W.K.L. Clarke, Facing the Facts; or, an Englishman’s Religion. Nisbet.
E.C. Moore, Christian Thought since Kant.
Duckworth’s Studies in
THE GROWTH OF HUMANITY
The preceding chapter has recalled attention to the need of deeper elements of unity in civilization than can be afforded by any commercial, financial or political ties. Plans for a political union of nations, common tendencies in social reform, even the essential unity of commerce and science, will be of no avail, unless there is a basis in common sentiments of a religious kind, in the consciousness that we are all members one of another and can only advance and realize ourselves by the help and sympathy of other members of the same body. It is to this point then that we will address ourselves in the concluding section of the subject. The mechanics of unity need both earnest advocacy and careful study. But beneath and beyond them a motive force has to be found in ideals and sentiments by which alone in the end the working of all such mechanical arrangements is rendered possible. Right sentiments are not a sufficient safeguard, but they are an essential foundation, and it is of the first importance to realize the things to which the mass of mankind are most deeply attached, how they are affected towards one another, the channels through which the tide of feeling most naturally flows and is extended. Looked at from this point of view the problem becomes primarily an educational one. We study mankind as we find it in order to effect an improvement in the direction which we desire.
We find then in the first place that men as a rule are most strongly attached to the localities and the people with whom they are first brought closely in contact. Here in the family is the first true microcosm, the first community in which the individual is developed by association with his fellows. On the value of this earliest social training there are hardly two opinions, and we need not dwell upon it. It is at the next stage that divergence, both of definite opinion and still more of emphasis, begins to be apparent. How far is attachment to country a valuable thing, how far should it be cultivated, what are the necessary limitations and controlling ideas? As to the reality of the sentiment every man can examine himself. We know, most of us, with what intense satisfaction we return to the country, the district, of our birth and home. The feeling is one of the strongest and deepest things in us, even if our reason deprecates and disallows the claim. As Englishmen, perhaps even more as Scotchmen and Irish, we love with an indefinable and ineradicable passion our sea-coast, our hills and valleys, the fields and cottages, even the sometimes sordid, nearly always ill-assorted, congeries of houses which we have thrown together as towns. We fight among ourselves,