1868.]       Jewish Wars as Precedents for Modern Wars.       125

that God has sanctioned war in general; but merely that he has
sanctioned some particular wars waged by the Jews. As these
particular wars are all that the minor premise embraces, they are
all which can be embraced in the conclusion. But the term war
in the conclusion is employed in its general sense, and therefore
the argument is fallacious. This can be seen still more readily
by comparing it with the following, which is parallel to it. God
can not approve sinful beings. God has approved men; there-
fore men are not sinful beings.
   Here the minor term men is employed with the same ambiguity
which attaches to the term war in the argument above. The men
whom God has approved are not men in general, as would be re-
quired by the conclusion; but certain men whose sins had been
forgiven, and who were leading righteous lives. The premises
would justify the conclusion that some men are not sinful beings,
but they can prove no more than this. So the argument on war
proves that some wars, viz., those Jewish wars which God sanc-
tioned, were not morally wrong; and it might be employed to
prove that no wars precisely like them are morally wrong; but it
can prove no more than this. We have already seen, that to
prove this much would not serve the purpose of the defenders of
modern wars, seeing that none of the latter are, or can be, pre-
cisely like the approved Jewish wars, because they have not that
special revelation of God's approval which made those wars inno-
cent, and without which they would have been sinful.
   But the major premise contains a false assumption. God has
sanctioned some things which are morally wrong. Our opponents
themselves admit that wars of extermination are morally wrong,
yet we have seen that God has sanctioned some of them. Again:
treason is morally wrong; but God sanctioned that in the case of
Rahab, '"who received the spies, and sent them out another way."
The murder of one's own child is morally wrong, yet God com-
manded it in the case of Abraham. That which is morally wrong,
is known to be so by the precepts of God's moral law. But God
has seen fit, at times, to command, for special reasons of his own,
the performance of deeds which his moral law forbids. In such
cases the positive command sets aside the general moral precept,
and must be obeyed in preference. But a positive law can set the

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