Signs of the Times

[Pittsburgh (Pa.) Leader]

A warning given by the Rt. Rev. Charles Henry Brent, D. D., Episcopal bishop of western New York, against the use of physical force in attempts at adjusting social problems, is wise in its ethical terms and especially so in its timeliness. The bishop advises that we do not need the utilization of the centuries' old doctrine of physical force to apply to new perils, new opportunities, new tasks. What we do need, the bishop wisely remarks, is new vision to deal with new problems, for they are new in spite of their appearance of age. The conditions from which they grow are old, but the questions, the difficulties themselves, are new and demand the cautious use of new vision to handle them in the right way.

Physical force, according to Bishop Brent, can never be more than a power to clear the road for spiritual force. The road he claims is open and clear now. It needs only to be traveled. The world expects an era of liberty in which justice and honor and freedom, for which the war was fought, will be applied to every department of life and made available for the last man and the least nation. The doubt that this era of liberty has dawned after all the promises, the fear that selfish motives are bitterly at work trying to checkmate the coming of freedom, justice, and the opportunity for happiness, in the bishop's view, is the real cause for the prevailing unrest.

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November 1, 1919

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