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fighting off the plain written declarations of the Apostles, in order to find room for their conjectured teaching by word of mouth. That Christ at his coming superseded the righteousness as well as abolished the victims of the older world ; that at the promulgation of the Gospel a new spiritual gift was offered to mankind together with new objects of knowledge, rather than a more explicit knowledge with an ampler dispensation of grace under a regular economy, not like the Jewish ritual, preparatory and indirect, but a system of plainer and more effectual means and instrumentalities; that there are two essentially different ways of salvation by Christ, with a double set of all the several blessednesses or aspects of blessedness, pertaining to the Covenant of grace; these, if they be truths, are not such as we learn from the Bible. It remains, then, to be asked, Is there any clear Apostolical tradition, without the limits of Scripture, by which they are attested? On the contrary, I believe it would be found on careful and impartial enquiry, that the Anti-Protestant view of justification, considered at large and in all its parts, was unknown to the primitive Christians, those who lived in and nearest to the Apostolic times, and, what is more, not even reconcilable with sentiments and opinions which they undoubtedly entertained."
It may safely be said that there never was on earth any man, whether lay or clerical, who, during his earthly pilgrimage, realised the saintly ideal required by the Gospel. If to be a son of God is, according to the words of St. John's Epistle, to be incapable of sinning, then, says our authoress rightly, “no man ever yet was a son of God, for no man wholly ceases from sin while he continues in the flesh. On the same principle of interpretation,” she continues, “we might say that there was never yet a good man, or a saint, or a servant of righteousness, or a friend of God.” The same holds true of the body of the Visible Church, as well as of its individual members. It is not, and never has been, any other than an inadequate, imperfect, and incomplete symbol of the Invisible Jerusalem. Now, the root of the argument of Mr. Gladstone and those Nonjuring clergy of his inclining, to say nothing at present of the Ultra-Romanising Tractarian, lies in their expecting that to be true of the Visible which is of the Invisible, and particularly touching the necessity of external unity and uniformity.
But, having shown that Mr. Gladstone's Pro-Tractarian and AntiProtestant scheme of Pseudo-Altitudinarian-Church-principles derives no real and genuine support from the Coleridgean philosophy, we are now prepared to consider his highly objectionable article in the 4th Number of is The Foreign and Colonial Review;" an article which has given just offence to many of the truest and wisest of the sons of the Church of England, whose conscientious convictions will not consent to see her delivered over, under specious pretences, into the hands of her natural enemy, the Harlot of the Seven Hills. This consideration, however, we must be permitted to defer to our next Number, both from the importance of the subject in itself, and the length of the present paper.
THE PEACE SOCIETY AND DEFENSIVE WAR. *
We give below the titles of a few of the publications produced and sanctioned by the London and American Peace Societies. Poignantly sensitive to the atrocities, the miseries, the devastations of warfare anxious for an amelioration of its horrors, and for the advent of that glorious period when “men shall learn war no more"-we are yet unable to subscribe to the extreme doctrines which these societies have advocated. That aggressive wars, or wars undertaken for the purposes of retaliation and revenge, are unlawful, is not disputed even by warriors; but to the assumption, that the right of self-defence is denied either to individuals or nations, under the Christian dispensation, we must unequivocally demur. By asserting that all wars, without exception, are contrary to the letter of Holy Writ, we believe that the Peace Society has not only acted unadvisedly, but materially diminished the usefulness and success which would otherwise have been its guerdon.
* 1. The Herald of Peace. New Series. 1840 to 1843. London: Ward & Co.
2. Peace, Permanent and Universal : its Practicability, Value, and consistency with Divine Revelation. A Prize Essay. By H. T. J. Macnamara. London: Saunders & Otley. 1841.
3. Prize Essays on a Congress of Nations, for the Adjustment of International Disputes, and for the Promotion of Universal Peace, without Resort to Arms : together with a Sixth Essay, comprising the Substance of the Rejected Essays. Boston: Whipple & Dawrell. 1840.
4. The Substance of a Pamphlet, entitled " A Solemn Review of the Custom of War;" showing that War is the Effect of Popular Delusion, and proposing a Remedy. London: Ward & Co.
5. War Inconsistent with the Doctrine and Example of Jesus Christ : In a Letter to a Friend. Recommended to the Perusal of the Professors of Christianity. By J. Scott. London: Ward & Co.
6. An Essay on the Doctrines and Practice of the Early Christians, as they relate to War. Addressed to those who profess to have a Regard for the Christian Name. By Thomas Clarkson, M.A. London: Ward & Co.
7. Extracts from the Writings of Erasmus on the Subject of War. London: Ward & Co.
8. Sketches of the Horrors of War; chiefly selected from Labaume's Narrative of the Campaign in Russia in 1812. Translated from the French, with some Observations. By Evan Rees. London: Ward & Co.
9. On Universal Peace; being Extracts from a Discourse delivered October, 1813. By the Rev. David Bogue, D.D. London: Ward & Co.
10. Observations on the Applicability of the Pacific Principles of the New Testament to the Conduct of States; and on the Limitations which those Principles impose on the Rights of Self-Defence. By Jonathan Dymond. London: Ward & Co.
il. An Examination of the Principles which are considered to support the Practice of War. By a Lady. London: Ward & Co.
12. Reflections on the Calamities of War, and the Superior Policy of Peace. Translated from the French of a Treatise “On the Administration of the Finances of France," by M. Necker. London: Ward & Co.
13. Obstacles and Objections to the Cause of Permanent and Universal Peace considered. By a Layman. London: Ward & Co.
14. War and Peace: the Evils of the First, and a Plan for preserving the Last. An Essay. By the Hon. Judge Jay, of West Chester, New York. London: Ward & Co. Ere we proceed to any general remarks, we think it expedient to consider some of the arguments adduced to prove the inconsistency of all War with the profession of Christianity. Nearly every moral precept contained in the New Testament has from time to time been transferred to the pages of the Tracts published by the Peace Society. Whenever the literal sense has seemed adverse, the writers have insisted upon a figurative interpretation ; although, in other cases, it will be perceived that they are the most literal and illogical of commentators. We will recite a few of the texts most frequently quoted in support of their positions.
1. “ Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight.” Thus the passage often stands in the publications under review; the last portion of the verse, which defines its application, being omitted“that I should not be delivered to the Jews.”
This passage, it is evident, has little or no relation to war. The words were spoken when our Redeemer stood before the judgementseat of Pilate, charged with arrogating the title of “King of the Jews :" and were intended to disabuse that Governor of the idea that he sought any temporal dominion. “ If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight” to establish it; the sword should assert my claims, and defend my person. But my kingdom is not of this world; therefore I use no violence, and submit to the magistrate, though he be actuated by malice or polluted by injustice. This text is, indeed, an argument against propagating Christianity by force, against religious persecution, and against rebellion ; but is very inconclusive evidence against the lawfulness of War.
2. Again, it is contended (on the authority of Tertullian), that by the command, “Put up thy sword,” Christ disarmed every soldier for ever afterwards ; yet, notwithstanding so extended an operation is ascribed to these words, no other than a figurative signification is allowed to the opposite declarations, “ He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one,” “ Think not that I am come to send peace on earth–I came not to send peace, but a sword.” But if the first is literal, bearing relation to War, why not the second likewise ? and if the second is figurative, bearing no relation to War, why not adopt a similar rule of interpretation with regard to the first ?
3. It is further urged, however, that the expression, “He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one,” must be figurative; for the disciples having produced two swords, their Master rejoined, “It is enough.” Now, inasmuch as two swords are obviously insufficient for the physical defence of twelve men, it is maintained that resistance by the sword could not be contemplated. But our Saviour did not take the opportunity of explaining to his disciples that they had mistaken his meaning, and that such resistance could under no circumstances be lawful, as we might reasonably have expected ; on the contrary, he allowed them to retain their weapons without rebuke. Neither, when Peter was commanded to put up his sword, was he directed to destroy it, or to throw it from him, as an implement unfit to be found in the possession of a Christian ; his Master's words were merely, “ Put up thy sword into the sheath.” It would appear, from the face of the narrative, that Peter was reproved, not for drawing the sword, but for drawing it rashly and against the servants of the law; to whom, as to all duly constituted authority, our Lord, both by precept and example, inculcated the most unhesitating obedience. Remembering, moreover, how simple and unpretending are the words addressed to Peter, and how closely they resemble those which every good man would feel it his duty to use on a like occasion, we can only with difficulty bring ourselves to admit that through their medium any particularly special meaning is intended to be conveyed.
4. But as, in St. Matthew, the words “Put up thy sword,” are immediately followed by the declaration, “For all they that take the sword shall perish by the sword,” it is advanced, in opposition to the above argument, that the passage thus supported amounts to a universal caution against having resort to arms. To this we may remark, that St. Matthew is the only evangelist who records this additional exhortation ; that St. Mark omits the address to Peter altogether, merely relating, “And one of them that stood by drew a sword and smote a servant of the High Priest, and cut off his ear;" and that St. Luke nearly does the same, representing Jesus as answering his disciples, “Suffer ye thus far.” Surely, if such grave consequences as are supposed by the Peace Society really attached to this incident, instead of being almost passed over by two out of the four evangelists, and but partially mentioned by the third, its importance would have ensured it a complete narration by all the sacred historians. Further, the Peace Society's interpretation of the words recorded by St. Matthew, must be considered, at the least, as more than doubtful. The words are equivalent to the assertion, that he who habitually and unlawfully uses violence, must suffer the results of violence ; and it is quite possible, without any complicated inference, to deduce the lawfulness of Defensive War from this very text. If he who takes the sword is rightfully to perish by the sword, then that resistance to aggression which causes him so to perish is clearly justified.
5. We shall take the next argument in extenso from Mr. Macnamara's Prize Essay :-“In the midst of exhortations from Jesus to his disciples in favour of endurance and of being harmless as doves,' we meet with these words : Think not that I am come to send peace on earth ; I came not to send peace, but a sword ; for I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.' These words evidently relate to the approaching conflict between the Christian, the Jewish, and the Pagan systems, and to the persecutions that the followers of Jesus were doomed to suffer. Putting aside the impossibility of such a strife being sanctioned in its literal sense by so peaceful and merciful a religion, and the improbability of females fighting with the sword, the preceding and following expressions explain the true meaning to be that which we have assigned.”
This argument may be admitted in all its force without affecting our conclusion as to the lawfulness of Defensive War. The question, however, recurs, If one passage is thus to be explained away as figurative, and inapplicable to the question at issue, why should the literal sense and applicability of others, not a whit more decisive, be so pertinaciously insisted upon? In truth, none of the texts hitherto recited have any direct or necessary reference to War, and are only wrested into arguments by a forced and arbitrary interpretation. If Christians are thus to be allowed to play fast and loose with their Scriptures, and to declare that figurative which is opposed to their notions, and that literal whose letter appears more favourable, all certainty of Biblical criticism is at once destroyed.
6. T'he Peace Society demand, How can War be consistent with those portions of the Gospel which require us to love our enemies, bless them that curse us, do good to them that hate us, and pray for them that despitefully use us and persecute us? Has not Christ, it is asked, directed to each of us the comprehensive precept, “ Resist not evil : but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also ?”-and, further, in answer to the question of Peter, whether he should forgive his brother seven times, enjoined forgiveness, not until seven times, but until seventy times seven? Therefore is War denounced as diametrically opposed to such precepts, inasmuch as it compels the soldier to hate his enemies, and to resist evil.
If this argument is valid against War and the right of self-defence, it is likewise valid against going to law, which is forbidden, not by implication alone, but expressly and by name. “And if any man will sne thee at the law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also; and whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” Shall we therefore declare the profession of a Lawyer Anti-Christian, and prepare to submit ourselves the victims of every species of petty chicanery and open fraud ? Nay, were such an interpretation permitted, the man who should give a thief into custody for stealing bis coat, would offend the letter and the spirit of the Divine Precept. Are we, then, to decide that the witnesses for the prosecution are sinful, that the jurymen who convict are sinful, that the judges who sentence are sinful ; in short, that all concerned are sinful, except, indeed, the thief, whose submission to the penalties inflicted would become a virtue, and who would stand at the bar of his country, not a felon, but a martyr? And if such an argument against resorting to Law for redress or protection is to be repudiated as absurd, wherefore should it be rceived, though much diminished in force and applicability, as conclusive against War? Still stronger will this appear when we reflect, that Law is positively prohibited, and that War is not!
Mr. Dymond, in one of the Peace Society's Tracts, remarks, “ If it be said that Christianity allows in individuals some degree and kind of resistance, and that some resistance is therefore lawful to states, we do not deny it.” But he ought to deny it, were he consistent; for the texts quoted by the Peace Society prohibit all resistance. The