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THE TWENTIETH
CENTURY CRUSADE



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

MBW YORK • BOSTON ■ CHICAGO • DALLAS
ATLANTA • SAN FRANCISCO

MACMILLAN & CO., Limited

LONDON • BOMBAY • CALCUTTA
MELBOURNE

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, Ltd.

TORONTO



THE TWENTIETH
CENTURY CRUSADE

BY

LYMAN ABBOTT






A crusade to make this world
a home in which God's children
can live in peace and safety is more
Christian than a crusade to recover
from pagans the tomb in which
the body of Christ was buried.



Il3eto gotfe

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

1918

A.U rights reserved



Copyright. 1918

bt the macmillan company



Set up and electrotyped. Published October, 1918.



INTRODUCTION

THE THREE CROSSES

And when they came unto the place which is called
" The Skull," there they crucified him, and the male-
factors, one on the right hand and the other on the
left.^

Three crosses; three sufferers, con-
demned to death by the courts of their coun-
try; suffering the same physical pains; the
same oriental sun beating on their naked
bodies; the same fever burning in their veins,
the same throbbing anguish in their limbs and
heads.

And the three all suffering spiritual pains;
but how different ! One of them a criminal
whose life had been spent In violation of law
and who to the end was defiant of God and
man, resentful, angry, with all the torment of
a defeated will and a remorseful but unrepent-
ant conscience. The second, looking back
on a worse than wasted life, longing to go
back and live that life over again, the ghosts
of his victims passing before him, the
panorama of his evil deeds unrolled before

^ The Scripture references throughout this volume are
generally taken from the American Standard Version.
V



vi Introduction

him, a glimmering hope somehow stirred In
his heart by the patient sufferer at his side.
The third, condemned for " Love to the love-
less shown," bearing the burdens of the whole
world, feeling the shame of the whole world,
suffering for the sins of the whole world,
wounded more by the hate of the malignant
priests than by the nails driven through his
hands and feet.

There are to-day in Europe three crosses,
and three groups of sufferers. There is the
brigand — brigand on the land and pirate on
the seas — unrepentant, self-satisfied, self-
willed, with all the bitterness of a defeated
will and a fiery wrath burning within him.
He has broken alike the laws of God and
man. " Thou shalt not steal." He has
robbed and plundered nations of their coal
and iron, banks of their money, houses of
their pictures and statues, and what he could
not carry off he has In mere wantonness de-
stroyed. " Thou shalt not kill." ^ He has
murdered innocent women and children by
the score. The score? by the thousand.
" Thou shalt not commit adultery." He has
sanctioned, if he did not direct, rape on a
magnitude never before known in the history
of the civilized world.

There Is another cross, the cross of those
who have sinned and have abandoned their



Introduction vii

sins. For the Germans were not the only
people who have exploited the poor for their
own benefit. Warren Hastings and Lord
Clive wrote on the pages of India more than
a hundred years ago a history which England
would gladly tear out from her records if she
could. The late king of Belgium is crowned
with dishonor by the crimes committed in the
Congo which his noble nephew has done so
much to efface since by his self-sacrifice. Nor
can we claim in America to be wholly in-
nocent. It is true we have seized no man's
territory. We won Cuba from Spain and
gave it back to the Cubans; we won Porto
Rico from Spain and gave it back to the Porto
Ricans, making them our fellow-citizens and
returning to them what we received from
them in taxes; we won the Philippines from
Spain, paying Spain for all her own property
In the island, providing the money necessary
to recompense the friars for their lands, and
now we are giving the island back to the
Filipinos as fast as we can. But we are not
wholly innocent. The auction block has gone
from the South and no man wishes to bring
it back. The schoolhouse Is gradually re-
placing the wigwam, though far too slowly.
But the slums still remain in our great cities,
though, thank God, there are political reform-
ers and social settlement workers and de-
voted Christians who are doing what they



viii Introduction

can, despite obstacles and opposition, to ban-
ish those crimes against humanity from our
civihzation.

There is a third cross. There are no sin-
less ones, but there are thousands, yes ! hun-
dreds of thousands of men and women who
are laying down their lives for crimes in
which they had no share and which never had
their approval, who have never exploited the
poor or been deaf to the cry of the needy,
who have found in this war simply a new op-
portunity^for the unselfish service of their fel-
low-men, who looking back on their past life
might say with Job :

I delivered the poor that cried,

The fatherless also, that had none to help him.

The blessing of him that was ready to perish came

upon me ;
And I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
I was eyes to the blind,
And feet was I to the lame.
I was a father to the needy :
And the cause of him that I knew not I searched

out.

They are working in the hospitals at the peril
of their lives. They are sailing the sea and
defying the torpedo boats. They are serving
in the trenches. They are flying in the air-
planes. They are laying down their lives
for their fellow-men.



Introduction ix

These are the three crosses: the cross of
the unrepentant, bitter, wrathful brigand; the
cross of the repentant sinner; the cross of the
men and women who are suffering for sins
they never committed — for sins for which
they have no responsibility.

Why? Why do Innocent men suffer for
the crimes of the guilty?

Because it Is eternally true, that without
the shedding of blood there Is no remission of
sins; because we live In a world which Is a
battlefield, in which righteousness and wick-
edness, truth and error, liberty and des-
potism, justice and injustice are in perpetual
battle one against the other. And there is
no way in which the falsehood, the despotism,
the injustice, can be overthrown, unless there
are men and women willing to suffer for the
sins they have never committed; to make sac-
rifices that by their sacrifice they may give the
life which others are destroying.

In paganism the gods are feared. In
paganism sacrifices are offered to the gods to
win from them a reluctant forgiveness, to ap-
pease their wrath, or to satisfy their law.
Jesus Christ teaches that man is not to offer
a sacrifice to God. God offers sacrifice to
man. The New Testament is radiant with
that message: ''God so loved the world
that he gave his only begotten son." He is
the author of the sacrifice. " Herein is love,



X Introduction

not that we loved God, but that he loved us,
and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our
sins." He is the sacrifice. " He laid down
his life for us and we ought to lay down our
lives for the brethren." His sacrifice in-
spires us to a like sacrifice.

Jesus portrays God as a good shepherd.
He listens to the crying of the lambs and goes
out into the wilderness that he may bring the
wanderers back again and when he sees the
wolf coming imperils his life, fighting the wolf
that he may save the sheep. Jesus portrays
God as a father, bearing in his soul the sin
and shame of the wicked son, going forth to
greet him and bring him back to the home
again when the son's face is turned in pen-
itence toward him. God oflfers himself a
sacrifice to man.

And what the Bible teaches, life teaches.
The repentant thief did not suffer sacrifice
that he might win forgiveness from the
Savior. Jesus, by self-sacrifice inspired re-
pentance and the hope of a better life in the
brigand at his side. The child does not win
a reluctant forgiveness from the mother.
The tears, the prayers, the heart-breakings
of the mother win the child back from his evil
doings to his home once more. A pagan
community does not, by its sacrifice, win the
missionary. The missionary sacrifices wealth
and comfort and home that he may win the



Introduction xi

pagans abroad or In our own land to a better
life. The sufferings of a country do not ap-
pease the wrath or win the love of the patriot,
but never in the history of mankind has a
country been saved from corruption unless
there were some patriots that were willing to
suffer for it.

This book is written for those who are
sharing In the great sacrifice in this world's
Golgotha. Whether they recognize Jesus
Christ as their leader or not, whether they
are Roman Catholics or Protestants, believ-
ers or agnostics. Christians or Jews, they have
taken up their cross and are following him;
they are laying down their lives for their un-
known kinsmen beyond the sea. It Is written
not only for the soldiers In the air. In the field,
or on the sea, not only for the wounded in the
hospitals, the maimed and handicapped re-
turning home, and the dying slipping away to
their long home through death's bright portal,
but for the fathers and mothers who have
caught the spirit of the All-Father and have
given a son or a daughter, perhaps more than
one, that the world may be saved by love's
greatest sacrifice.

I have some reason to believe that what I
have been saying during the last four years
In sermon and article has thrown some light
on the path through the strange confusions of
thought and perplexities of conscience which



xii Introduction

have troubled noble spirits. I hope that this
little book, in which free use is made of these
previous utterances, may render a like serv-
ice to another and perhaps a larger circle of
readers.



TABLE OF CONTENTS

PAGE

Introduction — The Three Crosses . . v

First Letter — Perplexities .... 3

Second Letter — The Battle of Life . 12

Third Letter — The Peacemakers . . 25

Fourth Letter — The Old Gospel . . 36

Fifth Letter — " We Glory in Tribula-
tions " 50

Sixth Letter — " The Republic of God " 61

Seventh Letter — Christ's Peace . . 76

Eighth Letter — " Show Me Thy Paths,

O Lord" 91

Ninth Letter — Coronation .... loi



THE TWENTIETH
CENTURY CRUSADE



The Twentieth Century
Crusade



FIRST LETTER

PERPLEXITIES

So your son has sailed from some port in
the United States to some port in France.
The last farewells have been given though
the last tears have not been shed. There
are some homesick hours before him. There
are many anxious hours before you. And
whether he will come back to be your com-
panion and perhaps your guardian and sup-
port, or come back a perpetual invalid to be
the object of your nursing solicitude, or never
come back, accounted for only among '' the
missing," you cannot know. Believe me that
I am fully conscious of what this sacrifice
means to you and to him. And yet I am writ-
ing this letter not to condole with you but to
congratulate you.

I remember that you have hanging in your



4 The Twentieth Century Crusade

hall a sword of which you are the proud pos-
sessor. It was worn by your great-grand-
father as a captain, If I recall aright, at the
battle of Bunker Hill. It entitles you to the
honorable title of Daughter of the Revolu-
tion — or Is it Daughter of the American
Revolution? I am afraid I have not a clear
idea of the difference between these sister
societies.

I think you are much more to be con-
gratulated on being the mother of your son
than on being the great-grand-daughter of
your great-grandfather; on being one of the
mothers of the present war to make the world
safe for democracy, than on being one of the
daughters of the American Revolution. For
you could not avoid being a daughter of the
American Revolution, but It is your clear
vision and your womanly courage which has
made you a mother of the war to make the
jvorld safe from the Hun.

If you could only be sure that you have
decided rightly and that your son has acted
rightly! But there Is no perplexity so hard
to bear as that of a perplexed conscience.
And in the tangle of contradictory reports
and conflicting opinions respecting this present
war you are not always sure. You would
accept my congratulations with a better heart
if you could only be as clear respecting the is-



Perplexities 5

sues of 19 1 8 as you are of the issues of 1776.
Edwin Austin Abbey 2nd in the letters of "A
Gentleman Unafraid," published in the At-
lantic Monthly of April, 19 18, puts this per-
plexity with admirable clearness: *' Honor
demands that we enter the war, humanity that
we stay out." I think this perplexity has as-
sailed the mothers more than the sons. For
the maternal solicitude of the mother re-
enforces the claims of humanity, and the glory
of achievement in the son reenforces the
claims of honor.

But you are mistaken if you imagine that
the issue was clearer to the men and women
of 1776 than it is to the men and women of
19 1 8. It is always easy to determine the
path of duty when history has interpreted the
enigmatical events, but always difficult while
we are in the midst of these events; as it was
difficult for the early explorers to decide
whether the Mississippi flowed into the Gulf
of Mexico or into the Pacific Ocean, while
now we wonder at their doubts.

In 1776 there were conscientious objectors
who believed that all war is wrong and who
affirmed their conviction that " the setting up
and putting down kings and governments is
God's peculiar prerogative for causes best
known to himself, and it is not our business
to have any hand or contrivance therein."



6 The Twentieth Century Crusade

There were English-Americans then as there
are German-Americans now: and they had an
excuse if not a justification for adhering to
the cause of their mother country then, while
German-Americans have neither justification
nor excuse for violating the oath abjuring
their loyalty to their Fatherland which they
took at the time of their naturalization as
American citizens. Other Americans, who
had no doubt that their allegiance was due to
the Colonies rather than to the Mother coun-
try, opposed the war for independence as a
foolish and fanatical venture sure to end in
disastrous failure. And Samuel Johnson, the
foremost Anglo-Saxon moralist of his time,
wrote a long and able paper to prove that
taxation without representation is not tyranny
and that the only remedy for the springing re-
volt in the Colonies would be found when the
Americans were " reduced to obedience," an
obedience " secured by stricter laws and
stronger obligations."

I honor your son as I honor your great-
grandfather, not merely because he had the
courage to offer his life in the service of a
world-wide liberty, but no less because in a
time of great perplexity he had the clearness
of vision to perceive in which direction the
path of duty lies.

Your father, I remember, was wounded at



Perplexities 7

Gettysburg and never wholly recovered from
the effects of his campaigning. He had in-
herited from his grandfather the spirit of
vision and courage. The issue in 1850 when
the compromise measures were passed was
complicated and perplexing — insoluble to
one accustomed to judge the moral value of
action by the probable consequences. Samuel
J. Tilden was a man of high principle and re-
markably clear political intelligence. Up to
1850 he had been an anti-slavery man. He
never became a pro-slavery man. But he
foresaw that insistence on the Constitutional
right of the Nation to prohibit the extension
of slavery would inevitably bring on civil war,
and he was sure that civil war would result
either in a dissolution of the Union or in the
government of a defeated South by a victor-
ious North — a condition absolutely incom-
patible with either true liberty or a true union
of the States. Abraham Lincoln cut through
all such arguments of philosophers who meas-
ured moral principles by anticipated results.
If, he said in his Cooper Union speech, slav-
ery is right, we ought to do all that the South
asks of us. If slavery is wrong, we have no
right to fasten it upon territories for the gov-
ernment of which we are responsible. I am
quoting not his words, but interpreting his
spirit. From that position he never for a



8 The Twentieth Century Crusade

moment wavered and in his second Inaugural
address repeated it in one of the most elo-
quent sentences he ever uttered : "Fondly do
we hope, fervently do we pray, that this
mighty scourge of war may speedily pass
away. Yet if God wills that it continue until
all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two
hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall
be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn
with the lash shall be paid by another drawn
by the sword, as was said three thousand
years ago, so still it must be said, that the
judgments of the Lord are true and righteous
altogether."

I honor your boy as I honor your father
and as I honor Abraham Lincoln, not merely
because he has the courage of his convictions
and has sought the privilege of offering his
life for the life of the world, but because he
sees so clearly that compromise with murder,
robbery and rape would make the Nation ac-
cessory in those crimes and that honor and
humanity unite in demanding of the men of
America that they enter this war. To have
stayed out would have been to go down to
history with the inscription of Ephraim on
our tomb :

The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying

bows,
Turned back in the day of battle.



Perplexities 9

Whether your son comes back, or is
brought back maimed, or is buried in an un-
known grave in a foreign land, I congratulate
you on having such a son with so clear a
vision and so steady a heart. The remem-
brance of a brave son is better than the com-
panionship of a cowardly one. And I con-
gratulate you that you have brought up your
boy to be such a soldier in such a war as this.
Louder than addresses, sermons, editorials,
or Presidential messages are the actions of
our brave young men summoning the Nation
to its solemn duty :

Be not deaf to the sound that warns,
Be not gull'd by a despot's plea!
Are figs of thistles? or grapes of thorns?
How can a despot feel with the Free?
Form, form, Riflemen, form!
Riflemen, Riflemen, Riflemen, form!

These lines were written by one of Eng^
land's greatest poets. But it is greater to
live poetry than to write it; the heroic life is
more eloquent than the poet's summons to
heroism. It is a cause for profound grati-
tude that your heavenly Father has given you
a son who could not be deceived by the pleas
of a placid pacifism, who could not be per-
suaded that to acquiesce in monstrous crime
is to follow Jesus Christ.



lo The Twentieth Century Crusade

As this war goes on and the American
casualties increase, the tragedy of It will be
more and more impressed upon us, and more
and more we shall realize the meaning of
Sherman's oft quoted sentence, " War is
hell." Against the temptation to seek peace
hy compromise with wickedness which this
y tragedy will bring with It, we need to fortify
ourselves by an unassailable conviction that
there are experiences which, If permitted,
would be worse than hell. If this were not
so, a just God would never allow hell to exist.
The Massacre of St. Bartholomew was worse
than the war bravely fought by the Nether-
landers to defend their country from Spanish
despotism. The massacre of the unresist-
ing Jews by the Russians was worse than the
Russo-Japanese War. The massacre of the
unresisting Armenians by the Turks was
worse than the Crimean War. Crime un-
punished, unrestrained, unprevented; crim-
inals uncured; greed, cruelty, malice, allowed
to riot unchecked ; purity and innocence unpro-
tected from rapacity and lust: these are infi-
nitely worse than the hell which Jonathan
Edwards, Milton, and Dante portrayed.
Your son has joined the noble army of patri-
ots who In all epochs have been found ready
to give their lives in the age-long campaign



Perplexities 1 1

between right and wrong, as Jesus Christ
gave his life, for the salvation of their fellow
men.



SECOND LETTER

THE BATTLE OF LIFE

You are proud of your son; his loyalty, his
courage, his self-sacrifice. Your instinct ap-
plauds him and yet — you are perplexed.
You have read that war " is only splendid
murder "; that " there never was a good war
or a bad peace "; that " peace is the happy
state of man, war his corruption, his dis-
grace " ; that " war is wholly contrary to the
spirit of Jesus "; and these and kindred sen-
tences you have heard from the pulpit, and
read in books, one of which was written for
the very purpose of justifying America's part
in this war. No wonder you are perplexed.
No wonder that your conscience demands a
clear and definite answer to the question, Has
your son done right in entering this war? or
are his instincts and your instincts a survival
of a savagery which Christianity has not yet
entirely conquered?

The question. Is war right or wrong, is
like the question, Was the crucifixion the
greatest crime or the greatest glory of human

12



The Battle of Life 13

history? The crucifixion Inflicted by Judas,
Calaphas and Pilate was an Infamous crime;
the crucifixion endured by Jesus Christ was
a divine glory. The battlefield In Europe is
to-day the scene of the greatest crime the
world has ever known; and the scene of the
world's greatest glory. On the lurid sky
above that field the flaming sword of Prussia
writes where all the world may see It, " Self-
will when it has conceived bringeth forth sin,
and sin when It Is finished bringeth forth
death," and by Its side the swords of Belgium
offering herself a sacrifice to save France, of
England coming to the rescue of both, and of
America crossing the sea to aid the three are
writing In letters of celestial light, '' Without
the shedding of blood there is no remission of
sin." This is what I wish to make clear to
you In this and the following letter.

We are accustomed to think that peace is
the normal condition of life; that conflicts,
struggles, wars are regrettable episodes. In
fact conflict Is the normal condition of life,
and times of peace are simply preparations
for a renewed conflict, as sleep is simply a
preparation for renewed activity In the morn-
ing. The best wish we can have for our chil-
dren Is that they may so live that looking back
over their life they can say, *' I have fought
a good fight."



14 The Twentieth Century Crusade

We are all born on a field of battle. Life
and Death warred against each other In the
mother who gave us birth and who went down
to that door which Is both entrance and exit,
not knowing whether she would go out Into
the light or whether out of the darkness a new
life would be given into her keeping. For
every true mother Is a heroine, who In the
very beginning of motherhood lays down her
life for her child.

In the cradle our battle begins. In every
one of us are microbes of life and microbes
of disease. They are lined up against each
other and no one can tell when active battle
may break out between them. When the
healthy microbes are In the mastery we are
well, when they are attacked we are sick,
when they are defeated we are in peril of our
lives. When we are sick we call a doctor;
but all that the doctor can do is to reenforce
the healthy microbes. He and his medicines
are but the reserve which every competent
general keeps ready for the critical hour In
battle.

We need for our life food, clothing,
shelter. These are not given, they are
won by struggle. Douglass Jerold said,
" Tickle the earth with a hoe and she
laughs with a harvest"; but any one who
has tickled the cornfield with a hoe on a



The Battle of Life 15

hot August afternoon knows that it Is no
laughing matter for him then, whatever it
may prove to be in the harvest afterward.
Nature gives us nothing that we do not earn
by our labors. We wrest our supplies from
her; our food, our shelter, our clothing are
the spoils of battle. We pray for bread, and
God gives us a prairie; for clothing, and he
gives us wild beasts which we may hunt, or
sheep which we may tend, or cotton fields
which we may cultivate; for shelter, and he
gives us trees which the woodsman's ax must
fell. The comforts of civilization are fruits
of victory, crowning a patient, persistent


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