The Francis Wayland Institute

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Classic Reprints, an imprint of Vance Publications, reprints old and rare books and journal articles that are considered profitable for scholarly research. Most of the works selected for reprint are from the nineteenth century, and have therefore been out of print for many years. All books and articles are digitally reproduced "as is"-- nothing has been altered or updated. The reader should note, however, that the quality of the finished copy ultimately depends on the quality of the original, which in some cases is a well-worn book or journal or a microfilm copy of the same. All books are reproduced one original page per page (not two pages sideways) in a slightly enlarged 8.5 x 11 size. Books over 250 pages are bound with a hardcover binding and endsheets. Books under 250 pages are bound with a plastic comb binding. Either way, the title and author of the book appear on the spine.

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See all 170 titles in the Classic Reprints series here

Classic Reprints No. 71
Christianity and War
By Veritatis Amans, et al.

1838, 1847
24 pages

Two timely articles on Christianity and War by two nineteenth-century Baptist ministers.

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Classic Reprints No. 102
The Complaint of Peace
By Desiderius Erasmus
82 pages

In this work, the celebrated Dutch humanist, scholar, and classicist, Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536), has the personification of peace come to earth to deliver her verdict on the human race. She chastises kings and church leaders, noblemen and ordinary soldiers alike for betraying their Christian values by waging unjust and unnecessary war.

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Classic Reprints No. 103
Antipolemus; or, the Plea of Reason, Religion, and Humanity, Against War
By Desiderius Erasmus
94 pages

In this work, the celebrated Dutch humanist, scholar, and classicist, Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) examines why Christian nations are constantly at war and draws upon arguments from history, philosophy, and religion to argue that they should cease.

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Classic Reprints No. 108
The Early Christian Attitude to War: A Contribution to the History of Christian Ethics
By  C. John Cadoux
304 pages

This is the definitive study of the early Christian attitude toward war and military service. Although it was written just after World War I, nothing written since then on this important subject is comparable in any way to it. The author states that "the problem of Christianity and war is one that claims serious attention even at ordinary times; and recent events have immeasurably magnified that claim." Given the violent history of the twentieth century, and the continued participation by Christians in the state's wars, this book is just as relevant today as when it was written.

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Classic Reprints No. 110
Vicesimus Knox on War and Peace
By Vicesimus Knox
1793, 1795, c.1800, 1824
65 pages

Vicesimus Knox (1752-1821) was an English minister who ran afoul of the British government because of his sermons opposing war against the French. This reprint consists of the preface and three chapters (X—"When Human Life is held cheap, it is a Symptom of a prevailing Spirit of Despotism," XVII— "On debauching the Minds of the rising Generation and a whole People, by giving them Military Notions in a free and commercial Country," XXX—"The Spirit of Despotism delights in War or systematic Murder") from his 1795 book The Spirit of Despotism, an analysis of how political despotism at home can arise under the cover of fighting a foreign war; the complete text of his 1793 sermon, "The Prospect of Perpetual and Universal Peace to Be Established on the Principles of Christian Philanthropy"; and an essay, "The Folly and Wickedness of War." Includes also a biographical preface and a likeness of Knox.

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Classic Reprints No. 117
Civil Government: Its Origin, Mission, and Destiny, and the Christian's Relation to It
By David Lipscomb
158 pages

Originally published as a series of articles in the Gospel Advocate from 1866 to 1867, this is a very significant work on the Christian's relation to civil government by the prominent Church of Christ minister, David Lipscomb (1831-1917). Anticipating the arguments of modern libertarian political philosophers, Lipscomb presents a biblical view of a voluntary society. He questions the idea that governments are created for the public good, and argues that peaceful civilization is not dependent on the state. Christians should not participate in politics, but should attempt to persuade people to follow the laws of God rather than using force. This reprint edition includes a foreword by Professor Edward P. Stringham of San Jose State University.

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Classic Reprints No. 119
The Elements of Political Economy
By Francis Wayland
406 pages

Francis Wayland (1796-1865)—an author, a preacher, a teacher, a pastor, and an administrator—was also the author of a major work on economics. Wayland was equally an advocate of liberty, private property, and free trade, and an opponent of war and government intervention in the economy. This edition of Wayland’s The Elements of Political Economy is an exact reproduction of the fourth and last edition of 1841. Although the type has been completely reset (except for the table of contents), this edition corresponds page-for-page with the original work. Wayland's original spelling has been retained. Nothing has been altered in any way except that the spaces originally inserted before periods, colons, semicolons, and dashes have been eliminated, as have the periods that appeared after titles, subtitles, and headings. This reprint edition includes a foreword by Laurence M. Vance, the editor of the Classic Reprints series and the director of the Francis Wayland Institute.

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Classic Reprints No. 120
A Brief Enquiry into the True Nature and Character of Our Federal Government: Being a Review of Judge Story's Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States
Abel Upshur
132 pages


Virginian statesman and legal thinker Abel Upshur (1790-1844) was a defender of the Virginian states' rights school of constitutional interpretation. This long-forgotten work, an alternative to nationalist position of John Marshall and Joseph Story, is in the Jeffersonian tradition of John Taylor and St. George Tucker. Upshur's book is not only a point-by-point refutation of Justice Story's immortal Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (1833), it is a defense of the compact theory that the United States consists of distinct sovereign peoples, organized into distinct states, as opposed to a single, aggregated people. This reprint edition includes a foreword by historian Thomas E. Woods of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama.

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Classic Reprints No. 121
The Morality of War
By Jonathan Dymond
78 pages

Originally published in 1829 after the author's death as part of Essays on the Principles of Morality and on the Private and Political Rights and Obligations of Mankind, this excerpt from the essay on "Political Rights and Obligations" is on the causes, consequences, and lawfulness of war, along with comments on the probable practical effects of adhering to the moral law in respect to war. Dymond (1796-1828) was a member of the Society of Friends in England.

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Classic Reprints No. 123
True Office of Civil Government
Gerrit Smith
30 pages

This is a reprint of the text of a speech delivered in Troy, New York, on April 14, 1851, and published soon afterward. Smith advocates a limited government that provides protection to its citizens from crimes—and nothing else. Among other things, he makes powerful arguments against slavery, public education, and tariffs.

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Classic Reprints No. 124
The Book of Peace: A Collection of Essays on War and Peace
The American Peace Society

This is a collection of sixty-four essays by a variety of authors and from a wide range of viewpoints on the subjects of war and peace. According to the preface, "There has been, since the time of the gifted Erasmus, a great deal of eloquent writing on Peace; and the following pages contain the best productions on the subject not only of past ages, but of our own." Although written over 150 years ago, these essays on war and peace are extremely relevant given world conditions today.

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Classic Reprints No. 125
Origin of the Civil War
Robert L. Dabney
1 pages

Robert L. Dabney (1829-1898) was a noted Southern Presbyterian theologian and seminary professor who served as a chaplain for the Confederate Army during the Civil War. This is a reprint of two of his articles on the origin of the Civil War.

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Classic Reprints No. 129
A Northern Defense of Secession and Rejection of the Civil War
George Bassett
50 pages

Not all northerners rejected secession and supported the so-called Civil War. The fact that Lincoln jailed northern opponents of the war proves this is so. This is a reprint of two works written near the beginning of the Civil War by the northern Congregational minister George W. Bassett (1812-1880): A Northern Plea for the Right of Secession and A Discourse on the Wickedness and Folly of the Present War.

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Classic Reprints No. 130
John T. Flynn on Roosevelt and Pearl Harbor
By John T. Flynn
1944, 1945
5 pages

Journalist, author, and popular economic and political commentator John T. Flynn (1882-1964) supported Roosevelt during the election of 1932 as a partisan Democrat and progressive. Twenty years later he was an Old Right supporter of Robert Taft and a defender of Joe McCarthy who foresaw the coming of the Cold War and the Vietnam War. In between Flynn became disillusioned with Roosevelt and harshly criticized the New Deal. He was the chairman of the New York chapter of the America First Committee and an outspoken anti-interventionist who was forsaken by liberals for his principled stance against U.S. intervention in World War II. But Flynn also rejected the Cold War conservatism of William F. Buckley and National Review. He considered militarism a "job-making boondoggle." World War II was a repetition of World War I, a fight between empires, and all about imperialism. Reprinted here are two pamphlets Flynn privately printed after they first appeared in the Chicago Daily Tribune: The Truth About Pearl Harbor and The Final Secret of Pearl Harbor. Both point out the duplicity and culpability of Roosevelt regarding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Also included are images of eight World War II Pearl Harbor propaganda posters that bid Americans to "Avenge Pearl Harbor" or "Remember Pearl Harbor." This reprint edition includes a foreword by Laurence M. Vance, the editor of the Classic Reprints series and the director of the Francis Wayland Institute, and is prefaced by a likeness of Flynn.

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Classic Reprints No. 131
An Address on War
By Alexander Campbell
41 pages

Reprinted from the Millennial Harbinger, this address on war by Alexander Campbell (1788-1866), originally delivered at Wheeling, Virginia, in 1848, was printed in the Congressional Record in 1937 at the request of Representative Joseph B. Shannon (D-MO). Also includes another address on war by Tolbert Fanning (1810-1874), a disciple of Campbell, reprinted from an 1847 issue of the Christian Review.

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Classic Reprints No. 132
Can a Christian Kill for His Government?
Bennie Lee Fudge
64 pages

Mr. Fudge asks and then gives a very detailed negative answer to the timely question: "Can a Christian Kill for His Government?"

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Classic Reprints No. 161
The God of War 
By Joseph Judson Taylor

255 pages


Nineteenth-century Baptist minister Joseph Judson Taylor was an outspoken proponent of the literal interpretation of the Bible and the separation of church and state and opponent of evolution and modernism. He is best known, however, for being a stanch pacifist who was forced to resign his pastorate at the First Baptist Church of Savannah, Georgia in 1917 for vehemently opposing U.S. entry into World War I. His book The God of War traces the folly of war from ancient times to World War I. Taylor's views were considered by some of his fellow ministers to be treason in 1917, but he was vindicated after the war and, after becoming vice-president of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1922, succeeded in getting the Convention to pass a resolution condemning war. Although Taylor and his pacifism have been long forgotten, they are an antidote to the militaristic climate that exists throughout Christendom today.

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