John Jay (1745-1829)

“Those who own the country ought to govern it.”

“Law was given by Moses, but that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”

“No power on earth has a right to take our property from us without our consent.”

“Almost all nations have peace or war at the will and pleasure of rulers whom they do not elect, and who are not always wise or virtuous.”

“However desirable the abolition of all wars may be, yet until the morals and manners of mankind are greatly changed, it will be found impracticable.”

“Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

“Our Savior himself assures us that he came not to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill; that whoever shall do and teach the commandments, shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

“Had the gospel regarded war as being in every case sinful, it seems strange that the apostle Paul should have been so unguarded as, in teaching the importance of faith, to use an argument which clearly proves the lawfulness of war.”

“Thus two kinds of justifiable warfare arose: one against domestic malefactors; the other against foreign aggressors. The first being regulated by the law of the land; the second by the law of nations; and both consistently with the moral law.”

“I advert to this distinction between the moral law and positive institutions, because it enables us to distinguish the reasonings which apply to the one, from those which apply only to the other—ordinances being mutable, but the moral law always the same.”

“I nevertheless believe, and have perfect faith in the prophecy, that the time will come when “the nations will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

 

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