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cause permeated the life of all the youth from about twelve years and upward. The Church faces a grave danger. What if this deep stirring of the soul is allowed to die down without any fine moral or religious expression? Not only will the cause of Christ suffer a great loss but a culpable wrong will have been committed toward these young people by the sin of omission. It is the plain moral duty of the Church, through the work of religious education, to present a program that will be the moral equivalent of war and which will make possible the finest fight of all.
When but twenty-eight years old, Jesus faced the world with the ideal of a new social order, the Kingdom of God. On every hand He found obstacles and enemies. There was lust and misery typified in commercialized, voluptuous Capernaum; there was Ecclesiastical bigotry, hypocrisy, and covetousness intrenched in Jerusalem; there was militarism, cruel and arrogant, crowding the citadels of Cæsarea; there was poverty, disease, sin, and social injustice in every village. Truth was uttered with a question mark; sympathy, charity, and justice were strangers in a strange land; the Church had no moral dynamic, no burning passion, no great hope. The people were as sheep without a shepherd and immorality arose like a miasma from some putrid swamp until men, satiated with their own lust, found life a living hell. Into this world Jesus planted His beautiful ideal; made articulate the spiritual aspirations of the multitude; imparted
His passion to a few disciples; and then gave His life for His convictions. Men crucified Him for blasphemy and sedition; but He of His own volition gave His life for the great spiritual vision that consumed His soul. Today Jesus calls on men to face the same world and live and die for the building of the same ideal kingdom. As was the case at Chateau-Thierry and the Argonne Forest, so here, there is good fighting all along the line. If the Church will outline a clear-cut ethical program for the rebuilding of society and announce it with uncompromising conviction and assume definite and distinct leadership, men will follow that leadership through death.
Before sketching the outline of a Christian pro gram worth fighting for, emphasis needs to be placed upon three facts:
1. Young men and women should be taught the value of the victories of peace. It was Milton who said, “There are victories in peace no less renowned than victories of war.” The life-long fight of Colonel Roosevelt for political righteousness appeals to the imagination and challenges one's courage and loyalty far more than his experience as commander of the Rough Riders. David Livingstone dying alone in the heart of Africa that an accursed slave trade might be abolished and a continent brought under the sway of Christ, will stand far higher in the final scale of values than the brilliant, but characterless career of Napoleon. The genius, the courage, and the fortitude of Frances Willard in her fight for temperance achieved a victory that places her among the commanding personalities of history. The conquests of peace are often quite as dramatic as those of war and they challenge one's faith, one's sense of loyalty to duty, one's courage and love for sacrifice even more than does the crash of battle.
2. The second fact which needs to be set forth clearly is that any fight for community betterment and the uplift of mankind outside of the direct control and leadership of the Church is just as much a part of the program of Christ as though Church authorities were directly responsible for it. A false distinction has been made at this point which has wrought much damage. Ministers have often been put to their wit's end to find something for the young men and women in the Church to do just because they are unable to take this broader view of what really is Church work. Another result of this shortsided attitude of some ministers is that men become alienated from the Church in the very act of doing the work of the Church. A group of women who, working independently, seek to transform the home life of a desolate community should be given more credit for doing the work of the Church than the Needle Guild which makes an altar cloth. A young man who helps promote a week-night Bible class in a Y. M. C. A. should be made to feel that he is helping the Church quite as much as when he takes up the collection on Sunday evening. The Church officer who spends his
Wednesday evenings fighting the political boss for a cleaner city is a better Church member than the deacon who takes a weekly nap in prayer-meeting and lets the city government become rotten and offensive. The work of Jacob Reis in New York City and of the Earl of Shaftsbury, in London, is just as vital a part of the Christian program as though these men had been working under direct Ecclesiastical control.
3. The third fact is that the Christian program is essentially constructive. Men should, therefore, fight constructively as well as destructively. Sometimes the best way to destroy an evil thing is to build a good thing along side of it. Moreover, many bad things are built up around an essential need in human life and, in destroying the evil, men should make provision for meetitng the need left standing
The Fight for Food and Health.—When man began to subdue the earth and have dominion over it and lay the foundation for civilization he had to fight two arch enemies, famine and disease. Human progress and happiness are bound up with the conquest of these two foes. Yet who will say that they have been conquered.
Gaunt famine stalks abroad numbering its victims by the thousand and all Europe is convulsed because of the problems of land distribution, unfair and unstabilized food production. America must feed the whole world for some time to come. To get the land back into the hands of the people and make intensive, scientific farming possible; to protect the farmer and the consumer against the profiteer; to solve the problem of food distribution, waste, adulteration, and pure milk; to reconstruct country life about the Church, the school and the grange in such a way that it will be healthy, happy, cultured, and advantageous, producing that peculiar type of virile leadership which must ever come from life in the open air; all of this is to confront the young leadership of America with a superb moral and religious challenge.
Dread disease and epidemic still claims its victims. The contact of British soldiers with life in the Far East and the presence in Europe of two millions of our young men may mean the introduction into Western civilization of destructive diseases as yet little dreamed of. To fight disease and the cause of disease, to labor for better sanitation, and marriage laws, better housing and working conditions, better play facilities for children, and the elimination of fear, all of which directly affect health, in short to go about healing the sick is to do just what Jesus did.
The Fight Against Intemperance and Social Vice.-These two evils have slain more people than pestilence, famine, and war combined. This is perhaps a startling statement but it will bear investigation. When the truth is fully known it will be seen that the combined liquor interests of the world came perilously near causing the defeat of the Allied armies. The passing of the National Prohibi