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hold its own in the world. People cannot arouse any great amount of enthusiasm over a world court or any cold scheme of organization. They need something which will give a sanctity to the movement, even as the flag stands for our country and helps to stimulate and support the instinct of patriotism. The international organization will need something which will exalt it above all local patriotisms. Here the church can render indispensable aid.
(6) The church can put a spirit into the international organization without which it will fail. Nothing is more significant than the fact that Sir Edward Carson and Sir Frederick Smith and other speakers, who have recently discussed the project of a League of Nations, declare that the idea can never be put into successful operation without a very great extension of goodwill between nations. That is the peculiar function of the church.
(c) The church can impart faith which is vital to the success of this movement. The great obstacle at present in the way of a League of Nations is the fact that people call it impracticable or Utopian. Many are saying “it is almost hopeless to try to establish a League of Nations, and yet there is no hope unless we can establish it.” Now Christ came into human life to be the author and finisher of faith. It is the peculiar function of his church to infuse faith, the faith that can move mountains, into just such undertakings as this. The Christian church
should welcome the opportunity to show that things that are impossible with men are possible with God.
2. The second main reason why the church should be vitally interested in the movement to establish a League of Nations is that the church will find itself in this movement.
It is painfully evident that the church at present is not sure of itself, its function, its place, its power. To throw its energies into the movement for a League of Nations would help greatly.
(a) As has been said, it would afford a chance for the church to develop and show a strong, living, practical faith. The church has suffered for lack of objects at once practical and daring. Such an object is here afforded.
(6) Most important of all, this movement affords the church an opportunity to recover its interna tional character. Time was when the church was an international organization. Say what we may in criticism of the church in the Middle Ages, there was this magnificent fact about it, that it was a supra-national organization calling for a loyalty greater than that paid to any separate nation or state. With all its immense gains, the Reformation brought one serious loss to Christianity, it split the church into separate bodies divided along national and social lines. Protestant Christianity has largely lost its consciousness of an international or supranational character. Yet there has always lingered in the hearts of Christians a consciousness that the
church ought to transcend the bounds of nationalty. Christians all over the world were shocked when the German church leaders at the outbreak of the war stood blindly for the national cause. The hesitancy of churchmen in America to speak sharply and decisively on the moral issues of the war, when it broke out, was largely due to a consciousness that the church should stand as an international fellowship. What a marvellous opportunity is afforded to the church to recover its international character through linking its life to an international organization to which it may give something of the sanctity attaching to the idea of the Kingdom of God. Christianity would recover some of its lost articulateness through uniting its fortunes with the cause of international organization.
There are immense and weighty considerations in favour of the establishment of a League of Nations which appeal to us as citizens of America and of the world. It seems to be the only ground for hope of a durable peace. We should determine to fight on unflinchingly until the issue has been fought out between isolation and co-operation, between the waning cause of nationalism and the waxing cause of internationalism. The outcome of the war must be world organization. But above and beyond these considerations are the reasons which appeal to the Christian church. The League of Nations holds the promise of the future for Christianity. Through it once more will be realized the ideal so finely stated
in an anonymous writing of the second century of the Christian era, “As the soul holds the body together, so Christians hold the world together. God has assigned them this illustrious position, which it were unlawful for them to forsake.”