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[Rev. R. J. Campbell, M.A., in The Christian Commonwealth]

War is not Christian; let us ever remember that. The most that can be said for it is that it may be unavoidable for a Christian with the world as it is. Were the gospel victorious, it would mean the end of war, as of every other form of ill; if we tolerate war, it is only because our goal is a state of society in which there shall be no more room for it. We have to distinguish between what is ideally and what is practically right. The Christian ideal of marriage, for instance, is the union of one man and one woman for life, on a basis of pure mutual affection; but in practice we have to recognize that it is not always realizable with human nature as it is, and we legislate accordingly. The Christian ideal, again, is universal peace; but while tyranny, aggression, and cruelty remain, there must be war. But I utterly and entirely dissent from the view that there is something intrinsically uplifting in war as war.

The late Prof. William James of Harvard insisted that one great thing modern civilization had yet to do was to find a substitute for war,—a moral substitute he meant, something that will bring out the grandest qualities of human nature without the accompaniment of slaughter and the suffering and anguish that follow in its train. Oh, that we were sufficiently great of soul to do it! Every Christian must hate, loathe, and detest war, for if it reveals some things that savor of heaven, it reveals more that reek of hell.

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June 26, 1915

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