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The cause of peace is evangelical in its spirit; that is, it breathes the same spirit with the gospel. The spirit of the Christian religion is a spirit of peace. the angels,
“ Peace on earth, good-will to man. True, the Christian religion has to make its way in the world against wicked opposition, and thus it often becomes the occasion of violent hostilities; but here the fault lies not in the spirit of the gospel, but of those who oppose it. Christianity does not seek to make peace at the expense of righteousness,—it does not unite sin and holiness in friendship,-—it is not a freezing together of heterogeneous materials in a mass of ice. It is a melting together of pure spirits in the fires of true love. The reign of pure peace is coextensive with that of pure righteousness; and hence, when all hearts shall come under the reign of Christ, the animating prophecy respecting Messiah's kingdom of " righteousness and peace will be fulfilled.
The spirit of war is in direct and irreconcilable hostility to that of Christianity. It demolishes what Christ builds up, and builds up what Christ demolishes. The spirit in which it riots, and which it engenders, are lust of power and conquest, revenge, cruelty, blood-thirstiness, contempt of the still small voice of conscience, and a reckless disregard of all laws but brute force. Wo to the peaceful and benign religion of Jesus, when the demon, War, rides through the land on his red horse! Almost all minds are then turned away from religion, and the work of saving is supplauted by the work of destroying. It is unknown in history, that the religion of Jesus has prospered in any community, when that community was involved in war. Here and there an individual of extraordinary character has at such times surmounted the obstacles, and towered eminently in moral virtue, on the principle stated by Burke, that " it to be in the order of the general economy of the world, that when the greatest and most detestable vices domineer, the most eminent and distinguished virtues rear their heads more proudly, because it is then no time for mediocrity;"'. but the great body of the people are then driven down the torrent to destruction. Eternity is forgotten. The noise and tumult of war drown the voice of conscience, and the voice of God. The spirit of war and the spirit of Christ ean never meet and thrive together in the bosom of the same nation.
The cause of peace is evangelical in its principles; that is, it is so as I understand them. I do not understand the principles recognised by this Society to deny the right of civil government to enforce obedience, or of parents to sustain their authority over their children, or of individuals or nations to protect themselves from harm. This would be antichristian, disorganizing and seditious. The Peace Society, however, does maintain, not only that all aggressive wars are unchristian, but that all disputes between nations should be settled without resort to violence. Few conquerors who have gone forth with their armies to thresh the nations, and desolate the world, have had the hardihood to do it unshielded with an apology that they were seeking redress for actual or intended insults. Even those greatest of human slaughterers, Alexander, Genghiz-khan, Cæsar and Napoleon, who made their foreheads brass, and their sinews iron in their work of desolation, acted, as far as they could, under the pretext of seeking redress for their own, or their fathers’, or their countries' present or preceding wrongs. When two men are involved in contention, they are not the proper arbitrators and asserters of each other's rights. Civil governments provide for this, and require such to commit their cause to the decision of a court and jury. For a similar reason, when two nations are at variance, the contending parties are not the proper judges and exactors of each other's rights. Hence the importance of national arbitration, congress of nations, or some means of taking the cause from the hands of belligerents, and thus restoring peace without resort to arms.
I understand it to be a cardinal principle of the Peace Society, that might VOL. II.-NO. V.
never makes right, and that all brute retaliation and violence should cease from the human race. It is maintained, that there are other and better means of settling disputes between civilized nations, than a resort to force. An appeal to the “God of arms,” has in it more of the heathen than of the Christian. Victory may be declared on the side of military strength and skill, when justice is on the other side. The appeal should be made to justice, to be determined by some other tribunal than the contending parties. National wars are matters of forethought, deliberation, and are often declared months before hostilities aclually commence. The friends of peace would settle the claims of the contending parties, and avert war. They would do this by exposing the antichristian character and the horrors of war, and the practicability of banishing it from civilized nations by moral means. They would induce aggrieved parties to resort to other means than arms for redress; or wlien this cannot be done, they would institute a congress of nations, or tantamount authority, to interpose and settle the contention; as we are sometimes under the necessity of separating angry children, or intoxicated men, when they are determined that they will fight.
The cause of peace is evangelical in its objects. Some of the objects which it contemplates are among the most prominent contemplated by the Christian religion. These are the prevention of a waste of human life, a waste of property, a waste of morals, and the promotion of justice and the ends of piety. War is a prodigious devourer of human beings. It is to the human race what the great sharks and whales are to the finny tribes, living by the daily sacrifice of its thousands of victims. Mr. Burke computes, that war has swept from the stage of life more than thirty-five thousand millions of human beings by violent and premature deaths! War is an enormous consumer of wealth. The amount expended in our last war with Great Britain, would be more than sufficient to send missiouaries, and Bibles, and printing establishinents, and books, and teachers, and all the necessary means for enlightening the world, into every kingdons and province on the face of the earth. War is eminently ruinous io the morals of a nation. Domestic industry and economy, which are the life of a nation's morals, cannot long subsist under the baleful influence of war. It separates husbands and wives, parents and children; breaks up the natural order of society; destroys domestic happiness; sets up a wrong standard of character; enfeebles motives io virtuous enterprise, by casting uncertainty over success; and sunders the strongest bonds which hold society together. Not one in a hundred of soldiers return from the camp to the bosom of their families, but to render them miserable by their acquired vices. The same vices which reign in the high places of iniquity find their way ultimately to the most retired villages; the whole nation becomes as if a vast sea of moral pollution had rolled over it. War involves the innocent with the guilty. Often does it wreak its most terrible vengeance upon the heads of those who have no part in provoking it. This the guilty instigators of war calculate upon. The bloodthirsty warrior does not expect to die himself, but he expects thousands to die for him. The ambition of an emperor, or a king, or a conqueror and a few of his satellites, is indulged at the expense of the sufferings of millions of men, women and children, guilty of nothing but an existence within the reach of their cruel power. A time of war is emphatically one when “judgment is far from us; neither doth justice overtake us; judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off, for truth is fallen in the streets, and equity cannot enter."
But the most appalling feature of war is, that it hurries such multitudes of unprepared souls, by a momentary death, into eternity. The life of a soldier is of all others the most unpropitious for anticipating the future world; while frequently, in a few hours by battle, or in a few days by pestilence in the camp, thousands are launched into eternity in the most unprepared state conceivable.
To the believer in a future state of retribution, it is indeed a most appalling consideration, that so many millions of our race have been burried by war from the very scene and act of slaughter to the bar of that God who has said, “ Thou shalt not kill!" Who, then, can doubt, that to prevent war, and to hasten the time when nations shall beat their swords into ploughshares, is to promote the same great objects contemplated by the gospel of Christ.
But it is said, that nothing can be done. Those who assert this, mistake the power of truth. Let it be made to appear that an appeal to force in settling a controversy, is unchristian, and let that single sentiment be diffused throughout all Christian lands, and the work is more than half done. Governments are becoming more and more popular; power is descending from monarchs and royal cabinets to the people. It is for the people to say, whether they will or will not be involved in the horrors and the desolations of war. Let the people be convinced that it is unnecessary, unchristian, wicked, ruinous to the interests of both worlds; and in vain will monarchs and magistrates seek to make war. What but the wisdom of our Senate saved us from being at this moment involved in a sanguinary conflict with France? And what directed and sustained our senators but the known will of their constituents ?
The cause of peace has already accomplished much. It will accomplish great things, for it is of the gospel. Despise not the day of sınall things. There was a time when all the elements of that gospel, which is now moving and regenerating the world, lay slumbering in a dozen booms. The sentiment that falls from some trembling heart, finds another heart to respond to it, and that heart conveys it to another, and thus the sacred impulse spreads from heart to heart, from people to people, till stales and nations are moved by it. Let the principles of peace be correctly set forth; let them be promulgated in the spirit of fidelity, and love, and good will to all men; and as sure as God reigns and the gospel is true, they will prerail over the world. The tree of peace will be planted firmly in the earth, it will send up its branches over all the continents and islands of the globe, all kindreds and tribes shall repose bepeath it, and its leaves shall be for the healing of the nations.
MR. MORTON'S REMARKS. MR. PRESIDENT,-I had no expectation of speaking in this meeting; but, having but a moment since been requested to second the resolution just offered, * I do it cordially, and feel thankful for the opportunity thus afforded of bearing testimony in favor of the cause of peace. Truly, government must be supported, family government and national government; and I would be the last man to weaken the rightful authority and influence of the one or the other. But, Sir, the experience of acting on the principles of peace towards our fellow-men, and then trusting in God for protection in a season of danger, has not been sufficiently tried. While sitting here, and listening to the interesting remarks which have been made, a passage in ancient history has occurred to my mind. On a certain occasion, Samuel, the prophet and judge of Israel, called the people together for the worship of God. Israel had wandered far away into the paths of disobedience and idolatry; and the prophet earnestly desired and labored to bring them back to their duty. But their enemies were watchful; and while engaged in the solemn service of religion, the Philistines came upon them. And what could they do? Israel was unarmed, and Samuel was no soldier. He could not fight; but he could pray. So he offered a sacrifice, and lifted up his cry to heaven. The prophet irusted in God for deliverance without the weapons of war, and so did the people. They said to Samuel, “ cease
* Rev. WARREN FAY, D. D., was expected to second it, but was obliged to leave the house before the close of Mr. W.'s remarks.
not to cry unto the Lord our God for us.” They believed that the prayers of the prophet would prevail; and they were not disappointed. Here, Sir, is an example of a people peacefully assembled, but unexpectedly attacked, trusting in God for deliverance. And was it a vain confidence ? No; God was their helper; he saved them,—not by their sword nor their bow. Samuel was a man of peace; and surely Israel never had a better judge.
Now, Mr. President, let us apply the subject of trusting in God for protection in times of peril, to individuals. Might not a man of peace, a minister of the gospel, a missionary in foreign lands, unarmed, go to and fro in the earth with safety; and with far more safety, than if it were known that he carried in his hand the weapons of death? But what if these perils be unavoidable? Then let him follow in the footsteps of our divine Redeemer, and, if he must die by violence, enjoy the honors of martyrdom. He would thus make an impression upon this dark world, which its malice and power could not efface. À Moravian missionary, in the desolate regions of the north, laboring for the salvation of the Esquimaux, was attacked by a savage. The Indian pointed a loaded gun at his bosom, and was ready to lay bim a corpse at his feet. The missionary, with the gentleness of a lamb, and with the moral courage and faith of a Christian, looked the Indian full in the face, and said, “ you cannot shoot me, unless Jesus Christ permit you.” The countenance of the savage fell, his gun fell, and he turned and went away. Now who can tell to what extent the God of peace would interpose to protect the sons of peace who trusted in bim? I hope, Sir, the resolution just read will be adopted, and that the great and pure principles of peace and good-will to men, will soon be universally triumphant in this wicked world.
WAR AND WOMEN:
Or the Maid of Ciudad Rodrigo. War has a fearful ubiquity of mischief. The soldier is not its sole victim, nor the field of battle the only scene of its woes; but it sweeps like a moral simoom over the peaceful families of every place which it visits, and leaves not a few of them in sorrow and utter desolation.
“Passing through a narrow street of Ciudad Rodrigo,” says Kennedy in his Recollections of the War in Spain, “I heard the shriek of a female. Looking up, we saw at an open lattice, by the light of the lamp she bore, a girl about sixteen, her hair and dress disordered, her expressive olive countenance marked by anguish and extreme terror. A savage in scarlet uniform dragged her backward, accompanying the act with the vilest execrations in English. We entered the court-yard, where the hand of rapine had spared us the necessity of forcing a passage. My companions were brave, conscientious men, with the resoluteness that, in military life, almost invariably accompanies these qualifications. Armed for whatever might ensue, they kept steadily by me until we arrived at a sort of corridor, some distance from the extremity of which issued the tones of the same feminine voice, imploring mercy, in the Spanish tongue. Springing
forward, my foot slipped into a pool of blood. Before I could recover, the door of the apartment whither we were hurrying opened, and two soldiers of my own company discharged their muskets at us, slightly wounding one of the gallant Scots. Intemperance had blinded the ruffians, and frustrated their murderous intentions. We felled them to the ground, and penetrated into the chamber.
The room wherein we stood bad been devoted to the festivities of a retired family of moderate fortune. It contained the remains of those decent elegances that properly appertain to the stranger's apartment in a dwelling of the middle class. Mutilated pictures, and fragments of expensive mirrors, strewed the floor, which was uncarpeted, and formed of different kinds of wood curiously tessellated. Au ebony cabinet, doubtless a venerable heir-loom, had suffered as if from the stroke of a sledge. An antique sideboard lay overturned; a torn mautilla dropped on a sofa, ripped, and stained with wine. The white drapery, on which fingers steeped in gore had left their traces, hung raggedly from the walls.
On investigation, the sergeants found the dead body of a domestic, whose fusil and dagger showed that he had fought for the roof that covered him. His beard had been burned, in derision, with gun- i powder. One of his ears was cut off, and thrust into his mouth. In a garret recess, for the storage of fruit, two female servants were hidden, who could scarcely be persuaded that they had nothing to fear. Having flown thither at the approach of the ferocious intruders, they had suffered neither insult nor injury. They came to a room where I lingered over an object unconscious, alas! of my commiseration; and, in accents half choked by sobs, called upon Donna Clara. I pointed to the alcove where the heart-broken lady had flung herself on the bleeding corpse of her grey-haired father. She, too, might have had a sheltering place, could her filial piety have permitted her to remain there when her high-spirited sire feebly strove to repel the violators of his hearth.
Master of a few Spanish phrases, I used them in addressing some words of comfort to the ill-starred girl. They were to her as the song of the summer-bird carolled to despair; her sole return was a faintly-recurring plaint, that seemed to say, 'Let my soul depart in peace.' I notioned to her attendants to separate her from the beloved source of her unutterable sorrow. They could not comply without the application of force approaching to violence. Bidding them desist, 1 signified a desire that they should procure some restorative. The sergeants withdrew. One of the women held the lamp; the other gently elevated ber mistress's head. Kneeling by the couch in the alcove, I poured a little of the liquor into a glass, and applied it to her lips; then took it away, till I had concealed my uniform beneath the torn mantilla.
Affiction, thou hast long been my yoke-fellow; thou hast smitten the core of my being with a frequent and a heavy hand; but I bless an all-wise and all-merciful God, who tries that he may temper us, that I have not a second tiine been doomed to witness aught so crushing to the soul, so overwhelming in wo, as the situation of the young creature over whom I watched on the baleful night of our victory. She had baffled, with a might exceeding her sex's strength, against nameless indignities, and she bore the marks of the couflict.