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The New Christianity; or, The Religion of the New Age By Salem Goldworth Bland Characters: 34429

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02

But American Christianity is not final Christianity, nor even the highest and richest form of Christianity in sight, unless it blossom into a yet richer and more varied loveliness than it at present gives promise of. Of all actual forms of Christianity it seems to have the fairest promise, but it will probably prove to be only a tributary, though a great one, of a still mightier river.

Is it possible for us at this stage to discern at least the outline of the Great Christianity that is to be?

Certainly, every great historic form of Christianity has been tried by history and found wanting. As much of primitive Jewish Christianity as refused to merge in the large Catholic Christianity of the Greco-Roman world dried up into an unfruitful, bigoted, and eccentric heresy and perished.

Greek Christianity emphasized doctrine and tore itself by doctrinal disputes into a shattered, helpless welter of vituperative sects, powerless to spread the Gospel, powerless to withstand the Mohammedan,--the shame and tragedy of Christian history.

Latin Christianity emphasized the organization and became the enemy of freedom and progress which, with few exceptions, every Roman Catholic people has had to fight and dethrone to escape intellectual and moral decay and death.

Teutonic Christianity has emphasized freedom and the rights of the individual. Like Islam, it has been a fighting faith. And judgment has fallen on it in its loss of unity, its bitter and wasteful sectarian wrangles, and the ferocious strife between labor and capital, the outcome of which may be one of the great tragedies of history.

[#] It is, perhaps, scarcely necessary to remark that Protestantism is here being compared, not with Roman Catholicism, but with ideal Christianity. Roman Catholicism, too, has been a fighting faith, and in the appalling century and a half of religious wars that set in with the Protestant Reformation it was the older faith that first resorted to force. [Transcriber's note: there was no reference to this footnote in the source book.]

Protestantism has taught her people to fight for their rights and now is helpless before the selfish conflict of her own children that have learned too well her spirit.

In the great industrial conflict now reaching its height, one may safely prophesy Protestantism will perish--or be transformed.

She has taught her children to think; she has taught them to cherish freedom; she has not taught them to love.

Since by far the most of any readers this little book may be fortunate enough to find will be Protestant, it may be fitting and useful to point out more specifically the defects of Protestantism than the defects of other forms of Christianity among whose adherents, probably, the writer can scarcely hope to find many readers.

The Protestant Reformation, so far as it was not a struggle for liberty, national and intellectual and religious, was a doctrinal reformation. There was not much more of the spirit of Jesus, His gentleness, meekness, love, on one side than on the other. Erasmus understood Christianity on the whole better than Luther. Sir Thomas More was more Christian than John Calvin.

The Protestant Reformation was in its successful forms marked by little sympathy with the poor and the oppressed. It declined to recognize any duties to the serf except that of giving him the Gospel. Luther washed his hands of the peasants and calmly abandoned them to the savage vengeance of the princes when they refused to be satisfied with the liberty of Gospel preaching.

Protestantism has been, except in a few despised sects, militant, dogmatic, self-reliant, in a word, masculine. The gentler feminine characteristics of Christianity it has very slightly recognized.

When we think of the genius of Protestantism, we think of a humble monk, in the majesty of a conscientious conviction defying the two most powerful rulers of Europe, the Pope and the Emperor; we think of the indomitable sea-beggars of Holland and the heroic defence of Leyden; of the white-plumed Henry of Navarre and the battles of the League; of the splendidly audacious execution of Charles I., of Jenny Geddes' stool, the solemn League and Covenant and the bloody field of Drumclog; of the soldiers of Gustavus Adolphus, the Lion of the North, singing Luther's great hymn, Ein'feste Burg ist unser Gott, as they moved on to the glorious but dear-bought victory of Lützen; we think of the massacre of Drogheda and the undying defence of Derry; and of that typical Protestant and superb fighter, the rugged, dour, and unconquerable Ulster man whose unrelenting opposition and deep-rooted passion for domination have been so great an obstacle to Irish peace and the unity of the English-speaking world. Protestantism has had a great and a beneficent and a heroic history, but it has reproduced only imperfectly the Christianity of Jesus.

Meekness and long-suffering were outstanding characteristics of Jesus and of His early followers; they have rarely been outstanding characteristics of Protestantism. Perhaps Protestantism has been of necessity a man of war from its youth. Yet primitive Christianity encountered fiercer persecution and did not take the sword. Protestantism did not suffer long before she grasped the sword. She has, on the whole, followed Christ's precepts of non-resistance never when she had a fighting chance.

Primitive Christianity by patience and love conquered and Christianized the Roman Empire in three hundred years. Protestantism in more than three hundred years has gained not a foot beyond the territory won in the first rush of evangelical enthusiasm, and has lost territories she at first held. It is the demonstration of the futility of a fighting Christianity. Nowhere has the interaction of the two religions been associated with more fighting than in Ireland, and nowhere has Protestantism as an evangelical missionary force been more of a failure.

Gentleness, patience, humility have not been the strong points of Protestantism. She has been proud, vigorous, masterful, impatient of control, and to her have been given the kingdoms of the world. But not to her has been given the Kingdom Jesus promised to the meek.

In short, in Protestantism there is much of Christianity but there is also much simply of the old Teutonic spirit. Protestantism is not pure or primitive or ultimate Christianity. It is Teutonic Christianity, no more fitted to prevail than Greek or Latin Christianity. It is the faith of the fighter, the wrestler, the individualist.

Perhaps no community calling itself Christian suggests so remotely the tender name Jesus gave His disciples, "my sheep." Who, looking on a prosperous Protestant congregation in town or country, with shrewdness, vigilance, self-reliance written on almost every face, would think of saying, "Fear not, little flock"? Freedom is what Protestantism has demanded and fought for, freedom to think for herself and take her own course and fight her own battles, every kind of freedom but one, the only freedom that need not be fought for, that can never be fought for,--freedom to love and to serve.

Protestantism in its original form is passing away; it has run its course; its day is nearing its close. Where it has not caught the vision of the new and the Great Christianity, its churches are being deserted, its preachers are being seized with stammering lips and despondent heart,[#] Its spirit cannot solve the problems of the new age. It must become meek and lowly in heart. It must learn to love. Rich man and poor man must stand in its churches as they stand in the sight of God. Like medieval Christianity, it calls for a new Reformation--not a new creed but a new heart, the heart of a little child, humble, self-distrustful, not quick to resent, or even to see a slight, eager to love, delighting to serve.

[#] These words are written with reverent recognition of the innumerable forms of ministry to the bodies and souls of men that are being carried on by devoted men and women in the Protestant Churches, but, also, with the full conviction that these are slight and partial compared with the outburst of devotion and service which will be aroused when the vision of the new Christianity seizes great masses of men and women as the passion for freedom seized Germany in the years 1517 to 1524 or France in 1789.

Never were the young men and women of Protestant lands so ready for a great task, but that task must be broadly Christian and broadly human. It must be a spiritual task but of a spirituality interwoven inextricably with politics, business, and sport.

Luther cannot help us here with his callousness to the wrongs and miseries of the peasants, nor Knox with his harshness and his militancy, nor Calvin with his hatred of those whom he thought God's enemies, nor the Puritans nor the Covenanters with their bigotry and their blow for blow and curse for curse.

Another deep lack is in Protestantism. In Isaiah's vision of the seraphim above the throne of God, "each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly." Two wings for service and four for worship! A Roman Catholic, meeting a friend who had become a Protestant, asked him how he liked his new faith. "I like it well," answered the other, "but one thing I miss, and that is the spirit of adoration."

How strange to us in Roman Catholic pictures are the faces of the saints upturned in adoration to the Mother and the holy Child! Protestantism does not produce faces like those. Shrewd, intelligent, alert, at best reliable, frank, kindly, they often are; humble, not often; reverent, adoring, still more rarely. Yet Goethe has said, "The highest thing in life is the thrill of awe." And Carlyle, too, "Thought without reverence is barren and poisonous."

Protestantism tends to be shallow, with the thinness and hardness and tinniness of mere intellectualism. It needs to tap great fountains of tenderness, humility, adoration, to be deepened, mellowed, enriched. Of the two ultra types of worship--the bright church, comfortable with plush cushions and glittering with brass work, where the people sit with wide-open eyes and curiously watch the preacher while he prays, and where the preacher with conscious cleverness clears up all the mysteries of life and coloratura quartettes display their technique (an ultra type, confessedly, and not common, but actual), and the dim church with the drooping Christ on the cross and pictured saints gazing in adoration and the congregation on their knees before the divine Presence in the Sacrament, one may be a convinced Protestant and yet believe the latter form of worship the more fruitful of the two.

American Protestantism needs new inspiration. So far as the past can yield this, it would seem that it should look particularly to three great leaders and saints--St. Francis of Assisi, St. John of England (to use W. T. Stead's deserved designation of John Wesley), and General Booth.

Perhaps the most winsome and Christ-like figure that Roman Catholicism presents, the loveliest flower in her rich garden of sainthood, is the poverty-loving, utterly lowly and loving, care-free and joyous Francis of Assisi, and perhaps, too, it may be said that no Christian character better deserves the study of Protestants. St. Francis is not an ideal figure; he lacks the balance and sanity of Jesus. Yet, perhaps, of all who have passionately set themselves to reproduce the life of Jesus, St. Francis in his utter humility, his complete unworldliness, and his overflowing tenderness can best bring home to Protestantism its hardness and shrewdness, its worldly-wisdom and its self-complacency. What a far-distant world is the world of the man who renounced all possessions, went about to preach and serve in coarsest, meagrest garb, who despised money and loved poverty, whose sympathies went out to birds and fishes, to Brother Fire and Sister Water, who could captivate robbers and even, it was believed, wild creatures of the woods, and at whose coming the Umbrian cities rang their bells and poured out with branches and flags to greet the mean little man with the shabby grey gown and the rapt, pale, worn face.

Let it be granted Protestant countries are more wealthy than Roman Catholic, more progressive, more successful in trade and manufacture, St. Francis gives us a glimpse into the simplicity and childlikeness, humility and romance, that may sometimes find a Roman Catholic atmosphere more genial than a Protestant.

Associated with the Franciscan order of tonsured monks and cloistered nuns, there grew up a great society of men and women taking a middle path between the world and the cloister--plainer in dress, abstaining from the dance and the theatre, eschewing all quarrels, praying and fasting more regularly, practising a more systematic beneficence than ordinary Christians. And it is noteworthy that, in 1882 on the seven hundredth anniversary of the birth of Francis, Pope Leo XIII. in an encyclical declared that the institution of these Franciscan Tertiaries was alone fitted to save humanity from the social and political dangers which threatened it.

Wesley and Francis are not far removed. The Saint of Epworth was almost as ardent a devotee of poverty as the Saint of Assisi. If he did not absolutely strip himself, he gave away immensely more. He, too, had a passion for the souls of men, all of St. Francis' pity for the poor, and he won a wealth of reverence and love. He was a far wiser man, living in a more rational age. But he was not only extraordinarily competent. He knew, too, his own competence. There is a wildflower grace of the childlike in St. Francis that we miss in the far more intelligent and commanding figure of Wesley.

Primitive Methodism had much of the enthusiasm and devotion and joyousness of the Franciscan brotherhood. Francis' friars and Wesley's helpers had a common unworldliness, joyousness, and passion for the souls of men. But even as the Franciscan movement diverged from the ideals of St. Francis, so Methodism soon developed on lines of its own. It has preserved much of the evangelical fervor and the practical helpfulness of its original inspiration. Considered in its direct and indirect effects, its union of evangelicalism, mysticism, and practical kindliness, there has been no other Christian movement which has combined such a measure of purity with such vastness of influence. In genuine Christian influence it has surpassed even the Reformation. Modern Christianity (and there is a distinguishable modern Christianity) is of all forms that Christianity has assumed the nearest to the Christianity of Jesus, and in its fashioning the Methodist Revival has been the chief agency. Yet Methodism has not realized the ideals of its human founder. It did not perpetuate his unworldliness. It failed, as R. W. Dale pointed out, to the great loss of Christendom, to develop the ethical implications of his great doctrine of perfect love. It cherished his memory and his organization, but it refused to inherit his dread and hatred of riches. Its very thrift and industry and morality have been its undoing. It became, in great measure, like Protestantism in general, a bourgeois religion, eminently suited for people who want to get on in the world. Its chief abhorrence has never been of social inequality and injustice but of the wasteful frivolities and vices, dancing, card-playing, theatre-going, and, pre-eminently, intemperance. The Report already cited shows, however, a new spirit at work in the Methodism of Canada, a spirit in which Wesley would rejoice, and it is not in Canadian Methodism only that it is at work.

A still closer resemblance obtains between the Franciscan order and the Salvation Army than between the former and Methodism. No two movements, perhaps, so widely apart in time and methods are so closely akin. Poverty, humility, obedience, love are the dominant features of them both.

Francis is a more winsome figure than General Booth but incomparably less intelligent and efficient. Francis awakened a great religious revival but probably wrought little improvement on the face of Europe--on its ferocity, chronic warfare, sensuality, oppression of the poor. The Salvation Army has redeemed countless victims of poverty and vice. It has probably proved itself the most effective agency in all history for the salvation of the down and out.

The Order and the Army have the same limitations.

1. Both are too exclusively inward and individualistic. They do not deal adequately with conditions and causes, the Franciscan movement not at all, the Salvation Army very timidly. The weakest element in the latter is its willingness to accept gifts from even those who have made their wealth out of the degradation of men and women, and its seeming reluctance to engage in any drastic social reforms which might dry up such bounty. It is content with ambulance work, and even the most devoted and heroic ambulance work will never stop the war.

2. Both, too, are sectional; fitted only for the few, the enthusiasts. E

ach has cared for the saint; neither has made provision for the ordinary man. Christian perfection, in the thought of Francis and of General Booth, is for the man who withdraws from the ordinary work of the world, turns away from its culture, crucifies a thousand human instincts, breaks all the strings of the human lute but one. Both movements organized by these great saints are eccentric, abnormal. Neither is workable on a catholic, or universal, scale. Both sectionalize the holy life.

What is needed to-day is another leader, a leader for the ordinary man. The ordinary man is neither saint nor fanatic, neither preacher nor monk; he would be bored to death if he had to sing or pray or meditate all day; his joy is in building bridges and planning railways and ripping up the matted prairie sod with gasoline engines; he likes his wife and children and does not feel called upon to become a missionary to China or Central Africa. The need is for the leader who can show this ordinary man how to bring the truest love and the deepest piety into the ordinary, commonplace, work-a-day life, revealing the glory of God, not alone as gilding the cold snows of Alpine peaks or bathing the distant desert with unearthly beauty, but transfiguring the city street, the cozy home, the quiet fields where lovers walk at even.

Francis, Wesley, Booth--the time has come for each section of the Christian Church to remember that "all things are hers: whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas." We Protestants may think the Roman Catholic Church less likely to appropriate our saints than we theirs. This judgment of ours may be right or wrong, but we have no right to pass it until we ourselves have recognized the limitations of Protestantism and set ourselves heartily to appropriate the great elements of the Christian life that are the distinctive glories of Latin Christianity. Protestantism, too, has its own peculiar glories. Neither great division of Christendom is adequate to meet the religious needs of to-day. The hour has struck for the great Christianity.

The future belongs neither to Roman Catholicism nor to Protestantism. Roman Catholicism is too aristocratic and distrustful of freedom. The modern man will no more go back to medieval Christianity than to medieval feudalism. There is a drift from Protestantism to-day, but the drift from Roman Catholicism has been far greater. To fulfil its destiny, Roman Catholicism must accept freedom of thought; magnificently democratic as it has been from the beginning in some respects--the chair of St. Peter being accessible to the humblest peasant's son--it must accept a deeper and wider democracy.

Protestantism, on the other hand, must become heart-broken over its divisions, religious and social. It must become more brotherly, more lowly, more worshipful, in a word, more childlike.

It is unthinkable that either of these great forms of Christianity will pass away. They will change. They are already changing, and each, as it changes, moves toward the other.

Thought and life move through conflict to unity. Thesis--antithesis--synthesis--that is the great law. The great and, perhaps, inevitable stage of antithesis that has divided Christendom for four centuries is drawing to a close. Latin Christianity needed Protestantism. It was the Protestant Reformation that inspired the counter-reformation. Roman Catholicism owes to Luther and Calvin a purer faith and a new lease of life. To-day the noblest and most energetic types of Roman Catholicism are found in Protestant lands, and the service of Protestantism to Roman Catholicism is not yet finished.

Just as certainly, Protestantism needs Roman Catholicism. Some exposition of this has already been attempted. It is hard to see how any one who believes Roman Catholicism to be a tissue of errors can account for its extraordinary tenacity of life. Why should God preserve it unless because its mission is not yet accomplished?

Far apart and deeply antagonistic these two great forms of Christianity may seem, but, after all, it is an inescapable law on this earth that two people who try to get as far away from each other as possible must meet at last; and hatred is nearer love than is indifference. Human nature wearies of antagonism, and the longer it lasts the warmer the welcome for its passing.

Like denominationalism, this four hundred year old antagonism seems a mighty tree but, like denominationalism, it is hollow within. Some day the great winds of God will arise, and when they begin to blow, this tree, too, will fall.

The thirteenth century was one of the great centuries of Christian history. In it feudalism reached its height, and chivalry its fullest flower. In it Gothic architecture and medieval philosophy reared their noblest monuments. It was the century of the greatest of medieval, or, perhaps, of distinctively Christian, poets, Dante, the greatest of Christian theologians, Aquinas, the greatest of Popes, Innocent III., the two most winsome of saints, St. Francis and St. Louis of France. In all its greatness, the thirteenth century is distinctively Roman Catholic. The nineteenth century, also, is another of the less than half a dozen of the greatest of Christian centuries, and it is distinctively a Protestant century. Its great achievements in geographical and astronomical discovery, scientific investigation, increase of human comfort and wealth, and above all its unparalleled extension of liberty--bear all of them the Protestant stamp.

These two centuries have thus established beyond dispute the right of those two great historic forms of Christianity to the lasting reverence and gratitude of mankind.

Roman Catholicism has cherished the divine principle of unity. At great cost it has preserved unity. It has not been equally careful of the divine principle of liberty.

Protestantism has gloriously fought and suffered and died for liberty. It has never highly valued unity. It has even gloried in division. But unity is a diviner thing than even liberty. Liberty is precious only as the indispensable condition and pre-requisite of true unity.

It is a lovely and thrilling hope that the twentieth century may prove to be the century of the Great Christianity, the Christianity which will extinguish neither Latin nor Teutonic Christianity but comprehend and blend them, the simple, yet free and varied, democratic, passionate Christianity of all who love the Lord Jesus Christ and seek His Kingdom on the earth, the Christianity which was the first and will be the last.

This, at least, can be said, that the unparalleled problems of social and political reconstruction facing the world to-day can be rightly solved only by a great religious devotion, and it is difficult to see how that devotion can be secured except by a unification of the great Churches of Christendom and their common baptism into the spirit of primitive Christianity.

And let no one say the Great Christianity is only a beautiful dream.

Already, in that forever holy strip of land where towns were reduced to heaps of dust and trees to splintered trunks, where earth was gashed and torn as men never gashed and tore the kindly bosom of mother earth before, and where beautiful human bodies were mutilated and destroyed with a fury unknown in history, there the Great Christianity has disclosed itself. There at the mouth of hell unfolded the sweetest flowers that ever bloomed on earth. There in the brotherhood of the trenches became visible the Great Christianity. There Anglicans, Baptists, Congregationalists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Salvationists, and every other kind of Protestants, aye, and Roman Catholics, kneeled together to commemorate the suffering and love of their Common Redeemer, the Soldier-King.

"Father," wrote a Manitoba boy to his father from the trenches, in the spring of 1917, "we have a religion here but, father, it is not the same as yours. You don't like the Catholics or the Church of England, but, father, we love everybody here. We are all one. And, father," the boy went on, "when we come back, our religion is going to blow yours sky-high."

A prophecy not as yet fulfilled but not, perhaps, beyond fulfillment. Certain it is that our soldier boys will never crowd into our churches as they crowded to the colors till those churches are the home of a Christianity that has the breadth and the brotherliness and something, at least, of the heroism of the Christianity of the trenches.

But something more must be said about the Great Christianity.

It may be that Latin Christianity and Teutonic combined do not represent the full splendor and power of Christianity, and that the drastic social changes which must be carried out in the next quarter of a century, or even in a briefer period, call for the re-inforcement of another race and another sort of Christianity.

The distinctive Greek Christianity of the first five or six centuries made its contribution and passed away with the vanishing of the original and pure Hellenic race. But there is a Greek Christianity which has found a new lease of life and a new home in that race which has largely replaced the Greek in his own home and has diffused itself over most of eastern Europe, the Slavonic. There is a great Christianity which is still called Greek, but which is rather Slavonic Christianity, and which might more narrowly and specifically be called Russian Christianity, after that people who constitute the largest section of Greek Christianity and promise to be the most influential.

It may well be that the Great Christianity which the world so desperately needs will be neither Latin nor Teutonic Christianity nor both in combination, but a blend of Latin and Teutonic and American and Russian Christianity, and it does not seem unlikely that the contribution of the last of the four may be the most precious and vital of them all. Perhaps in the part Russia is destined to play in the next fifty years will be found the most striking example in all history of how it is God's way to choose the foolish things of the world that He may put to shame them that are wise; and the weak things of the world that He may put to shame the things that are strong; and the base things of the world and the things that are despised that He may bring to nought the things that are.

The Slav has been the Cinderella of the European sisterhood. Perhaps we might say, the ugly duckling. From a military point of view he has been no match for the Teuton. In the long struggle of the last thousand years between the Teuton and the Slav, the Teuton has nearly always showed himself the stronger. For centuries he has ruled over the Slav. In the industrial arts, in all that pertains to the utilization of natural resources for the material well-being of men, in agriculture and mining and manufacturing and trading, the Slav has been immeasurably more backward.

Mastered and oppressed by the Teuton on the West, subjugated for centuries by the Tartar on the East, the Slav has remained until yesterday a people forgotten and despised, shrouded in poverty, ignorance, mystery. And now out of that twilight he has stepped, ignorant, fanatical, and in his ignorance or superstition capable of ferocity, yet essentially the most child-like, the most religious, the most brotherly, the most idealistic of European peoples. What other people call their country, what the Russian calls his--holy Russia?

The peoples of the West, especially the Teutonic or the Anglo-Saxon, are weak where they are strong. It is their practicalness that has given them their high place; it is their practicalness which keeps them from the highest. It is hard for them to believe in a Holy City. If they do believe in it, they do not care to seek it till they are sure of a practicable road. But the Slav instinctively believes in a Holy City, and only needs to be told where it is to be found to set out forthwith over rivers, bogs, and rugged mountain ranges.

And it is just these things the Western world needs in this crisis--the spirit of the little child, the spirit of brotherhood, the sense of the pre-eminence of religion, the idealism that will risk everything for a dream.

The first movements of the awakened Russian may be unsteady. His new found freedom may act on him with intoxicating, almost deranging power. But they know little of the real Russian soul who dread the liberation of that long-prisoned soul and its free play on the Western world.

In the material ground-work of our civilization, its farming, its mining, its building of steamships, of railroads, of modern cities, the Teutonic races have taken the lead. They have builded the house. Now, it may be, when the finer problems arise of living in the home in harmony and helpfulness and in a high and holy spirit, it is the Slav who, in his turn, will take the lead. The Greek, the Italian, the Frank, the Spaniard, the Anglo-Saxon have successively held the premier place. The day of the Slav may now be dawning.

Nor yet is our forecast of the Great Christianity complete. It may be that there awaits us, though in a more distant future, a still more striking illustration of how God chooses for honor the despised things of the world. Of all races the most despised, the most oppressed, has been the African, and that not for generations or centuries but for millenniums. Europe, Asia, and America have all made Africa their servant. The dark Continent stands pre-eminent in suffering and in service. But it is in suffering and in service that He, too, the Coming King, has been pre-eminent. One reason why Africa has been the hunting ground of the slaver from immemorial times is because in the African nature immemorially and inextinguishably is the readiness to serve. All other races love to rule; some of them, like the Latin and the Teutonic, have been intensely proud, greedy of power, and averse from service. The African race is the one race which has by nature the spirit of Him who came not to be ministered unto but to minister. The African race, too, is of all races the most child-like, the most care-free, the one most ready to delight in simple things and the things of to-day. The white races, in comparison, are old, vigilant, suspicious, anxious, care-worn. There is no question which, in these respects, is nearest the ideal of Jesus. The greedy, ambitious spirit of the Western nations, never contented, their delight in to-day always poisoned by the fear or the fascination of to-morrow, is far from the spirit of Jesus. It may be that the white man will yet have to sit at the feet of the black, and that, when Christ is glorified, it will be that race that has, beyond all other races, trodden Christ's path of suffering and service which, beyond all others, will be glorified with Him.

The re-action of the uncounted millions of Asia on Christianity--the contributions of the ancient and deeply experienced brown and yellow races to that religion in which alone they can find their fullest development--is another fascinating subject for enquiry and speculation; but these influences, potent and inescapable as they promise to be, fall outside the limits of the period considered by this book.


The task before Western civilization to-day, it is probable, is the greatest civilization has ever faced. It is a complete reconstruction that is demanded. It must be accomplished with speed. All the Western nations are involved. There have been other reconstructions as drastic, but either they have been permitted a much longer period of development, or they have been confined to much smaller areas.

The struggle will not be over religious opinions, or political theories, though both are involved. It will be over what touch men ordinarily much more deeply, their livelihood and their profits, and the war has seemed to show that men will sacrifice their lives more readily than their profits. It will be a struggle no class can escape.

The readjustments would be difficult enough in themselves if men engaged in them in the calmest and kindliest spirit. But many who will be foremost in the task of reconstruction bring to the problems the bitterness and distrust engendered by centuries of cruel wrong.

Nothing but Christianity can carry the Western peoples through this unparallelled crisis. But it must be Christianity in its purity and its fulness, not a Christianity wasting its energy on doctrinal controversy, broken by denominational divisions, or absorbed in taking care of its machinery. It must, in short, be a Christianity neither intellectualized nor sectarianized nor institutionalized.

It must be a Christianity, born as at the first in the hearts of the common people, simple, democratic, brotherly; like a tree, its top in the sky but its roots deep in common earth; treating institutions, even the most venerable, as the mere temporary contrivances that they are; with the faith of Jesus in the human heart and in the ultimate triumph of love, and a willingness, like His, to find a throne in a cross.

Warwick Bro's & Rutter, Limited,

Printers and Bookbinders, Toronto, Canada.

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