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I THE RAISING OF THE CI.V.…

ORIGINS OF IMPERIAL BRITAIN.…

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ORIGINS OF IMPERIAL BRITAIN. I Professor J. A. Cramb took Religion and War: What is war ?" as the subject of his latest lecture on the Origins of Imperial Britain at the Pfeiffer Hall, Queen's College. The wars waged by the Empires in the past, he said, had not death as their end, but a deepening of the life both of the conquered and the conquering States. War was thus a manifes- tation of the world-spirit in the loftiest form. Not to be envied was the critic who in the prayer of two embattled hosts could discern but a mockery, an insult to God. It was the cry for guidance in the tragic hour the formulated utterance of the silent prayer within the breast of every soldier on the tented field-" Through death to life, even as my country on its high path fares through the shadow of death to the fuller life, the higher freedom." That was the meaning of the battle-prayer—the nation, the Empire, the Stat" grown conscious that by this ordeal alone could its destiny be fulfilled. Proceed- ing to consider certain recent declarations against war in the abstract, he remarked that in the world of letters Count Tolstoi occupied a unique position-a position analogous to that of Goethe in the begin- ning of the century, or of Voltaire in the days of Louis XV. When Tolstoi spoke, not Russia merely, but half the world received his words in sympathy or ostility. On war Tolstoi's judgment was open—it was the enemy of religion and of human progress its con- tinuance turned our profession of faith in Christianity into a derision. When Tolstoi narrated a campaign or a battle it was the pathological side which absorbed his energies, the dismay in the hearts of the combatants, the wounds, the hospital, the fever, the revel of death. Hazard, not intellect, was supreme in war; Napoleon Tolstoi describes as a charlatan, narrow of brain, devoured by vanity, tricking and tricked by all around him, even on the aread morning of Borodino anxious only about the quality of the Eau-de-Cologne with which he sponged his coat, gloves, and vest! That was Tolstoi's conception of the Man of Destiny," the man who was to the Aryan race what Hannibal was to the Shemetic, its crowning achievement in the sphere of war. In contrast with this consider the attitude towards war of a thinker not less deeply religious, not less profoundly conscious in all lite of the Eternal behind the transient, of the Unseen Presence in which alone was reality—Thomas Carlyle. After the brief moment of Goethe-worship, the works of Carlyle for 40 years were informed by one thought, one tyrannous obsession-the might, the majesty, the mystery of war. One flame picture after another set that forth. Since Homes there were no such battle-paintings as the battle-paintings of Carlyle. The spirit of The Iliad" stirred the pages of Cromwell" and Frederick; it was present in the first combats which Carlyle in his early manhood drew, Fleury an Jemappes; it sank, but it was like the going down of the sun, in the last of all his battles, the death of Olaf Tryggvason, done when Carlyle's course was nearly run. Whence was this distinction ? In war Carlyle saw that manifestation of the world-spirit. In Tolstoi the force of the Slavonic race behind him mastered his own genius. That was the difference between Tolstoi and those sovereigns of the realm of thought Goethe and Voltaire. These drew inspiration from every land, from every epoch, Greece, Italy, Rome, Persia, the mediaeval, the modern world. In modern Russia Tolstoi began, in modern Russia he ended. He dipped his pen in the blood, not of his own heart, but of the Slavonic race. Out of the sword the Slav has nowhere forged an instrument for the achievement of great political ideals. In war the Slav had found the agent of oppression, of despotism. M. Bloch's work was significant in that light. The contrast between Imperial Britain and Russia lay in this—that in Great Britain a democracy, self- governing, war-like, conscious of its destiny as an Imperial people, resolute to fulfil its destiny, con- fronted the new century, rising like a palm on the horizon's verge; in Russia a government despotic, alien in its origin, attracted by Imperialistic schemes, dragged on a people, apathetic, indifferent, sullenly rebellious, or superstitiously loyal. In conclusion he pointed out that it was remarkable that Tolstoi, who I, had striven si, nobly to reach the faith beyond the creeds, had ignored in his denunciations of war, the fact that in all the utterances of Christ there was not a word, not a syllable condemnatory of war in the relations of State and State. The organic unity named a State was not identical with the unity of individuals that compose it; and on the relations of these more complex unities, Christ was silent. Ethics and metaphysics were outlined in His utterances, but not politics." The peace of which He spoke was a deeper, a more intimate thing than the amity of States; it is the peace of the soul recon- ciled with God and that peace could exist, did exist, on the battleSeld as in the hermit's cell. And as to the war in which we were engaged, a war in its origin and its course determined by the ideal of Imperial Britain, the larger freedom, the higher justice, was it not rash to assert, in the face of Christ's reserve, that it was contrary to the teachings of Galilee ?

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