The History of Leith

March 20, 2012

1910 Attitudes at South Leith

ARMAMENTS.
But if Christmas finds us engaged in a bloodless war of
words, it also finds the world’s sword sheathed, and its
banners of battle furled. The Gospel of the Prince, of
Peace has worked miracles in the cause of the comity of
nations. And yet how far distant is the millenial reign
of peace ! For, though nation is not at war with nation,
this is not wholly due to the power of the Gospel of
Christ; it is due in part to the contrary fact that the nations
are prepared for war. The vast increase in the strength of
naval armaments is a chief feature of 1909. One cannot
wonder at the growing desire for an International Board of
Arbitration, and at the loud outcry against all this great
waste of resources. It is waste on a national and international
scale. Who is there who does not wish for the
hour when this shall no longer be ? And yet we live in
an age when ideal politics do not meet the case. It is too
hopeful a view to take, in the present state of nations,
that armaments may be done away with. Much as we
may bemoan the unchristian attitude of Christian nation
to Christian nation, which makes peace depend on
preparedness for war, there is something more fearful in
prospect for the nation that cries peace when there is no
peace, and gives up its sword to the enemy—and that is,
the possible desecration of hearth and altar, and the
weakening of her voice in the councils of the nations.
It is true that a Christian must often turn the other cheek
to the smiter, and endure wrong without retaliating, but
the cheek must be his own, and the wrong he endures
must be wrong to himself alone. That nation is but a
craven nation, and that race degenerate which is not ready to
fight to the death for the peace of Jerusalem, for the
altars and hearths of the land, to withstand the oppressors
of weak neighbours, and to stay the murderous hand of a
King Leopold, who makes a Congo a wilderness and a
sepulchre.

Source-South Leith Church

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