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ing the sentence of a Court Martial held on a foreign station on two officers for disobedience of orders, your Majesty most justly observes, that " if religious principles were allowed to be urged by individual officers as a plea for disobedience of orders, the discipline of the army would sustain an injury which might be dangerous to the state.” Surely, Sire, this is equivalent to saying, that men who are imbued with religious principles, or Christians, are unfit for the military service.
of the justice of your Majesty's remark, or of the equity of the sentence of the court, no one conversant in military discipline, can entertain a doubt. Thinking men, who believe that their professional duty interferes with their duty to God, ought not to halt between two opinions."
Thus, then, it seems that military men, from the king, who is supreme head of the church and the army, (a rare contradiction,) down to the lowest subaltern, one and all, agree with the friends of peace, in considering the profession of arms, as inconsistent and at variance with the practice of religion. Yet they call us fanatics, for asserting the same opinions, which they universally and openly proclaim: or rather, they call us fanatics, because we do not halt between two opinions, but say, if the Lord is God, serve him; but if Moloch, then follow him.
What then, you say, has there never been a Christian and a warrior united in one person? I grant there has been-and so, many a Christian has been a persecutor, a slave dealer, and a slave owner ; but this does not prove, that war, persecution, and slavery, are consistent with the Christian religion. But this proposition I hold to be self-evident ---that a person, who believes, that the practices of war and slavery are inconsistent with the Christian religion, and yet continues these practices, can have no rational hope of salvation, founded on that religion.
It is a custom in Europe, and I believe in this country, to have a “ dress parade on the Sabbath, at which the soldiers and officers appear in their best clothes, and go through their evolutions with more music than usual, and with great crowds of people, of all ranks, ages, and sexes, to witness “the pomp and circumstance of glorious war.” The
66 dress pa
horse guards used to parade, in the same manner on the Sabbath, in London. I am sorry to add, that I have been a spectator of these parades; but as I never saw them in the royal parks, near London, nor in this country, I can only say what I have heard from others-as I would always be cautious in stating facts. In time of war, there is a plea of necessity, " the Devil's plea,” for marching, counter-marching, attacking and defending. But, in time of peace, and when no enemy is near, this Sunday sade," must be considered as a wanton violation of the Sabbath, and a breach of the laws, both of God and man. Yet without doubt, should any soldier, from conscientious motives, neglect to appear at his station, on beat of drum, if a commissioned officer, he would be cashiered and disgraced : and if a warrant officer, or private, he would be brought to the halberts, and flogged from one to five hundred lashes. How a Chris. tian soldier can reconcile this violation of the Sabbath, with his duty to God, I am at a loss to conceive. But, if he can reconcile to his conscience the breach of almost all the other commands of God, such as--thou shalt not steal-thou shalt not lie-thou shalt not covet-thou shalt not kill-thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself-do good unto all men-whatsoever ye would that men should
do ye even so to them-resist not evil-return not evil for evil, &c. &c.say, if they can reconcile all these commands with the profession of arms, the breach of the Sabbath will be no obstacle to them.
do to you,
ON THE OPINIONS OF GREAT MEN AMONG THE
HEATHEN ON THE SUBJECT OF WAR.
It is a remarkable fact, that prior to the christian era, there was scarcely an individual, among the prominent characters of ancient history, who condemned the practice of war. Numa Pompilius--" who may be justly denominated one of the founders of the Roman greatness,"Was almost the only ruler of antiquity, who decidedly opposed war. Xenophon, who commanded the retreat of the 10,000, and Plutarch, the biographer, allowed that war was not to be undertaken for trivial causes ;-remarkable instances of moderation, in ages, when military glory was the only object of ambition, and murder, bavoc and desolation the only path to fame, excepting, perhaps, the celebration of such crimes, by the beauties of language and the charms of poetry.
After the advent of our blessed Saviour, a change took place in the opinions of mankind respecting war, especially among his professed followers; who, (as I have shown in a former number) considered the practice of war to be incompatible with the christian religion ;-so that, for about the three first centuries of the christian era, no christian was found in the profession of arms, and many suffered martyrdom, rather than stain their hands with the blood of their fellow creatures.
Seneca, the Roman moralist, lived in the reign of the bloody Nero, the cruel persecutor of the christians-was his tutor, and was put to death by his orders, A. D. 65. From