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Observer, July 1, 71.

his precept of non-resistance is, "that we are not to be quick in our resentments, and that it is often nobler to submit quietly to insult and injustice in minor matters, than to incur the moral risk of seeking redress." Since, then, Moses and David exemplified all the meekness and quiet submisssion enjoined by the precept, it also follows that "the instruction intended" by our Saviour was known, ages before, under the old economy. But we cannot admit that the summary of the Mosaic morality is likewise the summary of New Testament morality, and so concede that Christianity is after all nothing more than Judaism. A perusal of such passages as, John i. 17, Rom. v. 14, Gal. iv. 9, Eph. ii. 15, Heb. viii. 8, proves that to measure Christianity by Judaism would be to try that which is perfect by that which is imperfect, or, to put a system, old, effete and practically useless, on a level with another, designed by God, because of its complete adaptation to the ends contemplated, to be everlasting. Is it asked, what is the compendium of the new and perfect code of Christian precepts, so far as men are concerned? It is not the loving of our neighbour, but of our enemy; it is not the loving of our fellow Christians as ourselves, but as Christ loved us.-Eph. iii. 18.

Nor is the question, as alleged by Truth Seeker, reducible to that of the lawfulness of defensive war. To make such a limitation would be to condemn the aggressive wars which the ancient Israelites carried on by the authority of God himself. The query also very naturally occurs, What is defensive war? Not a few historians and politicians of great ability regard the wars which England has waged for the last three hundred years to maintain the balance of power in Europe, as purely defensive. If we are bound to guard our country with the sword, shall we inactively look on whilst another European nation crushes weaker states in its neighbourhood and forms alliances with other powers, until it grows to such colossal dimensions as to render all resistance vain, when at last it does invade our shores? David did not consider the sword his defensive, but God, of whose protection Truth Seeker makes no account throughout the discussion of the question. Ps. xviii., xxxiii. 16. The fact is, the sword was only available, in legal ages, for defence when drawn in the cause of justice and in reliance upon God. Heb. xi. 33. And can the sword protect the Christian, if its use is not sanctioned by Christ?

The question at issue, as is plain upon further examination, is rather, Can a Christian take part in a just war?

If we consider the command not to resist evil with the four specific cases attached to it, apart altogether from the rest of our Saviour's discourse on the Mount, we shall fail to apprehend its bearing and the extent of its application. Turning to the 5th chapter of Matthew, we there see that Christ substituted for the Mosaic law a code of precepts widely different, and far more spiritual, as well as comprehensive. After abrogating the commandments respecting murder, uncleanness, divorce, oaths, He deals in verses 38 to 42, with the subject of punitive justice. Now it is true that when we look at the rule to turn the left cheek to him that smites us on the right, apart from the principle of non-resistance under which it is comprehended, and further apart from the Mosaic dogma revoked, we are very apt to think that our Lord only spoke of minor offences. But He quoted only part of the ancient enactment, yet sufficient for identification. It is as follows:-"Thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." Deut. xix. 21. See also Ex. xxi. 23 to 25, where is added, "Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." Again,

Observer, July 1, '71.

Lev. xxiv. 18, " And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast. And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done so shall it be done to him again. Breach for breach, eye for eye," &c. Illustrative of this principle the following case is given in Exod. xxi. 18. "And if men strive together, and one smite another with a stone, or with his fist, he die not, but keepeth his bed. If he rise again, and walk abroad upon his staff, then shall he that smote him be quit; only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and cause him to be thoroughly healed." Then in direct opposition to this is the case explanatory of non-resistance to evil, "Whosoever shall smite thee on the one cheek, turn to him the other also." The law of Moses therefore obviously was, resist the evil by the execution of rigid justice, that is, by the adequate punishment of the delinquent. But the command of Christ being the contrary, resist not the evil, it follows that the Christian is not permitted when offended or injured to seek the punishment of.the offender. The reasonableness of this duty is shown in Luke vi. "Be ye therefore merciful as your Father also is merciful." Judaism was the dispensation of justice without pity, but Christianity is that of unbounded mercy. If we demand justice from our fellow man, justice will be exacted from us by God; if we extend not mercy to others, mercy will be withheld from us; if we forgive not, we shall not be forgiven. With what measure we mete, it shall be measured to us again. Against the rule of forgiveness the wisdom of the world rebels. To suffer the guilty to escape, is that not to encourage crime, to court a repetition of the offence? The Pharisaic legalist, who sees not his own need of mercy from God, at once exclaims, "Am I not to resist evil as Moses enjoined? Then, if I am smitten in the cheek, and do not bring the offender to justice, am I not virtually bidding my assailant smite again, and may I not turn to him the other also?" "Turn to him the other also," says Christ. "If my coat is unjustly taken away, am I not by non-resistance encouraging the thief to take from me more?-may I not let him have my cloak also,' “Let him have thy cloak also," says Christ. "If a man compel me to go with him a mile, do I not by non-resistance encourage him to compel me to go farther?may I not also go with him two?" "Go with him two," says Christ. "If a man borrow from me, and I cannot enforce repayment, I need hope for nothing again?" "Lend, hoping for nothing again," says Christ. "If any man ask from me, and I must not resist, then I must give." Give," says Christ, "and it shall be given you, good measure." Thus


our Lord seems, in the language of cavilling objecters, to illustrate the precept of non-resistance to evil. Yet when Himself in the palace of the high priest He resisted evil, not as Moses directed, still so as to discountenance a repetition of the offence. Jesus asked the officer who struck Him with the palm of his hand, "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil, but if well why smitest thou me?"

But what has the rule of non-resistance to do with war? In order that we may know, in the full extent of its application, what is the evil Christ bids us not to resist, we must see what was implied by the evil Moses told the Israelites to resist. We find that the evil under the law comprised every offence from the highest to the lowest, from the taking away of life down to a blow with the fist. As was the crime so was the punishment. "Life for life, an eye for an eye," &c. Now according to the same strict principle of justice were they to deal with the Gentile nations. As they opposed evil at home, so were they to oppose it abroad. As they punished with death for unnatural crimes committed among themselves, so were

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Observer, July 1, '71

they authorized as His executioners by the Judge of all the earth, to extirpate the Canaanites. When their land was invaded they were allowed to do to their invaders what they purposed to do to them. God said to Saul, "I remember what Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not." 1 Sam. xv. 2. And so it will be seen that every war undertaken by the Israelites with the approval of God, was justified by the principle of "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." Now that principle being found to bear upon every injustice, and to apply to wrongs which justified war, the precept of non-resistance, substituted for it, applies to every offence, and to any wrong which is supposed to call for redress by war. Moses commanded evil to be resisted by war; Christ, who said, "Resist not," therefore forbids The duty of not opposing war to war, the sword to the sword, is one of the things of the spirit which the animal man counts foolishness, and cannot discern. But has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? Has the world by the execution of sanguinary laws during so many ages successfully resisted evil, and reformed mankind? Has it, by its countless hosts, yet righted the wrong it has ever professed to do? Has it not rather increased the moral plague it aimed to extirpate? Did that administration of perfect justice provided in Judaism by God successfully withstand evil? Did it not on the contrary only make sin abound? In these latter days of the kingdoms, professedly founded on justice, God has set up a kingdom of love, based on mercy alone, the laws of which, unassisted by whip, jail, halter, or sword, ask not for the blood of the solitary criminal or the guilty nation; for the blood of the King Jesus has been shed to atone for the sins of mankind.


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But we are required as Christians not only to resist evil by law and justice, but to overcome evil with good. Ye have heard that it hath been said thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy."-Lev. xix. 18. Deut. xxiii. 3.-" But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, and pray for them that injure you, and pursue you with malignity." The Jew manifested his love to his neighbour, that is, his fellow countryman, by assisting him in need and danger; but showed his hatred to his enemy, such as the Moabite or Ammonite, by slaying him in battle. The New Testament, however, enjoins, "If thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirsteth, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head."


How then, it may be asked, is an empire to resist invasion? unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's, and unto God the things that are God's." Christ legislates for His own kingdom, not for the kingdom of the world. Is it objected that when the soldiers went to John the Baptist, enquiring What must we do? they were only told to be content with their wages. John Baptist was under the law, and he that is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than that prophet. Is it urged that our Saviour pronounced a soldier of rank to possess stronger faith than any man he had previously met. Our Saviour no more approved thereby of the Centurion's vocation, than by the healing of his slave He approved of slavery. Is it objected that Cornelius the soldier was the first Gentile introduced into the Christian Church. Yet though a soldier may become a Christian, it does not follow that a Christian may become a soldier. By the admission referred to, war was no more commended than was the unjust possession of Palestine by the Romans, which Cornelius was concerned in maintaining. Is it asked, Why is the condemnation of war by

Observer, July 1, '71.

the New Testament not clearer? It is answered that the condemnation of war is there as plain as the condemnation of slavery. Christ revoked the principle of "an eye for an eye," which was really the basis of the slavery as well as the warfare of the Jews, and so at once abolished both. Not to the worldly wise, who search not the Scriptures, but to those who are skilled in the Word it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. War is condemned by the example of the primitive Christians, who, though numerous, unlike the Jews that stood up for their lives against the wicked designs of Haman, fled, proclaiming the good news wherever they went. They demanded not vengeance for the blood of their martyred brethren; and even when pursued by Saul to strange cities, where Jewish authority was unknown, they still offered no resistance, but were ever ready to overcome malignity with kindness. True they suffered for Christ's sake; yet if we suffer by obeying the Christian precept of non-resistance, we do so also for Christ's sake. War is condemned by the fact that they who take up the sword shall perish by it. Every attempt made by disciples in ignorance of the Master's will, to maintain their liberty by the sword, has hitherto proved unsuccessful. The Swiss Reformed party, the Lutherans of Germany, and the Scotch Covenanters reaped in carnage and spoliation the fruits of their Judaizing doctrines. War is condemned by the apostolic assurance that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual. Putting up the sword of the flesh, let us put on the whole armour of God, and grasp the sword of the Spirit. Leaving the kingdoms of this world to fight their carnal battles, we, who are not of this world, wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual wickedness in high places. War is condemned by that heavenly teaching which shall ultimately lead men to "beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks." It is condemned by that divine life which calls for our imitation, and which exemplified full forgiveness, unbounded mercy and love. It is condemned by that blood which speaks not vengeance, but peace, and was shed for a hostile world. Whilst the heroes of the world have sought to conquer by spilling the blood of others, Christ conquered all His enemies by shedding His own. And is the disciple above his Master? ALEX. MCINNES.


WHATEVER may be the feeling entertained south of the Tweed regarding the proposed disestablishment of the State Churches, a tremendous advance has been made to this step by what may be considered the largest portion, if not the majority, of the people of Scotland. Until the expediency of disestablishing the Irish Church was discussed and affirmed by Parliament, very little indeed could be heard on the broad question of State Churchism; but now the subject is in the mouth of almost everyone, Established Churchmen and Dissenters alike, and in the legislative assemblies of the Churches the subject has had either direct or indirect attention. Many consider that a few years will suffice to ripen Scotland for disestablishment of the State Church; and this, indeed, may be believed, for already the Establishment is beginning a movement to popularize itself, with the view of enlisting, if possible, greater sympathy and support from its people. The anticipated union of the Free and United Presbyterian Churches is looked upon with unpleasant feelings by the clergy of the Established Church, as they appear to see in it a power

Observer, July 1, '71

which threatens to injure, if not to remove their dearly cherished system. In this view they are doubtless correct, as it is believed that the union of the dissenting Presbyterians would likely turn the scale of numbers and influence against the Established Church; and as she would then be unable to give proof of her practical utility by showing her power over the majority of the people, her influence would continue to wane away until she disappeared. To strengthen her position, therefore, the annual sitting of her representatives in Edinburgh resolved to do away with the ancient cause of division lying in the exercise of Patronage, by appointing a committee to use all their influence with the Government for that purpose. Such a step as this is a remarkable fact, and the unanimity with which it was taken, is a presage of its early success. The snapping of this link, which helps to connect the Church with the State, by the very men whom it might be supposed would have been the last to do anything to weaken the tie, is a proof that the Established Church is not enjoying a prosperous existence, but that she is endeavouring to shape herself, as far as she can conveniently do so, to the independent religious spirit of the age. From this anti-State-Churchmen will receive greater strength in their efforts to abolish the Establishment; and who knows that the very next step to be taken with regard to the Established Church in Scotland may not be from her increasing unpopularity-her severance for ever from the State.


The question of disestablishing the State Church will become allengrossing as time progresses, and every year that the subject may be discussed in Parliament will hasten the consummation so ardently desired by many. Mr. Gladstone's reply to Mr. Miall (who moved for the disestablishment of the English Church), to the effect that "both truth and honour obliged him to declare, that the disestablishment of the Irish Church was not the initiation of a policy of disestablishment," is certainly entitled to belief; but, whether the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland was or was not an initiative, it is a fact. This Mr. Gladstone cannot deny. But Mr. Gladstone is not bound by his intentions; he may change his views if he sees it necessary to do so. The country, however, will look at accomplished facts and their results-which in this case are very instructive. It has been found expedient to disestablish a Church which has existed for three hundred years; and what has been done once may be done a second and a third time, if circumstances should demand it. the disestablished church in Ireland suffered by its being disestablished? On the contrary, it has become more strong and vigorous, and gives promise of greater growth than it has done during the three centuries of its existence. That Church has awakened to a new life; it is grappling with ritualism, has admitted the laity as members of its representative councils, is extending spiritual franchises to its members, and has adopted a broad and popular constitution. Indeed, disestablishment has been a blessing to it, as it has not only made greater advances to reformation in its short life of disestablishment than it has done in centuries before, but become stronger as a bulwark against the increase of Romanism. These facts demonstratively teach that ecclesiastical establishments may be abolished and that there is nothing treasonable or revolutionary in doing so; and that, so far from the Protestantism of the country being injured by this abolition, a greater impulse will be given to its life as an opposing power to Popery. On this ground alone, those who uphold the State Church, and do so because they are frightened that Popery would increase if she were abolished, should be led to cut the tie which binds the State

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