Skip to main content

Full text of "Why Christianity did not prevent the war"

See other formats

wni v^imioi it\i\i i i uiu 



Book / 










Copyright, 1918, 
By George H. Dor an Company 

Printed in the United States of America 



THESE addresses were not a series. They 
were occasional. If they have not surface 
sequence, they do have essential connection in 
their purpose to give light and strength to our 
people as aids to victory. All of them were 
spoken as sermons at home. Then, being called 
for, were repeated and somewhat expanded. 
They were given to Preachers' Meetings in New 
York, and to various clubs, among them the 
Rotary Club, the New York Republican Club 
and the Lawyers' Club of New York. In March, 
1918, several of them were spoken to the eight 
thousand public school teachers of Chicago, and 
at various times to numerous popular assem- 
blies. Everywhere they were called for in 
printed form and it was urged that so prepared 
they would multiply their influence for good. 

The Rotary Club of New York published one, 
circulating thousands of copies. My honored 
and generous friend, Mr. Edwin O. Grover, 
President of the Prang Art Publishing Com- 
pany, New York and Chicago, out of patriotism 

vi ^Preface 

and friendship, at his own expense printed some 
thousands of copies of three addresses. 

The New York Republican Club prints an- 
other in its series for 1917-18; and the Lawyers' 
Club another in the Report of their Annual 
Meeting for 1918. 

Now, the George H. Doran Company, whose 
devotion to the Allied Cause has given the world 
an unsurpassed contribution of invaluable pa- 
triotic books and pamphlets, undertakes to print 
these nine speeches together, hoping thus, as I 
also hope, to aid to victory. 

This book is not prepared or sent forth as 
literature. These are War Discourses, to rouse 
the spirits of men, to assist correct thinking, to 
formulate clearly war issues and to inspire the 
stern justice of battle. 

Every paragraph has been tested practically 
on uncommonly intelligent American audiences 
and approved by them in ways encouraging to 
the author. 

With diffidence because of their incomplete- 
ness, with confidence as to their truth and with 
hope of their usefulness, the author gladly pre- 
sents them to the larger public and invokes the 
blessing of God upon them as a force for Right- 
eousness and Justice among mankind. 



I. Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the 

War ii 

II. The Antagonism op German Political 
Philosophy to Christian Truth and 
Morals 40 

III. The Angels' Song, As They Said It 74 

IV. The Doctrine of Jesus About Resistance 

to Evil 84 

V. The Perils of a Premature Peace 99 

VI. The Wisdom of Men that Was Foolish- 
ness with God 141 

VII. Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 162 

VIII. Prohibition and National Defence 199 

IX. Our Victory Assured 228 



Why Christianity Did Not Prevent 
the War 

THAT was a thrilling incident told by a 
prominent American journalist of his ex- 
perience in August, 1914, at a little French rail- 
road town which he named. He told it some- 
what like this: 

"We were on a causeway over a wide street 
and there were troops marching in the street 
below. It was an embarkation depot. My com- 
panion, scion of a noble French house, had long 
been known to me as a man of the world, a dare- 
devil, with never a thought of God — cursing, 
swearing, reckless, doing about everything that 
a man ought not to do. Here he stood beside 
me in a dirty military uniform, looking steadily 
into my face and listening to the tramp of the 
marching host below. Suddenly there came a 
great darkness, and I said to him, 'It is dark all 
over Europe to-day' — (there was an eclipse of 
the sun) . 

'Yes,' he answered, 'but darkest in France.' 

12 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

Then he leaned out over the parapet of the 
causeway, where he could see the soldiers march- 
ing below, and taking off his cap he swung it in 
the air as he shouted to them in thrilling tones, 
'God save France!' 

And the soldiers of the French Republic, 
possibly atheistic once like himself, now praying 
to God with him, sent back the answer in thun- 
dering tones, 'God save France !' " In their 
heroic distress they had turned back to God and 
learned to pray. 

It is good to know that in time of trouble 
many do turn to God and begin to pray. They 
feel the great need of His help and presence for 
strength and comfort. The horrors of this war 
have given to many a burden greater than they 
can bear. There are brave, broken-hearted men 
and women, and multitudes of innocent boys and 
girls who know not how to carry their burden of 
perplexity and pain. They need all the help that 
we can give them and that which only God can 
give besides. Many bewildered are asking, "Why 
did not Christianity prevent this war?" 

One prominent religious editor who was a 
member of the Peace Conference assembling at 

Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 13 

Constance, Switzerland, as the war broke out, 
returning to America immediately in August as 
the war began, wrote extendedly in his paper on 
the "collapse of Civilisation," a phrase which 
became common at the time. In a leading edi- 
torial which was republished by the Church 
Peace Union as having their sanction, he said: 
"Already thousands of atheists are being made ; 
almost every other man we met in Europe this 
last week has shaken his head in sadness and 
said: 'What is the use of Christianity if it can- 
not stop this war?' You will notice that without 
marked dissent or explanation, this editor lends 
to the inquiry the force of his own uncertainty 
when he speaks of thousands of atheists being 
made in Europe, as though it might be expected 
that such a war occurring in the world, naturally 
cast a doubt on the existence of God. These 
seem to be convinced that there can be no God 
provided things occur as they have been and are 
now occurring. They shake their heads in doubt 
and say, 'What is the good of Christianity if 
it cannot prevent or stop this sort of thing?' evi- 
dently having in mind that Christianity ought 
to have prevented or stopped 'this sort of thing.' 
And inasmuch as it has not 'stopped this sort of 
thing,' Christianity is not what we have supposed 
it to be. Therefore, it being so visibly defective 

14 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

and impotent, we cannot put our trust in Chris- 
tianity as we have done heretofore. We believed 
that such a war was impossible, because we be- 
lieved in Christianity. Now Christianity has 
failed and therefore the war is upon us." 

It is not by any means clear to me that these 
ready doubters ever did put their trust in Chris- 
tianity to prevent war or to do anything else, but 
rather were quite indifferent to it until they saw 
a farther opportunity to asperse it. One of the 
most distinguished publicists of the United 
States in a signed article which I have in my 
hand, published within a few months after the 
war began, writes thus in a high class and widely 
circulated journal: "Early in the progress of 
the war, thinking people in all the civilised coun- 
tries are asking themselves what the fundamental 
trouble with civilisation is and where to look for 
means of escape from the present intolerable 
conditions. Christianity in nineteen centuries 
has offered no relief, and so called mitigations of 
war are comparatively trivial." 

Proceeding, he seems to make this argument 
and draw this inference: Christianity has been 
nineteen hundred years in the world the enemy 
of war. If Christianity had been an enemy worth 
reckoning with, in nineteen hundred years it 
would have done something. As a matter of 

Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 15 

fact it "has offered no relief." It is amazing that 
a grave and thoughtful man could make such an 
assertion or draw such a conclusion. He had 
just been round the world on a peace mission. 
Had he relied on Christianity to offer relief from 
war as he proceeded on this tour? Unless the 
above statement of its uselessness was an after- 
thought, he had not appealed to it. If he had 
not, it was because he had, before the war, de- 
cided that the influence of Christianity was so 
inappreciable that it was not worth appealing to. 
But if he did this, it was because he was an 
enemy to Christianity, which indeed he has shown 
himself to be, and therefore his adverse testimony 
is of little account. If he ever had the idea that 
Christianity might offer relief and mitigate the 
horrors of war, he had concluded that nineteen 
centuries had been long enough for the experi- 
ment and that Christianity is no longer to be 
counted on. To what then did he look, in his 
tour and later in the interest of World peace? 
Perhaps we may learn from the fact that, con- 
tinuing the article above quoted, he affirms that 
our hope and our dependence must be in and 
upon International law applied to the nations 
of the world. But may we not inquire if there 
is not now a great body of International law? 
If it has not been in actual existence and in active 

16 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

application for centuries of time? And it is 
presumably good law with as much force in it 
as any good law has or can have? It is good 
in the sense that it is eternally right, humane, 
moral, wise. If Christianity, however described 
and defined, has been a failure in preventing war, 
so has International law, and that not because 
of its defects or uselessness, but because it indi- 
cated lines of conduct and practise to which men 
and nations have given assent and approbation, 
but to which they have not given obedience in 
practise. International law has failed because 
it has been set at naught. There are no advan- 
tages in law except from obedience to it. And 
the same is true of Christian precepts. 

A considerable number of critics of Christi- 
anity became vocal shortly after the war began, 
who never had indicated prior to that time that 
they had any special knowledge of Christianity ; 
nor have they since. Take certain essayists to 
whom has been given a leading place in widely 
read magazines, and you will find that while 
known in some lines, they have never been recog- 
nised in the world of thought or information, as 
being qualified to speak on the subject of Chris- 

There is no doubt that the destruction of life 
and property on such a colossal scale as we are 

Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 17 

now witnessing, by this war was not only a fearful 
shock to all people but has been an occasion for 
some to seriously, albeit confusedly, question the 
existence of God. The dreadful slaughters, 
massacres, devastation of thousands of towns and 
cities, the flying fugitives, the desolation of mil- 
lions of homes, all the wreck and ruin of war 
have horrified our minds. Shuddering over the 
awful destruction, the suffering and loss, the 
myriads destroyed and incapacitated in number- 
less ways, some may impulsively raise the ques- 
tion, "Can it be possible that there is a God? Is 
all this consistent with the existence of a good 
and wise and almighty God?" Evidently it is 
the greatness of the suffering and destruction, in 
quantity immeasurable and in quality incon- 
ceivable, which raises the doubt. 

But let us ask another question, one which did 
not come up in 1914 but which has been before 
our eyes for succeeding centuries. It is about 
a perfectly well known agency of misery and 
destruction which we have observed and taken 
more or less responsibility for, and which has 
wrought far more horrors than this war. Of this 
curse of human kind, the great English states- 
man, William E. Gladstone, said that it had de- 
stroyed more human beings than war, famine and 
pestilence combined, in the historic ages of the 

18 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

world. This he said of the manufacture, the sale 
and the use of alcoholic liquors. No doubt he 
stated the plain truth. This present war in all 
its horrors and destructions, is far behind the 
liquor curse in the misery it inflicts on mankind. 
Now tell me how it happens that people who 
have been patrons and apologists of the liquor 
traffic, have never assumed it to be inharmonious 
with the existence of a good God that such de- 
struction should go on? How did they come to 
the opinion all of a sudden, that God is an un- 
desirable and unnecessary person in the world 
because of the killed, wounded and missing of 
this war, when the killed, wounded and missing 
of the liquor fiend had been so many more than 
those of war, in plain view of the people, for ages 
and ages of time? 

The truth is that they dare not deny that men, 
not God, create and perpetuate the liquor traffic 
and that men can stop it. The same is incontro- 
vertibly true of war. The mistake has been in 
assuming, as regards this war, that because a 
great calamity is not fully explainable when it 
suddenly falls, therefore God has not been or has 
ceased to be in authority over the world. For if 
the sum and aggregate of human misery gives 
any reason to doubt God, we would have much 
more reason for disbelieving in Him for the last 

Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 19 

five hundred years on account of the liquor 
traffic, than we have in the last three years on 
account of the war in Europe and the world. 
But we know of the one and no less of the other 
that men, not God, make and perpetuate the 
liquor evil and no less the evil of war. Neither 
gives the slightest ground for accusing or doubt- 
ing God, or for plunging into atheism. 

In this connection I may remark that some 
have found a degree of comfort even in the war 
by saying of it that it is a war to destroy war 
and therefore is to be looked upon as having not 
merely a destructive but also a conservative force. 
They might add that if the war were waged for 
the destruction of the liquor evil, and success- 
fully, it would save more of everything than it 
has cost. So it looms up in sight, as blow after 
blow is struck at the drink evil, that human right 
action against it, long ago known to be essen- 
tially the application of Christian principles and 
teachings, will thus save more lives, rehabilitate 
more manhood, and womanhood, deliver more 
childhood and create more property, in a very 
short period of years, than all that have been 
destroyed by the war. What men do and refuse 
to do let us not make a ground of accusation 
against God nor an occasion for unbelief in 

20 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

For what is true of Christianity is true of the 
moral law of the Ten Commandments which 
while incorporated in the body of Christian law, 
were given to the world in the form of a code 
fifteen hundred years before the coming of 
Christ. We may safely affirm that the moral 
law has been imperative in the world for a mini- 
mum of thirty-five hundred years. Why then 
has it not prevented vice and immorality? Is it 
because the Ten Commandments are in any wise 
deficient? These are highly commendable laws 
of human conduct. They bear the marks of a 
wisdom in their Author, which knew mankind 
and what was most advantageous for it in human 
action. The Moral Law is God's law as also 
Christianity is God's law and Gospel. The law 
is not impeached by continued immorality, nor 
is Moses, nor any who upon this code have built 
the statutes of states. It is a sublime code and 
comprehensive of duty toward God and man. 
Why then have not the Ten Commandments of 
the moral law prevented the vices which they pro- 
hibit, when they have been known and operative 
in the world for three and a half millenniums? 
The answer is perfectly clear. Hear and ponder 
it. Vices here forbidden prevail because men in 
their practise have been disobedient to that law. 

Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 21 

Would you then repudiate, repeal or ignore the 
moral law or would you call on men to repent 
and to obey it? 

The reason why we have adultery in violation 
of the Seventh Commandment is not because of 
defect in the commandment. The reason why we 
have murder in violation of the Sixth is not 
on account of any defect in this or lack in either 
of these two, or in the whole code. When obeyed 
they always work well and issue in individual 
and social benefit. The reason why when we 
have an invaluable moral law and notwithstand- 
ing its existence, vice and immorality still exist, 
is because the moral law has been ignored, disre- 
garded, disobeyed, unapplied in the life of men. 
The just statutes of enduring civilisations are 
built upon the moral law as one of the most 
powerful and constructive of forces in the human 
world order. Shall we turn away from these 
laws ? Shall we accuse them of bringing no relief 
to the moral world? This is folly. 

We are comparing Christianity as a doctrine 
of life from God, with the Moral Law from the 
same Author, given to men with the like benevo- 
lent purpose. These alike, we may say, are di- 
rections prescribing human conduct and neither 
is less valuable in itself because violated, nor are 
they to be discarded because men have violated 

22 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

them. On the other hand their value and power 
are attested by obedience and even by disobedi- 
ence, since such disobedience has proven disas- 
trous. The nature of things and the Author of 
the nature of things are on the side of both. We 
cannot call either institutions, although upon the 
law and the gospel institutions may be founded. 

Quite likely the critics of Christianity may be 
regarding it as an institution with varied organi- 
sations, methods and formulas. This does not 
appear to me to be a fair view of Christianity 
any more than the organised state appears to be 
a test of the Moral law which it does not obey. 
The Christianity of Christ is not comprehended 
or limited by an establishment, an ecclesiastical 
order or a ritual. But wherever the Person of 
Christ is revered and loved, where the word of 
Christ is open freely and taught and known, 
where the works of Christ are done and the spirit 
of Christ shown, there is the Christianity of 
Christ ; and where these are not it is lacking. 

But even conceding something of an institu- 
tional character to Christianity, shall men be 
allowed to assume that because such an institu- 
tion exists in the world and does not prevent war, 
therefore institutional Christianity is to be dis- 
trusted? By no means. 

The family is an institution, literally such, 

Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 23 

which has been in the world since the first be- 
ginnings of the human race. The family, the 
home antedate all other human institutions. Not 
only on account of the esteem in which it is held 
by all human beings but for many other rational 
considerations, it is conceded to be invaluable 
to man and society. Why then is it that in all 
ages, past and present, the family has failed to 
bring to the human race the benefit and bliss 
which are in it? Why has not the marriage insti- 
tution glorified all families everywhere in the 
course of the ages past? The answer is not that 
it is incapable of making such improvement in 
human society. Everybody believes that the 
family at its worst is better for the social order 
than promiscuous associations at their best. But 
the truth is that the law of the family has not 
been kept and the family relation has not been 
sacredly employed to make it what it has the full 
power to become, and to exhibit its full influence. 
If we concede for the sake of argument that 
institutional Christianity so called is real Chris- 
tianity, and if we reason that this institution has 
not done what its claims would demand from it 
as preventing war, shall we then conclude that 
the institution is a failure and no more to be 
reckoned with as a preventing force? Use the 
same sort of an argument about the Family as 

24 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

an institution : Why has not the family prevented 
war ? Is not its whole spirit and tendency toward 
unity, fraternity and peace? It is far more 
widely recognised than the church and valued by 
millions of families who do not know or esteem 
the church. And yet it has not prevented war. 
Therefore as it has been tried and found not to 
have afforded appreciable relief, it should be 
discarded for International Law, or something 
else ! And since, as evidenced by nature and his- 
tory, God ordered and ordained the family, be- 
cause it has failed to prevent war, are His wis- 
dom and even His existence to be doubted and 
denied? And shall we hereafter turn to some 
form of organisation of human society other 
than the family? Is this reasoning? Or is it un- 
reasoning prejudice? If the laws of the family 
are obeyed and its duties properly performed, 
it tends naturally and, doubtless, by divine ap- 
pointment, to love, patience, consideration, sacri- 
fice, altruism. And the reason why the family 
has not accomplished all it might in society, in 
the state, in education and in civilisation, is be- 
cause it has not been used according to its pur- 
poses and laws. If this reasoning does not make 
apparent that neither Christianity nor the family 
has been expressed as it seeks to be, I might 
add another link to the chain of correct reason- 

Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 25 

ing by saying that the whole force of the family 
would naturally be spent against the drunken- 
ness which has been one of its destructive foes. 
And yet this scourge has prevailed over the fam- 
ily with most deadly destructiveness. Still the 
power of the family must be relied upon to turn 
men from false and unnatural appetite in the 
long run. The family institution is censurable 
only when unprized, misunderstood and un- 

The like is obvious in many other directions. 
There have been books and literature in the 
world we know not how long. Might we not 
raise the question, Why is anybody illiterate 
when literature and possible literacy have been 
in the world for thousands of years? We an- 
swer, because most people have not valued nor 
devoted themselves to learning and literature. 
Education, schools of all grades, text books of 
very many kinds have long been accessible to 
mankind. Evidently they have been a worthy 
product of the intelligence of men and their use 
is in harmony with the nature of man and the will 
of God, tending to the uplift of society and the 
betterment of the race. And how persistently 
have we been assured that the certain effect and 
influence of modern scientific education, alleged 
to be the best to which the world has ever had 

26 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

access, was to render war unlikely and indeed to 
make it impossible. The increase of knowledge, 
the cultivation of reason, modifying and con- 
trolling prejudice and passion, the self control 
of an educated mind were affirmed to be positive 
barriers to the madness of war. Over against 
this we have beheld that nation which has so 
specialised in education that its schools have been 
used as models for the world, a nation having 
relatively few inhabitants who were not schooled, 
and a people peculiarly strong in the vaunted 
scientific education, giving the lie to this whole 
theory, by wickedly and inhumanly plunging the 
world into the most destructive war in human 
history. On this great fact in detail, I do not 
now comment. But if its apologists and spon- 
sors told the truth, Germany as the result of 
education, should have put an end to war and 
brought in the reign of reason and self control. 
And now shall we hear them say that education 
in many centuries has afforded no relief to war 
and that therefore, we must turn from it as un- 
worthy of our confidence? This is much too 
broad a conclusion. If the education had been 
according to the laws of the mind and the heart, 
if it had taught as fundamental the love of God 
and the love of man, we should have found it, as 
applied to life, a powerful check on war, instead 

Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 27 

of finding it an accelerator of ferocity and 
slaughter. The fault lies in the application of 
the learning obtained. Let me insist on and re- 
iterate the fundamental principle that it is the 
application of the laws of morals, the institution 
of the family, the knowledge of duty and life, 
and, just as truly, of Christianity which alone 
can warrant the expectation of its legitimate 
effects being produced on human conduct and 

May I put the argument in so simple a form 
as this: Since soap and water have been in the 
world for thousands of years of time, why is any- 
body dirty? It is not the fault of the soap and 
water, because soap and water mingled on the 
human skin will make it clean; but many have 
not felt the need of cleanliness sufficiently to 
make the application, and even yet with multi- 
tudes, it is difficult to inspire them with the de- 
sire to be clean. Where is the fault ? Where the 
deficiency? Not surely in the soap and water. 


Have I not arrived at a point where I may 
conclude that in assuming that Christianity 
ought to have prevented this war, we may be 
assured that it certainly would have done so if it 

28 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

had been applied? What have we meant by 
Christianity? What characteristics do we assume 
that it possesses? Do we regard it as a magical 
power that lays hold of men irrespective of their 
preferences, their resolutions, their volitions, their 
characters ? Or do we mean that the possibilities 
of all good are in it if men will espouse and apply 
it? A fair consideration affirms this, that the 
effects of Christianity in any reasonable and fair 
sense have always been conditioned on its use 
and application. The value of it to one or many 
depends on obedience and use by the persons to 
whom it is brought, and if they do not so apply 
it, they cannot experience its benefits. 

The critics who assume to tell us all about 
Christ in the scheme of the world are quite likely 
to speak approvingly of the "Sermon on the 
Mount." They profess to believe it and are 
almost ready to grant that they can find no fault 
at all in it. Often they have been heard to say, 
"If you only let us have the Sermon on the 
Mount, we do not care what you do with the rest 
of the Bible." In this degree only I am pre- 
pared to agree with them, that in the Sermon 
you have great and precious teaching. And I 
suggest to these that they read it through. Let 
us turn to the climax of the Sermon. I suppose 
that the great Master of men and assemblies 

Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 29 

intended to end it with a statement worthy of the 
majesty of what He had said before. Here is 
His closing thought and word : 

"Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and 
doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man who 
built his house upon a rock; and the rain de- 
scended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, 
and beat upon that house ; and it fell not : because 
it was founded upon a rock. 

"And every one that heareth these sayings of 
mine and doeth them not, shall be likened unto 
a foolish man who built his house upon the sand ; 
and the rain descended, and the floods came, and 
the winds blew, and beat upon that house ; and it 
fell: and great was the fall of it." 

Christ declares that if any one is to derive 
advantage from this great sermon or from any 
of His teachings, he must both hear and do these 
teachings, and so build his character on this 
foundation as the house was builded on the rock. 
Whatever some college presidents and certain 
editors may think about Christianity, it is fair 
enough to give our Lord Himself an oppor- 
tunity to tell what He means by it. If you go to 
any portion of the Divine Word, you will find 
that both He and those who immediately repre- 
sented Him declared that the value of all that 
they do and teach to the hearer depends wholly 

30 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

on the application of it which he makes to him- 

Take even that most tender and sympathetic 
word, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest 
the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto 
thee, how often would I have gathered thy chil- 
dren together even as a hen gathereth her 
chickens under her wings, and ye would not. Be- 
hold your house is left unto you desolate." 

Here is the condition given by the Lord and 
Master Himself of getting the value out of 
Christianity. And if the foregoing lament was 
emphasised within seventy years of the time it 
was spoken, by a tragedy so terrible that it can 
be compared with the war tragedy of to-day, we 
may well believe that giving heed to the warnings 
against the neglect of the conditions which He 
has stated, can alone give efficiency to His mercy 
and grace. They are such that men had best 
confess in the presence of God that the only 
failure of Christ's doctrine is the human failure 
to apply it to life. Instead of assuming to de- 
throne the Judge of all the earth, men would 
better humble themselves before Him and apply 
the rules which He has given them for the guid- 
ance of individual, national and international 

Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 31 


"Why Christianity did not prevent this war" 
is a question dependent for its answer on another, 
namely, "Why did Germany accept the theories 
of Nietzsche and Treitschke, which are in utter 
and avowed antagonism to Christianity?" Who 
will answer? For the personal and political 
philosophy of these two, absolutely irreconcilable 
to Christianity, are the theories which the Ger- 
man Government is now applying and working 
out. The philosophy of individual life, ascendant 
and controlling in Germany, is that of Nietz- 
sche. The accepted political philosophy is that 
of Treitschke. Both are wrought into the mind 
and life of the German people by the Govern- 
ment, the army, the universities, and schools of 
all grades. Nietzsche (born in 1845, died in 
1888), Treitschke (born in 1834, died in 1895), 
lead and control the thinking of Germany. The 
mental concepts of both were largely ruled by 
atheistic, materialistic evolution and earlier 
Prussianism — the Prussianism of the eighteenth 
century, which adopted it as furthering imperial 
policy. The applied theory was expressed 
briefly in the accepted axioms of such evolution, 
"the struggle for life" and "the survival of the 
fittest;" the "struggle for life" being the method 

32 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

of living and the "survival of the fittest" indicat- 
ing the actual consequences of the "struggle." 
These gave to Nietzsche the idea of his "Super- 
man" and to Treitschke, his "Superstate." 

The "Superman" is the product of evolution 
and the incarnation of "might," superior to his 
fellows and likewise superior to all limitations 
excepting his own self assertion. His "will to 
power" and the exercise of it, gives him the right 
to do as he wills. All morality as commonly 
taught, held and practised, Nietzsche called a 
"slave morality." He identified himself with this 
"Superman" and declared himself a God. The 
weak, the crowd, aroused his contempt. The 
"Supermen" have only to think of themselves 
and the masses only serve their ends. 

Egoism is salvation. He blesses the doctrine 
of inconsiderate self assertion. He declares that 
"an altruistic morality in which the ego and its 
self-selection is restrained, is in any case an evil, 
blighting morality." The Superman has every 
license in asserting himself. 

Nietzsche hated Christianity. Christ taught 
"thy will be done:" Nietzsche, "my will at all 
costs." Christ sacrificed Himself. The Super- 
man may sacrifice the world for his good. 
Woman serves no higher mission than that of a 
plaything for and a breeder of the Superman. 

Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 33 

War he glorified: kindness, mercy, humanity he 

iTreitschke, the political philosopher of most 
commanding control in German thought, was at 
first contemptuous and averse to Nietzsche's 
thought ; later he accepted his doctrine not for the 
individual but for the State. The State, that is 
Prussianised Germany, was to be the "Super- 
state." In the struggle for life among the States, 
Germany had won, and in "the survival of the 
fittest," it was proved to be the "fittest." All 
other States were to be overpowered and Ger- 
manised by the German army. What Nietzsche's 
"Superman" was to be among men, Treitschke's 
"Superstate" must be among states. All other 
nations, inferior and despised, were to be ruth- 
lessly overpowered and Germanised. The State 
is supreme; from it there is no appeal. To this 
view Treitschke came early in his career, from 
much more liberal tendencies, after he had been 
given a professorship by Bismarck in the uni- 
versity of Kiel. For thirty-five years he de- 
voted his powerful, his unsurpassed talents to 
training the students, the scholars, the teachers, 
the captains and military masters of Germany. 
He taught that the "Will to power" and 
"Might" are the sole State morality. War is 
the manifestation of these, ruthless war. Treaties 

34 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

have no binding authority. Spying and lying, 
inhumanity, savagery are all justified by the will 
of the State. Weakness in a State he blasphe- 
mously declared to be the sin against the Holy 

These two as master teachers, Germany ac- 
cepted and followed. Their teachings were 
adopted in theory and pursued in practise for 
thirty years before the war of 1914 to which 
they were daringly leading. Prussianism found 
in them the prophets and in their principles the 
pilotage on the course to world empire. Chris- 
tianity and all its laws of righteousness, mo- 
rality, self control, peace, humanity, in a word 
everything Christian, Germany repudiated, 
travestied and despised. Germany accepted this 
anti- Christian theory of life and lived it. And 
so they prepared their plan of conquest and then 
flung themselves upon the world, to prove their 
doctrine and to enslave mankind. Rejected thus 
by the leaders, teachers and rulers of Germany 
what could Christianity do to prevent this War? 
Nothing could have prevented it except to have 
made such thinking impossible, which was itself 
impossible. All that was left to Christians 
throughout the world was either to lie passive 
and be destroyed or to defend all the fundamen- 
tal principles of right life in the most active man- 

Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 35 

ner and by the only method available, namely, 
Defensive War. And that is a plain reason why 
Christianity could not and did not prevent this 
onslaught of barbarism and fiendishness and why 
it met their attack with adamantine resistance. 
The answer is complete and final. 

But the proof is not all in. It remains to add 
one more unanswerable reason why Christianity 
did not prevent this war and could not prevent 
this or any war under similar conditions. 

That reason is found in the true philosophy 
of life which is that of Christianity, and of peace 
as a consequence of Christianity. 

Before the war a powerful leadership in the 
interests of peace had grown up which neither 
regarded nor was built upon Christianity. They 
had told us of peace as though it were a vital 
entity in national well being, the chief desidera- 
tum of national life. Many who became promi- 
nent in it as the apostles of pacifism of this kind, 
were not known as believers in Christ or Chris- 
tianity. The peace sentiment which they fos- 
tered had come to be looked upon as so great in 
mass and so influential as to be in its very char- 
acter and quantity, a defense against war. In 

36 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

various ways they had demonstrated the value 
of peace ; economically, commercially, humanely, 
racially, financially. There was a widespread 
feeling that peace was so buttressed by all these 
reasonings, so manifestly advantageous, that war 
was improbable and indeed out of the question. 
Immediately, when this fair fabric of their dream 
collapsed and vanished, those who had taken the 
burden of its promulgation were profoundly 
dismayed and disappointed, we may say cha- 
grined and humiliated. And the inquiry natu- 
rally became rife, "What is the matter with this 
trusted peace programme that it has been as 
weak as water in the face of resolved war?" 

The matter was this: Precedent to peace in 
Christian doctrine and philosophy, is Righteous- 
ness, without which going before, we have no well 
founded basis of peace. "The Kingdom of God 
is righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy 
Spirit;" more fully stated "Righteousness in the 
Holy Spirit, Peace in the Holy Spirit, and Joy 
in the Holy Spirit." In Christian philosophy 
Righteousness always goes before and antedates 

You know that the basis of peace in any life 
is the rectification and direction of that life in 
harmony with the law of God. 

You may construct your life in accordance 

Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 37 

with any other philosophy and fail to attain 
peace, but if the principles which govern your life 
are the laws of God, and the righteousness of 
your life is approved of God, you have peace. 
"The wicked" who turn away from God "are like 
the troubled sea which cannot rest." "There is 
no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." And 
although this truth is far older than the hypo- 
thesis of evolution, older than prevailing philoso- 
phies, older than the record which is given us of 
it, it is now as virile and as mighty as unchange- 
able law can make it, and as sure as the emphasis 
of God by ages of proof can make anything. 
"There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." 
If you wish to lay the foundations of peace 
in individual or community life, you will never 
accomplish it by waving the white flag, nor by 
protesting against slaughter, nor by reasoning 
about the wastes of war or presenting realistic 
pictures of horrible battle fields; you will only 
get it by teaching the Divine standards of Right- 
eousness, from which, and from which only, can 
flow the condition which we name peace. When 
you become assured of the prevalence of Right- 
eousness, you are assured of peace. For peace 
is not passivity or stagnation, not inaction or 
colorless quietness, but is rather the most intense, 
harmonious, constructive, co-ordinated benevo- 

38 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

lent activity. Such a peace is impossible without 
keeping the law of God which is the law of right 
and is the condition of all human Righteousness. 

If by peace we mean the absence of conflict, 
conflict arising out of opposition to evil, when 
and where in the Christian scriptures was any 
hope ever held out that this is possible or desir- 
able? And where in the sacred writings is such 
compromise with evil held up as the goal of 

The necessary and eternal order in which peace 
comes to man and society is that it springs from 
and follows Righteousness as a cause. That 
Righteousness is a state of human character 
which is devoted to being right and doing right 
according to a universal, Divine and eternal 
standard of Right. The standard Right by 
which all right and righteousness are measured 
is Right as God wills it, reveals it and sanctions 
it. It is not mere obedience to numberless pre- 
cepts, but a spirit in man, expressed in his actions. 
That spirit is the disposition of the man in union 
and harmony with God, the Holy Spirit. Of 
such Spirit and such Righteousness, love to God 
is the primary fruit and manifestation, and love 
to man the secondary and always present con- 
comitant. Where this Righteousness prevails, 
Peace follows as the unfailing consequence. 

Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 39 

This, briefly stated, is the Christian way to 
Peace, real and permanent, and absolutely the 
only way. Until Nations are righteous by com- 
pliance with God's standard of Right no secure 
and unbroken peace can reasonably be expected 
and none can be achieved. 

Because the Germans and their allies rejected 
and repudiated Christianity is the reason "Why 
Christianity did not Prevent this War." 


The Antagonism of German Political 

Philosophy to Christian Truth and 


THE action of Germany in precipitating this 
war greatly surprised and startled man- 
kind. As the Teuton assaulted Belgium and 
France our wonder gave place to amazement 
and astonishment, succeeded by horror and exe- 
cration, and these feelings continually intensified, 
have increased as the Germans have developed 
and fought to execute, through inhuman sav- 
agery, their long-prepared scheme of world 
domination. Such barbaric expression of the life 
and character of the German nation was totally 
unexpected by most of us. That a people whom 
we regarded with entire good will and credited 
with many kindly virtues should deliberately 
make such war, should be so immoral and unfeel- 
ing, so treacherous and cruel, so egotistical and 
rapacious, so religious and so pagan, we could 
barely credit and cannot yet understand. Our 
good will for them has not been wholly destroyed. 
We have condemned but do not hate them as 


Antagonism of German Political Philosophy 41 

we try to understand their contradictions and 

In seeking to account for their conduct and 
to justify against them the most universal an- 
tagonism of mankind, we feel that we accomplish 
little by merely giving way to violent denuncia- 
tion of their actions, though these deserve our 
severest condemnation; and consistent with our 
former good opinion of the German people, we 
seek explanation, if any there be, for actions 
which, by every law of morals and humanity, we 
execrate and abhor. In the spirit of fairness, 
not to be destroyed by our unequivocal hostility 
to their behavior, we have sought to account for 
their misdoings. May I detail some of the 
assumptions which we have made in our endeavor 
to place in an intelligent light our explanation 
of the actions of which Germany has been guilty ? 

We at first assumed that this brutal, bloody, 
inhuman savagery is the work of the purely mili- 
tary party. These we discriminated from the 
people at large. They might have dragged the 
nation unwillingly into the war. But from the 
first the nation has been at one with these military 
leaders. The state as a whole is entirely military 

42 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

and has never hesitated to adopt and execute 
the policy of its General Staff, lending its full 
and united strength to all their plans and deeds. 

Then we assumed that the rulers are responsi- 
ble and that they deserve all the condemnation, 
supposing that the people had not formulated 
or agreed to their policy; especially has the 
Kaiser been held responsible, as the incarnation 
of evil, the inspirer of war. But the nation at the 
beginning and ever since, and now, has unitedly 
supported its rulers, and this support has been 
given by Germans of all classes. The political 
philosophers have honored and defended their 
rulers; the theological faculties have endorsed 
them; the most distinguished university profes- 
sors and scholars have commended them ; masters 
in science have lauded them; the whole body of 
writers and artists have praised their course. 
These various leaders have issued manifestoes to 
the world fully upholding their rulers and ap- 
plauding the national action. Spiritual leaders 
like Eucken, intellectuals, a numberless host, the 
Socialists, who previously denounced the war, 
have given steady and uncompromising support 
to their rulers without excusing or apologising 
for them in any particular. 

We have assumed that the people were blindly 
and ignorantly following these leaders and that 

Antagonism of German Political Philosophy 43 

when once their eyes should be opened they 
would revolt and withdraw. But we must re- 
member that the German people are the most 
educated in books and by schools of any nation 
of the world. They have given to many lands 
systems of learning, from kindergarten to post- 
graduate universities ; they are not ignorant and 
blind for lack of schooling. They are a learned, 
not an ignorant people. 

We have assumed that when the German peo- 
ple had received knowledge of American aims, 
of the motives of the Allies, of what free govern- 
ment really means, they would fall away from 
their governing bodies. The President of the 
United States in a long and able message fully 
assumed this ; so that multitudes of men declared : 
"If only this Presidential message can be placed 
before the German people they will be severed 
from autocracy, will revolt and establish free 
government and so end the war." But now, after 
three years of war, there is scarcely a trace of 
such revolution, nor is there any reliable infor- 
mation, however much we may desire it, showing 
signs of ferment or revolution in political Ger- 
many. This dream of ours is a vain dream. 
Germany is not on the verge of uprising or of 
revolution any more than Britain and France 
have been in their cabinet changes. 

44 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

We have assumed, and sometimes declared, 
that the Germans are insane; that they are 
obsessed by hallucinations which sanity would 
repudiate ; that they are running amuck ; fanatics 
among the nations; a mad dog in the streets of 
the world. But we know that despite their 
atrocious wickedness, this is not true. They are 
not insane according to any proper definition of 
insanity. It has been suggestively said, and with 
some truth, that the German scholarly mind "be- 
gins by assuming a large premise which has no 
foundation, and then reasons with irresistible 
logic to a preposterous conclusion." This may 
describe a mental habit, but it does not describe 
the insanity recognised by experts as mental irre- 
sponsibility. We do not believe the German 
nation to be intellectually insane. 

We have assumed that autocracy as a scheme 
of government is now making its last stand 
against the world flood of rising democracy, and 
that this war is to bring the end of kings, at least 
of autocratic kings. But we, not the Germans, 
have assumed this. They revere their autocracy, 
they have had great material prosperity under it, 
as we have had under democracy. Their history 
is a record of remarkable advance under the gov- 
ernment which we condemn. Since Frederick 
William, ruling from 1713 to 1740, and Fred- 

Antagonism of German Political Philosophy 45 

erick the Great, from 1740 to 1786, they have 
made their gains, and almost unprecedented 
gains they are, under the very form of govern- 
ment which now controls them and for which 
they now unitedly stand and heroically die. 
That government has held to the theory of the 
State as the army, the army as the State, and 
the reigning house claiming divine right to rule 
is honored and revered, if not loved, with all 
sincerity to-day. 

Besides, in our assertion that democracy is the 
only form of government suited to popular ad- 
vantage, we really have not chosen a popular 
watchword. First of all, most of the people of 
America when they think of democracy mean 
not the general definition, but think of the 
American Democratic Party. They do not ob- 
jectise the idea of the rule of the people. Be- 
sides, we do not define democracy clearly. We 
declare as if it were final, that "all governments 
derive their just powers from the consent of the 
governed." By this we justify popular govern- 
ment. Do we mean the consent of all those un- 
der its sway? There is no government, no re- 
public, where all the people in it consent to its 
sway. Do we mean then that in a democracy, 
government derives its just powers from the con- 
sent of a majority? But a majority is only a 

46 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

part of those governed. It may be but slightly 
over one-half; it may even be a minority that 
administers the affairs of the republic. The truth 
is that no government has just powers unless 
they come from those universal and eternal laws, 
not made by majorities or voted or amended by 
legislatures, made and announced by the eternal 
God; laws which no legislature dare assume to 
amend or repeal ; laws of morals and humanity ; 
of universal duty and benevolence. So, then, our 
expectation of the complete passing away of 
autocracy before democracy is not an intelligent 
conviction or an adequate clarion with which to 
arouse our republic to battle against overthrow. 
And, remote from democracy, the autocracy of 
Germany has always been and now is a powerful 
form of government. 

We have broadly assumed that now the end 
of kingly rule is near at hand. But Great Bri- 
tain, Belgium and Italy are not contemplating 
this as a result of the war. They have kings now 
and expect to have them hereafter. 

We have made much of the assumption that 
military preparedness was the cause of the war. 
We must, however, face the fact that nations 
wholly unprepared are in the war, battling for 
life and liberty, conspicuously ourselves. America 
has evidently proceeded on wholly false theories 

Antagonism of German Political Philosophy 47 

of Germany's action until this day, of which 
those assumptions which I have sketched are 
among the most prominent. None of them, nor 
all of them, satisfactorily account for the war. 
Yet what is more necessary than to penetrate to 
the exact causes which have created the present 
world-wide catastrophe and which are threaten- 
ing destruction and chaos at the present time? 
What has made Germany a pirate among states, 
a murderer, a monster? 


Allow me to assume and later prove that Ger- 
man political philosophy, into the acceptance and 
full belief of which the German nation has been 
drilled for many years, is the actual and adequate 
cause and explanation of its actions, apart from 
which it is neither adequately understood nor 
properly antagonised. To simplify it so that I 
may discuss it clearly in the time allowed, let 
me affirm and later demonstrate that this is a 
strife between two philosophies, two systems of 
thought, two codes of morals, mutually exclu- 
sive and irreconcilable; two views of humanity 
and of religion, of man and of God. 

I ask you to consider the antagonism of Ger- 

48 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

man political philosophy to Christian truth and 
morals, as indicating what we fight and what for. 

So long as Germany holds the theory which 
created this war, so long she will fight to carry 
it out. The theory begins and ends in the avowed 
right and purpose of Germany to subjugate all 
other nations and to dominate the world. Let 
me disclose their theory by a concrete presenta- 
tion of it. 

The greatest and most influential political 
philosopher of Germany during the last century 
is Heinrich Von Treitschke. He, more than any 
single character in German political life, was 
responsible for the intense anti-English senti- 
ment that flamed out in the Boer War and he is 
ruling the thought of the German nation, as de- 
veloped at the present time. His ideals and 
theories, his hatreds and persuasions precipitated 
this war. Born in 1834, his father a soldier, Von 
Treitschke was destined for the army. An illness 
in his youth, which deprived him of his hearing, 
diverted him to scholarship and the study of 
politics. His heroes were the heroes of Prussia, 
and having distinguished himself in the schools 
of learning, at twenty-five years of age, he de- 
livered his first course of political lectures at 
Leipzig in 1859. Out of this grew his treatise 
on the State. 

Antagonism of German Political Philosophy 49 

From the beginning he was impressively popu- 
lar. Later, at the great universities of Freiburg, 
Kiel, Heidelberg and Berlin, he was followed 
by admiring crowds of students, and always, 
from his beginning at Leipzig in 1859, to his 
death in 1895, a period of thirty-six years, his 
lecture rooms were thronged as those of no other 
professor in Germany; the concourse attending 
them reminding one of the great gatherings to 
hear Abelard in the Middle Ages. They all 
heard him extol the greatness of Germany, the 
unexampled dynasty of the Hohenzollerns, the 
glory of the army. 

In person Von Treitschke was a man of high 
character, of marked intellectual aspect, of great 
mentality, of utmost sincerity of purpose and of 
surpassing eloquence. Generations of German 
students came under his sway and acknowledged 
his power. He was a friend of Bismarck, the 
apologist of the Hohenzollerns and the ardent 
and eager supporter of the bureaucracy of Ger- 

In his conviction the State was supreme, and 
from the State there was no appeal. The indi- 
vidual counted for nothing save as the creature 
of the State. The State was an army; the army 
the State. This theory was far older than Von 
Treitschke, having been that of Frederick Wil- 

50 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

liam and Frederick the Great in the eighteenth 

Foremost among the fundamental principles 
taught by this remarkable man was the stoutly 
affirmed belief that the Hohenzollerns, by divine 
right, should rule Prussia, and that Prussia, for 
the good of Germany, should rule Germany. It 
was a small step from this proposition to his next 
main assertion that Germany, for the good of 
the world, should dominate the world. He came 
to this conclusion partly through the theory of 
atheistic evolution, so prevalent in German 
thought, and partly on account of his exalted 
idealisation of the German character and culture. 
He believed that in "the struggle for life," fol- 
lowed by "the survival of the fittest," Germany 
had won in the struggle, and Germany of all was 
the fittest. This led him to regard with ill-con- 
cealed contempt all other nations and led him to 
the belief that it would be for their welfare if 
Germany dominated over them. 

He particularly hated and despised Great 
Britain. Throughout his whole career he re- 
garded it with scorn, antipathy and hatred, and 
he poured out contempt, rancor and insult con- 
tinually upon the English character and upon the 
English nation. He called them the "robber 
among the nations," affirming that they held their 

Antagonism of German Political Philosophy 51 

undeserved sway over about a fifth of the world 
on account of their insular position, the supine- 
ness of the other nations, the duplicity of their 
diplomacy and the hypocrisy of the English 
character. His denunciation of the English peo- 
ple and government was a sort that, applied to 
an individual, it would be insulting to the last 
degree, and he evermore looked forward and 
worked toward the day when Germany, assailing 
England, should beat her down in war and be- 
come the master of the world. 

If we have raised a question as to the amaz- 
ing conceit of Germany as expressed in many 
a pompous phrase since the beginning of this war, 
let it be said that this is a proper consequence 
and expression of the philosophy of Treitschke 
and his associates, the great school that grew up 
around him, followed his leadership, and de- 
veloped his ideals. 

Germany was to dominate the world for the 
good of the world, and for the domination of the 
world by Germany, the army was the great in- 
strument. This army was to be conterminous 
with the State, and the State with the army ; the 
entire State a military power, and war the 
method of its supremacy. Nowhere in the seven- 
teen volumes of Von Treitschke's collected 
works, not in his great history, which is regarded 

52 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

with the utmost respect in Germany, did he ever 
say a word against war, never calling it the 
scourge of mankind or deprecating its existence, 
but, like his influential disciple, Bernhardi, if not 
in the same words, he regarded war as a biologi- 
cal necessity, indicating the virility of the nation 
and leading to the highest good of mankind. 
Any attempt to abolish war was unwise and im- 

In order that this theory of conquest might be 
carried out by an invincible army it was neces- 
sary to regard as brothers only those dwelling 
within the German State. Outside of those 
boundaries there was no fraternal obligation. 
The theory of the way the war was to be carried 
on demanded that it be ruthless to the last degree. 
I am not now averring that Von Treitschke him- 
self elaborated every detail of the system now 
being carried out ; but he originated it, inspired it 
and was followed by a great multitude of intel- 
lectuals who gave their assent to his leadership 
and more fully worked out his theory. 

Inhumanity in war, as the world understands 
inhumanity, is one of the fundamental condi- 
tions of war, as this school of philosophy holds it. 
It stopped at nothing. It knew no mercy, hesi- 
tated at no atrocity, deliberately proposed to 
massacre, murder, deport, torture, starve to 

Antagonism of German Political Philosophy 53 

death those who stood in its way. Such is the 
theory and such the practise. 

Quite as visibly as this philosophy repudiates 
humanity it despises morals; particularly those 
morals which relate to truth. Astonished, we 
have heard the statement of the German Chan- 
cellor that treaties were only scraps of paper. 
But it is a definite part of their theory that there 
are no moralities which should stand between the 
nation and the development of its ideals. 

Having repudiated morality and humanity, 
the question arose: how should this attitude of 
leading minds be made that of the entire German 
nation, of whom great multitudes were both 
moral and humane? Modern morality and hu- 
manity, as we understand them, are distinctly 
Christian in their spirit and purpose. To fulfill, 
therefore, the purpose of Germany to dominate 
the world by an army engaged in ruthless war, 
unrestrained by morality and humanity, it be- 
came necessary to dispossess the German people 
of the Christian ideals of morals and humaneness 
which had possessed them. Therefore, this po- 
litical philosophy deliberately gave itself to the 
most violent attack upon Christianity. Until 
they could rid the German people of the ideals 
of Christianity, their philosophy could not pene- 
trate or control the nation. 

54 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

The attack upon Christianity was deliberately 
made, toward a hundred years ago. When, about 
the middle of the last century, Strauss assailed 
the Gospel and the life of Christ as mythical, he 
was following out the lines of this policy, and at 
that time not a few were led away by his theories. 
But later the development became much more 
widespread, intense and more sweepingly antag- 

Many of the German political philosophers 
affirm that the greatest mistake which Germany 
has ever made was in accepting Christianity from 
the Roman Empire in the fifth century. They 
declare that the Roman Empire was then effete 
and in a decline; that Galilee, from which the 
Roman Empire took the Christian faith, was also 
a decadent nation, and that it has always been 
a dreary spell cast upon the mind of Germany, 
that they accepted this religion. For thirty gen- 
erations, some of them declare, Germany has 
struggled to rid itself of an alien religion; of a 
vision which it did not respect ; of a God that it 
would not adore; of a system of religion which 
was foreign to the German genius. Germany's 
native instinct for playing a creative role in reli- 
gion had been stunted and thwarted. Germany, 
they declare, should exercise creative powers in 
the matter of religion, repudiating all but its own 

Antagonism of German Political Philosophy 55 

creation. That religion they called "The Reli- 
gion of Valor." One of its mottoes is to "Live 

Von Treitschke's thought of the State was the 
State controlled by nothing but its own ideals. 
Those who followed him reaffirmed this with 
additional energy. Napoleon was their ideal 
rather than Christ; Corsica rather than Galilee, 
became to them the seat of the ideas which they 
would espouse. They travestied and do now the 
Beatitudes. Instead of saying "Blessed are the 
peace makers" they say "Blessed are the war 
makers, for they shall conquer the earth and shall 
receive the applause, if not of Jehovah, of Odin, 
who is greater than Jehovah." They repudiated 
the beatitude on the meek, and blessed the valiant 
rather than the teachable; and instead of com- 
mending the poor in spirit, they commended the 
exalted and heroic in spirit who have no sense of 
humanity. They prepared to found a world em- 
pire and also a world religion. 

This "Religion of Valor" had in it no place 
for Christian virtues and was to be substituted 
for the Christian faith. Sympathy, kindness, hu- 
manity were labelled weaknesses. 

But now, as the Christian religion, especially 
in the mind of the German people, was dependent 
upon the Bible, which Luther had so greatly ex- 

56 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

alted in the sixteenth century, it became neces- 
sary to the scheme of German philosophy and 
German conquest, to break up the foundations 
of Christianity by weakening the authority of the 
Bible. They, therefore, set about this systemati- 
cally, and during recent years have been urgent 
to propagate what is called popularly "The De- 
structive Criticism." The whole strength of 
German scholarship, with few exceptions, has 
been turned to the effort to destroy the authority 
of the Bible as related to Christianity, to morals 
and to humanity. So doing, they still retained 
their self-created religion and morals, which they 
called "The Religion of Valor." 

The evil influence of their destructive work 
passed to other nations, and many who called 
themselves scholars surrendered to the assump- 
tions of German so-called scholarship. When, 
therefore, they came to the moment of war 
upon the whole world, their theory, link by 
link, could be stated thus: The Hohenzollerns, 
for the good of Prussia, should dominate Prus- 
sia; Prussia, for the good of Germany, should 
dominate Germany; Germany, for the good 
of the world, should dominate the world. Ger- 
many should dominate the world because it 
was superior and the nations of the world con- 

Antagonism of German Political Philosophy 57 

The agency of German domination should be 
the army. The army should perform its work 
with a ruthless disregard of all the so-called laws 
of war, of morality and of humanity. To sweep 
away the reverence of the German people for 
morality and humanity it was necessary to get 
rid of the Christian religion, which was the 
foundation of these virtues, and to substitute 
therefor, as they did, another, which was anti- 
Christian, called "The Religion of Valor," as 
pagan as Attila's. 

To make sure that they could rid themselves 
and the German people of the Christian religion, 
they deemed it necessary that they should de- 
stroy the authority of the Holy Scriptures. This 
they did, among themselves, and considerably 
among the nations of the world. But while they 
had a religion left, which, though pagan, was 
powerful, those of other lands who accepted their 
anti-Christian and anti-Biblical theories, had 
nothing left except the sentiment of religion, and 
found themselves in this country, and to a con- 
siderable extent also in Britain, without an au- 
thoritative and divine religion and corresponding 
conviction; but holding an emasculated, non- 
authoritative sentiment, many among us even 
questioning whether it was consistent with Chris- 
tianity to fight for faith, for humanity and for 

58 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

morality. So the German philosophy worked to 
its own strengthening, for its own purpose, and 
to the weakening of all those nations on whom 
they proposed to fall. The Germans became 
ruthless warriors. Many so-called Christians 
became sentimental pacifists. 

You have wondered why the German Em- 
peror is making so many appeals to God and 
nevertheless seems to lack Christian moral sense 
and Christian humanity. I have given you the 
reason. The God of Germany is not the God 
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is not the 
God of the Christian Scriptures, but the manu- 
factured patron of German conquest and world 

Many will now inquire, "How could a theory 
like this, being taught, dispossess a nation of the 
fundamental principles of Christianity?" My 
answer is easy. Most singular illusions sweep 
over and possess myriads of mankind. For ex- 
ample, in the United States of America we have 
the delusion known as Mormonism. It is alleged 
by its devotees that in 1827 one Joseph Smith 
discovered plates of gold on which, in "reformed 
Egyptian" — whatever that may be — were the 
statements which he afterward made to the 
world. It matters not that Joseph Smith was a 
person of low and vile character, notorious for 

Antagonism of German Political Philosophy 59 

falsehood, for idleness, for immorality. It mat- 
ters not to those who follow him that the stories 
which he told of the possession of these plates are 
totally unbelievable and contradictory. There 
are now hundreds of thousands of followers of 
this man in America, whom they revere as a 
prophet and a saint. 

He said, for example, that these golden plates 
were given him in a supernatural way; but no 
such golden plates have ever been seen or known. 
He declared first that they were given him by a 
man of Spanish aspect, whose throat was cut and 
blood running down. He afterward declared 
that they were given to him by an angel. He 
affirmed that whoever looked upon these plates 
would die. He afterward promised that he 
would show them, which he never did, to a very 
large circle of friends. The theology which they 
developed was fantastic; the history fictitious; 
the morality outrageous ; and yet, from that time 
to this, there have been gathering more and more 
people to the standard of Mormonism, following 
Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, until to- 
day they hold the balance of political power in 
several States of the American Union. They 
are a financial force which is recognised among 
the powerful forces of the nation and is looked 
upon with awe and fear. They declare their 

60 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

purpose to rule the nation. They send forth 
more missionaries, in proportion to their num- 
bers, than any other body which calls itself reli- 
gious. They obtained their statehood by per- 
jury to the national government, declaring that 
they had abandoned polygamy, which they never 
abandoned and which their head declared after- 
ward before a committee of Congress, he still 
practised; and so, in unnumbered ways, they 
have given the lie to their pretensions and shown 
the utter folly of those who accept their theories. 
If all that could be done in America within 
less than one hundred years by an ignorant, dis- 
honorable, superstitious and degraded leader, 
what may you not expect when you see the forces 
which operated in Germany to supplant Chris- 
tianity, humanity and morality, and to send the 
nation forth on a plan of world conquest? Be- 
hind the German purpose were nearly two hun- 
dred years of very great material prosperity 
under their form of government. Their rulers, a 
powerful family deserving well in many respects 
of their people, their theory of superiority and 
dominion highly satisfactory to the self-con- 
sciousness, the pride and the ambitions of the 
German people; their teachers, the foremost 
philosophers of their time, the chief theologians, 
the leading scientific and literary men. And bear 

Antagonism of German Political Philosophy 61 

in mind that all these German teaching forces 
were the creatures of the State; they were 
selected by the State ; they received their salaries 
from the State, from the foremost to the least 
in the lowest schools. They were discharged if 
they failed to please the State ; and so they flung 
the sum total of the forces of a powerful govern- 
ment and an immense force of highly trained 
teachers into the work of justifying and leading 
this great empire on a course and career of world 
conquest. Such an appeal so fathered, fostered 
and taught, is adequate and ample to produce 
the results we now behold. 

It is plain enough that this is a rational ac- 
counting for the results of their theory upon the 
German nation, creating a solidarity as remark- 
able as that of any nation in human history. 

This purpose is "inspired by the pulpits as 
religion; taught by the universities as philoso- 
phy; disseminated by the press as policy and 
political necessity; embodied in the army as na- 
tional loyalty and duty, and focused on the 
Kaiser as the minister of the Almighty." Blas- 
phemous, fundamentally narrow and inhuman as 
it is, you can see how it became an obsession, a 
very devil of pride in the breasts of seventy 
million Germans. 

And here let me present additional proofs of 

62 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

the truth that this is the base and beginning, as 
well as the strength of this war on the German 
side, by calling your attention to certain collat- 
eral historical evidence. All that I have pre- 
sented is absolutely consistent with everything 
that the German powers have done in the three 
years since the beginning of this war. Do we 
declare that they have violated all principles of 
Christianity, of humanity or morality? The evi- 
dence is before the whole world, written on the 
bloodiest pages of human history. Let me dwell 
upon it briefly to show how really this is true. 


If the so-called morals of Germany during this 
war, and disclosed by it, are in harmony with the 
theory which I have stated, then we have a strong 
proof that this theory is working out. That this 
is true, let me prove from two or three considera- 

First, when the United States of America sent 
away the Ambassador of Germany and severed 
diplomatic relations, when we finally declared 
that a state of war existed between Germany and 
the United States, our government acted chiefly 
on moral ground, as the state papers of the 
United States allege. If you turn to the docu- 

r Antagonism of German Political Philosophy 63 

mentary history of the breach of relations be- 
tween us and Germany you find our government 
asserting that this was made necessary by three 
considerations : First, because Germany had vio- 
lated the law of truth in breaking promises made 
to us, destroying our citizens on the high seas 
without warning; levying war against us while 
pretending peace; endeavouring to stir up our 
nearest neighbor against us to invasion and to 
assault while assuming to be our friend. 

The second affirmation of our government was 
that Germany had violated its pledges to the 
whole world of civilised nations in the matter of 
international law. This we supported and sub- 
stantiated by citing the case of Belgium and 
northern France, as well as by other affirmations ; 
and this again was a violation by the German 
Empire of the law of truth, in the realm of 

The third charge that our government brought 
against Germany was the violation of the laws 
of nations and humanity, superseding the same 
by cruelty and inhumanity, as in the deportation 
of the Belgian and French people, and numerous 
other acts of savagery and cruelty. 

All these acts and allegations, as you perceive, 
are in the realm of moral laws and duties, such 
as are revered and held by all civilised nations. 

64 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

The course of the Allies was identical with that 
of our own government and their grounds of war 
practically the same. For when some months 
ago, Germany assumed to make offers of peace, 
in which no one had any confidence, the answer 
of the Allies was mainly to the effect that Ger- 
many had violated truth and pledges to such an 
extent that it could not be trusted. Moral laws, 
as to treaties and pledges made by the Germans, 
had been set at naught, to prove which the Allies 
quoted Germany's own statements, confessions 
and actions. 

Second, the Allies declared they could not 
make peace because of the violations of plighted 
faith to the nations, which Germany had volun- 
tarily taken and which, regardless of truth, she 
had steadily and most outrageously violated. 

And third, the humanities, they alleged, had 
all been violated by Germany, although interna- 
tionally accepted and sanctioned by them with 

This common attitude of the United States 
and of the Allies was met by Germany with a 
practical admission of the truth of all they stated. 
Germany avows, and has avowed, that it will do 
whatever it judges to be necessary to attain its 
ends, irrespective of any promises or engage- 
ments made at any time. It has also alleged that 

Antagonism of German Political Philosophy 65 

pledges, promises and humanities are not binding 
upon it; and also that nothing shall be allowed 
to stand in the way of its national aspirations and 
evolution as it interprets the same. That is to 
say, Germany practically admits the charges of 
the United States and the Allies, that it has 
repudiated all morals and all humanity as uni- 
versally held and understood. 

You can but perceive that we have before us 
here two theories of morals and of life. The 
German theory is a theory of morals made by the 
German nation, operative within its own borders, 
and operative on other nations only in so far as 
it can enforce its will on them. Now, if one 
nation has a right to make its own code of morals, 
another and every other nation has the same 
right. If every nation makes its own code of 
morals, moral relations cannot be international. 
There can be no system of universal interchange 
on a moral basis of numerous nations holding dif- 
ferent and presumably divergent theories of 
morals. All world relations, therefore, must 
cease unless they are merely relations of hostility. 

On the other hand, America and the Allies 
present a theory of morals universal in its charac- 
ter, and of universal benevolence, founded not 
on legislation or statute of the State and subject 
to no State revisal or amendment, but given by 

66 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

the Ruler of the universe for the promotion of 
appropriate human relations between all the 
peoples of the earth. It is manifest that these 
two systems are not only mutually exclusive but 
mutually antagonistic, and that the two can 
never subsist except in a state of conflict. Which, 
then, shall be overpowered and which shall re- 
main as the rule of human life among the nations 
of mankind? 

Like morality, humanity is really a question 
of moral duties, infilled with human brotherhood 
and affection. In the repudiation of humanity 
Germany has simply taken a step contrary to the 
conviction, thought and feeling of all the other 
nations of the world and in violation of their high- 
est moral sense. There is no language strong 
enough to express the antagonism of the civilised 
world against Germany for what it has done in 
Belgium, France, Armenia and Syria — in Po- 
land, Serbia and Russia. Is there any law of 
humanity, is there any sense of right among man- 
kind, is there any sentiment of civilisation which 
Germany has not absolutely repudiated in her 
dealings with those who have been subjugated by 
her military power? 

Armenia has suffered the greatest persecution 
of Christian martyrs ever known since Christian 
history began. Massacre, torture, deportation, 

Antagonism of German Political Philosophy 67 

ravishment, starvation have carried off a million 
and a half of the people of Armenia within the 
last two and one-half years. All missionaries, 
even missionaries of German churches, have as- 
serted that Germany was responsible; that it 
could have prevented the horrors wrought by 
Turk and Kurd; that German authorities have 
countenanced and have assisted in this horrible 
work. You have only to read the statements of 
Von Bissing, late Governor of Belgium, and 
other of the leading German authorities to un- 
derstand that deliberately they planned and pro- 
posed to reduce these lands to a desert and to 
repopulate them with German people and with 
the captives whom they might enslave in war. 

It is the German who advised the Moslem to 
originate a "holy war," (called the "Jehad"), by 
which they expected two hundred and fifty mil- 
lion Mohammedans would rise up and fall upon 
the Christian peoples of the world and destroy 
them, as Mohammed and the Saracens sought to 
do in the first centuries of the Moslem propa- 
ganda. That such a "holy war," so-called, did 
not eventuate was because the Moslems, more 
humane than the German, resented and repudi- 
ated the demand of the German power and their 
servile adherents, the Turks. 

The story of the submarines is a story of cruel- 

68 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

ties which no pirates in history have ever dupli- 
cated. While the modes of war on the field of 
battle, the destructive agencies employed, the 
effort not merely to annihilate, but to torture 
and to cause the most frightful suffering, the 
wanton destruction and desolation of all that 
civilisation cherishes — these all have been a por- 
tion of the German policy, deliberately planned, 
threatened, prepared, done and justified for 

The authorities are so many, the voice of all 
nations consenting to this indictment is so unani- 
mous, the investigations so fully prove all that I 
have said, that I think I need add nothing to the 
statement that the course of Germany since the 
beginning of the war is entirely in harmony with 
its political philosophy, and indicates exactly 
what we are fighting and what for. 


And now finally: What is the battle upon 
which we have entered? What the goal of the 
struggle, the stake of the war, in which we are 
engaged ? We have portrayed the foe, measured 
by his purposes, designs and practises. Through 
long years, while we have been inattentive, su- 
pine, indifferent, Germany has been penetrated 

Antagonism of German Political Philosophy 69 

and permeated with the idea of world dominion 
by world war. In 1912 more than seven hundred 
books on war were published in Germany, and 
all that they have done in the last three years had 
been forecast and really foretold by them with 
the utmost audacity. 

Our battle is more than a war for national 
defence, great as that is; more than a war of 
American patriotism, the care of our own people 
on sea and land; more than a war for the in- 
tegrity and rehabilitation of Belgium and 
France, and the support of our Allies fighting 
for the world's right; more than co-operation 
with a score of nations who withstand Germany. 
Our war is a war for the race in its highest ideals 
and its greatest hopes. When Charles Martel 
turned back the Saracen in southern France in 
the early centuries he did no less than is obliga- 
tory upon the nations of the world to-day in 
fighting back the German invasion. Against 
their overweening pride and vanity, their false- 
ness, traitorousness, intolerable inhumanity, 
cruelty, tyranny, spoliation and subjugation we 
are fighting. Are not these causes adequate? Is 
there not motive enough in these to awaken the 
hundred millions of America to withstand with 
the millions of Europeans the terrific forces of 
German invasion aand destructiveness ? 

70 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

But we are fighting for much more than these. 
We are fighting for morals, universal, authorita- 
tive, beneficent, divine; morals, of men as men, 
against what is merely local custom, made and 
applied by a tyrant. Shall we have a moral 
world? is a question that we are trying to answer 
in the affirmative. 

We are fighting for the maintenance of hu- 
manity, fraternal, universal, helpful. 

Shall the world be a humane world, or shall 
massacre, torture, deportation, slaughter, starva- 
tion and all kinds of ravages upon men, women 
and little children be the habit of the world? We 
are to answer. 

We are fighting for the integrity of the race, 
as brothers, against German masters with the 
rest of the world slaves. We are fighting for 
Christianity, the last religious hope of the world, 
the Christianity which avers the love of God and 
the love of men as the basis of human life. This 
they would displace by cruel paganism, a valor 
which knows no pity, no mercy, no liberty. 
Surely here is a stake worth the best that we can 
spend and do. 

We take on a heavy burden, for none of us 
desire war for itself. We do not believe that war 
is a high state of desirable human life, and so 
we regard our entrance into this war as a heavy 

Antagonism of German Political Philosophy 71 

load, a sad necessity. But no burden which we 
can assume can be so heavy as having to exist 
under the domination of immoral and inhuman 

We know that we shall encounter sufferings 
which we deprecate and deplore. It is not neces- 
sary to describe them; they are too obvious in 
Europe, as they will be in America. But the 
worst sufferings and the most that we can en- 
counter in resisting an unregulated and inhuman 
tyranny cannot compare with the sufferings 
which Germany victorious inflicts, working its 
unregulated will. What sufferings we assume 
are light compared with those which they have 
already imposed and which they fight to impose 
upon us. 

We must spend vast sums of money. The 
treasures of centuries must be poured out, and 
this we would much prefer not to do, but rather 
to spend our wealth in human help and advance- 
ment. Yet this expenditure of billions is a trifle 
of our wealth compared with the tribute and 
plunder extorted under the rule of these im- 
moral and inhuman tyrants. Let Belgium, 
France and Poland tell us how much money 
Germany would extort from us if she had her 
will. And so let us learn the wisdom of spend- 
ing any portion of the whole to protect the vast 

72 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

remainder. Half of all we have we had best 
spend in resisting rather than to lose all in sub- 
mitting; yes, all in resisting rather than any in 

In fighting this fight we must part from 
friends who go from us perhaps never to return, 
who give their lives to our defence. We need 
not dwell on the agony that this inflicts on those 
who love and revere their own. But parting from 
our friends, though they never come again, will 
be infinitely easier than if we should be compelled 
to stand with them and beside them while they 
are suffering beyond our aid the tortures which 
would be inflicted upon them by pagan and in- 
human tyrants, as done these three years wher- 
ever Germany has had its will. If we must 
part from friends, let it rather be while we are 
defending them to our utmost than when stand- 
ing beside them, we see barbarians wreak their 
savage will and lust on those whom our manacled 
hands cannot assist and our shackled limbs can- 
not help. 

We may live, many of us, scarred and de- 
formed by wounds received in battle. But 
such wounds are few and little compared 
with those inflicted under the sway of tyrants 
who know no mercy, and who, as yet, have 
shown no pity. Better be marred defending 

Antagonism of German Political Philosophy 73 

our liberty than scarred by the tortures of our 

We may die while striving, and many no doubt 
will as many already have done. But death on 
the battle line, fighting for freedom and a right- 
eous cause, is a thousand-fold better than living 
a cowering slave under tyrants who have shown 
only too clearly how valueless life is when they 
have its direction and control. 

But most of us will live; the vast majority of 
our nation and the nations will survive. They 
will survive victorious; they will rejoice over the 
possession of treasures much richer than all that 
they cost. And so long as the nations and the 
generations live they will exult to think that we 
preserved by heroism to a world which otherwise 
would be worthless, a beneficent morality, a gra- 
cious and tender humanity, and a priceless Chris- 
tian faith and fraternity, maintained and sancti- 
fied by our sacrifices and our valour. 


The Angels' Song, As They Said It 

THE message of the angels to the shepherds 
of Bethlehem, and to the whole world 
through them, has been much exploited and little 
studied, greatly praised and little understood. 
From the general use of it and comment upon it, 
one might think it was merely a declaration of 
Peace versus War. Is there anything more in it 
than a text for songs, hymns, praises, sermons on 
peace? We might answer that there is less of 
this than of several other declarations and impli- 
cations and that most of its use along the peace 
line is wholly unwarranted by its form, sub- 
stance and purpose. Indeed, there are few 
Scriptures which have been so much used and 
so misused, so often quoted and misquoted, so 
freely taught and so slightly studied. It might 
properly have excited our suspicions long ago 
that many, not Christians, have assumed to in- 
terpret the whole of Christianity which they did 
not profess, in terms of passive quiet which they 
scarcely helped to secure ; and that we should be 
told by such that we Christians utterly failed to 
• 74 

The Angels' Song, "As They Said It 75 

make good this first summary of Christianity, 
ought to have led us to ask at least what it says 
and what it means. There is very little in the 
utterance, ("song" if you will), but what has 
been read into it, and much in it which is never 
considered. It surely is not primarily a peace 
message in the sense in which it is commonly used 
at Christmas and on other occasions. The proof 
of this is found in the simplest examination and 
study of this passage of history and Scripture. 

First of all, the Bible nowhere calls it a song, 
an Angels' song, or even says that the angels sang. 
The first part of the message is delivered to the 
shepherds by one angel. The second part by "a 
multitude of the Heavenly host." Of the single 
angel it is said, "And the angel said unto them" ; 
and of the Heavenly multitude it is recorded that 
they appeared "praising God and saying/' It 
may be alleged that an angel's voice is so musical 
that its sayings would be music and equivalent 
in tones to song. Possibly. Or that when a 
multitude of angels spoke a single message in 
unison they might have sung it. But not neces- 
sarily. It is as easy to speak in unison as to 
sing thus. So let us start to interpret by saying 
that it is germane to a careful inquiry as to what 
happened that night to note and record that 
there is no story of an angel's song or of the 

76 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

angels' song or any song. This may not seem 
very important as a correction of an unauthor- 
ised interpretation, but we observe that this read- 
ing into the message what is not there, is not a 
matter of this one particular any more than it is 
of all the details of this truly wonderful message. 
It is just as true that it is not a message, pri- 
marily, of peace any more than it is a message of 
other great revelations which are far more impor- 
tant to those who first heard it and to us. Let 
us examine it solely to find out what it said and 
what it revealed. 

With the shepherds keeping watch "over their 
flocks by night/' it is said: "The angel of the 
Lord came upon them, and the glory of the 
Lord shone round about them, and they were sore 
afraid." This angel evidently came from an 
upper sphere as one settling down from above 
into the midst of their company. He was "the 
angel," the messenger "of the Lord." Evidently 
they so regarded him, and as bearing supernatu- 
ral character. And "they were sore afraid." The 
glory of the Lord, the belief that God the Lord 
was represented by this Angel 3 made them very 
much afraid. Why? Why should the presence 
of God or of a messenger of God cause men to 
be very much afraid? Here is the secret of the 
messenger and of the message. 

The Angels' Song, As They Said It 77 

Men, practically all men, who should rejoice in 
the manifestation and enjoy the presence of God, 
are afraid of God and the presence of God, just 
as Adam and Eve were said to have been when 
sinning. Adam said, "I was afraid." This fear 
is a revelation of the purpose and occasion 
of Christ's coming, that He might take it 

So the very first word of the Angel, and of the 
Angelic Message, was "Fear Not/' "The Angel 
said unto them, 'Fear Not.' ' This is a message 
through these representatives to the whole race 
of men. And the wonder is that when people 
who even reject Christ and the claims of Christ 
are attempting to tell dogmatically what this 
early message of Christianity means, they have 
not seen that its first word is "Fear Not." This 
is all the more evidence of a lack of keen atten- 
tion on their part because many say "there is 
nothing in God to fear." Why then, in their 
superficial reading, did they not snatch at this 
angelic exhortation? Perhaps, because the angel 
then at once told the shepherds the reason why 
they should dismiss their fears and why the whole 
world should dismiss its fear of being in the 
presence of God. 

The Angel follows his urgent word of cheer, 
"Fear Not," by giving them the reason why they 

78 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

should not fear. What is that reason? He says, 
"For, behold, I bring you good tidings of great 
joy which shall be to all people." Here is a 
universal message, first to the shepherds and then 
to all people, the whole race, all mankind. "Good 
tidings," "News of great joy," such as to cause 
a universal joy, the very opposite of fear. And 
what are these tidings ? What is the news which 
shall remove from men a dread and fear of the 
presence and the glory of God and his messen- 
gers? Hear the answer: "For unto you," says 
the Angel, "is born this day in the city of David, 
a Saviour which is Christ the Lord." 

We read nothing into this news to make it tell 
us of a universal blessing to drive away the fears 
and bring great joy to the whole world, when we 
say that it plainly declares : 

1st. A birth, we call it an "Incarnation," that 
day taking place in Bethlehem, the city of pro- 

2nd. "Of a Saviour." This great word by 
implication affirms that the race needs a Saviour 
to save it. And when we ask why, the answer 
must be that the race is an unsaved race, a lost 
race, a wasted and wandering race. The shep- 
herds could not misunderstand. Neither can any- 
body who knows human history. If only a 
Saviour to save from fear, it is a mighty salvation 

The Angels' Song, As They Said It 79 

which takes away the causes of fear, as the only- 
way of removing fears. 

3rd. And this Saviour "is Christ the Lord," 
Christ the Anointed One; the Messiah whom 
these shepherds and their nation had heard of 
and longed for through ages of time. And this 
new born one who is Saviour and Christ and 
Messiah is "the Lord." This is a word of ex- 
altation and mastery, indicating capacity, su- 
periority and honor. 

So far the message is of the first great herald 
angel. God is made manifest in the flesh, the 
Saviour, the Deliverer, the Chosen Christ of 
God, the Lord and Master. Such is the actual 
message of the individual angel's "Song," which 
is not a song. 

Then, that no mark of assurance may be lack- 
ing from the messenger angel and to these repre- 
sentatives of the common human race, he tells 
them in detail how and where they shall find this 
great One, born this day, born to be a Saviour. 
In these words the individual angel has given 
the main part of the heaven-sent disclosure. 

"And suddenly there appeared with the Angel 
a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God 
and saying — " Evidently they were enforcing his 
glad tidings. All being from God, all accredited 
messengers, all being of the Heavenly Hosts, 

80 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

they appeared to add assurance and to cheer 
with gladness the shepherds who represented all 
people, that is, all mankind. It is not said that 
they sang. It is immaterial whether they did or 
did not. But what did they say, as they praised 

May we pause to note that praise — the uplift 
of heart and voice to God — was their attitude and 
act? Let those who prate of "Peace on Earth," 
etc., bear in mind that praise to God for the 
Saviour incarnate is the first thing in the angelic 
heart after knowing that truth. This is the only 
cause of praise mentioned here. 

And what did the angels say? For what they 
said is of much consequence. A misquotation of 
it is the stock of those who discourse of the 
"Angels' song of Peace." 

First of all, they said, "Glory to God in the 
highest." Here is a chance for intelligent ex- 
planation, and for explanation not likely to be 
of doubtful meaning. This is an ascription on 
their part of the highest, most exalted place and 
supremacy to God. In the highest place, holding 
the highest rank, supreme over all, they declare 
God to be. Among the mighty and glorious He 
is mightiest and most glorious. Their word is as. 
declarative as that of the first angel, and as im- 
portant. God is most glorious of beings and to 

The Angels 3 Song, As They Said It 81 

be more and especially glorified because of the 
Saviour born, sent, and saving. Let those who 
crave peace remember that the hope of it comes 
when God is recognised, enthroned, obeyed, 
praised and glorified by man, and not until then. 
Exalt God to His highest throne, greatest among 
the great and recognise His glory in giving a 
Saviour, as beyond all other reasons the supreme 
cause of adoration of Him. So they command. 

On sweeps the angelic exhortation "to all peo- 
ple." "And on earth" (as He is glorified among 
all the powers of heaven and earth here repre- 
sented) "Peace." The form of speech here is 
made into English with a very slight variation, 
in several ways. 

"Peace among men in whom He (God) is well 
pleased." "Peace among men of good pleasure." 
"Peace, good pleasure among men." 

Evidently peace is the prominent idea at this 
point to and among men. Is it particular men? 
Men of a certain character, quality, relationship 
to God? Evidently and surely. Say it is "among 
men in whom He is well pleased." Their peace 
is conditional on the fact that God is pleased with 
them. What kind of men are they in whom God 
has pleasure? Who pleases Him so that He 
favours them? Men of good pleasure? Men who 
find their pleasure in Goodness, men whose will is 

82 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

good, who agree with God and who by righteous- 
ness will go among men and so make social peace. 

Is there in this whole message any statement, 
announcement, declaration to suggest that 
"Peace," as that term has been used in regard 
to the "Angels' Song," is ever coming to men 
who refuse the Saviour, who reject the Messiah, 
who do not recognise the supremacy of God, who 
do not submit to Him and glorify His suprem- 
acy? Is there a sign or suggestion that Christ 
came into the world to make peace among the 
nations of men who are willingly Godless; wil- 
fully sinful; whose wills are not to please God 
or to scatter among men the fruits of a generous 
and holy life? I see no such crude and irrational 
meaning. Yet that is the commonly alleged 
meaning, wholly unwarranted as it is unan- 

Peace in this world in the individual, the small 
neighbourhood, and the larger associated bodies 
of men, is a product of Divine provision ac- 
cepted, and human character adjusted to that 
provision, so pleasing God and rendering right- 
eousness, peace and joy possible among men. It 
comes and is made through faith in God, in the 
Incarnation, in Jesus Christ the Lord. 

When men accept the Angels' announcement, 
take hold on the grace of God, receive, seek, wor- 

The Angels' Song, 'As They Said It 83 

ship Christ, grasp His universal redemption ; ex- 
alt His Holy Name ; glorify Him, gain His good 
will by love and obedience, and the good will of 
men by love and service, then they find peace in 
finding its sources, conditions and causes. And 
not till then. 

Peace to men who will the will of God is a 
great result of an adequate cause, and it comes to 
those who receive Christ as here disclosed, who 
exalt and obey God as He is here revealed. 


The Doctrine of Jesus About Resistance 
to Evil 

NUMBERS of believers in Christ declare 
their conviction that He taught the doctrine 
of non-resistance and that those who follow and 
obey Him cannot, under any circumstances, fight 
even in self-defence. To establish their position 
they quote principally the passage at the end of 
Matthew V. 38-42, the word most often cited 
being: "But whosoever smiteth thee on the right 
cheek turn him the other also." The eminent 
Russian, Tolstoi, seems to have founded his 
theory of Christian non-resistance and opposi- 
tion to war mostly on this passage. 

Many who cannot quite make up their minds 
that it is duty to passively endure and never to 
resist the evil aggressions of all assailants do, 
nevertheless, take up arms against wicked and 
malicious foes while avowing their theoretical 
faith in the opposite policy. These seem to think 
that Christ's teaching is not really practical. So 
they cut loose from it under stress, resolved later 


Doctrine of Jesus About Resistance to Evil 85 

to return to their allegiance after practising con- 
trary to it for a season. This course seems to 
us very reprehensible. If one believes in Christ 
he cannot lay off for a time and then resume and 
take on the obligations of Christian allegiance. 
This would be, on his part, irrational as well as 
treasonable. If Christ's teaching is not for life 
as life, if it is "a thing of shreds and patches," 
then it is not worthy to command human faith or 

The wonder is that our Lord has been so mis- 
interpreted that men quote Him as against all 
defensive strife, both in precept or example. Let 
us examine fairly His words and seek His evi- 
dent meaning. And first this passage in Mat- 

It is fair to premise that this language is not 
wholly literal as is the most rigid statement of a 
fact ; that it is, in part, at least, figurative or pic- 
turesque. This premise asks no concession ex- 
cept the use of plain common sense. Language 
is not degraded, not distorted or rendered obscure 
when used figuratively. It is rather elevated and 
dignified. Very much of our language, common 
and literary, is not in the use of the first and 
primary meaning of the words but in a picture 
meaning. Thousands of examples of this are 
near at hand and daily on our lips. 

86 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

That we may get Matthew V. 38-42 in its plain 
sense, we have to take up the whole passage of 
which it is a part. In verse 29, in the part relat- 
ing to adultery, it is said, "If thy right eye cause 
thee to stumble pluck it out and cast it from thee, 
etc." A similar suggestion or direction follows 
immediately about "thy right hand" ("cut it off, 
etc."). No one can for a moment suppose that 
this is a literal direction; that in a treatment of 
lustful passion, the right eye is to be plucked out 
and cast away; and so of the hand. Both are 
plainly figurative expressions of the doctrine of 
self-denial and self-control. Literally construed 
they are absurd; figuratively used they are in- 
tense and impressive instructions. I think also 
that the next passage, about oaths, must be as- 
sumed to contain figurative commandment as 
well as literal. Whether legal and judicial oaths 
are forbidden, I will not argue, though I believe 
not. But let this be one way or the other; verse 
37 says, "But let your yea be yea and your nay 
nay, for whatsoever is more than these cometh 
of evil." Unexplained, to the literalist, this 
means that anything spoken more or besides 
"yea, yea — nay, nay, cometh of evil." This is 

There is a world of conversation which is nei- 
ther "yea" nor "nay," which does not "come of 

Doctrine of Jesus About Resistance to Evil 87 

evil." When I deny or affirm it is not of evil 
that I say more than nay and yea. However, 
the meaning is not at all obscure. A simple 
affirmative or negative is the proper mode of 
assent or denial rather than expletives and 
oaths. And a disposition to multiply assevera- 
tions arises from evil rather than good. They 
are unnecessary to a truthful man and superflu- 
ous, and the harm of such oaths is obvious to 
honest thought. Here then is a second instance 
of figurative language in this paragraph of 
Christ's present teaching. 

And now we read in verse 28, "Ye have heard 
that it was said an eye for an eye and a tooth for 
a tooth, etc." It was also said "hand for hand, 
foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for 
wound, stripe for stripe" (Exodus 21. 24-25). 
Did Christ intend to state what He stated as 
being all that He recognised and allowed of the 
old law? Were the other two thirds of this 
original direction to be left unrepealed by Him 
and was He to repeal these two particulars 
alone? Evidently not so. The meaning origi- 
nally in Exodus was to thus state the principle 
of equity and responsibility in graphic terms. 
Because nothing is said about ears or noses or 
toes or legs or arms. Evidently liter alness would 
destroy the whole purport of the ordinance and 

88 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

confine it to a few bodily members and instances. 
No rational mind can think this. 

So, then, presumably what our Lord is about 
to utter for which this reference paves the way, 
is something which shall supersede a crude rule 
of equivalents and reveal the spirit of equity and 
social justice. He continues, "But I say unto 
you that ye resist not evil — but whosoever 
smiteth thee on the right cheek turn to him the 
other also." Does Christ here teach that we must 
not resist evil? What then are we to do when 
we resist not evil? Do we passively agree to it, 
whatever its form? No. "Evil" is a word of 
breadth which includes injurious and hurtful 
agents and agencies whether physical or moral. 
Cold is an evil to a delicate body, so is sickness 
of any sort; so fire breaking out or flood; or an 
incursion of destructive insects or animals. 
Whatever works visible harm, injury and suffer- 
ing is evil, as vice, revenge, ignorance, prejudice. 
Certainly He would never teach us to offer no 
resistance, opposition or correction to any form 
of evil. Then surely we must explain His word 
as not literal but figurative, giving, in picture, a 
statement of a principle of right conduct. So 
it must be explained. So of intellectual, social, 
moral and spiritual evil. Thus instructed, we 
resume : 

Doctrine of Jesus About Resistance to Evil 89 

"But whosoever shall smite thee on the right 
cheek turn to him the other also." Here is one 
kind of evil, if literal, a very narrow form. What 
is it, if merely literal, as we are asked to take it? 
Why, this — that if any man smite thee (you) on 
the right cheek you turn to him the other (the 
left cheek) also. Just this and no more, if 
literal. But suppose I am struck on my left 
cheek, what shall I do? Or on my eye, or nose 
or chin or anywhere else on my body? Then 
the liter alist must say, "I have no word of direc- 
tion from Christ, what course I shall take." This 
is being literal but ridiculous. The Great 
Teacher's utterances are belittled immeasurably 
by such silly interpretations. It is foolish and 
absurd. Because literalness reduces it to ab- 
surdity, our reverence for Christ leads us, as in 
the four preceding instances (in v. 29, 30, 37, 
38 ) , to inquire as to its real meaning. At once 
it becomes plain. The slap on the right or left 
cheek is the insult offered by an angry man who 
wishes to show disesteem and provoke a quarrel. 
In days of knighthood such a flick of hand or 
glove was an indignity which called for a chal- 
lenge and mortal combat. Our Lord virtually 
says: Receive such indignity not as one who has 
no further resources of patience, but as one who 
could stand even more and yet keep his fullest 

90 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

self-control. Better so, to show the calmness of 
your spirit and your self-mastery, than to engage 
in useless and passionate fighting over a slight 
provocation. This makes sense of the passage 
and honors the Teacher. The literal interpreta- 
tion is nonsense and useless. 

Proceeding to the next direction the same 
principle of interpretation gives the only sensible 
meaning to the text: "If any man will go to law 
with thee ("sue thee at the law") and take away 
thy coat, let him have thy cloak also." Shall we 
be told that this forbids all legal defence and de- 
mands surrender of legal rights to property 
rather than contest and defence? Not so. Stated 
literally what does it say? (Compare Matthew 
and Luke.) "If any man will sue thee at the 
law and take away thy undershirt, let him have 
thine overshirt also" (the order of garments be- 
ing reversed in Luke). Is this done ever any- 
where? No. But explain it and wisdom at once 
appears. Here is a litigious contestant over a 
mere trifle who wills to sue you. There are such : 
Courts and society abound in them. Then and 
now, Courts of law are not certainly Courts of 
Justice. The whole matter in controversy is 
trifling. Better yield a trifle than to enter upon 
uncertain, tedious and endless litigation. We 
have known wise men in business, who in large 

Doctrine of Jesus About Resistance to Evil 91 

matters never went to law, because of its injus- 
tices and uncertainties. They were carrying out 
the wisdom of Christ's teachings. The absolute 
literal sense is evidently useless for our times 
or any time. The true sense is full of practical 

The next direction is likewise valuable but use- 
less if literally interpreted. "If any man compel 
thee to go with him a mile, go with him twain." 
Nothing of this sort ever occurs in our modern 
life. So then, if literal, it would now be mean- 
ingless to us. But at that time, perhaps now in 
distant lands, as you worked in your little field, 
some nabob with his train might come past and 
demand that you go a mile with them. To re- 
fuse, though it were resisting petty tyranny, 
would be disastrous, might cost you great loss. 
On the other hand your affairs would not suffer 
if you quietly and kindly went, if you also should 
say, "I will freely go another mile for your con- 
venience/ ' it might be the best kind of policy; 
placating rather than exasperating. A good 
principle under such circumstances then and 
there, now and everywhere. 

Following: "Give to him that asketh thee, and 
from him that would borrow of thee turn not 
thou away," is easily explicable and valuable in 
the light of the preceding principles of interpre- 

92 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

tation. It is not a command to give to anyone 
and everyone anything and everything he asks, 
as when your child asks for poison or a razor or 
a gun — it commands and directs a generous and 
helpful spirit. And when one wants to borrow, 
which implies a purpose to return the thing bor- 
rowed, he being now in necessity, do not disre- 
gard his need by turning away, unf eeling and un- 
heeding, but consider his case as it deserves and 
help him if he deserves it. 

And now completing the passage of Christ's 
teaching, as if to demonstrate the common sense 
and truth of this interpretation of divine wisdom, 
we have the final word. He notes, "It has been 
said, love your neighbor and hate your enemy." 
Here Jesus says, "Love your enemies and pray 
for them that persecute you." Is this literal or 
figurative? Plainly literal. It could not rise to 
a nobler sense or command a higher duty than 
what it plainly teaches. It is plain, practical, 
right, noble and Godlike. Therefore it needs no 
explanation, only obedience. But love to an 
enemy does not permit him to work injury on 
himself, on you, or on another, if you can prevent 
it. There is no expression of love in letting a 
criminal work his will. It is every way loving to 
stop him. It shows good will to him and every- 
body involved. 

Doctrine of Jesus About Resistance to Evil 93 

Thus reading and interpreting these messages 
in the teachings of Christ, in their own light and 
in harmony with the light of reason and all reve- 
lation, we find nothing whatever to sustain the 
pacifist's contention that Christ here taught the 
doctrine of non-resistance and pacifism, as is 
often alleged. 

Again it has been said that Christ declared, "I 
came not to send peace but a sword,' ' and that 
this proves that he intended to generate and di- 
rect war. 

This passage (Matthew X. 34) is so inter- 
preted but not reasonably. "Think not that I am 
come to send peace on earth. I came not to send 
peace but a sword. For I came to set a man 
at variance against his father and the daughter 
against her mother. . . . And a man's foes shall 
be those of his own household." 

No one supposes that Christ came into this 
world to generate hostility between members of 
a family. Not as a desirable end do these enmi- 
ties come from His teaching; nor can the sword 
be used literally here as a weapon and symbol 
of war. Variance in families does not take the 
form of pitched battles with weapons of war. Is 
it not plain that Christ here declares that His 
doctrine, so pacifying and loving, the greatest 
guide for family and social harmony, will be so 

94 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

resisted by the wicked that they will fiercely and 
cruelly oppose it when embraced by their inti- 
mates and kindred? Not that such is the purpose 
of God but inseparable from the evil hearts of 
men. He does not seek nor willingly generate 
war, but aggressive goodness brings it on through 
the evil minds of those who refuse the goodness, 
and He rather teaches not non-resistance but 
to withstand them and persist in obedience to 

It would seem on first reading that the words 
of Jesus in answer to Pilate — John 18. 36 — are 
against ever fighting. "My Kingdom is not of 
this world; if my Kingdom were of this world, 
then would my servants fight that I should not 
be delivered to the Jews ; but now is my Kingdom 
not from hence." The inference hastily drawn 
h that because we are the citizens of the Kingdom 
of which Christ is King, therefore we will not 
fight. But this inference is much too broad to 
be reasonable. This error in interpretation is 
drawn from several misunderstandings: 

1. Though Christ's Kingdom is not of this 
world, each of us is, as He was not, a part of a 
Kingdom in this world, to which we owe numer- 
ous duties. Therefore what was most incumbent 
upon Him may not be so upon us, e. g., to vote, to 
hold office, to act as jurors. 

Doctrine of Jesus About Resistance to Evil 95 

2. We assume that we are to do exactly what 
Christ did in this world. This is an inference 
from undue humanising of Christ in our estimate 
of Him, as if He were imitable in all respects. 
The truth is, that He is in a class by Himself. 
We can have likeness but never exact identity of 
action. Nor do we wish to do so. In numerous 
respects He did not do what we do and did what 
we are under no obligation to do. For example, 
He entered upon His public work at thirty years 
of age. This is not a rule or a duty for us. He 
was then baptized in the Jordan. We cannot be 
and need not be. He never married. Our duty 
does not lie in celibacy. Of numerous occupa- 
tions of our time in which we engage, he followed 
none. He was not an artist, or an engineer, or a 
merchant, etc. He died on a cross. We do not, 
need not. All these are inimitable doings of our 

Besides, latterly and erroneously, His words 
"My Kingdom," "The Kingdom of Heaven," 
"of God," are asserted to mean only and always 
a social state and relation in this world. This is 
an excess of some modern sociologists ; it is not 
New Testament teaching. The Lord's Prayer 
teaches us concerning the Kingdom of the Holy 
God in heaven which we pray may "come on 
earth as it is in heaven"; and also of an inward 

96 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

subjective psychological condition which corre- 
sponding to the objective Kingdom is described 
as the Kingdom of God which is not meat and 
drink but "Righteousness (in the Holy Spirit), 
Peace (in the Holy Spirit) and Joy in the Holy 
Spirit." When Jesus said, "My Kingdom is not 
of this world," in which sense did he use "King- 
dom"? And who can deny that pursuant to His 
purposes, his ends were to be attained by being 
delivered to the Jews and not by fighting carnally 
with the ecclesiastical Jewish powers on the part 
of his servants ; or against the Roman powers by 
"twelve legions of angels"? 

The particular circumstances which Christ here 
outlines seem to us as very far away from either 
a command or an example that His servants 
should be non-resistant in kingdoms which are 
in this world and must be practically governed. 

Yet another word spoken (Luke 22. 38) as a 
command by Him to His apostles needs to be 
listened to that we may better understand our 
duty. Their equipment was to be a purse, a 
wallet, "and he that hath none let him sell his 
garment and buy a sword." This would seem 
to be an explicit direction worth examining. 
"And they said, Lord, behold here are two 
swords. And He said unto them, It is enough." 
Doubtless this means that two swords were 

Doctrine of Jesus About Resistance to Evil 97 

enough, as part of their equipment — two swords 
for eleven men. Have not this command and 
comment a clear meaning, and do they not cast 
light on our inquiry? 

Why did He direct to procure any sword? 
Why was a sword so necessary that one should 
sell his garment, perchance a cloak, and with the 
proceeds buy a sword? And why were two 
swords among eleven men enough? 

The answer would seem to be that the actual 
sword was a means of defence, not for enforcing 
the gospel but for protecting the apostles, as did 
the wallet and purse. The fewness of the swords 
indicates the improbability of their being used 
for aggression. Perchance the swords possessed, 
and kept sheathed, indicated at once their owners' 
right and ability to use them; but more, their 
self-control, patience and purpose to set up a 
government by teaching rather than by force. 
For the spread of the gospel at the point of the 
sword is not conducive to its appropriate recep- 
tion and influence on men. The order, the neces- 
sity, the adequacy of two swords for eleven men 
means something. It certainly does not mean 
passive non-resistance, however explained. 

Thus examining fairly all that our Lord said 
which is ever quoted as relating to fighting, it 
seems to us that it cannot be truly alleged to 

98 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

directly deal with the subject of war at all. These 
texts are part of the general teachings of Jesus 
on spirit and duty. They answer no good pur- 
pose whatever if distorted into cowardice, paci- 
fism, non-resistance and acquiescence in the ag- 
gressions of wicked men in human society. For 
Jesus Christ teaches that God governs the world 
with law, righteousness and justice; with disci- 
pline, reward and penalty, and that He lays 
upon men the duty of maintaining, teaching and 
executing these essentials of His world order. 

Through men, He teaches, by men, He warns, 
with men as His agents, He disciplines, chastens 
and corrects. If good men should allow evil 
men to practise wickedness unpunished, this 
course would neither imitate God nor harmonise 
with His administration. If wickedness assails, 
righteousness defends and God takes the side of 

Had Christ taught non-resistance to evil, He 
would have overthrown rather than established 
the Kingdom of God. 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 

IN our civic allegiance at this time, and in every 
time and place, we are before everything else 
Americans and patriots, and the bond of our 
Americanism and patriotism is being strength- 
ened by our common perils, of which we are be- 
ginning to be aware. 

During the easy-going years of the near past, 
theorists have arisen, affirming that it is unmanly 
and unwise to be afraid, and we have been told 
how useless are the occasions, how hurtful are the 
consequences of fear. But he who does not know 
enough to fear when there is real danger, to be 
defensively aware of it, to take heed and guard 
against it, is not wise for this life or for the next. 
So at this time when I try to awaken in your 
minds a sense of the perilous conditions which 
menace us and of the disasters that may follow 
our failure to take warning, it is not to weaken 
us through fear but to strengthen us through 
prudence ; for while we might recklessly pass on 
where danger is impending, it is the part of 


100 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

prudent and courageous souls to keep watch and 

On this occasion, I seek to convince you gen- 
erally, of "The Perils of a Premature Peace," in 
the midst of a colossal war; specifically, of the 
numerous perils which are concentrated in that 
one greatest peril of the times. We are chal- 
lenged and threatened by the German purpose 
to subjugate and dominate the world. The Cen- 
tral powers, under Prussian and German leader- 
ship, long ago openly resolved to conquer, to 
enslave, and to despoil the world; to bring it by 
conquest under their absolute control, to reduce 
under their will all men, nations and races ; and 
to seize of what we have, whatever they choose, 
without our consent. So saying (and without 
fear of contradiction, for I am quoting their 
statements openly made), I would reveal the 
purpose and spirit of that mighty and threaten- 
ing force, which to secure this supremacy, has 
for three years and more convulsed the world 
with an unprecedented assault upon all human 

The present ruler of Germany in the year 
1892, at a conference at the Palace at Potsdam, 
with five hundred chosen men of that great realm, 
distributed to them a pamphlet beginning with 
these words: "The Pan-German Empire: From 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 101 

Hamburg on the North Sea to the Persian Gulf. 
Our immediate goal, 250,000,000 of people. Our 
ultimate goal, the Germanisation of all the 
world." This must be by force and conquest. It 
is not to be supposed that these millions desire 
or consent to be subjugated and enslaved by Ger- 
many's ambition and power. It is only possible 
through war and invasion. So this design of 
bloody war to subvert the world is not even 
veiled. It is distinctly avowed. What he says 
of his heroes fully proves this to be his method. 
This is what is meant by "Pan-Germanism," a 
favourite term with them. It does not mean that 
they were there in the interest of all Germany, 
but in the interest of making all the world Ger- 
man — of Germanising the whole world. He 
further said: "From childhood, I have been un- 
der the influence of five men: Alexander the 
Great, Julius Csesar, Theodoric the Second, 
Frederick the Great, and Napoleon Bonaparte. 
Each of these men dreamed a dream of world 
empire. They failed. I am dreaming a dream 
of the German world-empire, and my mailed fist 
shall succeed." 

Then and there in Potsdam, he launched the 
enterprise with the consent and approbation of 
that co-operating assembly, and this but a short 
time after he became Kaiser. 

102 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

The Crown Prince of Germany, the successor, 
as he assumes, by Divine right, of the present 
Kaiser, said in the winter of 1913-14, that either 
before he became Kaiser, or after, there would 
be war, as he said, "for the fun of the thing," and 
to the American to whom he said this, (as quoted 
by Ambassador Gerard,) he declared: "The plan 
is to attack and conquer France, then England, 
and after that the United States of America; 
Russia was also to be conquered, and then Ger- 
many would be master of the world." May I 
remark in passing that three years have passed 
and he has not yet captured Verdun, from which 
we may entertain the hope that his plan is 
doomed to failure. 

If the conceited aspirations of these two 
strange and yet very influential characters, father 
and son, had been theirs alone, no one would have 
feared. But not only did the five hundred men 
in Potsdam agree to the Kaiser's proposal, the 
prof oundest thinkers and most influential citizens 
of Germany have also indorsed what he then 
proposed. Even before his time they had in- 
tended it and now they assisted him to make it 
more probable. 

Among these supporters was Heinrich von 
Treitschke, the greatest of German political 
philosophers in our time, who, born in 1834, began 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 103 

his public work in 1859 by lecturing at the Leip- 
zig University, on the State. From that he went 
to other universities, to Kiel, Freiburg, Heidel- 
berg, and at length to Berlin, and through all 
his life until 1895, he was the exponent of the 
Pan-German idea which the Kaiser had un- 
folded in 1892, after Von Treitschke had urged it 
long before. He was the friend of the Kaiser and 
his written history is a glorification of the house 
of Hohenzollern ; he was intimate with Bismarck, 
he was devoted to Germany and the Prussian 
policy. He taught that power is the first prin- 
ciple of the State, that the individual had no 
rights apart from those allowed by the State, 
and that the State, the German State, could not 
do an immoral thing. He held that might was 
the only right, so that if there is power to do a 
thing and a power to will, then the State has the 
right to do whatever it has the might and the will 
to do. 

Devoted as he was to this conception of the 
State, he was equally sure that Germany is the 
greatest State in the world and of right ought 
to dominate all other States. He taught that 
the Hohenzollerns should dominate Prussia, for 
the good of Prussia, that Prussia should domi- 
nate Germany for the good of Germany, and 
that Germany should dominate the world for 

104 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

the good of the world. He expressed his intense 
contempt and hostility for most States other 
than Germany. He was the most popular pro- 
fessor in the universities and on the platforms of 
any in Germany from 1866 to 1895, training gen- 
erations of students, and the recognised leader of 
the political life of that great empire. 

Von Treitschke held that Germany should 
dominate the world through its army, and so 
doing, argued for the leading idea of the policy 
of Frederick the Great in the second half of the 
eighteenth century; that the army should be one 
with the State and the State should be one with 
the army, and that whatever the State wished 
to do, it should do through the army by war. 
Therefore, there could be no human fraternity 
excepting inside the limits of the German Em- 
pire, and all States outside were natural and 
rather contemptible enemies. 

In order that the army might work its will 
on all other States than the German State, Von 
Treitschke held that its activity should be with- 
out any limits of morality or any restraints of 
humanity; that the army's work should be ruth- 
less ; that they should slaughter, torture, rob and 
starve as they pleased, provided it was necessary 
for the power of the German State, and that 
spying and lying were privileges of the State 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 105 

which everybody should understand, were to be 
used without explanation or apology. He fur- 
ther affirmed that no religion, no system of 
morals, no international law, no treaty, should 
stand between the will of the State, expressed in 
the army by force and power, and their desires 
and designs. Nowhere in all the seventeen 
volumes of his published works did he say one 
word against war. He praised it rather as be- 
ing desirable and necessary, and as indicating 
the virility of the State. To seek to put an end 
to war was immoral and unwise. As he with 
extraordinary energy and unequalled popularity 
lectured and taught for thirty-five years, genera- 
tions of university men and military men ac- 
cepted his principles and passed them on. They 
taught the students in the universities, and ap- 
pealed directly to the people. The students of 
Von Treitschke are now the university Profes- 
sors of History throughout Germany. 

Among those accepting and teaching these 
theories is Otto Richard Tannenberg, who in 
1911, at Leipzig, published a volume extensively 
influential — "The Greater Germany, the Work 
of the Twentieth Century." In this volume the 
author laid out a complete plan for the mastery 
of the whole world by the German Empire. He 
told what they should do and how to conquer 

106 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

and control central and western Europe. He 
openly held, as have many other German authors, 
that the neutral states of western Europe, were 
to be used as buffer states in the great world war 
that was coming; they would not, because they 
were little, dare to refuse Germany all the pro- 
visions that they could raise or smuggle in. They 
would, being neutral, bar the passage into Ger- 
many of hostile armies. At any moment Ger- 
many could take Holland, Denmark, Sweden 
and Norway. It was better to have them neutral 
for the service they would render ; but only for a 
time, because ultimately they were all to be ab- 
sorbed into the German Empire. 

He pointed out how Belgium, northern 
France, then all western France should come 
under German dominion; sketched the plan by 
which Russian Poland should be made German, 
and the western part of Russia should be Ger- 
manised. He saw Austria-Hungary as prac- 
tically a vassal of the German Empire, and how 
by subjugating the Balkans and Turkey, the 
Pan-German plan from Hamburg to Bagdad, 
from the North Sea to the Persian Gulf, could 
be worked out; thus along the line of the least 
resistance how to gain the control of the East. 

He described how they would by that route 
go to India and gain control of it, and entering 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 107 

China, acquire dominant influence there. He 
laid his plans for the absorption of the whole 
of Africa, all the colonies of all States to be 
taken over by Germany. 

After this, Tannenberg by maps and details, 
pictured and indicated how South America was 
to be Germanised; and the procedure which, 
carried on with determination and duplicity, 
should bring all of the South American States 
under German control. Going on from that, 
flouting the Monroe Doctrine and so challenging 
the United States, they would at length possess 
themselves of North America. Having mean- 
while overpowered England and France, they 
would be in control of the whole world. This 
was the modest plan of Otto Richard Tannen- 
berg, a scheme immensely popular from the time 
his work was issued in 1911, and which greatly 
stimulated the present war of conquest. 

The same expectation marked the threat of 
Admiral Von Goetzen, an intimate friend of the 
Kaiser, who said to our Admiral Dewey before 
Manila in 1898, that, "In about fifteen years, my 
country will begin a great war. Some months 
after we have done Our business in Europe, we 
shall take New York and probably Washington, 
and we shall keep them for a time. We do not 
intend to take any territory from you, but only 

108 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

to put your country in its proper place with 
reference to Germany. We shall extract one or 
two billions of dollars from New York and other 
towns." This, Admiral Von Goetzen had the 
audacity to say to Admiral Dewey. If he had 
possessed a little more sense, he might have re- 
membered that another German Admiral, Von 
Diederich, undertook to interfere with Admiral 
Dewey at Manila and was told that if he really 
wanted to fight, he could have the privilege then 
and there. The American Admiral cleared his 
ships for action, the British Admiral stood by 
Dewey, and, of course, Diederich found that to 
insult America was not safe. It may have 
dawned upon him that to take the American 
continent might be difficult. The date named by 
Von Goetzen fifteen years in advance, was cor- 
rect as to the beginning of the war. 

Thus the spokesmen of the Kaiser announced 
their policies and spread them among the people 
until the entire German nation absorbed their 
ideas and agreed to them, setting themselves to 
the task of conquering and enslaving the world. 

Their principal obstacle in the way of this plan 
of world dominion was England, which they 
hated with a deadly hatred. You cannot im- 
agine, because you are gentlemen, in what lan- 
guage the great philosophers of Germany de- 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 109 

nounced England, the British nation (in speech 
so insulting that if passed between men, it would 
be an occasion for immediate conflict) ; so further- 
ing and feeding their plan and purpose to excite 
their people to such animosity that they would 
express themselves in deeds of inhumanity and 
in Hymns of Hate. At first they howled these 
against England only. But high authority now 
says they have transferred their direst hatred 
from England to America. Why did they hate 
England? Because they saw in the British Em- 
pire the chief impediment to their unholy ambi- 
tion. They doubted greatly if they could con- 
quer with England opposing them. With their 
conceit they boasted it, but in their hearts they 
knew better. 

And when America entered the war, they knew 
positively that their game was up; that Britain 
and America co-operating, the Central Powers 
were doomed to defeat. This is why they hate. 
Remember it and beat them to the dust. By 
their ferocity, you can imagine how they hate. 
In an interview of our ambassador with the 
Kaiser, that ruler said to him: "America had 
better look out after this war," and, "I shall 
stand no nonsense from America after this war." 
This threat the Kaiser made to the ambassador 
of the United States. Would he have made the 

110 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

threat unless he meant to execute it? Our am- 
bassador tells us that the Germans "absolutely 
despised" the military and naval power of the 
United States, and were "unanimous in saying 
that as a military or naval factor the United 
States might be considered as less than nothing," 
offering no impediment to their designs and in- 
tentions. South America also bears her share 
of the contempt and antagonism of the German 

In South America, through which they were 
to approach us, remember that there were four 
hundred thousand Germans in southern Brazil 
twenty years ago, and nearly a hundred thou- 
sand in other South American States, and that 
a propaganda has been carried on through all 
the southern half of South America for many 
years by Germany ; a propaganda of persons, of 
literature, of newspapers, of subsidised schools, 
to entice and betray those people into subjection 
under the German yoke. Brazil has just awak- 
ened to it and has lately struck back. It is the 
evident intention and fixed purpose of Germany 
to change the free governments of South 
America into dependencies of the German Em- 

Everywhere, in all the world, they have pushed 
their subtle and treasonable propaganda. It was 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 111 

in the interest of the German intention to bring 
America under their control that Prince Henry 
came here before he went to China. When he 
went to China, as you know, to seize Kiau Chau, 
the Kaiser ordered him and his troops, "Make 
yourselves more frightful than the Huns under 
Attila. See that for a thousand years no enemy 
mentions the very name of ' Germany' without 

Prince Henry, while our guest honoured and 
feted by us, was an agent of the German propa- 
ganda to organise the Germans of America, of 
whom there were some fourteen or fifteen mil- 
lions, so that, in the present crisis, for which they 
were organised, they would stand with the Kaiser 
instead of being loyal to the United States Gov- 
ernment. The Prince left behind in Washington 
as a token of German friendship, a statue of that 
forerunner of the Kaiser, unsurpassed in du- 
plicity, having a bad eminence in rascality as 
well as in military power, Frederick the Great. 
I wish we might change that statue into good 
munitions and send it back to Germany. 

And so concerning all parts of the world, the 
Germans openly avowed and secretly wrought 
out their purposes of conquest. Do not think 
for one moment that I am saying anything which 
is not amply warranted by their own statements. 

112 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

They openly made them, but nobody really be- 
lieved them. They said: We are going to con- 
quer the world, and we doubted that they would 
even try. But, let me tell you that they have 
done as they threatened; they have done much 
and most of all they planned as far as they have 
had the power to do it. 


What have they already accomplished? To 
what extent have they succeeded? They in- 
tended, as they announced, to gain control from 
Hamburg and the North Sea to Bagdad and 
the Persian Gulf. 

They have already done most of this. They 
have conquered Belgium ; they intended to. We 
have the German Governor von Bissing's last 
will and testament, concerning the politics of the 
German Empire, in which he shows us that from 
before the beginning of this war they fully in- 
tended to take Belgium entirely to themselves 
and to keep it. No matter how much lying they 
have done, that was what they intended to do, 
and up to now they have done it. 

They have taken northern France. They have 
nearly all (about eighty per cent.) of the iron 
ore and the coal of France, both which are vital 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 113 

to that nation's life. They have held it for three 
years and a half, keeping it from France and 
working it for themselves. We speak of France 
being "bled white," but the bleeding of France 
through the taking of her treasures of coal and 
iron has been almost as destructive as the bleed- 
ing of France in taking the blood of her men. 
In 1870 they seized Alsace and Lorraine for the 
same reason: to secure France's supply of min- 
erals and metals so necessary to her industries 
and her economic life. 

They have taken Russian Poland. Before 
that they had Austrian Poland and German 

They have Austria-Hungary completely in 
their power, with German mastery in their army 
and German control in their finances. They 
have Bulgaria; they possess Serbia, which they 
have brought down to the dust ; they hold Monte- 
negro ; Rumania and Russia are at their mercy ; 
they rule the whole Turkish empire with its 
twenty millions of people, a hundred per cent, 
of it. In a word, if you study the map as it now 
is, you will find that so far as the first move which 
the Kaiser declared that they intended to make, 
they have gained (in Europe and Asia) most of 
what they said they were determined to conquer 
and possess. This is very startling when you 

114 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

consider farther facts in connection with their 
present and projected conquests. 

Had Britain delayed declaring war a few days 
more, and had not the British fleet blocked their 
way, Germany would have seized the Channel 
ports, Dunkirk, Calais and Bordeaux, and held 
all the west of France; would have commanded 
the Channel; would have dominated all France; 
would have invaded England ; would have swept 
out of the North Sea ports and covered the 
waters of the Atlantic Ocean with their fleets, 
and would have been in the United States of 
America, firmly established three years ago. The 
reason why Germany did not do this was, not 
because we were "too proud to fight," but be- 
cause Belgium, France and Great Britain, for 
love of liberty and humanity, fought for us and 
died for us while we stood supinely by. But for 
their defence of us, the heel of the German in- 
vader would have been on the neck of North 
America to-day, and no human power, other than 
of those who so stood fast and fought, could have 
helped it. If now, after three years and a half of 
the war, if now, after a year of preparation on 
our part, we are yet entirely unready to repel 
the attack of a trained army, what would have 
been our status if the German fleet had escaped 
from the North Sea at first, and with little diffi- 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 115 

culty, had steered their course to our ports, un- 
defended as they would have found them at that 
time? Bear in mind, when we are now asked to 
fight, if we were from now on, to be alone fight- 
ing for Belgium, France and England, and for 
two years time, we would only be paying the debt 
that we owe them for having saved us from the 
horrors which Germany has carried to every 
country where it has won power and dominion. 

What of Germany to-day as a military power ? 
I quote Ambassador Gerard as a thoroughly 
informed witness. He says in the Foreword of 
his book that to-day "the military and naval 
power of the German Empire is unbroken." 
That it now has not less than nine millions of 
men, veterans of war, four hundred thousand be- 
ing added by those growing up to military age 
every year; that there is no likelihood of their 
suffering for lack of food; that the danger of 
starvation is greater to our allies than it is to 
Germany. It has really little financial difficulty, 
so far as known to us, because they fully planned, 
and intend taking all the wealth they can possibly 
plunder from the nations that they have seized 
and hold. They fully purpose and expect to 
compel Britain, France and the United States 
to pay their war debt. That is their settled 
design, and to-day, the gains of plunder and loot, 

116 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

and the full payment of their debt, by tribute 
levied, are among the greatest motives which 
keep the German armies in the field, buoying 
them up with the hope of conquest and the ex- 
pectation of adequate enrichment through tribute 
and plunder. 

In the presence of these conditions what think 
you? Are we in peril? The German fleet is 
intact. Nothing keeps it where it is but the 
British fleet and our fleet now helping; ours, a 
small and inadequate fleet, to be increased, we 
devoutly hope, as rapidly as possible. With their 
fleet, and their army, their prestige, their train- 
ing and supplies (for they had munitions, as it 
was reported, for thirty millions of men when 
they started this war) ; with all these, when I 
warn you that even now, unless a gracious Provi- 
dence interferes and something more than un- 
armed men are put in the field against them, 
they will land here as conquerors and work their 
will, I am only telling you what must be plain 
to your common sense and a trumpet call to 
your patriotism. 


And here let me ask you what they do to a 
land when they conquer it? Proposing to Ger- 
manise the world, what are they going to do with 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 117 

the world which they Germanise ? What is their 
idea of Germanising Belgium, or of Germanising 
northern France, or Serbia, or Poland, or Ar- 
menia? What is their method? Here is my 
answer: Where they make conquest, they pay 
not the slightest respect to any law of morals, 
humanity, honor or right. This indictment is 
amply supported by the most indubitable testi- 
mony. Of the horrible and sickening details of 
their fiendish and devilish savagery only a part 
is printed. But the governments of the allies 
have as much of their record as can be put into 
words. Volume upon volume of unimpeachable 
and fully attested testimony proves their guilt. 
The names of these witnesses would fill volumes. 
Some of these I know. Their testimony I have 
heard. From these sources I may present to you 
a brief suggestion of what the Germans do when 
they have the power. Consider that what they 
have done where they have gained the power, 
they will do everywhere when they shall gain it. 

They have no love for us. Belgium had done 
them no harm. France had done them no more ; 
Serbia had not assailed them; Russian Poland 
had shown no unfriendliness. Yet all these they 
have ravaged with unrestrained ferocity. When 
you dream that because you are Americans the 
German hordes once here would treat you better 

118 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

than they have treated Belgium, better than they 
have treated France, you are labouring under a 
delusion that has no possible justification in ex- 
perience or reason. 

What have they done with the people where 
they gain control? Without hesitation or provo- 
cation they have proceeded to massacre, unre- 
strained, frightful, horrible. Whole cities and 
villages they have wiped out. A German soldier, 
riding a bicycle, falls; his rifle is discharged. 
They accuse some of the inhabitants of having 
shot at their soldier. They deliberately burn 
every house, they ravish and kill the women and 
girls, they murder, sometimes crucifying the 
little children; they shoot the old men and the 
old women, take hostages and slay them. They 
burn the towns, the chateaux, the libraries, 
churches, farmhouses, all the homes. This they 
have done not once, but they have done it hun- 
dreds of times to hundreds of towns in northern 
France and in Belgium. They have carried out 
massacre so bloody, carnage so inconceivably 
horrible, with torture so fiendish, that the wildest 
fury of the red Indian of North America is not 
to be compared with the deliberate ferocity of 
the German officers and soldiers. 

Almost beyond this in cruelty, wickedness and 
destructiveness is the deportation of citizens, 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 119 

dragged from their homes as slaves to wherever 
the German powers order them to go. In an 
official document of the American Red Cross, you 
may read of the city of Mons, where six thousand 
two hundred men and boys were dragged from 
their homes at half past five in the November 
morning ; the best citizens in Mons, the humblest 
as well as the highest, all the great men of that 
province, lawyers, statesmen, heads of trades, all 
commanded to go to the railway station. There 
were cattle cars with the filth of their lately 
transported cattle in them. The men are forced 
into these cars. One is taken and another is left. 
A boy prays that he may go in the place of his 
old father. He is kicked aside; the old father 
is taken. The women and children come begging 
to be allowed to give comforts to their men. Not 
one of them is permitted to approach. The de- 
ported though taken at that hour in the morning, 
are none of them allowed to receive anything, 
either food or clothing, or comforts of any sort. 
They know not where they are going. They are 
cruelly dragged away. The city from which 
they were torn is left in anguish. It existed as a 
funeral scene. Day and night were filled with 
the woe of the women and the wailing of the 

Those thus deported go for days without 

120 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

water, without food, in suffering untold, until 
they are dumped somewhere in Germany, where 
they are ordered to work for the Germans. The 
witness, Mr. John H. Gade, of Mr. Hoover's 
staff, went with them to the cars, pleaded for 
them in vain. He saw them come back after 
three weeks, broken, dying, dead. A more dia- 
bolical form of slavery was never known. This 
one story is so inconceivably cruel, that its de- 
tails are too horrible for words. 

And it is but one of hundreds and thousands 
like it. Turn to Armenia and Syria, whose de- 
portations were done on advice from the Ger- 
mans to the Turks and Kurds, who simply fol- 
lowed and repeated what Germans had planned, 
ordered, begun and done in Belgium and in 
northern France. Here were two millions of 
people, the best people in the Turkish Empire, 
many of them highly educated, many of them 
graciously refined, their wives and daughters as 
lovely as our own, many of the men equals of 
our noblest men. See them deported, dragged 
from home, driven to the desert, stripped naked, 
ravished to death, poisoned, starved to death, 
stabbed, thrown into the rivers to drown, or left 
to perish with thirst on the sands of the desert. 
This is a suggestion of what deportation is, the 
infliction of agonies which beggar description. 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 121 

Two millions of the Armenians have perished 
within the last three years under this system of 
"Germanising the world." The like of this has 
been practised in every land where Germany has 
come as a conqueror. Missionaries, even German 
missionaries charge it to Germany. 

Consider the actual enslavement of popula- 
tions, where peoples are compelled to toil not 
only without compensation, but under the most 
cruel conditions, for their military masters ; where 
men are beaten with the butts of guns until the 
guns are broken, because they decline to work 
for these slave drivers; where they have been 
hung up by their hands for thirty hours, to force 
them to do a work that international law says 
they shall never be asked to do. 

Take note of the way in which the conquered 
are robbed of all that they possess. Their fur- 
niture is stolen, or if not stolen, is defiled and 
defaced. Prince Eitel Frederick, one of the sons 
of the Kaiser, after using an old French chateau 
which was a wonder of architecture and had been 
admired for centuries, stripped it of all its furni- 
ture, to send away for his use, and at the last, 
though he had promised to spare it, when leaving 
it, ran back with bombs and combustibles, to see 
to it that the chateau was burned, its lurid flame 
revealing his eternal dishonour. Such deeds have 

122 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

been done not merely once, but unnumbered 

The Huns in Belgium and France stole the 
underclothing of the women and little children; 
the mattresses from the beds, the bed blankets; 
destroyed all farm implements, sent the machin- 
ery in the Belgian and French factories to Ger- 
many, and then blew up the factories. Such in 
part is the conduct of Germans in regard to 
persons, goods and property. All the cattle are 
killed or driven off ; all the horses likewise. Thou- 
sands of girls taken off by force; in numerous 
towns, all girls over fifteen years of age, carried 
off, nobody knew where; and of the thousands, 
only a few hundred ever returned to the places 
from which they were taken. 

A distinguished representative of the Young 
Men's Christian Association, just back from 
France, said in my hearing a few days ago, that 
in many of the towns in France, all girls over 
fifteen years of age had been dragged away, 
forced from home, as servants for German offi- 
cers, driven to Germany to work in the fields, 
seized as the prey and the spoil, not of brutish 
men — there are no brutes like these men — but of 
these fiends escaped from hell, who in their ac- 
tions deny that a woman is a human being, en- 
titled to reverence and protection. 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 123 

Nietzsche, the chief philosopher of Germany, 
most influential now and for years, despising 
women, says they have value only as playthings 
for and as breeders of the "superman." He 
writes "A man of depth can only think of women 
as a piece of goods that can be put under lock 
and key"; also that, "a man who went among 
them, ought to go among them with a whip." 
His "superman" is strong with no morals, being 
superior to morality. Hear me as I tell you 
that wherever any philosopher, or any person, 
despises woman, rails at her, degrades her, abuses 
her, that one is a devil, in whatever guise. 

What cruelty have they not perpetrated? Im- 
agine something horrible of which perverted men 
are capable. Of such imagined wickedness, I can 
think of nothing which they have not done. 

For years we have kept the Belgians alive, with 
the help of Great Britain and France, or rather 
Britain and France kept them alive with our 
help, for they gave much more than we did. We 
sent supplies there by millions of dollars worth, 
to keep them from hunger and cold. In not a 
few instances, the Germans stole the food sent. 
In some cases, they stole the goods and shipped 
them away. In other instances, they used them. 
And yet again, they adulterated the foods we 
sent by putting with the grains, their stuff of 

124 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

inferior quality, while they took the rest. All 
Belgium would have been dead of starvation to- 
day if it had not been for outside philanthropy, 
not German. Germany would have starved them 
and intended to do it. We have in proof the 
statement of von Bissing himself, quoted as he 
stated it to Mr. Frederick Walcott, associate of 
Mr. Hoover. Von Bissing distinctly said that 
their purpose was to reduce to starvation these 
Belgians, and when they were reduced to starva- 
tion, to send them to work in Germany, so as to 
allow German working men to go to the front; 
and also to carry others to Mesopotamia and 
Eastern Asia to work for Germany. 

We hear him talk about forcing men, women 
and little children to starvation and showing not 
a trace of human feeling. Never, so far as I 
know, were such abominations wrought in the 
history of time, as they have wrought in the lands 
where they have gained the power. 

Let me repeat what I have already said: Do 
not imagine for one moment that you, your wife, 
your daughter, would be any more sacred to 
them than a Belgian or a Belgian's wife or a 
Frenchman's family. Do not dream that your 
babies would be any more exempt from the 
cruelty of those Germans than other babies have 
been. Do not suppose that your dearest, most 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 125 

beautiful and most precious ones would have any 
defence in their being Americans more than those 
others whose defences have all been broken down. 

I have told you but little — and not the worst. 
You cannot doubt or deny the testimony. Re- 
member that just as soon as these plundering, 
murdering Germans have evacuated those 
French and Belgian villages, without delay gov- 
ernment officials have gone there to take photo- 
graphs, and other legal testimony, to get the 
plain facts, to record them with affidavits, so as 
to lay them up for the day of Judgment. And 
the day of Judgment in the purpose of those 
whose friends have suffered thus, is not merely 
when the great God shall summon men before 
His bar to answer for the deeds done in the body, 
but when the triumphant allies, representing a 
just God and an outraged humanity, shall set a 
day of recompense, and shall judge and consign 
to their just doom and penalty, those who are 
proved by their crimes to be unfit to live in this 
world or in any other. 

Thus they are treating the conquered peoples. 
As for the wealth of the conquered, they take it 
all. Are you informed about the late German 
retreat where they wilfully and maliciously de- 
stroyed everything destructible? They poisoned 
the springs, the wells, the brooks. They had 

126 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

poison to give to the cattle, if any should survive. 
This they planned would be communicated to 
the people, so that cattle and people alike should 
all perish through this malicious and savage 
means. They have tried thus to ruin France, 
Belgium, Serbia, Poland, Roumania, so that lan- 
guage fails us to describe their plots and their 
destructive cruelty. 

How this tide of testimony rises, surge on 
surge. It is a great, a stormy ocean of facts, 
undeniable, incontrovertible, horrible, that are 
known to God and known to men, facts which 
tell you what the German means by conquest, 
as he goes out to Germanise the world. 


Beyond all these evils which have been inflicted 
and to which we are exposed, I now come to the 
peril which covers and includes all the perils 
which I have before named, multiplying and in- 
tensifying them ; that is, The Peril of a Prema- 
ture Peace. By a premature peace, I mean a 
German peace, a peace without an allied victory. 
I mean a drawn battle, a peace without justice, 
or without the overthrow of the military power 
of Germany, without the destruction of their 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 127 

claims and pretensions, and on making which 
peace, the world would hope to settle back for a 
while into what is fondly and foolishly called 

The Germans began this war ; about that there 
never will be any contention or successful contra- 
diction. When they began it, England had an 
army of two hundred and fifty thousand men. 
Germany had an army of ten million men. Eng- 
land's army was unready. Germany's army was 
all ready to the last button. This being so, can 
anybody suppose that Great Britain was pre- 
pared ? In the last two and one-half years, Great 
Britain has raised, almost entirely by volunteer- 
ing, over four millions of men, with all their 
equipment, and with heroic Belgium and France 
has held Germany's millions in check. And this 
is a bare fraction of what Britain has done. 

Germany was ready. On the fifth day of July, 
in 1914, at Potsdam we have learned that a meet- 
ing was held, in which an agreement was made 
with the General Staff — and Austria knew of it 
— that the war should begin at the end of that 
month. War was declared, on the 31st of July. 
The central powers have pretended they were 
surprised. If you want to vision the magnitude 
of falsehood, growing out of their theory that 
truth has no binding force, read the German 

128 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

documents which tell their story of Germany's 
action in the last few years, and especially since 
this war began. They were ready, they were 
precipitately ready, and when the moment came, 
they went into the conflict fully prepared. 

They said they did not wish to take Belgium 
and that it was wrong to violate its neutrality: 
but they are on record as having also said they 
would take it and hold it always, and that is what 
they are going to do if they possibly can. 

But now, as it is true that they began the war, 
from them only has come the cry for peace. You 
may notice, that all the movements for peace 
have come either from the Germans or from their 
bloodless tools , the pacifists ; or from their 
treacherous servants, the Socialists, in Europe 
and America. This cry of theirs for peace has 
6een always an utterly false and deceitful cry. 
They have said peace when they meant war and 

Whether peril be here or there, whether it be 
the Germans, by one means or another, this is 
the main fact: All the peace propaganda have 
started from Germany. Why is this so? Have 
they said: "We seek peace because we are 
beaten?" No! They have proudly boasted 
whether advancing or retreating, "We are vic- 
torious, victorious everywhere." 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 129 

Then we ask: "Are they remorseful for what 
they have done?" Not in the least. They glory 
in their deeds. Their soldiers, exulting, write 
home even to their wives and sweethearts, about 
the girls they have ruined, of the villages they 
have burned, of the slaughter they have done. 
Each soldier carries a little iron medal on one 
side of which is a picture, supposed to represent 
the German deity, who holds a weapon in his 
right hand, and these words addressed to the 
soldier: "Strike your enemy dead. The day of 
Judgment will not ask you for your reasons." 
These savages are not remorseful. Not for such 
cause do they seek peace. 

Are they exhausted? No, they are not ex- 
hausted. Gerard says they are full of strength 
and a very great peril to us to-day. Then, why 
are they suggesting peace? Let me tell you: 
So as to more perfectly execute their scheme of 
conquest. They have about three hundred mil- 
lion people — a conservative estimate — under 
their control at the present time — 77 millions 
Germans and 223 millions non-Germans. They 
hold all of Belgium and all of northern France; 
they practically have Austria-Hungary and all of 
Poland; they have Bulgaria, Roumania, Serbia; 
they have Turkey and much of western Russia, 
so if they could now stop a little while, having 

130 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

increased from sixty-eight millions in Germany 
when this war began, to about three hundred 
millions now, they would have opportunity to 
greatly consolidate their strength. 

It has been suggested that they might, for the 
sake of peace, give up Belgium. Officially, they 
never have intimated it. Other people may sup- 
pose it, but they have never implied it. They 
might restore northern France. They might pay 
an indemnity for what they have destroyed. 
They have never given evidence of any such in- 
tention. They might temporarily give up some 
territory, provided they were allowed now to 
have peace. But, however they gain their ends, 
this is what they plan and what they purpose: 
They intend, if they can deceive the allies into 
making peace, to take a few years of rest and 
reorganisation, when they will be able to put 
into the field an army of thirty millions of men, 
gathered from those whom they have subjugated 
and whom they can compel to go into the ranks ; 
and with that army and with their navy, con- 
tinually increased; with all the appliances of 
modern warfare, after a brief period of prepara- 
tion, they purpose to finish just what they 
started to do: to Germanise the world. If we 
are beguiled now into a drawn battle, if we 
make a false peace with them, we are defeated; 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 131 

liberty is crushed and the whole world is 

Do not for one instant suppose that it is any 
goodwill toward you, or any goodwill toward 
the world, or any thought that peace is more 
desirable than war, which is working in the Ger- 
man mind ait the present time. Far from it. 
They are working for dominion; they are bat- 
tling for triumph ; they are struggling to possess 
the wealth of the world; they are plunderers, 
just as were the old Huns, Vandals and Goths. 
They want to grasp the wealth of the world. 
They have taken it as far as they could get it. 
How they get it they do not care. They are 
ready to drench the whole world with blood to 
make this Kaiser — who says he is Godsent, who 
talks about God as though he owned Him — 
to make this ruler the autocrat of the whole 

So all the perils hitherto mentioned lie visi- 
ble and measureless in the direction of a prema- 
ture peace. There is only one alternative now 
for the allies, slavery or victory, and the ques- 
tion is — which do we claim, and which will we 


Not yet have I named all the treasures that 

132 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

we are likely to lose, if Germany is allowed to 
win. Let me briefly name a few of them. Cer- 
tain things are exceedingly precious to us, which 
we, as Americans, have grown to feel are essen- 
tial, which our fathers fought to procure, and 
which we must fight to preserve. These are the 
very things which we are sure to lose provided 
Germany has her will and her way. The first of 
these, for which we ought to contend with a vigour 
born of highest principle and the noblest heroism, 
chief among priceless things is liberty; liberty 
as contrasted with slavery. It needs little defini- 
tion. While the slave belongs to a master, the 
freeman belongs to himself. While the slave 
does not own his family, the freeman and his 
family possess each other. While the slave can- 
not claim property, the freeman possesses his 
earnings. The slave is ruled by his master's 
caprice: the freeman by the laws which he sanc- 
tions and reveres. 

Whatever there is in liberty, which has called 
forth the fervour of the heart in all ages of up- 
ward advance in human history, that we are in 
danger of losing. Have I not already proved 
this? What else are Belgians than slaves when 
they are dragged from their homes and forced to 
work for a master who is driving them to a task 
which they hate? What shall we say of the en- 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 133 

slaving of men when they can be taken as they 
were taken at Mons, at Dinant, and many an- 
other city; shipped to another country and forced 
to work for a foreign master, under the most 
cruel conditions? What say we of those who 
in prison camps — two millions of them, as Gerard 
says — were compelled to work for Germany or 
starve? forced to work for Germany and against 
their own people? What shall we expect of the 
possibilities of liberty, of the right of a man to 
himself, when Germany rules? There will be no 
liberty. It will all be slavery. How long could 
we exist in such conditions? And would not 
multiplied cruelties break our hearts and crush 
our manhood? 

Sometimes the effort has been made to lead 
Belgians and Frenchmen to go voluntarily to 
work in Germany. I heard the Attorney-Gen- 
eral of Belgium tell this story of the unbroken 
spirit of his fellow-countrymen: A company of 
captive Belgian men were gathered and a Ger- 
man officer urging them to go to Germany to 
work for their captors, said to them : 

"If you go to Germany and work for us, you 
will get money, so that you can keep your 
families from starving and yourselves also. If 
you refuse to go, you will starve without pity 
and your families also will starve." 

134 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

Imagine this alternative put up to us now. 
How would we meet it? The Belgians stood 
there, ragged, tattered and hungry, their families 
behind them. Not a man of the company moved 
to accept the German offer. At length one man 
stepped out from the ranks and said: "I will go!" 
The German officer was pleased. He thought 
that his threats had prevailed, and he said: "You 
will go, my man?" The Belgian assented. 

"Now, men," said the officer, "look here. Here 
is one of your number who is willing to go, and 
you had better do as he does." 

Then insinuatingly, he asked the Belgian 
volunteer: "What is your business?" 

The man answered: "I am a gravedigger, and 
I shall be glad to serve Germany in that ca- 

So with starvation facing them, despising their 
persecutors, the Belgians preferred liberty to 
slavery ; they would rather die freemen than live 

Every true American, the humblest and the 
highest, thanks God every day for freedom, and 
prefers war to slavery. Shall Germany then 
make slaves of us by a premature peade? 

Remember another precious thing that we 
should lose by German victory. We should lose 
honour. And by losing honour I mean we would 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 135 

accept dishonour. Germany has no sense of 
honour. You know what honour is, a man's 
honour, a woman's honour. How delicate and 
noble a thing it is, and how precious. If you give 
your word, you keep it not merely because you 
know you would be a liar if you broke it, but 
because your honour prevents you from denying 
what you have agreed to. Honour is such a 
treasure in character and action, that we pre- 
serve it at all costs, so that I may say of many 
of you that you would give up life sooner than 
surrender honour. 

How then could you obey the mandates of 
Germany to betray your country? The Belgian 
has sworn loyalty to Belgium, the Frenchman to 
France. Its constitution is his constitution. It 
is his country. His life is devoted to it. Ger- 
many arrests him and commands: "Go and work 
in our machine shops, at our lathes, in our fac- 
tories, in our fields, to produce material for us 
to use in destroying your country." 

He answers: "I cannot." 

They insist: "You must." 

He replies: "I have given my oath of alle- 
giance to my own country, and if I work for you 
to destroy it, I am a traitor to my country." 

They compel him with torture. The Interna- 
tional Congress at the Hague agreed that under 

136 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

no circumstances should nations at war under- 
take to compel peoples or prisoners to work 
against the interests of their own country. No 
man can keep honour and betray his own people. 
But Germany is attempting to force patriots into 
disloyal relations to their own country. 

They are doing there only what they would 
do here. You might be ordered to work for them 
against our own people. You might be con- 
strained by them to make the American flag a 
dishonoured symbol of slavery. Would you do 
it? Victorious they would try to make us do it, 
and they would put all their power behind their 
effort. I hope it never will come to this test 
here as it has come in France and Belgium. Yet 
it surely will if we consent to a false, a prema- 
ture peace. 

I might speak of humanity, that gentle and 
gracious spirit and action which prevails among 
people when inhumanity would be a sin and a 
crime. You all know and feel the difference be- 
tween humanity and inhumanity, between kind- 
ness and cruelty, between mercy and savagery. 
Toward all the weak and needy, to the aged, to 
women and little children, humanity demands 
care, gentleness, reverence, protection, assistance. 
These gracious feelings and duties Germany 
reviles and despises. What will you say of those 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 137 

who slaughter little children, ravish young 
women, murder the aged, abuse the prisoners? 
Merciless murder, insane lust, unrestrained 
savagery, fiendish cruelty are common and have 
been constant at the hands of German officers 
and soldiery ever since the war began. The 
testimony is voluminous, incontrovertible and 
from unnumbered reliable sources. 

A young Armenian in my hearing told us 
how the Turks took men and women of the high- 
est character and culture (his own parents 
among them) from the city and under German 
influence, tortured and crucified them with devil- 
ish inhumanity; of 549 men, he alone was left; 
of 2000 women all but 200 had been put to death 
or lost to their friends by cruelties so infamous 
that hearing of them is almost more than we can 

Shall we be deprived of the privilege of being 
kind ? Shall we be denied the power of defending 
women and little children? Shall the aged have 
no reverence? Shall the helpless have no care? 
That is what Germany would crush us down to 
when they had reduced us to their control. Do 
you consent to pay this price for a premature 

The same is true of morality. Numberless 
scenes and events support my statement. They 

138 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

despise morals, possess none, and seek to destroy 
them in others. 

As to mercy an American writer tells us that 
he went to Berne and saw there a large number 
of allied officers who had been prisoners and 
who had been sent over from Germany into 
Switzerland on account of their ill health. He 
said those officers told him that when captured, 
they were put into cattle cars and sent to the 
prison camps. On the way they were thirty-six 
hours without water and as long a time without 
food. When they stopped at stations, they saw 
women on the platforms with water in pails and 
in cups. When they besought them, and offered 
to pay them for a drink of water, the women 
would sometimes come forward with a cup full, 
reach it toward the parched and famishing man 
and then spill it on the ground and sneer and 
laugh at these thirsty and dying sufferers. Even 
the women of Germany have lost their humanity, 
and their moral sense, when they do thus. 

Mercy has gone from the German. Pity he 
does not know, and he would just as soon practise 
unmercif ulness and inhumanity on you as on any- 
body. How strange it seems to read their own 
words in testimony of the exultation, of the 
orgies at night of these assassins. After the 
burning of a village, the slaughter of men, the 

The Perils of a Premature Peace 139 

rape of women, the destruction of little children, 
how horrible it is to find the men rejoicing, 
carousing, singing, because of the wonderful 
things they had wrought that day! And such 
orgies you will behold here if you see the Ger- 
mans reinforced by a premature peace. 

Perhaps I have revealed as much as you will 
remember, yet not enough to half unveil what is 
in my mind of the perils of this hour. What 
shall we do now in the face of this supreme 
danger? Shall we be awake to it? Or shall we 
be indifferent? Shall we be reluctant to take 
alarm? Shall we crave a peace so deadly? Shall 
we in blind folly aid the enemy? Is there any 
wisdom in our being overreached, sceptical, 
cowardly? I could detail to you, how over fifty 
great outrages have already been committed in 
our country by German spies within the last 
year, on munition plants, on great docks and 
warehouses, on elevators, and in numerous other 
ways, costing hundreds of millions of dollars and 
many hundreds of lives, for which not one of 
those responsible has been punished by anything 
greater than a short term of imprisonment. Shall 
we awaken to the fact, that with America it is 
life or death? We counsel not inhumanity like 
theirs, not revenge, not hate, not assassination, 
but that we arise for national defence. We are 

140 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

choosing liberty or death, now as did our sires 
in Revolutionary days, and a premature peace is 
the lull before the hurricane of destruction. 

My appeal is to you, Americans and patriots. 
My appeal is to your manhood, 'however de- 
scribed; to your nobility, however arrived at, to 
your will, your intelligence, your devotion, how- 
ever it may be measured ; that you will be among 
those who will stand forever against this attempt 
of Germany, by a ruse, to betray and conquer 
the world. 

Until they abandon their avowed purpose of 
world conquest, and cease to menace the peoples 
and governments of the earth, until they retire 
from the territory whereon as armed banditti, 
they have encamped, until they restore the plun- 
der they have stolen, and rehabilitate the coun- 
tries which they have devastated, until they make 
atonement for their awful crimes and consent to 
obey the laws of honour, humanity, and morality, 
let us steadily and mightily resent and resist any 
concession which brings in a truce — a false and 
premature peace — sure to be used by them to 
initiate a still more dangerous and terrible war, 
with consequences more direful, and disasters 
irreparable. Now and forever let our battle cry 
be, "Righteousness first, then Peace." 


The Wisdom of Men 
that Was Foolishness with God 

"T TAS not God made foolish the wisdom of 
A A this world?" Concerning what? At 
least, concerning war and peace. The wisdom 
of this world is the confidence men have who 
trust in themselves and do not seek wisdom from 
God. Such assumed wisdom in the light of God's 
wisdom, turns out to be foolishness. 

Never was this demonstrated more clearly than 
in the liberal assurances made by so-called wise 
men, widely given and largely credited, that the 
world's peace would continue undisturbed, when 
in truth at that very hour all nations were trem- 
bling on the verge of war. We are not intending 
to inquire into the inexplicable blindness of 
diplomats, foreign offices, statesmen and rulers. 
They were caught almost utterly unready when 
war burst forth. Actually, all the facts were in 
sight, but the wisdom to draw correct inferences 
and conclusions they did not possess. 

They took little heed of Germany's threats, 
plans, and preparations, announced and carried 


142 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

on through decades. They forecast little or noth- 
ing which was true but much that was erroneous 
to the verge of disaster. Was it not because their 
theories and reasonings were weak even to the 
limit of folly, while they regarded themselves 

God does not make foolish any human course 
which is not so. He does not find pleasure in 
thwarting and humbling men. But because they 
will not receive the instruction which He places 
plainly before them, He corrects them at the time 
when their plans end in defeat and their pride in 

I wish to deal with some elaborate human 
schemes promising to do away with war, which 
have been shown by patent facts to be totally 
inadequate and disappointing. 

We have discussed quite at length the causes 
of the war and have adverted to conditions neces- 
sary to ending it wisely and victoriously. Illu- 
sions as to how to prevent and how to end wars 
exist widely and generally which need to be re- 
viewed. These held for many years hitherto as 
barriers against the strife of peoples and nations 
have been found futile. The danger is that we 
will continue to hold them and put our hopes 
in them. If we do, what can follow but a repeti- 
tion of our disappointments? If we examine and 

The Wisdom of Men 143 

disprove them, we may avoid the mistaken confi- 
dence which we have formerly placed in them 
and at least will not be so foolish as to trust them 
now to stop a war which they could not prevent. 

Multitudes held four years ago that the preva- 
lence of peace sentiment had made war unlikely 
if not impossible. For I know not how many 
years we had been told "there will never be an- 
other great war. A world war is impossible." 
And when we asked a reason for this belief we 
were assured that peace sentiment universally 
diffused would prevent it. 

They who held this view wrote about it ex- 
tensively. A great literature of peace grew up 
and advocates of peace were multiplied. Rich 
prizes were awarded to those who wrote well in 
favor of it. Some books and persons became 
almost world famous for such advocacy. Speak- 
ers no less eloquent and confident than these 
writers convinced themselves and others that war 
was a thing of the past. True, wars were tran- 
spiring, but they did not discourage these oracles. 
The horrors of war were portrayed. They were 
pictured and described with realistic precision. 
Commissions were reporting the Balkan War, 
whose dead were scarcely yet buried, in 1914, and 

144 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

that the dreadf ulness of war as they had seen and 
now described it, gave grounds of confidence that 
such another would not be repeated. It was too 
dreadful. Humanity would revolt from it. 
Meanwhile yet others financially endowed peace 
propaganda on the basis of such sentiment. By 
these funds peace palaces were built, notably at 
the Hague, and numerous congresses were held, 
gathering representatives from many nations. In 
these congresses convinced specialists who had 
given much time and thought to the subject, 
fairly legislated wars off the earth, so far as 
sentiment could do it. They sent distinguished 
scholars, publicists, educators, divines, round the 
world presenting their convictions. And the 
sentiments of these and their words became the 
growing literature of the peace propagandists. 
Of course, most of these gracious advocates could 
give unnumbered arguments against arms and 
armies, navies and forts and all that savoured of 
expenditure for even defensive war. The matter 
grew; the sentimentalists, if not the sentiment, 
increased. Their congresses were in session and 
were being further summoned in July, 1914. 
The ships and trains had landed many delegates 
and others were on the way. The deliverances 
were prepared ; the members were ready to report 
that further war was improbable. 

The Wisdom of Men 145 

All this: When suddenly, unforeseen, unex- 
pectedly, Germany and Austria-Hungary, for 
trivial cause, of set purpose, in accordance with 
fullest readiness and preparation, declared and 
immediately began war, really upon all the world. 
They had said that they would do it. They had 
plotted the course of conquest. They had sneered 
at peace, and were ready for frightfulness. Un- 
seen, unexpected, because unstudied and ignored, 
the forces in leash were loosed and the carnival 
of frightfulness began. The sentimentalists were 
not only surprised but astounded. They were 
no less utterly chagrined. They had supposed 
that they were very influential. They found that 
they had no appreciable influence on the situa- 
tion. As specialists they seemed to feel that they 
should have been consulted. No one asked their 
opinion. No one waited for their verdict. They 
were no more influential than chaff before the 
whirlwind. Their house of cards had utterly 
collapsed. We speak not in contempt but in sad 
respect of these. What had they done except 
to lull to sleep the assailed nations who now 
sharing the pacifists' hopes, were wholly unready 
to defend themselves from world robbers and 
pirates? Many of these, honest and good and 
amazed, caught up arms with their fellow pa- 
triots and sprang into the breach. Others had 

146 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

got under such headway with their too narrow 
views that they kept right on prating of peace 
when there was no peace. And they are at it 
yet. We neither ridicule nor condemn the peace 
sentimentalists whose attitude we have outlined, 
whose prophecies are exploded. We only say 
that peace sentiment such as theirs was not ap- 
preciably influential in even retarding war, did 
much harm, if some good, and must have rested 
on a shallow foundation. 

Let us add that no greater mistake could be 
made than to revive it in the same form or to rely 
upon it in the least to now stop the war which it 
had no visible influence to prevent. This mis- 
take we greatly fear. Let the lesson of its mis- 
application and the mischief it has done warn its 
honest advocates that it is as useless to end as it 
was powerless to prevent the war. Sentiment 
has its place. Like ornament on a work of archi- 
tecture, it may be durable, beautiful and so use- 
ful, if the structure which it decorates is firm, 
solid and built on a much more permanent basis. 

Education was affirmed to be a sure barrier 
to war. Perhaps it was the chief line of defence 
appealed to by those who were convinced that 
wars were practically a thing of the past. 

The Wisdom of Men 147 

Education in schools, by books and modern 
appliances was the peace hope, the prosperity 
guarantee of the modern world. 

True, we knew that education, carried to a 
high degree, had prevailed in ancient nations and 
among mediaeval peoples, and that this had not 
assured peace or prevented war. But our claims 
were to a far superior education. Ours was 
modern; ours was scientific. The ancient learn- 
ing was inutile compared with ours. What that 
of theirs could but feebly influence, ours, all 
powerful, would control. The philosophy on 
which we set our hopes was this: Education im- 
parts information; information and knowledge 
furnish the basis of inference and wide reason- 
ing. Reasoning, in scientific education, becomes 
prominent, ascendent. Wars and fightings come 
from passion. Education subjugates and con- 
trols passion. Passions rule where ignorance 
prevails; reason comes with knowledge. So war 
as always the offspring of the ruder and ungov- 
erned life of men is shut out. No nation is gov- 
erned by passion now. The spirit, if there is one, 
is totally mastered by the intellect. We need 
little to be said of spiritual education but all 
scientific data are the food of the intellect making 
for steadiness, calmness, self-interest and self- 
control. And further, to build high this great 

148 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

hope of the modern world, this great defensive 
against war and blind rage and passion, the 
state and the people poured out unmeasured 
wealth upon schools of all grades. No expense 
was considered too great for institutions of learn- 
ing. Christianity was practically relegated to 
an inferior place as a world hope. Is proof 
asked? Here it is: Most great gifts were for 
education only, not for propagating Christianity. 
Men of wealth dedicated their riches to schools, 
to educational foundations. They did this under 
the advice of leading publicists and their own 
compliant faith that school education was the 
greatest good for mankind. See the vast founda- 
tions devoted to education nearly all definitely 
and avowedly secular; pensions specifically with- 
held from Christian teachers, in Christian schools, 
however devoted and learned ; very meagre gifts 
to church work and few large gifts to the Chris- 
tian missions which are the safest and surest 
agency of international welfare the world ever 
saw. And buttressing our faith in schools, we 
were making them not mostly cultural but voca- 
tional; not servants of the spiritual life but of 
skill in handling physical facts and bringing to 
the educated salaries and profits. Education was 
accepted without question by most, as the 
guardian of the well being of the modern world ; 

The Wisdom of Men 149 

guarantor of comity and amity among men and 

Suddenly, in absolute contradiction to our 
faith in education as a peace force wiping out 
war probabilities — Germany, the best schooled, 
and most advanced in education, modern and 
scientific, of all the nations of the earth, in a 
worked up frenzy of greed and a passion for 
slaughter directly caused by its education, flung 
to the winds all promises of peace, including 
morals and humanity, and sprung like a mad dog 
at the throat of the world. Germany had given 
model schools to the world, cultural and voca- 
tional. It had given us great educators and 
advanced methods from kindergartens to post- 
graduate universities. We, the nations, had ad- 
mired its methods and followed its lead. Our 
American education had been not a little Ger- 
manised. We had conceded German leadership 
in education. Here was its fruitage — horrible, 
ungovernable, merciless, inhuman war. The 
German scholars, best product of its education, 
hastened to declare their absolute committal to 
its war purposes and policy. They signed false 
documents en masse to further their plan of plun- 
der and slaughter. 

There was not a phase of their educational 
scheme which was not put to the uses of despica- 

150 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

ble cruelty and fiendish passion. All knowledge 
of physics, chemistry, engineering, was given to 
the service of slaughter. Their unlikeness to 
savages consisted only in their more deadly 
savagery. Their psychology was placed at the 
service of casuistry and they lied scientifically, if 
foolishly. They killed humanity and were piti- 
less as rattlesnakes — as devils. 

Such was the surprise which educated Ger- 
many gave to the world. Her nearly three hun- 
dred thousand teachers, all official slaves of Prus- 
sianism, had trained the children from four years 
old up to maturity to do the will of the state and 
no other: to worship might as right and to re- 
gard as enemies to be exterminated or enslaved, 
all who resisted their demands. Say, if you 
will, "Theirs was miseducation." Evidently. 
And we on German models bent, are also misedu- 
cating in so far as we follow them. 

The principle at the basis of their education 
was utter state selfishness, expressed at the top 
in a 1 monarch crazed by pride ; at the bottom in 
the ravishers of Belgium, France, Serbia and 

Education of such sort is discredited. Science, 
knowledge, reasoning, thus appear in no case to 
subdue passion or to prevent war. Contrariwise, 
all the forces of German education have inten- 

The Wisdom of Men \51 

tionally, deliberately and successfully ministered 
to exactly the diabolical purposes which have 
given us the past four years of German wicked- 
ness and world suffering. 

As education, such as we have copied, mani- 
festly does not operate to prevent war, so educa- 
tion will not end it. If we continue to follow 
the German model, wars will never end but 
rather will increase. What better course to take 
I do not discuss here. It is obvious that Ger- 
many's education is wholly condemned and ours 
too, if like it. Put your faith in something dif- 
ferent and your money and endowments too. 
Why not in Christ and Christianity ? 


Evolution, put above God, was to prevent war. 
I use evolution not as the name of the method 
and sequences of God's creation, but in that pre- 
vailing sense which considers evolution creative 
and leaves God out ; which speaks not of original 
mind, or plan or planner, or purpose or goal for 
man and nature, but of things only, and the 
evolution of things; of matter and force, both 
non-intelligent, and what they do. 

The popular putting of the thought that evolu- 

152 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

tion was against recurring war is that mankind 
progresses so and is so evolved that he had come 
— up to 1914 — to an advanced state which made 
war unlikely, improbable, possibly impossible. 
The advancement of mankind assured by evolu- 
tion foretells the end of war. We were supposed 
to be too far evolved to fight in the old way. 
So influential is evolution as a theory of the 
world and its progress that it is largely claimed 
to be the supreme point of view for the study of 
men and nature. When we passed the calendar 
date 1900, some periodicals gathered the opinions 
of able and representative men as to what was 
the greatest event that had marked the nineteenth 
century then ended. I well recall that in these 
symposiums among these men were several very 
prominent Christian preachers who asserted that 
in their judgment, Darwin's "Origin of Species" 
and promulgation of the doctrine of evolution, 
often popularly spoken of as Darwinism, was 
the most conspicuous and noteworthy event of 
the preceding hundred years. These did not even 
mention the unequalled movement of Christian 
foreign missions, too great to be characterised 
or applauded except in volumes of fact, or the 
Christian education movement of the Sunday 
schools of the period. Evolution, as Darwin ex- 
pressed it, was to them the foremost word of 

The Wisdom of Men 153 

progress. Our reference to this evolution 
now is not to discuss it but only to take the 
point of view which it assumed and implied as 
to war. 

Affirming that we were long ago mere ani- 
mals, savages later, and cave-men in a higher 
state, the changes were rung on our evolution 
from these "jungle" states to our present high 
civilisation and the actions and the passions we 
had outgrown and left behind. The animals 
which we were, had been very savage, warlike, 
full of bloody, beastly, fighting instinct. These 
we had left far behind. What propensity we had 
left in us to do as they once did was only the 
remnant of animalism, a sort of appendix (war 
being its irritation, may I say appendicitis), and 
we were far along in outgrowing that. 

Germany led the world in accepting this gen- 
eral doctrine of atheistic evolution. They be- 
lieved much in materialism, equally in evolution. 
And studying the matter according to their sup- 
posed evolution, they concluded that they were 
the most evolved, the men farthest removed from 
the animalism of animal ancestors, the foremost 
race, people and nation of the earth. As I have 
elsewhere stated, they proved to themselves in 
the evolutionary "struggle for life" that they had 
made the best struggle and as to "the survival 

154 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

of the fittest" they were the fittest and neces- 
sarily the fittest to rule. If they chose to think 
so, who could gainsay their claim? Their thought 
was evolution. They were logical. They com- 
pared themselves with others and despised them. 
How could they do this unless really superior? 
No other people who believed in evolution as the 
Germans did, could deny their claim to superi- 
ority in many lines. But they themselves must 
determine what their superior evolution de- 
manded of them as their irresistible urge and act. 
What should it be? They gave their answer in 
1914 and till now. 

And what have they proved to the intelligent 
and observing world in these four years? That 
they are barbarous beyond all barbarians, savage 
beyond all savages, brutal beyond all brutes. 
And in doing thus they have disproved the ani- 
mal origin of their passions and I think I may 
add the whole theory of the evolutionary origin 
of man. 

Language fails to characterise the deeds of 
these who claim the highest evolution. No words 
drawn from the fierceness of the animal creation 
can describe them fitly. Neither brutality, 
bestiality, animalism, ferocity tell the whole truth 
about their spirit and deeds in their methods of 
carrying on war upon the innocent and defence- 

The Wisdom of Men 155 

less. No animal of any species ever abused the 
females of their species as the Germans have 
abused women and girls. No species of animals 
ever took pleasure in murdering the young of 
their species as the Germans have murdered 
infant children. No beasts ever destroyed with 
the destructive spirit which has marked German 
murderousness. The terms which describe their 
acts and dispositions do not arise from any ani- 
mal characteristics of lower creatures. You can 
only feebly portray them in terms of spiritual 
description, brought down to the vilest mani- 
festation of life. Call them fiends, devils, mon- 
sters of cruelty, demons, and even these terms 
need intensifying to meet the facts. Since they 
affirm themselves to be the best product of evolu- 
tion in the present century, yet are visibly worse 
than the Assyrians of millenniums ago, what 
promise is there in the evolutionary progress of 
man which suggests a condition precluding war 
as a result of evolution? 

Evolutionary theories of peace made and kept 
by men who define it as Germans do, give no 
hope to the world. Proud atheistic philosophy 
could not prevent, and will never end war. Such 
progress is backwards, downwards; no progres- 
sion but retrogression ; not evolution but devolu- 

156 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 


The economic laws associated with the acquir- 
ing and distribution of wealth have been alleged 
as powerful preventives of war. 

The acquisition of wealth in all the forms which 
are destructible is not a rapid and an easy but 
a slow and difficult task. The wealth of modern 
times has been won by the work of millions 
through long and patient effort. More people 
than ever have had a voluntary part in gaining it 
and more, therefore, have a strong personal in- 
terest in protecting it from waste and destruc- 

In the case of the treasures of the past, as in 
art and architecture, these become more valuable 
with passing ages. They cannot be replaced. 
Prized by their custodians in modern society we 
assume that men would be very reluctant to do 
anything which would jeopardise them or lead to 
their destruction. This would tend to opposition 
to war on the part of mankind. Besides, as 
wealth is more widely distributed, as more mil- 
lions of people hold title to and possess property 
of their own obtained by labor, saved by thrift 
and guarded by prudence, so these owners would 
have a corresponding interest in protecting and 
preserving what they so prize and what has cost 

The Wisdom of Men 157 

them so much. These all, therefore, dreading the 
destruction of their property and goods, will be 
opposed to war. 

As our times have seen a great increase of toil- 
ers and owners, as intelligence has added to their 
just estimate of values, a much greater bulk of 
population would now oppose war as a destroyer 
of wealth. This would seem to be a reasonable 
hope and a sound economic barrier to wars. Per- 
manency of residence, ownership, value, knowl- 
edge, taste, comfort, all would be on the side of 
peace if war were proposed. Besides, the pros- 
perity of a people which had greatly increased its 
material wealth would make them less likely to 
regard plunder as necessary to their satisfactions. 
Civilised and enriched they would have no covet- 
ous desires to fight for the possession of their 
neighbours' wealth. 

The principle may be good but it must be 
too weak to rely upon, as instanced by the 
aggressions of Germany. For this people 
have had centuries of rather remarkable in- 
dustrial and material prosperity. Under autoc- 
racy they have prospered materially as have 

Yet we behold them making war, despite their 
riches, for the direct purpose of looting and 
spoiling other states. They treat war from the 

158 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

economic standpoint as good business. Prussia 
has always been a robber state. By theft it has 
gained most of its territory. The goods of others 
as spoils of war come easier than by purchase or 
labour. So their possessions obtained by war in- 
cite to more war. 

What though from the property side, it was 
often said that the bankers of Europe, guardians 
of its wealth, would not allow or finance war. 
This was an idle dream. And as for property of 
any kind dissuading its holders from war, the 
history of the last four years shows that all pos- 
sessions are at the mercy of the lowest passions 
of a nation which resolves to gain by robbing 
other states. k The assailant stakes his all. The 
defender draws on his all to protect what he may. 
And the householder assailing proves as fierce as 
the mercenary soldier who owns nothing but his 
arms. Wealth, luxury, comfort, however gained, 
held, distributed, are not masters of the passions 
of men or the policies of nations. Germany held 
up and robbed France in 1870 of a billion dollars 
and invaluable provinces, put this in its war 
chest and resources and planned in 1914 that 
within six weeks, it would extort at the gates of 
Paris ten billions more. It is the robber that 
makes war. And the owner of property must 
either fight defensively to keep his own or the 

The Wisdom of Men 159 

robber states would plunder and hold all the 
treasures of mankind. 

Once more, we had worked out the theory that 
commerce would prevent war. 

To briefly state the theory it was this: Com- 
merce and trade by sea and land come through 
acquaintance and mingling of peoples. Of old 
the stranger was the enemy, the same word desig- 
nated both. But the pacific purpose of bringing 
into a community what a people would like to 
buy and taking out what they would wish to sell, 
tended at once to a good understanding and to 
mutual profit. 

Moreover, if I trade with you and you have 
advantage from it, and you with me and I get 
advantage, we both are pleased with one another 
and goodwill springs up. Lands and states are 
visited by commercial agents. Conveniences for 
travel and transportation of goods are multi- 
plied. Modes of quick and easy communication 
are established. Good feeling is fostered. So 
manufactures, exports, exchanges, railways, 
ships, ports, all the unnumbered agencies of com- 
merce by land and sea are mingling people to- 
gether for mutual advantage, assuring mutual 

160 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

respect and barring out all the waste and dis- 
advantages of war. 

It was said in 1913 and prior thereto, that the 
closing of the channels of trade was impossible, 
unthinkable. They had become necessary for the 
very existence of nations. 

This was a mistake in reckoning. And also 
commerce instead of being the protection of 
peace was made by Germany the pretext for war. 
In their greed and vainglory they did not tolerate 
the prosperity of others. In their vanity they 
assumed that they should be first whether they 
could honestly win precedence or not. Their lack 
of monopoly of trade and ports they declared 
contrary to the freedom of the seas. They had 
all the privileges that others had. They de- 
manded the foremost place. Their trade had 
greatly increased, but they were impatient be- 
cause it had not driven other states from the 
markets of the world. And now to secure what 
they regard as their right to commercial supre- 
macy, they have turned pirates and assassins on 
the seas, and robbers and murderers on the land. 
While allowed access everywhere, they have gone 
to every place with treacherous purpose to rob, 
despoil, to wreck and to enslave all lands and 

Has not this crisis proved plainly that com- 

The Wisdom of Men 161 

merce is not a guarantor of peace, unless all 
parties to it are ready to be fair, honest and kind, 
willing participants in each other's prosperity? 
It makes all possible difference in what spirit 
commerce is carried on, whether it tends to 
friendship or to enmity, to peace or war. 

The prevention of wars and the prevalence of 
peace are found in the practise of two principles 
of statesmanship, namely: 

"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." 
And, "AH things whatsoever ye would that men 
should do to you, do ye even so unto them." 

These are the righteousness which must always 
precede peace. In presence of this our philosophy 
has been proven foolishness. 


Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation* 

ON a former occasion when I was privileged 
to be your guest, I was expected to address 
you on "The Aims of Democracy." Circum- 
stances of great moment substituted another 
speaker who delivered a speech of national and 
international significance. For those circum- 
stances I am grateful not only because of the re- 
sults of that rearrangement, but because, by a 
change of subject, I am now excused from trying 
to state the Aims of Democracy. For truth to 
tell, I am not quite assured what those aims are. 
And if I may confess the fact, I do not feel at 
all sure that I can tell what democracy is. Lest 
you may judge me markedly incompetent on 
this account, may I say that I do not know to 
whom I could go to get a definition of that de- 
mocracy of which we talk so largely and so freely. 
I would not declare that there is not such a defini- 
tion, widely and generally agreed to, but I do not 
know what it is or where to go to get it. 

We are told that "Governments derive their 

*To the New York Republican Club. 


Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 163 

just powers from the consent of the governed." 
This noble phrase from the immortal Declaration 
of Independence, is sometimes said to contain the 
adequate definition of a democracy. But this 
quotation requires explanation. If it means that 
all governments derive their just powers from 
the active consent of those governed, we must 
urge that this is plainly untrue, since the women 
living under such governments and constituting 
fully one half of their responsible inhabitants, 
have rarely or never been asked to consent to any 
form of government. This fact alone invalidates 
the quotation as a definition. 

If the statement means that all who live under 
a government must give active or passive consent, 
it then appears that no government exists 
wherein there is not a considerable minority 
which lives in a constant state of protest against 
it ; and these are not all law breakers necessarily, 
but oftentimes are the most progressive of its 
people. The truth is that governments derive 
their just powers not primarily from the consent 
of men but from the universal and benevolent 
laws of God, laws not primarily made or 
amended, neither created nor repealed by any 
human legislative body. Nor can they ever be. 
They are the established code of an eternal 

164 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

A few days ago the Premier of Great Britain, 
Mr. Lloyd George, in a very impressive speech to 
an industrial Convention, defining democracy, 
used these words: "Democracy, in plain terms, is 
the rule of the Majority." But from time to time 
in our own country, which we claim to be rep- 
resentatively democratic, the Administration, 
under our system of voting, has been elected by 
a minority of the voters voting, and a more 
marked minority of all the legal voters. And in 
such a case if the administration is partisan, the 
will of the majority is subordinated to that of the 
minority. If it is said that the maj ority passively 
consent, it would not help matters to say that in a 
government ruled by a minority to whose rule the 
majority consents, the result is a democracy. It 
might be an oligarchy. 

Once again, we note that a few days ago, the 
Japanese who have really an autocratic govern- 
ment, hearing so much said by us and others 
about our purpose to foster democracy, took 
alarm and inquired whether they were to under- 
stand that we purposed to make of their govern- 
ment a democracy — a natural and very embar- 
rassing question. To this the minister of the 
United States in their country, replied that — 
"The allies were fighting not for democracy in 
nations but for democracy among nations." 

Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 165 

Deft and novel as this turn of speech may be, you 
cannot suppose that it satisfied the acute Jap- 
anese mind. No more does it satisfy our own. It 
may state a fact or it may not, but if this is the 
test of democracy then our government in the 
past, and that of monarchical states which have 
constitutions and parliaments, are not warranted 
in being classed as democracies. 

Once more, by your leave, I note that a saga- 
cious publicist has recently said, "In an autoc- 
racy, the administration directs the people and 
their representatives ; in a democracy, the people 
direct their administration or administrators." 
The day after I first read this, the "Overman 
Bill" was presented to the Senate of the United 
States, by request of the President, asking that 
Congress which had recently granted him powers 
in excess of those of almost any monarch on earth, 
should add almost indefinitely to those powers. 
Is it not obvious that the President for practi- 
cally all the term of his presidency, has con- 
strained and directed the representatives of the 
peoples, and so the people themselves? If this is 
true, as it appears to me to be, then this fourth 
definition of democracy is not applicable to this 

You have borne with me while I have proved 
to you that I do not so fully know what democ- 

166 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

racy is that I would assume to define it or its aims 
to you. And I shall be very glad if you know so 
well what I do not know, that I need not try 
farther to define it. 

Our general topic to-day is "The Spiritual 
Aims and Gains of the Nation." This subject I 
should be able in some degree to illuminate. I am 
well aware that I am in the presence of statesmen, 
lawyers, soldiers, philanthropists and masters of 
affairs. Each of you knows much that I do not 
know as well as you know it, about statecraft, 
law, military affairs, and various specialties relat- 
ing to the public welfare. Toward your larger 
knowledge I feel a becoming deference and re- 
spect. My specialty is the things of the spiritual 
life as relating to God and man. Trusting to the 
large hospitality of your minds, may I be per- 
mitted to reveal my own thinking on the subject 
which, as a minister of God to men, I ought to 
know more about than any other. Let me speak 
as a Christian teacher who seeks to have also the 
vision of a statesman. 

All that I say will be within the limits of the 
defined policies and purposes of that American 
statesman now everywhere acclaimed as most 
worthy of the respect and honour of all who love 
liberty under law, Abraham Lincoln. Of his 
spiritual vision and piety as applied to the con- 

Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 167 

duct of weighty affairs in which he won immortal 
fame, Mr. James G. Blaine, one of our most hon- 
oured names, thus speaks in his "Twenty Years 
in Congress": "Throughout the whole period of 
the (Civil) war, he (Mr. Lincoln) constantly 
directed the attention of the nation to dependence 
on God. It may indeed be doubted whether he 
omitted this in a single state paper. In every 
message to Congress, in every proclamation to 
the people, he made this prominent. 

"In July, 1863, after the Battle of Gettysburg, 
he called on the people to give thanks because 
Tt hath pleased Almighty God to hearken to the 
supplications and prayers of an afflicted people, 
and to vouchsafe signal and effective victories to 
the army and navy of the United States,' and 
he asked the people 'to render homage to the 
Divine Majesty and to invoke the influence of 
His Holy Spirit to subdue the anger which has 
produced and so long sustained a needless and 
cruel rebellion.' 

"On another occasion, recounting the blessings 
which had come to the Union, he said, 'No hu- 
man counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal 
hand worked out these great things. They are 
the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who 
while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath 
nevertheless remembered mercy.' 

168 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

"Throughout his entire official career — at- 
tended at all times with exacting duty and pain- 
ful responsibility — he never forgot his own de- 
pendence or the dependence of the people upon 
a Higher Power. 

"In his last public address, delivered to an im- 
mense crowd assembled at the White House on 
the 11th of April, 1865, to congratulate him on 
the victories of the Union, the President, stand- 
ing as he unconsciously was, in the very shadow 
of death, said reverently to his hearers, 'In the 
midst of your j oyous expression, He from whom 
all blessings flow must first be remembered.' ' 

This reflection of Mr. Lincoln's thought and 
spirit, attested by his eminent contemporary, may 
well impress upon us the wisdom and the source 
of true and immortal statesmanship, and vindi- 
cate, if it needs vindication, my purpose to dis- 
cuss the emergence out of this war of those spirit- 
ual certainties which have appeared and will 
more fully appear to those who watch for the 
stars which are rising on the brow of this dark 
and dreadful night. 

What broadest principles of enduring life, 
principles which are momentous and everlasting, 
essential to the lif e of human society and the con- 
tinuance of the civil state, have become clear 
since the war began and are destined to grow 

Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 169 

clearer as long as reason and life last? A selected 
few of these permit me to discuss. 

Materialism is Discredited, Stripped and 

Materialism, affirming physical energy but 
denying the soul, rejecting God and lightly re- 
garding authoritative morals, has been rampant. 
Its creed is atheistic; its fundamental theory is 
of a godless world. It declares matter sufficient 
unto itself; to produce itself, to account for it- 
self, to guide itself, to be in itself an end and 
goal, and all without God. It has been assumed, 
allowed, promulgated, accepted as having its ade- 
quate basis in atheistic evolution. Evolution 
without God, blind, without foresight or mind, if 
begun at all, proceeding by an irresistible force, 
(whether backward or forward it offers no cri- 
teria to prove), in which human life appears as 
other life appears, doing what it must, without 
controlling volition and without either duty or 
obligation — this had become the conceived back- 
ground, the alleged cause, the assumed uncon- 
trolled certainty in individual and collective 

170 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

Germany, possessed with this prevalent idea, 
has exalted to the position of axioms of interpre- 
tation in social and national life, the two funda- 
mental passwords, supposed to govern the origin 
of species, namely, "The struggle for life," and 
the "Survival of the fittest." They were logical 
in assuming that if these tests are true anywhere, 
they are true everywhere; that if they apply to 
the human species at all they apply to it always 
and under all circumstances. What is more 
natural or pleasing in their life than to conclude, 
as they might say, irresistibly, that they, as indi- 
viduals and as a people, had made the "struggle 
for life" in competition with other peoples, and 
had proved in themselves by their superiority, as 
they conceived it, that their fitness was the fitness 
of "the fittest" and their "survival" was actually 
and prophetically assured. This they had the 
courage to affirm. In so doing, their main prem- 
ise being allowed, they were perfectly logical. 
They were carrying their theory to its practical 
application and limit. 

Out of this process emerged, for Nietzsche, 
"The Superman" which (or who) is the finality 
in his conception and philosophy of the individ- 
ual, and that of Germany which follows him. 
The "superman" is he who is superior to all but 
himself, superior to all law but that of his own 

Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 171 

volition, a perfect egoist, who, untrammelled and 
of necessity, sacrifices all to himself. In self- 
assertion he holds his might to be the only right, 
and he practically worships himself, his own de- 
sires and his own will. 

Treitschke, chief of German's political philos- 
ophers, their acknowledged master, at first 
strongly averse to Nietzsche, later took advan- 
tage of the latter' s suggestion to affirm, the 
"superstate" as the one and only superior of the 
"superman"; the state affirming its will, its un- 
rivalled and uncontradicted demands, from 
which there should be no appeal and beyond 
which no right. The affirmation of German 
superiority is a natural and logical result of the 
doctrine of evolution without God — material- 
istic evolution. Fixing on this their gaze, the 
whole teaching force of this empire proceeded to 
work out and to teach its philosophy through all 
its educative agencies, until, after the lapse of 
years, it came to be the fixed belief of their intel- 
lectuals, their civil leaders and their military men. 
Might being declared to be the only right, and 
might only and always Materialism in one or an- 
other form, from this they reasoned that they had 
before them the duty and the destiny of subju- 
gating the world. Their scheme of thought has 
governed their education, has made their theory 

172 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

of the Nation ; their theory has ultimated in their 
policy and conduct, and ignoring all that the rest 
of the world holds as the true theory and right 
action of men and nations, they have undertaken 
to conquer the world, which they despise as in- 
ferior in its evolution, to themselves. They are 
absolutely true to the doctrine of evolution as 
they hold it, having no God over all and no spir- 
itual nature in man. And this is called a "scien- 
tific" view, that being a momentous word with 
which to conjure confidence. 

Asserting it, gave them an assumed leadership 
in education. Their imitators were found in 
many lands, their propagandists everywhere. 
Their idea of themselves they wished us all to 
entertain, and an idea of ourselves which subor- 
dinated us to them. Mr. Poultney Bigelow, who 
I believe, was in the University with the Kaiser, 
well says: "The great German propaganda is 
more than twenty years old and was part of a 
general scheme to prepare the United States for 
the war in which we are now engaged. Not only 
the Imperial Staff of the German army acted as 
a central bureau of information on all things 
American; but the schools, the universities and 
societies for the propagation of Deutschthum 
and Deutsche Kultur were steered by military 
officials to prepare the American mind for a bene- 

Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 173 

ficent German Empire in which a Germanised 
America would be one of the many provinces 
bowing down to a Germanised Augustus Cassar." 

"Every American School, university or scien- 
tific institution was feeling the spell of this pro- 
paganda without knowing its source. American 
colleges were commencing to feel that there was 
little worth learning in France or England — 
that the goal of academic ambition was a Berlin 
or Leipzig Ph. D. degree. The arrogance of all 
Prussian professors at our seats of learning was 
mistaken by us for the assertiveness of great 
masters and we little dreamed that these poison- 
ous Pundits thought more of a Fourth Class Red 
Ribbon in Berlin than of the goodwill of their 
colleagues of Harvard or Ann Arbor. And then 
the Exchange Professors and the visits of Prince 
Henry, and the Germanic Museum for Harvard, 
and the statue of Frederic the Great for Wash- 
ington and the persistent and nauseating celebra- 
tion where glasses were raised to the "traditional 
friendship" of the two countries — and all the 
while the great general staff of Berlin was fever- 
ishly at work preparing plans for an invasion 
of America on the Belgian-Roumanian plan." 
With Mr. Bigelow agree the best informed stu- 
dents of affairs everywhere. 

Plainly stated their purpose is the mastery, 

174 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

enslavement and robbery of all nations. This 
purpose is now resisted by all but their present 
dupes and slaves, and the principles which they 
profess are equally repudiated. If we were once 
blindly drifting into their way of thinking, we 
now renounce it. Their philosophy is no longer 
philosophy, their science is no longer science to 
us. Both are Prussianism at its worst. In every 
realm we have partially conceded to them the 
primacy which they have claimed. Now we see 
their falseness and our folly. Their high priests 
of science falsely so called, have not the first qual- 
ity of a scientific mind, namely, truthfulness — the 
love of truth. In the first year of the war nearly 
one hundred of the most distinguished of them 
drew up and signed a declaration addressed "to 
the civilised world" in which among other state- 
ments, these are given prominence: "It is not true 
that Germany is guilty of having caused this war. 
It is not true that the life and property of a single 
Belgian citizen was injured by our soldiers with- 
out the bitterest self-defence having made it 
necessary. It is not true that our troops treated 
Louvain brutally. It is not true that our war- 
fare pays no respect to international laws." A 
distinguished American specialist in physical 
science truthfully says, "In these false declara- 
tions by German scientists whose names, many 

Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 175 

of them, are household words — declarations 
which have never been withdrawn, German 
science has met the greatest downfall in her 
history." Yet these are the leaders, the masters 
who have been sought, lauded and blindly fol- 
lowed for two generations as having the right, 
because they claimed it, to reconstruct human 
ideals and thought on the basis of their scientific 
dixit. We are ashamed of our fatuous folly. 
These immoral, inhuman slaves of their Prussian 
masters have been sought unto to teach us science, 
theology, sociology. What are academic degrees 
worth, given by such critics and professors? 
They have sown the wind; we are now reaping 
the whirlwind. Their materialism is bringing 
forth its expected and legitimate fruit. Their 
national goal is consistent with their characters 
and word. They may be willing to be slaves to 
Prussia. We are not. Their national aims may 
be consistent with their theory though without a 
shred of morality or humanity. One such nation 
wrought out on their materialistic plan is one too 
many. We repudiate their theory. We are 
shamed by our own act in having followed them. 
We abandon materialism as an aim for our own 
or any other nation. And I hope we are penitent 
for the misery which we have caused by foolishly 
following such pretenders. 

176 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 


Wealth as an Object of Worship, 
is Dethroned 

It had been allowed to usurp the throne of 
God. Of this peril we had been warned ages 
ago. The great Saviour of the world lived and 
wrought in an age when sculptured and painted 
idols were everywhere and mythologies about 
these were religion. Of any one of these idols 
of wood and stone He never spoke; concerning 
them He uttered no warning. There was but one 
idol to whom He alluded as disputing with the 
one true and living God the homage of men. It 
was Mammon. And Mammon had never been 
painted or sculptured. It was merely a name, 
used three times in the New Testament, for 
wealth as an object of worship. Christ knew that 
long after all worship of stones was abandoned, 
wealth would dispute with the true God the devo- 
tion of men. 

Our age illustrated the fact. Money, or wealth 
has been the measure and gauge of success. He 
who gained it was the envied and successful man. 
Gradations of society have been fixed by it. The 
upper class has been the rich : the lower class the 
poor. Pride, show, splendour, extravagance, have 

Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 177 

been the touchstone of coveted life. Moral and 
spiritual standards have been subordinated to 
gain. The market was esteemed more than the 
martyr. Lying to gain financial advantage was 
accounted venial. Education was bent to money- 
making vocations. At length the naked wicked- 
ness of Mammon worship became clear, as the 
German- Austrian-Turkish robbers began to as- 
sault and plunder the world. When empires 
lie, break treaties and steal, the magnitude of the 
disaster frightens us. The lust of wealth in this 
so-called cultured age then takes on a fury if 
ever equalled, certainly never surpassed. 
Wealth was so lordly and so mighty that we had 
been told that there could never be a general 
European war, that the bankers of Europe would 
not permit it; their money power would be the 
final arbiter. When the actual crisis came they 
had no more power than children armed with 
reeds, pushing back the avalanche. Mammon 
attacked, was afraid. It could not protect itself 
nor the world which had worshipped it. In dire 
extremity, it called for help ; called on patriotism 
to come to the rescue. But even patriotism was 
enfeebled by subordination to wealth, lying with 
its head in Mammon's lap, like Samson in Deli- 
lah's. At length patriotism slowly broke from 
deadly alliance and called on honor, liberty, 

178 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

humanity, morality, to come to the rescue and 
save wealth and country. And these powers, not 
material but spiritual, not the creatures nor the 
worshippers of wealth but the offspring of the liv- 
ing God, leaped up and entered the fray. Hin- 
dered so long but ever persistent, they alone could 
defend Mammon which they always regarded as 
a slave. Like Dagon before the ark of the Lord, 
Mammon grovelled and begged. Its prestige 
and its power were gone. It could not help itself, 
much less defend others. Then we saw and con- 
fessed that we had a primary duty to One higher 
than money; that the things of the spirit were 
most worth saving, that for them wle might wisely 
spend all our wealth. And at the call of patriot- 
ism, honor, morality, liberty, and humanity, 
we began to pour forth the accumulated and 
stored treasures of years. They became a sacri- 
fice on the altar of eternal spiritual good. By 
spiritual energy, motive and intelligence they 
made wealth a powerful defensive agency. 

How better can this great fact be shown than 
by the motive and the act which gave fifty mil- 
lion dollars to the work of the Young Men's 
Christian Association? The gift was asked to 
make great and noble the souls of our soldiery. 
Early in the war the cry came that the first thing 
in the making of a first-rate soldier was the spirit 

Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 179 

of him. The French called it the "morale," best 
paraphrased as "a state of mind." It meant 
everything which operates in the inner and spir- 
itual lif e of the men ; sympathy, duty, care, pur- 
ity, cheer, faith, fealty, spirituality, loyalty to the 
unseen and the Eternal. From the spiritual en- 
ergy and wisdom which saw and urged the need, 
came the outpouring of our gold, now doing its 
worthiest service. And now we know that wealth 
is a good servant and can ever be such ; a servant 
of man, of the man with a soul, and With a duty 
to God and to his fellows, but never more en- 
throned as master of souls. Money is the ser- 
vant of God and the servant of men. It should 
cease from now on to be the boast, the hope, the 
goal of life and be only its servant. We are lay- 
ing it on the altar of God and humanity. It shall 
never dispute His throne. 


God is Enthroned as the Essential Head of 

The recent past has seen the rise of numerous 
speculative theories of human life and society. 
With differing labels they have had a general 
likeness, and without practical tests, have gained 
credence. Because new, they have been assumed 

180 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

to be true, if indeed they can be said to be as orig- 
inal as they are vague and novel- Private morals 
and public duties have been thrown into confu- 
sion. Most of these theories have had this in com- 
mon, that they were atheistic efforts to do with- 
out God and to be substitutes for religion and 
morals. Two of these may stand for the rest, 
Anarchism and Socialism. 

In practical application Anarchism is adverse 
to all governments and all government. It ob- 
jects to all morals and moral laws, protests 
against restraint, opposes rule and rulers, and 
is not only oblivious of God but rages against 
Him. Not definable in few words, it rejects al- 
most all institutions and the principles on which 
they are founded; calls all morality "slave moral- 
ity," and assumes that each individual is the only 
authoritative ruler. Within a few weeks a woman 
now in a United States prison, holding all 
these ideas in a most outspoken form, has as- 
sembled an audience of three thousand in New 
York, and held them for three hours in enthusi- 
astic approval of her words, while she has de- 
nounced practically all individual, social and 
legal restraints. That audience, composed largely 
of people recently come to this country, is repre- 
sentative of great numbers in this and other lands 
who indorse these crazy dreams. They systemat- 

Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 181 

ically teach to young children all these subversive 
ideas, and practise, defiantly, their teachings. 
One prominent among them, once a Christian 
minister, in a widely circulated volume, strenu- 
ously objects to the idea of God as Father, de- 
claring that we neither need nor want a father 
God, nor any kind of relation which suggests 
subordination and dependence. 

Socialism in its most strenuous forms, as in the 
German Social Democracy, is an association of 
people, found in many countries, which is diffi- 
cult to briefly define and characterise : difficult to 
define because there is no authoritative represen- 
tative whose definitions are standard; and not 
easy to describe because there are many varying 
stages of the thought, which do not agree one 
with another. Allowing for these variations, we 
may take the mass of the Social Democrats in 
Germany and their sympathisers in Russia for 
illustration. All are atheistic, selfish, intolerant, 
violent against wealth and equally against work, 
whose purpose is to dispossess those who have 
any accumulated property, or any control of 
machinery, business and goods, and to rearrange 
the whole direction and ownership of the same. 
The Bolsheviki represent a sufficiently large 
number of these to illustrate what they may do 
if they gain control in any land. The product 

182 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

of these theories is in sight. It is Chaos. Russia 
is illustrating it. Here is a headless nation, be- 
cause it is without control, without law, without 
government, and pervaded with a reckless sense 
of irresponsibility to any power, human or divine. 

Stability in a community, a state, a nation, 
must rest on a foundation of laws; these on an 
underlying foundation of principles, and these 
must express reverence for duties and rights, and 
goodwill for one's neighbours. The deepest prin- 
ciple is a sense of Right and this has been placed 
in the constitution of things by the Creator. Out 
of Right as conceived and affirmed by God, come 
rights, duties, authority, government, order, 
harmony and prosperity. By these are upheld 
honour and liberty, in their only true and reason- 
able definitions and sanctions. On anarchy you 
cannot predicate order. Its outcome is chaos, 

In a godless society, right, authority and gov- 
ernment are impossible. These must be founded 
on God and derived from Him. And He from 
whom these are derived and by whom sanctioned, 
is and must be much more than a Being of might, 
authorising any and all actions which one can 
assert the power and the will to do. Sanctioning 
virtue He must possess it. If He were without 
holiness, or righteousness, mercy or love, He 

Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 183 

could neither direct nor demand these. The basis 
of society is not any conception of God which a 
heathen or a Prussian may conceive to best corre- 
spond to his ambitions, but the one and only God, 
the God of universal man, of universal right and 
of universal law. Human goodwill must find its 
sanction in Divine goodwill and the spring of 
goodwill in man or God, is and must be love. 
Out of this attribute comes and becomes all 
benevolent feeling and beneficent law. As we 
know God, the ultimate statute of His kingdom 
is the command to men to love Him and to love 
one another. Unless He is lovable in His char- 
acter, no one by being commanded, could be com- 
pelled to love Him. A god of mere Might or a 
man in whom Might is all, does not suggest love 
or show love nor show the least possibility of 
evoking it. A nation to which Might is supreme, 
cannot know love and cannot be loved. Unless 
there is the sanction of the heart to the principles, 
purposes and motives of government, it cannot 
hold and direct the race. And laws arbitrarily 
forced upon men by a characterless being, must 
issue in characterless society. 

The God who being enthroned, assures social 
order (including civil) must be the God who is 
revealed as Power and Love with all that these 
imply. And there is but One who has ever been 

184 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

revealed to men who has this character. He is 
the living God whom Jesus Christ especially has 
made known to us. And so Christ, revealing 
Him, becomes "the chief corner-stone" of the 
world order, and love becomes its vital and uni- 
versal principle. Any other view; of man and 
society leaves the individual selfish, greedy, cruel 
and detached. At the same time it disintegrates 
society, condemns law, causing repulsion instead 
of attraction, confusion instead of order. It is 
not possible to have society, the social order 
among men, without bringing them to reverence 
and obey the God whose law is wisdom and love. 
To make order possible, to save the state, to 
create society, to establish law we enthrone 

The Prelude to the Constitution of the United 
States reads: "We, the People of the United 
States, in order to secure a more perfect union, to 
establish Justice, insure domestic tranquillity, 
provide for the common defence, and to secure 
the blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our 
posterity, do ordain and establish the follow- 
ing Constitution." "Order," "Union," "Tran- 
quillity," "Defence," hold beneficent meanings 
only when limited and defined by the Law of 
God. Reverence for Constitutions must be as- 
sured through reverence for God. 

Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 185 


Transcendent Spiritual Necessities Demand 
and Justify Physical Sacrifices 

Having wisely and rationally apprehended 
that spiritual good and attributes are of the high- 
est worth to us, we are readily and eagerly giv- 
ing and exchanging for their maintenance all 
physical possessions, and even life itself. If we 
have repudiated materialism as a theory of hu- 
man life and advantage, and accepted spiritual 
treasures instead, we are proving our practical 
faith by offering all we possess to uphold our 
good confession. Unlimited material sacrifices 
are being poured out by which to maintain, con- 
serve and promote our spiritual possessions. Not 
mere passive assent do we give to the proposition 
that spiritual good is worth more than material, 
but we actively offer all we have in proof. Of 
our surrender of wealth and goods we have al- 
ready spoken. A vastly greater gift asserts a 
much deeper faith. It is the gift of life and suf- 

Of this supreme, personal sacrifice an im- 
mortal example is found in the martyrdom of 
Edith Cavell. Serving the cause of humanity 
and right, she refused to count her lif e dear unto 

186 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

her at the dictate of brutal might. With her 
beautiful life on the one hand and the grave on 
the other, life to be preserved by inhumanity on 
her part, and death to be visited upon her for 
benevolence, she chose the immortal good. And 
she deserves immortal fame. Yet she is only one 
of her sex of whom uncounted thousands have 
the same estimate of the duties and values of lif e. 
Our gold is dross compared with such offerings of 
flesh for spirit. 

As this and these are personal sacrifices, so on 
a national scale, we have seen the devotion of the 
nation of Belgium to honour and truth. The 
choice was deliberate. History can never de- 
scribe the grandeur of that choice. There was 
the offer of protection and material advantage 
without limit, at the hands of the German 
tempter. The alternative, undisguised, was 
devastation and death. It was a clear choice 
between physical riches and spiritual wealth. 
And there was no hesitation ; no uncertainty, no 
debate. Belgium offered all. Her rulers, her 
men, women and children surrendered every vis- 
ible and estimable treasure so that she might keep 
an unsullied soul ; so that the honour, truth, duty 
of the nation might shine as the stars forever. 
.Wonder seizes us whenever we reflect on the ex- 
altation of motive, and the sacrificial exchange 

Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 187 

which Belgium made of the things which are seen 
and temporal for the things wjiich are not seen 
and eternal. 

As Belgium illustrates this spirit of sacrifice on 
a national scale, no less have the allies done like- 
wise in the International policy which they have 
adopted. Their choice has been of the same 
nature. Their governments have staked all on 
the greater value of spiritual character and qual- 
ities. All that can add glory and pleasure to the 
outer things of a transient world they have of- 
fered up so as to gain and own forever the spirit, 
and the deserved reputation of honesty and integ- 
rity of life. Their whole populations, of one and 
another country, have vied with each other in 
proving their loyalty to morality, humanity, in- 
tegrity and liberty. For Right, moral, humane, 
God-revealed and God-sanctioned Right, we 
offer, and if need be, will give up all our physical 

Such sacrifice is not only made but gladly and 
quickly made, as we are moved by spiritual im- 
pulses and guided by reason. For the law of 
sacrifice is a wholly reasonable law. Seeing that 
all things have value, and that some things have 
a much greater value than others, we compare 
and measure these things and choose that which 
has the greater worth. For this we give the 

188 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

lesser. The exchange is made; we are enriched; 
and the act of sacrifice passes into the records of 
wisdom and goodness. Thus we estimate the 
things of the spirit, and we estimate the things of 
the flesh. The latter are very precious; the 
former are much more so. We choose the things 
which we are sure are worthiest and most pre- 
cious. And it is the consciousness of doing this 
which exalts our seeming losses to immortal 

HoW significant is this exchange when we con- 
sider that now, for the things of the spirit, human 
life, by countless lives are being given. This very 
fact assures us of the immortality of our person- 
ality. If the spiritual attributes of the man are 
worthy of defence through giving up our material 
goods, much more the spiritual personality which 
these attributes express and adorn, is undying. 
We cannot rationally hold to the theory of a 
merely mortal life, ended at the grave, and then 
give it for so-called spiritual good. If this life is 
all, if there is no more life after it, then it is all 
and the best I have. Indeed it is so valuable that 
nothing can be measured against it. When it is 
gone, all is gone, and as for me, I am gone. 
Were that the fact, then I would not on any ac- 
count or for any cause, surrender my life. Not 
anything nor everything else could be weighed 

Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 189 

or measured against it to warrant the exchange. 
If I give all for nothing I am a fool. But we all 
wisely postulate immortal life. After this life, 
there is more life for us. We end our career 
on earth, but we go on beyond. Only the cer- 
tainty of this makes reasonable our offering of 

And so in this great day, taking inventory of 
our greatest treasures, we have come to have a 
clear view of our spirit and its immortal future. 
This estimate is what Jesus Christ made — He 
who brought life and immortality to light. He 
made the sacrifice of all material things to be the 
attestation of the greater value of the spiritual 
things which remained, and He gave His lif e be- 
cause eternal life is better and because He had 
more life than can ever be subject to death. The 
War is, on the German side, the battle of material- 
ism, of might. Necessarily it must be stated in 
physical terms. Their war is immoral, unright- 
eous, unholy, unmerciful, inhuman, without 
honour and with plunder and merely material 
gain for its purpose. By their purpose our spirit- 
ual heritage is assailed. Against their design we 
array all our spiritual forces which carry with 
them all our physical possessions, so that Right 
may rule, that eternal Right may govern the souls 
and the lives of men and nations, and the essen- 

190 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

tials which are eternal may remain our immortal 

Through World-wide Co-operation We Are 
Coming to World Fraternity 

With our allies we are working unitedly and 
drawing closer in a co-operation which is at once 
a fellowship of suffering and of mutual love and 
help. Hitherto we have not realised that we 
are really near neighbours to them. Fraternity 
has been more spoken of than felt. But now all 
indifference has been dissipated and our former 
isolation has ceased to exist. We could no longer 
withhold from them our sympathy or our service. 
Joining with them, we resist tyranny and con- 
tend against a common foe. Uniting with them 
in merciful service, our sympathies as well as our 
courage unify us. 

How could real fraternity be more assured 
than by the friendly aid of which the Red Cross 
Society is the most conspicuous example? Is 
there any kind of need which we are not eagerly 
seeking through it to alleviate? Its emblem, the 
Cross, is the sign of reconciliation of two worlds, 
heaven and earth; and of two continents and all 
peoples. Others suffer. That is all we need to 
know. And we hasten to them, bearing in our 

Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 191 

hands and in our hearts whatever will alleviate 
their distress. 

Of kindred character and influence is our 
policy of "Food Conservation" by which, with 
self-denial, self-control and self-sacrifice, we build 
up the strength of others. Even to this day, as 
many times in years past, when we move against 
the sale and use of alcoholic beverages, some men 
remonstrate with us and ask, "Are you daring to 
invade our liberties and to tell us what we shall 
drink? By and by, you will tell us what to eat." 
Quite true. Our government is now welcome at 
our homes and tables as it comes in and tells us 
what to eat. For it not only advises and urges 
us what to eat but prescribes what we shall not 
eat. Four years ago we should have jeered at the 
possibility of such a course. Now we know that 
our very life as a nation depends on our compli- 
ance. And even more marvellous is the fact that 
we are doing this so that what we save shall be 
sent across the sea to feed and strengthen millions 
whom we never saw and never will know. Our 
most private and personal use of food is being 
governed in the interest of the whole world. And 
we are glad to have it so. "Deny yourself" is as 
truly a government order as it is a command of 
Christ. It is the only rule by which the nations 
are to be saved. 

192 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

The Salvation Army, in its extreme poverty, 
used to advertise, "Self-Denial Week." We 
were wont to smile at their ardour and to count it 
fanaticism. Its purpose was good, but in their 
poverty and manifest need, we wondered why or 
how they could exercise self-denial. Now, we 
who then smiled are doing as they did to save 
our lives by saving others. It has been told that 
when our soldiers first went to France, they were 
greeted as "The Salvation Army." Such they 
were and are. We are all marching with them. 
They and we and all who deny themselves for 
others, are the Salvation Army of the World. 

And how remarkable that we are becoming 
clearly aware that salvation comes through self- 
denial, and wisest self -direction. No man is liv- 
ing to himself if he is living usefully or rationally. 
We now regulate our desires and our actions by 
God's commands and by the needs of others, as 
the national government makes them known to 
us. Our interest affiliated with our allies make 
our evident obligations. Selfish purposes are 
shamed and fought. Profiteering is forbidden by 
law ; that is, taking selfish advantage in the com- 
mercial world of the necessities of others and en- 
riching ourselves at their expense. From a new 
angle we see that waste and wickedness are insep- 
arable from the liquor traffic. We protest on the 

Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 193 

broadest grounds against foodstuffs being used 
to make ruinous and poisonous drinks. There is 
something to be done with grains which must take 
precedence of any selfish use of them. Our care 
for our human brothers is being emphasised. On 
it depends our own welfare, inseparable from 
theirs. We are brothers in spirit and action. We 
suffer and serve in love for one another. And so 
we come to live as men must who live well. The 
love for our neighbour is the goal of our highest 
victory, the motive and result of self-mastery. 


The Christian Doctrine of Human World 
Unity Is Vindicated 

The word Christian I use unhesitatingly 
because all the gains and aims which I have 
named are Christian, and expressions of Chris- 
tian principles and teaching. Essentially spirit- 
ual, Christian truth must repudiate mere Mate- 
rialism and put in its place the truths of a spirit- 
ual world. Likewise Christianity dethrones 
Mammon and makes wealth the servant of higher 
things. It enthrones God and finds in Him the 
source of the laws of life and human order. One 
of its central doctrines is that of Self-sacrifice for 
the good of others. And it leads the world in 

194 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

announcing and cultivating the spirit of Brother- 
hood in and among men. So likewise it assumes 
and teaches the Unity and equality of men of 
every race and clime as subjects of Divine mercy 
and care. 

In theory and practise this teaching has been 
always contested by mankind. Men of one na- 
tion or tribe have considered themselves superior 
to their fellow men of other locations and char- 
acteristics and have usually held a hostile rather 
than a friendly relation to the stranger. 

Assuming human unity Christ directed a uni- 
versal propaganda of teaching and evangelising 
among all men. The four universals of His final 
commission to His disciples are thus given in the 
Bible: "All authority hath been given me in 
heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make 
disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the 
name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit ; 
teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I 
have commanded you; and lo, I am with you all 
the days, even unto the end of the world." 

This is an announcement of a universal, a 
world religion, having a universal application to 
all men, assuming and teaching the unity of law, 
of morals, of truth, of humanity, of kindness and 
help everywhere. 

So, obedient to this broad direction, the fol- 

Spiritual Aims and Gains of the Nation 195 

lowers of Christ in every age have gone into all 
lands and among all peoples vindicating world 
unity, a common humanity and a universal duty 
of man to God and of man to man. Extensive 
and inclusive as this conception is, it has by many 
been opposed, traduced, belittled and scorned. 
Without hesitation, those who understood their 
Lord have persisted in their glorious enterprise. 
By their doctrine of God and their love of hu- 
manity they have profoundly impressed the mind 
of the, as yet, unchristian world. And so well 
have they represented and taught the doctrine of 
Christ that, at this time, among other world-wide 
benefits which they admittedly have conferred, is 
that they have visibly given to the leaders of 
every land of the Orient a lofty conception of the 
Christian spirit and purpose. 

Naturally the preponderating millions of Asia 
might have assumed that all the peoples of the 
West from whence these missionaries came, were 
Christian. But they have learned to discrimi- 
nate. And now when nations of the western world 
who might have been expected to be Christians, 
have assailed the rest of mankind in ways so 
selfish and so wicked as to shock even a savage 
mind, all these oriental nations understand that 
such assailants are not Christians. They also 
understand that the defenders of the best things 

196 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

in human life, because they so defend, are not to 
be classed with their assailants, and that on the 
side of Germany are the foes of humanity as on 
the side of the allies are its friends. The Asiatic 
nations therefore are the friends of the allies. 
And while by the vastness of their numbers they 
might, if hostile, overwhelm the western world, 
they are now its friends, ready to police the world 
and to preserve and defend the things which the 
missionaries have taught them are the best and 
most sacred for universal man. 

We owe it to-day to the work of the Christian 
missionaries teaching the nature of God as 
Father and the privilege of man as brothers, that 
the sympathies and alliances of the Asiatic and 
even the African world are with the allies. 

The grounds on which Germany seeks to sub- 
jugate and tyrannise over the human race are 
totally unchristian. Assuming with unspeakable 
conceit that they are superior to all the rest of 
mankind and that they shall be masters while all 
the rest are their slaves, they have not only awak- 
ened Europe and America to resist them but have 
shown to the far East as well, their presumption, 
their savagery and their unfitness to rule. 

It remains for the nations of the West to see 
their duty to hereafter send their best representa- 
tives to the East to give to them our very best 

Spiritual Aims an d Gains of the Nation 197 

treasures, training and culture. Last year, by 
dint of great self-denial, the Christians of the 
North American Continent spent twenty million 
dollars, most freely given, to carry the best of 
their possessions, the truth of the Gospel, to far 
lands. Last year the smokers of tobacco in the 
United States spent more than a thousand mil- 
lions for smoke, fifty times as much as the 
Churches could send to teach and care for the 
heathen world. Suppose that a spirit of self- 
denial had come over those who waste this vast 
sum and suppose that it were diverted to giving 
our very best people and the best truth, undoubt- 
edly the truth of Christianity, to the world : What 
relation would that have to the consolidation, 
prosperity, and peace of mankind? And suppose 
even that our Government as a matter of econ- 
omy, so as to save billions of American money 
arid billions of value of goods, with millions of 
invaluable lives, should hereafter pursue the pur- 
pose of uplifting and unifying the world of man- 
kind in a wholly kindly, brotherly, unselfish, 
philanthropic and Christian way. What more 
wonderful political economy could be launched 
and out of what could spring greater universal 
advantage ? 

Seriously and reverently let me say that the 
foregoing facts of life and reason made known to 

198 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

the world and impressed on the minds of men, 
seem to me a rich compensation for our defensive 
war and a call far more impressive than the war 
cry of "Democracy," to furnish a reason and a 
means of bringing to us Victory. The form of 
government is of far less concern than its purpose 
and spirit — and that spirit with its form and 
fruitage, the love of God and love of man, reveal 
the prizes and victory now inciting us to battle. 


Prohibition and National Defence* 

THE British battle line is bent. Up to this 
time it is not broken. Suppose it should 
break, leaving nothing interposed between us and 
our foes. How unspeakable the peril to us and 
to the world. The very contemplation of it fills 
us with anxiety and dread. So also the allied 
battle line is strained through all the many miles 
where British, Belgians, Italians, French, Ameri- 
cans, are withstanding the foe; they have been 
pushed back from thirty to fifty miles. Suppose 
that strain should end in disintegration and de- 
feat. Imagine that war weariness or lack of 
courage should seize and possess that mighty 
defensive host, so that they should cease to strug- 
gle. The door would be wide open for the in- 
pour of the fierce and cruel German power upon 
civilisation and the whole world. 

Can we imagine a more terrifying peril, a direr 
catastrophe? And yet a greater foe than the 
Central Powers has already broken through 

♦Delivered April 27, to 2,000 people representing 14 churches, in Meriden, Conn. 


200 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

upon the civilised nations of the world and is 
working upon them greater disaster than the 
Central Powers could possibly work. Two of 
the greatest allied statesmen, both British, have 
within a short time spoken of this greater foe and 
greater peril. Mr. Lloyd George, the brilliant 
Premier of Great Britain, has told us that there 
is more to be feared from the alcoholic liquor 
habit in Great Britain than from all its German 
foes, and with enthusiasm born of the spirit of 
wisdom, prophecy and warning, he has striven 
to arouse his countrymen to this dire and deadly 

In 1880 the unsurpassed modern English 
statesman, William E. Gladstone, quoted with 
approbation the statement that the liquor traffic 
and drinking habit had wrought more ruin in this 
world than war, pestilence and famine combined. 
To this statement of historic fact, the brilliant 
British statesman, with his broad outlook, gave 
unhesitating assent. 

With such testimony, and this is but repre- 
sentative, need I have any hesitation in saying 
that a greater peril confronts the allies now and 
the world at large, from the dominant liquor 
traffic than from all the exertions of the hosts of 
barbarism in Central Europe? It is not as if 
I were quoting these two statesmen alone; the 

Prohibition and National Defence 201 

greatest soldiers and publicists, the greatest 
economists and observers of the world agree with 
their opinion. Among military and naval con- 
temporaries Lord Roberts, General French, 
General Joffre, Admiral Fisher, Admiral Jelli- 
coe, Admiral Beattie, Lord Woolsey, and nu- 
merous others of equal rank give their accordant 
voice as to this greater peril. 

Some unthinking souls have tried to lay upon 
the Lord God the responsibility of this present 
war, denying to Him either goodness or care of 
mankind in that He has permitted this desolating 
scourge to fall upon the world. But no one has 
the audacity to charge upon God the killed, 
wounded, and missing, the destruction, desolation 
and overthrow of the liquor traffic. We know 
too well that it is of our making, through our con- 
senting, by our protection that this scourge pre- 
vails, and even human unbelief and irreverent 
audacity, dare not attempt to lay off the responsi- 
bility from us who should take it, from us who 
are guilty of creating the present condition. 

It is impossible to sum up the harm that alco- 
hol does in the nation or the nations. It is im- 
possible, on the other hand, to tell what advan- 
tage is open and derivable from the destruction 
of the use of alcoholic spirits as a beverage, and, 
in fact, in any form. My present purpose in the 

202 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

face of the perils of this great war, is to show 
that parallel with it and of greater magnitude, is 
another strife into which we should enter with 
the utmost valour and urgency, a strife co-ordi- 
nate with the assault of the Central Powers, 
more destructive in all the ways in which that is 
destructive, and an immediate and threatening 
ally of all the evils which they propose, and 
which lies quite within the realm of our own re- 

In undertaking to show how, as Lloyd George 
has said, the liquor traffic reinforces the evil 
forces of the present war, I shall excuse myself 
from a multiplication of figures and statistics. 
For every fact which I allege I have the most 
copious proof and if any of you really desire to 
get the exact facts, the precise data, which will 
substantiate all that I shall say, you will find 
them condensed in a little book entitled: "En- 
cyclopedia of Temperance, Prohibition, and 
Public Morals," issued by The Methodist Book 
Concern, 150 Fifth Avenue, New York. This 
is a compend of multitudinous sources of verifi- 
able information and fact, demonstrating the 
immediate and dire perils which have been put 
upon us by the use of alcoholic drink. 

The factors of national defence which I have 
in mind when I speak of "Prohibition and Na- 

Prohibition and National Defence 203 

tional Defence," are really twofold: things ma- 
terial, by which we can defend ourselves, and 
man power; and while these are not separable 
entirely, for the purposes of analysis they will 
assist us in the contemplation of this great double 
danger of war and drink. They are so related 
that they must be discussed together. 

First, therefore, I call your attention to the 
relation of the liquor traffic to the destruction 
of those material agencies which are absolutely 
necessary to the winning of this war. We already 
have pretty clearly before our mind that food 
will win the war. It has become a watchword of 
our time. Never until within the last two years 
have we dreamed of lacking adequate foodstuffs 
in this country or in the world. The scarcity 
which we have felt is even now upon us in a most 
critical way. We are told at this very moment 
that there is great peril of our losing the strength 
necessary to carry on the war for lack of suffi- 
cient bread for our armies and for those of our 
allies. The scarcity of food, which now we feel 
and which we felt last year, we are likely to 
experience more rather than less. That scarcity 
may be said to arise in a general way from non- 
production and waste. 

There are various reasons why there is not an 
adequate production of foodstuffs, but one of 

204 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

those incontrovertible reasons which I will allege 
is this: There are a multitude of non-producers 
who might raise food supplies and who do not. 
Many of these are idlers, and idlers on account of 
vicious habits induced by alcoholic liquor. In 
the State of Minnesota a few years ago, when 
the wheat was spoiling in the fields, an earnest 
effort was made to get the idlers in the cities 
to go forth to the farms at a large wage — three 
and a half to four dollars a day and board — 
and work to save the crops at the harvest time. 
Practically, they nearly all declined. It is incon- 
ceivable that anything should have so borne them 
down with reckless carelessness and idleness ex- 
cepting that they were under the influence of an 
unnatural appetite for strong drink. 

At this present time, this fact is conceded by 
the attitude of the states of New Jersey, West 
Virginia, and New York, and also by the nation, 
where the effort is being made to compel all 
idlers to assist in production. Those who are 
unwilling to work are to be compelled to work, if 
that is possible, and the greatest difficulty, as well 
as the greatest number of non-workers, will be 
found to confront us when we deal with those 
who are altogether too willing to use their powers 
and their time in alcoholic dissipation. 

Not only are foodstuffs wanting through non- 

Prohibition and National Defence 205 

production, but vast stores of grain are destroyed 
directly to make liquors. In those liquors, what- 
ever their name, there is almost no food value 
whatever. All statements to the contrary are 
simply untrue. The amount of grain made into 
alcoholic liquor and so diverted from the channels 
of nutrition, is almost too great to conceive. 
Various figures of a colossal character are pro- 
duced both in this country and Great Britain to 
show how much has been destroyed. We reckon 
the wasted grains by the hundred thousands and 
the millions of tons. The sugar and molasses, 
also, which are very important as foods, in almost 
untold quantities, have been made use of for the 
manufacture of liquor. 

It has been openly alleged that three hundred 
millions of days' support for individual soldiers 
might have been conserved by saving what has 
been destroyed in the United States alone in a 
single year. But without attempting to limit or 
measure the quantity, we know, and the whole 
world agrees, that it is so vast that the preserva- 
tion of these foodstuffs for food purposes instead 
of their manufacture into liquor might make the 
difference between famine and plenty. When 
you recognise that this waste is so great in 
quantity and so grievous in quality, it would 
seem as though no one ought to complain of lack 

206 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

of food who is not fighting with all his might to 
preserve what we have. 

In connection with food as a material necessity 
for the winning of the war, our attention has been 
called to the great necessities in the fuel line only 
lately obvious; during the last year many of us 
shivered with the cold, and anxiously feared for 
those who could not get fuel. Families suffered, 
little children died, business places were closed 
at vast expense, schools were shut up, churches 
discontinued their services, railroads diminished 
the number of their trains, ocean transportation 
was balked, victory imperilled on account of lack 
of fuel. 

When you come to inquire why this was and 
is likely to be so, you find that a very considerable 
proportion of this lack of fuel came from inade- 
quate mining. That is to say, the miners failed 
to produce in proportion to their power, and so 
the public was deprived of necessary fuel. The 
Coal, Fuel and Iron Company tell us, as do many 
other mining organisations, that just as soon as 
the liquor traffic by any means is temporarily 
stopped in the vicinity of their mines, production 
is vastly increased. 

In the State of Pennsylvania, a member of the 
Pittsburgh Coal Producers' Association declared 
before the Interstate Commerce Commission that 

Prohibition and National Defence 207 

if the government would eliminate the liquor 
business from the coal producing districts of 
Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois, the output of 
coal would be increased twenty-five million tons. 
That was at the height of the famine last winter. 
Most distinguished experts in the anthracite 
region of Pennsylvania have told us that a third 
of the output of coal was lost on account of the 
drinking habits of the miners, and have besought 
the government of the United States to take 
drastic measures to abolish the saloon in that 
region. The same has been true in Illinois and 
in nearly all the other coal producing states. 
This is the outspoken judgment of most coal 
producers lately given. 

The coal shortage in Illinois was reported last 
winter to be about 500,000 tons, but a statistician 
figured that the amount of coal consumed in the 
manufacture and sale of the beer alone used in 
Chicago was more than 500,000 tons. The liquor 
business in Chicago alone created the deficit in 
the coal supply of Illinois. 

This, however, is only one aspect of the loss 
and wastage of the fuel necessary for winning 
this war. The breweries consume a vast amount 
of coal. Outside of war industries only two ex- 
ceed breweries in quantity of coal used. During 
the season when churches and schools were closed 

208 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

and business was crippled, all the breweries were 
wide open, and the distributing centers, the 
saloons, owned so largely by the breweries, were 
no less warm and full, as I may say. 

In the accessories of the brewing business, that 
is, in the manufacturing of boxes, barrels, bottles 
and other things connected with the traffic, in the 
transportation of raw material, manufactured 
product, barrels, bottles, coal by the railroads, 
for the liquor business — there were needed not 
less than two and one-half million tons of coal. 
This added to the seven and one-half million 
tons used by the breweries last year, would make 
ten million of the fifty millions shortage; and if 
to that be added the twenty-five million tons 
wasted through lack of careful mining, thirty- 
five millions of tons has been accounted for 
already ; and it is easy to account for the rest. 

For the transportation of liquors in this coun- 
try last year, two hundred thousand cars were 
required at a time when we could not get trans- 
portation for foodstuffs. At a time when every 
interest of the country suffered for lack of ade- 
quate railroad facilities, the breweries and dis- 
tilleries were demanding and getting two hun- 
dred thousand cars for transporting the liquor 
which they made. 

There was a great shortage of coal, as you 

Prohibition and National Defence 209 

remember, for the transport service. Very many 
ships in the harbour of New York, to say nothing 
of other harbours, loaded with provisions for the 
allies, which they sorely needed, were prevented 
from sailing because of lack of adequate coal., 
But the breweries had coal, the saloons had coal, 
though the railroads and transports had not. 
While our allies were bravely fighting for us, 
defending our interests with their lives, they were 
denied both food and fuel, while we provided 
millions of tons of both for the manufacture of 
alcoholic drink. 

It is perfectly well known that manufactures 
of an essential and valuable sort are very greatly 
diminished by the use of alcoholic drink. By this 
I mean that the output of factories is greatly 
decreased, that the reduced capacity of drinking 
and half-drunken operatives greatly diminishes 
that output, and that whenever there is a release, 
however temporary, from the baleful effect of. 
the saloon on a community of workmen, the 
manufacturing interests greatly multiply their 
production. Most of the great concerns of this 
country bear witness to the fact that there would 
be a plenty of manufactured goods for all legiti- 
mate purposes, provided the workmen were pre- 
vented from diminishing their powers through 
the use of alcoholic liquor. 

210 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

We know that in this war iron and steel play 
a very large part. Nearly all the iron and steel 
mills of this country forbid the use of alcohol to 
their men for numerous reasons. In the first 
place, it saves a vast amount of material other- 
wise wasted. It prevents a great array of acci- 
dents of a most costly character. It increases 
output to a very high degree. So that the manu- 
facturing interests of iron and steel are invari- 
ably, in this country, the antagonists of the liquor 
traffic. The same is true in regard to munitions. 
Great Britain had the experience of seeing a 
wholly inadequate supply of munitions because 
the workmen declined to work more than three 
or four days in a week. Nor could they be stimu- 
lated or stirred by the perils of defeat, or by the 
ardours of their statesmen so long as they were 
under this sinister influence. They would rather 
be drunk and slaves, than to be freemen and 
produce what was necessary to accomplish and 
perpetuate their freedom. 

In the matter of manufacture of cars and 
ships, which from the very first had been one of 
our chief necessities in winning this war, the 
habit of alcoholisation on the part of the work- 
men has stood in the way of an adequate output. 
Ships in Great Britain, we have been told re- 
peatedly, have been held up because the work- 

Prohibition and National Defence 211 

men would drink and would not work. Repairs 
on the fleet and on the merchant service have been 
hindered, construction has been put back, and 
again and again the sailings of the ships have 
been interfered with when troops were on board, 
because of drunken engineers or stokers, who 
were incapable of realising the peril in which 
they were placing their country. Transporta- 
tion has been blocked by land and by sea directly 
and indirectly, between America and Great 
Britain, between Great Britain and France, and 
from all the ports on which the allies have relied, 
by reason of the liquor traffic. 

How could any enemy wish more in the way of 
obstruction to the essential necessities of our 
armies and navies than has been furnished by the 
liquor traffic thus made manifest in the hands 
and under the control of the liquor power? 

I have thus too briefly discoursed of the ma- 
terial powers which are withdrawn from our 
service in the war where they are absolutely 
needed, for the sake of maintaining the liquor 

Let me pass now to speak of the man 
power, by which, of course, I include all the 
human power which is necessary for the winning 
of this war, and show how that man power is 
diminished in all its main essentials by the per- 

212 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

petuation of the liquor traffic. The amount of 
testimony is so vast that I can only touch upon 
it here and there, but these allusions are capable 
of the fullest substantiation. 

In the first place, we are wont to say that the 
better the health of the soldier and of those who 
stand behind him, the greater likelihood there is 
of his achieving the purposes of successful war- 
fare. In other words, muscular power and good 
health have much to do with a fine soldiery, and 
a fine citizenship. We have gloried in the fact 
that many of our young men who have volun- 
teered or entered the army by selective draft, 
have been enormously improved in health and 
bearing, in vigour and in life, by the training to 
which they have been subjected. Are we equally 
and distinctly aware that muscular power of the 
sort necessary for soldier and citizen alike, is 
destroyed effectually by the use of alcoholic 
drink? If you take the work of a soldier, you 
find much of it of a distinctly athletic sort; but 
now for many years in the whole realm of ath- 
letics we have known that liquor is the foe of 
athletic power. No athlete is addicted to drink ; 
no boxer, no baseball player, no football player 
of any distinction, no competitive oarsman, no 
champion at tennis or golf can be found who will 
for a moment sanction the use of alcoholic drink 

Prohibition and National Defence 213 

on the part of those who expect to achieve athletic 
superiority and honours. 

We have had experience for years, sanctioned 
by the great soldiers of Europe and America that 
marching is done best and most advantageously 
by total abstainers. They have the greatest en- 
durance, and can effect the greatest accomplish- 
ments. When it comes to the exercise of muscu- 
lar power in the particular function of war, for 
instance in marksmanship, we know beyond all 
question that the use of alcoholic drink, whether 
in smaller or larger quantities, is highly damag- 
ing to correct and exact marksmanship. I am 
speaking now of this one particular thing, as 
illustrated, for instance, in precision, rapidity 
and endurance firing. In the Swedish army, out 
of a possible thirty shots, men who had taken no 
liquor whatsoever and were not accustomed to 
use it, made twenty-three hits. The same men 
after having used a small quantity of alcohol 
made only three hits out of a possible thirty. If 
it is desirable to have a powerful and reliable 
muscularity as the basis of successful soldiery, 
then it is absolutely necessary to banish alcohol 
from the soldier and sailor from the army and 

In the navy, as well as in the army, it used to 
be that rations of grog were given to the marines 

214 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

and naval men at sea. No one would think of 
doing that now. All the fine marksmanship and 
endurance, the accuracy, the precision, the fac- 
tors which make for the possibility of success in 
this war, are associated with total abstinence 
from the use of alcohol in any form. 

I have spoken of muscular power, but every- 
one knows that muscular power depends greatly 
on nervous conditions, on the fineness and 
strength, the poise and balance of nerve. We 
know that the finer parts of our organisation, 
the nerves and the brain, are immediately affected 
by alcoholic liquor, and we know that alcoholic 
liquor is not a stimulant, nor has it ever been, 
but is a depressant. It destroys nervous poise; 
it does not increase it. The superstition that 
alcohol is a stimulant is as plainly superstitious as 
any idolatry of any heathen savage of any his- 
toric time in the history of the world. There is 
no power to make for a stronger manhood, 
whether in muscle or nerve, in alcoholic drink 
however taken or applied, whether less or more. 

When it comes to the combination of nerve and 
muscle, the co-ordination of the fineness of hu- 
man activity with the force and vigour of it, the 
same is markedly true. This will appear as I 

We must know, too, that in our time with the 

Prohibition and National Defence 215 

extraordinary weapons that are made use of both 
by land and by sea, and with the demands that 
are made upon a soldier's life (and the same of 
a civilian's life ) , mind power is as necessary for 
an army and for achievement in the direction of 
victory as muscular power. Because the brain is 
the agent of the mind, the vigour of the brain as 
an agency through which thought is operated, is 
of the utmost power in achieving victory. We 
are positively assured that mental efficiency is 
impaired very greatly by any degree of the use 
of alcoholic drink. Men who are accustomed to 
drink on Saturday and Sunday have been found 
on Monday to be diminished in mental vigour as 
much as twenty-eight and one half per cent., 
more than a quarter of their power having been 
lost. All the reactions of the sensibilities are 
operated on adversely by the use of liquor. 

Quickness of vision and accuracy of vision, 
readiness of hearing, responsiveness of muscular 
action to the demands of the mind, are all im- 
paired by the use of alcoholic drink. Errors in 
judgment, inaccuracies in sensation, defects of 
memory, incorrectness of observation, all these 
result, and the general lessening of the normal 
ability of men, even after the use of a little 
alcohol, often rises from ten to eighteen per 

216 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

Every soldier who has been at the front, every 
intelligent man or woman who knows what is 
demanded of a soldier, understands that the 
greater the mentality, the greater the self-reli- 
ance. The ability to take initiative, to think for 
one's self, to think quickly and to judge wisely, 
is a very large share of the power of a soldier in 
our time. Against all this, against everything 
that makes for an efficient soldier, alcohol is a 
deadly foe. 

But we are getting a further and deeper 
vision of war at this time than we have ever had 
before. Although it has been known it has never 
been talked about so much as now, that the chief 
power of the soldier is his moral power ; that the 
great power of a nation is its moral and spiritual 
power. To get the right spirit into men and into 
people is the foremost thing in assuring victory. 
Nothing is so to be relied upon as spiritual ac- 
tivity and spiritual strength. 

The Germans have very little sense of this. 
We remember how they measured the force 
of England by the 250,000 of England's 
little army, and called that force "contempti- 
ble." They did not reckon with the Eng- 
lish spirit, which measures its strength not only 
as against millions of men, but measures its 
strength by forces that are entirely uncount- 

Prohibition and National Defence 217 

able and unweighable in terms of material 

So we recognise the immense importance of 
moral power for the making of a soldier, an 
army, a nation or a victorious struggle. At the 
same time, we know that vice abounds as a re- 
sult of alcoholic drink; that practically all kinds 
of vice are directly caused and increased by it; 
that commercialised sexual vice, which has 
worked such terrific havoc in the armies of the 
old world, is always associated with the degrada- 
tion of woman and of man also, through drink. 
Observations in and about the saloons of all the 
great cities of the world testify to this. And 
nothing is more suggestive of the power, the 
glory and the victory of the American army than 
the frequent affirmation that, as to virtue over 
against vice, it is the most virtuous army that 
has ever been assembled. God grant that this 
may prove to be the fact ; if it is a virtuous army, 
it will be an invincible army. 

Moral power shows itself not only in the grasp 
that men have upon the purposes of this great 
conflict, but in their obedience to high intelligence 
and to the direction of their superiors. Equally 
evident is it that the sources of all lawlessness in 
this country and in every country, are found in 
connection with the liquor traffic and use. None 

218 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

have done more to degrade the whole legal order 
of human society than have the brewers of the 
United States of America. They are always 
ready to violate the law. When it has been sug- 
gested, where prohibition has obtained, that 
possibly some of these great companies would 
assist to break down the law by furnishing illicit 
liquor importations, where they were otherwise 
forbidden, it has always been true — the proof is 
irrefutable — that no brewing company has hesi- 
tated to become a violator of the law. 

They have in the presence of the United States 
courts within the last two years in western Penn- 
sylvania, paid vast fines rather than have their 
wickedness brought to light, as they have sought 
to influence elections. And not only so, but 
nearly all the brewers of this country are pro- 
German. They not only have German names 
and German directors, but their breweries and 
their saloons are nests of treason. The products 
of their breweries and the profits thereof, which 
we have so foolishly been allowing them to make, 
have been poured into the coffers of Germany; 
and not a few of them have been found in direct 
affiliation with the enemies of their country. 
There is no patriotism in the liquor traffic, no 
patriotism among those who make it, or among 
those who sell it. 

Prohibition and National Defence 219 

Saloons are the haunts of criminals. If police- 
men desire to find those who have done some 
especially infamous crimes, they always go to 
certain saloons where these people are found. 
Every kind of criminality, every degradation of 
moral power, is associated with the use of alco- 
holic drink. It lowers and degrades in every 
possible respect. 

Now, this being true, if we are to win a great 
moral victory, if we are to overcome the evil 
forces of the world in the interests of the good, 
it is absolutely necessary that we break with the 
liquor traffic ; that we separate ourselves from it, 
and separate ourselves also from its sinister and 
degrading influence in lowering the moral tone 
and stamina of our people. 

When it comes to the fouler forms of vice, 
where vice merges into crime, the whole world 
knows that the greatest cause of crime in this 
country is the liquor traffic. When the convicts 
of the penitentiaries of our country, as they have 
repeatedly done, have petitioned that the saloons 
might be closed so that when they came out they 
might not be tempted, as they have been tempted 
before; when careful commissions have summed 
up the criminality of the country as nine-tenths 
of it originating in the use of alcoholic drink; 
when the foremost judges, including the Su- 

220 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

preme Court of the United States, have declared 
that the alcoholic liquor traffic is inextricably 
mixed up with criminality, we certainly have 
proof enough to know that the liquor traffic can 
be counted on as the foe of everything that we 
seek to make victorious in this war, and de- 
structive of every agency of achievement and tri- 

Demoralising as war is, war has never de- 
moralised as the liquor traffic has; cruel as war 
is, it has never been so cruel as the liquor traffic ; 
deadly and destructive as have been modern arms 
and agents of destruction, they have never killed, 
wounded and imprisoned anything like as many 
people as have been destroyed by the use of 
strong drink. 

We have a very sad realisation that vast num- 
bers of precious human lives are being sacrificed 
in this war, that in our defensive struggle, the 
noblest of our youth are offering themselves on 
the altars of liberty and honor and truth. But 
let us not forget that by the most careful observa- 
tion, pursued through many years, it is perfectly 
clearly shown that the extension of human life is 
greatly diminished by even the moderate use of 
alcoholic drink. There are those who say two 
and one half, or three per cent, beer is not as 
destructive as forty or fifty per cent, whiskey or 

Prohibition and National Defence 221 

rum ; but the truth is, whether it is taken a little 
at a time or more at a time, the aggregate of 
alcohol taken by the drinkers of beer is likely 
to be fully as great, or greater, than that of 
the drinkers of whiskey, and to result as ruin- 

So, whether it be as moderate drinkers or 
drinkers of one sort or another of liquor, the 
proof is overwhelming that life is shortened any- 
where from twenty-five to seventy-five per cent, 
by the use of alcohol as a beverage. Forty-three 
life insurance companies of the United States 
and Canada, examining more than 2,000,000 
cases in the last few years, have brought their 
practically unanimous verdict into the high court 
of the world, showing that this is true. 

Longevity is greatly diminished, the sus- 
ceptibility to disease is largely increased by the 
use of alcoholic liquor, and I might instance, if I 
had time — as I certainly have information — un- 
numbered cases in which life is shortened by ten, 
twenty, thirty years, and productiveness accord- 
ingly, through the use of alcohol in any and 
every form. I could give you a list of pages on 
pages of the statements of the most eminent 
physicians of the world, showing the deleterious 
effect of alcohol upon life, upon young life, upon 
little childhood, through heredity, producing 

222 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

defectives, dependents and delinquents; upon 
young children in their environment, where, 
through bad example and in the homes of drunk- 
ards, they are reduced to a minimum of efficiency 
and power ; where through privation, their young 
lives are made so weak that the likelihood of their 
continuing to live is very greatly diminished. 

Last year 20,000 physicians of the American 
Medical Association were represented in their 
convention in New York City. With scarcely 
a dissenting voice, all this host of highly intelli- 
gent men, who understand human life so well, 
gave their verdict against the use of alcoholic 
liquor, even as a medicine, and told us at length 
that there was no necessity for it as a remedy 
which could not be met by other remedies far 
less injurious and far more practical and health- 

The defences against disease are broken down 
by those who use alcohol. If we take our sol- 
diers, for instance, during hardships in camp and 
field, their likelihood of overcoming those hard- 
ships, their ability of full and effectual resistance 
is in proportion to their separation from the 
alcoholic liquor habit. The number of soldiers 
who die of diseases is generally far more than 
those who die of battle and of wounds, and the 
number who have died of disease has been largely 

Prohibition and National Defence 223 

conditioned by those who have used alcoholic 
liquor in one or another form. 

We are told that among the great desolations 
of France during this war is that which has been 
wrought upon her soldiery by tuberculosis; but 
we are assured from the investigations of twenty 
years on two continents, that the greatest cause 
of tuberculosis is alcoholic liquor as a beverage, 
and it has been said that this great white plague 
of tuberculosis can never be fought successfully 
until the use of alcohol as a beverage is elimi- 

Moderate drinking is practically as bad as free 
drinking. Its effect is just as realisable and as 

Moreover, of course, the workman or the sol- 
dier, the civilian or the man of the camp and the 
field, is effective in proportion to the vigour of 
his life and the number of days that he is capable 
of performing his tasks and his service; but we 
know that days of illness are multiplied, and loss 
of wages consequent to a greatly increased de- 
gree in the case of those who use alcoholic drink : 
$330,000,000, it was said five years ago, were 
lost from preventable diseases through inability 
to work, by the workingmen of this country in a 
single year. Nothing could more surely indicate 
the fact that if we want efficient service, the 

224 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

maximum number of days of activity and of 
power, whether as soldiers or civilians, for the 
purposes of national defence, we shall secure the 
maximum number only by total abstinence from 
the use of intoxicating drink. 

Have I said, if not, let me say it now — alcohol 
is not a medicine. Hospitals of Europe and 
America are proving it. They are using less 
and less of it; using less and less beer, less and 
less ale, more and more milk, and simple, nourish- 
ing liquids. The attitude of the doctors, which 
I cited a few moments ago, amounts to a demon- 
stration, while the hospital practise which they 
carry out, shows the same results, and gives prac- 
tical basis to their opinion. 

One thing further: (although this is a very 
brief and incomplete survey), and that is, that 
accidents caused by alcohol are very numerous, 
and are readily preventable by abstinence, as 
they are readily traceable to alcoholic drink as 
a cause. Now, of course, the American soldier 
and sailor, as well as those of the allies (and this 
is distinctly understood abroad, as it is at home) 
has to be extremely careful in handling the imple- 
ments of war. Many of them are chemicals of 
a highly explosive character; many of them are 
the refinement of mechanism, and they need the 
most extraordinary carefulness, precisely as the 

Prohibition and National Defence 225 

handling of fine machinery in mills and factories 
needs it. The use of alcohol so distinctly causes, 
both in factory and in fort, the maximum of 
accidents, that no one can ignore a great fact 
like this without being entirely indifferent to the 
welfare of his country. 

We know that some time ago when labour in- 
surance was demanded by many state legisla- 
tures, the proprietors of factories and employers 
of men said: "Yes, we will insure our men and 
will pay damages, but we will not insure drink- 
ing men, nor pay damages to drunken men 
for accidents which they cause. They not only 
cause a vast amount of loss, but they cause a vast 
amount of personal damage to themselves." 
"Safety first" means total abstinence first, 
whether that be in the trenches or in the fac- 

It is a noteworthy fact, obtained and proven 
by scientific temperance investigation, that the 
effect of a drink of alcohol, whether in beer or in 
some other form, comes to its maximum just 
about three hours after the drinker has taken the 
dose. For instance, a man taking a drink at 
seven o'clock on the way to his work, will ex- 
perience the full force of that drink in losing his 
self-control, the co-ordination of his muscles, the 
intelligence of his mind, at about ten o'clock. If 

226 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

weariness was the cause of accidents, then more 
accidents would occur nearer twelve o'clock, 
when the man was more weary; but it is just as 
truly noticed that at four o'clock in the after- 
noon, three hours from the time when the man 
has taken his drink at his lunch, the maximum 
of accidents occurs, as it is true that a similar 
condition occurs in the morning. In other words, 
the high curve of accidents is immediately trace- 
able to the use of alcoholic beverages; and who- 
ever expects either the American munition 
worker or shipbuilder, or navigator, or sailor, or 
soldier, to arrive at his best, to accomplish the 
highest and utmost purposes that the fine ma- 
chinery on which he works can accomplish, has 
got to count on the fact that he must desist from 
the use of alcohol. We must keep it away from 
him. We must prohibit making it, or selling it, 
giving it away, or using it, in order that we may 
win this war. 

The perils have not all been indicated; the 
proofs are not all in; the dangers have not all 
been stated. The magnitude of the victory de- 
pending on our right action is not greater than 
the irreparable ruin which will follow if we ignore 
these truthful warnings. I doubt not that liquor 
drinking had much to do with making this war, 
nor that it has added unmeasured ferocity to 

Prohibition and National Defence 227 

German barbarities in sacked towns and on 
ruined peoples. To abolish it will win the war 
and do more than can be estimated toward pre- 
venting another. 


Our Victory Assured 

"And this is the victory that overcometh the world; even our faith." 

N" this war, who shall be victorious ? We shall ; 
we and our allies. Does it seem presumptu- 
ous to assume this knowledge of a great future 
event? Does anyone but the all-wise God know 
what is certain to be in the future? Our answer 
is: He knows, and we know as we know Him — 
from intuition, as He has given it to us, from 
faith and right reason, and from the study of his- 
tory. On the basis of what we know of Him we 
are assured of victory in this war. 

What is the object of our trust? Ourselves? 
No. Even though we are very much better pre- 
pared now than in 1914 and might, apparently, 
put a larger faith in our positions and forces than 
We formerly did. What gives us this confidence 
of victory? Right. What gives right its 
strength? God, who wills and so makes right; 
whose nature and law, whose administration, and 
whose purposes define Right. This leaves 
nothing vague or uncertain either in His nature 
or in our apprehension of it. 


Our Victory Assured 229 

When the Apostle John affirmed: "This is 
the victory that overcometh the world, even our 
faith," he meant that God, the Author of right, 
of all law that makes for right, of all high goals 
and purposes, is the foundation of our confidence 
and our assurance of triumph. He meant the 
Christians' God, not some vague, uncertain idea 
of a world power imagined by men and con- 
structed according to their selfish wishes ; but that 
holy, just, righteous, fatherly, forgiving, guid- 
ing and good Being, whose nature embraces for 
us all that is desirable in human life and human 
relationships. There is only this one God. 
There is neither room nor place in the world for 
any other ; and when we hear pagans, barbarians, 
and Germans calling upon a god of their own 
creation, who has no worshipful or deserving 
attributes, we know that such a being cannot be 
made the foundation of the hope of a righteous 

"The victory that overcometh the world is our 
faith." Our faith can be defined in two ways. 
We can speak of "our faith," meaning the object 
on which we rely, as the person, the laws, the 
principles which deserve our confidence. Then 
we can add to that this second idea of faith, our 
own act of trust by which we come into living con- 
nection with the external objects of our faith. 

230 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

For example, I may say that my political faith is 
the Constitution of the United States. That is 
to say, that is the body of principles and laws 
upon which I rely as embracing the fullest meas- 
ure of political sagacity, and social wisdom. 
When I take my oath of allegiance to the Consti- 
tution of the United States, I exercise my per- 
sonal or subjective faith in that great body of 
laws. And so, my political faith embraces that in 
which I believe, and also my act of believing 
which attaches me to it. 

This same idea is embraced in "the victory 
which overcometh the world" through our Chris- 
tian faith; objectively, including the whole nature 
of God as revealed in Jesus Christ, and subject- 
ively, embracing our act of trust and reliance 
upon Him . 

Our faith, then, which overcomes, is the total 
of forces Divine, and external, on the one hand, 
and personal and internal on the other. 

In this great war there are three parties: The 
assailants, the defenders, God. The assailants 
are those who brought it on by attacking an un- 
suspecting world. We are not they. The de- 
fenders are ourselves and our allies, who under- 
took to resist the assault of a fiendish and selfish 
power, seeking our overthrow. God is on one 
side or the other of this great conflict. He is 

Our Victory Assured 231 

either with our assailants in attacking all that we 
defend, or with us as defenders, in protecting all 
that they assail. 

The human party which is in alliance with God, 
must be victorious. By all we know of Him, with 
whom is His favour, — with the assailants or with 
the defenders ? We are not boasting ; we dare not 
boast of either present or prospective victory. 
We wish, we pray, we hope, we labour, we strive, 
and have so done. 

But now we pass beyond these into a more as- 
sured realm. We claim and gain certainty on ra- 
tional grounds of belief, as firm as the integrity 
of Nature, or of the human mind, or of the Divine 
government of the world, and on such a basis we 
declare our assurance, not merely our hope, that 
we shall win this war. 

Let me consider the uncertainties which we 
have felt; the contingencies which have raised 
doubts in our mind as to who would be victorious. 
And then let me recount the certainties which for 
me dispel all doubt and give firm assurance as to 
the result. 

First, the contingencies which have formerly 
raised uncertainty, apprehension and possible 
doubt in our minds — what are they? What, up 
to this time, has led us to be uncertain, possibly, 
as to an issue which we felt must be of victory? 

232 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

I answer, the contingencies have been partly 
material and visible, and partly invisible and spir- 

Among material contingencies which have 
raised doubts of our triumph in our mind, have 
been the mighty preparations and forces of the 
German- Austrian power. For many years they 
had prepared this stroke, gathering together all 
possible forces which could make for their ad- 
vantage, while we had made no preparation and 
had assembled no counter powers. Surveying 
the multitude of their soldiers, contrasting them 
with the little armies of Belgium, of Britain, and 
of France ; the immense quantity of their supplies 
in a thousand details; their large resources of 
knowledge of all the territory which they pur- 
posed to assail and conquer; their utmost readi- 
ness down to the very last item of preparation, 
and the amazing manifestation of physical force 
and strength of every sort with which they began 
their onslaught — and which they have kept up 
until this time — we have been almost over- 
whelmed with the quantity and energy of their 
resources. We have measured ourselves against 
them with daring, with courage, with hope, 
greater than our faith. And as we survey to-day 
what has been accomplished already by the mass 
of their powers, by the multitude of their forces, 

Our Victory Assured 233 

by the enormous measure of their resources, we 
still sometimes raise the question whether we can 
victoriously combat these with an adequate de- 
fensive force. We count, we compare, we weigh, 
we estimate their forces, and feel a degree of 
uncertainty as to the outcome. 

While this is true, there are also spiritual forces 
which make us dread the issue and wonder if we 
have a right to expect to succeed. The question 
we ask is : Are we in the right? Are we so surely 
right and they so wholly wrong that we are se- 
cure? And here, in humility and modesty, we 
have halted to make inquiry and to try and settle 
the matter truthfully in our minds. The student 
of history, studying the overthrow of nations, 
can but feel extremely careful when deciding on 
what rest the foundations of permanent existence 
for the land which he loves. Beholding the sins 
of nations on account of which they have ceased to 
exist, we have tried fairly and justly to inquire 
whether our national sins are such that God 
should scourge and reprove us, and perhaps over- 
throw us on account of them. 

Taught as we have been by the sacred Scrip- 
tures, we have many times considered the story of 
the chosen people of God, the nation Israel, 
which regarded itself as favoured by Him, some- 
what as we and other nations regard ourselves as 

234 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

favoured by Him. And we have been compelled 
to observe that, notwithstanding their privileges, 
yet their sins, their disobedience, their neglected 
warnings, and their chastisements finally resulted 
in their captivity and overthrow. We remember 
how Babylon, a very wicked nation, was raised up 
to discipline the Hebrews, and conquering, to en- 
slave them for a definite period of seventy years. 
Assyria is spoken of in the sacred history as "the 
rod of Mine anger," that is, of Jehovah's anger, 
indicating that even a worse nation might be used 
to scourge a better when that better one persist- 
ently violated the law of God and ignored its 
duties and its vows. 

Then, we have seen emerge in the history of 
Israel those great prophets, the statesmen of their 
times, proclaiming the perils through sin, inhu- 
manity, irreligion, idolatry, injustice and op- 
pression, of the nation which they loved, warning 
them through a period of years, pleading with 
them and persuading them in vain, as they 
have shown the disasters sure to result from 
abuse of God's mercy. And we have said: 
"Are we dearer to God than ancient Israel? 
Are we surer that He will save us than they 
were that He would save them? Can we hope 
that He will deliver us from the just results of 
our sins?" 

Our Victory Assured 235 

I confess that a vision of our national sins and 
of our possible overthrow has until lately, power- 
fully affected my mind. At the present time, on 
full and fair investigation, I see no reason to be- 
lieve that we are in similar danger to that of 
the ancient Israelitish nation. For, first, while 
we recognise our national sins, we remember this : 
That there are and have always been in this 
country a multitude of most Godly and right- 
eous citizens, whose prayers, whose faith, and 
whose obedience have continually appealed to 
God for mercy on the state. Of these there are 
millions, possibly a majority of the total of our 
citizens. Confessing our sins, which they have 
continually done, they have asked Divine mercy 
and favour, interceding for the entire people. It 
has been perfectly well known to all the best of 
our citizens that the way to be delivered from the 
consequences of our national sins was the way of 
repentance; that we should confess them, turn 
back from all evil doing, choose the right way, 
obtain mercy and pardon and so return to Divine 

That many millions of people in this country 
have been so continually right in their attitude 
toward God gives us great assurance. And they 
have very freely warned their fellow countrymen, 
while trying to improve in every respect our gen- 

236 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

eral moral and social state. We know that even 
after repentance, a state has to expiate its sins; 
that the chastenings of God are applied to states 
and nations in this world ; for since states have no 
existence beyond the grave, all in the way of dis- 
cipline, or chastisement for their correction, must 
be applied to them in this present time. 

We, therefore, behold ourselves in this pres- 
ent war as having sinned, repented of our sins, 
and to be now expiating our sins by what we are 
at present suffering. We have done wrong, which 
we confess. When those wrongs which we have 
done are compared with those of our enemies, 
they are apparently very small and trifling in a 
national or international sense. Nevertheless, 
we do not wish to hide from ourselves the fact 
that we have deserved the wrath of God. But in 
expiation of our sins, we are suffering, we have 
suffered, and I may say, we are ready to suffer. 
We own it to be just that we should endure 
chastisement and sorrow on account of the evil 
that we have done. 

This attitude on our part of penitence, of 
prayer, of willingness to make expiation for na- 
tional sins, argues most surely the certainty of 
Divine mercy and forgiveness. In this spirit 
could we be surer than now of God's favour? We 
are greatly and further assured by a contempla- 

Our Victory Assured 237 

tion of our national spirit and attitude at this 
time, as by those of our allies. 


If we compare ourselves, that is, our country 
and our allies on the one hand, and Germany on 
the other, what a totally different attitude toward 
God we allies have as contrasted with their foes. 
If I can honestly see that we are seeking and 
doing the will of God, even though we have 
sinned, I can be sure of His forgiveness, favour 
and aid, sure of His sanction and of victory. And 
as I behold our nation and our associated and 
allied nations, I see that our choices have been 
wholly unlike those of our foes. 

We have chosen for our God, the true God, the 
God of fatherly goodness, of holiness, of right- 
eousness, of mercy, of pity and of love. 

Compare the selected object of our worship 
with that horrible, characterless, fierce, immoral, 
ferocious being that the Germans have named 
God, Might, without moral character. If na- 
tions ever suffered desolation because of wicked 
worship of false idols, then Germany is likely to 
suffer thus in this age ; and if nations of old found 
their chief strength in obedience to the true and 
living God, then our strength is assured from our 
choice of Him to be our God. 

238 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

Compare us in another respect with our assail- 
ants. We have chosen the merciful course of lif e, 
not the cruel course of tyrants and oppressors. 
They struck Belgium down, crushed, ravaged, 
massacred, tortured and starved this little people. 
We, on the other hand, fed them, uplifted them, 
bound up their wounds, comforted them, rehabil- 
itated them, adopted them into our homes; have 
done everything indicative of the most merciful 
attitude of mind. Can anyone doubt whether the 
true and living God is on the side of the spoilers 
of Belgium, Serbia, Armenia, or on the side of 
those who have poured millions on millions of dol- 
lars, hundreds on hundreds of workers, and relief 
of every kind into those suffering countries? 

We announced, and it is known that our an- 
nouncement is true, that we would with our 
power, aid the nations by love. They announced 
that they would rule by f rightfulness. They seek 
to horrify a trembling world. We seek to com- 
fort a suffering world. We would emancipate 
the world from slavery of every type. They 
would enslave it. Out of such enslavement they 
would draw their riches and revenues. We, on 
the other hand, seek only justice and kindness 
among men, and the uplift of all types of human 
society at our own expense. 

They, putting forth robbers' hands, would 

Our Victory Assured 239 

seize and keep all kinds of treasures not their 
own, as plunder. We would take nothing from 
the weak but would give of what we have and so 
restore to those who need what the wicked have 
plundered from them. Our enemies burn for 
conquest regardless of justice or right. We urge 
justice and generosity, and in fact have thrown 
ourselves into this war with the distinct under- 
standing that the vindication of justice and of 
liberty is our chief purpose and our only effort. 

In a word, we are on the Christian side with 
God, (the loving and merciful God, the only 
God; the true and living God) in all these re- 
spects. Because we are on His side, because we 
stand with Him, we not only have hope, but we 
have certainty. When He is defeated, we shall 
be conquered; not till then. If we were over- 
thrown in our present spirit and service, then He 
would be dethroned, and the world would be a 
Godless and chaotic world. Fighting, we have 
put right and justice in the field against wrong 
and cruelty. 

In these main lines we are doing the will of 
God, and because we are doing the will of God, 
which is Right as God made it, which is Law as 
God made it, all uncertainty passes away as to 
the issue, as to whether He favours us or not. 
That He favours us we are as sure as that He ex- 

240 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

ists, and that that favour means victory is as cer- 
tain as that His name is a Just and Holy name. 
He as the object of our faith is the victory which 
overcomes the evil world forces. So in the con- 
sideration of the contingencies and uncertainties 
which may hitherto have caused us to doubt, 
whether the material powers of our adversaries, 
or whether the possibility of our own weakness 
through our own failure or sin, those contin- 
gencies have passed away, and we have no more 
reason to doubt on either basis. 


As a second general proposition; Our certain- 
ties are assuring to us victory. Among those cer- 
tainties is this: Not one selfish, Godless or un- 
christian purpose inspires us to battle. Selfish- 
ness, self -worship, is the root of all sins and the 
ruin of human life. You may look in vain to find 
one single evidence of a selfish purpose in Amer- 
ica or in her allies in carrying on this war. The 
enemy has nothing that we desire, neither ter- 
ritory nor wealth, nor influence. Those whom we 
are defending and for whom we are fighting have 
nothing that we want. Appealing to our sense of 
universal justice, we wish them to have what is 

Our Victory Assured 241 

their right. There is not a trace of selfishness in 
our purpose, as we carry on this struggle. 

On the other hand, there is not one unselfish or 
loving purpose which has visibly moved our en- 
emies. Surveying the history of these four years, 
or of many years before, or the purposes that are 
disclosed as likely to control the German- Aus- 
trian hordes for years to come, I find no trace, 
promise or suggestion from them of an unselfish 
purpose in anything that they do. They mean no 
good to anyone but themselves, no advantage to 
any but themselves. Any desolating scourge, 
any horrifying abuse that will seem to them to 
minister to their advantage, they will put upon 
those whom they are trying to overwhelm and 
enslave. The greed of goods and the lust of 
power seem to be all that move them ; while abso- 
lute good will toward all mankind is all that 
moves us. 

For further proof that the certainties in the 
case assure us victory, I beg you to notice among 
our aims, that we are striving for the universal 
fraternity of humanity, to make a brotherhood of 
all races, nations, tongues, and peoples; that for 
men to live in less than fraternal kindness is to 
live below our standard and our level, and for the 
privilege on the part of all humanity to live as 
brothers, we are making this mighty struggle. 

242 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

We are contending in the interests of all nations, 
with their varied forms of governments, as far as 
those governments are beneficent and helpful. 
We are endeavoring to mitigate the troubles and 
sorrows of all sufferers. We are trying to deliver 
from every kind of pain and distress all races, 
ranks and conditions of mankind. Every gra- 
cious thing in character which would make for 
good neighbourhood, for peacefulness, for pros- 
perity, for kindness and for goodwill, we have 
put upon our banner as the purpose of our strife. 
For homes, in all their sweetness and precious- 
ness, we are making the most energetic defence, 
building again where they have torn down, re- 
making where they have been destroyed. All 
women and little children, all aged and weak, are 
the objects of our help, and the subjects of our 
striving. Even God Himself, we say with pro- 
foundest reverence, has prescribed no higher 
aims for human welfare than we have literally 
claimed and undertaken to realise in the interests 
of mankind. And all of these high aims and pur- 
poses are in direct contradistinction, and antag- 
onism to the acts, purposes, deeds and history of 
our enemies. 

Beyond all doubt, our pure motives and pur- 
poses have received upon them the Divine sanc- 
tion. God could not express Himself in antag- 

Our Victory Assured 243 

onism to what we are doing. It is so entirely in 
harmony with His will and His nature as Christ 
has revealed Him, as to assure His favour. 

Now what is the assurance that comes to right 
reason when we see how our aims agree with those 
of the Divine Being? What does this concord 
assure us in regard to victory or defeat? There 
can be but one answer. Victory must be given us. 

If we turn to the history of our country dur- 
ing the great epoch of the Civil War, we may 
find an illustration of the manner in which God 
blesses a nation which has a humane goal and 

You remember, to sketch it very briefly, that 
in 1861 and 1862, we fought for the Union of 
the states. Mr. Lincoln stated that he would 
save the Union with slavery, if he could ; without 
it, if he must. The Confederacy fought for a 
political theory of the rights of states and of the 
federation of such states. So, in fighting merely 
for the Union, did the northern United States. 

Underlying all this, and to a great degree 
ignored by us during two years of war, was the 
great question of the rights of man, of what 
should be done for that human being in this 
country who was denied all human rights. This 
we relegated to the background and we fought 
on, not blindly, but unsuccessfully, toward the 

244 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

realisation of our political goal. But defeat 
followed defeat with us who stood for the 

On the other side there was at first the ad- 
vantage of material resources, very like those of 
the Central Powers when this war began. The 
United States army had been made weak and 
scattered, its navy dispersed to all parts of the 
world, its credit destroyed, its arsenals where 
they could be most easily seized upon by the 
enemies of the nation. They had every advan- 
tage at the beginning; and defeat after defeat 
followed the efforts of the Union arms. 

Profoundly impressed with the succession of 
disasters, relieved only now and then by victory, 
Mr. Lincoln with deep seriousness and with much 
prayer to the living God, sought light as to what 
his duty was concerning the emancipation of the 
slave ; and at length, when the forces of the Con- 
federacy were marching apparently victorious, 
upon Washington in 1862, he promised God, 
as he himself says, that if the battle was won and 
the southern forces compelled to flee, he would 
issue a proclamation for the emancipation of the 
slave. On the 17th of September, 1862, the 
battle of Antietam was fought, issuing in a 
Union victory; on the 22nd of September, Mr. 
Lincoln issued the proclamation that on the first 

Our Victory Assured 245 

day of January, 1863, a hundred days from then, 
the slaves should be free. 

Still, success did not at once crown the Union 
arms. The issue of the strife was now cleared 
very much. Great forces fought against the idea 
of humanity on the one side, while other great 
forces on the other side aligned themselves in 
favour of the humane goal to issue in the manhood 
of the enslaved and emancipated. But as it be- 
came more and more evident that the power of 
the Union arms was devoted to the emancipation 
of man, the tide of success turned, and on the 
fourth day of July, 1863, Vicksburg fell. On 
the same day Gettysburg was won, and the vic- 
torious end of the war was assured. It was with 
the nation a case of a change of purpose and 
goal in the midst of the war, from a political to 
a humane basis, and on that change of creed, 
which was the transference of our faith from 
political methods to divine purposes — I say on 
the strength of that faith, the great final victory 
was won. No one had any doubt, from that 
time on, of the assured triumph of the Union 
arms. We had taken God's side. 

It might be said, I think, with exact truth, that 
"the victory which overcame" in the Civil War 
was "our faith"; that great mass of belief and 
principles, of revelation of the Christian God, the 

246 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

true and living God, which could not sanction 
or stand for the enslavement of man; and that 
when the change took place in us, then victory 
became for us a certainty. 

Now, at this present time, a different state of 
things appeals to us, altogether in our favour. 
We began this war without a political goal. We 
began it with an absolutely humane purpose. 
We did not need to change our creed after we 
began the war. The "victory which could over- 
come the world," namely, "our faith," our living 
faith in these humane and eternal purposes of a 
true and living God, was from the very first 
assured. We have never swerved from it ; we 
have never wavered in it. We are in this war 
for principle; we are in this war for humanity. 
We are in this war for morality, for Christianity, 
for God. We have no occasion to change, and 
if it has been the method of Divine Providence 
to accord victory to those who have modified 
their purposes from a political to a humane ob- 
jective, then much more now, when no modifica- 
tion is necessary, it becomes certain beyond all 
question or controversy that we are fighting in 
behalf of God, on God's side. And from all 
that we know of His character, we are sure of 
success, the success of His cause. 

We verify our love of God by our love of men. 

Our Victory Assured 247 

We love our neighbours as ourselves. We ex- 
pect Him to vindicate that principle, and we 
know that we shall triumph with Him. Christian 
spirit and Christian influence are ascendent in 
the allied world. We smite to heal; we fight to 
make peace; we have no pride which we wish 
crowned; we have no hate which we wish to in- 
dulge; we have no selfish desire which we wish 
to gratify. We seek to have the will of the lov- 
ing God, done by Him on the earth as it is in 
heaven, and by men, as learning His will and 
becoming obedient thereto. 


Thus by our faith and our personal trust we 
are assured victory. I wish in the strongest 
possible manner to affirm, not that we hope for 
victory merely, not that we think we shall be 
victorious, not that as in the language of some 
earnest patriots, "We must conquer"; but rather 
I wish to say that we do conquer; we are con- 
quering, we shall conquer; and that our defeat 
is impossible. 

President Lincoln, now so deservedly hon- 
oured, when asked : "Do you think God is on our 
side?" is said to have answered: "I am more 
concerned that we should be on His side." Mr. 

248 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

Lincoln if here now could not but be pleased in 
the highest degree, as every Christian and every 
thinker ought to be, to find that beyond all ques- 
tion we are on God's side. It is no more a ques- 
tion of defeat of the allies, or of victory for the 
Central Powers. It is a question of the defeat 
of God or Satan, of the victory of Heaven or 
Hell; of the triumph of right or wrong; of the 
substantial eternity of goodness or wickedness; 
and whoever doubts what the result is sure to 
be in this case, can have no faith in anything 

We do not want victory unless we ought to 
have it. This statement may startle some of 
you who hear it, at the moment, but upon reflec- 
tion you will absolutely agree with me. If our 
victory was to make the world unhappy, if it 
was to depress and degrade, if it was to override 
right and truth and justice, if it was to enslave 
humanity; if our victory was to destroy civilisa- 
tion; if it was to remit the world to ancient 
slavery again, we would not wish it. Our prin- 
ciple is wholly different from this. Because we 
know that it is God's victory, we do want it. We 
are ready to say, "Thine, O Lord, is the victory," 
because all the victory that we want is a victory 
that could be presided over by the God and 
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by such a Deity 

Our Victory Assured , 249 

as is expressed in the character, the words, the 
spirit and the work of Jesus Christ. 

So then, we shall win this war, we and our 
allies. We are certain of it on bases broader 
than mere national boundaries. It is not a ques- 
tion of the geographical measurements of terri- 
tory; it is a question of the moral measurements 
of the universe. If this universe is under control 
of an infinitely beneficent Being, then we are 
sure to win. If the control of this universe were 
under a maleficent being, a being of evil will, 
which is unthinkable, then we might possibly be 

The forces on which we depend are more 
numerous than millions of soldiers, more power- 
ful than the greatest aggregate of numbers that 
can be put into the fight. The forces on which 
we depend are the forces of the spirit. Germany 
called Belgium's army and Britain's army "con- 
temptible;" 300,000 of the one; 250,000 of the 
other were thought to be no enemy to fear at 
all. But Germany forgot to reckon among the 
mighty forces that invincible spirit which trans- 
formed the 250,000 of Britain into 5,000,000 
within four years, and which awakened other 
millions in America and lifted up Belgium, 
France and Italy to the heights of national 
martyrdom and glory. 

250 Why Christianity Did Not Prevent the War 

We depend on constructive agencies, more 
powerful than the destructive inventions of any 
age. Chemistry, physics, gunnery, piracy, may 
all combine with the high intelligence of devilish 
ingenuity in German hands to destroy. We hold 
in the spirit and purpose of our work a con- 
structive force much greater than all these de- 
structive forces. Putting one against the other, 
we remember that the humble Cross of Calvary 
became mightier than all the armed hosts of the 
Roman Empire, which was contemporary with 
it. We depend on a Divine leadership exalted 
above all civil, military and naval commanders. 
We honour the leaders of the allied forces. We 
doubt not that among our own Americans will go 
forth men who will become renowned through 
ages for their courage, their humanity, and their 
devotion. But the Leadership on which we de- 
pend is higher than any general staff, any agen- 
cies of war, any consulting generals or military 
men. We depend on the leadership which alone 
can keep this world from utter chaos and ruin ; on 
the leadership that will uphold goodness when 
badness is destroyed, that will make love greater 
than hate, that will make brotherhood greater 
than antagonism, that will make humanity at its 
best, greater than all the ambitious and fierce self- 
ishness of the powers of the wicked. 

Our Victory Assured 251 

There is nothing visible in the realm of human 
thought that can take away our victory. So long 
as we continue to fight on God's side, as we now 
do, there is nothing conceivable that can give vic- 
tory to our enemies, excepting that we should 
become by any means as base as they, which may 
God forbid. 

Deacidified using the Bookkeeper process. 
Neutralizing agent: Magnesium Oxide 
Treatment Date: ^ ^ 



111 Thomson Park Drive 
Cranberry Township, PA 16066 
(724) 779-2111