|Alexander Campbell: Address on War, 1848|
Campbell concludes his address making his most powerful appeals to reason and emotion:
"So far as any indignity was offered to them or any punishment inflicted upon them as His followers, or for His name's sake, they were in no way to resent it. But in their civil rights He allows them the advantages of the protection of civil law, and for this cause enjoins upon them the payment of all their political dues, and to be subject to every ordinance of man of a purely civil nature, not interfering with their obligations to Him."
"If a heathen man, or persecutor, smite you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If he compel you to go with him one mile, go two. If he sue thee at law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy mantle also," etc. These and whatever else of civil treatment they might receive, as Disciples of Christ, they must, for His sake, endure without resistance or resentment. But if in their citizen character or civil relations they are defrauded, maligned, or prosecuted, they might, and they did, appeal to Caesar."
"They paid tribute to civil magistrates that they might protect them; and therefore they might rightfully claim their protection. In this view of the matter, civil magistrates were God's ministers to the Christian "for good." And also, as God's ministers, they were revengers to execute wrath on those who did evil. Therefore, Christians are in duty bound to render to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's - to reverence, honor, and support the civil magistrate, and, when necessary, to claim his protection."
"But as respects the life peculiar to a soldier, or the prosecution of a political war, they had no commandment. On the contrary, they were to live peaceably with all men to the full extent of their power. Their sovereign Lord, the King of Nations, is called "The Prince of Peace." How, then, could a Christian soldier, whose "shield" was faith, whose "helmet" was the hope of salvation, whose "breastplate" was righteousness, whose "girdle" was truth, whose "feet were shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace," and whose "sword" was that fabricated by the Holy Spirit, even "the Word of God." I say, how could such a one enlist to fight the battles of a Cesar, a Hannibal, a Tamerlane, a Napoleon, or even a Victoria?"
"Jesus said, "All that take the sword shall perish by the sword." An awful warning! All that take it to support religion, it is confessed, have fallen by it; but it may be feared that it is not simply confined to that; for may I not ask the pages of universal history, have not all the nations created by the sword finally fallen by it? Should anyone say, "Some few of them yet stand," we respond, "All that have fallen also stood for a time; and are not those that now stand tottering just at this moment to their overthrow?" We have no doubt, it will prove in the end that nations and states founded by the sword shall fall by the sword."
"When the Savior, in His figurative style, indicating the trials just coming upon His friends, said, "You had better sell your outside garments and buy a sword," one present, understanding him literally, as some of the friends of war still do, immediately responded, "Lord, here are two swords." What did he say? "It is enough." Two swords for twelve apostles! Truly, they are dull scholars who thence infer that He meant they should literally use two swords to fight with!"