Page images

laws binding on the individual and those incumbent on the State, or any voluntary society or corporation within the State.' But it is surely alien to the outlook of the seer to suggest that he has any idea of the permeation of international morality by the gradual sway of Christian principles, or by the evangelisation of the world in anything like the modern sense.

• The kingdoms of the world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ'; the kings of the earth bring their glory and their homage to the New Jerusalem; but, as Dr Charles himself recognises, such conceptions refer only to the final triumph or to the Millennial reign of the saints when conditions have been altered by a miraculous intervention of God and the descent of the heavenly Jerusalem. In the world as we know it, the Apocalyptist sees only bitter hostility between the nations and the Church. It is true the triumph is to be realised on earth'; but is not to be realised under the ordinary conditions of human history and development. John is not asking or expecting the Roman Government or the local State to adopt Christian principles in their social and foreign politics.

But once we recognise without reserve the complete difference of outlook, we can go on with a clear conscience to make our modern applications. In Dr Charles' words, No great prophecy receives its full and final fulfilment in any single event or series of events. ... But if it is the expression of a great moral and spiritual truth, it will of a surety be fulfilled at sundry times and in divers manners and in varying degrees of completeness.' Antichrist, for example, is not to us a single figure of horror who is to appear at the end of time, but a principle of evil which incarnates itself in various ways and in various degrees. We can follow John in insisting that there can be no compromise between Babylon and the Church, between the Beast or the False Prophet and the Lamb and His followers, not as standing for different sets of people whom you will find in Who's Who,' or for organisations tabulated in Whitaker'; but as representing the eternal principles of wrong and of right, of hatred and of love. We can read our Apocalyptist and bathe ourselves to the full in his magnificent conviction of the certainty of the final issue. We can learn his

[ocr errors]

lesson of the supreme value of courage and faith in dark days. Always is it true that cowards or the faint-hearted are among the first of those whose part is in the second death.' Always is it true that those who are sealed with the mark of the Lamb, who enroll themselves on His side, are safeguarded from all the spiritual assaults of our ghostly enemies. Always do we pray and work for the coming of that city which is both the gift of God descending from Heaven, and yet also the creation of men who are ready to dare all in the service of the Eternal values of righteousness, truth, and beauty.

Of all this the Revelation is one of the supreme expressions in literature. It more than justifies its place in the canon, and the labour spent on it; it is a tract for hard times,' a vision of hope which has a fresh application for every generation. But in order to taste its full flavour, it is not enough to be content with those outstanding passages to which, as we suggested, the ordinary reader tends to confine his attention. Their full force can only be felt when they are placed in their context. The book must be read as a whole. It is a dramatic unity in which the plot unfolds itself in an ordered sequence. The very grotesqueness and horrors have their place as a counterfoil to the visions of peace and joy. Almost breathlessly we watch for the coming of the final triumphant dénouement, as chapter by chapter we follow the alternations of the conflict between the Church and Babylon. Only in the light of the fierce and relentless bitterness of the maddened powers of Antichrist can we do justice to the suppressed fury of righteous indignation which finds its climax in the Judgment on Babylon the Great the Mother of harlotries and of the abominations of the earth.'

"And the voice of the bridegroom and the bride

Shall be heard no more in thee;
And no craftsmen of whatever craft

Shall be found any more in thee.
And the voice of the millstone

Shall be heard no more in thee;
And the light of the Lamp

Shall shine no more in thee.
Rejoice over her, thou Heaven,
And ye Saints, and ye Apostles, and ye Prophets,
For God hath given Judgment in your cause against her.'


And only when we realise the human inevitableness of this righteous indignation against the cruelty of the world can we feel the divine pathos which breaks out in the yearning invitation.

. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come.
And let him that heareth say, Come.
And let him that is athirst come:
Whosoever willeth let him take the Water of Life freely.'

The words belong in their setting only to the future Golden Age when persecution and opposition shall have ceased; it is the task of the Christian consciousness to

! transfer them to the world as it is and to sublimate the desire for vengeance and a dramatic destruction of evil into the effort to win the sinner to the Kingdom of God with the divine message of a love that never faileth and which hopeth and believeth all things for all men.

Apart from details, it is the outstanding service of Dr Charles' book that he has brought out the dramatic power and unity of the Apocalypse. In the commentary before us he writes as a scholar for scholars. The linguistic and textual discussions and the technical details of interpretation will be a mine of information for students. They give the grounds on which his conclusions are based, and the work is rounded off by very full indices. He and his publishers are to be congratulated on the production of such a work under difficult conditions of printing and publishing. But they would confer an equal benefit on the ordinary reader if they could be persuaded to issue a much smaller edition of the Commentary embodying the new translation and rearrangement of the text, printed in such a way that it could be read as literature, and accompanied by just such extracts from the introduction and notes as would give the average man the right way of approach and the necessary explanation of difficulties and obscurities.


[ocr errors]



1. The Treaty of Saint-Germain, signed Sept. 10, 1919.

Treaty Series No. 11 (1919), Cmd. 400. 2. The Treaty of Trianon, signed June 4, 1920. Treaty

Series No. 10 (1920), Omd. 896. 3. The Treaty of Neuilly, signed Nov. 27, 1919. Treaty

Series No. 5 (1920), Cmd. 522. 4. The Treaty of Sèvres, signed Aug. 10, 1920. Treaty

Series No. 11 (1920), Omd. 964. THE object of this article is to examine some of the problems bound up with the Balkans, and in particular to discuss the post-war position in that Peninsula as I found it during a comprehensive tour made at the end of last year. Before embarking on this task, however, let me remind my readers that various events which have taken place since the outbreak of the European conflagration-particularly the disappearance of AustriaHungary-have extended the district in question, more correctly, the Balkanised zone, not merely as far as the Rivers Danube and Save, but up to the Baltic on the north and to the frontiers of Germany, Switzerland, and Italy on the west. This means that, whilst I shall only touch upon the foreign policies of Czecho-Slovakia and Poland, I must refer in detail to the situations prevailing in Jugo-Slavia, Roumania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, and Albania-situations directly influenced by the Treaties of Peace made by the Allies with Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey, as respectively listed above. Besides these documents there are the Treaties for the protection of Minorities, signed by the Allies with the Serbo-CroatSlovene State, with Roumania,t and with Greece.I There is, too, the unpublished Treaty between the principal Allied and Associated Powers and Poland, Roumania, the Serbo-Croat-Slovene State, and Czecho-Slovakia relative to the confines of those States, signed at Sèvres on Aug. 10, 1920. The British Empire, France, Italy, and Japan and the small States are the signatories; and its provisions take the new States in order, define their


* Treaty Series, 1919, No. 17, Cmd. 461,
† Treaty Series, 1920, No. 6, Cmd. 588.

# Treaty Series, 1920, No. 13, Cmd. 960. Vol. 235,- No. 467.

2 C

[ocr errors]

frontiers, and recognise their sovereignty within those frontiers.

The truth about the Balkans can only be realised after a brief allusion to two idealistic conditions which were desirable of realisation in the documents by which the war has been terminated. There was the necessity for establishing a barrier between Germany and the Near East-a barrier which at one time might possibly have been created by one of two distinct policies. The first of these was represented in Mr Wilson's tenth • Point, where he said that “The peoples of AustriaHungary :

... should be accorded the freest opportunity of autonomous development. Whilst securing to the various nationalities concerned some form of government with the consent of the governed, the Dual Monarchy would then have remained at least more or less intact, the present economic crisis in Central Europe would have been avoided, and, with the possible disappearance of Germanic influence, an anti-Prussian barrier might have been established. For better or for worse, this policy was not adopted, and we, therefore, come to the second alternative, which entailed the destruction of Austria-Hungary and the attempted creation of a Balkan barrier largely to the south and east, but partly lapping over into that former Empire. The Allied decision in favour of this policy was made clear in Mr Wilson's reply, sent to Vienna on Oct. 18, 1918, wherein the President of the United States said that he was no longer at liberty to accept the mere autonomy of these peoples as a basis for peace,' and that the United States had already recognised the existence of Czecho-Slovakia and of Jugo-Slavia. Whether one approves or disapproves of this decision, which was probably unavoidable in the circumstances, it must have had, and still must have, its bearing upon the fulfilment of the second Allied obligation; namely, the obligation to endeavour to establish peace upon the principle of nationalities, and to redistribute the various territories in dispute upon a basis sufficiently just to be a safeguard against future This is the case because, whilst the above

, mentioned recognition of Czecho-Slovakia and of JugoSlavia was itself in conformity with the formula of nationalities, once it was determined to gratify the


« PreviousContinue »