Signs of the Times

[Dr. Lang, as quoted in Public Opinion, London, England]

It is not in resolutions and societies and treaties that war is first to be abolished, but in the hidden man of the heart. It is he who must seek peace and ensue it—in his daily attitude towards his neighbor, in his daily thoughts, still more in his daily talk, about his fellow-men of other nations, in his restraint of prejudices about them, in his refusal to think the worst, and his readiness to think the best, of them. And, just because the ultimate conquest of war depends upon the conquest of the spirit, there must be some motive, some power, strong enough, constant enough, to penetrate and possess this inner region. Where is such a motive, such a power, to be found?

It is idle to trust that democracy will of itself make the world safe. History rebukes the delusion. If passion is kindled, crowds only extend the range and fierceness of the fire. And are not ther some who, in the very name of the people, not only defend but proclaim the use of violence as an instrument of policy? It is idle to think that the instincts of self-preservation and the memory of the horrors of war will suffice, for memories are short and passion sweeps self-interest before it. Can we even trust to the restraint of treaty obligations? Fourteen years ago we learned how ambition and fear will break them. Truly, here we cannot forget the things which our eyes have seen. No; for a spiritual contest only a spiritual force can avail. . . . To the church, therefore, as to the nation, the message of this day of remembrance is spoken—"Take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget."

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

August 24, 1929

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.