Слике страница
PDF
ePub

course be made to make reparation just as an individual who burglarizes is always forced to do.

As to five and six, no comment is necessary. The whole world is fast turning to that conclusion, and we doubt if it will need any urging by the time this war closes. But, while the Allied nations are saying this more and more, they must be sure that they themselves remember it after the war. For they have all sinned here, as well as has Germany. This war must see the end of “subject races."

VI

A LEAGUE OF NATIONS

By REV JOHN CLIFFORD, D.D., LL.D., OF LONDON

E

VERY day of 1917 lifted to view the urgent necessity of a League of Nations, a league

framed to secure and to maintain as far as possible to our fractious human nature the permanent peace of the politically organized peoples of the earth.

It is not the first time men have been stirred by that divine vision. In the faraway ages of the world the Greeks felt the charm of it, and framed their councils to give it an operative place in the life and action of their conflicting States—not, we regret to say, with conspicuous success. Prophets and righteous men of the Hebrew race longed to create a Tribunal which should make wars to cease from the rivers to the end of the earth, but they died without setting it at work. Again and again in the Christian centuries our troubled fellows have attempted the colossal task of “ingeminating peace" amongst the warring tribes of the world; but the desire has never before been so strong, or the deter

mination so fullblooded, or the prospect so bright as now, of casting out war, once and for ever, from the commonwealths of the world.

Surely war has to go. Slavery as an institution has gone, never to return. Duelling has gone from the practice of deeply and sanely cultured nations, although it lingers in Germany, along with other brutalities, and war, a relic of the state of savagery, though it has suddenly pounced upon the civilized world from its Prussian den like a tiger thirsting for blood, is doomed to destruction. We used to say so—at least every Christmas before 1914, when we joined in the angel song of "peace on earth toward men of good will”; but now we have a million more reasons for unrelenting hate of war and inflexible will to get rid of it.

"War" a “biological necessity'? Never! It is peace which is life, and life for evermore. The soul of the world can grow broad and strong and pure only in an atmosphere of peace. “War the healing medicine for nations?" Impossible! It is their death. Already it has smitten with paralysis the moral life of the people who prepared through thirty years for this Armageddon, and then plunged the whole world into its abysses. It is written in the annals of the ages that the people are "scattered who delight in war.”

The fact is, the Ideal Peace and the Ideal Right are one. They are not in conflict; they are necessary parts of the same whole, and dwell together in

Him who is at the same time King of Righteousness and King of Peace, and are destined to dwell together in His Kingdom. That ideal of the righteous peace is our ultimate objective in this war. That goal is clear. We know what we seek, and for what we are fighting; but the road to the goal is hidden, and alas, at present we have to travel through a river of blood and death, so that we may arrive on the shores of a peace permanent as the everlasting hills and beneficent as the sunshine of God.

It is for the sake of securing this peace and creating a League of Nations to guard it from attack, and to make it abiding, that President Wilson has brought the United States over to the side of the Allies. He insists at all times that "America has no grievance of her own"; that they “came into the war because they are the servants of mankind, and will not accept any advantage from it.” They seek “the peace of the world in and through righteousness.' To the President that is the alpha and omega of the situation, the end of ends. To attain that coveted goal he is devoting his masterly genius for statesmanship, his strong sense of justice, his broad democratic sympathies, his love of humanity, and the inexhaustible resources of the great Republic.

In like manner Mr. Asquith declares that such a League has been one of our aims from the beginning, and he speaks with authority, for on him, along with Viscount Grey, rests the responsibility

of calling us to take our place in defence of the soul and the soil of wronged and invaded Belgium.

Mr. Lloyd George goes further, and sees in what has been recently achieved in France the setting up of a “complete machine for dealing not merely with military and naval matters, but also with the financial, economic, shipping and other affairs essential to the life of the nation.” “This,” he adds, "will have a greater effect on international relations than anyone can imagine at this particular moment.'

British Labour, with one mighty voice, affirmed the urgent necessity for creating such a “SuperNational Authority.”

Representatives of other countries have spoken to the same effect, if not with the same strength and coherence, so that it is the manifest intention of the leaders of the peoples to get a League of Nations established, and assuredly it is the fixed determination of the people in America and on the Continent not to rest until they get it. That is the beatific vision of the largest and best part of mankind. That is the clearly revealed purpose of God for the world. That is His plan for humanity's future, and it is ours to carry it out in the best way we can.

For the new era in our international life can only be established on a basis that distinctly and completely excludes all causes of war. War is an effect, and there is only one way of preventing it, and that is by getting at the roots of the causes and destroying them. Men of good will in all lands, chosen

« ПретходнаНастави »