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6 for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
Cheynell, the antagonist of Chillingworth, and one of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, deemed such principles not worthy of toleration. “ Socinians are not to be suffered in any state, for they will not shew any obedience or respect to magistrates ; they say they have no power to punish heinous offenders in time of peace, nor have they power to defend themselves, or the people, in time of war. But especially they charge the magistrates to beware how they meddle with good honest heretics.” He afterwards accuses both them and the Anabaptists of inconsistent conduct in the civil war. “It is commonly said that they (the Anabaptists) have lately taken up arms in rebellion against the king. I must confess, I have wondered often when I have heard of this daily complaint, because I know that an Anabaptist doth not think it lawful to be a cutler : he thinks no sword ought to be made because he conceives it unlawful to use a sword. It is well known that the Anabaptists go to sea without any ordnance in their ships, that they travel without any sword by their side; but if there be any fighting Anabaptists in these days, I suppose the English Socinians have taught the English Anabaptists to deny those principles in practice which they maintain in dispute.” Ascham, (who was ambassador from the Common
wealth to Spain, and assassinated by some English royalists at Madrid,) contending for the lawfulness of war against “Slichtingius and the rest of his (Socinian) tribe,” speaks more honourably of his opponents. “Whilst all the Christian world is embroiled in war, and that the very state of mankind is nothing else but status belli ; yet not a few perhaps of the best Christians find their consciences checked, as if they had an interdict from heaven, restraining them (even in the extremest necessities) from defending their persons and temporal rights by the effusion of human blood. They conceive such an exactness of Christian patience and charity is now required of us in regard of those excellent promises of reigning with Christ in heaven, that all sort of war fights now against him and his religion. This made an eminent statesman, pleading for toleration of religion in France, say, Qu'il valoit mieux avoir une paix où il y avoient deux religions, qu'une guerre où il n'y en avoit point ;that it was better to have a peace with two religions, than a war with none at all. These Christians, of whom we now speak, assure themselves, that if they wallow in one another's blood here, they cannot afterwards tumble together in Abraham's bosom.” For a very curious and interesting account of Cheynell's “Rise, Growth, and Danger of Socinianisme,” and Ascham's “ Confusions and Revolutions of Governments,"
from which these extracts are taken, see Monthly Repository for 1815, pp. 81, 431, &c.
Many of the continental Anabaptists shewed no want of a disposition for turbulence and bloodshed; but the pacific principles of their founders were always cherished by others of the party, and have been preserved by their descendants, the Mennonites, or Unitarian Baptists, of Germany, Russia, and Holland. • We must not omit an honourable mention of others, who, though adopting the military profession, have held out against the common maxim that they had nothing to do with the justice of the cause for which their swords were drawn. Many of the Independents in Cromwell's army threw up their commissions rather than serve in the war which he commenced, in their opinion *SO wantonly, against Spain, by the seizure of Jamaica. Algernon Sidney argues this point very conclusively against Filmer: “His second instance concerning wars, in which he says, the subject is not to examine whether they are just or unjust, but must obey, is weak and frivolous, and very often false. Though God may be merciful to a soldier, who by the wickedness of a magistrate, whom he honestly trusts, is made a minister of injustice, it is nothing to this case. For if our author say true, that the word of a king can justify him in going against the command of God, he must do what is commanded,
though he think it evil; the Christian soldiers under the Pagan emperors were obliged to destroy their brethren, and the best men in the world, for being so: such as now live under the Turk have the same obligation upon them of defending their master, and slaughtering those he reputes his enemies for adhering to Christianity: and the King of France may, when he pleases, arm one part of his Protestant subjects, to the destruction of another ; which is a godly doctrine, and worthy our author's invention. But if this be so, I know not how the Israelites can be said to have sinned in following the examples of Jeroboam, Omri, Ahab, or other wicked kings. It is impertinent to say they were obliged to serve their kings in unjust wars, but not to serve idols; for though God be jealous of his glory, yet he forbids rapine and murder as well as idolatry. If there be a law that forbids the subject to examine the commands tending to the one, it cannot but enjoin obedience to the other. The same authority which justifies murder, takes away the guilt of idolatry.” (Discourses concerning Government, Ch. iii. Sect. 20.)
Now arose the Quakers, whose profession of faith is too well expressed by Barclay not to be given in his own words :
“ If to revenge ourselves, or to render injury, evil for evil, wound for wound, to take eye for eye, tooth for tooth; if to fight for outward and perishing things, to go a warring one against another, whom we never saw, nor with whom we never had any contest, nor any thing to do; being, moreover, altogether ignorant of the cause of the war, but only that the magistrates of the nations foment quarrels one against another, the causes whereof are, for the most part, unknown to the soldiers that fight, as well as upon whose side the right or wrong is; and yet to be so furious, and rage one against another, to destroy and spoil all, that this or the other worship may be received or abolished ; if to do this, and much more of this kind, be to fulfil the law of Christ, then are our adversaries indeed true Christians, and we miserable heretics, that suffer ourselves to be spoiled, taken, imprisoned, banished, beaten, and evilly intreated, without any assistance, placing our trust only in God, that he may defend us, and lead us by the way of the cross into his kingdom. But if it be otherways, we shall certainly receive the reward which the Lord hath promised to those that cleave to him, and, in denying themselves, confide in him.”
Three observations suggest themselves on this account of the principal classes of Christians by whom war has been condemned:
1. The Unitarian will, perhaps, not be sorry to remark, that a conviction of its criminality has generally been found in connexion with those notions of doctrine which bear most affinity to