King's Business - 1917-10


THE KING’S BUSINESS ing of open towns in Gfermany, neither originates with, nor expresses the mind of, the majority of those who have best reason to know what the outrage by German^ air-raids means. It comes rather from a panic-stricken few, who, fearing lest it should be my turn next,” are.vociferous in their cry for meas­ ures which they mistakenly imagine are likely to prove a deterrent to the enemy. We are not sure that such self-concern is entitled to any consideration at all, in view of the enormous sacrifice of precious lives by which alone we are all being maintained in almost unchanged comfort. But there are, of course, always some people in whom to look for courage, or even for a sense of propor­ tion, would be labor lost. We commend to them the fine example of some of the poor women whose children were killed in the East-end school which suf­ fered so terribly in the raid. When it was proposed in their hearing that Ger­ man towns and German schools should be treated in the same way by our air­ men, they asked what good it would do them to know that some other poor mothers—even Germans—were being punished for a crime of which they were innocent!, We must let neither fear nor self-interest blind us to the things that war cannot change—the fundamental issues of right and wrong. It has been pointed out with cogency that nothing could be more stupid, from a' military point of view, than to weaken our air-forces on the battle-, fronts in order to carry vindictive defiance into Germany. That would simply be to play the enemy’s game, and to expose ourselves to even worse things ^ occasional raid on England. But there is another consideration also which appeals to us as of utmost importance. The use of armed force against armed force has sanctions which make it legitimate to the Christian conscience. But the use of our arms against unarmed non-combatants, as is contemplated by the demand for reprisals, has no such sanction, Divine or human, and is illegitimate. We have contended from the first that in going to war we were actuated solely by consideration of honor and ideals of freedom which are beyond price, and could not be surrendered except by point-blank denial of our faith. Are we now to take lower ground, and to make it impossible for men to carry the cause of our land into the sanctuary and to spread it daily before the Lord? Are we to fling away our moral justification, and finally to dispense with Heaven’s favor? In all conscience, we have failed badly enough m respect of pur attiture toward GOD. We have dethroned the supreme for the secondary, with grim consequences. We have had altogether too much actuation by expediency and too little application of principle since the war came upon us. Let us not now lose our souls altogether because a few noisy people have lost their heads. . jSsf llpK to say that Germany is not to be punished for gross barbari­ ties, and for deliberate violation of the humane restrictions within which the natjpns have long agreed the horrors of war should be confined. But the pun­ ishment must be such as those immediately responsible for these things will feel. It is only by breaking its military power, which is the German glory that we can ever bring home to that nation the enormity of its crimes against humanity. Effective punishment must be inflicted by the army upon the army With cold-blooded calculation Germany provoked the cause of war, and chose the arbitrament of the sword; and it is by the sword that her strength must be destroyed. The argument from the psychology of the German mind, which is being' much advanced just now—that its craven fear once aroused in the civil popula-

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