Images de page
PDF
ePub

ciation was formed, and named The New Lanark Peace Tract Association. The principal objects of the Society are, to purchase and circulate the Tracts published under the sanction of the London Society for the Promotion of Permanent and Universal Peace. And in order to meet the circumstances of all, the subscription is only threepence per quarter, without restricting those who may find it convenient to give more; in this way, 21. 13s. for the first year has been collected, and laid out in Tracts, which again have been distributed here and in the neighbourhood; thus offering the pleasing prospect, that the seed, though sown in small quantity and without exciting much attention, will, through the Divine blessing, take root, and be the means in some degree of accomplishing the gracious purposes of the Prince of Peace. The Association has been informed in different instances, of the good resulting from the dissemination of Tracts-One of a Glasgow gentleman travelling this way, whose views on the subject have been corrected by reading "Letters to Caleb Strong," and other Peace Tracts; he now endeavours to promote principles of Peace: Another is the case of a gentleman residing in Musselburgh, who, having seen the error of his former views, now advocates pacific principles, and encourages the circulation of Tracts. In addition to these, several encouraging instances of the convincing effect following an unprejudiced perusal of the Tracts, have occurred in this village.

The Association consists, at present, of 43 members; the officebearers are, John: Winning, President; William Sinclair, Treasurer; George L. Mendell, Secretary; and four Committee members.

For the purposes of our Association I am directed to request that you will have the goodness to order to be sent, per sea, a judicious assort

[merged small][ocr errors]

2, Star-court, Bread-street, SIR, Oct. 4, 1822. I AM desired by our Committee to answer your very acceptable letter, addressed to our Chairman, Mr. Marsden, and to inform you that they acknowledge your Association as an Auxiliary to the London Peace Society. The feelings revived by your letter may be compared to the effects produced by refreshing rain after a long drought. Of the gradual advancement of the cause of Peace, and of its ultimate success, we have never entertained a doubt; we cannot, however, survey with stoical unconcern the paralyzing effect of lukewarmness and indifference in a cause so congenial with the spirit of the Gospel, so conducive to the moral improvement and happiness of man, as that of the Peace Society; consequently the account which your letter gives of the good that has been done by a distribution of Peace Tracts, although comparatively limited, is gratifying to us, as an earnest of the harvest which, at a future period, may be expected from the seed thus sown.

We have sent (in return for the 41. which you have transmitted to us), per the Lively, Captain West, 72 each from No. 1 to 6 of our Tracts; 50 each of the Tracts, Nos. 1 and 5 in 12mo.; 72 of the Lawfulness of Defensive War considered;

[ocr errors]

you, and to be informed of the ef-
fects of your
Jabours.

I am, Sir,
Yours very faithfully,
THOS. BELL, Sec.

and Nos. 1, 2, and 3, of the New Series of the Herald of Peace; also 6 of the Letters to Caleb Strong; the latter is not a tract of the Peace Society, but we send a few, as it appears to have done good. We To George L. Mendell, shall be glad to hear frequently from

New Lanark.

PEACE SOCIETIES.

Sixth Annual Report of the Society for the Promotion of Permanent and Universal Peace.

THE return of another year is a call upon the Committee of the "Society for the Promotion of Permanent and Universal Peace," to record, for the general information of the subscribers, their labours for the past, and their hopes for the future; and on the whole they trust that their Report will be encouraging. But they must first discharge a painful duty which devolves on them, to announce the lamented death of a warm and zealous labourer in the cause of Peace, their friend EVAN REES,-one who was amongst the foremost in promoting the formation of the Society, and who continued his useful exertions almost to the last; when the impaired state of his health, though in the prime of life, compelled him reluctantly to withdraw from the sphere of active benevolence in which he had been engaged, and to leave his friends and native country for a distant climate. Whilst upon his voyage to New Holland, it pleased Divine Providence to terminate his mortal career. And your Committee venture to point to him as a remarkable instance of the value and importance of individual exertion, while they feel it to be a grateful mark of respect to his memory to record the virtues and excellence of so early and so active a member of the Peace Society.

The opportunities which another year of Peace in Europe has given your Committee for establishing and

extending their relations with different countries, have not been neglected; and they have the satisfaction to say, that they have found the disposition to co-operate with them very widely diffused. They are more and more convinced that if the elements of sympathy and fraternity which are spread over society could be collected together, and directed towards the great object of our desires, the cause of Peace would be speedily triumphant; the success is so closely allied with the happiness of man-so immediately connected with his best interests-so friendly to the progress of civilization, and so necessary to the permanent triumphs of virtue and beneficencethat they would call on all who value human felicity-and most especially on those whose religion requires them to be "Peace-makers "-to unite with them in their holy work, remembering that the blessing of our Lord has already been solemnly assured to the "Peace-makers-of such is the kingdom of heaven."

In fact, the very existence of Peace seems to be a satisfactory argument against the necessity of War; for if those misunderstandings which from time to time arise among nations can be in any cases arranged without the dreadful appeal to arms, why should they not be in all ?And what is gained by such an appeal?-It will not make wrong right, nor right wrong. It proves nothing as to the justice of the dispute, whatever may be the result, and generally leaves the rival parties

है

in a far worse situation than when they began; after giving a sufficient portion of disappointment and calamity to both. Success, however seemingly brilliant, is always purchased infinitely too dearly, and ever leaves behind it humiliation and shame and deeper hatred. Every new war adds to the mass of malevolent feeling towards its object, and tends too often to remove whole nations out of the sphere of common sympathy and charity;-yea, whole nations of fellow christians worshipping the same Deity-disciples of the same Master-professors of the same religion, a religion of forbearance and forgiveness, and showing their indifference to its precepts by their mutual violation of them. Ought these things to be so? Is any man justified in remaining a silent and careless spectator, while his efforts might possibly tend to remove this reproach and stigma to the Christian name and character!

The uselessness of wars for any virtuous purpose, is proved by the whole history of man: they are almost always the result of foolish pride, or insolent folly; and they only prove in the end, that the many are stronger than the few, and that to the severe cost of the whole. Wars are engaged in usually, from false and malevolent representations -from unworthy jealousies-from narrow and personal interests. Philanthropy and Christianity teach us, that one nation thrives not upon the ruins of another-that the prosperity of our neighbours leads to the increase of our own. As the different provinces of the same country serve to reflect back upon one another the privileges which they possess, and to make the welfare of each subservient to the welfare of all, so might nations-co-operating for each other's benefit, and interested in each other's well-being-serve the general cause of truth and righteousness, and consequent felicity. Let it not be said that different habits and languages

form an insuperable barrier to this union: Nations divided by ages of previous warfare, have often blended into one for their common good, and every malevolent feeling has been soon extirpated: Provinces have become united, which had been long distinguished for animosity and dissension. Why should not this take place with larger communities-with kingdoms and empires? A better tribunal than the battle-field, a more dignified appeal than to the sword and cannon-may surely be found, if honestly sought for. Violence, when it is made the advocate of right, makes the right itself a wrong; and the war which is waged to prevent or to punish crime (the only war for which any friend of humanity has yet been found to plead) creates crimes tenfold more extensive, and tenfold more dreadful than those it interposes to suppress.

These are the sentiments which your Committee would fain see overspreading and influencing the whole world, and they rejoice to bear testimony to their progress. These are the conquests over prejudice and passion, which they wish to record, and deem them more honourable to the victors who effect them, than the proudest triumphs of military and naval glory. In this unfortunate word they see a germe of misery, whose developement desolates the universe. The strong citadel of vice and error is the misuse of language; and when the laurelled victory shall be called a splendid crime, and glorious war be denominated triumphant barbarism, the reformation will be begun. Gentleness and long-suffering will be then deemed more honourable than violence and outrage to improve life wisely will be a higher object of ambition than to trifle with death unpreparedly that great temple of truth and holiness will be erected, of which our Divine Master laid the first foundation.

The Society at PARIS, whose establishment your Committee an

nounced in their Fifth Report and which is denominated "La Société de la Morale. Chrétienne, ayant pour objet l'upplication des préceptes du Christianisme aux relations sociales," ("The Society of Christian Morals, having for its object the application of the precepts of Christianity to the social relations of life,") has already entered upon its labours, and promises to be a most valuable auxiliary to the cause of peace. Your Com mittee have had several communications with the Paris Committee of correspondence, and more than one individual of your Committee have been already present at some of their sittings, who have borne strong testimony to their wish for an active and useful co-operation. Through the medium of their periodical publication, our Tracts will probably obtain considerable circulation in France, and the labours of your Society be introduced to more attention than they have hitherto obtained. A very flattering notice of your Society has already appeared in the first number of their "Journal," from which we give a few extracts: "Associations, entitled Societies for the promotion of permanent and universal Peace, have been recently established in England and the United States, and their labours can not fail to excite the interest of a Society which has for its object the application of the principles of Chris tian morality to the social relations of life. The founders of these recent Peace. Societies have selected a period when Europe has begun to enjoy an interval of repose, after long and sanguinary wars. It must be acknowledged that the Peace Societies have given a very judicious

direction to their labours. Their regulations evince both prudence and wisdom. They have not fallen into the error of imagining that their project will be easily accomplished. They isguise neither the greatness of their undertaking, nor the narrowness of their means.. They are

not ignorant that the passions inseparable from human nature oppose their pacific views: hence have they resolved to dwell principally upon Christian principles, and upon the duties of mutual love and charity which they impose. In short, it ap pears that they view the grand project of Universal Peace more as a question connected with religion and conscience, than with our natural and political rights. This mode of reasoning is unquestionably the best that can be followed on such a subject.

"The labours of the Peace Societies, which have already been very extended, are very deserving of the interest and encouragement of every friend of philanthropy.-The Peace Societies do not stand still, to examine, to consider, every thing that may be advanced upon the difficulty of their project, upon the greatness of their design: regardless of the paralyzing effect of ridicule, which has been already opposed to their efforts, it cannot arrest their progress; they do not relax, but always go for ward; and when the object is that of morality and benevolence, this system is admirable. It is with pleasure that we contemplate the progress of this philanthropy, which steadily pursues its designs, which always proceeds in its course without being alarmed by the obstacles which it must surmount-by the prejudices which it must overcome. behold the courage of Virtue."

We here

Your Committee is also pleased from the editors of the "Revue Ento announce, that they have received cyclopédique" (the most extensively circulated literary Periodical of France,) the kindest offers of cooperation and support, and that the pledge has been already redeemed by the insertion of articles, announcing the objects and the success of the London Peace Society.

Those of our Society, we hope all, who read the pages of The

200

Sixth Annual Report of the London Peace Society.

Herald of Peace, will have seen that the Foreign Secretary's visit to Spain gave him an opportunity of establishing a correspondence, which, as your Committee trust, will be eminently important. It is to them a most delightful contemplation, that in countries so long the seat of religious intolerance, a spirit of benevolent inquiry and benevolent exertion should have been already elicited, which promises the happiest fruits for posterity. The general feeling of satisfaction with which our Tracts have been received in the Peninsula, the voluntary and unsolicited republication of one of them at Madrid, and the cordial offers on the part of the Spanish Athenæum, are all of them most encouraging circumstances. Your Committee have availed themselves of an opportunity of sending a volume of Tracts to the King of Spain, and to the Libraries of the Cortes of both Spain and Portugal. They have also made a distribution among excellent friends and coadjutors there. A kind and zealous correspondent at Gibraltar has undertaken their extensive circulation in the South of Spain, in the Mediterranean, and especially North Africa. With reference to the latter, your Committee have been enabled to present a set of their Tracts to the Tripolitan Minister here, Cherif Hassana d'Ghies, whose enlightened zeal and active beneficence induce them to believe that they will not have been directed to him in vain.

Your Committee maintain a correspondence with the Peace Societies on the American Continent. Since their last report, they have received no intelligence from the Societies of New York or Rhode Island, but they have embraced an opportunity which offered of writing to them

* The period of publication of this Work has been changed from Monthly to Quarterly, as the conductors hope with considerable advantage to its interest and its success.

and sending them a supply of the Herald of Peace. They have recently received the Sixth Annual Report of the Massachusetts Peace Society, which gives the encouraging information that "Four Auxiliary Societies have been added to the fifteen which had been previously formed; one at Franklin, one at Uxbridge, one at Shirley, another at Campton and Thornton, in New Hampshire; a new Society has been organized in Maine, called the Oxford County Peace Society; and a Female Peace Society has been formed in Ohio."

It is gratifying to your Committee to behold a new field opening for an extension of their labours in the British Dependencies in North America; a correspondence is commenced with a gentleman at Halifax, Nova Scotia, also with another at St. John's, New Brunswick; since which, a Peace Society has been established at Rawdon, Nova Scotia, entitled The Hants Peace Society.

No new Tract has been published since last year, if we except a Tract in the Welsh language. New editions of Nos. 1, 5 and 6, have been printed; also an edition of all the Tracts in French; and the Fifth Annual Report; making in all, 38,000; comprising a total of 257,250, printed since the formation of the Society. The sales and distributions this year have been about 26,000. The amount of Subscriptions and Donations received this year is 510l. 4s. 44d.; but, though this considerably exceeds the sum reported last year, and is beyond that of any former year, still the calls upon your finances, in consequence of your extended and extending foreign relations, is more than proportionably great.

New Auxiliary Societies have been formed in the Island of Guernsey, at Huddersfield in Yorkshire, and at New Lanark in Scotland; and the reports which we have received from our Auxiliary Societies and 'country correspondents, evince that the mild and benign influence of the Christian

« PrécédentContinuer »