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courage? Who are the quarrelsome members of society? Are they not our boxers and fighters? In what neighborhood would you prefer to live for safety's sake; in that where knives and dirks were worn and used, or in that where no such weapons were named or known? The spirit of war—the military spirit, is the one for us to fear; it is the one which will plunge us into blood.
The boast which war makes, that it defends us from insult and attack from abroad, is equally false as the assertion, that it preserves peace at home. What nation has been prepared for war, which has not had war? The best preparations are attended, on the part of those who make and possess them, with a desire to use them; and so far are they, as we have already observed, from protecting us, that they excite us to try our power, and show how brave we are. Besides, to attack a nation which is well defended, if there be a possibility of success, or even of a noble failure, is a greater glory than to beat down the defenceless, and tread upon the fallen. Nothing but the deepest meanness could iuduce a nation to attack a defenceless people, whose only preparation for insult was a spirit of forgiveness, whose only return for wrong was a kiss. No laurels would be gathered on such a field as this, and the commander who should be sent to crush to the dust such a people, would shoot himself for shame. It is not in human nature, unless sunk to the lowest depth of infamy and debasement, to insult and mock and destroy the weak and defenceless. Innocence is clothed with triple steel. I say, then, that war and all its boasted heraldry, is a poor and weak means of protection from abroad. Justice is stronger than ramparts; innocence is mightier than armies; forgiveness is fleeter than swift ships. Let nations guard themselves with these virtues,-let them not prepare to deluge the land with blood upon every trivial, supposed insult
, and the east and west would join hands together, and sit down in peace under the olive tree.”
WAR IN CONTRAST WITH THE GOSPEL. “ War tells us to cherish hatred towards those whom Christianity commands us to love. What would be said to you by an army, were you to exhort them, upon the eve of a battle, to love their enemies, to cherish feelings of good-will towards those whom they were about to destroy? Would not many a lip of scorn be curled at your weakness and folly? Would you not be told that such doctrine would do for the church, not for the battle-field,—for cravers, not men,--for pietists, not heroes? Would not the commander-inchief order you to be seized for preaching treachery to his troops?
I ask again, where in the code of war do you find the broad, deep, unbounded love of the New Testament inculcated to the soldiery? Are they not commanded to kill their foes ? Are they not permitted, yea, taught, to wreak their vengeance on their enemies? Of what nature is that spirit, which burns in the bosoms of those who fight for hire—and most who do fight are thus situated,—who sell themselves to the highest bidder to be shot at, and shoot at others for a few cents a day? What is the feeling predominant in the bosoms of those young heroes who rush to the sound of slaughter, wherever it may be heard? Is it the spirit of love, the feeling of forgiveness?
And to you
Can there be love, love that endureth all things, and thinketh no evil, in the bosom of that man who returns from the field exulting in the death of his foe? Go to the army, and hear the prayers that are there offered, and tell me what spirit he is of, who prays that the aim of the musket may secure its victim, and the roar of the cannon be the requiem of thousands, and the sea weeds be the windingsheet of men ? Are these the sentiments of Christianity? Is this the spirit which it inculcates ? Far from it. It was the spirit of our great exemplar, to ask his Father's blessing, not his curse, upon his foes. Hear himn pour forth bis deep sympathy for Jerusalem. He prayed for those who nailed him to the cross. This is the spirit of Christianity; those the feelings which it cherishes; those the sentiments which it utters. But in war the maddest passions must be waked and kept excited, the most revengeful feelings be set on fire, and kept burning. This is not the place to quote from history, to prove this to be the fact in respect to war. I am speaking to those who know what the records of human strife say upon this subject.
I appeal fearlessly-I ask without a doubt respecting the answer you will give. Is not this statement true? The page is black with a description of the worst passions—the annals of war, are one continued record of burning hate, revenge and enmity festering in the bosom, or exerting their desolating power abroad upon the toe.”
“How can love consist in doing harm, unmixed harm? • Love,' says Paul, “worketh no ill to its neighbor. Did not Christ rebuke the disciples who wished to call down fire on the village of Samaria ? Did he ever encourage them to do evil, to perform deeds of the utmost malignity, that they might thereby cherish feelings of love, long-suffering and kindness ? Such a doctrine never fell from his lips. It is contrary to philosophy both human and divine. What! encourage men to mangle and hew each other to pieces to cherish the spirit of love! Lead out men to fight, array them face to face, teach them to call each other hard names, to gash and shoot each other, to make them forgiving, tender-hearted! Tell it not to human beings that men who are stabbing the heart, who are plunging the bayonet into the bosoms of their fellow-men, are filled with love."
“ The trade of the warrior is to injure ; his sworn duty is to harm; his office, to destroy. It may be said, and probably will be said, that this evil is done that good may come out of it. Do evil that good may come! Not so thought Paul. This is the rule of Christianity, do good, good only, unmixed good. Does one change the ground of debate, and say, that it is no evil to war? We reply, the very argument we are now urging, shows it to be an evil; for it is doing harm, not good to those who injure us. This is the avowed, the declared purpose of war. It is to harm, to injure, to kill. It is to desolate the fruitful field; to return famine instead of harvest; blood instead of treasure, to the laborer. Follow with me the track of a victorious army. Why do I call it victorious ? Because desolation, misery and death are in its path. See the fertile fields waste, the ravaged village smouldering in ruins; birds of prey uttering their cries, hastening to devour; children flying, imploring the protection of their pale and trembling mothers who are themselves
exposed to the brutality of the soldiers, and fear life more than death ; sons gnawing the ground in the agony of the death-struggle ; fathers lifting up imploring hands for protection, only to be pinned to the earth with the bayonet; husbands begging for a drop ot' water, or praying to be run through with the sword, to relieve them from their misery, their excruciating torture; groans from the mangled, and wails from the expiring. This is war; these are the deeds of love which are performed on the battle-field; this is the mercy which exercises its kiud offices in war; this is the forgiveness which soldiers offer to their enemies."
“Go with me to the field of battle, and tell me if it is not an arena of the worst passions which burn in the human bosom ; tell me if Christ's religion teaches men to do this; tell me if be taught the sword to devour, the fire to burn, the bullet to manyle God's image; tell me it loving ever covered a field with slaughter, with the dead and dying; if praying for those who injure us ever carried pain to the domestic circle, and caused widows and orphans to pour forth tears like water. Go with me to the hospitals, and see the misery wbich war brings with it, and tell me whether it be an angel from heaven or a fiend from the pit; tell me whether Christianity ever achieved such deeds of darkness, spread such a curtain of sackcloth over human prospects !"
“ Look at that majestic ship, 'walking like a thing of life,' upon the bosom of the ocean, its sails all white as love, kissing the sky. See the thousand human beings on board, their bosoms swelling high with hope, their hearts beating with pride. In the distance, a flag is seen streaming upon the edge of the waters. It is the evemy's. The running to and fro—the bustle--the confusion-the imprecations upon the foe-the oath-the curse—tell what deeds of darkness are to be done. One short hour is enveloped in smoke, and that beautiful ship is sivking beneath the waves. Its snowy canvass is torn and stripped—its deck slippery with human blood—fragments of human bodies strewed every where-the sea is crimson with the current of life—the cockpit filled with those who are worse than dead, enduring every extremity of torture. Now a smile of joy lights up the distorted features of these mangled victims; word is passed that the enemy's ship is foundering-a shout of victory goes up from those parched and dying lips, and they go down, victor and vanquished, a thousand fathoms into the boiling ocean. What a triumph this! What a work is this for Christian hands to be engaged in! What a dying hour is this for a disciple of the Prince of peace! What a rejoicing is this to be uttered by the lips of one who professes to be a follower of him who, when reviled, reviled not again! What a condition in which to meet him who died for his foes! Need I pause to ask whether feelings which produce such actions, which call forth such sentiments, which can triumph in another's niisery and ruin, are in accordance with the spirit of Christianity which commands us to forgive our enemies, as we hope to be forgiven of God; wbich tells us to pray for those who despitefully use us, and persecute us? Christianity cannot be uttered in the same breath with war, without sullying its unspotted purity.”
Here are specimens of the address before us; and we are happy to inform our readers that such bold and eloquent advocates of peace
are fast increasing in our country. Not a few of them, our author among the rest, are expected to enrich our pages with their contributions; and we trust the day is not far distant when our cause shall rally in its support the master-minds of all Christendom, and its whole literature shall become a literature of peace, purity and love.
CORRESPONDENCE. Extracts from a letter of Rev. J. HARGREAVES, Cor. Sec. of the London Peace Society, lo William Ladd, Esq.
Waltham ABBEY, Sept. 12, 1838. Last April I delivered lectures in some principal towns, viz., Hertford, Baldrock, Gainsborough, Doncaster and Hall. They were well attended, and well received, and seemed to make a good and strong impression. The Friends in Baldruck subsequently sent me a letter, accompanied with a vote of thanks, numerously signed, expressing their approbation. The signatures included Churchmen, Methodists, Independents, and those of note in society, At Doncaster, the attendance was the largest; and at the close of the lecture, a clergyman rose to offer some objections, but was prevented by the meeting. We parted to meet the next day for discussion; but when he came, he declined to enter verbally upon the subject, and gave me his remarks in writing. These, with my reply, subsequently appeared in the public papers. Daring that journey, I had an opportunity, as an entire stranger, of vindicating the peace principle in a steam vessel, before a large company that opposed it, and have reason to hope that good was done. Opponents sometimes become converts, if not at the moment, yet afterwards. Mr. Beverly (a considerable author), I recollect, once at Scarborough, raised the same objections to my views as the clergyman at Doncaster; but he now, in his writings, vindicates our views. The cause is progressing, and I think much more rapidly, than at any former period. Mr. Harris, the author of a most popular work called Mammon (a prize essay), has spoken in its favor. Mr. Williams, also, advocates its principles. He is, perhaps, the most celebrated, if not the most useful, missionary of the present times. He labors in the South Sea Islands. Mr. Medhursi, missionary from China, has also to me given his sentiments in our favor. He also auvocated the cause at our last annual meeting. The Patriot newspaper admits into its columns a defence of the Peace Society. The Evangelical Magazine, which I have previously considered as closed against us, has admitted this month an article containing fourteen questions, which appear condemnatory of war, remarking, however, that on these inquiries they express no opinion. The Baptist Magazine for this month has also an article highly favorable to the pacific principle. The committee have long been seeking for a suitable person to lecture, establish auxiliaries, and revive those already in existence. Mr. David Moses is now employed by them on probation. He has delivered several lectures in the vicinity of London, of which I have hearil a favorable account.
Raising your standard will promote the cause, as it will provoke opposition, and promote discussion. Bnt it should be raised, not on account only, or chiefy, of its aiding the cause, but because truth requires it, let consequences be what they may.
Dr. Allen's opposition will do good, and cause many to think who perhaps would not, without that stimulus, have ever taken the watter into their cois
sideration. Truth courts discussion. Agitation will befriend us. Let men of learning and talents enter the field against us, we tremble not. We believe our principles founded in truth, and that they and the Bible must stand or fall together. Hence we are invulnerable in our vital parts. Let us keep to the point, all war is sinful. Let war be called by whatever name it may, it is unjust and unnecessary. Sell-defence in maintain our rights, to avenge wrongs, to support the weak, and many other pretences, may be advanced and pleaded to justify what is called defensive war; but they are all mere hainan devices, and will not bear examination in the light of the New Testament. Suppositions, influences, consequences, &c., are brought forward sometimes, in a startling light; but let us turn to the Bible, to the holy Scriptures, and even if we could not answer their supposed consequences, we shall find ourselves upon a rock which cannot be moved.
Your letter I sent to Mr. Brockway soon after it reached me, and I rather think he took a copy of it, and I wish it inay move our committee to get up petitions, and to induce the auxiliaries to get up petitions to Parliament to propose to other nations the creation of a tribunal to settle international disputes, without appeal to arms. The plan is so feasible and rational, that I should think, that it would be approved by every considerate nind. A volume of our tracts has, I believe, been presented to the distinguished foreigners who have come over to the coronation of our young Queen, or for other parposes. They have been professedly kindly received, and have been acknowledged by kind and friendly replies, especially by Marshal Soult. Some or all of these answers will appear in the Herald.
Further extracts from Mr. Ladd's Letter.
New York, Dec. 5, 1838. I have visited, several times, the theological seminary here. There are several warm peace men there, and they sent a committee to request of the faculty leave for me to lecture to the scholars, but they were put off by what I think a misconstruction of the laws. It was no more than I expected; but it is the first time I ever was refused by a theological seminary.
Last night there was a sermon on Peace preached at the universalist meeting house. I was too much engaged to be present. I understood that about 40 signatures to the petition were procured.
I have accomplished one good thing for the cause of peace since I have been in the city. An application has been made to me by the Executive Committee of the “ American Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge” for a peace book for their library which, if they like, they are to stereotype. In this way, the principles of peace will in a few years be presented to the minds of more than two millions and a half of children in this country, and, if they interchange publications with the society of the saine kind in England, to an equal number in Great Britain. This is the second time I have had an invitation of the kind from this society, informal in both instances, it is true, but made in such a way as to be sure. I have had similar applications from two other quarters. All that is wanted to make the cause go ahead rapidly is, time and money. I am willing to give mine, but mine is not enough. “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few.”
I have seen two letters to Origen Bacheler, Secretary of the N. Y. Peace Society; one from the Mexican minister, in Spanish, enclosing one hundred dollars for the N. Y. Peace Society, with many thanks for the instrumentality of that Society in preventing war between Mexico and the United States, and for their endeavor io get our government to mediate between Mexico and France. The other is from the French minister, and is a polite acknowledgment of the endeavor to obtain the mediation of our government between France and Mexico, but declining any committal.