The Akaroa Mail. TUESDAY, MARCH 21, 1916. GERMANY AND HER RELIGIOUS UTTERANCES.
A question' which has been engaging a great deal of interest lately is whether the bulk of the German people sympathize with the; acts of brutality committed hy their men on sea and land. Some interested people have examined the sermons of the German pastors as typical of the feeling of the people. These utterances have not only . been made from the pulpit, but have also been printed and circulated. If these sermons are to be taken as an index of popular feeling, then the moral standpoint of the German people is, at a low ebb and the nation is backing up the soldiers and sailors atrocities to the full. In these sermons, if anywhere, some indication might be looked for that the German nation is not as vile to the core as it has shown itself in the conduct of the war which it has inflicted upon the greater part of civilized humanity. Accepting as typical some extracts from German sermons which were recently published by the "Methodist Times," any such indication will be looked for in vain. That the extracts are typical there is no reason to doubt. They ;*re taken, at all events, from sermons preached by leading German divines, and reprinted in the German newspapers. The translation was made by the Rev. W. Rurgess, Gerteral Superintendent of the Wesleyan Methodist Missions in Italy. Pastor Zoebel, preaching in the Lutheran Church in Leipsic, spoke of German guns as beating down the children of Satan, and ol' the German submarines as "instruments to execute the divine vengeance." The mission of the submarines, he explained, was to drown thousands of the nonelect. "There ought," Herr Zoebel goes on, "to be no compromise with Hell, no mercy fon the servants of Satan—in other words, no pity for tfie English, "'Vouch and Russians, nor, indeed, for any nation that has sold itself to the Devil. They huve all been condemned to by n divine decree." The sp<Tis.'!e of a Lutheran pastor ;;.'«!: :r,g in Ihe murder of Amnion and babies and demanding: that such murders be multiplied is repulsive enough. In its revelation oi the moral standing <rf the German people it says more than the murders them-
But even this discovery- r>( what religion, means to Germany is overshadowed by the blasphemous ravings of one Pastor Fritz Phillipi, who said, preaching in Berlin, that as God allowed his son to be crucified that
the scheme >of redemption might be accomplished, so Germany was destined to "crucify humanity" in order that salvation might be achieved. '* T"he human race coukl be saved i a no other way :— It is really (he sau 1) because we are pure that we . have been chosen by the Almighty as His instruments to. punish - the enI vious, r to chastise the wicked, and to slay with the swon i the sinful nations. The, Divii ie mission of Germany, 0 brethren is to crucify humanity. Th c duty of German soldiers, there fore; is to strike Without mere: t- They must kill, burn, and des.jl.roy, and any half-measure would, .be wicked. Let it, then, be a vvavr without pity. The immoral and the friends and allies of Satan' must be destroyed, as an evil pi ant is uprooted. Satan himself who has come into the waorld in the form of a great Power (Engh md) must be crushed. . . . The kingdom of righteousness will be established on the earth, and vthe German Empire, which v?UI ha ye created it, will remain its protector.