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Thoughts On Universal Peace
A Sermon preached by the Rev. THOMAS CHALMERS , D.D., in the Tron Church, Glasgow, on a Day of National Thanksgiving in 1816 CONDITIONS in England during the first quarter of the nineteenth century can be compared with those prevailing at the present time. The country had fought and won a European War. The signing of peace was followed by a period of intellectual ferment and industrial depression. It was amid such conditions that Thomas Chalmers began to exercise his genius.
Chalmers is a typically nineteenth-century figure. Although he is famous chiefly for his eloquence, and for his position in the history of the Scottish Church, he displayed an oncyclopaedic range of activities, embracing science, mathematics, philosophy, and social reform. These interests were unified by religion. He was one of the leaders of the religious revival, which in one form-evangelical-or another-high church-continued throughout the century.
The sermon on Universal Peace was one of the earliest that Chalmers preached at Glasgow. It is distinguished for that eloquence which depends upon the intense conviction of a powerful mind rather than upon literary ability. Its style is an example of the weakening effect of nineteenth century humanitarianism upon a prose conditioned by eighteenth-century rationalism. But peace was as necessary to Europe then as it is today; and it is remarkable to hear Chalmers proposing a plan for ensuring it, which was carried into effect a century later by the creation of the League of Nations.


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2LO London, 30 June 1929 17.30

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