Andrew Fuller Fridays: Fuller on the Origins of War

“Finally, the wars which, from the earliest period of history, have desolated the earth, grievous as they are to a feeling mind, contain in them nothing surprising. The Scriptures, with singular propriety, describe the world as a great sea, which is ever casting up its mire and dirt; and great conjurors as so many wild beasts, which, in succession, rise from its troubled waters, and devour the inhabitants of the earth. Nor is this all: they describe not only the fact, but the cause it. Wars among men, as has been already stated, have their immediate causes in “the lusts which war in their members;” but, besides this, the Scripture leads us to a cause more remote, and of still greater importance. They denominate the sword of war “the sword of the Lord,” and constantly intimate that it is one of those means by which he “pleadeth with all flesh.” A part of the curse entailed on men for their departure from the living God consists in this, that, till they return to him, they shall not be able, for any length of time, to maintain amity among themselves. It appears to be one of those laws by which God governs the world, that people engaged in an evil cause, however harmonious THEY MAY BE IN THE OUTSET, SHALL PRESENTLY BE AT VARIANCE.

Thus it was between Abimelech and the men of Shechem, as Jotham had forewarned them in his parable. Though at first they appeared to rejoice in each other; yet, in a little time, “fire came out from Abimelech and devoured the men of Shechem, and fire came out from the men of Shechem and devoured Abimelech.” Such is commonly the issue of all unprincipled confederacies, traitorous conspiracies, illegal combinations, and illicit amours.

Union, in order to be lasting, requires to be cemented with honour. Where this is wanting, however appearances may for a while be flattering, all will prove transitory: mutual jealousies will produce mutual enmities, which are certain to issue in confusion and every evil work. These remarks are no less applicable to the whole human race than to particular parts of it.
Men have revolted from God, and yet think to live in harmony among themselves. God, in just judgment, appears to have determined the contrary; and that, till they return to him, they shall be given up to an evil spirit towards each other, and to the ravages of a succession of ambitious leaders, who shall destroy them in great numbers from the face of the earth. It is morally impossible, indeed, that it should be otherwise; for
the same principle which induces them to renounce the Divine government dissolves the bands of human society . Supreme self-love is the origin of both, and is sufficient to account for all the disorder in the universe.”

Excerpt From “The Gospel Its Own Witness”, 1799

Fuller, Andrew,  The Works of Andrew Fuller. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2007.

By |November 18th, 2016|Categories: Andrew Fuller Friday, Blog|