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I shall now introduce to you, as the last speaker of the evening, a man who has the gift of clear statement beyond almost any man in the United States. I have pleasure in presenting Dr. Lyman Abbott.
DR. LYMAN ABBOTT:
MR. CHAIRMAN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: I believe that aerial navigators find their most difficult and dangerous moments when they are descending to the ground, to give those that have taken the trip with them safe exit. It must be, I think, because it is believed that I can bring you to the ground in safety from the flights of eloquence which you have enjoyed that I am asked to make the closing speech to-night. I take for my text the question which our President gave us in the very opening. It is this: "Is this picture of the parliament of the world, a dream of dreamers or a vision of prophets?" I believe it is a vision of the prophets and that we are nearer the consummation of that vision than most of us think. It is simply to state the reasons for that belief, as well as I can in ten minutes, that I have consented to occupy this platform.
The primal cell from which all social organism comes is the family. It is an industrial organization, and is based upon co-operation, and not upon greed or competition. Difficulties arise in these families, but they are not settled in respectable families by war,-not even by arbitration,—but by conciliation. In this family there is a public opinion which finds its expression in family conferences, and its chief executive in the father who is the head of it. In time these families are united in tribes, and the same triple bond of industry, of justice and of public opinion holds the family together in a tribe, but does not operate outside of the tribe. Then several tribes come in time to be combined in a province or principality, and within the province or principality, as within the tribe, the same triple bond operates, but not outside of it. By and by the provinces or principalities come to be combined in a nation. Perhaps the most striking illustration of that in history is our own thirteen colonies united in one federal republic, bound together by this triple cordcommerce, without any hindrance by the States, law expressed by the Supreme Court over all the States, and public opinion finding its organic expression in the Congress of the States. Families
have been brought together in the tribe, and the tribes in the province, and the province in the nation, and why not nations in a world? For what is our history, has been the history of every other nation, in form different, but in spirit essentially the same. The Anglo-Saxon kingdoms have been united in Great Britain, the warring provinces of France in the kingdom of France, the petty provinces of Germany in the great empire of Germany, the hostile provinces of Italy in a free and united Italy. Why should this process stop? Why not carry it on? We are met in this Congress not simply to find some way to ameliorate the horrors of war, not simply to provide new regulations of war, not to lighten the war taxes, not to lessen the number of wars, not to devise some method by which sporadic and exceptional cases of difficulty between nations may be submitted to peaceful arbitration. We are engaged in this Congress-and in a little while some of our fellow-citizens will be engaged in that larger Conference at The Hague-in carrying on this gradual process of organization to its legitimate, necessary and logical conclusion.
What does this mean? It means a commerce that will be a bond of union, not a method of separation; a commerce that will not be war; a commerce that will not lead to bloody wars; a commerce whose watchword will be co-operation, not competition, or co-operation in service and competition only in ambition to render the largest service; a commerce in which every nation will recognize what to-day every merchant recognizes, that a good bargain is beneficial to both parties to it; a commerce in which we shall hear a great deal less than we hear now about the balance of trade being in favor of one nation and against another nation; a commerce which will eventually take down the barriers between the different nations of the world, as it has taken down the barriers between different principalities and different kingdoms of the nation, and will make of the nations of the world one great free trading combination. It means law for the settling of the difficulties that will arise in the family of nations. It means a Supreme Court of the nations whose writ will run through the world, as the writ of the King's Bench runs through all Great Britain, as the writ of the Supreme Court of the United States runs through the United States; it means the fulfilment of the prophecy of that ancient Hebrew prophet
who did not merely see the time when men would beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning-hooks, but who saw the time when law should grow out of Zion, when the voice of God, speaking through humanity, should have all the force in it that would be necessary, because there would be a universal consciousness in man that would answer to it-therefore the plough would take the place of the sword in the world. It means an organized public opinion. It means the coming of the time when America will regard the contempt with which the civilized world looks upon its lynchings; when Russia will regard the horror with which the civilized world looks upon assassination, whether practised by bureaucracy or autocracy; when Turkey will hear and feel the heartbeat of humanity; when the public opinion of every nation will be felt in every other nation; and when that public opinion will find its expression in a permanent Hague Conference speaking for the world, as the Parliament speaks for England, as the Chamber of Deputies speaks for France, and as the Congress of the United States speaks for America.
We are perhaps nearer this consummation than even the prophetic souls of our time imagine. Events move swiftly; and many concurrent events have, during the last century and a half, led onward toward this world federation. Electricity has brought all civilized peoples within speaking distance of one another; steam has made easy the material interchange of the products of their industry. On this side of the Atlantic thirteen feeble colonies have grown into a Republic which embraces half a continent, and a Pan-American Union is bringing the Republics of both continents into closer relations. Across the sea petty German principalities have been formed into a German Empire, and hostile Italian provinces into a Kingdom of Italy. Autocracy has been supplanted in all western Europe by popular representative governments. Japan has thrown off feudalism and adopted free institutions, and a hitherto amorphous China has begun to grow into a vertebrate nation. International law has passed from a vague aspiration to a custom possessing a real, though undefined authority. A Postal Union, an Agricultural Union, an Interparliamentary Union, have all been organized for conference of the nations on their common interests. International arbitration has been substituted for war in an increasing number of
cases, and cases of increasing importance. An International Tribunal has been formed, with the approval of all the civilized nations, to which they may if they will submit the justice of their respective claims whenever difficulties arise between them. A Conference of the Nations is this summer to be held to consider, among other questions, this: How can this Tribunal be made efficient, not merely, not even mainly, to prevent war, but to promote and to secure justice among the nations of the earth? And finally, religious faith is growing into unity, not of creed, not of ritual, but of service and of sacrifice, a religious creed making the people who a century and a half ago were fighting one another, and were persecuting one another, unite in such a Congress as this,-Jew, Roman Catholic, Protestant, Believer and Agnostic, in a common effort to bring Peace on earth and good-will to mankind. That is what a century and a half has accomplished!
We are not here to cry "Peace, Peace," when there is no Peace. We are not here to amuse ourselves with an ideal vision that has no reality. We are here to push forward to its splendid consummation that long process of human history which has united families into tribes, and tribes into provinces, and provinces into nations, and our children will live to see the time, my grandchildren, your children,-when the nations of the earth will be bound together by this triple cord-an unrestricted commerce, international law, and organized public opinion: a commerce the inspiration of which will be mutual service, the object of which will be the common welfare; international law interpreted by an international tribunal which will substitute in all differences between nations the appeal to conscience for the appeal to force; organized public opinion expressing itself through a parliament or congress of the nations which will speak for the thought and the will of the civilized peoples of the globe. If we read aright the history of the past and the signs of the present, we are nearing the consummation of history in the organization of a hitherto unorganized world. (Applause.)
Unless this company wants to begin all over again, this meeting is now adjourned.
Religious and Ethical Societies
Meeting of Religious and Ethical Societies in the Broadway Tabernacle Church, Sunday afternoon, at 3:30, preliminary to the opening of the Congress, Rev. Frederick Lynch presiding.
This was a remarkable gathering. The great church was packed to the doors. The Chairman's address dealt with the growth of the brotherhood ideal and its hopeful augury for the new spirit of internationalism rapidly spreading over the world. He said that it was not only because certain things needed to be done that this great Congress had been called, but also because the leaders of the world's progress believed that the time had come when they could be done. The Congress hoped to put in motion new movements that would soon grow into action to secure the peace of the world. Toward the accomplishment of this nothing can wield a stronger influence than the church.
Dr. Newell Dwight Hillis was the next speaker and spoke on the Moral Damage of War. He was followed by Rabbi Joseph Silverman, D.D., who said the ages had been sleeping morally-it was time now to awake and be such men as the prophets foretold should people the earth.
The last speaker was W. T. Stead, of London, editor of the Review of Reviews. Mr. Stead told the story of his pilgrimage to the courts of Europe-a wonderful story. He spoke of the signs of promise in Europe, of the vague spirit slowly assuming shape, of the growth of international conscience, of the new internationalism, of the shame that the church was not more outspoken-not leading, as she should, in this great move
A conference of student delegates representing a large number of colleges and universities was held on Tuesday morning, April 16, at 10:30, in Earl Hall, Columbia University, under the auspices of the Columbia University Arbitration Society (a student organization).