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ligion are 60 generous, and in so as they are in nature and the sight transcendent and heroic a
of heaven, not as they are gilded or disposed for public good, that it is sullied by accident or fortune. not in a man's power to avoid their It were to be wished that all men influence; for the Christian is as much of sense would think it worth their inclined to your service when your while to reflect upon the dignity of enemy, as the moral man when your Christian virtues ; it would possibly friend.
enlarge their souls into such a conBut the followers of a crucified tempt of what fashion and prejudice Saviour must root out of their hearts have made honourable, that their all sense that there is any thing great duty, inclination, and honour, would and noble in pride or haughtiness of tend the same way, and make all their spirit ; yet it will be very difficult to lives an uniform act of religion and fix that idea in our souls, except we virtue. can think as worthily of ourselves, As to the great catastrophe of this when we practise the contrary virtues. day,* on which the Mediator of the We must learn, and be convinced, world suffered the greatest indignities that there is something sublime and and death itself for the salvation heroic in true meekness and humility, of mankind, it would be worth gentlefor they arise from a great, not a men's consideration, whether from grovelling idea of things; for as cer- his example it would not be proper tainly as pride proceeds from a mean to kill all inclinations to revenge; and narrow view of the little advan- and examine whether it would not tages about a man's self, so meekness be expedient to receive new motions is founded on the extended contem- of what is great and honourable. plation of the place we bear in the This is necessary against the day universe, and a just observation how wherein He who died ignominiously little, how empty, how wavering, are • shall descend from heaven to our deepest resolves and counsels. be our judge, in majesty and glory.' And as to a well taught mind, when How will the man who shall die by you have said an haughty and proud the sword of pride and wrath, and in man, you have spoke a narrow con contention with his brother, appear ception, little spirit, and despicable before Him, at · whose presence nacarriage; so when you have said a ture shall be in an agony, and the man is meek and humble, you have great and glorious bodies of light be acquainted us that such a person has obscured ; when the sun shall be arrived at the hardest task in the darkened, the moon turned into blood, world, in an universal observation and all the powers of heaven shaken; round him, to be quick to see his when the heavens themselves shall own faults, and other men's virtues, pass away with a great noise, and the and at the height of pardoning every elements dissolve with fervent heat; man sooner than himself; you have when the earth also, and all the works also given us to understand, that to that are therein, shall be burnt up!' treat him kindly, sincerely, and re What may justly damp in our spectfully, is but a mere justice to minds the diabolical madness which him that is ready to do us the same prompts us to decide our petty anioffices. This temper of soul keeps mosities by the hazard of eternity, is, us always awake to a just sense of that in that one act the criminal does things, teaches us that we are as well not only highly offend, but forces akin to worms as to angels; and as himself into the presence of his judge; nothing is above these, so is nothing that is certainly his case who dies in below those. It keeps our under a duel. I cannot but repeat it, be standing tight about us, so that all things appear to us great or little, * The paper is dated on Good-Friday.
that dies in a duel knowingly offends of the unlawfulness of War and of God, and in that very action rushes the use of all weapons
of destruction, into his offended presence. Is it pos- that he packed up a brace of Pistols sible for the heart of man to conceive which he possessed, and sent them to a more terrible image than that of a a friend, requesting he would sell departed spirit in this condition ? them, and expend the money they, Could we but suppose it has just left produced in the purchase of Peace its body, and struck with the terrible Society Tracts for distribution. His reflection that to avoid the laughter friend however was of opinion, that of fools, and being the by-word of in disposing of them to another peridiots, it has now precipitated itself son he would seem in some measure into the din of demons, and the to sanction their use: it is therefore howlings of eternal despair, how intended not to sell them, but the willingly now would it suffer the im- party is recommended to send them putation of fear and cowardice, to to the depôt of the Peace Society, have one moment left not to tremble where they would doubtless be prein vain !
served as honourable trophies of sucThe scriptures are full of pathetical cess in this peaceful campaign. The and warm pictures of the condition conquests at which we aim must be of an happy or miserable futurity; achieved by slow degrees. We do and, I am confident, that the frequent not yet raise the shout of Victory; but reading of them would make the way we have cause to rejoice with thankto an happy eternity so agreeable and fulness at the good which has even pleasant, that he who tries it will now been effected. The little grain find the difficulties, which he before of mustard seed has been sown, and suffered in shunning the allurements shall we not acknowledge that a blesof vice, absorbed in the pleasure he sing hath evidently rested on it? It will take in the pursuit of virtue: has already germinated, and put forth and how happy must that mortal be, those first shoots which give promise who thinks himself in the favour of of its future vigour and fruitfulness. an Almighty, and can think of death
P. as a thing which it is an infirmity not to desire!
War inconsistent with Christianity. Anecdote.
(We have been favoured with the folTo the Editor.
lowing copy of a “ Letter from a Member As a warm and sincere friend of of the Bath Auxiliary Peace Society, 10 the cause of the Peace Society, I am
a Correspondent in Bristol.” If it be the sure the reader of the Herald of Peace
first time that he has sent us a communi. will hear with pleasure of the good
cation, we hope it will be the precursor, success of those who labour in its
of many others.] i causė, though that success may at Respected Friend,-Although I was
present be no more than the turning prevented by various engagements aside the sword of a single opponent from paying immediate attention to I will not therefore apologize for thy letter of the 22d February, 1 colsending the following Anecdote, which sider the subject to which it relates has recently come to my knowledge. sufficiently important to claim some
Some time since a Member of the reply; especially as my silence might Peace Society presented a set of the be construed into an assent to thy' Society's Tracts to a gentleman of his opinions. acquaintance—He read the pam The reason thou assignest for dephlets with attention, and, after se- clining our invitation to attend the riously considering the arguments late anniversary meeting of the Bath they contain, became so convinced Auxiliary Peace Society, namely, that
of “thy sentiments not exactly ac- shall hereafter • find it ;' in other cording with those on which the words, shall be rewarded with eternal Society is founded,” gave me concern; life.' especially as thou endeavourest to Faith is a saving grace wrought maintain the allowableness of de- in the soul through the Spirit of fensive War, condemning, at the same Christ, by the revelation of the will time, that which is offensive.
of God in man, and an assurance I do not wonder that men of the of the reality and worth of eternal, world should justify the destructive invisible things : it is a dependence practice of War, on principles of on the veracity of the Divine prohuman policy, or under the influence mises, which begets in our life and of their evil passions : but to find a conversation a sincere obedience to professed believer in the Gospel of the clear manifestations of our duty Peace; a man actively concerned in to God, and one towards another. circulating the Holy Scriptures, and This faith, therefore, having its in promoting other good works, plead- foundation on the infinite goodness, ing for War in any shape, is indeed to the almighty power, the unerring me a matter of deep regret.
knowledge, and immutable truth of Whilst thou allowest “ Infidelity God, through Jesus Christ, wavereth to be the prolific source of War, not, and is not shaken ; because it is thou appearest to forget that nothing built on that Rock on which the Church can possibly furnish an infidel with of Christ stands, and against which more ample cause of exultation than the gates of hell shall not prevail.' to observe a Christian, a professed Such a dependence on an almighty, believer in the Gospel of Peace, so invisible Power, ever near and able far abandoning his principles as to to preserve, sustains the souls of true become an advocate even for defensive believers under the deepest trials and War.
sufferings; and enables them to enAs War generally originates in the dure conflicts, and to surmount diffibasest passions of the human heart, culties, which, according to human and is carried on with violence and reason and sight, would appear to injustice, it naturally follows that the be impossible, and to resign to the conquered party must suffer, and Divine disposal those things which sometimes, as we have reason to be- are nearest to their hearts, even life lieve, very deeply too. To suffer itself, if it be required. wrongs, and to submit patiently to It was by this faith that Abraham, injuries, is certainly not agreeable to when he was tried, offered up his son our poor, weak, fallen nature, as men Isaac, on whom the promise rested. and creatures; it requires the exer By faith, Moses refused to be cise of faith to enable us to bear such called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; evils : and nothing short of it can choosing rather to suffer affliction with support the mind under the severe the people of God, than to enjoy the trials that are produced by War. pleasures of sin for a season ; esteem
Now Paith is the substance of ing the reproach of Christ greater things hoped for the evidence of things riches than the treasures of Egypt : not seen. By faith we are enabled for he had respect unto the recomto look beyond the present state of pence of reward.' being, to one that will last for ever ; By faith, holy men of old wrought where we may hope to receive a re- righteousness, obtained promises, stopward according to our works (not ped the mouths of lions, quenched the indeed of debt, but of grace) from violence of fire, escaped the edge that almighty Being who has pro- of the sword, and out of weakness mised that he who loseth his life in
were made strong. And others had a way of obedience to the Gospel, trials of cruel mockings and scourg.
· Love your
ings ; yea, moreover, of bonds and of irascible or revengeful passions, imprisonment.
and even an endeavour to repel force The Apostle Paul declares, o By by force. grace are ye saved through faith; Jesus Christ was led as a sheep and that not of yourselves, it is the to the slaughter; and, like a lamb gift of God: not of works, lest any dumb before his shearer, so he opened man should boast.' • But without not his mouth;' saying to his folfaith it is impossible to please him. lowers, "My kingdom is not of this For he that com ih to God mustworld: if my kingdom were of this believe that he is, and that he is a world, then would my servants fight, rewarder of them that diligently seek that I should not be delivered to the him.'
Jews.' • He gave his back to the Christians must therefore • look smiters, and his cheeks to them who unto Jesus, the author and finisher plucked off the hair.' And further, of our faith; who, for the joy that was
he thus commanded his disciples : set before him, endured the cross, • Resist not evil : but whosoever shall despising the shame, and is set down smite thee on thy right cheek, turn at the right hand of the throne of to him the other also. God.'
enemies, bless them that curse you, But recurring to the subject of War, do good to them that hate you, and on which we set out, and admitting pray for them which despitefully use that there are numerous instances to you, and persecute you.' be met with in the Old Testament, To shew the meek spirit of the in which it was allowed, and even divine Pattern of Christianity, Peter's commanded by the Almighty, we defence of his injured Master by the cannot find a single one in the New sword, was thus reproved by him : to justify even the defensive principle Put up thy sword again into his of it. Under the Gospel dispensation place : for all they that take the sword,
old things are passed away ; be- shall perish by the sword.' hold! all things are become new,
A pious writer of acknowledged and all things are of God, who hath repute observes, “ The Christian chareconciled us to himself by Jesus racter is meek, yielding, complying, Christ.' Therefore, according to this forgiving ; not prompt to act, but new and everlasting covenant, the old willing to suffer; silent and gentle was abrogated, being fulfilled by the under rudeness and insult; suing for coming, and mediatorial character of reconciliation where others would dethe Saviour of mankind ; and mand satisfaction; giving way to the firmed before of God in Christ.' To pushes of impudence; conceding and the Gospel alone, then, Christians indulgent to the prejudices, the wrongmust apply for precepts and examples headedness, the intractability of those for their direction and government.
with whom it has to deal.” The Gospel of Christ was ushered Having thus endeavoured to shew into the world with good tidings of from the first authorities—as well from great joy’in that most sublime an the doctrines of the Gospel as from them of the angelic host, Glory to the example of our Saviour — that God in the highest, and on earth War and its spirit are not reconpeace, good-will towards men.' Chris- cileable with Christianity, I shall beg tianity is altogether a system of peace. leave to refer thee for a refutation Its author is emphatically styled the of the allowableness of defensive War, Prince of Peace, of whose govern- (which alone thou appearest to plead ment there shall be no end.' The for, and to justify,) to a pamphlet whole tenor of the Gospel exhibits a spirit of meekness and gentleness
* Archdeacon Paley's View of the Eviunparalleled: it forbids the indulgence dences of Christianity, Vol. ii. pp. 80.31.
entitled “ CHRISTIANITY A SYSTEM or touchstone, by which we are to of Peace ;” in which the following judge of ourselves, whether we are passages forcibly apply to the subject Christians indeed, or only so in imain general, and to thy“extreme cases gination. in particular. The pamphlet was With earnest desire, then, that we written by the late Thomas Parsons, may be favoured with the saving of this place, and may be had of knowledge of the truth, whereby we W. Philips, George-yard, London. may be redeemed from the spirit of It has also been printed in “ The the world, in which War originates ; Herald of Peace;" a publication which and with prayer, that, should it be is in the hands of most of the members our lot to be in any manner closely of Peace Societies.
tried, we may experience preservation . [To the forcible reasonings in the pas. throug!faith; I remain, sages alluded to, we request the attention
Thy Friend, &c. &c. of such among our Readers who may still entertain doubts on the subject.-See Herald of Peace April 1820, pp. 107–110.]
Explanation of Things Wonderful. The letter thus concludes :- I wish,
How came public war to be the resort my dear friend, the foregoing extracts
of Christian nations, to decide the quarrels from this pious writer inay prove a of rulers ? means of convincing thee that War is Whence did the laws of war derire utterly inconsistent with Christianity;
their barbarous character ? and that its real disciples and followers.
How did the bloody profession of arms
obtain its astonishing popularity? ought not, on any account, to attempt to justify a principle the most de
To men of benevolent minds, who structive of the best interests of man
have not thoroughly examined the kind. And I am desirous not only subject, these interrogations present that thy understanding should be difficulties which seem to them unconvinced, with regard to the ques- accountable. But the facts suggested tion of defensive war, but that thou- in the “ Plan for the Abolition of sands professing the name of Christ, Piracy,” will throw light on the queswho appear
to be weak in the faith,' tions, and lead to a solution of the and as it were halting between two difficulties. * opinions, may be brought to acknow As the successful Chiefs among ledge, with thee, that " Infidelity is robbers and pirates acquired wealth, the prolific source of all War;" and
crowns and dominions by rapine and that " when this evil is eradicated, violence, a dazzling lustre was thrown War will cease.” This acknowledg- around these atrocities which bea ment of thine appears to me altogether wildered the minds of the heedless against thyself : for wherein does the multitude. Having by such means infidel differ from the believer, but in gained an establishment, it became a want of Faith? Let us then ex an object with these Chiefs tú supamine our own hearts. Do we really port the delusion, by cultivating the believe that the Gospel is true, and highest respect for martial deeds, lest, of universal obligation to those who their own characters should sink in profess to be its followers ? or do we public estimation. Individuals who suppose that we may select such parts had contributed much to the elevaof it for adoption as may suit our own tion of these Chiefs were abundantly frailties, and reject the rest as“ hard rewarded with wealth and honours ; sayings?” like the rich man, who and this increased the splendour and rejected the commands of Christ be- the charms of the military profession. cause he had great possessions.
I consider this, as the true criterion, * See our last Number, p, 188.