War and peace! |
"A word about the frequency of wars or the history of wars. Some years ago a learned professor of Brussels studied all the wars from 1496 B.C. to A.D. 1861. That was equivalent to 3, 357 years of history. Out of those 3,357 years, how many years of war do you suppose there were? 3,130 years of war! Or only 227 years of peace. The ratio of war to peace was over fourteen years of war for every one year of peace.
Another interesting fact is the rapidity of war in modern times. The interval is becoming closer and closer between wars. The interval between the Napoleonic and the Franco-Prussian War and World War I was forty-three years. The interval between World War I and World War II was twenty-one years. Fifty-five, forty-three, twenty-one - this at a time when man was supposed to have all the material conditions essential for his happiness. And nowwe live under the threat of cosmic suicide.
Now, consider the problem of the machinery of peace to stop war. Consider the treaties of peace that were made by the League of Nations between 1920 and 1939, the year of the outbreak of World War II. In nineteen years, 4,568 treaties of peace were signed! In the eleven months preceeding the outbreak of World War II, 211 treaties of peace were signed. Were these treaties of peace written on paper, or were they written in the hearts of men? And we must ask ourselves as we hear of treaties being written today, whether the treaties of the UN are written with the full cognizance of the fact that those who sign them are responsible before God? Nations signing such treaties are often like husband and wife who call one another 'dearie' when out to a cocktail party and 'brute' in their own home. There may be some justification for those who ask whether modern peace is nothing but an interval between wars.
Next, let us investigate the causes of war. There are actually two causes of war, the external and the internal. The external causes of war, according to William Penn, are three to keep, to add, and to recover. Of the internal causes of war, Saint James gives the best explanation:
'What leads to war, what leads to quarrelling among you? I will tell you what leads to them; The appetites which infest your mortal bodies.'
Wars come from egotism and selfishness. Every macrocosmic or world war has its origin in microcosmic wars going on inside of millions and millions of individuals...
What good does it do to abolish the external conditions of war if the internal conditions of selfishness, hatred of neighbor, bigotry and intolerance, and forgetfulness of God continue to exist? Wars are not caused solely by aggression or tyranny from without, for unless there had been the spirit of selfishnes in some minds, there could never be aggression. Nothing ever happens in the world that does not happen first inside human hearts. War is actually a projection of our own wickedness; our forgetfulness of God has more to do with war than is generally believed.