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accordance with what is highest. Thus, the putting of the question seems itself, in a sense, its real answer.
I turn reluctantly aside from even the most rapid historical retrospect. Yet, surely, even the extreme condemnation of the military profession by Tertullian (non convenit . . . . signo Christi et signo diaboli, castris lucis et castris ienebrarum] seems modified by his appeal for Christians to the fact that they also served as soldiers, and to this that the prayers of his Christian soldiers had obtained for Marcus Aurelius the muchneeded relief in his German expedition (Apologeticus 42, 5). scarcely doubt that Tertullian's views were not only the result of theological tendencies, but also influenced by the existing relations between the State and Christians, and the heathen practices then inseparable from war. Quite another tendency appears after the reign of Constantine. Yet St. Augustine already lays down what seem to me the vicious principles on which the defence of warfare has since been mostly placed, viz., the distinction between a righteous and an unrighteous war, and the lawfulness of the former; as well as this idea, that the personal responsibility of an inferior in taking part in war can be set aside by the duty of obedience to superiors. For if war is in itself unlawful, it cannot become righteous whatever its object, which, indeed, must not come into consideration in any question of right or wrong ; while the idea of devolving moral responsibility on a superior or the State is equally untenable, ethically and judicially. It may be a convenient principle: “ Cui licentia iniquitatis eripitur, utiliter vincitur," but it is, to say the least, dangerous of application. Every war has been represented by each party to it as righteous, if not as necessary for defensive purposes; and the Christian conscience is constantly shocked by promiscuous appeals on both sides to the Deity, and by almost blasphemous Te Deums. In the middle ages, the Crusades, and even to our days religious persecutions have been so vindicated. German reformer advanced (in the Tractate “Whether soldiers can be in a state of salvation ") but little beyond the principles of St. Augustine in his distinctions of wars forced upon us-righteous or defensive wars; and, again, of what was lawful on the part of ruling powers towards their subjects, and vice versa. But it must be remembered that Luther was carried on, against his original views and inclinations, by the circumstances of the time, which, indeed, must always be taken into account, if we would rightly judge the attitude of the Church on any question. But the question was also approached from the opposite direction of the rights
Here views developed long before found their final expression, chiefly in the Zwinglian and Calvinistic churches, in the Huguenots, Puritans, and Covenanters.*
Alas, that life is too short for all interesting study, and the twenty minutes of Congress time for the present discussion. To make the most of it, let me sum up what I have to say on the subject in hand in the following propositions
1. War is opposed to the spirit and the final aim equally of the Old and the New Testament. The teaching of both is here entirely harmonious, although it comes to us in quite different directions. 2. Neither the Old nor the New Testament attempts to set up in
of the people.
Sce specially Polenz Geschichte des Französischen Calvinismus, vol. iii.
period of the present Æon the kingdom of God. They set it forth, and point towards its final realisation.
3. The Church is not the kingdom of God. It is a congregation of faithful, but not of perfected men. As the individual believer is conditioned by the circumstances of his past and present, though consciously aiming after the perfectness of the future, so the Church represents and reflects the conditions of actuality, which in turn she seeks to influence and transform.
4. War is only one of many and closely-connected social questions, all of them the outcome of evil, and which, for their final solution, de. pend on the removal of evil.
5. To attempt anticipating the future in the present would not only be impossible, as necessitating a going out of the world, but would frustrate the present mission of the Church, which is not to ignore, but to influence and eventually transform the present condition of things.
6. If such be the rightful attitude of the Church, it must be lawful for Christians, and, if lawful, duty, to take part in national life in all its aspects-among them warfare.
7. The New Testament implies this, and experience has amply confirmed it.
I can only attempt a brief illustration of the most important of these propositions.
In saying that the Old and the New Testament are in their spirit and aim equally contrary to war, we are, as so often on great questions, met by two apparently opposing sets of facts. The Old and the New Testament do not seem to have the same teaching on war. To superficial thinkers alike the one and the other seems to fail : the Old Testament by conceding too much, the New by effecting too little; the Old Testament in what its teaching implies, the New in what its practice tolerates. But it is not really so, and only our imperfect thinking which is at fault. Both are Divine revelations for the purpose of establishing upon earth the kingdom of God, not the kingdom itself. In this view, both are educational in their purpose. Their unavoidable difference arises from the circumstances of the learners. The Old Testament, as initial, brought down Divine Revelation to the moral standard of life as it was; the New Testament, as final, brings up life as it shall be to the standard of Revelation. The one marks the standpoint of the beginning, the other the goal-point at the end. Thus the New Testament must have followed upon the Old [if the latter was Divinely true) and the two are integral parts of one organic whole.
It follows that the Old Testament cannot be truly viewed nor rightly spoken of separate from the New, towards which it tended. All such separation must lead to untrue conclusions on the question of war and on all others. It also follows that the New Testament cannot be truly viewed separately from its final tendencies. For the New Testament is not a new law, but a new life applied to the old law, and as such it cannot be fully understood until all the forces of that new life have been called into operation. The Old Testament was teaching, not life, and teaching must begin where we are—else could not have been Divinely true, because not true to the wants of men. Accordingly, the Old Testament laid down no fundamental principles on the question of war, since these could not have been understood " because of the hardness
of their hearts." It was so on many other social questions, such as marriage and slavery. But from the beginning it was not so. The first war was in the fall and after the fall of man. And it should not be so in the end ; for the end would be of perfect and eternal peace, even on the part of those essentially hostile heathen powers outside of, and antagonistic to, Israel. Surely this was not only a sublime, but the highest conceivable climax of anticipation on the part of Israel after the flesh.
But if the Old Testament said nothing in its law on the principles underlying this question, it said a great deal as to their practical application, so far as possible in the circumstances of the time, and for the understanding of the people. To this are due those great modifications on the practices of antiquity, and that softening of the horrors of war, which so honourably distinguished the legislation of the Old Testament. Even that there was Divine law on such a subject, marked an immeasurable advance, or rather difference. Nor need I remind you, by way of anticipating objections, that the record in the Old Testament of even apparently opposite practices, on special occasions, does not imply the indiscriminate approval of them.
On the other hand, the Old Testament here also indicated, although it only gradually developed, the principle of its finality. It taught, just as did St. James, that the ultimate cause of war was sin and self-seeking, in opposition to righteousness and submission to God. For, while it did not contemplate what are called "wars of aggression,” its underlying idea was of a world hostile to the Kingdom of God, represented by Israel, which that world sought to subdue or destroy. And there cannot, at least, be doubt, that the Old Testament not only implied, but anticipated the finality of its teaching in the representations of the final results which would issue from it. This was its prophecy. There is no need to remind you of its glowing picture of universal “peace upon earth and good-will among men.” And all this gains in intensity as we here recall the notions of the ancient world, the educational condition of Israel, their feeling towards the heathen nations, and the mutual relations between them.
Indeed, we might feel inclined, in binding the Bible to place the Prophets by the side of the Apocalypse. In them the Old Testament seems to overleap the intermediate teaching, and to reach the perfectness of the end. It is as if the golden sunlight rested on the moun. tain-tops that bound the horizon, while mist and darkness are still lying on the intervening valley.
Having stated these principles, we may notice, although not directly affecting the main question, that the wars of Israel concerned their very national existence, and hence the continuance of the object for which Israel was set apart; that they were really the wars of the heathen world against what represented the Kingdom of God; that heathenism in the land was, as experience showed, incompatible with the continuance of the religion of Israel in its purity; and lastly, as regards the extermination of the ancient Canaanite races, that it was judicial, the measure of their iniquity being full, since, as Döllinger has shown, all the moral abominations in ancient heathenism were ultimately derived from that source.
When the Old Testament had completed its course of ascent. and by the side of it, Israel, its course of descent, so that it became manifest in history that neither the Gentile development without the law, nor the Jewish by the law, could attain to righteousness, Jesus, the Christ, came, the Representative of Israel in its truth, and of humanity in its aspirations. There ended the period of teaching; here began that of life.
I have said that the Old Testament marks the beginning, the New Testament the ideal goal-point, which, remember, we have not yet attained, but towards which it is our calling continually to strive. It is so as regards the individual in sanctification, and as regards the Church in her corporate capacity. When that goal shall have been attained the Kingdom of God shall have come.
The present cannot therefore mark the exact New Testament standpoint, that which, according to it should be, but that which is not yet, although, as the Church knows, it shall be, and towards the attainment of which she seeks to make continual advance.
This naturally leads us to speak of the distinctive attitude of the Church with reference to that large and complicated series of ills, all of them the outcome of unconquered evil-notably war. We leave aside, as irrelevant, such considerations as that a Christian may learn much from the soldier, for so he may learn from other things; that summum jus may here become summa injuria, for these are questions of sequences, with which in the discussion of absolute right, we have nothing to do; or that, as Professor Leo has it, a “fresh, joyous war " may be “a medicine for the scrofulousness of our generation;" or that war has often tended to the progress of civilization, and even of religion, for all this only means that in the good reigning of God there is not any thing that results in absolute evil, but that every footprint of judgment marks a step forward towards the great goal.
But from our previous reasoning it results that the Church embodies indeed the real Christian element, yet not in complete realization, but as presented in, and affected by, the conditions of the time. The one is her Spirit, which is of Christ, and ever perfect; the other her form, which reflects the time, and which, in turn, she is intended to affect and influence by her spirit. When that end has been fully attained the goal shall have been reached. The Church is a Divine institution, founded in the Blood of Christ, and destined, in the end, to present in visible form the Kingdom of God upon earth, when all men shall own His Kingship, and the social evils, consequent on alienation from God shall cease. It is manifestly impossible to separate one of those evils from the others, or to attempt its removal, irrespective of the causes which led to it. The Kingdom of God cannot be put upon the old forms of society; the old bottles would not hold the new wine. Such attempted progression would be really a retrogression, quite as much as the appeals of Huguenots and Covenanters to Old Testament precedents. Moreover, the negation of war by the Church in the present, would not only involve that which is impossible, but also frustrate what is her real mission. War, as already stated, forms only one of many social questions that are the outcome of the evil within the body politic, and among which poverty and prosperity, crime and the administration of justice, may be mentioned. The attitude of the Church must be not
to ignore the present, but to point to the ideal right as the goal-point, and to strive towards its gradual attainment. But the disease itself lies deeper than its manifestations in war, poverty, or crime. And its healing will be brought about, not by any nostrum, such as peacesocieties, arbitration, or the like, but by the reign of Christ in the hearts of all men,
ch is the work of the Church to promote. seantime it is hers, not to force on an ideal state, but, so far as in her lies, to prevent needless wars, not by any attempted interference from without, nor assumption of authority, but in the faithful and fearless discharge of her commission of preaching the Gospel, and thus influencing the hearts of men, and enlightening the public conscience, and thereby helping to form a sound public opinion. On the other hand, it must be hers in this also to mitigate the evils which exist by the diffusion of the Christian spirit, as has been done by certain recent provisions as to war, by Red Cross Societies, and by the physical and spiritual care for prisoners, and for the sick and wounded.
But if the attitude of the Church cannot be that of attempted interference, with what is only a manifestation of a whole state, it seems to me that this must also rule the duty and the position of each individual Christian. Since war forms only one of many kindred questions, to be consistent, the Christian, who deems it wrong in any circumstances to take part in warfare, would also require not to take part in many other things—in fact, he would needs have to go out of the world, instead of seeking to influence and transform it. I therefore verily believe that a Christian may devote himself to the service of his country and people, and lawfully take part in war, even though he keep before him the ideal of peace, and labour and pray for its attainment. And so we find, that among the advice which the Baptist gave to the soldiers, there was not that of relinquishing their profession (St. Luke iii. 14.) Nor yet did our Lord so teach the believing centurion (St. Matt. vii.), nor St. Peter, the eagerly expectant Cornelius. And surely the noble example of these has been followed by many who have been the glory of Christ in all ages, in whose martyr-roll stands out prominent the name of Gordon. And I rejoice to believe that we are numbering among the members of our Congress not a few of such good soldiers of Christ.
Then, when Christianity shall have its full application in the hearts of all men, shall the goal be attained in the establishment of the Kingdom of God. Then shall all war not cease, but have ceased, because all sores and wounds, within and without, have been healed. Then cometh the end, and in the final Æon-no longer an Æon, because time has ceased—the Son shall give up the Kingdom to the Father : for it will no longer be a Kingdom, but a family, in the perfected relations of Father and children.