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rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen; in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren ; in wearyness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness." Yet, with such a record, the same person could declare, that he counted "all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord; for whom he had suffered the loss of all things ;" and he could write the words, "Most gladly will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong." If the innocent who suffer because of the guilt of others, do not complain, there is no reason why others should complain for them; and if they affirm that in the consciousness that they have but done a high duty, they have found ample compensation for all their sacrifices, there can be no good reason why we should take them at their word.
Thus far, we have, for most part, treated our subject from a negative point of view,-our object being to show that war, in an extreme contingency, is not forbidden by Christianity. We must now add, that permission to act in such a contingency is substantially a command to act. There is no neutral ground in the world of morals. What we may do, we ought to do. The considerations which make it right that the ruling power shall appeal to the sword, are equally pertinent in making such an appeal a duty. Except in words-and here only as a convenient form of statement-there is no such thing as a negative gospel. Substantially, all the commands of Christianity are positive.
In the present war for suppressing the pro-slavery rebellion, we are anxious to determine not simply what we may do, but what we should do-not simply our rights but out duties. We should have very little heart in the work of destroying our foes, if we could reach no higher point than that of a privilege to do so. If the whole of duty were precisely expressed in the simple words, Christianity tells us
that we may destroy the enemies of our government,―on the supposition, understand, that a permission, in the Christian sense of the word, does not amount to a positive command, we should feel that the armies of the republic could not be summoned from the field too speedily. Let it appear that we may take our choice between striking our foes and giving way to them, on the ground that either resort will be equally right and proper, and we should certainly have very little zeal in the work of human slaughter. But the supposition of a choice between such alternatives is monstrous. The killing of human beings can never, in any conceiveable contingency, be a matter of indifference. It is never that we may or may not, but that we should or should not, kill them. On such an issue, duty must be explicit and positive. Not a rebel should be shot, if duty will permit us to spare the sacrifice.
The question of positive duty will receive further answer, if we consider not alone what it is for which we war, but for whom we war. The good features of our form of government need not be enumerated-these are palpable. But were they exclusively our own,-were they the work of our own hands, were they designed to benefit only ourselves, to pass away so soon as the now living are gone from the earth,-were such the case, there might be plausibility in the pretence, that a Christian people should sacrifice them all, rather than shed the blood of their brothers.
But our free institutions are not our own-they are a legacy in trust; a legacy, the doners whereof are the heroes and the martyrs of all ages-the glorious host of mortals, who have given toil, and treasure, and limb, and life for the liberties of their kind;-conspicuous among whom are the bright names of Huss, faithful unto death; Luther, the emancipator of Europe from spiritual chains; "glorious Cromwell," who severed the head of tyranny; "the Father of his country," a name that need not be written. Perhaps we may do with our own as we will-surrender to the spoiler at the mere word of demand; but may we do so with a legacy that which noble men have placed in our hands for safe keeping? May we betray a trust, and such a trust? Perish, the sacrilegious thought!
And for whom do we, the living of to-day, hold this
priceless treasure? For down-trodden man the world over, and for the generations unborn. If you think it Christian to do so, let the robber take your purse, but surrender not the treasures of the widow, the orphan, and the helpless. If we, as a people, tamely submit to the inhuman exactions of the barbarous horde that now seek the destruction of our glorious nationality-if without a resisting act, we suffer the tide of civilization to roll back its hitherto advancing wave,-if we submit to all this, we are not Christians for we are not
We have now, at some length, stated our convictions, accompanied, we trust, with sufficient reasons for entertaining them, that the people of the North, may, as a Christian people, crush the existing rebellion in the South, at any cost of life and limb. But our convictions must count for nothing, except upon the assumption, that in the Christian vocabulary, may and ought are convertible terms. We use the words, "except upon the assumption," for we trust, that in this age of Christian culture we shall not be called upon to prove the point that we would assume. He that would ask for proof, that Christianity will permit its disciple to slay a human being, on any other ground than that they ought to slay, has not yet learned even the alphabet of Christian ethics. We do not feel called upon here to enter upon the details of any such proof.
Our position then is this: Christian duly requires that we sustain the government in its efforts to crush the unholy rebellion. To all who put to us the question, "Why do you make the appeal to the sword?" we wish to make answer: "We acknowledge the authority of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that authority commands us to use the sword to use the sword because no other resort can be effective to use the sword, not in a spirit of malice or retaliation, but in love and pity towards those whose infatuation compels the dread alternative." To the question, "Can you, even in such a contingency, be a Christian and fight?" we wish to answer, "In such a contingency we cannot be Christians unless we fight."
In the ethics of war, the soldier has but one principle of duty-obedience to his superiors in command. He may not even criticise the measures of his general-the question whether they are right or wrong is not for him to consider.
He has no responsibility beyond that of obedience to orders. We are earnest in the conviction, that the present war as waged by our rulers, is not our own. We see not that we have any option in the premises. We did not desire it -we did not bring it on,-it came to us, and we must accept it. We feel that our duty is that of allegianceallegiance to the rulers of our choice; but to them only as the subordinates of a higher authority; allegiance directly to them, but, in its last and final basis, allegiance through them, to the King of kings and Lord of lords. It is God's war; and we, the subjects of his government, have but to obey his will.
So far indeed from fearing that we cannot carry the war forward on Christian grounds, our real belief is that it cannot be carried forward or any other than Christian grounds. Our sole anxiety is in the fear that the war will not be made Christian. Would that every soldier of the republic were also a soldier of Jesus Christ. Let the spirit of the New Testament fill the hearts of our rulers, our generals, and our ranks, and the victory is achieved. Let our army become Christian, and "the wrinkled front of war" would soon be smooth; for against such a rock, the crusade in the cause of human bondage would quickly split. Fight in the name of the Prince of Peace-fight in the spirit of love-fight in that sense of obedience to the Divine Will, which makes every selfish fear vanish-fight in that love for human kind, which welcomes and gladly welcomes stripes, bonds, imprisonment, and death, provided the right shall triumph in the end,-fight not as hating or wishing harm to those you strike, but as obeying only Him who, as the Giver of life, has the right to take it when the welfare of His people demands the sacrifice,-in a word, fight as a Christian people, and not all the kingdoms of this world can break th arm of liberty, or even mar the glorious fabric of a republic in whose perpetuity and progress rest the hopes of civilized humanity.
G. H. E.
Poetry in Prose.
HUGH MILLER possessed a calm and clear mind, a warm and active imagination, and a singular force in his form of expression far above the learned flippancy of the schools. His art was the art of nature. His thoughts came with the weight and the succession of billows, agitating the depth of his soul by the weight of their movement, arousing all the latent fires to a glowing heat, and making all objects of nature which he touched big and active with intelligence. Miller was one of nature's noblemen, and it is better for Scotland that he has lived. His thoughts will carry pleasure to thousands, and his example a living energy to striving poverty and generous ambition.
We have quoted Humboldt and Miller as men having minds keenly susceptible of impressions from nature, keenly alive to her living beauties, with the power to reproduce them in simple, expressive, and dignified language. They both show great power in abstract thought and general conclusions; but in their investigations and culture they have confined themselves to the study and delineation of nature, and in this direction have expended the wealth and power of their imaginations. Physical beauty, flowing in the ocean, climbing up to sublimity in the mountains, resting upon the plain, or breathing sweetly out of the multiforms of the floral world, is exceeded by a higher and more exquisite beauty which lives in the expression of passion or feeling in the human face and attitude. Physical beauty runs and flows upon the surface of things, but this other and more subtle beauty lies deep and unfathomable in the secret springs of human nature, and is clothed with profound mystery and power which lies far off near the fountains of life, which move and dignify life in those few rare moments of existence when the true nobility of our natures asserts its kingdom. We have a genius more subtle than Humboldt and Miller, one who can penetrate deeper into the sources of being, and yet one who can feel nature in all forms and attitudes, and who can detect their nice alliances and affinities