[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.]
Sta,—In your issue of July 4th I pointed out that the whole New Testament accepted war as a fact in human life, just as it accepted slavery (Matt. xxiv. 6 ; Luke xiv. 81). It also accepts the principle of capital punishment (Rom. xiii. 4) and even represents Christ Himself as riding on a white war-horse with " a vesture dipped in blood " because " in righteousness doth He make war " (Rev. xix. llsq.). No attempt to turn these passages is made by my two critics of last week but disparagement of my standpoint under the misleading title of " The Voice of Prejudice." It is the voice of the New Testament !
Mr. Ashe, however, goes one better. He admits that right has to be " fought for," but apparently not by earthly weapons. And he proceeds to quote the single instance of Christ in the Garden on the eve of His crucifixion refusink to allow His disciples on that occasion to use the sword in His defence. But there is no parallel. His hour 'as the great sacrifice for sin was come. He voluntarily allowed Himself to be betrayed into the hands of wicked men, else " how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled ? " But this in no way lays down a general principle for the action of the State, which is (as St. Paul said of Nero's government) " God's minister " to the Church " for good " (Rom.
Indeed, our Lord foretold to the Jews the break-up of their Church and State by the Roman armies for their unbelief in His mission.
So, too, was not England right when in 1914 she refused to allow Belgium and France to be trampled under by the German armies which had been prepared, for their breach of international faith some fifty years beforehand ? There is a Nemesis in this world for wrong-doing and righteous nations are the executors of the Divine justice, just as Nebuchad- nezzar and Cyrus and the Emperor Titus were in the days of the Old and New Testaments. And it is so to-day. That is what churches and sentimentalists are apt to forget— what Bishop Butler called " the moral government of the
The Rectory,- Devizes.