THE treaty of arbitration between this nation and Great Britain, which is now awaiting the ratification of the United States Senate, is hailed by multitudes as a sure omen of an approaching era of widespread if not universal peace. The Rev. Heber Newton, in a recent sermon, went so far as to say that it was a fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah which points, as it is said, to a time when men’s swords shall be beaten into plowshares, and the nations learn war no more. Isaiah 2:2-5.
We make mention of this to call attention to the fact that there is only one sure guarantee of peace, whether between nations or individuals; and that is the absence of those propensities of the heart from which contentment arises. When peace reigns in the hearts of individuals, there will be peace without; and when peace does not reign in the heart, there cannot long be peace in the outward life.
A treaty of peace is very good; but nations have a habit of disregarding treaties when their interests seem to demand it, so that not the treaty, but the selfish interests of the parties concerned, really control the situation. The Behring Sea award did little or nothing to settle the question of the seal fisheries which it concerns. Treaties are susceptible of being interpreted; and when the interests of two nations come into conflict touching some point of the treaty, it is never difficult for them to come to a misunderstanding upon that point.
About one year ago there was a remarkable outburst of “patriotism” in all parts of this country in view of the prospect of war with this same nation of Great Britain.  A little later there was an even greater outburst of patriotic feeling in the latter country, in view of what seemed a menacing attitude towards her on the part of Emperor William and some of the nations of Europe. Such manifestations show as clearly as anything could what is the real mind of both countries, as regards the prospects for peace.
There will be peace in the world just in proportion to the desire of the people in the world to live peaceably. And this desire and disposition to live peaceably will prevail in the world just in proportion to the extent to which men yield themselves to the control of the God of peace. Selfishness, envy, pride, the love of power, do not breed peace. They breed war.
Note the language of the Apostle James on this point: “From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?” James 4:1. The lusts of the flesh can be overcome only by divine grace. The one great antidote for war in the world is the gospel of peace.
There is nothing to be gained by taking a sentimental, rather than sensible, view of this subject. We must not shut our eyes to facts for the sake of seeing pleasing visions in the realm of fancy. The Scriptures of truth do not speak of this age as an age of peace. They warn men of a time when the cry, “Peace and safety” will be the precursor of “sudden destruction.” 1 Thessalonians 5:3. The inspired utterances, above all others, demand our attention now.
If peace is to be promoted in the earth, it will be by means of the gospel of Jesus Christ. There will come a time when “the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” Psalm 37:11. But that time will be when the judgments of the final day shall have swept the wicked out of existence and a new creation shall have come in the place of that so long cursed by sin.