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WRITTEN UNDER A DEPRESSED STATE OF MIND ARISING FROM CROSSES
AND DISAPPOINTMENTS IN WORLDLY PURSUITS.
In thee, O Lord, is consolation,
When distress of mind besets me,
O thou holy blessed Jesus,
Who on earth our nature bore,
Then, in thine eternal kingdom,
Taste the sweets of heav'nly freedom,
THE LORD'S PRAYER.
"In the Lord is all our trust."
OUR Father who in Heaven art,
As cheerfully as 'tis by those,
As we forgive our enemies,
Into temptation lead us not,
For kingdom, power, and glory all,
Thine from eternity they were,
And thine shall ever be.
J. P. A.
NEW JERUSALEM MAGAZINE,
WAR WITH AMALEK.
It is written in the book of Exodus xvii. 16, "that the Lord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation," and it is my intention, through the medium of your excellent miscellany, to lay before your readers some few thoughts respecting the nature of this perpetual war. In proceeding to enquire into this subject, it will be necessary to advance with slow and cautious step, and to prove, as much as possible, both from reason and Scripture, the truth of every proposition that may be made.
Before we enter upon the investigation of this subject, we shall make a few observations upon the nature of war, and endeavour to show what are its effects upon the human race, after which we shall decide whether war, according to the general acceptation of the term, be, or be not, a system that ought to be encouraged and promoted by a christian nation. If we trace war to its origin, we shall find that it springs from a wretched and impure fountain, the water of which is bitterness, and its outgoings death! The love of self, and the love of the world and dominion form in man this impure fountain, from whence issue in every direction, all the sorrows, calamities, and distresses, which depopulate nations, and make enemies of men, who were designed to be brethren. The nature of self-love is such, that it desires to reduce all to subjection to itself, and is ready and willing to sacrifice at the shrine of iniquity all the noble and charitable feelings of humanity, in order to axalt itself and to secure the beloved object of its pursuit. Detestable as this principle of self-love must for ever be to the mind of the sincere Christian, yet, we find that it is the motive by which the many are actuated, and when this is the motive of the many, the few who abhor it must suffer by its reign. War is VOL. 1-No. 7.
such a corrupt system, that it cannot prove a blessing to a nation, but a curse-it hardens and brutalizes the heart, and changes the man into a demon. The system, like a bewitching syren, draws thousands into its vortex for the purposes of destruction; and although the laurel, as a token of victory, may grace the brow of the successful warrior, and fame, distinction and wealth may reward the man who has excelled others in the scene of blood, yet when we reflect upon the price that has been paid for these tinsel glories-that they have been bought with the sacrifice of human life and property, with the widow's groans and the orphan's tears, how must this false glory fade, the gold become dim, and present enjoyment be tarnished at the sad recollection of the past. The system of war is a system of absurdity, counteraction and disorder; which can never bring to a nation or people, wealth, either temporal or eternal. To say nothing of the extreme wickedness of war, and of its fatal effects upon the human race, in demoralizing mankind, in hardening the heart, and making enemies of those who were designed to be friends; the system itself is truly ridiculous, ond founded in folly, because it is opposed to the best interests of man both in a temporal and spiritual point of view. The system of war has a tendency to make men savage and ferocious, and desirous of gaining their own selfish and unlawful ends, however cruel and unjust the means to obtain them may be. War cuts asunder the cord of good-feeling, kindness, and affection which ought to subsist between man and man; and when this cord is cut asunder, all parties are rendered unfit to receive and to propagate the good and virtuous principles of true religion.
If, then, as must be admitted, war is a system of confusion, disorder and counteraction, spreading misery, death, and desolation through the land, and demoralizing the human race, by extinguishing in the bosom the true principles of humanity and religion, ought it to be encouraged and promoted by a christian nation surely there can be no difficulty in answering this question! We have no hesitation in saying, its effects are pernicious, detrimental to the well-being, and intellectual and religious improvement of mankind; and therefore upon this ground alone we are warranted in deciding, that it ought not to be encouraged or promoted; for it is certain, that no country can carry on so detestable a system, without a direct violation of all the principles upon which the christian religion is founded. The christian religion is founded in peace and good-will to man. The gospel signifies good-news and glad tidings which are given to us and to all people; and hence it commenced with the angelic song of " Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good-will towards
men." It is vain for us to expect any very great improvement in religion until this good-will among men be generally received and acted upon. Then indeed will the earth become a paradise, then shall the efforts of men no longer counteract each other; but the good-will existing in all will unite to produce one general effect; and the good-will in each, as an active principle, will be exercised to promote the strength, beauty, harmony, and felicity of the whole. Then shall every man sit under his own vine, and under his own fig-tree, and none shall make him afraid! Then shall the happy period arrive, when men will be delighted to beat their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into pruning hooks, and to learn war no more. Peace will begin its mild and blessed reign! joy and gladness will smile on every face; and the kingdoms of this world will then become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever. Happy period! when shall it arrive? the time is uncertain-but it will take place when good-will to man shall be the ruling and active principle in the human breast.
From these observations, I think we may safely decide, that war is a most pernicious and corrupt system, and that it cannot be carried on without a direct violation of all the sacred principles upon which the true christian religion is founded. One of the Commandments given by our heavenly Father to us for our good is—“ THOU SHALT NOT KILL." This commandment ought to be written' in letters of gold upon the throne of every king, but more especially it ought to be inscribed upon the fleshly table of every human heart.
If then we decide that war, the killing and slaying of each other, is an anti-christian system, injurious to man, and a direct violation of the command of God, "Thou shalt not kill!” let us enquire, into the nature of these words in Exodus, which state that "Jehovah hath sworn, that he will have war with Amalek from generation to generation." Here the war is said to be perpetual, a war that will not end, but continue through every successive generation of the Amalekites.
In considering this subject it will be necessary to state that the Sacred Scriptures contain a divine Revelation from God to man, and that of necessity, a revelation, to be divine, must treat of such things as are of a heavenly nature, connected with the church, and the spiritual states of man. It is generally admitted by christians, that the journeyings of the Israelites, together with all the various circumstances attending their journey, such as their encampments, their wars with the different nations, their difficulties and privations, do all represent the progressive states, trials and difficulties through which the christian has to pass in his spiritual journey to
the promised land of everlasting happiness and honour. The doctrines of the New Jerusalem not only agree with this general and broad assertion respecting the Israelitish journey, and its spiritual reference to the christian church and its members; but they show distinctly the spiritual application of each action, the cause of the performance of many and all of their religious rites and ceremonies, as well as the ground of all their wars, encampments and journeyings.
To show the nature of this war, which Jehovah will have with Amalek from generation to generation, we must not suppose that it is a WAR (according to the common acceptation of the term) which consists in killing and slaying the bodies of men; for this kind of war is opposite to the law of Jehovah himself, and therefore cannot be desired or ordered by Him. It is true the Israelites were often engaged in war, with the nations which opposed their entrance into the land of Canaan, and many on both sides were slain; but the literal history of these things, is the least and perhaps the most unimportant part of the information. The Israelites were merely an external race of people, and did not in reality form the true spiritual church of the Lord, but only represented that church, and hence all their religious rites and ceremonies, their journeyings and their actions were "types and shadows of good things to come," or in other words, they represented the spiritual things of worship and all things connected with the true christian church and dispensation, together with the christian's progressive advancement into states of intellectual light, wisdom, and happiness. Thus the Israelites are first stated to be in Egypt living in slavery and bondage under the tyranny and oppression of Egyptian taskmasters: from this state they were delivered by Jehovah, through the instrumentality of Moses their leader: they are described as journeying from Egypt, to the land of Canaan, and in their journey endured the fatigue, difficulties and warlike dangers of which the history gives us an account. Now if the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, and their journey to the land of Canaan, together with all the circumstances attending that journey, do represent and set forth, the spiritual journey of the christian, and his progressive advancement into states of wisdom, liberty and happiness, it is clear that this must be an orderly representation, and that all the names of places, and persons, given in the literal history of the Israelitish journey must be descriptive of certain states and principles existing in man; and the journeying from place to place must denote the intellectual progression of the christian from state to state; and his final entrance into the heavenly Canaan of everlasting peace and joy. Egypt, the place in