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possible latitude of interpretation, be made to extend tions, even moderately accurate, between defensive to it. The duty of forbearance, then, is antecedent war and war for other purposes. to all considerations respecting the condition of man; Supposing, the Christian Scriptures had said, An aud whether he be under the protection of laws or army may fight in its own defence, but not for any not, the duty of forbearance is imposed.
other purpose. Whoever will attenipt to apply this The only' truth which appears to be elicited by rule in practice, will find that he has a very wide the present argument is, that the difficulty of obey- range of justifiable warfare; a range that will eming ibe forbearing rules of Christianity, is greater brace many more wars, than moralists, laxer than we in the case of nations than in the case of individuals : shall suppose him to be, are willing to defend. If an The obligation to obey them is the same in both. Nor army may fight in delence of their own lives, they let any one urge the difficulty of obedience in oppo- | may, and they must fight in defence of the lives of sition to the duty; for he who does this, has yet to others: if they may fight in defence of the lives of learn one of the most awful rules of his religion—a others, they will fight in defence of their property: rule that was enforced by the precepts, and more if in desence of property, they will fight in defence especially by the final example, of Christ, of apostles of political rights: if in defence of rights, they will and of martyrs—the rule which requires that we fight in promotion of interests: if in promotion of should be “ obedient even unto death."
interests, they will fight in promotion of their glory Let it not, however, be supposed that we believe and their crimes. Now let any man of honesty look the difficulty of forbearance would be great in prac- over the gradations by which we arrive at this clitice as it is great in theory. Our interests are com- max, and I believe he will find that, in practice, no monly promoted by the fulfilment of our duties ; and
; curb can be placed upon the conduct of an army unwe hope hereafter to show, that the fulfilment of the til they reach that climax. There is, indeed, a wide duty of forbearance forms no exception to the appli- distance between fighting in defence of life, and cability of the rule.
fighting in furtherance of our crimes; but the steps The intelligent reader will have perceived that which lead from one to the other will follow in the “War” of which we speak is all war, without inevitable succession. I know that the letter of our reference to its objects, whether offensive or defen- rule excludes it, but I know that the rule will be a sive. In truth, respecting any other than defensive letter only. It is very easy for us to sit in our war, it is scarcely worth while to entertain a ques. studies, and to point the comma3, and semicolons, and tion, since no one with whom we are concerned to periods of the soldier's career : it is very easy for us reason will advocate its opposite. Some persons in- to say, he shall stop at defence of life, or at protecdeed talk with much complacency of their reproba- tion of property, or at the support of rights; but tion of offensive war. Yet to reprobate no more armies will never listen to us : we shall be only the than this, is only to condemn that which wickedness Xerxes of morality, throwing our idle chains into itself is not wont to justify. Even those who prac- the tempestuous ocean of slaughter. tise offensive war, affect to veil its nature by calling What is the testimony of experience! When it by another name.
nations are mutually exasperated, and armies are leIn conformity with this, we find that it is to defence vied, and battles are fought, does not every one that the peaceable precepts of Christianity are di- know that with whatever motives of defence one rected. Offence appears not to have even suggested party may have begun the contest, both, in turn, itself. It is, “ Resist not evil :" it is, “Overcome become aggressors? In the fury of slaughter, solo evil with good :" it is, “ Do good to them that hate diers do not attend, they cannot attend, to questions you :” it is, “Love your enemies : ”it is, “Render not of aggression. Their business is destruction, and evil for evil :" it is, “ Unto him that smiteth thee on their business they will perform. If the army of dethe one cheek." Allthis supposes previous offence, or fence obtains success, it soon becomes an army of injury, or violence; and it is then that forbearance aggression. Having repelled the invader, it begins is enjoined.
to punish him. If a war has once began, it is rain It is common with those who justify defensive to think of distinctions of aggression and defence. war, to identify the question with that of individual Moralists may talk of distinctions, but soldiers will self-defence; and although the questions are in prac- make none; and none can be made; it is without the tice sufficiently dissimilar, it has been seen that we limits of possibility. object not to their being regarded as identical. Indeed, some of the definitions of defensive or of The Rights of Self-Defence have already been just war which are proposed by moralists, indicate discussed, and the conclusions to which the Moral how impossible it is to confine warfare within any Law appears to lead, afford no support to the advo- assignable limits. “ The objects of just war," says cate of war.
Paley, are precaution, defence, or reparation."We say the questions are practically dissimilar; so
; Every just war supposes an injury perpetrated, that if we had a right to kill a man in self-defence, very attempted, or feared." few wars would be shown to be lawful. Of the wars I shall acknowledge, that if these be justifying which are prosecuted, some are simply wars of ag. motives to war, I see very little purpose in talking gression ; some are for the maintenance of a balance of of morality upon the subject. power ; some are in assertion of technical rights; and It is in vain to expatiate on moral obligations, if some, undoubtedly, to repel invasion. The last are we are at liberty to declare war whenever an “inperhaps the fewest ; and of these only it can be jury is feared:"-an injury, without limit to its insig. said that they bear any analogy whatever to the nificance ! a fear, without stipulation for its reasoncase which is supposed; and even in these, the ana- ableness ! The judges, also, of the reasonableness of logy is seldom complete. It has rarely indeed hap- | fear, are to be they who are under its influence; and pened that wars have been undertaken simply for who so likely to judge amiss as those who are afraid ! the preservation of life, and that no other alterna. Sounder philosophy than this has told us, that "be tive has remained to a people than to kill, or to be who has to reason upon his duty when the temptakilled. And let it be remembered, that unless this tion to transgress it is before him, is almost sure to alternative alone remains, the case of individual self- reason himself into an error." defence is irrelevant: it applies not, practically, to Violence, and Rapine, and Ambition, are not to be the subject.
restrained by morality like this. It may serre for But invoed you cannot in practice make distinc- the speculations of a study; but we will venture to
affirm, that mankind will never be controlled by it. ' of the Christians. The mode of destruction was Moral rules are useless, if, from their own nature | secret and sudden. The barbarians sometimes lay they cannot be, or will not be applied. Who believes in wait for those who might come within their reach, that if kings and conquerors may fight when they on the highway or in the fields, and shot them withhave fears, they will not fight when they have them out warning: and sometimes they attacked the not? The morality allows too much latitude to the Europeans in their houses, scalping some, and passions, to retain any practical restraint upon them. knocking out the brains of others." " From this horAnd a morality that will be practised, I had rible warfare the inhabitants sought safety by abanalmost said, that cannot be practised, is an useless doning their homes, and retiring to fortified places, morality. It is a theory of morals. We want or to the neighbourhood of garrisons; and those clearer and more exclusive rules; we want more whom necessity still compelled to pass beyond the obvious and immediate sanctions. It were in vain limits of such protection, provided themselves with for a philosopher to say to a general who was burn- arms for their defence. But amidst this dreadful ing for glory, “ You are at liberty to engage in the desolation and universal terror, the Society of Friends, war provided you have suffered, or fear you will who were a considerable portion of the whole popusuffer an injury—otherwise Christianity prohibits it." lation, were steadfast to their principles. They He will tell him of twenty injuries that have been would neither retire to garrisons, nor provide themsuffered, of a hundred that have been attempted, selves with arms. They remained openly in the and of a thousand that he fears. And what answer country, whilst the rest were flying to the forts. can the philosopher make to him?
They still pursued their occupations in the fields or If these are the proper standards of just war, at their homes, without a weapon either for annoythere will be little difficulty in proving any war to ance or defence. And what was their fate? They be just, except, indeed, that of simple aggression ; , lived in security and quiet. The habitation which, and by the rules of this morality, the aggressor is to his armed neighbour, was the scene of murder difficult of discovery, for he whom we choose to and of the scalping-knife, was to the unarmed “ fear," may say that he had previous" fear” of Quaker a place of safety and of peace. vs, and that his “ fear" prompted the hostile symp- Thre of the Society were however killed. And toms which made us " fear" again. The truth is, who were they? They were three who abandoned that to attempt to make any distinctions upon the their principles. Two of these victims were men subject is vain. War must be wholly forbidden, or who, in the simple language of the narrator, “ used allowed without restriction to defence; for no defi- to go to their labour without any weapons, and nitions of lawful and unlawful war, will be, or can trusted to the Almighty, and depended on His probe attended to. If the principles of Christianity, vidence to protect them, (it being their principle in any case, or for any purpose, allow armies to not to use weapons of war to offend others, or to meet and to slaughter one another, her principles defend themselves;) but a spirit of distrust taking will never conduct us to the period which prophecy place in their minds, they took weapons of war to has assured us they shall produce. There is no defend themselves, and the Indians, who had seen hope of an eradication of war, but by an absolute them several times without them and let them alone, and total abandonment of it.
saying they were peaceable men and hurt nobody, therefore they would not hurt them-now seeing them have guns, and supposing they designed to kill
the Indians, they therefore shot the men dead." OF THE PROBABLE PRACTICAL EFFECTS OF ADHE
The third whose life was sacrificed was a woman, who “ had remained in her habitation," not thinking
herself warranted in going “ to fortified place for We have seen that the duties of the religion which preservation, neither she, her son, nor daughter, nor God has imparted to mankind require irresistance; to take thither the little ones; but the poor woman and surely it is reasonable to hope, even without a after some time began to let in a slavish fear, and reference to experience, that he will make our irre- advised her children to go with her to a fort not far sistance subservient to our interests : that if, for from their dwelling." She went ;—and shortly afterthe purpose of conforming to his will, we subject wards “the bloody, cruel Indians, lay by the way, ourselves to difficulty or danger, he will protect us and killed her.” in our obedience, and direct it to our benefit : that The fate of the Quakers during the Rebellion in if he requires us pot to be concerned in war, he will Ireland was nearly similar. It well known that preserve us in peace: that he will not desert those the Rebellion was a time not only of open war but who have no other protection, and who have aban- of cold blooded murder; of the utmost fury of doned all other protection because they confide in bigotry, and the utmost exasperation of revenge. His alone.
Yet the Quakers were preserved even to a proverb; This we may reverently hope ; yet it is never to and when strangers passed through streets of ruin be forgotten that our apparent interests in the pre- and observed a house standing uninjured and alone, sent life are sometimes, in the economy of God, they would sometimes point, and say, " That, doubtmade subordinate to our interests in futurity. less, is the house of a Quaker.” † So complete indeed
Yet, even in reference only to the present state was the preservation which these people experienced, of existence, I believe we shall find that the testi- that in an official document of the Society they say, mony of experience is, that forbearance is most con
no inember of our society fell a sacrifice but ducive to our interests. There is practical truth in one young man;"--and that young man had assumed the position, that " When a man's ways please the regimentals and arms.I Lord,” he “ maketh even his enemies to be at peace It were to no purpose to say, in opposition to the with him."
evidence of these facts, that they form an exception The reader of American history will recollect, to a general rule.—The ception to the rule conthat in the beginning of the last century a desultory and most dreadful warfare was carried on by the See Select Anecdotes, &c. by Jobn Barclay, pages 71, 79. natives against the European settlers; a warfare + The Moravians, whose principles upon the subject of war
are similar to those of the Quakers, experienced also similar that was provoked-as such warfare has almost al
preservation. ways originally been—by the injuries and violence See Hancock's Principles of Peace Exemplifiod.
RING TO THE MORAL LAW IN RESPECT TO WAR.
PROBABLE PRACTICAL EFFECTS OF ADHERING TO [Essar III. sists in the trial of the experiment of non-resistance, | vages who knew they were unarmed. If easiness of not in its success. Neither were it to any purpose conquest, or incapability of defence, could subject to say, that the savages of America or the despera. them to outrage, the Pennsylvanians might bave does of Ireland, spared the Quakers because they been the very sport of violence. Plunderers might were previously known to be an unoffending people, have robbed them without retaliation, and armies or because the Quakers had previously gained the might have slaughtered them without resistance. If love of these by forbearance or good offices :-we they did not give a temptation to outrage, no tempconcede all this; it the very argument which we tation could be given. But these were the people maintain. We say, that an uniform, undeviating re- who possessed their country in security, whilst those gard to the peaceable obligations of Christianity, | around them were trembling for their existence. becomes the safeguard of those who practise it. We This was a land of peace, whilst every other was a venture to maintain, that no reason whatever can be land of war. The conclusion is inevitable, although assigned, why the fate of the Quakers would not be it is extraordinary :-they were in no need of arms, the fate of all who should adopt their conduct. No because they would not use them. reason can be assigned why, if their number had These Indians were sufficiently ready to commit been multiplied tenfold or a hundred-fold, they would | outrages upon other States, and often visited them not have been preserved. If there be such a reason, with desolation and slaughter; with that sort of de. let us hear it. The American and Irish Quakers solation, and that sort of slaughter, which might be were, to the rest of the community, what one nation expected from men whom civilization had not reis to a continent. And we must require the advo- claimed from cruelty, and whom religion had not cate of war to produce (that which has never yet awed into forbearance. “ But whatever the quarbeen produced) a reason for believing, that although rels of the Pennsylvanian Indians were with others, individuals exposed to destruction were preserved, they uniformly respected and held as it were sacred, a nation exposed to destruction would be destroyed. the territories of William Penn.* The PennsylWe do not however say, that if a people, in the cus- vanians never lost man, woman, or child by them; tomary state of men's passions, should be assailed by which neither the colony of Maryland, nor that of an invader, and should, on a sudden, choose to de- Virginia could say, no more than the great colony clare that they would try whether Providence would of New England.”+ protect them-of such a people, we do not say that The security and quiet of Pennsylvania was not they would experience protection, and that none of a transient freedom from war, such as might acci. them would be killed: but we say, that the evidence dentally happen to any nation. She continued to of experience is, that a people who habitually regard enjoy it " for more than seventy years," | and" subthe obligations of Christianity in their conduct to- sisted in the midst of six Indian nations, without so wards other men, and who steadfastly refuse, through much as a militia for her defence. S" “'The Pennwhatever consequences, to engage in acts of hosti- sylvanians became armed, though without arms lity, will experience protection in their peacefulness : they became strong, though without strength; they - And it matters nothing to the argument, whether became safe, without the ordinary means of safety. we refer that protection to the immediate agency of The constable's staff was the only instrument of Providence, or to the influence of such conduct upon authority amongst them for the greater part of a the minds of men.*
century, and never, during the administration of Such has been the experience of the unoffending | Penn, or that of his proper successors, was there a and unresisting, in individual life. A National ex. quarrel or a war."|| ample of a refusal to bear arms, has only once been I cannot wonder that these people were not exhibited to the world: but that one example has molested-extraordinary and unexampled as their proved, so far as its political circumstances enabled security was. There is something so noble in this it to prove, all that humanity could desire and all perfect confidence in the Supreme Protector, in this that scepticism could demand, in favour of our argu- utter exclusion of “slavish fear,” in this voluntary ment.
relinquishment of the means of injury or of defence, It has been the ordinary practice of those who that I do not wonder that even ferocity could be dishave colonized distant countries, to force a footing, armed by such virtue. A people, generously living or to maintain it, with the sword. One of the first without arms, amidst nations of warriors! Who objects has been to build a fort and to provide a would attack a people such as this ?. There are few military. The adventurers became soldiers, and the men so abandoned as not to respect such confidence. colony was a garrison. Pennsylvania was however It were a peculiar and an unusual intensity of wickedcolonized by men who believed that war was abso- ness that would not even revere it. lutely incompatible with Christianity, and who there- And when was the security of Pennsylvania fore resolved not to practise it. Having determined molested, and its peace destroyed ?- When the men not to fight, they maintained no soldiers and pos- who had directed its counsels, and who would not sessed no arms. They planted themselves in a engage in war, were outvoted in its legislature : when country that was surrounded by savages, and by sa- they who supposed that there was greater security in
the sword than in Christianity, became the predomiRamond, in his “ Travels in the Pyrenees," fell in from
nating body. From that hour the Pennsylvanians time to time with those desperate marauders who infest the transferred their confidence in Christian Prinboundaries of Spain and Italy--men who are familiar with dan
ciples, to a confidence in their arms ;-and from ger and robbery and blood. What did cxperience teach him was the most efficient means of preserving himself from in
that hour to the present they have been subject to jury? To go “ unarmed." He found that he had a little to ap. prehend from men whom we inspire with no distrust or envy, Such is the evidence, derived from a national exand every thing to expect in those from whom we claim only what is due from man to man. The laws of nature still exist ample, of the consequences of a pursuit of the Chrisfor those who have long shaken off the law of civil govern- tian policy in relation to war. Here are a people ment."-" The assassin has been my guide in the defiles of the who absolutely refused to fight, and who incapaboundaries of Italy; the sinuggler of the Pyrenees has receive! me with a welcome in his secret paths. Armed, I should have
citated themselves for resistance by refusing to posbeen the enemy of both: unarmed, they have alike respected sess arms; and these were the people whose land, me. In such expertation I have long since laid aside all me. nacing apparatus whatever. Arms irritate the wicked and in. timidate the simple: the man of pcare amongst mankind has a
| Oldmixon, Anno 1708. Proud. much more sacred defence--bis character."
| Clarkson : Life of Penn
amidst surrounding broils and slaughter, was selected IV. That some of the express Precepts and Deas a land of security and peace. The only national clarations of the Christian Scriptures virtually opportunity which the virtue of the Christian world forbid it : has afforded us, of ascertaining the safety of relying
V. That the Primitive Christians believed that upon God for defence, has determined that it is Christ had forbidden War: and that some safe.
of them suffered death in affirmance of this If the evidence ch we possess do not satisfy us
belief : of the expediency of confiding in God, what evidence VI. That God has declared, in Prophecy, that it do we ask, or what can we receive? We have his is His will that war should eventually be eradipromise that he will protect those who abandon their cated from the earth; and that this eradication seeming interests in the performance of his will; and will be effected by Christianity, by the influence we have the testimony of those who have confided of its present Principles : in him, that he has protected them. Can the ad- VII. That those who have refused to engage in vocate of war produce one single instance in the War, in consequence of their belief of its inconhistory of man, of a person who had given an un- sistency with Christianity, have found that conditional obedience to the will of Heaven, and who Providence has protected them. did not find that his conduct was wise as well as virtuous, that it accorded with his interests as well as Now, we think that the establishment of any conwith his duty. We ask the same question in relation siderable number of these positions is sufficient for to the peculiar obligations to irresistance. Where our argument. The establishment of the whole is the man who regrets, that, in observance of the forms a body of Evidence, to which I am not able forbearing duties of Christianity, he consigned his to believe that an enquirer, to whom the subject was preservation to the superintendence of God ?-And | new, would be able to withhold his assent. But the solitary national example that is before us, con- siuce such an enquirer cannot be found, I would infirms the testimony of private life; for there is vite the reader to lay prepossession aside, to suppose sufficient reason for believing, that no nation, in himself to have now first heard of battles and slaughmodern ages, has possessed so large a portion of ter, and dispassionately to examine whether the virtue or of happiness, as Pennsylvania before it evidence in favour of Peace be not very great, and had seen human blood. I would therefore repeat whether the objections to it bear any proportion to the question- What evidence do we ask or can we the evidence itself. But whatever inay be the dereceive ?
termination upon this question, surely it is reasonThis is the point from which we wander :-We do able to try the experiment, whether security cannot NCT BELIEVE IN THE PROVIDENCE or God. When be maintained without slaughter. Whatever be the this statement is formally made to us, we think, per- reasons for war, it is certain that it produces enorhaps that it is not true; but our practice is an evi- mous mischief. Even waiving the obligations of Chrisdence of its truth; for if we did believe, we should lianity, we have to choose between evils that are ceralso confide in it, and should be willing to stake upon tain and evils that are doubtful; between the actual it the consequences of our obedience. * _We can talk endurance of a great calamity, and the possibility of a with sufficient fluency of “trusting in Providence;" less. It certainly cannot be proved, that Peace but in the application of it to our conduct in life, we would not be the best policy; and since we know know wonderfully little. Who is it that confides in that the present system is bad, it were reasonable Providence, and for what does he trust him! Does and wise to try whether the other is not better. In his confidence induce him to set aside his own views reality I can scarcely conceive the possibility of a of interest and safety, and simply to obey precepts greater evil than that which mankind now endure; which appear inexpedient and unsafe? This is the an evil, moral and physical, of far wider extent, and confidence that is of value, and of which we know so far greater intensity, than our familiarity with it little. There are many who believe that war is dis- allows us to suppose. If a system of Peace be not allowed by Christianity, and who would rejoice that productive of less evil than the system of war, its it were for ever abolished; but there are few who consequences must indeed be enormously bad; and are willing to maintain an undaunted and unyielding that it would produce such consequences, we have stand against it. They can talk of the loveliness of no warrant for believing, either from reason or from peace, ay, and argue against the lawfulness of war; practice—either from the principles of the moral but when difficulty or suffering would be the con- government of God, or from the experience of mansequence, they will not refuse to do what they know kind. Whenever a people shall pursue, steadily and to be unlawful, they will not practise the peaceful uniformly, the pacific morality of the gospel, and ness which they say they admire. Those who are shall do this from the pure motive of obedience, there ready to sustain the consequences of undeviating is no reason to fear for the consequences : there is obedience, are the supporters of whom Christianity no reason to fear that they would experience any stands in need. She wants men who are willing to evils such as we now endure, or that they would not suffer for her principles.
find that Christianity understands their interest The positions, then, which we have endeavoured better than themselves; and that the surest, and the to establish are these
| only rule of wisdom, of safety, and of expediency, 1. That those considerations which operate as is to maintain ber spirit in every circumstance of
general Causes of War, are commonly such as life. Christianity condemns :
“ There is reason to expect,” says Dr Johnson, II. That the Effects of War are, to a very great
" that as the world is more enlightened, policy and extent, prejudicial to the moral character of a morality will at last be reconciled.”. When this people, and to their social and political welfare : enlightened period shall arrive, we shall be approachIII. That the General Character of Christianity ing, and we shall not till then approach, that era of
is wholly incongruous with war, and that its purity and of peace, when “violence shall no more
General Duties are incompatible with it: be heard in our land—wasting nor destruction with• " The dread of being destroyed by our enemies if we do in our borders;"—that era in which God has pronot go to war with them, is a plain and unequivocal proof of mised that “they shall not hurt nor destroy in all our disbelief in the superintendence of Divine Providence."Thr Laufulness of Dejensive War impartially considered. By o díember of the Church of England.
• Falklani's Islands,
his holy mountain." That a period like this will Lamentations over the happiness or excellence of come, I am not able to doubt: I believe it, because other times, have generally very little foundation in it is not credible that he will always endure the justice or reason. In truth they cannot be just, butchery of man by man; because he has declared because they are perpetual. There has probably that he will not endure it; and because I think never been an age in which mankind have not be thero is a perceptible approach of that period in wailed the good times that were departed, and made which ho will say-—" It is enough." In this belief mournful comparisons of them with their own. If the Christian may rejoice ; he may rejoice that the these regrets had not been ill-founded, the world number is increasing of those who are asking - must have perpetually sunk deeper and deeper in whatever be the opinions or the practice of others, intellectual night. But the intellectual sun has been are openly saying, “ I am for Peace.”+
visibly advancing towards its noon; and I believe It will perhaps be asked, what then are the duties there never was a period in which, speaking collectof a subject who believes that all war is incompatible | ively of the species, the power of religion was greater with his religion, but whose governors engage in a than it is now : at least there never was a period in war and demand' his service? We answer explicitly, which greater efforts were made to diffuse the inIt is his duty, mildly and temperately, yet firmly, to fluence of religion amongst mankind. Men are to refuse to serve.-Let such as these remember, that be judged of by their fruits; and why should men an honourable and an awful duty is laid upon them. thus more vigorously exert themselves to make It is upon their fidelity, so far as human agency is others religious, if the power of religion did not concerned, that the Cause of Peace is suspended. possess increased influence upon their own minds Let them then be willing to avow their opinions and The increase of crime--even if it increased in a to defend them. Neither let them be contented with progression more rapid than that of populatior, and words, if more than words, if suffering also, is re- the state of society which gives rise to crime—is a quired. It is only by the unyielding fidelity of virtue very imperfect standard of judgment. Those of that corruption can be extirpated. If you believe ! fences of which civil laws take cognizance, form not that Jesus Christ has prohibited slaughter, let not an hundredth part of the wickedness of the world. the opinions or the commands of a world induce you What multitudes are there of bad men who never to join in it. By this “steady and determinate pur- yet were amenable to the laws! How extensive suit of virtue," the benediction which attaches to may be the additional purity without any diminution those who hear the sayings of God and do them, will of legal crimes ! rest upon you; and the time will come when even And assuredly there is a perceptible advance in
a the world will honour you, as contributors to the the sentiments of good men towards a higher standwork of Human Reformation,
ard of morality. The lawfulness is frequently ques. tioned now of actions of which, a few ages ago, fero or none doubted the rectitude. Nor is it to be disputed, that these questions are resulting more and more in the conviction, that this higher standard is
proposed and enforced by the Moral Law of God. CONCLUSION.
Who that considers these things will hastily affirm,
that doctrines in morality which refer to a standard That hope which was intimated at the commence- that to him is new, are unfounded in this Moral ment of this volume that a period of greater Law ! Who will think it sufficient, to say that moral purity would eventually arrive-has sometimes
strange things are brought to his ears! Who will operated as an encouragement to the writer, in en- satisfy himself with the exclamation, These are hard forcing the obligations of morality to an extent sayings, who can hear them! Strange things must which few who have written such books have ven. be brought to the cars of those who have not been tured to advocate. In exhibiting a standard of accustomed to hear the truth. Hard sayings must rectitude such as that which it has been attempted be heard by those who have not hitherto practised to exhibit here-a standard to which not many in purity of , the present day are willing to conform, and of which many would willingly dispute the authority, some couragement in the attempt to uphold a standard encouragement was needed; and no human encour
which the majority of mankind have been little ac. agement could be so efficient as that which consisted i customed to contemplate ;—and now, and in time to in the belief, that the principles would progressively come, they will still suffice to encourage, although obtain more and more of the concurrence and adop- that standard should be, as by many it undoubtedly tion of mankind.
will be, rejected and contemned. That there are indications of an advancement of
I am conscious of inadequacy-what if I speak the the human species towards greater purity in prin- truth and say, I am conscious of unworthinessciple and in practice, cannot, I think, be disputed. thus to attempt to advocate the Law of God. There is a manifest advancement in intellectual con- Let no man identify the advocate with the Cause, cerns :- Science of almost every kind is extending ber cmpire ;— Political Institutions are becoming
lations with some men-respecting "human perfectability." rapidly ameliorated; 1—and Morality and Religion, in the sense in which this phrase is usually employed, ! f their progress be less perceptible, are yet ad- fear there is little hope of the perfection of man; at least vancing with an onward pace.
ich the parent considerations, I say, have afforded en
there is little hope, if Christianity be true. Christianity de clares that man is not perfectible except by the immediate
assistance of God; and this immediate assistance the advocates 2 Sam. x, 16.
¢ Ps. cxx. 7. of “human perfectability" are not wont to expect. The ques“Tbe degree of scientific knowledge which would once have tion, in the sense in which it is ordinarily exhibited, is in resconferred celebrity and it mortality, is now, in this country, lity a question of the truth of Christianity. attained by thousands of obscure individuals."_Fox's Lectures. * « This humour of complaining proceeds from the frailty « To one who considers coolly of the subject, it will appear that of our natures; it being natural for man to complain of the human nature in general, really enjoys more liberty at present, present, and to commend the times past."--Sir Josiah Child, in the most arbitrary governments of Europe, that it ever 1665. This was one hundred and fifty years ago. The same did during the most flourishing period of ancient times."-- frailty appears to have subsisted two or three thousands of
years before: “Say not thou what is the cause that the former | Not that the present state, or the prospects of the world, days were better than these! for thou dost not enquire wils afford any countenance to the speculations-favourite specu. concerning this."-Eccles. vii. 10.