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his own, or with that religious liberty which usually precedes or accompanies their adoption. - 2. The -history of this aversion from war furnishes a presumption in favour of its being inseparable from pure Christianity. It appears strongest at the nearest period of which we can gain information to the apostolic age; it gradually wore out as religion became corrupt, until it was quite lost; as the New Testament was again studied, and made the rule of faith and practice, it reappeared; and it was most powerful in those who, according to our opinions, were the most enlightened and consistent of all who aided in the great work of Reformation. . ..
3. Whether recourse to arms be essentially unlawful, or allowable in some extreme cases, of rare occurrence; and whether the military profession should be altogether avoided by Christians, or only when they deem the cause unjust, or the means forbidden; are differences comparatively of little moment, so long as there is a common and lively sense of the miseries and crimes which war produces; this feeling pure Christianity unquestionably excites, and will excite and diffuse as it becomes better understood and more generally adopted; and its tendency, therefore, is to mitigate the evils and prevent the recurrence of wars, until its full influence shall realize the promised universal reign of the Prince, of Peace.
. Of late, the subject has been regarded as less belonging to theology than to humanity and benevolence. This is by no means to be regretted. Numerous and laudable efforts are making by societies in this country and in America, to communicate information upon it, and who will not heartily wish them success? For an account of these, and of the tracts issued by them, I must refer the reader to the Annual Reports of the Society for the Promotion of Permanent and Universal Peace, established in London June 14, 1816.
I have lengthened this Appendix much beyond my intention, which was merely to put together two or three quotations and remarks, which could not conveniently have been placed in the Notes. It cannot conclude better than with the following extract from a most useful work, which I should be glad to persuade its able Author to republish, and every Englishman to read and profit by. -.“ Those who reason in favour of the perfectibility of man, draw all that is solid in their arguments from the possibility of the reduction of the moral evil by which the world is oppressed. They see the labour of man employed rather in preparing the apparatus of death, than in producing the means of life ; and they say, were the moral sentiments of men corrected, war and show would have no place; and the expense of war and luxury being converted to the uses of life, would supply all the real wants of all that
live. To a certain extent this must be admitted to be true, and the prospect is so cheering, that we hope the vision is divine. The first step appears to be the instruction of the people. They must be taught that war is ever injurious to their interest ; that it is the contrivance of tyranny for the subjugation of ignorance; and that as long as it is allowed in any country, the comfort of the people can never be secured. Convinced that this is true, we are proud to be as a voice crying in the wilderness' to hasten and assist the approach of human happiness."-(A View of the Causes and Consequences of English Wars, by Anthony Robinson, 1798.)
.:: LECTURE VII.
ON HUMAN PERFECTIBILITY.
Rev. xi. 15 :
The kingdoms of this world are become the king
doms of our Lord, and of his Christ : and he shall reign for ever and ever.
The attention with which the Course of Lectures has been favoured, which I this night bring to a conclusion, renders such a request wholly unnecessary, or I should feel it incumbent on me to solicit especially on the present occasion, your seriousness and candour for a subject very liable to misconstruction, and arguments which, though very trite perhaps, require both a calm and patient consideration, fairly to estimate their weight. The various controversies which have existed on this subject have thrown it into great confusion. Some Christians cling to the hope of a Millenium ; while others attempt its demolition. Among philosophers the notion of the Perfectibility of Man has been exulted in as true; and denounced as mischievous. These terms have been sometimes
reckoned synonymous, and at other times have been opposed to each other : while of both, and with advocates as well as opponents, there has been a great diversity of explanation. It is expedient therefore to premise, that I consider them as closely connected, and hope for that approach towards perfection in man, which Christianity in its purest and most powerful state can realize ; and which will be accomplished in that universal diffusion of its knowledge and influence which is predicted in the Scriptures, and, from the mention of a thousand years in the Revelation, called the Millenium. Whether that marks the precise term, or is to be taken for an indefinite period; and whether it will be accompanied with the personal reign of Christ on earth, and the resurrection of the most distinguished of his disciples to share its glories, are questions of considerable interest in themselves, but not being essentially connected with the present subject, I shall not embarrass it by their introduction. With the idea of human perfectibility some absurdities have been associated, for which the use of that expression should not make me responsible. Such is that of organic perfectibility-the triumph of mind over matter, so as to banish disease, and long retard, if not repel, the stroke of death. Such also are all minute and particular schemes of the condition of man in that period; which only shew the inge