By George W. Amadon
Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, March 7, 1865
They could not keep the Lord's holy Sabbath. “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work.” Ex. xx,10. Fighting, as military men tell us, is the hardest kind of work; and the seventh day of all days would be the least regarded in the camp and field.
The sixth command of God's moral law reads, “Thou shalt not kill.” To kill is to take life. The soldier by profession is a practical violater of this precept. But if we would enter into life we must “keep the commandments.” Matt. xix,17.
“God has called us to peace;” and “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal.” 1 Cor. vii,15; 2 Cor. x,4. The gospel permits us to use no weapons but “the sword of the Spirit.”
Our kingdom is not of this world. Said Christ to Pilate, “If my kingdom were of this world then would my servants fight.” John xviii,36. This is most indisputable evidence that Christians have nothing to do with carnal instruments of war.
We are commanded to love even our enemies. “But I say unto you,” says the Saviour, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you.” Matt. v,44. Do we fulfill this command when we blow out their brains with revolvers, or sever their bodies with sabres? “If any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his.” Rom. viii,9.
Our work is the same as our Master's, who once said, “The Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.” Luke ix,56. If God's Spirit sends us to save men, does not some other spirit send us to destroy them? Let us know what manner of spirit we are of.
The New Testament command is, “Resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Matt. vii,59. That is, we had better turn the other cheek than to smite them back again. Could this scripture be obeyed on the battle field?
Christ said to Peter, as he struck the high priest's servant, “Put up again thy sword.” Matt. xxvi,2. If the Saviour commanded the apostle to “put up” the sword, certainly his followers have no right to take it. Then let those who are of the world fight, but as for us let us pray.