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the very matter or object of the contract; or the risk they ran of having to make that compensation, which, in the event, they had actually to make. Ab uno disce omnes. The one case will suffice to show what in every case is the nature of the insurance contract. The insurance and every other aleatory contract have in them the element of chance quite as much as gambling and betting; and if, on this score we condemn one, we ought, if we wish to be consistent, to condemn all. I repeat it, the betting and gambling contracts are quite as moral as dealings on the Stock Exchange, as insurance, or as any other of those aleatory contracts which men make without remorse. In themselves, they are free from every taint of sin.

But, if I were preaching a sermon, I should speak in a different strain. Betting and gambling serve a useful purpose: they are a means of procuring legitimate recreation; they are often a means of procuring legitimate profit or gain; but they are so beset with dangers of various kinds that, in a sermon, my aim would be to elaborate and emphasize the dangers. But, even in a sermon, I should try to avoid undue exaggeration. For one thing, I would not say that they are in themselves sinful; because that would not be true. Nor would I say that the dangers are equal for all, nor that, in order to avoid them, it is necessary for all entirely to abstain from betting and gambling. Total abstention may be necessary for some; for those who are already victims, or who are in immediate danger of falling victims, to the gambling mania; just as it may be necessary for victims of intemperance to take a total abstinence pledge. My chief aim would be to get people to practise moderation. It is the best that I could reasonably hope to achieve; because, just as, to the end of time, there will be marrying and giving in marriage, so, to the end of time, there will be men and women who will play cards for stakes, and put their money on a horse-race. Even a preacher ought to reserve his energies for rational endeavour.

Besides, I doubt if it would be prudent to aim at the total abolition of betting and gambling, even if my efforts promised to be successful. It is very easy to ride a hobby to death; very easy to exaggerate the importance of some one virtue at the expense of others, or to their entire neglect. There is a virtue which Aristotle, St. Thomas, and others call by the Greek name, Eutrapelia. Our nearest equivalent

to it is politeness or urbanity. Certainly, in the matter of games, it is much easier to sin by excess than by defect. But as, even in the matter of games, sin by defect is possible, it is the function of Eutrapelia to moderate our use of them, to secure that we shall indulge in them neither too much nor too little. As I implied at the beginning, we must take into account the adjuncts of persons, place, and time, and the various other circumstances which give morality to our actions. Attention to them will convince us that betting and gambling may be often sinful; but it will also show us that they may be often virtuous. Let Eutrapelia hold its gentle sway, and it will enable us to steer an even keel between the Scylla and Charybdis of laxity and rigour. Eutrapelia is a virtue. Why should we, even in sermons, aim at blotting out any one of the virtues? And surely we do our best to blot out the virtue, if we try to prove that it has no materia circa quam. Betting and gambling is the materia circa quam of the virtue called Eutrapelia. Therefore, if I were to hold, whether in a sermon or elsewhere, that betting and gambling can never be a virtue, I should practically deny that there is such a virtue as Eutrapelia. But Aristotle, St. Thomas, and the other moralists assert that there is such a virtue, and that its function is to moderate our use of puns and jests, of gambling and betting.



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I WONDER if any of your readers are following the great effort of the Anglican Church in its impossible task of building to itself new barns.' As reflected in the pages of the Church Times, the movement, or, to give it its official title, the National Mission of Repentance and Hope, will provide the Catholic reader with much food for thought. He will see much that is amazing and bewildering and much that is sad. It is a pleasure,' quotes Bacon from the great Epicurean, 'to stand upon the shore and to see ships tossed upon the sea; it is a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle and to see a battle and the adventures thereof below; but no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth and to see the errors and wanderings and mists and tempests in the vale below'; and he adds, so always that this prospect be with pity.' It is indeed with pity that the Catholic mind looks on all this Anglican turmoil, all this essaying of the impossible; for, apart entirely from the total inadequacy of the instrument with which this miracle, the conversion of England, is to be worked, a Church without orders, without a definite faith, without government, and without leadership-all insuperable obstacles, but of which nothing is intended to be said in this paper. Apart and distinct from all this, the way this instrument is to be and is being used is such as to excite a deep sense of misgiving and a conviction of ultimate failure in the mind of anybody who, from actual experience or education or study, has ever grasped the extreme difficulty of converting people and has been led to investigate the true and only method of setting about it.

Canterbury is unwontedly eloquent; the Bishop of London declaims; young 'priests' grow enthusiastic in a feminine way; the messengers' come and go in a shroud of mysterious anonymity; the Church Times rubs its hands

in delight that it has at last come into its own; the High Church section of the country is ringing with the watchword, 'Back to Christ,' and there we are.

The modern Galahad, the young or the old Anglican, hot after righteousness and eagerly apostolic, revels in it all; but to-morrow, when the fever is past, when the flowers droop and the lights flicker-nay, to-day, if his practical sense assert itself, he will ask for definiteness. 'What am I to do?' is ever the question of a soul awakening. It is that of Samuel and St. Paul and will be that of even an Anglican if and when he does awake. Galahad awakes, Galahad questions; it is the law of ignorance clamorous of light, dizzied and appalled at its vision of the world. And Galahad is handed a generalization, a formula. ‘Back to Christ' is thundered in his ears-yes, of course, but how, here and now for me?

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He sits down to his Carlyle and rises hot but compassless. He listens to the messengers' and is excited, but purposeless. And he would rise, too, hot and excited, from a recent article in the I. E. RECORD ('War Echoes and a Remedy'1), but still at fault, checked, unorientated, rudderless.

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'What shall I do?' is ever the unspoken appeal, and what is he answered? Back to Christ!' How many are the books, sermons, speeches that end on that note, and withal how many are the hearts and minds that still go hungry. Back to Christ,' says the Bishop of London Back to Christ,' says your contributor; 'Back to Christ, says the preacher and essayist-oh!

There needs no ghost come from the grave, my Lord,
To tell us that.

There was no need of a war to show us that-the lesson was writ large across the centuries and the nations long ere a single German legionary cut the Belgian frontier. 'Back to Christ!' It is a noble sentiment, it is true, and ends a paper well; few will be found to decry it, but What shall I do?' is still the question.

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General formulæ are ever but general formulæ. What is everybody's business is nobody's business, and not the least part of the danger is their anodyne quality, bidding the young enthusiast acquiesce in things as they are, what time he awaits some catastrophic upheaval, some angel

1 See I. E. RECORD, Fifth Series, vol. viii. pp. 441 et seq.

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descending to stir the waters, and thus justifying his individual inertia towards making a move to remould the 1 world to his heart's desire.

'Back to Christ' is not a means, it is an end, and nor Bishop nor preacher has done his work when he closes his jeremiad with it as a panacea. It is the 'Back to the land' of the cheap politician.


There will be no slum problem, says the easy economist, when every man has his acres and his cow and his house no cancer problem, says the medical philosopher, when men live, as men were intended to live, away from slums and smoke and overcrowding; no war, nor sin, says the national missioner and writer and preacher, when men get 'back to Christ.' It is all quite true, but surely neither politician nor medical philosopher nor writer nor preacher thinks that when he has uttered that he has uttered all, nay, if he be an honest thinker, that he has uttered anything but a truism.

What am I to do?' here and now is the problem, and the sooner it is recognized the sooner may men be bettered. It is a practical problem, and practical problems are ever solved by individual, personal action of some sort, and in no other way.

We are concerned with the 'how,' not with the whither,' and any reply must be along the line of this particular man, in this particular place and circumstance, at this particular time. It must be concrete, definite, singular and, above all, personal. It will be immediately objected, as it has ever been, by the 'Ruperts': 'Oh, what can one man do?' and the answer to this contains the very kernel of the problem. In that question or jibe lies the very reason why there is a war, why the world is ill, why Evil is king, and in the implied negative to it lies the anaesthetic by which individual neutrality is justified. 'What can one man do?' How many have been frightened into acquiescence by it and echoed back Cui bono?" or 'Quixotism' at the sight of it.

What a cursed narcotic it has ever been. And yet, what can one man do? Oh! quite a lot, everything; in fact, he is the only man who can do anything. What can one man do? Well, St. Paul was one, Athanasius was one, Teresa was one.

Before now, even one man has impressed an image on the Church which, through God's mercy, shall not be effaced while time lasts. Such

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