There is among us a growing acknowledgment of the unity of society which it will be the strength of our children to realize, a unity in Christ. Everyone speaks of the present tendency towards democracy. But there is a danger lest the outward political interpretation of the phrase should obscure its deeper spiritual meaning. The idea of democracy is not, if we look below the surface, so much a form of government as a confession of human brotherhood. It is the confession of common duties, common aims, common responsibilities. True democracy---and in this lies its abiding strength---substitutes duties for rights. This substitution changes the center of gravity of our whole social system, and brings the promise of stable peace.

There is yet more among us a feeling after a unity of humanity, a vaster, fuller, enduring human life, which it will be the joy of our children to realize, a unity in Christ. It is not possible to regard the attitude of nations now one to another, even if some be a armed camp, without recognizing that new forces are at work which make for a better understanding between them, which place a clearer light their complementary endowments and offices for the enrichment of the race, which tend at least to subordinate temporary material interests to the common good, to control the political by the spiritual. The end, indeed, for which we pray, 'peace, unity, and concord among all nations,' will not be reached at once, but slowly, step by step, with many relapses, it may be, and many falls. But it is in sight, and it is seen. The recognition of then variety and the interdependence of forms of national life as contributory to the fullness of Christ is a new thing. If the Stoics spoke of the 'members' of the race, it was without that sense of the One Head in whom we are coming to see the spring and the support of the widest fellowship of mankind.

Hitherto, it must be confessed, the lessons of the Gospel have not been applied to the problems of international life. During the last three centuries attention has been directed mainly to questions of personal conduct. But the time seems to have now come when Christians as Christians are required to realize and give effect to their creed in the discharge of the widest social duties---the duties not only of class to class, but also of nation to nation---as members of one race. The necessity is the more pressing because the increase of popular power involves the increase of popular responsibility, and for the people, as has been truly said by non-Christian teachers, every question in finally a religious question.

Under this aspect it is evident that Christianity offers a revelation of the purpose of God for the world, and supplies a motive for sustained effort, and gives a clue for movement, which we need but cannot find elsewhere. Christianity rests upon the central fact that the Word became flesh. This fact establishes not only a brotherhood of men, but also a brotherhood of nations; for history has shown that nations are an element in the fulfillment of the Divine counsel, by which humanity advances towards its appointed end.

Such thoughts as these of an unrealized unity felt to be attainable, felt to correspond with the idea of creation given back to us in redemption, answer to the spirit of the age. They are in the air. They foreshow, that is, the truths which in the fulfillment of the Divine order are offered to us by the Holy Spirit. They show us how we can each in our measure hasten the time when the fullness of life shall be the common inheritance and the common joy of all. They point forward to the day when the kings of the earth shall bring their honor and glory into the city of God, a city which is the true Holy of holies. it is for the church in the fulfillment of its prophetic office, even with imperfect and troubled knowledge, to welcome them, to give them shape, and to transmit them to the next age for the guidance and inspiration of its work.

In Christ, timothy. maranatha