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The question therefore is, which one of these two conceptions is to gain the victory? From what we know of human progress up to our own day, and from the fact that the majority of civilized nations have rallied round the principle of federalism, as well as from what has occurred during the war, it appears that the federalistic conception of the world's future is bound to be victorious, and that with the social labor principle it will defeat the obsolete nationalism and erect the world-state in accordance with its own ideals.

It is clear from the developments of centuries and the very trend of modern thought that the warlike Germany is doomed to vanish and a new Germany to appear and become a part of that new humanity, the final victory of which cannot be doubted by those who believe that Christ is the Redeemer of the World.

Religion and the Church After the War



HAT the world today is upon the verge of radical changes, political, economic, social and religious is the general conviction of thoughtful minds everywhere. It is evident that such a tremendous event as the great world war must be fraught with equally tremendous consequences to the fabric of civilzation. Experience warns us that subsequent to the war and as the result of its influence upon the lives of millions things can never return to their former state and hence a readjustment will be necessary all along the line. There will be another world, whether better or worse than the present cannot yet be determined, but in any event different. The hope is that the universal suffering through which the nations are now passing will find its outcome in a happier state for the future, but of this there is no certitude. Doubtless in the long run the great war will result in bringing immense benefits to humanity. It could hardly be otherwise, but as far as the immediate future is concerned, for ourselves and our own generation, we cannot be sure. Certainly the period of adjustment which will follow the war is likely to be one to try the souls of men.

The ferment which the war is causing everywhere, and which at present is finding its vent in actual fighting and in the feverish preparations which the military situation imposes, is certain, when that crisis passes, to find its outlet if not in actual violence and disorder yet in other disturbances no less critical. It is widely felt that we have yet to undergo the most trying times of all. When the millions in all lands now under arms shall return to their homes at the declaration of peace and strive to readjust themselves to the altered conditions of life many unexpected things are likely to happen. Those who have passed through the fiery crucible of war will never be as they were before. They will never be content to go back to the old ways or to submit to the old limitations. They will have imbibed new ideas, new aspirations will have seized them. They will demand new privileges and be impatient of the old conservatism and the old traditions. Possibly the changes which the war will bring to our own country will be less radical than in other lands, for we are living under a more elastic régime. Conditions are freer, opportunities are greater for the individual and class distinctions are not so marked. Yet it seems certain that in many ways life will be transformed even here. Democratic as our institutions may be deemed there is bound to be a further impetus given in this direction.

Those of the present generation are certain to find the adjustment to new conditions a difficult task, for they have been brought up and trained in other ways. The rearrangement of their lives in many instances is bound to produce hardship and perhaps in some cases even sharp suffering. The succeeding generation having known nothing else will not be thus affected. It will seem to them the natural order and they will look back upon the conditions as they prevailed before the great war with wondering eyes that we were willing to tolerate such a system. This has always been the case. The survivors of a revolutionary epoch have invariably bemoaned the break with the past and the hard necessity of fitting themselves into the new régime. They have felt that they were living in a bad and unfamiliar world. Much that they have been accustomed to

and cherished has passed away forever and left them resentful and unreconciled. It is the part of true wisdom to discount the changes which are sure to come and prepare to accept them in a cheerful spirit. The old world has gone or is going and with it has departed the scheme of life all of us have hitherto known. A new world is now in the making and we shall have to live in it whether we approve of it or not.

And what as to the prospects for religion and the Church? In view of the ferment of new ideas which may be expected to find its issue after the great war is it possible to believe that religion and the Church will experience no changes or modifications? In a period when all other institutions and customs will be subjected to an acid test to determine their fitness to survive can we hope that these, however venerable and precious, will prove exceptions to the rule? On the contrary it would seem likely that such will be among the first to pass under a searching scrutiny, to be called upon to justify their existence and to prove their worth.

For religion in the broad sense of the term there need be no fear that it will disappear. Man is a religious animal and he cannot permanently banish its ideals, promises, and restraints from his life. Though for a time he may abandon its practice and deny its necessity, yet, under the stress of his spiritual needs and the mystery of existence, he ever returns to it under some of its many forms. In its essential spirit religion is sure to remain, but not necessarily under the familiar phases. Much that was merely conventional and formal in religion will be certainly discarded though the essential ideas will be preserved.

The war with the terrible suffering which it has brought to countless innocent persons has caused, unto those exercised thereby, profound heart-searchings as to the meaning of religion and more particularly as to the accepted ideas of the divine nature and attributes. All facile explanations, all readymade theories have had to go under the fierce reality of an unparalleled catastrophe. God no longer can be thought of as an easy-going deity, a doting celestial parent, whose chief func

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tion it is to protect his children from suffering and to minister to their earthly happiness. His love is revealed, not so much as expressing a benevolent sentiment, as being an inspiring ideal and a purifying flame. If "His mercy is over all His works," that mercy is plainly exhibited in no indulgent shielding from the effects of human tyranny and suffering, but rather, in the impartation of the strength to endure and the bestowal of the spirit of heroism, discipline and self-sacrifice. What some one has called "the grandmotherly notion of God" has gone forever and we have in its place the ideal of One who is able to console because He Himself has willed to enter personally into the sphere of human experience and share to the fullest degree the lot of mankind on this material earth. In other words the only God in whom henceforth it would seem possible for reflecting persons to believe is the God and Father of the Incarnate Son, even Jesus Christ, the suffering and crucified man of Galilee. No other God will be adequate to human requirements or deemed worthy to receive the love and reverence of a grief-stricken world. The alternative to the Christian God is not some remote and absolute deity of the philosophers, or the finite god of human invention, but blank atheism with its despairing watchword, "Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die." Those who shall have passed through the fiery furnace of the war will know the naked realities of life and will be stripped of all their pleasing illusions. They will either emerge with an unwavering faith in God and in true religion, or they will have become fatalists and infidels. To which of the alternatives the majority will incline it is impossible to say.

We who cherish the Christian belief are hoping and praying that a new and stronger faith may animate the world after the war. We are looking to the younger men when they shall return to their homes to give the impulse to higher and nobler ideals of life and to take the lead in a fresh movement which shall put a new spirit into religion and lift this generation out of the rut of convention and indifference in which it has so long been sunk. The revival cannot come from us for we are the creatures of an old order and lack the initiative to strike out

into new and untried paths. Even the pressure of the war has not so far served to arouse the present generation out of its religious apathy and indifference. One would have supposed that the catastrophe the world is now facing would have forced even those who are only nominally Christian to seek for consolation and succor in the great Source whence these things proceed; but judging from superficial evidence, such as attendance at the Church services, there is no slightest movement in this direction. Perhaps the small minority of sincerely devoted Christians may have undergone a chastening of the spirit, but as far as the vast majority is concerned there is no sign as yet of an awakened interest in fundamental religion. "Business and pleasure as usual" seems to be the prevailing sentiment. In the presence of the most tremendous crisis in the world's history one looks in vain for any evidence of a genuine spiritual awakening or for the consciousness of a desperate need of divine succor. As it was in the days of Lot when they did eat and drink, bought and sold, planted and builded, until the day came when Sodom was destroyed with the rain of fire and brimstone, even so it would seem to be with this generation. But perhaps before the crisis passes, when the days of lamentation and mourning shall arrive for the multitudes who shall never return, the reaction we are looking for may come.

As with religion, so with its outward embodiment in the Church. We cannot doubt that there will be great changes in the ecclesiastical structure following the war. While the Church in its essential features will remain, great and needed reforms will surely take place. For one thing, like all other institutions, it will have to become more democratic if it is to grow and prosper under the new order. The ancient foundations will remain, but the accretions and accidents will have to go. The new age will demand unity and simplicity. There will be no room for unessentials or merely decorative doctrines and practices. The demand will be for reality unencumbered with mere traditional glosses. The Church must furnish a true religious home for the plain people, a body of doctrine which will satisfy the spiritual needs of the way-faring man.

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