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War on the part of the north is to reestablish a government which recognizes
slavery, its object being to prevent its extension; it is
therefore to be justified. This is to suppose that we
may justify iniquity at the fountain, if you will dam
up some of its streams. We may sanction some moral
evil, if we do not sanction too much. Of two natural
evils we may choose the least. Of two moral evils, we
must choose neither.
If, however, the avowed object of the war was perfectly
right, the question remains to be considered, is the war
the rightful mean to accomplish it?
Many persons suppose that a justification of national wars is
found in the rightful authority of the Civil magistrate
to execute wrath on individuals who do evil. The fact
that national wars execute wrath on those who do not do
evil, proves that the conclusoin is not warranted by the
premises. Wars involve the principle of injustice. We say
"Let justice stand though the heavens fall." Shall we
not then say, Let Justice stand, though the United
States fall? In the Secession army, men have been
compelled to enroll themselves contrary to their own
minds. Is it just and right to kill them or for men to meet on the
battle field to slaughter one another because the "Powers
that be," command them to do so? Is not the authority
of these Powers limited by the laws of God and righteousness?
"Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken
unto (them) more than unto God, judge ye." I submit
that national wars, not positively commanded by
the Almighty, are a violatoin of his law, "Thou
Shall not kill."