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XXVIII. – WAR ÜNSANCTIONED BY CHRISTIANITY. WHERE, sir, in what page of its records, does Christianity sanction war? Is it in the angels' song at the birth of Christ,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men”? Is it in the benediction promised by our Divine Lord on the peace-makers ? Is it in his command to love our enemies, and, when smitten on one cheek, to turn, without resistance or revenge, the other to the offender? Is it, in short, in the whole genius and spirit of Christianity? Is it not strange that Christianity should have been eighteen centuries delivering its lessons in our world, and that men should be so ignorant of its nature and duties, as to need to be told that it is hostile to the spirit of war ?
It is this propensity to hostility, on the part of so many who profess Christianity, that has alienated so many from it, and fostered the infidelity of the age. How often are we met with the taunt, that Christendom has been as deeply involved in this dreadful practice as the pagan and Mahometan nations. We deplore the fact; but we deny that it is sanctioned by the New Testament. Tell us not of the foul deeds that have been
perpetrated in the name of Christianity;—that her princes have been ambitious, and her priests rapacious; that one has drawn the sword and unfurled the banner under the benediction of the other; and that both have met in the camp, the crusade, and the battle-field, covered with blood, and reveling in slaughter. The question is not what her sacred name has been abused to sanctify; but has it been performed by her authority, has it accorded with her principles, and been congenial with her spirit? Shall those who have violated her maxims, set at defiance her commands, despised her remonstrances, and stifled her cries, — shall they be allowed to plead her authority in justification of their doings? Not only Christianity herself, but common honesty
I know very well there are four millions of men under armıs in Europe; I know also what a seemingly petty incident may call all those to deadly strife; and it is quite possible, if not even probable, that a deadly struggle may impend. Still, the reign of peace is coming. Many a bright and beautiful day has been ushered in by a terrific thunder-storm, and while the thunders were rolling, day was advancing behind the cioud that sent them forth. Let Europe be again involved in battle and bloodshed, still here in this our congress is the dawn of the day of peace. Take courage, then, Christian brethren, in carrying on your paci
THE MOTHER OF EMPIRES.
fic schemes. Your children, or your children's children, may hear the last peals of war die away amid the shouts of universal peace, and see the commencement of the millen'nial period of general brotherhood, when Christians, blushing over the crimes of former generations, shall hasten to hide the memorials of their shame, and upon the anvil of revelation shall, with the brawny arm of reason, " beat the swords into plowshares, and the spears into pruning-hooks."
REV. JOHN ANGELL JAMES.
XXIX. - THE MOTHER OF EMPIRES.
At the Railroad Celebration in Boston, September 19, 1851.
Sir, it is impossible to live as long as I have in America without entering very keenly into the feelings of pride and gratification with which Americans, and Canadians too, talk of their country. It is wonderfully progressing, and has wonderful rc
But when I hear boastful language indulged in, partaking of a tone somewhat disparaging as respects other countries, less advantageously situated, I cannot help thinking of an eloquent passage in the writings of my most eloquent friend, now no more, the late Dr. Chalmers, in which he refers to the simultaneous discovery of the telescope and the microscope. He dilates in gorgeous and emphatic language upon the vast lights shed by each in its respective sphere upon the beneficence,
the wisdom, and the power, of the Almighty. So would I say to such a speaker as I have just referred to:
Sir, when you have satisfied your gaze by contem' plating the magnificent scene spread out before you; when, with the aid of the telescope, you have scanned those mighty prairies which the plowshare has not yet broken; when you have cast your eye upon those boundless forests which the ax has not yet touched ; when you have traveled over those extensive territories which are underlain by valuable mineral fields which the cupidity of man has not yet riiled; when you have gazed upon all these to your heart's content, just lay your telescope aside, and take this little microscope from me, and I will show you a little island, far hidden behind that Eastern wave; an island so diminutive that you might take it up bodily, and toss it into the lakes which lie between the Canadas and the United States, without filling them up; but which, nevertheless, was the source whence came forth the valor and the might which laid on this continent the foundation of empires.
Permit me to say, in conclusion, that all history and all wisdom have shown that without love of liberty, without respect for order and for law, you can have no sufficient security that your empire will prove enduring.
XXX. - SARCASMS AGAINST REFORM.
GENTLEMEN, it is the fate of every good cause to encounter
Let us remember that, to avoid this kind of attack, we must have on our side that which is impossible and contradictory; that is, we ought to have for our allies all the errors and all the passions which mislead the world ; we ought to clash with nothing,* to deny nothing, to be in no one's way; in a word, we ought to be nothing.
Point me out the good cause which at its advent was not the object of raillery,t and which was not assailed by similar derision. Not one! No, not one, from one end of history to the other. When the Truth Incarnate appeared in the world, when the Son of God descended upon earth, how was he received by men ? With
wrong, with sarcasm, with blas'phemy in their mouths, which they hurled at him. What did they say to Ilm ?
- Thou art thyself possessed of a devil, and dost thou cast out devils ? Physician, cure thyself! Yes! and at that awful and sublime moment when he was carrying out his devotedness to man, to the extreme limit even of self-sacrifice, at the moment of his death, what did the scoffers shout in his ears? " He saved others; himself he cannot save! If thou art the Son of God, come down from the cross !
Ah! doubtless he had the power of doing so. He might, even in that moment of agony, have manifested himself in all his glory; have confounded his enemies; have overwhelmed and annihilated them with the dazzling blaze of his omnipotency. But no ; he would not. And what was his reply to sarcasm, and scorn, and con'tu-mely?
Not a word, but a fact. He died! He, omnip'otent as he was, remained motionless, nailed to the cross, and then gave up the ghost. With divine calmness he completed his work. He did not save himself; he saved man. And this was his reply to sar
Gentlemen, I do not compare, I do not presume to institute a comparison, between the work of the Redeemer and that of our
THE FUTURE OF AMERICA.
peace society. Such a comparison would not be permitted me. But our Divine Master set us an example ; and, as he has himself told us, he set us that example, that we should follow it. Let us do so, then ; let us do so perseveringly. In spite of all the raillery and sarcasm of the worldly wise, let us persevere in an enterprise which we know to be good and just, and which we think it is our duty to prosecute to the end. Yes, let us all persevere; ministers of religion, instructors of youth, conductors of the public press ; let us persevere in the straight path of conscience and of truth, and let us not be one instant diverted from our purpose and our course by the fear of a sarcasm. Let us bring to bear all the influence that our speech or our pen may possess, to advance this great and sacred cause of permanent and universal peace.
FROM THE FRENCH OF REV. ATHANASE COQUEREL.
XXXI. – THE FUTURE OF AMERICA.
FELLOW-CITIZENS, the hours of this day are rapidly flying, and this occasion * will soon be passed. Neither we nor our children can expect to behold its return. They are in the distant regions of futurity, they exist only in the all-creating power of God, who shall stand here, a hundred years hence, to trace, through us, their descent from the Pilgrims, and to survey, as we have now surveyed, the progress of their country during the lapse of a century. We would anticipate their concurrence with us in our sentiments of deep regard for our common ancestors. We would anticipate and partake the pleasure with which they will then recount the steps of New England's advancement.
On the morning of that day, although it will not disturb us in our repose, the voice of acclamation and gratitude, commencing on the rock of Plymouth, shall be transmitted through millions of the sons of the Pilgrims, till it lose itself in the murmurs of the Pacific seas.
We would leave for the consideration of those who shall then occupy our places some proof that we hold the blessings transmitted from our fathers in just estimation; some proof of our attachment to the cause of good government, and of civil and religious liberty ; some proof of a sincere and ardent desire to promote every thing which may enlarge the understandings and inprove the hearts of men. And when, from the long distance of a hundred years, they shall look back upon us, they shall know, at least, that we possessed affections, which, running backward and warming with gratitude for what our ancestors have done for our happiness, run forward also to our posterity, and meet them with cordial salutation, ere yet they have arrived on the shore of being.
* The centennial celebration of the Landing of the Pilgrims, Dec. 22, 1820.
Advance, then, ye future generations! We would hail you, as you rise in your long succession, to fill the places which we now fill, and to taste the blessings of existence where we are passing, and soon shall have passed, our own human duration. We bid you welcome to this pleasant land of the Fathers. We bid
you welcome to the healthful skies and the verdant fields of New England. We greet your accession to the great inheritance which we have enjoyed. We welcome you to the blessings of good gova ernment and religious liberty. We welcome you to the treasures of science and the delights of learning. We welcome you to the transcendent sweets of domestic life—to the happiness of kindred, and parents, and children. We welcome you to the immeasurable blessings of rational existence, the immortal hope of Christianity, and the light of everlasting truth !
XXXII. — THE INTEMPERATE HUSBAND.
Ir is, my friends, in the degradation of a husband by intemperance, above all, that she, who has ventured every thing, feels that every thing is lost.
Woman, silent-suffering, devoted woman, here bends to her direst affliction. The measure of her woe is in truth full, whose husband is a drunkard. Who shall protect her, when he is her insulter, her oppressor ? What shall delight her, when she shrinks from the sight of his face, and trembles at the sound of his voice? The hearth is indeed dark, that he has made desolate. There, through the dull midnight hour, her griefs are whispered to herself, her bruised heart bleeds in secret. There, while the cruel author of her distress is drowned in distant revelry, she holds her solitary vigil, waiting, yet dreading his return that will only wring from her by his unkindness tears even more scalding than those she sheds over his transgression.
To fiing a deeper gloom across the present, memory turns back, and broods
upon the past. Like the recollection to the sun-stricken pilgrim of the cool spring that he drank at in the morning, the joys of other days come over her, as if only to mock her parched and weary spirit. She recalls the ardent lover, whose
graces won her from the home of her infancy; the enraptured father, who bent with such delight over his new-born children ; and she asks if this can really be he — this sunken being, who has now nothing