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spirit of Peace is gradually changing the hearts of men; a remarkable instance of which in France, is recorded in the Appendix to the Swansea and Neath Fifth Annual Report.
It is for a cause like this, that your Committee trust to your continued and increased exertions. When you reflect on the progress already made in the public mind,-how it appears to be awakened to the terrible extent of the evil which we are united in the attempt to subdue, of the distress and crime which accompany it, and of all its associated circumstances of shame and horror--you will deem no efforts too great to disseminate those principles, which, we trust and believe, will at last pervade the Christian world, when the nations "shall not learn war any more ;" and having discharged your duty, enjoy and encourage the delightful reflection, that you have laboured in this holy work, and that you anticipate its final triumph.
The Fourth Annual Report of the Tavistock Auxiliary Peace Society. APPEARING again before the subscribers and the public with the Report of our last year's proceedings, the Committee have to inform them that the amount of subscriptions and donations is 20l. which has been thus disposed of: the sum of 21. has been paid for binding several series of the Tracts for the use of Reading Associations, &c.; the sum of Sl. has been expended in printing 1000 copies of the last Report, Notices of the Meetings of the Committee, and other incidental expenses; and the sum of 10/. has been remitted to the Parent Institution, in return for which upwards of 1200 Tracts have been received, the greater part of which have been put into circulation, and, we confidently hope, have extensively operated in softening the prejudices of many against the pacific
VOL. I. NEW SERIES.
doctrine, and dispelling from their minds the delusion in favour of the belligerent spirit, regarding it both in its national and individual character; and, we further believe, that the Tracts have never been carefully and attentively perused without their having produced a beneficial effect, in a greater or less degree; all we require of the public is to give the subject a calm and dispassionate consideration: and surely, the important relation it holds to the happiness of men, in their individual and social capacity, ought to be deemed a sufficient apology for obtruding it on their attention. The principles, when fully unfolded to the understanding, and conscientiously adopted by any one, will operate, not merely by deterring him from engaging in national quarrels, but will prevent his becoming a party in civil and domestic broils : while they teach all who labour under the calamitous consequences of War, to be patient under their sufferings, and to exercise a steady and unshaken faith in that God who
"maketh the wrath of man to praise him, and the remainder of that wrath restrains." They also prompt them to bear a decided testimony in favour of Peace, and to protest against all violence and bloodshed. But the salutary tendency of the pacific principle will not stop here, its happy influence will incorporate itself with the whole character, put a final period to the retaliation of wrongs, and infuse a spirit of kindness into the words and actions, into the thoughts and dispositions of the heart.
It is highly gratifying to be able to announce that the principles of Peace are making progress on both Continents; in France and Spain, and particularly in North America, the cause is more or less prospering; in the latter quarter, numerous Societies have sprung up, reckoning amongst their members great numbers of persons of influence, in a civil and religious point of view; the lat
Fourth Annual Report of the Tavistock Auxiliary.
ter of whom have expressed their surprise that they should so long have laboured under a delusion on the subject of War.
We have peculiar pleasure in observing that an Auxiliary Peace Society has been instituted at Plymouth, and that Peace principles shave, we trust, taken a deep root in the neighbouring towns. We strongly recommend to all similar esta-blishments, which this Report may reach, the institution of Ladies' Associations in aid of the Auxiliaries, having ourselves experienced much advantage from one established in this place:-War has too long afflicted Female hearts with accumulated woes, to permit a doubt of their willingly assisting to counteract its terrible effects.
It may not be superfluous to remark, that, in compliance with the suggestions of the Parent Society, we have extensively endeavoured to bring the subject under the consideration of the ministers of religion in our neighbourhood; and we surely are not sanguine, in ultimately reckoning on the co-operation of those whose highest title is that of Ministers of the Gospel of Peace.
In an Appendix to this Report we have given two or three anecdotes, which may be new to some whose eyes this statement of our proceedings may meet: it is to the pages of that truly useful publication the Herald of Peace we are indebted for the details which we refer to, and we hope they will not be without effect on the readers.
The objections raised against the objects of your Society are gradually retiring before the progress of truth: one of those that remain is, that we are too weak to succeed: to this we reply, that we have the best ground for encouragement, for an Almighty God has pledged himself (and His Word is more firm than the foundations of the earth) that " Wars shall cease;" the Divine Being has not, however, given us to expect that this shall be brought about by miracle,
and we know that he does not employ miraculous means when natural ones are sufficient: with His aid we shall assuredly succeed; without it, if the many Peace Societies which now exist should be increased to hundreds of thousands, we never shall obtain our object.
We are aware that the change in the human character, from the spirit of War to that of Peace, will be gradual; but however slow its progress in the beginning, we doubt not its acquiring accelerated strength and rapidity as it proceeds. Unable to penetrate into the designs of God, we presume not to suggest when this change will be complete; but, we hesitate not to express our confidence of the coming of that truly glorious day, and our hopes that it is nearer than is thought by many who wish well to our cause. other objection which has been urged (by some who are friendly to our fundamental principles, but have not hitherto strengthened us by their co-operation) is, that it is more our duty to assist, by our subscriptions, those Societies which have for their object the making all mankind acquainted with the truths of Christianity. To this we answer, that we believe we may safely appeal to the evidence of facts, and the feelings of their own minds, whether (after examination and reflection) they can continue to think that the Institutions which have that supereminently important object, which we have just referred to, for their aim, have suffered, even in their pecuniary means, by the existence of Peace Societies. Were these objectors however (contrary to our expectation) to answer in the affirmative, we should still avow our complete conviction, that the preponderance of good would be on our side; particularly when we consider the extended term of life and period of probation which the prevalence of our principles would give the soldier. So far indeed from thinking the calls
of the present day for Christianizing the Heathen as even a plausible excuse for withholding support from the Peace Society, we consider it as one of the strongest arguments in its favour, being firmly persuaded, that the pacific principle is one of the distinguishing features of the Gospel, and that, if those who profess Christianity were to practise "Peace on earth and good will to wards men," the universal triumph of the Gospel must be its almost immediate result. We therefore sincerely and importunately call upon all, whose understandings are enlightened on this subject, to be steady, unmoveable, and always abounding yet more and more in their exertions to promote the great cause in which they have embarked; encouraging and strengthening themselves by anticipations of that happy period when all anti- benevolent systems and practices shall be chased from the intellectual and moral world.
The committee of the Swansea and Neath Auxiliary Society respect fully report,
That, during the last year, they have distributed and circulated several hundreds of the tracts pub lished by the parent Society.
They have also distributed many of the tracts printed in the Welsh language; and have pleasure in stating that several new subscribers have been added to their number.
When the members of the com mittee consider the foundation on which this Society stands, they cannot but believe they have ground to persevere in their undertaking; for who has deeply felt the principles of the Christian Religion, and has not: believed it to be a religion of Peace! and if the cause be a righteous one, whom shall we fear? "If God be for us, who shall be against us ?” · Therefore, desiring that our humble efforts may be assisted, for " truly of ourselves we can do nothing," let us seek that wisdom that is profitable to direct; and, in the spirit of true brotherly love, let us entreat Christian ministers, and writers of periodical publications, to lend us their assistance, for in proportion to their influence, so is their responsi bility; and if all such do not feel their efforts, they will then, how sanguine as to the present result of of having endeavoured to promote ever, possess the peaceful conviction "the cause of righteousness on the earth," and may ultimately have to rejoice that they have added to the number of those thought worthy to promote Peace on earth, and good will to man.
The following communications have recently been made to us through one of our members, by an French gentleman of distinction. It is given as a practical illustration of the progress of the principle, in France, and with a persuasion that
such facts cannot fail of producing a due impression on the mind of every reader.
Note of a Military Enthusiast, who is become a zealous friend of Peace.
A Native of France, and yet a child when the revolution laid waste my country, and added to its renown, I received an education altogether military; I was one of the first pupils in that famous school, so celebrated in combats and in the sciences.
My education tended only to develop that love of war unhappily so inherent in our nation. War was my element. I despised all renown which was not military. I thought that man lived only for the field of battle! that to fight well included all the duties of human life!
All my affections were centered in my sword. I regarded it with delight. I was wedded to it. I never quitted it... Woe to him who touched it!
How painfully have I been awakened! Truth has torn away the bandage which covered my eyes; all is changed to me.
I have seen palaces and cottages delivered up to the flames! I have seen the old man and the new born infant alike borne away in torrents of blood! I have seen the unfortunate mother die of grief on the lifeless bodies of her children cruelly assassinated! The cries of the unhappy victims still resound in my ears! I have seen ferocious soldiers plunge their ensanguined sabres into the bosoms of virgins, the victims of their brutality! Struck with horror, I have said to myself, What! must the glory of a soldier be calculated by the number of victims he has immolated? must he seek his immortality in a fountain of blood? What! to satisfy the ambition of one man, must millions fall under the steel of the soldier, and the desolated country be reduced to a desert?
O, my God! Thou, whom men have called the God of armies, who art, nevertheless, the God of peace, bring back to more generous sentiments those who, thinking as I have heretofore thought, esteem war as the glory of nations. Grant, O my God! that man may no longer dare to lift up his murderous hand against his fellow man, whom thou hast created; that a profound peace may bring again the golden age: grant that the race of Cain may never more renew their massacres. I do not call for thy vengeance on them; but I entreat that it may be thy pleasure to inspire them with sentiments of peace.
I have fled the field of battle, not from fear,-unhappily I have given too many proofs of ferocious courage, the honour of a soldier;—but from the horror with which I am inspired by this ardent thirst for the blood of a man, whom we call our enemy, because he was born on land separated from our own by a river, a mountain, and sometimes merely by a line marked out with stakes.
I have fled the camps, and peace. has brought happiness to my agitated soul! Ambition devoured me.
Every passion found a place in my heart! In the night I often awoke, and, starting up, seized my sword, believing my life was menaced at every instant! Now I enjoy a calm, without which there is no happiness. All men are my brethren, under whatsoever zone they are born, and whatever may be their colour.
I have thrown far from me my military ornaments. I have broken · my sword, formerly my cherished companion. I have exclaimedA murd'rous tale the laurel tells, Entwin'd around the warrior's brow; But every human comfort dwells, Beneath the olive's peaceful bough.
On Duelling, by the same.
War between nations is horrible without doubt, and every man ought
to desire to see at length a universal and lasting peace succeed to the long wars which have desolated humanity. But the Duel has something in it, if possible, still more atrocious. There we often calculate in cold blood on the death of our adversary. And wherefore? for a word-an emotion of self love! May every duellist,all those who outrage humanity by giving their sanction to single combats, feel all the horrors of despair which I have myself experienced, and which have completely cured me of this terrible passion, the disgrace of human nature. Educated as a military student, as I have said, I had acquired great address in arms, and I passed, as they say, in the world (" pour une très forte lame”) for a very good fencer. Born with a violence of character, brought up in false principles of honour, and proud of my skill, I sought quarrels rather than avoided them; and when I took my sword in my hand, which often happened, I regarded my adversary with a look of ferocity, saying to myself, in two minutes he will be prostrate at my feet. I have here made the painful confession, and at this moment I am seized with horror at myself! But conqueror or conquered, I never quitted these frightful combats without challenging a new one. One day, in consequence of a dispute, the foundation of which was so unimportant that I cannot now recall it, I received a sword-cut, (it was the only time in my life;) I lost much blood; they carried me away; so far from being occupied with my situation, I thought only of vengeance, and I said to my friend, "Above all things keep watch over my adversary, that he may not quit the town before my wound is healed, I will renew the combat." In short, a month after, and while still weak, I could no longer retain my impatience; I caused my adversary to be summoned ; we met again in the same place; scarcely had our swords crossed each other,
when mine pierced him, and he fell at my feet. I saw his blood flowing from the wound with savage joy. He did not die; and had not my friends solicited me to forget all, I should have demanded another combat.
God in his mercy looked on me with compassion; and I was cured of my fatal passion by a duel, the remembrance of which still makes my hair stand on end!
I have a friend, the friend of my childhood. We never quitted each other; our tastes were the same; his character was only more mild than mine; he was brave, but without violence; he made war, because he believed that his duty obliged him to do so; but he sighed over all its horrors. He did not like duels, but that accursed point of honour, bywhich men are so blinded, prevented him from refusing to draw his sword.
We lived together; we had but one purse; of the same height; our wardrobe was in common; never did two brothers love each other more warmly than we did; we would each of us have rejoiced to shed our blood for the other. Oneday, a fatal day,—but that it withdrew me from my guilty passion,we were walking with seven or eight of our companions. We were jocular, and we said a thousand trifling things. At last, I know not how it was, but we employed such expressions as attracted the notice, and excited the astonishment of our comrades. This was enough; I put my hand on the hilt of my sword; he did the same. We threw off our coats; but already repentance was in my heart. I saw myself guilty of fratricide; I perceived that he experienced the same sentiments, by the feebleness of his attack. I contented myself with parrying it, and sometimes presented to him the point of my sword; my eyes became dim; I felt the tears that pride restrained; but for this guilty pride, I