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Shine on, O sun! with golden light,
OPPOSITION BETWEEN WAR AND THE GOSPEL.
The gospel requires men to do good. The very business of war is mischief and damage. The gose pel requires men to forgive their enemies. Revenge is often the chief design of war. The gospel commands men to feed the poor and comfort the afflicted.
The sword drinks the blood of the afflicted, robs and plunders the poor, covers him with wounds, and leaves him half dead.
While the devout Christian sits pondering how he may comfort the sorrowful, enlighten the ignorant, and reform the wicked, the man of blood is contriving and plotting to vanquish yonder army, to ravage the country, covering the fields with the wounded and the dead.
The gospel forbids murder. Yes, it does. But is not this the grand purpose of war? Why else all the swords, and balls, and engines of death? - The combination of ten thousand men, to slay ten thousand, is not less murderous, than the resolution of one man to slay one man. Had Cain been a king, and marched an army to destroy his brother, would this have lessened his guilt?
Did God not include kings, when he said, “Thou shalt not kill ?” Did he not include their victorious legions? If one man may not commit murder, how many must unite to make it innocent and glorious ? May two-two hundred, two million ? Two million have no more right to murder and destroy, than two individuals.
When pure Christianity shall cover the earth, avarice and revenge will be extinguished ; ambition will be dethroned, and war expire. The acknowledged design of the christian religion is to induce men to love their enemies, to be like Jesus Christ, who resisted not evil. Is it possible for such a man, to seize his sword, and rush to the hill of battle? Can he bid the artillery blaze? Can he become the angel of death, and scatter plague and pestilence round the globe ?
When rulers all possess this benevolence, who will proclaim the war? When commanders have this spirit, who will order the battle? When the mass of mankind have the spirit of Christ, where will soldiers be found? Where will you find a man to slay his neighbour ?
The rendezvous is forsaken. The shrill piercing, hoarse rattling instruments; the harsh clattering sounds of martial bands, are silent, as the deserted field of battle, where death riots in dismal solitude. All are gone to the house of worship, to celebrate the jubilee of peace, to join in the song of angels.
WHAT IS THAT, MOTHER ?
What is that, mother?
The lark, my child.