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examples of it may be found in the history of pirates and robbers, whose fearlessness is generally proportioned to the insensibility of their consciences, and to the enormity of their crimes. The common courage of armies is equally worthless. A considerable part of almost every army, so far from deriving their resolution from love of country, and a sense of justice, can hardly be said to have a country, and have been driven into the ranks by necessities which were generated by vice. These are the brave soldiers, whose praises we hear; brave from the absence of all reflection; prodigal of life, because their vices have robbed life of its blessings; brave from sympathy ; brave from the thirst of plunder; and especially brave, because the sword of martial law is hanging over their heads. Military courage is easily attained by the most debased ; and the common drunkard, enlisted in a fit of intoxication, becomes as brave as his officer, whose courage may often be traced to the same dread of punishment, and to fear of severer infamy than attends on the cowardice of the common soldier. Let us then labor to direct the admiration and love of mankind to another and infinitely higher kind of greatness, to that true magnanimity which is prodigal of ease and life in the service of God and mankind. Let the records of past ages be explored, to rescue from oblivion, not the wasteful conqueror, but the benefactors of the human race, martyrs to freedom and religion, men who have broken the chain of the slave, who have traversed the earth to shed consolation into the cell of the prisoner, or whose sublime faculties have explored and revealed useful and ennobling truths. Can nothing be done to hasten the time, when to such men eloquence and poetry shall offer their glowing homage; when for these the statue and monument shall be erected, the canvass be animated, and the laurel entwined; and when to these the admiration of the young shall be directed, as their guides and forerunners to glory and immortality ?
I proceed to another method of promoting the cause of peace. Let Christian ministers exhibit with greater clearness and distinctness, than ever they have done, the pacific and benevolent spirit of Christianity. My brethren, this spirit ought to hold the same place in our preaching, which it holds in the gospel of our Lord. İnstead of being crowded and lost among other subjects, it should stand in the front of Christian graces ; it should be inculcated as the life and essence of our religion. We should teach men, that charity is greater than faith and hope ; that God is love or benevolence; and that love is the brightest communication of divinity to the human soul. We should exhibit Jesus in all the amiableness of his character, now shedding tears over Jerusalem, and now his blood on Calvary, and in his last hours recommending his own sublime love as the badge and distinction of his followers. We should teach men, that it is the property of the benevolence of Christianity to diffuse itself like the light and rain of heaven, to disdain the limits of rivers, mountains, or oceans, by which nations are divided, and to embrace every human being as a brother. Let us never forget that our preaching is evangelical just in proportion as it inculcates this disinterested and unbounded charity; and that our hearers are Christians just as far, and no farther than they delight in peace and beneficence.
In our preaching, then, and in our lives, let us bear perpetual testimony to this great characteristic of the gospel. Were the true spirit of Christianity to be inculcated with but half the zeal which has been wasted on doubtful and disputed doctrines, a sympathy, a co-operation might in a very short time be produced among Christians of every nation, most propitious to the pacification of the world. In consequence of the progress of knowledge, and the extension of commerce, Christians of both hemispheres are at this moment brought nearer to one another than at any former period; and an intercourse, founded on religious sympathies, is gradually connecting the most distant regions. Christians of different tongues are beginning to unite their efforts in support of that cause which, by its sublimity and purity, obscures and almost annihilates those perishable interests about which states are divided. What a powerful weapon is furnished by this new bond of union to the ministers and friends of peace! Should not the auspicious moment be seized to inculcate on all Christians in all regions, that they owe their first allegiance to their common Lord in heaven, whose first, and last, and great command is love? Should they not be taught to look with a shuddering abhorrence on war, which continually summons to the field of battle, under opposing standards, the followers of the same Savior, and commands them to imbrue their hands in each other's blood ? Has not the time arrived, when the dreadful insensibility of Christians on this subject may be removed; when the repugnance of the gospel to this inhuman custom may be carried with power to every pious heart; and when all who love the Lord Jesus, the Prince of peace, may be brought to feel, and with one solemn voice to pronounce, that of all men he is most stained with murder, and most obnoxious to the wrath of God, who, entrusted with power to bless, becomes the scourge, and curse, and ravager of the creation ; scatters slaughter, famine, devastation and bereavement through the earth; arms man against his brother; multiplies widows and fatherless children; and sends thousands of unprepared souls to be his accusers at the judgment seat of God? Once let Christians of every nation be brought to espouse the cause of peace with one heart and one voice, and their labor will not be in vain in the Lord. The predicted ages of peace will dawn on the world. Public opinion will be purified. The false lustre of the hero will grow. dim; a nobler order of character will be admired and diffused; the kingdoms of the world will gradually become the kingdom of God and of his Christ.
I might suggest other methods; but I will only add, let this subject recur more frequently in our preaching. Let us exhibit to the hearts and consciences of men the woes and guilt of war, with all the energy of deep conviction, and strong emotion. Let us labor to associate images of horror and infamy with this unchristian custom in the minds of the young, and awaken at once their sympathy towards its victims, and their indignation against its imposing and dazzling crimes. The doctrines of Christianity have had many martyrs. Let us be willing, if God shall require it, to be martyrs to its spirit—the neglected, insulted spirit of peace and love. In a better service we cannot live-in a nobler cause we cannot die. It is the cause of Jesus Christ, supported by almighty goodness, and appointed to triumph over the passions and delusions of men, the customs of ages, and the fallen monuments of the forgotten conqueror.
CERTAIN PLEAS FOR WAR ANSWERED BY THE SAME AUTHOR.
1. War, it is said, kindles patriotism. But the patriotism which is cherished by war, is ordinarily false and spurious, a vice and not a virtue, a scourge to the world, a narrow, unjust passion, which aims to exalt a particular state on the humiliation and destruction of other nations. A genuine, enlightened patriot discerns, that the welfare of his own country is involved in the general progress of society; and, in the character of a patriot, as well as of a Christian, he rejoices in the liberty and prosperity of other communities, and is anxious to maintain with them the relations of peace and amity.
2. It is said, that a military spirit is the defence of a country. But it more frequently endangers the vital interests of a nation by embroiling it with other states. This spirit, like every other passion, is impatient for gratification, and often precipitates a country into war.
3. War is recommended as a method of redressing national grievances. But unhappily the weapons of war, from their very nature, are often wielded most successfully by the unprincipled. Justice and force have little congeniality. Should not Christians strive to promote the reference of national as well as of individual disputes to an impartial umpire? Is a project of this nature more extravagant than the idea of reducing savage hordes to a state of regular society? The last has been accomplished. Is the first to be abandoned in despair? .
4. It is said, that war sweeps off the idle, dissolute and vicious members of the community. Monstrous argument! If a government may for this end plunge a nation into war, it may with equal justice consign to the executioner any number of its subjects whom it may deem a burden on the state. The fact is, that war commonly generates as many profligates as it destroys. A disbanded army fills the community with at least as many abandoned members as at first it absorbed.
5. It is sometimes said, that a military spirit favors liberty. But how is it, that nations, after fighting for ages, are so generally enslaved ? The truth is, that liberty has no foundation but in private and public virtue; and virtue, as we have seen, is not the common growth of war.
6. But the great argument is, that without war to excite and invigorate the human mind, some of its noblest energies will A GLIMPSE OF WAR.
slumber, and its highest qualities,-courage, magnanimity, fortitude,—will perish. To this I answer, that if war is to be encouraged among nations, because it nourishes energy and heroism, on the same principle, war in our families and between villages ought to be encouraged; for such contests would equally tend to promote heroic daring and contempt of death. Why shall not different provinces of the same empire annually meet with the weapons of death, to keep alive their courage? We shrink at this suggestion with horror; but why shall contests of nations, rather than of provinces or families, find shelter under this barbarous argument? If war be a blessing, because it awakens energy and courage, then the savage state is peculiarly privileged; for every savage is a soldier, and all his modes of life tend to form him to invincible resolution. On the same principle, those early periods of society were happy, when men were called to contend, not only with one another, but with beasts of prey; for to these excitements we owe the heroism of Hercules and Theseus. On the same principle, the feudal ages were more favored than the present; for then every baron was a military chief, every castle frowned defiance, and every vassal was trained to arms.
I repeat, then, we need not war to awaken human energy. There is at least equal scope for courage and magnanimity in blessing as in destroying mankind. The condition of the human race offers inexhaustible objects for enterprize, and fortitude, and magnanimity. In relieving the countless wants and sorrows of the world, in exploring unknown regions, in carrying the arts and virtues of civilization to unimproved communities, in extending the bounds of knowledge, in diffusing the spirit of freedom, and especially in spreading the light and influence of Christianity, how much may be dared, how much endured ! Philanthropy invites us to services which demand the most intense, and elevated, and resolute, and adventurous activity. Let it not be imagined, that were nations imbued with the spirit of Christianity, they would slumber in ignoble ease; that instead of the high minded murderers who are formed on the present system of war, we should have effeminate and timid slaves. Christian benevolence is as active as it is forbearing. Let it once form the character of a people, and it will attach them to every important interest of society. It will call forth sympathy in behalf of the suffering in every region under heaven. It will give a new extension to the heart, open a wider sphere to enterprize, inspire a courage of exhaustless resource, and prompt to every sacrifice and exposure for the improvement and happiness of the human race. The energy of this principle has been tried and displayed in the fortitude of the martyr, and in the patient labors of those who have carried the gospel into the dreary abodes of idolatry. Away then with the argument, that war is needed as a nursery of heroism. The school of the peaceful Redeemer is infinitely more adapted to teach the nobler, as well as the milder virtues which adorn humanity.
AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY, BOSTON, MASS.
TREATMENT OF THE SICK, WOUNDED AND PRISONERS IN WAR.
War is a tissue of woes; and its real nature, its inevitable effects, we may see in its treatment not only of its victims, but of its own agents when disqualified by fatigue, disease or wounds for continuing their work of death and devastation.
It is hardly possible, during the progress of a war, to make comfortable provisions for the diseased; and even in a time of peace, the condition of a sick soldier would be regarded by most persons as quite beyond endurance. A surgeon perhaps may come to his barrack with occasional prescriptions, and a messmate administer the medicine; but no wife, no mother, no sister is there to watch by his rude hammock, or his pallct of straw, nor a welltrained, sympathizing nurse to soothe his pains, and cheer his drooping, anguished spirits.
But look at the treatment of such sufferers in a time of war. “There was nothing,' says an English soldier in Spain, to sustain our famished bodies, or to shelter us, when fatigued or sick, from the rain and snow. The road was one line of bloody footmarks from the sore feet of the men; and along its sides lay the dead and the dying. Too weak to drag the sick and wounded any farther in the wagons, we now left them to perish in the snow. Even Donald, the hardy Highlander, who had long been barefooted and lame like myself, at length lay down to die. For two days he had been almost blind, and unable, from a severe cold, to hold up his head. We sat down together; not a word escaped our lips. We looked around, then at each other, and closed our eyes. We felt there was no hope. We would have given in charge a farewell to our friends; but who was to carry it? Not far from us, there were, here and there, above thirty in the same situation with ourselves; and nothing but groans mingled with execrations, was to be heard between the pauses of the wind.'
I was sent,' says the same sufferer in another place, 'to Braeburnlees, where I remained eight weeks very ill indeed. All the time I was in the hospital, my soul was oppressed with the distresses of my fellow-sufferers, and shocked at the conduct of the hospital men. Often have I seen them fighting over the expiring bodies of the patients, their eyes not yet closed in death, for articles of apparel that two had seized at once; mingling their curses and oaths with the dying groans and prayers of the poor sufferers. How dreadful the thought that my turn might come next! There was none to comfort, none to give even a drink of water with a
P. T. NO. XXXIX.