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fore lose less of their force by being extraet:
The text was from Rom. xii. 19.
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, Vengeance is mine ; I will repay, saith the Lord.
“ The common appeal to the sword, in na: tional disputes, is quite as absurd as it is cruel, because the strongest party must prevail, not those who were first injured or considered themselves aggrieved. It is a common representation, that war is necessary to redress our wrongs. But what wrongs are thus redressed? How does this sovereign remedy operate ?- Wrongs are thus increased, and mutual injuries are thus multiplied, the guilty in most cases escape, while the innocent inhabitants of each country are ravaged, plundered, and murdered, under pretence of retaliation. If our enemies are so guilty as to deserve death, their souls must be in an awful condition in the sight of God. And is it not dreadful to cut off the soul from life without time for repentance? If others trife with souls and imprecate curses on them,
no Christian can, on his own prineiples and his own hope of salvation, lightly esteem the immortal part of his fellow men; but, under a deep sense of its value, be ready to endure all things for its salvation.
It is in vain to talk of glory, and boast of our own proud pre-eminence among the nations, in doing that which is impious in the sight of God. Perhaps, the love of war, and the readiness of all ranks to support it, may be the principal cause of our present depression and sufferings. We have distrusted and dishonoured God, and he justly permits us to feel the consequences of despising his admonitions. If we are to bear personal injuries with piely toward God and faith in his declarations of regard as our Judge and Lawgiver, will it not appear more impious to engage in the quarrels of others ? To sell body and soul for the murder of our fellowmen at the will of others ? To carry desolation and misery among thousands at what time and place, and in what way, others may choose to appoint?-But this consent is called national, and individuals engaged in it are not responsible for its justice. Of what then
are nations composed but of individuals ? Or are rational creatures willingly to become the senseless tools of death and des truction without inquiry! At least war is expedient, it is said, to carry off the vicious part of human society. What cruelty is here developed, in sending the sinner to certain destruction, instead of attempting his reformation! This is creating a place of depravity and torment for the vicious, with more than Satanic ingenuity; because a inan is wicked, we authorise' him to become still more 30, and at the same time secure the destruction of body and soul! Yet this sentiment is unblushingly held by professed Christians. It would be easy, however, to prove the fallacy of this argument by fact. War is the most dreadful means of demoralizing the human mind, and for one person of a vicious kind iemoved from society, two have been created, at the expense of millions of innocent victims, and of the public treasury. The practice of War has the sanction of nations universally ; even those called Christians, are, perhaps, the most active in its support. What does this prove, but
the total and universal depravity of all men, and that the genius of Christianity is very little understood by its professors? It shows us the necessity of greater exertion than has ever yet been made to dissipate the dreadful delusion, which, like a dense vapour from the bottomless pit, has long rested on the surface of the whole earth, and prevented the rays of truth and benignity from reaching the eyes of the benighted inhabitants. And how is this to be effected, but by the exertions of those Christians who see the evil ? Let us not contemplate the direful scene, without attempting, at least, the rescue of a few from the mass of splendid victims, led to immolation on such an altar. If any are tempted to think their individual efforts too feeble to effect any thing in so mighty a cause, let them remember, that the way in which God always works the great changes of human society, is by gradual steps, and individual means. True Antinomianism, is leaving the work to God, without attempting our share, as means in his hands and under his blessing. This is to sit down with mere wishes, and sigh in despair of such a change,
It was not thus that the Slave Trade was abolished, (though yet alas! but too partially.) It was not thus Christian missions to the heathen were established. Neither is it thus that the system of war will cease from among men.
On the whole, then, it seems evident that War is opposed to the temper and spirit of Christianity. It stands in contrast with the conduct of the Divine Being towards whilst enemies, and injurious. It is contrary to the doctrine and example of Jesus Christ. It is opposed to the precepts of the apostle. It defeats our hope of forgiveness with God. It reverses the design of the gospel, and converts the earth into a dreadful prototype of the infernal regions.
But it is asked, What interest have we humbled and obscure individuals in this subject? Let these representations be made to our rulers, and men of influence in society, then may we hope for some good to arise from them. Do not undervalue your ability to assist in this good work-you have more interest in it than perhaps you are aware of. We wish you to examine the subject your