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Christianity began as a democracy of equal souls in the kingdom of God. And in democracy lies the peace of the world. It is not-it never has been democracies that originate wars of aggrandizement or of dominion. Mr. Wilson has seen this: "Great democracies are not belligerent. They do not seek or desire war. Their thought is of individual liberty and of the free labour that supports life and the uncensored thought that quickens it.” World democracy means world peace, thinks the President, and therefore he puts it as one of the chief aims of this war. But again, democracy is a moral aim. And the desire to win it for the whole world is an act of service, which is a Christian act.
2. We have entered upon this war, says the President, to secure "the right of those who submit to authority to have a voice in their own government.” Here again we have a moral aim. We are fighting not for territory, not for revenge, but to insure for other peoples than ourselves the right to say what course their nation shall pursue in the common life of the world. The President assumes, and, we believe rightly, that were it left to the people of any nation to determine the nation's policy, they would not vote for aggrandizement, for expansion at the cost of war, or for the despoliation of other peoples.
3. “We shall fight . .. for the rights and liberties of small nations,” says Mr. Wilson in his address of April 2, 1917. And he has said it many times. Here again the United States has set before
it a moral aim. We are to make untold sacrifices not for ourselves but for the right of the small and weak nations of the earth to live their own lives without fear of dictation, domination or invasion. They must no longer be mere pawns to be moved about the map as suits the purposes of great and ambitious powers. Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, they are peace-loving nations, and they have the right to pursue their own happy lives without fear or interference. "America seeks no material profit or aggrandizement of any kind. She is fighting for no advantage or selfish objects of her own, but for the liberation of peoples everywhere from the aggressions of autocratic force."
4. In almost every address which Mr. Wilson has made during the last year he has put as the great objective of the war a league of nations pledged to settle its own disputes by peaceful methods and committed, through its united power, to preserve the peace of the world. "We shall fight ... for a universal dominion of right by such a concert of free peoples as shall bring peace and safety to all nations and make the world itself at last free.” (The many utterances of the President to this effect have been collated in Appendix III.) This is simply brotherhood, co-operation, good-will, mutual service, the common life, applied to nations as Christianity has applied them to individuals from the beginning. It is putting the kingdom of righteousness above the selfishness of nationalism. It is the realizing of "each for all, and all for each” in the realm of nations as we have long since realized it among men within the nation. It is establishing a democracy of nations similar to the democracy of men. It is a great, sublime, moral aim.
5. Finally the President has declared that we have entered upon this war to secure a Christian standard of conduct between nations similar to that which obtains among good men. It has not been so in the past. We have had a double standard of ethics, Christian for individuals, pagan for nations. We have said it was wrong for men to steal from each other, but permissible for nations; wrong for men to kill each other, but permissible for the mighty nation to destroy the weaker nation; wrong for men to settle their disputes by guns and swords, right for nations; wrong for men to seek revenge, the natural thing for nations. We have condemned the man who lives for self alone, for his rights alone, and we have called that man a knave who would seek his rights at the cost of the community's suffering, but we have expected nations to live for self and to plunge the whole world into misery to vindicate their own rights or honour. We have called the man who served most the great man; we have called the nation which could get the most, by any means, the great nation. All this must be changed, says the President. The nations must observe the same Christian rule of conduct that men observe in their relations with each other. In other words,
we find the President applying the gospel to nations. When was there ever before a ruler who used such words as these: "We are at the beginning of an age in which it will be insisted that the same standards of conduct and of responsibility for wrong done shall be observed among nations and their governments that are observed among the individual citizens of civilized states." "It is clear that nations must in the future be governed by the same high code of honour that we demand of individuals."
PRESIDENT WILSON'S IDEAL FOR
TN Appendix VI we have brought together thirty
four utterances of President Wilson, chosen
from almost as many addresses, on the ideals he cherishes for America. We believe that we run no risk of contradiction when we say that in no collection of utterances on national ideals by any ruler of past or present times could any such selection as this be made. As Mr. Wilson himself has said in one of his addresses: “It is an unprecedented thing in the world that any nation in determining its foreign relations should be unselfish, and my ambition is to see America set the great example." But in every utterance of Mr. Wilson the ideals for America are as unselfish as those that the finest Christian gentleman would set for himself. The American people seem to be just realizing to how high a pitch the President is raising these national ideals. Some are even beginning to get frightened, for there are many individuals who are not as unselfish as Mr. Wilson wishes to have the nation become. He is demanding that the nation act in a