THE RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM

THE RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM

A STUDY IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS THROUGH THE AGES

by NORMAN BENTWICH

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

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PREFACE

Tuts 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,

8 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 1861, has an alternative title, Etudes sur l’Histoire de l’Hu- manité; 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 theolcgy 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 1s 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 11

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.

NORMAN BENTWICH

JERUSALEM ‘Fune 1932

CHAPTER

I. II. III.

IV.

VI.

VII. VIII.

IX.

XI.

XII.

XITI.

CONTENTS

PAGE

JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF PEACE 15 THE PAGAN RELIGIONS OF ANTIQUITY 37 JUDAISM AND THE NATIONS 59 CHRISTIANITY: FROM THE ORIGINS TO THE REFORMATION 83 FROM THE REFORMATION TO THE FRENCH REVOLUTION rrr FROM THE FRENCH REVOLUTION TO THE END OF THE GREAT WAR, 1918 137 ISLAM AND THE NATIONS 159

THE INDIAN AND FAR EASTERN RELIGIONS 181 RELIGIOUS FREEDOM TILL THE GREAT WAR 204 RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SINCE THE GREAT WAR 228 RELIGION AND THE NEW INTERNATIONAL

SOCIETY 245 A LEAGUE OF RELIGIONS 264 CONCLUSION 275 BIBLIOGRAPHY 285

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 1s 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

16 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.”

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 1s 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

JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF PEACE 17

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

18 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 vii. 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 19

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. 17, 18). 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 2%

temple of humanity was razed and Jerusalem ceased to exist. But 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. The tranquillity was founded on the crushing of the national spirit by a unt- 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. 2 Studies in Democracy, Book I, ch. ix.

22 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.

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.? It

t 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. a 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.

24 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.! 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

t 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.

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

JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF PEACE 25

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,

26 RELIGIOUS FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONALISM

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

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 1s justice.

It had come also to be recognized that the world

t 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 27

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 War, which is said to have had greater influence on the relations of nations than any book since Grotius wrote his Law of War 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.

28 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.””!

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

t See Clunet, 1912, Journal de Droit International, p. 998.

JERUSALEM, THE CITY OF PEACE 29

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 Liége 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. The 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 31

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.' 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

t 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.”

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in the East as in the West it 1s 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-Baha 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