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us, to take up arms for the defense of our country? Certainly it is : and cursed is he, who, having no ties sufficiently strong to confine him at home, keepeth his sword from blood. The man that can desert the cause of his country in such an exigency; his country, in the blessings of which he shared while in peace and prosperity; and which is therefore entitled to his sympathy and assistance in the day of its distress ; that cowardly, ungrateful man, SINS AGAINST GOD AND HIS COUNTRY, AND DESERVES THE CURSE OF BOTH. Such a conduct in such a conjuncture, is a moral evil, a gross wickedness; and exposes the wretch to the heavy curse of God, both in this and the eternal world. * * * Oh! for the all-prevailing force of Demosthenes' oratory--but I recall my wish that I may correct it. Oh! for the influence of the Lord of armies, the God of battles, the Author of true courage, and every heroic virtue, to fire you into patriots and soldiers this moment ! * * Ye that love your country, ENLIST, for honor will follow in life or death in such a cause. * * * I seriously make the proposal to you, not only as a subject of the best of kings, and a friend to your country, but as a servant of the Most High God; for I am fully persuaded what I am recommending is His will, and disobedience to it may expose you to His curse. On a day of Fasting and Prayer, during the continuance of the war, he said in his sermon : « If God governs the world by means of second causes, it is our duty, according to our characters, to use all proper means to defend our country, and stop the encroachments of our enemies. * * * Let us use our influence to diffuse a military spirit around us. I have no seruple thus openly to declare, that such of you whose circumstances allow of it, may not only lawfully enlist and take up arms, but that your doing so is a Christian duty, and acting an honorable part, worthy of a man, a freeman, a Briton, and a Christian." On a subsequent occasion, after victories in the war, in a discourse entitled, “ A Thanksgiving Sermon for National Blessings," he says: "Providence has surprised us in one week with so many and such important turns in our favor, that loyalty, religion, and all the virtues of patriotism and Christianity united require us to take grateful notice of them. Therefore, I beg an hour of your sacred time for this purpose.” After mentioning several victories by name, he proceeds: “Before the hour of victory, destined by heaven, all our attempts were in vain, and issued in inglorious defeats ; but when that hour is come, the terror of the Lord falls upon our enemies, and the important acquisitions are made as without hands. The sword of the Lord and of General Amherst, gleaming from afar, strike our enemies into a panic. * * * may naturally indulge ourselves in all natural decent expressions of joy. We may keep this day as the Jews did the days of Purim, as a day of gladness and joy, of feasting, and sending portions one to another, and
gifts to the poor. (Esther, ix : 19–22.) * * * Let us talk over the goodness of God to our king and country; let our hearts and voices concur in his praise. Praise Him for all our successes, as their original Author.”- Life and Sermons, Vol. III.
Thus spake Samuel Davies, from the pulpit, when his country was involved in war. We have given these extracts at some length because of the high esteem in which he has always been held as an orthodox, able and successful preacher of the Gospel. It would be in vain at this day to attempt his praise. It would be infinitely worse than in vain to say anything to his disparagement. His position has long since been immovably fixed by the unanimous judgment of the church. What, then, indeed, is really to be thought of such preaching from one of the most eminent orators that ever entered a pulpit ?—a man under whose preaching Patrick Henry sat," from his eleventh to his twenty-seventh year," and whose sermons “ produced effects as powerful as those ascribed to Demosthenes," and who “first kindled the fire and afforded the model of Henry's elocution ?” How shall we view this at the present day? Did Davies know what belonged to the true province of the pulpit? Who shall venture to instruct him, or who has the hardihood to become his detractor? But can any possible comparison be made between the importance of the French and Indian war then progressing, and that now threatening the destruction of the Nation?
Who is 80 demented as to attempt it? The practical lesson which the bare asking of such questions teaches is too plain to be stated. And yet, tried by the principle laid down by some modern notions, Samuel Davies, in these sermons, would be charged with having profaned the sanctuary; and these utterances, in the clegant language of some declaimers, would be taken as evidence of “theological blood-thirst!"
And thus bave spoken many of the great men of Christ's church, in various periods and countries, compared with whom none have surpassed and few have equalled them, for all that adorns the ministerial profession. They may safely be followed. They sustain and illustrate, by their pulpit ministrations, our main proposition. And now we repeat—that while it is fully sustained by the Holy Scriptures, in their general principles and in their special teachings, upon all the subjects involved; while it is set forth in the Creeds and Confessions of the Evangelical Church Catholic, in all ages; while it is exemplified by special application to particular cases in many extended Acts and elaborate Deliverances of the Church, upon a variety of subjects, called for by immediate emergencies; and while it has been eloquently illustrated and enforced in the Pulpit of the Living Ministry of former times, who have had no superiors in the profession: on the other hand, we boldly affirm, and challenge the disproof of it, that the negative of this proposition is not sustained by any clear teachings of Holy Writ, in terms, principle, or by any fair deduction; nor by any evangelical creeds or explicit church action of former times; nor by any prominent names in the ministry of any evangelical denomination.
If, then, all this be so, why are we seriously advocating such a well-sustained proposition? It is because the times are sadly out of joint. In our day, during these recent years, men have risen up in the church-some of them, hitherto, of great influence—who declaim against this doctrine. They would bind the spouse of Christ with the green withes of their sophistry, so that she may not strike down with her Heaven-girded power the idols of the Philistines which they worship. Behind the barricade which they have erected, they would fortify the position that the pulpit and church courts must be mute, while leading men in the ministry of the church, and thousands of less note in her membership, led astray by their example, plot treason against the lawful government which protects them, and rise in armed rebellion for its overthrow. And some of these men-ministers and elders in the Presbyterian Churchare leaders in the movement, civil and military, and urge on this diabolical work with all their power. This is the specially painful view of the case, that prominent men in the church—men who have for a few years past, in our highest judicatory, loudly declaimed against the ministry and church courts for meddling with what they misname “politics”-all at once, by a sudden transformation, when their schemes are being frustrated, become the most violent preachers of politics, pure and simple, counsel from the pulpit open resistance to the National Government, and throw all the power of their official character and station in aid of the rebellion !
In this state of the case—when so many in the church have been led away by these high examples, and others are in danger—the pulpit would be recreant to its duty, and the church would deserve the curse of Heaven, did she not, through her ministry and courts, cry aloud and spare not, lift up her voice like a trumpet, and show the Lord's people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins, in this attempt against good and lawful government. The pulpit of this day should emulate the pulpit of former times in every country where Pres. byterianism has had a name, just to the extent and degree that there may be just occasion for it, in any place, or in any branch of the church. And church courts should follow the noble example set them by the Church of Scotland, and by our own church in days gone by; while enjoining upon all, obedience to the lawful government as a religious duty, and denouncing treason and rebellion as sins against God and man, vindicating at the same time the rights of the pulpit, bringing traitors to justice, and visiting upon them - deposition and excommunication. When her tribunals shall do this, the church will deserve the respect of men and enjoy the approbation of God. The pulpit, in these times of peril, need not shun the fiery eloquence of Davies. If his commission was not sullied by his thrilling appeals for loyalty to the government, and for support to its military arm, the commission of no man need be. It should ring out with the clarion notes of Stiles, and Langdon, and Chauncey, and Mayhew, and a host of their coadjutors. It may imitate the boldness of Knox, and Davidson, and the Melvilles. The small men of the present day need not fear to follow where these intellectual and theological giants have led the way. The path which they have trodden, is one of honor, of piety, of duty, and of safety. But how is it with the men of these times ? Ministers even in the loyal states, some of them occupying prominent pulpits in our largest cities, when they find it not safe openly to advocate secession, treason, and rebellion, will palliate, extenuate, and excuse them; while others, apparently not daring to go quite so far, will declaim against the horrors of fratricidal war—and they are terrible enough, as we all too well and painfully know-and will define their own positions in subtle and abstract phrases of convenient construction, and studiously avoid even to pray for the success of the government in putting down rebellion, but will so mince their prayers that they embrace its foes as well; and while still another class, fall back upon and bring out all their logic and lore in an attempt to maintain the position, that this is a subject which the pulpit and church courts must not touch, that it is beyond the province of their proper functions—a proposition which has no solid basis or countenance from truth, human or divine, and which is utterly abhorrent to the readiest and best instincts of the human soul. What! Must society be heaved to its utmost depths, and every interest affecting church and state be imperiled, relating to our moral, social, and religious, as well as our civil welfare, in a country such as ours, and with such a government as ours, a government of the people; and must this terrific struggle for and against our ·NATIONAL LIFE, fill the anxieties of the day and the visions of the night of men of all classes, calling our young men to the battle-field from their workshops and plows, their professions and counting-rooms, from the halls of our colleges and the communion table of our churches; and yet, when all are so enlisted to save the heritage of freedom and self-government which has come down to us from our fathers through a fiery ordeal and a baptism of blood, and when the nations of the whole world and the church of all lands are watching the scene with an interest never before awakened in any cause since nations arose or the church was founded,-must the CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD in this very land, her pulpits and her courts, be the only place and they the only people on all the broad earth, where men are idle spectators—reverend and grave, sanctimonious and dumb!
Thanks be to kind Heaven, we do not so read her charter, either in the records of God's truth or in the light of her own history. But we say fearlessly, it were better that God should sweep her with the fires of persecution-aye, with the besom of destruction—and raise up a generation that would read and expound his word aright, and teach men their civil, social, and religious duties, as he has solemnly bidden them, than that those engaged in treason, rebellion, and schism, should obtain