Page images

This plan is adopted for other reasons than its strict accuracy. It is obvious that whoever is inhuman is also criminal, but these topics may be better illustrated seperately than if blended together.

As I trust my object is to promote “ peace on earth and good will to men," I cannot but indulge a hope that some may read the following remarks with that serious and candid attention which the importance of the subject demands.





HUMANITY, wisdom, and goodness at once combine all that can be great and lovely in man. Inhumanity, folly and wickedness reverse the picture, and at once represent all that can be odious and hateful. The former are the spirit of Heaven, and the latter the offspring of hell.

The spirit of the gospel not only breathes “glory to God in the highest, but on earth peace, and good will men.

The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated. But the wisdom from beneath is earthly, sensual and devilish.

It is exceedingly strange that any one under the light of the gospel professing to be guided by its blessed precepts, with the Bible in his hand, while the whole creation around him is so often groaning under the weight and terrors of war, should have doubts whether any kind of wars under the gospel dispensation, except spiritual warfare, can be the dictate of



any kind of wisdom, except that from beneath ; and much more so, to believe that they are the fruit of the divine spirit, which is love, joy and peace.

An inspired Apostle has informed us froin whence oome wars and fightings. They come from the lusts of men that war in their members.

Ever since the fall mankind have had naturally within them a spirit of pride, avarice and revenge. The gospel is directly opposite to this spirit. It teaches humility, it inculcates love, it breathes pity and forgiveness even to enemies; and forbids rendering evil for evil to any man.

Believing as I do, after much reflection, and as I trust prayerful investigation of the subject, that all kinds of carnal warfare are unlawful upon gospel principles, I shall now endeavor to prove that WAR is INHUMAN, UNWISE, and CRIMINAL; and then make some general remarks, and state and answer several objections.

In attempting to do this, I shall not always confine myself strictly to this order of the subject; but shall occasionally make such remarks as may occur directly or indirectly, to shew that the whole genius of war is contrary to the spirit and precepts of the gospel.


That it is inhuman I observe, 1. It hardens the heart and blunts the tender feelings of


That it is the duty of mankind to be tender hearted, feeling for the distress of others, and to do all in their power to prevent and alleviate their misery, is evident not only from the example of the son of God, but the precepts of the gospel.

When the Saviour of sinners visited this dark and cruel world, he became a man of sorrow and was acquainted with grief; so that he was touched with the feeling of our infirmities.

He went about continually healing the sick, opening the eyes of the blind, unstopping the ears of the deaf, raising the dead; as well as preaching the gospel of peace to the poor.

He visited the houses of affliction, and poured the balm of consolation into the wounded heart. He mourned with those that mourned, and wept with those that wept. Love to God and man flowed from this eternal fountain, pure as the river of life, refreshing the thirsty desert around him.

He was not only affectionate to his friends but kind to his enemies. He returned love for their hatred and blessing for their cursing.

When he was surrounded by all the powers of darkness and resigned himself into the hands of sinners to

expiate for their guilt, and they smote him on the cheek and plucked off the hair, he was like a lumb, dumb, and opened not his mouth. While suffering all the contempt and torture which men and devils could invent, instead of returning evil for evil, he prayed for his murderers and apologized for his persecutors, saying, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”

The Apostle exhorts christians, saying, "be ye kind and tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

Authority in abundance might be quoted to shew that the spirit of the gospel absolutely requires the exercise of love, pity and forgiveness, even to enemies.

But who will undertake to prove that soldiers are usually kind and tender hearted, and that their employment has a natural tendency to promote active benevolence, while it requires all their study of mind and strength of body to injure their enemies to the greatest extent; it is not to be expected that they should shine in acts of benignity.

Though we often hear of the generosity and attention of soldiers to prisoners, and notwithstanding I am willing to allow that feelings of humanity are not altogether obliterated from every soldier, yet much of this apparent kindness may flow from a desire of better treatment themselves should circumstances be reversed, or from a hope of the applause of mankind. My object however, is not to prove that all soldiers are destitute of humanity, but that their occupation has a

« PreviousContinue »