1868.]       Jewish Wars as Precedents for Modern Wars.       123

prophet of God was consulted, or, in the absence of a prophet, an
appeal was made to God by the high-priest in the temple. Thus
the authority of God, revealed in reference to each particular
war, was their only justifying excuse for taking up arms, and
their only guarantee of success. This express revelation of God's
will not only justified them, but left their enemies without excuse.
Whilst the law of defense against unprovoked invasion would
justify the Canaanites in their resistance, and would have enlisted
every advocate for defensive war in their favor, the principle
which governed Jewish wars condemns their resistance. They
had committed crimes worthy of death; not, indeed, against the
Israelites who assailed them, but against God; and the fact that
it was God who ordered their extermination, is the consideration
which made it their duty to quietly submit. They were in the
condition of a condemned criminal led to the gallows by an
executioner who has no quarrel against him, and who rightly
takes his life under authority of law, though the same act without
such authority would be as inexcusable as the conduct of the
criminal himself.
   In order to see how these Jewish precedents affect the right of
nations to wage war at the present day, we must consider them as
if they were the only precedents known to us. We must take the
nations back under Jewish law, and suppose them, while under
that law, to wage just such wars as they now do. Or, to effect
the same object in another way, we must suppose that revelation
ceased with the Old Testament scriptures, and that nations are
now living under that law. This supposition is necessary in
order to prevent confusion of thought, and to enable us to see
these precedents in their own light alone. It places us in this
singular condition,
 - under a law which justifies us in waging any
kind of war which God may specifically authorize, but forbids
to wage any war for which he does not grant specific authority.
In addition to this, we find that he has absolutely ceased to com-
municate authority to undertake any particular war, and has
thereby deprived us of the one only cause which can justify us in
fighting even in self-defense. If there had been left to us a
general grant upon the subject, this might have obviated the

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