We are forced to ask not only our temporal and spiritual
leaders, but ourselves as well — what is responsible for this
circumstance? What is the answer?
With the Christian world preparing to celebrate the birthday of the Prince of Peace, might il not he- well for us to calm
our fevered seasonal activity and think quietly about our hope
for harmony — to search out the reason for the world's endless
pursuit of peace and why it forever escapes our grasp?
Petrarch, the- great Italian poet of the fourteenth century
wrote, "Five great enemies to peace inhabit with us: avarice,
ambition, envy, anger, and pride. If those enemies were to be
banished, xve should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace."
Six centuries have passed since the gre-at philosopher
penned those line-s. and the enemies to peace which he enumerated are still with us. Has. then, all of man's progress been
in technological anel scientific fields? Have xve failed in those
areas of human life- which matter most?
Emerson said, "Nothing can bring you peace lint yourself;
nothing can bring you peace but thc triumph of principles."
ut, one protests, these are generalities. How doe's one go
about banishing, on a national or international level — even on
a community or personal level, the "enemies of peace" and
Insure the triumph of right principles?
The words of another gre-iit student of soe-ial problems, tbe
nineteenth-century English writer John Riiskin, shed a little-
light on the subject. He state-el. "No peace- xxas ever won from
fate by subterfuge or agreement; no peace is ever in store for
any of us but that which xxe- shall win by victory over shame
or sin — victory over the sin that oppresses, as xx-e-11 as over
that which corrupts."
These are indeed sobering and revealing words. Is it possible that our present troubles max he due iu large part to our
efforts at conciliation and agreement with the evil forces of
godless communism, beginning with our diplomatic recognition
"f the Soviet regime in November, 19-33, and continuing since
'hat time? Starting with the sweeping concessions made to the
Communists at the Teheran. Yalta, anel Potsdam conferences,
me Iron Curtain has now closed over 900 million people, which
's approximately three-eighths of the total population of the
■vorld. Our deserti if the cause- of freedom in China, alone,
tyfien we abandoned Chiang Kai-shek to the onslaught of the
Heel scourge, brought 600 millions of Chinese- into the Com-
Even as late as the Geneva Conference the Kremlin and
Red China still deceived the- world xxith false- promises. Although there are widely differing opinions as to the success
Of that Conference, it is not a matter ol opinion, but a sad
fact, that all American prisoners of war have not yet been
freed. General Van Fleet has stated that the Communists are
holding 400 men of all services, Mothers, fathers, wives, and
Children of these prisoners continue to suiter agonies of grief
and to plead in vain for our government lo obtain the release
"f their loved ones.
In viewing the advance anel the deception of the Communists, one is reminded of the prophecy of Isaiah:
Their feet inn to evil, anil they make haste to
shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of
iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The
ic«[/ of peace they h»»f not; and there is no jndument in
their goings: they have made them cranked paths:
-•■V-TS FORUM NEWS, December, 1956
whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace
Has the United States been inveigled into those paths of
which the ancient prophet warned? Have we unwittingly, and
through the betrayal of our country by both convicted and
unapprehended traitors, not only failed in the past to stop the
Communist advance but. in many instances, have we not indeed
filled the role which Marxians designed for us while boasting
that capitalism would destroy itself?
We are prone to accept precious liberties xxon by our forbears at great sacrifice ancl suffering, civic privileges procured
through long weary hours of unselfish service, cultural gains
made slowly through the centuries, a spiritual inheritance from
Cod-fearing men and women who felt keenly their obligations
to humanity — all these benefits we take for granted, as if thex-
hael dropped into our lives qeiito by accident and had cost
It is imperative thiit we do not accept our wonderful legacy
xxith casual unconcern. Our endowments have been bought
xxith sacrificial toil and privation, with suffering, tears, and
blood, and the only way xx-e can repay the countless men and
women who left us our heritage is to guard it closely, to value
it supremely, and. if nee-el he, to defend it xxith our very lives.
Words and feelings of gratitude are not enough. The patriots
who preceded us started many enterprises thex could not finish.
Thex expected us to carry on. Tlie ground xx-as cleared, the
foundations poured, tin- plans completed for a beautiful building ol freedom and peace. Now the previous builders are gone
and if the magnificent edifice is to he- erected, xx c- must do it.
We should accept this task bravely, even gladly, saying with
Rupert Brooke, "Now God he thanked Who hath matched us
xvith His hour."
To repair the broken wing of the Dove of Peace, we must
lolloxx the directions of the Great Physician. God, by His very
nature of love and mercy, desires peace for all mankind and is
anxious to provide all the good we crave. But as every privilege- in life carries a corresponding responsibility, peace also
carries its price-. This price i.s not appeasement or compromise
He, at Whose birth tlie heavenly host sang, "Glory to God
in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men"
(Luke 2:14) said, "I came not to send peace, hut a sword"
(Matt. 10:34). He would thus have us cut ourselves asunder
from the- forces of darkness, and He has provided a positive
guide for our attainment of peace.
e must of necessity start on the level of our personal relationships. Do we shoxv love, sympathy, and understanding to
members of our families, to associates in business, to the
strangers whose lives touch ours briefly? Do we strive constantly to be- constructive; to help instead of hinder; to build
rather than destroy? Do xve carry Christ-like attitudes of forgiveness and optimism out, beyond our inner circle, into the conduct ol community and state- affairs? Are we able to see ex-en
beyond the boundaries of our own land and extend positive
assistance to suffering peoples everywhere?
Only when we have cleansed the inside of the cup, put oeir
own house in order, and refuseel to countenance thc godless
forces masquerading in Red robes of peaceful conquest, xx-ill the
broken wing of the dove be healed. God recognized our human
frailties ancl provided eis with the needed help. Our part is to
accept His gift.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
and the government shall he upon his shoulder: and his
name shall be called Wonderful. Counsellor, the mighty
Cod. the everlasting Father, the Prince of Fence. Of the
increase of his government and peace there shall be no
end (Isaiah 9:6). end