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dates, and it is utterly impossible "for the warrior whose garments are rolled in blood," and who is spreading desolation and death in the world, at the same time to resist not evil, to love those that hate him, and to do good to those who despitefully use him. So far is he from being an imitator and an obedient child of his Father in Heaven, who is constantly doing good, that he is rather an imitator and child of him who was a "murderer from the beginning."

If we advert to the design of Christianity, which is to bring men of all nations and religions into one holy brotherhood, and by removing their animosities and prejudices against each other, and exterminating those passions whence proceed wars, we shall discover that pacific institutions are designed to effect this desirable object. The exertions and labours of Peace Societies are designed to accelerate the eventful period when 66 wars shall cease to the ends of the earth." That this period will certainly arrive, we are fully satisfied from the sure word of prophecy; and heaven and earth may pass away, but this word will not pass away, until it shall be fulfilled.

"The signs of the times" indicate the necessity of active exertions in the cause of Peace. Associations and societies are daily formed to enlighten and civilize barbarous nations, to dis

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rejoice in the progress of light and civilization, and in the circulation of the Holy Bible among all nations. We view with regret every species of oppression and tyranny, and rejoice in the emancipation of our fellowmen from superstition and bigotry. As the greater part of the calamities of the world originate, either directly or indirectly, from the spirit of War, we think that Peace Societies are eminently designed to remove these evils. From the improvements which have been made in the mode of conducting modern warfare, and from the increasing spirit of philanthropy which distinguishes the present era, there is reason to hope and believe that Christians of every sect will soon discover its pernicious effects, and will all unite and be distinguished as the friends of peace. If we embrace the primitive doctrine of the Christian Church in relation to war, and are influenced by its spirit, fighting and warlike Christians will be as scarce, and as difficult to be found in the armies of Christendom, as they were in the armies of the Roman Emperors; and then every Christian will be known as a peace-maker, and every Christian Church as a Peace Society, living under the government of the Prince of Peace.

Providence, June 26, 1821.


seminate the Holy Scriptures in The Duty of Christians to promote every language under heaven bolish the bloody traffic in human flesh-and to give men just conceptions of civil and religious liberty. The era of bigotry and intolerance is passing away, and the different sects of Christians begin to perceive that love is the distinguishing characteristic of a Christian, and that names and forms are of no avail without the life and spirit of Christianity. By this, Christians are all baptized into one spirit, and brought into one holy community, so that their peculiarities of faith and worship are annihilated, and they all become one in Christ Jesus." As the friends of peace, we


Ir is agreed among all Christians, that their Religion is of a pacific nature, and that it was the professed design of its Founder to establish peace and righteousness upon earth. On the authority of the same Divine oracles which teach them this great truth, they are further assured that the time will come when the moral harmony of the world shall be fully restored under the dominion of the Redeemer. To this glorious point all the prophecies of the Old and New Testament converge; and, indeed, without such a consummation, the mission of the Son of God would be


Such is the Kingdom for which every Believer puts up his daily prayer; and it would be idle mockery to ask and expect that which cannot be realized. Now, it is observable, that this petition is coupled with another, which not only explains its object, but indicates the means by which that object can alone be attained. Too many, it is to be feared, are of such a sluggish constitution of mind, as to suppose that the accomplishment of the Divine predictions is to be brought about by some supernatural interposition, similar to that which wrought out the deliverance of the chosen people from the house of bondage. But the language of Prophecy, as well as that of the Lord's Prayer, is expressly this, that the renovation of the moral world will be the effect of conviction, resulting from a sense of duty, and a persuasion of the truth. Hence, in praying for the advent of the promised. kingdom of God, we also pray that his will may become a universal rule of action among men; but, in doing this, every one acknowledges his own obligation to be conformable to that law, and thereby solemnly admits his responsibility, for whatever power he may enjoy, to advance the triumph of good over evil.

That event, therefore, certain as it is, will not be the consequence of a miracle, but the operation of moral principle; and herein is the glory of the Christian Religion, that while all others, ancient and modern, are made up of forms which have no salutary influence on the mind and manners, this is a "Faith that worketh by Love." Desirable as the progress of such a system must be for the great purpose of civilization, it is obvious that, until the pacific spirit of it shall become the ruling principle of Christian communities, the power of the EVIL ONE (o Hovnpos) will be still prevalent, and, in proportion that it is so, the establishment of the kingdom of righteousness must continue at a remote distance.

As, then, the reduction of the one will necessarily be the acceleration of the other, it seems that there can be no difficulty in ascertaining the line of conduct which every follower of the Redeemer ought to adopt. And yet it is at this very critical point, where the most determined energy is required, that the greatest want of fortitude and consistency is experienced. A timid conformity to the corrupt practices and opinions of the world, on the plea of expediency, is that remora which impedes the progress of religious improvement; and thus the melioration of society is retarded, lest a shock should be given to the prejudices of mankind.

The primitive Christians, to say nothing of their heavenly Master, acted by a very different rule; and the intrepid Luther, when advised to leave the work of Reformation to the Pope, who it was said would perform it step by step, replied, that, "for this very reason, he should go on while he had life, as his Holiness would take a hundred years for every step.

In all great moral changes there must be zeal; and no work of importance was ever accomplished without it.

The very spot where the writer of this essay now sits, affords a happy illustration of the instructive truth. Where social order, elegant arts, active industry, and an increasing population, present to the calm observer all the comforts of civilization; there, little more than ten centuries ago, nothing was to be found but a forest, where every bush concealed an enemy, and where, as men lived without law, so they had no other idea of religion than that of appeasing their angry deities by immolating human victims.

Whence has this mighty alteration arisen, so that the "wilderness has become a peaceable habitation, sure dwellings and quiet resting-places," but from the introduction of Christianity! Yet this salutary blessing would not have found its way from the east to these northern regions,

had the early disciples of the Saviour been content with sitting down and wishing for the fulfilment of the prophecies, instead of considering themselves as the appointed instruments in the hand of Providence, to spread that Light abroad for the benefit of their fellow-creatures, the saving influence of which they had so happily experienced in their own minds.

Admiring, therefore, the generous and disinterested zeal of these martyrs and confessors, who sacrificed all their domestic enjoyments and local attachments for the general welfare of mankind; is there nothing in their conduct left for our imitation? or are we to suppose that, when the age of miracles ended, the moral world had received all the improvement of which it is capable? No rational man, who has paid any attention to history and the state of society, could, for a moment, entertain an opinion which, by narrowing the sphere of benevolence, paralyzing the mind, and extinguishing the principle of emulation, tends to bring back the unsociable ferocity of ignorance, and the intractable spirit of superstition.

Christianity teaches us another lesson; and its divine Author has set us an example, in his own life, of what must be done, even to the end of the world, for the great purpose which He came to accomplish. "He went about doing good;" and his immediate disciples, animated by the purest zeal, followed his steps. But, though much was effected by Him and them, much also was suffered to remain for the exercise of the faith and patience of Believers in every succeeding generation. This progressive design of the Gospel, forms, perhaps, one of the strongest proofs of its divine origin, and certainly constitutes its distinguishing excellence; for, while all other systems are stationary and limited, this is in continual operation and of universal extent. It embraces every person, high or low, applies a rule to all the relations of life; and, what is still

more remarkable, its efficacy for the removal of evil and the improvement of society becomes irresistible in all those cases where philosophy fails, and human legislation has proved abortive. The power of Christianity for the amelioration of society has been made evident in the extinction of many horrid practices, which even polished and lettered states were so far from thinking sinful, that they both tolerated and encouraged them. In our own times we have happily seen' slavery condemned, not upon political but Christian principles; so that a traffic, which for many ages was considered as perfectly justifiable, is now solemnly reprobated as a public crime. But how was this triumph of humanity achieved, and from what cause did a change of such magnitude arise? This great victory of Truth over prejudice was the result of private zeal steadily directed to one object, and never losing sight of it, till the nation took it up as a question of common interest, and, notwithstanding the formidable obstacles raised against the measure, carried the abolition of the Slave Trade into full effect.

This instance alone is a proof of what may be effected when men set themselves in earnest for the removal of a positive evil; and it should operate as an incentive to farther exertions in the cause of Philanthropy. Slave-dealing would not have been proscribed by a national decree, had Christian Charity rested in mere com- ' plainings against the cruelty of the trade, and in pious wishes for its annihilation. It was owing to the combined efforts and reiterated remonstrances of the friends of humanity that the condition of the Africans was first improved, next that the traffic was contracted, and, lastly, that the opprobrium was utterly taken off from British commerce.

Having done so much for one part of their species, Christians are called upon and encouraged to extend the power of their arguments and the

weight of their united influence to the removal of an evil which affects the whole human race. We make it part of our public prayer to be delivered from" battle and murder," as well as from "plague, pestilence and famine; yet while in the latter cases we adopt precautionary measures to ward off contagious diseases, and to secure a regular supply of the means of life, we, strangely enough, leave the visitation of the greater calamity of WAR to time, chance, and the capricious passions of our fellow mortals.

Now, if there be any reason at all for adopting preventives against natural evils, (and none but a madman would advise the contrary,) surely there is an equal, if not a far more cogent one, for erecting a conscientious barrier on Christian principles, to save mankind from a scourge which originates in their folly, and becomes malignant by indulgence.

That in a country professing the Christian Religion, moral miasma of so destructive a nature should be allowed to continue, without any direct attempt to hinder the malady, and to destroy the occasions of it, is a mortifying consideration; and it shews how much remains to be learned in that exalted school of knowledge, sound policy and charity, to which we belong, and in which, by our own account, we have made no common advancement. Mohammed, indeed, founded his faith upon the sword, and his Koran bears a chapter with that infamous title; but at the incarnation of the Redeemer, Peace was proclaimed to the world; and at his departure he left" Peace to his followers" as his dying bequest.

Now, if the followers of the Arabian impostor are warranted upon their principles, in imitation of their prophet's example and obedience to his commands, in making war an occupation, are not Christians equally bound by their religious obligations to resist War, and to promote the arts of Peace? Let it be well considered


whether the practice of arms by nations professing the Gospel, does not necessarily tend to confirm Infidels in their unbelief, Pagans in their superstition, and Mussulmans in their attachment to a destructive and demoralizing imposture. Of one thing at least we are certain, for all history and experience bear witness to the fact, that the indulgence of a warlike spirit is more injurious to the manners of the people who triumph, than to the condition of those who are the sufferers by their depredations. A Religion, therefore, which consists of moral motives, and is designed to establish universal holiness among mankind, cannot make that progress in the world which is so desirable for the happiness of individuals and the improvement of society, until the propensity to military exploits shall give way to the love of Peace.

But here sophistry and caution, with plausible arguments and prudent counsels, will endeavour to thwart the steady course of Christian zeal, by imagining extreme cases of necessity, and stating grounds of policy, in justification of hostilities between great nations, either to avenge acts of aggression to preserve the balance of power, or to protect the weak from the oppression of the mighty.

The fallacies of political logic are so numerous, and of such an hypothetical character, that the task of refutation would be an endless labour. As a general answer, therefore, it is sufficient to observe, that if the abolition of War be altogether impracticable among Christian states, then the alternative is plain that the ancient prophecies must be understood in a sense totally different from the common import of language: and, what is of a still more serious consequence, the very precepts and promises of the Gospel must be taken with a latitude of interpretation fundamentally subversive of every principle of moral consistency.

Before, however, we give up our confidence in the literal fulfilment of H

those predictions which assure us that the time is hastening when nations shall not only cease to "lift up the sword against each other," but even forbear to "learn the art of war any more," and before we can bring ourselves to the fearful conclusion that the Christian code is a flexible rule of conduct, accommodating itself to the customs of the world, we shall presume to think that it is worth a trial to see whether all corrupt practices, affecting the happiness of millions, may not be subdued and abrogated by the influence of good principles.

That in regard to the evil of War no such trial has ever been yet made, is certain; but this is no reason why an effort, so glorious in itself, and tending to secure the highest of all earthly blessings for the present age as well as future generations, should be considered impracticable. Even admitting that the obstacles to the full attainment of this object are insurmountable at this season, a preparation may be made, by disposing men's minds to the contemplation of the question, for a sure though distant victory to the cause of Religion and Humanity.

WAR is not, as Hobbes impiously asserted, the natural state of mankind, but it is a vice which, by long usage, like Slavery, has acquired prescription; and, therefore, nothing is more easy than to correct and abolish it, provided a right direction be given to public opinion. Here then every individual member of the Christian family has it in his power, by cooperation and example, to further, without loss to his interests, but much. increase to the satisfaction of his mind, the advancement of that state of social harmony, when "the wolf and the lamb shall feed together; and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock; and dust shall be the serpent's meat."-Isaiah lxv. 25.

J. W.

Distribution of Tracts, &c.

with Reflections.

As age and its consequent infirmities (for I am not growing younger) compel me to contemplate the messenger on the pale horse at no great distance, I trust that on my own account I am not altogether inattentive to the things that make for Peace. In the great work in which we are engaged, I must be considered as one of the feeblest of its instruments, as one, however, too sensible of its importance to neglect any fair opportunity of promoting it: this is done by circulating Heralds and Tracts, and sometimes vocally meeting objections. About six months since, Tracts were handed to a young man, who, with about thirty others, is a member of the same college, qualifying for Ministers of the Established Church. I particularly requested that all of them might have the reading of Bogue's Tract, which he tells me was done, and with the effects of an unanimous conviction that War is inconsistent with Christianity. May we not hope that these young men will feel it to be their incumbent duty, when made preachers of Christianity, to bear an honest testimony against what they are convinced is inconsistent with it-that though the magnitude and prevalence of the sin in question have made a defence for itself in the highest authority, civil and ecclesiastical, they will dare to wrestle against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness in the world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Yet is there not cause to fear, as the Church possesses the dignities and authority, that, notwithstanding, the incompatibility of War with Christianity is admitted, War may, nevertheless, be deemed necessary for the defence of the Church and the civil authority by which it is supported? That they may reject genuine and uncorrupt Christianity on the same principle as did the Jews," What do we, (say the

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