27 MARCH 1909, Page 17


[TO TIIII nerron Or ril El " SP garkrori.-.1

am a parson and a man of peace. A while ago I got a letter signed by the secretary of a Society of Men of Peace asking me to exhort my rustic flock on a certain Sunday to seek peace with all nations and ensue it, and in my exhorta- tion to condemn the practice of national preparations for war. In reply I begged my correspondent to desist from his on-Christian action of persuading our young men, who so little need the persuasion, to be selfish,—to refuse the self- sacrifice of doing a citizen's duty in arming to protect their parents and other countrymen. And on "Peace Sunday" I exhorted my flock, and especially the boys and lads, to join the Territorial Army, like Christians.

With an Englishman's and a Christian's gratitude to you, Sir, for your splendid leadership of our people in this matter for years past—a gratitude which includes the lively expecta- tion of benefits to come—I beg you to go on, and "show the people their sins." The enemy of England beyond our shores Las just been discovered at last to the popular view, as long since to yours and ours. The discovery is a tremendous one, that the fight for our national existence has actually begun, and may end the wrong way. But there is a deadlier enemy within our gates. It is our selfishness, our refusal of sacrifice. When evangelic piety and ignorance of mundane fact forbid Cornish youth to enlist in Army or Navy, and send the Cornish Regiment to recruit four-fifths of its number in Manchester, and the less pious, but not less ignorant, Labour Leader preached last week the same doctrine in its own terms,—there is the enemy!

And against this enemy we want a orusade,—a war of the Cross. We want England taught the teaching of the Passion, that by sacrifice a man lives—and a nation. Oar young men must sacrifice their time, and some of their games and saunterings, to go into camp. Our employers must sacrifice some profits to send their hands to drill; our rich man some of his pleasuring, our poor man some of his drink, to build ' Dreadnoughts' with their self-denial week ; our men of Peace must sacrifice their rosy dream, our pietiste their snug ignorance, our Labour men their zeal of class. Our *omen must sacrifice some of their present monopoly of sacrifice by telling their sons that if the mother suffers much to give the duld his life, the child should stiffer a little to keep his and hers. Our politicians must sacrifice votes to speak out truths which they have known, but have not spoken. Our ministers of the Word must sacrifice some lesser themes to preach the eternal lesson of the Cross in the terms and with the instances of the hour.

I am a parson and a man of peace; but just now it woula seem my pastoral duty to act as a messenger of One who sends not peace, but a sword. It is the Crusader's sword, however, with the cross-hilt. It is edged only against a domestic enemy,—the selfishness of England, of her people, and her prophets too. In hoc signo vincemus, or else--,.which may God avert !

We beg you, Sir, to give this crusade the continued leader- ship of the Spectator, and I subscribe myself a simple