Home > Uncategorized > Robert Burton: Hypocrites who make the trumpet of the gospel the trumpet of war

Robert Burton: Hypocrites who make the trumpet of the gospel the trumpet of war


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

British writers on peace and war

Robert Burton: War’s nuptials, war’s justice

Robert Burton: We hate the hawk because it is always at war

Robert Burton: What fury first brought so devilish, so brutish a thing as war into men’s minds?


Robert Burton
From Anatomy of Melancholy

When we see and read of such cruel wars, tumults, uproars, bloody battles, so many men slain, so many cities ruinated, etc. (for what else is the subject of all our stories almost, but bills, bows and guns?), so many murders and massacres, etc., where is charity? Or see men wholly devout to God, churchmen, professed divines, holy men, “to make the trumpet of the gospel the trumpet of war”…Are these Christians? I beseech you, tell me. He that shall observe and see these things may say to them as Cato to Caesar, Credo quae de inferis dicuntur falsa estimatas, Sure I think thou art of opinion there is neither heaven nor hell. Let them pretend religion, zeal, make what shows they will, give alms, peace-makers, frequent sermons if we may guess at by the tree by the fruit, they are no better than hypocrites…


Mars, Jupiter, Apollo, and Æculapius have resigned their interest, names, and offices to St. George

(Maxime bellorum rector, quem nostra juventus Pro Mavorte colit),

(O great lord of war, whom our youth worship in place of Mars,)

Dionysius of Halicarnassus


Because we are superstitious, irreligious, we do not serve God as we ought, all these plagues and miseries come upon us; what can we look for else but mutual wars, slaughters, fearful ends in this life, and in the life to come eternal damnation? What is it that hath caused so many feral battles to be fought, so much Christian blood to be shed, but superstition?

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