« НазадПродовжити »
WAR AND CHRISTIANITY.
MARTIAL EVILS AND THEIR REMEDY.
THE GOOD SOLDIER AND HIS REWARD.
“ The song of the gifted, that hallowed all crimes,
All crimes in the war-fiend incarnate in one;
JAMES WILLIAM MASSIE,
JOHN SNOW, PATERNOSTER ROW.
JOHN NEWTON was actively engaged in the slave trade on the coast of Africa, without any seeming apprehension of the inconsistency, or sense of guilt, many months after he had accepted the message of mercy through a crucified Saviour. Colonel Gardiner was not afraid to fight, though he was afraid to sin,” and refused to accept a challenge as a duellist, because he judged it an offence against God; but he hesitated not to plunge into the thickest ranks of a murderous affray, as one of thousands, when he lost his life in defence of his king. It is not the province of a fellow creature presumptuously to pronounce these men self deceivers, or traitors to their Heavenly Sovereign; yet had either of them known the love of a divine Saviour before they became attracted by the gains of slave traffic, or entangled by the dazzling glories of martial distinction, it is more than probable he would have chosen rather the occupations of peace and the works of righteousness. They saw through a glass darkly; but as when the more perfect light is diffused, and the full character of the man in Christ Jesus is developed, conformity with the law of benevolence will be earnestly desired; the maturity of the religious life in Newton was displayed in his subsequent consecration to the service of Him who commands his followers to break every yoke. Gardiner's life was cut short by the sword, and we have not his testimony to the growth of the principles of peace.
It is but too manifest, that the honours and present advantages of military service may blind even benevolent minds to the miseries and crimi. nality of war. The rank and pay, the promotion and renown, which are the prizes of a “ bloody war,” may tend to soothe the stings of an accusing conscience; but the nation, who have all these to provide by taxation and debt, ought to contemplate the cost more impartially, and form a more correct judgment. Contractors and mercenaries may accumulate fortunes and enrich their families, at the expense of a misguided people; but the day of reckoning will surely come, and such riches will be found no provision against the evil day, or preparation for the world to come.
The thoughts and sympathies of the Christian will probably be furnished with material congenial for reflection in the following pages; and the Author will have the gratification of being numbered among the few whose voice, though not for war, is yet raised in the service of his country, and whose prayer is for the manifestation of that kingdom in whose days the righteous shall flourish, and by whose influence, it is promised, peace shall abound so long as the moon endureth : if, by means of this publication, he may obtain audience of the sons of peace, and be numbered among those with whom is confirmed the covenant of life and peace.
JAMES WILLIAM MASSIE.
LONDON, May 26th, 1854.