A League of Understanding Hearts

In the collection of religious poems attributed to King David is one psalm wherein he complains of those who reverence not the unchanging God. He shows how a man may with suave and deceitful talk cover over his malign intention. Of such a one he says: "He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords." Our Master revealed the residence of error when he said, "From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man." Now if war and its train of evil is to cease it must be deprived of residence and retreat where in concealment it may crouch behind the screen of false and smooth words. Entertained in the heart it grows like the tiger cub kept as a plaything, which in its mature brutality may slay its host. From earliest times it has been said, "All they that take the sword shall perish with the sword." It is not by victories in war, but by victories over war that men will find themselves delivered. Mrs. Eddy has said (Miscellany, p. 281), "War will end when nations are ripe for progress."

It sometimes happens that the right-minded and good-humored people of the world are called upon to fight the others who believe in war. People occupied in the ways of peace will prosper; there will be fertile fields, flocks and herds, homes where art produces ornaments and treasures. The tribal chief who has war in his heart calls his men to observe that they can rob the granaries, drive off the herds, loot and destroy the homes, and enslave the people who through peace are prosperous and happy. Thus he denies the moral law and promulgates a devil's law, promising that they shall steal and kill and commit adultery, and lay hands on whatsoever they covet. It is necessary, then, if not for the protection of their property, yet for the protection of human beings, of women and children, that the workers in peace should sometimes take up arms and fight. They may do this not at all with war in their hearts, but with courage, resolution, and faith. But if all in the world who reverence the moral law, if all who love peace and orderly ways and the joy of constructive work, were united, they could proclaim a prohibitive No to all the proposers of war, and thus the prophecy would be naturally fulfilled which says of the nations: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid."

Right Motives
November 15, 1919

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