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of barbarism which would long since have disappeared from hu. man society, had the laws of nations kept pace with the positive statutes which govern the political and social compact. With two guardian angels - Christianity on my right hand, and Science on my left,-methinks I am conducted to an eminence from which I survey the surrounding and subjected world. The freshness of Eden covers the scene, and the smile of heaven gilds the prospect. The trumpet of carnage is blown no more; nor does the crimson flag ever again unfurl itself to the breeze. The demon of vengeance, ever hungry for human flesh, is chained, and commissioned no more to imprint his bloody footsteps upon the earth; nor do the sighing zephyrs ever again waft the death-groans of murdered victims. The ensanguined field is no more covered with the mangled bodies of the slain ; nor do the broad streams of blood ever again pursue their dark, and deep, and melancholy course amidst the shouts of victory, and the agonies of despair. The wife is no more hastened into widowhood, nor her babes consigned to orphanage. The bow of victory is broken, the spear of death is cut asunder, and the chariot of conquest is burned in the fire. This is a consummation devoutly to be sought; an enterprise which may well command our most vigorous efforts while we live, and the successful termination of which will deserve to be perpetuated by a monument as high as heaven.
CONGREGATIONALISTS.—Dr. Dwight. War has prevailed in every age, and through every country; and in all it has waded through human blood, trampled on human corpses, and laid waste the fields and dwellings, the happiness and the hopes of mankind. It has been employed to empty earth, and people hell, to make angels weep, and fiends triumph over the deplorable guilt and debasement of the human character. We slaughter thousands and millions in war, and then plant laurels amid the bones, and nourish them with the blood of those whom we have destroyed. Yet, to men of such characters, statues are erected, nay, temples have been built, and altars have smoked with victims. To them the page of the historian, and the harp of the poet are consecrated. To their praise the sculptor bids the marble breathe, and the painter teaches the canvass to glow. They live in palaces, and are entombed in mausoleums.
Dr. Appleton. If the sufferings of the soldier are great in the camp, they are terrible in the field. I can hardly imagine a scene more dreadful than that which is subsequent to the hour of battle. Suppose yourself-in a hospital crowded with the wounded and the dying. Here one limb has been shattered, and another severed from the body. Here some part of the body itself has been pierced through, or still retains the weapon which inflicted the wound. In that corner you behold a wretch with his head lacerated, his jaws fractured, or an eye dislocated. In another you see those whom want of reason renders unconscious of their state, or those who are frantic, and perhaps blaspheming under the intolerable severity of their anguish. Here is one impatient for the knife and the tourniquet, from a conviction that his present
pains cannot be augmented. There is one shrieking under operations more painful than the malady they are designed to assuage.
Look now at the condition of the common inhabitants in a coun„ry where contending armies are stationed. The regular pursuits of life must be interrupted or abandoned. Honor, property and life itself are at the mercy of those whom no earthly power is able to control, and who perhaps will acknowledge no law but their own wants and passions. Children and females, the aged and the feeble, find themselves surrounded by every terror, and exposed to every indignity. Ferocious troops are quartered in houses which had been the abodes of wealth, taste and domestic enjoyment. The owners, if not arrested, are constrained to witness these ravages without complaint, and compelled to become the slaves of those by whom they are impoverished. Churches and public edifices are converted into barracks; rich gardens are plundered and laid waste; and harvests are consumed in a day to give forage to a devouring cavalry. All enclosures are made common; flocks and herds are slaughtered and consumed; wardrobes are despoiled, and store-houses exhausted. Do not Christian nations, then, worship an idol more savage and hideous than the Moloch of the Hindoos?
Dr. Payson. War is surrounded by a deceitful lustre. The monster, unveiled in all his deformity, is seen steeped from head to foot in human gore, gorging his insatiable maw with the yet quivering limbs of mangled victims, and feasting his ears with the wailings of disconsolate widows and helpless orphans; while the flash of cannon, the glare of bombs, and the red blaze of cities wrapt in conflagration, furnish the only light which illuminates his horrid banquet. Such is the idol whom the votaries of war adore; such the Moloch on whose altars men have exultingly sacrificed, not hecatombs of beasts, but millions of their fellow creatures; on whose blood-thirsty worshippers beauty has lavished her smiles, and genius its eulogies; whose horrid triumphs, fit only to be celebrated in the infernal world, painters and sculptors, poets and historians, have combined to surround with a blaze of immortal glory.
But let the monster's hideous form be exposed in its true colors; and it will be an honor to Christianity, a powerful argument in her favor, to be known as his most decided and successful foe. To accomplish this work, to place before men in naked deformity the idol they have so long ignorantly worshipped in disguise, and thus turn against him the powerful current of public opinion, is the great object of the associated friends of peace. Nor is it easy to conceive how any one who believes the Scriptures, and professes to be a disciple of the Prince of Peace, or a friend to the human race, can justify himself in withholding, his aid from a cause so evidently the cause of God. Who would not wish to share this honor ? After the glorious victory shall have been won, after wars shall have been made to cease under the whole heaven, who will not then wish to have been among the few that first unfurled the consecrated banner of peace?
AMERICAN PEACE SOCIETY, BOSTON, MASS.
VIEWS OF WAR.*
BY ROBERT HALL.
REAL war is a very different thing from that painted image of it which you see on parade, or at a review. It is the most awful scourge that Providence employs for the chastisement of man. It is the
garment of vengeance with which the Deity arrays himself, when he comes forth to punish the inhabitants of the earth. It is the day of the Lord, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger. Let us consider it in two views—as a source of misery, and as a source of crimes.
It is impossible for a humane mind to contemplate the rapid extinction of innumerable lives without concern. To perish in a moment, to be hurried instantaneously, without preparation and without warning, into the presence of the Supreme Judge, has something in it inexpressibly awful and affecting. In war death reigns without a rival, and without control. War is the work, the element, or rather the sport and triumph of death, who glories, not only in the extent of his conquest, but in the richness of his spoil. In the other methods of attack, in the other forms which death assumes, the feeble and the aged, who at the best can live but a short time, are usually the victims; here it is the vigorous and the strong. It is remarked by an ancient historian, that in peace chil. dren bury their parents, in war parents bury their children; nor is the difference small. Children lament their parents, sincerely indeed, but with that moderate and tranquil sorrow which it is natural for those to feel who are conscious of retaining many tender ties, many animating prospects. Parents mourn their children with the bitterness of despair ; the aged parent, the widowed mother, loses, when she is deprived of her children, every thing but the capacity of suffering ; her heart, withered and desolate, admits no other object, cherishes no other hope. It is Rachel weeping for her children, and refusing to be comforted, because they
But, to confine our attention to the number of the slain would give us a very inadequate idea of the ravages of the sword. The lot of those who perish instantaneously may be considered, apart from religious prospects, as comparatively happy, since they are exempt from those lingering diseases and slow torments to which others are liable. We cannot see an individual expire, though a stranger or an enemy, without being sensibly moved, and prompted by compassion to lend him every assistance in our power. Every trace of resentment vanishes in a moment; every other emotion gives way to pity and terror. In these last extremities we remem
* From Mr. Hall's Sermon entitled Reflections on War. P. T. NO. XXII.
ber nothing but the respect and tenderness due to our common nature. What a scene then must a field of battle present, where thousands are left without assistance and without pity, with their wounds exposed to the piercing air, while the blood, freezing as it flows, binds them to the earth, amid the trampling of horses, and the insults of an enraged foe! If they are spared by the humanity of the enemy, and carried from the field, it is but a prolongation of torment. Conveyed in uneasy.vehicles, often to a remote distance, through roads almost impassable, they are lodged in illprepared receptacles for the wounded and the sick, where the variety of distress baffles all the efforts of humanity and skill, and renders it impossible to give to each the attention he demands. Far from their native home, no tender assiduities of friendship, no well-known voice, no wife, or mother, or sister is near to soothe their sorrows, relieve their thirst, or close their eyes in death. Unhappy man! and must you be swept into the grave unnoticed and unnumbered, and no friendly tear be shed for your sufferings, or mingled with your dust!
We must remember, however, that as a very small proportion of a military life is spent in actual combat, so it is a very small part of its miseries which must be ascribed to this source. More are consumed by the rust of inactivity than by the edge of the sword. Confined to a scanty or unwholesome diet, exposed in sickly climates, harassed with tiresome marches and perpetual alarms, their life is a continual scene of hardships and dangers. They grow familiar with hunger, cold and watchfulness. Crowded into hospitals and prisons, contagion spreads among their ranks, till the ravages of disease exceed those of the enemy.
We have hitherto adverted to the sufferings only of those who are engaged in the profession of arms, without taking into our account the situation of the countries which are the scene of hostilities. How dreadful to hold every thing' at the mercy of an enemy, and to receive life itself as a boon dependent on the sword. How boundless the fears which such a situation must inspire, where the issues of life and death are determined by no known laws, principles or customs, and no conjecture can be formed of our destiny, except as far as it is dimly deciphered in characters of blood, in the dictates of revenge, and the caprices of power. Conceive but for a moment the consternation which the approach of an invading army would impress on the peaceful villages in this neighborhood. When you have placed yourselves for an instant in that situation, you will learn to sympathize with those unhappy countries which have sustained the ravages of arms. But how is it possible to give you an idea of these horrors? Here you behold rich harvests, the bounty of heaven and the reward of industry, consumed in a moment, or trampled under foot, while famine and pestilence follow the steps of desolation. There the cottages of peasants given up to the flames; mothers expiring through fear, not for themselves but their infants; the inhabitants flying with their helpless babes in all directions, miserable fugitives on their
native soil! In another part you witness opulent cities taken by storm; the streets, where no sounds were heard but those of peaceful industry, filled on a sudden with slaughter and blood, resounding with the cries of the pursuing and the pursued; the palaces of nobles demolished, the houses of the rich pillaged, the chastity of virgins and of matrons violated, and every age, sex and rank mingled in promiscuous massacre and ruin.
In contemplating the influence of war on public morals, it would be unpardonable not to remark the effects it never fails to produce in those parts of the world which are its immediate seat. The injury which the morals of a people sustain from an invading army is prodigious. The agitation and suspense universally prevalent are incompatible with every thing which requires calm thought, or serious reflection. In such a situation is it any wonder the duties of piety fall into neglect, the sanctuary of God is forsaken, and the gates of Zion mourn and are desolate ? Familiarized to the sight of rapine and slaughter, the people must acquire a hard and unfeeling character. The precarious tenure by which every thing is held during the absence of laws must impair confidence; the sudden revolutions of fortune must be infinitely favorable to fraud and injustice. He who reflects on these consequences will not think it too much to affirm, that the injury the virtue of a people sustains from invasion, is greater than that which affects their property or their lives. He will perceive that by such a calamity the seeds of order, virtue and piety, which it is the first care of education to implant and mature, are swept away as by a hurri
If statesmen, if Christian statesmen at least, had a proper feeling on this subject, and would open their hearts to the reflections which such scenes must inspire, instead of rushing eagerly to arms, would they not hesitate long, would they not try every expedient, every lenient art consistent with national honor, before they ventured on this desperate remedy, or rather, before they plunged into this gulf of horror ?
The contests of nations are both the offspring and the parent of injustice. The word of God ascribes the existence of war to the disorderly passions of men. Whence come wars and fightings among you ? saith the apostle James ; come they not from your lusts that war in your members ? It is certain two nations cannot engage in hostilities but one party must be guilty of injustice; and if the magnitude of crimes is to be estimated by a regard to their consequences, it is difficult to conceive an action of equal guilt with the wanton violation of peace. It sinks every other crime into insignificance. If the existence of war always implies injustice in one at least of the parties concerned, it is also the fruitful parent of crimes. It reverses, with respect to its objects, all the rules of morality. It is nothing less than a temporary repeal of the principles of virtue. It is a system out of which almost all the virtues are excluded, and in which nearly all the vices are incorporated. Whatever renders human nature amiable or respectable,