The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Human History of Warfare

But society has its external, as well as its internal, form. Society, existing in the external form, is the society of nation united with nation. If society is not perfected in itself, that is to say, in its civil or internal form, still less is it perfected in its external relations. Each nation, existing as a corporate civil association, stands at a great degree by itself; recognizing but very imperfectly that bond of international brotherhood, which should bind together nation with nation. One of its first principles is its relative independence; that is to say, while it recognizes in the general sense the principle of union, it claims the right of judging of its own interests, and of deciding for itself in all cases. Consequently, there are frequent collisions. Massive and giant-like in its strength, but, like the sightless Polyphemus of the Grecian poet, nation, blinded by passion, dashes against its fellow-nation; and both are broken by the concussion, and are covered with blood.

It is painful, to the pure and fully christianized mind, to read the history of nations. We need no argument to establish the doctrine of the fallen condition of the human race, in addition to that of its history. Beginning with Herodotus and the other Greek historians of that period, and reading the records of mankind in the pages of eminent writers of different ages and countries, what do we find but a series of sorrows and crimes, arising out of the struggles of national interest, and the antagonisms of national passion? In how many battle fields has human right contested with human power, and strength gained the victory over justice!  It is not without reason, therefore, that Cowper, whose beautiful poems have the merit of being infused with a Christian spirit, feelingly exclaimed,

“Oh for a lodge in some vast wilderness
Some boundless contiguity of shade,
Where rumor of oppression and deceit,
Of unsuccessful or successful war,
Might never reach me more!"

It is the part of Christianity, in the fulfillment of the great plan of redemption, to put an end to this state of things. Christ's work on earth is not accomplished, and of course the work of his followers is not accomplished, so long as wars exist. Let it, therefore, be the language of every Christian heart, — language which shall find its issues in appropriate action, — that wars shall exist no longer.

— edited from A Treatise on Divine Union (1851) Part 7, Chapter 7.

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