Lord Tweedsmuir (John Buchan) on The Crisis of Our Time

Posted: April 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

Today the quality of our religion is being put to the test. The conflict is not only between the graces of civilisation and the rawness of barbarism. More is being challenged than the system of ethics which we believe to be the basis of our laws and liberties. I am of Blake’s view: ‘Man must and will have some religion; if he has not the religion of Jesus he will have the religion of Satan, and will erect a synagogue of Satan.’ There have been high civilisations in the past which have not been Christian, but in the world as we know it I believe that civilisation must have a Christian basis, and must ultimately rest on the Christian Church. Today the Faith is being attacked, and the attack is succeeding. Thirty years ago Europe was nominally a Christian continent. It is no longer so. In Europe, as in the era before Constantine, Christianity is in a minority. What Gladstone wrote seventy years ago, in a moment of depression, has become a shattering truth: ‘I am convinced that the welfare of mankind does not now depend on the State and the world of politics; the real battle is being fought in the world of thought, where a deadly attack is made with great tenacity of purpose and over a wide field upon the greatest treasure of mankind, the belief in God and the Gospel of Christ.’

Pilgrim’s Way, An Essay in Recollection, John Buchan (Lord Tweedsmuir), Houghton Mifflin Co., Cambridge, Mass. (U.S.), 1940, page 297

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