Foreign Policy

Nineteen centuries of Christianity have left Christendom broken into numerous separate nations, some one of which has, during all those centuries, been more or less constantly at war with another. As a result of this failure to demonstrate the very essence of Christianity, every one of these nations has gradually developed a policy toward its neighbors which is known as its foreign policy. Such a condition of things is sufficiently curious in itself, and argues one of two things: either the failure of Christianity, or the failure of the nations to comprehend Christianity. Now no Christian nation would admit that Christianity was a failure. Yet every one of the Christian nations of the world would be compelled to admit that it had failed to demonstrate the teachings of Christianity in its public policy. But Christianity is a Science, because it is the religion of Truth; therefore it is perfectly clear that there must be something wrong with the world's understanding of Christianity when its attempted practice for nineteen centuries has left it as discordant as it was in the days of Cæsar Augustus.

In attempting some solution of the dilemma thus presented, it is necessary to inquire what is a religion, what is Science, and what is Truth. This can, of course, only be done in the briefest possible manner, but it must be done before any conclusion can be driven home. Every one knows, then, that the word religion is derived from the Latin religio, and means living under a rule. It came into use through the habit of the religious houses of instituting a series of rules under which the inmates undertook to live; indeed, it was used originally, fairly indifferently, of the member of the order, the rule, or of the order itself. Thus religion came to signify the accepted moral philosophy of some great teacher. The Hebrews, consequently, as the first monotheistic people, lived according to the rule of the law and the prophets, the law being the Pentateuch, as received according to tradition from Moses, and the prophets being all the other books of the Old Testament, whether historic, prophetic, or of wisdom. When the great teacher of Nazareth came preaching his gospel in Palestine, he based it, naturally enough, on the teaching of the Scriptures of his own people. Thus out of the wisdom of the great Hebrew seers he developed the Science of Christianity; out of the mouths of the Hebrew prophets he furnished the prophecy of Christianity; just as in the idea of the Hebrew Messiah he found the idea of the Christ of Christianity. In the difference between the Messiah of the Old Testament and the Christ of the New there lies the difference between the law of Moses and the law of christ; in the difference between the wisdom of Solomon and the wisdom of the Sermon on the Mount there is to be found the gulf which separates philosophy from Science; and in the difference between the prophecy of Isaiah and the prophecy of Galilee there gapes the chasm which separates spiritual intuition from the knowledge of the absolute. This is why the New Testament writers speak so repeatedly of the exact or scientific knowledge of God, of Principle; of an exact knowledge of the Son of God or the divine man; and of a scientific knowledge of love and of the will or the law of Principle.

Enriching the Affections
July 10, 1920

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