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strate their own power.
Blind natural law controls the actions of savage hordes, of states, and of societies."
This utter disregard for the sanctity of human personality, this double standard of morals could not help but lead to disastrous consequences. The philosophy of brute force became the basis of the whole program of German autocracy for world domination.
“The essence of the state,” says Treitschke, "consists in this that it can suffer no higher power above itself.
Every state will for its own sake, in a certain respect, limit its sovereignty by treaties. . . . Every treaty is a voluntary limitation of the individual power, and all international treaties are written with the stipulation: rebus sic stanibus (matters remaining as they are). The state has no higher judge above it and will therefore conclude all its treaties with that silent reservation. Every state has as sovereign the undoubted right to declare war when it chooses; consequently every state is in the position of being able to cancel its treaties."
“States do not arise out of the people's sovereignty but they are created against the will of the people. The state is the power of the stronger race which establishes itself. ... Only in war does a nation become a nation."
“The Christian duty of self-sacrifice for something higher has no existence whatever for the state because there is nothing whatever beyond it in
world-history." "Self-sacrifice for a foreign nation is not only not moral but it contradicts the idea of self-preservation, which is the highest thing for the state.” “Of all political sins that of weakness is the most reprehensible and the most contemptible; it is in politics the sin against the Holy Ghost."
But this theory of society went far deeper into the social structure. It was seized upon by greedy capitalists who, unwilling to do violence to their consciences when acting as individuals, organized themselves into combinations without soul, and so felt free to crush competitors. It became the philosophic basis of Marxian socialism. A thoughtful student of social and industrial problem, after eleven months spent in the heart of the Russian Revolution, made the statement that Bolshevism was based upon the teachings of Carl Marx, and aimed at the total destruction of the present social and political order and the survival of the physically and brutally strong. A refugee from Moscow gives an account of the terrible conditions in the old Russian capital, which has lost half of its population. “There is no illumination after dusk. For the living cleanliness is growing impossible. Children are facing famine and many are drifting toward blindness. Many of the churches are closed, the clergy having been seized and imprisoned and a number murdered for preaching against the Trotsky régime. As a punishment for these unfavorable sermons, Trotsky has decreed the suppression of religious rites for the dead, who frequently are stripped and thrown into a trench.
“A number of monuments have been erected. They are made of stucco and look like stone. Robespierre has his statue. Karl Marx and Engels stand with their hands on each other's shoulders. Kolaieff, the assassin of Grand Duke Sergius, also has a monument.”
In America the theory appeared in the form of a defense of an unchecked competitive system of industry and commerce, in conscienceless combinations of capital, in that type of Socialism best represented by the principles of the St. Louis platform and in the barbarous movement known as the I. W. W. These are some of the forces that are back of the great social upheaval into which the world is being drawn, a revolution from which there is no escape. They all have their roots in the same theory of life, the survival of the brutally strong, and to this theory of life Christianity is uncompromisingly opposed.
It is a significant fact that while all these movements are antagonistic to Christianity, they have incorporated religion as a fundamental element in their system and aim. Hence they have, each in their way, built up their own idea of God and have appropriated and twisted to meet their own ends the teachings of Jesus. We would do well in all of our thinking to keep in mind the fact that some kind of a religious motive underlies and animates all of these movements. We quote a single statement along this line from Professor A. Deissmann, one of the foremost scholars in Germany today.
“The German God is not only the theme of some of our poets and prophets, but also a historian like Max Lenz has, with fiery tongue and in deep thankfulness, borne witness to the revelation of the German God in our holy war. The German, the national, God! ... Has war in this case impaired, or has it steeled religion? I say it has steeled it.
This is no relapse to a lower level, but a mounting up to God Himself.”
Here is an astounding effort to make organic evolution as interpreted by Germany justify the reversion to the tribal conception of a war God engaged in behalf of a holy war. Do not let us be misled in this matter. With all the energy of my soul, I want to urge upon the Allied Governments the fact that the military defeat of Germany did not end the conflict; it simply transferred it to the arena of intellectual and spiritual life, there to seek new forms and methods of conquest. What further proof of this do we need than these words from H. S. Chamberlain?
“Germany—of this I am convinced-may in less than two centuries succeed in dominating (beherrschen) the whole globe (Erdkugel), in part directly and politically, in part indirectly, through language, methods and Kultur, if only it can in time strike out a 'new course,' and definitely break with Anglo-American methods of government, and with the State-destroying ideals of the Revolution.”
If after the past four years of horror and agony, we are again caught napping, God pity us, we will deserve defeat. We must awake to the startling fact that "our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Democracy is fighting a hydro-headed, spiritual foe, and we must fight it with spiritual weapons and upon a vast scale. "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." Why should we continue to minimize or cramp the sweep of the Apostle's mind as he leads us to the threshold of a generalization so vast and vital that it gathers within its scope all of the conflicting problems that press upon the souls of men individually and collectively considered, thus reconciling all to God through the love that is in Christ Jesus. As there is but one true science of the universe, so there can be but one true religion, and the events of the past two thousand years lead conclusively to the opinion that Christianity is that true religion. Christianity must then furnish the world with a philosophy of life which will be broad and deep and vital enough to include all of the problems with which men are confronted and solve them. In all of the groaning and the travail of creation's struggle toward the freedom of the sons of God, we must find Christ.