Letters from Mesopotamia eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 145 pages of information about Letters from Mesopotamia.
think you can point to any text, however literally you press the interpretation, which will bear a contrary construction.  Take “Resist not him that doeth evil” as literally as you like, in its context.  It obviously refers to an individual resisting a wrong committed against himself, and the moral basis of the doctrine seems to me twofold:  (1) As regards yourself, self-denial, loving your enemies, etc., is the divine law for the soul; (2) as regards the wronger nothing is so likely to better him as your unselfish behaviour.  The doctrine plainly does not refer to wrongs committed in your presence against others.  Our Lord Himself overthrew the tables of the money-changers.  And the moral basis of His resistance to evil here is equally clear if you tolerate evils committed against others:  (1) your own morale and courage is lowered:  it is shirking; (2) the wronger is merely encouraged.  If I take A.’s coat and A. gives me his cloak also, I may be touched.  But B.’s acquiescence in the proceeding cannot possibly touch me and only encourages me.  Now the Government of a country is nearly always in the position of B. not A., because a country is not an individual.  In our case we were emphatically in the position of B.:  but I would justify the resistance of Belgium on the same grounds.

Of course as I said last week, national standards can’t be as self-sacrificing as individual standards:  and never can be until all the individuals in a nation are so Christian as to choose unanimously the self-sacrificing course.

I agree that the Dardanelles outlook is very serious, and it now looks as if Germany had got Bulgaria to come in against us.  We ought to concentrate on a decision there as vigorously as the Germans did in Poland, and let us hope with more success.

The big offensive in France came off and seems to have done remarkably well for a few days:  but we have heard nothing more of it for over a week.  I’m afraid that means we exhausted ourselves and lost heavily.

The outstanding fact here is that the hot weather is over.  It is now only unpleasant to be out from 10 till 4, and then only in the sun.  The transition is going on rapidly and by the end of this month I expect to see cold weather conditions established.  I have played football twice and been out shooting twice.  There is a large black partridge to be shot here which is very good to eat.

I can give you no details about the Kut fight.  In fact you probably know more than we do:  I must stop now.

* * * * *


October 11, 1915.


The weather has got cooler so rapidly that I have been shooting and playing football quite happily.  The chief things to shoot are a big black partridge (which will soon be extinct) and a little brown dove, later on there are snipe, and already there are duck, but these are unapproachable.  Many thanks for your letters of August 27th, and September 8th, which arrived together this mail.

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Letters from Mesopotamia from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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