Obrázky na stránke

God-can dwell only in righteousness and Government should avoid any action which judgment.

might involve her in strained relations with the warring Powers. The Government own

ership and operation of merchant vessels SHALL THE UNITED STATES might easily involve us in such strained rela

tions. BUY SHIPS?

Under international law, in time of

war the merchant ships of a neutral power A bill has been introduced into Congress by may be stopped on the high seas and searched Congressman Alexander, of Missouri, which for contraband. If the United States buys provides for the creation of a private corpora- and owns, in whole or in part, merchant vestion to own and operate deep-sea or foreign- sels, and this international right were exergoing ships. Fifty-one per cent of the stock is cised by a French, English, or German to be owned by the United States Government; cruiser, the fact would arouse a feeling of and the Secretary of the Treasury, the Post- resentment in the American people. That master-General, and the Secretary of Com- feeling might be unreasonable, but it would merce are to be the voting trust to control exist, and it would be much more likely to this fifty-one per cent of stock. If the bill exist if the ship arrested were owned and passes, the Government will furnish the money operated by the United States Government to this new corporation to buy some ships. than if it were owned and operated by private It is an interesting coincidence that the bill enterprise. The average American would limits the amount of money supplied by the not expect the Government to act as insurer Government for purchasing the ships to be of all private vessels, but it would be hard to operated by this new corporation to thirty persuade him that it ought not to protect its million dollars, a sum a little greater than it own vessels, in which as a taxpayer he would is rumored that the North German Lloyd be shareholder. Line will accept for its ships.

The Ethical Objection. The United States Private advices from Washington justify Government has declared its neutrality. The us in the belief that the general principles of President has urged the people to maintain the Alexander Bill have the approval of the the spirit of neutrality even in their public National Administration.

and private discussions. The AdministraThe arguments for this bill are very incon- tion has carried the doctrine of neutrality clusive. The objections to it are very serious. further than it has ever been carried before They are three: economic, political, ethical. in the history of the world; for it has

The Economic Objection. The objections expressed officially its disapproval of a loan to the Government ownership and operation of money by private bankers to the French of great railway lines apply with equal force nation, engaged in this war. To affirm that to the Government ownership and operation for the Government to encourage private enterof steamship lines. We affirm the right of prise to provide France with money by a loan the people to do what they can do better for violates neutrality, but that for the Governthemselves than can be done for them by ment itself to provide Germany with money by private enterprise; we therefore affirm their a purchase does not violate neutrality, seems right to own and operate railway and steam- to The Outlook a palpable inconsistency. It ship lines. But such ownership and opera- is reasonable to suppose that the Administration is a novel experiment, and the present tion has considered this objection and would is no time for trying such experiments-no not give its sanction to this bill without the time, because the civilized world is engaged consent of England and France previously in a great war, and the whole strength of obtained, and it is reported that England and the United States Government should be France have cordially corsented to the puremployed in keeping out of the war, and in chase of German ships for which it provides. reducing to a minimum the evils which it un- It is quite possible that England believes avoidably inflicts upon our people ; no time that to deprive Germany of these ocean because, until we have definitely decided steamships until she can build anew will whether we will attempt the regulation or the inflict an injury on


commerce dissolution of great combinations, it is not greater than the benefit to Germany of the wise to enter on the experiment of Govern- thirty million dollars paid to her

But ment ownership and operation.

the American people do not know that the The Political Objection. The United States approval of either France or England has







been obtained, and they ought to know of building up a business with the larger and that approval before they give their sanction weightier packages which the Government to this bill. They ought not to act on a

does not carry.

The United States Governrumor or a supposition.

ment would not stimulate private factories Notwithstanding these objections, the by establishing and operating factories with United States Government might perhaps be the capital of the people. The way to prevent justified in buying the German ships in New the development of private ownership and York harbor, if they were necessary to the per- operation of a merchant marine is for the Govformance of some great National duty or the ernment to own and operate a merchant protection of some great National interest. marine on the people's account. If we had no other means of bringing home The Outlook has heretofore pointed out thousands of Americans marooned abroad, the fact that the American Nation is in some or no other means of sending our breadstuffs respects the most independent nation on the abroad and avoiding for ourselves that sur- globe. Three things are necessary for lifeplus of useful material which is only less dis- food, shelter, and clothing. The people of astrous than a famine, we might be justified the United States, thanks partly to their in an experimental and hazardous policy. National policy, thanks partly to the variety But such a necessity does not exist. England of their soil, climate, and products, are able to has cleared the sea of hostile cruisers. Eng- provide for themselves food from their prairies, lish, French, and Italian ships are crossing shelter from their forests, clay banks, and the ocean in comparative safety. Americans iron mines, and clothing from their cottonabroad suffer some serious inconveniences in fields and flocks of sheep. But they are their voyages, but there is transportation almost wholly dependent upon foreign nations enough for those who are able to pay, and for their nieans of international intercourse. the American Government can by temporary The present war has brought home to all the charter or by army transports provide home people this fact. It is an opportune time to coming for the comparatively small number take up the question how we shall make ourwho find themselves stranded abroad without selves as independent of foreign nations for our money or credit. Nor does there appear to international intercourse as we are independbe a serious lack of vessels to carry to Europe ent of them for food, shelter, and clothing. the breadstuffs which we have to sell. It is But it is a very inopportune time to try experitrue that the large German mercantile fleet ments supposed to be called for by temporary has been put out of commission, but it is also exigencies, but having no relation to a welltrue that there are few or no steerage passen- organized and enduring National policy. gers to come from Europe to America, and tl at breadstuffs cannot be sent with safety to Belgian or German ports, and it may be

THE FUNDAMENTALS OF gravely doubted whether the lessened commercial fleet is not entirely adequate to pro

CHRISTIANITY vide for the lessened commerce with Europe. A committee in Chicago is publishing a

The proposal to have the Government buy, series of small volumes entitled “ The Funown, and operate merchant ships might per- damentals," meaning the fundamentals of haps be defended if such purchase were one Christianity. The expense of the publication step toward the re-establishment of an Amer- is provided by two laymen whose names are ican merchant marine. But it is not such a not given to the public. The publishersstep. The purchase and operation of mer- Testimony Publishing Company, 808 North chant vessels by the United States Govern- La Salle Street, Chicago-announce that ment would do nothing to encourage private "all English-speaking Protestant pastors, capital to purchase and operate merchant evangelists, missionaries, theological profesvessels.

On the contrary, it would discourage sors, theological students, Young Men's purchase and operation by private enterprise. Christian Association secretaries, Young Private capital is never inclined to compete Women's Christian Association secretaries, with the Government; the industry which the Sunday-school superintendents, religious lay Government takes up private capital lets fall. workers, and editors of religious publications The express companies are allowing the throughout the earth, who so desire, are United States Government to carry the small entitled to a free copy of each volume of packages, and are devoting their energies to “The Fundamentals.'» The contributions to




" For the grace

[ocr errors]

this series of volumes are made by eminent some, the sacrificial system of the Temple. scholars of America and Great Britain. They Jesus Christ answered them: That love to all represent, though from somewhat different God and love to man were the two great points of view, the conservative school of commandments; that there were no other theology. With some of the positions taken commandments greater than thesė; that on in some of these papers The Outlook is in these depended all the law and the prophets. hearty agreement, from others we as heartily These two commandments are, acccording to dissent.

him, the fundamentals of Christianity. But whether we agree or we dissent, we Paul is regarded as the theologian of the do not believe that the system of doctrines Apostolic Church. His was certainly the presented, or any system of doctrines, can most philosophical mind in the Church in that properly be called the fundamentals ” of In a notable passage he has given the Christian religion. To be specific, we do what may properly be regarded as the earnot believe that such topics as “ The Biblical liest of all Christian creeds. Conception of Sin,” “At-One-Ment by Pro"

of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared pitiation,

," " Fulfilled Prophecy a Potent Ar- to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodgument for the Bible,” however important, liness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, can properly be called “fundamentals of righteously, and godly, in this present world; Christianity.” These are not the topics which looking for that blessed hope, and the glothe Bible itself represents as

“ fundamentals.” rious appearing of the great God and our The foundation of the Christian religion Saviour Jesus Christ.” : was laid by Moses at Mount Sinai. He gave Thus Moses, Micah, Paul, and Jesus Christ to the children of Israel ten commandments all concur in teaching that the fundamentals or principles of life which may be summa- of the Christian religion consist, not in a rized thus: Reverence for God; honor for system of doctrines, but in a new and divine parents; preservation of certain allotted time life; in reverence and righteousness, in doing for ministry to the higher life; regard for the justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly four fundamental rights of man; and all ren- with God; in living soberly, righteously, dered from the heart cordially, not from fear godly, and hopefully ; in one word, in love, reluctantly. And Moses told Israel that if in all its various phases, experiences, and they obeyed these fundamental commands activities. To substitute as the fundamentals they would be a nation of priests. In the of Christianity a system of doctrines for this fundamentals furnished by Moses nothing is life of love is not to promote the life of the said of temple, priest, sacrifice, or theological spirit, it is to dwarf and deaden the life of doctrine.

the spirit. It is to deflect men's minds from Years passed away. Israel had not obeyed right living to scholarly thinking. It is practhese commands. They were confronting tically to deny that Christianity is a universal national punishment, and in their dread asked, religion and make it a form of philosophy. What should they do? Wherewith,” said Doing justly, loving mercy, living reverently Israel, “ shall I come before the Lord, and and hopefully, is something which can be unbow myself before the high God? . . . Shall derstood by the scholar in his library, by the I come before him with burnt offerings? . cook in the kitchen, by the child in the playShall I give my first-born for my transgres- ground. But that atonement is by propitiasion, the fruit of my body for the sin of my tion, or that the future coming of Christ will soul ?” Micah answered, repeating the mes- be “ visible bodily local,” or that the grace sage of Moses : • What doth the Lord of God is “a certain attitude or act of God require of thee,” said he, “ but to do justly, toward man," are propositions which, however and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with important they may appear to the scholar in thy God ?”

his library, are not likely to be understood by Again years passed. Jesus Christ came. the cook in the kitchen or the child in the The people brought to him the question which playground. We believe in careful theologthey had brought to Moses and to Micah : ical thinking. We regard theology as the What are the fundamentals ? They were highest type of philosophy. But philosophy perplexed by the contending claims of differ- is not religion and careful theological thinking ent schools.

Some put Sabbath observance is not fundamental to religion. first; some, regulations respecting ceremonial It is true that the Christian religion not washings; some, the synagogue services; only declares what God requires of his chil


[ocr errors]



dren, but it also declares what God will do that the very act of reading them seems to for his children, and this declaration what invoke the spirit of toil rather than that sense God will do for his children is as essential to of freedom which breathes from the greatest the welfare and the peace of humanity as the literature and makes it a gate of escape from declaration of what God requires of his chil- the littleness of things. The conscientious, dren. But, to take advantage of his gifts, laborious writer is an impressive figure in an not understanding but obedience is neces- age of slothful and slipshod writing ; but sary-and nothing but obedience. Food is even the man of toil must keep his tools out necessary to life, but it is not necessary that of sight if he would make our leisure hours the child should understand the processes of companionable and fleeting. One is never digestion in order to live. Medical treatment quite at ease with a man in his workshop; is sometimes necessary to life, but it is not the visit seems an intrusion and the time necessary that the patient should understand taken from the busy man seems like a theft. the nature of the medical treatment to which Is it not Alexander Smith who says that one he submits. It is only necessary that the must always read Milton in evening dress? child should eat the food which his father A fugue of Bach's played on a great organ gives him, that the patient should receive takes one out of the pettiness and confusion the medicine which the doctor prescribes for of things, but it is not to be enjoyed without him. What God does for his children is some preparation of the spirit. The “ Fifth perhaps nowhere in the Bible more tersely Symphony," on the other hand, is not less or beautifully described than in the One great, but, at least for most people, it is more Hundred and Third Psalm : “Who forgiveth accessible. Bach could play and Beethoven all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases, could toil mightily ; but the artist is greatest who redeemeth thy life from destruction, when his toil takes on the joy, the spontanewho crowneth thee with loving-kindness and ity, and the freedom of play. tender mercies, who satisfieth thine age with Flaubert was, even more than Balzac or good, so that thy youth is renewed like the Zola, a writer who took infinite pains, who eagle's.” It is not necessary to understand plied the file in the light of the midnight how it is that God bestows these gifts on his lamp with tireless and relentless zeal ; but children in order to receive them with a lov- his hand was not so heavy nor his manner ing, trustful, and obedient heart.

so oppressive as the hand and manner of The fundamentals of the Christian religion the authors of “ The Magic Skin and of are not doctrines of incarnation, atonement, “ Nana ;" his method was more academic, Trinity, inspiration. The fundamentals of his interest in perfection of workmanship the Christian religion are the desire to pos- was more absorbing than his interest in life. sess a spirit like the spirit of Christ, and to Balzac did not escape the materialism of his live a life of love, service, and sacrifice like time ; on the contrary, he loved it and dethe life of Christ.

lighted to describe it; he reveled in imaginary luxury ; our great fortunes would

have given him unmeasured joy; a thousand STORING UP GOOD READING

millions would have inspired him to the point

of ecstasy. He takes almost much A man who has spent his life in the pleasure in making catalogues of objects as society of the best books once expressed Whitman did in enumerating railways, steamregret that he had not saved some of Balzac's boats, tools, occupations; but Balzac had novels for his old age. The author of “ Père immense power and he had the sense of Goriot” has many admirers; it is doubtful tragedy in life, and so he escaped the snare if he has many lovers. He is not one of the of materialism. Frenchmen with whom one gets on intimate But one would hardly choose Balzac for terms easily; he is too portentous a person- the companion of the years in which, however age; everybody recognizes his genius, but valiant and active the spirit remains, life has they are few who would feel at ease with him brought a certain fatigue and a lessening of before an open fire. Everything about him the strain is welcome. It is not a question was prodigious, even his largely imaginary of morality; age is safe from vice even when debts. He was a mighty workman, as was alluringly portrayed in fiction; the old man Zola. “Cousin Pons” and “The Magic Skin ” who has sufficient grace to enjoy good writbear the traces of such heavy-handed toil ing will not suffer from reading “ Cousin

[ocr errors]


Betty," with its repulsive studies of senile lars against the barrenness and severity of the
sensualism. Age is a protection from con- winter months. Thackeray was not a tem-
tamination. Dr. Holmes once said that it peramental optimist; he was not given to
made no difference if a man is spoiled after the telling of romantic falsehoods about life;
he is eighty! The last two decades of the on the contrary, he has not escaped the accu-
century in a man's life are disinfected, and sation of cynicism. It is a lesson to those
there was a large grain of truth in the re- who look, in this confused world, for the
mark of one of the most charming old men justice which comes from complete under-
of our time : “When one has passed ninety, standing, that this great and tender-hearted
he may say or do what he chooses." Most man of genius should be accused of cynicism
readers would not save Balzac for old age, by the literalists, and of sentimentalism by the
not because he describes corruption with realists.
such power, but because he is not compan- But, aside from all disputes about his view
ionable. The air of the workshop hangs of human nature, Thackeray is one of the
around too many of his stories.

The sinewy
most companionable of writers.

That he was strength, tempered and subdued to the uses “ clubable " everybody knows; that he is a of art, which many French writers use with choice spirit for slippered ease and the open consummate skill, was beyond his reach, and, fire is known by all who have lived long great as he was, he is not a companion for enough to understand him. Thackeray has those hours when one wants to feel the near- a style of extraordinary individuality, but its ness of life without being weighed down by informality, its apparent ease, its intimate, it; when art is invited to sit by the fire for confidential air, mislead only those who conthe joy and freedom that it brings rather fuse manner with mannerism and art with than for its power of instruction. In the artifice. The author of “ Vanity Fair.” lays awful slaughter at Syracuse, so nobly de- no burden on his readers, because he keeps scribed by Thucydides, those Greeks who his tools out of sight; he is always at ease could recite passages from Euripides were and at leisure; whether you agree with him spared even in the madness of victory ! or not, his presence is welcome if you have There are many who are sorry that they have invited distinguished people to meet him ; not “ laid up a few stories of Thackeray for and if you happen to be alone with him you old age, as our ancestors once stored their cel- count yourself especially fortunate.




\HE war that is being waged between Some unknown quantities have been in

Germany and the Allies to-day, as jected into the problem that have changed

would be the case in any other war results—retarded results somewhat, and may between any of the civilized nations, is simply a hasten the final solution. For example, problem that has been solved by the general France undoubtedly figured that Germany staff of


nation. The result of each solu- would respect Belgian neutrality; practition depends somewhat on the assumptions cally all other military experts calculated that made, but predictions made by general staff the German attack on France would be students as to the outcome of any modern war made exactly as it has been made, but did are practically the same. In the great problem not count on the fierce resistance made by that is being worked out in Europe to-day the Belgian army, nor did many figure that there is but little difference except in minor England would land troops on the Continent. details from what military experts had pre- These two unknown quantities thrown into dicted would occur. Many of these predic- the German problem have placed her armies tions have been proved fairly uncanny in from eight to fourteen days behind her schedtheir accuracy, the daily work of the German ule. Another unknown quantity has been armies on the French frontier being almost omitted from the problem—Italy. All the exactly as foretold by our best students of war mathematicians counted Italy and her

army and navy with the Triple Alliance.


« PredošláPokračovať »