1868.]       Jewish Wars as Precedents for Modern Wars.       115

existence. The only exciting cause between the parties was a
desire on the part of the Jews to possess the land, and a determin-
ation on the part of the Canaanites to repel an unprovoked in-
vasion. The same may be said substantially of Saul's war against
the Amalekiies. The only complaint of the Jews alleged in the
history is, that the ancestors of the Amalekites, nearly five hun-
dred years before, had attacked the ancestors of the Israelites as
they were passing through the wilderness. (1 Sam. xv., 1-3.) The
attacking party had then met with a severe defeat, but now their
descendants, of a remote generation, must be slaughtered, men,
women, and children, without any new offense to the invading party.
Yet, if our argument is a sound one, Christians may now, as the
Jews did then, invade the territories of a neighboring nation, and
slaughter the inhabitants, without even a complaint against them.
God has sanctioned such wars, and what he has sanctioned can not
be morally wrong. Those who insist that such wars are wrong,
must admit that God himself has sanctioned wrong. How unfor-
tunate for the world's great warriors that this argument was not
sooner discovered! It would have justified all the conquests of
Alexander, Caesar, Tamerlane, and Napoleon, and even the rav-
ages of every savage chief who ever burned a peaceful village and
slaughtered its inhabitants. It gives them all the sanction of
divine approbation; yet, strange to say, it is the argument of men
who deny the innocence of any but defensive war. There is no
escape from this conclusion; for the fact that God has sanctioned
wars of extermination does most unquestionably prove that such
wars are not, necessarily, because they are such, and for no other
reason, morally wrong. That such a conclusion springs legiti-
mately from an argument employed by those who deny the inno-
cence of all offensive wars, should make them suspect that it is
fallacious, for it proves too much for their own cause. They are
certainly right in condemning offensive wars in general; and
when we come to see in what way they may be condemned, with
these divine precedents before us, we will see clearly the defect in
the argument which we are considering.
   But this argument involves the parties who employ it in an
inconsistency still more gross, if possible, than the above. Con-

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