August 14, 1899
“War—The True and the False Estimate” The Bible Echo 14, 33, p. 268.
VERESTCHAGIN is a Russian artist who paints war scenes so horribly real that rulers and generals do not like to have either the soldiers or the people see the pictures, lest they refuse to go to war. This artist has been in battle himself, and fought so well as to be honoured with the highest military decoration known to Russia. This man, who has been in it, who knows so well exactly what it is, and who can so powerfully reproduce it on canvas, thus defines war:—BEST August 14, 1899, page 268.1
“War is the loss of all human sense, under its influence men become animals entirely. The artist looks always for passion, and passion is seen at its height on the battle-field.... Every hour war brings something new, something never seen before, something outside the range of ordinary human life; it is the reversal of Christianity.”BEST August 14, 1899, page 268.2
And yet to-day in the United States, actually the great majority of professed ministers of the gospel hold war to be perfectly compatible with Christianity—that Christians can go to war and still be Christians!BEST August 14, 1899, page 268.3
“The sword is a great history-maker. There is such a thing as a Christian war. Such to-day is the case in the Philippines. Nothing can check the advance in the Philippines. It is the hand of God in history. The pessimists may howl about the slaughter of the innocent, and hold their anti-expansion meetings. It will avail nothing. They mistake the signs of the times. God is marching on. Some of these timid souls forget the hero is the stuff out of which divine history is made. The thunder of George Dewey’s guns had the roar of a marked civilisation in them. Manila, the Venice of the Orient, is to become the hub of a new civilisation. It is to radiate the light of American intelligence to the uttermost ruin of the 1,000 islands. The crack of the rifles of General Ortis’ advancing army has in it the music of the coming of the Son of man. In a hundred years that territory, equal in English miles to Great Britain and Ireland, will be under the sway of the Son of God, the fruit of the triumph of the American sword. Nothing can change the sovereignty of human history. The purpose of God is ripe in the present conflict. He who opposes the struggle hits the providence of God in the face.”BEST August 14, 1899, page 268.5
Is it not high time that there was a revival of the preaching of the gospel of peace? Is there not a loud call for the message of that angel of the Revelation, “flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.”BEST August 14, 1899, page 268.6
These preachers that preach war are not the ministers of Christ, whatever their profession may be. General Sherman, one of the greatest warriors of modern times, in the quiet of times of peace, soberly declared that “War is hell.” How can any Christian, then, go to war? How can any Christian preacher preach in favour of war? “Babylon is fallen, is fallen.” Apostasy, apostasy, apostasy, has overtaken the church.BEST August 14, 1899, page 268.8