If Crook had been ordered by the War Department to nail the Saviour to the Cross, I suppose he would have done it, and wept as he obeyed; or, under orders of Herod, he would have slaughtered the babes of Bethlehem as expeditiously as his broken heart would have allowed. The British general who led his troops against China, probably all against his better judgment, and there, by force and bloodshed, established the diabolical opium traffic, obeyed his government, indeed, and gained some money for his country's merchants. But he made an awful day of reckoning for himself and for his race.
When the French army decided that it was wise to sacrifice innocent Dreyfus for the cause of patriotism, they set the army above justice and their country in a higher place than God. And thus struck France a blow from which she never yet has recovered - we cannot tell - maybe a death-blow.
Most men agree with the Indian that courage is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of virtues. How many of them dare live up to this belief? To most men, in some measure, there comes a time when they must decide between their duty to country and their duty to God. How many dare take the one course that they know to be right? Are there no times when man's allegiance to high principle must override his allegiance to constituted authority? No? Then, how do you justify 1776? And the martyrs, from Socrates, seditious preacher of the truth, right down to men of our own times; were they all wrong? All set their God above their country's laws, and suffered cruel, shameful deaths.
If they did not teach us by their lives and deaths that justice and truth are above every consideration of one's country and its laws, then Socrates, St. Peter, St. Stephen, St. Paul, St. John, Becket, Huss, Coligny, Latimer, Ridley, Cranmer - yes, the Lord Himself - all lived and died in vain.