At length, not from the acts of the Israelites, but from the plagues that afflicted the Egyptians and the insistent demand of Moses, coupled with the belief that the plagues were sent on account of divine displeasure, as a punishment for unjust oppression, the Hebrews were enabled to escape. What is the contemporary Egyptian testimony regarding the plagues? (Hist. Bible I, 176-7.) Do the earliest Hebrew records imply that these were miracles or natural calamities peculiar to the land of Egypt? The statesmanship of Moses led him to seize the opportune time for freeing his people from bondage. Only the influence of the religious sentiments among his people and their belief in Jehovah together with the religious awe felt by the Egyptian rulers, enabled him to take advantage of the circumstances so that he could rescue his people. In most countries religion is a powerful influence often made use of by rulers, sometimes for good, sometimes for ill, to direct the action of their subjects. The Greek church in Russia has for many decades been, perhaps, the most important weapon by which the Russian Czars have kept their people in peaceful submission. If China loses her Mongolian provinces, it will be because the religious leaders of Mongolia are controlling their people. Can you give in the United States an example of a people largely dominated by the religious motive which controls most of the affairs of their every-day life? How far was the religious motive responsible for the settlement and upbuilding of the New England Colonies? How far and in what ways may a statesman to-day appeal to the moral and religious feelings of the people in order to promote national and international welfare?
THE TRAINING OF MODERN STATESMEN.
In training administrative officers in the leading countries of Europe and in the United States, emphasis is laid upon a knowledge of history, of constitutional, administrative and international law, politics, economics, diplomacy and any other subjects that may fall within the scope of action of the special official. When, however, a law-maker or a high administrative official deals at first hand with a great population, it is extremely important that he be so experienced and so fitted by temperament that he may know his people. He must see how far he can go without arousing too much opposition. Even in promoting good measures, it is often essential not to go too fast, if he is to succeed.
Every statesman of modern times, as well as those of bygone days, must have the interests of the people genuinely at heart if he is to be, in the best sense of the word, successful. What did Moses seek for his people? Liberty? Prosperity? Religious freedom?