« PrécédentContinuer »
and new potentates to conquer: who Alexander perhaps destroyed a milrouted armies which could scarce be lion: and whoever reflects, that each numbered, and took cities which were individual of this number had some deemed impregnable. Do they not tender attachments which were broken follow him
in the path of slaughter with by his death ; some parent or wife horrid complacency! and when they with whom he mingled tears in see him deluge the peaceful fields of the parting embrace, and who longed industrious simplicity with blood, and with fond solicitude for his return; leave them desolate to the widow and or perhaps, some infant whom his the orphan of the possessor, do not they labour was to feed, and his vigilance grow frantic in his praise, and con- protect; will see, that Alexander cur to deify the mortal who could was more the pest of society than conquer only for glory, and return Bagshot, and more deserved a gibbet the kingdoms that he won ?
in the proportion of a million to To these questions I am confident one. the greater part of mankind must It may perhaps be thought absurd, answer in the affirmative; and yet to enquire into the virtues of Bagshots nothing can be more absurd than character; and yet virtue has never their different apprehensions of the been thought incompatible with that hero and the thief.
of Alexander. Alexander, we are The conduct of Bagshot and Alex- told, gave proof of his greatness of ander had in general the same mo- mind, by his contempt of danger; tives, and the same tendency; they but as Bagshot's danger was equally both sought a private gratification at voluntary and imminent, there ought
of others, and every cir- to be no doubt but that his mind was cumstance in which they differ is equally great. Alexander indeed gave greatly in favour of Bagshot. back the kingdoms that he won; but,
Bagshot when he had lost his last after the conquest of a kingdom, what shilling, had lost the power of grati- remained for Alexander to give? To fying every appetite, whether criminal a prince whose country he had inor innocent : and the recovery of this vaded with unprovoked hostility, and power was the object of his expedition. from whom he had violently wrested Alexander when he set out to con- the blessings of peace,
he quer the world, possessed all that minion over the widows and orphans Bagshot hoped to acquire, and more; of those he had slain, the tinsel of all his appetites and passions were dependent greatness, and the badge gratified, as far as the gratification of royal subjection. And does not of them was possible; and as the Bagshot deserve equal honour for force of temptation is always supposed throwing back a shilling to the man, proportionably to extenuate guilt, whose person he had insulted, and Alexander'sguilt was evidently greater whose son he had stabbed to the than Bagshot's, because it cannot be heart ? Alexander did not ravish or pretended that his temptation was massacre the women whom he found equal.
in the tent of Darius : neither did But though Alexander could not honest Bagshot kill the gentleman equally increase the means of his own whom he had plundered when he was happiness, yet he produced much no longer able to resist. more dreadful and extensive evil to If Bagshot, then, is justly dragged society in the attempt. Bagshot to prison, amidst the tumult of rage, killed two men ; and I have related menaces, and execrations ; let Alexthe murder and its consequences, ander, whom the lords of reason have with such particulars as usually rouse extolled for ages, be no longer thought that sensibility, which often lies torpid worthy of a triumph. during narratives of general calamity, As the acquisition of honour is fre
gave a do
qüently a motive to the risk of life, reigns; and can appropriate the proit is of great importance to confer it mise, that all things shall work together only upon virtue ; and as honour is for good. conferred by the public voice, it is of equal moment to strip those vices of their disguise which have been to the Editor of the Herald of Peace.
To mistaken for virtue. The wretches Sir,-Having been taught in my who compose the army of a tyrant, infancy that Christians, as well as are associated by folly in the service others, are justified in carrying on of rapine and murder; and that men the terrible, though I supposed neshould imagine they were deserving cessary business of War, I could not honour by the massacre of each other, but regard as fanatics all those inmerely to flatter ambition with a new dividuals who refused to bear arms, title, is perhaps as inscrutable a mys- when called upon so to do by the tery as any that has perplexed reason, voice of their countrymen, or by the and as gross an absurdity as any that authoritative requirements of their has disgraced it. It is not, indeed, so government. With such feelings, it
, much to punish vice, as to prevent will not appear surprising that, when misery, that I wish to see it always musing one day upon the benefits
branded with infamy: for even the which would probably have resulted successes of vice terminate in the from the universal prevalence of anguish of disappointment. To Alex- Christianity (thus understood) at an ander, the fruit of all his conquests early period of its history, I should was tears; and whoever goes about have fallen into such reveries as the to gratify intemperate wishes, will following: labour to as little purpose as he Methought the Jews of Palestine who should attempt to fill a sive with and Syria, together with the Heathens water.
of Asia Minor, had by universal conI was accidentally led to pursue sent adopted the faith of Christ; my subject in this train, by the sight and that the apostle Paul, instead of of an historical chart, in which the being carried a prisoner to Rome, rise, the progress, the declension, and and falling a victim to the cruelty of duration of empire, are represented Nero, had been chosen by the tens of by the arrangement of different co- thousands of Asiatic converts to be lours ; and in which, not only extent, their legislator and sovereign. but duration is rendered a sensible Again I beheld, in the flights of my object. The Grecian empire, which imagination, the zealous and polished is distinguished by a deep red, is a inhabitants of Greece, who had thrown long but narrow line; because, though down the altars of Jupiter and Venus, Alexander marked the world with his Bacchus and Diana, and were recolour from Macedonia to Egypt, yet solved to serve the true God only, the colours peculiar to the hereditary whom they before time had ignorantly potentates whom hedispossessed, again worshipped as the unknown God-I took place upon his death : and in- saw them meeting in crowds, and deed the question, whose name shall sending to Athens deputies, whose be connected with a particular country chief business was to elect some one as its king, is to those who hazard life as their governor and chief, who should in the decision, as trifling, as whether regulate their affairs at home, and a small spot in a chart should be lead them against their common enemy stained with red or yellow. That man the Romans. Shortly afterwards an should be permitted to decide such honourable embassage from the asquestions by means so dreadful, is a sembled deputies was seen, bearing reflection under which he only can costly robes and ornaments, and enrejoice who believes that God only tering the humble habitation of that
disciple whom Jesus loved. Next See! the fierce engagement begins. appeared the venerable man himself, As the many-oared ships rush viowho, instead of exile to Patmos, and lently past each other, showers of an agonizing death in a cauldron of darts, arrows, and stones, are proburning oil, I beheld seated on a miscuously thrown by their christiansplendid throne, and decked out in
But the contest between all the ensigns of regal pomp.
these warriors of Asia and Europe The inhabitants of these Asiatic and becomes closer, and more destructive. European countries having, under Several brave vessels, with their unthe conduct of their Christian leaders happy mariners and soldiers, have (who headed their armies, and were sunk beneath the waves, pierced in greatly distinguished by their martial twain by the sharp prows of their prowess,) after
many bloodyen- more successful antagonists; others counters, succeeded in throwing off secure with their iron grapnels those the Roman yoke, prepared to sit that would fly, and a fearful, bloody down quietly, and enjoy the fruits of struggle ensues. their hard-earned independence. In
No room to poise the lance or bend the bow, the mean time, the amiable disciple But hand in hand and man to man they grow; who leaned on the bosom of his Mas- Wounded they wound, and seek each other's hearts,
With falchions, axes, swords, and shorten'd darts. ter, and the great apostle of the Gen
The falchions ring, shields rattle, axes sound, tiles, who desired to know nothing Swords flash in air, or glitter on the ground; among his converts but Chrisi cruci- With streaming blood the slipp’ry shores are dy'd, fied, prepared to occupy themselves And slaughter'd heroes swell the dreadful tide.
Pope's Homer. in political arrangements, and to fortify their separate sovereignties by
In the midst of this scene of carnage foreign alliances.
and desolation, I beheld the beloved But alas ! this calm was only of disciple in a ship richly adorned with short duration. The subjects of the many a splendid device. He was chief magistrate of Greece laid claim surrounded with his armed bands, to an island in the Archipelago, which and waved high his brilliant sword, the Asiatics considered as belonging as yet unstained with human blood. to them. Mindful of their Master's Presently, piercing through the command “to love one another,' the thickest of the fight, darted forward two leaders employed several couriers the royal ship of Asia, adorned with to settle the difference amicably. But all the pomp of eastern magnificence. the question of right was not easy to Fired with rage, and impatient to be ascertained ; and as the people terminate the furious contest, appeared and courtiers of each country, after in gorgeous and martial array the several epistles of remonstrance and apostle Paul, brandishing aloft his explanation, could not think of aban- bloody falchion, and urging the rowdoning their supposed possessions, ers to give increasing rapidity to his and as no other mode of adjustment, flying galley. Too late the Grecian besides an appeal to arms, occurred to helmsman strives to meet prow with them, War was determined upon. prow. The brazen and well sharp
Many a vessel with its iron or ened beak of the Asiatic strikes with brazen prow,
and well furnished with a dreadful concussion the side of the weapons of human destruction, was Grecian ship. Instantly she parts in prepared; and ere long the waters of two, the deeply ensanguined waters the Archipelago were crowded with close over her, and the hope of Greece the hostile fleets. Near the little spot is overwhelmed for ever; while a shout in dispute, the opposing forces met; of triumph arose from the conqueror's the one to claim, the other to defend ships, which, together with the horror what was of no value, compared with of the spectacle, put an end to the the peace and happiness of man. wanderings of my imagination. I awoke, and lo! it was a dream, and and a war with Sweden and with my hand rested upon the commence- Russia. These however were of ment of a llistory of the Wars of short duration.” Christendom.
“ The former part of the succeeding reign, which began in 1727, the peo
ple of England enjoyed an uncommon Review of War.
interval of peace. But in 1739, war [From the Friend of Peace.]
was made on Spain; and soon after THERE is no action of the mind the nations of Europe seem to have more calculated to depress the spirits, run mad : Alliances were formed, and to excite painful reflection in the which involved nearly all the EuroChristian, than a review of those pean powers in a long and sanguindreadful contests in which men have ary conflict, in which
many hundreds been so frequently engaged with their of thousands of human victims were fellow men. Scarcely has one war sacrificed to the ambition of princes, terminated, scarcely have the panting statesmen, and generals.” In this exhausted nations had time to re- contest England unhappily was incover a little from the effects of their volved; and in the midst of it another mortal struggles with each other, bloody struggle was made in Scotland than new sources of contention have in favour of the Pretender. " The arisen, and the hacked sword, yet peace of Aix la Chapelle, in 1748, stained with human blood, must be suspended for a time the Continental re-sharpened for the awful work of war in Europe; but this spread to slaughter.
· India, and between France and EngTo these observations we have been land it was carried on in that quarter led by the perusal of an article in of the world to 1754. The next year The Friend of Peace, entitled, a war commenced between these two view of the Wars of Britain, No.6.” powers, relating to their claims and The substance of this communication possessions in North America. Before we purpose submitting to the view of this contest was closed, another war our readers, only remarking, that occurred between Britain and the nawhile we bitterly lament the facts tives of India. The flames of war enumerated, we presume not to in- were also rekindled between the vestigate the motives wnich led to European powers; and Germany was them. The question with us has again doomed to see her“ fertile fields ever been one of Christian morality, and her opulent cities devastated by independent altogether of political contending armies." In this war also principles.
England was engaged ; and in the It is stated, that from the accession midst of it the British sovereign died, of “ George the First to the present after a reign of thirty-four years, day, more than two thirds of the time about twenty of which had been lahave been employed in the work of mentably occupied in war. destroying our fellow men.” This is “ While the nation was engaged in a melancholy reflection, the remem- wars both in Europe and America, 'brance of which will not fail, we hope, George the Third commenced his to influence our future principles and reign. These contests were still proconduct as a people, and make every longed; and in 1762, another war with individualamong us peculiarly anxious Spain was added to the lists. Peace to preserve and to promote a spirit of was again restored in 1763.” peace.
In 1767 began the war with Hyder “ In the twelve years' reign of Ally, which continued for more than George the First, there were two in- two years. In 1774, another contest surrections in Scotland in favour of arose in that country between the the Pretender, two wars with Spain, Rohillas and the British.
- April 1775 the war between Great battle of Waterloo. A great part of the Britain and her America colonies com- time since the peace of Europe was menced, which was prolonged to 1783. proclaimed, the British nation has been In its progress it involved a war with at war with the natives of India. France, a war with Spain, and a war “ Such, however, is the insanity with Holland." The termination of which always accompanies war, that which afforded an afflicting example there is little reason to doubt that of the total unsuitableness, and, fre- the people” on both sides “have been quently, inutility of settling national made to believe, that each of these disputes by an appeal to the sword. innumerable wars was just and neces
During the contest with the Ame- sary. Nor shall we deny that they rican colonies, a war broke out in were all rendered necessary by the India, between the British and the barbarous principles, passions, and Mahrattas, and soon after another war policy, which have for ages governed with Hyder Ally, which continued to the conduct of men in power. But 1784. Then a peace was concluded when these numerous wars shall be with Tippoo Saib, son and successor examined impartially, and on enof Hyder Ally.” “ But in 1790 this lightened principles, it will perhaps peace was interrupted, and a war appear that every one of them might broke out with Tippoo Saib, which have been avoided, had the genuine continued to 1792.
spirit of Christian love and forbear“ In 1793 Britain engaged in a war ance been duly exercised by the with the Revolutionary Government rulers of that country.” of France, which was prolonged to “ The people of the United States 1802. During this contest there was will doubtless admit, that the first war a formidable and destructive rebellion of Britain on this country might have in Ireland, in 1798, and what Mr. been avoided, had her rulers been Bigland calls a • glorious war' in governed by Christian principles and India in 1799 with Tippoo Saib. It a Christian spirit. Yet on the maxims may also be added, that in 1801 and principles of government which England was engaged, not only in were then popular in Europe, that hostilities with France, but also with war, on the part of Britain, was unSpain, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, avoidable, and perhaps as just and and Russia.”
necessary as almost any war in which The peace of Amiens, 1802, was she has been engaged for ten .cenof no longer duration than one year. turies. There was not probably any The war between Britain and France colonies on earth less oppressed by then recommenced. In its course, it their government than the American involved nearly all the powers of colonies prior to the Revolution ; nor Europe on one side or the other, and any government in Europe which extended its ravages to every quarter would not have made war on subjects of the world. Prior to its termination for such causes as Britain made war in Europe, it occasioned a war be- on us. Still we believe that war to tween Great Britain and the United have been perfectly unjust, and one States, which did not end till 1815. which might easily have been avoided
In the same year Napoleon Buona- on pacific principles.' parte made his escape from Elba, « Our Review of the Wars of arrived in France, rekindled the Britain has not been undertaken for fames of war, and in a short time the purpose of reproaching the counoccasioned the destruction of more, try of our ancestors, nor to represent perhaps, than a hundred thousand our British brethren as sinners above men. In this short war, Great Britain all other nations; but to exhibit the shared largely, and lost many thou- horrible fruits of the war-policy,
which sands of her troops at the horrible has been so popular in the world. It will