunning pretext devised to blind the dispossessed of their rights
and to fortify the owners of wealth and power in the unmolested
enjoyment of their criminal advantages. From the very beginning the
double standard of things spiritual and material has been the foe
of progress, and only then will justice and peace and prosperity
prevail, when the deceptions of priest and philosopher are swept
away and our vision of material values, as known to the scientist in
his laboratory and to the blacksmith at his forge, is not confused
by false lights. This, I repeat, is no caricature of the sort of
naturalistic pragmatism that is sweeping over the world.

I would not imply that all these enemies of religion, or even those
of them who are most influential to-day, are conscious advocates of
a pitiless egotism or believe that the repudiation of religion would
throw mankind into that anarchy of internecine warfare which Hobbes
described as the state of nature, or which Nietzsche glorified as
the battle-field of the superman. It is rather the mark of modern
naturalism that it is plastered up and down, swathed and swaddled,
masked and disguised, with sentimentalisms. A Dewey, for instance,
wields his influence over the young and troubled minds of our
generation because he stands forth as a reformer with a precious
panacea for the calamities of history. It is the dream of another
realm, such reformers declare, that has riveted upon us the chains
of lethargy and despair; shatter these, let men become aware of their
real nature, let them see that the only truth is to recognize this
life as all they have, and that their only hope of happiness is to
get together and increase the physical comforts of existence--let
this once come to pass, and at last a peace born of universal
benevolence will settle down upon this long-vexed planet. Sympathy,
they maintain, is a natural instinct of the heart, as surely as the
lust of power and possessions; rather, it is the genuine basis of
nature, and of itself will control the other natural instincts if
unhampered by false ideals. That is a pretty faith; but is it true?
No doubt the human heart is swayed by sympathy and benevolence; but
are these the qualities of the natural man? I will not go into the
answer given to this question by the religious minds from Plato down
to Cardinal Newman, who all with one accord assert that sympathy
and benevolence of an active sort do not spring up from the soil
of nature, but result from the reaching down, so to speak, of a
higher principle into the lusts of the flesh. They all maintain,
with one voice, that the only effective bond of union, whether it
be of friendship or of society, is through our perception of oneness
in the spirit. Mercy droppeth down as a gentle dew from heaven. I
will not argue from this thesis, because it would carry us into the
brier patch of metaphysics. But history and science both would seem
to enforce the bitter conviction that at the best the instinct of
natural sympathy is a fragile and treacherous support against the
assaults of a restless and perpetual desire of power. Greece learnt
this, to her frightful ruin, when she followed the law of nature as
avowed by the Athenians at Melos; and to-day we have rediscovered
it in the same desolation of war. That, I fear, is the lesson of
history. And science has no different lesson. Indeed, by the natural
man I would signify precisely the realization, if such were possible,
of the principle of natural selection and the survival of the
fittest by which the world is governed as the scientist, the natural
philosopher, as he used to be called, sees it when he eliminates the
religious idea from his view. I mean nothing more than what Huxley,
the protagonist of evolutionary philosophy, meant when, in his essay
on _The Struggle for Existence_, he thus described the law of nature
as actually seen in operation:

    From the point of view of the moralist, the animal world is
    on about the same level as a gladiator's show. The creatures
    are fairly well treated, and set to fight--whereby the
    strongest, the swiftest, and the cunningest live to fight
    another day. The spectator has no need to turn his thumbs
    down, as no quarter is given. He must admit that the skill
    and training displayed are wonderful. But he must shut
    his eyes if he would not see that more or less enduring
    suffering is the meed of both vanquished and victor. And
    since the great game is going on in every corner of the
    world, thousands of times a minute; since, were our ears
    sharp enough, we need not descend to the gates of hell to

        "sospiri, pianti, ed alti guai,

        *       *       *       *       *

        Voci alte e fioche, e suon di man con elle"

    --it seems to follow that, if this world is governed by
    benevolence, it must be a different sort of benevolence from
    that of John Howard.

And I think, if you look closely into the social theory based on the
naturalistic, or let us say the purely economic, view of life, you
will find that beneath its mask of sentimental sympathy the reality
is a face of greed and animal rapacity. According to this theory,
progress is a result of discontent. Because men are discontented
with their present state they push out for something better. And no
doubt in a half-way that is true. But when discontent is associated
with material standards alone, and purchasable comfort, and worldly
opportunity, or, to put the matter in its most favorable light, when
success and the goal of achievement are measured by the pleasures,
however you may refine them, and by the pride of a few brief years
of physical existence, beyond which there is nothing, and when for
failure in these no compensation is held out, no supernatural hope,
no refuge of peace, here and now, such as the world cannot give--when
the driving force of progress is so presented, what is there in the
nature of things to offer in the long run any effective resistance
to the innate desire of power after power that ends only with death?
What equal counterpoise will you set against that instinct of
_pleonexia_ which reaches out for ever more and more?

Philosophy is full of mockeries. These honorable gentlemen who
are teaching a pure naturalism in the schoolroom, who denounce
the content of religion and other-worldly philosophy as a base
acquiescence, who in the restlessness of an itching egotism go out as
missionaries to the people of the far Orient, may deceive themselves
and may try to deceive us; their language may be sleek with the
sentiment of brotherly love, but strip off its disguise, and the
social theory they are proclaiming will leer forth in its true face
as an incentive not to progress but to the anarchy of the jungle.
These men are distilling into society a discontent that knows no
satisfaction, that must engender only bitterness of disappointment
and mutual distrust and hatred, and that in the end, if not checked
by other motives, will bring about internecine warfare and a suicide
of civilization of which the hideous years through which we have just
passed are a warning admonition. And these teachers have the field
to-day. We applaud them for their pretensions of philanthropy, even
when we doubt the utility of their philosophy. We are browbeaten
by the volume of their noisy propaganda. We are mealy-mouthed and
afraid to speak out in open denunciation, even when secretly we burn
with indignation at the baseness of their words. We sulk in silence,
as if we had nothing to say. Meanwhile they have had the field to
themselves, and the world every day is more filled with fear and

There is no danger that by opposing other views of life to this
insolent naturalism we shall put an end to that normal discontent
with material conditions which may be a necessary incentive to
natural and social progress. Certainly, however it may have been
at other times, we need apprehend no such danger now. In a world
manifestly distracted and blown from its moorings, in a society
seething already with envy, it is not the part of wisdom to sow
broadcast words that are calculated to inflame discontent into
passionate hatred or sullen despair. That way leads to madness. What
we need is rather a clearer perception of, and a firmer insistence
on, those immaterial values which it is within the power of every
man to make his own, whatever may be the seeming injustice of his
material condition. We need rather to emphasize the simple truth
that poverty is not the only, or indeed the worst, of mortal evils,
that happiness does not consist mainly in the things which money can
buy, that the man of narrow means may enrich himself with treasures
which only he can give to himself, and which no one can take from
him, that the purest satisfaction is in the sense of work honestly
done and duties well met, and a mind and conscience at ease with
itself. Even to the very poor, if such must be, religion may offer
manifold compensations. "Blessed be ye poor," it was said, "for yours
is the kingdom of God." Shall we say that these words were spoken in
ignorance or jest or mockery? I think not. We for the moment may have
lost the key to their meaning, we may have listened to teachers who
turn them into ridicule; nevertheless, they are true words, rich with
a gift of solid content.

But it is not the less fortunate and the poor alone, or I might even
say chiefly, who need to hear the precepts which the new philosophy
is drowning with its clamorous tongue. If the home of theoretical
materialism is in the lecture-rooms of philosophy, the home of
practical materialism is in the offices of Wall Street. If there is
any truth that needs to be reiterated to-day, it is the simple truth
that a man may heap up riches and increase his power indefinitely,
and command all the visible sources of pleasure, and still be a poor,
mean creature, a mere beggar in the veritable joys and honors of
life. He that has many possessions needs be a strong man to escape
their strangling grip. They wrap him about, they color all his
thinking, they hang like a heavy curtain, as it were, between himself
and his soul. You have heard the saying: "It is easier for a camel
to go through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter into the
kingdom of God"; that is a hard lesson, but in reality it is only an
Oriental way of expressing what Plato had taught long before in the
Academy: "Neither when one has his heart set on gaining money, save
by fair means, or even is at ease with such gaining, does he then
bestow gifts of honor upon his soul; rather, he degrades it thereby,
selling what is precious and fair in the soul at the price of a
little gold, whereas all the gold on the earth and under the earth
is not equal in value to virtue." That is the invariable lesson of
religion and the idealistic philosophy. Certainly, it is a truth we
shall not recover by listening to the words of the new naturalism. It
is not by a philosophy that preaches social discontent as the means
of progress, and measures content by material values, however it may
disguise the banality of its aims in a sentimental philanthropy--it
is not by such a philosophy that justice and mercy and humility shall
be imposed upon the natural pride of those who have the larger share
of this world's goods.

It is true that religion, or religious philosophy, as its friends and
foes have seen from the beginning, is an alleviator of discontent and
a brake upon innovation; but the content it offers from the world
of immaterial values is a necessary counterpoise to the mutual envy
and materialistic greed of the natural man, and the conservatism it
inculcates is not the ally of sullen and predatory privilege but of
orderly amelioration.





(NOTE.--This address was delivered on November 4, 1921, before the
Conference on Limitation of Armaments and Far Eastern Questions
began its work. It is now published some months after the Conference
was held. Readers who are familiar with the work of the Conference
will be interested in noting how far the Governments concerned
followed the principles laid down in the address. Most will probably
agree that no other important international conference dealing with
questions of this type has come so near following the principles of
Jesus' teachings here laid down as did the Conference at Washington.
Certainly it will be of interest to those who read the address to
compare its principles with those followed by the conferees.)


No other political event of the past year has awakened so great
interest and hope as the calling by President Harding of the
Conference on Limitation of Armaments and Far-Eastern Questions.
The greatest statesmen of Europe, America, and the Far East have
avowed their belief in the supreme significance to world civilization
and political and industrial progress of such a conference, and the
sincerity of their statements is proved by the caliber of their

Secretary Hughes has expressed the desire that leading Christian
bodies in the United States be active in presenting their views to
the public and to the members of the conference, in the hope that
thereby the influence of a powerful public opinion may be exerted
along the noblest lines. It seems peculiarly fitting, therefore,
and in full accord with the spirit of the Bross Foundation, that an
attempt be made to search out the bearings which the teachings of the
founder of the Christian religion may have upon the solution of these
most important political problems. Moreover, if we are to be just and
helpful, his teachings must be analyzed and treated not as religion
and therefore sacred, but as psychology and political or social
science, as are those of Aristotle or Kant or Herbert Spencer.

Any careful student of the New Testament recognizes at once that
however deep Jesus laid the philosophical foundation of his life-work
in human nature, his teachings dealt directly with the day-by-day
practical activities of the individuals with whom he talked. His
direct appeals to his hearers were so to change their outlook
upon life as to make of them new creatures. They were to do their
life-work in a new and better way, and the final outcome of this
changed, wiser, and loftier mental and spiritual attitude on the part
of great masses of people was to be a new type of society, a better
world which he designated the Kingdom of God.


Through the years of his ministry Jesus met and discussed the issues
of life and society with many thousands of people. We have the
records giving an account of his sayings in many specific cases and
of the marvellously illuminating illustrations of his principles
of living contained in his parables. Moreover, the account of his
life and his dealings with his contemporaries--friends, critics, and
persecutors--illustrates better, perhaps, even than his teachings his
fundamental principles of living. A careful analysis of the various
topics which he discussed and of the accounts of his acts will show
that there were a few principles which are absolutely basic, and
which are of such a nature that as they entered the consciousness
of men they changed their lives; and in consequence, in the course
of the centuries that have followed, they have wrought a very
considerable transformation in society.

Our international problems to-day, both economic and political, have
to do primarily with men's motives and purposes. If men and nations
can attain the right spirit toward one another and toward their
own duties, the most difficult problems are well on the way toward
solution. It is worth while then to analyze with care the principles
of living of this greatest moulder of human motive.


The first of these principles to be enumerated is "TRUTH," taking the
word in its most comprehensive sense.

In the light of our modern social studies every one must concede that
truth is the greatest social virtue, and a lie the greatest social
sin. It may well have been the case in barbarous times that fear was
the binding force that held society together and that caused its
different members to function; but there can be no doubt that in
modern society, both economic and political, confidence is the chief
essential factor to any effective functioning. It is a commonplace
among business men that modern business rests upon credit, and that
credit depends absolutely upon the confidence that men will live up
to their contracts, and that a man's word, however given, must be
kept literally and rigidly. Trickery and deception may win temporary
gains, but no great permanent business can be built except on the
basis of fair dealing. Good measure and the qualities represented by
strict accuracy in the maintenance of standards are all required if a
business is to succeed. Even advertising is now conducted with strict
regard for truth. In politics, too, as well as in business, truth
pays in the long run, as even the diplomats are beginning to concede.
Truth, too, means seeing straight as well as talking straight.

There is perhaps no more striking characteristic of Jesus' mental
attitude toward truth than his clarity of vision, the keenness of
his insight into the real meanings of things. He did not believe in
"cleansing the outside of the cup or of the platter and leaving the
inside untouched." He did not think that a courteous manner and fair
promises revealed the character of a man. "As a man thinketh in his
heart, so is he." He did not believe in long prayers that recite the
virtues of the petitioners. God looks into the heart as Jesus did and
sees the man as he is.

Moreover, in his interpretation of the law he was not content with
the mere word. He must understand the purpose and significance of
the law. Life and life's activities were with him not matters of
form; they were matters of purpose and intent. When criticised for
violation of the law regarding the Sabbath Day, he recognized to the
full the sanctity of the day, but claimed that the purpose and not
the form of the deed determined its sanctity. "The Sabbath was made
for man and not man for the Sabbath." If the purpose of one's acts
is the uplift of humanity or the bringing of comfort to a suffering
soul, the deed is good, the Sabbath is not broken. These traits
of Jesus show clarity of mental vision and mental integrity, the
ultimate essence of truth. He does not necessarily condemn the moral
integrity of those who keep the letter of the law in good faith, not
seeing its spirit; but he does say that they do not know the truth.

       *       *       *       *       *

Aside from this, however, no other sin of humanity seems so to arouse
his righteous indignation as does wilful misrepresentation, conscious
hypocrisy. "When ye pray, ye shall not be as hypocrites: for they
love to stand and pray in the synagogues and in the corners of the
streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they
have received their reward" (Matt. 6:5).

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye tithe mint
and anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of
the law, justice, and mercy, and faith: but these ye ought to have
done, and not to have left the other undone.... Woe unto you, scribes
and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres,
which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead
men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly
appear righteous unto men, but inwardly ye are full of hypocrisy
and iniquity" (Matt. 23:23, 27, 28).

Jesus recognized also how imperative is the need of a clear statement
of thought and opinion, if one is to deal honorably and successfully
with others. Not only does he condemn profanity in the taking of
oaths, but he goes still farther than that. "Let your speech be, Yea,
yea; Nay, nay; and whatsoever is more than these is of the evil one"
(Matt. 5:37). Throughout his teachings we see how direct and clear
are his own statements, so that it is impossible, if one considers
those to whom he was speaking and the circumstances under which his
words were uttered, to misunderstand his meaning.

Nevertheless, there seems to be equal evidence that he saw the need
of suiting his words to the occasion and to the people with whom
he was dealing, in order to secure the best effect for what he was
saying. "If thy brother sin against thee, go, show him his fault
between thee and him alone: if he hear thee, thou hast gained thy
brother. But if he hear thee not, take with thee one or two more,
that at the mouth of two witnesses or three every word may be
established. And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church:
and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as
the Gentile and the publican" (Matt. 18:15-17).

Observe the skill with which Jesus dealt with his questioners when
they attempted to corner him in argument. When the chief priests and
elders asked him by what authority he did those things, he responded
by saying: "I also will ask you one question, which if ye tell me,
I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The
baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven or from men? And they
reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he
will say unto us, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we shall
say, From men; we fear the multitude; for all hold John as a prophet"
(Matt. 21:23-26).

When the Pharisees inquire whether it is "lawful to give tribute unto
Cæsar or not," he shows them their Roman coins with the image and
superscription of Cæsar and replies, "Render therefore unto Cæsar
the things that are Cæsar's; and unto God the things that are God's"
(Matt. 22:21).

With all of his insistence upon absolute uprightness and
truth-telling and plainness of speech, we find no hint of a lack of
courtesy or kindness, or of diplomacy in the best modern American
sense of that much-abused word. The direct, truth-telling, open
diplomacy that is imperative upon a democratic government like the
United States, where it is impossible to have secret treaties or for
any great length of time even confidential understandings between
nations that are not public in their character, is quite in accord
with the teachings of Jesus; whereas the secret treaties such as
those that led to grave misunderstanding on the part of the United
States when it entered the Great War are directly contrary to the
spirit and practice of Jesus' teachings. It is not sufficient to
call such practice of a secret diplomacy "discreet," which would be
proper; but often, as in the cases mentioned, where vital interests
of others are involved, such treaties lead to direct deception, and,
in consequence, to injurious practices. Indeed, it is often because
of the unjust nature of such treaties that the attempt is made to
keep them secret.

In the farewell visit with his disciples just before his betrayal,
Jesus showed them how throughout the period of their discipleship he
had been gradually teaching them as they were able to understand. He
had not taught them all his life principles to begin with, because
they were not yet ready to receive all of the truth. And even in this
last discourse, when he was rehearsing for the disciples the nature
of his relations with them and their relations with the world, he
still gave them to understand that only as they became equipped to
receive the truth could all the truth be given them. "I have yet many
things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when
he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the
truth...." (John 16:12, 13).

In his final words to them he expressed his conviction that he had
already so put his principles of life and action into the minds of
men that through their gradual fruition in the future there would be
given unto us a new earth, a new society, and he concluded: "These
things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye may have peace. In the
world ye have tribulation: but be of good cheer: I have overcome the
world" (John 16:33). His task had been completed. He was confident
that his principles in time would conquer and give the world peace.


The greatest single contribution that Jesus made to social and
political science was his insistence upon the worth of the common
man. That is practically a declaration of the moral equality of all
mature individuals, rich and poor, bond or free, a declaration of
their duty to make their own decisions on questions of right and
wrong, and in consequence the recognition of the responsibility which
each must bear for the conduct of his own life.

This was a new philosophy that Jesus brought into the world. No one
of the great teachers among the Greek philosophers had dreamed of
such a doctrine. In the _Republic of Plato_ and in the writings of
Aristotle we find, indeed, a type of republican form of government,
but in that government the rulers are to be the intellectual
aristocrats, the philosophers, while the great mass of the common
people are to be subservient. Among the ancient Hebrews, even in the
days of the kingdom, there was more than an inkling of a democracy.
The common man had many rights which were protected by the law,
but he had relatively few responsibilities. If he obeyed the law
as that law was given him by the priests, he was doing right. The
responsibility did not rest upon him to interpret the law. And in the
days when Jesus lived, the priests and the commentators prescribed
in minute detail the application of the law to life: the clothing
which should be worn, the food that should be eaten, the work that
should be done on the Sabbath--all the minute forms of religious
ceremonial were matters of prescription which the common man need not
think about. He was to do as he was told. How revolutionary, then,
was this doctrine that Jesus taught of the infinite worth of the
individual human soul!

"Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they
reap, nor gather into barns; and your heavenly Father feedeth them.
Are not ye of much more value than they?" (Matt. 6:26).

And again: "If God doth so clothe the grass of the field, which
to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much
more clothe you, O ye of little faith?" (Matt. 6:30).

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? and not one of them shall
fall on the ground without your Father: but the very hairs of your
head are all numbered. Fear not therefore; ye are of more value than
many sparrows" (Matt. 10:29-31).

But with this doctrine of individual worth is combined, of necessity,
the principle of individual responsibility. Each man is to decide
for himself what his life shall be, and his punishment or reward at
the hands of God, that is, the development or degradation of his own
character and soul are dependent upon his determining decision.

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and
rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up
for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth
consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where
thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also.... No man can serve
two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or
else he will hold to one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God
and mammon" (Matt. 6:19-21, 24).

"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and
shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven:
but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in
the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:19).

Then again: "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world
and lose his own soul?" And it is his individual decision that

This development through the bearing of responsibility demands, of
course, independence of judgment. We have already noted how in his
own life, in interpreting the ancient laws and in determining his
course of action, Jesus held himself independent of the decisions or
interpretations of the laws as given by others. He must think out by
the light of his own reason, independently, his course of action. He
likewise expected his disciples, as he sent them on their mission,
to judge and determine their own actions.

But if I demand from others the right to think independently and to
determine my own line of action, it is, of course, imperative upon
me to grant that same right of independent action to my fellow men.
I ought not to insist upon my right to bear my own responsibilities
without being tolerant of the rights of others; and Jesus nowhere
in his teachings or life shows any lack of tolerance. Perhaps the
most striking incident of this trait of character is found in the
broad-minded way in which he dealt with the woman taken in adultery.
With ironical scorn for her hypocritical accusers he said: "Let him
that is without sin among you first cast a stone." And then he gives
a judgment as merciful as it is just. "Neither do I condemn thee; go
and sin no more." So long as repentance and determination for right
living in the future is secured, forgiveness can be granted. There
must be no prejudice about formal rules or customs.

In his scornful condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees, he always
placed the emphasis not upon any difference of opinion, but upon
their hypocrisy and cruelty. A difference of opinion need not be
condemned, but hypocrisy, falsity in mind and heart, is worthy of
the utmost contempt and punishment.

No person who bears responsibility can safely make decisions without
proper study of his problems and preparation for his work. Jesus'
life and teachings exemplify this principle completely. So much
emphasis has been placed by many Christian teachers and writers upon
the divine nature of Jesus that many assume that there was given him
all knowledge and wisdom in some superhuman way entirely different
from that by which ordinary human beings attain their knowledge and
bases of judgment. Such persons apparently overlook the fact that
if that were true Jesus could not have been tempted in all points as
we are. From the evidence given in the New Testament, Jesus, when a
boy of twelve years of age, showed a remarkable precocity and mental
grasp of the deep problems of life in his discussions with the wise
men in the Temple. Nevertheless, he did not venture upon teaching in
any formal way and making public his convictions regarding life and
society until he was some thirty years of age. Moreover, there was a
progressive development in his views and plans for the redemption of
humanity. During his period of preparation, he made himself master of
the Hebraic law and the writings of the leading commentators upon it.
Evidently, also, while he was working at his trade of carpenter, and
presumably also as master carpenter and contractor and citizen, he
had been studying and reflecting most deeply upon the traits of human
nature as manifested in the people whom he met and those with whom he
had come in contact through his work and studies. When he began his
public ministry, he had at his command the most profound knowledge
of human motive and of human nature possessed by any of the great
teachers of history. While he left us no formal analytical discussion
on psychology, and probably never made one, as did Aristotle or
Immanuel Kant or William James, none of them had more completely
understood the ways in which human hearts and minds are to be touched
and convinced so as to change their entire nature. It is not too
much to say that as regards the practical working knowledge of human
nature and the way in which it is to be influenced and changed,
Jesus Christ is the greatest social psychologist of history. He had
made himself such by long and patient study during a period of from
eighteen to twenty years of preparation.


The third great principle laid down by Jesus for the conduct of life
is love: devotion to the welfare of others.

This principle had been enunciated by all of the great religious
teachers, but never before had it been so emphasized as by Jesus. The
Buddha had taught kindness and mercy, and among the Buddhists even
to-day it is not uncommon for people to make gifts to the community,
such as bridges or rest houses by the wayside, or public buildings,
in order "to acquire merit." Likewise Confucius and the Hebrew
lawgivers teach mercy and kindness and devotion to the welfare of the
community. Nowhere, however, in all literature have we quite the same
range of touching human sympathy as is expressed in the parable of
the Good Samaritan, or quite the same direct guide to human action as
in the Golden Rule. Most Christian teachers, indeed, have spoken of
this principle of love as the cardinal principle of Jesus' teachings,
often as if it were almost the sole principle of social import;
whereas, far-reaching as it is, the principle was not so new in
social science as that of individual responsibility.

The social value of this principle is most clearly demonstrated
by recognizing the fact that Jesus apparently made the welfare of
humanity the basis of his ethical teachings, his test of right and
wrong. And that is perhaps, on the whole, the best test that can be
applied to individual or social action to-day. Much has been said
by Christian teachers, and by the teachers of other religions, of
the Law of God; and the test of what is right and wrong has seemed
to be either some specific commands, such as, for example, the Ten
Commandments of the Hebraic law, or other pronouncement of priestly
doctrine; but Jesus, in his interpretation of the ancient law, sought
for a fundamental principle which was to be applied to individual
human action by the individual himself. In his declaration, "The
Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath," in his parable
of the Good Samaritan, in his condemnation of the Pharisees for their
hard-heartedness, in his enunciation, indeed, of the Golden Rule
itself, we find various ways in which the truth that whatever tends
to benefit humanity is right and whatever tends to injure humanity
is wrong is made the basis of judgment.

This principle of Jesus would generally, I believe, be accepted for
the basis of individual action. Of course, customs, habits, laws
have so passed judgment upon most of our every-day acts that we do
not need to stop to argue with ourselves the question as to whether
stealing or killing other human beings or bearing false witness are
for the benefit of humanity or for its detriment. We know it, we
feel it; custom has made it instinctive; and yet our laws make very
clear the distinction between murder and the execution of the death
sentence or killing in self-defense; and the basis of the distinction
is, of course, the welfare of the community.

Many writers, however, especially perhaps some of the leading German
jurists, have drawn a sharp distinction between personal ethics and
governmental ethics, arguing that though it may be wrong for an
individual to lie, it is entirely proper for a government to deceive,
if by so doing its own immediate welfare can be promoted. Along the
same line is argued the justification for wars, seizure of territory
of weaker peoples, and other acts of government that throughout all
history have been assumed to be right, or passed over with little

On this point again there can be no question that this broad
principle, the promotion of the welfare of humanity at large, comes
the nearest of any test of right and wrong that has been, probably
that can be, discovered. This makes no distinction between underlying
principles of governmental ethics, personal ethics, international
ethics. The differences, whatever they may be, lie in the different
influences that are brought to bear by the acts of an individual in
his private and in his governmental capacities. It is, however, not
difficult ordinarily to make the distinction.

Whatever the varying conditions may have been that guided
governmental actions in the upward progress of civilization, the
best test, perhaps, of national morality and of a higher civilization
is that as time goes on the principles which should guide individual
action in a society shall more and more become the rules by which
governmental action within the society and also in international
relations shall be guided. The higher civilizations, in their
dealings with one another, and especially in their dealings with
weaker peoples, should base their actions more and more upon truth,
development of the individual through responsibility, the Golden Rule.


If we review hastily these principles of personal action which
are really the summary of the most important of Jesus' social
teachings, we note that in enunciating these principles Jesus laid
the foundations of democracy. He dealt the death-blow to imperialism,
even to a benevolent despotism. When the mature individuals in a
community deal truthfully and frankly with one another, when they
feel a keen sense of individual responsibility for their actions,
judging those actions with independence of spirit, with tolerance
for the same independent judgment on the part of others, with the
consciousness that they must study and prepare themselves for the
bearing of their responsibilities, and when they also feel that they
must devote themselves with all that they have and all that they are
to the promotion of the welfare of the community at large, we have
the ideal democracy. Is not this true? I have asked many thoughtful
students of government whether or not these principles are the
fundamental principles of popular self-government, and whether any
other principles besides these are needed to be brought into play
in order to give us popular self-government of the best type; and
so far I have found no one who denied these to be the principles of
democracy or who had anything to add to these principles. If, then,
these are the principles of Christianity, if these are the complete
summary of Jesus' fundamental teachings, is it not the fact that
Jesus, although not dealing directly with government, is nevertheless
the founder of democracy, of self-government? It is certainly true
that before his day the various attempts that had been made toward
the establishment of republics or of democratic governments did not
recognize the worth of the common man. In all of the earlier attempts
that had been made there was a substantial equality of rights among
the so-called better classes in the community; but the great masses
of the serving classes, of the working classes, if not slaves were
at least not supposed to bear the responsibilities of guiding the
affairs of the community. Even in Great Britain, until after the
great reform acts of the middle of the last century, there was no
real democracy.

Moreover, the chief difficulties in democracy arise from the fact
that we do not have in the great mass of our citizens in any
community by any means a universal acceptance of these principles
of Jesus. Although these are the principles of the ideal democracy,
not until these principles are accepted and acted upon by the great
masses of individuals in the community shall we have a perfect
democracy. To improve our governments, therefore, if we are to
accept Jesus' guidance in our actions, our efforts should be devoted
primarily not so much to increasing the power of individuals in the
community or to weakening the power of leaders, as to increasing,
on the part of our individual citizens, the capacity for wise,
independent self-judgment and bearing of responsibility through
increase of knowledge and increase of the spirit of unselfishness.

This leads us naturally to a brief consideration of the principle
of self-determination on the part of nations and peoples, which has
been so much discussed since the Great War. Perhaps there has been
no other watchword that has been more misused in its application to
governments and peoples than that of self-determination, but if we
note carefully the way in which Jesus applied these rules that have
been enunciated, we shall find the key to a wise and just application
of this principle of self-determination. What limitations did Jesus
place upon the principle?

When he said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me; forbid
them not; for to such belongeth the kingdom of God" (Mark 10:14,
15); and again (Mark 9:35-37), "If any man would be first, he shall
be last of all, and servant of all. And he took a little child, and
set him in the midst of them: and taking him in his arms, he said
unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such little children in
my name, receiveth me: and whosoever receiveth me, receiveth not
me, but him that sent me"--he clearly had in mind the humility and
receptivity of children, their eagerness to learn, and had no thought
at all that they should decide for themselves what to do. He seems
throughout his teachings quite in accord with the teachings of Paul
in his epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians, that children should
obey their parents, and that it took mature men, measuring up to
the spiritual stature of Christians, to decide their own beliefs
and actions. It is, of course, recognized in the laws and customs,
as well as in the good judgment of all peoples, that children are
not yet persons in the legal sense of the word. The same principle
applies to weak-minded individuals. One of the great problems of
self-government is to determine at what age or at what stage of
development people are to be considered competent to make decisions
for themselves, and, in governmental matters, for other members of
the community. In America we have assumed that at twenty-one years of
age people may properly be asked to take that responsibility. In some
other countries twenty-five years is assumed as the proper age. In
most countries, before people are allowed to act as representatives
to pass on the making of laws, a still more advanced age, and, in
consequence, a greater degree of maturity, is required.

What is only good judgment and common sense as applied to children
is also good judgment and common sense, and good Christianity, in
accordance with the teachings of both Jesus and St. Paul, as applied
to certain peoples where the majority are so untrained or incapable
that they cannot judge. It is not at all a question of social status.
The extreme radical change that Jesus made was in that field. Jesus
taught that there were no people born better than others, or in a
ruling class, who could remove responsibility from any individual
for deciding his own beliefs and determining his own actions. On
the other hand, there is no reason for thinking that Jesus in any
particular fostered the doctrine that any individual or small group
of whatever degree of immaturity of judgment should under all
circumstances be allowed to determine their own acts or their own
form of government, and especially to control their relations with
other peoples.

A second limitation upon the privilege of self-determination is, of
course, the rights and the welfare of others. While we are to decide
our own actions in accordance with the spirit of Jesus, we should
impose upon ourselves the limitation that we will not act contrary to
the interests of others or contrary to the welfare of the community,
and this same principle would properly apply in any democratic
community or state. While it is right for them to seek their own
development, people should avoid injury to other peoples or races,
and resistance to such injury is justified. Jesus did not hesitate
to denounce the Pharisees for their unjust treatment of others, nor
to expel forcibly from the Temple those who were desecrating its
precincts to the detriment of the faithful.

I have heard the parable of the Good Samaritan cited by extreme
pacifists as an argument against all war, and have heard Jesus
characterized as "The Great Pacifist." In addition to the present
parable, I have sometimes wished that he could have left us another
in which he depicted the scene a little earlier, just at the time
when the wayfarer was struggling in the hands of the robbers. The
priest might well have shrunk from a contest. Pleading to himself
that it would ill become one of his cloth to be involved in a wayside
brawl, he would pass by on the other side. The Levite, too, arguing
to his conscience that the victim was a stranger to whom he was under
no obligation, and that, at any rate, the robbers were too many,
would pass by on the other side. But the Good Samaritan, seeing only
a neighbor--though a total stranger--in dire distress at the hands
of scoundrels, would hurl himself like a bolt into the fray. And if,
after deadly conflict, he too lay robbed, bleeding, and sore by his
neighbor's side, there would be no glimmer of regret in his heart;
but as each helped the other to bind up his wounds, their hearts
would rejoice that each had found a friend in a good fight for the

The main difficulty in the application of the principle of
self-determination is, of course, the apparent conflict of interests
and benefits that occurs at times. Judgment should be rendered as
nearly as possible by a consensus of opinion of the least prejudiced
and best informed and most unselfish, disinterested observers.
It is in exactly this field that we look forward to an ultimate
international court of nations to which such questions as are
formally justiciable may be put, and to a council of nations that
may discuss, determine, and formulate the opinions of the nations
on questions that are political in their nature. We may look forward
to a time when such a decision rendered by such a court or such
a council will be practically self-enforcing through the public
opinion of the world. In the meantime, however, it should be a
matter for the consciences of the statesmen of all of the different
nations to settle this question with the spirit of Jesus and in the
light of experience. Most thoughtful people of the present day, if
their interests are not immediately concerned, would concede that
the welfare of humanity and the progressive development, not only
materially but also intellectually and spiritually, of the most
backward individuals and peoples would be furthered by limiting the
extent to which they may determine their own actions, especially so
far as they concern other peoples through international relations.
Heretofore such questions have been decided by the nations that had
the greater power to enforce their will. Cases could be selected
where the nation from whom the right of self-determination has
been taken was probably better able to judge wisely its own acts
than the dominating power. On the other hand, probably far more
instances could be cited where the limitation for a time of the
self-determining power in international matters has been beneficial
to humanity. The right principle and the Christian principle would
seem to be that an effort should be made to develop the capacity for
self-determination on the part of backward peoples, and to withhold
the power of self-determination in matters which involve deeply the
interests of others, until such self-determining capacity has been
developed to a degree to make its use safe for other peoples and
nations. Doubtless as a practical matter for some time to come it
will be the will of the stronger power in individual instances that
will settle this question of the degree of self-determination that
shall be granted and its application; but eventually the world court
or council which has been mentioned may determine such matters in
default of agreement among the peoples immediately concerned.


With the preceding discussion of principles as manifested by the
teachings of Jesus Christ, we may consider briefly their application
to the problems of the Far East and the limitation of armaments.

The three countries most concerned are Great Britain, the United
States, and Japan. Of these, the first two claim to be Christian, and
should therefore be willing to follow the teachings of the Founder
of their religion. The third claims that her aim is to take the best
from the civilization of the other two, and, wherever possible,
to improve it. If all of them are really sincere and a correct
analysis has been made of Jesus' teachings, they may well prove to
be satisfactory bases for discussion and agreement. If the powers
can agree, the conference will be a success.

All of the problems of the Far East, from the point of view of the
United States, seem to be centred about Japan, her acquisitions
of territory, her claims regarding her interests and rights, her
attitude toward other nations and the proper methods of procedure;
and, on the other hand, from the point of view of Japan, one might
in like manner assert that the problems of the Far East seem to be
centred about the United States, her acquisitions of territory, her
claims regarding her interests and rights, her attitude toward other
nations, and the proper methods of procedure.

It is frequently stated by those who are discussing the nature of
the forthcoming conference that the great problem of the Far East
is China, and minor problems are Siberia and the islands of the
Pacific; while still others speak of immigration and racial equality
as the most important problems to be discussed. It will readily
be seen, from our point of view, that if we eliminate Japan as an
active factor, the other problems would not be of so serious import
for international discussion, especially in connection with the
possible limitation of armaments; whereas from the point of view of
Japan, if the United States were eliminated as an important factor,
such discussions would be of minor import. She could take care of
the difficulties herself. There seems to be a conflict of views
mainly between Japan and the United States, with Great Britain and,
to a less degree, the other nations invited as vitally interested
umpires, whose voices will largely decide, and who wish not to offend
either Japan or America.

A complete discussion of these vital problems would involve careful
and sympathetic consideration of questions that differ widely in
form and nature, yet may be greatly simplified by the application
of these principles of Jesus to their solution. Such a study would
involve a sketch of the political history of the Far East since the
China-Japan War, with notice taken of earlier conflicts over China,
giving motives and methods of aggressions of various nations with
their results; the marvellous expansion of Japan in both territory
and influence, with a judgment as to her real needs for territory
and materials and consideration of satisfying these needs; and the
present and probable effects upon the world of the continuation of
her policies; a similar study of the acquisition of territory and
extension of influence in the Far East of the United States, Great
Britain, and the other nations, and the probable future effects of
the continuation of their policies--all to be judged in the light
of these principles of Jesus: truth; development of personality of
individual human beings; the Golden Rule, care for the welfare of
humanity as the test of right and wrong.

To-day I may only indicate the method and nature of such study, and
let each follow out the thought to a conclusion.

1. Truth: While every care should be taken to be courteous and
considerate and just to all, if Jesus' principles are right the
future policies of the nations must discourage militaristic methods
of deceit and trickery, propaganda of falsehood, secret diplomacy
that is misleading, and the employment of force or threats, except
in war. This can best be done by taking action which shows that such
methods do not succeed and will not be tolerated in international
relations. An "open-door" policy freely entered into (and this
has been repeatedly affirmed by all) must be kept by all, and, if
necessary, enforced by joint action. Promises regarding territory and
treaties entered into freely must be kept, while those extorted by
force should be considered invalid.

2. The spread of democracy in the sane sense of the word must be
recognized and encouraged. World history under the teachings of
Jesus shows this trend, and the outcome of the World War makes it
clear that imperialism cannot survive. All nations must recognize
this fact, and kings and emperors must retain their thrones by
becoming the leaders of their peoples, whom they will train to
assume responsibility. The nations whose spirit and policies are
most intelligently and most sincerely devoted to developing stable
self-government among their peoples must extend their influence, and
those with other views must change or their governments will in no
long time perish. Again, it is practically certain that any policy
that is at variance with this principle will certainly lead to war
in the not distant future--not to peace. These facts should have
influence in the conference in determining future policies.

3. The policy should be encouraged of promoting the welfare of weak
and backward peoples, not by selfish exploitation, but by aiding them
to fit themselves for the responsibilities of self-government in all
ways practicable, while not encouraging a movement toward a weak
independence that would endanger the peace of the world.

4. All these questions must be handled--if the teaching and practice
of Jesus are to be followed--in the light of reason and common sense
and the practicable. To attempt to reverse actions of generations
ago, whatever our views as to their justice then, might well do
more harm than good. The annexations of Hong Kong, Indo-China, the
Philippine Islands, Corea, are questions that cannot and ought not
to come before the Washington conference. The ways in which the
different nations have administered those territories may well be
factors in determining what further opportunities should be given
to the nations concerned. On the other hand, questions of grave
importance are still pending and others involving the same principles
may well arise.

(_a_) All the nations represented at the conference have formally
agreed to the open-door policy in China. If that policy has been
violated by any of the powers, the facts should be clearly brought
out and recognized. On the basis of these facts, measures should be
taken to insure a strict observance of that policy in the future.
Presumably international inspection by international commission,
including, of course, China as a party, probably as chairman, or
possibly international control, will be needed in certain particulars.

(_b_) The treaties between China and Japan in 1915 and 1918 (which
China claims were obtained by threats and show of force against a
friendly power in time of peace) have not been recognized by the
United States as valid so far as they concern the rights of America
or American citizens, or the territorial integrity or the sovereignty
of China, or the principle of the "open door." These treaties involve
the extension of power and influence of Japan in Manchuria, Inner
Mongolia, and Fukien province of China, as well as her official
influence with the Chinese Government and the entire question of
Shantung province and Japan's hold on Kiao Chow. The United States
Government as well as China have consistently refused to consider
these questions closed. They should now be considered and settled in
accordance with the principles laid down. The truth should be fully
brought out and recognized; measures should be taken looking toward
the best development of the peoples concerned, so as to fit them for
self-government in due time. As fast as possible they should be given
the responsibility of self-determination. If not ready now, steps
should be taken to prevent them from oppression or loss of their
territory, while they are encouraged to find their way.

(_c_) The welfare in the long run of the peoples concerned, the
welfare of humanity through them, should be the test of right and
wrong in making these decisions and working out these plans. In case
of differing opinions, based not on self-interest but on sincere
conviction, if the history of twenty centuries is to count, the
opinion should prevail of those nations whose practices have followed
most nearly the principles of Jesus.

The same tests may be applied to conditions in Siberia, to Yap, and
the islands of the Pacific whose status has not yet been agreed to
by all the powers, and to the other problems raised by conditions
in China.

Two questions more raised by Japan at different times may be briefly
touched upon: Oriental immigration into Western countries and the
race problem. Can the New Testament help on these?

Japan claims that she is already overpopulated; that the countries
to which her people wish to go object to their coming, and that
the countries to which they might go (Formosa, their own northern
islands, Hokkaido and Saghalien, Siberia, Manchuria) are not suited
to them. The facts are naturally that they wish to go to countries
whose standards of living are higher than theirs. Then they have the
advantage in competition. But such advantage is at the expense of
those countries, whose standards will be lowered. They do not wish to
go to countries whose standards are lower than theirs. The advantage
in competition would then be against them, as experience in Corea and
Manchuria has shown, and they must lower their standards to succeed.
That they are naturally unwilling to do. For the same reason they
exclude Chinese and Corean laborers from Japan in actual practice.
In my judgment they are wise in so doing.[3]

It is the common economic conflict of standards of living where the
fittest, in the sense of the ones who will produce the most at the
lowest rates, because they have diligence and thrift, and are willing
to live on lower standards, survive, and those who insist upon
higher standards must go. It is perfectly evident, and to my mind
entirely proper and in strict accord with the spirit of the teachings
of Jesus, that every effort should be made to maintain the higher
standards to the utmost extent possible, and that the methods of
competition that should be admitted in connection with the principles
of expansion should be those which would further the welfare
of the populations, including the opportunities for developing
intellectually, and gradually exercising more and more of a capacity
for a self-determination of policies. This would not exclude Japanese
from Corea or Manchuria, if they will deal fairly with those peoples.
On the other hand, the nations that object to the admission of the
Japanese on the grounds that their coming in large numbers will lower
their standards of living and introduce a type of civilization that
on the whole they feel to be lower than their own, are not therefore
unchristian, provided proper methods of exclusion are followed.
Japan is likewise fully justified in adhering to her policy of
excluding from her own territory those laborers, especially Chinese
and Coreans, who, if allowed to come in large numbers, because of
their lower standards of living, would lower the standards of living
and the opportunity, in consequence, for cultural development of the
Japanese people.

As the Japanese Government has insisted upon limiting the competition
of some foreign corporations that were obtaining too much control of
certain industries in Japan (such as the American Tobacco Company),
and insisted upon rigid control of the foreign companies doing
business there, so it seems fully justified for the Chinese and those
sympathetic with them to object to the dominating control by the
Japanese, at the expense of the natives and of foreign competitors,
of the territory of Kiao Chow, of the administration of the South
Manchurian Railway, if the charges of discrimination are true, and
of the methods of administration of Corea. I am not raising now
the question of the legal right in any of these cases, but of the
Christian principle of improving the welfare of the masses of the
peoples of the countries concerned through the opportunities for
developing to the highest degree the individuals.

Going now to the question of what the Japanese can do to maintain
their own standards and improve them, unless they are allowed
to enter freely in large numbers the territories of those whose
standards of living are higher, three suggestions may be made:

First, they may become, at home, as they have already shown their
capacity to become, more of an industrial nation, in which case the
increase in the density of the population would be an advantage in
competition rather than a disadvantage, and in which--owing to the
rapid improvement of industrial conditions--the standards of living
could be improved rather than lowered. The best illustrations of
the success of this policy are found in Great Britain and Germany,
both of which improved very rapidly with an increasing density of

The second suggestion is that in the countries readily open to
Japanese immigration, where the population is not so dense as in
Japan, _i.e._, in certain parts of Corea and Manchuria, in Hokkaido,
and in other countries that might be mentioned (other parts of
China and Siberia), a similar policy might well be followed. This
does not mean political control, which is not necessary, but
Japanese immigration. If they will undertake economic and industrial
development, there will be room for a large and increasing population.

A third suggestion has to do with the very rapid increase in the
population of Japan, owing to the high birth-rate. It is well known
that in countries where the standard of living is rapidly rising,
the birth-rate rapidly falls. This is a normal consequence of
the increased care for their children, their training and their
education, on the part of parents, with their own improved standards
of living and the desire to give to their children the best which is
possible. If Japan improves her industrial standards, unless there
are some special efforts made either through religious influence
or governmental influence to the contrary, the birth-rate will
normally decrease. A militaristic nation wishes a high birth-rate, an
industrial nation gets a low rate. Already there has been discussed
in Japan, by their most thoughtful citizens, the question of birth
control and the inculcation of the knowledge regarding sane and
proper methods of birth control among the more ignorant classes of
the population. It is a question that may well be given thoughtful
consideration not only in Japan but in other countries.

It is, however, urged frequently that the Japanese cannot expand
industrially unless they are in a position to secure the raw
materials for their industries that are not produced in Japan itself.
This is the usual defense that is given for many of the aggressive
acts of Japan in securing control of coal and iron mines in various
parts of China. Other nations, such as France, Great Britain, the
United States, have imported large quantities of the essentials
for industrial development, such as the raw materials mentioned,
and petroleum and food-supplies, without feeling the necessity of
political control. For decades the population of Great Britain, it
has been known, could not survive many months without the importation
of large quantities of foodstuffs, while her cotton industry has
been dependent upon the United States for its raw material for many
decades. There would be no objection whatever to Japan importing coal
and iron ore and other products from China in as large quantities as
she needed in the ordinary course of business for the support of her
industries; and if her policy were an industrial one rather than a
politically imperialistic one, her industries would be as safe as are
those of Great Britain. They would be much safer than during the last
years, when their acts have produced the Chinese boycott.

From the viewpoint of the United States, the difficulty in the
Japanese expansion has been the apparent insistence on the part
of her friends that she must have for her protection a political
control over raw materials while her competitors along certain lines
are satisfied with industrial access to raw materials; and also
her insistence upon forcing her people into competition where they
would lower the standards of living of other nations when they might
readily find plenty of opportunity for work at higher standards,
though it would require capital, to the benefit of not only
themselves but of the populations who would welcome them.


These considerations bring up also, as the Japanese Government itself
brought up at the Paris Peace Conference and frequently elsewhere,
the questions of racial equality and the statement so frequently
made that any discrimination between races, by immigration laws, for
example, is unchristian.

It is highly important that we understand with the greatest clearness
the spirit of the teachings of Jesus in connection with the question
of race and race equality. At the beginning of Jesus' ministry he
apparently felt that his message was first and chiefly to the Jews.
That was natural, and quite possibly it appeared the most expedient
course for the rapid spread of his vital principles of living. There
can be, however, no doubt, as shown for example in the parable of
the Good Samaritan and in the spirit of his teachings throughout,
that Jesus believed and taught that all individuals of whatever
race were equally precious in the sight of God, and that all would
be equally citizens in his kingdom if they possessed and manifested
his spirit as shown in his life and teachings. It is no less clear,
however, that with his marvellous insight into the realities of life,
he recognized as accurately and completely as any thinker possibly
can, the differences between classes, professions, sects, and races,
and the influence of these differences upon social life. Samaritans,
Pharisees, Sadducees, Jews, and Gentiles are recognized as different
types, to be dealt with according to their differences in type. In
other words, Jesus recognized social facts as they were and acted
in accordance with those facts, so as best to improve the welfare of
all. This is the spirit of his teachings. No sane, intelligent person
denies the fact that the differences between Negroes, Japanese,
Jews, Anglo-Saxons, Arabs, Chinese, Hindus, Hottentots, are very
marked. No Christian doubts that any member of any of these races
who knows and follows the teachings of Jesus is equally a Christian,
and equally worthy and precious in the sight of God; and yet with
their great differences in social and political customs and habits
of living, it is equally clear that if the attempt were made for
them all to mingle with each other in close association, even with
the best intentions and the best Christian spirit, there would be
brought about inevitably a great loss of effective energy, not
to say great friction. When one considers still further that the
racial differences are so great in many instances that there is
an instinctive objection on the part of the different races toward
the most intimate association of married life, with the consequent
mingling of blood and mental and temperamental as well as physical
traits, it is evident that from any effort to bring these races
together into close personal association without cordial willingness
on the part of both races so to associate, there is certain to arise,
under present conditions at any rate, friction that will not promote
but will seriously retard the welfare of both races concerned. If the
situation is such that one dominates the other, creating a servile
race, that is clearly contrary to the spirit of Jesus' teachings,
and the objection to such association, if the spirit of Christianity
prevails, would be as great on the part of the dominating as of the
servile race.

Promotion of the welfare of all the races is the spirit of Jesus'
teachings. It is idle as well as contrary to the teachings of Jesus
to close one's eyes to facts of race differences and of the practical
effects of those race differences upon the associations between
the races. When those facts are clearly seen, it is in accord with
the spirit of Jesus' teachings so to adjust those relations as to
promote the welfare of all, not of any one race at the expense of
the others. Where racial differences are so marked that association
is not acceptable to both races, there is no equality of treatment
in forcing them to associate or in permitting one to force itself
upon the other. Equality of treatment will demand that each race or
each nation shall be allowed to determine for itself what other races
shall be admitted to close association.

It therefore seems that the Japanese, as well as the Americans and
the Canadians, have been wise in controlling with great care the
immigration of other races and the conditions under which business
shall be done in their countries by the peoples of other races and
countries. The equality of the races that should be demanded is the
recognition of the equal right of all to determine for themselves
without injuring the rights or welfare of others what method will
best promote the interests of all and the equal personal respect
in which each individual of a different race should be held for
the personal qualities that he himself possesses and cultivates.

While there is doubtless much race prejudice, most of the pleas of
the Japanese that their exclusion from certain countries because of
their race is a declaration of a belief in their inferiority seems
rather a special plea to arouse sympathy and feeling than a statement
of fact. They are excluded (_a_) because their industrial standards
of living are such that their admission in large numbers will tend to
injure the welfare of the community industrially, and (_b_) because
the difference in race is so marked that their coming in large
numbers is likely to promote social friction, and thus to injure the
community politically and socially. In many instances these effects
might well be brought about because of the recognition of their
superior industrial, mental, and political accomplishments in certain
lines. They do well to control their own country so as to prevent
injury to it. It is in accordance with the spirit of Jesus that the
same principle of promoting the welfare of the community be followed
in other countries.

In saying these things I wish not to be misunderstood. I believe
that the greatest benefits can come from close associations between
the nations, industrially and politically, from very frequent and
close associations in the way of visiting and of travelling and of
international co-operation, so that good traits, good qualities,
noble attainments of each nation may be as widely spread as possible
among the other nations. I believe also that the Christian spirit
of recognition of these good qualities and of the individual
excellencies of all nations should be recognized. The principles
laid down are made merely to suggest the ways in which the Christian
spirit of co-operation can best be attained by avoiding unnecessary
friction wherever possible.

It is entirely possible that in the course of time, through the
spread of international culture, there will be a gradual mingling
of customs which will promote a much greater degree of association
than now, but it is certainly not only unwise but it is unchristian
to attempt to force association where friction is bound to be the
inevitable result. It would seem as if the sensitiveness of nations
would lead them rather to avoid making themselves the cause of
friction than to insist upon creating it.


The chief problem of the Pacific so far as Japan is concerned has
been caused by the methods that the Japanese Government has followed
in promoting what they believe with all sincerity to be their
interests. I have no desire to blame the Japanese Government for
its policies. Under the conditions, it seems to me that they have
been normal. In 1916, before the United States entered the Great
War, but after Japan had expelled the Germans from Shantung, seized
control of that territory, forced upon China the twenty-one demands,
and insisted under threat of war upon the acceptance of all of them
but the fifth group, while holding that for future consideration, a
leading Japanese statesman said to me that Japan saw in the Great
War an opportunity for promoting her own interests. He advised the
government to select the very best men to take advantage of that
opportunity to make Japan as great a state as possible. It was a
normal spirit for a Japanese patriot.

Another Japanese statesman of high standing at about the same time
said to me that it was natural that the Japanese Government should
be militaristic: her constitution had been modelled after that of
Germany; her armies and the officers of her armies had been trained
by Germans; her army was modelled after the German army; all of the
great strides forward that had made her one of the great powers
instead of a small nation had been won by armies (Corea, control
over Manchuria, the victory over Russia, and her great influence
in the councils of the nations); what more natural than that she
should believe in militarism and in German methods! Yet he personally
thought those methods should be stopped. One need not blame the
Japanese statesmen for the policy which they followed, but it is our
business in this discussion to question whether these methods are now
in accord with the teachings of Jesus, and whether it is incumbent
upon the rest of the world, especially the Christian world, to
encourage the continuance of those methods or to put what obstacles
it can in their way. I have just given the testimony of two leading
Japanese statesmen, testimony given to me personally. Many instances
could be cited in the writings of Japanese statesmen to the same
effect, and no careful student of history of the last twenty years
will deny the facts.

The conference at Washington, in its consideration of the problems
of the Far East, should face facts in the bold clear-seeing spirit of
Jesus. Japan secured the control of Corea by violation of treaties,
deception of the rest of the world, and the employment of force.
She cannot deny this now. I think the question of Corea should not
be raised now, but it gives a basis for judgment. These same methods
were followed in the extension of her control over Manchuria and in
such measure of control as she has in Shantung and other parts of
China. Japan's government of Corea has doubtless in many respects
been better than the government by the Corean monarchy, and this
in spite of universal testimony that the Corean revolts of the last
year have been largely caused by the cruelty and despotic methods
of Japanese administrators. The annexation of Corea by Japan was
assented to by all of the leading nations of the world really because
the previous government had been so inefficient and corrupt that it
was believed that the welfare of the nation would be promoted by the
annexation. Some of the nations who had promised in their treaties to
use their influence to protect Corea against aggression from outside,
before acting should have investigated with greater care than they
did both the conditions surrounding the annexation and the prospects
for the future; but, however that may be, if the Japanese Government
were now to administer Corea with the welfare of the Coreans in
mind, with the purpose of enabling them to develop their own feeling
of responsibility so that as rapidly as possible they might be
granted, in their internal affairs at any rate, the principle of
self-determination, most people would believe that whatever the past
may have been, the present and the future would be as nearly as
practicable in accordance with the spirit of Jesus' teachings, and
would readily assent. If, however, cruelty and coercion continue,
the decision would be the opposite.

The other questions regarding the open door in Manchuria, Shantung,
the Pacific islands, have not as yet been universally accepted as
settled. They are questions still to be settled. The methods that
have been followed for years, practically up to the present time,
have been those of force and fraud in the countries themselves, and,
so far as it was practicable, deception by means of propaganda in
countries abroad. These statements are made, not with any bitterness
or blame, but merely as facts necessary for judgment, based on
overwhelming testimony of practically all foreigners who are in a
position to know the facts and of the liberal Christian thinkers
among the Japanese themselves.

Is it for the welfare, morally and spiritually, as well as
industrially, of these countries and of the rest of the world, that
these practices be permitted to continue, or would the Christian
nations be following more clearly the teachings of Jesus if they
were to insist that these methods should stop? The nations assembled
in the conference at Washington will follow the teachings of Jesus
if they give to Japan the opportunity to promote the welfare of her
citizens along all lines that will tend to inculcate in them the
spirit of the Christian teachings; and they are also the teachings
of Confucius and the Buddha and other great teachers. We ought not
to attempt to force Christianity upon Japan. That would be unwise,
unjust, and unchristian. There should be encouraged among them not
only mercy and justice, but also the spirit of individual thinking,
individual self-determination, just as rapidly as they can be trained
enough to accept that responsibility; and the welfare of the other
peoples who have been under their influence can certainly best be
promoted by the adoption of international policies enforced by the
influence of the united nations that shall prevent fraud and force
from triumphing, but shall secure to the peoples concerned and
the nations interested full and free opportunities for a greater


If the spirit of Jesus characterizes the conference and if these
principles should be accepted by all, the question of the limitation
of armaments, speaking from the point of view of the United States,
would be easy. It would be merely a question of proportion among
small numbers. From the point of view of Japan, the question may
well be asked whether the United States is willing to follow this
same spirit. The reply to the question is to be found simply in the
facing of the facts. Are the proposals of Secretary Hughes in this
spirit? Has the United States attempted to seize unjustly or to
oppress the native peoples in Cuba, in Porto Rico, in the Hawaiian
Islands, in the Philippine Islands, in China, or elsewhere? The
inefficient Cubans were given a start toward self-government, were
set upon their feet industrially and were given the opportunity of
self-determination as regards all matters in which they could not
injure the rights or the welfare of others. Similar statements may
be made with an equal degree of truth with reference to Porto Rico,
the Hawaiian Islands, Philippine Islands, China. While doubtless
many individual mistakes may have been made, the spirit of the
administration in all these countries, by the universal testimony of
those who know, including the Filipinos themselves, shows that the
spirit has been in accord with the teachings of Jesus.

The Japanese claim they fear, and doubtless in many instances they
sincerely do fear, that the United States is aggressively attempting
to gain control of the Pacific. Any one conversant with the facts
knows that it wishes simply the promotion of the welfare of the
people concerned, including the welfare of its own citizens, by
fair, peaceful, industrial methods, in accord with the spirit of
self-determination of the peoples themselves just so rapidly as they
are able to assume that power.


What is the position that our government should take in the
conference? While exercising all due courtesy and exhibiting every
care possible for the feelings of those in attendance, it should
still have the Christian courage to face the facts as they have been
and as they are, and to insist upon it that all the nations present
see those facts and, basing their actions upon those facts, adopt so
far as possible the Christian methods that will promote the welfare
of all the peoples of the Far East, including Japan, so far as these
problems of the Conference are concerned. If this is done, it does
not mean that Japan's future or China's future is endangered. It
means that every militaristic policy must be abandoned, but that the
industrial, social, and even political future of all the nations,
including Japan, will be better secured than can be possible in any
other way. It will mean that the welfare of the inhabitants of China,
including Manchuria and Shantung, of Siberia and of the islands of
the Pacific, will be promoted by encouraging in every way possible
their industrial development, by protecting them if necessary by
joint international influence against aggression from without, and so
far as possible by encouraging within those countries policies which
will secure order, peace, and the development of the individuals
toward acquiring a capacity for self-government which they seem to
have been attaining so far only to a most unsatisfactory degree.

Above all, the guiding spirit, with its clear-sightedness and rigid
adherence to practical conditions as they are, should be the spirit
of peace and righteousness.


The Bross Lectures are an outgrowth of a fund established in 1879 by
the late William Bross, lieutenant-governor of Illinois from 1866 to
1870. Desiring some memorial of his son, Nathaniel Bross, who died in
1856, Mr. Bross entered into an agreement with the "Trustees of Lake
Forest University," whereby there was finally transferred to them the
sum of forty thousand dollars, the income of which was to accumulate
in perpetuity for successive periods of ten years, the accumulations
of one decade to be spent in the following decade, for the purpose
of stimulating the best books or treatises "on the connection,
relation, and mutual bearing of any practical science, the history
of our race, or the facts in any department of knowledge, with and
upon the Christian Religion." The object of the donor was to "call
out the best efforts of the highest talent and the ripest scholarship
of the world to illustrate from science, or from any department of
knowledge, and to demonstrate the divine origin and the authority of
the Christian Scriptures; and, further, to show how both science and
revelation coincide and prove the existence, the providence, or any
or all of the attributes of the only living and true God, 'infinite,
eternal, and unchangeable in His being, wisdom, power, holiness,
justice, goodness, and truth.'"

The gift contemplated in the original agreement of 1879 was finally
consummated in 1890. The first decade of the accumulation of interest
having closed in 1900, the trustees of the Bross Fund began at
this time to carry out the provisions of the deed of gift. It was
determined to give the general title of "The Bross Library" to the
series of the books purchased and published with the proceeds of the
Bross Fund. In accordance with the express wish of the donor, that
the "Evidences of Christianity" of his "very dear friend and teacher,
Mark Hopkins, D.D.," be purchased and "ever numbered and known as
No. 1 of the series," the trustees secured the copyright of this work,
which has been republished in a presentation edition as Volume 1 of
the Bross Library.

The trust agreement prescribed two methods by which the production of
books and treatises of the nature contemplated by the donor was to be

1. The trustees were empowered to offer one or more prizes during
each decade, the competition for which was to be thrown open to
"the scientific men, the Christian philosophers and historians of
all nations." In accordance with this provision, a prize of $6,000
was offered in 1902 for the best book fulfilling the conditions of
the deed of the gift, the competing manuscripts to be presented
on or before June 1, 1905. The prize was awarded to the Reverend
James Orr, D.D., professor of apologetics and systematic theology in
the United Free Church College, Glasgow, for his treatise on "The
Problem of the Old Testament," which was published in 1906 as Volume
III of the Bross Library. The second decennial prize of $6,000 was
awarded in 1915 to the Reverend Thomas James Thorburn, D.D., LL.D.,
Hastings, England, for his book entitled "The Mythical Interpretation
of the Gospels," which has been published as Volume VII of the Bross
Library. The announcement of the conditions may be obtained from the
president of Lake Forest College.

2. The trustees were also empowered to "select and designate any
particular scientific man or Christian philosopher and the subject on
which he shall write," and to "agree with him as to the sum he shall
receive for the book or treatise to be written." Under this provision
the trustees have, from time to time, invited eminent scholars to
deliver courses of lectures before Lake Forest College, such courses
to be subsequently published as volumes in the Bross Library. The
first course of lectures, on "Obligatory Morality," was delivered
in May, 1903, by the Reverend Francis Landey Patton, D.D., LL.D.,
President of Princeton Theological Seminary. The copyright of the
lectures is now the property of the trustees of the Bross Fund. The
second course of lectures, on "The Bible: Its Origin and Nature,"
was delivered in May, 1904, by the Reverend Marcus Dods, D.D.,
Professor of Exegetical Theology in New College, Edinburgh. These
lectures were published in 1905 as Volume II of the Bross Library.
The third course of lectures, on "The Bible of Nature," was delivered
in September and October, 1907, by Mr. J. Arthur Thomson, M.A.,
Regius professor of Natural History in the University of Aberdeen.
These lectures were published in 1908 as Volume IV of the Bross
Library. The fourth course of lectures, on "The Religions of Modern
Syria and Palestine," was delivered in November and December, 1908,
by Frederick Jones Bliss, Ph.D., of Beirut, Syria. These lectures
are published as Volume V of the Bross Library. The fifth course
of lectures, on "The Sources of Religious Insight," was delivered
November 13 to 19, 1911, by Professor Josiah Royce, Ph.D., of Harvard
University. These lectures are embodied in the sixth volume. Volume
VII, "The Mythical Interpretation of the Gospels," by the Reverend
Thomas James Thorburn, D.D., was published in 1915. The seventh
course of lectures, on "The Will to Freedom," was delivered in
May, 1915, by the Reverend John Neville Figgis, D.D., LL.D., of
the House of the Resurrection, Mirfield, England, and published as
Volume VIII of the series. In 1916 Professor Henry Wilkes Wright, of
Lake Forest College, delivered the next course of lectures on "Faith
Justified by Progress." These lectures are embodied in Volume IX.
In 1921, the Reverend John P. Peters, Ph.D., of Sewanee, Tennessee,
delivered a course of lectures on "Spade and Bible." These lectures
are embodied in Volume X. The present volume is comprised of lectures
delivered November 3 to 6, 1921, before Lake Forest College, on the
occasion of the inauguration of the President.

                                                 HERBERT McCOMB MOORE,
                                _President of Lake Forest University_.


       *       *       *       *       *


[1] Mr. Frank Vanderlip has expressed the same view in his
    _What Next in Europe_: "The prerequisite for that is
    a change of spirit, and I believe we can do a great deal
    to allay the suspicions, the hatreds and the selfishness
    of European people. We can help them see the necessity for
    unity; help them apprehend the terrible cost of selfishness.
    They must understand that the reconstruction of Europe is a
    comprehensive task. Only united effort, and a recognition
    that the welfare of individual nations can be achieved
    through general international good-will, can accomplish it.
    We could largely aid in developing such a spirit.

    Our first duty, as Mazaryk said, is to understand!"

[2] Published in _Scribner's Magazine_.

[3] A few facts should be kept in mind: (_a_) Some Japanese
    writers as well as foreigners claim that Japan is not at
    all overpopulated now, considering that she is becoming
    an industrial nation. Japan proper has 394 inhabitants to
    the square mile; England and Wales, 618; Belgium, 665;
    Netherlands, 534; Italy, 332; Germany, 325. (_b_) Japan has
    urged claims on Shantung of which the density of population
    is 525 to the square mile. Of course she has not desired to
    settle that country, only to control and manage its mines,
    railroads, ports, commerce--and this would give practically
    political control. (_c_) Certain writers claim that the
    Japanese soil is not now properly cultivated to produce the
    best results agriculturally. Large preserves are held out
    of cultivation in crown lands, as was done earlier in Great
    Britain and Germany. The people are expert in rice culture
    and wish to eat rice. They might use to excellent advantage
    much other land than they do, land entirely suitable for
    other food production, though not for rice.

       *       *       *       *       *


Punctuation has been standardised.

Italic text has been denoted by _underscores_ and bold text by
=equal signs=.

Characters in small caps have been replaced by all caps.

Non-Latin characters have been given an English transliteration:
    'oe' ligature --> oe

This book was written in a period when many words in the text had
not become standardized in their spelling or hyphenation. These have
been left unchanged while obvious typographical mistakes have been
repaired. Other changes are noted below:

    Pg  89 - 'Plummer' replaced with 'Plumber'
             (hired as the Plumber professor)
    Pg 102 - 'benevelence' replaced with 'benevolence'
             (governed by benevolence)

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