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1. In a letter to the archbishop and bishops, so called, by a certain ecclesiastic, or member of the Church of England, on an “assertion” relating to the plan of education adopted by Joseph Lancaster, as it respects: “war;" your judicious advocate thus notes : "war, as such, is surely proscribed by many precepts, and by the whole example of Christ. . Three words of his convey its death-warrant-love your énemies, (Mat. v. 44.) and the execution of this waits in each of us, only our full surrender to the gospel. That is the perfection of Christian love, which leaves no room for fear, and enables a man to dismiss that sense of insecurity which is the true motive for
holding out threats to another. Aspiring to no less • an end, we are willing to set out at once in our practice from the precept and the example, leaving the consequences to follow; not without looking for ability, both to obey and to suffer, to the grace of God strengthening us, who otherwise could do pothing.' : si .. ... . . . .
i. “The present state of the world, undoubtedly affords an awful prospect; yet the Christian confirmed in the true faith,' is enabled to face it. Let us anticipate for him the worst that' can happen to himself. He is plundered and oppressed : but his goods and his person were his servants; and their master, if he retain his integrity, may yet look on free. Yet more-he suffers' ignominý, pain, and death ; but he can suffer neither without the permission of his Almighty Protector, who has numbered the hairs of his head, who loves him beyond measure, and therefore consults his best interest in the event, He is banished, however. From whence? From a
scene of suffering. And whither ? to a kingdom of peace and glory, where, far from being enslaved, he reigns rejoicing! Such is the personal view of this subject, to the magnanimous, that is to say, the faithful followers of Christ, in every age.”*
Now, reader, bearing in mind these things, I wish to apply this and the following words, as it respects law. “A nation so constituted,” or even a church, or community of Christians, “so constituted,” could no more go to law, than it could "fight (ibid): for I think the one is as clearly “proscribed” by as many “precepts, and by the example of Christ” as the other. Three verses of the fifth chapter Matt. (38~40) not only “convey its death warrant,” but doom to destruction, and interdict all process of law: and “ the execution of this waits, in each of us, only our full surrender to the gospel,” &c. This, however, is as much as a man for my turn; at least, as it respects my case at law, rather, not going to law: and if this is not sufficient, I cannot help thinking that the parable of a certain king, who forgave his servant's debt, is quite in point, and conclusive : it “signs its death warrant,” and condemns all proceedings at law. See, reader, I beseech thee, Matt. xviii. 23. to the end : and verily the same three words, viz. “ love your enemies," are as applicable to an individual who “filches my trash,” rather, proper. ty, as it is to a nation that invade our country, and, perhaps, “plunder and oppress us.”
* Vide a pamphlet entitled “ A few Notes on a Letter to the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England, and on a Charge recently delivered by the Archdeacon of Sarum, relative to Joseph Lancaster's plan," &c. by Eccletus.
But, perhaps, some may say, that there is not so much danger of using violence or revenge in going to law, as there is in going to war, &c. Admitted for argument sake; but is there not less danger of “insecurity” of being “plundered and oppressed ;” and still less danger of suffering “ignominy and death” by a few poor distressed or ill principled natives, than a foreign nation of banditti or soldiery destroying all before them? If these distressing calamities are not sufficient “motives for holding out threats to another”-defensive war, I am sure the minor calamities which may attend the latter, are not sufficient motives to go to law. And I cannot help thinking that if attention was paid to the wise man's advice, “ be not surety for another, more than thou art able to pay;" and not quite so anxious of getting rich“laying up treasures in this world,” at the risk of giving more credit than they are authorized, or able to lose, it would go considerably far towards preventing those vexatious law-suits which are so common, and so contrary to that spirit of the gospel of Jesus Christ—the doing good for evil, and loving our enemies.
Once more, as it respects the forementioned trial. I might state another or two afflictive cases, coupled with my pecuniary disappointment; and though not immediately connected with the latter, yet considerably augmented my grief, and trial. But what added not a little to the former, I think (I believe, which is more) I know those who were ready to “clap their hands,” and to rejoice at my disappointment. Yea, as said David, “ they open their mouth wide against me, aha, aha, our eye hath seen it!" “ Judge me, O
Lord, my God, according to righteousness; and let them not rejoice over ine. Let them not say in their hearts, ah, so would we have it : let them not say, we have swallowed him up.” (Psalm xxxv. 22— 25) “ Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. Deliver me not over unto the will of my enemies; for false witnesses are risen up against me:"—And truly, “I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm xxvii. 11–13.)
One would think I was likened unto a certain impostor of old times, “ Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody ; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves :” or, like one after him, “ Judas of Galilee, in the days of the taxing, who drew away much people” after him; and was an object of hatred. But it may not be amiss here to remind 'my enemies, or opposers of this work, of the advice of the learned Gamaliel, as it respected the primitive apostles, “ Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought; but if it be of God, ye cannot overturn it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” (Acts v. 34–40.)
Thus exercised for many days, and apprehensive not only that my reputation as an author (or rather compiler) was in danger, but that the cause of truth which I had in view was likely to be disgraced ; desirous to act upon the principles which I have laid down in the preceding pages, it came into my mind (as by a gracious visitation of the Spirit of Truth) to make this affair known to some few of the most wealthy and discreet of my subscribers, to solicit their further aid in publishing this work. Knowing that it is God “ that maketh the liberal hand,” and that he “turns and disposes the hearts of men, as it seemeth best to his godly wisdom,” I so far succeeded (almost beyond my expectation) that the work went on in the press steadily. And I hope, reader, thou art happily in the possession of the result and its effects. And, I must add, I do consider this a confirmation of my faith, more so than a volume of sermons; as “the evidence of things hoped for; of things not seen ;"—not knowing how the Lord would bring this to pass for me!
I think I may anticipate the secret joy, at least, the self-complacency of my subscribers in being the patrons or supporters of this work; or rather in being instrumental in the hands of God to bring it forward. I should gladly (if I may obtain the permission of my subscribers) give a list of their names at the end of this work. But I think I see some " scrupulous conscience”-I wo'n't say “Quaker"
like some cynic philosopher, if not with a frowning brow, and contempt of riches, yet with as much rigorous reprehension of vice, fearful of “putting it in the power of another to do him an injury,” refrain from doing a kind, much less liberal action! I say, I think I see such a one, if not with contempt of the author, and condemning the work, as he turns over the pages, yet feel himself a little chagrined when he finds this work was brought forth, as it were, principally by the liberality of the subscribers.