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and fully to have entered the human stage of development."
The second force at work in the world leading men to a spiritual view of life is the teachings of the New Testament as leaven in society. In England it issued in the Magna Charta; in France it became a passion for Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity; in the United States of America it appeared as American Idealism. In a previous chapter we indicated the nature of this idealism, which is the growth of the ideals of justice, morality, benevolence, liberty and love in the individuals, as exemplified in the character and teachings of Jesus, and the firm belief that these same ideals can be made the governing principles of nations in their relations one to another. In spite of her rapid growth in material possessions and in political power America has refused to surrender her ideals to lust for wealth and territorial conquest. The philosophy of brute force has gone down under a vital idealism.
The events of the world war are changing profoundly our view of life. A complete analysis of the facts involved will be impossible for years; we can present only a few :
(a) Drunk with conscious power, Germany turned from commercial efficiency and intellectual conquest to a colossal organization of brute force and frightfulness. The result was one horrible, lurid day and then the bitter night of defeat. The truth is, that autocratic Germany, the logical creation of the philosophy of survival by force, was defending her existence against the assaults of democratic ideas from without and from within. The issue was clear to all thinking Germans; it was either survival through world domination by physical force, or the passing of autocracy into the limbo of extinct species.
(b) The gradual emerging of the issues from a petty inter-European quarrel to a spiritual plane, when for the first time in history a nation was summoned to the bar of international conscience and indicted on moral grounds for going to war, is a fact of immense moral and spiritual significance. To this should be added the further fact of the rapid unification of American thought and life and the willingness of the American people to make limitless sacrifice of men and money in behalf of a long cherished Christian ideal.
(c) A third fact worthy of note was the gradual emerging from the conflict of the inherent rights of small nations and the duty and obligations of the strong toward the weak as a governing principle in social development. Contrast the attitude of America and Germany as revealed in the conversation between the Hon. Henry Morganthau, the American representative, and Herr Wagenheim, the German representative at Constantinople.
“We again discussed the Armenian deportation,” writes Mr. Morganthau in the World's Work.
“Germany is not responsible for this,” Wagenheim said.
sanitary train and a multitude of volunteer workers actuated only by philanthropic motives and then contemplate the tragedy.
(e) In the winning of the war, the principle of coöperation has completely replaced competition. The law of national and moral survival has compelled this radical shift and society will never again return to the old competitive system.
(f) One more outstanding fact in connection with the war compels serious consideration, namely, the absolute dependence of the nation upon prayer. Instinctively, all of the governments and people and soldiers sensed the fact that the contending forces were spiritual and that therefore the help of the Deity was essential to victory. Germany cried to her war god to bare his bloody and revenging arm; Turkey implored her heartless Allah, while the Allied nations, in humiliation, sought Divine aid and asked for the conscious presence in their midst of the holy, conquering Christ. Think you that God could hear a ruler who would call upon Him after issuing the following command, "Everything must be put to fire and sword; men, women, and children and the aged must be slaughtered and no tree or house be left standing." Here is a self-confessed criminal whose rank offense smells to heaven. It is a blot on the escutcheon of Germany that will not out in a thousand years.
This incontrovertible fact protrudes itself! In the greatest crisis of the world's progress, both contending forces sought survival, not in physical force alone, but in the conscious penetration of the human by the Divine Power. God proved Himself to be on the side of right and to be victorious, and because of this the world's development enters upon a new epoch.
Thus modified, the hypothesis of evolution becomes a vastly different thing than it is in the hands of the German materialist. What physical energy is to the world of matter, that religion is to the world of the soul. Both function through the operation of law and are not in any conflict except through misinterpretation or misuse. Evolution is not the extension of natural law into the spiritual world, but exactly the reverse. The ascendancy over natural law by spiritual law as a means of human progress finds its highest form of expression in the law of personality, therefore we are compelled to predicate a self-contained, creative person as the primary and determining force in evolution. This person we know and adore as God, and that which we know as evolution is simply God's way of working
The conclusion of all of our thought thus far is that the most colossal war of all times was but a lurid, ghastly phase in the conflict between two forces each contending for the entire control of world progress. The one is the materialistic theory of evolution as expounded, organized and applied by German “Kultur.” This system of thought includes not only a theory of society but the dethronement of Christianity and the substitution of a new religion, Teutonic in its conception and aim. The other spiritual force at work in the world is the theory of an all-controlling personality revealed to men in the person of Christ and known as Christianity. Into one or the other of these two philosophies of life all the problems of the human soul and of society must be brought for reconciliation and final solution. In the defeat of the German army, Christian Idealism has won a great victory, but what of the future? As we have already said, the conflict has again been transferred from the field of battle to the arena of intellectual and social re-building. Who will triumph here? Will it be Selfishness or Sacrifice, Berlin or Bethlehem, Crosus or Christ?