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vent any ruffian, once knowing, that his life could in do case be taken, from setting at defiance all attempts to coerce his submission.
Another principle which we cannot view as being other than false and dangerous, is derived from the preceding error, that all war is sinful. Wars, as they have been ordinarily conducted, have been the work of him who was a murderer from the beginning. The spirit of war is the spirit of pride, of selfishness, of boundless cupidity, and fell revenge. But war is not necessarily of this character. War, strictly defensive—that is, war as the last resort, when all other means fail to protect the essential institutions and rights of society—is authorized by the commission of the sword to the magistrate, to be borne by him not in vain. For is it his duty to put to death the singlehanded rebel, who cannot otherwise be reduced to subjection? Must he not then put to death the armed band of rebels, who can by no means be persuaded to lay down their arms? And if he must call out his forces in battle array, against the band of home-born citizens, excited to rebellion, must he not do the same against the band of foreign invaders, embodied to subvert the government, and lay waste all that government is ordained of God to protect? It cannot, we think, be denied, that he may and ought to do this, and therefore ought to be prepared to do it, whenever the emergency occurs, unless the principle be true, that human life is in all cases inviolable; and hence this principle we consider not only as contrary to the language of the bible, but dangerous to the interests of society. Under the aspect of humanity, it is in reality the greatest cruelty ; leaving us no protection against the cupidity and malignity of sin. And when we read: “The Lord is strong and mighty—the Lord is mighty in battle ;" and, “He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood ;" and, “the armies which were in heaven followed ;" and "out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations ;” and, “He hath on his vesture and on his thighs a name written, King of Kings and Lord of Lords;" we can not but think, that if war were in itself sinful, such epithets would never have been applied by the Spirit of inspiration to him to whose nature and government sin is infinitely abhorrent. He is thus described in the act of subduing rebellious subjects of his own proper dominion—and he is not dishonored when those whom he has ordained to be his vicegerents on earth, in the same act, bear not the sword in vain.
We would now advert to some disastrous and threatening consequences of the false principles which we have stated.
One consequence is, the irreligious character of our government. We do not mean to assert, that our rulers are irreligious men, but that the course of things in the conduct of our government is such. Our rulers are considered the mere creatures and servants of the people : bound by the will of the people, and amenable only to them. Whether there be a God or not ; whether either our rulers or the people have any belief in his being, or any regard to the sanction of his law; whether as a nation we are his sincere worshipers, or mere atheists, seems to be considered by a vast multitude, so far as government is concerned, altogether unimportant. There is scarcely another government on earth in which there is so little recognition of God
as our own.
Another consequence is the elevation of unprincipled men to civil office. Here also we wish it to be understood, that we do not refer particularly to the men now in office. We refer to the general disregard of religious principle in the selection of candidates for civil offices, a disregard which clearly appears among all parties throughout the land. No matter whether the candidate be an atheist or a christian ; whether he honor the sabbath or desecrate it; whether he reverence the sanctuary or despise it ; whether he be a man of conscience, or a mere man of honor; on these subjects no questions are asked, but, Is he a man of the people—will he be obedient to their willswill he be subservient to their ends, or in plain terms, will he be the tool of his party? He is not to be a minister of God, to do the will of God, or the public good—and much less is he to be an avenger to execute the will of God without respect to persons who do evil-he is not chosen with any such intentbut to be the mere instrument of a party, for the accomplishment of its exclusive designs. How degraded and ruinous such a perversion of God's ordinances !
Hence results, as a third consequence, disrespect of rulers and their office. Such disrespect, all over the land, is notorious and fearful. It is a common sin. High and low, all ages, and almost all classes, are not afraid to speak evil of dignities, to bring against them a railing accusation, to load their characters, their measures, their talents, with contempt, reproach, and ridicule. This, too, is a natural consequence of the principles which have been mentioned. It is not to be expected of masters, that they will treat their servants with marked deference, and more especially, those who demean themselves like servants, instead of exercising authority as men whom the God of heaven has clothed with power, for the punishment of evil-doers, and the praise of them who do well.
Hence come, also, the sedition and riot, that are so prevalent. When rulers are no longer revered, it is not wonderful if the laws are no longer obeyed. An infuriated multitude may be expected, at their will, to ride over the heads of those whom they have constituted only their servants, and regarded as such, and, when the latter suit not their wishes, to take the administration of affairs directly into their own hands; and when this shall come to be the general course of things, when we shall no longer be governed by the laws, but by the irresponsible will of a mob; when civil authorities shall stand silent by, while the abandoned are wreaking their vengeance on such as have offended them; then, indeed, our liberty is gone, -we are under the worst of tyrannies, -we are suffering the worst of persecutions. The faction, that can do this for one cause, will most certainly, if not put down by law, not stop there. The same men who, in defiance of law, put down a lecturer on slavery, will put down a lecturer on any subject of the gospel, that may happen equally to offend them; or for any other cause that can be named; and then what interest have we on earth, that would not lie in jeopardy?
In the eleventh chapter of the Revelation, we read of God's two witnesses, that, “when they shall have finished their testimony," or, as the phrase is now generally understood, “when they shall be about to finish their testimony, the beast, that ascended out of the bottomless pit, shall make war against them, and shall overcome them and kill them, and their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which, spiritually, is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people, and kindreds, and tongues, and nations, shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another, because those two prophets tormented them that dwell on the earth.” Something not unlike this is realized in this fair land ; and should it be suffered to proceed, and to suppress all that truth which offends the ungodly, and prevail wherever that truth is published; then will it be fully realized, according to the terms of the prophecy. That the time is at hand, respectable expositors believe. If it be so, may a gracious God prepare us for the hour of temptation, that shall come upon the world, to try them who dwell upon the earth!
As the only proper remedy for these evils, let us, in conclusion, suggest the necessity of our treating the laws, and those who administer them, with reverence.
For conscience sake, let us show our submission to the one, and every due token of respect to the other. The law of the land may be satisfied with a careless external respect. Religion looks at the motive. Then only is our civil homage strictly done to God, when it is rendered from respect to his will; and then, also, will it be cheerful and constant. Let us also train up our children to habits of due reverence and submission. God has said, “Honor thy father and thy mother:" and it is by the habit of obedience to this command, that mankind, in their successive generations, are prepared, easily, naturally, and without constraint, as their instinctive principle, to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, and render unto all their dues, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. But let them be accustomed, from their early years, in the unsubdued pride and stubbornness of a fallen nature, to make light of father and mother, and at the same time, see the father and mother an example of insubjection and disrespect to civil authorities, and it would be a miracle, if they were not to be despisers of government, presumptuous, self-willed, not afraid to speak evil of dignities, and prepared for the work of anarchy and misrule. In every government, and more especially in a free government, like our own, the tendency of which is to cherish the pride and self-will of our nation, the true conservative principle is the habit of subordination induced by the fear of God, in the families of the people. And, finally, let us " sanctify the Lord of hosts in our hearts; and let him be our fear, and let him be our dread. Let a principle of true religion pervade the minds of our rulers and the leaders of the people; then indeed shall it be said of us, “ Happy is the people that is in such a case; yea, happy is that people whose God is the Lord." Though it pervade not the minds of the nation, let it rule our own minds; then will the Lord of hosts be our sanctuary ; whatever troubles may befall us, we shall be delivered from the fluctuating hopes and fears of those who have no secure resort in times of public calamity; and so with our hearts fixed, trusting in Him whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and whose dominion endureth unto all generations, we shall show to all around us, that those only are happy, whose hope is in the Lord our God.
ART. VII.-EMANCIPATION IN THE WEST INDIES.
Emancipation in the West Indies : A Six Months' Tour in
Antigua, Barbadoes, and Jamaica, in the year 1837. By JAMES A. T'HOME and J. HORACE KIMBALL. New York: pub
lished by the American Anti-Slavery Society. 1838. Letters from the West Indies, relating especially to the Danish
Island St. Croix, and to the British Islands Antigua, Barbadoes, and Jamaica. By SYLVESTER HOVEY, late Prof. of Math. and Nat. Phil. Amherst College. New York: Gould & Newman. 1838.
No one can contemplate the experiment now making in the West Indies, without feeling, that its bearings are most important, and deserving a faithful examination. For years, the attention of philanthropists in Great Britain have been directed to the condition of these islands; and notwithstanding the opposition they have met with, they have steadily gone forward, headed by the honored name of Wilberforce, urging the claims of humanity and reason, till their mighty efforts have been crowned with a signal triumph. Wilberforce, indeed, has not lived to see this last victory, for which his preceding advocacy has prepared ; but numerous friends, who stood with him, shoulder to shoulder, like the immortal phalanx, and bore the brunt of the battle, now hear the shouts of rejoicing which burst from thousands rescued from bondage, and put upon the path of intellectual and moral improvement. The history of such a triumph of benevolence over cupidity, will form an interesting chapter in the annals of our age; and every book which throws light upon the conditions of the place where, and the people among whom such a change has taken and is taking place, is a desirable acquisition to our literature. We have before us two volumes, emanating from widely different sources, yet either is entitled to careful perusal. Thome and Kimball's Journal is both the earlier and larger book, and probably is the best known, owing to its extensive dissemination by the AntiSlavery Society, under whose auspices they went out to the West Indies. It is also more a book of details and collected testimony, and in this respect is very important. Prof. Hovey's Letters, though smaller in size, and though not aiming so much at furnishing details, nor an equal variety of documentary testimony, is drawn up with great care, and evinces (what we