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THE RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS 
OF INTERNATIONALISM 




THE RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS 
OF INTERNATIONALISM 

A STUDY 

IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 
THROUGH THE AGES 


NORMAN BENTWICH 


Formerly Weizmann Professor of the International Law of Peace at the 
Hebrew University of Jerusalem 


LONDON 

GEORGE ALLEN & UNWIN LTD 
MUSEUM STREET 



FIRST PUBLISHED IN 1933 

Second Edition with additional chapter 1959 


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PREFACE 


This book contains, with some amplification, the course 
of lectures which I gave at Jerusalem in 1932 when the 
Weizmann Chair of the International Law of Peace in 
the Hebrew University was inaugurated. The course was 
given in Hebrew: and the Hebrew version will be pub- 
lished by the University Press. In the first lecture, which 
was designed both as an introduction to the Chair and a 
prelude to the course, I sought to show the place which 
Jerusalem has occupied in the movement for international 
peace, both in history and in idea. The main theme of the 
course was the influence of the different religions of the 
world on the furtherance of peace between nations and 
on the development of international relations and inter- 
national law. 

Of the man whose name is attached to the Chair, I 
would say here that I believe history will record him as 
one who not only piloted the Jewish vessel through an 
uncharted and often stormy sea for fifteen years with 
the greatest skill and with single-minded devotion, but 
as the man who brought fulfilment to the idea of the 
restoration of the temple of Hebraic culture to Jeru- 
salem, and, by his enthusiasm and will, established a 
resting-place of the Jewish mind and the Jewish spirit 
which have wandered for nearly 2,000 years. 

I adopted deliberately the historical approach to the 
subject, not only because that seemed appropriate to the 
inauguration of a Chair of the Law of Nations in the 
most historical city of the world, but also because I 
believe that it is apposite to our time. International law 
was regarded essentially by its early exponents, Grotius, 



t RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Wolff, Vattel, etc., as a philosophy of history. Going 
farther back, the Hebrew prophets conceived the idea of 
universal peace as the conclusion of their philosophy of 
history. And that conception persisted to the middle of 
the last century. One of the Classics on the subject, 
Laurent’s Histoire du Droit des Gens, published in 1 86 1 , 
has an alternative title, £tudes sur /’ Histoire de I'Hu- 
manite\ and a large part of it deals with the teaching of 
the religions of the world. The author’s professed aim 
was to follow the progress of mankind towards unity, 
which was the object of international law. He justified 
his theme against German scholars who attacked him 
for intruding theology in a work of international law. 
Leibnitz, he says, shall answer for him, the philosopher 
who declared: “Theologia species quaedam est Juris- 
prudentiae aeternim sumptae,” and who included the 
decrees of the Councils of the Pope in his Corpus of 
International Law. Religion, as soon as it forms a Church, 
is a concern of the law of nations, since all ties which 
unite diverse peoples in a single association belong to the 
science of international relations, and there is no tie 
stronger than religion. Again, international law is the 
body of rules which govern nations considered as mem- 
bers of humanity, and religion throughout history is the 
strongest spiritual force which emphasizes that aspect of 
the nation. While Grotius and his Protestant successors 
regarded international law as a philosophy of history, a 
still earlier generation of Catholic Jesuit jurists had 
developed it as a branch of Christian ethics. 

If we have moved far from the mediaeval idea that 
theology was the supreme science and law one of its 
instruments, yet the connection between law, theology, 
and ethics cannot be severed without loss, more particu- 



PREFACE 


9 

larly in those branches of legal science which are con- 
cerned with the relations between nations. Mr. Gladstone 
remarked on one occasion that no man can be a perfect 
lawyer who is not a theologian; and although his own 
theological predilections doubtless influenced him in that 
judgment, he was in a line of authority worthy of respect. 
The attempt to formulate international law as a system 
of legal propositions, without taking account of the 
spirit which should inform them, has led to the present 
spectacle of statesmen and jurists multiplying conventions 
for preserving the peace without the will to peace or 
the understanding of peace between the peoples. The 
sanction of the law of nations must be either war or 
morality; and nations to-day, who have in agreement 
foresworn war, have not yet established the ethical founda- 
tion of their mutual relations. Our society, as Professor 
Arnold Toynbee says, is being ruined by sin. One of the 
profound political troubles of our age is that, while 
modern science has multiplied human contacts, and 
almost destroyed the old isolations of time and space which 
severed nations, little progress has been made in bringing 
international relations under the control of the moral law. 
The world is politically as well as economically interdepen- 
dent; what happens to-day between, e.g., China and Japan 
profoundly affects the peoples and the States of Europe 
and America. And so long as the relations between coun- 
tries are not controlled by moral principles, and the 
nations do not hold faithfully to their solemn compacts, 
they threaten to ruin the peace of the world. The religions 
of the peoples, which alike uphold certain moral principles 
and share the common ideal of justice and peace, offer 
the best foundation for that universal moral law which 
must be established if civilization is to stand. 



10 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Though dealing with the relations of all religions to 
international affairs, I felt justified at the University of 
Jerusalem in directing attention particularly to the influ- 
ence of Judaism and the Jewish people at various epochs. 
And I have dwelt in the introductory lecture, and else- 
where, on the part the Jewish people may play in the 
development of the moral basis of international law and 
international relations. My conviction in this matter, 
though doubtless strengthened by the genius of the 
place, is founded on two essential facts, the universality 
of the religion of Israel and the international dispersion of 
the Jews. 

My inaugural lecture at Jerusalem was given in an 
atmosphere of noisy interruption which was almost 
comically incongruous with the subject. I understood 
and can appreciate the reason of the protest. It seemed 
cynical to be talking of the international law of peace to 
the Jewish people who in Palestine are engaged in a 
struggle to maintain the right to build up a National 
Home, and outside of Palestine are almost everywhere 
struggling to preserve elementary human rights against 
constant attack. “Let us establish our nation, ” say a 
section of Jewish nationalists, “and then talk of inter- 
national peace.” While I appreciate their standpoint, I 
think it mistaken. The Jewish people cannot be a nation 
as the other nations. They must for ever hold aloft the 
international and universal ideal; and only in that way 
can they maintain their own strength and serve their 
purpose in the larger society. 

At the first Assembly of the World Conference for 
International Peace through the Religions held at Geneva 
in 1928, the Chief Rabbi of England quoted a description 
by Walter Pater of the gladiatorial shows which were a 



PREFACE 


iz 


feature of Roman life in the first centuries of the Common 
Era, and the reflection of Marius the Epicurean that 
what was wanting was the change of heart that would 
make it impossible to witness them. An ethical religion 
coming from Palestine made that change of heart; and in 
our day, he said, it was the white heat of religious enthu- 
siasm which was needed to bring about the change of 
heart that would reject war. It is the conclusion of my 
theme that in our day religion, or rather the co-operation 
of the religions of the world, must help to bring about 
the fulfilment of the prophetic conception of the reign 
of moral law in the affairs of States, which alone can be 
a firm foundation of the peace of nations. 


Jerusalem 
June 1932 


NORMAN BENTWICH 



PREFACE 

TO THE SECOND EDITION 


I was happy to receive a request for a reprint of this book 
of lectures which I gave, in Hebrew, twenty-five years ago 
at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as the inaugural 
course of the Weizmann Chair of International Relations. 
The request came from Dr. Moses Jung of Columbia 
University in New York, who is Chairman under the 
Gustav Stern Foundation of the University Seminar in 
Inter-religious Relations, and has for years used this text- 
book. I am most grateful to him for the trouble he has 
taken to render possible a new issue of the book. He 
encouraged me, also, to write the additional chapter, 
and made most helpful comments on it. It was he, too, 
and his friend, Rabbi Arthur Herzberg in Englewood,' 
New Jersey who obtained a grant from the Louis and 
Jessie G. Rubens Foundation of Englewood to the Seminar 
to cover the cost of printing. 

I am aware that the additional chapter gives only a 
bald summary of the revolutionary changes during the 
last twenty-five years which have shaken the foundations 
of internationalism. I should have liked to rewrite the 
book, and put those changes into a proper perspective. 
That was not possible; but I hope that the new issue of 
the book will be of some service to students. 


NORMAN BENTWICH 



CONTENTS 


CHAPTER pACK 

I. JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF PEACE , 5 

II. THE PAGAN RELIGIONS OF ANTIQUITY 37 

III. JUDAISM AND THE NATIONS 59 

IV. CHRISTIANITY: FROM THE ORIGINS TO THE 

REFORMATION 83 

V. FROM THE REFORMATION TO THE FRENCH 

REVOLUTION 1 1 1 

VI. FROM THE FRENCH REVOLUTION TO THE END 

OF THE GREAT WAR, 1918 137 

VII. ISLAM AND THE NATIONS 159 

VIII. THE INDIAN AND FAR EASTERN RELIGIONS 181 

IX. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TILL THE GREAT WAR 204 

X. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SINCE THE GREAT WAR 228 

XI. RELIGION AND THE NEW INTERNATIONAL 

SOCIETY 245 

XII. A LEAGUE OF RELIGIONS 264 

XIII. CONCLUSION 275 

EPILOGUE TO SECOND EDITION 285 

BIBLIOGRAPHY 3 °° 


An Index has not been added as the division into chapters should be a sufficient 
guide to the matter 




THE RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS 
OF INTERNATIONALISM 


CHAPTER I 

JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF PEACE 

Jerusalem is the place to which half the world looks as 
the city of peace; and the law of nations derives a large 
part of its inspiration from the teaching of the prophets 
of Jerusalem. If ever there was a spot in which the 
genius of the place should help a votary of peace, it is 
on the Hill of Scopus, the Mountain of the Seer, on 
which the Hebrew University is rising. 

The founder of the Weizmann Chair of International 
Peace which I hold believes that the necessary foundation 
of a lasting peace is the co-operation of all classes in the 
national society, and the co-operation of nations in the 
society of nations. That combination of peace within and 
peace without is an idea which has been proclaimed for 
all time by the Hebrew prophet, who in one outburst 
declared the ideal of social justice “to let the oppressed 
go free and to break every yoke”; and in another the 
ideal of Justice ruling over the nations, when “judgment 
shall dwell in the wilderness and righteousness in the 
fruitful field.” Both ideals spring from the recognition of 
a common humanity. And the same idea is enshrined 
more prosaically in the Peace Treaties made at the end of 
the Great War, which include the Covenant of Labour, 
beginning with these words: “Whereas the League of 



x6 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 


Nations has for its object the establishment of universal 
peace, and such a peace can be established only if it is 
based upon social justice. 0 

Till very recent years the science of international law 
was divided into the law of war and the law of peace; 
and in fact the rules of war were the principal subject of 
its first great exponents, such as Grotius and Vattel. War 
in their days seemed to be the main activity of political 
society. In our day it is otherwise. The statesmen, the 
religious and the intellectual leaders of the world are 
making a desperate effort to outlaw war and establish 
world peace, realizing that either they must put an end 
to war or war will put an end to government and to 
civilization. As Professor Zimmern at Oxford has ex- 
pressed it, the choice is between internationalism and 
monasticism. 

Everybody instinctively feels that Jerusalem is a fit 
place for the study of the approach to peace between the 
nations. The problem of international relations is pri- 
marily a spiritual problem, and it is the word of Jeru- 
salem which has moved man’s spirit through the ages. 
Yet when Jerusalem first appears on the stage of history 
it is not a city of peace. It was a hill fortress of the Jebu- 
sites, almost impregnable, so that it was not captured by 
the Children of Israel on their original occupation of the 
Promised Land. By its geographical position it is cut off 
from the ways of commerce; and it has never been a centre 
of affairs. 

We may recall that the Hebrew name Yerushalaim 
is a dual form; and some scholars have interpreted that 
form as a reference to the two centres of habitation on 
the eastern and western hills, Mount Ophel and Mount 
Zion, as they were distinguished at a later period. They 



17 


JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF PEACE 

have suggested that the one was occupied by the Jebu- 
sites, and the other by the Hebrews till the time of David. 
Using a bolder interpretation, I should say that the dual 
form represents two contrasted characters of the city 
which have adhered to it from the earliest history, the 
city of war and the city of peace, or, to put it in another 
way, the national and the universal city. The prophets 
and the teachers of Israel envisaged Jerusalem as the 
capital of humanity, God’s mountain to which all peoples 
should come up. And to-day Jerusalem in its essential 
idea belongs not to one or two peoples, but more than 
any other city in the world is a metropolis of mankind. 
Nevertheless, from the beginning of historical record to 
our own day, it has been also a scene of conflict. Urusalim, 
that occurs in the Tel el Amarna tablets which give us a 
picture of the land of Canaan in the fourteenth century 
b.c. — when it was an Egyptian protectorate — is 
threatened by the Habiri; and its Amorite chieftain 
writes desperately to his Egyptian overlord to send help. 
And, if it is correctly identified with the Salem whose 
priest Melchizedek came to bless Abraham after his 
victory over the League of Kings, Jerusalem is mentioned 
in the Bible for the first time in connection with strife. 
Yet if it has been destroyed many times and borne many 
sieges, if it has been fought for by many nations and 
races, if it has been the cause as well as the object of 
wars, it has been for 3,000 years the symbol of peace, 
and its name was interpreted by the Jewish religious 
philosopher, Philo of Alexandria, to mean the threshold 
of Peace. Let us see how it acquired this character. 

The God of Israel, like the deity of all the peoples of 
antiquity, was originally regarded as the Providence of 
one particular people, Israel. And he was attached to a 



28 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

particular country which was holy to Him and regarded 
as His property. “The land shall not be sold for ever, 
for the land is Mine” (Lev. xxv. 23), it is said in the 
law of Moses. He is a Man of War. He goes out to 
battle with the armies of Israel against the armies and 
the gods of their enemies. But from the moment of the 
foundation of the Temple of Jerusalem, a higher and 
profounder conception is apparent which is unparalleled 
in ancient history. David may not erect the sanctuary 
because he has been a man of war and his hands were 
stained with blood, and Solomon designs it not only for 
the people of Israel but for all mankind. “So that all 
peoples of the earth may know thy name to fear thee as 
doth thy people Israel” (1 Kings viii. 43). 

That conception was deepened and universalized by 
the prophets of Israel who gave a message of peace and 
humanity in words that through the ages have been 
treasured as sublime vision, if they have not always in- 
spired to action. 

“And many peoples shall go and say: Come ye and 
let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of 
the God of Jacob. And He will teach us of His ways, and 
we will walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go forth 
the Law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And 
He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide 
between many peoples. And they shall beat their swords 
into ploughshares and their spears into pruning-hooks. 
Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall 
they learn war any more” (Isa. ii.-iv.; Micah iv. 2, 3). 

In another passage the prophet laid down the conditions 
of the better ages to come, in words equally pregnant. 
“When justice shall dwell in the wilderness, and 
righteousness shall abide in the fruitful field. And the 



JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF PEACE t 9 

work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of 
righteousness quietness and confidence for ever. And my 
people shall abide in a peaceful habitation; and in secure 
dwellings and in quiet resting-places” (Isa. xxxii. 1 7, 1 8). 
The prophets of Judah spread over the future, above the 
storms of the present, the rainbow of a vast hope, a 
radiant vision of a better humanity. The poets of other 
peoples of antiquity had a vision of world peace, but 
they placed it in a dim past and did not conceive it as an 
aim of the living society. What is peculiar to the Jewish 
seer is that he makes peace the fruit of the achievement 
of righteousness on earth, and makes the pursuit of that 
righteousness the national goal of the Jewish people, both 
within and without their own land. It is not to be brought 
about by some sudden intervention of God but by the 
continuous progress of man. Religion, ■which had been 
national for the Jews as for other peoples, must be uni- 
versal. The prophets conceived the idea of a moral 
government of the world according to principles of jus- 
tice, and surveyed in the light of that idea the history 
of Israel and other peoples. They made a moral interpre- 
tation of history the basis of their teaching. When justice 
rules the affairs not only of Israel but of all States, then 
will be the true peace. Their universalized religion 
opened a vista of internationalism for the Jews. Judea 
should be a third with Egypt and Assyria, the two mighty 
contending empires to the south and north ; and all three 
would be at peace. It has been said that the Old Testa- 
ment, in distinction to the New, is the soldier’s Bible 
because it deals constantly with war; but it is to be remem- 
bered that it is also, more than the other, the statesman’s 
Bible because it is concerned with the relations of nations 
and not only with the salvation of the individual. 



20 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

In the same epoch as Isaiah and Micah lived, great 
religious reformers of the Eastern races were preaching 
moral reform, and insisting on peace as the basis of 
national life; the Buddha in India, Confucius in China, 
and a second Zoroaster in Persia. And in Greece philoso- 
phers like Pythagoras and Heraclitus were beginning to 
expound the mysteries of the universe. It is as though 
there were a revelation of ethical truth at one time to all 
humanity. Yet no other voice was so powerfully to move 
mankind as the voice of Jerusalem. The God of Israel 
becomes the universal God; and His people have the 
function to lead the nations towards truth and justice. 
They were to be a light to the Gentiles. Jewish mis- 
sionaries preached that lesson through the pagan world, 
and in the guise of Greek poetry and philosophy con- 
veyed it to the Greeks and Romans. Yet while the people 
in the Diaspora carried this message to their neighbours, 
the Jews in Palestine itself were engaged in strife, sieges, 
and fighting to maintain their religious independence 
first against the Seleucid and later against the Roman 
emperors. A teacher arose in the most troubled epoch 
who announced himself as the Messiah and heralded the 
age of universal peace and goodwill to all men. And he 
preached the principles “Love your enemies,” “Resist not 
evil,'” and “He who takes the sword shall perish by the 
sword.” 

He had in his life few followers ; and a generation later 
the Jewish nation was plunged into a terrific struggle for 
its existence. The might of Rome prevailed over the right 
of the Jews. Jews were forced to fight for what they 
regarded as still dearer than peace, their right to worship 
God in their own way. For that they sacrificed for a long 
age their city, their sanctuary, and their mission. The 



JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF PEACE at 

temple of humanity was razed and Jerusalem ceased to 
exist. Rut if the legions could raze Jerusalem, they could 
not destroy Judaism. 

The site of Jerusalem was occupied by a Roman garri- 
son-town — Aelia Capitolina — and its inhabitants were 
pagans. The temple of Jehovah was replaced by a temple 
of Jupiter. The ideal Jerusalem was withdrawn to a city 
in heaven; but the Jews never lost their conviction that 
God would bring them back to the city on earth to fulfil 
their purpose. They made two further desperate attempts 
to restore Jerusalem, and failing, submitted. Peace 
reigned in the Roman Empire for centuries, but they 
knew that, though it broke down the barriers between 
peoples, it was not a true peace. It was imposed by 
force; and as one of the Roman historians wrote of his 
nation — “They make a desolation and call it peace.” Or, 
as a modern historian has put it, the ancient world only 
found peace when it lost freedom . 1 The tranquillity was 
founded on the crushing of the national spirit by a uni- 
versal denationalization based on law, but not on a living 
law. The Jewish teaching of a higher morality, of charity 
and of peace, was spread through these centuries to an 
ever-growing mass of people both by the Jews them- 
selves and by the followers of the creed which had 
sprung from Judaism and Jerusalem just before the 
national disaster. That creed finally prevailed over the 
empire, but as it prevailed it was attenuated and con- 
taminated. The Voice of Jerusalem became dim, and 
the voice of Rome overpowered it. Instead of humanizing 
the empire, Christianity became an imperial power. As 
Lord Bryce says*: “The Church professed to christianize 
the world, but in effect the world secularized the Church.” 

1 E. Bevan, Our Debt to the Past . * Studies in Democracy , Book I, ch. ix. 



*2 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

The two universals of the Christian Church and the 
Empire of Rome, which were born in the same epoch, 
were first rivals and then allies. The Emperor Constantine 
who sealed the alliance, making Christianity the imperial 
religion, and who was hailed as “the universal bishop,” 
brought, it is said, the nails of the Cross from Jerusalem, 
and turned them into his war-helmet and the bit of his 
war-horse. And on the triumphal arch in the Roman 
Forum which proclaimed his victories he declared that 
he avenged the Republic by just arms. So were the 
pacifist principles of the Gospel modified to suit the needs 
of the State . 1 

A story is told in a Christian chronicle that the three 
Magi who came to offer adoration to the Saviour at his 
birth brought with them to Palestine as a present a 
globe of Alexander the Great made of golden coins 
of all the conquered countries. When the Child cast 
his eyes upon the globe it turned immediately to dust. 
The homily is clear. The world-government, to which 
the Roman Church aspired, was not in accord with the 
teaching of the founder of Christianity, who said, “My 
kingdom is not of this world”; and its achievement was 
purchased by a debasement of that teaching. While the 
early Christians would not fight or resist evil with force, 
the Vice-Regent of God on earth who filled the See at 
Rome first authorized, and then urged, Christians to 
fight for the Empire. For St. Augustine in the fifth 
century, Jerusalem was “the vision of peace/' and peace 
was still the final good; but the Kingdom of God is not 
of this world, and men should fight in a just war . 2 It 

1 So to-day, in the centre of the War Cemetery on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem, 
there stands a stone cross on which the iron sword reposes. 

* De Civ. Dei , Bk. 15, ch. 12. 



JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF PEACE 23 

was significant that the seat of Imperial Christianity was 
not Jerusalem but Rome, the city of might rather than 
the city of righteousness. 

Jerusalem indeed regained her proper name in the 
Christian Empire, and part of her functions as a hearth 
and metropolis of religion. But the Jewish people were 
still denied the right of living there; and they were 
eventually driven by a jealous religious tyranny out of 
Palestine. From the seventh century the city was to be 
again for a long period a centre of strife and violence 
between empire and empire, between creed and creed. 
Persian Zoroastrian, Byzantine Christian, and finally 
Saracen Muslim fought for her possession, each claiming 
to have the truth. 

The new universal creed of the Muslims, which too 
had sprung in part from the teaching if not from the 
soil of Jerusalem, carried, like Judaism and Christianity, 
a message of humanity and brotherhood to peoples and 
regions which had hitherto been rent with faction and 
strife. Spreading in the seventh and eighth centuries over 
the Oriental and Mediterranean lands, it enlarged in one 
direction the realm of peace, Dar El Salam. It brought 
too to an intolerant priest-ridden Orient, groaning under 
a rule that sought to crush out freedom of religious 
belief and enforce uniformity by the sword, a large 
measure of tolerance for the Peoples of the Book. But 
in the hands of converts from Central Asia it acquired 
the desire for imposing by force of arms the victory of 
its tenets, and so led on to another epoch of wars fought 
in the name of religion. For a period after the Muslim 
conquest Jerusalem was a holy city of the three religions, 
where Muslims, Christians, and Jews could live side by 
side and worship God each according to their tradition. 



a 4 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Later, however, the will to victory and the exclusiveness 
of the two religions which aimed at the conquest of the 
world asserted itself and the rival beliefs in a universal 
god induced universal war. The Christians crying “God 
wishes it” fell on the Muslims crying “God is great.” 

Jerusalem itself became a principal source of strife; 
and the places connected with the life of the Prince of 
Peace were the immediate causes of the wars between 
Cross and Crescent. Each creed deemed the city holy, 
but vindicated its holiness by arms. There were again 
kings of Jerusalem as warlike as the kings of Israel and 
Judah, and the claimants to the kingdom multiplied as 
the prospect of regaining it died away. The struggle 
between East and West, between Muslim and Christian, 
distracted the world for five hundred years. The Saracen 
invasions of Europe, the Crusades, the wars between 
Turkish Sultans and Byzantine emperors, between 
Spanish kings and Moorish caliphs, are aspects of that 
long struggle. The idea of the city of Jerusalem was a 
binding and peacemaking force in Europe in that it knit 
together Christendom and checked the feudal strife of 
kings, barons, and priests; but it knit them for external 
and religious war. 1 Yet, as a recent historian of the 
Crusades has shown, the Vision, though seldom seen 
steadily and perhaps never seen whole, was none the less 
a saving ideal.* 

One of the earliest schemes of a League of Nations 

* One of the touching incidents of the struggle was the Children’s Crusade 
at the beginning of the thirteenth century, when thousands of boys and girls, 
responding to the call of passionate priests in France and Germany, set forth to 
redeem the Christian sanctuary. Their faith and prayers were to do what the 
arms of the Templars and Hospitallers could not achieve. None reached the 
Holy Land, and those who crossed the sea were sold into slavery. 

3 Ernest Barker, The Crusades: in the Legacy of Islam , 1931. 



JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF PEACE ,j 

was written at the beginning of the fourteenth century 
by a Frenchman, Dubois, round the theme of the re- 
covery of the Holy Land. Nearly fifty years earlier St. 
Louis of France had died in the Desert of Tunis leading 
the last of the Crusades — which in the thirteenth cen- 
tury were waged in many places besides Palestine — and 
with his dying breath exclaiming “Jerusalem, O Jeru- 
salem!” The original motive of the Crusades lived on to 
inspire the conception of a Christian commonwealth of 
peoples. Almost every plan for European unity or a 
league of nations, from the time of Dubois (1300) to 
the days of Kant (1800), had as its basis the need of 
common action against the infidel. The idea of the 
recovery of the Holy Land even inspired those bold navi- 
gators who set out from Europe, at the end of the fifteenth 
century, to find a sea passage to the Indies. Since the land 
routes were shut the Christians would navigate to the east, 
and take Islam and enter Jerusalem from the rear. So 
Columbus and his men wore the cross; and thought 
sincerely that they were embarking on a religious enter- 
prise — for the sake of Jerusalem. 

Reeling under the blows inflicted by the different 
upholders of universal truth, the actual city of Jerusalem 
was laid waste by hordes of invaders from the Farther 
East, and for another spell lay derelict and neglected. 
She was still, even in that lowly position, the symbol 
of a better age to come to mankind, so that the transla- 
tors of the English Bible called England “our Sion,” and 
an English poet could write 

I will not cease from mental fight. 

Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand 
Till we have built Jerusalem 
In England’s green and pleasant land. 



a 6 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 


But her voice was not heard for a long interval in human 
councils . 1 

In the nineteenth century the lesson of tolerance and 
religious freedom had at last been learned both in the 
East and West, and mankind was beginning, howbeit 
painfully, to heed the teaching of science, which con- 
firmed the teaching of religion, that it formed one family, 
and to realize that the different creeds were diverse forms 
of truth. One last war, nevertheless, was to break out in 
that century on account of religious passions at Jerusalem 
and of the Holy Places of Christianity. The Crimean 
War, of which the immediate cause was the embittered 
feeling between the Orthodox and the Roman branches 
of the Church, failed to settle the question of the Holy 
Places; but led to the admission of Turkey into the 
Society of Nations, and thus broke down the barriers 
which circumscribed the field of international law. 
Hitherto that law had been restricted to the powers of 
Christendom; now it was to embrace the States of Islam, 
and before the end of the century the States of the Far 
East. The idea of one law to govern all nations had 
begun to come to fruition; and the first important inter- 
national association for the development of that law 
adopted as its motto the words “Justitia et pace,” follow- 
ing the maxim of Isaiah that the foundation of peace is 
justice. 

It had come also to be recognized that the world 


* The Christian States of Europe were engaged in internecine strife in the name 
of religion. It was a struggle no longer between two universal creeds, but between 
branches of the Christian Church, of which each claimed to carry on the Hebraic 
tradition. The Puritans, in particular, went into battle singing songs of Zion. 
And at the end of the eighteenth century Voltaire remarked that in spite of the 
great books of the jurists on the rights to the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the city 
belonged to those who have no concern with those books. 



JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF PEACE * 7 

society is composed of all men of goodwill who are con- 
scious of a common humanity, without discrimination 
of religion. 

If, however, the rule of law was extended, the ideal of 
universal peace and of justice ruling the nations still 
eluded humanity, to the end of the century. In its very 
last year the Tsar of Russia, the successor of that Tsar 
who at its beginning had planned a holy ordering of 
the political affairs of Europe on the basis of Christian 
principles, summoned a conference of all States to discuss 
disarmament, and succeeded at least in inaugurating a 
system of arbitral tribunals to judge the differences of 
the peoples. Among the motives of his action was the 
book of a Polish Jew, Jean de Bloch, called the Future of 
tVar y which is said to have had greater influence on the 
relations of nations than any book since Grotius wrote his 
Law of tV ar and Peace . 

But the spirit of national acquisitiveness and inter- 
national suspicion was still abroad, and it prompted a 
series of wars in Europe that culminated in the world 
tragedy of the war of 1914-18. A feeble gleam of 
another outlook was vouchsafed from Jerusalem during 
one of the minor struggles. Soon after the outbreak 
of war in 1911 between Italy and Turkey over the 
question of Tripoli in Africa, a letter signed by all the 
religious heads of the communities in Jerusalem was 
published to the world in these terms: 

Jerusalem, the metropolis of religions and the cradle of salvation, 
justice and right, so dear to all hearts, and so hospitable to all 
souls which seek refuge in her holiness, turns her eyes towards 
all the Powers, and raises her voice to humanity to claim inter- 
national support against the arbitrary and unprecedented act of 
Italy. 



a8 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 


Jerusalem again was becoming conscious of her destiny 
as a world-city. 

The letter had no practical effect; but it is interesting 
to note the comment upon it which appeared in one of 
the international law journals at the time. “Jerusalem 
seems to wish to usurp in the spiritual world the role 
which used to belong to the Pope and to Rome. That 
ancient religious metropolis has lost her independence; 
and the Semitic metropolis in spite of the antiquity of 
her history lacks still the moral authority to speak to the 
society of nations.” 1 

The voice of Jerusalem was heard indeed more power- 
fully in those anxious years which preceded the great 
conflagration, not from the inhabitants of the city, but 
from the growing chorus of Peace Societies and associa- 
tions of international friendship and co-operation which 
the new world-order fostered and required for its exist- 
ence. Men were groping to the recognition that the con- 
quest over time and space by modern science should 
bring with it, for the peace and well-being of mankind, 
the recognition of a single moral law and a common 
humanity which was above race and nation. It was one 
of the minor but tragic ironies of those fateful days in 
1914 that a conference of all the Christian Churches, 
other than the Roman Catholic, assembled at Constance 
the very day after the declaration of war between Russia 
and Germany, for the foundation of a World Alliance for 
Promoting International Friendship through the Churches. 
The Congress held its sessions despite the outbreak of war, 
and passed a resolution declaring its fundamental principle. 

Inasmuch as the work of conciliation and the promotion of amity 
is essentially a Christian task, it is expedient that the Churches in 
1 See Clunet, 1912, Journal de Droi{ International, p. 998. 



JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF PEACE i 9 

all lands should use their influence with all the peoples. Parlia- 
ments, and Governments of the world to bring about good and 
friendly relations between the nations, so that along the path of 
peaceful civilization they may reach the universal goodwill, to 
which Christianity has taught mankind to aspire. 

During the same month as this conference met at 
Constance a Roman Catholic Conference was to have 
met at Lidge in Belgium. But that town was beleaguered 
and the conference could not be held. 

War, as the greatest of the Greek historians declared, 
is a forcible teacher; and the horrors of the war roused 
the religious conscience more effectively than at any 
moment since the Reformation broke the unity of 
Western Christendom, and drove it to make a sustained 
effort to realize what was implied in the brotherhood 
of mankind. The bitter experience of four years taught 
that a world-war meant a “moratorium of ethics,” and a 
recurrence might mean the destruction of civilization 
itself. Statesmen and all persons of good intention 
pondered how the teachings of the prophets of Jerusalem 
could be implemented in the affairs of States, realizing 
that wisdom comes from the great simplicities. Man is 
to-day a citizen of the world, and must recognize himself 
as such, and break down the walls of partition between 
the nations. 

Jerusalem was delivered during the world war from 
Turkish rule — or neglect. And a new vista was opened 
for the country when the declaration was made by Great 
Britain, in the midst of the hostilities, that she proposed 
to facilitate the establishment of a National Home for 
the Jewish people in Palestine, provided nothing was 
done to prejudice the civil and religious rights of the 
existing non-Jewish communities. "I he return of the 



30 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Jews to their historic home seemed to presage the begin- 
ning of the fulfilment of the Prophet’s vision. That 
vista was fixed firmly on the political horizon when, at the 
Peace Conference, the Covenant of the League of Nations 
was made the pivot of a new international order, and 
the representatives of the nations undertook to maintain 
peace and seek a peaceful solution of any differences that 
might arise amongst them. 

Jerusalem would have been sentimentally and ideally 
the fitting place of meeting for the Council and Assembly 
and the Court of the League. But though at the junction 
of Asia and Africa, it was not geographically near enough 
to the main centres of affairs; and Geneva and The 
Hague were preferred for this purpose. The late Sir 
Mark Sykes indeed suggested that Palestine should be 
the headquarters of an international police force, the 
instrument of the League, which would ensure mainten- 
ance of the world’s peace. Such a use would hardly be in 
keeping with the history or the ideals of the country; 
but something more in accord with that character has 
been mooted in recent years. Since the League has been 
in operation, the need has become increasingly obvious 
for a spiritual union by the side of and supplementing 
the political union, to deepen the movement for under- 
standing and co-operation, the pursuit of justice and 
righteous dealing, between States and races. The League, 
it is said, is to-day a body without a soul; and the soul 
may be nourished by a spiritual league. If such a union 
is realized, its proper habitation would be Jerusalem 
which the prophets conceived as a capital of the uni- 
versal kingdom and which has been the principal source 
of spiritual influence on humanity. 

The essential condition of peace is not so much the 



JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF PEACE 3 , 

perfection of the machinery of the League as the con- 
scious will of the peoples. That will depends on the 
spiritual elements in our life. The root evil of the policies 
of the last century, which was the primary cause of wars, 
was a new form of idolatry as demoralizing as any of the 
old paganisms. It was the blind worship of the State and 
the disregard of the universal God and the cause of 
humanity. Religion became nationality in the empires 
of antiquity; now nationalism has become religion. The 
Jewish people who are the supreme example of an inter- 
national nation, and created the idea of a just God ruling 
all peoples by a moral law, should be the standard- 
bearers of the cause of a higher and altruistic nationality 
which recognizes the supremacy of humanity. Forced 
for over a thousand years to devote themselves to the 
preservation of their race, their religion, and their doc- 
trine, they may at last resume the task which their 
prophets gave to them of teaching an universal doctrine 
to mankind . 1 The task is the more urgent because in 
our day, throughout the Orient, the idea of nationalism, 
dormant for centuries, has aroused in the peoples an 
intense fervour, and tends to be combined with another 
importation from the West, materialism of thought. In 
the past the Oriental religions have been a more effective 
influence for peace than the Western, but to-day the 
prophets of the East combine — and almost supersede — 
their religious message with an ardent nationalism. So 

1 This seems a hard saying, especially at a time when the Jewish people, within 
and without Palestine, are engaged in a desperate struggle for existence. There 
are those who say that they must put aside for the time any universal function 
and first establish their National Home. Yet, as the famous Rabbi Akiba 
replied to the Roman general who, at another period of grave crisis in the second 
century, suggested that the Jewish State might be restored if only the Jews 
would give up the Torah, “The Children of Israel can live only in the Torah 
as the fish in the sea.” 



3* RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

in the East as in the West it is imperative to organize the 
spiritual forces for peace. 

The study of comparative religion, the general accept- 
ance in East and West of the doctrine of evolution, and 
the growth of the historical sense, which is probably the 
greatest intellectual achievement of modern times, have 
together brought about a truer conception of the relation 
of the different religious creeds, and rid mankind of the 
curse of wars of religion. It is recognized that there is 
something true and divinely revealed about every world- 
religion; or, as it was put by a teacher of the last genera- 
tion who lived and taught in Palestine, ‘Abdul-Bahd 
Abbas: “The supreme gift of God to our age is the 
knowledge of the oneness of man and the essential unity 
of religions. ,, Differences of religion may make impossible 
a world-state: but the principles of religion assist a world- 
union. It may seem ironical and unreal to say so in a 
place where points of difference between the Churches 
and denominations are constantly accentuated; yet it is 
true that in every religious communion men are looking 
for points of unity and emphasizing the common inten- 
tion that underlies the diverse creeds. In the Society of 
Churches as in the Society of States there is a centripetal 
movement. The idea of a union of religions is taking 
definite shape. It has promoted a scheme for a conference 
of the religions of the world against war, for which 
preliminary meetings attended by representatives of all 
the great creeds have been held. It has promoted, too, the 
idea of a League of Religions for which a French social 
philosopher suggested Paris as the centre . 1 Yet he is 
sufficiently conscious of the Hebraic paternity of his idea 
to associate with it a mission for Israel. 

1 J. Izoulct, Paris , Capitate des Religions ; qu la Mission d' Israel. Paris, 1926. 



JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF PEACE 33 

The Jews are the smallest in number of the principal 
religious bodies, a mere 15 millions against the hundreds 
of millions of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, 
etc. But it is the teaching of the Hebrew prophets which 
inspires the movement for peace in the Western nations; 
and the Jews who have taken the lead in the organization 
of social justice should take it likewise in a movement 
for spiritual co-operation in the cause of international 
justice. 

A remarkable expression of the aspiration for spiritual 
union was put forward during the war by an English 
sociologist, and has a special interest for those who 
labour in Jerusalem. In a book called by the picturesque 
title of Janus and Vesta , 1 it is proposed that the universi- 
ties of the world shall be federated, and that at the 
head shall be a world university. The author knew of the 
proposed university at Jerusalem, and he conceived that 
here would be found the world institution which he 
sought. “Dreams,” he says, “must precede drama”; and 
if his scheme is in some measure fantastic — at the pre- 
sent stage — it is based on a fundamental truth that the 
academies of true learning form one of the important 
spiritual agencies of our time. Every seat of learning, 
it is said, is an organ of genuine internationalism. It 
strengthens the human spirit by knowledge, springing 
from one source and tending to one universal good. If 
that general function of universities is realized, the 
special function of a university at Jerusalem in the 
cause of understanding between peoples and nations 
may be apprehended. And I may be excused if I dwell 
on it a little in connection with the subject of this 
Chair. 

1 Branford, B., Janus and Vesta, London, 1916. 



34 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

The circumstances of the foundation of this University 
seem to mark it from the beginning for a special destiny. 
Its site, commanding one of the sublimest views in the 
whole world, and overlooking on one side the most 
historic city and on the other Nature's wonders, is a 
daily inspiration. The acquisition of that site during 
the stress of the war when Palestine was still under the 
Turkish rule, and the laying of the foundation-stones 
during the hostilities and within the sound of the guns, 
marked symbolically the determination of the Jewish 
people, on their return to the country, to foster the arts 
of peace, and to make Jerusalem again a centre of know- 
ledge. The inauguration of the Hebrew University some 
seven years later, in the presence of representatives of 
learning from all parts of the world, indicated the recogni- 
tion of that aim by the society of scholars, and held out 
the prospect that the new foundation should not be a 
sectional place of learning but a place where “the uni- 
versal element of the human spirit should find self- 
expression" and be a link of Palestine with the world of 
science . 1 

We may then look to the Hebrew University of Jeru- 
salem as the most striking living expression of the ideal 
of Jerusalem as the City of Peace. In particular, one 
of its most immediate purposes must be to establish 
fuller knowledge and understanding of the culture and 
literature of the Arabs among the Jews. In a broader 
aspect it may aspire to play the part of mediator between 

1 We may recall the message which was sent for the inaugural celebration by 
Luzzatti, a Jewish ex-Premier of Italy. ‘‘Here in the temple of science, lofty and 
pure as a temple sacred to God, the Children of Israel must raise their minds 
to the height of the ideal, drawing from it, together with a community of 
knowledge, political concord. Divided in creed and in philosophical beliefs, 
let them be united in the basic principle of liberty.** 



35 


JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF PEACE 

the East and the West. More than fifty years ago, George 
Eliot, interpreting the vision of the Jewish people re- 
stored to its organic centre, wrote: “There will be a 
community in the van of the East which carries the 
cultures and sympathies of every great nation in its 
bosom. There will be a land set for a halting-place 
of enmities.' ” As at Cordova in the Middle Ages Jews 
and Arabs emulated each other in literature and philo- 
sophy, so may they emulate each other in the universities 
of the East. How admirable would it be if, in the uni- 
versities of the Arab lands also, a Chair should be founded 
for the International Law of Peace. 

Another and still larger synthetic function may be 
served by the revival of learning in Jerusalem, the har- 
monizing of the two branches of spiritual teaching, the 
one derived from the universities, the other from the 
religions. Since the Renaissance there has been a dis- 
turbing division between religion and culture. But it has 
been said that the discoveries of science are to-day one 
long Psalm to the divine greatness. One of the problems 
of our day is to establish the harmony between the 
scientific and the religious conceptions and, in political 
affairs, to combine with the scientific teaching of the unity 
of the human race the religious and intuitional con- 
sciousness of a common humanity. Part of that task lies 
within the scope of this Chair; the whole may not lie 
outside the effort of the University when it reaches its 
full stature and co-operates with the universities of the 
world. 

If, then, we lift up our eyes to the hills and seek the 
vision without which the people perish, we may be 
inspired with the hope that in our generation Jerusalem 
may begin to fulfil again her destiny of guiding humanity 



36 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

to peace both as a centre of religion and as a centre of 
science and the humanities. And we may utter with a 
fresh conviction the words of our Jerusalem poet: “Pray 
for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love 
thee. Let there be peace within thy border and tranquillity 
in thy palaces.” 



CHAPTER II 


THE PAGAN RELIGIONS OF ANTIQUITY 

In his history of the Rise and Influence of Rationalism 
in Europe , x Lecky remarks that the two principal moral 
influences to which man is subject have been religion 
and patriotism; and the separate modifications and the 
mutual interaction of these two forces may almost be 
said to constitute the moral history of mankind. The 
distinction, however, between religion and patriotism 
does not exist in antiquity when the two motives are in- 
extricably bound up together. In antiquity also law and 
religion are one. For law, which was in the early stages 
custom, is derived from divine revelation. Law, in fact, 
is religion as applied to social, civic, and political life. 
The gods are deemed to be the creators of the law of 
the people, and any infraction of the law is a sin against 
them. The sanction of the law was its divine origin. The 
practices of the peoples of antiquity, therefore, with 
regard to peace and war were an integral part of their 
religion. 

Religion was not only the primary source of law, but 
it was the primary influence in the development of 
national life. Human civilization began in “the fertile 
Crescent, ” the region that lies to the south-east of the 
Mediterranean Sea, between the Nile and Mesopo- 
tamia . 2 It is in the countries which we now know as 
Egypt, Syria, Palestine, and Iraq that the earliest 
records and monuments of political, social, and artistic 
life have been found; and in Egypt we can trace most 

1 Vol. II, ch. 5. J Sec Breasted, J. G., Conquest of Civilisation. 



3 8 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

clearly the evolution of social, political, intellectual, and 
artistic institutions from a period of five thousand years 
before the Christian era to the present day. 1 The first 
dynasty of Egyptian kings is dated with some certain ty 
between 3400 and 3200 b.c. It had been preceded by a 
long preparatory period in which the Egyptians sought 
for an effective social organization to afford security and 
regulate labour in the Valley of the Nile. There, as in all 
places where social and political institutions began to 
develop, the tribes or clans, fighting for their existence 
against other tribes, were gradually brought under the 
rule of one strong king. Tradition attributes the creation 
of political institutions to divine dynasties. The gods were 
succeded by kings dwelling in Lower Egypt, and then by 
sovereigns of Upper and Lower Egypt combined. 2 

Herodotus, the Greek historian, recorded what was 
the current opinion of the Greeks, that the Egyptians 
were the most religious of men. Their social and political 
institutions were entirely bound up with the religious life. 
The Pharaoh was an embodiment of the godhead and 
ruled by his divine right. He is worshipped as the sole 
holder of the sacred force, and his official titles include 
the names of the gods of the country. Thus, from the 
time of the first dynasty, the king is called Horus the 
Falcon God; and the falcon is borne upon a shield going 
before the king in the pictures of royal victories and 
feasts. When the two kingdoms of the south and the 
north were combined, the gods of the two kingdoms 

1 The post-war excavations of Mr. Woolley at Ur of the Chaldees have revealed 
an earlier royal civilization than the Egyptian among the Sumerians, who 
founded a kingdom and developed religion, government, and art by the 
Euphrates before 3500 B.c. The discoveries include a royal standard which 
illustrates scenes of war and peace. 

* See Moret and Davy, From Tribe to Empire. Kegan Paul, 1926. 



THE PAGAN RELIGIONS OF ANTIQUITY 


39 


were likewise combined, in the person of the Pharaoh, who 
becomes the incarnation of the Falcon of Horus, of Ra, 
of Osiris, and of Amon, that is, of all the king-gods who 
in turn ruled in Egypt. As Egypt came into touch with 
the surrounding peoples (in the second millennium b.c.), 
material and intellectual goods were freely exchanged, 
and the idea of international peace came into being. 
These other peoples had likewise developed a political 
and military civilization that knit together primitive 
tribes into powerful empires — the Sumerians, the Baby- 
lonians, the Hittites, and the Aegeans. Egypt was at that 
time recognized as the supreme power, and her neigh- 
bours looked to her as the leader of civilization. The 
diplomatic documents that have come down from the 
period, and record the relations between the Egyptians 
and the Hittites, contain such terms as “To be animated 
with a single thought,” “to have henceforth but one 
heart.” “The Concert of the East, it has been said, was 
historical fact fifteen hundred years before the Chris- 
tian era” (see op. cit ., p. 295). Modern research has 
thrown light on the diplomatic and peaceful relations of 
these early empires, and carried back the history of inter- 
national law by a thousand years. 

The political union was combined with a common 
spiritual and religious union. The relations of the empires 
induced religious syncretism. Since the gods presided 
over all the acts of public life, the peace of the Orient 
meant that the gods of the several peoples laid aside 
their arms and concluded treaties. So Amon and Osiris 
were worshipped in Syria; Ashtoreth (Ishtar) and 
Reshef in Egypt. The Sun God, who was in Egypt Ra, 
was advanced to the position of the supreme deity of the 
civilized world, and his emblem, the solar disc with two 



40 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

wings, was adopted by the kings of the Hittites, the 
Assyrians, and the Babylonians. One king of Egypt 
sought to carry a step farther the idea of an international 
universal religion. It was Amenophis IV, who about 
1400 b.c. carried out a remarkable religious reforma- 
tion. The solar disc, Aton, which was one aspect of the 
Sun God, takes the place of the many deities of the 
Egyptian Pantheon. The old royal god Amon and his 
priests are driven from the temples; and the king himself 
changes his name to Aken-Aton — “the favoured of the 
god.” In one of the hymns of the new worship which 
have come down to us we read words which may be 
compared with passages of the Bible about the universal 
God of the Hebrews 1 : 

How numerous are thy works. 

Thou hast created the earth in thy heart; the earth with men and 
beasts great and small, all that existeth on earth and looketh on 
thee, which liveth in the air and flyeth on wings, the foreign 
countries of Syria, of Nubia, and the land of Egypt. 

Thou settest each man in his place, creating what is needful for 
him. 

All with their inheritance, their property, their languages, differing 
in words and in form. 

0 Divider, thou hast divided the foreign peoples . 2 

It was another aspect of the reformation that the king 
is no longer regarded as the incarnation of the god, but 
rather as his minister. For at the end of the hymn the 
king thus addresses Aton : 

Thou art in my heart; 

there exists none other who comprehendeth thee save I thy son. 

1 According to the date which is accepted for the exodus of Israel from Egypt 
— 1450 or 1200, approximately, B.c. — we may surmise that the Mosaic mono- 
theism influenced the Egyptian reformer, or vice versa. Recent excavation in 
Palestine suggests indeed the earlier date for the ertodus. * Of. cit. t p. 298. 



THE PAGAN RELIGIONS OF ANTIQUITY 4* 

The reformation failed. The Egyptian priests and the 
Egyptian people would have nothing of the royal mono- 
theism; and immediately after his death the divine 
dynasties of Amon and Ra were restored. His son-in-law 
who succeeded him was named Tutankh-Amon to mark 
the counter-reformation. The attempt also at inter- 
national peace and “the Concert of the East” broke 
down. Syria and Palestine, which had welcomed the 
Egyptian overlordship, were invaded from the north, 
and the Egyptian client-kings and chieftains could not 
withstand the newcomers. The Tel El Amarna letters, 
the oldest international correspondence, that passed be- 
tween them and their overlord in Egypt, record the 
break-up of the civilizing Egyptian power. In the words 
of the harassed Governor of Urusalim, sent to the scribe 
of Pharaoh: “All the king’s land is rushing headlong to 
destruction.” From within and without the allegiance 
and worship to a single god, whose minister on earth 
was the supreme Pharaoh, was disintegrating; and the 
Eastern world returned to the rule of separate kings up- 
held by separate and conflicting deities. 

While civilization and the royal power were developing 
in Egypt in the third millennium b.c., another power, 
whose political and social life developed in the same way 
from the union of tribes and clans under one strong ruler, 
was making itself master of the neighbouring countries 
and conceiving the idea of a law to govern different 
peoples. It was at the end of that millennium that a great 
king arose in Chaldea or Babylonia named Hammurabi 
(2123-2081), who conquered the whole country to the 
borders of Egypt. He issued a code of law for his empire 
which is the oldest law-book that has come down to us. 
He ascribes the law to divine inspiration; and at the 



42 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

head of the stele on which the laws are engraved there 
is a picture of the God dictating to the King the text 
which he is to transmit to his subjects. The stele was set 
up in the Temple of the great God Mardokh. In the 
prologue to the code the King says that he has been 
called by the gods: 

To make justice prevail in the land, to destroy the wicked, and to 
prevent the strong from oppressing the weak. 1 

When the power of Egypt declined at the end of the 
first millennium before the Christian era, empire again 
passed to the rulers of Babylon and Chaldea. The empire 
of Shalmaneser and Nebuchadnezzar, like that of 
Hammurabi or the Egyptian Pharaohs, is dominated by 
the divinity of the victorious people; but it is a cruel 
and much less civilized divinity that loves to extirpate 
the conquered peoples and their deities. 

Throughout this early period of civilization, however, 
when the peoples of the Orient are struggling for mastery, 
one idea is constant; the king claims to be and is recog- 
nized as the incarnation of the divinity. He realizes in 
his own person that mystical or religious unity which 
constituted the strength of the clan or tribe, and is en- 
larged again to form the tie between all the peoples of an 
empire. Alone of the Eastern peoples, Israel did not 
identify its king with its god. 

In the religions of antiquity the gods are generally 
warlike; and their function is largely to assist in war the 
fortunes of a particular people. The deity goes to battle 
with the people. If they win, it is his victory and a sign 
that he is pleased; if they are defeated, it is a sign that 
he is angry and must be placated, by human sacrifice if 
1 Op. cit., p.217. 1 



THE PAGAN RELIGIONS OF ANTIQUITY 43 

necessary. That is the belief which is presented again 
and again in the records of antiquity, pictured in the 
monuments of Egypt, inscribed on the tablets of Assyria, 
recorded in the epic poems of the Greeks and the Romans. 
The Moabite stone, found in Transjordan, from the 
period of King Mesha of Moab, who was contemporary 
with King Ahab of Israel, tells how Chemosh the god 
of Moab successfully fought against the people and the 
God of Israel. The story of the Trojan War, which is 
told in the Iliad of Homer, turns largely on the struggle 
between the different gods who supported the Achaeans 
and the Trojans. When the Achaeans are checked, their 
king is to offer his daughter as a sacrifice to placate the 
angry deities. 

If a people is conquered, the gods of the victors are 
adopted by them. Often, too, the gods of the vanquished 
are received into the Pantheon of the victors, though with 
some modification to mark their subservience to the 
conquerors' deity. The excavations that have been made 
in recent years at Baisan in Palestine have shown how 
the Canaanite and Phoenician deities, Ashtoreth, Reshef, 
etc., were transformed by the Egyptian governors, and 
how temples of Egyptian style replace the early high- 
places of the Canaanites. The god of Tyre, Melkarth, 
becomes known after the conquest of Alexander the 
Great as Melkarth Heracles, and is worshipped with a 
combination of Greek and Phoenician ceremony. In the 
early history of Rome we find examples of the same 
kind. The curious ceremony by which the temple of 
Janus was opened in times of war and closed during the 
periods of peace appears to go back to some early syn- 
cretism of the gods of the two neighbouring tribes of 
the opposite hills, the Palatine and the Quirinal, who 



44 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

originally fought against each other and then combined 
their forces. The two-faced statue of Janus stood in a 
passage between the two hills facing east and west. The 
opening of the temple during war perhaps indicated 
symbolically that the god had gone out to assist the 
Roman worshippers; and the shutting of the temple in 
peace — which was rare — that the god who was the safe- 
guard of the city should be carefully preserved within 
the territory. Another interpretation, indeed, is that he 
is the god who watches to the right and the left, the 
prime defender of the group which dwells in the town, 
the village, and city. 1 The gods of each village and 
town were its guardians; and it was to the image 
of the invisible power that man looked for aid in 
adversity. 

Among certain primitive peoples war was regarded as 
the only happy state, and peace was a degradation. This 
was still the attitude of the Goths and Norsemen w r hen 
they came in contact with the Roman Empire in the 
early centuries of the Common Era. The gods Thor and 
Odin were essentially gods of war, and they were wor- 
shipped by constant fighting. Their religion was a reli- 
gion of valour; and the reward of those who fell in battle 
was to go to Valhalla and to be engaged perpetually by 
day in slaying their foes, and by night in feasting to 
celebrate the victory. 

Plato sums up the outlook of the ancient world, that 
war is the natural relation of every community to every 
other. As, however, people became civilized, there was a 
growing recognition of the blessings of peace and the 
miseries of war. Thus, while in Homeric times war is 
the supreme activity of gods as of men, in the poems of 

1 Grenier, The Roman Spirit, iyzS. 



THE PAGAN RELIGIONS OF ANTIQUITY 


45 


Hesiod, composed some centuries later, about 900-800 
B'C., we have already the picture of a golden age in the 
remote past when peace reigned supreme. Similarly, the 
Roman mythology includes a picture of a primitive 
idyllic state before iron and bronze were discovered, 
the Saturnian realm, where everyone was at peace. 1 When 
man began to develop the intellectual arts of life, music, 
painting, philosophy, literature, and social well-being, 
the destructiveness of war became apparent. The Hellenes, 
who carried to a higher degree than any other people 
these intellectual arts, were the first among the pagan 
peoples to develop the ideal of peace as an aim of society. 
Aristotle put that ideal in the form which has inspired — 
or misled — peoples till our own day: “We wage war for 
the sake of peace” ( Politics , IV, 14). And the Greek 
mythology represented Peace (Elprjvrj) as the daughter 
of Justice even as Isaiah makes justice the founda- 

tion of peace. It was the long struggle between Athens 
and Sparta, the two leaders of Hellenism in the fifth 
and fourth centuries b.c., which gradually impressed on 
the Greek mind the futility and the mischief of war. The 
poet Euripides represents most movingly the feeling 
against the cruelty and futility of war: 

Our Euripides the human, 

With his droppings of warm tears. 

It was not that war was regarded as contrary to religion, 
but that it interfered with the good life of the citizen, 

1 There was this element of truth in the idea that primitive man before the 
Bronze Age does not appear to have engaged in mutual slaughter. According 
to a modern school of anthropologists the primitive peoples are truthful, 
unaggressive, hospitable, and sympathetic to strangers. Man is essentially 
peaceful when free from artificial incentive to strife. See Eliot-Smith, Human 
Nature , 1927. 



46 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Thucydides makes the -Athenian delegation say to the 
Melians, in the famous dialogue with regard to the 
domination of the stronger over the weaker peoples 
(Thuc., V, 105): “We do not fear the judgment of the 
gods, for we are doing nothing new. We know that men 
by the law of their nature will war when they can. We 
did not make that law, nor are we the first to follow it.” 
So, too, when the Athenian host was defeated at Syra- 
cuse (420 b.c.), their fallen commander, Nicias, appeals 
to the gods thus, “Surely we have been punished enough. 
Other men before us have attacked their neighbours; 
at least we may begin to hope that the gods will be 
merciful.” 

It was then a rational idea, and not a religious ideal, 
which made the Greeks turn away from war and seek to 
find a basis of peace with the other Hellenic peoples. 
From an early period, indeed, in their development, it 
had been the custom to make leagues between city- 
states which shared the same religion and the same 
religious festivals. They were known as amphictyonies; 
and the most famous of them was an association of the 
States which worshipped together at the Great Oracle of 
Delphi. The members of the league undertook to follow 
certain rules of humanity in case of war with one another, 
and not to interfere with the religious rites and cere- 
monies of one another. Further, they undertook to 
submit to arbitration differences that arose between 
them. 

In the heyday of Hellenic life, however, the most 
idealistic teachers did not rise to a conception of peace 
between all peoples, though Plato had a vision of one 
god, father of the universe, and of an ideal city of Peace, 
Atlantis. Outside the Hellenic circle, the nations were 



THE PAGAN RELIGIONS OF ANTIQUITY 


47 


regarded as barbarians, only fitted to be slaves (Arist., 
I, i, 5). 1 The law of humanity had no application 
to them. When, however, Alexander the Great, applying 
the idea of Hellenic superiority, conquered the East, a 
larger and more universal conception was brought into 
Hellenistic thought. It came primarily through the school 
known as the Stoics. There was no doubt communica- 
tion of Hebraic, Persian, and other Semitic ideas in that 
philosophical school, which was founded at the end of 
the third century b.c. by a Phoenician teacher from 
Cyprus. Zeno combined with the Greek conception of 
a supreme reason governing all things the Hebraic idea 
of a universal deity and a common humanity. And so 
the Stoic school brought to the Greek world the new 
conception of a city of God, a world-city — Cosmopolis — 
in which all mankind were citizens and were entitled to 
equality because of their common citizenship. 2 Reason, 
or what was called “the law of nature/’ prescribes certain 
rules of conduct which are applicable to all places and 
times. The whole universe, as well as mankind, is the 
expression of a single principle of reason. 

All but are parts of one stupendous whole 

Whose body nature is, and God the soul. 

There is a duty of mutual service to the whole by each 

1 The same philosopher, who, be it remembered, was the teacher of Alexander, 
wrote: “War is strictly a means of acquisition to be employed against inferior 
races of men, who, though intended by nature to be subject to us, are unwilling 
to submit. For war of such a kind is just by nature.” 

* Socrates, who was condemned to death because he did not honour the gods 
of the State, is recorded to have declared that he was not an Athenian or a 
Hellene, but a citizen of the w'orld (Kor/xoTT'f^lTTjz). (Plutarch, De Exit., 5)} 
and Diogenes, the Cynic, the predecessor of the Stoics, when asked of what city 
he was, made the same claim (Diog. Laert., 6, 6). Zeno himself taught that 
we should not live in separate cities, but regard all men as fellow-citizens. 


’V a - 

^ >- w - 


J 



4 * RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

of its members. The idea receives religious expression 
in the hymn of the Stoic Cleanthes to Zeus 1 : “Father of 
the Gods, sovereign deity who art invoked by many names 
and reigneth alone, source of nature, supreme law of the 
universe: to you all mortals must turn, for you are the 
father of all.” 

It is notable that Alexander the Great sought to realize 
in his empire the universal conception and to combine 
the various peoples who were gathered in his single sway. 
Plutarch says of him that 

he believed himself to have come from God to adjust and reconcile 
the world, compelling with his arms those whom he could not 
unite by argument: he brought together elements from all quarters, 
and by mingling as in one common bowl of friendship men’s lives 
and manners . . he enjoins upon all to regard the world as their 
fatherland; ... so that the distinction between Greek and Bar- 
barian was no longer to be marked by cloak or shield, but the mark 
of the Greek was to be virtuous and the Barbarian its opposite. . . . 
If the divine power which sent Alexander on earth had not 
speedily recalled him, the sunshine of one law would have looked 
down on all men, and they would have lived in the common light 
of one law. 

The Stoic idea was a philosophical counterpart of the 
religious idea of the universal God and the universal law 
which had issued from Zion. But its votaries lacked the 
personal conviction and the intense feeling and conscious- 
ness of the Hebrew people that they had a mission to 
carry the teaching of humanity to others. It was rather 
a philosophical belief of the few, “the intelligentsia,” 
than a rule of conduct of the many. Nevertheless, Stoic 
principles, blended of religion and philosophy, were to 
have an enormous effect upon international relations and 
international law. They were carried over from the Greek 
1 Quoted in Stoba&is. Eel. 



THE PAGAN RELIGIONS OF ANTIQUITY 


49 


civilization to the Roman, when in the second and first 
centuries before the Common Era the Romans con- 
quered the Mediterranean world, and captive Greece 
made her victors captive. The Romans were at once an 
eminently religious and an eminently legal people. Every 
action of life, as well as every force of nature, was re- 
garded by them as controlled by a particular deity; and 
every rule of conduct was embodied in some clear precept 
of law. Their religious as well as their legal ideas were 
to have such an important influence on the development 
of Christendom, and especially of Christian Europe, that 
we must dwell on them a little further. 

There was no distinction in the Roman mind between 
the sacred and the profane, between the spiritual and the 
material world. Every idea, every process of nature, every 
action of man, was represented by a deity to whom wor- 
ship must be paid. The neighbouring peoples with whom 
the Romans fought had also their gods who must be 
worshipped in order to conciliate them. So when they 
went to war the Romans thought to win over the divinities 
of the enemy by appropriate invocation. When Decius 
devoted himself to save the State, he appealed not only 
to Janus, Jupiter, Mars, and Bellona, the Roman gods of 
war, but also generally to “the gods who hold power over 
us and our enemies. M The religion of the Romans was 
purely utilitarian and not emotional; and its worship was 
essentially public. The Twelve Tables forbade the citizens 
to have gods in private or to worship gods not authorized 
by the State. Religion was controlled by the college of 
Pontifices, who were rather magistrates than priests. They 
are described by a Latin writer as the “judges and guardians 
of the things which pertain to worship and the religions .” 1 

1 “Rerum quae ad sacra et religiones pertinent judices et vindices.” 



5 o RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

At the head of the college was the Pontifex Maximus, 
who inherited in religious matters the old royal power — 
that was abolished early in the history of the Roman 
State. He decided on the reception of new deities; and in 
the crisis through which Rome passed during the struggle 
with the Carthaginians, the Punic Wars of the latter 
half of the third century b.c., it was the Pontifex who 
introduced Oriental cults to save the city. After the 
victory was won, there was a reaction in the conservative 
Roman society against these Oriental creeds. As one of 
the consuls declared: “Nothing is more destructive to 
religion than foreign ceremonies.” 

In its earlier development the Roman law was derived 
from a religious source; it was the dictate of the gods, 
Fas y and it was guarded by priests. The relations 
between Rome and other cities and peoples were governed 
accordingly by definite religious rules, and watched over 
by a special religious body, the Fetiales. To this college 
of priests was entrusted the fixed and elaborate ceremonial 
for making war and peace, the conclusion of treaties, 
whether of alliance or commerce, with other States, the 
guardianship of the good-faith of the city, and any 
other international relation. The original law of the god, 
FaSy gradually indeed merges into the law made by human 
agency, which is JuSy or Jus Civile ; but the religious 
sanction remained, and religious ceremonies were pre- 
served till late in the history of the empire in connec- 
tion with relations of peace and war. The Greek his- 
torian, Polybius, who has been called the second father 
of international history in the West, 1 writing in the 
second century b.c., remarked that the Roman constitu- 
tion was pre-eminent in the interpretation of divine 

1 Walker, History of the La<w K of Nations , I, 5 1 . 



THE PAGAN RELIGIONS OF ANTIQUITY 5 x 

things: “What is blamed by others, to my mind is the 
mainstay of the Roman State, the superstitious fear of 
the gods” (II, 23). 

The Jus Fetiale, this primitive international law, was 
administered by the religious college; and with that 
conservatism which was a fundamental part of Roman 
character, they continued for centuries the ceremonial 
of the primitive city of the Italian hills. The Biblical law 
in Deuteronomy required an offer of peace to be made 
before a city is attacked. The Roman law elaborated the 
same principle. There must first be an offer of satisfac- 
tion which is put into legal form by the Fetiales. An 
opportunity must be given to the other State to reply. 
After delivery of their claim the Roman envoys returned; 
and a period of thirty-three days was allowed for satis- 
faction to be given. If it was not forthcoming, the envoys 
were despatched a second time with an ultimatum. They 
reported the result of their visit to the Senate, and each 
senator then gave his opinion whether there should be 
war. If war was resolved on, prayers and sacrifices were 
offered, and the envoys made a final journey to deliver 
a solemn declaration of war, which was done by throwing 
a spear fitted with steel and dipped in blood into the 
enemy’s territory. Frequently an appeal was made to 
the enemy’s gods to leave their territory and come over 
to the Roman side. And before battle was engaged, 
another body of religious persons who were attached 
to the army and the fleet, the Augurs, sought by watch- 
ing the action and flight of birds to ascertain the will of 
the gods. The Romans would not fight unless they had a 
favourable manifestation; but a war entered on with 
the proper formalities was a Justum helium — a just war. 

The Roman practice illustrates in its completest form 



ji RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

the connection of religion in antiquity with the relations 
of States. Similarly, when a treaty was made, the solemn 
compact was carried out with an indispensable cere- 
monial. The Bible gives us an example of early treaty- 
making in the story of Abraham dealing with Abimelech 
(see Gen. xxi.). The Iliad of Homer gives a similar 
picture of the procedure for making a covenant, ending 
with an imprecation. “If any break this pact, may their 
brains and their children’s brains be dispersed on the 
ground like this wine” (//., 3, 268). The pact was sealed 
by oaths which gave it a divine sanction. The violation 
of the oath was an offence to the gods, who will execute 
vengeance. Good-faith, Fides, was deified by the 
Romans and provided with a temple. And the records 
of the treaties were likewise placed in the temple to be 
guarded by the deity. 

The practice of Rome was not always indeed on a 
level with the theory. Nevertheless, the Romans had a 
higher standard of good faith in international dealings 
than other peoples of antiquity. For a long time, too, 
they were tolerant in religious matters; they made no 
attempt, like the rulers of the early Eastern empires, to 
impose their religion on the peoples they conquered. 
They allowed “free trade” in gods, encouraged the 
adoption of their deities by the client and subject peoples 
without imposing it and, save for the reaction noted 
above after the Punic war, readily received the foreign 
deities into the Roman Pantheon. Their practice began, 
however, to change after the foundation of the empire 
by Augustus at the end of the first century b.c. That step 
came as the culmination of nearly four centuries of war- 
fare, when the whole Mediterranean world and even 
the military peoples of Italy were wearied of fighting. 



THE PAGAN RELIGIONS OF ANTIQUITY 53 

Philosophy and the other arts of peace were modifying 
the Roman character and introducing new conceptions 
of the highest good, and the longing to establish a stable 
peace. The Stoic principles found the most favour in 
the world empire which the Roman city had become. 
The Romans nourished the conception of a universal 
State subject to a universal law; and they combined with 
the Stoic idea of the law of nature, which directed rules 
of conduct applicable to all peoples, and was derived 
from the supreme principle of reason, the idea of a 
positive law common to all nations, Jus Gentium , which 
had been developed by their jurists from the practices 
common amongst all the peoples included in the empire. 
At a later period they conferred on all their subjects 
one collective Roman citizenship which brought them all 
under the sway of this law. In this world State they 
imposed and kept the peace. Their greatest poet, Virgil, 
writing in the epoch of Augustus, amplifies the traditions 
of the Golden Age, and makes the Sibyl prophesy the 
return of an era of unbroken peace, like that described 
in the vision of Isaiah. The mediaeval veneration for the 
poet was based largely on this identity of his vision with 
that of the Hebrew prophets and on the belief that he 
had become a Christian. That he had contact with Jews 
who were actively proselytizing in his day is at least 
likely; and it is notable that the Jewish teaching which 
included the vision of universal peace was propagated 
amongst the Greeks and Romans in the form of pseudo- 
Sibylline oracles. 

The Roman peace — Tax Romana — under which the 
diverse countries and peoples lived for some three hun- 
dred and fifty years, was imposed by the Roman Im- 
perium; but it was invested with a religious sanction 



54 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

which took the form of a worship of the emperors who 
were the supreme heads of the world State. That deifica- 
tion brought the Jews into armed conflict with the 
Romans; and in the end led to the destruction of an in- 
dependent Jewish nation, of Jerusalem, and the temple. 
The Roman tolerance was lost in the imperial cult which 
sought to bind the peoples together by an imperial religion 
as well as by an imperial law . 1 

By the time that the republic was turned to an empire 
by Julius Caesar and Augustus, the old popular religion 
of the Romans had lost its hold over the mind and affec- 
tion of the people. The Pontifex Maximus, Scaevola, 
whom Cicero knew in his youth (that is, in the beginning 
of the first century b.c.), could already declare, “There 
are three kinds of religion, the poet’s, the philosopher’s, 
and the statesman’s. The first two are futile or positively 
harmful, only the third may be accepted .” 2 

The utilitarian idea of religion still existed, and worship 
was an instrument of the State. One of the great measures 
of reconstruction by Augustus was to restore the popular 
religion, and to seek to give it the breath of life. For 
that purpose he marshalled not only the political and 
administrative authorities of the country, but also the 
poets, Virgil, Horace, etc. The effort could not succeed 
because that religion was soulless. He was himself a reli- 
gious man, and he regarded religion as the basis of Roman 
power. It was not so much a means of government as the 
very expression and symbol of the authority of Rome. 
His conception is expressed by the Roman poet Horace, 

1 Shortly before the establishment of the Empire, Cicero, referring to Pompey’s 
conquest of Judea, declared: “When Rome prevailed, her law and religion 
prevailed j for the fact that she was victorious proved that she had a superior 
religion” ( Pro Flacco). 

* See Grenier, The Roman Spirit in Religion, ^ 



THE PAGAN RELIGIONS OF ANTIQUITY 


55 


who responded to his patron’s bidding: “Own the goods 
for your masters, and establish dominion” (“Dis te 
minorem quod geris, imperas”). He became Pontifex 
Maximus as soon as there was a vacancy; and that office 
became part of the imperium of his successors. While 
he revived, on the one hand, the old Roman religion and 
sought to expel the Eastern worship, he allowed Eastern 
ideas, on the other, to permeate the religious restoration. 
We have seen that the idea of divine kingship was common 
to all the Eastern empires, from the foundation of the 
Egyptian kingdom to the empire of Alexander the Great 
and his successors. Such an idea was strange, indeed, to 
the Roman tradition; but Augustus allowed it to be 
introduced into his imperial scheme. The very name by 
which he was known was a title of the gods; and after 
his death he received apotheosis. The worship of the 
emperors became one of the bonds of the far-flung empire. 

That institution was to have momentous consequences, 
not only on the relations of the Romans with the Jews, 
but on the history of civilization. When Christianity 
became the religion of the State, the Roman emperors 
still persisted in regarding the direction of religious 
matters as one of their essential functions; and when the 
Pope of Rome succeeded the emperor as the Pontifex 
Maximus, the tradition of divine power still clung about 
him. 

By the side of the unethical imperial religion, a number 
of universal creeds flourished in the Roman Empire, 
personal cults like Mithraism and the worship of Isis 
and Osiris, as w r ell as Judaism. The Christian heresy, 
though at first persecuted as anarchical and atheistic, 
gradually spread to all corners of the religion-hungry 
world. And among the intellectual circles the Stoic 



56 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

philosophy held sway. It weakened the old racial poly- 
theisms and upheld the sovereign claims of universal 
duty, thus giving a broader ethical basis to right conduct. 

Cicero gives us a religious presentation of the Stoical 
Law of Nature in his book on the Republic: 

There is a true law which is right reason, agreeable to nature, 
diffused among all men, constant, eternal which calls us to duty 
by its injunctions, and by its prohibitions deters us from wrong. . . . 
This law admits neither of alteration nor subtraction, nor abroga- 
tion. . . . We are not to look for some other person to expound 
or interpret it, nor will there be one law for Rome, and another 
for Athens, nor one at this date and another later. But one law 
shall embrace all races for all time, eternal and immortal, and there 
shall be hereby one common master and commander of all — God, 
who originated this law and proposed it and arbitrates concerning 
it; and if anyone obeys it not, he shall play false to himself, and 
he shall do despite to the nature of man, and by this very fact shall 
pay the greatest penalties, even if he should escape all else that is 
reckoned punishment. 

And Marcus Aurelius, the Stoic Emperor of the second 
century, exclaims in his Meditations : “The poet speaks of 
‘Dear City of Cecrops’ (i.e. Athens), but wilt thou not say, 
‘Dear City of God’?” 

Here we see a basis of agreement between the philo- 
sophical approach, the Hebraic monotheism with its 
principles of righteousness, and the Christian teaching 
derived from those principles. But the idea of national or 
individual independence of the State system was repug- 
nant to the Roman imperial and imperious mind. And 
so the Stoic aristocracy was insistently hostile to the 
Hebraic outlook. The Jewish nation, by its desperate 
resistance, successfully asserted, indeed, the right to 
maintain their national religion. The Christian communi- 
ties during the three first centuries of the Common Era 



THE PAGAN RELIGIONS OF ANTIQUITY 


57 


struggled against the persecution of the State to vindicate 
the right of the individual conscience, particularly on the 
question of non-violence and the refusal to do military 
service. But the imperialism of Rome remained to the end 
incompatible with the development of an international 
law of peace. 

What was lacking in the pagan religion and in the 
Stoic philosophy was an idea of humanity towards either 
a conquered enemy or a civil dissenter. The Roman 
poet spoke of the mission of Rome as “to introduce the 
realm of peace, to spare the conquered, and to war down 
the proud.” But it was the last part of the mission which 
was the most regarded, and the old maxim still held to 
the end: Vae Victis\ or again: “Adversus hostes aeterna 
auctoritas.” The inaugurator of the Pax Romana , Augus- 
tus, claimed that he had spared instead of destroying 
the foreign nations that could safely be pardoned. 
But from the destruction of Carthage in 202 b.c. to the 
destruction of Jerusalem in a.d. 70, and the destruction 
of Palmyra in a.d. 270, Rome showed herself ruthless 
to any nationality which resisted her imperial will. The 
men who survived were sold as slaves, or made to fight 
in gladiatorial shows, and thrown to the wild beasts in 
order to make a Roman holiday. In the same spirit men 
and women, and even boys and girls of tender years, 
who professed Christianity were burnt at the stake 
because of their “obstinacy”; and a noble and philoso- 
phical emperor, one of the noblest of the pagans, Marcus 
Aurelius, could satisfy his conscience that the penalty 
was just. 

In the latter period of the Empire, indeed, the ideal 
of unity and peace under Roman sway was again elo- 
quently proclaimed just when that peace and unity 



5 J? RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

were to be shattered. The poet Claudius, writing in the 
last years of the fourth century, spoke of Rome as 
having received the conquered into her bosom like a 
mother and not as an empress, and protected the human 
race with a common name, summoning those she de- 
feated to share her citizenship, and drawing together the 
distant races with bonds of affection. “To her rule of 
peace we owe it that the world is our home, that we 
can live where we please. Thanks to her we are all one 
people.” And another poet of the same period summed 
up Rome’s mission thus: “Thou hast made a city of the 
once wide world.” (“ Urbem jccisti quod prius orbis erat .”) 

When Christianity in that same fourth century super- 
seded polytheistic paganism and imperial cult as the 
religion of the Empire, it combined in the new but 
imperfect union of the Respublica Christiana three 
elements, Hebraic monotheism, Hellenistic (or Stoic) 
cosmopolitanism, and Roman imperialism. Looked at in 
another way, the religion of humanity was tied to the 
logic of Greece and the law of Rome, and lost much of 
its original spirit in that association. Religion in the 
West was to be for a thousand years both universal 
and imperial. It had ceased to be national because 
national distinctions were merged in the one Empire, 
and the only nation which survived was the Jewish 
people. 



CHAPTER I I I 


JUDAISM AND THE NATIONS 

The influence of the Jewish religion on international law 
and international relations has been twofold. On the one 
side there are the rules contained in the Mosaic Law 
with regard to the conduct of war and the account of 
Israel’s relations with other peoples; on the other side 
there is the teaching of the Prophets about the rule of 
the universal God and the ideal of universal peace. Both 
influenced the world largely through the two branches 
that sprang from the Jewish trunk, Christianity and 
Islam, which, in the third and seventh centuries of the 
Common Era, respectively, became the dominant tem- 
poral as well as spiritual forces in Europe and Western 
Asia. To understand this influence we must consider, in 
the first place, the development of the Jewish idea of God. 

It was said by the French writer, Anatole France, 
that the God of Israel, like the Emperor Augustus of 
Rome, grew tender with age (s' adoucit avec age). In the 
Five Books of Moses and in the historical Books of 
Joshua, Judges, Samuel, and Kings, the God of Israel 
is in certain respects like the deity of the other peoples 
of antiquity, exclusive and jealous. He is the tribal or 
national God of a particular people, Israel, and attached 
to a particular land, Canaan. So in the original promise 
to Abraham it is said: 

I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to 
give thee this land to inherit it. . . . In the same day the Lord made 
a covenant with Abraham saying, Unto thy seed have I given 
this land (Gen. xv. 7, 1 8). 



60 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 
Or, again, in the renewed promise to Abraham: 

And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy 
seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, 
to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. And I will 
give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou 
art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, 
and I will be their God. 

It is the God of Israel who drives out the older inhabi- 
tants of Canaan and displaces their gods and reserves 
the land for His people. So in the message which Jephthah 
sent to the King of the Amorites, he records the inci- 
dents when the children of Israel passed through the 
land in the days of Moses; and claims that Canaan is 
the land of Jehovah. 

So now the Lord God of Israel hath dispossessed the Amorites 
from before his people Israel, and shouldest thou possess it? 

Wilt not thou possess that which Chcmosh, thy God, giveth 
thee to possess? So whomsoever the Lord our God shall drive out 
from before w, them will we possess (Judges xi. 23, 24). 

In these books of the early history of Israel Jehovah, 
too, is “a man of war.” He commands His people to 
extirpate the older inhabitants of Canaan and “to wipe 
out the memory of Amalek,” And the Ark of God goes 
out with the Children of Israel to do battle against the 
Philistines. The story is told in the First Book of Samuel 
(chap, iv.) how after a defeat the people sent to Shiloh 
“to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord of 
Hosts which dwelleth between the Cherubim.” The 
Children of Israel made a great shouting when the ark 
came into the camp; and the Philistines hearing it and 
learning the reason were afraid, for they said: “God is 
come into the camp.” Nevertheless they prevailed, and 



JUDAISM AND THE NATIONS 61 

the ark of God was taken and brought to Ashdod and 
placed in the temple of Dagon, the Philistine god. 
“And when the men of Ashdod arose on the morrow, 
behold Dagon was fallen on his face to the earth before 
the ark of the Lord.” A calamity fell on the Philistines 
wherever the ark stayed; till they sent back the ark to 
the land of Israel together with a trespass offering 
(i Sam. v. vi.). 

The land of Israel is in the ownership of the one God 
of Israel, and it is on this principle that the law of the 
“Jubilee” is based: 

The land shall not be sold forever, for the land is mine; for ye are 
strangers and sojourners with me. 

And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption 
for the land (Lev. xxv. 23). 

For four hundred and fifty years, according to the 
Bible record, Israel was a theocratic republic under the 
rule of their God, administered by judges who rose 
from time to time from the people to deliver them from 
oppressors . 1 Then, in the days of the Prophet Samuel 
(about 1100 b.c.), the people elected a king; but it is 
a striking feature of the Jewish development that the 
king is never deified or regarded as the representative 
of God , 2 He is simply the leader of the people in war 
and peace. The Kingdom of Judah endured some five 
hundred years, but throughout that period the theo- 
cratic idea was maintained. The kings could not make 
laws; for the law came from a divine revelation. And it 
is not the king but the prophet who is the vehicle of 

1 It was Josephus who first described the Hebraic constitution as a theocracy 
(C. Apionem , 2. 16). 

* The same is true of the kings of the Hindu peoples : see below, Chapter VIII. 



62 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

the revelation. Balaam said in his blessing of the Children 
of Israel: “Lo! the people shall dwell alone, and shall 
not be reckoned among the nations” (Num. xxiii. 9). 
Not only was the king of Israel unlike the kings of the 
other peoples, but the God of Israel, unlike the deity 
of the other peoples of antiquity, was the sole God of 
His people and not the supreme deity of a hierarchy. 
As it is said in the second commandment of the Deca- 
logue : 

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 

And the prophets of Israel inveighed against the worship 
of any other gods even by foreigners in the land of 
Israel. When King Ahab married a princess of Tyre 
who sought to introduce the worship of Baal of Tyre 
in Samaria and on Carmel, Elijah denounced him and 
slaughtered the foreign priests. Some approach to the 
notion of a single deity is to be found in the Egyptian 
Puritanism of Akhen-Aton, but it never became the 
prepossession of the people, as it did with Israel. 

In the historical books of the Bible, the God of Israel 
is a jealous national God, reigning alone and requiring 
a higher ethical conduct of his people than any other 
religion of antiquity. The Decalogue contains the funda- 
mental principles of that ethic; and the Mosaic Books 
harp constantly on the theme that Israel is God’s Chosen 
People, appointed to carry out a special way of life. 
“Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy 
nation.” 

A new note is sounded in the Books of the Prophets 
of the latter period of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, 
Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Zachariah, etc. The God of Israel 
has now a twofold character. Hfc is both national and 



JUDAISM AND THE NATIONS 63 

universal. He is still the God of His Chosen People, 
Israel, but He is also the God of the whole world who 
judgeth and guideth all nations. So in Isaiah it is said: 

Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as 
the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a 
very little thing (xl. 15). 

It is he that bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the 
judges of the earth as vanity (xl. 23), 

And, again: 

Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, and his redeemer the 
Lord of Hosts. 

I am the first and I am the last, and beside me there is no God 
(xliv. 6). 

In Jeremiah God is King of the Gentiles as well as King 
of Israel (x. 7). And Malachi exclaims: “Have we not 
all one Father? Hath not one God created us?” (Mai, 
ii. 10.) 

It is the universal God who causes the downfall of 
the Jewish kingdom itself because of the sins of the 
people; He who sends Assyria against Israel to be “the 
rod of His anger” (Isa, x. 5) and launches Nebuchad- 
nezzar against Jerusalem to execute His judgment. 
Unlike any other national literature, the Hebrew Bible 
denounces constantly the sins of the Hebrew people. 
Other peoples saw the greatness of their gods in victory: 
the Hebrew prophets recognized the divine purpose in 
the fall of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah. 1 “Political 
thought,” says Professor Zimmern, “may be said to 
have originated with the Hebrew prophets, who were 
the first to rebuke kings to their faces and to set forth 

1 So Amos makes God say of Israel: “You only have I chosen among all the 
families of the earth. Therefor I will visit upon you all your iniquities.” 



64 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

the spiritual aims of politics, to preach righteousness 
and mercy as against power and ambition.” But the 
denunciation is accompanied by the assurance of the 
final reign of justice and peace which it is the function 
of Israel to bring about. It is the Messiah, the King of 
the House of David the anointed of God, who is to 
usher in the Kingdom of God. In the vision of the better 
age which is to come, when universal peace shall be 
established on a basis of righteousness, all peoples are 
to come up to the mountain of the Lord in Jerusalem; 
for out of Zion shall go forth a universal law. God will 
be judge among the nations and they shall live at peace, 
neither shall they learn war any more (Isa. ii. 4). And 
again: “They shall not hurt or destroy in my holy moun- 
tain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the 
Lord as the waters cover the earth” (xi. 9). So, too, 
Hosea foretells the day of the Lord when peace shall 
reign and Israel shall again be chosen: “And I will break 
the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth. . . . 
And I will betroth thee, Israel, unto me for ever, in 
righteousness and in judgment” (Hosea ii. 18, 19). 

Ihe Prophet Zachariah has a similar vision. After 
the destruction of Jerusalem there will be a restoration: 
“And the Lord shall be king over all the earth; on that 
day there shall be one Gcd and his name one.” The 
Book of Ruth points the universalist moral that the 
Messiah Himself is to be a descendant of a Moabite 
woman who was the ancestress of David. The Book of 
Jonah, wherein the Prophet is ordered to go to Nineveh 
and call the people to repentance, is a plea for the universal 
outlook. And an ancient Rabbinical interpretation which 
tells that God wept on the day the Egyptians were drowned 
in the Red Sea, because of the ’destruction of so many 



JUDAISM AND THE NATIONS 65 

of His creatures, reflects the doctrine of humanity which 
superseded the older exclusiveness. 

The national religion is internationalized. Judaism is 
in the minds of the Prophets a universal monotheism, 
and the Jewish people are a band of missionaries to 
spread that teaching. The “Laws of the sons of Noah,” 
which include the fundamental moral principles, apply 
to all people. They are like the “laws of nature” of the 
Stoic School. What was a national cult is broadened 
into a universal creed which follows from the belief in 
one God ruling the world. That idea of Prophets and 
teachers becomes woven into the life and thought of the 
whole people. Their ardent vision becomes the ardent 
faith of the mass. It was not the doctrine of a small 
philosophical circle but the conviction of a nation; and 
the religion and the good life based on it are the absorbing 
pursuit of the people of Israel. They are to be the salt of 
the earth and a light to the Gentiles; to be among the 
nations what the Prophets were in the nation, a force 
making for righteousness; and they are to prevail not 
by might but by the peaceful way of proselytism. It is 
remarkable that there was a continuous religious devel- 
opment in Judaism for a thousand years, a succession 
of prophets and teachers that follow Moses down to 
the time of the destruction of the Temple. No other 
religion had a succession to compare with that. 

The idea of the Messianic Age in Jewish tradition 
is not that the Children of Israel shall rule over the other 
peoples, but that the other peoples shall accept the law 
and wisdom of Israel. “There shall be no war ana no 
hunger and no oppression; but all the world shall be 
full of the knowledge of God.” 1 This vision of the Hebrew 

* Maimonides, The Laws of the Kings , ch. 12. 



66 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

prophets created an entirely new outlook on the relations 
of nations, which neither the imperial tyrannies of Egypt, 
Assyria and Babylon nor the free city-states of the 
Hellenes had conceived, a brotherhood of peoples recog- 
nizing one God and one law. Righteousness was to be 
universal; the moral law is as the laws of nature which 
makes things grow. 

As the earth bringeth forth the bud, and as the garden causeth the 
things sown in it to spring forth, so God will cause righteousness to 
spring forth before the nations (Isa. lxi, u). 

The idea that the condition of peace was right dealing 
between all peoples, and not the government of peoples 
by one ruler, was an outstanding contribution of the 
Hebraic mind to political philosophy. The Greek thinkers 
laid down that justice must govern the affairs of the 
different Hellenic city-states; but they did not conceive 
of justice holding sway between Greeks and barbarians. 

At the same time, the attitude of the Prophets before 
the captivity, and of Judaism after the restoration from 
the captivity, was not one of pacifism. Peace was a thing 
to be aimed at in the relations of the nations, but it must 
be established on righteousness and justice. Israel, too, 
must be free to observe its religious law and to carry 
out its religious mission. And the idea of the Messiah, 
the anointed of God, who was to establish the Kingdom 
of Righteousness, was bound up with the national 
consciousness and associated with deliverance from the 
oppressor. With the Prophets, as later with the rabbis 
who developed the Messianic conception under the stress 
of the long-drawn struggle with Rome, it combined 
patriotic feeling with a universalistic enthusiasm. 

“The Hebrew prophets,” says George Adam Smith, 



JUDAISM AND THE NATIONS 67 

“worshipped God in sympathy with their nation's struggle 
for freedom and its whole political life,” They might 
denounce alliances with Egypt and with Syria, but they 
believed fervently and fiercely that the godless peoples 
should perish. They are enthusiastic for their people. 
Their international and universal outlook did not mean 
the repudiation of the national life and national freedom; 
and peace was not to be founded on any sacrifice of the 
religious separateness. 

Throughout the Dispersion, as well as in Palestine, 
the Jews were conscious of being a chosen nation, and 
everywhere they stood out for religious* independence. 
They were prepared to submit to a foreign ruler, whether 
Persian, Hellenistic, or Roman, provided that they could 
practise their religion undisturbed. But they were not 
prepared to submit to foreign rule on the terms of making 
any concession to polytheistic Paganism or any State 
creed. They would render to Caesar the things that 
were Caesar’s, but not the things of God. And they would 
fight to the bitter end for that right. It is characteristic, 
however, that for long they refused to fight on the 
Sabbath day, and they let Ptolemy in the third century 
and Pompey the Roman in the first century seize 
Jerusalem without resistance on that day. 

For nearly four hundred years, indeed, from the 
return of the exiles to Jerusalem in the reign of the 
Persian Cyrus (536) to the persecution of Antiochus 
Epiphanes, the Hellenizer, (170) though Palestine was 
a battlefield in many wars, the Jews lived under a sway 
of religious toleration. It was in this long period of 
internal tranquillity that they became profoundly con- 
scious of their monotheism and their mission. The little 
province of Judea had a theocratic constitution under 



68 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Persian political rule. The period of that Empire marks 
the beginning of the active mission to the Gentiles; 
and the ruling power facilitated their task. We have 
record in the Book of Esther that many of the people 
of the land became Jews (Esther viii. 17): and the 
papyri from the Island of Elephantine in Upper Egypt 
tell how Darius II allowed Jewish settlers in that distant 
Egyptian station to restore the House of God. There 
was an inner sympathy of the rulers with the small and 
already scattered nation. 

The creed of the Persian and Median kings known 
as the Achaemenid Dynasty affords indeed a develop- 
ment of Oriental religion which approximates to the 
Hebrew monotheism. That Dynasty starts with Cyrus, 
the restorer of the Jews, who overthrew the empire of 
the Medes, and is continued by Cambyses, Darius, 
Xerxes, etc., from about 550 to 330 b.c., when their 
empire was overthrown by Alexander the Great. The 
indigenous religion of Persia is ascribed to Zoroaster 
who, about the same epoch as Moses, taught a form of 
dualism between the spirit of light — Ormuz — and the 
spirit of daikness — Ahriman. His teaching tended 
towards monotheism, and included the idea of a common 
humanity in which peace should reign. While dualism 
remained in the popular religion, the inscriptions indicate 
that the kings of this dynasty conceived a supreme god 
— Ahura-Mazda — who created heaven and earth and, like 
the Hebrew Jehovah, was a power making for righteous- 
ness. No attempt was made to impose this monotheism 
either on Persians or others; and an inscription of Cyrus 
from Babylon shows the King of Kings claiming to 
have restored the gods of Babel. It was the supreme 
contribution of the Persian Empire to civilization, “To 



JUDAISM AND THE NATIONS 69 

give the subject peoples their liberty, to tolerate their 
religion, and to administer them in a spirit which identi- 
fied their welfare with that of the whole Empire .” 1 

In contrast to the Assyrians and Babylonians who 
knew only the rule of unrestricted force and violence 
and the ruthless subjection of the conquered, Cyrus 
sought to establish a reign not only of order and peace, 
but of justice. Hence it is that the Hebrew prophet hails 
him as “the anointed of God ” 

God saith to Cyrus: He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my 
pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem — thou shalt be built ; and to 
the temple, thy foundation shall be laid (Isa. xliv. 28). 

Under the tolerant rule of the Persian kings, Jewish 
monotheism was developed and strengthened, both in 
the land of Israel and in the Diaspora of the Persian 
Empire which stretched from the Mediterranean to the 
Himalayas. The broad-minded policy of the Persian 
kings did not die out with their dynasty. Alexander 
the Great of Macedonia, when he conquered their 
Empire and set himself to Hellenize the East, adopted 
the principles of their statecraft. 

1 See Ancient Persian and Iranian Civilisation, by C. Huart (Kegan Paul, 1927). 
The later religious doctrines that came from Persia in the days of the Roman 
Empire were of a less exalted kind, but for a period exercised a popular influence. 
They are known as Mithraism $ and they were a development of the Zoroastrian 
teaching which emphasized the idea of individual salvation through mysteries. 
The teaching, which was brought by the soldiers from the East, attained 
extraordinary popularity throughout the Roman Empire, particularly amongst 
the soldiery, and for a time was the rival of the Christian Mission. I he victory 
of Constantine in the sign of the Cross was in one aspect a triumph over the 
creed. Julian the Apostate (a.d. 361-363), who wished to break down the power 
of Christianity, made a vain effort to substitute the worship of Mithra for what 
had become the official religion of the empire. Mithraism, however, did not 
exercise any lasting influence on the policy of the Roman Empire, and was 
gradually crushed out by Christian persecution. 



7 o RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

“What the great king had wished to do from East 
to West, Alexander attempted from West to East.” 1 

He sought to unite the two parts of his Empire in a 
common equality. The thought, the manners, and language 
of Greece must make their way over the Orient by their 
innate superiority and appeal, and by the policy of 
mingling the peoples in colonies, not by force or by 
repression of different cultures and creeds. Moved by a 
book of Xenophon, who held up the Persian king as a 
model to the Greeks, Alexander followed the principles of 
Cyrus; and he expanded the Greek city, with its limited 
tolerance of Hellenes, to the conception of a world-state 
with a broad and liberal acceptance of religious and 
cultural diversities. The favour which according to 
Jewish tradition Alexander showed to the Jewish people, 
both in their own land and in his new foundations in 
Egypt and Syria, flowed from his succession to the 
Persian polity. The Jews, as the upholders and preachers 
of a universal God, were favoured citizens of the world- 
empire. 2 

Alexander’s policy was followed by his Hellenistic 
successors, the Ptolemies in Egypt, who for a century 
governed Palestine, and the Seleucids in Syria, who in 
219 b.c. finally became masters of the land. At their 
two capitals, Alexandria and Antioch, the Jews were a 
powerful section of the populace; and if they Hellenized 
in language and thought, they spread their Hebraic 
monotheism vigorously through the newly acquired 

1 Huart, op. cit., p. xv. 

2 Alexander himself, according to the story of Josephus, paid adoration to 

God in the Temple of Jerusalem (Ant., XI, 2). And Greek historians of the 
time regarded the Jews as a sect of philosophers who had the same relation to 
other Syrians as the Brahmins had to other Indians (Bevan, House of Seleucus , 
11, 16). 1 



JUDAISM AND THE NATIONS v 

culture. The Jewish tradition tells that Ptolemy II 
caused the Bible to be translated into Greek at Alexandria 
(Josephus, Ant., xii, 2, i). It was only when Antiochus 
Epiphanes, a half-insane monarch, broke away from the 
established principles of Hellenistic monarchy and sought 
to impose the Hellenistic gods on all his subjects, in- 
cluding the Jews, that the religious-national consciousness 
was roused to resist. Alexander himself and the Seleucids 
and Ptolemies accepted the deification which the Oriental 
peoples, except the Jews, regularly associated with king- 
ship. An inscription proclaims Ptolemy V as “living for 
ever, beloved of Ptah, the God manifest, son of Isis 
and Osiris/’ 1 Thus he is a full successor of the Pharaohs 
of the early dynasties. But till the tfme of Antiochus 
there was no attempt to impose the imperial cult. The 
cement of their empires was formed principally by 
colonization of Greeks and Macedonians in the East. 
The coastland and valleys of Palestine were dotted with 
Hellenistic towns so that Judea was a little island of 
monotheism in a sea of paganism. The two fertilizing 
streams intersected as it were in Palestine; the Jews 
spreading out to all parts of the Hellenistic world, and 
the Greeks mingling with the Oriental peoples. 

The Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid kings 
during the second century b.c. was caused by the inter- 
ference with the Jewish religious independence, at the 
request, indeed, of a Hellenist section of the priests. 
Two hundred years later, similar interference, again 
caused by an attempt to enforce the imperial cult, led 
the Jews to break out in desperate revolt against Rome 
in a series of wars extending over a century, from the 

1 Quoted in The Roman Conception of Empire by E. Barker in The Legacy of 
Rome. 



72 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

time of Caligula to the time of Hadrian. The Jews, 
together with the rest of the peoples of the civilized 
world, had hailed with enthusiasm the establishment of 
the Roman peace by Augustus. In a striking passage 
Philo, the Jewish philosopher of Alexandria, who headed 
the deputation of his people to the Emperor Caligula, 
thus invoked the founder of the Empire: 

Almost the whole human race would have been exhausted by 
mutual slaughter to the point of complete extinction but for one 
man and one leader — the great Augustus, who should have been 
called the “saviour.” He it is who delivered all cities to freedom, 
brought order from disorder, secured peace, and dispensed to each his 
portion {Leg. Ad. Gai. y para. 143; and cf. Josephus, B.J. y 2. 1. 6). 

It is notable that Philo, who represents the culmination 
of the Hellenistic-Jewish culture in the first century, 
has as one of the main themes of his moral philosophy 
to show that the Law of Moses is identical with the law 
of nature of the Greek philosophers, and has universal 
validity. “As God Himself pervadeth all the universe, 
so hath our law passed through the world. ” He and the 
Hellenistic Jews generally were ardent preachers of 
Judaism, which they represented to the Greek-speaking 
world as a system of humanitarian ethics. There was, 
indeed, a tendency in the more advanced section of 
Jewish Hellenists to separate religion from nationality, 
and that tendency passed into a fundamental doctrine 
of Pauline Christianity. Philo proclaims the coming of 
an age of universal peace not only for mankind but also 
in the animal world. At the same time the heads of the 
Jewish schools in Palestine were emphasizing the blessing 
of peace. In the famous chapter on ethics in the Mishna, 1 

1 The statement of the “Oral Law” which w r as yrritten in the first two centuries 
of the Christian Era. 



JUDAISM AND THE NATIONS 


73 


it is said, “the world is founded on three things: truth, 
justice, and peace.” And the last blessing of the daily 
prayer, which dates from this period before the destruc- 
tion of the Temple, deals with the blessing of peace, 
and speaks of God as the maker of peace* 

From the time, however, of the mad emperor Caligula, 
before whom Philo in vain pleaded that the Jews should 
not be forced to worship the God-State, the armed 
struggle with Rome was inevitable. As in the fight against 
the Hellenizing Antiochus, the Jews showed “endurance 
raised to the pitch of utter self-devotion and uncompro- 
mising fidelity to their ideal.” In the desperate struggle 
the Jews lost their State, their city, and their Temple; 
but they finally won for themselves the privilege of 
religious freedom and became a licita rcligio . So long as 
the Empire remained pagan, they could practise and 
spread their religion, which was respected as a national 
worship. They conducted, in fact, vigorous missionary 
propaganda through the length and breadth of the 
Empire, from the Euphrates to the Rhine. They had 
been successful for the time in vindicating the right of 
religious liberty against the imperial autocracy. 1 

When the Empire became Christian in the fourth 
century of the Common Era, they maintained that right 
for a time; but soon the jealous and imperial policy of 
the Church and the desire for a Unitarian State of Christ- 
endom, under which all peoples should adopt the uniform 
Christian law, induced an era of intolerance and perse- 
cution which remained under Christendom for nearly 
1,500 years. The conversion of Christians to Judaism 


x Anatole France puts into the mouth of one of his Roman characters, speaking 
of the exclusiveness of Judaism, the words: “It is not a religion, a bond which 
unites, but an aMigion, a force which separates men.” 



74 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

was made a capital offence both for the convert and the 
Jew who converted. Ecclesiastical bigotry was combined 
with the tyrannical powers of the Roman Empire. The 
denial of religious freedom and of liberty of conscience 
was intensified in the Middle Ages, and culminated in 
the Inquisition of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries 
which burnt Jews, Moslems, and heretics at the stake 
to save their souls. The evil passed over to the govern- 
ment of several of the nations which at the Reformation 
broke away from allegiance to the Roman Church. 
The Jews resisted all the attempts to persuade them or 
to coerce them, but at the cost of being cut off from 
the life of free citizens in Christian countries and being 
compelled to become a rightless national community. 
They were a Protestant nation, and their example had 
its effect upon the Nonconformist sects which, after the 
Reformation, strove for religious liberty and independence 
in Western Europe, and painfully but gradually vindi- 
cated that right. 

The Jews during the long period of repression and 
exclusion were debarred from pursuing their mission 
which the Prophets had proclaimed for them. Their 
energies were concentrated on maintaining their religious 
and national being, and preserving inviolate their belief and 
their law of life. It was not till the nineteenth century, 
and then not in all countries in Europe, that they were able 
to take a part in the civil life of Christian States. But the 
acid of persecution kept their faith free from rust. 

Their teachings of justice and humanity between nations 
were carried during the Middle Ages through the Bible 
into t e thought, or at least into the ideals, of Europe. 
They were, however, little applied in political practice, 
especially after the collapse of the Papacy as the spiritual 



JUDAISM AND THE NATIONS 75 

sovereign. They had to contend with the doctrine that 
the moral law did not apply to the relations between 
States, and each State had an absolute right to pursue 
its own interests and might call on its subjects for service 
in war to that end. 

The contribution by Judaism of the ideal and the vision 
has been of greater importance in the development of 
international law than the contribution of law itself. 
Nevertheless, the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, 
was one of the principal sources of the rules contained 
in the Canon Law of the Dark Ages and of the law of 
nations at the beginning of its development from the 
fifteenth century. At this later period it was in particular 
an authority for the law of war, which was still deemed 
to be the main part of the law of nations. A principal 
text for that aspect of the Jus Gentium was chapter xx 
in the Book of Deuteronomy which contains the rules 
governing the making of war by the peoples of Israel. 
It is remarkable that the Bible, unlike other ancient 
codes, contains definite rules on these matters. The 
first part of that chapter deals with the composition of 
the fighting forces. Any man who hath built a new house 
and not dedicated it, or who has planted a vineyard and 
has not yet eaten of it, or who has betrothed a wife and 
has not yet taken her, is to be dismissed from the host. 
It has been plausibly explained that the aim of these 
precepts is not so much humanitarian as to ensure the 
ritual purity of the army. The conquest of Canaan by 
the Children of Israel w T as a holy war, and only those 
who were free from any ritual impurity were to take 
part in it. The man betrothed, or the man who had planted 
a vineyard, but had not yet eaten of it, was subject to an 
impurity (Max Weber, Das Antike Judentum ). 



76 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

There follow the rules that war is not to be made until 
peace has been offered to and rejected by the foe, and 
the commands as to the treatment of the conquered. 

When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim 
peace unto it. 

And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, 
then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be 
tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee. 

And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against 
thee, then thou shalt besiege it. 

And when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hand, 
thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword. 
But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is 
in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto 
thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which 
the Lord thy God hath given thee. Thus shalt thou do unto 
all the cities which are very far from thee, which are not of the 
cities of these nations. 

But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth 
give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that 
breatheth. 

But thou shalt utterly destroy them: namely, the Hittites, and the 
Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and 
the Jebusites; as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee. 

That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which 
they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the 
Lord your God. 

In this passage we see the national God of Israel as the 
God of War; and the idea of a holy war against sinners 
became part of the doctrine both of the Catholic and 
Protestant Churches. The obligation to offer peace before 
making war is a part of the international law of the peoples 
of antiquity. It is elaborately worked out in the Roman 
law; but it was the Bible sources which most powerfully 
influenced the Christian jurists, and it became a basis 



JUDAISM AND THE NATIONS 77 

of their distinction between just and unjust warfare. 
The passage in Deuteronomy makes a distinction between 
the treatment to be given to the enemy in other wars 
waged after the conquest of Canaan and the treatment 
of the pagan inhabitants of the land of Canaan. The latter 
are to be utterly destroyed in order that they may not 
teach the Children of Israel to do after all their abomina- 
tions. With the others, the women and children are not 
to be killed but taken captive. That distinction also is 
due to the conception of the war for Canaan as a holy 
war. The land was defiled by the wickedness of its old 
inhabitants (Lev. xviii. 25). 

The wars against the Canaanite peoples are known as 
wars of command, milchamat hamitzvah , as distinguished 
from the other wars to extend the territory of Israel, 
which are milchamat harishut , voluntary wars, and could 
only be waged with the approval of the Sanhedrim 
The rabbis have explained that the duty of offering 
peace to an enemy before making war applied as well to 
the wars of command as to the wars voluntarily incurred 
afterwards; and according to their interpretation the 
record in the Book of Joshua indicates that the leader 
of the Children of Israel offered peace before the hostilities 
began (xi. 19, 20). 

Nachmanides (Ramban), a famous commentator of 
the thirteenth century, explains that Joshua sent three 
letters to the Canaanites before invading their land, 
proposing that those who were willing to leave should 
flee, those who would make peace should come in, and 
those only who wanted war should take up arms. The 
Girgashites went for refuge to Africa, the Gibeonites, by 
using a deception, made an alliance and remained; the thirty- 
one kings waged war and were slain with their peoples. 



78 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Grotius, the founder of modern international law, 
quotes this interpretation which he found in Maimonides 
( [De Jure Beilin etc., Book 2, 13: iv, 2): 

The divine law which devoted these peoples to destruction was to 
be so understood that it would hold good unless the peoples con- 
cerned should obey the commands made on being summoned. 

The Biblical law in Deuteronomy is learnedly discussed 
by one of the most learned of the seventeenth-century 
English jurists, John Selden, who wrote a treatise on 
the theme of “the Law r of Nature and of Nations according 
to the Hebrew doctrine” (1640). He quotes the passages 
of Maimonides and Nachmanides already referred to, 
and passages also from Josephus and Philo, designed to 
demonstrate that the Jewish people did not make aggres- 
sive war, or, as we should say to-day, did not make war 
an instrument of policy, but fought only for the preserva- 
tion of their religion and the protection of their country. 

The Jewish law of war contained certain humanitarian 
provisions which are found also in the law of other peoples 
of antiquity. 1 A city besieged was to be invested on three 
sides only, so as to allow an opportunity to the inhabitants 
to leave. The trees which gave fruit were not to be cut 
down and used for the purpose of the siege, for the tree 
of the field is man’s life. 

Only the trees which thou knowest that they be not trees for meat 
thou shalt destroy and cut them down (Deut. xx. 19, 20). 

We find similar rules in the practice of the Greeks and 
the Romans. Another precept, which is more original, 
is for the provision of sanitation in the camp of the 

1 It is noteworthy that the Prophet Amos denounced the savagery of the wars 
of the pagan people, the Philistines, the Phoenicians, the Ammonites, and 
Moabites (Amos, chaps, i. and ii.). 



JUDAISM AND THE NATIONS 79 

army. For the camp is holy. (Deut. xxiii. 12-14.) (See 
Maimonides, op . cit.. Chaps. 2, 6, and 7.) That is another 
aspect of the principle that the war against the Canaanites 
is a holy enterprise, and those engaged in it must be 
ritually clean; and it is also an aspect of the principle 
of the Mosaic law which has been described as “sociology 
sanctified. ” For the good health of the army was a con- 
dition of success in war. A humanitarian principle which 
is not laid down in the Bible, but which is prominent in 
the Talmud, is the duty of redeeming Jewish captives. 

The interest of the Jewish law of war is less on account 
of its effect on the practice of the Jewish nation than of 
its effect on the theory and practice of the Christian 
empire and of Islam in the Middle Ages. The argumenta- 
tion of the Church Fathers and the Christian jurists 
about a just and unjust war which, as we shall see, was 
one of the fundamental problems in the early centuries 
of the Common Era, appears to have been founded in part 
on the chapter in Deuteronomy and the Jewish commen- 
taries thereon. When the Christian Church compromised 
its original principle of complete pacifism with the 
Roman imperial standpoint that those who threatened 
the Empire or the unity of belief must be warred down, 
it seized on the distinction between the just and unjust 
war, and found authority for that distinction in the law 
of Moses. It is interesting that Saint Augustine, who 
laid down the philosophy of Imperial Christianity 
towards war, is the first to emphasise the distinction 
between the just and unjust wars, and refers in this 
connection to the Jewish “wars of command. 


1 “Sed etiam hoc genus belli sine dubitatione justum est quod deus imperat; 
in quo bello ductor, exercitus, vel ipse populus, non tantum auctor belli quam 
minister judicandus est” {Liber Quae stionum^ VI, 10). 



8o RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

It is repeated in the Decretum Gratiani , the mediaeval 
code compiled in the twelfth century; and Thomas 
Aquinas in the thirteenth century, who frequently quotes 
Maimonides, makes the same distinction. Like Saint 
Augustine, he refers to the people of Israel as sent by 
God to be the executor of divine justice. 

The law of Islam adopted more completely the Biblical 
law and the Jewish practice. Before entering on war, 
an offer of peace must be made, and the enemy people 
invited to accept the true religion or to pay tribute; 
if they were “peoples of the book,” and paid tribute, 
they were not to be attacked. War was to be waged only 
against those infidels who would not submit or accept 
the fundamental principles of faith. The law also with 
regard to not cutting down fruit-bearing trees reappears. 
While these principles of the law of war were not peculiar 
to the Hebrew people, but were shared by them with 
other civilized peoples of antiquity, they influenced 
international law because of the authority of the Bible 
over the two universal religions sprung from Judaism 
that dominated Western civilization for a thousand years. 

During that long period the Jewish people, though 
deprived of the outward form of national life, remained 
distinct and unmixed, consciously a nation among the 
nations, preserved by its religious law. 

The Christian Father Athanasius, who lived in the 
fourth century at the beginning of the period of repres- 
sion, said of the Jews: “They are the sacred school of 
the knowledge of God and of the spiritual life for all 
mankind.” His words were justified by their history 
after his time, as well as by their history before it. And 
it is striking to compare with them the judgment of the 
philosopher who wrote at the end bf the period of repres- 



JUDAISM AND THE NATIONS 8l 

sion. Jean Jacques Rousseau, speaking of their survival, 
ascribes it to their religious loyalty: 

C’est par & que cette singuliere nation si souvent subjug^e, dis- 
perse, et detruite en apparence, et toujours idolatre de son regie, 
s’est conservee jusqu’k nos jours, Sparse parmi les autres sans s’ y 
confondre, et que ses mceurs, ses lois, ses rites subsistent et dureront 
autant que le monde, malgre la haine et la persecution du genre 
humain. 

It was another Frenchman — Montesquieu — of the eigh- 
teenth century, the era before the dawn of Jewish emanci- 
pation, who spoke of Christianity and Islam as two nets 
thrown by the religion of Moses over the idolators of 
the West and the East in order in the end to bring them 
back to itself. 

From the days of the dispersion after the Babylonian 
Captivity, the Jews have been of all peoples the most 
international; yet on the basis of a deeply marked Jewish 
consciousness. “Their internationalism is the exposition 
in terms of life’s philosophy of a strong feeling for their 
national being” (Kayserling). They and the Armenians 
are the two outstanding examples of a nationality kept 
alive through the ages by the religious bond. For nearly 
a thousand years after the return from the Captivity they 
pursued their religious mission vigorously; first within 
the Hellenistic Roman Empire, and when that became 
impossible, in remoter lands. But from the second cen- 
tury of the Common Era they were without a national 
centre and a spiritual home, and their national life was 
consequently an inner life. Their mission was checked 
by the spread of Islam as well as of the Christian Church. 

During the Middle Ages, which extended for them till 
the beginning of the nineteenth century, their role was 
essentially that of carriers, of culture and science as well 



82 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

as of material goods. They dwelt in both Christian and 
Moslem countries; and so they were instruments for 
bringing Greek and Arab culture to mediaeval Christen- 
dom. Their religion kept alive their national conscious- 
ness; and that consciousness preserved their religion as 
a powerful social force among them. And they have 
steadfastly looked forward to a return to their old country, 
till in the latter part of the last century the rise of Zionism, 
which was based on the religious Messianic idea, renewed 
the aspiration for a national life. In the words of the 
English novelist who fifty years ago heralded the fulfil- 
ment of their ideal, they have an opportunity at last of 
reviving the organic centre and planting “a new Judea, 
poised between East and West, to be a covenant of 
reconciliation between the peoples. ” In their old home 
they may become a living example of an internationalized 
nation, rooted in one country but spread over many 
lands, and everywhere working for humanity; and they 
may carry on there and in the Diaspora the function 
which their Prophets proclaimed. And never was there 
greater need of that function. The Jew in the Middle 
Ages was the “first European”; the Jew of to-day or 
to-morrow should be the first citizen of the world, 
spreading from his centre the International of the Spirit, 
of which the dominant principles are the Fatherhood of 
God and the Brotherhood of Man. 



CHAPTER IV 


CHRISTIANITY: FROM THE ORIGINS TO THE 
REFORMATION 

We have seen that the ideal of the Hebrew prophets 
was universal peace founded on justice; and that ideal 
was preached by the Jews throughout the Roman 
Empire. It was to play an important part in the develop- 
ment of the religion which sprang from Judaism during 
the struggle with Rome. There has been endless con- 
troversy as to the true interpretation of the sayings of 
Jesus with regard to peace; and the sayings are ambiguous. 
He w r as, indeed, not directly concerned with civil affairs 
or the relations between States. He proclaimed a way 
of salvation for the individual, and did not design his 
teaching for the direction of the affairs of nations. But 
his sayings were applied later to those affairs. In some 
passages he seems to reject force absolutely. “Resist not 
evil. But whoever shall smite thee on the right check, 
turn to him the other cheek also” (Matt. v. 29). Or 
again: “Put up thy sword into its place, for all they that 
take the svcord shall perish by the sword” (Matt. xxvi. $i). 
On the other side there is his saying: “He that hath no 
sword, let him sell his garment and buy one” (Luke 
xxii. 36). Or again: “I come not to bring peace but a 
sword” (Matt. x. 34). 

There is no doubt, however, about the complete 
pacifism of the early followers of Jesus. They regarded 
him as the prince of peace: and they were awaiting the 
second coming which was to inaugurate the Messianic 
age of peace on earth and goodwill to all men. Many of 



84 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

them withdrew altogether from civic and political life; 
and it was a fundamental part of their creed that they 
would not do military service or sacrifice to the Emperor. 
For this principle they -were martyred in the days of the 
pagan empire: and even noble-minded emperors like 
Marcus Aurelius persecuted them on account of what 
they regarded as a disintegrating superstition dangerous 
to the State. They appeared to the ruling power like 
anarchists or communists appear in our day. The perse- 
cution grew in intensity till the time of Constantine, as 
the Christian teaching grew in power and influence. 
It was not till a.d. 313 that the Edict of Toleration was 
issued from Milan by which the Christian Church 
became a licita religio. The Empire at last recognized 
that it could not crush the creed, and it was about to 
make terms with it. 

Two of the fundamental tenets of the early Christian 
communities were the repudiation of violence and the 
brotherhood of all men. On the one hand, they were 
bidden to love their enemies; on the other, free and 
bond, Greek and Jew, were equally Children of God 
and could enter into Christ’s Kingdom. The Christian 
Church maintained its uncompromising opposition to 
fighting and military service for three centuries, until 
Christianity became the creed of the Empire. Origen, 
head of the Patristic School, who lived and taught at 
Caesarea, in Palestine, wrote at the beginning of the 
third century: 

The Christians unlike the Jews are not allowed to fight their 
enemies. We draw not the sword against any people and we do not 
learn the art of war; after that Jesus caine we are become the 
children of the peace. We do not march with the emperor into the 



CHRISTIANITY: FROM ORIGINS TO REFORMATION g 5 

field even when he commands us so to do. We fight for him in that 
we form an army of our own, an army of piety and prayer. 

Justin, another Father, wrote to the emperor Antoninus 
in a.d. 140: “We fight not with our enemies.” Irenaeus, 
Bishop of Lyons, in the second century, says, “The 
Christians do not know how to fight” (Nesciunt pugnare), 
(. Adv . Haer ., 4, 34.) Arnobius, writing in a.d. 305, 
declares that Christianity involves the abolition of the 
curse of war. 

If all men would but lend ear to the saving and peaceful commands 
of Christ, the whole world, bending iron to a kindlier usage, would 
live in a sweet tranquillity, united by inviolable covenants of 
alliance. 

Tertullian, the fierce missionary of the Church, who was 
himself son of a centurion, says in his book against 
idolatry : 

How should a Christian be a fighter save as a soldier in time of 
peace without a sword ? But of a sword our Lord has deprived him. 
Military service is a descent from the camp oflight to the camp of 
darkness. 

The first Latin Apologist of the Church, Lactantius, 
who is known as the Christian Cicero and wrote early 
in the fourth century, declared that a righteous man 
may not be a soldier because righteousness itself is his 
soldiership (De Vero Cultu , 6, 20). 

The position of the Church was fundamentally 
modified when Christianity, after being a private — and 
illicit — community of devout believers forming brother- 
hoods together in all parts of the Roman Empire, and 
spreading their teaching by precept and example, was 
adopted by the Emperor Constantine as the State religion 



86 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

and imposed as such on all the citizens of the Empire. 
The Emperor, after his victory over the legions of 
Maxentius, his rival for the throne of the Caesars, who 
had fought under the banner of the Sun, proclaimed that 
he had conquered with the cross as his sign ( u In hoc 
signo vinces”). The “world’s slow stain” spread: and the 
transformation began which was to turn a pacifist into 
a militant religion, so that, as Lecky says, it is doubtful 
whether, with the exception of Islam, any agency has 
been so fruitful of wars as the Christian creed. 

The belief that success in arms was the best means 
of conversion of the pagans to Christianity led the heads 
of the Church to accept this new interpretation of Christ’s 
teaching. The change in mind of the ecclesiastics in the 
fourth century is notable. The Council of Nicea in 
a.d. 325, the first assembly of all the Churches of the 
Roman Empire, could still declare: “Whoever being 
called by Grace, having first shown their zeal and faith, 
have abandoned the military profession, but afterwards 
have returned to it like dogs to their vomit, let them 
again be in penitence for ten years.” The Synod of the 
Church held at Arles in a.d. 353, after the conversion of 
Constantine, declared: “Those who cast away their 
arms in peace (that is, at a time when the Christians are 
not persecuted), shall abstain from communion.” 1 

As military service had been a sin before the imperial 
conversion, so now pacifism was to be a sin. The Church 
had begun her policy of compromise to gain the world. 
While the Emperor paid lip-service to the Church, the 
Church, it is said, offered life-service to the Emperor; 


1 The Council of Toledo (400) declared: “ecclesia abhorret a sanguine”; and 
laid down that a priest who fought shall be deprived of his dignity. But both 
bishops and ecclesiastics were soon to become leaders in war. 



CHRISTIANITY: FROM ORIGINS TO REFORMATION 87 

she forgot her Lord and sacrificed His command to please 
a new master. 1 The militant trend in the Church was 
strengthened when the Northern barbarians were forcibly 
converted to Christianity. They regarded war and fighting 
as the supreme virtue, and the only gods they worshipped 
in their old religion were of might and force. Their 
conversion did not change their mind; but rather the 
converts changed the mind of the Church. It is notable 
that, when the Old Testament was translated into the 
Gothic language, the Four Books of Kings were not 
included in the translation, for feaf they might encourage 
the martial disposition of the barbarians; but the reticence 
was of little avail. The spirit of the Hebrews against the 
Canaanites, and not the spirit of the Christian Gospel, 
moved the peoples that in the end became masters of 
the Roman Empire. The great bishops of the Church 
made, indeed, some attempt to check militancy. Augus- 
tine, who was the supreme organizer of the Church in the 
fifth century, and wrote his Civitas Dei under the deep 
emotion aroused by the sack of Rome by the Goths in 
a.d. 410, summed up the spirit of the faith in a message 
to a soldier convert: “It is more glorious to kill war 
with the word than to kill man by the sword.” For him 
Jerusalem meant the vision of peace; but the chief good 
of his divine city lay in the life eternal of the next world 
rather than in peace on earth. The city of Peace, Urbs 
Beata ilia 7 ion , was remote. An Anglican divine of the 
last century marked the difference between the Hebraic 
and the Christian conception of the realm of Peace. 

1 I11 the words of Dante, translated by Milton : 

“Ah, Constantine, of how much ill was cause, 

Not thy conversion, but those rich domains 
That the first wealthy Pope received of thee.” 

[Inferno, Canto 19 ) 



88 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 


“As we approach the Gospel time, the sublime and 
supernatural sense remains, but its locality alters. To 
the Jewish prophet the earth was heaven; they are mixed 
together in one landscape. But the two worlds under the 
Gospel light are divided, and the visible was exchanged 
for the invisible as the place of the prophetic realm of 
peace . ” l The agony of the Jewish struggle with Rome 
made the Christians, who stood aside from it, transfer 
the Kingdom of God to another world. 

Human history has shown through the ages that men 
are more willing to kill than to die for the sake of their 
beliefs. While the early Christians had been burnt at 
the stake rather than depart from their principles, the 
later Christians chose to kill in proof of their zeal. 
Augustine and his successors were at pains to define 
what war could be sanctioned by the Church in order 
to meet this feeling. War was an evil permitted only 
if inevitable occasion requires it. They distinguished 
between the just and the unjust war, and authorized 
Christians, except priests and monks, to engage in a 
just war. We have seen that with the pagan Romans 
of the Republic justum helium was one initiated with the 
proper religious forms. In this new conception of the 
Christian Empire it was a war to vindicate the right and 
to put down oppression, while the unjust war was one 
undertaken for the purpose of gain and of the nature of 
brigandage ( Grande Latrocinium ). Augustine put it: “It 
is not a sin to fight; but it is a sin to fight for the sake of 
gain”; and he deduced from the Old Testament that 
God has the right of correcting and destroying human 
corruption by war and to test by such trials the blameless 
life of the just. At the same time the soldier must always 

1 Mozlcy, University Sermons, 1879. 



CHRISTIANITY: FROM ORIGINS TO REFORMATION 8 9 

retain his humanity and must remember that the end of 
fighting is peace . 1 The master of the scholastic philo- 
sophy in the thirteenth century, Thomas Aquinas, defined 
exactly the conditions of a just war. That must 

(1) be declared by a public authority; 

(2) have a just cause, that is, the persons attacked must have 

committed some fault and deserve chastisement; 

(3) have a just intention without cruelty or cupidity, and with an 

ardent desire to re-establish peace, so that it has the nature 
of the execution of a judgment ( Summa , II, 2). 

These conditions had been more broadly stated in the 
famous text of the mediaeval canon law, the Decrctum 
Gratiani compiled by a monk in the twelfth century. 
It is obvious that the theory of a “just war” could not 
in practice be an effective check upon the fighting 
instinct. And so constant was the support of war by the 
Church that the Catholic De Maistre could say: “Rien 
ne s’accorde dans ce monde comme Tesprit religieux et 
Kesprit militaire.” 

Besides its acceptance of war as an instrument, the 
Church fell away in another aspect from its original 
principle of non-resistance to evil when it became the 
imperial religion. Having been persecuted it now became 
the persecutor. Its fundamental idea was the One Visible 
Catholic Church, uniform in faith and ritual. Just as the 
pagan empire sought to impose the worship of the emperor 
upon all citizens, so the Christian Empire sought to 
impose the particular creed which was held by its ecclesi- 
astical heads upon the w'hole Christian world, and to 
crush not only paganism but also Judaism, the rival 
missionary religion, and any Christian sect which was 
not orthodox. 

1 “Bellum geritur ut pax acquiratur,” Aug. ad Bonifac, 205. 



90 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

The contrast between the intolerance of the ecclesiastics 
and the tolerance of the emperors, who were the heirs 
of the old Roman statecraft and manners, is exemplified 
in an encounter betw r een St. Ambrose of Rome and the 
Emperor Theodosius towards the end of the fourth 
century. The populace of Callinicum, a town in Mesopo- 
tamia, instigated by the Bishop, attacked the Jewish 
quarter and burnt the synagogue. The Emperor, in order 
to assert public order and the right of the community 
to protection of its religious worship, ordered that the 
people should rebuild the synagogue at the expense of 
the Bishop. St. Ambrose remonstrated with the Emperor, 
and called on him in the name of the Church to protect 
the body of Christ in order that Christ himself might 
protect the Empire . 1 

From the reign of Theodosius, conversion to Judaism 
was made a capital offence, at the same time that it was 
laid down that if a man remained faithful to the old pagan 
cults he should be condemned to death. Roman and 
Christian were convertible terms. The old privileges 
which the Jews had won from the pagan emperors were 
withdrawn; and instead of being a legal community 
they were turned into outcasts of society. They could 
not carry on any mission and they could not enjoy 
civic rights. The persecution of any heresy within the 
Christian community itself was still more ruthless; and 
the world was drenched with blood in order to vindicate 
the dogmas of the Church Councils. 

“After the extinction of paganism, ” says Gibbon, “the 
Christians in peace and piety might have enjoyed their 
triumph; but the spirit of discord was alive in their 
bosom, and they were more solicitous to explore the 

1 Sec Labnolle, Latin Christianity . Kegan Paul. 



CHRISTIANITY: FROM ORIGINS TO REFORMATION 91 

nature than to practise the laws of their founder,” Men 
merited heaven by making a hell on earth. 

The fall of the Western Empire in the fifth century 
before the Northern invaders led to another change in 
the position of the Church which determined the develop- 
ment of civilization in Europe for a thousand years. 
The Roman Empire seemed to be a divine institution 
providentially created to school the nations for the uni- 
versal domination of the Church. The inheritance of the 
imperial tradition, which was left vacant by the fall of 
the secular emperors, fell into the lap of the Christian 
bishops of Rome . 'The spirit of nationality had not yet 
arisen in the Northern tribes which overthrew the 
Empire; while the achievement of the Empire “left a 
sunset glow over the Europe of the Dark Ages.” At 
first the supremacy of the head of the Roman Church 
was recognized in the spiritual sphere only: and the 
emperor was his equal and separate sovereign in the 
temporal sphere. 

When the Church was Romanized, the priest was 
distinguished from the laity, and the hierarchy of priests 
was organized. The bishop became an official of the 
State; and the supreme bishop, though at first subordinate 
to the emperor, soon asserted spiritual supremacy over 
him. The inspiration of Western society was primarily 
ecclesiastical, and the supreme ecclesiastical organization 
was a counterpart of the imperial system. 

The See of Rome received acknowledgment by the 
whole Christian w r orld of its supremacy over the other 
patriarchates of Alexandria and Antioch, both because 
it claimed the succession from Peter and Paul, and 
because the Pope was regarded as the Pontifex Maximus, 
the successor to the imperial prerogative of the head of 



92 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

the religion. The pre-eminence of the City of Rome, too, 
gave him special authority. For a time his jurisdiction 
was exercised only over the bishops of the West; but 
in 381 Pope Damasus claimed to be supreme over the 
whole Church in virtue of the Primacy in Peter. And 
when the great Pope Leo (440-461) saved the City of 
Rome from being sacked again by the terrible Hun, 
Attila, known as the Scourge of God, he obtained from 
the Emperor Valentinian III a Perpetual Edict which 
recognized that Primacy. The Pope was ruler of the 
Universal Church and to resist his commands was treason. 
From spiritual supremacy the Papacy gradually advanced 
to temporal sovereignty. The emperor indeed still ruled 
from Byzantium — or, as it was now called, Constantinople 
— over the Western as well as the Eastern realm of Rome; 
but in the West the real power came to be exercised 
more and more by the Pope. 

Another great Pope, Gregory I, who filled the See 
from 590, made himself the chief Christian power in 
Italy, and virtually independent of the new Rome in 
Constantinople. The complete break with the Eastern 
Empire came over the question of the destruction of 
the images. The iconoclast Emperor, Leo the Isaurian 
(717-741), sought to impose his Puritan Reformation 
on the Church in Italy. The Pope rallied against him 
the popular feeling, and sealed at once the schism between 
the Western and the Eastern Churches and the destruc- 
tion of the spiritual and temporal unity of Christendom. 

Half a century later Pope Zachary anointed Pepin 
King of France, and so symbolized the supremacy of 
the Church over the State. And when Pepin’s successor, 
Charles, made himself master of tlje Western world, 
the Pope Hadrian anointed him to the still greater 



CHRISTIANITY: FROM ORIGINS TO REFORMATION 93 

dignity of “Augustus crowned by God, great and pacific 
emperor of the Romans.” So the Holy Roman Empire 
was established, the emperor receiving his power from 
God’s Vicar on earth; and the view was accepted that 
no man could be God’s lieutenant over the people unless 
crowned and anointed by the Pope. It was the Emperor’s 
function to preserve the peace in Christendom and to 
be the Defender of the Faith against external and internal 
foes. Yet the Pope, not content with being the maker of 
kings, aspired to territorial sovereignty, and received 
from the Frankish King Pepin (753) dominion over 
provinces of Italy. It was a dangerous gift which was to 
make Italy for centuries the battleground between the 
followers of Pope and Emperor. 

From the time of Gregory I, the Pope of Rome 
claimed to be the supreme sovereign over Christendom, 
that is, over Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa. 
He was God’s vicegerent on earth and had power in 
temporal as well as in spiritual things. As it was expressed 
later in a Bull of Boniface VIII (c. 1300), he held two 
swords representing those two aspects of power; the 
spiritual sword he wielded directly, the temporal sword 
he might delegate to kings and princes who exercised it 
on his behalf. But he remained sovereign: and his 
Plenitudo potestatis continued the absolute jurisdiction of 
the Roman Emperor. He appointed the princes, he 
judged them, he could call them to book, he could remove 
them from their offices if they sinned. It was in one 
aspect a splendid idea of a universal government applying 
a universal law, the principles of Christian teaching; it 
was in another aspect a fatal departure from the doctrine 
of peace and love in the Gospel, and from the ideal of 
the Hebrew prophets by which all the peoples should 



94 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

voluntarily accept the one God and His law. In order to 
control the powers of emperors, kings, and princes, the 
Church was forced to be opportunist. It must let the 
tares and wheat grow up together till the harvest. The 
alliance of the Church with the Empire fixed the ecclesi- 
astical policy; the Church must make the best of the 
world, and nothing must be outside its competence or 
its control. The ideal of a perfect spiritual community 
was surrendered. The world must be kept within the 
circle of the Church: and so persecution, religious war, 
crusades against infidels and heretics, must be sanctioned. 

The attempt ran counter to the growth of national 
feeling which later began to move the peoples of Europe. 
And from the time of Pope Boniface VIII (a.d. 1300) 
the national spirit proved too strong; and the principle 
of a single Christian commonwealth lost vitality. 

The development of the Church in the Eastern 
Empire was different from that of the Church of Rome. 
The Emperor at Byzantium was the vicegerent of God 
— for he was a Caesar-Pope; and it was the Church 
which was subordinated to the State and not the State 
to the Church. “Theodosius,” it was said, “is a God; 
Attila (the commander of the Huns) is a man.” One of 
the imperial titles was “equal to the Apostles.” While 
in the West the Church determined, anyhow in theory, 
the justice of a war, in the East it was the emperor. Any 
war which was useful to the State was just, and even 
took on a holy character since the supreme head of the 
State was the representative of God. Many of the Eastern 
saints are soldiers, St. George of Lydda, Donatus, 
Theodore. The Emperor Nicephorus Phocas in the 
tenth century ordered the clergy to { honour as martyrs 
all the soldiers who fell in the war against the infidels. 



CHRISTIANITY: FROM ORIGINS TO REFORMATION 95 

It was paradoxical that the East, which gave religion 
to the West, fell under the control of the State; while 
the West came under the sovereignty of the Church. 

The Eastern Church [says Bryce] was alwajrs the handmaid of 
the Emperor. The Eastern Patriarch was the shadow of the 
Emperor cast on the spirit world; while the Western (Teutonic) 
Emperor was the shadow of the Pope cast on the secular world. . . . 
The Eastern Church was a body of worshippers professing the 
same dogmas. Doctrine and not organization was uppermost in 
its mind. 1 

The break between the Eastern and theWestern Churches, 
already threatened for doctrinal reasons, was made irre- 
trievable when the Pope appointed Charles, known as 
Charlemagne, as “Emperor of the Romans.” Before this 
event the sway of Christendom over Western Asia 2nd 
North Africa had been shattered by the sudden appear- 
ance of a new militant religion. The rise of Islam and 
its teaching will be examined in another chapter. Here 
we are concerned with its effect on the policy of the 
Christian peoples and the Christian Church, and par- 
ticularly on their attitude to war. The almost miraculous 
triumph of the Moslem Arabs in the first half of the 
seventh century revolutionized the outlook of Europe. 
The Arab armies conquered Spain and penetrated to 
the centre of France until they were stayed at Tours 
by Charles Martel (732). They planted themselves 
firmly in the Peninsula and Sicily, and they threatened 
at any moment to overwhelm Christendom. The fear 
of Islam was the great lever of politics in the Middle 
Ages. The Prophet of Arabia had discovered the secret 
of uniting the passion of the soldier with the passion of 
the devotee. He had created this “blended enthusiasm 

1 Bryce, Holy Roman Empire, 



9 6 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

which in a few years overpowered the divided counsels 
of the Christian Governments of the East, and within 
a century of his death had almost extirpated it in its 
original home.” 1 

Christianity had become militant as its hold was 
extended over the warlike peoples that roamed and 
warred outside the frontiers of the Roman Empire. The 
new apparition intensified this militancy, and made it 
a fundamental feature of the ecclesiastical government. 
The Popes drew advantage from the Eastern peril. The 
decline of the Patriarchates of Antioch and Alexandria, 
now subject to the infidel rule, tended to aggrandize the 
position of Rome. They recognized too the opportunity 
of uniting Western Christendom, which continually 
threatened to break away from their authority, in a 
sacred war against the infidel. Pope Gregory VII, who 
first stimulated the enterprise in the eleventh century, 
reformed the Papacy in the ardour of the Crusade, 
bestowed and renewed the Western Empire as a fief of 
the Church, and sought to extend his temporal dominion 
over the empire of the East. Pope Urban II, who gave 
fulfilment to the enterprise, conceived the war, indeed, 
for the Holy Land to be the foreign policy of the Papacy 
itself; the Papal Legate was to accompany and rule 
the army of God. That idea was not realized; but for 
two hundred years every pulpit in Christendom pro- 
claimed the duty of war against the unbelievers and 
represented the battlefield as the sure path to heaven. 
Ecclesiastical policy, then, as well as fear on the side of 
the Church, and the love of adventure and conquest 
as well as their Christian faith on the side of the kings, 
stimulated the wars for the recovery of the Holy Land, 

1 Lecky, History of European Morals. 



CHRISTIANITY : FROM ORIGINS TO REFORMATION 97 

which for three centuries kept East and West in violent 
conflict. 

The Crusades are, on the one hand, a remarkable piece 
of ecclesiastical imperialism, on the other a momentous 
epoch in the carriage of civilization between East and 
West. Both sides considered that God was vitally inter- 
ested and His glory involved in the struggle; for both 
regarded themselves as the holders of universal religious 
truth which must be spread by force among those who 
were blind to the light . 1 * * * * * 

The recovery of the Holy Land was constantly used 
as a lever for union, whether by the Pope or by the king. 
In the fourteenth century a French patriotic jurist, 
Pierre Dubois — a disciple of Thomas Aquinas — in a 
book called De Recuperatione Terrac Sundae , w r rote a plea 
for a Crusade to be led by the King of France. By the 
way he put forward proposals for many bold reforms: 
confiscation and redistribution of ecclesiastical property, 
and application of these resources to the training of 
interpreters for the East with medical instruction, even 
the sending of educated women to the Holy Land in 
order to marry and convert the Saracens and priests ot 
the Orthodox Church, and to be missionaries and teachers. 
“No wonder, 7 ' says Sir Frederick Pollock, “that he never 
rose to high office / 7 Jurists and ecclesiastics were equally 
powerless to sway the separate ambitions of the princes. 
The three Crusades which were launched in the thirteenth 
century were diverted to Constantinople, Egypt, and 

1 A humaner conception was to be found rather in the leaders of Islam than 

in the leaders of Christianity. Thus Saladin, after his triumph over the knights 

of the Latin Kingdom, spared most of their lives : and in his dying advice to 

his son declared : “I commend you to the most High. Do His will, which is the 

way of peace. Bew r are of blood $ trust not in that, for spilt blood never sleeps. 

(Quoted in Conder, The City of Jerusalem, p. 317.) 



9 8 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Tunis. The only one of the three that was successful 
led, in 1204, to the capture of the capital of the Byzantine 
Empire, the division for a time of the European part 
of that Empire between the French and the Venetians, 
and permanent embitterment between the Eastern and 
Western Churches. These latter Crusaders “beat the 
cross into a sword against Christian countries and 
peoples.” 1 The more earnest Christian minds, indeed, 
were turning from the idea of the recovery of the Holy 
Land by arms to the mission of Christianity by the word. 
That was the appeal of St. Dominic and St. Francis in 
the age when Pope Innocent III organized one holy 
war which led to the capture and sacking of Constantin- 
ople, and another which led to the massacre of the 
heretical Albigenses. 

The religious orders founded by them, and spread 
over Western Christendom, were instruments of unity 
more powerful than the Crusades. They were an inter- 
national estate passing freely from one country to 
another; “the nervous system of the Christian common- 
wealth. 

Representing a truer development of Christian ideas 
than the military orders of the Templars and Hospitallers, 
they were concerned in looking after the Holy Places 
in the Holy Land but not in recovering the Land by 
force. They sent Christian missionaries to central and 
further Asia, encouraged for a time by the Mongols 
who, under Kubla Khan, had overrun a large part of 
the Continent, ruling from the Arctic Sea to the Straits 
of Malacca, and who welcomed Christians as well as 
Buddhists as a universalizing, denationalizing influence. 
The peaceful progress of the missjonaries was stayed by 

1 Barry, Papal Monarchy, 1 Bryce, International Relations . 



CHRISTIANITY: FROM ORIGINS TO REFORMATION 99 

Timor or Tamerlaine, who represents a Moslem religious 
reaction against the tolerant Mongol Khans, 

The idea of a Holy War was extended from the 
struggle against the infidels for the Holy Land to the 
war against heretics in Europe; and in 1228, when the 
bold, free-thinking German Emperor, Frederick II, 
known as ‘‘Stupor Mundi,” obtained Jerusalem by 
peaceful negotiation with the Arabs against the order 
of the Pope, Gregory IX excommunicated him and 
proclaimed a Crusade against him. This perversion of 
mediaeval theory of the union of Church and Empire 
shocked even that credulous age; but the Pontiff pro- 
nounced an anathema against the unbending sovereign, 
who in return claimed to be the head of the Church, 
and used the Saracens against the Pope. 1 No wonder that 
a reformer like the English Wycliffe could exclaim: 
“When will the proud Pontiff of Rome grant indulgence 
to mankind to live in peace and charity as he now does 
to fight and kill one another? 0 

Another English writer of a different kind pointed 
with mordant humour to the contrast between the 
pacifist profession of the clergy and their practice. In 
his stories of adventure Sir John Mandeville, who went 
on a Crusade to the Holy Land, bursts out thus : 

The Chaplain often preaches morality to the soldiers, and even 
the Gospel at seasons and times when they are in winter quarters, 
and in an idle summer when no enemy is near. But when they are 
to enter upon any action and to besiege a town ... it would be 
impertinent to talk to them of the Christian virtues, doing as they 
would be done by, loving their enemies and extending charity to 
all mankind. When the foe is at hand, and perhaps a main battle 

1 It seems likely that Frederick II adopted from the Moslems the idea that the 
Emperor was a kind of Caliph of Christianity, not only the defender but the 
head of the Faith. 



100 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

is expected, then the mask is flung off. Not a word of the Gospel, 
nor of meekness and humility. All thoughts of Christianity are 
laid aside. 

While the Church encouraged and stimulated this militant 
ardour in the struggle against the infidels, it sought to 
check that ardour in the internal affairs of the Christian 
princes. “The Holy See,” said William of Malmesbury, 
an English chronicler, “cannot endure that one Christian 
should draw the sword against the other/’ The Popes 
intervened more than once to stay the war between 
England and France which went on intermittently for 
a hundred years. The cause of internal peace in Christen- 
dom was linked with that of the Holy War. To urge 
the warlike barons to a Christian Crusade was a way of 
diverting them from private warfare. The feudal period 
was marked by a constant state of war, private and 
public; and it was the aim of the Church to bring some 
order by its authority into the conduct of fighting, and 
to give some relief to the wretched people who were 
harried and driven by the incessant quarrels and wars. 
It sought between the tenth and twelfth centuries to 
establish the “truce” and the “peace of God,” so as to 
put an end to the anarchy of private wars. The truce 
of God had its origin in the idea of the Sunday rest. 
No attack was to be made between the ninth hour of 
Saturday and the first hour of Monday. We may compare 
it with the Jewish law by which fighting was prohibited 
on the Sabbath. Gradually the Church contrived to 
extend the period of the truce till it applied from the even- 
ing of the Wednesday to the morning of the Monday. 
Thursday was dedicated to God on account of the 
Ascension, Friday on account of £he Passion, Saturday 
on account of the Birth, and Sunday on account of the 



CHRISTIANITY: FROM ORIGINS TO REFORMATION ioi 

Resurrection. The Church made a further extension of 
the truce from the beginning of the Advent to the First 
Sunday after Epiphany, hollowing the law of Deuter- 
onomy, the Church Council of Narbonne forbade the 
cutting of fruit trees. The peace of God prescribed a 
prohibition of war altogether against certain classes: 
women, peasants, priests, etc. While neither the peace 
nor the truce could be effectively enforced, and the 
Pax Ecclesiae was a poor reflection of the old Pax Romana , 
the influence of the Church was to check unrestricted 
warfare until such time as the civil government was 
strengthened and able to impose some authority over 
the lawlessness of the barons. 

Christian influence was more successful in introducing 
some mitigation of cruelties in the practice of war which 
had been accepted by the Romans and barbarian tribes. 
That effort was manifested partly in the suppression of 
gladiatorial shows and the practice of enslaving prisoners; 
partly in the institution of chivalry; and partly in rules 
of what was permitted and prohibited in war. The knights 
of chivalry regarded fighting as a divine service. “They 
united the force and fire of the ancient warrior with the 
humility of a Christian saint. ” They were initiated with 
a religious ceremony and their consecration was a kind 
of sacrament; they undertook the protection of the weak, 
the widow,, and the fatherless; they took the sword so 
that they might destroy the monster of iniquity. The 
institution led on to the foundation of the Orders which 
were at once religious and military, the Hospitallers 
and the Templars, who played a great part in the later 
Crusades. Saint Bernard wrote of the Templars: 

The soldier of Christ carries the sword not without reason. It is 
for the chastisement of the wicked and for the glory of the good. 



io2 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

If he kills a malefactor he is not a homicide, he kills evil and is a 
malicide. 

As regards the practices of war, the Church used its 
influence to prevent the killing of women and children, 
the pillaging of towns, the taking from the peasants of 
their necessities, even the use of certain weapons. The 
second Council of the Lateran held by Pope Innocent II 
in 1239 forbade the use of early forms of artillery, except 
in a war against the Turks. The exception is notable. 
The Turks stood outside the scope of mediaeval humanity; 
for all infidels, including, of course, the Jews, were 
outlaws from the civilized society. 

The prohibitions and orders of the Church, though 
not always effective, did exercise an insensible action 
over the transformation of the conduct of war from the 
unrestricted barbarity of the pre-Christian peoples to 
the recognition of some law. If the Christian religion 
in the Middle Ages fell below its first principles as regards 
peace and war, it was the one influence in Western 
Europe which held up an ideal of peace, and the one 
influence which stood for humanity in a semi-savage 
society. Montesquieu summed up its contribution to 
mediaeval civilization: “We owe to Christianity in peace 
a certain political law and in war a certain international 
law, for which humanity cannot be sufficiently grateful.” 1 
And Lord Bryce in our own day put it that the Christian 
Empire was the most venerable political institution of 
the past. 

With regard to the government of the peoples the 
Christian Church was more effectively a power making 
for unity and a rule of law in a lawless age. The funda- 
mental ideal of the Middle Ages ffom the time of Pope 

1 Esprit des Lois , 24 , 3 . 



CHRISTIANITY: FROM ORIGINS TO REFORMATION 103 

Gregory VII was unity in Church and State. Just as 
God is absolutely one, before and above the world's 
plurality, so the divine reason is an ordinance for the 
universe which permeates all the apparent plurality; and 
that reason is expressed by the divine regent, the Pope 
of Rome. All mankind, not only Christendom, is con- 
ceived as one community, for Christendom in its destiny 
is identical with mankind. Its very name, the Catholic 
Church, indicates that character: and its aim is to establish 
the single universal community governed by God's law. 
As Thomas Aquinas puts it: “Conjunctio hominum cum 
Deo est conjunctio hominum inter sese.” According to the 
scholastic philosophy mankind is one mystical body, one 
single connected people. Christendom constitutes that 
universal realm which is both spiritual and temporal, 
and is called the universal Church or the commonwealth 
of the human race. While there was in practice a sever- 
ance between the two organizing orders of life, the spiritual 
and temporal, they are reducible to a unit through the 
overriding power of the Pope. The spiritual power was 
represented by the sun, the temporal by the moon. 
The Pope wields an empire over the human community; 
he is priest and king, lawgiver and judge, in all causes 
supreme . 1 The temporal power is subject to the spiritual; 
the Pope could withdraw the empire from Byzantium 
and confer it on a German, French, or Italian prince, 
as he pleased. The Holy Roman Empire, as it was called, 
was dependent upon the Papal will; and the Emperor 
who sinned against the Church might be required to 
do penance prostrated before the Pope. 

The conflict between Church and State could hardly 
arise since there was only a single society, an undivided 

1 Gierke, Political Theory of the Middle Ages , translated by Maitland, 1900. 



io 4 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Christian Commonwealth which was both. 1 The Church 
was the State, and the civil authority a department of 
the Church. It was opposed to nationalism because national 
independence would conflict with the unity. The Bishop 
in Shaw’s *$ 7 . Joan puts it: “Divide that Kingdom into 
nations, and you dethrone Christ. Dethrone Christ, and 
who will stand between our throats and the sword?” 
Whoever resisted the power of the Pope resisted order. 
As it was said in the Bull of Boniface VIII, Urtam 
Sanctam , 1302: “Porro subesse Romano pontifici omni 
humanae creaturae declaramus, dicimus, et pronunciamus 
omnino esse de necessitate salutis” (“It is entirely neces- 
sary for every human creature to be subject to the Roman 
Pontiff”). 2 The Papacy was the pivot of a theocracy. 
Further, the universal God owns all the earth. The Pope, 
therefore, as His representative assigns territories, and 
it is his power to make grants of newly discovered lands, 
as when the New World was discovered in the fifteenth 
century and was assigned by him, part to Spain and part 
to Portugal. Here is an amplification of the Biblical 
idea that the earth belongs to God (see Lev. xxv. 23). 

The unity of the Church and of mankind is manifest 
also in the unity of law. Extra ecclesiam nullum jus repre- 
sents the mediaeval principle. The rule of the Church is 
supranational rather than international, and the Pope 
pronounces judgment upon kings and princes as a supreme 
sovereign rather than as an international judge. His 
instruments were excommunication from the Christian 

1 Barker, Unity in the Middle Ages. 

1 The Bull, indeed, was issued as a vain attempt to bolster up the waning 
authority of the Pope in the struggle with the French monarch. It claimed 
that there was one Holy Catholic Apostolic Church which represents a single 
mystical body whose head is Christ, and in which there is one Lord, one Faith, 
and one Baptism. 



CHRISTIANITY: FROM ORIGINS TO REFORMATION 105 

society and interdiction. “It belongs to our office,” 
wrote Innocent III in a letter claiming to arbitrate between 
England and France, “to correct all Christian men for 
every mortal sin, and if they despise correction, to coerce 
them by ecclesiastical censure. And if it is ours to proceed 
against criminal sin, we are specially bound when we find 
a sin against peace.” It has been said that, so far as the 
common faith of Western Christendom strengthened 
the common realization of justice handed down through 
the institutes of the Roman Empire, and never wholly 
extinguished, it made an effective contribution to the 
foundations of international law. 

The Pope, however, failed to apply fixed and known 
rules; and his intervention was more often induced by 
self-interest than by the cause of justice. As yet no system 
of international law was recognized, save for the body 
of rules developed in the seventh century out of the 
Roman conception of the Jus Gentium , and embodied 
in the Decree of Gratian, which concerned the relations 
of peoples in war, such as the occupation of territory, the 
fortification of cities, captivity, and truce. The principles 
of the Christian Gospel were too remote from the rough 
political realities to form the basis of a positive law. 

A modern political philosopher, in a study on the 
policy of the State and the Gospel, has ascribed the 
failure of Christian teaching to control international 
policy to the absence in the Gospel of any political 
doctrine . 1 Whereas Judaism contained rules of govern- 
ment and contemplated the establishment of righteous 
dealing both within the State and in relation with other 
States, the Christian Gospel was concerned entirely 
with the relation of the individual to God and not with 

1 H. Krabb6, L'Idte Modeme de Rccueil des Cours, 13. 



io 6 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

civil life. It was thinking rather of the next world than 
of righteousness in this world. While the Popes for nearly 
a thousand years exercised supremacy over political life, 
and were for a long part of the period the one steady 
force making for order and unity, they had not in the 
Christian Testament any fixed principles of justice by 
which to exercise their authority. 

Between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries a fierce 
struggle was waged, mostly in Italy, between the Pope 
and the Emperor. There were learned upholders of the 
temporal power; but few dared to claim supremacy for 
it. The theory more favoured was that which obtained 
at the outset of the Holy Roman Empire, of two 
co-ordinate powers in independent spheres instituted 
by God Himself. The Empire or temporal power depends 
directly on God and not directly on the Church. In the 
fourteenth century, however, the fuller claim was made. 
Dante in his treatise On Monarchy holds out the prospect 
of a universal government exercised by the Roman 
Emperor and not by the Pope. The temporal power of 
the Pope was not given by natural law, nor by divine 
ordinance, nor by universal consent. Some form of 
universal monarchy seemed necessary to the mediaeval 
mind; and by this time the failure of ecclesiastical 
government as an instrument of justice was apparent: 
and the opening freedom of the human mind was begin- 
ning to rebel against the authority of a theocratic head. 

The movement of opinion against the Papal authority 
is reflected in the contrast between the treatise of Dante 
on Monarchy written in 1310 and the treatise of Marsilius 
entitled Defensor Pads , written some fifteen years later. 

In the latter book the spiritual and moral element has 
disappeared to the background, and the secular State pure 



CHRISTIANITY: FROM ORIGINS TO REFORMATION 107 

and simple is advocated. The writer wishes to restore peace 
and order; but he holds that law must depend on the will 
of the whole people or the majority of the people. The 
cause of the decline of Europe is the Papacy; the Church 
must be subordinate to the State and not even an inde- 
pendent power; the Pope is to concern himself with 
spiritual matters alone, and the State is to be supreme in 
all civil things. The rejection of the spiritual power and 
the moral law in the affairs of State is exemplified in 
another political philosophy of the latter part of the 
Middle Ages. It is Machiavelli who represents in its 
completest form the severance of politics from religion, 
and even from the moral law. And he is simply voicing 
the practice of his age. War should be the only study of 
a prince; peace is only a breathing-time which gives him 
leisure to contrive his military plans. 

It was the failure of the Popes to preserve any tolerable 
standard of righteousness and justice that brought about 
the collapse of the unity of Western Christendom in 
the fifteenth century. The vitality of the Church every- 
where was lowered by their infidelity, greed, worldliness, 
and desire for dynastic power. Finally, the authority of 
the Popes was fatally impaired by their subjection for 
nearly a hundred years to the growing power of France 
in what was called the Babylonian Captivity. The Pope 
of Rome became a prisoner and a puppet of the French 
at Avignon. For a time there were two Popes — or a pope 
and anti-pope — and the Councils of Constance and Basle 
at the beginning of the fifteenth century failed to remove 
the schism and obtain unity by the election of a third 
Pope. The Papacy had weakened its authority, too, by 
assuming direct territorial authority over Rome and part 
of Italy. The Pope's kingdom was of this world, and he 



io8 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

bartered away his moral and spiritual power by becoming 
an Italian prince. His temporal ambitions provoked the 
resistance of the clergy as well as of the princes outside 
Italy. The Great Schism between Rome and Avignon 
was in one aspect a protest of the growing powers of 
A ationalities against the autocratic and absolute power of 
the overlord. 

Even before this break there had been a series of 
intellectual rebellions against the autocratic uniformity of 
doctrine which the Church sought to impose. Until that 
time the Church had succeeded in putting down any 
heresy; it had pitilessly wiped out communities like the 
Albigenses and the Lollards who returned to the original 
principles of a pacific Christianity. For a period, indeed, 
the Jews in Europe were the one living protest against 
the uniformity of the doctrine of the Church; and they 
were expelled from England in the fourteenth and from 
France and Spain in the fifteenth century. From the 
beginning of the fifteenth century, however, the movement 
for freedom of thought gained steadily in determination 
and volume, and finally prevailed. A popular religious 
reform broke out in Bohemia, where John Huss began 
to preach in 1404. It had a national as well as a religious 
character: it was the rising of a people in the name of 
the Gospel. The Council of Constance which was en- 
deavouring to bring order into the divided Papacy 
condemned Huss as a heretic; and the rising was ruth- 
lessly crushed or, rather, stifled. But the tide could not 
be stemmed. Greek learning came from the East, and 
brought with it into Europe a new spirit of intellectual 
searching and of humanity. 

The capture of Constantinople by the Turks (1453; 
was one of the predisposing causes' of the Renaissance 



CHRISTIANITY: FROM ORIGINS TO REFORMATION 109 

in that it drove a mass of Greek scholars into Western 
Europe, and so brought to the universities Greek 
philosophy and something of the Hellenic spirit of 
intellectual freedom. Jewish scholars and translators 
from Spain and the South helped to carry the ideas of 
Greek philosophy and of Arabic science to the West 
and North. 

The dominant character of the Reformation, which 
had, however, other aspects, was the insurrection against 
absolute power in matters of the intellect. Side by side 
with this spiritual revolt was the uprising of national 
feeling against any foreign domination. In vain the 
Popes still sought to restore their power by uniting 
Christianity against the infidel. Pope Innocent VIII 
(1484-1492) sent legates to the Courts of Europe calling 
on the kings to put an end to strife and to work for the 
union of their peoples and the launching of a fresh 
crusade against the Turks. The Church which had 
succeeded in uniting Christendom against the Seljuk 
Turks failed completely in rousing them against the 
Ottomans. About the same period the King of Poland 
advocated a peace league of the Christian princes, with 
a conference of delegates to settle disputes between them; 
but the secular effort had no better result than the Papal. 
The national feeling was now too strong, and kings 
and princes would not pay heed. 

In the history of England the repudiation of the external 
authority of the Pope comes in the reign of Henry VIII. 
“This realm, ” said the king, “is also an empire. ” The 
immediate cause was the king’s desire to be rid of his 
first wife, to which the Pope refused to grant his sanction; 
but the deeper cause was, on the one hand, the growth 
of feeling for national independence, and, on the other, 



no RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

the growing desire of humanity for liberty of thought. 
In Northern and Western Europe the spiritual and 
temporal authority of the Pope was shattered in this 
era of enlightenment and of national Churches; and the 
ideal of a supranational government of Christendom was 
once and for all broken. At the moment when the Pope 
was turning from the moral and religious direction of 
the world, the claim of the Holy Roman Empire to 
dominion over Western Christendom was likewise 
rejected. Charles V (1519—1556) aspired to represent the 
majesty of Imperial Rome, and allied himself with the 
Pope against the Protestants who challenged the authority 
of the chief magistracy of Christendom. But the emperor, 
no less than the spiritual head, failed to uphold the unity 
of a world empire against the demand of the peoples 
for complete national independence. The Holy Roman 
Empire, into which once the whole life of the ancient 
world was gathered, was regarded as a German State; 
and henceforth the Emperor was only the titular chief 
of the rulers of Christendom, and to his Protestant 
subjects, moreover, only the titular head of the nation. 
It was the final disappearance of Rome as the universal 
link and arbiter of nations. When the national spirit 
grew, not only the temporal sovereignty of the Pope 
and Emperor but also the religious supremacy of the 
Church was rejected; and Europe had to grope painfully 
through centuries of anarchy for the establishment of a 
law which should govern the conduct of nations. 



CHAPTER V 


FROM THE REFORMATION TO THE FRENCH 
REVOLUTION 


It has been said that the principle of the Reformation 
was “Call no man master, neither king, Pope, nor even 
the Holy Church/’ One fundamental aspect of the 
Reformation was to free the human mind from authority, 
and to assert afresh the principle of individual intel- 
lectual liberty. In Germany, in England and in Holland, 
in the Scandinavian countries, and in France for a time, 
men refused any longer to submit to the control of 
one supreme power. The spirit of the individual nations 
was asserting itself against a unitary government of 
the world; and the spirit of the individual man was 
asserting itself against the government of ecclesiastics. 
In the sphere of international relations the immediate 
effect of the break with Rome was to destroy the idea 
of world-Empire and the solidarity of Christendom; and 
to remove what had been the one strong principle of 
order and peace in the mediaeval society. The feeling 
for humanity that is inherent in the Christian teaching 
still indeed survived among idealists, and it became 
necessary to find a fresh basis for giving effect to it in 
order to prevent anarchy. That necessity was the motive 
for the definition and growth of international law, which 
is one of the outstanding movements of the period under 
consideration. It was a slow and halting movement; and 
the forces of religion were for a large part of the period 
directed rather to intensify the differences, and to aggra- 
vate war than to lead men and nations towards mutual 



ii2 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

understanding and cooperation. The “authoritative 
egoism” of the Roman Church fostered “anarchical 
egoism” in a number of national States which were for 
centuries a body of struggling atoms. While before the 
Reformation the social and spiritual environment was 
co-extensive with Christendom, it is now disrupted by a 
narrow national spirit and a self-centred policy. The idea 
of a natural or Christian society of nations, arising from 
the common origin and the needs of man, the common 
ethical outlook of Christian peoples and the dependency 
of nations upon one another, was painfully weak in the 
minds of the rulers, however convincingly it was ex- 
pounded by the jurists. It had not an emotional appeal 
like the old cry for union against the infidel. The design 
of an International Reformed Church was at once shat- 
tered by the growing strength of nationalism; and the 
Protestant Church in each country was organized on 
national State lines. “In Protestantism,” says Figgis, “the 
limits of the society were narrowed to a national and terri- 
torial State, while its nature was more that of a State than 
a Church .” 1 

So the national Church was to the State what the 
Catholic Church had been to the world. It became a 
national organization helping to maintain and vivify the 
principles of territorialism. Even in the Catholic coun- 
tries which remained within the fold the Church was 
nationalized. Thus in the Spain of Catholic Ferdinand 
and Isabella, the State was a Church; but while identify- 
ing itself with the spiritual interests of the Catholic 
faith it did not submit to the Pope at Rome. Not the 
Pope but the king was God’s minister on earth . 2 

How was it that in an age which was essentially re- 

1 Figgis, From Gerson to Grotius. K a Madariaga, Spain, 



FROM REFORMATION TO FRENCH REVOLUTION 113 

ligious and which derived its political motives almost 
entirely from religion, ‘‘when religion was involved with 
politics more than ever before,” the principles of Christ- 
ianity were thus distorted? Two essential affirmations 
flow from the fatherhood of God: the infinite value of 
the individual man and the unity of the human family. 
The Reformation stressed the first idea as the Papacy had 
stressed the second. 

History teaches that a great principle manifests itself 
in human society by opposition to another principle. The 
principle of individual and national independence was 
asserted in a struggle against the Roman conception of 
unity; and the Reformation was led to disregard, or at 
least to belittle, the idea of human solidarity. Luther, too, 
set up an absolute cleavage between the temporal and 
the spiritual interests. “The Kingdom of Christ is en- 
tirely separated from the kingdom of the world; and the 
sphere in which law rules has nothing to do with the 
sphere in which the Gospel moves.” His severance of 
the national State life from the religious life affected 
adversely the civilization of Europe; and for 350 years 
menaced the peace and well-being of the Western world. 

Yet the sixteenth century was a period of remarkable 
creativeness in international thought. The fall of the 
Papal power in the first half of the century appeared to be 
complete. Rome was taken by storm and plundered by 
German bands in 1526 and 1527, the Lutheran sectaries 
taking part; and when Pope Clement died in 1534, 
of Christendom was in rebellion against the Papal 
system. A few years, however, witnessed a remarkable 
recovery in the Roman Church. The Order of the Jesuits 
brought about a counter-Reformation which strengthened 
the Papal power in the south of Europe, particularly in 



1 14 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Spain, Portugal, and Italy. A new spirit moves the leaders 
of opinion in the Catholic countries as well as in the 
Protestant countries. The spirit of reason and of free 
inquiry had come to Europe with the Renaissance of 
learning. The science of international law and the efforts 
for international peace are developed in two parallel lines : 
one starting from the principles of the universal Church, 
the other from the principles of the national State and 
the teaching of the Bible and law of Nature; but both 
seeking to find a basis of conduct which should command 
obedience apart from external sanction, and so avoid the 
complete anarchy which threatened Christendom. 

The earliest conception of a moral law that should 
govern the relations of nations and peoples, now that 
the Papal supremacy was shattered, comes from Catholic 
jurists of Spain. Outstanding among them is Franciscus 
de Vittoria, who taught at Salamanca in Spain from 
1526-1546. The discovery of America and the con- 
quest of the pagan natives by Christian adventurers from 
Spain and Portugal who claimed to be carriers of a 
Christian mission, opened up new questions of the rela- 
tions between peoples. In his lectures on the recently 
discovered Indies, Francis deals according to humani- 
tarian principles with the claims of the Spaniards to their 
conquest. 

Pope Alexander VI, in his famous Bull of Partition 
of the New World, issued in 1483, had made a grant 
to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain of all the newly 
discovered lands. 

God has entrusted the care of all peoples, runs the decree, to one 
man named Saint Peter who is the master of the human race, so 
that all men must obey him. He places the whole world under his 
jurisdiction. Obedience is owed to those &iio have succeeded him 



FROM REFORMATION TO FRENCH REVOLUTION u 5 

in the pontiffs chair. One of these pontiffs has made a grant of these 
isles to the kings of Castile. His Catholic Majesty is therefore by 
virtue of this gift king and owner of these isles. 

Territories occupied by infidels are treated as vacant, 
and a title to them was conferred by discovery and 
evangelization. 

The jurist examined the claim with greater regard 
for human rights. He denies the power of the Pope to 
give territorial sovereignty, but he sets up seven just 
causes for which Christian Spain may intervene in the 
lot of the barbarian peoples : 

(1) There is a natural right of society and communication between 

men; and if the barbarians prevent the Spaniards from 
carrying on this commerce, the natural right is forfeited. 

(2) There is a natural right of propagating religion; but it must 

be exercised without imposing the faith by force. 1 

(3) There is a right of protecting the barbarians converted to 

Christianity against the hostility of others. 

(4) There is the right of the Pope, if the majority of the people 

are converted, to take them from their pagan master and to 
give them to a Christian sovereign, etc. 1 

The jurist argues that Christians are not to pursue the 
preaching of the Gospels if the natives resent it, and it 
would involve war to proceed. Opinions are not to be 
enforced by the sword even against savages. Generally he 
stood out for humanity. Even if a country has a just cause 
of war, the ruler should refrain from using force if it 
were likely to harm the whole community of nations. 

1 We may contrast with the humanitarian standpoint of the jurist the attitude 
of the Dominican monk Valdes who accompanied the Spanish army of Pizarro $ 
and when they were preparing a great massacre of Indians, exhorted them thus : 
“I absolve you, Castilians: fall on and slay.” 

2 See De Indis , etc., Ed. Nys, p. 160. Published by the Carnegie Institute, 
Washington, 1917. 



1x6 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

He counselled passive resistance to war. If a subject does 
not believe in the justice of a war, he should not fight. 
Not only those who do evil but also those who acquiesce 
in their action are worthy of death. 

His lectures contain a striking anticipation of the 
mandate system which he advocated for the government 
of the Indians: 

Although the natives are not wholly unintelligent, yet they are 
unfit to found or administer a state according to the standard 
required by human and civil claims. Their government, therefore, 
should be entrusted to a people of intelligence. This might be 
founded on the principle of charity: for they are our neighbours 
and we are bound to look after their welfare. Let this, however, be 
put forward without dogmatism, and subject to the condition that 
any intervention be for the welfare and in the interests of the 
Indians and not for the profit of the Spaniards. For in this respect 
lies danger to the soul and salvation. 

Here the principle of “the sacred trust of civilization,” 
which was embodied nearly four hundred years later in 
the Covenant of the League of Nations, is derived directly 
from the Christian teaching. The question formed the 
subject of a Council of State at Vallodoid in 1550. 

Francis denies the justice of religious persecution, and 
says categorically that a diversity of religions is not a 
just cause of war. The Bull of Alexander VI authorized 
the King of Spain to redeem the natives to Christian 
worship, but not to conquer them on the ground of their 
heathenism. 

The spirit of the Renaissance is penetrating the 
Church and breaking away from mediaeval absolutism. 
There is the beginning of an idea of a law of just dealing 
which is not limited to Christian nations but applies to 
all humanity, an attempt to found a<code of international 



FROM REFORMATION TO FRENCH REVOLUTION 117 

conduct on the principles of the Christian ethic. The same 
idea is expressed by a later Spanish Jesuit jurist, Suarez 
(1548-1617). In his book entitled De Legibus ac de Deo 
Legislatore , he gives still clearer utterance to the notion 
of a law applicable to all humanity: 

The human race, however divided into various peoples and king- 
doms, has always not only its unity as a species but also a certain 
moral and quasi-political unity pointed out by the natural precept 
of mutual love and pity which extends to all, even to foreigners of 
any nation. Wherefore, although every perfect state, whether a 
republic or a kingdom, is in itself a perfect community composed 
of its own members, still each such state viewed in relation to the 
human race is in some measure a member of that universal unity. 
For those communities are never singly so self-sufficing but that 
they stand in need of some mutual aid and communion, sometimes 
for the improvement of their condition, but sometimes also for 
their moral necessity. For that reason they are in need of some 
law by which they may be directed and rightly ordered in that 
kind of communion and society . 1 

At about the same period humanists in England and in 
Germany were developing kindred ideas. The Catholic, 
Sir Thomas More, in his Utopia , and the Protestant 
Gentilis, who taught at Oxford, conceived a republic 
founded on natural law and embracing all humanity. 
Gentilis adopted the idea that a Christian sovereign 
should not compel other peoples to accept the Christian 
faith by arms. Religion is the union of God and man; 
God alone has dominion over the soul, and war cannot 
be made for its sake. More's friend Erasmus poured 
scorn upon the motive of the Crusades against the 
Turks, as though men could be won to a religion of love 
by the sword. He realized the impossibility of a universal 
empire. “And men being what they are, there is more 

1 Cited by Westlake, Chapters on International Law, p. 26. 



1x8 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

safety among kingdoms of moderate power united in a 
Christian league.” The idea was not to be fruitful in 
action for centuries. 

The outstanding figure, however, in the development 
of international law at this period is not to be found 
among the Catholic humanists, but in the Protestant 
scholar and diplomatist, Hugo Grotius of Holland, who 
wrote his famous treatise on the Law of War and Peace 
in 1624. Before that he had published annotations of the 
Old and New Testaments, in which he showed an amaz- 
ing mastery of Hebrew and Classical learning. 1 He was 
acquainted with Menasseh Ben Israel, who later inter- 
ceded with Cromwell for the return of the Jews to 
England; and he was said by his enemies to be a Judaizer. 
It is interesting in this connection that in 1615 he pre- 
sented to the States of Holland a Remonstrance recom- 
mending that Jews should be permitted to settle within 
their territories and to exercise their religion. 2 Grotius 
was one of the great scholars of the Bible in an age in 
which the study of the Hebrew Bible and of Rabbinical 
literature was taken up with an extraordinary enthusiasm 
by the leaders of the Reformation ; and he went back to the 
Bible as one of the sources of a law of justice between the 
nations. He conceives, indeed, three sources for that law, 
it may be derived from nature herself, or from the 
divine law, or from custom and tacit agreement. The 
“law of nature,” which, as we have seen, w'as a product 
of Stoic philosophy adopted by the Roman jurists, was 
revived as one of the principles of human institutions 
and connected with the divine law. In the days of the 
Papal supremacy it was identified with the Golden Rule 

Sec W. Knight, Grotius. Grotius Society Publications, 1925. 

J See A. Kuhn, Grotius ami the Emancipation of Hie Jews in Holland. 1928. 



FROM REFORMATION TO FRENCH REVOLUTION 1x9 

of the Bible : not to do unto others what you would not 
have done to you. But now it was amplified and made 
the basis of a body of rules for the conduct of war, and 
the relations of independent territorial States. 

The repudiation of the power of the Pope led men 
to search for some other principle which might be 
accepted as authority by all peoples. Where the Bible 
contained a rule for the relations of nations, it was to be 
followed as the Jus Voluntarium Divinum\ but where 
it was silent, either the “law of nature 0 or custom must 
be sought. As an example of the law which Grote derives 
from the Bible, we may take the section about the conduct 
of neutral States towards belligerent armies. It is founded 
on the passage in Numbers (xx. 14-21) that shows the 
relation of the King of Edom to the Children of Israel, 
and indicates that the neutral territory should not be 
used for the passage of the armies of a belligerent 
(D.J.B.P.y 2, 2). 

There was pressing need of finding a basis of order; 
for States were threatening in their relations to return 
to the law of the beasts, disregarding all moral principle. 
Since there was no supreme authority to declare it unjust, 
all war by one sovereign against another was regarded as 
just. And in war there was no restriction on inhumanity. 
In his introduction to his treatise Grotius says: 

I have been for a long time convinced that there is a God common 
to all nations who watches both the preparation and course of war. 
But I observe everywhere in Christendom a lawlessness in warfare 
of which even the barbarian nations would be ashamed. When 
arms are once taken up, there is an end of all respect for law, whether 
human or divine, as though a fury had been let loose with a general 
licence for all manner of crime. 

He sought a philosophical rather than a theological 



iio RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

basis for a law of nations. Justice is for him the most im- 
portant of the cardinal virtues. Man has a primary 
obligation — to devote his faculties to a conduct of life 
in harmony with the divine intention. His right is relative 
to that obligation; and natural rights, whether granted 
by the Church or the State, or acquired by his own in- 
dustry and ability, are the object of the virtue of justice. 

He conceives the law of nature independent of a 
divine revelation and even independent, in a sense, of 
God. God does not create it directly by His imperative 
will. Having created nature He cannot desire anything 
in conflict with nature, so that the law is imposed on 
God Himself. One may compare the idea of Grotius 
with the Logos of Philo and the “Word” of the Gospel 
of St. John. The law of nature exists, he says, “et si 
daretur Deum non esse.” In this conception he departed 
from the idea of the Calvinists, who denied that there 
could be a morality independent of God’s revelation. 
Although in his theory of the law of nature Grotius 
follows rather the Stoic philosophy than the religious 
doctrine, his practical teaching is founded on a convic- 
tion of the idea of humanity and the divine fatherhood 
of all mankind. He concludes as he begins his book on 
the conduct of war, with the note of humanity: 

May God write these lessons — he alone can — on the hearts of all 
those who have the affairs of Christendom in their hands. And 
may he give to those persons a mind fitted to understand and to 
respect rights, human and divine, and lead them to recollect 
always that the ministration committed to them is no less than this, 
that they are governors of men, a creature most dear to God 
(D.J.B.P., 3, 25). 

If he did not dare hope for the end of all war, he 
pleaded earnestly for the settlement of international 



FROM REFORMATION TO FRENCH REVOLUTION m 

differences by arbitration, and also for the mitigation of 
the cruelties and horrors of war by principles of humanity. 
The Christian doctrine of charity should govern nations, 
and there should be an era of international agreements 
and good faith. His work had gradual influence on the 
Protestant countries. It is said that the Supreme Com- 
mander of the Protestant armies in the seventeenth 
century, Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, carried a copy 
of the Law of W ar and Peace in all his campaigns. It was 
thus one of the influences for the improvement of inter- 
national relations. Nevertheless, the wars that devastated 
Europe in the first half of the seventeenth century were 
marked by a ferocity and a cruelty greater than that of 
the wars of the Middle Ages. They were in one aspect 
religious wars between the Catholic and the Protestant 
Powers, but they were also wars of independent European 
nations struggling either for predominance or the balance 
of power. As Lecky says: “The object set was political 
power; but the difference in religious belief formed lines 
of demarcation separating the hostile coalitions and 
exciting the enthusiasm by which the struggle was main- 
tained” (History of European Morals ). 

Nor was the religious passion restricted to the struggle 
between Catholics and Protestants. The different Protes- 
tant monarchs and sects quarrelled among themselves, 
and their quarrels led on to the Thirty Years War in 
which a large portion of the population of Germany were 
destroyed, and the rest were reduced from a high level 
of civilization to utter misery. 

These wars occurred in an age of comparative en- 
lightenment, But “zeal for a cause is one of the most 
dangerous irritants to which human passion is subject”; 1 

* Westlake, op. cit. 



112 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

and the influence of religion was now rather a stimulus 
to ferocity than a source of humanity. 

It was in this hard school that the right of peoples to 
differences of religion was established. The Treaty of 
Westphalia in 1648, which brought the war to an end, 
consecrates the principle of religious divinity. Hence- 
forth the States of Europe were recognized as essentially 
secular; and the attempt was abandoned to impose the 
Catholic religion, or any particular brand of the Dissent- 
ing religions, by force on other peoples. The diversity 
of religions ceases to be the dominant principle in 
Europe of a classification of States or of external policy 
and alliances. 1 Despite the protest of the Pope, the 
Protestant States were admitted equally with the Catholic 
into the society of nations; and the claim of the Papacy 
to supreme temporal authority was repudiated even by 
the Catholic kingdoms. 

The right of individual religious liberty within the State 
had still to be won. One of the effects of the Reforma- 
tion was to subordinate religion to the State, in con- 
trast to the mediaeval standpoint by which the temporal 
power was subordinated to the spiritual. 

Protestant reform fell below its principle of giving 
freedom to the individual conscience. And it soon came 
to persecuting those who differed from the reigning 
creed almost as ruthlessly as the Popes had persecuted 
them. While Bruno, the scientist, was burnt by the Pope 
because he became a Calvinist, Servetus, another dis- 
tinguished scientist, was burnt at the stake in Geneva 
by order of Calvin for heresy J 1 Calvin, indeed, who was 

1 The French minister, Richelieu, made an alliance between Catholic France 
and Protestant Sweden. 

2 In 1903, on the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of his execution, an 
expiatory monument was erected in honour of Servetus at Geneva by persons 



FROM REFORMATION TO FRENCH REVOLUTION 123 

the most constructive mind amongst the reformers, 
erected in Geneva a theocratic scheme of government. 
Elsewhere, however, the Protestant kings of Europe 
subjected the Church to their authority. Going farther, 
they claimed the right to compel all their subjects to 
adopt the religion which they professed. The doctrine 
was laid down, Cujus regio ejus religio , and it was conse- 
crated at the Peace of Augsburg, 1555. It flowed from 
the principle of the Divine Right of Kings which had 
succeeded the mediaeval principle of the fullness of 
power of the Pope as the supreme head of a universal 
Christendom. The godly prince, omnipotent in his 
dominions, could choose between the Lutheran and the 
Catholic faith, and his choice bound all his subjects. If a 
subject rejected the State religion, his only course was 
to emigrate. Banishment was substituted for burning as 
the penalty for independence of religion. 

The idea of a territorial religion was fatal to liberty 
of conscience. It was an abuse of the principle that there 
should be a religious bond within the State community. 
Yet it is a remarkable sign of the mentality of that time 
that it found a champion in one of the principal followers 
of Grotius, the Protestant jurist, Pufendorf. In his book 
on the Elements of Universal Jurisprudence , he deals with 
the question of imposing religious creeds. He thinks the 
magistracy has a right to exert force in such matters 
because of the importance of religion to the common- 
wealth. It contributes greatly to the tranquillity of the 
State if all citizens openly profess the same views regard- 
ing religion, whose power in inciting the emotions is 

who are described as “the respectful and grateful followers of Calvin, our great 
Reformer, but condemning an error which belonged to his epoch, and devoted 
to liberty of conscience according to the true principles of the Reformation 
and the Gospel.” 



124 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

great. So the magistracy may rightly, even under the 
threat of executing a penalty in a court of law, forbid 
all who are subject to its jurisdiction to set forth, either 
in public or private teaching, anything opposed to that 
form which the magistracy has announced as the one 
to be followed by its citizens as being in harmony with 
the foundation of faith . 1 

The attempt was made to give the modern territorial 
State a certain coherence and solidarity by insisting on the 
common belief. It required two centuries more of human 
effort and the French Revolution to win for the individual 
the right of freedom of thought, corresponding with 
the independence of spiritual authority which the 
Reformation had won for the State. The irreligious 
thinkers and philosophers of the eighteenth century, 
such as Hobbes in England and Voltaire in France, 
secured the victory of the freedom of the human spirit. 
Yet it was a religious philosopher before the period of 
the Renaissance, the German Nicholas Von Cues, who 
in an eloquent plea for perfect tolerance entitled De Pace 
seu Concordantia Fidci declared “Una Religio est in 
Rituum Varietate.” And the Jewish philosopher Spinoza 
was one of the protagonists of the cause of toleration and 
the separation of Church and State. 

During this period, however, a higher idea of the 
relation between States as well as of the right of the 
individual to religious freedom within the State was 
upheld by a Protestant community which flourished in 
the northern countries of Europe and in certain of the 
States of America, and stand out as the upholders of 
Christian principles in public affairs. The Quakers— or, 
as they called themselves, The Society of Friends — 
repudiated at once the idea of war as a means of settling 

1 Bk. II, p. 253. 



FROM REFORMATION TO FRENCH REVOLUTION 125 

disputes between States, and the idea of force in relation 
to the conduct or belief of the individual. Their first 
group was founded in Holland in 1658, and they gained 
many followers in England. Their pacificism was based 
upon the teaching of the Bible. They believed, too, in an 
inner light without any theological implication which 
should guide men to justice and righteousness. They 
refused to take part in war; and in consequence of this 
attitude, like the early Christians, they were persecuted 
by the State. A number of them were led to emigrate 
from England and Holland to the newly discovered 
territories of America, and there they were able to estab- 
lish communities in which more complete religious 
freedom was accorded. They sought to apply the princi- 
ples of Jesus in their public relations. Their attitude is 
most clearly manifested in the relations to the Indians 
of William Penn, the founder of the colony of Pennsyl- 
vania. His declaration to the natives when he came as 
governor of the country for which he had obtained a 
concession from King Charles was in these words: 
“Dear friends, I wish you happiness in the present and 
the future. I shall not usurp the rights of anybody or 
offend anybody. 1 ’ He signed a treaty of friendship with 
the Redskin chieftain in the shadow of the elm near 
which the city of Philadelphia was founded. The name 
of his city symbolizes the new spirit of brotherhood 
between Christians and natives. “His principles of 
conduct,” according to his biographer, Besse, “begat an 
extraordinary love and regard for him and his people, so 
that they maintained perfect friendship 11 ; and it was 
said by Voltaire that this was the only case in which a 
treaty of peace with the Indians had not been sanctioned 
by oath and never been broken. 

In the instructions which he issued to the commis- 



126 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

sioners in the province he said: “Be tender of offending 
the Indians. Make friendship and league with them. Be 
grave; they love not to be smiled upon.” 

It is curious that Penn believed the Indians to be of 
the Jewish race, that is, of the stock of the ten tribes, 
because, as he explains: “These tribes were to go to a 
land not planted or known, and in the next place I 
find them of like countenance and their children of so 
lively a resemblance that a man would think himself in 
Duke’s Place in London” (where the synagogue stood and 
still stands) “when he seeththem. But this is not all: they 
agree in rites, they reckon by moons ; they offer the first- 
fruits; they have a kind of feast of tabernacles; they are 
said to lay their altar upon twelve stones .” 1 

Throughout his relations with the Indians he insisted 
on the maintenance of the true principles of the Christian 
religion. “I beseech God,” he says, “to incline the hearts 
of all that come into these parts to outlive the knowledge 
of the native by a fixed obedience to their greater know- 
ledge of the will of God; for it were miserable indeed 
for us to fall under the just censure of the poor Indian 
conscience, while we make profession of things so far 
transcending.” 

Penn was the author of an essay “On the Present and 
Future Peace of Europe by Establishing a European 
Parliament.” His scheme was an early anticipation of the 
League of Nations based on the principle of equal 
representation of the principal Christian Powers. 

The sovereign princes of Europe would, for the love of peace and 
order, agree to meet by their deputies in a general parliament, 
and there establish rules of justice for sovereign princes to observe 
one to another; before which sovereign assembly should be brought 
1 A Description of Pennsylvania . 



FROM REFORMATION TO FRENCH REVOLUTION 127 

all differences between one sovereign and another that cannot be 
made up by private embassies before the sessions begin; and that 
if any of the sovereignties shall refuse to submit their claim or 
pretensions to them, or to abide and perform the judgment thereof 
and seek their remedy by arms ... all the other sovereignties united 
as one strength shall compel the submission and performance of the 
sentence, with damages to the suffering party and charges to the 
sovereignties that obliged their submission. 

He does not conceive of a supreme Government set over 
the sovereignties, but rather of a confederation; and he 
pointed to the lamentable failure which followed from 
the idea of an acquisitive international society not based 
on Christian principles: “That they should take who 
have the power, and they should keep who can.” 

That failure showed what was the real voice of heaven 
and the judgment of God concerning war. He disposes 
of the delusion that peace is the end of war with that 
gentle gravity which is characteristic. “It is a usual say- 
ing, ^ ” he says, “and as such it was taken up by Oliver 
Cromwell for his motto; yet the use generally made 
of the expression shows us that men seek their wills 
by war rather than peace, and as they will violate 
it to obtain them, so they will hardly be brought to 
think of peace unless their appetites be some way 
gratified.” 

An earlier plan of the kind was produced at the begin- 
ning of the seventeenth century by a Protestant states- 
man. It was called the Grand Dessin of Henry IV, the 
king who issued the Edict of Nantes and introduced 
toleration in France; but its author was his minister 
Sully. It set forth a scheme of a Christian republic or 
commonwealth composed of all the States which professed 
the faith of Christ, with such limitations and conditions 



128 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 


that each of the associates may find in it satisfaction with 
adequate security for the tranquil life of their people. It 
has been noted that it is the first application in the scheme 
of international government of the federal conception 
which was dear to the Calvinists. 

The author rejects the idea of one supreme monarchy, 
whether temporal or spiritual. The spirit of God, he says, 
has given no sanction to a fifth monarchy established 
by the force of arms. 1 

That shadow of the ideas of the Middle Ages still 
hung over the polities of Christendom; but the statesmen 
and the thinkers in Protestant countries were searching 
for a basis of union which would assure peace without 
involving the sacrifice of religious or national independ- 
ence of the nations. Sully, who was “singularly free 
from the pedantry of precedent,” does not usually go 
back for authority for his ideas to the Bible or to anti- 
quity; but realizing that his scheme was not one which 
could find immediate acceptance and realization, he 
pointed the example of David and Solomon to the French 
king. “God chose two kings after His own heart, David 
and Henry the Great, and let their lives, their virtues, 
their defects, their influence, and their fortunes resemble 
one another in almost every respect. And at the close 
of their days he put into the heart of each a noble, reli- 
gious, glorious, and magnificent scheme giving them 
the grace and the means to make the preparations neces- 
sary . . . and yet for reasons known to Himself alone 
it was not His will that it should be accomplished by 


1 In the seventeenth century the power of Austria who claimed to be the 
successor of the Holy Roman Empire, and took as her motto “Austriae est 
Imperare Orbi Universo” (A.E.I.O.U.), was growing dangerously in Europe, 
and threatened the Balance of Power. v 



FROM REFORMATION TO FRENCH REVOLUTION 129 

their hands.” The scheme was not, indeed, to be accom- 
plished for another three hundred years . 1 * 3 

While Protestant statesmen were conceiving schemes 
of international government based on the idea of repre- 
sentation and federation, similar to the organization of 
the Protestant Churches, Protestant jurists, the successors 
of Grotius, were elaborating the ideas regarding a law 
of nature which should become a law of nations. The 
science was regularly called in the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries “The Law of Nature and Nations”: 
and in this formative period it was essentially ethical and 
even theological. Zouch, Barbeyrac, Pufendorf, Christian 
Wolff, and Vattel, the principal writers on the Law of 
Nations in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, are 
Protestants. They share the conviction that the relation 
of States with each other should be based on the Christian 
duty, and that the principles of the Gospel should 
dominate those relations not less than the relations 
between families and individuals. “The lingering con- 
ception of Christendom as a unity remained to inspire 
International Law.” As against the Roman Catholic 
jurists of the Middle Ages, they replaced the principle 
of authority by precepts of the Hebrew Bible and the 
Gospel, which they equated with the law of nature. z 
Thus Barbeyrac, a disciple of Grotius, maintains that the 

1 The projects of European union were not confined to Protestant statesmen 

and jurists. Among the more notable was that of Cardinal Alberoni “for 
reducing the Turkish Empire to the obedience of Christian Princes, together 
with a scheme for a Diet for establishing public tranquillity.” The author, the 
chief Minister of Spain, was in the succession of Dubois j but it is significant 
of the march of toleration that he proposed that the religious questions within 
the Empire of Constantinople should be established on the basis of the Peace 
of Westphalia. 

3 So much of the Old Testament as declared natural law was binding : and that 
included the Ten Commandments. 



1 3 0 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

will of God must be the sole foundation of international 
obligations, and there must be a sovereign to impose 
the obligations. Our reason is only ourselves; and nobody 
can impose a thing on himself. He rejects that part of 
the reasoning of Grotius which held that the law of 
nature was independent of God. Zwingli, one of the 
founders of the Protestant Churches, declared that the 
law of nature was written by God on our hearts and 
uttered in the Decalogue. It is nothing else, he said, than 
true religion. Christian Wolff, a German jurist of the 
early part of the eighteenth century, who styled himself 
Professor Generis Humani, declared that the Christian 
principle of love should be applied in the relations 
between nations. The States were members of a civitas 
maxima , which took the place of the civitas dei that 
the Roman Augustine had conceived. They are bound 
to one another by duties equal in extent to those which 
they owe themselves. The trouble in practice, as West- 
lake has remarked, was that the right of a nation to what 
other nations naturally owe it was an imperfect one and 
little recognized. 

Vattel, a Swiss who wrote a famous treatise on the law 
of nature and nations in the period before the outbreak 
of the French Revolution, maintained similarly the appli- 
cation of Christian principles. The conclusion of the 
doctrine of international law at that period is most con- 
cisely summarized by the French essayist Montesquieu: 
“The law of nations is founded on the principle that the 
different States must in peace do each other the greatest 
possible good, and in war the least possible evil without 
injuring their own interests. ” x That same principle was 
carried into the ideology of the French Revolution by 

1 Esprit des Lois , I, 3. 



FROM REFORMATION TO FRENCH REVOLUTION 13 1 

Jean Jacques Rousseau. The principles of rational 
philosophy expounded by the Encyclopaedists of the 
eighteenth century in France, and above all by Voltaire, 
were leading men to the same conclusion as the principles 
reached by the Protestant jurists starting from the idea 
of humanity as the children of one God. The leaders of 
the French Revolution laid down that no aggressive war 
was permissible, thus anticipating the Pact of Paris by 
one hundred and fifty years. They repudiated war, to use 
the modern terminology, as an instrument of national 
policy. Thus Condorcet declared that the French Republic 
will take up arms only for the maintenance of her liberty, 
the preservation of her territory, and the defence of her 
allies. Another moral leader of the Revolution, Abb6 
Gregoire, 1 declared that the particular interest of one 
people must be subordinated to the general interest of 
the human family. 

The thinkers of the Revolution marked the contrast 
between the ideal plans of the jurists and publicists and 
the actual dealings of the European States. Thus Rous- 
seau, in his pamphlet urging a union between the nations, 
says: “I read books on right and morality, I listen to 
learned men and lawyers. ... I look up and out, I see 
the horizon aflame, the countryside desolated, the cities 
given over to pillage. ... I look on a scene of murder, 
men slaughtered in their thousands . . . death and 
agony everywhere. This then is the fruit of your organiza- 
tion for peace. ” 2 He saw that in the absence of sanctions 

1 The Abb6 was the champion of Jewish emancipation in France. It was he 
who declared before the National Assembly in 1789: “Fifty thousand French- 
men arose this morning slaves j it depends on you whether they shall go to 
bed free men.” 

a Vattel, too, starts his Treatise on the La<iv of Nations : “Our maxims will 
appear very strange to the policies of cabinets.” 



1 3 z RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

the dictates of international law are phantoms, with even 
less power than natural law. His solution was a federal 
union of Europe. Another jurist philosopher at the 
beginning of the eighteenth century had conceived a 
bolder idea for putting an end to the incessant wars and 
securing a rule of law over peoples. Leibnitz, who like 
most of the political philosophers of the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries rejected the idea of a universal 
monarchy whether temporal or spiritual, sketched the 
plan of a federation of religions which would be the basis 
of a fresh unity in Europe, such as the spiritual supremacy 
of the Pope had sought but had not succeeded in 
obtaining. 

He was contemptuous of the schemes of world peace by 
a federation of the nations secured by treaty, and remarked 
that they reminded him of the inscription outside a 
churchyard which ran “Pax Perpetua.” “For the dead 
it is true fight no more, but the living are of another 
mind, and the mightiest among them have little respect 
for treaties.” 

The eighteenth century saw a revival of the belief in a 
state of nature, such as had been held by the Greek and 
Roman philosophers, when all men and things were at 
peace. As it is put in Popes Essay on Manx 

The state of nature was the reign of God: 

Self-love and social at her birth began, 

Union the bond of all things, and of man. 

Hobbes, the dominant political philosopher of England 
in the eighteenth century, stated the condition of man 
according to nature more correctly — “Homo Homini 
Lupus.” The pseudo-historical theory had no basis; 
but, on the other hand, the bitter fhet was that, since 



FROM REFORMATION TO FRENCH REVOLUTION 133 

the rejection of the rule of the Christian Church over 
Christendom, every nation was in a state of nature, that 
is, of savage nature, towards every other State, standing 
outside law, owning no control but its own, recognizing 
no legal rights to other communities. International law 
tended to be the limit of the conscience of the strongest 
King or State. 

A more constructive direction was given when the 
leaders of the colonists in the American States, reasoning 
from Christian principles, laid down the rights of the 
individual man as liberty, equality, and an opportunity 
to obtain happiness. The striving for social justice based 
on the principle that all men are created equal inspired 
the War of American Independence and subsequently 
the French Revolution. In America the movement was 
dominated by the religious conscience: in France by the 
philosophies of reason; in both countries it was ultimately 
derived from the principles of the Reformation, which in 
this sense is completed by the Revolution. 

To complete the sketch of the influence of religion on 
the relations of Western nations between the sixteenth 
and eighteenth centuries, we must return briefly to 
consider the development of the Papal power. At the 
beginning of the period of the Reformation the power of 
the Papacy, temporal and spiritual, seemed to be crumb- 
ling to pieces. It lost and never regained its sway over the 
northern part of Europe; but it was able to recover a large 
part of its power over the southern and eastern States 
because it was reformed from within. The necessity of 
reform and of the spiritual regeneration of the Catholic 
Church was acknowledged within the Church and induced 
the movement known as the counter-Reformation. The 
religious orders were revived ; and two new and powerful 



134 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

forces came into being: the Inquisition, or the Holy Office 
of the universal Church; and the Society of Jesus, com- 
monly known as the Order of Jesuits. The Inquisition 
was set up at Rome in 1 342 to combat heresy, but reached 
its greatest and most powerful development in the latter 
part of the fifteenth century in Spain and Portugal, where 
Christendom had at last prevailed over the Moors; and 
contrived to crush out by violence and irresistible force 
Christian heresy on the one side and Judaism and Islam 
on the other. 1 The Society of Jesus, on the other hand, 
was a powerful machinery and organization working by 
moral and intellectual forces. It spread not only through- 
out Europe but to Turkestan, China, and the Indies; 
and was a most effective instrument for carrying Christ- 
ianity to the peoples of the New World. 

The founder of the Order, Ignatius Loyola, had 
originally the ideal of a fresh crusade to recover the Holy 
Land for Christendom. He sojourned some time in 
Jerusalem, and was forced to leave because his dangerous 
enthusiasms were known. He then offered his services to 
the Pope to assist in re-establishing Catholic supremacy. 
He formed a band of devotees to extirpate Protestantism 
and to expel the half-hearted brethren instead of extir- 
pating the infidels. The Society oi Jesus was founded in 
1 540, and sent out its preachers and teachers to the new 
and the old Indies. A new continent was won by their 
efforts to Christendom, to compensate for the fall of 
the Byzantine Empire to the Turks. It was the function of 
Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to spread 
the Catholic Christian faith to the New World, and to 

1 Ferdinand of Spain, indeed, at the capture of Granada, promised the Moslem 
Moors respect for their institutions, religion, and language $ but a few years 
later he proceeded to force Christianity upon them. 



FROM REFORMATION TO FRENCH REVOLUTION 135 

establish there unity of creed and the brotherhood of 
believers. The Society of Jesus retained its power in Spain 
till our day, when it was dissolved by the Republic. 

If the influence of the Catholic Church was main- 
tained and spread by the new instruments, the power of 
the Pope himself was largely effaced during the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries while the wars of religion 
were mercilessly waged between Catholic and Protestant 
States. 1 The Pope lost his power of the peacemaker, save 
in the “Eastern Marches, ” where he could still claim 
to unite the Christian States against the menace of Islam. 
In 1526 he made a truce between the King of Poland 
and the Prince of Moscow; and in 1581 a Papal Nuncio 
induced Ivan the Terrible and the King of Poland to 
make peace. But although in the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries various Popes struck coins to 
commemorate the peace secured by them, the power of 
the Holy See in international affairs was almost elimin- 
ated. Occasionally a publicist suggested the revival of the 
peacemaking power. Thus the Abbe St. Pierre in his 
scheme of world peace proposed that the Pope should 
have one of the twenty-four places in the world-Senate, 
while Leibnitz, commenting on this proposal, suggested 
that the Pope in his Council should exercise a supreme 
judicial authority over princes. In the eighteenth century, 

1 The Peace of Passau, 1552, confirmed by the Diet of Augsburg, marked the 
definite break of the unity of the Church; but the Council of Trent, held 
between 1552 and 1562, emphatically restated the principles of mediaeval 
Catholicism. If the external power of the Church was broken, its internal 
cohesion was to be strengthened. We may note the characteristic of the Roman 
Church to emphasize its claims the more that the world challenges them. Like 
the Council of the Vatican in 1870, the Council of Trent in 1562 insisted on 
the complete supremacy of the Pope and the rejection of all liberal ideas. This 
uncompromising attitude forced the issue: and destroyed any hope of intellec- 
tual unity between the Christian powers. Catholics and Protestants must fight 
out the issue to the bitter end. 



1 36 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

however, the idea of a religious International Tribunal 
applying a rule of law between the nations could not 
prevail over the reigning principle of the balance of power 
and the reigning practice of military alliances. And when 
the political and social order collapsed, men’s minds 
turned not to the Church with its outworn claims and 
institutions, but to the dictates of reason and the yearning 
for a new and happier world. 

In his lectures on the development of civilization in 
Europe, Guizot points to the remarkable similarity of 
destiny between civil and religious societies that is 
exemplified in the Reformation and the French Revolu- 
tion. The Christian Society began as a number of free 
communities formed solely in virtue of a common creed, 
without institutions or government, and regulated only 
by moral powers. Then it placed itself under the aristo- 
cratic government of a body of clergy, and soon left that 
aristocratic form to assume that of a monarchy. The 
Pope, succeeding to the prerogatives of the Roman 
Empire, became supreme head of Christendom, and in 
the sixteenth century occurred the revolution against his 
monarchy. Similarly, in the civil society of Europe there 
was a development from the free, almost anarchical, 
communities of the early Middle Ages, through the 
aristocracy of the feudal period, to the powerful monar- 
chies of the period following the Reformation. The 
French Revolution marked the rise of the people against 
the monarchical tyrannies; and, universalizing in Europe 
the principles of the American Declaration of Indepen- 
dence, ushered in a new era of human history. 



CHAPTER VI 


FROM THE FRENCH REVOLUTION TO THE END 
OF THE GREAT WAR, 1918 

The French Revolution was essentially the fulfilment 
and the completion of the Reformation. The Reforma- 
tion emphasized the right and the dignity of the human 
individual against the power of authority, which was 
one aspect of Christianity, and minimized the principle 
of a common humanity, which was another aspect of the 
universalized Hebraic teaching. The Revolution re- 
established the first principle, and applied it in the 
Declaration of the Rights of Man. At the same time it 
revived the idea of the solidarity of mankind, and the 
union of the peoples. Its ideas in this direction, indeed, 
were obscured in the attempted world conquest by Napo- 
leon in order, as he said, to establish lasting peace; but 
they continued to work in European society throughout 
the nineteenth century with what may seem a painful 
slowness and with a tragic break in the Great War. 
Nevertheless, the pursuit of the ideal, at once religious 
and national, of a common humanity may be traced in 
the movement of thought throughout the period. It 
was struggling with the principle of the sovereign rights 
of nationality which was the prime motive of world 
policy between the French Revolution and the Great 
War, and was the cause of forty-four wars between 
1815 and 1915. The branch of sovereign nationalism 
also blossomed from the tree of the Revolution, and 
was stronger for a century than the branch of inter- 
national fraternity. The peoples as nations took over 



i 3 8 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

the powers and rivalries which their kings used to 
display . 1 

One of its first achievements was the abolition of 
the Holy Roman Empire, which had become since the 
Reformation a feeble and mischievous ghost of the 
conception of Gregory and Charlemagne. Its principal 
manifestations, however, were the deliverance of the 
Christian peoples of the Balkans from Turkish rule and 
the consolidation of Italy and Germany into national 
States. The European democracies fought for the right 
of separate State existence as relentlessly as, after the 
Reformation, States composed of conflicting religious 
nationalities had fought for independence from Roman 
domination. Religious differences between the subject 
nationality and the sovereign stimulated the national 
ardour, particularly in the Balkans, but were no longer 
the main motive of strife. 

The competing idea of human solidarity inspired 
at the beginning of the period various schemes of world 
government. It received its most philosophical expres- 
sion at the beginning of the nineteenth century from 
the German philosopher, Immanuel Kant. His treatise 
on Perpetual Peace is based on purely ethical reasoning, 
free from theological ideas; and in that he makes the 
characteristic approach of the new age which separated 
Church and State. Hitherto the schemes for establishing 
peace between the peoples had been devised by religious 
men starting from the principles of religion. In the nine- 
teenth century the movement flows in two streams — one 
with its source in reason, the other with its source in 
religion. But both move together towards the idea of 

1 One of the articles of the Declaration of the Rights of Man declares : “Le 
Principe de toute Souverainet£ reside essentiellemcnt dans la Nation/’ 



FROM FRENCH REVOLUTION TO END OF GREAT WAR 139 

the recognition of a common humanity and the reign of 
law. By close reasoning Kant shows that perpetual peace 
is the final good of ethical philosophy, the end of humanity 
demanded by reason; the aim of morals and of politics 
coincide. But he saw, too, as clearly as the Hebrew 
prophets, that peace could not be established except on 
the basis of justice. The condition of it, therefore, is the 
recognition by States that their dealings must be regu- 
lated by the same principles of justice and morality as 
govern the conduct of moral individuals. His thesis 
is the philosophical counterpart of the prophecy of 
Isaiah. He demands the inner regeneration of man; for 
the attainment of an ideal depends essentially upon a 
moral revolution. In each State there must be perfect 
honesty in act, and good faith in the interpretation of 
treaties. He looked to culture and education and morality 
to reform first the internal affairs and then the foreign 
relations of the State. The more highly developed the 
individuals who form a State, the more developed will 
be the consciousness of its obligations to other nations. 
First the country must obtain a perfect constitution 
according to right, and then there will be a federation of 
law-abiding Powers. Justice will reign not only in the 
State but in the whole human race when perpetual peace 
exists between the nations of the world. He ends his 
essay on a decisive note: “If it is our duty to make equal 
the conditions of public justice, and if there is reason- 
able hope of so doing, though only in gradual but 
unending approximations, then perpetual peace, which 
will follow on peace treaties, hitherto falsely so called, is 
no empty dream. ” 

Kant was justified in the reference to the “Peace 
Treaty falsely so called.” The Treaty of Vienna, which 



140 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

was made at the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars in 
1815, did not correspond with Kant’s principles any 
more than the Treaty of Versailles made at the end of 
the Great War corresponded with the principles of Presi- 
dent Wilson. It is one of the worst consequences of the 
devastating wars of modern times that the Moratorium 
of Ethics which they involve continues to the peace- 
making at their conclusion, and so plants the seed of future 
wars. The Treaty did, however, contain one manifesta- 
tion of the growing recognition of humanity which was 
inspired by a religious idea. It provided for the abolition 
of the slave trade; and, as it has been put, “staged a 
masque of the chief political vices with the crowning 
of virtue for an interlude/’ The demand for abolition 
was the work of a band of English Evangelical Christians 
led by Wilberforce, who roused English opinion to the 
disgrace of the slave trade that was ruthlessly pursued 
by the European peoples in the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries. The Quakers had prohibited it in their colony 
of Pennsylvania since the end of the seventeenth century. 
The French, too, demanded the abolition on the basis of 
their revolutionary principle of human equality. 

A hundred years before, Montesquieu had challenged 
the practice with his gentle irony ( Esprit des Lois , Bk. XV, 
chap. 5). 

If I had to define the right we had to make negroes slaves, I should 
say — the peoples of Europe having exterminated those of America 
had to enslave those of Africa in order to use them for preparing 
the lands. Agriculture would be too dear if the lands were not 
cultivated by slaves. These people are black from head to toe and 
have snub noses, so that it is almost impossible to pity them. We 
cannot imagine that God who is wise can put a soul, or a good 
soul, in a black ugly body. ... It is impossible to suppose that these 
people understand. If they did, we should begin to believe that we 



FROM FRENCH REVOLUTION TO END OF GREAT WAR i 4I 

are not Christians. Little minds exaggerate the injustice done to 
the Africans. If it were as they represent it, would it not have 
entered the heads of the living princes who make so many useless 
treaties to make a general treaty in favour of pity and mercy? 

The Revolution converted the irony of a philosopher to 
the conviction of a nation. In the English Parliament a 
bill abolishing the trade had been passed in 1807; and 
the English delegation, wherein “Wilberforce represented 
the conscience of England/’ succeeded in persuading the 
Congress of Vienna to lay down the abolition of the 
infamy as a principle of public law. 

Slavery, indeed, still subsisted internally in certain 
countries and was regarded as in accordance with the 
law of nature. The American Civil War, which broke 
out nearly fifty years later, had as one of its motives 
the stirring of the Christian conscience in the northern 
section of the United States against the legacy of the 
evil. 1 It took more than a hundred years to complete 
the work. An article of the final Act of the Berlin Con- 
ference, 1886, directed the signatories to co-operate in 
the suppression of slavery. The slavery convention made 
between all the members of the League of Nations at 
the conclusion of the Great War in 1920 marks the final 
acceptance by the civilized world of the religious principle 
of human equality. Its principles are reinforced in a 
Convention concerning forced labour which was adopted 
by a conference of the League of Nations in 1930, and 

1 Stephens, the Vice-President of the Confederated States, declared that the 
government of the Secession States was “founded on the great truth that the 
negro is not equal to the white man ; but slavery and subordination to 
the superior race is his natural and normal condition. . . . Secession became 
necessary when the North refused to recognize the great moral, political, and 
religious truth that there can be no other solid foundation than the slavery of 
the negro. It is indeed in conformity with the ordinances of the Creator.” 



I 4 2 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

was prompted by the representations of Christian mis- 
sionaries in Africa, that compulsory labour of the natives, 
such as was still practised in some colonies, was a denial 
of those fundamental rights. 

Christian ideas of humanity influenced another of the 
principal actors in the Congress of Vienna in a different 
way. Alexander I, Tsar of Russia, was moved in his 
public and private conduct by mystic piety; and he 
sought to establish a Holy Alliance of the European 
kings with a mission to substitute in all public relations 
the principles of the Gospels of Christ for the evil 
tradition of self-interest, and to enforce them by a secular 
instead of an ecclesiastical authority. The one thing neces- 
sary was to proclaim the adhesion of all Governments and 
of all public men to the principles of Christianity. A clear 
standard of right and duty would be set up. The Govern- 
ments of Europe, faithful to these ideas and free from 
the threat of revolution, would lead their peoples along 
the path of friendship and peace . 1 The convention 
embodying these principles was signed by all the 
sovereigns of Europe, great and small, except the Pope 
and the Sultan. The Pope was too busy with a new 
crusade against liberalism; the Sultan was not invited 
to sign, as the integrity of the Ottoman Empire found 
no place in the guarantees of the Vienna Treaty.* 

By one of the ironies of history the Holy Alliance 
has come to be regarded as a symbol of all that was 


* Temperley, Europe in the Nineteenth Century. 

2 7 'he Sultan of Turkey was admitted into the International Society of Europe 
at an assembly of the Powers after the Crimean War in 1856. Napoleon Bona- 
parte, reflecting the spirit of the French Revolution concerning the rights of 
man, was the first European in the East to recognize the place of the chief ruler 
of Islam in a community of States; there is an interval of fifty years before the 
sovereigns of Europe adopted his principle, and then it was imperfectly adopted. 



FROM FRENCH REVOLUTION TO END OF GREAT WAR 143 

oppressive and reactionary, because, together with its 
declaration of Christian principles, it laid down the 
doctrine that the Christian sovereigns were to assist 
each other in maintaining not only the integrity of their 
kingdoms but their existing constitutions. That part only 
of the large scheme of the Tsar was allowed to have 
effect. The cynical Metternich declared that it was “a 
loud-sounding nothing”; and the less cynical English 
Minister, Castlereagh, that it was “a piece of supreme 
mysticism and nonsense.” The latter diplomatically 
declared that the plan of Alexander for the confederation 
of Europe may be considered as constituting the Euro- 
pean system in matters of political conscience. “It would, 
however, be derogatory to the solemn acts of sovereigns 
to mix its discussion with the ordinary diplomatic obliga- 
tions which bind State to State and which are to be 
looked for alone in the treaties which have been con- 
cluded in the accustomed form.” In this way the Christian 
principle was relegated to the safe obscurity of a declara- 
tion, and the British Foreign Minister, Canning, could 
declare in 1823, “Things are getting back to a wholesome 
state again; every nation for itself, and God for us all.” 

Great Britain protested successfully against the prin- 
ciple of intervention in the internal affairs of other States. 
She did so on behalf of the fundamental idea of the 
liberty of the peoples; but the effect of her opposition 
to the Alliance was to keep moral and religious ideas 
divorced from the political affairs of Europe. The new 
wine of nationalism finally broke the old quasi-mediaeval 
bottle of the Alliance in 1848. 

If the Christian aspiration of the Holy Alliance re- 
mained a problem of speculation and hope, without 
effect on policy, a similar fate overtook the plan for the 



144 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

revival of the spiritual domination of the Pope. That 
plan was put forward by the leaders of the romantic 
Catholic revival in France which followed the wars of 
the Revolution. “The challenge to tradition led to a 
temporary regeneration of the Latin Church as the head 
of a Christian commonwealth. In a famous book entitled 
Du Pape , De Maistre in 1819 sought to revive the 
doctrine of Papal supremacy, the recognition of the Pope 
in all causes, temporal and spiritual, as the inspired guide 
of the Christian nations. 1 But the cause broke on the rock 
of the temporal sovereignty of the Pope in Italy, which 
roused against the Church the ardour of liberal minds, 
not only in Italy but through Europe. 

Yet it is remarkable that an English Protestant, a 
Liberal knight-errant, who had fought in the War of 
Greek Independence, conceived the idea of restoring 
the Pope as the spiritual sovereign. David Urquhart 
published in 1869 an appeal of Protestants to the Pope 
to restore by his edict the law of nations according to 
Christian principles. The year previously a body of 
English Catholics made a similar appeal to the Pope. 

Let us look back to the ancient institutions, the College of the 
Fetials, who contributed powerfully to the grandeur of Rome and 
even to the law of the Moslems. Similar laws appear to us to be 
necessary in a good society. If the Catholic Church does not raise 
her voice, these traditions will disappear in Europe, crushed by 
material interests and by the aspirations of vainglory. . . . 2 

The proposal for a restatement of international law 
on Christian principles was on the programme of the 
Vatican Council in 1870. But the outbreak of the Franco- 

1 Dc Maistre was the founder of the Catholic movement Ultramontanism, 
which was so called because it looks for inspiration beyond the Alps to Rome. 

* See Muller, The Work of the Christian Churches for International Peace, I, 372. 
Recueil des Cours, 1930. 



FROM FRENCH REVOLUTION TO END OF GREAT WAR x 45 

Prussian War during the sessions of the Council cut 
short its deliberations; and nothing resulted on this head, 
save that the members of the Concilium proposed to the 
Pope that the Council should declare authentic the 
passages of the Canon law which treat of the law of 
nations and of war. The Pope in this period of com- 
bative nationalism could not work whole-heartedly for 
international peace because he was concerned for his own 
temporal power, which forced him to take sides in the 
international struggles. 

The Vatican Council of 1869-1870 was the first 
oecumenical assembly held for three hundred years since 
the Council of Trent assembled after the Reformation. 
It was conceived “as an extraordinary remedy for the 
extraordinary needs of the Christian world.” For three 
hundred years the spiritual and civil powers of the world 
had been parted; and the Christian Governments were 
lapsing into the state of pagan Caesarism by which the 
State was deified. 1 A few months after the termination 
of the Council, the temporal power of the Pope was 
broken. In September 1870, after the outbreak of the 
Franco-Prussian War had caused the French troops 
which protected the Papal power to be withdrawn, the 
Italian troops occupied Rome, save the Leonine city of 
the Vatican. The Pope, Pius IX, resisted to the bitter 
end, and would not surrender till a breach was made in 
the walls of the city. 

Immediately before the loss of the temporal power, he 
had revived in an extreme form the ecclesiastical claims 
of the Roman Pontiff of the Middle Ages. “He flung 
down the gauntlet of challenge to the nineteenth-century 

1 See “The True Story of the Vatican Council,” by Cardinal Manning, The 
Nineteenth Century , 1876. 



i 4 6 religious foundations of internationalism 

civilization.” 1 He first published a Syllabus of Errors in 
which he maintained unmodified the claims of authority 
over civil affairs and opinion. Socialism, Communism, 
and Bible societies are condemned together as pestilence. 
It is an error of civil society to hold that kings and princes 
are exempt from the jurisdiction of the Church. It is an 
error to separate the Church from the State or the State 
from the Church. The sons of the Christian and Catholic 
Church are not divided in opinion as to the compatibility 
of the temporal sovereignty with the spiritual. (This was 
inserted to uphold his claim to political territorial 
sovereignty.) 

The last thesis of the Syllabus is that a Roman pontiff 
cannot and ought not to reconcile himself or come to 
terms with progressive liberalism and modern civilization. 
Finally, at the Vatican Council he succeeded in carrying 
a decree asserting Papal infallibility. The decree, entitled 
Pastor JEternus , pronounces “the infallible magisterium 
of the Roman Pontiff.” 2 

Thus, as at the time of the Reformation, the Catholic 
Church stood against any compromise with new ideas, 
and reasserted its full claim of divine authority over 
human action and human thought. Yet it is a remarkable 
proof of the vitality of its religious ideas that it has 
contrived to retain moral power in an atmosphere which 
is repugnant in many ways to it. One significant change 

1 Bury, The Papacy in the Nineteenth Century. Macmillan, 1930. 

3 “It is a dogma divinely revealed ; when the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra , 
and, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine to be 
held by the universal Church concerning faith or morals ... he enjoys that 
infallibility by which the Divine Redeemer wished his Church to be instructed 
in the definition of doctrine concerning faith or morals; and therefore such 
definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable of themselves, and not by 
virtue of the consent of the Church. Whoever shall presume to contradict this 
our definition, let him be anathema.” 



FROM FRENCH REVOLUTION TO END OF GREAT WAR 147 

was made in 1870 from the procedure of former Papal 
Councils. The temporal princes were not invited because 
they were no longer true Catholics. On the other hand, 
when the temporal dominion of the Pope was taken 
away, the Italian State passed a Law of Guarantees, by 
which the head of the Roman Catholic Church should 
have all the necessary assurances for the independent 
exercise of his spiritual power. 

The opposing idea of the government of humanity 
by free peoples living in harmony and co-operation, 
without a temporal or spiritual overlord, was stated most 
impressively by another Italian of the nineteenth cen- 
tury, the prophet of modern nationalism, Joseph Mazzini. 
For him nationality was essentially a religious and moral 
conception. It was the link divinely conceived between 
the individual and the family and humanity. Each 
people, he said, has its particular mission by which it 
makes its contribution to the fulfilment of the general 
mission of humanity; it is that mission which constitutes 
its nationality. Nationality is a sacred thing and a religious 
idea. But there must be complete freedom of opinion, and 
neither national nor religious tyranny. As he put it in his 
essay From the Council to God : 

Mosaism elaborated the idea of the divine unity and preserved 
the sacred deposit for the future by incarnating it in a people. . . . 
Hold sacred the religious faith which unites millions in a common 
past of love and action, but hold sacred also the heresy wherein, 
it may be, lies the germ of the faith of the future. Represent the 
first in your fraternal associations; but fail not to protect the second 
from all intolerance. 

Or again, in the same essay : 

The reign of the Caesars gave a unity to civilization which force 
imposed on Europe. The reign of the Popes gave a unity to civiliza- 



i 4 8 religious foundations of internationalism 

tion that authority imposed on the Christians. The reign of the 
people, when you Italians are nobler than you are now, will give 
a unity to civilization accepted by the free consent of the nations 
for humanity. . . . 

Mazzini was in revolt against the Roman Church, but 
he was essentially a religious teacher, a truer successor 
of the Hebrew prophets and of the founders of the 
Christian teaching than the ecclesiastics of the Vatican, 
His struggle for the union of the Italian nation he con- 
ceived as a sacred religious struggle. ‘‘Political parties,” 
he said, “fall and die; religious parties never die until 
they have achieved their victory, until their vital principle 
has attained its development and become identical with 
the progress of civilization.” 

Another and less noble conception of nationalism, 
however, prevailed in Europe during the latter part of the 
nineteenth century. Going beyond the standpoint of 
Hegel that a State is a realized ethical idea, it asserted 
the absolute claims of the sovereign nation against 
humanity. It is expressed most clearly in the writing of 
a German philosopher, Nietzsche. He sought to revive 
the pagan creed of Thor and Odin, the worship of might 
and valour, which had been the primitive faith of the 
ancestors of the Germans. 

Ye have heard [says his new Zoroaster] how it was said. — Blessed 
are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. But I say unto you, 
blessed are the valiant, for they shall make the earth their throne 
. . . and ye have heard many say — blessed are the peacemakers; 
but I say unto you, blessed are the war-makers, for they shall be 
called, if not the children of Jehovah, the children of Odin, who is 
greater than Jehovah. 

It was that spirit of unrestrained ^militant nationalism 
spreading from Germany to western and eastern Europe 



FROM FRENCH REVOLUTION TO END OF GREAT WAR 149 

that brought about the calamity of the Great Wan It had 
as its motive the divorce of the principles of Hebraism, 
as embodied in Christianity, from national policy, and 
the revival of the pagan outlook on peace and war and 
on the relation of the individual to the State. Another 
German exponent of the doctrine, Treitschke, in his 
theory of the State lays down that the individual must 
sacrifice himself for the community of which he is a 
member. The State is the highest thing in the community 
of men, and so it cannot impose upon itself any obliga- 
tion of self-denial. The Christian duty of self-sacrifice 
does not exist for the State because there is nothing 
higher than self. The sacrifice of the State to a strange 
nation is not moral, but is contrary to the idea of the 
affirmation of itself. That is a modern restatement of the 
Machiavellian “amoral” doctrine, which held sway not 
only in Germany but in a large part of Europe and led to 
disaster. 

Against that outlook the humanitarian idea was 
struggling throughout the century. It showed itself in 
part in the organization of peace societies based on 
religious teaching. The first of such societies was founded 
in New York by one David Dodge in 1815, at the end 
of the Napoleonic Wars, on the basis of a pamphlet that 
war was inconsistent with the Christian religion. The 
first British society was founded a year later. In the first 
half of the century the societies throughout the world 
were working in isolation, mainly engaged in propagating 
religious and humanitarian pacifism. At a later stage, 
under the influence of the Free Trade movement, eco- 
nomic ideas were combined with the idea of peace; and 
the societies co-operated with other groups working for 
humanitarian objects such as temperance and the aboli- 



I 5 0 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

tion of slavery. Gradually their programme became more 
practical, and they looked less to a strict pacifism than to 
the spread of international law and to the introduction 
of humanitarian principles in the conduct of war. 

The first International Conference of the Associated 
Peace Societies was held in London in 1843. At a subse- 
quent conference in Paris in 1849 Victor Hugo prophe- 
sied that a day would come 

when a cannon-ball would be exhibited in a public museum just 
as instruments of torture are now, and people will be amazed that 
such a thing could be. . . . And a day will come when those two 
immense groups, the United States of America and the United 
States of Europe, will be so placed in the presence of each other 
working for the good of those two irresistible powers, the fraternity 
of man and the power of God. 1 

At the end of the nineteenth century the movement bore 
fruit in another attempt of a Russian Tsar to give 
effect to Christian principles in international relations. 
Nicholas II summoned a conference of all the States of 
the world, the first which had been held, at The Hague in 
1899, to discuss the establishment of international arbi- 
tration as a means of settling the differences between 
nations and putting an end to war. One of the influences 
which moved him was a book on the Future of War, by a 
Polish Jew of Warsaw, Jean de Bloch. The theme of 
the book was that war will finally become impracticable 
because it will be so unthinkably and unbearably destruc- 

1 The history of the movement has been most fully recorded by a Jewish 
internationalist, Fried, who was one of the prominent leaders of the Peace 
organization, and one of the first winners of the Nobel prize for Peace. Another 
expression of the humanitarian ideal of the nineteenth century was the religion 
of Humanity, which was conceived by the Positivist philosopher Comte. The 
idea of God is superseded by the idea of the Great Being, Humanity, as the 
object of the universal religion. 1 



FROM FRENCH REVOLUTION TO END OF GREAT WAR 151 

tive. The question before humanity was, When would 
that truth be recognized among the Governments and 
the peoples? His appeal to common sense and to humanity 
failed at the beginning of the twentieth century; it has 
since been strengthened by the experience of the destruc- 
tion and the convulsions of the World War, which realized 
all too fully what he had foretold. 

Another Russian writer to call the world to peace — in 
vain — was Tolstoi, who demanded a return to the 
principles of literal Christianity. 1 

The Hague Conference, at which at last “all the world 
was in one room,” did not fulfil all the hopes of its 
convener; but it did succeed in framing a system of 
international arbitration which was further developed in 
a second conference at The Hague in 1907. Its main 
achievement, however, was an effort, not to substitute 
arbitration for war, but to humanize the conduct of 
war on land and sea. The conventions which sought 
to give effect to certain principles of humanity did not 
stand the strain of the Great War, but they exemplified 
the movement of opinion. 

The remarkable development of the international law 
of peace during the nineteenth century is another illus- 
tration of that movement. It was largely the work 
of jurists moved, like the founders of the science, by 

1 In his book, The Kingdom of God is Within Tou y Tolstoi declared that, from 
its first appearance, there entered into Christianity two opposite currents: the 
one establishing a new conception of life which it gave to humanity, and the 
other perverting the true Christian doctrine into a pagan religion. 1 his con- 
tradiction has attained in our day the highest degree of tension which expresses 
itself in universal armaments. In a later book entitled Christianity and P airiotism t 
he maintained that patriotism was no longer a virtue, when it required from 
men not the recognition of brotherhood and equality of all men, but the recog- 
nition of one State and nationality as predominant over the rest, which was 
directly opposed to the ideal of the Christian religion and morality. 



x 5 a RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

religious principles, even if they were no longer swayed by 
theology. Thus Sir Henry Maine, one of the outstanding 
English international jurists, in lectures given in 1887 
at Cambridge, lays down that there is a natural and posi- 
tive law of nations. By its provisions every State in relation 
with other States is bound to conduct itself with justice, 
good faith, and benevolence. “The Christian nations, 
above all, are bound together by the brighter light and 
the more definite sanction which Christianity has com- 
municated to the ethical jurisprudence of the ancients, 
and have established a law o.f nations peculiar to them- 
selves. They form together a community united by reli- 
gion, morals, and humanity.” 1 

War, however, was still regarded as a necessity of 
the international society. The change of ideas that has 
taken place since the latter half of the nineteenth century 
with regard to the relation of leligion to war may be 
appreciated by a glance at a book published in 1879 2 by 
one of the leaders of the English Church. The mutual 
slaughter of the peoples of Christian nations in war is 
not, by the law of the Church, as he argues, the slightest 
break in the Christian fellowship. The communion of 
the Church unites one side spiritually with the other. 
. . . The Christian recognition of the right of war was 
contained in Christianity’s original recognition of nations 
as constituting at the same time the division and structure 
of the human world. War is one of the inherent rights 
of nations, because, under the division of mankind into 
distinct nations, it becomes a necessity. Each people is 
a centre to itself without amenableness to any other centre. 
Questions of justice and right which arise between them 

1 Sec Maine’s International Law. John^Murray, 1890. 

3 Mozley, University Sermons. London, 1879. 



FROM FRENCH REVOLUTION TO END OF GREAT WAR 153 

cannot be decided except by mutual agreement or force. 
War corresponds between nations to the judicial settle- 
ment of disputes between individuals; and so comes also 
within the Church. It is this judicial character of war, and 
its lawful place in the world as a mode of obtaining 
justice, that gives it its morality and enables it to produce 
a solemn type of character. 

The writer does not contemplate any escape from 
war. A government of nations would be nothing short 
of universal empire; and can that be accomplished by 
any progress? Whatever approximations may take place 
towards a relaxation of the national tie, the alternative 
is still inexorable between independent nations and uni- 
versal empire; and as universal empire is impossible, 
only division in nations remains. He rejects the idea of 
international arbitration for serious issues. It is difficult 
to see how in questions vitally affecting its basis and 
safety a nation could go on any other sense of justice than 
its own. 

He rejects still more brusquely the suggestion of the 
application of Christian principles to the affairs of nations. 

It may be said, why may not a nation give up its rights on the 
principles of humanity and generosity as an individual does? But to 
impose such humility on a nation would be to impose on it some- 
thing quite different in ethical constitution from the same humility 
in an individual. The national abandonment of rights means the 
individual sacrificing the nation. . . . Thus every prospect which 
the progress of society appears to open of eradicating war from the 
system of the world closes as soon as we examine it. 

Nevertheless, the appeal to Christian principles in the 
differences which arose between nations — minor Powers 
it is true — was occasionally successful. A notable example 
was the peaceful settlement of the quarrels of the two 



i 5 4 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

South American States, Argentine and Chile, through 
the intervention of the Pope. That achievement was 
commemorated by a vast statue of Christ carved in the 
rock on one of the highest of the Andes mountains with 
the following inscription: 

Sooner shall these mountains crumble into dust than Argentine 
and Chile shall break the peace to which they have pledged them- 
selves at the feet of Christ . 1 

A few years later, in 1 905, the Papal Nuncio carried out 
an arbitration between Brazil and Bolivia; and the Pope 
was nominated as arbitrator in a treaty of permanent 
arbitration between Colombia and Peru. When in recent 
years war threatened between Bolivia and Peru, the 
Pope intervened, together with the League of Nations, 
successfully. If Europe has not returned to her old 
allegiance, South America is turning to the Pope to fill 
his historical role of judge between his nations. Yet it is 
notable that the various States, though all Catholic, 
jealously guard their national independence. 

It is one of the minor but tragic ironies of that fatal 
year 1914 that the leaders of the peace movement 
within the Christian Churches had planned for the 
month of August tw r o conferences which were to give 
a more solid foundation to the religious organization of 
peace. On the very day that war was declared between 
Germany and Russia representatives of the Churches 
other than the Roman Catholic assembled at Constance, 
and in spite of the outbreak of war formed a world 
alliance for promoting international friendship through 
the Churches. They laid down the principles of the 
Alliance which are set out in Chapter I above. 

1 A copy of the statue has been placed in the Palace of Peace at The Hague. 



FROM FRENCH REVOLUTION TO END OF GREAT WAR 155 

In that same fatal year 1914 Andrew Carnegie 
founded in America the Church Peace Union, with the 
intention that the combined religious life of America 
should be brought to bear on the question of securing 
peace on earth. 

The societies all over the world working for peace kept 
alive their movement with conviction and enthusiasm 
throughout the Great War. Their main ideas were 
embodied in the Covenant of the League of Nations, 
which was brought into existence in the Peace Treaties. 
The war itself proved the impossibility of maintaining 
Christian principles between enemies when once the 
passions of war are aroused. It proved, too, that in 
modern times, when war involves not only the armed 
forces but the whole population, a long-continued 
struggle compels the silencing of ethics. Inter arma 
silent mores might be the maxim. It was noted that re- 
ligious emotion returned to its primitive form; and in 
every country led the people and the religious leaders of 
the people to claim the deity as their particular protector 
and to regard victory as a mark of His special favour, 
after the same manner as the peoples of Canaan or the 
Hebrew people in the time of the Judges and Samuel. 
Modern man in war reverts to the outlook of the primi- 
tive age when each tribe fought for its own god and 
expected its god to fight for it. 1 

Even the clergy subordinated to national limitations 
their faith in a gospel of charity. They were patriots 
before they were priests; and their patriotism was as 
limited and as narrow in many cases as that of the people 
who looked to them for light and truth. A leading 
divine in England wrote at the beginning of the war: 

1 Bryce’s War Addresses. 



156 religious foundations of internationalism 

“Men awoke to the discovery that the Churches had 
become parasitic, bestowing their facile consecration on 
every national ambition, and failing to rebuke any national 
crime.” The disunion of the Christian Church was un- 
concealed and glaring. 

During the war, indeed, the Pope made several attempts 
to be a peacemaker, as the head of all Christian Powers 
and the upholder of the rights of the Christian Churches. 
The first intervention was made a few months after the 
outbreak of war; and the final attempt was made in 
August 1917, when Benedict XV sought to frame 
general heads of peace. “Shall the civilized world,” he 
wrote, “become a field of death?” Among the principles 
which he posited was the substitution of the moral force 
of right for the material strength of arms. His proposals 
received scant sympathy from the Allies. The United 
States Government in reply stated that every heart must 
be touched by the moving appeal of His Holiness, and 
fervently wish that we might take to the path of peace; 
but it would be folly to take it if it did not in fact lead 
to the goal which he proposed. England, France, and 
Italy did not deign to notice the appeal, presumably 
because the other Allied Powers had agreed in a secret 
treaty with Italy that they were to support her in not 
allowing the representatives of the Holy See to under- 
take any diplomatic steps having for their object the 
conclusion of peace. 

It was not till the war was over and the nations were 
again assembled in a Peace Conference that the voice 
of the religious appeal for humanity could be heard. 
Then the World Alliance for International Friendship 
through the Churches renewed its efforts; and the 
gathering at The Hague in 1918 passed a declaration : 



FROM FRENCH REVOLUTION TO END OF GREAT WAR i 57 

We are convinced that the time has come when a strenuous effort 
should be made by all Christians to realize all that is implied in 
Christ’s teaching of the brotherhood of mankind, and to impress 
alike on themselves and on others that here alone lies the hope of 
permanent peace among the nations and of any true solution of 
social and industrial progress. 

From the beginning of the nineteenth century two parallel 
streams had been working for international understanding 
and peace, the one having its source in religion, the other 
in social ethics. The catastrophe of the war brought it 
home to the thinking man that the existing international 
order was based on the false principle of absolute national 
sovereignty which, if it were maintained, was likely to 
imperil our civilization and bring it to an end. The world 
had become economically one, and the progress of the 
physical and mechanical sciences had, on the one hand, 
proved the unity of mankind, and, on the other, anni- 
hilated the old divisions of time and space. Unity in the 
sphere of economics and in the teaching of science does 
not, however, of itself produce a unified society. It was 
imperative that the moral and political order of the world 
should harmonize with these new circumstances; and 
so from the side of ethical philosophers there was a 
renewed demand for the organization of the international 
society on the basis of a common ethical unity. As it was 
put by Bertrand Russell: “There is now, if men have 
the courage to use it, an awakening of heart and mind 
such as the world has never known before. 0 

The ideals of jurists and the doctrines of universal 
religion, which had for centuries outstripped the practice 
of statesmanship, are now necessary axioms of that 
statesmanship. From the religious side it was recognized 
that the Church had fallen too long below its highest 



x 5 8 religious foundations of internationalism 

principles, and as a consequence there had been a Gotter- 
dammerung of religion. Return must be made to the saving 
doctrines of another age of the destruction and renewal 
of society. The Church must be an international Christian 
commonwealth refusing to be moved from the principles 
of the Gospel. The Archbishop of York, preaching at 
Geneva before the Assembly of the Disarmament Con- 
ference in 1932, declared that the anti-social and anti- 
Christian relations of European peoples for centuries 
were the real cause of the chaos of the war. Men began 
to realize what Kant had pointed out at the beginning 
of the nineteenth century, that the hope of improving 
relations between the States and the peoples depended 
ultimately upon the moral progress of the individuals 
who composed the communities; and in that moral 
revolution religion must play a part. 



CHAPTER VII 


ISLAM AND THE NATIONS 


Few events in human history are more remarkable than 
the sudden appearance and triumph of Islam in the 
early part of the seventh century of the Common Era. 
In 629, the Christian Emperor Heraclius, a great 
warrior, crushed the Zoroastrian Persians who had 
captured Jerusalem and carried off the Holy Cross. He 
set up the Cross again in Jerusalem, and instituted a 
new festival to mark its restoration. In that same year 
some of his Arabian troops beyond Jordan were attacked 
by a small band of Arab tribesmen from the interior 
desert and barely escaped. Within a period of twenty 
years, what were regarded as the wild tribesmen of 
Arabia conquered a great part of the Eastern Empire 
of Rome which had been consolidated for nearly a thou- 
sand years, dominated Christianity in its original home, 
and established a progressive civil form of government 
over Arabia, Syria, Mesopotamia, Persia, and Egypt. 
The unification of Arabia by the Prophet himself, which 
preceded this astounding Arab conquest, was scarcely 
regarded by the rulers of the Roman Empire ; but it was 
as miraculous. We are not concerned here with the story 
of the wars of the Prophet and his successors, but we 
must note the connection of his new religion with the 
two missionary monotheistic faiths which he to a great 
extent supplanted in the Orient. 

His teaching was profoundly influenced by both 
Jewish and Christian doctrines that had been brought 
into Arabia. The Jews, from the time of the Roman 



160 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Dispersion, had established themselves in many parts of 
the Arabian Peninsula, and were active missionaries of 
their teaching and traditions. They found there a securer 
and more liberal home than within the confines of the 
Christian Empire. Prevented from spreading their faith 
within that Empire, they were the more induced to 
convert the pagans outside it. The Christians in Arabia 
were less numerous and less powerful ; but they included 
a number of missionaries who were likewise seeking to 
win the Arab tribes from their paganism. The Prophet 
derived his ethical monotheism largely from Jewish 
doctrine; and it is significant that he originally instructed 
his followers to turn in prayer towards Jerusalem and 
to observe the Day of Atonement. It was later when the 
break had come with the Jews of Arabia — who opposed 
him — that the Kiblah was turned towards Mecca and 
the Fast of Ramadan was instituted. 

The triumph of the followers of the new religion over 
the outwardly powerful Byzantine Empire was due to 
the disintegration — national, social, and religious — which 
had sapped the inner strength of that Empire. A debased 
Christianity and a corrupt Zoroastrianism had been 
fighting for a long period for dominion over the Eastern 
lands. “Incessant war for supremacy and perpetual 
internecine strife, combined with the ceaseless wrangling 
of creeds and sects, had sucked the life-blood out of the 
heart of the nations/’ 1 

Islam also set free the Semitic peoples from the 
tyrannies of Greek and Persian rulers. As Professor 
Noldeke pointed out, 2 the Moslems were aided by many 
of the inhabitants of Syria and Egypt who, being Mono- 

1 See Sayid Ameer Ali, The Spirit, of Islam. 

* Noldeke, Sketches from Eastern History. 



ISLAM AND THE NATIONS 161 

physite heretics, were ruthlessly oppressed by the Ortho- 
dox Byzantines; while in Persia the Christian Nestorians 
who were persecuted by the Zoroastrians looked to 
the Arabs as saviours, and in both Empires the Jews 
welcomed the invaders as their deliverers. When later 
the Moors invaded Spain, the Jews who were oppressed 
by the Visigoths likewise joined them. 

The new message of a simple Monotheism spread 
with the rapidity of an electric current from the power- 
house at Mecca. The Prophet proclaimed himself the 
teacher of a religion for the Arab peoples. He was the 
first effective religious reformer in that vast land, “See/' 
he said in his Testament, “that there be this one faith 
throughout Arabia.” Yet he was looking at the end of 
his days beyond Arabia. He is reported to have sent out 
six missionaries to the chief rulers notifying them to 
embrace Islam, and to have proclaimed his teaching as 
the one religion. As we have seen, he sent also his armed 
followers to invade the Byzantine realm, which suggests 
that he conceived a territorial expansion. 

Circumstances led his successors to convey the message 
to all mankind, “to the ends of the earth.” The Arab 
tribes left their desert peninsula, and went out to conquer. 
Inspired with the new faith they were a body of warrior- 
priests. In their first onset they spread the Arab creed 
and Arabic language over half of the Western world. 
And after their first onset was spent, missionaries carried 
the teaching over Asia and Africa. Islam became at once 
and remained through the ages a tremendous unifying 
force which abolished race and tribe and kneaded the 
peoples together. Its great appeal to the races of Africa and 
Asia has been that it realizes the principle of religious 
brotherhood more than any other religion. “It incor- 



i 6 i RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

porates the weak races into a world-wide fellowship of 
which they at once feel the sustaining force, whereas 
Christianity has often appeared as exclusive and even 
hostile.” 1 The white man, according to the Prophet’s 
teaching, is not above the black, nor the black above the 
yellow. All are equal before their Maker. 

Religion was to be a bond of union. “Remember,” the 
Prophet said, “the kindness of God to you who were 
formerly enemies. He has now bound your hearts 
together, so that through His goodness you may become 
brothers.” 2 The various sections of Moslems were united 
by the use of the Arabic language for prayer and by the 
pilgrimage to Mecca. 

Islam then transcends nationalism. It aims at being 
universal, and its universality is bound up with a theo- 
cratic empire, like the universality of the Church. It 
depends on the extension of the kingdom of God. Within 
that kingdom there may be subject peoples serving the 
one God in a different way, but they are in an inferior 
position to the true believers. 

The principle of the Prophet in Arabia was to tolerate 
Jews and Christians who were monotheists, but to ex- 
terminate paganism. In the first period of his government 
he offered to the Jews equal rights with the Moslems. 
The Pact of Medina granted in the first year of the Hegira 
(corresponding to a.d. 622) starts with the declaration: 

In the name of the most merciful and compassionate God, given 
by Mohamed the Prophet to the believers . . . and all persons of 
whatever origin who have made common cause with them: all 
together shall constitute one nation (Umma) over against mankind. 

. . . The state of peace and war shall be common to all Moslems. 
None among them shall have the right of concluding peace or 

1 See Gore, Philosophy of the Good Life f p. 108. 3 Koran, chap. iii. 97. 



ISLAM AND THE NATIONS 163 

declaring war separately from other believers. The Jews who attach 
themselves to us shall be protected from insults. They shall have 
equal rights with our people to our assistance. . . . The Jews of 
the various tribes . . . form a community alongside the Moslems. 
They shall practise their religion and the Moslems theirs: their 
clients shall enjoy the same security and freedom . 1 

Before long, however, the Jews opposed Mohamed and 
provoked his wrath; and the attack on the followers of 
the Prophet by hostile tribes led him to exhort his 
followers to war for the defence of their faith. It would 
have been impossible to expect a creed of pacifism in 
the Arabian peninsula inhabited by its wild, warring 
tribes; but the notion that Islam was from the beginning 
aggressively militant and a persecuting faith is an error. 
The faithful were first ordered to fight for the protection 
and defence of their faith against hostile pagan tribes 
in Arabia, which included many of the kin of the Prophet 
himself. There is a certain progress to fierceness in the 
texts of the Koran with regard to war. In Chapter II the 
exhortation to moderation in war is given : 

Fight in the name of God those who fight you; but exceed not 
the limit. For God loves not those who exceed the limit. . . . 
Fight till there is no persecution, and the judgment be God’s. 
But if they desist, let there be no hostilities save against the un- 
just. . . . They will ask thee concerning the sacred month whether 
they may war therein; and answer — “To war therein is grievous, 
but to obstruct the way of God and to keep men from His holy 
mosque is more grievous in the sight of God: and persecution is 
more grievous than war in the sacred month.”* 

In a later chapter the promise of reward in the world 

1 R. Levy. The Sociology of Islam , p. 275. 

3 The “truce of God,” which was observed by the warring Arab tribes during 
the sacred months, was the prototype of the “truce of God” which the Church 
sought to introduce into Western Christendom. See above, Chapter IV. 



164 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

to come is held out to those who fall fighting in the true 
faith, as though to indicate that the followers had to be 
exhorted to fight for their faith : 

Let them therefore fight for the religion of God who part with 
the present hope in reaching for that which is to come. For whoever 
fightest for the faith of God, whether he be slain or victorious, 
will gain a great reward. . . . When war is commanded, behold 
a part of them fear man as they should fear God ; and say, “where- 
fore, O Lord, hast thou commanded us to go to war and hast 
not suffered us to wait our approaching end ?” But say to them — 
The provision of this life is but small ; but the future shall be 
better for him who feareth God, and ye shall not be injured in 
the day of judgment. 

The doctrine of the Jihad, or perseverance, appearing 
in a later chapter sounds a more aggressive note, from the 
period when the new faith was being spread over the 
peoples of Arabia: 

Oh Prophet, stir up the faithful to war. And if there be a hundred 
of you they shall overcome two hundred; for God is with him 
who perseveres; it hath not been granted unto any prophet that 
he should possess the captives till he hath made great slaughter of 
the infidels on earth. 

The character of a holy war is attached to the struggle of 
Islam against the pagan tribes of Arabia, as to the struggle 
of Israel against the pagan tribes of Canaan. 

When ye encounter the unbelievers, strike off their heads until 
ye have made a slaughter of them. If God pleases he would take 
vengeance upon them without your assistance: but he commandeth 
you to fight his battles. 

While the Prophet exhorted his followers to slay the 
heathens who threatened them, he from the beginning 
inculcated the duty of toleration towards peoples of the 



ISLAM AND THE NATIONS i6j 

Book who yielded, that is, the Jews and the Christians 
who had received a divine revelation. One of the teach- 
ings of the Koran is, “Let there be no compulsion in 
religion. What, wouldst thou force men to believe, when 
belief comes only from God?” 1 Or again : “The difference 
of opinions in any community is a sign of divine mercy.” 
The peoples of the Book must submit indeed to the 
faithful and remain in a position of inferiority; but 
provided they pay tribute, they should be allowed to 
carry out their religion freely and to be judged by their 
own law. The choice was given of either protection on 
payment of tribute, or perfect equality with the Arabs on 
condition of the acceptance of Islam. Vast numbers were 
converted from motives of self-interest. Those who paid 
tribute did not enjoy the same civil or political rights as 
the faithful, and were not allowed to be soldiers — which 
was a disability; but, on the other hand, they had freedom 
of conscience, and were allowed to apply their own laws 
as a Millet or kind of autonomous community. That was 
the position of the Christians and the Jews under the 
Moslems in Palestine and other countries after the Arab 
conquest; and it contrasted with the policy of ruthless 
persecution or execution of unbelievers which had been 
pursued in the Byzantine Empire, and still persisted in 
the Western Christian States. 

The doctrine of tolerance was extended by the Moslem 
jurists to peoples outside the Moslem kingdoms. They 
distinguished two principal categories of foreign State: 
Dar el Aman, the States with which Moslems are at 
peace, and Dar el Harb, the countries with which they 
are at war. The inhabitant of the second kind of State is 
an alien who enjoys no rights and may be attacked; on 

1 Sura ii. 257. 



1 66 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

the other hand, the inhabitant of the first is a Mustamin, 
enjoys protection, and may sojourn in a Moslem country, 
practise his religion, and remain subject to his own 
system of law* It was under this theory that the system of 
the Capitulations, as it is called, was developed between 
Moslem and Christian States. 

Broadly, it is true to say that Islam introduced an idea 
of religious tolerance into the civilization of the Middle 
Ages which the Christian Empire, succeeding to the 
pagan Roman Empire, had cast out. The Prophet 
himself granted a charter to the Christians at Najran, in 
which he undertook to protect them, to defend their 
churches and the residences of their priests. They were 
not to be unfairly taxed; no Christian was to be forced to 
abandon his religion, no pilgrim was to be detained from 
his pilgrimage. The liberal spirit of the early Moslem 
Government was recognized by the Christians. In the 
reign of die third caliph, Osman, c. 15 a.h., the patriarch 
of Merv wrote to the Bishop of Fars: “The Arabs who 
have been given by God the kingdom do not attack the 
Christian faith; on the contrary, they help us in our 
religion, they respect our God and our saints.” 

When Damascus was captured by “the sword of God,” 
Khalid, in 14 a.h., the conqueror secured to the inhabi- 
tants their lives and goods, the retention of their churches 
and the walls of their town. The tradition tells that for a 
long period one-half of the great Basilica of St. John the 
Baptist remained a church, while half was turned to a 
Mosque. 1 

After Charles the Great became Emperor of the 
Roman Empire, he entered into communication with 
the Arab Caliph of Bagdad, Haroun el Rashid — about 

1 Muir, The Caliphate , chap. xiii. 



ISLAM AND THE NATIONS 167 

a.d. 800, “in the golden prime of Islam” — and he received 
from the Caliph’s successor the keys of the Church of 
the Sepulchre in Jerusalem as an earnest of the desire 
that Islam and Christianity should co-operate in the cause 
of humanity. 

The most remarkable achievement of tolerant govern- 
ment which the Middle Ages affords is to be found in the 
Moorish kingdoms in Spain of the ninth and tenth cen- 
turies; and those kingdoms fostered also the highest de- 
velopment of culture of the age. Moslem, Jew, and Christian 
lived together under the gentle rule of the Caliphs of 
Cordova from about 800 to 1000, on a footing of equality, 
with full freedom of conscience and with equal protection 
for person and property. The motto of the Caliph was: 
“There is no conqueror save God.” Art, science, and 
philosophy flourished; and were cultivated equally and 
in friendly rivalry by Moslems and Jews. The town of 
Cordova was the envy of the world, pre-eminent in 
civilization; and it boasted seventy public libraries. 

The doctrine of Islam was not then a cause of hatred 
and persecution, as the doctrines of Christianity became 
under the rule of Church Councils in the Dark and 
Middle Ages. While Christianity started with the teach- 
ing of peace and resignation, but after became the 
religion of the State progressed by violence and persecu- 
tion, Islam started to spread by the sword, but proceeded 
to establish itself by tolerance. The Arabs and the Sara- 
cens, indeed, extended their power over a great part of 
Europe and North Africa, and turned the Mediterranean 
into an Arab lake. But that was a march of national and 
not of religious conquest. The Christians remained as 
subjects, and were not molested provided they paid the 
poll-tax. Religious strife between the Cross and the Cres- 



x68 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

cent was intensified by the expedition of the Christians 
to recover possession of the Holy Land. Their immediate 
cause was the less tolerant treatment of Christian pilgrims 
by the Seljuk Turks from Central Asia, who became 
masters of the Orient in the eleventh century, and took 
up with fanatical zeal the faith of the conquered peoples. 
The Crusades lasted for two hundred years in Palestine 
and Syria; and while they helped to humanize western 
Europe, they broke down the strength of the Moslem 
Caliphates. Hence, on their conclusion, the Arab lands 
fell a victim to the fiercer hordes that came from Turkestan 
and Mongolia, and the hegemony over Islam passed to 
a ruder and more fanatical people. The Mongols rapidly 
adopted Islam; their first Khans were tolerant and en- 
couraged both Buddhist and Christian missionaries in 
their realm, but there was a nationalist reaction in the 
fourteenth century when the Ottoman Turks became 
uppermost. 

Just as the Arab conquerors introduced a spirit of 
humanity into government, so the Arab armies brought a 
spirit of humanity into war. In pre-Islamic days the Arab 
tribes in their feuds used to enslave the wives and chil- 
dren of the vanquished. The Prophet abolished slavery 
between Moslems; and the first Caliph, Abou Bekr, when 
he sent out bands of the faithful to avenge attacks which 
Syrians had made on their caravans, directed them as 
follows: 

See that none deals with treachery. You shall mutilate none, 
neither shall you kill child or aged man or any woman. Injure 
not the date-palms, neither burn them with fire, and cut not down 
any trees wherein is food for man or beast. Slay not flocks, herds 
or camels needful for sustenance . . . and the monks with shorn 
heads you shall leave unmolested if they submit. Now march 



ISLAM AND THE NATIONS 169 

forward in the name of God, and may He protect you from sword 
and pestilence. 1 

The jurists of Bagdad composed works on the Law of 
War and Peace some five hundred years before the works 
of Grotius and the Christian humanists. Notable amongst 
these works is the collection of Abou Hassan of Bagdad, 
1036, the Hedaya, 1196, and the Vikayat, composed in 
Spain in 1280. The Hedaya contains ten chapters about 
war, dealing respectively with: The Jihad; Methods of 
Making War; Conclusion of Peace; Booty; Conquest of 
Territory of the Infidels; The Position of Zimmis (sub- 
jects); Tithes and Taxes of the Conquered; Capitulations; 
Prisoners; Rebels. 

It is interesting to note that most of these topics occur 
in the Jewish law of nations as described to us by Selden. 
It seems probable that the Jewish traditions influenced 
the early Moslem jurists; for in matters of law and of 
administration the Arabs borrowed freely from the 
systems established in the Oriental countries which they 
overran. Be this as it may, there is no doubt that the 
Arab rules of humanity in war influenced the Christian 
jurists of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in their 
attempts to introduce temperamenta into the warlike 
practices of the European States. 

The original aim of Islam was a universal religious 
brotherhood under one sovereign. It is stated in the 
Koran: “This religion of yours is a single religion, and I 
am your God; therefore reverence me. But the people 
cut up their affairs into sects amongst themselves, each 
group rejoicing in that which they have” (chap. xxiv. 4). 

No other person, wrote Sir Charles Eliot, was able 

1 Islam in the League of Nations , Grotius Society Publication (v, p. 126). 



1 7 o RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

to fuse the two noble motives of Religion and Empire 
in so perfect a manner as Mohamed. 1 The unity of the 
divine law requires the unity of the sovereign who is to 
enforce it; and social order cannot be secured if the 
sovereign authority is shared. Law is conceived as the 
will of God; and law and religion are two aspects of the 
same will. Law, then, cannot be made by the human 
sovereign, but is derived from the divine revelation — the 
Koran: just as with the Tews it was derived from the 
Bible. 

The Prophet was aiming at a theocracy embodied not 
in a priestly caste, but in a single messenger of God. That 
idea was expressed in the conception of a Caliph, the suc- 
cessor of the Prophet. The Caliph was, on the one hand, 
Imam, the interpreter of the divine revelation, and, on the 
other hand, the commander of the faithful, who under- 
takes to safeguard the temporal interests of Moslems, 
and is responsible for the conduct of war against the 
unbelievers, internal security, and the administration of 
justice. 2 In his character of Imam he could declare a 
general Jihad, calling on all the faithful to join in a war 
against the unbelievers. 

Islam, then, was both a State and a Church; and the 
temporal and the spiritual potver were more completely 
united than in the Roman Papacy. There was no ques- 
tion of subordination of the one to the other because the 
two were absolutely and inextricably combined in the 
Caliph. When Islam spread over Western Asia, North 
Africa, and a large part of southern Europe, the con- 
ception of a single universal ruler was maintained for a 
time. It broke down, however, in the time of the Abbassid 

1 Hinduism and Buddhism , I, 177. v 

* Sec “Law and Society,” The Legacy of Islam , Oxford, 193 x. 



ISLAM AND THE NATIONS 


171 

Caliphs of Bagdad who held rule there from about 
a.d, 750 to 1250(132—640 A.H.)* 1 

They failed to maintain their hold over the far-flung 
Moslem realm ; and in their time separate Caliphs estab- 
lished themselves in Egypt and in Spanish Cordova. The 
Fatimid Caliphs of Egypt in the tenth century belonged 
to the Shia sect; and the Caliphs of Cordova were sprung 
from the dispossessed Ommayads. Still, all these Caliphs 
had some claim to be the successors of the Prophet; but 
that notion was wrecked after the extinction of the 
Abbassid Caliphs by the Mongols in 1258. The Mame- 
lukes who ruled in Egypt maintained, indeed, a branch 
of the Abbassid line as their pensioners at Cairo; and 
through their instrumentality exercised the prerogatives 
of the Caliphate. But even the pretence of the succession 
was finally lost when the Osmanli Turks by force of arms 
became the masters of the Islamic world, and the Turkish 
Sultan claimed the Caliphate in 1517. The Sultan was 
master of the holy cities of Arabia and Jerusalem; but 
he could have no claim to a spiritual succession; and he 
did not belong to the holy tribe of Mecca, the Koreish, 
from whom the successors were to be chosen. The 
spiritual supremacy of the head of Islam was shattered 
at about the same period as the spiritual supremacy of 
the Pontiff of Rome. 2 

The unity of Islam was broken not only by the estab- 
lishment of separate Caliphates, but by the division 


1 There had been an earlier cleavage when, in the first century of the Hejira, 
Moawiya, the Governor of Syria, proclaimed himself Caliph, and founded 
the Ommayad dynasty with its centre at Damascus, in rivalry against Ali, who 
ruled from Mecca. 

* It is notable that the great Ottoman Sultan, Suliman the Magnificent, claimed 
to be the Eastern Emperor as the representative and successor of the Caesars 
of Constantinople (see Bryce, Holy Roman Empire), 



i 7 a RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

between Sunnis and Shias, which started in the first 
generation after the Prophet’s death and gradually 
widened. While in form the division was partly doctrinal, 
and partly concerned with the right of succession, in 
essence it was national. The Shia section which prevailed 
in Persia was an assertion of Persian independence 
against the Arab domination ; and it instituted a mystical 
doctrine which was far from the austere monotheism of 
Mohamed. The Moslem split may be compared with 
that between the Eastern and the Western Churches in 
Christendom which continued the cleavage between 
Latin Rome and Greek Byzantium and broke the unity 
of the Church. The Persians did not, however, maintain 
their independence for long; they fell in the tenth 
century before the warlike Seljuk Turks, who were 
formerly the mercenaries of the Abbassids. Another 
branch of the Turks were some centuries later to conquer 
what remained of the Byzantine Empire, to restore for 
a time the outward unity of Islam, and to carry their faith 
over a large part of Eastern Europe. But at the beginning 
of the sixteenth century the Persians, whose national 
feeling again revived, founded a new Shiite Empire, and 
they have maintained it to our day. 

From the time of the Turkish conquest to the nine- 
teenth century the Caliphate ceased to have a genuine 
political importance. The Moslem sovereigns in Turkey, 
Persia, Morocco, and India were separate and inde- 
pendent rulers; and there was no single Moslem realm 
which acted together. In the first half of the nineteenth 
century these Moslem States, having become decrepit, 
fell before the attack of the Western Powers, which had 
developed new weapons of aggression. The British con- 
quest of India destroyed the last of the great conquests 



ISLAM AND THE NATIONS 


*73 


of Islam. But Islam was beginning to awaken from its 
lethargy. An attempt at uniting it against its enemies 
was made during the latter half of the nineteenth century 
by the reactionary Sultan of Turkey, Abdul-Hamid. He 
saw the power of his own State, together with that of all 
the other Moslem sovereigns, crumbling before the 
invasion of Christian Powers and the introduction of 
Western ideas among their subjects. And he made a last 
attempt as Caliph to unite the followers of the Prophet 
in defence of their religion and of their temporal authority. 
The attempt failed hopelessly in his own lifetime. 

In 1908 the Young Turks compelled him to restore 
a parliamentary constitution issued originally in 1876, 
and proceeded to the election of a Chamber of Deputies 
on a purely secular basis. 1 A few years later they deposed 
him — ironically enough — for a breach of the Sacred Law. 
The revolution was not religious but national; and the 
non-Moslem peoples, Greek and Latin Christians, Jews, 
Donmehs, Armenians, and Druzes, took equal part with 
the Moslems. They were united by the tie of the common 
State. 

Nevertheless, the Pan-Islamic peril was a favourite 
subject of speculation by publicists in the latter part of 
the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth 
century. The test of the Great War proved its hollowness. 
When he joined in the war the Sultan of Turkey called 
the Moslems to a Jihad against the Christian Allied 
Powers, but he was himself the ally and almost the tool 
of another Christian Power; and few of the faithful 

1 The Constitution contains an article declaring that the Sultan is the Caliph 
of Islam and the Commander of all the Faithful. Yet, in fact, there were several 
commanders of the Faithful with restricted allegiance, in Morocco, Yemen, 
Oman, etc.; and the one Moslem community had become several Moslem 
nationalities. See Gibb, Whither Islam? 1932. 



174 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

responded. The Senussi of the African desert, followers 
of the Puritan revival of the middle of the nineteenth 
century, and the Imams of Sanaa took up arms indeed 
on the Ottoman side and attacked the English in Egypt 
and in Aden; but they had little effect. The Arabs from 
the home of the Prophet joined the English and the 
French allies against Turkey; the most fervent Moslems, 
the Arab Puritans of Nejd, would take no part in the 
war; and the Arabs of Iraq and Syria, as soon as they 
had the opportunity, joined in the struggle against the 
Turks, whom they regarded rather as the hard oppressors 
of their nationality than as the true upholders of their 
religion. The old religious fervour was dead, and in its 
place had come a new fervour for nationalism imported 
from the West. And nationalism divided where formerly 
religion united. 

The effects of the proclamation of the Jihad were very 
different from those anticipated by the Sultan. The 
Shereef Hussein of the Hedjaz — claiming descent from 
the Prophet — who revolted against the Ottoman Govern- 
ment, called on the Arabs to fight in the name of Islam 
against Ottoman imperialism and Young Turk Free- 
thinkers. At the Armistice in 1918 the Sultan resigned 
the Holy Cities of the Hedjaz and Jerusalem — of which 
the Caliph was the guardian — and all the Arab provinces. 
It was significant that Shereef Hussein of the Hedjaz 
and Sultan Fuad of Egypt both assumed the secular 
Western title of Malik or King. That was a symbol 
that they had turned back on the old idea of Islamic 
solidarity in favour of the idea of separate nations. 

For a time the Turkish Government maintained its 
claim to the Caliphate; and during the peace negotiations 
the Indian Moslems showed their sympathy with the 



ISLAM AND THE NATIONS 


*75 

strongest surviving Moslem State and agitated against 
its truncation. The revived Turkish nationalism, which 
sprang like a phoenix from the ashes of the old, showed 
at first a disposition to maintain the prerogatives of the 
deposed Sultan. The National Assembly in 1922 declared 
that the Caliphate resided in the dynasty of the House 
of Osman and elected the second son of the Sultan, 
Abdul Aziz, as the Caliph. At the same time they de- 
clared the complete severance of the spiritual and tem- 
poral power, abolished the rule of religious codes which 
had held sway in the Turkish Empire, and abolished even 
the religious courts administering the Shari Religious 
Law in matters of personal status. They revolted, too, 
against the Arab dominance in the religious service, and 
introduced readings from the Koran in Turkish. 

The Moslem Puritans within the Empire showed that 
this severance of spiritual and temporal power was con- 
trary to the teaching of Islam, and $0 the Caliphate 
became a rallying-point of the Opposition. Its retention 
was incompatible with constitutional government. The 
Turkish Parliament, which was thorough in all its actions, 
then decided on the abolition of the shadow. In 1924 they 
repudiated the Caliphate, and in 1928 deleted the Article 
of the Constitution that Islam was the State religion. 
Mediaeval principles, they proclaimed, must give way 
to secular laws. They changed by law the form of oath 
of the deputies to Parliament from “I swear by God” 
to ”1 swear on my honour”; marriages of Moslems and 
non-Moslems were to be authorized; and the Commission 
on Religious Reform recommended changes in educa- 
tion, “so that the religious life shall be reformed by 
means of scientific procedure and by the aid of reason, 
like the moral and economic life.” 



176 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

The Republican Government further abolished the 
monastic orders, shut the ecclesiastical schools and 
colleges, substituted the Gregorian Calendar for the 
Mohammedan, fixed the Moslem feasts and fasts accord- 
ing to astronomical observation, and declared the juris- 
diction of the religious courts of the non-Moslem com- 
munities abolished. That was a thoroughgoing adoption 
of the national secular State, more complete than that 
which the European nations had effected when they cast 
off the power of the Pope at the Reformation: and it 
meant the abandonment of the idea of one universal 
super-national realm of Islam. 

Some attempt was made by other Moslem leaders to 
assume the religious prerogatives which the nationalist 
Turks had discarded. King Hussein of the Hedjaz in 
1924 accepted the Caliphate and received the adherence 
of the Arab countries which were ruled by his sons. His 
dignity, however, was short-lived, for he lost his temporal 
power within a year. A conference to consider the ques- 
tion of the Caliphate was held in Egypt in 1926; and the 
Ulema declared that the Caliphate, in conformity with the 
prescriptions of the Shari law, was still capable of realiza- 
tion, and that it was the duty of Moslems to prepare 
ways and means for this end and to take the necessary 
measures. The conference proposed that all the Islamic 
peoples should be represented in an assembly to be held 
in a country which should be chosen by the delegates of 
the Moslem peoples; and these delegates should con- 
sider the establishment of the Caliphate. 1 

No effect, however, has been given to the proposal. 
When it was decided to hold a Moslem conference in 
Jerusalem at the end of last year, the Turkish Govern- 

1 See Survey of International Affairs , 1928. 



ISLAM AND THE NATIONS 


177 


ment made representations to the British Government 
against the raising of the question of the Caliphate at the 
congress, and assurances were given that the matter 
should not be discussed. The secular enthusiasm has 
affected nearly all the Islamic countries since the war; 
besides Turkey, Persia and Afghanistan have felt the im- 
pulse to Westernize. Although in Afghanistan there was 
a reaction against the too-rapid introduction of Western 
secular ideas, the fervour of religion is weakening and the 
fervour of nationalism is growing in all the countries where 
Moslems enjoy independence. It is a paradox that since 
the war there has been a movement of the Islamic peoples 
on the one hand to throw off the ascendancy of the 
Western Powers, and, on the other, to adopt the cul- 
ture and the general secular outlook of the West. These 
apparently conflicting tendencies are opposite sides of 
the one movement against foreign domination and 
control. Their rulers feel that the purpose can best be 
effected by the imitation of the statecraft and the methods 
by which Western Powers secured that domination; and 
it is secular nationalism they think, and not religion, 
which has secured the cohesion and the power of modern 
European States. 

It is another paradox of the Moslem world in our time 
that, while the principal Moslem States are rapidly 
secularized, a religious Islamic revival should be fostered 
amongst the people of the Arab countries and India. 
Control by a foreign Power has a way of stimulating 
religious feeling. So, during the nineteenth century, the 
Roman Catholic sentiment was fortified in Poland and in 
Ireland, countries which were under foreign domination. 
And, conversely, the religious sentiment fortifies the 
national feeling of the oppressed peoples. 



1 78 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

The religious revival of the Arab countries is bound 
up closely with their Arab nationalism, and is not, as 
the religious movement in Europe, associated with a 
strengthening of the feeling of unity and brotherhood 
between the peoples. There has been, however, a reli- 
gious movement with that outlook among Moslem 
peoples during the last century. It started in Persia nearly 
a hundred years ago as an offshoot of the Shia doctrine. 
It is known as Babism, because its teacher declared 
himself and was accepted as the Bab , or Gate, who, in 
accordance with Shia doctrine, was the channel of com- 
munication of the last Imam with the Faithful, and 
heralded the coming of a new Prophet (Imam). One of 
his followers proclaimed himself the new Prophet, and 
took the title of Baha-Ullah, the Glory of God, whence 
his adherents are known also as Bahais. Going beyond 
the aim of the Bab, he preached a new world religion of 
which he was the divine manifestation. 

One fundamental idea of the Persian reformation was 
the brotherhood of man and the union of all peoples in 
a common religious faith which should transcend and 
embrace the existing established religions. Jews and 
Christians, as well as Moslems, were invited to accept 
the new message, and to recognize that above the diverse 
creeds there was a single universal law of humanity. As 
it was put by Abbas who succeeded him as head of the 
brotherhood: “The sun of truth like our sun rises in 
many constellations.” The movement spread rapidly in 
Persia in spite of the persecution of its adherents, and 
numbers there several million followers. It has spread 
also, though less strikingly, in other Moslem countries, 
and it has found a number of adherents amongst Euro- 
pean and American peoples. It£ heads after a fierce 



ISLAM AND THE NATIONS 


l 79 


persecution were exiled to Turkey and were imprisoned 
by the Sultan first in Constantinople and then m Acre. 
Subsequently they were released, and allowed to live in 
Acre and Haifa, where the headquarters of the movement 
have been established. Universal peace and brotherhood 
remain among the principal ideas of the Bahais, and they 
teach that there is no single and final revelation ; and the 
founders of all revealed religions have been actuated by 
the same purpose and are aspects of the one divine power. 
They reflect the international ideas and ideals of our 
age ; and they are to-day a certain restraining force against 
that self-conscious nationalism which has gone to the 
head of the Orient like new wine. 

A favourite saying of Baha-Ullah was, “Let not a man 
pride himself that he is a lover of his country; but let 
him take pride that he is a lover of his kind.” 

A similar movement sprang up in Islam in India 
during the latter part of the nineteenth century. It is 
known as the Ahmadiyah, from its founder Mirza 
Ghulam Ahmad of the Punjab. He claimed to be the 
Mahdi, or Islamic Messiah; and according to his gospel 
he was also the Messiah for all mankind, the champion 
of Islam, the reformer of Christianity, the Buddha of the 
East. For the true Islam embraces all true religions. 

Another Moslem reform movement of an opposite 
kind grew up earlier in the hearth of Islam. It was 
known as Wahabism, from its founder, Mohamed Abdul 
Wahab, who, in the middle of the eighteenth century, 
summoned the peoples of Arabia to a Jihad for the pure 
teachings of the Prophet. On the one hand, it was a 
puritan revival like the Protestantism of the Reforma- 
tion ; on the other hand, it was a national revival, a re- 
assertion by the Arab people of their original faith, which 



180 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

had been corrupted by admixture in Syria, Persia, and 
India, and a revival of Arab brotherhood. At first the 
Wahabis united Arabia, and became masters of the Holy 
City; but in the early part of the nineteenth century they 
were unable to hold Mecca against the forces of Egypt and 
Turkey. They had to withdraw to a remote part of the 
peninsula, although their influence spread to northern 
India, Afghanistan, and the north African desert. In our 
days, since the Great War, they have shown that the 
fervour of religion may still be a powerful national force, 
and they have become masters of the greater part of Arabia. 

The Wahabi movement, wherein religion and nation- 
alism are fused, is an exception to the general secular 
nationalism of the East. In an age when the statesmen 
and thinkers of Europe are seeking to transform the 
idea of national sovereignty and to build up an inter- 
national order, the peoples of the East who had for 
centuries discarded the idea of an exclusive nationality 
have revived it with ardour, or imbibed it from the 
culture that the Western contact has brought. They do 
not find in their religions a check to the national striving. 
Rather is religion for the time relegated to the posi- 
tion of a personal belief unconnected with the social and 
political organization, or is severed from it where it was 
attached. The independent Islamic peoples are passing 
through the stages of a secularized nationalism which 
Europe suffered after the Reformation. The religion 
of the community tends, on the other hand, to be 
individualized. That may prove to be the stage, as indi- 
vidual Christianity has been a stage, towards the recogni- 
tion of their religion as one aspect of spiritual truth, and 
towards the willingness to combine the communion of 
Islam with other religious communities for the common 
purposes of humanity. 



CHAPTER VIII 


THE INDIAN AND FAR EASTERN RELIGIONS 


In the early ages of human history, civilization developed 
farther in India and the Far East than in Western lands, 
and modern scholars have pointed to the existence of 
rules of international conduct based on religion which 
were developed in India long before the Christian Era. 
We have noted that between the sixth and fifth centuries 
B.c. there was a great stirring of religious and ethical 
thought throughout the world. At the time when the 
Prophets of the Return from the Captivity were preaching 
to Israel, and Pythagoras, Empedocles, and the earliest 
Greek philosophers were developing ethical ideas amongst 
the Hellenes, Confucius was laying down rules of conduct 
and an ethical philosophy that dominated the Chinese 
civilization till our own age, an unknown teacher in 
Persia was reforming the primitive Zoroastrian theism, 
and in India a sage founded the Jain sect of which a 
fundamental teaching was not to kill any living thing, 
while the Prince Gautama conceived that philosophy of 
resignation known as Buddhism, which has become the 
supreme religious teaching in the Far East, and has 
greater sway than any other religious system. But cen- 
turies before the coming of the Buddha there was a 
developed system of rules of conduct in peace and 
war among the peoples of India. Those rules, as the 
rules of war that were adopted by the Hebrews, the 
Greeks, or the Romans, were founded on, and re- 
garded as a part of, the religion. Their sanction is the 
eternal law of “Dharma,” which is defined as “that 



182 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

which it behoves men of right feeling to do.” They 
held sway throughout the Indian Continent from the 
Himalayas to the Vindehyas and from the Eastern to 
the Western Sea. 

In that country — as large as Europe without Russia — 
there was one single form of religion, a form which has 
indeed remained throughout the ages for three thousand 
years, and still governs the lives of 200 million people. 
It is the most continuous sway of a religious creed in a 
country which human history shows; and the religion 
has throughout formed a fundamental part of the national 
life. Judaism has been bound up as long with the life of 
the Jewish nationality, but it has not been so continu- 
ously bound up with a country. The Hindu law was 
originally fixed by customs ascribed to the divine revela- 
tion, but was amplified later in regular codes composed 
by Manu and other compilers of the sacred lore. In a 
subsequent period it was supplemented by the writings 
of statesmen and publicists, of whom the most notable 
is Kautilya, who, about the third century b.c., wrote the 
Artha-Sastra for the guidance of kings and their ministers. 
The rules of the religious international law of India 
are extracted partly from these books, and partly from 
the epic poems, the Vedas, the Mahabharata, and the 
Bhagavad-Gita, which are the outstanding works of early 
Indian literature. 

Various factors strengthened the hold of the civilized 
law: the establishment of the one Aryan power through- 
out the vast territory from about 1000 b.c., the rule of 
the common traditions, the common religion, and the 
common moral outlook in that territory, and, lastly, the 
greater peacefulness which appears to be in the nature 
of the peoples of the Far East compared to those of the 



THE INDIAN AND FAR EASTERN RELIGIONS 183 

North and the West. The rulers and peoples of India 
seldom engaged in a war of conquest outside their sub- 
continent, so that their law deals with the relations 
between various Indian peoples. One of the epics, the 
Bhagavad-Gita, spoke of war as a heinous sin, “seeing 
that we are making efforts to kill our kinsmen out of 
greed of pleasure and of sovereignty .” 1 The earliest texts 
deal, indeed, with the struggle between the Aryan and 
the original inhabitants of India, the Dasyas, who differed 
in religion, language, literature, and civilization. The 
wars between the two races were regarded as holy, 
comparable with the wars of the Hebrews against the 
Canaanites, or the wars of Islam against the pagans of 
Arabia; and the precepts of these sacred wars inculcated 
a sterner and more ruthless practice. “War was invented 
by Indra for the destruction of the Dasyas; and weapons 
and armour were invented for the same end. Merit is 
acquired by their destruction/' 

But once these non-Aryan peoples had been subju- 
gated, humane principles were practised in war. A Greek 
historian and ambassador, Megasthenes, who visited 
India soon after the conquest of Alexander the Great 
had brought the Hellenic peoples within the Indian 
borders, noted the Indian humanity. “Whereas," he 
says, “among all nations at war it is the custom to ravage 
the soil and reduce it to an uncultivated waste, yet among 
the Indians, among whom the husbandman is regarded 
as a class sacred and inviolate, even when the battle is 
raging in the neighbourhood, the tillers of the soil are 
undisturbed by any sense of danger. The combatants 
on either side who are waging the conflict allow those 
engaged in husbandry to remain unmolested. Besides, 

* Sacred Books of the East , VIII, 42. 



184 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

they neither ravage the enemies' towns with fire, nor 
do they cut down the trees. Nor would they do any harm 
to the enemy subjects who are at work on the land 
because men of this class are regarded as public bene- 
factors, and are protected from all injury." 1 Another 
traveller coming from China, who visited the country a 
thousand years later, about a.d. 700, recorded that in the 
petty wars which were waged the armies did little harm 
to the country at large. 2 3 

The Law Book of Manu, which is an interpretation 
of the unwritten law of the Vedas, contains elaborate 
rules regarding the conduct of war and diplomacy. 
It prescribes that certain kinds of weapons are not to be 
used: barbed, poisoned, or blazing with fire; and certain 
classes of persons are not to be killed: those found sleep- 
ing or wearied, in flight or wounded, those overcome 
with grief, and camp followers. 3 The sanction for all 
such rules was the wrath of the deity. 

The rules recognized a kind of warfare by deceit, 
which was only to be employed by the weak against the 
strong; like the stratagem of the Gibeonites against the 
Children of Israel. The fighter in an equal struggle was 
not to swerve from the eternal law of Dharma, which 
required fair dealing. 

The Indian peoples fostered a cult of chivalry a 
thousand years before it came to Europe; and it is not 
unlikely that the ideas of chivalry came from the 
East through Persia and the Saracens to the Western 

1 Arrian, Ind chap. xi. Alexander the Great himself, according to the records, 
paid respect to the Brahmins, whom he visited in his campaigns in the Punjab. 
They seemed to him a sect of philosophers, as did the Jews whom he visited in 
Jerusalem. 

1 Quoted in Viswanatha, International Law in Ancient India , 1925. 

3 Laws of Manu, 90-93 {Sacred Books of the East , XXV, 231). 



THE INDIAN AND FAR EASTERN RELIGIONS 185 

peoples. The Knights of India, Kshatriya, were to up- 
hold righteousness and were assured of heaven. 

As with most systems of antiquity, the Indian religious 
custom prescribed a formal declaration of war. The king, 
before entering the country of the enemy, declared to the 
people: “I am your king, I shall protect you; give me 
just tribute, or encounter me in battle.” The invader 
was directed not to use fire in the enemies’ country, 
“Fire offends the gods.” Nor was he to seize any temples; 
and it was one of the duties of the military occupant to 
see that the temples of the gods and their property were 
not molested. The land of the people was not to be 
confiscated, though movable property was taken as 
booty. After a conquest the conqueror was to worship 
the gods of the conquered country, to honour the righteous 
Brahmins therein, and to sanction the lawful customs of 
the inhabitants. The common religion of the sub-conti- 
nent induced that precept of humanity which contrasts 
with the attitude of other people towards the religions of 
the conquered. “What gods there are in any country . . . 
whatever be the customs anywhere, they are not to be 
despised.” India has been one through her common 
religious ideal, more than Catholic Europe in the Middle 
Ages. The kings, too, were not regarded as high priests, 
but in religious matters were subordinate to the Brah- 
mins, who for two thousand five hundred years have 
retained their position as an intellectual aristocracy. 

It was in the sixth century b.c. that Prince Gautama 
of North India, known later as the Buddha (or the 
Enlightened), preached his reform of Hinduism. While 
Hindu religion held to a rigid caste system with its 
sanctification of inequality, and was exclusive and 
national, making no appeal to the rest of mankind, the 



1 86 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Buddha proclaimed the doctrine of equality and a way 
of happiness for all without distinction of class, race, or 
nationality. He demanded no allegiance, but he was 
rather a physician offering healing to humanity. The 
new religion was open to all, and was identical with 
morality. 

He had sprung from the warrior caste: but one of his 
main tenets, and one of the five essential commands, was 
not to shed blood; and his influence throughout the East 
was for peace. His recorded sayings include a dialogue 
with General Simha with regard to peace and war. He 
was asked : 

Does he who teaches kindness without end and compassion with 
all sufferers permit the punishment of the criminal; and further 
does he declare that it is wrong to go to war for the protection of 
our homes, our wives, our children and our property? . . . Does 
he maintain that all strife, including such warfare as is waged for 
a righteous cause, should be forbidden ? 

The Buddha replied: 

He who deserves punishment must be punished, and he who is 
worthy of favour must be favoured ; yet at the same time he teaches 
us to do no injury to any living being, but to be full of love and 
kindness. . . . 

The sage teaches that “All warfare in which man tries 
to slay his brother is lamentable”; but he does not teach 
that those who go to war after having exhausted all means 
of preserving the peace are to be blamed. The sage 
teaches a complete surrender of self but not a surrender 
to those powers that are evil. 

There must be struggle, for all life is a struggle of some kind . . . 
see lest he struggle in the interest of self against truth and righteous- 
ness ... he who goeth to battle even though in a righteous cause 



THE INDIAN AND FAR EASTERN RELIGIONS 187 

must be prepared to be slain by his enemies; for that is the destiny 
of warriors. ... He who is victorious should remember the in- 
stability of earthly things. His success may be great, but the wheel 
of life may turn again and bring him down to the dust. Yet if he 
moderates himself, and, extinguishing all hatred in his heart, lifts 
up the fallen adversary, and says, “Come and make peace and let 
us be brothers,” he will gain a victory that is not transient, for its 
fruits will remain for ever. Great is a successful general, but he 
who has conquered self is the greater victor . 1 

The teaching of Buddhism in relation to civil society 
was then not an absolute pacifism, but a philosophical 
ethic, making for peace, moderation, and magnanimity; 
and it had an extraordinary efficacy in that direction on 
the political development of the Eastern peoples. Claim- 
ing to be universal, it transcended nationality, and it made 
no claim to empire or to temporal power. Yet the 
Buddha, like the Hebrew prophets, sought to establish 
the kingdom of righteousness, and conceived a universal 
monarch who makes the wheels of the chariot roll un- 
opposed over the whole world, governing it by the law 
of righteousness. It was in the third century, more than 
two hundred years after the death of the Buddha, that 
his teaching was adopted by the ruling king, Asoka, 
who became master over the greater part of India, from 
Afghanistan to Madras. He was the grandson of a 
monarch, Chandra-Gupta, who, a few years after the 
death of Alexander the Great, united northern India in a 
powerful empire, and put an end to the Hellenistic 
domination. In the principles of the Buddha he found 
both an ideal of personal life and an instrument of justice 
for his kingdom. The faith inspired in him the greatest 
effort for good made by any great monarch. “In the 
gallery of pious monarchs he stands isolated as the one 

1 See the Gospel of Buddha, by Paul Carus. Chicago, 1909. 



x88 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

man whose only passion was for a sane, kindly, and 
humane life.” 1 He wrote himself: “There is no greater 
task than to strive for the universal welfare.” And he 
lived up to that conception. He upheld the absolute 
toleration of religious ideas. “All sects receive honour 
from me, and I deem the essential point is fidelity to their 
doctrines and their practices.” 

Mr. H. G. Wells, in his History of the Worlds says 
that Asoka’s reign of twenty-eight years was one of the 
brightest interludes in the troubled history of mankind. 
In the early part of it he followed the example of his 
father and grandfather, and engaged in a war of con- 
quest; but after one successful campaign he was conscious 
of the cruelty and futility of war, and devoted the rest 
of his life to preaching and organizing peace. Adopting 
the doctrines of the Buddha, he declared that henceforth 
his conquests should be those of the true religion. Under 
his guidance the teaching of Buddhism was extended to 
its widest sphere, mankind, by means of missionaries 
sent to foreign countries. At the same period Jewish 
missionaries were carrying their ethical teaching through 
the pagan Hellenistic empires. Buddhism was at once the 
most intensely missionary religion and the most tolerant. 
Conversion was to be effected only by persuasion, and 
the universal religion was free from all idea of theocracy. 
The Hindu religion was internationalized, and lost for 
a time its national character in the process. 

King Asoka created a Ministry of Justice and Reli- 
gion, of which the function was to preserve the purity of 
the faith and to supervise the just treatment of the native 
subject races — a predecessor of the Permanent Mandates 

* See Gore, The Philosophy of the Good Life , p. $5 ; Eliot, Hinduism and Bud- 
dhism t I, 268. 



THE INDIAN AND FAR EASTERN RELIGIONS 189 

Commission of our day — and he sent missionaries of the 
faith to Kashmir, to Persia, to Ceylon, and even to 
Alexandria. In one of his edicts he claims to have sent 
embassies to four Hellenistic kings, and to have won 
from them a victory not by the sword but by religion . 1 
His edicts concerning religion and morality were in- 
scribed on rocks throughout the country, and some of 
them have survived to our day. They inculcate obedience 
to parents, kindness to children and friends, mercy 
towards animals, suppression of angry passion and 
cruelty, generosity, tolerance, and charity; and they refer 
to the passages of the Buddhist law which contain the 
highest moral teaching. In their content they may be 
compared with the Bible verses in the Mezuzah, the 
casket placed on the door-posts of the Jewish household. 

Noble as he was, and enduring as was his moral 
teaching, King Asoka is regarded as one of the causes 
of the downward path of Buddhism in India, which 
led, after centuries of struggle with the Brahmins, to its 
expulsion from the continent, and the restoration of the 
indigenous Hindu creeds with their system of caste. 
Just as Constantine of Rome conduced to the gradual 
degeneration of Christianity by his elevation of the 
faith of a pious community to the State religion, so 
Asoka induced the gradual decline of the inner virtue 
of Buddhism by his regard for the monks and the favour 
given to the Order, and by his establishment of Buddha's 
teaching as a State religion. There was a chaotic period 
of Indian history from his death till the fourth century 
a.d. And that was followed by a protracted struggle 
between Buddhist monks and Brahmin priests. The 

* Buddhism is first mentioned in Western literature by the Christian Father 
Clement of Alexandria in the second century (Strom, I, 15). 



190 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

straggle between the two religions went on from the 
third to the tenth century, and it was the destruction of 
the monasteries by Moslem invaders which dealt the 
final blow. The national spirit of the old religion was too 
strong to be subdued, and it came back with renewed 
force. 

Since Buddhism was worsted, India has suffered 
fierce wars of religion through the centuries; for the 
restored Hinduism has not been able to prevail over rival 
militant creeds as it prevailed over pacific Buddhism. 
The Moslems who, moving from Central Asia, first 
established themselves in what is now Afghanistan, and 
then conquered Scinde in the eighth century, pushed 
their conquests and their faith steadily, until finally the 
Mogul Moslem Empire was established over nearly all 
India at the beginning of the sixteenth century. The 
greatest emperor of that line known as Akbar (meaning 
The Greatest), 1556-1605, sought like Asoka to ensure 
peace by toleration and justice, and to establish an 
eclectic religion for his empire of diverse creeds and 
races. To that end he convened an assembly of all the 
religious heads of India. His purpose was “a fraternal 
union of the peoples and rest for the earth.” In the same 
spirit as Augustus, the founder of the Roman Empire, 
he aspired to make a common worship the base of his 
rule; he abolished Islam as the State religion, and 
abolished the poll-tax levied on the non-Moslem peoples. 
And one of the principal tenets of the new religion was 
that the Emperor was God’s vice-gerent on earth. 1 

His attempt at a universal religious creed died with 
him. Through the ages and throughout the world 

1 Akbar invited Jesuit missionaries to his kingdom, and issued a command 
that his subjects should be free to embrace Christianity without let or hindrance. 



THE INDIAN AND FAR EASTERN RELIGIONS 191 

mankind has rejected the idea of a synthetic religious 
dispensation. Akbar’s successors, moreover, were less 
tolerant, and in the reign of Aurungzeb the feud between 
Hindu and Moslem was rekindled and still burns fiercely 
in many parts of India. A reforming movement in 
Hinduism started with the Sikhs of the Punjab in the 
sixteenth century — about the same time as the European 
Reformation — and, combining the principles of Islam 
with Hindu tradition, proclaimed a simple monotheism 
in place of the orthodox polytheism, and the equality of 
all who entered the new Order in place of the rigid caste 
system. It also was harshly repressed by the later Mogul 
emperors. But the reformed religion endured, and 
aroused its followers to a fiery enthusiasm under the 
stress of persecution. Another feud was engendered, and 
still endures between Sikhs and Moslems. 

During the nineteenth century two remarkable reform 
movements arose in Hinduism, of which the one illus- 
trates the universalist and the other the national trend 
of religion in modern time. The Brahma Samaj Society, of 
which the foremost exponent was the father of Rabin- 
dranath Tagore, proclaimed, together with the ardent 
Indian nationalism, a broad feeling for humanity and for 
the spiritual union of Europe and Asia. It has not 
flourished, and in a census of 191 1 only numbered 5,500 
followers. The Aryah Samaj, of which the nationalist 
Lajpat Rai was a champion, though professing uni- 
versal aspirations, emphasized Indian nationalism and 
opposed Western influences and Christian missions. The 
reformed Hinduism was to be reconciled with Indian 
nationalism, which would secure India her rightful 
place in the society of nations. It has now many adherents, 
more than a quarter of a million, and is spreading. 



i 9 2 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

A still more recent religious development is the teaching 
of Rabindranath Tagore, who has emphasized the unity 
of mankind and the sentiment of brotherly solidarity, by 
which alone the Indian community can solve the racial 
problem. Following the teaching of Mazzini, he main- 
tains that nationality is spiritual, and the realization of 
national powers is a service to all mankind which has 
need of the particular genius of all the peoples. 

Hinduism, however many times reformed and adapted, 
has remained the indestructible basis of Indian unity for 
over three thousand years. In India to this day religion is 
the dominant motive of conduct and feeling, and her 
nationalism is still coloured by religion. India, it is said, 
is now endeavouring to exchange the sword of secular 
nationalism, borrowed from the West, for the panoply 
of nationhood, in which Hinduism may be dominant. 
“The Indians are as essentially religious as the Euro- 
peans are secular.” 1 

We turn now to the other countries of the Far East, 
where Buddhism, after being driven from India, found a 
permanent home. Like Christianity, it won its greatest 
triumphs outside the land of its birth. Ceylon was won 
to the creed by missionaries from India in the time of 
Asoka himself, and became the principal centre of the 
new teaching. An impetus to the mission in the north, 
comparable with that which Asoka gave to Buddhism in 
the south, was given by the Scythian monarch, Kanishka, 
who ruled over north-western India in the first century 
a.d. The teaching is said to have reached China in the 
second century before the Common Era, and there is 
record that the Emperor Ming-Ti brought Buddhist 
books to his country in the year a.d. 62. It is from 

1 Harcourt Butler, India Insistent , 1931. 



THE INDIAN AND FAR EASTERN RELIGIONS 




his time that Buddhism rapidly spread throughout the 
Chinese Empire. Monks came from India, and the 
Chinese sent scholars to the older Buddhist countries 
to collect the sacred writings and to translate them into 
Chinese. In the fourth century Buddhism became the 
State religion, being combined with the indigenous 
ethical teachings of Confucius and Tao. 

The teaching spread still farther north, east, and south : 
to Korea in the fourth century, to Japan in the sixth 
century, and to Cochin and Siam in the seventh century. 
It brought the peoples into close touch with each other. 
While it has been almost entirely driven out from India 
by the Hindu religion, in other lands it has remained 
enshrined in the hearts and minds of the mass of the 
people as well as in the monasteries. It softened the 
manners of the wild peoples of Mongolia and Turkestan, 
who were once the terror of Asia and Europe. In Ceylon, 
Burma, and Siam it became a truly national religion. 
In one country its priests and votaries became the tem- 
poral as well as the spiritual sovereigns. Buddhism 
entered Tibet in the seventh century of the Christian Era, 
and the priestly order gradually dominated the old chiefs. 
Finally, in the sixteenth century, they attained to the 
sovereignty of the country, which they have kept to our 
day, and assumed the title of The Universal Ruler of 
the Buddhist Faith. Scholars have compared the power 
and pomp of the Lamas, this priestly hierarchy, with 
the power and pomp of the Popes of mediaeval Rome. 1 

Centuries before the teaching of Buddha came to 
China the doctrine of peace had been established over 
the vast territory of that empire, and a high moral 
standard of life was spread amongst its inhabitants. That 

1 Eliot, Hinduism and Buddhism . Arnold, 1922. 



i*4 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

was largely due to the influence of two ethical teachers — 
Lao-Tse, who lived about 600 b.c. and was the author of 
the Book of the tVay and of Virtue , and Confucius, who 
taught about 500 b.c. 

It is interesting to consider briefly the Chinese atti- 
tude towards peace and war before the reforms of Lao- 
Tse and Confucius. It was a fundamental principle of 
their tradition and morals that all the Chinese were 
allied ; and war therefore was not to be imagined between 
them save as a means of correcting injustice. A Chinese 
family must not be destroyed. War was permissible only 
as a normal action against barbarians who were outside 
the scope of civilization. The earliest legends trace the 
development of government from the dynasties of kings 
that start about 800 b.c. to the establishment of the 
Chinese Empire in 250 b.c. In the earliest period of three 
centuries there were three dynasties, which succeeded 
each other when the virtue of the sovereign of the older 
dynasty disappeared. The third dynasty of the Chous 
had two great figures — a civil genius, Wen, and a warrior 
genius, Wu. Of Wen it is said that he only took up arms 
to punish the barbarians and the guilty, and of Wu that 
he took up arms to carry out the heavenly chastisement, 
and as soon as he had conquered the ungodly he dis- 
banded his troops. He styled himself the “Instrument 
of God.” The period of the three dynasties was followed 
by a period of anarchy from the fifth to the third century 
b.c., when tyrants ruled and disregarded the moral law 
that war should only be prosecuted to carry out the 
judgment of heaven and not to destroy the enemy. The 
state of China in that period was said to be that of a 
country of ferocious beasts ; and it \j^as from this degrada- 
tion that the moral teaching of the two philosophers re- 



THE INDIAN AND FAR EASTERN RELIGIONS 


*95 


claimed the people until the unity of the empire was 
established . 1 

Lao-Tse — whose name means the Old Philosopher 
— inculcated the virtue of peace. Two of his aphorisms 
run: “He who with reason assists matters of mankind will 
not with arms strengthen the empire”; and “Weapons, 
even though successful, are unblessed implements, de- 
testable to every creature.” The Chinese have been more 
concerned with the duty of man towards his neighbour 
than the duty of man to God. The teachings of their 
philosophers did not claim to be derived from any divine 
revelation, and were not centred about a personal god. 
They were essentially ethical, laying down a way of life 
for the individual and for the nation. They appealed to 
reason rather than emotion; and they attained an extra- 
ordinary sway over the minds of generations so that, 
compared with the history of Europe, the story of China 
for a period of two thousand years — till the impact of 
the West — is one of tranquillity. For centuries mili- 
tarism and the profession of arms were dishonoured in 
China; and it was only the contact of Western civilization 
which shattered that pacific tradition. 

The teaching of Confucius dealt with the way of con- 
duct of the noble man. In its form and substance it is 
like the ethics of Aristotle rather than the teaching 
of the Hebrew prophets. According to his principles, 
“What God gives to man is nature: Action according 
to nature is the way: The regulation of the way into a 
system is religion.” The regulation of the way is through 
love, which is the characteristic element of man. The 
foundation of the peace of society is the love of children 
for their parents; for the nation or State grows out of 

1 See Granet, Chinese Civilization. Kegan Paul. 



1 9 6 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

the family. Next to love the great principle of society 
is justice, which is the true profit of the State. While 
Lao-Tse had said “recompense injury with kindness,” 
Confucius, to whom his maxim was repeated, did not 
agree. He said, “recompense kindness with kindness, 
and injury with justice.” We are reminded of the con- 
trast between the Christian Gospel and Judaism. There 
were, according to his teaching, three periods of society: 

1. The stage of confusion and disorder, 

2. T he advancement of peace, and 

3. The attainment of peace. 

In the days of Confucius China was still in the first 
stage; but the movement for peace and unity advanced 
rapidly under the influence of his moral teaching; and 
by the third century b.c. the vast empire had been united 
under one Government. At about the time that Asoka 
was ruling in India (250 b.c.) the first universal emperor, 
Shi-Hwang-Ti, reigned over that empire, and built the 
Great Wall of China to keep out the barbarian invaders 
from the northern deserts. It is said that aftei wards he 
turned his weapons into bells and statues. 

Confucius taught that of the three essentials of the 
State the greatest is good faith. Without revenue and 
without an army the State may exist, but not without 
good faith. Law and government are based upon morals. 
Moreover, the purpose of a system of law is to constitute 
international associations of which the aim would be to 
apply good faith and to procure peace between nations. 
The rulers of the nations must promote the general 
welfare of mankind as the ultimate goal of the efforts 
of each national community. He taught also the unity of 
the human race, and the universal Validity of the law of 



THE INDIAN AND FAR EASTERN RELIGIONS 197 

righteousness. The end of government is Tai-Ping — 
universal peace founded on justice. It is one of the 
gentle paradoxes that the Chinese rebellion in the middle 
of the nineteenth century was fought in this cause. At 
the same time Confucius recognized the need of adequate 
military preparation by the State, because an army was 
required to do the work of a moral police. 

The teachings of Confucius have not been embodied 
in the form of a religious teaching or spread by religious 
Orders. They have been handed down through the 
generations in the family and the school. Nevertheless, 
about a thousand years after his death, the Chinese em- 
perors began to erect temples to him which have remained 
a permanent feature of the social organization of China. 
Confucianism was a kind of State creed, a law to the 
government, and an aspect of the government. 

The teachings of Lao-Tse have, on the one hand, 
been embodied in a pantheistic mystical religion — 
Taoism — and spread by priests and monks. But they 
were originally also a way of life, akin to what the Stoics 
described as the law of nature. Both doctrines remained 
powerful influences to our day, when a new ethical 
teacher arose in China who, moved by the incursion of 
foreign influence and what seemed to the Chinese the 
injustice of foreign privileges in China, contrived to 
rouse the people to a sense of nationalism. That was a 
new passion among the ethical Chinese, as amongst the 
religious Moslem peoples, but it has seized on them as 
strongly. 

While publicists in Europe wrote of the Yellow Peril, 
the Eastern races have become intensely alive to the 
White Peril. Sun-Yat-Sen, the leader in the twentieth 
century of Chinese Republicanism and Nationalism, 



198 religious foundations of internationalism 

marked the fundamental difference between Eastern and 
Western civilization: “Oriental civilization emphasizes 
benevolence and rightness; Occidental civilization, utili- 
tarianism and force. We Asiatics must win benevolence 
so that we may be recognized as a Power.” The deeply 
rooted family feeling of the Chinese must be preserved 
and crystallized in an intense national consciousness. 
The new State must be founded on the old virtue and the 
old ethics. The Chinese must start with their internal 
civilization, and must not cease till the whole earth 
has become a realm of peace. The attempt, however, to 
proclaim Confucianism as the State religion of the 
Republic failed: the young generation, as in Turkey, 
wanted the secular State. 

With Sun-Yat-Sen’s doctrine of the Three Principles, 
nationalism, democracy, and socialism, formed on the 
best Western models, which roused the Chinese to 
struggle against foreign domination, we may compare the 
more definitely religious teaching of the prophet of our 
time in the other great Eastern country, India. Gandhi, 
known to the masses of India as the Mahatma, or saint, 
has asserted the principle of non-violence — as a means 
of resisting evil and power. Unlike the reformer of China, 
he is in revolt against Western culture, which he regards 
as the work of Mammon, as well as against Western 
domination; but he demands that India shall win peace 
by self-sacrifice. 

What is remarkable in the message of the two leaders 
of Eastern thought in our day is that the moral teaching 
and the profession of a universal hope is combined with 
an intense nationalism, just as it was in the Hebrew 
prophets. To repeat the words of George Adam Smith 
about the universalized Judaism of those prophets, “It 



THE INDIAN AND FAR EASTERN RELIGIONS 199 

is wedded with patriotism, and is in sympathy with the 
nation’s struggle for freedom and its whole political 
life.” In this respect it is to be contrasted with the 
Christian Gospel, in which a universal religious message 
was personal and divorced from patriotism. 

We have noted that Buddhism spread to Japan in 
the fifth century, and there, as in Ceylon and China, it 
became a powerful force upon the life and conduct of the 
people, making for tranquillity and kindness. The Eastern 
religious movements are not exclusive, but exhibit 
astonishing power of adaptation. Freedom of religious 
opinion had not to be fought for in the East as in the 
West; and the spread of Buddhism did not mean the 
ousting and the persecution of the previous religions 
and ethical teachings. In India it was adopted side by 
side with the old traditional Hindu creeds; in China it 
informed without supplanting the ethical teachings of 
Confucius; in Japan it modified without suppressing the 
national religion of Shinto, and coalesced in a creed 
known as “Twofold Shinto.” That traditional teaching 
of Japan is a primitive animistic creed. It has been 
described by a learned Japanese publicist of our day, 
Professor Nitobe, as “a cult with few moral principles 
and fewer theological tenets.” It is the traditional way of 
life, and its essential ethical feature is patriotism. “It 
has the power to give contentment to a good patriot or 
faithful subject, but it will never stay the obstinate ques- 
tionings of a human soul.” 1 

In its reverence for the Royal House of Japan it may 
be compared with the worship of the Caesars in the pagan 
Roman Empire. Its primitive teaching and mythology 
were harmonized with Buddhism, as the paganism of 

1 See Nitobe, Japan, 1931. 



200 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

the Roman Empire was harmonized with Christianity; 
and as the pagan gods of the Empire were adopted as 
saints so the deities of Shinto became Buddhist divinities. 

Part of the principles of Shinto was the Code of 
Honour, Bushido , of the noble class of the Samurai, who 
correspond with the knights of chivalry in the Middle 
Ages, The combination of the Buddhist doctrine of 
renunciation with the traditional morality of the warrior 
class produced a conception of the knightly class who 
renounced desire, “Not that he might enter Nirvana, but 
that he might acquire the contempt of life which would 
make him a perfect warrior.’ ’ Yet, for a period of some 
centuries, the spread of Buddhist teaching secured an 
era of peace and tranquillity. The coming of the foreign 
travellers and merchants in the sixteenth century led to a 
revival of the national spirit in Japan. At first the country 
gave willing reception to the missionaries of Christianity 
who under the influence of the Jesuit enthusiasm began 
to preach in the sixteenth century. The great Jesuit 
Christian teacher, Francis Xavier, who arrived from Goa 
in India about 1550, carried Christianity to the Far 
East, and in a few years he had won 150,000 converts. 
A hundred years later there was a reaction against the 
spreading of the foreign religion, and the missionaries 
were driven out. The new religious teaching appeared to 
the upholders of the traditional cult subversive and 
perilous to the strength of the State. 

The same reaction against foreign ideas led to the 
exaltation of Shinto to a State religion in the eighteenth 
century, and to an official missionary enterprise for the 
inculcation of Shinto in the middle of the nineteenth 
century. That attempt to strengthen religion by State 
action was soon abandoned; and for the last fifty years 



THE INDIAN AND FAR EASTERN RELIGIONS 


201 


there has been in Japan complete religious toleration. 
Buddhism still commands the adherence of three- 
quarters of the population, but no restriction is placed 
on the propaganda of the Christian Church. The number 
of adherents to Christianity is said to be only 200,000; 
but members of that community play a large part in the 
humanitarian work of the country. It is said by Professor 
Nitobe, himself a Christian, that the leaders of the 
advanced political views, including the leaders of the 
Labour Party, are almost all men of Christian con- 
viction. 

Buddhism has played a more secular role in Japan 
than in other countries; it is a remarkable sign of the 
influence of nationalism upon religion in Japan that 
Buddhism there in our day has become imbued with 
that spirit, and the Buddhist priests, like many of the 
leaders of the Christian Church in the Great War, 
champion the cause of their country in its military enter- 
prises. An example may be quoted from a recent pro- 
nouncement of the head of the Buddhist Salvation 
League in connection with the struggle in Manchuria. 
In an appeal to England for her sympathy with the 
Japanese action, he says: As a religious man I believe 
that nations should be mutually faithful; no nation can 
sacrifice lasting friendship for immediate gain. For 
England to desert Japan would be unfaithfulness. Any 
act against the Christian teaching — 

“What doth it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his 
own soul,” — will mystically result in his losing a hundred in trying 
to gain one. I therefore pray you to take a higher view of the 
situation, and to persuade the Chinese to reflect; and then your 
glory will be infinite and eternal, and Providence will bless your 
country ( The Times , December 21, 1931). 



aoi RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Here is a striking example of how national ardour 
may transmute religious teachings, so that a priest 
of one pacifist creed can appeal in the name of 
another pacifist religion to another nation for sympathy 
in war. 

While, however, in Japan religion has been allied 
through the centuries with national and warlike feeling, 
it is broadly true that in the Far East religion has been 
a permanent force making for peace, goodwill, and 
brotherhood amongst men. Confucius spoke of “the 
brotherhood within the four seas”; and almost every- 
where the influence of Buddhism has been for the re- 
nunciation of strife and the spread of love and kindness. 
The teaching of love and a common humanity has been 
more effective in the East than in the West upon national 
policy and international relations, although it has been 
less effective than in the West upon the relations of indi- 
viduals and classes in the nation, because of the absence 
of the faith in action and progress which makes for a 
static society; and because, perhaps, it had not the ardour 
of religious emotion. Yet to-day in the East, as in the 
Western world, the spread of nationalism has received 
an enormous impulse. The peoples of India, China, and 
Japan, resenting the domination of Western peoples, are 
struggling to vindicate their national independence; and 
with the fervid nationalism they have adopted another 
Western product, materialism of thought and a mechan- 
ical view of the world that weakens the old religious 
ethic. And recent events in the Far East have shown 
that the nationalism of the East is as violent as that of 
the West. Yet, as the national feeling of the Western 
countries is being tempered by the universal and humani- 
tarian principles of their religions, so we may expect 



THE INDIAN AND FAR EASTERN RELIGIONS ao 3 

that the universal and philanthropic principles of the 
religious and ethical faiths of the East will again 
temper this national fervour, and so bring peoples of 
the East and West to co-operate for the fulfilment 
of the ideals that are common to their highest teach- 
ings. 



CHAPTER IX 


RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TILL THE GREAT WAR 

We have been concerned with the influence of religion 
on the policy for peace and war and in the government 
of nations. We have remarked from time to time on the 
attitude it has engendered towards freedom of worship 
and conscience, and towards the treatment of peoples of 
other religions and faiths. We have now to consider more 
closely this aspect of the relation of religion to national 
and international policy. 

One of the outstanding spiritual events in antiquity is 
the struggle of the Jewish people, both while they were 
a political nationality and after their political inde- 
pendence had been destroyed, on behalf of religious 
freedom. Though their struggle involved the loss of their 
political power and the destruction of their political 
and religious centre, they did succeed in vindicating 
the right to their religious worship and religious teaching 
in the pagan Roman Empire. Throughout the vast 
realm of Rome the Jewish congregations constituted a 
“legitimate community/’ They enjoyed a large measure 
of internal autonomy, so that the Jewish courts could 
deal with civil questions between Jews as well as with 
matters of family relationship, marriage, divorce, suc- 
cession, etc., which were governed by the religious law. 
They had complete freedom to carry on their religious 
mission. They were allowed to maintain a certain political 
unity in their far-spread communities by the recognition 
of a patriarch or Nasi who exercised religious jurisdiction. 
While the Romans diverted to the Imperial treasury the 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TILL THE GREAT WAR 105 

contribution that was formerly made by the Jews all over 
the world to the Temple at Jerusalem so long as it stood, 
they did not interfere with the collection of a contribution 
from the Jews of the Diaspora for the maintenance of 
the Sanhedrin and the Rabbinical schools in Palestine 
and in Babylon after the Temple was destroyed. 

The era of religious liberty and tolerance came to an 
end soon after the Empire was Christianized. The 
Christians suffered from religious persecution for two 
centuries before the issue of the Edict of Toleration 
in 3 J 3- The Edict introduced liberty of conscience: 
“Anyone who desires to observe the Christian religion 
may do so without disturbance. . . . The same liberty 
of conscience and worship is extended to other religions; 
for we will have no distinction made against any creed.” 
Montesquieu observed that every religion which is perse- 
cuted becomes itself persecuting; for as soon as by some 
accidental turn it arises from persecution it attacks the 
religion which persecuted it, not as religion but as 
tyranny. And his observation is signally illustrated by the 
history of the Church. 1 

Beginning with the prohibition of the Jewish mission, 
the Christian ecclesiastics gradually introduced a restric- 
tion, and finally the abolition, of the privileges of the 
Jewish communities within the orbit of the Empire. In 
the same way they set out to crush every form of religious 
observance and belief which differed from that of the 
dominant Church. The first law in the Justinian Code 
deals with the Trinity, and prescribes that “all the 
peoples whom the Empire of our loving-kindness governs 
shall follow that religion which Peter the Divine Apostle 
handed down to the Romans.” Christianity was in double 

1 Esprit des Lois, Book 25, chap. 12. 



20 6 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

bondage: to the logic of Greece and the law of Rome. 
Rigidity of faith was imposed because it was believed 
that the alternative was disintegration. Justinian shut the 
University of Athens and the Temples of the pagan gods. 
And the authority of the Church was added to the 
authority of the State over belief. The decrees of the 
Church Councils were enforced with a severity greater 
than that pertaining to the civil law. The sword and 
the stake were employed ruthlessly to crush out freedom, 
or — as they regarded it — pernicious aberrations, of 
thought and belief. The Jews, indeed, could not be 
prevented from the observance of Judaism despite con- 
stant harrying and attacks; but the effect of persecution 
was to drive them to the countries and peoples outside 
the realm of Christian Emperors and Councils, to 
Babylon, Persia, Arabia, and the northern lands. 

The persecution of Christian sects within the Empire 
was more thorough. Entire communities were wiped out 
for the sake of uniformity of truth: and for a period of 
a thousand years, from a.d. 500 to 1500, liberty of con- 
science and freedom of religion were denied in Western 
Christendom. Not only in the Dark Ages, as they are 
called, but in the Middle Ages obscurantism and intoler- 
ance held sway. From the twelfth to the fifteenth century, 
in particular, a fierce campaign was waged against all 
heretics, whether their heresy took the form of a return 
to Christian pacifism, as with the Albigenses in Provence 
and the Lollards in England, or whether it was concerned 
with some doctrinal difference about Christian dogma. 
Heresy was the most grievous sin, and must be rooted 
out. It was rebellion against the Pope; and to burn or 
slay heretics is a supreme duty towards the Church. The 
fury was partly the outcome of popular panic, in that 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TILL THE GREAT WAR 207 

the peoples feared that any new movement of thought 
or belief would destroy the few stable foundations of 
Europe. 1 And it was partly a false ideology of the 
spiritual and temporal rulers that unity must be main- 
tained, and that unity meant uniformity. 

In the Eastern Empire, which had its centre at Con- 
stantinople, the old Byzantium, religious tyranny was less 
complete, partly because, as we have seen, the State 
dominated the Church and there was no subordination 
of emperor to a supreme and infallible Pontiff. Something 
more of the Roman tolerance survived in that part of 
the Empire. It is notable, too, that the Byzantine em- 
perors from the beginning assumed the function of 
protecting Christian communities outside their borders 
living in partibus injidelium . They encouraged Christian 
missions to the Far East and to the Far North, which 
brought about the conversion of large populations. The 
Armenians and numbers of the people of Persia and 
India, and of the peoples of the lands which we know as 
Russia and the Ukraine, were brought into the Christian 
society; but the State in which they lived did not become 
Christian. The Byzantine emperor regarded it as part of 
his prerogative to see to the protection of these peoples 
from any persecution. When the Persian King Chosroes 
complained in 571 to the Emperor Justinian of the aid 
given to the Armenians, the emperor replied that he 
could not decline to succour a Christian people which 
asked for his aid. When in the seventh century the Arab 
Moslems conquered parts of the Byzantine realm in Asia 
and became masters of Jerusalem itself, the Byzantine 

1 In Shaw's St . Joan the Bishop who represents the Church speaks of heresy 
thus : “It is cancerous. If it be not stamped out, burnt out, it will not stop until 
it has brought the whole body of human society into sin and corruption, into 
waste and ruin.” 



ao8 religious foundations of internationalism 

emperors secured from the tolerant victors rights of 
religious freedom for the Christian peoples that now 
came under the Arab sway. 

The treaty which the Caliph Omar made when Jeru- 
salem was ceded runs as follows: 

In the name of the most merciful God, this is the treaty for the 
people of Aelia [the Roman name for Jerusalem]. This is the 
favour which the servant of God, the Commander of the Faithful, 
grants to the people. He gives them the assurance of the preserva- 
tion of their lives and properties, their churches and crosses. . . . 
Your churches will not be transformed into dwellings nor de- 
stroyed, norwill anyone confiscate anything belonging to them, 
nor the crosses and belongings of the inhabitants. There will be 
no constraint in the matter of religion nor the least annoyance. 
The Jews shall inhabit Aelia together with the Christians, and 
those who live there will be required to pay the Poll-Tax as the 
inhabitants of other towns. . . . Greeks and rebels are to leave the 
town but will have a safe conduct. ... If any of the people of 
Aelia desire to leave with the Greeks, taking their goods but 
abandoning their crosses, they will be guaranteed personal safety. 
The strangers in the town may remain on the condition of paying 
the tax, or they may leave with the Greeks and return to their 
own land. . . . All that this treaty commissions is placed under the 
aid and protection of God and of His Apostle and of His successors 
and of the faithful, so long as they pay the tax. 

That was the new note of religious tolerance which 
Islam introduced and maintained throughout the period 
of the Arab Caliphate. And it was in marked contrast 
to the doctrine and practice of the absolutist Church. 
The Christian and the Jewish communities were allowed 
not only religious freedom but, in the way of the old 
Roman Empire, the right of applying their own system 
of law in civil matters. Law was not secular but a part 
of religion; and so the Moslem law did not extend to 
non-Moslems. “The Christians shall be judged according 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TILL THE GREAT WAR 209 

to the Gospel; and those who judge otherwise are pre- 
varicators.” 1 The Koran corresponded with the Jus 
Civile in early Rome, and was applicable only to those 
who enjoyed full rights. And the Moslems did not 
develop a Jus Gentium. The system of communal 
autonomy, which has survived to this day in the East 
in the form of Millets (religious nationalities), led on 
to the system of Capitulations granted to foreign sove- 
reigns. And it was the Arab, and subsequently Turkish, 
tolerance which preserved or “embalmed” the various 
Christian communities in Asia Minor who would have 
been slaughtered as heretics by a dominant Christian 
Power. 

While the Moslem Caliphs voluntarily granted liberty 
of worship to the Christians within their realm, the 
emperors of Byzantium asserted their right to protect 
Christians within the realms of the barbarian peoples of 
the north. Thus the treaty made between the Emperor 
and Prince Igor of Russia, 944, provided that officers of 
the Orthodox Church in Russia will remain under the 
jurisdiction of Byzantine authorities. 2 

After the Empire fell, with the capture of Constan- 
tinople by the Turks in 1453, this privilege of protection 
of the Orthodox Christians passed to the Muscovite 
Empire, together with much else of the Byzantine 
tradition. It played, as we shall see, an important part 
in the policy of Eastern Europe from the seventeenth 
century onwards. 

In Western Europe the beginning of religious toler- 
ance came with the development of commerce and in- 

1 Koran, chap, v (51). 

* Sec Tau be, International La<w in Eastern Europe . Recueil des Cours of the 
Academy of International Law, XI, 345. 



aio RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 


ternational mercantile relations. The Crusades, though 
starting from the opposite motive, played their part in 
the movement in that they led to the growth of trading 
between East and West. William Petty remarked that 
the commerce of a country is usually exercised by the 
heterodox parts of the people; and it has been noted that 
trade was conducted in India largely by Moslems, in 
Turkey by Jews and Christians, in the Italian cities of 
the Renaissance by French merchants who were not 
Papists and by Jews, in France after the Reformation by 
the Protestant Huguenots, and in England by the 
Puritans and the Quakers . 1 The European States gradu- 
ally came to recognize the need of according to merchants 
of their own country and to merchants of other countries 
a certain freedom of worship, and in this way commerce 
became the ally of reason in introducing liberty of 
conscience in the West. Holland, which after the Re- 
formation became a great commercial and colonizing 
country, was the first State in Western Europe to accord 
that liberty; and historians have seen in that moral 
advance the reason for her extraordinary progress in the 
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, while at the same 
time Spain and Portugal, that had been first in the 
colonizing race but had rigidly denied liberty and expelled 
all heterodox elements, rapidly decline. 

The Jews may be regarded as a barometer of civiliza- 
tion. Where they were persecuted or expelled, civiliza- 


1 Sec Hobza, Recueil des Cours, V. The number of Arabic words which form 
part of the commercial vocabulary of Europe is remarkable: e.g. Cheque, 
Tariff, Traffic, Magazine. And a curious sidelight upon the interchange of 
commercial influence between East and West is thrown by etymology. The 
word for Customs in the languages of the Latin countries of Europe is derived 
from the Arabic Diwan (French douane, Italiap dogana , etc.) ; while the word 
for Customs in the East is derived from the Latin Commercium (Arabic Gumruk), 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TILL THE GREAT WAR 2x1 

tion declined; where they gained liberty, it advanced. 
Spain, it is said, sacrificed to Catholicism both liberty of 
spirit and greatness as a nation. 1 The Middle Ages were 
prolonged there to our day. Ferdinand and Isabella, the 
Catholic sovereigns who united Spain, regarded a unitary 
faith as an essential bond of their kingdom. The Jews 
were expelled in 1492 “because great damage has been 
caused to Christians through the intercourse which they 
have held and hold with Jews, who contrive by all ways 
and means to divert the faithful Christians from our holy 
Christian Faith.” 

It required the terrible religious wars of the sixteenth 
and seventeenth centuries in Western Europe to secure 
the recognition of religious diversity in the State. And 
even then, the idea of freedom of conscience and religious 
worship was far from being won. Holland was for long 
the one free State in a world “tending towards the uni- 
formity of absolutism.” 2 The Edict of Nantes, 1598, 
issued by the French Huguenot king Henry IV, who, 
declaring that Paris was worth a Mass, became Catholic 
for reasons of State and upheld tolerance on grounds 
of expediency, seemed to secure religious freedom in 
France. Montaigne, the leader of liberal thought in the 
sixteenth century, wrote that men had to be very sure 
of their own faith before burning others for disbelieving 
it. 3 But in the reign of Louis XIV there was a violent 
reaction; and the Edict, which had been declared to be 
permanent and irrevocable, was revoked in the supposed 
interests of the unity of a Church-Empire. The spirit 
of the Edict, which declared “if we cannot be of one 

1 The Legacy of Islam , p. 4. * Figgis, From Gerson to Grotius. 

3 It is interesting that the mother of Montaigne was a Marrano Jewess whose 
family had fled from Spain to Bordeaux. 



aiz RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

religion, then at least we may be of one intention,” was 
to prevail in the end, but only after two centuries of 
civil war. 

The question of freedom of conscience was one of the 
outstanding problems of political philosophers and inter- 
national jurists of the seventeenth century. Two years 
before the publication of the great work of Grotius on 
the law of war and peace, a book was published in Paris 
anonymously under the title of Le Nouveau Cynee ,* 
which professed to be a discussion of the State, showing 
the means and the opportunity for establishing a general 
peace. It put forward a scheme for the ambassadors of 
the States forming a council at Venice to settle any diffi- 
culties that might arise between the States. The question, 
however, which looms largest is the tolerance of religions. 
The writer pointed out that all religions had the same 
end, the recognition and adoration of the Divinity; since 
true religion was a supernatural gift, it must come from 
God and not from man, who by his armies had not the 
power to compel belief. He had made a close study of 
the Jewish tradition, and quotes as an example of toler- 
ance the law of Moses as interpreted by the Hellenistic- 
Jewish schools, which forbade blasphemy of strange gods, 
and as an example of peacefulness the sect of the Essenes, 
who had among them no armourer. He notes, too, that 
the Turks lived peacefully although they allowed freedom 
of religion to the non-Moslem peoples. 

A century later another French writer, Montesquieu, 
in his Esprit des Lois , plays again and again with delight- 
ful irony on the theme of religious persecution and in- 
tolerance. He quotes what purports to be an appeal by 

* See Le Nouveau Cyitfe t translated by T. W. E(alch. Carnegie Translations of 
the Classics of International Law. 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TILL THE GREAT WAR ai 3 

a Jew to the Inquisition on the occasion of the burning 
of a Jewish child, aged ten, at an auto da fe at Lisbon, 
which, he says in order to disarm the critics, is “the most 
idle thing that ever was written” (Book xxv, chap. 13): 

We follow a religion which you yourselves know to have been 
formerly dear to God. We think that God loves it still, and you 
think that he loves it no more; and because you judge thus, you 
make us suffer death by fire who hold an error so pardonable as 
to believe that God still loves what he once loved. . . . 

The appeal goes on to urge that it is contrary to the 
law of nature and the law of nations to put to death for 
their belief young children who follow the religion of 
their fathers. It then urges that Christian teaching calls 
on them to show mercy and charity, and concludes: “If 
you will not be Christians, be at least men. Treat us as 
you would if, having only the weak light of justice which 
nature bestows, you had not a religion to conduct and a 
revelation to enlighten you.” 

The Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 marked the accept- 
ance of the idea that the State should be founded on a 
secular and not on a religious basis; and that Catholics 
and Protestants should enjoy religious liberty in the 
country w'here their creed was not the State Church. 
A series of treaties was entered into between kingdoms 
to prevent the oppression of religious minority groups 
under the ruler of a different faith. Thus the treaty of 
1572 between Queen Elizabeth and Charles IX of 
France provided for the safety and the personal property 
of English Protestants in France. Several treaties guaran- 
teeing protection to religious minorities in territory ceded 
from one Power to another were made during these two 
centuries. Thus the Treaty of Paris (1760), by which 
Canada was ceded from France to Great Britain, provided 



214 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

that the French Canadians should retain free exercise 
of their language and religion. 

It was part of the same movement of tolerance that 
led to the re-settlement of the Jews in England in the 
time of Cromwell. “Great is my sympathy,” said the 
Protector, “with this poor people whom God chose and 
to whom He gave His law.” Yet in face of the opposition 
of the Church and of the merchants he could not obtain 
for them equal tolerance, but simply the right of re- 
entering the country. He illustrates himself the incom- 
plete tolerance of the period. Of the ruthless persecution 
of the Waldenscs by Louis XIV he remarked: “To be 
intolerant of such things is a great sin, and a deeper sin 
still it is to be blind to them from policy or ambition.” 
Yet he was responsible himself for massacres of the Irish 
Roman Catholic priests. From Cromwell to Wilberforce, 
says Trevelyan, the road lay through Voltaire. “Religion 
had to go to school with her rival reason; till the 
Rationalist movement had shaken the persecutor’s sword 
from the hand of faith.” The Toleration Act, 1689, 
at last gave the Dissenters in England civil, though not 
political, equality; but the sects that were tolerated — at a 
price — were kept in a position of inferiority. 

While the treaties of the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries provided for a measure of religious freedom 
for foreigners, the right of citizens of the country to such 
freedom was still denied in Europe. International tolera- 
tion and the recognition of alien faiths between States 
preceded tolerance within the State. In the New World, 
however, when the colonies which were largely inhabited 
by religious Dissenters became the United States of 
America, a broader basis of liberty of conscience was 
laid. Already in 1649 a Toleration Act was passed in 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TILL THE GREAT WAR 215 

Maryland at the instance of the Catholic Lord Baltimore, 
who proclaimed the principle of religious freedom. And 
in the Constitution of the Colony of Pennsylvania (1685) 
the Quaker, William Penn, laid down that “every person 
who should reside therein should have and enjoy the 
free profession of his faith and exercise of worship toward 
God, in such way and manner as every such person shall 
in conscience believe is most acceptable to God.” The 
Constitution of Rhode Island, one of the States of the 
Union, provided from the outset for complete liberty of 
conscience: “All men may walk as their conscience 
persuades them; every one in the name of God.” 

The Pilgrim Fathers and the founders of the democ- 
racies of New England were deeply influenced in their 
political as well as their religious ideas by the Hebrew 
scriptures. They found therein authority both for their 
opposition to monarchy and for the religious ordering 
of life by the State. The first form of Government was a 
theocracy; but Roger Williams, the founder of the 
Commonwealth of Rhode Island, revolted against that 
doctrine and laid down the fundamental principle, which 
in the end prevailed through the States, of religious 
freedom and of the separation of the Church from the 
State. Finally the Declaration of Independence prescribes 
as follows : 

All men are created equal; they are endowed by their Creator 
with certain inalienable rights; among them are life, liberty, and 
the pursuit of happiness. 

The first amendment of the Constitution enacted that 
Congress should make no law respecting the establish- 
ment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. 
“A free Church in a free State” became the corner-stone 
of the American system. In the years immediately 



2x6 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

following the Declaration of Independence, the States 
of New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia adopted that 
principle, which is expressed in the Constitution of 
Pennsylvania, thus: 

All men have a natural and inalienable right to worship God 
according to the dictates of their own conscience and under- 
standing. . . . Nor can any man who acknowledges the being of 
God be justly deprived of any civil right as a citizen on account of 
his religious sentiments. 

The Declaration of the Rights of Man proclaimed in 
the French Revolution, which was profoundly influenced 
by the American Declaration, amplified and fortified the 
same principles. Article io laid down: 

No person may be molested in his opinions, even in religion, 
provided that the expression does not affect public order established 
by law. 

And Article 1 1 : 

Free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most 
precious rights of man. Every person may speak, write, print and 
teach, subject to his liability for any abuse of the right. 

The Revolutionary theory was the equality of man as a 
human being. Each person, regardless of birth, colour, and 
religion, was possessed of inalienable rights. That was a 
broad idea going beyond the equality of men in Christ- 
ianity or Islam which was limited by adherence to a 
particular religious faith. 

The principles of the French Revolution gradually 
received acceptance throughout Europe and America 
during the nineteenth century. The ideal was no longer 
a unitary Church-State in which all the inhabitants 
belong to one religion, but rather a Welfare-State 
seeking the good life for all its inhabitants, and recog- 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TILL THE GREAT WAR 217 

nizing in matters of religion and opinion the principle 
of diversity in unity. In many countries there was com- 
plete separation of Church and State. It came to be 
recognized that a greater degree of national unity is 
attained where there is complete religious toleration than 
under a system of national religion: and that religious 
persecution breeds rebellions and weakens empires. 

There was, indeed, a reaction at the end of the Napo- 
leonic Wars against freedom of thought. One of the 
purposes of the Holy Alliance was to protect the Christian 
religion and Christian morality, which were to become 
again the basis of public life. The three absolute mon- 
archies of Russia, Austria, and Prussia, representing 
respectively the Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant 
Churches, regarded themselves as members of one 
Christian nation and as delegated by Providence to govern 
the three branches of one family and to uphold every- 
where the principles of Christianity. The year of Revolu- 
tion — 1848 — put an end to the period of reaction; the 
secular idea of the State prevailed; and the struggle for 
complete liberty of conscience and the abolition of dis- 
crimination on the ground of religion was pursued in the 
Western countries. 

The civil and political disabilities of the Jews were 
gradually removed — but in some States only after a 
long struggle — in face of the conception of a common 
citizenship. The revolutionary government of Napoleon 
accorded the Jews civil equality in France and in Holland; 
but elsewhere on the Continent emancipation tarried. 
The final Article of the Treaty of Vienna regarding 
the Federal Constitution of Germany contained a clause 
recommending the grant of civil rights to the Jews, but 
the recommendation was not adopted in practice. The 



2x8 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Congress of Aix, held three years later, further considered 
the question of Jewish rights, and the Powers undertook 
to have regard to the reform of the civil and political 
legislation concerning the Jewish nation, as it was 
significantly called. 

The Congress of Vienna laid down in the Constitution 
of Holland the principle of religious equality for all 
communities, and a similar provision was made when 
Belgium was organized as a separate State. It may be 
noted that the two States of the Netherlands separated 
principally owing to religious differences. The Congress 
of Vienna required Switzerland also to give full religious 
liberty to the Catholics in the portions of Savoy which 
were transferred to the Canton of Geneva. 

When Turkey was admitted to the Society of Nations 
after the close of the Crimean War, she was required 
to make a declaration of religious liberalism; and the 
Sultan issued in 1856 the Hatti Hamayoun , which pur- 
ported to assure civic equality and religious autonomy 
to the non-Moslem peoples of the Ottoman Empire. 
That was the culmination of a movement for the rights 
of religious minorities in Turkey which had been the 
feature of international relations for more than two 
centuries, and which we must consider more in detail. 

When the Turks succeeded the Arabs as the rulers 
of the East, they maintained the system of communal 
autonomy and freedom of worship to the Christian and 
Jewish inhabitants; and they also granted to the Christian 
sovereigns of Europe the privileges of consular juris- 
diction and immunity from taxation for their subjects 
resident or travelling in the Empire. Those privileges 
are compendiously known as the System of the Capitula- 
tions, because they were originally laid down in chapters 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TILL THE GREAT WAR a 19 

(capituia) of treaties between the Turks and the French 
kings. The word occurs first in the Treaty of 1569, but 
the first treaty of the kind was made with Francis I in 
1 536, by the great Sultan, Suliman the Magnificent. 
The Christian king was accorded rights of protection 
over Christian religious persons in the Ottoman Empire, 
in the first place voluntarily on the part of the Sultan. 
For a long period France was recognized as the leading 
Christian Power and the protector of all Latin Christians. 1 
The treaty between the Sultan and Francis I prescribed 
liberty for French merchants and pilgrims in the Orient 
to observe their religion, and extended the guarantee 
to subjects of the Pope, the King of England, and the 
King of Scotland. But England obtained a separate 
treaty in 1583. The treaty of 1601 between Henry IV 
of France and the Sultan assured protection for the 
pilgrim subjects of the King of France and his allies, and 
for monks residing in Jerusalem. Louis XIV of France 
obtained fresh Capitulations in favour of all religious 
persons of the Latin rule in the Ottoman Empire, so 
that the French protection was extended over the Latin 
Christian subjects of the Sultan. In 1740 the Capitula- 
tions became permanent. 

As the Central and Eastern European Powers became 
stronger and the Turks became weaker in the seventeenth 
and eighteenth centuries, it became the practice for the 
victorious States at the end of their wars with Turkey 
to insert provisions in the treaty specifying the rights of 
Christian subjects of their particular Church. So rights 


1 As far back as the time of Charles of Anjou (1270), who made peace with the 
Arab Emirs of North Africa after the death of St. Louis in the last of the 
Crusades, it was provided that the Christian monks and priests should be free 
to establish themselves in the Moslem States. 



220 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

of protection were laid down for the Orthodox as well 
as for Latins, and the power of protection over Latin 
Christians was no longer restricted to France. Thus, in 
the treaty between Austria and Turkey in 1615 the right 
of the Christians to build churches and conduct their 
worship freely is specified. The Treaty of Carlowitz, 
1695, prescribes that the Ambassador of Poland shall 
have the right to bring before the Sublime Porte any 
demands with regard to religion. The Treaty of Kuchuk 
Kainarji between Turkey and Russia in 1774 prescribes 
that the Sublime Porte shall protect the Orthodox 
Christian religion and churches, and permits the ministers 
of Russia to make representations at all times. 

From that time the Russians were definitely recog- 
nized as the protectors of the Eastern Churches, and the 
Orthodox in Palestine with their help were enabled to 
make themselves masters of the Holy Places. When the 
new Christian Balkan States were carved out of the 
Ottoman Empire during the nineteenth century, they 
were made to insert in their constitutions provision for 
religious liberty and civic equality for all inhabitants 
without discrimination on the ground of religion. The 
obligation was not fairly honoured, particularly as regards 
the Jewish population in Rumania. The Treaty of 
Berlin, concluded in 1878 after the Russo-Turkish War, 
reaffirmed the principle of religious equality in Turkey 
and the States detached from the Ottoman Empire, 
Rumania, Servia, Bulgaria; but the new treaty obliga- 
tion was not better observed. 

The States of Eastern Europe, Christian and Moslem, 
had not yet reached an understanding of religious liberty. 
State oppression intensified the reljgious national feeling 
of the oppressed section. That was the case of the Christian 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TILL THE GREAT WAR 221 

communities in Turkey, as of the Roman Catholic com- 
munity in Poland after the Partition. 

International law formerly recognized a right of 
States to intervene with other States whose policy towards 
a part of their subjects offended the principles of 
humanity; and throughout the nineteenth century there 
were frequent interventions of the Western Powers on 
those grounds to secure decent treatment for religious 
minorities. It was the habit of Russia, when she took 
the upper hand against her Moslem neighbour, to inter- 
vene on behalf of the subject populations in Turkey. Her 
wars had usually as their motive the claim to protect the 
Orthodox Christians. 

In i860, moreover, the French sent an expedition to 
Syria in order to protect the Christian Maronites, who 
belonged to the Catholic Church, against the extermina- 
tion with which they were threatened by the warlike 
Druses of “The Mountain” whom the Turks could not 
control. Finally the ambassadors of the five Great Powers 
signed a treaty with the Turks which provided for the 
appointment of a Christian governor of the Lebanon 
and a form of autonomous government for that province, 
and placed the Christian communities under the effective 
protection of the French. 

On several occasions the European Powers and the 
United States intervened pacifically and diplomatically 
to secure equal rights for the Jewish population in coun- 
tries in which those were still denied. When Switzerland, 
prior to the grant of religious equality by the Consti- 
tution in 1872, sought to prohibit Jewish subjects of 
foreign countries from settling in certain cantons, 
France, England, and the United States jointly made 
representations. Monsieur de Lesseps, the engineer of 



222 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

the Suez Canal, who was the Chairman of the Com- 
mission of the French Senate, reported to that body that 
“no distinction may be recognized in the enjoyment of 
civil and religious rights between a French Jew and a 
French Catholic or Protestant. The equality of rights must 
also follow citizens beyond the frontier; and the principles 
of our Constitution do not authorize our Government to 
vary the protection of its subjects according to the faith 
they profess.” The Swiss Government was compelled to 
grant foreign subjects of the protesting countries the 
right to carry on their business without distinction of 
faith. For a time, then, a foreign Jew travelling in Switzer- 
land received preferential treatment over the native Jews; 
but the action of the foreign States led on to the emancipa- 
tion of the Jewish people in the country. 

The same countries intervened with Rumania in 1872, 
and again at the Congress of Berlin, 1 878, to secure equal 
treatment for the Jews. But, despite the provisions of 
the Treaty of Berlin and the efforts of the liberal leaders 
of many countries, the Rumanian Government evaded 
its obligations by denying citizenship to the great 
majority of her Jewish population, until the Treaty of 
London, concluded at the end of the Balkan War, 1912, 
prescribed expressly civic rights for the Jewish popula- 
tion. Even thereafter she contrived to discriminate against 
the Jews. 

In 1902 the Jewish massacres at Kishineff and other 
places in Russia roused the conscience of the Christian 
communities in England and the United States; but 
the Governments did not find it feasible to make any 
official representation. President Roosevelt of the United 
States sent, indeed, a petition fro^n the Jewish citizens 
to the United States Ambassador at St. Petersburg with a 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TILL THE GREAT WAR 223 

letter which recited the atrocities, and caused the letter 
to be published in all countries. This was a way of 
expressing public opinion without direct intervention. The 
United States Government took more definite action with 
regard to discrimination against Jews by Tsarist Russia 
some years later, when a question arose as to the refusal 
to honour the passports of American citizens who were 
Jews. Here the Government was on firmer legal ground 
for taking action, since the discrimination affected its 
own subjects. 

In 1910 the House of Representatives passed a resolu- 
tion declaring that the people of the United States assert 
as a fundamental principle that the rights of its citizens 
shall not be impaired at home or abroad because of race 
or religion, that the Government of the United States 
will not be a party to any treaty which discriminates, 
or which is construed by one of the parties to discrimi- 
nate, between American citizens on these grounds, that 
the Russian Government has violated the commercial 
treaty by refusing on account of race and religion to 
honour American passports issued to American citizens, 
and that the treaty ought to be terminated at the earliest 
possible moment. The President denounced the treaty in 
191 1. 

The question of freedom of conscience and worship 
was raised during the nineteenth century not only in 
Europe but in connection with the European colonies and 
protectorates carved out of Africa. The right to religious 
liberty was laid down in the Constitution of the Congo 
Free State which was drawn up by the Concert of 
Europe in 1885. Three years later the Institute of Inter- 
national Law adopted a resolution with regard to the 
occupation of territories in Africa, that freedom of 



a 14 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

conscience should be granted to natives as well as to 
foreigners, and freedom of worship should not be re- 
stricted or hindered in any way. That was a precedent for 
the principle of freedom of worship and the prohibition 
of all discrimination on the ground of religion, which 
was part of the settlement of African territories after the 
Great War. 

In India, too, where the British rule was steadily 
extended, that principle was affirmed in the proclamation 
of Queen Victoria of 1858, after the end of the Indian 
Mutiny, which arose, in part, out of religious passions. 
“Firmly relying ourselves on the truth of Christianity 
. . . we disclaim alike the right and desire to impose 
our convictions on any of our subjects. We declare it 
to be our royal will that none be molested or disquieted 
by reason of their religious faith or observance, but that 
all shall enjoy the equal and impartial protection of the 
law.” 

Another remarkable development of the principle of 
religious freedom during the last century was consequent 
on the growth of Christian missionary enterprise, which 
was bound up with the European colonization and 
economic linking up of the world. The Christian mis- 
sions were a certain, though inadequate, check on the 
ruthless exploitation of the weak and primitive peoples 
of Asia and Africa in the scramble for territories and 
wealth that engaged the European countries in the nine- 
teenth century. Previous to that century, the missions 
had been conducted almost exclusively by the Roman 
Catholic Church, which, as we have seen, sent its emis- 
saries in the Middle Ages to India and Central Asia, and 
afterwards to the Far East and ,the New World. The 
nineteenth century, however, saw an extraordinary growth 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TILL THE GREAT WAR 225 

of Protestant missions, both in the East and throughout 
the continent of Africa. 

For a long time no political obstacle was set to the 
missionary work. In Africa the native peoples could not 
offer resistance; and in the Far East tolerance in reli- 
gious matters was an outstanding characteristic of the 
old civilization. When the Nestorian missionaries came 
to China in the seventh century, the emperor ordered a 
Christian temple to be built, and stated in his decree, 
“Truth does not always appear under the same name, 
nor is the Divine inspiration always embodied in the 
same force. Religions vary in various lands, but the 
underlying principle of all is the salvation of Mankind.” 1 

In the nineteenth century, when religious missions were 
accompanied by, or preceded, commercial enterprise and 
demands for exterritorial jurisdiction from the European 
Powers, the welcome was restricted. Japan, too, originally 
gave ready admission to Christian missionaries who fol- 
lowed the Portuguese traders in the sixteenth century. 
Her national spirit was subsequently roused against the 
foreign teaching, and for two hundred years it was a 
penal offence to profess Christianity. The European 
Powers and the United States put pressure upon her in 
the middle of the nineteenth century to withdraw the 
ban; and the Constitution now gives complete freedom 
of religion. The right of Christian missionaries generally 
to enter a country and carry on their teaching, though 
originally extorted by the European States as a part of 
their claim to superiority, came to be recognized as a 
part of public law. The Congress of Berlin in 1885, which 
considered the policy of the European Powers in Africa 
in relation to the natives, made a declaration that the 

1 Giles, Confucianism and its Rivals , p. 196. 



226 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Powers should undertake to favour and aid the work of 
religious missions and all institutions tending to the 
education of the natives. 

During the nineteenth century, indeed, missionary 
work in the East was often associated with political 
ambitions. It is significant of this attitude that, by a 
treaty made between France and China in 1899, it was 
prescribed that the Pope should be recognized as an 
Emperor of the Faith and the Catholic missionaries in 
China should receive the rank and status of Chinese 
dignitaries. A bishop ranked as a viceroy or governor, a 
priest as a prefect or sub-prefect. 1 The French Encyclopedia 
published at the end of that century referred to the 
power of missionaries to extend the influence of their 
nation and to open the way for a Protectorate. Lord 
Salisbury, the Prime Minister of Great Britain in the 
same period, said cynically, “First the missionary; then 
the trader; then the gunboat.” 

The rising national feeling in the East fostered a 
popular movement against the Christian missionaries, 
who were not unnaturally regarded as emissaries of 
foreign influence and domination, and as protected by 
the “unequal treaties” that are so fiercely resented. 
Ironically, the effect of the educational activity of mis- 
sionaries has been to bring European political and social 
doctrines to the East, and so arouse the feeling which is 
hostile to that activity. Missionaries in the East have done 
much, also, to promote national sentiment by the estab- 
lishment of printing presses for the national literature. 
One of the features of Eastern Christianity in our day 


* See Boegner, Protestant Missions and International Law, Recueil des Cours, 
1929, vol. iv ; Goyau, Les Missions Catholiquqs, ibid . , vol. ij Grentrup, Die 
Missions- Freiheit. Berlin, 1928. 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TILL THE GREAT WAR *17 

has been the formation of national Churches in India 
and China. The privileges of the Catholic missionaries 
in China were abolished in 19 1 8, and since the Great 
War religious missions generally have been dissociated 
from national and imperial interests. The carriers of 
religion have been unwittingly carriers of a nationalism 
which has radically changed the foundations of the 
foreign missions. The basis of the new order is, on the 
one hand, freedom of religious teaching, and, on the 
other, abolition of religious imperialism or domination. 
It is a step towards the recognition of religious equality 
by the side of religious liberty. A further development, 
the idea of religious fraternity or co-operation of the 
different creeds for common ends, is just coming to birth. 



CHAPTER X 


RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SINCE THE GREAT WAR 

We have seen that two large questions are involved in 
the subject of religious freedom, the political treatment 
of religious minorities, and freedom of conscience and 
religious worship. The Treaties of Peace made at the 
end of the Great War place these two questions on a 
clearer and more definite basis than existed before; and 
embody rules concerning them which now form part of 
the public law of nations. 

Professor Huber, the Legal Adviser of the Swiss 
Government (and subsequently President of the Per- 
manent Court of International Justice), who prepared 
before the end of the w r ar a report on the problems of 
the League of Nations, suggested that, as the Religious 
Wars of the seventeenth century were concluded by a 
treaty which assured equal treatment to the different 
creeds, so the war of nationalities should end in the 
recognition of the principle of equal treatment and 
toleration for national and linguistic minorities. The 
framers of the peace adopted the principle and extended 
it in favour of minorities which were religious. Jewish 
bodies played a part at the Peace Conference in securing 
international sanction for these rights, not only on behalf 
of the Jewish people but for all religious and national 
minorities. Immediately after the Armistice was declared, 
an American Jewish congress was held at Philadelphia 
which represented three million Jews. It sent a delegation 
to the Conference that took the lead in the negotiations 
about the minorities of Europe. Jewish assemblies were 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SINCE THE GREAT WAR 229 

held in other countries with the same aim; and the Jewish 
representatives at Paris were formed into a Committee 
of Delegates . 1 

Moved by the failure of earlier treaties to assure to 
the Jews civil and religious rights in Rumania and other 
Balkan States, the delegates were concerned that the 
rights of minorities should not only be an international 
obligation of the States, but they should be expressly 
protected by the organs of the new international society. 
On their suggestion President Wilson included a declara- 
tion about minorities among the points to be embodied 
in the Covenant of the League of Nations. 

“The League of Nations will demand, as a condition 
precedent to the recognition of any new State, an under- 
taking to accord to any racial or national minority within 
its jurisdiction the same treatment and security as it 
accords to the racial or national majority.” The provision 
was embodied in the draft of the Covenant, with the 
addition of the words at the beginning: “recognizing 
that religious persecutions and intolerance have been a 
fruitful source of wars”: and words at the end requiring 
that “a State shall not establish any distinction in law 
or fact with regard to those who adhere to any faith, 
religion or belief of which the exercise is not incompatible 
with public order and morality.” 

Another draft of the Covenant contained a clause in 
the following terms: 

The parties agree in declaring that no obstacle shall be placed on 
the free exercise of every creed, religion or opinion of which the 
practice is not incompatible with public order and morality, and 
that in their respective jurisdictions nobody shall be disturbed in 

1 Fein berg, La Question des Minorites a la Conference de la Paix. Paris, 1929. 
And God in Freedom , pp. 735 ff. 



*30 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

his life, liberty or pursuit of happiness, by reason of his attachment 
to any creed, religion or opinion. 

Neither clause was incorporated in the Covenant. 
Objection was raised in some countries that any such 
declaration would be contrary to their constitution; and 
complications were caused by a Japanese amendment 
concerning racial equality. The principle, however, is 
embodied in the so-called Minorities Treaties signed 
between the principal Allied Powers and Poland, Yugo- 
slavia, Czechoslovakia, and the Baltic States. The rights 
secured by the treaties were of three classes : 

1. Civil, religious, and political liberty of the members 
of the minorities as individuals. 

2. The right of organization and development as 
national minorities. 

3. Equality of status for individuals and for national 
minorities. 

Poland accepted the provisions of a treaty prepared 
by the Supreme Council which included specific assur- 
ances for the Jewish population; the obligation to respect 
the Jewish Sabbath, to give Jewish schools and communi- 
ties the right to share in a proportionate part of the 
budget funds allotted to education, to apply to Jewish 
elementary schools the prescriptions concerning the use 
of the national language of a minority. The other Powers 
accepted the general principles of minority rights, but 
not the specific assurances in favour of Jews: save 
that the Rumanian Treaty included a clause by which 
Rumania undertook to recognize absolutely as bet 
subjects Jews inhabiting her territory and not claiming 
any other nationality. 

The general rights included in the treaties are an 
amplification of the principles of the Constitution of the 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SINCE THE GREAT WAR * 3 t 

United States concerning human rights, in favour of 
minority populations. They comprise freedom of worship, 
equal treatment of all citizens before the law, the use of 
a national language, and the right of the minority to a 
fair share of any public funds devoted to educational, 
religious, or charitable purposes. The basis of these 
provisions imposed by the International Society is that, 
the greater the respect and protection accorded to the 
exercise of the rights of any group to use their mother- 
tongue, practise their religion, and develop their culture 
irrespective of the political frontiers, the less likely is 
international peace to be disturbed. National and religious 
tolerance is made an international obligation; and the 
safeguard of the minority rights is entrusted partly to 
the Council of the League of Nations and partly to the 
Permanent Court of International Justice. 

Any Power which is a member of the Council of the 
League of Nations may submit to the Council or the 
Court of International Justice a complaint of discrimina- 
tion against a minority group in a State bound by these 
provisions. When the Polish Government protested 
against the treaty proposals as an infringement of 
sovereignty, the Supreme Council of the Allies pointed 
out that 

under the old regime the guarantee of the execution of prescrip- 
tions of the kind was vested in the Great Powers. Experience 
showed that it was in practice inoperative, and it was open to 
objection that it gave the Great Powers a right of intervention in 
the domestic constitution of the States in question, which might be 
exercised for purely political ends. In the new system the guarantee 
belonged to the League of Nations. 

While the minority clauses are applied only to the Suc- 
cession States and new States, and not to the older 



232 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

established Powers, a resolution was passed by the 
Assembly of the League in 1922 expressing the hope 
that States not bound by any legal obligations would 
observe at least as high a standard of justice and toleration 
as is required by any of the treaties. This resolution 
was designed to meet the objection of the new States 
that they were put on an inferior status in relation to the 
older Powers in that they were subjected to an inter- 
national control. But it did not get rid of the resentment 
or the sense of discrimination; and it was scantily honoured 
by the States mainly concerned. 

The safeguards prescribed in the treaties have, indeed, 
been found in practice somewhat illusory on account of 
the unwillingness of the Greater Powers to press the 
claims of the minorities even where cases of oppression 
and injustice have been made out. In several of the new 
States the rights of minorities have been consistently 
flouted. It has been said that the difference between 
co-operation and collusion lies only in the sincerity of 
the parties; and even if they are sincere, the Powers on 
the Council of the League manifest a “timid virtue” 
about co-operation. The result is that the question of 
minorities is “the skeleton in the cupboard of the League,” 
and is one of the grave perils to the peace of the world. 
Objection, indeed, has been made to the provisions on 
the ground that they are an obstacle to the secularization 
of the State and the solidarity of mixed populations; so 
long as a religious or national minority has a treaty right 
to particular consideration, a State cannot get rid of 
religious classifications. The objection is not valid. So 
long as any community in the State is anxious to retain 
its communal religious life, it should receive full oppor- 
tunity for that purpose. The extinction of religious, 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SINCE THE GREAT WAR 233 

racial, and national diversities is not a step towards true 
national solidarity and is contrary to the fundamental 
principle of intellectual liberty. 

It was the hope of the framers of the Minority Treaties 
that if the minorities* religious and cultural rights were 
fully assured, they would give up the desire for political 
independence. The movement of opinion in recent years 
has been to generalize the rights and fortify their sanction. 
The Institut of International Law, which is an authorita- 
tive body of jurists of all countries, drew up a “declaration 
of the international rights of man” at its meeting in 1929 
with regard to these rights individual and communal; 
and at its meeting in 1931 went on to propose that a 
community aggrieved should have the right of recourse 
to the Court of International Justice without requiring 
the permission of the State involved ; since the rights are 
inherent in the nature of man and not derived from the 
State, they should not be submitted to the final control 
of the State but be protected by the Palladium of Inter- 
national Justice. 

The “Act” of 1929 constitutes a new declaration of 
the rights of the individual, which may precede general 
international acceptance, as many previous “acts” of the 
Institute have done. It is expressly connected with the 
American Declaration of the Rights of Man, and lays 
down: 

Considering that the juridical conscience of the civilized world 
demands the recognition of individual rights beyond the infringe- 
ment of the state; that the declaration of rights inserted in many 
constitutions has not only provided for citizens but for mankind; 
that the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution 
provided that no state can deprive a man of life, liberty and property 
without due legal procedure, or shall deny anybody within its 
jurisdiction equal protection of law. . . . That it is desirable to 



»34 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

extend the recognition of the international rights of man throughout 
the world. . . . 

(1) It is the duty of every state to allow the individual equal 
rights of life, liberty and property, to grant to all on its territory 
full protection of their rights without distinction of nationality, 
sex, race, language or religion. 

(2) It is the duty of every state to allow equality of rights and 
the free exercise, public or private, of every faith, religion or belief, 
the practice of which is not incompatible with public order or 
morality. 

(3) It is the duty of every state to allow the free use of any 
language and the teaching thereof. 

(4) The state shall not on any ground of difference of sex, 
race, language or religion, deprive any of its nationalities of their 
private or public rights, notably of their admission to public educa- 
tional institutions, and the exercise of the different economic 
industries, professions and trades. 

(5) Equality shall not be nominal, it excludes all discrimination 
direct or indirect. 

(6) No state has the right to deprive individuals, save for reasons 
derived from the general legislation, of their nationality on account 
of sex, race, language or religion; nor shall it deprive them of the 
guarantees provided in the above Articles. 1 

A matter not dealt with in the Resolutions which has 
aroused unrest in Eastern Europe is the right of a religious 
minority, which is at the same time a national or linguistic 
minority in a State, to maintain contact with its principal 
Church in another State. It was urged at the Conference 
of the World Alliance for International Friendship 
through the Churches held at Cambridge in 1931 that 
minorities must not be prevented from using their mother- 
tongue in the performance of their religious worship; 
their co-operation with their co-religionists in other 


1 Sec Contemporary Review, September 1931. American Journal of International 
Law, January 1932. * 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SINCE THE GREAT WAR 235 

countries must not be obstructed; and their spiritual 
activities should not be impaired on political grounds. 
International religious organizations are taking a promi- 
nent part in defending minority rights. They recognize 
that the League of Nations can only insist on obedience 
to the letter of the law, while peace and justice require 
the acceptance of the principles in the spirit which 
religion should inculcate. 

The need for the adoption of more liberal practices 
by the State towards minorities has been exemplified 
in the relations between the nations of South-Eastern 
Europe since the conclusion of the war. The doctrine 
cujus regio , ejus religio , which affected Europe after 
the religious Reformation, has had after the struggle of 
nationalities a modern mischievous counterpart; cujus 
re gio , ejus natio. A vast Greek population was expelled 
from Asia Minor by the Turks, and conversely a vast 
Turkish Moslem population was expelled by the Greeks 
from Macedonia. The Armenians who survived massacre 
during the war have been so oppressed that they sought 
refuge outside Turkey; and similarly the Chaldean and 
Assyrian Christian minorities that were left in Turkey 
in Asia have in great part migrated to the neighbouring 
States. The national movement which has gripped the 
Eastern peoples has tended to take an extreme and ex- 
clusive form which Europe is learning to discard. These 
examples of exclusive nationalism may, however, be 
regarded as due to passions aroused by the war which 
have not died down. For the treaties signed at the end 
of the strife prescribed a more liberal attitude. The 
rights of Moslems in certain of the enlarged European 
States are specifically safeguarded. Thus Yugoslavia 
undertook to pass all necessary measures to secure to 



236 religious foundations of internationalism 

the Moslems religious liberty, to regulate according to 
Moslem law questions of family rights and personal 
status, and to protect mosques and wakfs . Bulgaria 
entered into similar obligations with regard to the Mos- 
lems in her territory. On the other side, Turkey, in the 
Treaty of Lausanne, undertook with regard to her non- 
Moslem communities to provide for the regulation of 
all matters concerning family and personal status according 
to the usage of the minorities. The regulations are to 
be framed by a special commission with equal numbers 
representing the Turkish Government and each of the 
minorities. She undertook also to respect all religious 
buildings and pious foundations. Ottoman subjects of 
ary community are not to be required to do anything 
contrary to their religious belief, nor placed under any 
incapacity if they refuse to appear before the courts on 
their religious day of rest. 

A letter attached to the Treaty of Lausanne and 
written by Izmet Pasha to the President of the English 
Delegation concerning British religious, educational, and 
medical institutions in Turkey, gives an undertaking by 
Turkey to recognize all such institutions that were 
established before the outbreak of the Great War and to 
regularize their legal status. While, however, the principle 
of religious freedom has been established in the secular- 
ized Turkish Republic, the heightened national feeling 
in that Republic, as in China, tends to cause friction 
against Christian missionary work which is regarded as 
a denationalizing agency. And the movement against the 
Moslem religion in the former Moslem State has led 
to action against religious education, even in missionary 
schools. 

The privileged position hitherto enjoyed by foreign 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SINCE THE GREAT WAR 237 

persons and religious bodies in Turkey has been abolished. 
By a convention attached to the Treaty the Allied 
Powers agreed to the abolition of the Capitulations, 
which had already been abandoned by the Central 
European Powers that were allied with Turkey in the 
war. Foreign subjects resident in Turkey are now within 
the jurisdiction of the Turkish courts and subject to all 
the Turkish laws, including those concerning taxation. 
The only survival of the old regime is that questions 
concerning their personal status may be tried by their 
national courts in the State of which they are subjects. 
The distinction between Moslem and non-Moslem and 
between Ottoman and foreigner as regards civil rights 
has disappeared; and as we have seen, since the denuncia- 
tion of the Caliphate and the disestablishment of the 
religion of Islam the Turkish State has been more 
completely secularized than many European States. 
The French protectorate over the Latin Catholics and 
Uniate Churches in the Turkish Empire, which had 
been exercised for four hundred years, was brought to 
an end by the Treaty. 

Another country in which in recent years a revolution 
has brought about complete secularization, the disestab- 
lishment of the Church, and the abolition of all discrimi- 
nation on the ground of race or religion, is the Union 
of Soviet Socialist Republics which covers the greater 
part of what was the Holy Russian Empire. There the 
reaction against a State-Church closely bound up with 
an autocratic and oppressive Government, together with 
the Marxian materialism which is the theoretical basis 
of the new economic and social order, has led on to a 
movement against all religious observances and religious 
teaching. The reaction threatens to be as oppressive of 



238 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

liberty of conscience and thought as was the old regime . 1 
The Communist Government is opposed to any established 
religion, as well as to the Orthodox Church, which was 
the State-creed, for a number of reasons . 2 It claims to 
follow the teachings of physical science, and so objects 
to the transcendental and mystic elements in religion. 
It holds to its fierce Marxian dogma, and is opposed to 
the flexibility of religious doctrines. It holds to the right 
of the individual to self-expression, and so is opposed to 
any association which inculcates reverence for authority. 
It holds to the continuous class-war, and so is opposed 
to the teaching of toleration. It holds to the absolute 
devotion of the individual to the State, and so is opposed 
to the bond between the followers of a religious creed. 
It holds to the need of preparedness for war, and so is 
opposed to the pacifism of certain religious communities. 
And lastly, it holds to the communistic subordination 
of the individual, and so is opposed to any doctrine 
which enhances individual responsibility. The new 
tyranny of atheism matches the old tyranny of the 
established religions. 

Lastly we may notice the provisions made to ensure 
freedom of conscience, public worship, and missionary 
activity in the territories detached from Turkey and 
placed under a Mandate, and in the former German 
Colonies which have likewise been entrusted to the 
government of Mandatory Powers on behalf of the 
League of Nations. 

Freedom of conscience and religion is a fundamental 
principle of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League 

1 The Vatican proposed to the Powers of Europe at the Genoa Conference of 
1922, to which the Soviet representatives were admitted, to lay down religious 
freedom as a condition of recognition of the Government. But nothing came 
of the proposal. ; » See The Round Table , 1931. 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SINCE THE GREAT WAR 239 

which introduces the Mandate System, and prescribes 
broadly conditions of government for the Mandatory 
Power in the execution of the “sacred trust of civiliza- 
tion 0 on behalf of the League of Nations. The general 
provision is applied differently in the various Mandate 
instruments; but in every case the principle is maintained. 

The Palestine Mandate lays down that the Mandatory 
shall be responsible for safeguarding the civil and religious 
rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine irrespective of 
race and religion. (Article 2.) 

Respect for the personal status of the various com- 
munities and for their religious interests shall be fully 
guaranteed. (Article 9.) The Mandatory shall see that 
complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of 
all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of 
public order and morals, are ensured to all. No discrimi- 
nation of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants 
of Palestine on the ground of race, religion, or language. 
No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole 
ground of his religious belief. (Article 1 5.) The Manda- 
tory shall be responsible for exercising such supervision 
over the religious or eleemosynary bodies of all faiths as 
may be required for the maintenance of public order and 
good government; and subject thereto no measures shall 
be taken to obstruct or interfere with the enterprises of 
such bodies, or to discriminate against any representative 
of theirs on the ground of his religion or nationality. 

The Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon contains 
provisions concerning respect for the personal status and 
for complete freedom of conscience, that follow closely 
tne articles of the Palestine Mandate; and it contains also 
two articles that are in rather different terms from those 
touching the same matters in the Palestine instrument. 



240 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

The Mandatory shall refrain from all interference in the administra- 
tion of the Councils of Management or in the management of 
religious communities and sacred shrines belonging to the various 
religions, the immunity of which has been expressly guaranteed. 
(Article 9.) The supervision exercised by the Mandatory over 
religious missions in Syria and the Lebanon shall be limited to the 
maintenance of public order and good government; the activities 
of these missions shall in no way be restricted, nor shall their 
members be subjected to any restrictive measures on the ground of 
nationality, provided that their activities are confined to the 
domain of religion. (Article 10.) 

The treaty between His Britannic Majesty and the King 
of Iraq, concluded in 1922, which, with the consent of 
the League of Nations, replaced the Draft Mandate 
for Iraq, laid down certain conditions of liberty of 
conscience, etc., to be embodied in the organic law of 
Iraq. That law is to ensure to all complete freedom of 
conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, 
subject only to the maintenance of public order and 
morals. No discrimination of any kind shall be made 
between the inhabitants on the ground of race, religion, 
or language; and the right of each community to maintain 
its own schools for the education of its own members 
in its own language . . . shall not be denied or impaired. 
Another article of the treaty lays down that no measures 
shall be taken in Iraq to obstruct or interfere with 
missionary enterprise, or to discriminate against any 
missionary on the ground of his religious belief or 
nationality. 

The Permanent Mandates Commission, which super- 
vises the administration of the Mandates, has been at 
pains to see that these provisions are honoured in the 
spirit as in the letter. With regard to Iraq, they were 
exercised about a case of an apparent miscarriage of 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SINCE THE GREAT WAR 241 

justice in the local courts by which the Bahai community 
in Bagdad was deprived of the property in which it 
held its religious meetings. Contrary to its usual practice 
of not interfering with judicial decisions, they recom- 
mended to the Council of the League to make representa- 
tions to the Mandatory so as to ensure that the wrong 
should be corrected; and action has in fact been taken 
to that end. 

The Permanent Mandates Commission has also been 
exercised at its recent meetings over the question of the 
safeguarding of religious liberties and autonomy of the 
non-Moslem communities in Iraq when the Mandatory 
relation is terminated and the guidance of the British 
Mandatory is withdrawn. Great Britain proposed that that 
step shall be taken this year (1932); and the Commission 
and the Council of the League were concerned with the 
consideration of two matters: 

(1) The general conditions to govern the termination of any 
Mandate, and 

(2) The particular conditions to be required before the Mandate 
for Iraq comes to an end, and the new Arab State is admitted as a 
member of the League of Nations. 

On the first matter the Commission, at its meeting in 
June 1931, included in the conditions that the emanci- 
pated State should furnish guarantees to the League of 
Nations in the form of a declaration which should ensure 
“the effective protection of racial, linguistic, and religious 
minorities . . . freedom of conscience and public worship, 
and the free exercise of the religious, educational, and 
medical activities of religious missions of all denomina- 
tions, whatever their nationality.” On the particular 
question of Iraq it was noted that the Treaty of Alliance 



242 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

made between Great Britain and Iraq to come into force 
when the Mandate is terminated is silent about minority 
rights; and there was no doubt that the minority popula- 
tions, both Christian and Kurdish, were seriously appre- 
hensive of oppression by the Moslem State. The British 
High Commissioner, however, who appeared before the 
Commission at its meeting in November 1931, was 
emphatic in his assurance that a spirit of tolerance 
reigned in the Government and the people of Iraq. 
Moved by his representations the Commission, though 
somewhat reluctantly, ended by recommending that 
special administrative measures need not be imposed, 
but that Iraq should be required to sign an undertaking 
in a formal declaration to the Council of the League of 
Nations regarding the treatment of minorities, and to 
give adequate guarantees for the protection of the 
religious beliefs of the minorities. Iraq should accept the 
rules of procedure by which the minorities, as well as 
any person, association, or interested State, have the 
right to send direct objections to the League of Nations. 
The provisions concerning minorities should constitute 
international obligations and be placed under the guaran- 
tee of the League. Any difference of opinion as to questions 
of law or fact arising out of them between Iraq and a 
member of the Council of the League would be a dispute 
of an international character which could be referred to 
the Permanent Court of International Justice. 

The Mandates for the African territories specifically 
prescribe the freedom of missionary enterprise. Thus 
the Mandate for Tanganyika, which is under a British 
Mandate, lays down in Article 8 : 

Missionaries who are subjects of states members of the League 
shall have full liberty to enter the territory, to travel or reside 



RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SINCE THE GREAT WAR 243 

where they please, to acquire property, to erect religious buildings, 
and to open schools throughout the territory. It is understood, 
however, that the Mandatory shall have the right of exercising 
such control as appears necessary for the maintenance of public 
order and good administration. 

The Mandate for the Pacific Islands, which is entrusted 
to the Government of Japan, contains a similar provision: 

Subject to the measures taken by the local legislation for the 
maintenance of public order and morals, the Mandatory shall 
assure in the territory liberty of conscience and the free exercise 
of all forms of worship; and shall permit the missionaries who are 
nationals of states — members of the League — to enter, travel and 
reside in the territory in order to carry out their ministry or their 
vocation. 

A stipulation to the same effect is included in the Treaty 
of St. Germain made in 1919 between the principal 
Powers with regard to the regime in all their African 
colonies and protectorates. It guarantees the free exercise 
of all religions and the equality of religious missions, 
subject only to the needs of public order. 

The provisions in the Mandates and the treaties, and 
the discussion of the conditions for the termination of a 
Mandate in relation to the religious rights of minorities, 
are significant of the outlook of the civilized world to-day 
on the question of religious liberty. It may be claimed that 
they represent the world conscience in these matters, 
and indicate the consensus of enlightened opinion on a 
principle of public law, that every people and every 
community should have the right to conserve and to 
spread its religion in its own way. That is an enormous 
advance from the doctrine of uniformity and the repression 
of free opinion which ruled in the Middle Ages. 

Lastly, it is to be noted that in recent years a movement 



244 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

has been founded for the international organization of 
missions, particularly of Protestant missions, so that 
the religious work may be conducted without national 
rivalries and competition, and without imperialistic 
taint. The first International Missionary Conference after 
the war was held in Jerusalem in 1928; and as a result 
of it the International Missionary Council, which gathers 
representatives of all the Protestant missionary societies, 
has been constituted to organize Christian missionary 
work. At the Jerusalem gathering representatives of the 
young national Churches of Asia and Africa for the first 
time took an equal part with the representatives of 
countries of Europe and America. And a resolution was 
passed repudiating “any attempt on the part of traders 
or of Governments, openly or covertly, to use the mis- 
sionary cause for ulterior purposes.” The rights of 
religious missions, like the rights of religious minorities, 
are being withdrawn from national protections and 
ambitions, to be placed under the care, and maintained 
by the conscience, of the international society. 



CHAPTER XI 


RELIGION AND THE NEW INTERNATIONAL 
SOCIETY 

A Hebrew prophet would have seen in the Great War 
the travail of the old world ushering in the birth of a 
new world. The war, which was the first event in human 
history in which the whole human race took part, marked 
the zenith of nationalism and the need of getting beyond 
it. Just as, at the end of the feudal age, an effort was 
made by the modern State to abolish private war which 
had become intolerable, so in our day, after the world 
struggle, a strenuous attempt is being made to abolish 
international war, which has become intolerable. War is 
a duel of nations, and no less than the duel in national 
society must be abolished because it threatens the existence 
of society. The aim is now to lay down laws against war 
rather than the laws oj war, which were the concern of 
international jurists from the time of Grotius till the 
Hague Conferences of 1899 and 1907 . War is recognized 
as a collapse of civilization and cannot be a means of 
defending it, much less a holy cause. 

It is generally recognized also that we must connect 
political practice once more with religion and morality, 
and find some unity above the separate States, as was 
achieved, at least in theory, during the Middle Ages, 
on pain of the collapse of our civilization. The power of 
destruction is so terribly developed that another world 
war might throw mankind back more completely than 
any previous overthrow of civilization which history 
records. The spur of necessity, then, is added to the 



24 6 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

impulse of idealism. We have to find the moral equivalent 
for war, and a better instrument of Justice. 

The most striking outward expression of the new 
approach to the problem of peace and unity is the League 
of Nations, which was established at the Peace Confer- 
ence of Versailles in 1919. Unlike the Holy Alliance, 
which was constituted after the Napoleonic Wars, the 
express motive of the League of Nations is not religious. 
There are, no doubt, two reasons for the silence about 
religion in the Preamble to the Covenant of the League: 
(1) many of the European and Asiatic States to-day are 
constituted on a secular principle and have abandoned 
all connection with a Church; and (2) the League of 
Nations is not confined to Christian States, but is intended 
to be a world union comprising the peoples of all religious 
denominations; and it might be difficult, if not impossible, 
to find an expression of the spiritual motive which would 
be acceptable to all. Nevertheless, while there is no mention 
of religion or the Church in the Preamble, it has been 
clear from the beginning that the moral consciousness 
is one of the principal forces inspiring the League. The 
original Preamble and the first article of the Covenant 
as drafted in July 1918 by Colonel House, the Alter 
Ego as it were of President Wilson, who was the author 
of the principles of the Covenant, ran as follows: 

International civilization having proved a failure because the 
union has not been constructed on a fabric of law to which the 
nations have yielded with the same obedience and deference as 
individuals submit to the national law, and because public 
opinion has sanctioned unmoral acts relating to international 
affairs, it is the purpose of the States signatory of this Convention 
to form a League of Nations having for its purpose the maintenance 
throughout the world of peace, security, progress, and orderly 
government. It is agreed, therefore, as follows: 



RELIGION AND THE NEW INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY 247 

(1) The same standards of honour and ethics shall prevail 
internationally in the affairs of nations as in other matters. . . 

The Christian Churches have been quick to make the 
support of the League of Nations a fundamental part of 
their guidance. The Conference of the Bishops of the 
Anglican Community from all parts of the world, that 
was held in 1920 and again in 1930, emphasized the 
dependence of peace on the control of international 
relations by religious and ethical standards. It appealed 
to the religious leaders of all nations to give their support 
to the effort to promote those ideals of peace, brother- 
hood, and justice for which the League of Nations stands. 
The latter conference expressed the hope that common 
effort may lead to some kind of permanent association 
of the Christian Churches which may become the spiritual 
counterpart of the League of Nations. And it affirmed 
that war is a method of settling international disputes 
incompatible with the teaching and example of Jesus. 
After more than 1,500 years of compromise, the Church 
was returning to its primitive faith. Coming down to 
a more practical issue, it declared that, when the nations 
have solemnly bound themselves by treaty, covenant, or 
pact for the pacific settlement of international disputes, 
the Christian Church in every nation should refuse to 
countenance any war in regard to which the Government 
of its own country has not declared its willingness to 
submit the matter in dispute to arbitration. 

A notable example of the religious outlook in inter- 
national relations was given recently by the letter of the 

1 It is noteworthy that the draft of the Covenant of the League prepared by 
an English Committee under Lord Phillimore contained a reference to God in 
the clause dealing with sanctions : “If, which may God avert, one of the Allied 
States shall break the Covenant . . .** 



248 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

English Council of Christian Ministers on Social Ques- 
tions calling for the remission of Reparation payments 
and international War Debts on the ground of Christian 
ethics. “Our appeal is that, while there is yet time for 
an act of grace, those who believe in Christ should make 
their voices heard in a demand for cancellation by for- 
giveness of all Reparations and International War Debts, 
in the name of Jesus the Prince of Peace.” (See Manchester 
Guardian , January 21, 1932.) 

Attempts have already been made to give effect to the 
movement for the union of the Churches in the cause of 
international and social peace. World conferences of all 
the Churches other than the Roman Catholic — which 
still maintains its aloofness and independence — have been 
held at Stockholm in 1925, in Prague in 1928, and in 
other European capitals subsequently; and have been 
attended by representatives of Eastern as well as Western 
Christendom. The Roman Catholic Churches have held 
their own assemblies with a like purpose. At first the 
Pope was opposed to the League because the Holy See 
was excluded from the peace settement, and the Pope 
was not recognized as the ruler of a State. In 1923, 
however, Pius XI indicated his willingness to co-operate 
with the League, and in 1926, when Spain threatened 
to retire from the League, he took the opportunity of 
declaring that he had always sought to help by preparing 
men spiritually for it. In the first Encyclical which he 
issued in 1923, he declared that any form of nationalism 
which was devoid of the spirit of international sympathy 
was, for Catholics at least, an unconscious denial of the 
universality of the aspirations and possibilities common 
to all, a denial of the spiritual need of man as a creature 
of intelligence and free-will. And commenting on the 



RELIGION AND THE NEW INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY 249 

League of Nations, he said: “If there is no worldly institu- 
tion competent to impose upon the assembly of nations 
a general code of legislation, there exists a Divine insti- 
tution which is in a position to safeguard the inviolability 
of the order of nature, namely, the Church of Christ. 0 

Unfortunately, the statesmen who made the peace 
were inadequately inspired with the new ideals of the 
world order when they came to lay down the specific 
terms of territorial and economic adjustment. Those 
terms were calculated rather to foster the spirit of strife 
than to be a sure foundation of tranquillity. The national 
boundaries were drawn in a spirit of revenge, and the 
provision of Reparations in a spirit of unthinking greed. 
Once more “the war to end war” ended in a peace to 
breed wars. The harshness of the peace settlement has 
reacted adversely on the League. And the events of the 
last decade have shown that, without a common will to 
peace, the machinery of the League can be frustrated. 

Nevertheless, the League marks, in aspiration if not 
in fulfilment, moral progress in international relations. 
The Covenant in one part contains a systematic arrange- 
ment for keeping the peace, and in another part gives 
expression to the ethical idea of tutelage of weaker peoples. 
That principle underlies the provisions with regard to 
the peoples of the countries detached from Turkey and 
the inhabitants of the former German Colonies, who are 
“not yet able to stand by themselves in the strenuous 
conditions of the modern world. 0 Their territories have 
been placed under the Mandate System, in accordance 
with the principle that the well-being and development 
of their peoples form a sacred trust of civilization. These 
provisions have been applied in the Mandate instruments 
subsequently approved by the League, and are con- 



250 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

trolled by the body known as the Permanent Mandates 
Commission, which is, as it were, the keeper of the con- 
science of the Mandatory Powers and the guardian of 
the international trust. There has been a definite advance 
under the system in the treatment of the weaker and 
backward races. Another expression of a heightened 
moral conscience of the nations and the application in 
international law of moral and religious principles is 
afforded by the International Labour Convention which 
is embodied in all the treaties of peace. The Preamble 
to the Convention recites: 

Whereas the League of Nations has for its object the establishment 
of universal peace, and such a peace can be established only if it is 
based upon social justice; 

And Whereas conditions of labour exist involving such in- 
justice, hardship, and privations to large numbers of people as to 
produce unrest so great that the peace and harmony of the world 
are imperilled; and an improvement of those conditions is urgently 
required: as, for example, by the regulation of the hours of work, 
including the establishment of a maximum working day and week, 
the regulation of the labour supply, the prevention of unemploy- 
ment, the provision of an adequate living wage, the protection of 
the worker against sickness, disease, and injury arising out of his 
employment, the protection of children, young persons, and women, 
provision for old age and injury, protection of the interests of 
workers when employed in countries other than their own, recogni- 
tion of the principle of freedom of association, the organisation of 
technical education, and other measures. . . . The high con- 
tracting parties, moved by sentiments of justice and humanity, as 
well as by the desire to secure the peace of the world, agree . . . 

An international conference was held at Washington in 
1920 which applied these broad principles in a number 
of treaties concerning conditions of labour; and these 
treaties have been adopted by most epuntries of the world. 
Further, a permanent International Labour Office has been 



RELIGION AND THE NEW INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY a 5 i 

constituted at Geneva; an annual conference is held at 
Geneva which is attended by representatives of the 
Government and of the employers and workmen in each 
State; and the solution of labour questions is being 
steadily internationalized. That is a noteworthy step 
towards the foundation of peace, because, as the Hebrew 
prophets first proclaimed to the world, and as human 
history has abundantly shown, peace between nations 
depends primarily on the establishment of justice within 
the nation. The motto of the organization is: Si vis 
pacem cole justitiam\ and it is striking that, advancing 
beyond the standpoint of the political League of Nations, 
it contemplates uniform labour legislation for the whole 
world, and has already established an international 
Parliament for labour questions. 

The movement for an international labour union goes 
back more than a century. In the early years of the 
industrial movement, Robert Owen, the creator of the 
English co-operative movement, laid before the Holy 
Alliance at Aix in 1 8 1 8 a plan for international legislation 
to protect the worker; but he met with a chilly response. 
It was not till the middle of the nineteenth century, 
when social legislation was already developed in a number 
of Western States, that the movement took practical form. 
It was initiated by a Swiss Huguenot, Daniel Legrand, 
who dreamed of a Christian State in which social legisla- 
tion would demonstrate to all that the Gospel is a charter 
of humanity. Switzerland in 1878 convened the first 
gathering of the seven leading industrial States for the 
formulation of uniform factory legislation. A band of 
Christian Socialists were working at that time in various 
countries of Europe in the cause of justice for the work- 
men: in England Charles Kingsley, in France Count 



25 a RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Albert and the Catholic De Mun, and in Germany 
Father Winterer and Bishop Ketler. In the same period 
the international socialist organization was established, 
largely through the efforts of two Jews who were at the 
head of the movement, one as writer, the other as political 
leader, Karl Marx and Ferdinand Lassalle. In its develop- 
ment it became anti-clerical, but the rock from which it 
was hewn was the Mosaic Law. 

Then in 1891 Pope Leo XIII issued an Encyclical 
entitled Rerum Novarum , on the condition of the working 
classes. He asserted the principle that the labourer must 
not be regarded as a chattel, and the employer must 
respect his dignity as a man and a Christian. The work- 
man has a right to a day of rest. “It is a sin to make men 
work so long that the soul is deadened and the body 
worn out.” The Holy See authorized Catholic workmen’s 
unions to establish relations with Protestant Unions, 
recognizing that in these matters the principles of a 
common humanity must prevail. 

In 1931, in celebration of the fortieth anniversary of 
the Encyclical, the present Pope issued a new Encyclical 
— Quadragesimo Anno — on reconstructing the social 
order. In it he remarks that the new body of law is 
designed to ensure the respect of those sacred rights of 
the working man which proceed from his dignity as a 
man and a Christian; and he noted the agreement of 
the conclusions of the statesmen after the Great War 
with the principles and warning of Leo XIII. He called 
for a “Christian rationalization” which is contrasted 
both with the capitalistic system — “the whole economic 
life has become hard, cruel, and relentless in a ghastly 
measure” — and also with Socialism, which involves 
compulsion of an excessive kind, and assumes that “living 



RELIGION AND THE NEW INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY 253 

in community was instituted merely for the sake of the 
advantages which it brings to mankind.” The Encyclical 
calls for *‘a new diffusion throughout the world of the 
Gospel spirit, which is a spirit of Christian moderation 
and universal charity.” 

The International Labour Office has relations with 
a number of religious organizations which in different 
countries are working for the furtherance of social 
justice. Noteworthy among them are (1) the International 
Federation of Christian Trade Unions, which has its 
headquarters at Utrecht, and comprises fourteen national 
federations and fifteen international federations; and 
(2) the Oecumenical Council of Practical Christianity, 
which is the executive body of the assembly of representa- 
tives of all the Communities (save the Roman Catholic) 
that was convened in Stockholm in 192 5, and has founded 
an Institute of Social Christianity at Geneva. The Inter- 
national Federation of Christian Trade Unions asserts 
the principles of social Christianity against the Moscow 
Communist International. A vexed question arose some 
years ago in the I.L.O. as to the representation of the 
Dutch workmen by a delegate who was also the general 
secretary of the International Federation of Christian 
Trade Unions. The non-religious body protested; and 
the matter was submitted to the Permanent Court of 
International Justice for an advisory opinion. That 
tribunal recognized the regularity of the procedure of 
the Dutch Government. More recently it has been re- 
marked 1 that there is a general tendency of the religious 
bodies towards convergence. “Although there may be 
some individual dissentients, the great religious bodies 
advocate changes and reforms in social and international 
1 Sec I.L.O. Year-Book , 1931, pp. 82 fif. Geneva, 1932. 



254 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

spheres which present a striking analogy to the pro- 
gramme of the I.L.O.” 

The movement for international association has been 
extended to every class of the population and to every 
aspect of life; to persons engaged in the pursuit of 
science, to university students, to boy scouts, as well as 
to the religious bodies. The sense of world citizenship 
is fostered; and what was before an ideal of the religions 
is now becoming an accepted commonplace. 

Another ideal of the religious philosophy of history, 
the moral government of the world according to justice, 
has been embodied in the machinery of the Permanent 
Court of International Justice which is designed for the 
settlement of differences between the nations by judicial 
methods instead of by the sword. It remains, however, 
to establish in the minds of the peoples and the leaders 
of the nations the conviction that justice must rule; and 
that conviction must be inculcated by the religions. 

Amid the dissolution of theological dogmas, and the 
break-up of many of the former State religions, or their 
divorce from the State, the broad moral principles 
common to religions have acquired a new authority and 
are influencing the growth of a new civilization. Those 
dogmatic interests which were once regarded in each 
Church as so important and led to religious wars have 
been discarded. We no longer believe that the religions of 
other peoples are wicked and should be extirpated; and 
it is scarcely thinkable that people of one religion would 
make war on the people of another because of their 
difference of belief. That better understanding is due 
partly to the study of comparative religion, which has 
made men realize that there is np single fixed truth, 
but something true and divinely revealed in every great 



RELIGION AND THE NEW INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY 155 

faith, partly to the spirit of tolerance which education 
and science have spread, and partly to the adoption by 
all peoples of the fundamental idea of evolution. There 
is an impulse in science to seek for origins; the more we 
seek for them, the more we arrive at community of 
thought. It is generally realized that a world order is 
compatible with, and indeed can only be founded on, a 
great diversity of moral values, of social traditions, of 
religious outlooks and convictions. The new order, both 
political and spiritual, must be based on diversity in 
unity; that means, co-operation between diverse bodies, 
whether States or religious communities, scientific societies 
or leagues of youth. The idea of a world government 
and of a uniform law, which dominated the Middle 
Ages in the West, has been generally superseded, even 
in the ecclesiastical circles of the Roman Church, by 
the idea of co-operation. 

Nevertheless, there are most disquieting features in the 
international life of our day. The spiritual principles 
which should be the foundations of humanity are far from 
being established; and by great masses of the young 
generation they are flouted as violently as they were by 
the generations which preceded the war. The States 
seem to fear that “when they shall say peace and safety, 
then sudden destruction will come upon them” (1 Thess. 
v. 1-3). While they pay lip-service to the principles of 
an international order, they continue to require life- 
service from their subjects for the principle of self- 
sufficiency, what has been called Sacro Egoismo of the 
nation. Little has been done to exorcise the demon of 
national sovereignty, and to cut out the roots of the 
idolatry of nationalism. Those roots have been fixed in 
the soil of Europe for four hundred years, from the 



i 5 6 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

time when the prerogatives of the mediaeval Church 
were transferred from the whole to the parts, from the 
more or less unified society of Western Christendom to 
each of the national societies that broke away from that 
unity. In Imperial Rome, as we have seen, religion became 
nationality; in our day nationalism has become dogma 
and religion, and has its theology. 

One of the spiritual troubles of our time is that the 
worship of the God-State is fostered by the teaching of 
national history, without taking account of the larger 
movements of humanity. Yet there can be no common 
understanding without broader historical ideas. Educa- 
tion about the new International Society has to follow 
the political fact; and education must establish a better 
idea of human co-operation. 

There is a further peril to our civilization in that, 
while the conception of the new international order is 
slowly and painfully making its way into the hearts and 
minds of some Western peoples, an extraordinary intensi- 
fication of national feeling is taking place in others and 
throughout the East. The European nations have in- 
fected Turkey, India, China, and Japan with a disease 
which is dangerous to international peace. Those Eastern 
countries whose peoples have been swayed for centuries 
by religious or ethical ideas have now drunk deep of 
the doctrines of nineteenth-century nationalism; and the 
religious and moral control of individual conduct and 
national policy has been greatly weakened just when it 
was most required. Nor is the danger confined only to 
Asia. In several European States the worship of nationalism 
is open and undisguised; in some it is enforced by law, 
and in all it commands a number* of votaries. The new 
paganism or idolatry is copying the persecuting spirit, 



RELIGION AND THE NEW INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY 257 

if not the methods, of mediaeval Christianity. The great 
practical danger to peace and liberty in human society 
in our day lies in this religion, which makes the individual 
State an end in itself, and is prepared to subordinate to 
it the truth, morality, and justice. The religious enthusiasm 
of the Middle Ages is replaced by a violent fanaticism 
rooted in national ideas. The divine right, which passed 
at the Reformation from the Pope to the kings, has been 
transferred in our age from kings to the State. And in 
spite of the two-thousand-year-old teaching of the Uni- 
versal God, the deity of many countries is still conceived 
as national. Dieu et mon Droit represents their standpoint. 
Put in another way, the saying Vox populi vox Dei has 
received the interpretation that the State is the deity. 

A singular example of this intensified nationalism 
recently received the sanction of the highest judicial 
authority of the United States ; 1 and it indicates the oppo- 
sition of that nationalism to the fundamental spiritual 
teachings of the Christian religion. It is the more remark- 
able seeing that the United States were founded in order 
to give full opportunity for freedom of conscience and 
worship to dissenting Christian communities. The case 
concerned the application for naturalization by a Hun- 
garian woman who was a writer and speaker on inter- 
national affairs and was known to hold pacific principles. 
She was prepared to take the oath of allegiance to the 
United States, but the magistrate held that she should 
not be allowed to do so because of these opinions. The 
Naturalization Act required an intending citizen to take 
the oath that he would support and defend the constitu- 
tion and law of the country against all enemies foreign 
and domestic, and bear true faith and allegiance. The 

1 The case is reported as: U.S.A. v. Schnjoimmer [1929, 279 U.S., p. 644]. 



i S % RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

applicant, a woman, testified that she would not take up 
arms personally, and she had stated in a letter that she 
was an uncompromising pacifist and had no sense of 
nationalism but only a cosmic consciousness of belonging 
to the human family. The Supreme Court held that she 
was unworthy of citizenship, and that the influence of 
a conscientious objector against the use of military force 
would be more detrimental than a refusal to bear arms. 

Two of the judges of the Supreme Court (Judges 
Brandeis and Holmes) dissented indeed, and pointed 
out that it does not show a lack of attachment to the 
Constitution that a person looks to the abolition of 
war. ^ The important principle of freedom of thought 
did not mean free thought for those who agree with us, 
but freedom for the thought that we hate. With reference 
to the opinion expressed by the applicant, which was 
deemed to bar her right to citizenship, they suggested 
that the Quakers had done much to make the country 
what it is, that many citizens agreed with these principles, 
and that “they did not suppose that we regretted our in- 
ability to expel them because they believe, more than some 
others, in the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount.” 

In one of the countries where the religion of nationalism 
is strongest there has been, indeed, a remarkable con- 
cordat of the State with the universal Church which still 
claims the hegemony over all Christendom. From the 
occupation of Rome by the Italian Government in 1870 
until 1929, the Pope and the Kingdom of Italy had been 
theoretically in a state of war, because the Papal See 
regarded the occupation as a hostile aggression. A small 
part of the Holy City was not occupied by the Italian 
authorities; but remained the dominion of the Pope who, 
though not recognized in Italy as a territorial sovereign, 



RELIGION AND THE NEW INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY 259 

retained certain attributes of a sovereign ruler. He re- 
ceived and sent diplomatic representatives and addressed 
sovereign Powers directly. By three diplomatic instru- 
ments which were signed and ratified in June 1929 
peace was made between the temporal and spiritual 
Powers, the territorial sovereignty of the Pope over the 
Vatican City was publicly recognized, the spiritual 
jurisdiction of the Pope in matters of family relations 
was confirmed, while the Pope on his side recognized 
the Kingdom of Italy. It was said of Pope Pius IX, in 
whose time the area of Papal domination was reduced 
to the enclave in Rome, that he had given a new appli- 
cation to the boast of the poet of the Imperial City, 
Urbem fecisti quod prius orbis erat. 1 And it might have 
been thought that, when his spiritual power was acknow- 
ledged, the Pope would not cling to this temporal 
remnant. But it was part of the mediaeval heritage to 
which the Papacy is attached that the City of God must 
be represented on earth. 

At the same time the Pope declared that he wished 
to remain and would remain aloof from all temporal 
matters between other States; and to that extent he 
gave up his prerogative to judge in temporal affairs. 
The concordat sought to settle all spiritual questions 
between the Fascist State and the Spiritual Power; but 
differences have arisen with regard to education. There 
the issue is joined on the supremacy of the universal 
God of the Roman Catholic Church or the national God 
of the State. 

In another State of Europe there is definite opposition 
to the international order embodied in the League of 
Nations; and the enthusiasm of a new religion inspires 
1 See above, Chapter II. 



2$o RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

the people against the established social organization of 
the other countries of Europe. The new religious doctrine 
which has Marx as its Prophet has implanted itself in 
the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, formerly the 
Russian Empire, and has seized on the minds of the people 
with a fervour comparable to that which the Christian 
Gospel exercised over the early Christian communities 
and the teachings of the Prophet over the tribes of Arabia. 
While it denies the existence of God, and so rejects the 
teaching that all men are children of one God, it finds 
a new basis for a common humanity in the idea that all 
the workers of the world are united as members of one 
class. And it preaches a new ethic of universal applica- 
tion: “from each according to his capacity; to each 
according to his need.” What the new movement will 
bring forth with regard to the international relations of 
the Soviet Union the future alone can show; but it claims, 
like earlier universal creeds, to transcend nationalism. 
It has already almost shattered the hold of the older 
established religions over the heterogeneous peoples in 
the Soviet Union that occupy one-sixth of the world's 
surface, and it has been a powerful disintegrating force 
against the older religions among the populations of the 
Middle and Farther East to which it has been spread. The 
spiritual hold of the State Church in Russia was completely 
destroyed by its association with and its subordination 
to an autocratic Government. The new creed, revolu- 
tionary and militant, has overturned that Church, and 
has combined in this large area the work which was 
done in Europe by the Reformation and the French 
Revolution. 

One other militant religious movement has appeared 
in our day, in the home of Islam; but it is definitely 



RELIGION AND THE NEW INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY z6i 

national. The Wahabi Puritan revival, which originated 
over a hundred years ago in the “Isle of Arabia,” has 
taken on a fresh vigour since the war, and has become the 
supreme political-religious force. The Wahabi Kingdom 
and the Union of Soviet Republics both stand outside 
the organized political union of the League of Nations; 
but they do not stand outside all the activities of the 
international society. The Soviet Union takes a notable 
part in the movement for disarmament; while the Wahabi 
king has shown himself sensitive of the movement for 
peace, which is, amongst all peoples and everywhere, the 
greatest human yearning of our day. And he has entered 
into a pact of comity with the neighbouring State of Iraq, 
whose king is of the family of his hereditary enemies. 

Looking to the more hopeful signs — it may be said 
that religion, while its power within the State is generally 
diminished and diminishing, has been since the war 
one of the motives for an attempted unification of the 
world greater in its extent than any which the past has 
known. In previous ages there have been movements 
for the union of large sections of humanity, of Christen- 
dom, of Islam, of India, and of China; but it was not 
till science linked up the world by the discoveries of the 
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that it was possible 
to conceive of a political and spiritual union of all the 
races and countries of humanity. That, however, is the 
fundamental problem and the fundamental necessity of 
our time; and religion, which is still the supreme spiritual 
influence on man, and is also the great exponent of 
humanitarian and universal ideas, should take a primary 
part in its fulfilment. Generally, religion is moving 
towards a co-operation of Churches and communities, 
which, again, is a new direction in human history. 



a 62 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Christendom itself is still far from having achieved that 
unity which is a fundamental part of its teaching; but 
there is abroad in the Christian Churches a manifest 
desire for union, more especially in the cause of peace 
and international co-operation. The other and larger 
movement of co-operation between the different uni- 
versal religions has begun to take a practical form. 

The tendency to world unity in the political and 
economic spheres is accompanied by the tendency to 
union in the cultural and spiritual spheres. While previ- 
ously the heirs of the different cultures of mankind 
were in spiritual isolation from one another, there is 
to-day an attempt at communication and understanding 
of the deeper ideas embodied in their religious traditions 
and life. The circumstances of our time conduce to the 
interchange of religious ideas as of every other branch 
of thought. So closely is the earth knit together by the 
inventions of mechanical and physical science that a 
Puck in our day can stretch a girdle of sympathy — or 
antipathy — round the world. One touch of mechanism 
can make the whole world kin. And that emphasizes the 
need of spiritual contacts. Science has made the world 
one neighbourhood; and religion should make it one 
brotherhood. There is little hope for mankind till his 
spiritual growth is again brought into step with his 
material advance. Humanity has struck its tents again, 
and is on the march. It must march either to union or 
perdition. 

A modern historian has pointed to the relation of 
science, law, and religious development at different 
periods of our civilization. Greek science and Roman law, 
two thousand years ago, coincided to form the first con- 
ception of a unified civilized world, and Stoic monism 



RELIGION AND THE NEW INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY *63 

and Jewish monotheism were the spiritual accompani- 
ment of that conception. The foundation of modern 
international law three hundred years ago coincided with 
the foundation of modern science by Galileo, Kepler, 
and Harvey, and the Christian ethic of humanity, derived 
from the Jewish monotheism, was the spiritual accom- 
paniment of that second conception . 1 In our day the 
extraordinary development of physical science should be 
accompanied by a development of international law and 
moral science which would bring the world to a stable 
unity; and its spiritual accompaniment should be the 
co-operation of the religions of the world in the establish- 
ment of justice and peace. 

* Sec Marvin, The Evolution of World Peace , 1921. 



CHAPTER XII 


A LEAGUE OF RELIGIONS 

The English jurist, John Selden, wrote in the seventeenth 
century, when there was a temporary lull in the wars 
between England and Spain : 

Though we have peace, yet it will be a great while ere things be 
settled; though the wind lie, yet after a storm the sea will work 
a great while. 

That sentiment applies to the position of the world to-day, 
some twelve years since peace was concluded after the 
Great War. There is the beginning of an international 
order, but there is still in many aspects international 
chaos; while the need of international understanding 
and co-operation becomes continually and constantly 
greater. Modern invention has multiplied human contacts 
in endless ways, and almost destroyed the old isolation 
of time and space that divided the peoples and set an 
impassable gulf between the Far East and the West. 
On the other hand but little progress was made during 
the epoch of physical and economic linking up of the 
world in bringing international relations under the control 
of the moral law. A serious lag has been caused between 
modern science rapidly progressing and our stationary 
ethic, and that lag was the profounder cause of the 
tragedy of the Great War. The world problem to-day 
is of three dimensions — time, space, and morals. While 
scientists and traders have grappled, so to say, with the 
first two, statesmen, moralists, and religious leaders have 
failed to grapple with the third. Yet it is clear to all who 



A LEAGUE OF RELIGIONS 


265 


will see that humanity is a family of nations, and that it 
must work out the means whereby the affairs of its society 
may be administered for the benefit of the whole. 

Professor Toynbee, in a pamphlet on Britain and the 
Modern World Order , has well said : 

The conclusion of the whole matter seems to be this. We shall 
not succeed in establishing the political order which is the necessary 
framework for our disorganized world order unless there is a 
change of heart. 

And he quotes the famous passage of Ezekiel : 

A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you. 

It is impossible to bring order into the chaos of the post- 
war world without a change of the moral outlook on 
international problems. In the final synthesis 

the spirit of world citizenship is the spirit of world religion. 

“If he will not make peace, man has strength enough 
by his mastery over the powers of nature for internecine 
extermination .” 1 Mechanism, too, has deprived war of 
any of its old idealism; and it is impossible to-day, if 
it ever was possible, to make it the instrument of a just 
cause. Mechanism has also made it pass beyond the 
control of statesmen or soldiers, so that none can tell 
what will be the end when the issue is joined. In that 
sense war is, as a modern teacher has insisted, “the Great 
Illusion.” The more moral causes of wars of former ages 
have disappeared. In Europe anyhow, the nationalities 
which were once held down by hated foreign domination 
have achieved their independence, and national minorities 
can claim protection from the League of Nations. Lastly, 
now that men have come to recognize that varieties of 

1 P. H. Kerr, World Problems of To-day. Yale University Press, 1924. 



2 66 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

religious belief are as necessary and as healthy as varieties 
of national culture, any justification for war as a means 
of establishing universal truth, such as man conceived 
in the past, is cut away. War cannot decide any spiritual 
conflicts: and there is a growing belief in “a society 
which should forswear war as politically unnecessary 
and morally abhorrent.” 

In these circumstances the religious bodies in all 
countries have a function to use their influence for peace 
and for international morality. The Christian leaders 
have recognized that the records of their Churches in 
the past two thousand years with regard to peace and 
brotherhood are not a matter for pride. The Christian 
religion has more often been a factor for war than for 
peace. Christian peoples have hated each other for 
the love of God. A sceptical observer has remarked 
that, whatever private religions, individuals, groups, or 
Churches may propose, public religion has always justi- 
fied war. Even in the most modern times, it is said, the 
Church has been opposed to past wars and future wars, 
but not to present wars. Thomas Hardy put into the 
mouth of one of his characters in the Dynasts the bitter 
words : 

After two thousand years of Mass 

We have got as far as poison gas. 

The peril to civilization has stimulated the religious 
conscience. The idea is gaining ground that the religions 
of the world can be, and should be, mobilized against 
the three essential causes of war — hatred of nations, 
hatred of race, and hatred of class. Two ideals of the 
masters and founders of religion in ill ages and countries 
have been the same, the solidarity of human-kind, and 



A LEAGUE OF RELIGIONS %6y 

the rule of justice in all human affairs. And the religions 
should concentrateonthefulfilmentof theseideals. Another 
common understanding of our time is that religion, to 
be a genuine influence for humanity, must deal with 
nations and not only with individuals. That principle, 
which was recognized 2,500 years ago by the Hebrew 
prophets and has been maintained throughout the ages 
in Judaism, is now generally accepted. As modern 
physical science has shown that co-operation is the way 
of nature, so modern political science indicates that 
co-operation must be the way of nations. Patriotism, in 
the sense of exclusive patriotism, is not enough; and 
religion, which in the past has fed an exclusive limited 
loyalty, must now work everywhere to remove the 
pugnacities and irrationalities of man. 

While the international effort of the last ten years has 
been mainly and excessively centred on the development 
of a political sanction for the enforcement of the will 
of the society expressed by its Council and Assembly, 
another avenue of approach is being explored through 
Churches and religious bodies. The League of Nations 
can only be effective to maintain peace if behind it there 
is the moral conviction of the peoples for justice and 
co-operation between nations. War must be outlawed by 
opinion as well as by treaty and there must be moral as 
well as material disarmament. And in the latest years 
the problem of the organization of the spiritual forces 
to supplement the organization of the League has been 
approached from various angles. 

We have seen that the League has received the support 
of the Catholic, the Protestant, and the Orthodox branches 
of the Christian Church. And in recent years the heads of 
the Christian communities have realized the tragedy 



2 68 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

of a divided Christendom, and the need of expressing 
the Church's mission in the modern world in terms of 
practical Christianity, dealing with the field of personal, 
social, and international ethics. In 1925 an assembly at 
Stockholm of five hundred official representatives of all 
the Christian communities — save the Roman Catholics, 
who were unwilling to participate — formed an Oecu- 
menical Council (or Universal Christian Council for 
Life and Work), which aims at giving effect to this 
expression. The Council has four sections: the Orthodox, 
the Continental European, the British, and the American; 
and it has established for the investigation of social and 
international questions to which religion should bring 
its contribution an International Institute at Geneva. 

Beyond the organization of all the Christian Churches, 
more comprehensive ideas have been mooted for spiritual 
co-operation, transcending, as the League of Nations 
transcends, the limits of Christendom. At the beginning 
of the eighteenth century Leibnitz put forward the idea 
of a federation of religions in which the different com- 
munities should work together for common ideals and 
the pacification of humanity. That idea, conceived when 
the separate States were physically and economically 
isolated, has much greater appeal and urgency to-day 
when the world is in those respects bound up closely 
as never before. The need for co-operation of all creeds has 
been recognized by the representative body of Anglican 
bishops from all parts of the world who meet in con- 
ference each decade. 

The long-cherished notion of the immiscibility of the 
East has been exploded ; and the Eastern religious 
communities on their side have shcfwn a willingness to 
take part in world action for securing peace. For the 



A LEAGUE OF RELIGIONS 


269 


first time in human history it has been possible to bring 
together for common action the religious as well as the 
political associations of mankind. As it has been said: 
“At this stage of the world's history, the natural role of 
the forces of religion is to assist the cause of peace, not to 
threaten it.” 1 

In 1928 a definite attempt was launched to organize 
the religions of the world in that cause. An American 
body, the Church Peace Union, founded in 1914 by 
Andrew Carnegie, convened to this end a gathering which 
established the World Conference for International Peace 
through Religion. The motive for the Conference is that 
men and women from all countries and faiths should 
participate on the strength of their knowledge and 
interest with respect to the questions which affect human 
brotherhood and national concord, and because of their 
sincere belief that religion offers a means of establishing 
permanent peace on earth and goodwill among men. 

The preliminary conference at Geneva brought together 
a representative assembly of the religions — Christians, 
Roman Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestant, Moslems, 
Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Confucianists, and Shintoists.* 
A second gathering was held in 1931 at Geneva; and it 
is proposed to hold regional conferences in Washington 
in 1933 and in the Near East in 1934, and so prepare 
for a world conference. The spokesmen at the meetings 
have been for the most part distinguished laymen, and 


1 Sir A. Salter in The Causes of War , 1932. 

» It may be interesting in this connection to summarize in approximate figures 
(in millions) the distribution of the world religions. The Christians are 560 
millions — 270 Roman Catholics, 170 Protestants, 120 Orthodox (counting the 
Russians as Orthodox, which most of them are no longer). The Moslems are 
220 millions; Hindus, 210; Buddhists, 130; Confucianists, many of whom are 
also Buddhists, 300; Shintoists, 25; and Jews, 15. 



270 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

not ecclesiastics, of the Eastern and Western creeds. 
The specific objects of the Conference are thus defined: 

(1) To state the highest teachings of each religion on peace and 
the causes of war. 

(2) To devise means by which men of all religious faiths may 
work together to remove existing obstacles to peace; to stimulate 
international co-operation for peace; to secure international 
justice and to increase goodwill, and thus to bring about in all 
the world a fuller realization of the brotherhood of men. 

(3) To seek opportunities for concerted action among the 
adherents of all religions against the spirit of violence and the 
things that make for strife. 

The renunciation was deliberately made of any purpose 
to set up a formal league of religions. But commissions 
have been working at the preparation of the work for 
the future conference. 

Similar in purpose, though less catholic in composition 
and less concentrated on the question of international 
peace, is the World Conference of Autonomous Churches, 
which held assemblies in 1 920 and 1927, and is planning 
another assembly for 1937. It particularly emphasizes 
what was a commonplace in the Middle Ages but has 
become, alas! a novel doctrine, that the whole Christian 
Church should be as one body. 

Another approach has been made by a German 
philosopher Rudolf Otto of Marburg, who has proposed 
the creation of an inter-religious league which would be 
concerned with racial and social questions. It would be 
composed simply of persons of different religions who, 
without being in any formal way representative of their 
communities, would work together for better international 
relations. Its purpose would be to ufiite men of principle 
everywhere, so that the law of justice and the feeling of 
mutual responsibility may hold sway in the relations 



A LEAGUE OF RELIGIONS 


*7 1 


between nations, races, and classes, and that the collective 
moral tasks facing humanity may be achieved through 
co-operation. The union would make efforts to produce 
a conscientious public opinion, without which the method 
of judicial settlement between the nations is of no avail . 1 

A third approach to the subject is made by those who 
start from the premise that the common aims of the 
religions, no less than the common aims of political 
States, should receive ordered expression in an institution 
with a permanent organization. The existence of the 
institution would foster the growth of a common spirit. 
As the chief feature of the League of Nations consists 
not in the machinery which it has set up, but rather in 
the conception which it has created in the minds of the 
civilized world that no single nation has the right to think 
of itself and its interests alone, at the cost of interfering 
with the freedom or well-being of other nations, so, it is 
argued, a League of Religions would tend to break down 
the exclusiveness and denominational jealousies of the 
different religious communities and to pave the way for 
a fuller measure of co-operation of the religious organi- 
zations in the spiritual concerns of the world. z 

A definite scheme for a League was put forward a few 
years ago by a professor of the College de France, Jean 
Izoulet, in a book entitled Paris , Capitale des Religions y 
ou La Mission d' Israel. The title is an indication of the 
mixture of fantasy and reason which marks the treatment. 
The principal theme is that the religious communities of 
the world should become members of a federation in 
which each community would not be asked to give up its 
independence or doctrine in any way, but would seek a 
means of co-operating with the others in aims of common 

1 “An Inter-Religious League," Hibbert Journal, July 1931. 

3 See Kenneth Ingram, The Church of To-morrow. London, 1931. 



272 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

concern, such as the maintenance of peace and the pro- 
motion of international and inter-racial understanding. 
There would be a bureau of religions, corresponding with 
the International Labour Office. The executive body 
would be a council composed of two representatives of 
each of the seven principal religions of the world — 
Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, 
Confucianism, and Shintoism. 

Under the Council a number of permanent commissions 
would work at specific aspects of religious co-operation. 
Paris is chosen as the centre of the religious league 
because the author, a Frenchman, conceives it as the 
main centre of civilization, and in particular he regards 
the French Revolution as a religious movement bringing 
to fulfilment certain of the fundamental ideas of the 
Reformation, and leading on inevitably to the fuller 
realization of the solidarity of mankind. At the same time 
he, a Gentile, conceives that the Jewish people must take 
a prominent part in the realization of the League of 
Religions; for they are a people of synthesis, fitted to 
be the mediators and conciliate the religious ideas of the 
East and the West, Israel is a combination of contraries. 
It holds most firmly to the traditions of the past and 
the vision of the future. It is most European and most 
Asiatic, the most dispersed and most concentrated of 
peoples: nearest to earth and most subject to heaven: 
at once capitalistic and socialist: enterprising and tena- 
cious: realist and idealistic. In another fantasy he por- 
trays the seven religions of the world as corresponding 
with the seven colours of the solar spectrum. They may 
be combined in the white light which is the Mosaic 
teaching of Israel. 

In the introductory lecture I mentioned the book that 



A LEAGUE OF RELIGIONS 173 

was written during the Great War by an English sociolo- 
gist, Benchara Branford, entitled Janus and Ve$ta> which 
gives another vision of Israel as the mediator between 
East and West in spiritual matters. The author analysed 
the causes of the world crisis, and found them in the 
lack of spiritual understanding and co-operation between 
the nations; and he conceived that the healing of this 
illness should be brought about by the universities that 
represented the highest spiritual striving in each country. 
The spiritual hegemony which the Churches once 
exercised had passed from them, and the institutions of 
learning ought to take up the function. A university 
which is true to its essential character must be international 
and must be permeated by the ideal conviction of unity, 
having the world of man as a whole for its primary object 
of love and study. He proposed, therefore, that the uni- 
versities of all countries should be federated, and that 
at the head of the federation there should be a world 
university which should be occupied particularly with 
matters of concern to all sections of mankind such as a 
world language, currency, and law. The Jewish people 
appeared to be the most fitted for this function; and so 
a university at Jerusalem might become an instrument 
for the general welfare of mankind as well as for the 
Jews themselves. 

In the specific schemes of these two writers not a 
little is visionary. But there is this substance in their 
ideas, that the organization of the world requires some 
expression of its spiritual union and co-operation as of 
its political union and co-operation; and that in any 
expression of that character the Jew, as the most inter- 
national of peoples and as the heir to the ideals of social 
and international peace based on religion, is fitted to 



274 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

take a leading part. As the Chief Rabbi of the British 
Empire has put it : 

Judaism, the mother of the peace ideal, has an indefeasible right 
to be heard in all religious councils for peace . 1 

While it is true that peace will not be obtained simply 
by international or inter-religious machinery, or by a 
federation of religions or universities, it is not less true 
that the popular will to peace cannot be made effective 
without some machinery to give it ordered and continual 
expression and to educate the peoples in the ethical 
relations of nations. The experience of the League of 
Nations has shown that the constitution of permanent 
executive bodies, the Council and the Secretariat, has 
given a practical reality to the organs of the International 
Society. That experience points to the establishment of 
permanent executive bodies representing the religious 
communities, in order to give an effective direction to 
their common motives. Just as the foundation before the 
war of the Permanent International Arbitration Tribunal, 
and the foundation after the war of the Permanent Court 
of International Justice, have promoted the cause of 
the judicial settlement of international disputes, and as 
the establishment of the Permanent Mandates Commission 
has given reality to the idea of an international trust for 
the well-being of the backward races, so, it is submitted, 
the foundation of an inter-religious league would give 
reality to the idea of the co-operation of the spiritual 
forces. Religion, it is said, should be the soul of the 
community of which the State is the body: and a union 
of religions likewise would be the soul of the international 
union of States. 

1 Review of the Churches , January 1929. 



CHAPTER XIII 


CONCLUSION 

We have now to summarize the theme of these lectures, 
and to consider the main principles of the influence of 
religions on the development of national and international 
life. In the early periods of history religion is the princi- 
pal formative power in the development of nations from 
a tribal society. It first inspires certain tribes to conquest 
over their neighbours, and so produces a nation; the 
law revealed by the god of the victorious tribe becomes 
the way of conduct of the united tribes who are welded 
into a national people. Then the kings of the nation 
who are inspired by the national god and hold their 
power from him extend their conquests and so establish 
empires. The law for the enlarged realm is derived again 
from the religion of the conqueror, and the deification of 
the ruler knits together the peoples in a common worship. 
In this way religion becomes the bond of empire for 
the nations subdued by Egypt, Babylon, Chaldea, and 
Assyria. Religion, then, in antiquity doubly deserved its 
name, which means the binding force; for it not only 
attaches man to God but it attaches peoples together. It 
is the cement of the political life, the corner-stone in the 
earliest edifice of nationality and empire. And it is essen- 
tially a motive of war. 

An epoch-making change in the development of human 
history comes when the lawgivers and prophets of the 
people of Israel leaped to the idea of a universal God 
who requires not only the righteousness of his people 
Israel but justice and righteousness between all nations. 



276 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

They recognized a moral government of the world, and 
that all history is subservient to the working out of the 
divine purpose. They substituted the ideal of peace for 
the ideal of war; and in place of the idea that the 
king is the representative of the deity, the idea that the 
people of Israel were the witnesses of God and should 
establish the kingdom of justice on earth. Peace would 
follow on the establishment of that kingdom. The mono- 
theistic conviction transformed the Jewish conception 
of God which had been originally national, and made 
it both international and ethical. The unity of God en- 
forced the unity of man. Elsewhere philosophers con- 
ceived a universal law founded on reason and the 
government of humanity; but nowhere else was there 
a conception of a national mission for the whole people, 
to spread the knowledge of the universal moral law. 

While the Jewish people carried abroad their mission 
of the kingdom of righteousness, an opposite principle 
influenced the imperial people which had become the 
masters of the civilized world in the West. With the 
Romans religion was associated with empire but sub- 
ordinated to it. A clash between the two conceptions of 
the world, the universal ethic of Judaism and the universal 
Empire of Rome, was inevitable. The Empire won the 
victory in the political sphere, the religion in the indi- 
vidual. In the midst of that conflict there sprang out of 
the universalized Judaism a new teaching which originally 
promised salvation to the individual soul, scorned civil 
life, and held out love and peace as the ideals of conduct 
in all human relations. The new Gospel dissociated 
religion from national life and from political activity. In 
vain the Roman Empire strove to crugh this non-national 
form of monotheism which threatened to undermine the 



CONCLUSION 


*77 


pagan imperialism. In the end it had to make terms with 
it and adopt it as an imperial creed. Henceforth the 
universal religious monotheism was associated with the 
universal empire which was now theocratic, but, like its 
predecessors, opposed to national independence. The 
forces of disintegration within the Empire, however, grew 
too strong, and Christianity could not counteract them. 
It could not, indeed, long preserve its own inner unity. 
Divorced from nationality, it had made a common faith 
and submission to a supreme spiritual head the bond of 
its adherents. But it is more impossible for all men to 
believe alike than to follow one national way of life. 
One of the apostles had taught that the new creed should 
be “all things to all men.” But ecclesiastical councils, 
supported by the secular powers, sought to maintain 
the unity of the Church by a ruthless tyranny over 
opinion. In vain. Christendom was rent in twain; and 
while religion dominated the imperial power in the 
West, the empire dominated religion in the East. 

In the West, for eight hundred years, the Church 
struggled to retain spiritual and temporal power over 
the peoples, to maintain the empire of the one Visible 
Catholic Church over all rulers, and to resist the rising 
flood of national feeling. In the struggle it was forced 
to depart from the fundamental pacific principles of its 
founders; and in order to fortify the hold of the one 
Christian commonwealth, it stirred up the people to war 
on behalf of the Church. That motive steadily weakened, 
while the motive of national independence and sovereignty 
steadily grew stronger. It at least secured a certain unity 
of Christendom against the incursion of Islam, and 
checked the anarchy of the feudal age. But it was proved 
once again that mankind will not submit to a universal 



278 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

monarchy which does not take account of the manifold 
natural diversities in man. 

At the Reformation the unifying authority of the 
Western Church was finally broken, and Christianity, 
which had been imperial for a thousand years, was 
largely nationalized. At the same time religion was no 
longer regarded as the binding and essential doctrine of 
the national States, in each of which the ruler claimed to 
be absolute sovereign of his territory, admitting neither 
religious nor temporal superior, in all causes ecclesiastical 
and civil supreme. Louis XIV’s declaration, “I am the 
State,” represents that outlook. The civil power has the 
paramount claim on the allegiance of the subject; and 
religion tends to become individual. Since the Reforma- 
tion had dethroned the supra-national Church, Christen- 
dom groped for centuries for a moral basis of international 
relations. Law must be sovereign if the Pope was not; 
but where was the law to govern sovereign States to be 
found ? 

In sections of the community the pure teaching of 
Christianity dominated political conduct, as among the 
Quakers or Friends and the Calvinists. And the more 
constructive minds of jurists and statesmen made an 
attempt to order the relations of the nations by a law 
based partly on moral and religious precepts, partly on 
the Roman Jus Gentium , partly on the conception of a 
law of nature. They did not create so much a rule of law 
as standards of conduct to which the nations should 
conform. The prevailing political doctrine, however, in 
Western Europe till our day was of sovereign national 
States recognizing neither human superior nor moral law 
in their relations with each other, ^but pursuing with 
diplomacy and force their dynastic or national interests. 



CONCLUSION 


*79 


Instead of religion informing nationalism and spiritualiz- 
ing it, nationalism informed and dominated religion and 
made it narrow. To look on the matter from another 
aspect, nationalism was itself advanced to the authority 
of religion. “From instinct it passed to creed and fervid 
prepossession, and then finally became dogma.” 

Turning back now to the hearth of the religions of 
Western civilization, we have seen that, after Christianity 
became imperial and tyrannical, another offshoot from 
the universal monotheism of the Jews emphasized in the 
East the idea of brotherhood. In a few momentous years 
the national religious movement of the Arabs became a 
world power. Religion was again knit in Islam with 
nationality, but soon transcended it, and passed to the 
idea of a world league of believers. It welded together 
the contending tribes of Arabia into a powerful military 
and missionary instrument of a theocracy which like 
Christendom should be universal. The resultant Moslem 
brotherhood, partly by force of arms, partly by missionary 
zeal, overcame paganism over a vast area, and dominated 
Christianity over a considerable part of Europe and Asia. 
The warlike instincts of Western and Eastern peoples 
were inflamed by the rival religious missions to establish 
a universal theocracy; and the struggle between them 
determined the evolution of European political and 
intellectual civilization for over five hundred years. 
The universal religious teaching of Islam was more 
successful than the universal teaching of Christianity in 
absorbing for a long period the national sentiment. In 
the Orient, and in Eastern Europe also, the Renaissance 
and the Reformation did not come in the fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries to introduce that stirring of life which 
in the West fostered the revival of nationalism. It was 



180 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

not till comparatively modern times that the national 
feeling of the peoples which adopted Islam was revived. 
Yet, eventually, the attempt of the religion to disregard 
nationality broke down in Islam as in Christendom, and 
brought on a violent reaction, which was accompanied 
by a severing of the tie between religion and the State. 
One gain has come with this world-wide outburst of 
nationalism, that it provides a common basis of the 
international society in the West and the East, viz. the 
national State and freedom of religion in a State. 

In the Farther East religious teaching and ethical 
doctrine, inspired by the idea of one humanity, were 
for two thousand years instruments of peace and inter- 
national tranquillity. They were seldom subordinated to 
imperialistic ambitions. But they were largely associated 
with pessimism or the belief in a static society, and so 
were not forces of social progress. There too, however, 
in modern times the spirit of nationalism, spreading 
from Europe, has burst the bottles of religious ethics; 
and the demand is for secular ideals of nationalism, 
democracy, and socialism. 

The modern world has been delivered from the tyranny 
of religion over social and political life which was for 
long one of the great fetters on liberty. The doctrine of 
one universal truth, revealed by God and confided to 
one absolute authority, which all peoples should accept 
voluntarily or by force, prevailed in Christendom for a 
thousand years. It engendered wars and persecutions. It 
was shaken by the Reformation, and has finally been 
destroyed, by the progress of rationalism on the one 
hand and by the divorce of religion from empire and 
ultimately from the State on the other. In the modern 
Welfare-State, which has replaced the Church-State, 



CONCLUSION 


281 


religion and government have been dissociated. In the 
one country where the union was maintained longest, 
the Russia of the Tsars, that was the successor of the 
Byzantine Empire, it has been completely abolished in 
the last years, to be succeeded, however, by the complete 
association of a new anti-religious creed with the State. 
The religion of Islam, while aiming, like Christianity, 
at a theocracy, did not seek to place all the peoples, 
but only the Moslems, under the yoke of one authority. 
It recognized the existence of other approaches to the 
one God. In our day the single authority over Moslems, 
the Caliph of the Prophet, has been finally repudiated. 
In the Far Eastern religions the conception of a uni- 
versal authority over belief or conduct has never been 
accepted. 

Most modern nations in the East and the West have 
adopted a systematic religious tolerance, recognizing both 
the right of peoples to keep their own religion and the 
right of the citizen within the State to follow his own 
religious views without disturbance. The right of religious 
liberty has been secured, and may be regarded as a part 
of the universal public law. 

One notable exception to this freedom of religious 
opinion remains. It is part of the ardent creed of Com- 
munist Russia that any form of religious belief and 
observance is injurious to the State, and is to be dis- 
couraged by every kind of moral pressure. Although, 
then, the communist ideology and atheism are not 
forcibly imposed by the Communist State, the principle 
of freedom of conscience is not recognized, and a new 
universal dogma which, while it disclaims the character 
of a religion, is in essence religious, is inculcated in all 
citizens by the secular power. 



28 2 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Surveying the history of Western and Eastern peoples 
through the ages, nationality, while originally created by 
religion, is seen to be a permanent instinct of the human 
kind, and it is impossible for a universal religion to 
eradicate it. At the same time, religion, in the sense of 
the worship of some spiritual power which links men 
with his fellows, is a permanent instinct of the human 
kind; and if other beliefs fail, the peoples tend to turn 
their national loyalty into a religion. 

In its higher aspects religion calls for peace and 
brotherhood between all peoples. A synthesis must be 
found between exclusive nationalism and universal 
religion. The disaster of the Great War, which resulted 
largely from the worship of the God-State, has tended to 
revive feeling in the West for the application in inter- 
national life of the moral principles of religion. If the 
national society is to be healthy it must be conducted 
in accordance with ethical principles that rule the conduct 
of individuals, and be raised to a higher form by the 
recognition of international obligations. As in the national 
society it is generally understood that the individual 
well-being is dependent upon the rule of law and justice 
and on mutual help, so in the international society it 
must be grasped that the well-being of each people is 
dependent on the rule of law and justice between nations, 
and on their co-operation for the common good. It is 
that task of raising nationalism to a higher conception 
which would appear to-day to be the particular function 
of religion both in the East and in the West. 

Religion, whether it is national as in Judaism, or non- 
national as in Christianity or Buddhism, must develop 
the humanitarian outlook, and be thte spiritual founda- 
tion and motive of internationalism. In the past it 



CONCLUSION 


283 


has been subordinate to the National State, ministering 
to its power; now it must rise above the State and minister 
to the international order. In the past it has been the 
cause of strife and war, and intensified the passions of 
belligerents; now it must be the basis of union and peace, 
and move the hearts of man, and through them of nations, 
towards understanding. It is in that way that the 
aspirations of the religions for universal brotherhood may 
be harmonized with the demands of the peoples for 
national life. As a first step to this unifying movement 
the religions must be at peace with one another. In the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries political liberty was 
introduced by the need of providing for religious differ- 
ences; and it was “the residuary legatee of religious 
animosities.” Conversely, it is to be expected that the 
fraternity of nations will accompany the fraternity of 
religions; and the co-operation of the Churches will 
lead on to the co-operation of the races and the peoples. 

A Jewish teacher of our time, Israel Zangwill, has 
remarked that internationalism must be rooted in nation- 
alism, since there cannot be a brotherhood of peoples 
unless there are peoples to be brothers. But it is no less 
true that nationalism must be directed towards inter- 
nationalism, and that no nation can play its part worthily 
unless it recognizes the brotherhood of peoples. The 
precept of Moses — “And thou shalt love thy neighbour 
as thyself” — must be extended from the national to the 
international sphere. 

As another modern Jewish philosopher has taught , 1 
that precept was the basis of the Jewish outlook on the 
relations of peoples, and can be carried out by a nation 
in its relations with other nations. It is fit, then, to form 

1 Ahad-Haam, Judaism and the Gospels. 



284 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

the basis of a new order. The consciousness of the 
inter-dependence of nations has been eloquently expressed 
in the Covenant of the League of Nations and the 
conventions derived from it, which are the most notable 
developments of international law in our time. What is 
still lacking, however, is the conviction and understand- 
ing of that inter-dependence by the mass of mankind. 
And religion, which, more than any other force, represents 
the sense of the brotherhood of man, should move the 
mass. The religions, working singly and together, should 
spiritualize the political conception of nationalism so as 
to make the nation, as it was in the vision of Mazzini, 
the link between man and God. “Humanity is the asso- 
ciation and alliance of peoples in order to work out their 
mission in peace and love. To forget humanity is to 
suppress the aims of our labours; to cancel the nation 
is to suppress the instrument by which to achieve the 
aim.” Man must move onwards through a peaceful 
nationalism, controlled by international law, recognizing 
international justice, and inspired with the consciousness 
of a common humanity, to the City of God. 



EPILOGUE TO SECOND EDITION 
THE RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF 
INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS 1932-1957 


Twenty-five years have passed since this book was 
published. They have been years of almost continuous 
war in some part of the world, including the second 
World War, which was global and still more destructive 
than the first, and which put an end finally to European 
domination. World power has been shifted to two giant 
States, the half-Asiatic Soviet Union and the United 
States of America. The twenty-five years have been, too, 
years of revolution and of the frustration of human hopes. 
The first world revolution in human history, which began 
in 1917, has not yet exhausted itself, but during these 
twenty-five years all the States of Asia have made them- 
selves independent and claim their equal place in the 
world society. The peoples of Africa are going the same 
way. 

The effort at the end of the second World War to build 
up a stronger world order for the maintenance of peace 
than the League of Nations has belied the bright hopes. 
The Charter signed at San Francisco in 1945, by all the 
“peace-loving” nations, (which meant those who had 
taken some belligerent action, however late in the day, 
against Nazi Germany), placed the responsibility for 
maintaining peace between nations fairly and squarely on 
a new executive body, the Security Council of the United 
Nations. The five major Powers in the world, which had 
been allied in the struggle, the U.S.A., U.S.S.R., U.K., 
France and China, were members of the Council, and the 
Charter required that they should be unanimous on any 



286 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

action to be taken against an aggressor state or a threat of 
aggression. It was implied, and assumed at the time, that 
the Powers who had been allied in the struggle would 
remain united in the cause of world peace. That assump- 
tion all too soon proved to be illusory. Already in 1946, 
at the so-called Peace Conference held in Paris to draft 
terms of peace between the Allies and the Nazi Satellite 
States, they had fallen out and engaged in mutual 
recriminations. The Cold War had begun. Before that 
the Soviet Union had made clear its policy to subject the 
nations of Central and Eastern Europe to her rule as 
satellites, in opposition to the proclaimed aims of the 
Allies and the Yalta Agreement. 

Another factor in producing or aggravating the rift 
was the unwillingness of the U.S. to share with her former 
Allies the secret of the atomic weapon which had been 
used by her against Japan in the last stages of the war. Yet 
that difference was only an aggravation of a more serious 
conflict of a religious character between the Soviet Union 
and her Communist Satellites on the one side, and the 
Western Powers on the other. That conflict, moreover, 
was not only external; in the Western countries a sub- 
stantial section of the peoples adhered to the Communist 
creed, and sought to spread it and make it prevail. The 
root trouble of our time is that two faiths are struggling 
against each other with the same fierce fervour as in the 
struggle between Christianity and Paganism in the early 
centuries of the Christian era, and between the Cross and 
the Crescent — of Islam — in the early Middle Ages. On 
the one side is the old faith of the three universal religions, 
Judaism, Christianity and Islam, in one universal God, 
demanding righteous conduct of mpn. The corollary of 
that faith is the worth of the individual man created in 



EPILOGUE TO SECOND EDITION 287 

the image of God. On the other side is the burning faith 
which has possessed Eastern Europe, and now also 
possesses Eastern Asia, based on a rigidly materialist view 
of the universe, and on the destiny and economic well- 
being of the masses of the people. The corollary of that 
philosophy is the subordination of the individual to the 
community, and the absence of moral scruple about the 
means to the end. It has not been possible for the thinkers 
or statesmen of the world to find a supreme religious idea 
which can bridge the gap between the two outlooks and 
unite the two sections of the human race. What is new in 
the revolutionary world is the massive character of the 
dissolution of authority in the spiritual and in the temporal 
order. 

Even the non-political organs of the United Nations, 
such as that for education and science (UNESCO), or 
the International Refugee Organisation (I.R.O.), have not 
succeeded in getting common action between the two 
blocks of States in humanitarian matters, or any common 
acceptance of the broad principles of human conduct. 
Though a Universal Declaration of Human Rights was 
adopted by nearly all members of the United Nations in 
1948, yet, as soon as the Human Rights Commission 
attempted to define more exactly the political, civil, 
economic and social rights in covenants which should be 
binding on signatory nations, the Cold War between the 
two contending blocs was extended to this field. 

The Soviet totalitarian State, by the very absoluteness 
of its demand on its followers, filled the religious vacuum 
left by the repudiation of the old creeds. The totalitarian 
State of the National-Socialists in Germany likewise 
filled the religious vacuum for a mass of the peoples of 
Germany and Central Europe. Hitler declared in Mein 



z88 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

Kampf: “we will have no other God but Germany alone”. 
For twelve terrible years the Nazi regime sought to destroy 
Judaism and the Jews and to cut away the Christian 
foundation of European civilisation. They saw in Judaism 
the malign force which had inspired Christianity; and the 
Nazi Reich was undisguisedly the kingdom of the Anti- 
Christ, as medieval thinkers had conceived it. Their 
religious appeal was to the lower side of man’s nature, to 
class instincts, to instincts of blood and race, to the 
passions of the herd. They superficially satisfied the 
instinct for worship and sacrifice. In our day the poet’s 
gloomy words are fulfilled: 

“The best lack all conviction, while the worst 
are full of passionate intensity”. 

In the Western democracies the hold of the old religious 
creeds was steadily diminishing since the beginning of the 
century, and there was no corresponding religious ardour 
for their principles, such as the Soviet and the Nazi 
regimes excited for their revolutionary aims. The society 
which professed to be Christian had become in its political 
and social relations a secular State. Hence in these times 
of stress and terrible trials a large portion of the people 
were left with a feeling of impotence and isolation and of 
moral, as well as of spiritual, insecurity. The spiritual 
confusion and crisis, caused by the loss of faith in the old 
universal creeds, was not resolved by the religion of the 
State — the feeling for the rights of man was too strong for 
that — or by any popular spiritual movement. So the 
struggle between the old faith and the new scepticism 
remained. 

It is notable that both the Covenant of the League of 
Nations and the Charter of the United Nations contained 



EPILOGUE TO SECOND EDITION 289 

no reference to God. That is due in part, no doubt, to the 
inclusion in the League and the United Nations of States 
which have a different religious idea from the Christian. 
But it has been a root weakness of the two attempts at 
creating a world society that there has been no common 
faith of their members about the order of the universe. It 
might have been hoped that the inclusion in the United 
Nations of many new States in Asia and Africa, whose 
peoples were believed to have more devotion to the 
precepts of religion than the European nations, would 
strengthen the religious and moral forces in international 
affairs. Yet that expectation also has been belied. The force 
of nationalism has proved stronger in the newly created 
States than in the old. It has been much stronger than the 
unifying and humanising ties of religion. Nationalism 
today threatens individual freedom in many parts of the 
world, and threatens even the disintegration of human 
relations altogether. It has brought mankind to the verge 
of destruction; for in the internecine conflict the scientists 
of the great nations have devised weapons which can 
wipe out all human life from the globe. 

At the same time, it has been disturbing that the past 
feuds and passions between the different religious creeds 
in the Orient have been aggravated by the achievement 
of national independence. So in the Indian sub-continent, 
when the partition into two States was carried out after 
the World War because of religious national demands, 
millions of Hindus had to leave the territory of Pakistan, 
and millions of Moslems had to leave India, in fear of their 
lives. The national and religious antipathies were com- 
bined. The outbreak of fratricidal violence between 
members of the creeds was the more distressful because 
Indian independence had in large measure been won by 



290 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

the application of the principle of non-violent resistance, 
preached by Mahatma Gandhi, and by the exercise of 
moral pressure. 

China, which for two thousand years had been a pacific 
section of the world, suffered the like revolution after the 
second World War. The Confucian teaching of good 
conduct between man and man had been a restraining 
influence against violent action. But the penetration of 
the Communist ideas with the ardour of a new religion 
has seemed to overwhelm the old traditional manners and 
to drown them as in a flood. In one nation of the Far East 
the disasters of the second World War did bring about a 
change of heart, and at least a temporary abandonment of 
militarist ambitions. Japan’s utter defeat and her topple 
from a vast empire led many of her people to abandon the 
Shinto worship of the State. But how profound 'is that 
change of heart, how much it is only a prudent reaction to 
military defeat, time will show. A more reliable influence 
for peace in the Far East may be the spread of the 
Buddhist doctrine in its original home in India. The 
2,500th year of the Buddha in 1957 was made the occasion 
of an intensive mission to the East and Far East. And the 
decline of the influence of Christendom in that part of 
the world strengthened its appeal. With its ideals of love, 
mercy and kindness to every living being, and its power of 
liberating the individual from sorrow and suffering, 
Buddhism may be a force for peace and good under- 
standing and offer healing to sorely stricken communities. 

Having now surveyed briefly the major world changes of 
the twenty-five years from the point of view of the 
diminishing authority of the old religious creeds, we turn 
to examine in a little more detail what has happened to 
the particular religions in their international aspects. 



EPILOGUE TO SECOND EDITION 


291 


First of Judaism, the oldest of the universal creeds. After 
nearly 2,000 years of home^ssness the Jews have again a 
State in their old home, but Judaism is not the state 
religion of Israel. It is a bitter irony that the establishment 
of the State of Israel in the Bible land, and the return of a 
million Jews to the ancient homeland of the people, 
which in the prophetic vision should be the prelude to 
world peace, has in fact, during the ten years, been 
associated with continuous conflict and cold war, and 
occasional periods of open war, between the Jews and the 
Arab peoples. Jerusalem, so far from being a city of peace, 
where the three universal religions would meet in a joint 
effort, has been ruthlessly divided into two cities separated 
by a literal iron curtain and barbed wire. The two peoples 
who divide Jerusalem live in a permanent state of armed 
vigilance. Eighty years ago the English writer George 
Eliot had a vision of the Jews; “choosing our full heritage, 
claiming the brotherhood of our nation and carrying it 
into a new brotherhood with the nations of the Gentiles”. 
The first part of the vision has been fulfilled: the second 
part seems a mockery, so far as Israel’s neighbours are 
concerned. Forty years after George Eliot another Gentile 
friend of Jews, the American Dr. Finley, who was 
formerly Minister of Education in New York and the head 
of the American Red Cross mission that came to Palestine 
at the end of the First World War, had a vision of the 
Jewish people leading the world in international morality. 
“I wonder if, out of the great world agony, the people 
with national devotions and local patriotism, but at the 
same time with a sovereign supernational idea, which in 
its earliest expression was more tolerant of the stranger 
than any other people, might not have another supreme 
contribution to make . . . Whether it would not give the 



292 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

new commandment for peoples which would constrain 
each nation to love its neighbour nations as itself”. His 
vision, like George Eliot’s, is frustrated so long as Israel’s 
neighbours obstinately refuse to recognise her existence. 

Nevertheless, it is for the Jews a great elation of the 
spirit and a pride that they have now a national home and a 
country of sure refuge for those of their people who are 
persecuted or outcast, that they are members of the society 
of nations and subjects of international law in their own 
right, and not just objects of it through the action of 
other nations, that the voice of Jerusalem can now be 
heard in the council of the nations, and that the teaching 
of Judaism about social justice can now be applied to the 
people of Israel. The Prime Minister of Israel, David 
Ben-Gurion, has defined the aim of the State as the 
national and social redemption of the Jewish people by its 
own powers, combined with the aspiration for the 
redemption of the human race. His words may sound daring 
and extravagant; but the establishment of the State and 
the ingathering of the tribes have revived Jewish 
consciousness. The existence of Israel has helped to 
preserve the surviving Jewish communities in the diaspora 
from the spiritual disintegration which threatened them. 
The Jewish people everywhere are conscious of a re-birth, 
and there are hopes that Judaism in Israel will revive the 
idea of its universal mission and influence other faiths. 

In Christendom the most helpful development of the 
last twenty-five years has been the progress of the move- 
ment for healing the schisms and uniting the churches in 
an oecumenical or universal society. The savage attack of 
the anti-christian and pagan State of the Nazi brought 
the different denominations together. It is true that the 
Roman-Catholic church, the largest denomination, does 



EPILOGUE TO SECOND EDITION 293 

not take part in the movement, and the still continuing 
cleavage between Catholics and Protestants has precluded 
joint action in the face of aggressive Communist atheism. 
But the representatives of all the other denominations 
have met together, and a World Council of Churches 
has been formed comprising members of 1 70, including the 
Eastern-Orthodox. This Council through various depart- 
ments has taken effective action on behalf of Christians 
suffering persecution and of refugees, not only Christian, in 
all parts of the world. Another beneficent reaction of the 
effort to stress points of unity between religious bodies, 
in place of points of difference, was that, during the 
Second World War, the Council of Christians and Jews 
was formed in the United Kingdom, and a similar Council 
existed in the United States since 1928. Their purpose was 
to form a common front against the paganism and savagery 
of the Nazi regime, to secure co-operation of the two 
religions in social matters, and to combat all religious and 
racial prejudice. Councils have been established since the 
War in many European and overseas countries, and 
notably during recent years in the German Federal 
Republic, which has repudiated the vicious racial ideas of 
the Nazis, and is making material reparation to Israel and 
the Jews for the outrageous wrongs done to Jews by the 
Nazis. The age-long enmity of the Church to the 
Synagogue is at last giving way to co-operation and 
understanding. 

During the last quarter-century Islam has appeared 
again as an international political force. While sovereign 
Turkey under Attaturk, after having recovered complete 
independence, repudiated the caliphate or the hegemony 
of the Moslem world, which the Ottoman sultans 
exercised for more than four hundred years, the new and 



294 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

largest Moslem State in the world, Pakistan, claims to be 
religious and not secular. She has figured often in the 
organs of the world society as the spokesman of 250 
million Moslems. In Egypt and the Arab States also the 
religious Moslem Brotherhood has been an active political 
party and the spearhead in the revolt against Western 
domination. Although the Moslem Brotherhood was 
suppressed in Egypt by the dictator Nasser as a subversive 
force, yet Nasser himself has resumed the conception of 
the Jihad, the Holy War against Infidels. 

We may set against this relapse into old religious 
enmities the linking up of the nations and religions of the 
world in the composition of the International Court of 
Justice of the United Nations. That Court is the successor 
of the Permanent Court of International Justice of the 
League of Nations, and includes amongst its fifteen 
members two Moslem judges, one from Egypt, the other 
from Pakistan. The statute of the Court prescribes that 
in the election of judges regard shall be had to the 
representation of the principal systems of jurisprudence; 
and that condition has been observed. There are judges of 
India and China, but not yet a Buddhist judge. Inter- 
national law and the International Court have become in 
recent years more universal, even though hitherto the 
Soviet Union and the Oriental States have shown them- 
selves uncompromising upholders of absolute State 
sovereignty. Before this century domination of inter- 
national law by Christian States was generally accepted. 
Now the Communist and also the Oriental systems, which 
are based in many respects on different principles, are 
fairly represented. The judges of the Court may be more 
successful than the statesmen in th^ Assembly of the 
United Nations in working out their synthesis of Christian 



EPILOGUE TO SECOND EDITION 295 

and non-Christian law. The fusing of legal traditions of 
the diverse cultures of contemporary civilisations may be 
the beginning of a universal legal order dedicated to the 
promotion of international justice. 

The influence of religion in international law and 
international relations is not only direct and immediate. 
For it inspires policy. If a people and its political leaders 
show sincere regard for peace, justice, compassion and 
human dignity in world affairs, it is generally because 
they have asserted these values in the more intimate 
sphere of internal affairs and local welfare. The ethical 
aspiration of religion in social and national affairs is 
summed up in the simple teaching: “Thou shall love thy 
neighbour as thyself”. The history of religious and 
international progress is the ceaseless endeavour to expand 
the sense of the term “neighbour”. 

It has been a dream of several groups of visionaries in 
this period of international and inter-religious tension to 
bring together spiritual and lay leaders of the world’s 
great religions in some conference or congress with a view 
to emphasizing their mutual understanding and the 
broad ethical doctrines which they hold in common. 
That would give, it is believed, some spiritual expression 
to the longing for peace and for the unity of mankind. 
The most remarkable leader of that movement was the 
English soldier and mystic, the late General Sir Francis 
Younghusband, who had spent years in the sublime 
regions of the Himalayas and Tibet, and there conceived 
a vision of the creeds of the West and the East united for 
spiritual and ethical purposes. In 1936 he founded in 
London the World Congress of Faiths. The Congress has 
branches in America and in several countries of Western 
Europe, but not yet in the Soviet Union or the Asiatic or 



2 96 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

African continent. It may seem a still small voice amid 
the strident shouts of fierce nationalisms and ideologies: 
but steadily, if slowly, it begins to be heard. The President 
of the World Congress of Faiths is the English elder 
statesman, Lord Samuel, the first Jew to be a member of 
a British Cabinet, and the first High-Commissioner for 
the mandated territory of Palestine. He has defined its 
aims as “to urge all the faiths to use their vast influence 
over the peoples of the world, not to insist upon their 
differences and dwell upon rivalries and antagonisms, 
but to promote a parallel advance along their several 
paths towards a common goal. That course is second to 
none in its urgency or in ultimate value to the welfare of 
mankind”. 

Although the effort to get agreement of the United 
Nations on human rights has hitherto been disappointed, 
it is in that field that the best hope exists of enlarging the 
sphere of international law and international action. The 
concept of human rights may prove the point of 
Archimedes from which internationalism may be lifted 
out of its present frustration. 

The brutal oppression by the Nazis of religious and 
racial groups roused the churches and the general 
conscience in the countries of freedom. The consequences 
of that orgy of inhumanity were so disastrous for world 
peace that the statesmen of those countries were moved 
during the World War to declare that the protection of 
fundamental freedoms and human rights should be an 
essential condition of the new world order. It seemed a 
big advance of the Charter of the United Nations that 
one of the purposes and principles of the world society 
was defined as “promoting and encouraging respect for 
human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all, 



EPILOGUE TO SECOND EDITION 


2 97 


without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion”. 
It marked also a growing trend to bring within the scope 
of international law individuals and groups of persons as 
well as States. That trend began in the League organisa- 
tion with the provision for the right of minorities, and 
for the right of individuals and groups in a territory 
governed under a Mandate of the League, to petition the 
Council of the League about any denial of justice or 
violation of the Mandate. The Council or the Permanent 
Mandates Commission dealt with the petitions, and if it 
found a serious grievance, called on the State in fault to 
redress it. 

The demand for inclusion in the Charter of the United 
Nations of the international assurance of human rights 
was pursued at San Francisco by voluntary and religious 
bodies which were invited to have a part in the conference. 
American Jewish representative bodies, and notably the 
American Jewish Committee, gave the lead. It illustrated 
the recognition of non-governmental bodies in the new 
world-order that the Charter provided, also, that the 
Economic and Social Council should make arrangements 
for consultation with such bodies, “which are concerned 
with matters within its competence”; and those include 
the assurance of human rights. The bodies accorded 
consultative status may submit memoranda to the Council 
and the Human Rights Commission, and have a certain 
right of audience. The Charter moreover, in an article 
dealing with dependent territories and with territories 
placed under international Trusteeship, adopted the 
principle of assuring human rights. It is a function of the 
Trusteeship Council to see that due regard is given by 
the Trustee Administration to the fundamental freedoms 
of all the inhabitants, and to examine petitions from 



298 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM 

individuals or groups who complaii; that there has been a 
violation of those freedoms. 

At the end of the War hopes were bright that the new 
order would initiate an international Bill of Rights, 
including international machinery for implementing it. 
The Treaties which were drafted at the Paris Conference 
1946, for settling the terms of peace with the satellite 
states of Nazi Germany, prescribed that those countries 
should accord Civil and Political rights to all their subjects 
without discrimination. Proposals were put forward at 
the Conference for the establishment of an International 
Court of Human Rights parallel with the International 
Court of Justice. The Commission for Human Rights was 
set up in 1947, with the task of drafting a Bill of Rights; 
and at first it made good progress. A Universal Declaration 
was adopted in December, 1948, by a Resolution of the 
General Assembly of the United Nations. It was not, 
however, a legally binding document, but rather a 
standard of perfection to which the members of the 
United Nations undertook that their legislation in due 
time should conform. Then the Commission turned to 
the drafting of a Covenant which should specify more 
exactly Civil and Political Rights to be assured by the 
legislation of the States which signed it. And when the 
Soviet Union pressed for the inclusion of Economic and 
Social Rights, which in their eyes were as important as 
the Political and Civil, the Assembly resolved that the 
Commission should draft a second Covenant specifying 
that class of rights. 

Soon, however, came a setback to the bright hopes. 
The United States Government, which had taken the 
initiative, later apprehending that any Covenant would 
be used by the Communist States, who would themselves 



EPILOGUE TO SECOND EDITION 


2 99 

refuse to sign it, to foment difficulties for the Democratic 
States, announced that they were opposed to the adoption 
of a Covenant in these matters. And Great Britain and 
France, the other Western Big Powers, which still wanted 
to proceed with the Covenant, were antagonised by the 
demand of the Communist States and the Asian-African 
Bloc for the inclusion of a clause of self-determination of 
all peoples. So the debate is continued at each Assembly, 
but nothing positive has yet come out. 

The religious bodies continue to press for international 
action in this matter of human rights and regard for 
human dignity. Their guiding motive is that man is 
made in the image of God; and the religious faiths of 
the Eastern civilisations, equally with those of the West, 
recognise the value of human personality. That is a 
principle common to all the creeds. If only a beginning 
could be made in the United Nations with some Inter- 
national Tribunal to deal with complaints about human 
rights, such as has been achieved in the Council of Europe, 
which comprises all the European States except those 
behind the Iron Curtain. The world conscience begins 
to be moved on behalf of the black and coloured peoples 
of Africa. The collective mind of nations, no less than the 
individual mind, is never static. While it is impossible to 
predict when and where it will take a stand for principle, 
we may be sure, as recent action about Hungary has 
shown, that it will be moved by gross violation of individual 
freedom. The principles of the Charter, the Declaration 
of human rights, and some rulings of the International 
Court of Justice about Human Rights encourage the hope 
of international action on behalf of the individual man 
who, in the words of Grotius, the founder of modern 
International Law, is “a creature dear to God”. 



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BIBLIOGRAPHY 301 

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