And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares…
I. THE MISERIES AND CRIMES OF WAR.
II. THE SOURCES OF WAR. Many will imagine that the first place ought to be given to malignity and hatred. But justice to human nature requires that we ascribe to national animosities a more limited operation than is usually assigned to them in the production of war.
1. One of the great springs of war is the strong and general propensity of human nature towards the love of excitement, of emotion, of strong interest.
2. Another powerful principle of our nature, which is a spring of war, is the passion for superiority, for triumph, for power.
3. Another powerful spring of war is the admiration of the brilliant qualities displayed in war.
4. Another cause of war is false patriotism.
5. Another spring of war, the impression (and false views of war)we receive in early life. These principal causes of war are of a moral nature. They may be resolved into wrong views of human glory, and into excesses of passions and desires, which, by right direction, would promote the best interests of humanity. From these causes we learn that this savage custom is to be repressed by moral means, by salutary influences on the sentiments and principles of mankind.
III. THE REMEDIES OF WAR. Without taking an extreme position, we ought to assail war, by assailing the principles and passions which gave it birth, and by improving and exalting the moral sentiments of mankind.
1. Important service may be rendered to the cause of peace by communicating and enforcing just and elevated sentiments in relation to the true honour of rulers.
2. To these instructions should be added just sentiments as to the glory of nations.
3. Another most important method of promoting the cause of peace is to turn men's admiration from military courage to qualities of real nobleness and dignity.
4. Let Christian ministers exhibit, with greater clearness, the pacific and benevolent spirit of Christianity.
(W. E. Channing, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.
WEB: He will judge between the nations, and will decide concerning many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.