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To love peace, nations have only to learn their real interests.
It is not to be imagined that violent exertions, sudden changes, or acts of legislation, will serve this great cause: they would only retard its sucNor is it benefited by the strenuous assertion of abstract principles. That any nation should proclaim to the world that its differences shall be hereafter settled by negociation or mediation, and not by arms, is not to be expected, and probably not to be desired. All that the friends of peace can do, or ought to attempt, is, on proper occasions, to state their opinions, and constantly to diffuse information. Europe is becoming one great public. A distaste with war, à disposition to examine more rigidly into its causes and effects, and a general preference of other modes of deciding quarrels, will gradually and contemporaneously spring up and advance in all countries. Sovereigns, statesmen, generals, and also those classes of the community whose private interests are served at the expense of the public good, may be the last to partake of this improved feeling; but long before it reaches their hearts, it will have sufficient influence to controul their measures. Religion, so often in its corrupted state the occasion of discord and bloodshed, will attain its purity and power, and bring on the universal reign of the Prince of Peace.
Christianity is incompatible with war, and Christianity is both designed and destined to extend to all nations. I do not see how the obvious inference from the pacific tendency of Christianity, and its unbounded prevalence, can be eluded. But if it could, our hopes would be unshaken; for on this particular result from its progress, the prophets have bestowed their richest imagery, nor does it seem easy to reconcile the notion that mankind shall always be subject to war, with belief in, or fair interpretation of, the Jewish and Christian Scriptures. We gladly turn from it to prophecies such as these: "I will break the bow, and the sword, and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.-And I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God." (Hosea ii. 18, 23.) " In the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And And many nations shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he' will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong
nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall sit every man under his vine, and under his fig-tree, and none shall make them afraid for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts hath spoken it." (Micah iv. 1-4.) "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp; and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah xi. 6-9.) The prediction of Isaiah, from which the text is taken, closely corresponds with that of Micah, and these, with the rest, agree in asserting the diffusion of religious knowledge as the means, and the abolition of war as the result. Here, then, the argument rests on the authority of Scripture, of inspiration, of God. The general pròspects of human improvement, to which your attention is next to be directed, are irradiated with light from heaven. The time shall come, when am
bition, avarice, and false glory, shall no more lead forth their victims to merciless carnage; nor enmities, jealousies, and oppressions, pour their vials of anguish on the world. The voice of Christian hope tells of past triumphs and future glories, speaking bliss to the inmost soul. We can exult in our nature and our destiny. We can look around on the earth, shake off the miserable associations of crime and misery, and trace on all things lines of benevolence and joy. The gladdening result which we anticipate is promised by the words of unerring prophecy, I: and shall be realized by the operations of an eternal and omnipotent Providence. The youth shall enter on a brighter world than his forefathers knew, and wonder at the blood-stained tr tale of ancient days;—while hoary age shall bow in holy resignation to the grave, exchanging earth for heaven, but as a transition from glory to glory, and exclaiming, in deyout gratitude, as memory reverts to the troublous scenes of childhood, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation."
THE chapter on War and Military Establishments, in Paley's Moral Philosophy, is written in the same spirit as those on Crimes and Punishments, and on Establishments and Toleration; and excites the same painful and humbling emotions. It is impossible not to wish that they had been written by any body else; or not written at all. Some observations on this chapter may usefully be introduced here, by way of proof, or illustration, of parts of the Lecture on War.
"Because the Christian Scriptures describe wars, as what they are, as crimes or judgments, some have been led to believe that it is unlawful for a Christian to bear arms."
The inference does not appear very unreasonable. If wars be crimes, a Christian should keep himself unstained with the guilt, though enjoined by authority and participated by numbers. If they be considered as judgments, it