“We appeal to all men,” say the Quakers to the world, “to recognise the great spiritual force of love which is found in all, and which makes us one common brotherhood.” It is a hard saying, as things are now; and yet, if it is true, that ’tis love that makes the world go round, it is certain by this time that ’tis hate that makes it stop. What stops trade? English hate Germans, Germans hate English; masters grudge men, men masters. What holds up Ireland? Protestants hate Catholics, Catholics Protestants; each hates England and England hates both. The infernal brew of 1914 has poisoned the tissues of humanity; proud flesh, sour blood, keep us all in a sick ferment. What will save us? Who will show us any good?
One thing only, say the Quakers. Listen. “Through the dark cloud of selfishness and materialism shines the eternal light of Christ in man. It can never perish.... The profound need of our time is to realise the everlasting truth of the common Fatherhood of God—the Spirit of Love—and the oneness of the human race.” I wondered on Christmas Day, when children were carolling “Peace on earth and mercy mild,” for how many hundred years men had been hearing that, how many of them had said that they believed it, and how many had acted as if they did believe it. I wondered if the editors of Long Bow and the Morning Boast had heard them, and what effect the words would have upon their next articles about the deportation of aliens, or the value of machine-guns as strike-breakers.
“We have used the words of Christ, but we have not acted upon them. We have called ourselves by His name but we have not lived in His spirit.” Those words should form part of any General Confession to be used in church, since the words used there now have lost their meaning. They are entirely true; since Christ died we have never acted upon His words, or attempted for six years at a time “to live in His spirit.” How does one do it? The Quakers go on to tell us. “The Divine Seed is in all men. As men realise its presence, and follow the light of Christ in their hearts, they enter upon the right way of life, and receive power to overcome evil by good. Thus will be built the City of God.”
While it is plain, then, how the City of God will be rebuilt on earth, it ought to be equally so how it will not be built. Lately another Message has been advertised in the Press, which does not promise any help. It has been proposed[A] to publish certain private letters of the German ex-Emperor which, we learn, incriminate him still more deeply in the original sin of the war. Here no doubt is “a scoop,” as they call it, for somebody; but with “scoops,” I suppose, the City of God has little to do.
[Footnote A: It was done too.]