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HERALD OF PEACE.
THE VANITY OF AMBITION AND MILITARY RENOWN.
THERE is a feeling of inex
pressible disappointment and concern, excited by the obscure and neglected death of a once dignified and celebrated individual. No one, we think, who has read Shakespeare's account of the latter days of Cardinal Wolsey, but will at once enter into our views. Raised almost to the summit of his wishes,-invested with a degree of grandeur and state which Royalty itself could scarcely exceed,-wanting one step only (that of the Popedom) to complete his utmost aim,—how great and how rapid
was his overthrow!
With age, with cares, with maladies oppressed, He seeks the refuge of monastic rest. Grief aids disease, remembered folly stings, And his last sighs reproach the faith of kings. The death of Alexander, disgraceful as was its cause, was not preceded by the loss of all those vast territorial acquisitions which a thoughtless world foolishly, if not wickedly, supposes were obtained by a series of glorious achievements. He died with his military renown untarnished, and after having subjugated every power which attempted to resist his victorious progress. Charles XII. of Sweden. after
his flight from Muscovy, and imprisonment in Turkey, escaped from all his enemies-In the face of innumerable hardships and dangers, returned to his country, and died, as he had lived, with the sword in his hand. How different a termination has attended the brilliant career of Napoleon Buonaparte! After a series of military successes, which, considering the forces by which he was opposed, will bear comparison with any of the wonderful conquests of antiquity— after wielding the sceptre of sovereignty, and displaying political talent in a manner far superior to most of the successful conquerors who went before him, he lived to see his great political skill unavailing, and the utmost efforts of his military science altogether vain and futile! Not permitted even the poor solace of spending the remainder of his life in voluntary exile, he has quitted this world as a prisoner in a dreary and rocky solitude, with scarcely one friend to cheer his dying pillow, or whisper peace into his agonized spirit. And is it thus, friendless, thus abandoned by all the world, that the conqueror of Marengo, 2 G
of Jena, and of Austerlitz, closes his mortal course?-Is it thus that, in obscurity and dependence, he dies, who once seemed to control the destinies of Europe, and who dispensed sceptres and crowns according to his pleasure? Alas! how vain, how empty are all the schemes and triumphs of ambition, and how appropriate to such a character, in the prospect of speedy dissolution, would be the language put into the mouth of Wolsey:
Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away Ambition.
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr ..
While we reprobate the love of glory, and the desire after power in this child of ambition, let us not refuse to pay to his memory that tribute which it deserves. While we lament that any human mind should be rendered so callous, as to regard the dreadful and bloody conflicts between fellow men with all the coolness of a game of chess; let us not forget that the late Emperor of France was distinguished as the promoter of literature and the arts, as the friend of religious liberty, and a determined foe to bigotry and superstition. We cannot indeed but bitterly lament the direction in which his talents were directed, though we ought not to refuse our admiration to the versatility of his powers, and the strength of his intellect. If such a man had moved and acted under the influence of the
principles of Christianity,and been animated with a sincere desire to advance the peace and happiness of his fellow men, What might not have been
anticipated from the great decision, active perseverance, and unwearied energy of his character? Let it be the concern of those who have survived him, to emulate his good qualities and his talents, while they detest and shun his vices. And, above all, let them habitually abominate that taste for War, which led him to measures, involving the peace, the happiness, and the prosperity of millions.
The Report of the Committee of the Plymouth, Plymouth Dock, and Stonehouse Peace Society.
Plymouth, June 22, 1821.
SIR, By desire of the Managing Committee of the Plymouth, Plymouth Dock, and Stonehouse Peace Society, I transmit, through you, to the Peace Society established at London, a copy of our first Annual Report; and I would beg, at the same time, to observe, that we shall feel ourselves obliged by receiving in return copies of your past Reports, and be ever happy to co-operate in the Christian object which both Societies have in view.
That object it was never more necessary to promote than at the present Bad passions are afloat, and ambition still exists in certain quarters, reckless of the evils which an indulgence in its feelings must produce. At such a time, to instil the balm of peace is the duty of every Christian, and more especially of those institutions which profess the doctrines and cultivate the practices of peace. Though inconsiderable now in extent and influence, like the grain of mustard seed, Peace will in time overshadow the whole earth, and collect together the various races of man into one large and harmonious family, beneath its ample branches.
I trust that our respective proceedings will always tend to foster the growth of this noble tree, to encourage which, let us remember, is
Twelve months having elapsed since the establishment of the Society, it becomes the duty of the Committee which you appointed to watch over its interests, to render you some account of its progress, and of their proceedings.
The good cause in which we are engaged has every where to struggle with the listlessness of the unenquiring the interests of some, and the prejudices of most;" but, we have peculiar difficulties to encounter, in consequence of our field of labour being in a neighbourhood which has been nursed by War, and educated amidst the "pomp and circumstance" of its preparations; where the heart has been enlisted in its favour, and the imagination dazzled by its splendours. It requires, therefore, proportionate zeal and assiduity to contend with such formidable prepossessions; and your Committee have judged the most effectual method to be that pointed out in one of the original resolutions of the Society, namely, adiligent circulation of Tracts tend ing to demonstrate the evils of War, its opposition to the benign influence of the Christian religion, and the true interests of man.'
Your Committee have accordingly procured from the Parent Society, in London, a large number of their publications; some of which have been sold, many gratuitously distributed; and some remain on hand, to be used
as occasion may require. A few of them have been bound in sets, and presented to the public libraries, and to some distinguished persons in the vicinity, which have been well received.
Notwithstanding the impediments before alluded to, your Committee have the satisfaction to report, that the number of subscribers is gradually increasing. It is now 43; and the amount of subscriptions received for the past year, is 187. 9s. of which there has been remitted to the Parent Society, in aid of its funds, 157.; incidental charges, 67. 14s. ; leaving a balance against the Treasurer of 31. 5s.
Your Committee have also derived encouragement from the reports which they have received, of the progress of societies on similar principles in other places; among which, the one established at Tavistock continues to distinguish itself by its zealous and successful operations. Many others have been formed in England, Scotland, and Ireland. In America, the labours of the friends of Peace have been attended with extraordinary success; and among their members are an ex-president, several judges, and other eminent characters. France, considerable attention has been excited to the subject. Copies of the Tracts have been sent, through the regular channels of communication, to the Kings of France and Spain, and others have been forwarded to various parts of the world; besides which, Tract No. 2, has been translated into the Dutch, and Tract No. 3, into the Spanish language.
Thus, the efforts of those Societies to promote good-will among men are not confined to our own country. Their aim is universal, and their object the good of all mankind. But such a deeprooted evil as they have to contend with, namely, War, cannot be extirpated in a day. The just and beneficent spirit of the Gospel must first predominate more in the minds, both of rulers and people; and we have the consolation of believing, that, although
the progress of this good work, "its peaceful progress, disturbs not the superficies of things, and may not, in consequence, be discerned by the careless observer, yet a great change is manifestly going on in the hearts of men; and beneath the frozen surface of seeming indifference, mighty principles are at work, and will sooner or later exhibit themselves in their benign influence.”
Your Committee have hitherto met with little avowed hostility, but they have to lament the apathy and neutrality of those who ought to be allies. They respectfully and earnestly invite their fellow Christians, of every denomination, to give the arguments in the published Tracts an impartial examination, and they are persuaded that the result will be an 'increased number of converts to the cause of Peace.
tering the clouds from the morning of that day, "when swords shall be beaten into plough-shares, and spears into pruning-hooks; when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall learn war any more.”
Resolutions passed at the First Anniversary Meeting of the Society, May, 15, 1821.
Resolved, that the present Subscribers to this Society be requested to use their influence with their friends and acquaintances, to induce them to become Members of the Institution.
Resolved, that all Ministers subscribing to this Society be Members of the Committee, ex officio.
Committee for the ensuing Year.
W. H. Dove.
Walter Prideaux, Treasurer.
Fourth Annual Report of the Swansea and Neath Auxiliary Society.
They more particularly entreat the co-operation of the professed minis- John Stevens. ters of the Christian religion. The subject appears interwoven with their duties, and inseparable from their office. Their influence in exciting a right feeling among their flocks, would contribute largely to arrest a practice so repugnant to the character, the precepts, and the example of their divine Master, so opposite in its nature and fruits to "the fruits of the Spirit," and so fatally subversive of the moral improvement, the liberties, and the happiness of man.
Your Committee cannot conclude without expressing their conviction that, notwithstanding the obstacles with which they have to contend, the advocates of pacific principles have ample grounds for encouragement and perseverance. Their cause is the cause of truth, and must finally prevail. They even indulge a hope that the period is not far distant, when the same energies which, under the Divine blessing, have so gloriously achieved the abolition of the British slave trade, the circulation of the Scriptures, and the education of the poor, will be again displayed in scat
WHEN your Committee entered on the discharge of the duties which devolved on them through your partiality, it was not with any enthusiastic expectations of immediately extensive success. The history of the world, as well as the experience of former years, had convinced them that the deep-rooted prejudices of custom and education are not to be subverted in a moment; and being well aware of the unpopular nature of the principle of the Peace Society, they judged it probable that they might have to labour, as heretofore, without that encouragement which you so anxiously desire.
Your Committee have continued to exert themselves in endeavouring to expose the evils of war, by the circulation of the Society's Tracts, and also by occasional insertions of extracts in the Provincial Journals; and it is with pleasure they have to report,
that in some instances, they have witnessed the triumph of the pacific principle: their meetings have in general been well attended; their tracts have been well received; some new subscribers have come forward to aid the funds of the Institution; and your Committee feel no doubt of that principle being now at work, which, like the leaven hid in the meal, shall continue to operate until the nations of the earth, feeling its salutary influence," shall beat their swords into plough-shares, their spears into pruning-hooks, and learn the art of
war no more."
During the last year, your Committee have received upwards of 1400 Tracts, Reports, &c. many of which have been distributed, whilst a considerable number still remains
on hand. The Tract prepared by your Committee for the use of the Principality, in the ancient British language, is now in the press, and will soon be in circulation.
But, whilst your Committee feel inclined to pursue their work, from a conviction that the cause must ultimately triumph over every obstacle, they receive encouragement from the increasing attention which the cause excites in distant parts. In Paris, measures have been adopted for forming a similar institution, and hopes are entertained that ere long it will be in active operation. [Reference is here made to societies in other countries, followed by a quotation from the Report of the Parent Society, which appears in our Number for February, p. 52.]
And whilst the sacred flame of
Christian philanthropy appears to be burning with increasing vigour in America, there is reason to hope that it will not be permitted to languish at home. "New Auxiliaries have been established at Bath, Bristol, Southampton, Plymouth, and Stockton." The demand for the Tracts of the Society has been great; the sales and distributions of the last year amount to about 30,000, which, to
gether with the Reports and Tracts published by the Society in former years, will make a total of 207,000 copies. [The Report concludes with a further quotation from the Parent Society's Report.]
At a General Meeting of the Swansea and Neath Auxiliary Society for the promotion of permanent and universal Peace, held at Swansea, 20th April 1821,
Mr. T. BIGG, in the Chair; Resolved,—Ist. That three hundred Copies of the Report which has been presented by the Committee be printed; and that a Welsh translation of the said Report be also inserted in the Seren Gomer.
2d. That the following be a Committee for the ensuing year, with power to add to their number:
Mr. T. Bigg
Rev. W. Kemp
Mr. W. Lewis
J. Gibbins W. Paddison
Rev. T. Luke
Mr. S. BORDELL, Treasurer.
3d. That the Thanks of this Meeting be given to the Editors of the Cambrian Paper, the Seren Gomer, and the Caermarthen Journal, for the assistance they have afforded the cause by the insertion in their respective papers of pieces tending to promote the objects of this Society.
4th. That the next Annual Meeting of this Society be held in April 1822, at such time and place as the Committee may appoint.
(Signed) T. BIGG, Chairman.
Some Remarks on the Account of the
Quakers, in Pinkerton's "Modern
[From Letters and other Writings of the
late JOSEPH GURNEY BEVAN.]
"I AM inclined to offer a few remarks on the short notice of the religious Society of Friends, commonly called Quakers, in Pinkerton's Modern Geography.
It is a circumstance which demands