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pressed themselves, it is evident they did not suffer for a private opinion, which was held indifferently by the Heathens and the Christians. This meets with further confirmation from the works of the early fathers, Justin, Irenæus, Tertullian, and Origen, as quoted by Mr. Clarkson.
Adverting to the prophecy of Isaiah, ii. 4, Justin says, that the prophecy is fulfilled, you have good reason to believe, for we, who in times passed killed one another, do not now fight with our enemies.' You quote the latter part of this passage only, and then, upon the mutilated citation, put a construction inconsistent with the part omitted by you, which refers to the prophecy of Isaiah, where, predicting the reign of the Messiah, he says, he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.' This prophecy Justin, Irenæus, and Tertullian, say was fulfilled among the Christians of their time. The words of Irenæus deserve your attention, for the Christians have changed their swords and their lances into instruments of peace, and they know not how to fight." With this evidence before us, it would be only wasting your time and my own to descend into a formal refutation of your fanciful construction of the word enemies, as used by Justin. You have here fallen into the very error with which you charge Mr. Clarkson.
10. L'homme à la propriété de ses biens, de son industrie, de son exist ence: Il doit les défendre contre les attaques de son semblable. Ensuite en généralisant; Une réunion d'hommes, une nation, à la propriété de son sol, de ses lois, de son honneur, etc. etc. elle doit les défendre etc. etc. La guerre dans ce cas est juste: il ne faut donc pas condamner la guerre en général. Un Roi puissant occupe sans résistance un pays qui ne lui appartient pas et le soumet à son despotisme. Il n'y a pas de guerre, mais il y a un mal encore
plus grand, que la guerre aurait peut être prévenu.
goods, his labour, and his existence, That man has a property in his and that he may defend them from attempts to deprive him of them, is admitted; but then a Christian ought to restrict his defence of his temporal rights within the bounds set by the Gospel, which prohibits such a property in any thing temporal, as would be inconsistent with his duty to his Maker and Redeemer: neither does it allow of such a defence as would disturb his inward peace of mind, arouse the angry passions, or endanger the life of man, a fellow heir to immortality.
No nation or kingdom could desire a greater licence for war than is granted them in this paragraph, where you allow an appeal to the sword in defence of their honour. What is honour, to which idol so many millions of lives have been sacrificed? A phantom, a shadow, the offspring of pride, that is in direct contrariety to the humility upon which Christianity is built.
observed, that nothing is easier than
qu'il faut ecrire. Mais contre l'ambition. Faites circuler dans le monde entier les pages terribles qui retracent les ravages causés par la folie de conquérir. Montrez aux regarde de l'univers les cendres, le sang et les larmes où s'embourbe le char de la victoire. Effacez par l'expression de l'execration générale, les pages adulatrices ou le conquérant est divinisé: que ses lauriers soient souillés d'infamie; mais ne refuser pas un juste tribut de regrets au peuple qui a succombé dans une juste résistance, ou un hommage de reconnaissance à celui dont la fortune à couronne les efforts,
pour la défense de ses droits violés.
You say that war is a great evil, that as such it has been condemned from the most remote period. You further say, that the opinions advanced by the early Christian fathers against war, were no other than had been entertained by philosophers of every age, of every country, and of every religion. If this were true, little hope indeed could be cherished that so inveterate an evil would ever be eradicated. We could not, certainly, expect so desirable a consummation from a repetition of the moral lessons of the ancient sages. But your description of the character of the page of the ancient heathen authors is not correct; it will mostly, if not always, prove to be of that character which you justly assign to general execration, as deifying the conqueror, instead of staining his laurels with the infamy they justly deserve.
The declamation against ambition, which you recommend, will, you may be assured, produce no effect. The principle of aggrandizement, and of extension of territory, has been, thanks to the influence of Christian principles, long exploded, as untenable ground for drawing the sword. Your own good sense, upon reflection, must convince you that the reprobation of conduct in which the most determined advocate for war will profess to unite, cannot be effective towards abolishing the present practice of settling the differences between nations by an ap
peal to arms, in which each party endeavours to affix the stigma of aggression on his opponent.
Having noticed your several objections to Mr. Clarkson's Tract, I shall now state the principles upon which The Society for the promotion of permanent and universal Peace, act, and upon which they build their hopes of ultimate success. I give the exact title by which the Society is designated, as conveying a correct idea of the extent of their object. The object you say you approve; but you evidently differ from them as to the means calculated to attain it. I have pointed out the insufficiency of the means suggested by you; and I hope to prove that the Society have not blindly adopted means inadequate to the end they have in view.
They believe, 1st, That the Bible, including the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, is a volume of Divine Revelation, declaratory of the will of God to man.
2d, That in the Old Testament are prophecies pointing to the coming of Christ, and describing the nature of the new Covenant of God with man, under the reign of the Messiah. That among the characteristic traits of his government, is the extermination of the malignant passions that produce discord and strife among men. They consider that the triumph of the Prince of Peace over that baneful spirit in man, which excites to war, and sacrifices the weak, harmless, and unresisting, to the lawless domination of the powerful and strong, armed for the destruction of the human species, is emphatically delineated in the page of Prophecy under the most appropriate emblems: thus, speaking of the Messiah, Isaiah says,' He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down
with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.' xi. 4-9.
3d, They consider that, consistently with the above prophetic declaration of the nature of Christ's kingdom, the prosecution of war of any kind is incompatible with the spirit of the Gospel, which inculcates meekness, forbearance, forgiveness of injuries, loving our enemies, and returning good for evil. Whatever objections may be urged to these injunctions, from the present state of the world, some of which I have noticed, the harmony between them and the page of prophecy must be acknowledged.
Such are the principles and hopes of the Peace Society. The foundation of the former, is Divine revelation of the latter, the veracity of the Divine promises. Consequently, to an unbeliever they have little to say, and even that little cannot be of much avail, whilst governments, calling themselves Christian, openly contradict, by their conduct, the moral precepts of the Gospel. Such governments, whatever may be their professions, have yet to be brought under subjection to the Prince of Peace.
This fact, melancholy as it is, only proves that much remains to be done; it does not discourage, but stimulates the friends of Peace to unremitting exertions in the attempt to diffuse the genuine spirit of the Gospel among mankind; for though they have full confidence in the accomplishment of the Divine predictions, they do not look for their accomplishment but through the gradual process of human agency, the usual means by which
the Great Supreme effects his purposes of good to man. It is only as, by these means, the heart of man is changed, the world evangelized, and the grand moral principles of the Gospel substituted for the cold-hearted, selfish policy of the world, that the Peace Society look for the consummation of their hopes.
To expect the present system of national policy to be overthrown by means short of these, is, they consider, to calculate upon an effect being produced without an adequate cause, to substitute what is wild and visionary, for sober and rational exertions to produce peace and concord among CHRISTIANUS.
Peace Society, Gloucester. No real and extensive benefit can arise from the knowledge of moral and religious truths, unless their tendency and value be actively exhibited, and recommended by the language and conduct of those to whom they have been mercifully revealed. The most successful reformers, the sincere benefactors and philanthropists of every age, have been diligent in the study, and laborious in the propagation of the subjects which have imperiously pressed upon their minds. Happy would it have been for the world, if all, upon whom the light of religion and science has shone, had devoted their time and their labours to the melioration and happiness of their fellow creatures. Every one, indeed, is not gifted with equal strength of nerve, and energy of action, but all may do far more than has yet been accomplished in the blessed work of doing good.
These considerations we wish particularly to urge upon the Friends of Peace. Let them view the frightful glare of the torch of War again rekindled on the Continent-Let them anticipate all the direful effects which will result from the progress of the devouring sword,-and then acknowledge the vast importance, the indisputable duty, of diligently propagating
the principles of Universal and Christian Peace.
We have been led to these remarks from the perusal of the following Circular, which has been addressed to the inhabitants of the city of Gloucester. And we earnestly recommend the adoption of some such plan, in every town where there is a single Friend of Peace to whom reference can be made.
Inhabitants of the City of Gloucester,
You are now enjoying PEACE, one of the greatest earthly blessings; such you cannot but acknowledge it to be, if you will contrast it with the evils and calamities of an opposite state. The object of War is to destroy lifethat of Peace to save it. War wastes and consumes the bounties of a kind Providence, whilst Peace enables you to taste them with the highest relish, and to turn them to the best advantage. War creates confusion, and spreads desolation wherever it comes; but Peace allows the affairs of life to proceed in a safe, calm, and harmonious course. War fills the minds of millions with alarm, dismay, and horror; injures the health and mutilates the persons of numbers, disables them from attending to the most necessary duties of their occupations and professions, and prevents the worthy and well-disposed from doing the good which they would be most happy to do in society. Peace, on the other side, stills every feeling of apprehension in the minds of the most delicate and tender, contributes to health, allows ample scope for the proper discharge of the duties of every station, and permits the benevolent to carry on their labours of humanity and love without danger or interruption. War is the fruitful source of crimes and offences of every description. Nothing relaxes the moral principle so dreadfully, nothing tends so powerfully to harden the conscience, and to undermine the virtues of philanthropy, kindness, compassion, and goodwill; whereas Peace is the very
best friend and ally of virtue; it gives time and opportunity for instilling, and bringing to maturity, the elements of all that is honourable, excellent, amiable, and good; it affords the greatest facilities for checking the growth of vice and folly, and for fostering, promoting, and encouraging those feelings and actions which are most consonant to the true dignity of man, and most perfective of his nature.
On these accounts, and for these reasons, you are most respectfully and earnestly solicited to direct your attention to the subject of Peace. Think of the means by which it may be possible to preserve it unimpaired. Think how you can lay a foundation on which may be erected the grand and admirable superstructure of permanent and universal Peace. Should you not succeed, or but imperfectly, in your object, yet you will be 'blessed in the deed. You will be approved and accepted at the last, according to what you have sincerely wished and honestly attempted, though your wishes may fail of their effect, and your attempts may be unavailing. Object not, that a spirit of peace thwarts the aims of princes, and cripples the energies of government; its native tendency is to cause princes to have no aims that need to be thwarted, and to make governments see that their honour and prosperity are identified with those of their people. War puts to hazard the thrones of sovereigns, and has many times subverted states, kingdoms, and governments; on the contrary, Peace tends to consolidate and confirm both thrones and governments, and to give them a stability the most durable.
The friends of Peace are, in truth, the real friends of kings and governments; and are most solicitous to promote their welfare, in union with the best interests of mankind at large.
Their views harmonize with those
of that Being, whom the sacred records repeatedly designate as the God of Peace; they coincide exactly, too, with those of the Anointed One
of the eternal Father, who is styled, by prophetic wisdom, The Prince of Peace.' At his birth an host of angels is said to have chanted the heavenly anthem, 'Glory be to God on high, on earth peace, good will to men. He enjoined his disciples 'to be at peace one with another;' and in the view of his departure out of this world, My peace (he said) I leave with you; my peace I give unto you.' In imitation of him, and in exact conformity with his will, his Apostles require Christians to live as much as lieth in them peaceably with all men, to follow after things that make for peace, and to follow peace with all men; and it is solemnly affirmed that the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by them that make peace.' You may rest fully satisfied, then, that in contributing your strenuous support to the promotion of peace, you will be acting in perfect agreement with the spirit and temper of the Gospel of your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. You will shew that you are the friends of your great Master, by your alacrity to do what he has commanded you.' The peacemakers you know he pronounced blessed, and declared them to be the children of God. The principle of Peace, therefore, being a genuine principle of the Gospel, sanctioned by the approbation of your Saviour, and enforced by his commands, can any thing more convincing or persuasive be used to prevail upon Christians to come forward and fearlessly avow themselves the sincere and practical promoters of peace? To those who are averse to this, it is earnestly recommended to call to mind the declaration of the Apostle, 'They who have not the spirit of Christ are none of his.'
Peace Societies are rising up in various quarters. They are numerous in America; and twenty, or more, have been instituted in Great Britain. One has recently been formed in your own City. Its members are of different religious and political opinions, but they agree in believing it to be an in
dispensable duty incumbent upon all men, upon Christians more especially, to promote and secure, as far as they are able, the blessings of Peace. In becoming members of Peace Societies, the only qualification is a love of Peace, and a desire to witness its universal prevalence. These Societies propose to diffuse the Spirit of Peace in the most inoffensive and honourable manner. Their weapons are purely and exclusively spiritual. They recommend the perusal of short tracts that expatiate upon the good-effects of Peace, and paint, in strong and lively colours, but not more strong and lively than true, the horrors of War, in all their terrific and appalling deformity. They circulate a monthly publication, which admits of communications from all quarters, on the subjects of Peace and War. They advise frequent, but always candid and temperate, conversations upon these points; and are desirous to induce all men to shew, in their lives and actions, the happy consequences of their own peaceable dispositions, and to let them appear in all the relations of domestic, social, and civil life. The expense attending the establishment and support of Peace Societies is trifling. That of this City expects no more from its members than five shillings annually; and if there is an incompetence of ability to contribute so much, they refuse not any sum that does not descend below a moiety of it. Rouse then, fellowcitizens, the best and noblest feelings you possess; exert yourselves like men and Christians in this most interesting and valuable cause. Leave no expedients untried that you can lawfully have recourse to; and may the Lord of Peace himself give you Peace by all means.
N. B. Application may be made for admission into the Society to any of the Members of the Committee :-Mr. Isaac Jackson, Mr. Richard Portlock, Mr. C. Cooke, Mr. James Gittens, Mr. Francis Parker, jun. Mr. Herbert Williams, or the Rev. Theophilus Browne.
Gloucester, Feb. 14, 1821.