Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

8 erthygl ar y dudalen hon

,rrelilgion of Expediency.


,rrelilgion of Expediency. C 1 By THOMAS THOMAS. •jjj t the .Congregational Union meeting of last. he esday week (May 10). the Rev. Dr. Mor- n- i Gibbon committed himself to rather an 0 toalous position. Speaking of the treat- I it meted out to Conscientious Objectors by r; Tribunals, among other things he sid: jh I fe differed from the Conscientious Objectors of file practical contusions at which they ar- s- -(hear, hear)—with regard to their per- ml duty at the present moment, but he f wted to remind them this audience) that 1 f Conscientious Objector stood, precisely it ra the maj ority of them stoo d yesterday, IB where they would all be standing again to- ow or the day after. To which I say a is P Amen! And may the Lord make us truly n kful for all small mercies received were is no mistaking the rev. gentleman s lS ing in the above paragraph; his words are In and not easily subject to mismterpreta- ,e K Dr. Gibbon, before the war, believed as Conscientious Objector believes now,, and r u the war is over he will return to those efs. The worthv Doctor is considered a. I ar of Nonconformity; a truly spiritual man, I an able theologian. Now. let us quietly ° trnine the stability of his beliefs and the v leg of his present, position. One of the ostles has said that "Faith without works is r d. Christ, I believe, also said that By s Jl: fruits shall ye know them." Without g kIng any pretence to Scriptural knowledge, s 12 I am under a sort of impression that ristianity is fundamentally a religion noees- sing the practice of its ordinances. To pro- 1 any belief whilst ignoring its essential Ist-s is Iii-lilg a lie. Moreover, Christian-, a f requires consistent practice of its adher- f tg; not to wear it like a summer garment f d throw it off at the first signs of wintry L ?s. It is not a religion of expedients ? ?'ein a man can make it subservient to W issues • neither is it a system of ethics ded for the Sabbath alone. Belief is not fficient else the devils would be angels, c Not every one that saith unto me Lord. I'd, shaft enter the Kingdom of Heaven but that doetli the will of the .Father." | The Conscientious Objector believes war to r immoral; that human life is sacred and at to take part in war would oe a Vtol- n of his conscience and an outrage on his f6Pest convictions. An Atheist can consistent- I bold this view, so can a nothingarian and a. h irker," but since the treatment of all Con- > « Jeiltious Objectors has been the same, I will • nfille myself to the Conscientious Objector o bases his objection on religious grounds. ,raps Dr. Gibbon and the innumerable other itiial leaders who are not in sympathy the Conscientious Objectors will graciously j 'knowledge that there have appeared before f Tribunals men. whose nast records in the s. hfcre of religious work make it impossible to testion their sincerity. These men have de- i ullc:.ed war in da ys of peace, but because i? Y have held consistently to their views they to-day sunering untold persecution under .?Ultary lan-. ?iuce Dr Gibbon believes, or i itu her beheved with the Conscientious Obj ector the sanctity of human life and in the im- 'alit. war.. and that these beliefs are ?nded on Christian teaching, and since he HP' again believe in the same tenets when th B?' is ended, mothin? lie has placed him- 1£ in a very invidious situation and has ex- ,sd his Christian faith to Visi derision. He ???* as well have said that Christianity was ?before the war; it will be right after the ?-'ut it is not right during the war. If 'm >nrpticaUv ?s wrong, surely war In actual ???n must be wrong? If Love thy ? '? ns. +.hvself," "Do not kill, are fun- itil injunctions, then they should be ? ?"ed andev all circumstances and conditions. ?b does not qualify his commands, neither ?s He command the iInposslle; but i^t seeiaa ?t H>s modern apostles find it too di ciilt to cOllcile Christ's commands with their own s of what Christ ought to have commanded, admitting that the Conscientious Objector ,nds to-day where lie and his co-religionists ad yesterday, and where they will stand. Httonw Dr. Gibbon bears unequivocal tes- nony to the justice of the Conscientious Ob- tytor's attitude. The worthy Doctor nimseii > Gently believes'that when Christianity und claims of Imperialism clash, it is the du y, [ the Christian to sink, for the time, the ill-I vests of his immortal soul for the interests of ? material requirements. The country is at ?', fightmg maybe for its very existence, ? ? the rev gentleman believes in making g-l?)i, inciipl-es conscience. sacred con- f ? ?ions—su bservient to the necessities of the f ?try. That position is quite relevant and  ,-SUI1S'e rri(,'" to thC l1eceSSi tie,S of th.C.' ? '? ?h-iotic. but it is not consistent with Ohrist- '? ideals. To fail in the one measure of di- ?e exhortation is to be guilty of moral ?sliding. War. it is true. has enforced res- f' ?nts. necessitated a modification of indivi- U?l predilections and social customs, compell- ? the sacrifice of cherished industrial liberties J?t when it encroaches on Conscience. then h:atwür be the result it must be bridled. ] S There is here no question of the Christian ?obity of those who are fighting, so long as .?.?an?s own conscience acquits him of.wrong- ?'Ug, his honesty is above reproach, whatever t  Y be said about his judgment. If a man ??ks the present war to be of Divine inspi- i ?ion; or that it is of man's own doing but m?t the aggressor was Germany, then no ques- m? of profession or age should prevent him hying his belief into practice; but. on the "h\r hand. equal freedom of choice should be ??en to the man whose whole soul rebels at the f?ought of arming against his fellow-man. I' -C L v But Conscription has denied freedom of choice  the Conscientious ObJector; he must either .?,? ''sake his principles or bear [he penalties. He  chosen toanc1 by his convictions, and (' though men like Doctor Gibbon tacitly confess il-t? righteousness of pacifism they cannot it in their hearts to do more than utter rai"Id protest against the treatment P?iven ) 1M ? "?? who have elected to remain faith- "?? to their Christian beliefs. After the war t a. ended, then Dr. Gibbon is prepared to CVe again become a Conscientious Objector, hna practwal testimony of the faith that is IJN? him will cause no inconvenience or public  A. rclig?i of public expediency is ?rined hypocrisy. If our spiritual leaders no sympathy with shirkers who, they con- ,?4" itd,hide. behind a manufactured eon8cience !?elT that should not prevent them doing ?n-'dutY towards those who are known to be ?cere objectors? jb It is not on record that Dr. GIhhon protested B?inst the exclusion of ministers of religion ?n the Compulsory Army Bill; ;Vi. whiL-A ing fnH advantage of this '001itical oonoes- ?'?n from the Government, nS1ther he nor his '?low-ministers are prepared to grant a similar ?rogative to others of equal claims. To corner  0,1 fiance !s indeed, a. new form of monopoly. ? ?e only thing left now is to placard every ?*' of worship with the trU1g: Nothmg 'arming in Christianity at present.

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