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praised and held up to our view for imitation on account of their warlike achievements, but for their faith in and obedience to the true God.
After mentioning his intention of building a house to the Lord, David adds, "But God said unto me, Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war and hast shed blood." 1 Chron. xxviii. 3. In this passage, heroic achievements, instead of being extolled, disqualify David from building the temple of the Lord. Again in Psalm xlvi. 9. David says, in prophetic language, "He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire." You cannot be ignorant of the prophecies of Isaiah and Micah to the same effect.
A faithful history of nations, is, more or less, a history of crime; such is the Bible; but while it records, it does not palliate, but condemns crime, especially in those whom the reader might, from their general character and situation, expect to be exemptions from the usual failings and vices of human nature. It exposes vice to condemn it, and that with an impartiality not to be met with in any other history.
Your assertion, that God himself commanded wars upon the most frivolous and unjust motives, might be met with a simple denial of it as unsupported by any thing we read in the Old Testament; but I cannot dismiss it without observing, that I recollect only two instances of aggressive war being commanded by God,-one, the command to the Israelites to destroy the Canaanites; the other, to destroy Amalek; both which commands were of a judicial nature, the Israelites being only the instruments to execute the divine judgments.
The Amalekites had made an unprovoked and cowardly attack on the rear of the Israelites just after their departure from Egypt, when they were faint and weary. This is one
reason assigned for the command against Amalek; but it is added, " and he feared not God:" that is, it was an act of defiance of God, who had so openly and marvellously displayed his power on behalf of the Israelites, in the destruction of the Egyptians in the Red Sea. Was it unjust in God to punish rebellion against himself? The sins of the Canaanites were of so abominable a nature, that, after having enumerated some of their cruel customs and unnatural vices, Moses adds, "Defile not yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: and the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants." Levit. xviii. 24, 25. The Canaanites were destroyed for their wickedness and abominations, for an example to the surrounding nations; and the Israelites were planted in their room, to preserve the worship of the only true God in the midst of Pagan superstitions, and as a light to the rest of the world. The command to destroy the Canaanites was attended by such a visible miraculous interposition of the Deity in the execution of it, that it is impossible, notwithstanding all that Dr. Geddes has urged in reply to the bishop of Llandaff, for it to be made a precedent, as authorizing any such claims in the present gospel day of peace on earth and good will to men. For if any nation were now disposed to quote the example of the Israelites' attack of the Canaanites, as an authority for a similar attack upon another nation, they are bound to produce the same sanction as the Israelites possessed, namely, a divine command confirmed by a chain of undoubted miracles, which, as in the case of the Israelites, would, by their irresistible evidence, force conviction even upon their enemies. See Josh. ii. 9-13 ix. 9, 10-24.
You see that by following you, I have strayed from a defence of the Peace Society to a defence of the
Bible, though in truth to justify one is to justify the other. This, I presume, was not your intention; but what has, probably inadvertently, fallen from your pen on the divine commands for war recorded in the Old Testament, has compelled me into this line of defence; and if it only convince you of the dangerous tendency of the argument you have adopted against Mr. Clarkson, I shall feel myself amply repaid for this digression.
3. Le culte substitué par le nouveau testament, au culte étable par l'ancien, la loi nouvelle qui a succédé à la loi primitive, ont ils établi des doctrines formellement contraires ? Voila la question à examiner. Je vais prendre les citations de l'ouvrage ; mais avant, je dois faire une remarque, mon bon ami; c'est, Qu'il est bien malheureux, que, dans les objets les plus importants que l'on discuse, on modifie si souvent la signification des mots, et que l'on cherche à etablir sur des autorités, des opinions démenties par la raison et l'expérience. Cette marche éloigne de la vérité, et c'est celle qu'à
suivie Mr. Clarkson.
Here, as in the last paragraph, you wander from the argument of Mr. Clarkson; but justice to the principles of the Peace Society obliges me to follow you in your meanderings. You ask, whether the worship substituted by the New Testament for the worship established by the Old-the new law which has succeeded the old, establish doctrines expressly contradictory to those under the law?
This question comprises much more than can affect the subject under consideration; I shall therefore, only attempt to answer it so far as it involves our present argument. This will reduce the argument to a single point. Do the requisitions of the Christian moral code expressly contradict the requisitions of the Mosaic moral law? A plain statement of two cases in point, will sufficiently explain how far these two moral codes agree, and how far they differ.
The law says, Thou shalt not commit adultery. The gospel says, that
adulterers shall not inherit the kingdom of God. So far they agree. But if we look to the definition of adultery given by each, a difference will be discoverable. Under the law, a man, whether he were previously married or not, could only be guilty of adultery by infringing on the conjugal rights of another man; for as the law allowed of polygamy, a woman had no exclusive claim to her husband. Again, Moses allowed a man to divorce his wife at his pleasure; in which case, the tie between the wife and her husband being dissolved, the woman was at liberty to marry another man. On the other hand, the gospel prohibits polygamy entirely; and diby which it makes the marriage tie vorce, except for a breach of chastity, more binding, extending the vow of fidelity to the man, which, by the law, was only enjoined the woman; and thus infidelity towards the wife by the husband, which was not recognised as a crime by the law, is pronounced to be adultery by the gospel.
The law says, "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart-thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Lev. xix. 17, 18. And what says the gospel? Our Lord being asked what was the first and great commandment of the law, mentions the supreme love of God, and then adds, " And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments," adds he, "hang all the law and the prophets." Matt. xxii. 37-41. or, as it is expressed in Mark xii. 31, "There is none other commandment greater than these." And the apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Romans, xiii. 8-10, makes this commandment a part of the gospel moral code. Here we again meet with an agreement between the law and the gospel.
But when our Lord is asked, “And who is my neighbour?" His parabolic answer most forcibly shews the superiority of the Christian moral code to
the Mosaic Law. It shews that Christianity breaks down the fences of national distinctions, and requires that its followers consider all men as neighbours and brethren; whereas the Jewish law limits the meaning of the word neighbour to the Israelites, including perhaps the stranger within their gates. It makes a marked line of distinction between them and other nations; it recognizes national animosities, allows the Israelites to defend themselves by the sword against their enemies, and to retaliate the injuries they may receive. I with agree that it is unforyou, tunate, that in the most important discussions, the meaning of words is often softened down to accommodate them to the object of the writer; but I must dissent from you when you say that Mr. Clarkson has fallen into this error in the work before us.
4. Yo os diga que no resistais lo malo. Ce principe est justement rejetté par tout le monde et par vous même, comme contraire à tout ordre, et à toute morale. Il condamne l'homme au mal
heur, et fraie la route au triomphe du crime. La raison, l'équité, l'intérêt général disent au contraire à la conscience de tous: prévenez, empêchez, punissez le mal." La servilité du principe cité est d'ailleurs trop opposée aux principes actuels, pour mériter une autre réfutation.
Of this command of our Saviour, "I say unto you resist not evil," you remark that it is justly rejected by every body, as contrary to all order and morality. Is not this an attack on the New Testament, rather than on Mr. Clarkson? You misconceive the above command; it does not, as you infer, give a license to evil against the peace and safety of the community, by prohibiting the interference of the civil magistrates to suppress and punish crime. The context proves that Christ is only enforcing the Christian principle of forbearance in opposition to the Jewish law of the retaliation of injuries, as expressed in Exod. xxi. "Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for
foot," &c.-You appear to have been misled by understanding the word evil in a sense in which it is not used in this place by Christ. It is not for me to remind you of the necessity of giving a just interpretation of words, and to avoid accommodating them to our argument.
5. Amad á vuestros enemigos. Haced bien à los que os aborrecen, y rogad por los que os maltratan y os persiguen. Il n'y a rien la dedans qui condamne la guerre. Il ne s'agit pas même de la guerre, quoique dise l'auteur que vous avez traduit: enemigos d'après son étimologie veut dire ennemis particulier, et ensuite cette maxime chrétienne, qui ne s'applique qu'aux individus ne leur orrogud, de servir les projets de ceux qui donne pas, par ces mots: haced bien et nous abhorrent, de prier pour leur succès. Mon ennemi va périr, dans un fleure, dans un incendie, dans un précipice: je dois le sauver: son cœur est corrompu, je prie, pour que Dieu le change. Voila toute l'étendue du précepte. Il devient immoral, quand on lui donne plus d'extension.
The sentiment, that man in his congregate or judicial character is absolved from those moral principles by which he is bound in his individual character, is pregnant with error, and with incalculable miseries to mankind. Your observations on the text, "Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you," seem to be founded upon this exemption of governments and of kings from responsibility, an exemption not recognized in the Christian code. In an absolute monarchy, if a king unjustly condemns one of his subjects to death, who has committed no crime,
he may not be amenable to any power on earth for his conduct; but he is not therefore absolved from his allegiance to the King of kings and Lord of lords. In the eye of heaven, he is as much a murderer as the assassin who stabs his victim in the dark. Such was Alexander, when, by his orders, Parmenio, and afterwards Calisthenes, were slain.
The moral maxims of the gospel, if we would give them effect, must be considered as of universal obligation, unless the context contains an evident restriction; otherwise, they will be subjected to the arbitrary "private interpretation" of any individual, who may wish to make them more pliable to a loose morality, or to a favourite notion.
The maxim under consideration expresses the spirit which should influence men in their conduct towards each other; and there is not a maxim in war, that is consistent with the Christian spirit of forbearance and forgiveness of injuries, inculcated in this and other passages of the New Testament. The friends of Peace will freely admit that they are not commanded by the words do good and pray, to promote, or pray for the success of the mischievous projects of those who hate them. This would be to make themselves accessary to crime. The sentiment is so preposterous, that I am surprised your good sense could attribute it to them.
Your explanation of the two phrases, do good and pray, I admit to be correct, only I should extend it to the governors, as well as to the governed. Christian rulers have no more a license from heaven for crime than their meanest subject. They are equally bound with him to conform their conduct to the maxims of the gospel. Extend to governments your own definition of the Christian injunction to do good and pray, and you must see that it is incompatible with the prosecution of war of any kind, the elements of which are expressed in three words, Kill, burn, destroy.
6. El demonio es autor de todas las guerras -n'est pas une maxime née du Christianisme. St. Justin n'a fait que répéter ce qu'on avait dit longtems avant lui. Les Scythes parlaient ainsi à Alexandre; et, de nos jours, les peuplades sauvages n'appellent ils pas d'un seul nom, matehimanitou, le génie du mal et de la guerre?
Scythian embassador to Alexander, as containing the sentiment expressed by St. Justin, when he says that "the devil is the author of all wars:" hence, you say, "Justin has only repeated what had been said a long time before him." Before we can admit your conclusion, we shall expect you to support it by evidence of less doubtful authority than the speech put into the mouth of the Scythian by Quintus Curtius; and even in this speech, the sentiment of Justin is not to be found, for, whilst the orator condemns the insatiate ambition of Alexander, he boasts of the Scythians' mode of warfare, that by it they had "formerly conquered the most warlike nations, subdued the most powerful kings, laid waste Asia, and opened themselves a way into the heart of Egypt." Here is nothing corresponding with the sentiment of Justin; but it corresponds with the conduct of the Scythians; for in this very war with Alexander they were the aggressors, they attacked him when he had no intention to commence hostilities with them. The speech is, most probably, a mere flourish of the historian; and I am inclined, with sir Walter Raleigh, to doubt the truth of the embassy itself,
as not consistent with the hostile movements of the Scythians on this occasion.
You may perhaps observe, that if the speech to which you appeal is to be referred to the historian, and not to the Scythian, yet its antiquity authorizes your appeal. I answer, so little is known of the author, or of the age in which he lived, that some have supposed the work to have been composed in Italy not 400 years ago, and the name of Quintus Curtius to be fictitious, to give the appearance of antiquity to the work: but whatever may be thought of this conjecture, the speech does not, as I have observed, contain the sentiment you have attributed to it.
7. Tous les auteurs cités ensuite, ne You refer to the address of the devaient pas leur opposition à la guerre›
au christianisme. Ils l'auraient condamnée également s'ils étaient restés idolâtres. C'est une opinion commune à tous les philosophes de tous les temps, de tous les pays et de tous les cultes. Ce n'est que par des textes de l'evangile que l'on prouverait que le Christianisme condamne la guerre, et de pareils textes n'y ont pas encore été découverts, quoiqu'on y ait presque tout trouvé.
soldats. Les motifs de cette conduite sont expliquée, assez clairement, dans les lois et les moeurs militaires des Romains. Leurs étendards étaient payens, leur culte, aux cérémonies du quel tout les soldats étaient tenus d'assister, devait faire horreur aux chrétiens, et la haine de l'idolatrie seule les éloignaient des rangs de l'armée.
9. Je viens d'examiner la phrase de Until you produce your proofs, that soliamos matarnos unos á otros, ya no comSt. Justin le martyr. Nosotros que antes the condemnation of all war by the batimos aun con nuestros enemigos. Mais primitive Christians, as stated by Mr. observez, mon cher ami, que si le mot Clarkson, was the common opinion of Grec signifie combattre en guerre, le mot all philosophers, of every age, of every Grec que vous rendez par enemigos ne country, and of every religion; you signifie ni ennemis privés, ni ennemis de must excuse us, if we decline l'état ; acceptmais ennemis de la religion ing your assertions as sufficient to overturn the proofs adduced by Mr. Clarkson, that they originated in Christianity.
As the advocates for war are at issue with us upon the import of those passages in the New Testament which we consider as virtually prohibiting all war, the design of Mr. Clarkson's work is to shew how those passages were understood by the primitive Christians, as affording strong presumptive evidence of their real import. The question therefore, so far as it relates to the Pamphlet that has drawn forth your animadversions, is, whether Mr. Clarkson's citations from the early Christian writers, support his interpretation of the Scripture passages in dispute? This you deny, and say, that the early Christians' objections to war are no other than they would have been had they continued idolaters, but fail in producing your proofs to overturn the conclusions Mr. Clarkson has drawn from his authorities. Under such circumstances your unproved opinion must succumb to Mr. Clarkson's proofs. This is, so far as Mr. Clarkson's argument is concerned, a sufficient answer to the last clause in the seventh paragragh. 8. Mais il y a défaut de raisonnement à établir cette doctrine sur les exemples cités de soldats qui quittent le service après d'être faits Chrétiens, ou de chrétiens qui meurent plutôt que d'être
Your 8th and 9th paragraphs are so connected in their argument, that I shall consider them at the same time. You evidently feel the force of the positive proofs adduced by Mr. Clarkson, of the early Christians' refusal to be soldiers. You endeavour to extricate your argument from the dilemma in which these proofs of Mr. Clarkson involve it, by observing, that the motives of their conduct are sufficiently explained by the military laws and manners of the Romans, which obliged the soldiers to assist in their idolatrous rites. I grant that the nature of these rites presents a sufficient reason for Christians to prefer death to an acquiescence in them; but, by this observation, you do not answer, but evade, the argument of Mr. Clarkson.
Mr. Clarkson was not ignorant of this objection to the military service in the Roman armies; he has cited in this very Tract, two instances of a refusal to serve in the army on that account; but then he has also cited instances where the objection extended to war itself. I am a Christian, and cannot fight,' says Maximilian. Marcellus says, It is not lawful for a Christian, who is a servant of Christ the Lord, to bear arms for any earthly consideration.' Cassian and Martin speak to the same effect. From the manner in which these martyrs ex