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these disputes. Nor shall we find often any clue to a solution of the difficulty in the manifestoes of either party ; for each makes his own case good in these ; and if we were to decide upon the merits of the question by the contents of these, we should often come to a conclusion, that both the parties were wrong. Thus, for instance, a nation may have been guilty of an offence to another. So far the cause of the other is a just
But if the other should arm first, and this during an attempt at accommodation, it will be a question whether it does not forfeit its pretensions to a just case, and whether both are not then to be considered as aggressors on the occasion.
When a nation avows its object in a war, and changes its object in the course of it, the presumption is that such a nation has been the aggressor. And when any nation goes to war upon no other avowed principle than that of the balance of power, such a nation, however right according to the policy of the world, is an aggressor according to the policy of the Gospel, because it proceeds upon the principle that it is lawful to do evil that good may come.
If to it.
If a nation hires or employs the troops of another to fight for it, though it is not the aggressor in any war, yet it has the crime upon its head of making those aggressors, whom it employs. There are few modern wars, however, which can be called defensive. A war purely defensive is that, in which the inhabitants of a nation remain wholly at home to repel the attacks of another, and content themselves with sending protection to those settlements, which belong
But few instances are recorded of such wars.
But if there be often a difficulty in discerning between aggressive and defensive wars; and if, moreover, there is reason to suppose
that most of the modern wars are aggressive, or that both parties become aggressors in the course of the dispute; it becomes the rulers of nations to pause, and to examine their own consciences with fear and trembling, before they allow the sword to be drawn, lest a dreadful responsibility should fall upon
their heads for all the destruction of happiness, all the havoc of life, and all the slaughter of morals, that may ensue.
It is said, secondly, that if any nation were publicly to determine to relinquish the prac
tice of war, or to act on the policy of the Gospel, it would be overrun by other nations, which might act on the policy of the world.
This argument is neither more nor less than that of the Pagan Celsus, who said in the second century, that if the rest of the Roman empire were Christians, it would be overrun by the Barbarians.
In answering this argument we are certainly warranted in saying, that such a nation would have just reason to look up to the Almighty for his support. Would he not ultimately protect those, who obeyed his laws, and who refused to destroy their fellow-creatures? In what page of sacred history do we find that the people are to be forsaken, who have acted righteously?
But independently of the protection, which such a nation might count upon from the Moral Governor of the world, let us inquire upon rational principles what would be likely to be its fate.
Armies, we know, are kept up by one nation, principally because they are kept up by another. And in proportion as one rivalnation adds to its standing armies, it is thought by the other to be consistent with the policy of the world to do the same. But
if one nation were to decline kceping any armies at all, where would be the violence to reason to suppose, that the other would follow the example? Who would not be glad to get rid of the expense of keeping them, if they could do it with safety? Nor is it likely that any powerful nation professing to relinquish war would experience the calamities of it. Its care to avoid provocation would be so great, and its language would be so tenperate, and reasonable, and just, and conciliatory, in the case of any
dis: pute which might arise, that it could hardly fail of obtaining an accommodation. And the probability is, that such a nation would grow so high in esteem with other nations, that they would have recourse to it in their disputes with one another, and would abide by its decision. “ Add the general influence,
says the great Bishop Butler in his Analogy, “ which such a kingdom would have over the face of the earth, by way of example particularly, and the reverence which would be paid to it. It would, plainly, be superior to all others, and the world must gradually come under its empire; not by means of lawless violence, but partly by
what must be allowed to be just conquest; and partly by other kingdoms submitting themselves voluntarily to it throughout a course of
and claiming its protection one after another, in successive exigencies. The head of it would be an universal Monarch in another sense than
other mortal has yet been, and the Eastern style would be literally applicable to him, “ that all people, nations, and languages should serve him.” Now Bishop Butler supposes this would be the effect, where the individuals of a nation were perfectly virtuous. But I ask much less for my own hypothesis. I only ask that the ruling members of the Cabinet of any great nation (and perhaps these would only amount to three or four) should consist of real Christians, or of such men as would implicitly follow the policy of the Gospel; and I believe the result would be as I have described it.
Nor indeed are we without instances of the kind. The goodness of the emperor Antoninus Pius was so great, that he was said to have outdone all example. He had no war in the course of a long reign of twenty-four years, so that he was compared