Peace and Progress

The Peace Conference at Portsmouth recalls similar events in the world's history, and invites an answer to the question, How far have all such negotiations tended to bring real peace and progress to mankind? In some of the direful struggles of the past, the cry of those who suffered most was "Peace at any price," while others who could see farther raised the slogan "Peace with honor." It is difficult to find an adequate reason for war in this enlightened age. Though a nation may fight for material possessions, it usually comes out of the struggle impoverished, whatever the result; and if moral issues are involved, they are swallowed up in the demoralizing maelstrom of war. It would seem that the need for the amelioration of suffering, and for human enlightenment, so aptly expressed by Longfellow, would compel mankind to pause ere they plunge recklessly into fratricidal strife, which at best has so little to offer in return for the awful sacrifices demanded. He says,—

Were half the power that fills the world in terror,
Were half the wealth bestowed on camps and courts,
Given to redeem the human mind from error,
There were no need of arsenals or forts.

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In Him We Move
September 9, 1905

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