[Washington Gladden in Continent.]

The arguments which are intended to prove that peace is visionary and impossible are largely inspired by human rapacity and greed. And, strangely enough, the predatory classed have always been permitted to set the standards of thought and conduct, so that the ruling ideas of Christian society have hardly included the conception of social peace and good will as attainable under present conditions. We have not considered the promise of the angels as having application to the existing state of society. We have supposed that business must be carried on and politics conducted under the law of conflict—of strife and struggle—by matching wits against wits and wills against wills; by contending for advantage and mastery. And we have been quite content for the most part to have business and politics go on in that way; we have assumed that that was the right way—for business and politics. It now begins to appear that this partial, half–way, one–sided interpretation of the promise of Christmas has been a pernicious and paralyzing error. In the minds of a great many people the question is arising, "What right have we to put the fulfilment of this promise so far away? Who has authorized us to say that peace on earth and good will among men are no to be looked for until the millennium? What is the reason why they should not be looked for here and now? Is there anything that hinders their coming except the selfishness of men? Would they not come at once if men believed in them and desired them?"

December 17, 1910

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