Chapter 24 » 24.13

Personal witness

We had been talking for an hour and a half with a clergyman neighbour, and afterwards I sat by the fire and thought. He had maintained that war has not as yet been grown out of, and that God still uses it as a means of training His children. As I thought over this, old thoughts and memories awoke from sleep. I remembered the familiar words about William Penn’s sword – ‘Wear it as long as thou canst’: and it seemed clear to me that if William Penn had given it up from self-interest or cowardice, or for any reason short of the ‘witness of God in his own soul’, he would have been wrong. And then the thought extended itself from the life of one man to the life of mankind, and I remembered a sentence in the Epistle to Diognetus: ‘What the soul is in the body, that Christians are in the world’. Then I seemed to see that war cannot rightly come to an end from self-interest or cowardice or any worldly reason but only because men and women, by one and one, without waiting for the others, have become loyal to the spirit of Christ.

Marion C Fox, 1914

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