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ten times as much more, or more than thirty thousand millions of dollars. And what has she obtained in return? Ask the depths of the ocean; and the sunken fleets of Trafalgar and the Nile will answer. She has gained the fame of making her “Lion” roar over the yanquished armada, of " letting slip the dogs of war” upon the palmy shores of Hindostan, of giving Wellington immortality upon the plains of Waterloo. And is this all? No. It has erected monuments in Westminster Abbey to the greatest butchers of our race that ever lived; it has written poverty upon the foreheads of a majority of her laborers; it has crushed the many with burdensome taxes to honor the destroyers of our race with a name,-a name which, if society understood its interests as it ought, would only render its possessor detestable.
Give me the money that has been spent in war, and I will purchase every foot of land upon the globe. I will clothe every man, woman and child in an attire that kings and queens would be proud of; I will build a school house upon every hill side, and in every valley over the whole habitable earth; I will supply that school house with a competent teacher; I will build an academy in every town, and endow it; a college in every State, and fill it with able professors; I will crown every hill with a church consecrated to the promulgation of the gospel of peace; I will support in its pulpit an able teacher of righteousness, so that on every Sabbath morning the chime on one hill should answer to the chime on another, round the earth's broad circumference; and the voice of prayer, and the song of praise, should ascend like an universal holocaust to heaven. The darkness of ignorance would flee before the bright light of the sun of science; paganism would be crushed by the fall of her temples, shaken to their deep foundations by the voice of truth; war would no more stalk over the earth, trampling under his giant tread all that is beautiful and lovely beneath the sky. This is not fancy; I wish it was; for it reflects upon the character of man. It is the darkest chapter in human depravity thus to squander God's richest. blessings upon passion and lust.
Our religion forbids fighting. So the early Christians understood it; and they went to the stake rather than take up arms. It was one of the charges made by the heathen against the Christians, that they would not fight; and they vindicated themselves by saying that their religion forbade it. War tells us to cherish hatred towards those whom Christianity commands us to love. What would be said to you by an army, were you to exhort them, upon the eve of a battle, to love their enemies, to cherish feelings of good-will towards those whom they were about to destroy ? Would not many a lip of scorn be curled at you? Would you not be told that such doctrine would do for the church, not for the battle-field ? Would not the commander-in-chief order you to be seized for preaching treachery to his troops ? Where in the code of war do you find the broad, deep, unbounded love of the New Testament inculcated on soldiers ? Are they not commanded to kill, to wreak vengeance on their enemies? Of what nature is that spirit which burns in the bosoms of those who fight for hire ? Is it the spirit of love, of forgiveness? Can there be love in the bosom of that man who returns from the field exulting in the death of his foe? Go to the army, and hear the prayers there offered; and tell me what spirit he is of, who prays that the aim of the muisket may secure its victim, and the roar of the cannon be the requiem of thousands, and the sea weeds be the winding-sheet of men ? Are these the sentiments of Christianity ? How can love consist in doing harm, unmixed harm? “Love," says Paul, “ worketh no ill to its neighbor." What! encourage men to mangle and hew each other to pieces, to cherish the spirit of love! Lead out men to fight, teach them to gash and shoot each other, just to make them tender-hearted!
The trade of the warrior is to injure; his sworn duty, to harm; his office, to destroy. It may be said, this evil is done that good may come out of it. Do evil that good may come! Not so thought Paul. This is the rule of Christianity, do good, only good. Does any one say, it is no evil to war? Its sole aim is to harm, to injure, to kill. Follow the track of a victorious army. Why do I call it victorious ? Because desolation, misery and death are in its path. See the fertile fields laid waste; the ravaged village smouldering in ruins; birds of prey uttering their cries, hastening to devour; children flying, imploring the protection of their pale and trembling mothers, who are themselves exposed to the brutality of the soldiers, and fear life more than death; sons gnawing the ground in the agony of the death-struggle; fathers lifting up imploring hands for protection, only to be pinned to the earth with the bayonet; husbands begging for a drop of water, or praying to be run through with the sword, to relieve thein from their misery, their excruciating torture; groans from the mangled, and wails from the expiring. This is war; these are the deeds of love which are performed on the battle-field; this the mercy which exercises its kind offices in war; this the forgiveness which soldiers offer to their enemies !
Go with me to the field of battle, and tell me if it is not an arena of the worst passions which burn in the human bosom; tell me if Christ's religion teaches men to do this; tell me if he taught the sword to devour, the fire to burn, the bullet to mangle God's image; tell me if loving ever covered a field with slaughter, with the dead and dying; if praying for those who injure us, ever carried pain to the domestic circle, and caused widows and orphans to pour forth tears like water. Go with me to the hospitals, and see the misery which war brings with it, and tell me whether Christianity ever achieved such deeds of darkness, spread such a curtain of sackcloth over human prospects!
Look at that majestic ship on the bosom of the ocean. See the thousand human beings on board, their bosoms swelling high with hope, their hearts beating with pride. In the distance, a flag is seen streaming upon the edge of the waters. It is the enemy's. The running to and fro—the bustle—the confusion—the imprecations upon the foe-the oaths—the curses—tell what deeds of darkness are to be done. One short hour is enveloped in smoke, and that beautiful ship is sinking beneath the waves, its snowy canvass torn and stripped, its deck slippery with human blood, fragments of human bodies strewed every where, the sea crimsoned with the current of life, the cockpit filled with those who are enduring every extremity of torture. Now a smile of joy lights up the distorted features of these mangled victims; word is passed that the enemy's ship is foundering, a shout of victory goes up from those parched and dying lips, and down they go, victor and vanquished, a thousand fathoms into the boiling ocean. What a triumph this ! What a work for Christian hands! What a dying hour for a disciple of the Prince of Peace! What a condition in which to meet Him who died for his foes!
Shall I be told, that a nation may be insulted, if it will not fight? I answer, it insults itself, if it does; a far greater evil. I shall be asked, if defensive war is wrong ; but what is defensive war? Can it be defined ? Is it not an intangible idea in the minds of most persons ? But granting that revenge, retaliation, rendering evil for evil, were the spirit of Christianity, it would be a very uncertain rule to act upon. Indeed, it could not be acted upon at all; caprice and passion alone would decide the justice or injustice of the war. What nation has ever taken up arms, which has not stoutly contended that she was maintaining her rights ? Not one.Shall I be told, that the nation that declares war first, is in the wrong? Then our revolutionary war was wrong; then the Polish war was wrong.–Shall I be told, that nations have a right to resist oppression, to rebel if unjust laws are imposed? Who is to decide whether the law is unjust or not ;—the party imposing the law, or the party obeying it? Not the party imposing the law, or we were wrong in our Revolution. So Greece, Poland, South America, every free state upon the earth. Nor can you give to the subiect this right of adjudication ; for then you would annihilate all government. If an individual or a community may shoot down the man who comes delegated to enforce a law, because they do not like it, “chaos and old night” would again set up their kingdom on the earth. The Pennsylvania and Massachusetts rebellions would be right; the Baltimore and New York mobs would be right. What, then, is defensive war? Why does this intangible idea float in the minds of so many, that defensive wars are right, when a defensive war cannot be defined ? The truth is, men see wars right, when they think that they are for their own interest. It is said, again, that a man may fight for his liberty, that he is solemnly, religiously bound to fight for it. How much liberty may he fight for? How much must he be oppressed before he may "render evil for evil ?” Let the amount be defined. This cannot be done. No man can tell how deep the chain shall have cut into the flesh before the sufferer may stab his master. It may be a tax of three cents per pound on tea; it may be a stain upon that airy nothing, national honor; or it may be slavery in its worst forms.
AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY, BOSTON, MASS.
GRIMKÉ ON PEACE.
SELECTIONS FROM THE WRITINGS OF
THOMAS S. GRIMKÉ.
THE DELUSIONS AND SUICIDAL RESULTS OF WAR. | War is the law of violence, PEACE the law of love. That law of violence prevailed without mitigation, from the murder of Abel to the advent of the Prince of Peace. During all that period of forty centuries, war appeared to be the great end of all the institutions of society. Governments seemed to be successfully organized, only when strong for the destruction of others. Rulers were deemed fortunate and illustrious only when marches and battle-fields, burning cities and shattered navies were the trophies of their renown. The warrior was the great man, and peace was regarded as worthy only of the vulgar, ignorant multitude; as the natural state not of the free, but of the slave. The spirit of all those ages was embodied in the sentiment of Cleomenes: Homer is the poet of the Spartans, because he sings of war; Hesiod of the Helots, because agriculture is his theme. War was considered as the only natura] state of government in all its forms of despotism, oligarchy and democracy. Even in the comparatively free states of Greece and Italy, war was the master passion of the people, the master spring of government. The republicans of antiquity appear to have lived in vain, unless they died in battle; and all the vital powers of their government were so entirely military, that they perished as soon as they lost the capacity to make war successfully. With war, as the prevailing spirit of all their institutions, these republics demonstrated how utterly unfit the people are to govern themselves, if the law of violence be the fundamental law of their social compact; that, if ñations, though comparatively free and enlightened, live by the sword, they shall perish by the sword; that the law of violence is the law of murder to others, of suicide to ourselves.
We might have imagined, if history had not attested the reverse, that an experiment of four ihousand years would have sufficed to prove, that the rational ends of society can never be attained by constructing its institutions in conformity with the standard of war; but the sword and the torch had been eloquent in vain. A thousand battle-fields, white with the bones of brothers, were counted as idle advocates in the cause of justice and humanity. Ten thousand cities, abandoned to the cruelty and licentiousness of the soldiery, and burnt, or dismantled, or razed to the ground, pleaded in vain against the law of violence. The river, the lake, the sea, crimsoned with the blood of fellow-citizens, and neighbors, and strangers, had lifted up their voices in vain to denounce the folly and wickedness of war. The shrieks and agonies, the rage and hatred, the
P. T. NO, LIV.
wounds and curses of the battle-field, and the storm and the sack, had scattered in vain their terrible warnings throughout all lands. In vain had the insolent Lysander destroyed the walls, and burnt the fleets of Athens, to the music of her own female flute players. In vain had the disgrace and the sufferings of Miltiades and Nicias, of Themistocles, Pausanias and Alcibiades, of Marius and Sylla, of Hannibal, Pompey and Cæsar, filled the nations with pity and dismay. The lamentations of the widow, and the tears of the orphan, the broken hearts of age, and the blasted hopes of youth, and beauty, and love, had pleaded in vain against the law of violence. The earth had drunk in the life-blood of the slain, and hidden their mangled bodies in her bosom; and there the garden, the orchard and the harvest flourished once more beautiful in the tints of nature, and rich in the melody of fount, and leaf, and breeze. The waters had swallowed into their depths the dying and the dead, and the ruined fleets both of victor and vanquished; and again the waves danced in their sportiveness, or rushed in their fury, over the battle-plain of hostile navies. The innocence of childhood had forgotten the parent's death, the widow had recoyered the lost smile of former years, the iniserable old man had been gathered to his fathers, and affection had found new objects for its attachments. The ancient and modern Assyrian, the Babylonish, Median and Persian empires; the kingdoms of ancient and modern Egypt, of Judah and Israel, and of all the successors of Alexander; the commercial states of Tyre, and Rhodes, and Carthage; the republics of Greece and Italy, and the barbarians of Spain, and Gaul, and Germany, Switzerland and Belgium, had submitted to the allconquering eagle. The terrible judgment, “all they that take the sword, shall perish by the sword,” had been written in letters of blood on the land and the ocean, on the palaces of kings, and the cottages of peasants, on the senate houses of the people, and the temples of their false and cruel gods. The Roman empire, the grave of a hundred states, was destined to illustrate more remarkably than all the preceding nations, that the law of violence is a selfdestroyer. Her power had been constantly extending nearly eight hundred years, till a single city had swelled to the magnitude of an empire embracing the fairest portions of Africa, Europe and Asia. But her law had ever been, and was still, the law of violence. Her battle shout of defiance had pierced the deep gloom of the Hercynian forest; and the Goth, the Burgundian, the Vandal and the Hun, came down to the feast of victory at the trumpet-summons. Their progress was terrific, as when the mountain torrent rushes in its fury to sweep away the vineyard and the harvest, the peasant's cabin, the shepherd and his flock. The Pyrenees, the Alps, and the Balkan range were feeble barriers against the children of eternal snows; and, as the barbarians poured down from those mountain summits the wild music of their battle songs over the beautiful and delicious regions of Iberia, Italy and Greece, the Roman empire confessed in her agony of fear, that the sword was her only title to all her dominions from the rising to the setting sun. What pencil