Copyright
Josiah Strong.

Our world, the new world-life online

. (page 1 of 21)
Online LibraryJosiah StrongOur world, the new world-life → online text (page 1 of 21)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


LIBRARY]

UNIVERSITV*OF
CALIFORNIA

SAN Dl EG



presented to the
UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
SAN DIEGO

by

Robert F. Lewis



THE NEW WORLD-LIFE



BY THE SAME AUTHOR

MY RELIGION IN EVERYDAY LIFE
THE CHALLENGE OF THE CITY
THE NEXT GREAT AWAKENING
THE TIMES AND YOUNG MEN

EXPANSION UNDER NEW WORLD
CONDITIONS

RELIGIOUS MOVEMENTS FOR SO-
CIAL BETTERMENT

THE NEW ERA
OUR COUNTRY



OUR WORLD



THE NEW WORLD-LIFE



BY

REV. JOSIAH STRONG, D.D.,

AUTHOR OF "OuR COUNTRY," "THE NEW ERA," "EXPANSION UNDER
NEW WORLD CONDITIONS," ETC., ETC.



"Scoop down yon beetling mountain, and raise- thai jutting cape,
A world is on your anvil, now smite it into shape.
What is this iron music whose sound is borne afar 1
The hammers of the world-smiths are beating out a star."




GARDEN CITY NEW YORK

DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY
1913



Copyright, 1913, by

DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY

All rights reserved, including that of

translation into foreign languages,

including the Scandinavian



CONTENTS

CHAPTEB PAGE

INTRODUCTION , vii

PART I

THE NEW WORLD-LIFE

I. A NEW WORLD-TENDENCY .... 3

II. A NEW WORLD-INDUSTRY .... 19

III. A NEW WORLD-PEACE 37

IV. A NEW WORLD-IDEAL 53

PART II
THE NEW WORLD-PROBLEMS

V. THE NEW PROBLEM OF INDUSTRY . 87

VI THE NEW PROBLEM OF WEALTH . . 126

VII. THE NEW RACE PROBLEM .... 159

VIII. THE NEW PROBLEM OF THE INDIVIDUAL

AND SOCIETY 176

IX. THE NEW PROBLEM OF LAWLESSNESS

AND OF LEGISLATION .... 203

X. THE NEW PROBLEM OF THE CITY . . 228
INDEX 285



INTRODUCTION

"OuR COUNTRY" appeared in 1886. An American
in India wrote me after reading it, "I hope your next
book will be entitled 'Our World.'" Here it is; and I
have been at work on it during all these years.

"Our Country" pointed out a national crisis and
discussed certain national perils. "Our World" calls
attention to a world-crisis, and considers certain world-
problems which, unless they are duly solved, will be-
come imminent world-perils.

During historic times, when social or economic
pressure has forced a crisis, there has always been
until now an escape by migration. But No Man's
Land has been exhausted; there are no more New
Worlds. The problems which come with increasing
density of population can no longer be evaded.

When, in the long past, civilizations have become
corrupt and effete, waiting barbaric hordes have over-
whelmed degenerate peoples, and civilization has be-
gun anew. But there is no more fresh, unspoiled
barbaric blood whose infusion can vivify a decaying
civilization. If civilization necessarily engenders cor-
ruption and effeminacy, then is the race doomed, and it
is time to pray for Huxley's friendly comet to execute
the sentence. In other words, society in its evolution
has reached a stage in which the great human prob-
lems that vitally concern not the privileged classes,
nor the dominant races, nor the Great Powers alone,
but mankind Our World must be faced. They

vii



viii INTRODUCTION

can no longer be postponed to some other age, nor trans-
ferred to some other people. There is no other people,
and I had almost said that unless these pressing world-
problems find early solution, there will be no other
age.

There is being developed a new world-life with
vitally important implications a new world-industry,
a new world-peace, and a new world-ideal, after which
men are now groping. This new world-life and a state-
ment of the new world-problems which grow out of it
occupy this volume. No solution of these problems is
here attempted, but only an analysis which shows their
real nature and then* imperative importance.

In the second volume the writer will undertake to
show that the Christianity of Christ not only recognizes
the new world-ideal after which men are now feeling,
but defines, illuminates, and glorifies it; that Jesus, who
always had the world-vision, laid down the world-
principles by which alone the great world-problems
can be solved and the new world-ideal realized. It will
also be shown that Institutional Christianity is now on
trial, and that only as it grasps the world-significance
of the teachings of Jesus and applies his principles to
world-salvation can it hope to survive.

The third volume will discuss the scientific principles
revealed by the new knowledge, which at the same time
lay a new responsibility on society and justify a new
hope for humanity. These principles confirm the
social teachings of Jesus and assist in their application
to existing social conditions. This volume will then
apply the teachings of Jesus and the teachings of
science to the solution of the great world-problems,
and show that whether the new civilization issues in a
heaven on earth or a hell on earth depends on the



INTRODUCTION ix

practical application of these teachings to human
affairs.

In the fourth volume it will be shown that America
is the great laboratory of the world, where these prob-
lems which concern all peoples are farthest advanced
and will soonest reach a crisis; and that we have some
special facilities for solving them.

There will then be pointed out some special relations
which we sustain to Europe, South America, Africa,
and Asia, together with certain practical measures
demanded by the world-crisis on which we are entering.



PART I.
THE NEW WORLD-LIFE



The New World -Life

CHAPTER I
A NEW WORLD-TENDENCY

CAN there be no such thing as a permanent civiliza-
tion? Is humanity, in its successive generations, con-
demned to the task of Sisyphus?

Powers have arisen, have built on the ruins of civili-
zations which they have overthrown, have waxed great
and greater until there was no more opposition to over-
come, and then, weakened by their own success, have
declined and perished.

Exploration reveals the cynical fact that a mound in
the valley of the Euphrates, the Tigris, or the Nile is
the tomb of perhaps a dozen dead cities, which have
been built one upon another. The remains of ancient
civilizations are like geologic strata which mark the
long ages in which different forms of life came and went.
Even in this "New" World we find the remains of two
prehistoric civilizations in North America, one earlier
than the other, both of which were succeeded by
savagery. In Peru antiquarians point out the remains
of four different civilizations superimposed one upon
another prior to the Spanish occupation.

Is this historic round necessary? Do civilizations,
like men, naturally have their birth, childhood, youth,
mature life, old age, and death? Such seems to have
been the record of history; but does this vicious

3



4 THE NEW WORLD-LIFE

circle belong to the constitution of things? Professor
Patten remarks: "No truth confronts us more baldly
than this, that periods of decay and reaction have
interrupted those of life and construction. The fail-
ure to find a sound basis for civilization is tragic
enough to overcome the most courageous with the
scourging fear that the instability of social structures
is the result of some fatal defect in the constitution of
the earth itself I" 1 Not only does this fear rise like a
spectre from the study of the dead past, but it is sug-
gested to many minds by the present outlook upon the
world. It goes without showing that world-wide
changes are now in process. With the inauguration
of the industrial revolution in every land; with the
building of transcontinental railways and interoceanic
canals; with the substitution of constitutional govern-
ment for ancient despotism; with Russia, Turkey,
China, and Persia feeling after parliamentary institu-
tions; with the popular education and freedom of
speech which must needs accompany the growth of
democracy; with the rise of new sciences and their
revolutionary results in the material world, it is quite
evident that existing civilizations are in a condition of
flux. Moreover, with the development of the scien-
tific method and its application not only to the phe-
nomena of nature but to history, religion, and theology,
authority has been overturned, the anchorage of many
has been loosened and they have been set adrift amid
the conflicting currents of modern speculation.

The complexity of present-day life overwhelms us.
We are lost in details. The world seems to live only a
day at a time. The newspaper habit distorts or de-
stroys our perspective; it fixes attention on the happen-

1 "The New Basis for Civilization," p. 31.



A NEW WORLD-TENDENCY 5

ings of the hour and passes before the mind a rapidly
shifting panorama a sort of continuous presentation
of perpetually dissolving views, which to the average
mind is a meaningless jumble of events. When we
stop to think at all, we wonder whether in the
government of the world there is a fixed purpose, a
comprehensive plan, and orderly progress toward its
accomplishment.

The ancient tradition of a time when "the morning
stars sang together " indicates an early apprehension of
the harmony of the physical universe. This concep-
tion which was once a poetic fancy is now recognized
as an established scientific fact. Newton's vast gener-
alization, embracing all worlds and systems of worlds,
transforms their meaningless movements into the
visible music of the spheres. Neither sun nor mote
floating in its beams makes a jarring note hi the infinite
harmony. Great and small, far and near, are alike
comprehended under one and the same law.

Furthermore, the fact that man has discovered no
celestial body which contains elements other than
those of the earth is more than a hint of the unity of
creation.

Again, we have reached the conception that truth is
a unit, that from the "Flower in the crannied wall" up
to its Creator the whole of any one truth is all truth.
The scientific method, the correctness of which is suf-
ficiently demonstrated by its priceless results, is based
on the absolute harmony of all truth. This harmony is
not always obvious, but a wide angle of vision so often
reveals principles which are apparently conflicting as
only the opposite poles of the same great truth that we
have learned to ascribe all such apparent conflicts to
mental myopia.



6 THE NEW WORLD - LIFE

Again, the principle of evolution, equally applicable
to physical, mental, moral, and spiritual development,
serves to unify the ages through which "One increasing
purpose runs," and shows that the universal law of
cause and effect is the unbroken thread on which the
centuries are strung. As there is no isolated particle
of matter and no unrelated truth, so there are no iso-
lated and unrelated events. Says Henry Drummond:
"Science for centuries devoted itself to the cataloguing
of facts and the discovery of laws. Each worker toiled
in his own little place the geologist in his quarry, the
botanist in his garden, the biologist in his laboratory,
the astronomer in his observatory, the historian in his
library, the archaeologist in his museum. Suddenly
these workers looked up; they spoke to one another;
they had each discovered a law; they whispered its
name. It was Evolution. Henceforth their work was
one, science was one, the world was one, and mind,
which discovered the oneness, was one." 1

This oneness of the evolutionary process, this oneness
of truth, this identity of elements, this oneness of the law
of cause and effect, each embracing the physical, men-
tal, and moral spheres, show that these several spheres
are all parts of one comprehending whole because all
are subject to the same great laws.

It is not difficult in this scientific age to believe hi
the oneness of nature which is under law, but to many
minds history seems little more than a chaos of dis-
cordant happenings, without purpose or plan. It is
easy to recognize a harmony in the physical world
which apparently does not exist in the moral world.
In the latter human wills, which are a law unto them-
selves^ enter in to complicate the problem. Different
l The Ascent of Man," pp. 8, 9.



A NEW WORLD - TENDENCY 7

individuals, classes, and nations have different interests
and conflicting purposes; hence the great world discord.
The divine problem in the moral universe is to make all
moral beings glad to obey while leaving all free to dis-
obey. It is evident that until this problem is solved,
the diverse and perverse operation of human wills
must obscure, more or less, the benevolent plan and
purpose of the Divine Government.

If there is such a purpose discernible amid the con-
fusion of the world, it is of the utmost importance to
discover it, and to acquaint ourselves as far as possible
with the plan by which that purpose is being realized,
in order that we may be intelligent and efficient co-
labourers with God to the accomplishment of that end.

Professor Drummond wrote seventeen years ago:
"To discover the rationale of social progress is the
ambition of this age." 1 The rapid movement of
events and the increasing light of science encourage me
to believe that this ambition is now within measurable
distance of being realized.

It is becoming more and more evident that man as
well as nature is under law. While it may be impossible
to tell what an individual will do under given condi-
tions, it may be possible to anticipate with great con-
fidence what a class or a tribe or a nation will do under
the same conditions. Nothing is more uncertain than
the life of an individual, but few things in the future
are more sure than the number of men out of a mil-
lion who will die in a given time. We are learning
much of the laws of life, of the importance of environ-
ment, of the reflex influence of mind and body on each
other, and of a thousand other things which bear on
human progress and the destiny of the race. By mak-
1<4 The Ascent of Man," p. 3.



8 THE NEW WORLD - LIFE

ing a study sufficiently broad, therefore, we may hope
to trace tendencies which are indicative of a very
definite goal toward which the world is moving.

A NEW WORLD-TENDENCY

If the Mississippi Valley were tilted only a few hun-
dred feet, the great river would flow north and empty
into the Hudson Bay instead of the Gulf. Such a
reversal of its current would profoundly affect the
United States. Much more profound and much far-
ther-reaching will be the results of the reversal of a
stream of tendency which took place during the past
century.

This stream flowed in one direction for unnumbered
thousands of years. Its origin dates back to the be-
ginning of the lowest form of life on this planet. From
this single living cell, so science tells us, came the end-
less variations of vegetable and animal life, ever appear-
ing in new forms, as life, in its progress over the earth,
adapted itself to an ever-changing environment. The
constantly widening current of this stream of tendency
has borne with it multiplying customs, languages, laws,
religions, philosophies, industries, institutions, forms of
government, nations, races, and civilizations.

The tendency of the long past has been toward
diversity, that of the longer future will be toward
oneness.

The change hi this stream of tendency is not a tem-
porary deviation from its age-long course a mere
bend in the river. It is an actual reversal of the current,
which beyond a perad venture will prove permanent.
This change, absolutely unique in the history of the
world, and unspeakably more important than any pos-



A NEW WORLD -TENDENCY 9

sible political, social, or physical convulsion, lias been
so gradual and so silent that it has scarcely been noticed.

Let us hi the barest possible outline indicate this
momentous change.

It is a fundamental law of life that it must be adapted
to its environment. If environment materially changes,
life must adapt itself, accordingly or perish.

Environment, as we shall see in a later chapter
devoted to that subject, embraces all physical condi-
tions, such as soil, temperature, humidity, the con-
formation of the earth's surface, food, clothing, home,
and the like. It also includes institutions, laws, cus-
toms, and all influences, social, intellectual, moral, and
spiritual.

Wherever primitive man began, his multiplying
descendants were at length forced to move outward by
the pressure of population on the means of subsistence,
different groups came in contact with different environ-
ments which speedily began to work in them variation
from the parent stock. Some for better protection
took possession of mountain fastnesses and wooded
regions, and subsisting by the chase, and by gathering
wild fruits and berries, remained savage. Some were
crowded out to dry upland plains, and living by means
of domesticated animals became nomadic like the
Arabs. Some took possession of well-watered valleys
and rose by various stages from savagery to an agri-
cultural civilization, becoming builders of villages and
cities like the Egyptians and Assyrians; while others
halted at the seacoast, and naturally became fishers,
sailors, and merchants, developing in the course of
ages a commercial civilization like the Phoenicians and
Greeks. Thus radically different environments pro-
duced radically different civilizations.



10 THE NEW WORLD - LIFE

The more widely peoples were scattered, the greater
became climatic differences, which emphasized the
divergence of their habits and characteristics. Those
who occupied warm climates needed little clothing and
but little shelter from the elements, and a generous soil
provided food hi response to little effort. In the
course of generations both physical and mental habits
were fixed which harmonized with these easy conditions
of life.

More northern peoples were forced by the rigours of
their climates to provide adequate shelter, warm cloth-
ing, and a winter's supply of food. They were thus
stimulated to form active habits of body and mind.

Living languages, like all living things, grow. Peoples
separated by mountain ranges, deserts, and seas found
themselves, in the course of generations, unable to
understand each other, though their ancestors had
spoken the same tongue. Thus isolation developed
differences which again increased isolation.

Nature, ever seeking to conform life to its environ-
ment, gradually adapted physical types to differences
of climate, food, habit, and condition, until in the course
of generations racial characteristics were differentiated
and fixed.

These racial characteristics of course include mental
and moral differences as well as physical. In tropical
and subtropical Asia nature is overwhelming; deserts
are so vast, mountains are so high, heat is so intense,
drouths, famines, and earthquakes are so terrible, that
men are cowed and almost paralyzed. They are awed
by forces in the presence of which they are helpless,
and become fatalists. They live in the grasp of irresist-
ible power, the consciousness of which tends to develop
the religious frame of mind. And it is a significant



A NEW WORLD -TENDENCY 11

fact that every great religion in the world to-day
originated among Asiatic peoples. As Buckle has
pointed out, such physical conditions as exist in India
are far better calculated to cultivate the imagination
than the understanding, and to stimulate the spirit of
reverence than that of inquiry.

In Europe, on the other hand, nature is on a smaller
scale. She does not terrorize. Men were, therefore,
emboldened to undertake her conquest; hence the
development of the sciences, and a mighty impulse to
Western progress.

Until the nineteenth century there was but little
contact between different peoples. They were sepa-
rated, not only by distances hard to overcome, but by
differences of speech, of faith, of mental habit and mode
of life, of custom and costume, of government and law;
and isolation tended steadily to emphasize the diver-
gence which already existed. Thus increasing differ-
ences of environment perpetuated and intensified the
differences of civilization which they had created.

In other words, until the nineteenth century the
stream of tendency down all the ages was toward
diversity. Then came the profound change, the results
of which are, in their magnitude and importance,
beyond all calculation.

Steam annihilated nine tenths of distance, and
electricity has cancelled the remainder. Isolation is,
therefore, becoming impossible, for the world is now a
neighbourhood. This means that differences of en-
vironment will, from this time on, become constantly
less.

The swift ships of commerce are mighty shuttles
which are weaving the nations together into one great
web of life. True, there has been commerce since the



12 THE NEW WORLD -LIFE

early ages; but caravans could afford to carry only
precious goods, like fine fabrics, spices, and gems.
These luxuries did not reach the multitude, and could
not materially change environment. But modern
commerce scatters over all the world the products of
every climate, in ever-increasing quantities. For-
merly, all peoples were sustained by local products,
which differed as widely as the climates which produced
them.

Now Europeans import a large proportion of their
food, and differences of diet are being gradually elim-
inated. We are sending many millions of tons of
cereals to Europe and Asia every year, while cold
storage enables the American and the Australian to
supply the English market with fresh meats.

In like manner, peoples were once confined to the
clothing which they were able to produce. Now wools,
cottons, silks, and all textile goods are exchanged by
the ends of the earth

Mr. Emerson calls coal "a portable climate," which
is certainly true of a refrigerator car. To-day the cli-
mate of one country may be shipped to another. With
ice, coal, furnaces, and the various products of our
manufactures, we find that homes are being equipped
throughout the world in much the same way. There is
probably no civilized land on the globe now where the
sewing machine and the kerosene lamp are not found,
each working important changes, and helping to bring
very different peoples under very similar conditions.

Houses in different countries are becoming more and
more alike. There are parts of Cairo and of Constan-
tinople where the American might easily imagine he
was in Chicago or San Francisco.

Thus there is a growing tendency to modify the



A NEW WORLD -TENDENCY 13

physical differences of environment. Nor is this ten-
dency confined to the elimination of physical differences.
The press is producing a climate of opinion which is
becoming ever wider and is destined to be universal.
Millions now read the same printed page and think the
same thoughts. Since the beginning of the nineteenth
century several hundred million Bibles, Testaments,
and portions of the Scripture have been issued in
about 490 different translations enough to furnish
every family of the human race with a copy. There
are many great periodicals in many different countries
which are international in their circulation and in-
fluence. The Outlook, for instance, sends thousands
of copies every week to more than ninety different
countries outside of the United States. There is an
increasing body of literature which is read by all cul-
tivated peoples, through which increasing numbers are
coming to live in the same intellectual world. No one
can estimate to what extent Shakespeare has helped
to harmonize human thinking. Science, which knows
no frontier, is every day removing something from the
domain of opinion, and therefore of strife, to that of
actual knowledge; and every such addition to recognized
truth enlarges the common ground where all men may
stand. Men long since ceased quarrelling over the
Copernican theory.

Isolation is the mother of ignorance, and ignorance is
the prolific mother of misunderstandings and preju-
dices, racial, national, political, and religious. Human
nature is fundamentally the same among all peoples.
A cultivated American lady who had recently come into
contact with Italian labourers and other immigrants
remarked, "The strangest thing to me is that people
who are so different are so much alike." If men get



14 THE NEW WORLD - LIFE

near enough really to discover one another, they find
that they have more in common than in difference.
Accordingly the closer contact of modern life, its wider
relations, its many-sided education, its facilities for
travel are all dispelling misunderstandings and up-
rooting prejudices.

Nowhere have prejudices been so bitter as hi the
religious world. Men of different creeds have religi-
ously "hated one another for the love of God." And


1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

Online LibraryJosiah StrongOur world, the new world-life → online text (page 1 of 21)