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the other Christian graces, in their lives. We ask on this point for the very gospel that fell from the lips of him who “spake as never man spake.” Only let its principles of peace once more be taught by every minister, and put in practice by every Christian, as they unquestionably were by all the first teachers and professors of Christianity; then, but never till then, will peace, as an element of the gospel itself, prevail, just like repentance and faith, wherever Christianity itself prevails, and the world thus be-what it never yet has been in the case of a single nation, though it ought to have been in every case,-converted to peace as fast as it shall be to God.
5. Such a reform is needed, moreover, to rescue Christianity itself from perversion and reproach. The war-degeneracy of the Church, begun early in the third century, consummated in the fourth by her union with the state under Constantine, and thenceforward extending over the whole of her subsequent history, has grossly belied the pacific character of our religion, and shorn it of no small part of its primitive beauty, loveliness and glory. When the chosen choir of heaven chanted over the manger of Bethlehem their song of peace and good-will; when our Saviour, not only through life, but even in death itself, taught and exemplified the peaceful principles of his gospel; when his Apostles in like manner carried the saine principles from city to city, from kingdom to kingdom; when his disciples, without exception, followed his example of never returning curse for curse, blow for blow, but meekly bowed their heads to the axe or the gibbet of their persecutors; so long as the whole Church thus stood forth before the world in the stainless panoply of peace, just so long did Christianity commend itself to the consciences of men, and make rapid progress towards the spiritual conquest of the world. The war-degeneracy of the Church was her grand heresy, and did more than anything else to paganize her character, and pave the way for that flood of evils which overspread Christendom during the middle ages. Never was there a grosser or more fatal perversion ; and ever since she has for the most part belied the peaceful principles of her gospel, and provoked the wrath or scorn of mankind.
Truth extorts this humiliating confession. The history of the nominal Church, the only one known at the time, was written for centuries in blood. How often did the professed followers of the Prince of Peace meet to slaughter one another! How many millions perished by their hands in the Crusades, in wars with the Mohammedans, in the religious wars consequent on the Reformation! How often did the highest dignitaries of the Church lead forth armies to battle! How common, for more than a thousand years, for Christians to pray the God of Peace to aid them in butchering one another, and then to return solemn thanks for the slaughter of thousands and scores of thousands of their own brethren! When Magdeburg was a smoking heap of ruins, and thirty thousand of her citizens, men, women, and children, lay rotting in her streets, or roasted in the ashes of their
own dwellings, the victorionis general ordered a Te Deem to be publicly chanted in gratitude to their common God!! So has it been for some fifteen centuries ; nor can the most nefarious war even now be waged, but the Church, in the Old World, if not in the New, must be made, by her prayers and praises, a party in this work of hell. The Archbishop of England stiil composes, for me in all her wnetraries, a solemn form of thanksgiving to God for such savage hatcheries as were perpetrated, in the middle of the nineteenth centary, upon the Chinese and Afghans!
Tell us not, such cases are exceptions for which the Church has little or no responsibility. Exceptions ! peace is the exception; war, the rule. The evil, too, is more or less in her own bosom. Does she not allow her members to live by this trade of blood! Has she for ages excluded the warrior from her communion! Has she once, for the last fifteen hundred years, borne her united testimony before the world against this custom as inconsistent with her views of the gospel? Nay, has she not fawned on the warrior, and consecrated his banners, and followed him with her prayers for success, and crowned him on his return with laurels ? Are not her most venerable temples to this day filled with the trophies of war! Did not Col. Gardiner, one of her favorite sons, die on the field of battle, and Doddridge himself, one of her brightest luminaries, write his eulogy without a single rebuke upon his profession of blood ! Nor is it many years since no man in the British Empire could take out a commission as an officer in the army or navy, for the wholesale butchery of his fellow-men, without a certificate of his being a member of the Church of Christ! and not a note of alarm, scarce a whisper of rebuke or displeasure, was heard from the presses or the pulpits of Christendom. Alas! do not Christians, even now join men of the world in idolizing the demi-gods of war, train some of their own children to this work of death, and teach the rest to admire war and the warrior ?
No wonder, then, at the consequent reproaches upon Christianity; Mark the bitter, withering sarcasms of infidelity. “ Ye bungling soul-physicians !” exclaims Voltaire, “ to bellow for an hour or more against a few flea-bites, and not say a word about that horrid distemper which tears us to pieces ! Burn your books, ye moralizing philosophers! Of what avail is humanity, benevolence, meekness, temperance, piety, when half a pound of lead shatters my body; when I expire, at the age of twenty, under pains unspeakable; when my eyes, at their last opening, see my native town all in a blaze, and the last sounds I hear are the shrieks and groans of women and children expiring amidst the ruins ?"
Nor is Judaism less severe in her taunts. When a celebrated advocate of foreign missions was announced to preach at Falmouth, England, à Jew posted on the door of the Church this notice: “ Our Messiah, when he comes, will establish a system of mercy, peace and kindness upon earth; while among you Christians, only disputes, animosities and cruelties mark your
passage through the world. Possibly your religion sanctions these things; ours does not. With us, the goodness and beneficence alone of the Mosaic laws constitute their grand authority, and proclaim aloud their emanation from a God of love. We want no better, we expect no better, till Messiah shall indeed
Then will.every man sit under his own vine and figtree; nation shall no longer lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and a little child shall lead them.' Has this golden era of peace and love ever yet been witnessed ? Speak, Christians, speak candidly; has it been once seen through the last eighteen hundred years?"
6. We can hardly glance at the influence of peace on the character of the Church in preparing her for the millenium. Such a preparation is indispensable; it is the great moral desideratum of the age; and never till she recovers her primitive spirit of peace, will she acquire the qualities requisite for reclaiming the whole world to her Saviour.
7. But mark the necessity of such a reform to secure a sufficient blessing from heaven on the efforts now in progress for the world's conversion. This work, begun by Apostles, has at length been renewed with a good degree of zeal and success ; but why are a thousand modern missionaries, with all the resources of Christendom, accomplishing less towards the world's conversion, than did a dozen unlettered, penniless fishermen of Galilee? We rejoice in the glorious results of modern missions ; but how slight all these results in comparison with those vouchsafed to Apostles! Whence this difference? Surely the fault is not in our missionaries, those master-spirits of the Church, but in the great body of Christians at home, who have fallen in this respect, if not in many others, so far below the high standard of primitive piety, that God cannot consistently bestow on them such success as he granted to Apostles. For results so glorious, there must be a corresponding moral preparation of the Church as a body; but will she can she, make such preparation so long as the war-spirit gangrenes her vitals, or the war-system of Christendom hangs, an incubus of guilt and blood, upon her bosom?
Look at the past. David, though a man in many respects after God's own heart, was not permitted to build a 'temple for the Lord, because he had shed much blood.' And will not this principle apply, with still more force, to Christians in their efforts to spread a religion of peace? The Great Head of the Church is himself the Prince of Peace; he will never convert the nations at the sacrifice of a single principle of his gospel ; and, though he may, doubtless will, grant his followers success enough to encourage a tenfold increase of their zeal, he will not, in all probability, give them “the heathen for their inheritance, the uttermost parts of the earth for their possession,” until they shall cease from lending their countenance to the war-system, and reincorporate in their faith and character the pacific principles of the Sermon on the Mount.
8. Sach a reform woald ere long remore not a few obstacles to the spread of the gospel. A multitude of these have been scatteren, age after age, over the whole earth by the martial character of Christendom. Ste wars, however unjust the charge, are actually charged by the heathen upon our religion as one of its supposed fruits; and thus have they reared all round the whole unevangelized world a barrier of prejudice very like the wall of China. Their ports, their ears, th-ir hearts are closed fast against us. Christians are regarded with terror; and Chris tianity itself, though an angel of peace and love, has thus become, all over the earth, a hissing and a scorn.
You cannot well conceive how far the wars of Christendom have set the great mass of unevangelized minds sternly against the religion of the cross. Not only does the infidel cast them in our teeth, and the Jew insist that the Messiah, promised as the Prince of Peace, cannot have come, since nations reputedly Christian have been almost incessantly engaged in war; but even the follower of the false prophet calls us “ Christian dogs," and taunts us for our glaring hypocrisy:
The result is inevitable in checking the spread of Christianity. Ilow came the gospel to meet in the Sandwich and South Sea Islands, a reception comparatively so cordial, and a degree of success so glorious ? Other causes conspired; but a principal one way found in the fact, that the wars of Christendom were little known to the natives, and they saw Christianity exhibited before them first in the lives of its humble, peaceful missionaries. On the other hand, why were the Jesuit missionaries so indig, nantly expelled from China ? Whence such rancorous hatred of the gospel in Japan, that every man, woman and child was required to go once a year through the ceremony of publicly trampling in scorn on the cross, and no Christian even now can put bis foot on the shores of that island, without first renouncing his religion? They had heard of Christian nations crimsoning their path by sea and land with blood; and they very naturally suspected those Jesuits of having come to involve them, some how or other, in the same calamities that nominal Christians had so often inflicted upon one another. The countries all round the Mediterranean, traversed by Apostles, and covered with primitive Churches, have been for ages filled, mainly in consequence of fierce, bloody wars so long waged between Mohammedans and reputed Christians, with such deep and bitter prejudices as centuries can hardly suffice to remove. Such prejudices more or less overspread the globe, and must be removed before its myriads can be evangelized.
9. But consider how vastly the prevalence of peace would increase the means, both in men and money, of converting the world. It would save enough for this purpose in a single generation; for already has the Church alone spent or lost in the wars of Christendom, a hundred times as much of treasure and of blood, as would have sufficed, centuries ago, to bring all nations under the saving power of the gospel.
Just glance at a few facts. Some three millions of standing warriors now in Christendom ; 300,000 lives sacrificed in ONE own Revolutionary War; more than a million in the wars of the Spanish Peninsula under Napoleon; no less than nine or ten millions in the wars consequent on the French Revoluticn ; some thirty millions in all the wars of the Reformation; while thirty thousand missionaries, it is supposed, would suffice under God for the world's immediate evangelization.
We will not here attempt to estimate or conjecture the entire loss of property by war; but its direct expenses, though a mere fraction of what it wastes, are enormous almost beyond calculation. Our war with a handful of Indians in Florida was said to cost us some forty or fifty million dollars; our Revolutionary War cost Englund herself nearly seven hundred millions ; her wars with Napoleon absorbed inore than five thousand millions; England, during twenty years, spent for war-purposes alone, an average of more than one million every day; and the wars of Christendom, from 1793 to 18l5, only twenty-two years, actually wasted, barely for their support, about fifteen thousand millions ; a sum so vast, that the mere interest, at six per cent., would be nine hundred millions a year; enough to evangelize two such worlds as ours, and furnish them with the most ample means of grace and salvation down to the end of time !
10. Nor is this all; for the prevalence of peace would remove a great variety of obstructions to the efficacy of the gospel at home. It is a pioneer or auxiliary to all our efforts for the salvation of men; because no farther than the spirit of peace prevails, can you labor with success either for the conversion of sinners, or the sanctification of Christians. Throw a fire-brand of strife into any community; and from that moment must the work of salvation cease, and never begin again, until that fire-brand is either removed or quenched.
Surely, then, war, the great fire-brand of the world, must tend in many ways to prevent the full effects of the gospel. It interposes a thousand neutralizing influences. It fosters ignorance; it encourages intemperance; it instigates to the foulesť forms of licentiousness; it multiplies to a fearful extent every species of vice and crime. It prevents or neutralizes the best means of grace. It engrosses the mind, and sears the conscience, and steels the heart. It withholds the Bible itself; it shuts up the Sanctuary; it suspends the Sabbath ; it suspends, for the time, all laws, nearly all influences, but its own.
Now, must not such things cripple the saving efficacy of the gospel ? Take the best revival of religion; and how long could it survive a battle, or live amid the pestilential moral exhalations steaming up from a camp or a fleet? Few, if any wars can be less exceptionable than that of our own Revolution; but how deplorable was its acknowledged influence on the piety of our land? And let the war-mania once more pervade and madden our whole nation; let citizens be transformed by thousands into pirates or marauders, and soldiers be marched back and forth through the