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rent indeed; nay, the very reverse of this system of hostility and blood, is the pure religion of the gospel, which breathes, in every page of it, the spirit of universal charity, and which lays down charity as the foundation of all our duties both to God and man. Thus the religion of Christ lies within the reach of every one who has a desire to practise it;—to all others it must remain a dead letter: it can have no saving efficacy except with those who are willing to live by it, and to be judged by it :—it is the simplest of ail institutes; but at the same time, the noblest, the most magnificent, the most comprehensive, and universal, that can be conceived; and the application of its doctrines are so powerful that there is no moral evil which they will not be found to correct; nor a single misery or suffering which it is not in their power to alleviate: they are, moreover, alike intended both for public and private use; for the salvation of the individual; the peace and happiness of society; and the prosperity of the world at large.
may be thrown over it; or what ever artificial colouring may be employed to conceal its deformity-Let us consider, further, the value of immortal souls; and then ask, Are lives worth only a soldier's pay, that we can afford to squander them with such reckless and indiscriminate profusion? Is there an individual that is slain in battle, however poor, or mean, or friendless, for whom Christ has not died and shed his blood on the cross? Is there one among the highest and greatest of those who are at the head of armies to whom this reasoning would not apply, What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul; or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?'*-Ask you, then, how these disorders are to be remedied, and put a stop to? We answer, by inculcating the positive law of Christ, which is the law of love and charity and good-will to men. Were the spirit of the gospel rightly understood, would there be wars among those, who found their hope of salvation in their belief of it, and their obedience to it?-If any of them should not be convinced of this, let them open their Bibles and learn, if they would be true to themselves, what the morality of Christianity is: let them examine Scripture, and discover, from the lessons of our Saviour, or the writings of his apostles, the expediency or lawfulness of war. Can the war-spirit be traced in those passages which recommend brotherly love,' patience,' and forgiveness of injuries; or in those which command us to be pitiful and courteous,' to seek peace and to ensue it; not to return evil for evil, but, contrariwise, blessing;' not to suffer ourselves to be ' overcome of evil, but to overcome evil with good. If this is the religion of Christ, and the gospel be true, it is impossible that war can be lawful.
No, my dear reader, very diffe
"SEC. IV. The blind attachment of mankind to maxims of worldly policy, which stand in direct opposition to their best and most essential interests, if traced to its source, will be found to originate in ignorance ;ignorance of their duty to God, to others, and to themselves: but notwithstanding this is the case, we are confident it cannot always continue so. The night of mental darkness is already far spent, and the day is at hand when War, with all its hideous train of evils, will be driven for ever from the abodes of social man. Violence, injustice, and oppression, have long enough been permitted to lay waste the earth, and to make it the theatre of crimes: but there can be little doubt that a different scene of things is about to commence, and a new era of happiness to dawn upon the world. The voice of reason has been hitherto drowned amidst the din of arms; and the mutual hosti2 S
lity which has subsisted among nations, has left them, hitherto, little leisure and less inclination to cultivate those mild and pacific virtues which Christianity enjoins, and which are man's truest ornament and highest praise. Happily, however, the increased circulation of the Scriptures, which both contain the will of God and instruct us in doing it, has excited a more general attention to the contents of the sacred volume; and has thus prepared the way, and disposed the reflecting part of the community, to inquire into the nature and tendency of practices at direct variance with the positive precepts of the gospel; and which, though sanctioned by long usage, can now be considered in no other light than as the effects of popular delusion. When tyranny is no longer supported by physical force, mankind will be free. It is manifestly the interest of nations, as well as of families and individuals, to cultivate peace and good-will towards each other, by which alone their mutual prosperity and happiness can be promoted; and it must be, therefore, their unanimous wish to live under wise laws and a just government, otherwise they could have no regard for their life, or liberty, or property, or whatever else is dear to them.
Hence they would be more inclined to listen to the voice of their reason, than to their passions, were it not that they have been so long habituated to have recourse to force of arms, as the supposed shortest and most effectual method of deciding differences but this is to smother the flame, and not to extinguish it, which is apt to break out anew with greater violence than ever; and thus it is that wars are perpetuated, and national animosities transmitted from one generation to another.
"Much towards the remedying of evils so deeply rooted, and so widely spread, may be expected from the labours of the Society for the promotion of permanent and universal Peace,
and from the other auxiliary societies which have been formed, and are now forming, for the same laudable purpose. We hail these as happy presages of the approaching fulfilment of the petition in the prayer our Saviour taught his disci. ples-'thy kingdom come!' and which we incessantly offer up, with unfeigned lips, to the great Father of the spirits of all flesh: we praise him for the manifestations of his mercy as revealed in the gospel, in which he has caused us to hope, and we exult in the prospect of the period when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, and when they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks.'*
Proceed, ye prophecies of elder time,
Roll on, ye years, when peace shall dwell on earth, And God with man; then shall the light of love Dwell in each heart, and truth and righteousness Shower down their blessings on redeemed mankind.
"Alas! what a contrast to this has been the condition of mankind hitherto! What black and enormous crimes have been committed! What
wars, and murders, and rapine! What violation of treaties among christian States! What a total dereliction of christian principle has been exhibited in christian lands and un
der christian governments! - It is now high time that nations should repent of the evils which they have been accustomed to inflict on each other; that they should repent of their pride, their injustice,-and ambition; convinced, as they must be, from woful experience, that as
righteousness exalteth a nation, so sin is the reproach (and ruin) of any people.' + It is time, likewise, that men of every class and situation in society should immediately determine on such necessary reformation and amendment as may arrest the and in the spirit of love and charity, progress of vice and immorality,
and Christian fellowship, unite with the virtuous and good of every sect and denomination, and country, to hasten the kingdom of peace and righteousness upon earth. Words
alone will not do this: the world has been long enough amused by speeches and professions. Christianity has too often been, and still is, for the most part, scarce little more than a name; and such it will continue to be, as long as the practical, self-denying duties it enjoins, are overlooked, or but little attended to. Indeed it is no uncommon thing to see those who call themselves the disciples of Christ, not ashamed to stoop to base and unjustifiable practices, for the sake of worldly interest; thus affording undeniable proof, that whatever the faith of others may be, they have none themselves in the religion they profess. Others, again, scruple not to be the oppressors of their brethren, caring only for themselves, and banishing from their hearts all sympathy and regard for the sufferings of others! Alas! what a falling off is here from our Christian profession! What presumption and mockery of God is this! How opposed is it to the interests of the kingdom which the Redeemer came to establish, and the righteousness of which he was the pattern!
would undoubtedly preserve love and harmony among his disciples.
The jarring passions and malignant feelings of mankind, since the world began, have had so preponderating an activity, that history is little more than that of their mutual slaughter and destruction; and how painful is the reflection, that in the very countries where the Christian revelation is embraced, (which was ushered in as announcing Peace on earth, and good-will to men') the demon of war has been as actively occupied as among the Heathen, who have never yet heard the name of our Saviour-Nay, may it not be said, that war has been the trade of their governments, under the patronage of whom, this destructive art has attained a point of perfection which almost constitutes it a science?
Seeing that War has ever been so prevalent, and apparently so inevitable an evil, however its existence may have been deprecated by the thinking part of mankind, its calamities have been endured, and acquiesced in, like those attendant on some of the awful convulsions in the natural world, over which mortals have no control.
The policy of drawing the sword for the purpose of settling the disputes of nations has long been called in question. The more powerful party (which, generally speaking, is the aggressor) bears away the palm of victory, imposing upon the weaker humiliating and degrading terms of submission, in addition to prior injustice and oppression: thus, although the contest be decided for the present, the seed of future wars is sown; for the reconciliation is only apparent, heartburning envy and revengeful feelings being excited on the one part, and jealous watchfulness and distrust on the other. How much more wise, rational, and Christian like, would it be, when differences occur, to refer the matter at issue to be arbitrated by honourable and impartial commissioners, possessing the confidence
of the parties concerned. Something like this is resorted to for the purpose of negociating peace after a long continued warfare, during which torrents of blood have flowed, and millions of treasure have been expended! Why then not adopt in the first place, and before the sword is drawn, this reasonable mean of reconciliation, and thus avert all the horrors and numberless evils inseparable froin war? Such peace-makers would be blessed indeed, and truly entitled to the appellation of the children of God. Matt. v. 9.
The difficulty of obliterating impressions received in early life, and of eradicating opinions which have long held possession of the mind, and the soundness of which have not been suspected, is acknowledged to be great; and when we reflect on the prevailing opinions of the world in general, on the subject of war, and on the tendency which education has to inspire an admiration of martial exploits and of deeds of heroism, we cannot be surprised that the youthful imagination should be dazzled by the splendour of representation, leaving little room for the exercise of reason and reflection, on a subject which of all others calls for the most serious consideration, inasmuch as it is one involving the best interests of mankind.
If we were to take up the sacred Volume, which as Christians we acknowledge to contain the precepts of our Divine Master, whom we profess to serve and to obey, and candidly examine the peaceable system of Ethics which it unfolds, should we not be induced soberly to ponder and to consider whether we may not have been taking for granted the legality and innocency of practices which the Scriptures of Truth, if allowed their due influence, so far from sanctioning, would most assuredly be found to condemn ?
Passages out of Holy writ, out of
number, may be quoted, evincing the manifest incongruity of the disciples of the Prince of Peace following the profession of Arms, who when on earth told his followers that his kingdom was not of this world, as a reason why his servants did not fight and deliver him from the Jews. But I shall content myself with considering one text only, which points out the source of war. and if it thence plainly appear to be sinful in its origin, then it as clearly follows that the Christian religion is too pure and spiritual in principle to tolerate its practice. The first verse of the 4th chapter of the general epistle of James runs thus: From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts,' &c. &c. Since then it appears by this inspired author, that this dreadful scourge is derived from that impure fountain, whence flows all that defiles a man, it must of necessity be sinful in itself, and consequently offensive in the sight of God. Thus, it appears manifest, that war, in common with all other moral evils, results from a polluted and unconverted state of the heart, which must sustain a change, and become renewed, before we can entertain reasonable hopes that so prolific a source of misery to man can be abolished.-Let us, then, who are actively engaged in promoting the cause of universal peace, be upon the watch, and evince our sincerity and consistency, by maintaining a strict guard over our feelings, lest our evil passions betray us. Thus, conformably to the precepts of religion, let us so regulate our behaviour on all occasions, whether in public or in private, abroad in the world, or at home within our own domestic circle, as to prove to all with whom we have intercourse, how highly we estimate the value of the peaceable principles we profess. N. Worcester, 17th Aug. 1821.
The Rev. JOHN TREMLETT'S Reflections for every Sunday in the Year.
in the council-chamber or the senate-house, to check the origin and to stop the progress of national hostility, as they do in their private
"And they shall beat their swords into plough capacity to live peaceably, as much
shares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."
"It is impossible for any one, who believes in revelation, to read the promise of which these words are part, without devout pleasure and joy. Scarcely can he avoid being anxiously, piously, solicitous to know when the delightful and harmonious period, here predicted, is likely to take place. On the one hand, how painful and distressing to the heart of a Christian is it, to contemplate those scenes of carnage and woe, which disfigure the creation of God! On the other, how consoling, how soothing, to be assured, by God's holy and inspired prophet, that a brighter and happier state of the world may be expected!
Yes, O thou illustrious Prince of Peace! when the kingdoms of the world will not only profess, but practise, thy religion; nations, as well as individuals, will afford all the assistance, and do all the good to each other, which they can.
But who are to be the instruinents of accomplishing the beneficent purposes of Divine Providence? What are the means by which we may hope to see the nearer approach of those days, when a virtuous emulation in the arts of love and peace shall animate the nations of the earth? when the dreadful instruments of destruction shall be exchanged for the useful implements of husbandry? The pacific principles of Christianity must become constituent and predominant principles in all Christian states and empires. The pursuit and desire of extended dominion, national aggrandizement, which are at variance with these, must be totally and for ever abandoned.
Christian rulers and statesmen must consider themselves as much bound
as in them lieth' with their neighbours. Hasten, we beseech thee, O God of love, and Author of peace, the glorious time, when the nations of the earth, which now appear to be thirsting for blood, shall no longer lift up their swords against one another, and when they shall learn, and delight in, war no more! Amen."
Red and White Warriors compared. [From the Friend of Peace, No. 3. Vol. ii.] To the Author.
Ir being thy desire to have come of the particulars of the treatment of the Indians and American army towards the people called Shakers, on the Wabash, I will state some of the circumstances, as related to me by those who had a knowledge of the facts.
At the time of Gen. Harrison's expedition, the white people dwelling near the Shakers all gathered into forts, while the Shakers kept peaceably about their business, as usual. Some of the white people were so offended at the Shakers for not gathering into forts as they did, that they swore if the Indians did not kill the Shakers, they would.
It was well known that while the Indians were killing the Whites all round the Shakers, and burning their houses across the creek, in sight of the Shaker Settlement, they did not molest the Shakers in the least. This excited an inquiry by the officers of the American army to an Indian Chief whom they had taken, why they did not meddle with the Shakers, while they were murdering and burning all around them? His reply was,"We warriors meddle with a peaceable people!-That people, we know, will not fight. It would be a disgrace to our nation to hurt such a people.".