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power. But this has not been the triumph of the cross; and however we may rejoice in the emancipation of Greece, we have reason to deplore the fatal delusion which yet blinds so many of our fellow-creatures to the benign and heavenly light of the gospel, and makes them delight in the precepts and example of the bloody prophet. May we not hope that the time may at length come, when Christians shall conquer Turks by other arms than the sword? When the believers in Jesus shall promulgate the pacific principles of the gospel, and follow the example of the great Head of the church, we shall have reason to hope that Mahometanism will be exterminated, and the kingdoms of the earth become the kingdoms of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord."
We have cause of congratulation that the chief magistrate of our country has expressed such feelings of amity and good-will toward the land of our forefathers, in his message at the opening of the present session of congress; and we are gratified to see that the government and people of Great Britain reiterate his friendly expressions, and that, in most parts of Christendom, both rulers and people seem heartily disposed to peace.
One principal topic of dissension between this country and Great Britain will, probably, be amicably settled, as previous ones have been, by friendly arbitration; and we have reason to hope that these instances will ultimately lead to a custom of referring national difficulties to the arbitration of friendly powers, and that the custom will finally settle down into a regular congress of nations, which shall resolve on the principles of international law, and appoint an adequate tribunal for the settle ment of national controversies. The subject of a congress of nations begins to attract general attention in this country. A gentleman in Boston
has addressed a letter on this subject to the Massachusetts Peace Society, which has been referred to us, by which it appears that almost every one to whom it has been presented is desirous of such an institution, and has signified his desire by signing his name to some resolutions drawn up for the purpose. Our proposal of a premium for the best dissertation on the same subject, has not fully realized our expectations, two only having been presented. As this subject requires great research into precedent, and great consideration as to the detail, we could scarcely expect that many would undertake it for so small a premium as the low state of our funds permitted us to offer. But the subject has been broached, and, we believe, has excited the attention of the friends of peace, who oppose war from motives of religion and benevolence, and of others who consult only expediency, and desire peace as the means of national prosperity. The term of receiving dissertations on this subject has been extended to the 1st of January next.
It is an omen auspicious to the cause of peace, that so many of the states of our Union have abandoned or curtailed the militia system. Preparation for war in time of peace predisposes the public mind to endeavour to settle every national controversy by physical force. love of pomp and parade is a great cause of war, and when that passion is nourished by frequent display, there are many who will not be satisfied with what distinction the musterfield affords, but will be anxious for fame of a more decided and durable, though more bloody character, which will induce them to throw the weight of their influence into the scale of war.
The success of temperance societies demands our utmost gratitude, and affords us the greatest encouragement. War and intemperance are twin monsters, dependent, in a great measure, on each other for
support, and one cannot long survive the other. The same means must be used in the destruction of both. The pulpit and the press united have effected a change in public opinion, which has already abated very much the evils of intemperance; and the pulpit and the press, when they shall be equally engaged in the cause of peace, will abolish the custom of war. The cause of temperance is the last great moral movement which has been brought forward, and we confidently trust that the cause of peace will be the next. Another cause of congratulation is, the favourable notices of our Society by some of the principal religious communities in this country. The General Conference of Maine, at their last meeting, passed resolves, approving our objects, and instructing their delegates to other ecclesiastical bodies to endeavour to procure from them similar resolves. Such approbation has been expressed by the General Association of New Hampshire, and the General Convention of Vermont, that has cheered our hearts, by wishing us "God speed," which example, we trust, will be followed by all the great religious assemblies of the union, of every denomination; for what cause has a greater claim on the pulpit, than that of peace and good-will?
Many ministers of the gospel have, during the past year, rendered us great assistance, by making the cause of peace a topic of their preaching, and much has been done, in that way, to soften down the ferocious passions of the human heart, and prepare it for the reign of the Prince of Peace, when nations shall learn war no more.
Since our last anniversary, ten new Peace Societies have been formed; viz. one at Camden, New-Jersey; one at Waterville College, a Baptist institution; one at Bangor Theological Seminary, patronized by the Congregationalists; and one at Pownal; (the last three in the State of Maine); and six others, by the Society's agent,
VOL. VIII. NEW SERIES.
one of which is at Newark, New-Jersey, and the others in the State of New-York, at Troy, Utica, Auburn, Rome, and Whitesborough. We must not, however, be too sanguine as to the results of these young societies. Past experience has taught us that it is more easy to plant an olive, than it is to make it grow; and that one active agent of the society will afford more aid than a languishing auxiliary, which has been produced by the heat of temporary excitement. It is very desirable that our auxiliaries should be more constant in their intercourse with the Parent Society. Hereafter, when we shall have become better organized, and when active secretaries shall be found, who reside in some principal city, we hope our communications with our auxiliaries will be more frequent.
During the past year, the board employed the Rev. Asa Mead as an agent for a little more than three months. It is not known to us that any clerical agent of any Peace Society has ever before travelled the country for the express purpose of inculcating the principles of peace. The success of Mr. Mead has justified the experiment. He has travelled from Maine to New-Jersey, and into the western parts of the state of New-York. In the first part of his journey he found Peace Societies already established, which, we trust, were edified by his labours; in other places, he formed the societies already enumerated, and laid the foundation for others. In many places he has broken up the fallow ground, and been the first preacher who has made the cause of peace his principal object. In such cases it is not to be expected that the collections will be sufficient to support an agent. Men must have time to examine the merits of a cause, before they will be prepared to disburse money for its support.
Our pecuniary accounts present an apparent diminution from the receipts of the last year. This, however, is
not actually the case. The last treasurer's report accounted for money received before the organization of the Society, and included a term of about eighteen months.
There have been printed this year fifteen hundred sets, of twelve numbers each, of The Harbinger of Peace, and five hundred extra of the first number. We have also printed an edition of one thousand of a tract, entitled, "An Appeal to American Christians on the Practice of War, by Pacificus," written by a clergyman of this city, and previously published in the New-York Observer, making, in the aggregate, 19,500 tracts printed by the instrumentality of the national society, beside what has been printed by auxiliaries. A considerable number of essays on peace and war have also appeared in the newspapers, and, we believe, have been productive of much good.
In reviewing the exertions of the Society, we have reason to believe that more has been done in this country, during the second year of the Society's existence, than has been done in any previous year. Many ministers of the gospel have been convinced of the accordance of our principles with the doctrines and precepts of Christ and his apostles, and of the practicability of effecting radical change in public opinion, which will eventually abolish the custom of war, and be instrumental in ushering in the millennial glory. "The prejudices of many, who feared that the Peace Society had some connexion with political or religious sects, have been removed; and if some have been weary of well-doing, or have been borne down by the pressure of the times, or removed by death, others have come forward more than sufficient to fill their places. Men naturally sanguine in their temperament are soon discouraged, if immediate success does not crown their exertions. But the work to be accomplished is great; and if, in our whole lives, we barely
lay the foundation for the next generation to build upon, we shall not have laboured in vain. But we have a fair prospect of doing more. The angry passions are now hushed to sleep. The moral world presents an aspect almost as "calm and unruffled as the summer's sea, when not a breath of wind blows o'er its surface." Now is the time for us to arise and build; to lay the foundation deep, and raise the superstructure high, that when the rains descend, and the winds blow, and the floods come, and beat upon our house, it shall stand, being founded upon a Rock. Though much of the present peace and quiet may be owing to a providential concatenation of circumstances, we have reason to believe that much is owing to the exertions of Peace Societies in this country, and in Great Britain and France. When a cause is professedly undertaken, in order to produce a certain effect; when its operations are calculated to produce that effect; and when that effect is actually produced, it is but fair to infer that it has been, in part at least, instrumental, in combination with other causes, of bringing about the state of things which follow its exertions. Men are not seldom conscious of the influence which governs them, and know not whence their motives spring. Many have become temperate, who are indifferent or opposed to temperance societies: and we have no doubt that many have become more pacific in their feelings, who are indifferent or opposed to Peace Societies. have every reason, therefore, for perseverance. Let us do our duty, and leave the consequences with God. It is best known to him, whether he will crown our exertions with such success, that we shall reap the fruits of peace, or whether, after we shall have passed off the stage of action, he will raise up others to enter into our labours; but of this we are certain, for we have his promise, that the time shall come when the nations will learn war no more.
ORIGINAL COMMUNICATIONS, EXTRACTS, &c.
from criminality. Any principle, not
Origin of War, by the Rev. THOMAS the passion for war alone, may be
"From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?"
James iv. 1.
THIS decision of the Apostle applies equally to private contentions and national warfare. Hence the latter, originating, like the former, in depraved passions, must be equally criminal. The argument is not that, indirectly, by the existence of such passions among enemies, war is produced; it is that by their direct operation it is excited as a legitimate result, as their natural and unconstrained expression. Who ever be lieved that war originates in love to our enemies? that it springs from compassion, from a forgiving temper, from submission to evangelical principles ? Who knows not, that it always rises from principles of another class?-commonly from selfishness, from ambition, or from revenge, universally, I was going to have said, from feelings unimbued with the Christian spirit? Could you imagine a sovereign or an administration under the full and unresisted control of this spirit, could you imagine the perfect Author of our religion, had it been his lot to occupy an earthly throne, either proclaiming or sustaining hostility? The answer, it seems to me, is obvious; and I would only subjoin, that as private contests, as individual acts of retaliation, as all criminal deeds are the fruit of kindred passions, so war is the fruit of dispositions altogether uncongenial with Christianity.
Nor is this repugnant to the opinion, that instead of resulting from mere malignity, from merely cruel and vindictive feelings, war derives often its existence, always some portion of its nutriment, from principles which, within certain limits, are free
come a lust, a strong and insatiable desire. Even granting, what some contend, that the love of excitement is the main spring of war, this would not prove its rectitude; it would only furnish an example of this passion carried to most unjustifiable extent. But to resolve the whole military passion either, on the one side, into a vindictive and malignant spirit, or, on the other, into love of excitement, to deem it exclusively either demoniac malice or restless activity, is contrary to the phenomena it actually presents. It has occupations to which malevolence is not essential; it has others, in which more than excitement is requisite. Nor is the mind often possessed by either of these principles so entirely, as for their gratification alone, to endure all the inevitable calamities of war. Besides: different men are impelled by different feelings; one, by ambition of power, another, by love to his country; one, by attachment to liberty, a second by hatred of liberty; one, by desire of glory, another, by restlessness of mind; while some are prompted by malignant revenge, while many, perhaps, without definite aim, support it either from national prejudices or as a mere matter of course. In most men, various passions, singly feeble, beget by combination the terrific and absorbing energy of the martial spirit.
To the restriction of the causes of war to the love of excitement, I would present the objection under another aspect. Either the term is synonimous with the simple desire of action or employment, or it includes the desire of exercise implied and involved in the very existence of each human passion; in the one case, it is too narrow to include the complex feelings of which the military disposition is made up, as in the other, it embraces many classes of feeling which
war neither demands nor employs. The soldier loves occupation; but his passion reaches vastly beyond it. He loves the exercise of all his passions; yet how many must he continually suppress!
We wish for a closer analysis. We wish to see the spirit of war in its radical elements, those elements of which all are conscious, and which require only favourable circumstances to combine them, and to impregnate them with inextinguishable ardour. To facilitate this analysis, it is necessary to consider two things, the character of war as an employment, and the nature of man so far as this employment calls it into operation. First; War is undertaken either for retaliation of injury, or for attainment of alleged right. It demands continual occupation. To subdue physical force is not its only aim; it is to ascertain and to forestall insidious stratagems. It is equally important and hazardous in its issue. Nations are gazing on the conflict. Unborn ages crowd around the spot, as if to learn their destiny, and to crown their benefactors. But the desire of glory, the ambition of power, the necessity for occupation, the consciousness of right, together with the desire of evil to its invaders, either rising to revenge, or merely seeking salutary punishment, are inseparable from the human constitution. To each passion, and to the calculations of war, its risk attaches most solemn intensity.
In this risk, as well as in other circumstances attending war, it bears a strong resemblance to gaming. The latter is undertaken as an absorbing occupation; it demands equal sagacity and caution; its result, whether of gain and honour or of loss and disgrace, the pride of superiority or the shame of defeat, awakens intense feeling. Indeed I have sometimes thought, that the substitution of some game in adjusting national collisions, might call forth a large portion of the feelings with which the warrior is
now inspired. Let him gather his army of images. Let the enemy gather an equal number. Let these images be so constructed, that by mechanical powers they might be made to advance or retreat, and to bear on each other with a force not easily resisted. Let it be stipulated, that by the demolition of the one or the other of these opposing powers, secured by the skill of individuals employed to manage the contest, the result should be decided. I do not say, that this would call forth every feeling of war. There may be hostility which violence only can allay, revenge which blood only can appease, begotten by the reciprocations of aggression and retaliation. Yet, even in this bloodless contest, I discern the workings of a spirit terribly aroused. I see the manager of its stupendous mechanism manifesting, even in his calmness, the powerful emotions compressed within his bosom,-every thought intensely fixed on the portentous game, every limb braced to mighty action, the whole soul and the whole body summoned to the work which ages will remember, and for which multitudes come up from the future to do him homage. A nation is waiting its destiny!
In war reduced to such a game, but more as it actually exists, the whole nation shares one spirit; one in its elements, though modified, not only by the peculiarities of different men, but by the conditions of different classes. Of these classes we may discover four; the people at large, the possessors of civil office, together with expectants and other men of political ambition, talent, or influence; the military leaders; and the soldiers, as well as inferior officers. Each class has a powerful influence on the rest: each feels more
or less a kindred spirit. In a republic, war must originate, in pretence at least, from the people. But the people are so many individuals, of different occupations, habits, opinions, feelings, and interests; and