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from heaven upon those for whom, in private life, they are bound to offer. up supplications and intercestions. We earnestly desire that the Lord might give wisdom in this matter to his people; for the practical mistakes into which, it appears to us, that they are often led, through the want of adherence to the principles of the New Testament, are sometimes most lamentable.

We would not enter here, at length, into the consideration of the serious evils inflicted on Protestantism from the very first, by its alliance with secular power, nor dwell on the vast accession of strength which Romanism is now acquiring, through the sympathy which is always felt for the oppressed and persecuted. We would now turn our attention only to the labours of Christian missionaries. It should be universally understood that they go forth, as a New Zealand chief expressed it, “to break in two their clubs, to blunt the points of their spears, to draw the bullets from their muskets, and to make this tribe and that tribe love one another, and sit as brothers and friends;" and then we might more confidently hope the natives would add with this chief, “ Let us give our hearts to listening, and we shall dwell in peace."— Yates's New Zealand, p. 284. But in some cases of difficulty we see the vacillation of some of these; and the errors (to use no harsher term) of others producing effects which cannot be too deeply deplored. As an illustration of our meaning, we would refer to one or more missionaries at the Cape, whose conduct in the affair of the war with the Caffres is, unhappily, sufficiently notorious. We may also bring forward some circumstances recorded in the “ Missionary Notices” for February, 1838 (p. 29), which bear to our minds the aspect of evil fostered by the indecision of the missionaries. It seems that three promising native converts, in New Zealand, while endeavouring to evangelise another neighbouring tribe, were fired at; one fell, mortally wounded, exclaiming, in the true spirit of a Christian, “ Do not seek payment (vengeance) for me." Another lingered eight days, and then died. The tribe to which these men belonged was, of course, roused to indignation—“painfully excited,” say the missionaries, “yet patiently waiting to know our minds as to what steps they should take relative to punishing the murderers.” 6 We felt at once," say they, " the very delicate situation in which we were placed. While we were satisfied that the murderers ought, in some way, to be punished, yet we durst not sanction our people going to take vengeance upon them, according to New Zealand custom; as that would most certainly lead to a serious war, and most probably block up our way of usefulness. We used all our influence to prevent them from going to the residence of the murderers, to make an attack upon them-we offered to go ourselves as mediators, &c.” So far is cellent, taking for granted that they did earnestly impress upon their converts the duty of forgiveness of injuries, and the blessedness of suffering death for Christ's sake. But when the young men of the tribe, impatient of deliberation, led the way to battle, we find the missionaries “considered it their duty to go, to do all they could to prevent the further loss of life,” and consequently accompanying the tribe till the musket bullets flew too thickly around for safety. The issue was a murderous attack on the offending tribe, which, after all, appears to have been previously the aggrieved party.

Now after making all allowance for the difficult situation in which the missionaries were placed as the confidential advisers of the natives, we cannot but think a more clear and full conviction of the utter incompatibility of the functions of the preacher of the gospel and the magistrate, would have been exceedingly beneficial, and might have given so decided a tone to their remonstrances as to have prevented the effusion of blood. We are confirmed in

this view, by finding in the same letter the following paragraphs relative to another occurrence. “So soon as it was known that the murderer belonged to the chief Pi of Waima, by the wish of our people, I went over thither accompanied by Mr. Hawkes, to induce Pi to have the murderer captured and given up to justice. On our arrival, we found that this had been done already. The man was taken by a Christian chief residing at Waima, of the name of Moses, who, when he had taken and bound him, sent for Pi, the chief, to whom he belonged ; and while the messengers were away, I was rejoiced to learn that Moses and our other Christian natives endeavoured to prepare the poor man for his fate by supplicating the throne of Mercy on his behalf and directing him to the Saviour of his soul. He recommended Pi to take the man to Maugungu, where the murders had been committed, and there have him put to death. To this, however, Pi would not consent, but ordered his men to shoot him forthwith,”(without judge or jury), “ this was done, and our people afterwards buried his body." We cannot exactly say what the apostles would have thought of Christians officiating in all these various offices informer, constable, chaplain, sexton, and all but public executioner ; but we confess, our minds dwell with a much greater feeling of confidence in the reality of conversion, when we behold native Christians under a still heathen government, as at Madagascar, “ loving not their lives unto the death” for the sake of Jesus. There we see the bright image of the Sun of righteousness wrought out by the Spirit in those who bear his name; but in the other instance all appears questionable, dark, and savouring much more of the law, which demanded “ Thine eye shall not pity, but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, &c,” than of the precepts of Christ who came “not to destroy men's lives but to save them.” We have no reason to doubt the piety and devotedness of the missionaries referred to, nor that they are true lovers of peace. We merely mention these circum. stances as an illustration of principles. For it is in society in this rude and primitive state, that we have the best illustration of the operation of principles, and though the national recognition of Christianity is presented in its most attractive features in the South Sea Islands, we very much doubt whether the national form which it has assumed there, will be found eventually the most favourable to real spiritual prosperity.

There would appear at the first sight something very pleasing in the idea of the missionaries assisting the chiefs in framing laws for the government of their subjects; but from the account given by Mr. Williams, it would seem that they found great conscientious difficulties in giving their advice. What punishment to award for murder, proved to be a question which they could not decide. They left this to the chiefs, who fixed on capital punishment. Yet surely, if Christians are to assume the magistrate's “sword" it must be " not in vain,” and if “not in vain," then, unquestionably it must be to the taking away of life. A similar difficulty presses heavily on these advocates of the doctrines of non-resistance, who do not also abjure the possession of political power. Thus, in a prize essay written for the Newcastle Peace Society, by W. Stokes, entitled, “ All War inconsistent with the Christian Religion, &c.” We find the following definition of the duties of the civil magistrate, p. 22; “ This is the final resort of the civil magistrate, even in the use of all means within his legitimate province; he must look for success from the blessing of God. This is to act upon a true Christian principle, which obliging us rather to suffer than do wrong, furnishes us with an adequate reward in the conscious snperintendence and protection of the Lord of all. Let the Christian magistrate ever keep this in view (and it is only such that we refer to), let him employ all the means which the system of mercy and of true wisdom will sanction • let him reason where reason may prevail, or even seize on the guilty ringleader where it is necessary, but let him never think of killing ; and when in prudence and with promptitude, he has so far proceeded to protect the community whose interests are in endangered, then let him commit himself and them to the special care of Heaven. Such a course must succeed; it enlists Omnipotence itself on the side of suffering innocence, and arms them with a power, more secure than could be furnished by the pointed bayonet, the roaring cannon, or the destroying sword.”

How differently do the Scriptures teach, Rom. xiii.! “He beareth not the sword in vain, for he is the minister of God, a REVENGER TO EXECUTE WRATH upon him that doeth evil.”

But if difficulties arise in the administration or enactment of laws, these are increased more than tenfold in the case of civil commotion. What are we to say to the wars of the “ Christian party " against the heathen? Mr. Williams says, p. 243, “ I was distressed at hearing that contrary to what had taken place in other islands, some of the Christian party at Mangaia had acted with great cruelty towards their enemies, by hewing them in pieces, whilst they were begging for mercy.” Again, at Raiatia (p. 188), we find one of the Christians formerly a noted warrior, said to the chief, “ Allow me to select all our effective men and make an attack on the heathens while in the confusion of landing. A panic may seize them, and God may work a deliverance for us." position was agreed to, but the chief himself said, “ Before we go, let us unite in prayer:” men, women, and children then knelt down outside their stone embankment, and the king implored the God of Jacob to cover their head in the day of battle; and on concluding, thus addressed his little band of faithful followers ;-“ Now go, and may the presence of Jesus go with you."* The arrangement proved most successful. Again, at Rarotonga, (p. 183), “Those who still remained heathen, were continually offering provocation to the Christians, who by not resenting their conduct, subjected themselves to still greater annoyance; and one of them, while passing through their district to his own, was most severely beaten, and had one of his ears torn nearly off. This led to a conflict between the parties, in which the Christians conquered. The victors then, as the custom was, led the captives by their long hair, down to the sea-side, not however, as formerly, to put them to death and feast upon

their bodies, but to present them to the chiefs, who instead of ordering them to be injured, advised them to embrace this good religion,” &c.t

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We would remark on this prayer, that Psalm cxl. which contains the text, “Thou hast covered my head in the day of battle," also includes the desire, in reference to the enemies spoken of, Let burning coals fall upon them, let them be cast into the fire, into deep pits that they rise not again ;" but when the two disciples asked the Lord, “ Wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elias did ? Jesus turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not of what spirit ye are of,” and as to invoking “the presence of Jesus,” we find that when Jesus was present, and the sword was drawn, he said “Put up again thy sword into his place ; for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”

+ Meantime, while British Christians are divided in opinion about the lawfulness of war, conscience speaks out in a voice of thunder to the unsophisticated native convert.

Let those who advocate the participation of Christians, in what a converted Waterloo-man emphatically denounced as “ devil's work,” read the following, and pause and search their Bibles again on the subject.

At the commencement of the year 1830, Waiapu (a young man under their instruction), was enticed to Kororareka, where he was engaged in the battle that took place between some of the neighbouring tribes for the possession of that village and harbour. He was spared 66 When an

While we would not cast the slightest shade upon the conduct of the devoted servants of the Lord, who have laboured in those islands, and gladly admit the self-denial, and the christian wisdom they have manifested in declining to assume the political power they might have exercised; we yet repeat our fears that much of the apparent national conversion may be owing more to conviction of the superiority of the English in the arts of civilised life, than to any deep impression on the heart.

It was not by victories such as we have recorded, that the gospel triumphed when it went forth in power ; when the weapons of the apostle's warfare were not carnal but mighty through God. We do not doubt that the preserving care of a gracious Providence, was extended over these native converts even in conflicts which appear to us entirely foreign to the spirit of Christianity, but it was in a very

different way, by “ an unresisting resistance unto blood” that the Church took root in the whole world. “ The more," says Origen,“ kings and the rulers of the nations and people everywhere afflicted them, the more they mul.tiplied and prevailed exceedingly.' “ We are multiplied,” says Tertullian, “soo often as we are mown down by you. The blood of Christians is seed.” And Justin, himself a martyr, relates how, “ when he was content with Platonism, the endurance of Christians, and their fearlessness of death, and every thing accounted fearful,” won his first favourable regard to the gospel. ungodly man” says Chrysostom, bears rule, persecuting us on every side, and encompassing us with innumerable evils, then doth our state become bright and glorious." “ We were enjoined not to strike, says Justin, “but through endurance and meekness to lead all from things shameful, and evil desires. And this we can shew you in many cases, where men, from being violent and oppressors, were changed, being subdued either by narrow observance of a neighbour's lasting endurance, or having noted the strange patience of travellers when defrauded, or having made trial of it in commercial intercourse." “Christians,” says Justin, or one of his time, “ abound more and more through suffering, every day; see you not how they are cast to the beasts, that they may be made to deny their Lord, and are not overcome ! See you not how they abound in proportion with the increase of their sufferings ? these things seem not like to the work of men, but they are the power of God, and indications of his

Until that fixed and definite future period (Rev. xi. 15–19), when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and of his Christ, we have no reason given us to expect that war will cease, or, that government can be carried on, on any other principle than that of opposing force to force, and being ever prepared for the resistance of foreign or internal evil. The experiment of conducting government on the principles of non-resistance was tried, under the most advantageous circumstances, in the government of Pennsylvania, but the experiment proved entirely Utopian and abortive; a vessel taken by privateers, put the principle to the test, and as it was not possible to save the sloop, and the principle also, the pirates were pursued

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presence.”*

in the midst of slaughter; and returned in safety, though covered with shame, to the mission, and to his home. Not many days elapsed after this

, 'ere he was visited with strong and overwhelming compunctions of conscience, on account of his conduct in the battle. His heart was smitten, and the arrows of the Almighty, which to him, felt as if their barbs were poisoned, stuck fast in him. They were, however, not the shafts of death, as he thought them to be, but the forerunners of mercy; they drove him to the cross of Christ, where he found pardon for all his sins, and balm for the deepest and most painful wounds of the soul.” – Yates, N. Zealand, pages 297—8. * Patience and confidence the strength of the church, p. 21. VOL. II.

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and the vessel retaken. Then, subsequently the insecurity of life and proderty led to the entire abandonment of the scheme. This insecurity, if we may believe a contemporaneous account, † had arisen to an alarming pitch. “The enemy,” it was said, “are lurking in every part of the country, and every

week (almost every day) brings us the catastrophe of some unsuspecting family: and we are no nearer our purpose of defence than at first. The money granted, is of little or no use, for want of an equal and just military law,” &c.

We confess ourselves dissenters on principle, and that we have no objection to “ see whither our principles lead us, and to work them out fairly to their conclusions.”(Ch. Ob. p. 178). We cannot see any warrant in the New Testament for the disciples of Jesus taking any part in the government of a world, of which, as yet, Satan is described as the god and prince, and in the "glory of which he has evidently so large a share. We do not think that true Christians either benefit the world or themselves by their interference in political affairs, “their citizenship (Tolltevua) is in heaven;" and we candidly confess, we think “the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light;" that they often act with greater moderation, with far less bigotry and sectarianism, and prove themselves the best adapted to possess that authority which we do not believe can be consistently exercised by “ the saints of God,” who are “not of this world even as Jesus was not of the world.” We are aware that these are not principles likely to be widely embraced or acted upon in the present day. On the one hand, Mr. Bickersteth as the representative of one class of Christians appears (if we apprehend his meaning) to consider such views as “in fact a practical denial of Christ's authority over the earth.”

* Leslie's Works, Vol. II. p. 101, 567.
+ Quoted in the “Yorkshireman.” Vol. v. p. 349. Longman and Co.

Mr. Bickersteth, in a recent pamphlet * On the Dangers of the Church of Christ," speaks of the infidel spirit of “a real denial of Christ's authority over the earth,” as tainting the dissenters and “ a practical denial of the power or purpose of Divine Truth to redeem all human relationships for God and his service," as the “main principle of the Plymouth brethren.” Now, since we do not suppose, either that the one denies that to him every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father, or that the other rejects the truth, that he must reign till he hath put all his enemies under his feet, we conclude the meaning of this truly estimable writer to be, that all human relationships are such now, that a Christian may lawfully enter into and faithfully fulfil them. For example, he strenuously protests (p. 33) against the doctrine, that war is unlawful to the Christian, and asserts that, according to the upholders of such views, "the inspired Apostle was grossly deceived, when he said of the magistrate, ‘He. beareth not the sword in vain,' he ought to have said, that to bear it at all is wickedness.”

But can Mr. B. see no distinction between that which is appointed by Jehovah as the God of Providence, and that which is according to bis precepts for his accepted and ransomed children to execute. The government of Nero was “ordained of God," but a Christian could not have filled the throne of Nero. It was not " wickedness" in Samuel to hew Agag in pieces before the Lord : it was according to the will of God; but the Christian could not follow this example.

Again, there is a principle explicitly set forth in one of the Psalms, which we believe to be of very extensive application, “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee :” a remarkable instance of this may be found in Isaiah, where the Assyrian monarch is exhibited as fulfilling the purposes of God, whilst he was following the vain imaginations of his own evil heart. He was the “minister of God” in that thing: yet was it “ wickedness” in him, for we find him punished for it after he had effected the purposes for which his wrath was permitted to have its way. Even so, much of magistracy and of government may now be carried forward on principles quite foreign to the spirit of Christianity; and yet be overruled by the wisdom of God to effect his purposes. When he sees meet to give to a nation (as to us at the present time), the blessings of a peaceful, equitable, and secure administration of justice, and when the believer has the privilege of living under such a government, he ought to recognise in this state of things, his Father's controling hand, and be thankful

But it does not therefore follow, that things are in such a state, that he could consistently share in directing them.

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