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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 “ Je hovah 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 gené. ration 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
which the Israelites were in slavery and bondage, was celebrated for the cultivation of natural science; but not at all celebrated for the cultivation of that spiritual science or knowledge, with which every man ought to be acquainted. The Egyptians cultivated those natural sciences which admitted of proof from the evidence of the senses; and all things which could not admit of proof from the evidence of the senses, were neglected and thought little of. It is true they cultivated the science of correspondences, which may be termed a divine science because, it treats of the analogy which exists between all natural forms and their receptive spiritual essences: but this science, which was more immediately the basis of divine things, was too high for them: they soon perverted it, and this perversion was the beginning of their hieroglyphics ; afterwards they turned it into magic, and made it idolatrous; from whence sprung Idolatry in all its hideous forms, as the worship both of animate and inanimate things. Now this state of mere natural science, denoted by Egypt, is calculated to keep us in bondage and slavery, to bind the soul down to the things of time and sense, and thus to admit the truth of nothing but what can be seen with the eyes, or touched with the hands. This is a state of mere grovelling in nature, out of which we must come, if ever we enjoy the glorious liberty of the sons of God. The ignorance and stupidity of this state is beyond measure, for if we refuse to admit the truth of any thing, except we can see it with our bodily eyes, or touch it with our hands, we shall be forced to deny our very existence, since it is certain, that life cannot be seen but only in its operation in bodily organization. Perhaps it may be said, that life does admit of proof to the bodily senses and that where we discover respiration and other movements of the bodily organs, there is LIFE; this is certainly true; that where there is respiration and other movements of the bodily organs, there is LIFE: but this respiration and movement of the bodily organs, must be the result of life, acting secretly within, and upon such organic structure; now life itself is the cause of such respiration and movement, and is of such a refined nature and quality, as to be above the proof of sensual demonstration,-it cannot be seen or touched. A very celebrated writer of the present day upon life and the natural history of man says, "Life is the result of the mutual aotions and reactions of all parts.” Now it appears to me that the very reverse of this is the truth : for according to this doctrine, life is a something resulting from organic action: but it will appear from strict examination, that life is the producing cause of all the bodily organs; and action and re-action is the result of their formation. This proposition I think can be proved to a demonstratiou; for as life causes the growth, and expansion of the bodily organs, and enables them to become more vigorous and energetic, so it is reasonable to conclude, that that which can cause their growth and expansion, is the thing which originally gave them existence. Life, then, is not the result of organic action, but organic action is the result of LIFE! and if we would come out of Egyptian darkness and slavery, we must believe that we possess LIFE, because we have evidences of its existence, although, as to its true nature and quality, it is too high and exalted to descend for proof of its existence to the bodily senses; it cannot be seen or touched. With respect, however, to the information which Revelation gives us upon this subject, we are not all in the dark; and in speaking from Revelation we would say,
that life is the Soul, the real, immortal, and substantial man. It is independent of bodily organization, and when the body shall be in a state of decomposition and mouldering in its cavern, the Life, the Sout, the Man, shall continue his existence in that bright world of bliss, where the perpetuity of his existence will be heightened with increasing delight, and where he will advance in true wisdom and happiness for ever. A state of mere natural and sensual science, denoted in the Holy Scriptures by the land of Egypt, in which the children of Israel were slaves, excludes all mental and spiritual evidence, it prevents the mind from soaring into a more refined atmosphere than that of nature, and contemplating eternal subjects; in fact it binds down the soul to the objects of time and sense, and, spiritually speaking, keeps him in a state of slavish bondage.
In this state of spiritual bondage, tied down to the things of time and sense, man is in Egypt, and groaning under the severity of task-masters; it is the coming out of this low state, and his advancement in spiritual wisdom and purity that is described in the Holy Scriptures by the Israelites leaving Egypt and commencing their journey to the promised land. When the Christian begins his journey from Egypt, or when he leaves the mere natural state, denoted by Egypt, and commences his spiritual journey to the heavenly Canaan, to the land that abundantly flows with milk and honey, he will, agreeably to the account given of the Israelitish journey, have his trials and difficulties to pass through, the Egyptians will pursue him and endeavour to draw him back again to slavery: but if he would triumph he must go forward with a firm and determined step, and the result of his firmness and determination will be the final emancipation of his mind from darkness and slavery, and the enjoyment of a state of true spiritual liberty and life. In this spiritual journey he will meet with