Images de page

had broken my sword, and should have thrown myself into his arms. But God had ordained that my chas tisement should be more terrible; my bewildered sight rendered me unable to judge of distances; I thought that I only presented to him the point of my sword! I touched him in the middle of the body; at that instant he bore upon me; my sword passed through him, and he fell, uttering a groan!

I believed him dead. The most frightful despair seized me. I drew out my sword, red with his blood, and would have passed it through my own body. My friends threw themselves on me, and disarmed me. My unhappy friend was placed in a carriage. I wished to be with him. They opposed me, and menaced me. I overcame them; in short, I entered the carriage; I took him in my arms; I was still in the costume of combat; I was covered with his blood! I called on him; he could not speak; he pressed my hand, and his eyes expressed only the tender sentiments of affection! Arrived in his chamber, the surgeon, who had been sent for, endeavoured to examine the wound; it was so deep that he could not then pronounce on it. They wished me to retire; I refused; I remained near him, regarding him with the fixed gaze of the most frightful despair! I suffered no person to approach him but myself. The next evening they pre

vailed on me to retire to my chamber, during a few hours of the night, to procure some repose; what repose, great God! if my eyes closed for a moment, I imagined I saw his bloody spectre showing me wound he had received from my cruel hand, and saying to me, "Dear friend, it is by thee that I die." A cold sweat covered my face; my hair stood on end; I uttered lamentable cries; I sprung out of my bed; I ran into his chamber, and I was not satisfied until I had seen that he breathed. He continued in danger six weeks, and during this time I remained overwhelmed with the anguish of despair. At last he was cured; but the strong impressions I had received changed my whole being, and I never heard a duel spoken of without trembling with horror! I have sought to repair my faults by conciliating all the quarreis of which I am a witness, or which come to my knowledge. I have had the happiness to succeed, and this is a great source of consolation to me.

May my example admonish those men, who madly believe that they are dishonoured, if they do not revenge with blood the slightest offence, often involuntary.

Christians, if you desire always to be worthy of this title, imitate our Lord Jesus Christ. You cease to be Christians, when you cease to prac tise his divine precepts!


Answer to an Objection.

To the Editor of the Herald of Peace. DEAR SIR, I am a warm friend of the benevolent object of the Peace Society, and as such cannot hear with indifference the objections which are opposed to its efforts. Of these objections, noue perhaps is so caleulated to paralyze the exertions of individuals as the little effect which

has hitherto been produced by its labours. I state the objection without admitting its truth; but if I were to admit that but little fruit had yet appeared, I should confidently deny the inference that therefore the labours of the Peace Society have been in vain.

What association has ever yet been formed in opposition to the vices and errors of mankind, that has not had

to confront the scoffs and derision, if not the more serious censure of the world? But for the unbending perseverance of her friends, where would Religion--where would Christianity now have been? The advocates of virtue must therefore expect to have their faith and patience tried. They, who are not prepared for this trial, might as well give up the contest; it is impossible for them to stem the stream of vice and *folly.

When the spread of the Bible itself of the volume of Divine Revelation, written for our instruction, and to make us wise unto salvation, is objected to as unproductive of fruit to the glory of God; no wonder if obedience to its precepts is condemned as impracticable. The following extract from the Report of the Moscow Bible Society for 1821, contains a very suitable answer to such scepticism and want of faith in the commands and promises of God.

We shall leave other questions that are put by the objectors, in order not to leave those without an answer, who demand: What spiritual fruit has the treasure of the word of God produced in the hands of the Bible Society?' We confess it is not easy for us to give an account of this; and we shall simply avail ourselves of the account which the Proprietor of this treasure himself has given us. The kingdom of God is, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that, the full corn in the ear.' Mark iv. 26-28.

"In like manner, we also sow the seed of the sacred word; but how, with what strength and with what hope of harvest, the divine seed grows in the hearts of men, we cannot say. We doubt not but some

may have fallen among thorns, some on stony ground, and some by the way-side; because all this happened with the seed sown by the Divine Sower himself, but we may rely on his promise, that this seed by whomsoever scattered, shall find good ground also, and by degrees shalk spring forth, and produce the blossoms and the fruit of life, whether the sowers thereof sleep or awake.

"Are you desirous of seeing the springing up of part of the seed sown by the Bible Society? Behold! in all our seminaries and schools the word of God is now read; people, who formerly never read any thing, or read only what was useless and hurtful, now read the word of God: in prisons, where the convicts used to teach each other new crimes, they begin to read the word of God, and to recognise their Saviour; nations, that hardly knew the name of Jesus Christ, or were entirely ignorant of him, begin also to read the word of God and to know their Saviour.”

If such is the promise of the harvest, what may we not anticipate from the harvest itself? May we not look for a cheerful obedience to the too much neglected precepts of the Divine Redeemer-to those precepts which are so impressively enforced by the Peace Society. What did I say that but little fruit had yet appeared-I appeal to the Fifth and Sixth Annual Reports of that Society -to the latter numbers of your va luable and interesting Miscellany, whether we may not say with the blessed Redeemer, "Look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest." I cannot conclude these remarks better than with the devout aspiration of the admirable Moscow Report.


May God the Word vouchsafe his powerful blessing upon every henevolent effort to propagate among mankind the word of salvation, to the understanding of the truth according to godliness."

On the Statue of Achilles.
To the Editor of the Herald of Peace.

Ir the following observations are considered worthy of a place in the pages of the Herald, I shall feel obliged by their insertion, though I am fully aware that the subject might have been much more ably handled. Should it not, however, have claimed the attention of some one better qualified for the task, I trust the candid reader will excuse its deficiencies, and accept the motive as a sufficient apology.

In taking a survey of human nature, how forcibly are we struck with the inconsistency by which it is almost universally characterized. We may frequently hear men of highly distinguished talents and learning, expressing sentiments and maintaining positions which would absolutely disgrace an unlettered peasant; we see others, of acknowledged humanity and justice, sometimes so far forget their duty, as to be guilty of actions both cruel and arbitrary; and we may often observe men, eminent for piety and virtue, committing deeds from which piety and virtue revolt. The history of David affords an instance in point, and I might mention many others, from profane as well as from sacred history. On the contrary, there are instances, and those not very uncommon, of individuals in whose bosoms neither justice nor humanity, nor any Christian virtue might be supposed to dwell, who evince that the milk of human kindness does sometimes warm their breasts; that their adamantine hearts do sometimes melt to pity, and that their souls, accustomed as they are to habits of vice, sometimes yield to the sentiments of virtue. Thus we are constrained to acknowledge, that there is no one so eminently good, who is always free from error, nor yet so detestably wicked as never to do that which is right and honourable.

I was led into these reflections by

accidentally meeting with a plate (for I live at a distance from the metropolis), representing the statue lately erected in Hyde Park, bearing the following inscription: "To Arthur Duke of Wellington, and his brave companions in arms, this statue of Achilles, cast from cannon taken in the victories of Vittoria, Salamanca, Toulouse and Waterloo, is inscribed by their Countrywomen." I viewed it not with the eye of a critic, I beheld it not as a connoisseur in the arts, but I contemplated it in the character of a Christian moralist, and as such, I could not but exclaim within myself, How lamentable a trait is .this of inconsistency; how unworthy of a people professing to be guided by the precepts of the gospel, professing to live under the government of the Prince of Peace! Why, I asked, is Achilles chosen for the subject of a national monument? Why is he placed on this exalted pedestal, as an example to our youth, and an object of emulation for a Christian community? Did he possess in an especial manner the virtues which ought to distinguish the followers of a crucified Saviour? Did he bear that criterion of discipleship, love? Was he eminent for benevolence or humanity? No: he was a heathen, famous only for his barbarity, his revenge, and his insatiable thirst for sanguinary glory. Not a single virtue which should ornament the Christian character had place in him; an unbending pride and cruelty bore sway in his soul. Does his barbarity towards the brave but unfortunate Hector, in revenge for the death of his friend Patroclus, deserve to be commemorated by the believers in the meek, patient, and forgiving Son of God? The deeds of such a man ought to be held up for our aversion and avoidance, and not for our imitation.

[ocr errors][merged small]

ameliorate our moral as well as social condition; whilst even in this enlightened age, monuments are raised, medals are struck off, the freedom of cities and corporations is granted to the Nelsons and Wellingtons of the day; honours, and wealth, and titles, are heaped upon these worshippers of Moloch; the real patriot, the Christian philanthropist, he who "visits the fatherless and widows in their affliction," and does his utmost to relieve the distresses of his fellowcreatures, passes along disregarded, if not despised: his object, however, is not to gain the applause of the world, but to ensure the approbation of his own conscience, and therein he finds his reward.

But to return to the more immediate object of these remarks: not satisfied with immortalizing the warriors of our own times, not content with raising memorials of our own achievements, as though the heroes of Christendom were not sufficiently brutal, savage, and bloodthirsty, (and I trust they will not rank with Achilles in ferocity,) we must ransack the heathen repository, and from amongst this horde of barbarians we must select the most barbarous. And for what? to raise him a monument, to place him in our public parks, not to perpetuate his infamy and our disgrace, that they might be shunned; no, but as a flattering encomium on "the Duke of Wellington, and his brave companions in arms," and as a stimulus to future generations to imitate their glorious example! We even go further: we show the near affinity which exists between the wars of Christians (I do not mean the Christian warfare, that is of quite an opposite nature,) and the wars of the Pagan world; we demonstate that the practice of the ancient Greeks, whom we look upon as a barbarous and unenlightened people, and the practice of modern Europeans, who are favoured with the day-spring


[ocr errors]

from on high, with the blessings of revealed religion, are in accordance with each other, how repugnant so-› ever their principles may be; for we cast the statue of Achilles" from cannon taken in the victories of Vittoria, Salamanca," &c. that the actions of a heathen may be memorialized by the equally'savage exploits of a professing Christian people. Here again the inconsistency of human nature unveils itself, for while we are eulogizing the blessings › of peace, and deprecating the miseries of war, we are training up our youth in the love of military glory, and are holding out a stimulus, are: actually offering a bonus in the hope of fame, for the dreadful evils of war to be brought upon the country.

There is a part of the inscription above alluded to which remains unnoticed, but which is a very painful part, as it most unequivocally: evinces the inconsistency of character that is so prevalent throughout all classes. To the Duke of Wellington, &c. this statue of Achilles,' cast from cannon, "is inscribed by their Countrywomen." All that is savage and ferocious, inscribed by all that is amiable and lovely! Far be it from me to be severe on the failings of the female sex; but that British ladies should have been instrumental in raising this monument of infamy, a monument which is from head to foot entirely antichristian, and so diametrically op-> posed to the tender sensibilities of their nature, is to me a source of deep surprise and unavailing regret in its contemplation.

On the female part of the commu-” nity more commonly devolves the interesting task of directing the infant steps of children; of impressing their susceptible minds with proper ideas, and of storing their ingenuous hearts with those treasures of moral › worth and learning, which, as they attain to mature years, will be found most conducive to their welfare and

2 E

[ocr errors]

happiness; theirs is also the duty'. and finally, to do our utmost to banish from the earth "the deadliest curse which heaven can suffer or the world endure."

of imparting early religious instruction, of training the rising generation in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, in the paths of virtue, charity, and humility. Now I would have them consider how far they are acting in accordance herewith, by placing before the view of their offspring the wrathful Achilles, breathing slaughter and revenge on the devoted sons of Troy, as an example worthy of their imitation; and by thus endeavouring to imbue their minds with sentiments of martial glory, with ideas of honours gained by human slaughter. If Peace be a desirable condition to live in; if "love and good-will among men " be characteristics of the Redeemer's kingdom, most assuredly it is the duty of all to use every exertion to promote those Christian virtues, which are in direct opposition to the pursuits of an Achilles, and of all who make him their example.

It is now high time that Christians should break their alliance with pagans and idolaters, and convert their warlike weapons into something more worthy of a civilized people, professing to be the disciples of him who, under the tortures of a cruel death, prayed for his enemies, than is the statue of an armed warrior.

I shall conclude these observations by appealing to the judgment of every unbiassed reader, whether the erection of the statue of Achilles is not an anomaly in the Christian character; whether the actions of a ferocious heathen are objects deserving of imitation by a Christian nation; whether it be expedient to keep alive the embers of discord, and the love of the laurels of War; whether it would not be better, and more fully exemplify the wisdom of the nation, to cherish the arts of Peace, to endeavour to put an end to the rage of conflicting states, to divest War of its blandishments and false colours, and exhibit it in all its naked horrors,


W. P. T.

The Arts and Sciences rendered sub-
servient to the Cause of Peace.
Ir is not unusual for the mind to be
more vehemently affected by objects
presented to the view, than by any
arguments which appeal to the un-
derstanding. The impression thus
produced is in many cases so power-
ful, that past scenes, even where the
observer was not personally con-
cerned, when revived by any acci-
dental remark or casual reflection,
start afresh into existence with reno-
vated vigour and more vivid colour-

Happy would it be for mankind, if their recollection of those scenes and events which glide before the imagination, like the bright representations of the magic lantern, in rapid succession, were always of a description to afford pleasure. Is it not however to be feared, that the pictures of the past, which the witchery of memory conjures up into glowing re-existence, more frequently produce regret and distress than satisfaction and delight? and does not the desire arise in the mind, that no objects or occurrences had ever been presented to our regard, but such as are calculated to promote our happiness and peace, by inculcating the principles of morality and religion?

While actual scenes and occurrences are thus powerful in review, and thus materially affect our mental peace and moral character, it will also be found that the representations of the painter and sculptor have a forcible tendency, by their close imitation of nature, to produce either pleasing or painful, moral or immoral impressions upon the spectator. I will not go so far as to say that

« PrécédentContinuer »