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Above the Battle

As for the representatives of the Prince of Peace—priests, pastors, bishops—they go into battle in their thousands, to carry out, musket in hand, the Divine commands: Thou shalt not kill, and Love one another. Each bulletin of victory, whether it be German, Austrian, or Russian, gives thanks to the great captain God—unser alter Gott, notre Dieu—as William II or M. Arthur Meyer says. For each has his own God, and each God, whether old or young, has his Levites to defend him and destroy the God of the others.

Twenty thousand French priests are marching with the colours; Jesuits offer their services to the German armies; cardinals issue warlike mandates; and the Serb bishops of Hungary incite their faithful flocks to fight against their brothers in Greater Serbia. The newspapers report, with no expressions of astonishment, the paradoxical scene at the railway station at Pisa, where the Italian socialists cheered the young ordinands who were rejoining their regiments, all singing the Marseillaise together. So strong the cyclone that sweeps them all before it; so feeble the men it encounters on its career—and I am amongst them.…

Come, friends! Let us make a stand! Can