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word from the motto she now bears on her escutcheon “Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem.” We cannot perhaps introduce in a more suitable place one of these Addresses, which it is proper should appear somewhere on our pages. It is “From the undersigned Ministers of the Gospel, in Great Brit
ain and Ireland, worshipping 'One God the Father,' to the Ministers of the same faith with themselves in the United States of America.
"BRETHREN, - We address you with painful feelings, on the critical state of the relations which exist between your country and our own. For more than thirty years we have been at peace; a long period in the life even of the oldest of us; a period during which some of us have come into existence, and others have grown up to manhood, and entered upon that sacred calling, in the duties of which we are engaged. In that period the nations to which we respectively belong, have become mutually better acquainted, and, we trust, more endeared. For ourselves, we feel bound to you by the remembrance of the wise, the holy, the benevolent, who now sleep in Jesus ; by our veneration for the memory of Channing and the Wares, of Tuckerman and Worcester, of Abbot, Buckminster and Greenwood ; and by our regard for many who are yet living and laboring arnong you, with some of whom we have had personal intercourse, while to others we are indebted for valuable contributions to theological science and religious literature. And we are earnestly desirous, that between a nation with which we are thus connected, and our own, no other relations should exist than those of mutual helpfulness and love.
“ Disputes have arisen between Britain and America about their respective claims to the possession of the Oregon territory. We give no opinion on the subject : we neither determine, nor ask you to determine, whose claim is the stronger ; but we are sure that the value of the territory to either party is as nothing compared with the guilt and the sufferings of war.
“ A proposal has been made to refer the dispute to arbitration. It has been rejected. We do not here censure the rejection ; but we may be allowed to regret, that an opportunity should have been lost of applying the practice of arbitration to national differences; a practice the prevalence of which would soon make war, with all its enormities and horrors, an obsolete barbarism. The rejection increases the probability of war;
war which substitutes for a discussion of moral right, a mere struggle of physical force; which appeals from the perception of truth and the practice of justice, the glorious distinctions of our nature, to
the exercise of violence; and in which we surrender our prerogative as men, and take our precedent from the brutes, who are impelled solely by appetite, and have not the faculties requisite for a just decision.
“The prevalence of Christianity and the advancement of civilization have prohibited all war except between nation and nation. Individuals must submit their conflicting claims to the award of law: the magistrate represses all attempts to overrule or supersede right by force. In our families we repress all violence, and if our little ones attempt to decide their differences by blows, they are promptly taught, by instruction and rebuke, that it is not thus that questions between brethren should be settled. And are we not all brethren ? 'Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?' And does He look with less displeasure on strife and violence than we do? If we, being evil, are anxious to train up our families in mutual affection, and visit with displeasure every infringement of it; how much more shall our Father who is in heaven, look down with holy anger on his children, when they forget the tie of brotherhood that binds them, and engage in mutual injury and bloodshed.
“Brethren, we say not these things as if it were needful to convince you ; for we are sure that you sympathize in those feelings of abhorrence with which we regard the apprehended war. But we are desirous to strengthen your convictions and feelings by the expression of our own; and we invite you to cooperate with us in cherishing those sentiments of mutual regard, which, we trust, will yet secure the continuance of peace between our respective nations, especially as the latest information gives us more cheerful hope of the peaceful spirit of your countrymen generally. As disciples of the Prince of Peace, as preachers of the gospel of peace, we feel that we are acting in consistency with our holy profession, when in our public ministrations, in our pastoral intercourse, and in every possible way, we maintain peace, and strengthen the spirit of good-will among men; and we shall be happy, if, in this momentous crisis, we can contribute to so desirable an object. We are sure, Brethren, that in responding to our invitation, you will be doing that which you will remember with satisfaction to the latest moment of your existence, and of which you will not be ashamed before the Lord Jesus Christ at his coming. Let our united prayers ascend, that the God of Peace may give us peace always, by all means.
Many circumstances indicate that a pacific policy must in future govern the relations of civilized nations towards one another. The cabinets of Europe, if they do not avow,
show that this is the policy which they are anxious to maintain. Louis Philippe, the wisest monarch of the age, has openly and repeatedly committed himself to such a policy. Even Austria, bristling with bayonets, and Russia, the last of the European powers to emerge from barbarism, avoid, rather than seek, occasions of war. The change which has taken place in this respect within a single generation, is immense. Difficulties are now arranged by means of diplomatic discussion, that within our own time would have been referred to the decision of arms. The last Report of the American Peace Society observes, we believe, with perfect truth, that "had public sentiment on the subject been what it was fifty years ago” - or even thirty — "no power on earth could have prevented a fierce and protracted war” from arising out of the recent difficulties between our Government and England, “ that might in its progress have involved the leading nations of Christendom, and overspread the whole earth with its baleful results.”
We are not so simple as to imagine that modern statesmen go to the New Testament for the principles by which to regulate the intercourse between their respective countries. That is to be the glory of another age, when rulers shall sit at the feet of Jesus, and the Gospel shall be studied as the text-book of the politician. But we esteem it no small gain, that public men must regard, and cannot mistake the effect of war on the industrial and commercial interests of nations. War is seen to cost more than it is worth. Glory is a dear purchase when it beggars a people, or throws all their affairs into confusion. The day is not very distant, when Franklin's story of the whistle will be read with as much self-application by the man who is called to vote supplies for an army, as by the boy who has only six copper cents to spend. Neither is it a circumstance of but little moment, that a generation has grown up unused to war, and — what is better still — accustomed to the security and comforts of peace. To be sure, the world has not quite outgrown the folly and blasphemy in which it has long indulged, when speaking of the field of battle and the warrior's claim to admiration; but we think that few have read without a thrill of horror that terrible passage in the account of a victory which the British army gained a few months since in India : -" The river was full
Grounds of Hope.
of sinking men. For two hours volley after volley was poured in upon the human mass the stream being literally red with blood. No compassion was felt or mercy shown.” It will not need many such confessions of the character of warfare, to call forth a cry of indignation before which even a Wellington might quail. To be sure, there is still a fascination about military success, that neither wise men nor good men seem to have the power to resist. But it is a fascination, not a calm conclusion, by which they are held, and which cannot therefore hold them always under its influence. Ten years hence many a member of Congress will wonder at his own votes in the summer 1846. To be sure, they who write on the wickedness and impolicy of war take special care to except defensive war, and tell us in poor, bravado style, that “ in a war waged against our undoubted rights, we (Americans) feel ourselves more than a match for the world”
* but this blemish cannot destroy the force of their juster thoughts, nor prevent sensible readers from perceiving what needless pains they take to intercept the effect of their own arguments. To be sure, young men can be found to play the soldier, and boys to run after them as after any other grotesque exhibition ; but in an age, when Catholic prelates bless the locomotives of a railroad instead of the standards of an army, † we do not much fear that the custom of war will prevail over the habits of peace.
See an excellent paper on “ War in its Democratic and Economic Relations" in the last number of the “ New Englander;” a journal, of whose general management we would speak in terms of sincere admiration; but that the editor should have used its pages for the publication of such atrocious nonsense as fills one paragraph of another article in the same number, confounds us. A Christian writer, in the shades of New Ilaven, wishing that “a warlike spirit, rightly based, and rightly kept alive," may be given to our age, and pronouncing “their war spirit" “pot the least best” among the noble qualities for which we revere our ancestors!
† At the late opening of the railroad from Paris to Belgium, celebrated with great pomp at Lille, on Sunday, June 14, the Archbishop of Cambrai proceeded to the benediction of the locomotives. We saw the proud machines,” says an eye-witness, “ advance slowly, inclining the flags with which they were decorated, and stop at the feet of the archbishop, who pronounced over them the sacramental words." We can conceive of a more appropriate employment for the successor of Fenelon, on the Lord's day. Still we say it was better than pronouncing a benediction on military banners. And as a sign of the tendencies which place our age in such strong contrast with the past, it was not an unprofitable ceremony.
It may be thought that the war in which we are involved with Mexico is a contradiction of what we have said respecting the prevalence of more just opinions, but we consider this only a cloud, which, though black indeed, cannot long overhang the fair prospect on which we have been looking. Of that war we do not hesitate to speak in the plainest terms of reprobation. We contemplate its character from a higher ground than any which political considerations might furnish. We regard it simply in its moral aspects; and we say, that viewed in this light, it is a war which can only involve this country in disgrace and guilt. It has already plunged it deep in guilt and disgrace. Let Mexico have been ever so neglectful of justice to us, it was base and mean in us to send our forces into her territory, whether to conquer or to frighten her. The war was sought by us, is at the moment when we write this needlessly and wickedly prosecuted by us, and, end as it may, must leave a blot on our name. And we believe that this is the opinion of three-fourths of the sensible part of the people. The calm good sense of the country, from one end to another, is against the war. It may save or it
may ruin an administration, we care very little which, for we are not party men; but it must soon be brought to a close, or the people will demand the cessation of hostilities in the deep-toned language of alarm and indignation, alarm at the disregard of the nation's interests, and indignation at the sacrifice of moral principle.
The country will soon take this matter out of the control of selfish or weak politicians, and save its honor from further damage; or if it cannot do this, it will take a lesson from its own experience that will not be without its use. Peace is the only wise or safe policy for this republic. War will not expose us to the danger of conquest by a foreign power, but it will bring upon us the greater evil of the destruction of our virtues by our own hands. Peace is the only sound policy for all nations — the only policy that will enable them to expand the resources which they possess or to preserve the blessings which they now enjoy. Peace is the destiny of the world. War belongs to barbarism and Heathenism. Civilization and Christianity must rule the future, and they will secure the prevalence of pacific principles. When we are told that war is inevitable, we need only answer that Christianity is Divine.
E. S. G.