King's Business - 1917-10

THE KING’S BUSINESS 877 tion by bombing exploits would speedily bring the war to an end by their unanimous demand—leaves us quite unmoved. Such a specious plea for attempting measures of reprisal is based upon an entire misconception as to the relationship between the military powers and the civilian subjects of the KAISER. Whatever may be the case in normal times; it is only too apparent now that those who created the war-machine autocratically control it. That being so, the violent death of a few men, women, and children of un-military value would have not the slightest effect. The war-lords care as little for the lives of their own people as they do for ours, Do not let us, therefore, be misled into joining any popular clamour for Hun-emulation, or futile abuse of the Government for remaining unmoved by it. Rather let us use what influence we possess for the steadying of opinion in the community, and the keeping of Britain’s blade clean. For it will need the cleanest possible surface, and the keenest possible edge, before it has hewn a pathway of victory through the phalanx on the Western Front. The time for reprisals will come. But not for the murder of innocents who have as much to do with the war as had those who fell in our streets a fortnight ago. When the military strength of Germany is finally broken in the interest of a world’s freedom, and conditions of peace become the all-important issue, we shall then press for fullest reprisal. We shall stand with those who demand the removal of the Hohenzollerns, root and branch, as a race of proven unfitness to rule an Empire whose relationships extend to every nation. We shall require that summary justice be done to the men responsible for crimes that have blackened the record of honorable combat, and covered the name of Germany with ignominy. We shall not be satisfied until the blight of Prussian- ism is finally stamped out, never again to threaten the peace of mankind. These are reprisals against which no Christian man will protest; for only by their means will the righteous aims of the war, on the part of the Allies, be realized. Meanwhile our duty is clear—to fight so as to forfeit no degree of the Divine help, and to thwart no part of the Divine purpose. Let Great Britian lay to heart the eternal fiat, when tempted as now to model her ethics upon the enemy’s unholy tactics, that “if we deny Him, He also will deny us.” In this cause we have to do, not only with the lawlessness of Germany, but with the law of the GOD OF HOSTS.

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