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if they did not delight in war, they would not be constantly engaged in its conflicts.'
Is War necessary for the national honour? What is this but, as hath' been admirably remarked, the plea of a duellist
from the lips of a ruler?" If war is necessary to honour, then honour is not necessary: the Christian indeed is taught to despise it; it is his glory to pass by an insult; it is his revenge to abstain from vengeance; and till it can be proved that a nation is not composed of individuals, or that men in their collective capacity, are subject to a different moral code from that which the Gospel authoritatively promulgates as the rule of personal obedience, the plea of honour can constitute only an aggravation of the crime of war.
Still, it will be urged, War, if not absolutely necessary, is in fact found to be unavoidable, and so long as the political government of nations is mainly in the hands of irreligious men, it must be so.
This pernicious notion, which, we fear, is but too common among good sort of people, originates in a. discreditable inattention to two or three important facts.
When William Penn' took the government of Pennsylvania, he distinctly avowed to the Indians his forbearing and pacific principles and his benevolent wishes for uninterrupted peace. On these principles the government was administered while it remained in the hands of the Quakers. What then was the effect? Did this pacific character in government invite aggression and insult ? Let the answer be given in the language of the Edinburgh Review. (Review of Clarkson's life of Penn.)
«« Such was indeed the spirit in which the negotiation (with the Indians) was entered into, and the corresponding settlement conducted, that for the space of more than seventy years—and so long indeed as the Quakers retained the chief power in the government, the peace and amity which had been thus solemnly promised and concluded, never was violated ; and a large though solitary example afforded, of the facility with which they, who are really sincere and friendly in their views, may live in harmony with those who are supposed to be peculiarly fierce and faithless.” Solemn Review, &c. p. 8.
That this is a solitary fact, is easily accounted for from its being the only instance of a nation's sustaining a sincerely pacific character, in consequence of its government's deliberately adopting, from a conscientious adherence to principle, a policy resolutely pacific.
But these good sort of people' overlook another circumcumstance equally deserving of attention: the means of abolishing or preventing war having never been resorted to, the practicability of avoiding it has never yet, except in the instance above referred to, been subjected to experiment.
War is not at this time a custom inore prevalent, or sup
ported by more plausible pretexts, than was once the custom of putting men to death for a dissent from the majority in religious opinions. It is not more prevalent than was once the practice of Slavery among the most enlightened nations. Other barbarous national customs have yielded in the progress of civilization, to the reflex operation of Christianity on those who admitted not its principles. It is therefore rational io hope that the time may come, when nations shall learn war no more."
Popularity is the only element in which such a murderous custoin can thrive :” let then every ineans be employed to render it disreputable ; let the press and the pulpit contribute to this effect their powerful influence ; let it be one great object of education to destroy the nascent passion for military glory, and to counteract the delusions of classic poetry and of history.
Let the people be led to perceive that their real interests are never promoted by war; that wars are inimical to civil liberty to legitimate commerce, to the interests of science, and to the social character; that the destruction of property, which is alike the price of victory or the aggravation of defeat, is subversive of one grand purpose of the institution of Government, namely, the protection of property: let them ever bear in mind for the future, the bitter consequences of a transition from a state of “ war to a state of peace,' and pause before they expose themselves again to the necessity of such a transition.
Let the pecuniary consequences of war be contemplated in the mass and diversity of moral evil which they involve ;-the shifts, the prevarications, the little devices bordering on dishonesty; the compulsion to be selfish in the struggle to live; the destruction of independent character ; the gradual annihiJation of the refinement of conscience; the intense anxiety and often distraction of mind; the temptation to accept, through sheer stress of pecuniary pressure, the wages of servility and corruption; the inability in many instances to iudulge in acts of liberality, and the check imposed upon the generous feelings from the habit of beholding miseries we have not the power to relieve; not to speak of the revengeful rancours excited by circumstances arising out of the general pressure ;-let these be contemplated as so many moral items, resulting simply from the pecuniary effects of war, the mere appendix to all the horrid atrocities of the business itself.
Let the representatives of the nation bear in mind their sacred responsibility, as collectively forming the constitutional check upon the Royal Prerogative, with a special reference to the act of waging war.
Let Erasmus's advice be followed by all the clergy, however they may differ in rank, order, sect, or persuasion ;' let women of every rank in society, Sassiduously endeavour to
counteract in the minds of their sons, their brothers, their admirers, their husbands, the pernicious fallacies of military glory.'
Let pacific sentiments towards our fellow-creatures of different latitudes and languages, be sedulously cultivated, in place of national antipathy and unsocial contempt; and let the writer be viewed as an incendiary, that suggests and aggravates the causes of hostility, of which our bad passions are so ready to avail themselves.
Finally, let every means, preventive, and remedial, of improving the moral condition, and raising the character of the lower classes, be perseveringly applied ; let every moral and political expedient be adopted, that inay endear to them their native soil, and impart a feeling of interest in their country, which shall lead them to view the vagrant dissolute life of a soldier with repugnancy : let all these means be brought into operation, and we may safely predict that War will be proved in the issue, to be neither necessary, nor unavoidable.
But we must notice one fact more, which is altogether overlooked by the objectors referred to, but without which, all reasonings on the subject must be incomplete ; the fact, that the affairs of nations, not less than the concerns of individuals, are under the Providential superintendence and moral government of the “ Author of Peace” and “ Giver of Concord.” that wars are necessary, is to blaspheme the Providence of God, to cast the blame of our evil passions upon the supposed imperfection of his government. It is to say that His commands it is impracticable to fulfil, and that His promises are a mere mockery of the powers of human agency and of the best hopes of man.
It is to disregard altogether His predictions as delusive, or to sit down in the attitude of spectators, and idly wait the time of God's putting forth some mysterious and unheard of • agency,' as if by the instrumentality of men, God had not always been pleased to develop his beneficent designs, and to carry into effect his predicted purpose. It is to lay down as a practical rule of conduct, that moral evil is not only irremediable, but salutary to the public good ; that not only has Providence furnished no remedies fitted to the case of this particular evil, but that our national safety is made to depend on displaying a spirit the reverse of that of our Heavenly Master, and that the way to ensure the protection of the Moral Governor of the Universe, the Almighty Arbiter of our Destinies, is to persevere in a policy incompatible with His laws. If, then, there be any persons who call themselves Christians, that in utter disregard of all these considerations, persist in an indifference to the criminality and impiety of war, still echoing the idle notion that Wars ever have been, and Wars ever will be, we must
despair of conquering by the force of suasion the impenetrability of their minds; but we dare not resort to the petty war of invective : earnestly desiring, we trust, to cultivate in our own bosoms the temper of peace, we leave them to the reflections of their own conscience and to the
Art. II. Biblia Hebraica, or the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old
Testament, without Points, after the Text of Kennicott, with the chief Various Readings, selected from his Collation of Hebrew MSS. from that of De Rossi, and from the Ancient Versions; accompanied with English Notes, Critical, Philological, and Explanatory, selected from the most approved, Ancient and Modern, English and Foreign, Biblical Critics. By B. Boothroyd. In Two Volumes, Quarto. Demy, 41. 10s. Royal, 6l. 6s. Gale and Co. THE integrity of the Hebrew Text has long been the subject
of debate among learned men; some strenuously maintaining the affirmative of the question, and others as decidedly asserting the negative. The prejudices, not less than the learning, of writers of high reputation, have been enlisted in this controversy; and which, after all, is to be determined, not so much by arguments, as by an appeal to facts.
For on what printed copy of the Hebrew Scriptures, would a writer who contends for the integrity of the Hebrew text, lay his hand, as the unimpeachable exemplar-the copy which exhibits the words in the very same state in which they were written and left by the respective authors of those ancient books ? Would it be the edition of Vanderhooght, or of Buxtorf; of Stephens, of Hutter, or of Bomberg? Whichsoever of these might be selected, it is evident that its text must be resolved into the text of the printed editions and manuscripts from which it was taken ; and that in the case of the particular copy being of the first printed edition of the Hebrew Bible, its text is to be resolved into that of the manuscript or manuscripts used at the printing office by the editor. We shall commence our inquiry into this subject, at the period when the Hebrew Bible was first committed to the press.
The manuscripts used by the first printers of the Hebrew Bible, had, like all other manuscripts, been written out from preceding copies, and these again had been transcribed from others still more ancient. The question therefore of the integrity of the Hebrew text, must be decided by the consideration whether the manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible uniformly present the same readings, and whether there is an exact and unfailing verbal accordance in them. But the affirmative of this cannot be supported, since the actual variations of Hebrew manuscripts have been determined by collation. It might indeed have been admitted, that as the Greek text of the New Testament is not, in the different manuscripts which have preserved it, verbally the same, that as the causes which produce errors in the transcribing of books, when transcribing was the only means of multiplying copies, had operated on the transcripts of the New Testament; so must they have operated in writing out copies of the Old Testament. The latter could not, it is reasonable to believe, be secured from error, by an influence which was denied to the former; for no intelligent person surely will feel disposed to assert that Divine Providence more carefully guarded the Jewish Scriptures, in the hands of copyists, than the Christian writings in the hands of transcribers. It is of course understood, that we are speaking of a supernatural influence, for we are sensible that in point of accuracy the Masora afforded advantages to the Jewish scribe, which do not apply in the other case.
Agaiust these advantages, however, may be placed the more numerous transcripts of the Hebrew Bible, parts of which have an antiquity of fifteen hundred years more than any part of the Christian records. Nothing can destroy the force of this reasoning against the integrity of the liebrew Text, but the united testimony of all Hebrew manuscripts to the verbal uniformity of a common text. But this cannot be obtained. The Hebrew MSS. have been examined, and they most clearly and decidedly confirm the position, that the Hebrew text has not escaped the operation of the causes which have had influence on the text of all ancient manuscripts. Various readings do exist in the books of the Hebrew Scriptures; no single copy of which, though it may be superior in point of accuracy to other copies, is so completely correct, as to annihilate the authority of all other exemplars where they differ from it.
Assuming, therefore, the diversity of readings in the original text of the Old Testament, as an indubitable fact, the utility of a work in which either the whole of the various readings, or a proper selection of them, shall be imbodied, must be obvious to every unprejudiced person. As to all purposes of practical piety, indeed, the various readings are of little moment; but in a critical point of view they are of real importance. They afford considerable assistance in the elucidation of obscure passages, and in the removal of chronological and historical difficulties; they are in many cases necessary to the grammatical structure of words and idioms, they supply omissions and correct redundancies; and thus give perspicuity and precision to the language of Scripture. In the sound application of the various readings to the emendation of the Hebrew Bible, no violence is offered to its authority, nor is its purity impaired; all that is proposed is, to replace the words which time and accident have removed from the text, and to reject those which the same causes have intruded into it.