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up his argument in these words; there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female ; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if re be Christ's, then are ve of Abraham's seed, and heirs according to promise. They which be of faith, are blessed with faithful Abrahain.
We learn from this brief examination that Abraham understood the blessing promised to him to consist in temporal good ; and also that the Jews in our Saviour's time entertained similar views. They thought that Christ, the seed of Abraham, through whom they were to receive the blessing, would be a temporal prince, and would raise their nation to a higher state of prosperity and glory than it had ever enjoyed before. Under Messiah's reign they were to be great and powerful among the nations of the earth. Jesus professed to be the Messiah who should come, but taught that his kingdom was a moral or spiritual, not a temporal one ; and that the blessings which men were to receive through him were of a moral or spiritual nature. The apostles taught that they who exercised faith in Christ, had attained to the blessing promised. Hence the blessing promised to all nations through Christ, the seed of Abraham, is the blessing which the Gospel confers ; or it is the blessing which men attain to through faith in Christ. All nations are included in this promise, because the Gospel, or Christianity, is designed to be a universal religion, and all nations will in due time come to a knowledge of it, and receive the benefits which it bestows. The Gospel is designed to be a universal religion, and it is adapted to the needs of all nations, conditions and classes of people, so that in the plan of mercy there is neither Jew nor Greek, neither bond nor free, but all are one in Christ Jesus our Lord. The good Father is no respecter of persons in the administration of grace. The Gospel is equally suited to all, and every one who will believe, and through faith appropriate its truths to himself, shall enter upon the enjoyment of the blessing promised ; enter upon the enjoyment of it as soon as faith becomes sufficiently strong and operative to work its proper effect upon the heart and the life. .
W. R. F.
Christianity and the War.
A LARGE portion of the christian community have, under the test of a great national crisis, recently undergone a change of conviction, or at least of feeling, on the subject of War. We do not wish to hide, nor to explain away, the fact, that, in our own case, the change has been both profound and sudden. We have entertained views on the necessity of physical resistance to evil doers that no longer seem to us either philosophical or practicable. A year ago, a military parade was to us an occasion of annoyance if not of disgust. The State appropriations for muster encampments seemed to us worse than a waste of the people's money. Though not prepared to do away wholly with forti. fications, ships of war, military schools, navy-yards and arsenals, such things, nevertheless, seemed to us quite as likely to provoke as to put down hostilities. We not only believed in peace as a good thing, but as something practicable. We had faith in the efficacy of the doctrines of peace. We thought well of the aphorism, “ It takes two to fight,”—an aphorism implying that if one party would not resist, the other party would be too good to aggress!
In our notions on the subject of war, we made our appeal to Christianity. We could see nothing in the Sermon on the Mount that called for, or would tolerate, the measures of war. To shoot enemies we could but regard as a strange way to love them. Our logic was embarrassed by all attempts to reconcile the policy of thrusting bayonets at the foe at the same time that we turned toward them the other cheek. To pray for those who despitefully use us, and at the same time strike them to the earth, seemed as palpable an absurdity as can well be imagined. Then there was the example of the Master, quite as authoritative as his words, in every instance, as we were inclined to see it, a sanction of the most unqualified doctrines of peace. Christ did not resist his enemies, would permit no violent measures to rescue him from the effects of their malice, but meekly suffered them to put him to a cruel death ; while his lips breathed for them the sublimest words in all literature-a prayer of forgiveness.
Yet we have never formally avowed faith in the doctrine or the policy of “non-resistance ”-have never felt entire confidence in the practicability of principles which in every case eschewed a resort to physical violence. Though it seemed eminently Christian when the case in supposition was that of a man meekly giving up his life rather than kill or maim his assailant, it had a different aspect when the man sacrificed not only his own life, but that of his wife and children. There was always an instinct, that, whatever might be a man's duty when his own life was in peril, he ought certainly to defend those who had claims on his protection. We have always believed in the necessity of police regulations, and of some kind of physical restraint upon the inclinations of evil men. Common sense appeared to demand so much. Since the period of our majority, we have in every instance, unless for the time disqualified, voted for presidents, governors, and mayors or select-men ; and have thereby given our adhesion to State constitutions and policies, which, in the last resort, rest upon the sword.
Let us confess, that in these respects our course has not been altogether consistent. We have always had an illdefined impression that our notions on questions of war and peace clashed somewhere! But our excuse, if not formally expressed, yet actually cherished, has been that we could not help the contradiction. In the argument, the non-resistant always seemed to come off triumphant. His premises were generally admitted, and his conclusions seemed logical. But there was another set of premises, based upon certain instincts and what is called “ common sense,” which called for different conclusions. Both sets of premises, though apparently antagonistic, have seemed equally palpable. It has been on the relative claims of war and peace principles, the same as many of us have been led to think in respect of the claims of " free-will ” and “necessity," commonly so called. To the finite intellect, both of these, as we now look at the matter, though seemingly at disagreement, have nevertheless each an impregnable basis of fact. Hence, we feel at liberty to accept both without obligating ourselves to reconcile their apparently hostile claims. We assume a right to wait for a higher experience to harmonize what now seems irreconcilable. Now we have never been guilty of a greater inconsistency as respects the relations of Christianity and War. Logic seems to educe an unqualified peace conclusion from certain premises taken from the words and works of Christ; and it also seems to get a somewhat different conclusion from certain instincts and from common sense.
The real difficulty has been that we have not felt the necessity of determining a practical position on the subject. And as it has been equally easy to take either position, we may have been too much influenced in our choice by the pressure of events—sometimes inclining more towards the one, sometimes more towards the other, and perhaps generally trying to satisfy ourselves with an incongruous mixture of the two.
We give our own experience on the subject under .consideration in the belief that it reflects the experience of a large number in the Christian community, and this without much regard to sectarian relations. We suddenly find ourselves without any matured principles to guide us in the most trying crisis in the history of the nation; and we can recall instances in which, with more or less of explicitness, we have committed ourselves to a policy which a severe test assures us to be wholly inadequate. Hence the change of conviction and, to a much greater extent, of feeling which has come over us.
We are free to confess that we have been in the habit of over-estimating the civilization of the age and the country in which we live. Years ago we learned from Gibbon what might be expected of barbarians. But we indulged the hope that the Goths and Vandals belonged only to the early time. We did not expect that an Alaric could come from the land that had given birth to a Washington. The humiliating fact of slavery, of property in man, was indeed before us; and a class of teachers insisted with tolerably severe logic, that a man who would appropriate to his own use the unpaid toil of another, could scruple at nothing. But we had personal acquaintances among slave-holders, and knew that such an inference, however conclusive as a matter of logic, was not just in point of fact. We could give the names of slave-holders who, aside from what is involved in the fact of being slave-holders, would neither lie, nor steal, nor do an inhuman act.
Hence we have admitted the distinction between the
simply holding of slaves and the extending the area of slavery. It has not seemed strange that persons who have been educated in the midst of slavery, who have inherited slave property, who have been in the habit of presuming that the population held in slavery is unprepared for freedom, and a better off” as it now is, and who fancy they see serious difficulties in the way of emancipation,-it has not seemed strange that such persons could hold a class of their fellow men in bondage, and nevertheless, in other particulars, be exemplary men. We have heard the slave-holder say, that if there were not a slave upon the continent, the man who would first introduce one here, must be a fiend. But as the matter actually stands—the slave being here and not by his act, he finds his hands tied. Slaves have come to him by inheritance; and the whole social system virtually compel him to keep them in the condition in which he found them. Or, if any scheme of emancipation is to be entertained, the only practicable measure must be exceedingly slow in its operation. We are not saying that this is good reasoning. To our notion, it is far from being so. We simply say, that a man might satisfy himself with such reasoning and, nevertheless, be, in other matters, a very worthy citizen and neighbor. But the matter of extending the area of slavery-of voluntarily establishing the institution upon territory now free is a different matter. For this there can be no excuse; and no man can advocate such a policy except on the supposition that slavery is not only right in itself but beneficial and expedient. Of such a policy none of the early great Statesmen of the South so much as dreamed. It is certain from the writings and the acts of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison, that they would have listened to such a measure with abhorance. We have been painfully impressed with the fact, that a change has rapidly come over the Southern States with regard to the spread of slavery. A very different class of politicians and statesmen have risen to take the places once filled by those who took part in framing a constitution in which the mere word slave is studiously excluded. A year ago the purposes of leading men at the South to extend the area of the “peculiar institution” was palpable to the most casual observer. But we did not suffer ourselves to think that the moral and social deterioration had gone so