« AnteriorContinuar »
suit of honour, when set loose from the admonitions of prudence, becomes in kings a wild and romantic passion: eager to engage, and gathering fury in its progress, it is checked by no difficulties, repelled by no dangers; it forgets or despises those considerations of safety, ease, wealth, and plenty, which, in the eye of true public wisdom, compose the objects to which the renown of arms, the fame of victory, are only instrumental and subordinate. The pursuit of interest, on the other hand, is a sober princi
to what may be called their natural sovereign, though it may not be a just reason for commencing war, would be a proper use to make of victory, The other case is, where neighbouring states, being severally too small and weak to defend themselves against the dangers that surround them, can only be safe by a strict and constant junction of their strength: here conquest will affect the purposes of confederation and alliance; and the union which it produces is often more close and permanent than that which results from voluntary association.ple; computes costs and consequences; is cautious Thus, if the heptarchy had continued in England, of entering into war; stops in time: when regulated the different kingdoms of it might have separately by those universal maxims of relative justice which fallen a prey to foreign invasion: and although belong to the affairs of communities as well as of the interest and danger of one part of the island private persons, it is the right principle for nations were in truth common to every other part, it might to proceed by: even when it trespasses upon these have been difficult to have circulated this persua- regulations, it is much less dangerous, because sion amongst independent nations, or to have much more temperate than the other. united them in any regular or steady opposition to their continental enemies, had not the valour and fortune of an enterprising prince incorporated the whole into a single monarchy. Here, the conquered gained as much by the revolution, as the conquerors. In like manner, and for the same reason, when the two royal families of Spain were met together in one race of princes, and the several provinces of France had devolved into the possession of a single sovereign, it became unsafe for the inhabitants of Great Britain any longer to remain under separate governments. The union of England and Scotland, which transformed two quarrelsome neighbours into one powerful empire, and which was first brought about by the course of succession, and afterwards completed by amicable convention, would have been a fortunate conclusion of hostilities, had it been effected by the operations of war.-These two cases being admitted, namely, the obtaining of natural boundaries and barriers, and the including under the same government those who have a common danger and a common enemy to guard against; I know not whether a third can thought of, in which the extension of empire by conquest is useful even to the conquerors.
II. The conduct of war.-If the cause and end of war be justifiable; all the means that appear necessary to the end, are justifiable also. This is the principle which defends those extremities to which the violence of war usually proceeds: for since war is a contest by force between parties who acknowledge no common superior, and since it includes not in its idea the supposition of any convention which should place limits to the operations of force, it has naturally no boundary but that in which force terminates, the destruction of the life against which the force is directed. Let it be observed, however, that the license of war authorises no acts of hostility but what are necessary or conducive to the end and object of the war. Gratuitous barbarities borrow no excuse from this plea: of which kind is every cruelty and every insult that serves only to exasperate the sufferings, or to incense the hatred, of an enemy, without weakening his strength, or in any manner tending to procure his submission; such as the slaughter of captives, the subjecting of them to indignities or torture, the violation of women, the profanation of temples, the demolition of public buildings, libraries, statues, and in general the destruction or defacing of works that conduce nothing to annoyance or defence. These enormities are prohibited not only by the practice of civilized nations, but by the law of nature itself; as having no proper tendency to accelerate the termination, or accomplish the object of the war; and as containing that which in peace and war is equally unjustifiable,ultimate and gratuitous mischief.
The second rule of prudence which ought to be recommended to those who conduct the affairs of nations, is, "never to pursue national honour as distinct from national interest." This rule acknowledges that it is often necessary to assert the honour of a nation for the sake of its interest. The spirit and courage of a people are supported by flattering their pride. Concessions which betray There are other restrictions imposed upon the too much of fear or weakness, though they relate conduct of war, not by the law of nature primarily, to points of mere ceremony, invite demands and but by the laws of war, first, and by the law of attacks of more serious importance. Our rule nature as seconding and ratifying the laws of war. allows all this; and only directs that, when points The laws of war are part of the law of nations; of honour become subjects of contention between and founded, as to their authority, upon the same sovereigns, or are likely to be made the occasion of principle with the rest of that code, namely, upon war, they be estimated with a reference to utility, the fact of their being established, no matter when and not by themselves. "The dignity of his crown, or by whom; upon the expectation of their being the honour of his flag, the glory of his arms," in mutually observed, in consequence of that estathe mouth of a prince, are stately and imposing blishment; and upon the general utility which terins; but the ideas they inspire, are insatiable. results from such observance. The binding force It may be always glorious to conquer, whatever of these rules is the greater, because the regard be the justice of the war, or the price of the vic- that is paid to them must be universal or noue. tory. The dignity of a sovereign may not permit The breach of the rule can only be punished by the him to recede from claims of homage and respect, subversion of the rule itself: on which account, the at whatever expense of national peace and happi- whole mischief that ensues from the laws of those ness they are to be maintained; however unjust salutary restrictions which such rules prescribe, is they may have been in their original, or in their justly chargeable upon the first aggressor. To continuance however useless to the possessor, or this consideration may be referred the duty of remortifying and vexatious to other states. The pur-fraining in war from poison and from assassina
excess of numbers, and a ready supply of recruits may sustain a defensive or a flying war against regular troops: it is also true that any service, which keeps soldiers for a while together, and inures them by little and little to the habits of war and the dangers of action, transforms them in effect into a standing army. But upon this plan it may be necessary for almost a whole nation to go out to war to repel an invader; beside that a people so unprepared must always have the seat, and with it the miseries, of war at home, being utterly incapable of carrying their operations into a foreign country.
From the acknowledged superiority of standing armies, it follows, not only that it is unsafe for a nation to disband its regular troops, whilst neighbouring kingdoms retain theirs; but also that
tion. If the law of nature simply be consulted, it may be difficult to distinguish between these and other methods of destruction, which are practised without scruple by nations at war. If it be lawful to kill an enemy at all, it seems lawful to do so by one mode of death as well as by another; by a dose of poison, as by the point of a sword; by the hand of an assassin, as by the attack of an army: for if it be said that one species of assault leaves to an enemy the power of defending itself against it, and that the other two does not; it may be answered, that we possess at least the same right to cut off an enemy's defence, that we have to seek his destruction. In this manner might the question be debated, if there existed no rule or law of war upon the subject. But when we observe that such practices are at present excluded by the usage and opinions of civilized nations; that the first re-regular troops provide for the public service at the course to them would be followed by instant re-least possible expense. I suppose a certain quantaliation; that the mutual license which such tity of military strength to be necessary, and I say attempts must introduce, would fill both sides with that a standing army costs the community less the misery of continual dread and suspicion, with- than any other establishment which presents out adding to the strength or success of either; to an enemy the same force. The constant that when the example came to be more generally drudgery of low employments is not only incomimitated, which it soon would be, after the senti-patible with any great degree of perfection or exment that condemns it had been once broken in pertness in the profession of a soldier, but the proupon, it would greatly aggravate the horrors and fession of a soldier almost always unfits men for calamities of war, yet procure no superiority to the business of regular occupations. Of three inany of the nations engaged in it; when we view habitants of a village, it is better that one should these effects, we join in the public reprobation of addict himself entirely to arms, and the other two such fatal expedients, as of the admission amongst stay constantly at home to cultivate the ground, mankind of new and enormous evils without ne- than that all three should mix the avocations of a cessity or advantage.-The law of nature, we see camp, with the business of husbandry. By the at length, forbids these innovations, as so many former arrangement, the country gains one comtransgressions of a beneficial general rule actually plete soldier, and two industrious husbandmen; subsisting. from the latter it receives three raw militia-men, who are at the same time three idle and profligate peasants. It should be considered also, that the emergencies of war wait not for seasons. Where there is no standing army ready for immediate service, it may be necessary to call the reaper from the fields in harvest, or the ploughman in seed time; and the provision of a whole year may perish by the interruption of one month's labour. A standing army, therefore, is not only a more effectual, but a cheaper, method of providing for the public safety, than any other, because it adds more than any other to the common strength, and takes less from that which composes the wealth of a nation,-its stock of productive industry.
Long and various experience seems to have convinced the nations of Europe, that nothing but a standing army can oppose a standing army, where the numbers on each side bear any moderate proportion to one another. The first standing army that appeared in Europe after the fall of the Roman legion, was that which was erected in France, by Charles VII. about the middle of the fifteenth century: and that the institution hath since become general, can only be attributed to the superiority and success which are every where observed to attend it. The truth is, the closeness, regularity, and quickness, of their movements; the unreserved, instantaneous, and almost mechanical, obedience to orders; the sense of personal honour, and the familiarity with danger, which belong to a disciplined, veteran, and embodied soldiery, give such firmness and intrepidity to their approach, such weight and execution to their attack, as are not to be withstood by loose ranks of occasional and newly-levied troops, who are liable by their inex-be looked for from this general diffusion of the perience to disorder and confusion, and in whom military character, becomes an inquiry of great fear is constantly augmented by novelty and sur- importance and delicacy. To me it appears doubtprise. It is possible that a militia, with a greatful whether any government can be long secure,
There is yet another distinction between standing armies and militias, which deserves a more attentive consideration than any that has been mentioned. When the state relies, for its defence, upon a militia, it is necessary that arms be put into the hands of the people at large. The militia itself must be numerous, in proportion to the want or inferiority of its discipline, and the imbecilities or defects of its constitution. Moreover, as such a militia must be supplied by rotation, allotment, or some mode of succession whereby they who have served a certain time are replaced by fresh drafts from the country; a much greater number will be instructed in the use of arms, and will have been occasionally embodied together, than are actually employed, or than are supposed to be wanted, at the same time. Now what effects upon the civil condition of the country may
The license of war then acknowledges two limitations: it authorises no hostilities which have not an apparent tendency to effectuate the object of the war; it respects those positive laws which the custom of nations hath sanctified, and which whilst they are mutually conformed to, mitigate the calamities of war, without weakening its operations, or diminishing the power or safety of belligerent states.
where the people are acquainted with the use of ours, if the direction and officering of the army arms, and accustomed to resort to them. Every were placed in the hands of the democratic part of faction will find itself at the head of an army; the constitution, this power, added to what they every disgust will excite commotion, and every already possess, would so overbalance all that commotion become a civil war. Nothing, perhaps, would be left of regal prerogative, that little would can govern a nation of armed citizens but that remain of monarchy in the constitution, but the which governs an army,-despotism. I do not name and expense; nor would these probably mean that a regular government would become remain long. Whilst we describe, however, the advantages of despotic by training up its subjects to the knowledge and exercise of arms, but that it would ere standing armies, we must not conceal the danger. long be forced to give way to despotism in some These properties of their constitution,-the solother shape; and that the country would be liable diery being separated in a great degree from the to what is even worse than a settled and constitu- rest of the community, their being closely linked tional despotism-to perpetual rebellions, and to amongst themselves by habits of society and subperpetual revolutions; to short and violent usur-ordination, and the dependency of the whole pations; to the successive tyranny of governors, chain upon the will and favour of the prince,rendered cruel and jealous by the danger and in- however essential they may be to the purposes for which armies are kept up, give them an aspect in stability of their situation. no wise favourable to public liberty. The danger, however, is diminished, by maintaining, on all
The same purposes of strength and efficacy which make a standing army necessary at all, make it necessary in mixed governments, that occasions, as much alliance of interest, and as this army be submitted to the management and much intercourse of sentiment, between the milidirection of the prince: for however well a popular tary part of the nation and the other orders of the council may be qualified for the offices of legisla- people, as are consistent with the union and distion, it is altogether unfit for the conduct of war: cipline of an army. For which purpose, officers in which, success usually depends upon vigour of the army, upon whose disposition towards the and enterprise; upon secrecy, dispatch, and una- commonwealth a great deal may depend, should nimity; upon a quick perception of opportunities, be taken from the principal families of the country, and the power of seizing every opportunity and at the same time also be encouraged to estaimmediately. It is likewise necessary that the blish in it families of their own, as well as be adobedience of an army be as prompt and active as mitted to seats in the senate, to hereditary distincpossible; for which reason it ought to be made an tions, and to all the civil honours and privileges obedience of will and emulation. Upon this con- that are compatible with their profession: which sideration is founded the expediency of leaving to circumstances of connexion and situation will give the prince not only the government and destina- them such a share in the general rights of the tion of the army, but the appointment and pro- people, and so engage their inclinations on the motion of its officers: because a design is then side of public liberty, as to afford a reasonable sealone likely to be executed with zeal and fidelity curity that they cannot be brought, by any promises when the person who issues the order, chooses of personal aggrandizement, to assist, in the exethe instruments, and rewards the service. To cution of measures which might enslave their which we may subjoin, that, in governments like posterity, their kindred, and their country.
THE SCRIPTURE HISTORY OF ST. PAUL EVINCED.
TO THE RIGHT REVEREND JOHN LAW, D. D.
LORD BISHOP OF KILLALA AND ACHONRY,
As a testimony of esteem for his virtues and learning, and of gratitude for the long and faithful friendship with which the Author has been honoured by him, this attempt to confirm the Evidence of the Christian History is inscribed, by his affectionate and most obliged Servant,
3. The history and letters may have been founded upon some authority common to both; as upon reports and traditions which prevailed in the age in which they were composed, or upon some ancient record now lost, which both writers consulted; in which case also, the letters, without being genuine, may exhibit marks of conformity with the history; and the history, without being true, may agree with the letters.
Agreement, therefore, or conformity, is only to be relied upon so far as we can exclude these several suppositions. Now the point to be noticed is, that in the three cases above enumerated, conformity must be the effect of design. Where the history is compiled from the letters, which is the first case, the design and composition of the work are in general so confessed, or made so evident by comparison, as to leave us in no danger of confounding the production with original history, or of mistaking it for an independent authority. The agreement, it is probable, will be close and uniform, and will easily be perceived to result from the intention of the author, and from the plan and conduct of his work-Where the letters are fabricated from the history, which is the second case, it is always for the purpose of imposing a forgery upon the public; and in order to give colour and 1. The history may, like Middleton's Life of probability to the fraud, names, places, and cirCicero, or Jortin's Life of Erasmus, have been cumstances, found in the history, may be stuwholly, or in part, compiled from the letters; in diously introduced into the letters, as well as a genwhich case it is manifest that the history adds no- eral consistency be endeavoured to be maintained. thing to the evidence already afforded by the let-But here it is manifest that whatever congruity ters; or, appears, is the consequence of meditation, artifice, and design.-The third case is that wherein the history and the letters, without any direct privity or communication with each other, derive their materials from the same source; and, by reason of their common original, furnish instances of accordance and correspondency. This is a situation 166
Exposition of the Argument.
THE volume of Christian Scriptures contains thirteen letters purporting to be written by St. Paul: it contains also a book, which, amongst other things, professes to deliver the history, or rather memoirs of the history, of this same person. By assuming the genuineness of the letters, we may prove the substantial truth of the history: or, by assuming the truth of the history, we may argue strongly in support of the genuineness of the letters. But I assume neither one nor the other. The reader is at liberty to suppose these writings to have been lately discovered in the library of the Escurial, and to come to our hands destitute of any extrinsic or collateral evidence whatever; and the argument I am about to offer is calculated to show, that a comparison of the different writings would, even under these circumstances, afford good reason to believe the persons and transactions to have been real, the letters authentic, and the narration in the main to be true.
Agreement or conformity between letters bearing the name of an ancient author, and a received history of that author's life, does not necessarily establish the credit of either; because,
2. The letters may have been fabricated out of the history; a species of imposture which is certainly practicable; and which, without any accession of proof or authority, would necessarily produce the appearance of consistency and agree ment; or,
in which we must allow it to be possible for, ancient writings to be placed; and it is a situation in which it is more difficult to distinguish spurious from genuine writings, than in either of the cases described in the preceding suppositions; inasmuch as the congruities observable are so far accidental, as that they are not produced by the immediate transplanting of names and circumstances out of one writing into the other. But although, with respect to each other, the agreement in these writings be mediate and secondary, yet it is not properly or absolutely undesigned: because, with respect to the common original from which the information of the writers proceeds, it is studied and factitious. The case of which we treat must, as to the letters, be a case of forgery: and when the writer who is personating another, sits down to his composition--whether he have the history with which we now compare the letters, or some other record before him; or whether he have only loose tradition and reports to go by-he must adapt his inposture, as well as he can, to what he finds in these accounts; and his adaptations will be the result of counsel, scheme, and industry: art must be employed; and vestiges will appear of management and design. Add to this, that, in most of the following examples, the circumstances in which the coincidence is remarked, are of too particular and domestic a nature, to have floated down upon the stream of general tradition.
thing sought after and ascertained: it must be the groundwork of every other observation.
The reader then will please to remember this word undesignedness, as denoting that upon which the construction and validity of our argument chiefly depend.
As to the proofs of undesignedness, I shall in this place say little; for I had rather the reader's persuasion should arise from the instances themselves; and the separate remarks with which they may be accompanied, than from any previous formulary or description of argument. In a great plurality of examples, I trust he will be perfectly convinced that no design or contrivance whatever has been exercised: and if some of the coincidences alleged appear to be minute, circuitous, or oblique, let him reflect that this very indirectness and subtility is that which gives force and propriety to the example. Broad, obvious, and explicit agreements prove little; because it may be suggested that the insertion of such is the ordinary expedient of every forgery: and though they may occur, and probably will occur in genuine writings, yet it cannot be proved that they are peculiar to these. Thus what St. Paul declares in chap. xi. of 1 Cor. concerning the institution of the eucharist—“ For I have received of the Lord that which I also delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread; and when he had given thanks he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me"-though it be in close and verbal conformity with the account of the same transaction preserved by St. Luke, is yet a conformity of which no use can be made in our argument; for if it should be objected that this was a mere recital from the gospel, borrowed by the author of the epistle, for the purpose of setting off his composition by an appearance of agreement with the received account of the Lord's supper, I should not know how to repel the insinuation. In like manner, the description which St. Paul gives of himself in his epistle to the Philippians (iii. 5.) -"Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the Church; touch
Of the three cases which we have stated, the difference between the first and the two others is, that in the first the design may be fair and honest, in the others it must be accompanied with the consciousness of fraud; but in all there is design. In examining, therefore, the agreement between ancient writings, the character of truth and originality is undesignedness: and this test applies to every supposition; for, whether we suppose the history to be true, but the letters spurious; or, the letters to be genuine, but the history false; or, lastly, falsehood to belong to both-the history to be a fable, and the letters fictitious: the same inference will result-that either there will be no agreement between them, or the agreement will be the effect of design. Nor will it elude the principle of this rule, to suppose the same person to have been the author of all the letters, or evening the righteousness which is in the law, blamethe author both of the letters and the history; for less"-is made up of particulars so plainly deno less design is necessary to produce coincidence livered concerning him, in the Acts of the Aposbetween different parts of a man's own writings, tles, the Epistle to the Romans, and the Epistle to especially when they are made to take the differ- the Galatians, that I cannot deny but that it ent forms of a history and of original letters, than would be easy for an impostor, who was fabricato adjust them to the circumstances found in any ting a letter in the name of St. Paul, to collect other writing. these articles into one view. This, therefore, is a conformity which we do not adduce. But when I read in the Acts of the Apostles, that when "Paul came to Derbe and Lystra, behold a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman which was a jewess;" and when, in an epistle addressed to Timothy, I find him reminded of his "having known the Holy Scriptures from a child;" which implies that he must, on one side or both, have been brought up by Jewish parents: I conceive that I remark a coincidence which shows, by its very obliquity, that scheme was not employed in its formation. In like manner, if a coincidence depend upon a comparison of dates, or rather of circumstances from which the dates are gathered-the more intricate that comparison shall be; the more numerous the intermediate steps through which the conclusion
With respect to those writings of the New Testament which are to be the subject of our present consideration, I think, that, as to the authenticity of the epistles, this argument, where it is sufficiently sustained by instances, is nearly conclusive; for I cannot assign a supposition of forgery, in which comcidences of the kind we inquire ter are likely to appear. As to the history, it extends to these points:-It proves the general reality of the circumstances: it proves the historian's knowledge of these circumstances. In the present instance it confirms his pretensions of having been a contemporary, and in the latter part of his history, a companion, of St. Paul. In a word, it establishes the substantial truth of the narration; and substantial truth is that, which, in every historical inquiry, ought to be the first