126         Jewish Wars as Precedents for Modern Wars.         [April,

moral law aside only to the extent of its positive requirements;
so that such a command given to a man on a special occasion
could not justify him in the same act on another occasion, nor
could it justify the same act in another man on any occasion. No
man can argue the general right to sacrifice our children, from the
command to Abraham; nor the general right to betray our native
city to its enemies, from the justification of Rahab. (Jas. ii., 25.)
Some of the Jewish wars, viz., their wars of extermination, are
admitted to be of this same class of actions, and it is further ad-
mitted that they can not be used as precedents to justify any other
nations in waging similar wars; nor could the Jews have used
them as precedents for exterminating any other tribes than those
whom they were specially commanded to exterminate. But all
their wars, whether of offense or defense, were governed by the
same law; they were justified only by special grants of divine
authority; therefore no one class of them more than another can
be used as general precedents.
   We have now fully exhibited, both directly and indirectly, the
fallacy of the argument under consideration. It has deserved
the amount of space we have devoted to it, only in consideration
of the astonishing influence which it has exerted over the minds of
men. From the twilight which preceded the dark ages, through
all the succession of wars which have been waged by Christian
nations and applauded by preachers of the gospel down to the
fierce struggle through which our own country has just passed,
these wars of the Jews have been appealed to as justifying prece-
dents by both parties, with a confidence which would be almost
sublime were it not so utterly unfounded. It is time that the
world were waking from this dream of ages, and beginning to see
the true light which shines from these pages of Jewish history.
They would doubtless have seen it long ago, but for the blinding
effect of passion, and for the readiness with which men catch at
even the appearance of argument, to support them in a course
which they are determined, at all hazards, to pursue. With the
advance of a severer and more logical study of the word of God,
which is beginning to dispel the darkness of ages, we may expect
to see this subject, like many others, come forth into new light
before the world.                                                            M.

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